The bipartisan infrastructure bill under consideration in the Senate includes $6 billion in aid for nuclear power reactors that may otherwise be shut down because the plant owners are losing money. Final action on the bill is not expected until September, when the House returns from a recess.
The National Nuclear Security Administration's Office of Nonproliferation and Arms Control is working with universities and the Energy Department's national laboratories to provide engineering students with hands-on experience designing tools that help ensure international nuclear safeguards. "These partnerships give students technical training from world-class researchers and help build the rising generation of nuclear experts," says Kasia Mendelsohn of the NNSA's Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation.
Georgia's Augusta University College of Science and Mathematics has received a second five-year, $899,679 Energy Workforce Opportunities in Regional Careers grant from the Energy Department to fund scholarships for entering nuclear science careers. The grant includes internships at the Savannah River Site to gain hands-on experience.
The proposed bipartisan infrastructure bill moving through Congress will come too late to prevent the Byron and Dresden nuclear power plants in Illinois from being shut down this year, according to energy provider Exelon Generation, which owns the plants. The utility says proposed Illinois legislation that would provide state subsidies "is the only solution that can pass in time to provide the certainty we need."
Legislators in Illinois want the state's General Assembly to reconvene and vote on energy legislation that would keep the state's Byron and Dresden nuclear power plants from shutting down. In a joint statement, two senators and two state House members said they are committed to passing nuclear provisions for which there is broad agreement now, "and coming back to the table to negotiate the more long-term aspects of Illinois' energy future with the various stakeholders between now and the General Assembly's Fall Veto Session in October."
State-owned China General Nuclear has put reactor Unit 5 of its Hongyanhe nuclear power plant into commercial operation. The Generation III ACPR-1000 pressurized water reactor had achieved first criticality on June 13 and then operated on a trial basis through July 31.
The International Atomic Energy Agency has completed a long-term operational safety review of ANAV's Asco nuclear power plant in Spain. ANAV is awaiting a final decision from Spanish regulators for a nine- and 10-year license extension for the two reactors, which would allow them to operate through 2030 and 2031.
A recent Bisconti Research poll conducted with Quest Global Research found that 60% of respondents were in favor of using nuclear energy for electricity generation, while 25% opposed it. Bisconti Research, which has been tracking nuclear power's public perception since 1983, also found that 75% chose an energy mix option including nuclear when given options that included renewable sources like solar and wind.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued its final environmental impact statement on a proposed spent nuclear fuel interim storage facility to be built in Andrews County, Texas, and the NRC has issued a report that recommends granting the proposed license. The report stated that the NRC "anticipates that impacts on housing and public services would be small, impacts on population growth and employment would be moderate."
The Energy Department is proposing a cap-and-cover solution for a 73-year-old nuclear waste dump site at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico as an alternative to digging up the waste and removing it. The New Mexico Environment Department is reviewing the $12 million proposal, which includes a rock and soil "evapotranspiration" cover.
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