NRC approves license transfers for 28 Exelon reactors
Exelon has received approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to transfer licenses of 23 operating and five decommissioning reactors to a new company that will wholly own Exelon Generation and its subsidiaries after Exelon's split into two entities. The separation could be finalized in the first quarter of 2022. Full Story: Nuclear Newswire (American Nuclear Society) (11/18)
Plant Vogtle costs twice as high as originally estimated
Figures reported in Georgia Power's quarterly earnings statement suggest that the total cost of building two new reactors at Plant Vogtle in Georgia has reached and potentially exceeded $28.5 billion, more than double the original estimate of $14 billion. Meanwhile, Georgia Power is working to resolve a dispute with other owners, who claim that the latest cost overruns have triggered a 2018 agreement requiring the company to pay a larger share of the project. Full Story: The Associated Press (11/4)
Bulgaria looks to SMRs to replace coal generation
Bulgarian Energy Holding will work with US-based Fluor Corporation to study the feasibility of replacing coal boilers with NuScale small nuclear reactors. Bulgaria plans to phase out coal no later than 2040.
Full Story: World Nuclear News (10/29)
Exelon to modernize Pa. station control room
Exelon Generation and the Energy Department will share the cost of an effort to upgrade the control room at Limerick Generating Station in Pennsylvania. The project represents the first fully digital safety system modernization at a US nuclear power plant using the new ISG-06 Alternate Review Process protocol. Full Story: Power Engineering (10/20)
Radiation-mapping robots deployed at Chernobyl
A team of scientists from the United Kingdom’s University of Bristol were given access to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, advancing a project to train robots and artificial intelligence systems to measure radiation and create 3D maps.
Read More (OCTOBER 15, 2021, Nuclear Newswire, American Nuclear Society(ANS))
5 sites proposed to for STEP fusion plant in UK
Five sites are being considered to house the Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production plant, a prototype plant the UK will use to demonstrate the commercial viability of fusion energy. The sites include one in Scotland and four in England, and the project is expected to be completed in 2040.
Full Story: World Nuclear News (10/14)
EDF's Poland plan includes up to 6 EPR nuclear reactors
French energy company EDF has outlined an offer to build four to six of its EPR nuclear reactors in Poland, a country that lags behind others in the EU in emissions reduction. EDF's proposed project would supply a total of 6.6 to 9.9 gigawatts of power.
Full Story: Reuters (10/13)
France's $35B plan includes boost to nuclear energy
French President Emmanuel Macron announced a five-year, $35 billion plan to promote industry that allocates $8 billion to develop clean energy. The plan includes building one small modular reactor as well as two megafactories for the production of green hydrogen by 2030. Full Story: The Hindu (India)/The Associated Press (10/12), BNN Bloomberg (Canada) (10/12), Reuters (10/13)
Gorleben nuclear waste facility in Germany to close
Germany's Environment Ministry has announced that the controversial Gorleben mine will be shut down after four decades as a nuclear waste storage facility. In the meantime, Germany continues to search for the perfect permanent waste disposal site, with vetting underway for 90 candidate locations identified so far.
Full Story: Deutsche Welle (Germany) (9/17)
Ill. passes bill providing lifeline to nuclear plants
The Illinois Senate has voted 37-17 to pass a sweeping clean energy package with $694 million in tax credits over five years for Exelon's Byron, Dresden and Braidwood nuclear power plants, the first of which was slated to close Monday. Exelon said it is now ready to refuel Byron and Dresden, while the American Nuclear Society urged Gov. J.B. Pritzker to sign the bill into law quickly.
Byron Generating Station (Jeff Haynes/AFP via Getty Images)
Byron, Dresden saved by the bill?
With only days remaining before the scheduled retirement of Exelon Generation’s Byron nuclear plant, the Illinois House approved a comprehensive energy package that would save that plant, as well as the state’s similarly struggling Braidwood and Dresden facilities.
Read More Nuclear News (Fri, Sep 10, 2021)
Taishan-1 taken off line because of fuel rod damage
The Taishan nuclear power plant, in China’s Guangdong Province. Photo: EDF Group
Technicians loading the first reactor aboard the Akademik Lomonosov, Russia's floating nuclear power plant.
