SMRs

British engineer Rolls-Royce is to begin a feasibility study for the production of small modular reactors (SMRs) for the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC). The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding at the British embassy in Paris on Thursday.

Global Construction Review 13th Nov 2017 read more »

Posted: 14 November 2017

Molten Salt Reactors

Terrestrial Energy Inc. (TEI), a Canadian advanced nuclear reactor company, received notice yesterday from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) that it successfully completed the first phase of the CNSC’s pre-licensing vendor design review for TEI’s new Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR) nuclear power plant design.

Forbes 10th Nov 2017 read more »

Posted: 11 November 2017

SMRs

Rolls-Royce said today it has signed a memorandum of understanding with state-owned Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) to conduct a technical feasibility study for the construction of a Rolls-Royce small modular reactor (SMR) in the Middle Eastern country. The signing took place today at the British Embassy in Paris between Alan Woods, strategy and business development director at Rolls-Royce, and Kamal Araj, JAEC vice chairman.

World Nuclear News 9th Nov 2017 read more »

Posted: 10 November 2017

Molten Salt Reactors

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has completed the first phase of a vendor design review of Terrestrial Energy Inc’s Integrated Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR). The design is the first advanced reactor to complete the first phase of the CNSC’s regulatory pre-licensing review.

World Nuclear News 9th Nov 2017 read more »

Posted: 10 November 2017

Molten Salt Reactors

Canadian regulators announced that Terrestrial Energy has completed the initial phase of a design review for its molten-salt nuclear power plant, giving the Ontario-based company a small early lead in the race to commission the first commercial fourth-generation reactor in North America. To be sure, it’s a very early step in what will be a long regulatory process, the first of three phases in just the “pre-licensing” review. All the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has really said is that the company has demonstrated it intends to comply with regulatory requirements, while noting that the company has a lot more to do to prove that its conceptual designs will operate safely in the real world.

MIT Technology Review 8th Nov 2017 read more »

The world’s nuclear industry is in revolutionary ferment. The technology superpowers are racing against the clock – and against each other – to build versatile micro-reactors based on radically new principles that may transform the calculus of energy policy. The US energy department and the Chinese military-industrial complex are working on a raft of new designs that are cleaner, safer, and cheaper than the old light-water giants, some promising to deliver ‘dispatchable’ power when needed and to achieve the Holy Grail of energy storage at viable cost as a bonus. Russia and Korea are in the hunt. Canada has stolen a march on everybody, its regulators refreshingly free from the clammy grasp of vested interests.

Telegraph 8th Nov 2017 read more »

Posted: 9 November 2017

SMRs

British ministers are preparing to revive the UK’s faltering effort to create a new generation of small-scale nuclear power plants in spite of an official analysis that cast doubt on the economic case for the technology. Talks have intensified in recent weeks between government officials and companies including Rolls-Royce, the UK engineering group, over potential public funding to support development of so-called small modular reactors (SMRs). Greg Clark, business secretary, is keen to put the UK at the forefront of technology seen as a more affordable alternative to large-scale nuclear reactors such as those under construction at the £20bn Hinkley Point C plant in south-west England. Development of SMRs is regarded as crucial to the future of the nuclear industry as it struggles to remain competitive against the rapidly falling cost of renewable wind and solar power. The UK faces competition from the US, Canada and China in its effort to establish a leading position in the technology. Support for SMRs is expected to be part of a wider commitment to nuclear engineering in a new industrial strategy to be unveiled by the government this month. However, the enthusiasm has been complicated by a technology assessment, commissioned by the business department and carried out by EY, the accounting firm, which reached a negative verdict on the cost-effectiveness of SMRs. The findings are expected to be published in the coming weeks and will confront the government with awkward questions about why public money should be used to help commercialise the unproven technology.

FT 7th Nov 2017 read more »

You’ve got to hand it to the nuclear industry: they’re one resilient bunch of never-say-die hard-arses! By any standards, 2017 has been an annus horribilis for the industry, with one body blow after another, all around the world. And 2016 wasn’t that much better either. The Government is about to announce a multi-million-pound support package to ensure a vibrant SMR industry here in the UK. The Small Modular Reactor Consortium is very excited at this latest PR drive, and has published a new report promising 40,000 jobs, a £100bn infusion into the UK economy, and a £400bn export market. You can see what I mean about the quality of the hype! For many in the nuclear industry, having watched all their much-touted GW-scale reactors go down the pan, and having had to accept that their long-cherished dream of a new generation of fast-breeder reactors will never materialise, SMRs are almost the last resort. There are literally dozens of different SMR designs out there, with the USA, Russia, South Korea, China and now the UK bigging up the superiority of their particular whizz-bang design – but there are NO CLIENTS anywhere in the world. The SMR Consortium’s new report breathily promises us that the first SMR in the UK could be delivered for £75 per MWh – but there’s absolutely nothing to back up that figure, by the way. That figure would then reduce to £60 per MWh once they’d built a few of them. That’s certainly much cheaper than Hinkley Point (at £92.50 per MWh), but then everything under the sun is cheaper than Hinkley. But it’s massively more expensive than offshore wind (already down to £57.50 per MWh, and still falling), let alone onshore wind (now down to €42.80 in Germany), let along solar, which realistic projections show will be down to around £10-£15 per MWh by 2030. All the current excitement about the SMR is just the latest desperate attempt to keep the idea of nuclear power alive here in the UK – but, to be honest, I’m not too worried. Just as I don’t believe we’ll ever see Hinkley Point finished and generating electricity, nor do I believe that a new generation of SMRs will ever materialise, ensuring that the insane dream of the UK as ‘a vibrant nuclear nation’ will remain just that – an insane dream.

Jonathon Porritt 4th Nov 2017 read more »

Posted: 7 November 2017

Floating Nuclear

China’s first offshore nuclear reactor is set to be completed soon, engineers involved in the project said, bolstering Beijing’s maritime ambitions and stoking concerns about the potential use of atomic power in disputed island territories. Beijing hopes offshore reactors will not only help win new markets, but also support state ambitions to become a “strong maritime power” by providing reliable electricity to oil and gas rigs as well as remote South China Sea islands.

Reuters 31st Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 31 October 2017

SMRs

Small Nuclear Reactors, a 50s Nightmare Come Back to Haunt Us.

Counterpunch 26th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 27 October 2017

Nuclear Research

Bangor University has been chosen by the UK Government to lead a science and innovation audit, and to participate as partners in two other audits. Twelve science and innovation audits (SIAs) will map local research, innovation, and infrastructure strengths. Bangor University will lead an audit into the North West Nuclear Arc Consortium, together with support from Welsh Government, North West England LEPs, the University of Manchester’s Dalton Institute, and the National Nuclear Laboratory.

Daily Post 25th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 26 October 2017

SMRs

The government is due to announce a £250 million support package for ‘small modular reactors’ this week, just as the price of wind and solar power contracts fall 10% below UK wholesale prices. OLIVER TICKELL argues that the Britain’s ‘civilian’ nuclear power expenditure is actually a camouflaged subsidy to the UK’s Trident nuclear missile system. We now know (thanks to Andy Stirling and Philip Johnstone of Sussex University) that the government wants to use civilian nuclear programme to generate expertise, technology, for military use, especially reactors for Trident nuclear submarines. What better way than to pour billions of pounds into SMRs under the pretence that the technology is for civilian use? Actually Lord Hutton himself gave the game away when he wrote: “A UK SMR programme would support all 10 ‘pillars’ of the Government’s Industrial Strategy and assist in sustaining the skills required for the Royal Navy’s submarine programme.”

Ecologist 24th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 25 October 2017