Molten Salt Reactors

Terrestrial Energy of the USA has signed a contract for technical services with the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Karlsruhe, Germany. Under the contract, JRC will perform confirmatory studies of the fuel and primary coolant salt mixture for Terrestrial’s Integrated Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR).

World Nuclear News 14th March 2018 read more »

Posted: 15 March 2018


A common denominator among UK nuclear projects at Hinkley Point, Wylfa, Sizewell and Moorside has been the difficulties in developing, establishing and integrating infrastructure for modern nuclear reactors, says Simon Sjenitzer. Possibly spurred on by these challenges, the UK Government recently announced another phase of funding for research and development in to Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), providing a welcome move for the nuclear industry. The World Nuclear Association 2015 report on SMRs states that their enormous potential rests on several factors. Their small size and modularity could allow for manufacturing to take place in a factory setting, installed module by module, improving quality, efficiency and potentially reducing costs. Also, their size and passive safety features also make them favourable to countries with smaller grid capacity and less nuclear power experience, and can lead to easier financing compared to larger plants.

Process Engineering 13th March 2018 read more »

Posted: 15 March 2018


Until recently the attractions and drawbacks of nuclear fusion reactors were largely theoretical. Within a decade this will not be the case. One of the cliches of nuclear power research is that a commercial fusion reactor is only ever a few decades away – and always will be. So claims that the technology is on the “brink of being realised” by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a private company should be viewed sceptically. The MIT-led team say they have the “science, speed and scale” for a viable fusion reactor and believe it could be up and running within 15 years, just in time to combat climate change. The MIT scientists are all serious people and perhaps they are within spitting distance of one of science’s holy grails. But no one should hold their breath. Fusion technology promises an inexhaustible supply of clean, safe power. If it all sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is. For decades scientists struggled to recreate a working sun in their laboratories – little surprise perhaps as they were attempting to fuse atomic nuclei in a superheated soup. Commercial fusion remains a dream. Yet in recent years the impossible became merely improbable and then, it felt almost overnight, technically feasible. For the last decade there has been a flurry of interest -and not a little incredulity -about claims, often made by companies backed by billionaires and run by bold physicists, that market-ready fusion reactors were just around the corner.

Guardian 12th March 2018 read more »

We could have carbon-free LIMITLESS ENERGY from nuclear fusion within 15 years, claim MIT scientists.

Daily Mail 12th March 2018 read more »

Posted: 13 March 2018


The dream of nuclear fusion is on the brink of being realised, according to a major new US initiative that says it will put fusion power on the grid within 15 years. The project, a collaboration between scientists at MIT and a private company, will take a radically different approach to other efforts to transform fusion from an expensive science experiment into a viable commercial energy source. The team intend to use a new class of high-temperature superconductors they predict will allow them to create the world’s first fusion reactor that produces more energy than needs to be put in to get the fusion reaction going.

Guardian 9th March 2018 read more »

Nature 9th March 2018 read more »

Posted: 9 March 2018


Supporters of nuclear power hope that small nuclear reactors, unlike large plants, will be able to compete economically with other sources of electricity. But according to M.V. Ramana, a Professor at the University of British Columbia, this is likely to be a vain hope. In fact, according to Ramana, in the absence of a mass market, they may be even more expensive than large plant. Many nuclear advocates have suggested that SMRs can deal with all the problems confronting nuclear power, including unfavorable economics, risk of severe accidents, disposing of radioactive waste and the linkage with weapons proliferation. Of these, the key problem responsible for the present status of nuclear energy has been its inability to compete economically with other sources of electricity. As a result, the share of global electricity generated by nuclear power has dropped from 17.5% in 1996 to 10.5% in 2016 and is expected to continue falling. SMR proponents argue that they can make up for the lost economies of scale by savings through mass manufacture in factories and resultant learning. But, to achieve such savings, these reactors have to be manufactured by the thousands, even under very optimistic assumptions about rates of learning. Rates of learning in nuclear power plant manufacturing have been extremely low; indeed, in both the United States and France, the two countries with the highest number of nuclear plants, costs rose with construction experience.