Tue, Aug 3, 2021, 2:00AM Nuclear News
Unit 1 at the Taishan nuclear power plant in China has been shut down to examine fuel rod damage and conduct maintenance, China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) reported last Friday.
Taishan, located in Guangdong Province, is home to twin 1,660-MWe EPRs, the first two such reactors in the world to enter commercial operation (in December 2018 and September 2019, respectively). The plant is owned and operated by Taishan Nuclear Power JVC (TNPJVC)—a joint venture of CGN; France’s EDF, which is also the majority owner of Framatome, the Taishan reactors’ designer and supplier; and the Guangdong Energy Group.
“At present, a small amount of fuel damage has occurred during the operation of Taishan Nuclear Power Unit 1, but it is still within the allowable range of technical specifications, and the unit can continue to operate stably,” CGN stated in its announcement. “After full communication between Chinese and French technical personnel, [TNPJVC] insists on safety first and conservative decision-making in accordance with nuclear safety regulations and nuclear power plant operating procedures …. The unit will be shut down for maintenance, find the cause of fuel damage, and replace the damaged fuel.”
Russia's Rosatom to build 4 more floating NPPs
Russian state-owned Rosatom nuclear corporation plans to build four new floating nuclear power plants, with each operating a pair of 55-megawatt RITM-200 reactors for use at the Baimsky copper mining project in northeastern Siberia by the end of 2026. Three of the reactors will be deployed to the site, with the fourth to be held in reserve to fill in when any of the three require maintenance. Full Story: Bellona (Norway) (8/4)
Taiwan NPP files application to shut down
Taiwan's Atomic Energy Council says it has received an application from state-run utility Taiwan Power Corporation to shut down the Third Nuclear Power Plant, located near the resort town of Kenting. Taiwan plans to be nuclear-free by 2025 and Taiwan law requires that an application for closure be filed at least three years prior to ending energy production at a plant. Full Story: Taiwan News (7/27)
Vogtle-3 hot functional testing nearly done
Reactor Unit 3 at Georgia Power's Vogtle nuclear power plant has successfully achieved normal operating pressure and temperature during two months of hot functional testing. The process will go on for several more weeks and is the last testing hurdle before fuel loading can begin for a planned reactor startup in 2022.
Full Story: Power Engineering (6/28)
Vogtle Unit 3 plant systems have successfully reached normal operating pressure and temperature during hot functional testing. Over the next several weeks, plant systems will continue to be tested at normal operating pressure and temperature.
TVA and Kairos partner on demonstration reactor
The Tennessee Valley Authority and nuclear technology and engineering company Kairos Power this week announced plans to collaborate on the deployment of the latter’s low-power demonstration reactor, dubbed Hermes, at the East Tennessee Technology Park in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Read More Nuclear News
Federal subsidies for nuclear plants?
Thu, May 6, 2021, 5:01AMANS Nuclear Cafe
The Biden administration has indicated to lawmakers that it supports federal subsidies for struggling nuclear power plants, Reuters reported this morning, citing sources familiar with the discussions.
The subsidies would be in the form of production tax credits, according to the report, and would likely become part of the president’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan.
“There’s a deepening understanding within the administration that it needs nuclear to meet its zero-emission goals,” states a Reuters source.
Last month, during the Leaders Summit on Climate, President Biden announced that the United States will target reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50–52 percent by 2030, with the goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest.
Surry NPP in Va. receives 20-year operating extension
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has extended Dominion Energy's operating licenses for Units 1 and 2 at its Surry nuclear power plant in Virginia until 2052 and 2053, respectively. A previous license extension granted in 2003 allowed the two reactors to operate until 2032 and 2033.
Plans for Fukushima water disposal to be revealed
Plans to release water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean are moving forward, with an announcement expected this week from the Japanese government. There are about 1,000 water storage tanks at the site, expected to reach storage capacity next year.
Full Story: The Associated Press (4/9)
TEPCO to delay restarting plant
Tokyo Electric Power Company has agreed to penalties handed down by the Nuclear Regulation Authority for lax security measures at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant, which will delay restarting the plant for at least a year. TEPCO, which also owns the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, will reduce pay for top company executives as part of the agreement.
