The Energy Department's Idaho National Laboratory has partnered with Boise State University and the CAES Energy Policy Institute on a report exploring the benefits and challenges of deploying microreactors on a global scale. Microreactors could be a good solution for providing electricity to underpowered areas in Asia, eastern Europe and developing economies, and could replace diesel generators supporting disaster relief efforts.
Duke Energy is pursuing a 20-year license renewal from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for the three reactor units at its Oconee Nuclear Station in South Carolina. The extension would allow the reactors to operate into 2053.
The Energy Department's Carlsbad Field Office has approved shipments of 2,237 drums of the Idaho National Laboratory's Cold War-era transuranic waste to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico. The waste has been stored at INL's Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project and originated from sites including the now-closed Rocky Flats Plant near Denver.
Helion Energy plans to relocate its headquarters and build a fusion energy test facility Everett, Wash., in a move the firm says will bring 150 new jobs to the area. Helion founder and CEO David Kirtley says a seventh prototype of its fusion reactor will be located at the test site, as well as a project slated to produce Helium-3 "for the first time ever here on Earth."
Advanced site screening for small modular reactors in Poland is underway, and Synthos Green Energy is preparing pre-licensing proposals for the country's National Atomic Energy Agency about future SMR regulatory requirements. Synthos Green Energy CEO Rafal Kasprow told a webinar that the company's interaction with the process was "at the beginning of the road."
Russian state-owned nuclear firm Rosatom's ASE Company has begun hot trials of the Belarusian nuclear power plant's primary equipment for reactor Unit 2, which is a Russian-designed VVER-1200. ASE Company Vice President and construction project director Vitaly Polyanin says the goal is "to confirm the readiness of the equipment and systems for the reactor power startup and for safe operation for 60 years in compliance with the design."
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has told groups that it expects to release, by the end of the month, a Safety Analysis and the final version of the Environmental Impact Statement for a Texas nuclear waste site proposed by Waste Control Specialists. The NRC is expected to make a final decision in mid-September for the site, which would hold the waste for 40 years.
An analysis by Harvard Kennedy School energy policy and economics expert Ali Ahmad concludes that extreme weather events like hurricanes and typhoons have become the most frequent cause of nuclear plant outages, at a rate of almost eight times higher than during the 1990s. The analysis estimates that nuclear plants worldwide could see up to a 1.4% drop in energy production in the next 40 years due to weather-related outages.
A newly released video, "The Green Atom: Our Most Misunderstood Power Source," highlights research that supports nuclear power as a safe, green energy source worth pursuing. "When you add up industrial accidents and the effects of pollution, nuclear is safer than coal or petroleum or natural gas," notes the video's narrator.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is conducting a special inspection of the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant in Ohio to investigate an unplanned automatic shutdown that occurred on July 8, as well as multiple diesel generator failures. There is no set timeline for the inspection's completion, said regional NRC senior public affairs officer Viktoria Mitlyng.