Nuclear News on the Newswire

IAEA issues incident-tracking database fact sheet

Last year, 168 incidents of illegal or unauthorized activities involving nuclear and other radioactive materials were reported to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Incident and Trafficking Database (ITDB). According to the agency, this number is in line with historical averages. These incidents were reported by 31 IAEA member states; as of 2023, a total of 145 member states have participated in the ITDB.

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ORISE report focuses on nuclear engineering degrees and enrollments

There is a mix of good news and bad in the latest Nuclear Engineering Enrollment and Degrees Survey, 2021–2022 Data. According to this report from the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), compiled with data initially released in November 2023 and updated in February 2024, the number of doctoral degrees awarded in nuclear engineering at the end of the 2022 academic year in the United States—211 Ph.D.s—was the highest since the beginning of this survey’s data collection in 1966. However, the overall numbers of nuclear engineering degrees awarded in 2021 and 2022 were at their lowest levels in more than a decade. In addition, both undergraduate and graduate enrollment numbers were down compared with 2018 and 2019.

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NRC finalizes new rule on reactor license renewals

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is issuing a final rule and corresponding update to the generic environmental impact statement (GEIS) the agency uses when considering applications to renew the operating licenses of nuclear power reactors. All four current NRC commissioners voted to approve the rule on May 16.

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Securing the advanced reactor fleet

Physical protection accounts for a significant portion of a nuclear power plant’s operational costs. As the U.S. moves toward smaller and safer advanced reactors, similar protection strategies could prove cost prohibitive. For tomorrow’s small modular reactors and microreactors, security costs must remain appropriate to the size of the reactor for economical operation.

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NEI's Korsnick delivers State of the Nuclear Energy Industry address

Korsnick

Nuclear Energy Institute president and CEO Maria Korsnick delivered her State of the Nuclear Energy Industry address at NEI’s 2024 Nuclear Energy Policy Forum yesterday. The forum this year is taking place May 14–16 in Washington, D.C., and serves to gather industry leaders, executives, and experts for pivotal conversations about the federal and state nuclear policy landscapes.

Korsnick updated attendees on policy priorities of the industry and gave her perspective on nuclear energy’s present and future.

She centered her talk on national and global priorities to secure a clean energy future at the same time as achieving energy independence and security—all while meeting a massive increase in demand for power. “Nuclear energy remains the key” to addressing these priorities, she said.

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