Full Story: The Associated Press (4/7)
Finlan's Olkiluoto-3 receives fuel loading permit
The Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority in Finland has issued a fuel loading permit for reactor Unit 3 of the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant. The work includes loading 241 fuel assemblies into the reactor, which is expected to start producing commercial power in February 2022.
Full Story: NucNet (Belgium) (3/26)
Canada invests $40M in Moltex SMR technology.
NRC considers longer extensions for NPPs
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is seeing more applications for nuclear power plant operating license extensions that would extend plants' useful lives to 80 or even 100 years. NRC Commission member David Wright says the agency is looking into concerns that may arise as NPPs age, including "neutron embrittlement, stress corrosion cracking related to pressure in the vessel, concrete and containment degradation and electrical cable qualification and conditioning monitoring."
Full Story: Reuters (3/2)
Progress at Finland’s Onkalo repository project
Radioactive waste management firm Posiva Oy has begun excavating tunnels for a final disposal site at the Onkalo underground nuclear waste repository in Finland. The tunnel will be used for a small-scale demonstration test of waste disposal procedures.
Full Story: Nuclear Engineering International
Featured Sessions & Events
Attend WM2021 to receive the latest information in radioactive waste management in over 135 technical sessions. Daily highlights found at our website include:
Monday – Panel Session 2: Hot Topics in US DOE Environmental Management. This session focuses on Senior US DOE Managers from Washington, D.C. speaking on the pressing issues facing DOE EM sites starting with Todd Shrader, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management.
Tuesday – Panel Session 29: Japan Fukushima Daiichi Decommissioning Update. This session focuses on the activities at Fukushima Daiichi starting with Akira Ono, Chief Decommissioning Officer, Fukushima Daiichi D&D Engineering Co., TEPCO Holdings, and then with a 10 minute video of the 10 years of progress.
Wednesday - Panel Session 88B Panel: Current and Emerging US NRC Regulatory Topics. This session focuses on several current and emerging NRC regulatory issues impacting the radioactive waste arena starting with Stephen Koenick, NRC Low-Level Waste and Projects Branch Chief.
Thursday - Roundtable Session 122: Waste Management - Energy Facilities Contractor Operating Group (EFCOG WM). This roundtable focuses on the WM EFCOG working group discussing an update and a variety of issues important to US DOE EM waste management operations starting with Renee Echols, Working Group Chair.
Friday - Panel Session 139A: Small Business Procurement and Contracting Opportunities within the US DOE Complex. This session focuses on US “Small Business” procurement and contracting opportunities starting with Aaron Deckard, US DOE EMCBC Acquisition Integration Lead.
American Nuclear Society (ANS) Events
Expert panel looks back at Fukushima 10 years later
Join us this Tuesday!
ANS invite to a special discussion that revisits Fukushima on the eve of the 10-year anniversary. Sign-up now for this free event this Tuesday, March 2, 1:00 - 2:30 pm EST.
The earthquake and subsequent tsunami that caused three reactor meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi on March 11, 2011, forever changed the nuclear power industry in Japan and worldwide.
A distinguished panel will discuss the lessons learned, the decontamination and decommissioning approach, and future challenges. The panel, which features several principal members of the ANS Special Committee on Fukushima, will also examine what the committee got right and what it got wrong in the Fukushima Daiichi report.
Lake Barrett, Senior Advisor, TEPCO and IRID
Michael Corradini, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Paul Dickman, Senior Policy Fellow, Argonne National Laboratory
Dale Klein, Former Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Joy Rempe, Principal, Rempe and Associates, LLC
Study finds Estonia’s geology suitable for borehole repository
A preliminary study conducted by the nuclear waste storage and disposal startup company Deep Isolation found that Estonia’s geology is capable of safely hosting a deep horizontal borehole repository for radioactive waste from advanced nuclear reactors.
The study, commissioned by advanced reactor deployment company Fermi Energia, found no fundamental geologic limitations to disposing of nuclear waste in deep horizontal boreholes, according to Deep Isolation. In addition, the study noted that a wide range of locations could be demonstrated to comply with International Atomic Energy Agency regulations for geologic disposal.
The findings: Results of the study, which was conducted in collaboration with Estonian geologic and drilling company Engineering Bureau STEIGER, will be presented as part of Fermi Energia’s one-day conference on small modular reactors, "New Generation Nuclear Energy in Estonia," on February 9. Registration for the event is available online.