Energy Post 21st Feb 2018 read more »

Posted: 23 February 2018


Energy generation by nuclear fusion is one of society’s biggest technological challenges. Decades after fusion was first demonstrated, there has been no obvious breakthrough on this front, though it’s frequently claimed that one is just around the corner. Now, following visible progress at the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) in southern France, it seems that the long-anticipated milestone might finally be reached. Yet away from this vast building site, a UK company is making the audacious claim that it will beat the international consortium to the punch. Tokamak Energy – based at Culham in Oxfordshire, next to ITER’s forerunner, the Joint European Torus (JET) – aims to supply fusion-generated electricity to the National Grid by 2030, before ITER has even started fusion reactions. Chief executive Jonathan Carling, who has no background in high-energy physics, comes instead from the far more commercial aerospace and automotive industries.

The Engineer 22nd Feb 2018 read more »

Posted: 22 February 2018


The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is to conduct pre-licensing vendor design reviews (VDRs) of small modular reactor designs from NuScale Power and Westinghouse Electric Company. The reviews of the NuScale SMR and Westinghouse’s eVinci micro reactor will incorporate the first two phases of the VDR process.

World Nuclear News 20th Feb 2018 read more »

Posted: 21 February 2018

Floating Reactors

Infrastructure for floating nuclear power plant more than half-ready. Hectic construction in the east-Arctic settlement of Pevek ahead of installment of Russia’s first floating NPP. About 110 people are working round-the-clock on site and 320 meters of the new seaside infrastructure is already completed, local authorities in Pevek inform. The harbor infrastructure will house the «Akademik Lomonosov», which is due to arrive on site in June 2019. In wintertime, Pevek is embroiled in thick ice and the new harbor will be capable to withstand the tough climatic conditions, the regional administration says.

Barents Observer 19th Feb 2018 read more »

Posted: 20 February 2018


Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc says it will take 12 years to build its prototype small nuclear reactor in the U.K. “We’re giving ourselves time for the first one,” said Alan Woods, director of strategy and business development at the engineering firm. “The nuclear industry is full of promises and it always fails to deliver. So we have to make sure that we deliver the first unit on time and on budget.” Britain is one of several countries assessing the feasibility of building small modular reactors, or SMRs, as they seek cleaner options to coal-fired generation. SMRs are seen as a cheaper and more manageable alternative to giant projects such as the 20 billion-pound ($28 billion) Hinkley Point C in England, which has already run over budget and is several years behind schedule. Rolls-Royce needs as many as five years for the licensing and design assessment process, while construction will take another seven for its first 440-megawatt model, Woods said in an interview in Prague. Subsequent units would only take four years to complete. Rolls-Royce, one of the pioneers of SMR technology, could start the generic design assessment process at the end of the year. But that depends on the U.K. government finishing its current feasibility study. “We need the U.K. government to move forward with the formation of policy, and we need it to play an enabling role in things such as identification of sites,” Woods said. “The fact that they’re conducting an economic assessment is very positive.”

Energy Voice 16th Feb 2018 read more »

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is launching an effort to expand international cooperation and coordination in the design, development and deployment of small, medium sized or modular reactors (SMRs), among the most promising emerging technologies in nuclear power. Significant advances have been made on SMRs, some of which will use pre-fabricated systems and components to shorten construction schedules and offer greater flexibility and affordability than traditional nuclear power plants. With some 50 SMR concepts at various stages of development around the world, the IAEA is forming a Technical Working Group (TWG) to guide its activities on SMRs and provide a forum for Member States to share information and knowledge, IAEA Deputy Director General Mikhail Chudakov said.

IAEA 16th Feb 2018 read more »

Posted: 17 February 2018


Major pros and cons of thorium nuclear power reactor.

Energy Business Review 16th Feb 2018 read more »

Posted: 17 February 2018