Nuclear News on the Newswire

Japanese gangster charged with trafficking nuclear materials

U.S. officials have brought charges of nuclear materials trafficking against a Japanese gangster who has been in federal custody since 2022.

In a case filled with international espionage, along with alleged weapons and drug trafficking, Takeshi Ebisawa has been charged with attempting to sell uranium and weapons-grade plutonium. The 60-year-old Japanese national—who is believed to be a leading figure in the Yakuza, the Japanese organized crime syndicate—faces a long list of federal charges that carry sentence of life in prison.

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Hyundai tops other bidders to build Bulgarian reactors

Bulgaria has shortlisted South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering and Construction team to build new reactors at Kozloduy nuclear power plant.

Of the five international companies to bid on the project, Hyundai E&C was the only one that met the requirements of project company Kozloduy NPP—New Builds Plc. for the commissioning and construction of two new Westinghouse Electric AP1000 reactors, the Bulgarian firm said. Bids were due February 2.

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The Sodium Reactor Experiment

In February 1957, construction was completed on the Sodium Reactor Experiment (SRE), a sodium-cooled, graphite-moderated reactor with an output of 20 MWt. The design of theSRE had begun three years earlier in 1954, and construction started in April 1955. On April 25, 1957, the reactor reached criticality, and the SRE operated until February 1964.

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Cadre Holdings to acquire Alpha Safety

Cadre Holdings, Inc. has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Alpha Safety Intermediate, LLC, the operating parent of Alpha Safety, a nuclear safety solutions company, for $106.5 million (excluding working capital and certain other adjustments on closing).

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Type One Energy wants to build a stellarator at retired coal plant

Type One Energy Group announced plans on February 21 to relocate its headquarters from Madison, Wis., to the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) Bull Run fossil plant in Clinton, Tenn., where it will build a stellarator fusion prototype machine. According to the company, the construction of the stellarator—called Infinity One—could begin in 2025, if necessary environmental reviews, partnership agreements, permits, and operating licenses are all in hand.

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NRC seeks comments on new fee schedule for FY 2024

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is asking for feedback on proposed changes to the annual, licensing, inspection, and special projects fees for fiscal year 2024.

The proposed fee rule, published February 20 in the Federal Register, is based on the FY 2024 Congressional Budget Justification as a full-year appropriation, but it has not yet been enacted. The final rule will be based on the NRC’s actual appropriation, and the agency will update the final fee schedule as appropriate.

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Officials: Sole power source to Ukraine plant damaged in shelling

Russian shelling is being blamed for damage to the single remaining power source to Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, located on the front lines of the ongoing military conflict.

“After another attack by the Russians, the line that provided the energy supply to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear station was damaged,” Ukraine's power grid operator Ukrenergo said in a February 21 statement.

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Kairos Power, DOE agree on milestone approach to Hermes support

Kairos Power announced on February 21 that it has signed a technology investment agreement with the Department of Energy to implement the Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP) Risk Reduction funding that the company was awarded in December 2020. Under the agreement, the DOE will provide up to $303 million to Kairos Power using a performance-based, fixed-price milestone approach to support the design, construction, and commissioning of the Hermes demonstration reactor in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

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A ‘fresh look’ at the mandatory hearing

Earlier this month, Nuclear Regulatory Commission chair Christopher T. Hanson sent a letter to the agency’s general counsel, Brooke P. Clark, saying “a fresh look at the mandatory hearing process is warranted.” Hanson directed the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) “to identify efficiencies in these mandatory hearings that will enable the commission to fulfill its statutory obligations while it promotes the responsible stewardship of time and resources,” and gave the office 60 days to provide a paper outlining applicable requirements and options.

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China starts construction on 2 reactors

Construction formally began this week on two new nuclear reactors in China.

The China National Nuclear Corporation held a ground-breaking ceremony to mark the first phase of construction of the Jinqimen nuclear power plant in the eastern province of Zhejiang.

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