Study details: The study is a qualitative geological assessment of Estonia’s crystalline basement rock that evaluates geological conditions and potential risk factors for Estonia’s 15 counties, screening their potential for hosting a deep borehole repository. Such a repository would isolate radioactive elements from the earth’s surface for 1.3 million years, according to Deep Isolation.
Fermi Energia is developing plans to build a SMR in Estonia. Deep Isolation said that Fermi Energia is the first European company it has contracted to conduct a preliminary geologic study to manage advanced reactor waste.
Quote: “If we are to be successful in our efforts to see Estonia become the first European Union country to deploy an SMR in the 2030s, it is important that we take responsibility now in planning for spent fuel disposal,” said Kalev Kallemets, chief executive officer of Fermi Energia. “This Deep Isolation study indicates that a deep borehole disposal repository could meet all prerequisites and be safe and cost-effective as well as easily deployed and scalable.”
主催 国立研究開発法人 日本原子力研究開発機構
後援 復興庁 文部科学省 経済産業省
福島県 いわき市 広野町 楢葉町
特別協賛 (株)アトックス 日立ＧＥニュークリア・エナジー(株）
DOE expects 2021 to be important for nuclear
The Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Energy says that even with the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 saw many historic advances for the US nuclear industry, and it expects 2021 to be a record-breaking year. The agency says the top five projects to watch include the grid connection of Vogtle Unit 3, the first SMR full design certification, landing of the Mars rover Perseverance, establishment of a uranium reserve and more license renewals and reactor shutdowns.
Full Story: ANS Newswire (American Nuclear Society) (1/19)
1. VOGTLE UNIT 3 CONNECTS TO THE GRID
Unit 3 at Plant Vogtle Construction Project
All eyes this year will be on Georgia’s Plant Vogtle expansion project. Unit 3 remains on track for a November 2021 startup despite some testing delays due to COVID-19. The two AP-1000 reactors under construction are the first new units to be built in the United States in more than 30 years. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office provided more than $12 billion in loan guarantees to help complete the Vogtle expansion project, which will be the nation’s largest source of clean power. Unit 4 is expected to be online by 2022.
SMR-wind project to be developed on Welsh island, UK
NuScale Power has signed a memorandum of understanding with British firm Shearwater Energy to develop a hybrid energy project that combines small modular reactor technology and wind power on the island of Anglesey, off the coast of Wales. The plant would be used to power about 300,000 homes and generate 6.6 million pounds of "green" hydrogen gas.
Full Story: BBC (free registration) (1/15), ANS Newswire (American Nuclear Society)
Stimulus package includes $35.2B for energy push
Congress has approved a stimulus bill that includes about $35.2 billion for energy, including $6.6 billion for the development of advanced nuclear reactors and upgrades for existing NPPs. In addition, the bill includes $4.7 billion to fund research on fusion energy.
Full Story: TechCrunch (tiered subscription model) (12/21)
Japanese utility group promotes MOX fuel use
The Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan is formulating a new Plutonium Utilization Plan to promote the use of mixed uranium-plutonium fuel in Japan's nuclear power plants. FEPC says it will "aim to have at least 12 reactors running on pluthermal use" by fiscal year 2030.
Full Story: Nuclear Engineering International (12/22)
Five advanced reactor designs get DOE risk reduction funding
December 16, 2020, 3:00PM|Nuclear News Staff
The Department of Energy today announced $30 million in initial fiscal year 2020 funding—with the expectation of more over the next seven years—for five companies selected for risk reduction for future demonstration projects. The chosen reactor designs from Kairos Power, Westinghouse, BWX Technologies, Holtec, and Southern Company collectively represent a range of coolants, fuel forms, and sizes—from tiny microreactors to a molten salt reactor topping 1,000 MWe. They were selected for cost-shared partnerships under the Office of Nuclear Energy’s Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP) through a funding opportunity announcement issued in May 2020.
“All of these projects will put the U.S. on an accelerated timeline to domestically and globally deploy advanced nuclear reactors that will enhance safety and be affordable to construct and operate,” said Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette. “Taking leadership in advanced technology is so important to the country’s future, because nuclear energy plays such a key role in our clean energy strategy.”
