The Energy Department relied on its new categorization of high-level radioactive waste to remove eight gallons of liquid waste from the Savannah River Site in South Carolina and ship it to the Waste Control Specialists facility in west Texas for treatment and disposal. Redefining the Defense Waste Processing Facility wastewater at Savannah River as low-level waste is considered the first real-world application of the new rule which defines waste by its content, rather than its source.
The Energy Department says it still plans to start open-air demolition of the Main Plant Process Building at the West Valley Demonstration Project in upstate New York this year. Contractor CH2M Hill BXWT West Valley told the West Valley Citizens Task Force that the main plant is 85% deactivated and that details of the demolition would be released in November.
X-energy has signed an agreement with Canadian engineering and project management firm Hatch to advance the deployment of X-energy's Xe-100 small modular reactor design in Canada and around the world. The company says its Xe-100 SMR is particularly suited for providing electricity, district heating, desalination and hydrogen production at remote sites.
Nuclear industry executives and scientists meeting at the International Atomic Energy Agency's yearly general conference discussed how current large nuclear power plants could be "a perfect partner" for fulfilling industrial demand for hydrogen fuel. "If nuclear can be leveraged to generate alternative revenue streams, its costs can be offset," said the IAEA's Gloria Kwong.
Consultancy firm Enco has prepared a report for the Netherlands' government outlining options for the country's energy transition, noting that nuclear's costs are comparable to wind and solar when all system costs are included. "Because nuclear power is a dispatchable electricity source and wind and solar are not, the system costs for nuclear power are lower than for the other two," said Eric Wiebes, Dutch minister for economic affairs and climate.
The Czech Republic State Office for Nuclear Safety has issued state-owned utility CEZ a 10-year operating license extension for reactor Unit 1 of the Temelin nuclear power plant. Temelin-1 went online in June 2002 and CEZ plans to operate both Temelin Units 1 and 2 for 60 years.
The House of Representatives voted 220 to 185 to pass the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act, which includes wording that directs the Department of Energy to establish a spent nuclear fuel research and development program. The bill now goes to the Senate.
The Flexible Nuclear Energy for Clean Energy Systems report from the Clean Energy Ministerial's NICE Future initiative notes that nuclear energy will need to be more flexible to produce heat and electricity as needed. The report, with analyses sponsored by the Energy Department, notes that nuclear energy has the potential to integrate with renewable energy sources to create new hybrid energy systems.
Nuclear fuel transport containers are rigorously tested to make sure they're up to job of preventing radioactive material from spilling during transport mishaps. The UK's tests were more dramatic than some, as the government smashed into a transport flask with a speeding train: the container held with just 0.29 PSI of pressure escaping.
The Energy Department's Idaho National Laboratory has produced a new alternative nuclear fuel that blends thorium and low-enriched uranium into pellets that can be loaded without powering a reactor down. The work on the Advanced Nuclear Energy for Enriched Life fuel involved a partnership with Texas A&M University and startup firm Clean Core Thorium Energy, with the goal to have it in commercial use by 2024.