The awardees: The projects selected for risk-reduction awards could be licensed and deployed over the next 10 to 14 years. ARDP funding is intended to support the developers as they resolve technical, operational, and regulatory challenges to prepare for future demonstration opportunities.
Hermes Reduced-Scale Test Reactor, Kairos Power. Kairos Power, of Alameda, Calif., will design, construct, and operate its Hermes reduced-scale test reactor. Kairos plans to site the test reactor at the East Tennessee Technology Park in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Hermes is expected to lead to the development of Kairos Power’s commercial-scale KP-FHR (Kairos Power Fluoride Salt-Cooled High-Temperature Reactor), which uses TRISO fuel in pebble form combined with a low-pressure fluoride salt coolant. Total award value over seven years: $629 million (DOE share: $303 million).
eVinci Microreactor, Westinghouse Electric Company. Westinghouse Nuclear, of Cranberry Township, Pa., will advance the design of a heat pipe–cooled microreactor to support a nuclear demonstration unit by 2024. The project is to reduce technical risks associated with the moderator canister design, improve the ability to manufacture heat pipe wicks, and develop an economically viable refueling process and licensing approach. Total award value over seven years: $9.3 million (DOE share: $7.4 million).
BWXT Advanced Nuclear Reactor (BANR), BWXT Advanced Technologies. BWX Technologies, of Lynchburg, Va., plans to develop a commercially viable transportable microreactor using TRISO fuel particles to achieve higher uranium loading and an improved core design using a silicon carbide matrix. Total award value over seven years: $106.6 million (DOE share: $85.3 million).
Holtec SMR-160 Reactor, Holtec Government Services. Holtec, based in Camden, N.J., is receiving funding for early-stage design, engineering, and licensing activities to accelerate the development of Holtec’s light-water-cooled SMR-160. Total award value over seven years: $147.5 million (DOE share: $116 million).
Southern Molten Chloride Reactor Experiment, Southern Company Services. Southern Company, based in Birmingham, Ala., is designing, constructing, and operating the Molten Chloride Reactor Experiment to demonstrate the high-burnup capabilities of Southern’s liquid salt–fueled Molten Salt Reactor. Total award value over seven years: $113 million (DOE share: $90.4 million).
ARDP background: The DOE was directed by the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act to establish the ARDP to help domestic private industry demonstrate advanced nuclear reactors. The program has three components: advanced reactor demonstrations, risk reduction for future demonstrations, and advanced reactor concepts 2020 (ARC 20).
In October 2020, the DOE announced the selection of TerraPower and X-energy to receive $160 million in initial demonstration funding to develop and construct two advanced nuclear reactors that can be operational within seven years. An announcement of ARC-20 funding, to support designs in their earliest phases with the potential to commercialize in the mid-2030s, is expected later this month.
GE Hitachi SMR reaches U.S. licensing milestone.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued a final safety evaluation report for the first of several licensing topical reports (LTR) submitted by GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) for the BWRX-300 small modular reactor. Read now
ANS Newswire’s weekend essential reading (December 4, 2020)
Nuclear Waste Startup Gets Backing for Underground Storage Holes
Will Wade and Catherine Traywick, Bloomberg News
(Bloomberg) -- Deep Isolation Inc. raised $20 million from backers including NAC International Inc. to develop its system for storing deadly nuclear waste miles below the surface of the earth.
As part of the Series A funding round, NAC will also get a seat on Deep Isolation’s board, according to a statement Wednesday. The deal values the Berkeley, California-based company at $60 million.
Deep Isolation hasn’t yet received a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for its borehole technology, and the firm doesn’t have customers that have agreed to use it. But potential clients have expressed interest in the idea, the company said.
“We need clean energy,” Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Muller said in the statement. “In the case of nuclear power, this means finding a permanent solution for nuclear waste.”
Deep Isolation estimates that the global nuclear-waste disposal market is worth $660 billion. While there’s wide consensus that spent fuel rods should be stored deep underground, the only U.S. proposal for a national repository in Nevada has been stalled for decades because of local opposition. The company’s technology addresses this issue by proposing to bury waste near reactors, as an alternative to existing above-ground storage sites.
NAC International is a Georgia-based nuclear services company that’s been working with Deep Isolation since last year.
©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Waste Management Symposia 2019
Waste Management Symposia 2019