Floating Nuclear

After pressure from Norway, Rosatom says floating nuclear plant will be fueled in Murmansk.

Barents Observer 22nd July 2017 read more »

Posted: 23 July 2017

Fusion

THE UK could lose its pole position in the race to develop a pioneering clean nuclear power source, after Chinese boffins broke another record for the technology.

Express 19th July 2017 read more »

Nuclear fusion – the energy released when atomic nuclei merge – offers the potential for essentially limitless energy, without releasing greenhouse gases or creating dangerous nuclear waste, as nuclear fission does. It happens in stars such as our sun. We may not have to wait as long as you think to achieve it here on Earth. Last week it emerged that the European roadmap for the generation of electricity from fusion energy is to be delayed by at least a decade, pushing this achievement back into the second half of the century. The latest roadmap, published in 2012 by EUROfusion, outlined how the ITER and DEMO fusion machines would achieve electricity at the latest by 2050, 65 years after they were originally conceived as a joint project between the Reagan-era USA and Gorbachev’s Russia. This roadmap has now been dropped, the latest delay since late 2015 saw the announcement of another 6 year delay that led to the official schedule being called “widely discredited”.

IB Times 20th July 2017 read more »

Posted: 20 July 2017

SMRs

Engineering firm Laing O’Rourke has joined the British consortium spearheading the development of small nuclear power plants which could provide a much-needed boost to the UK’s energy supplies. The consortium is hoping to win UK government funding for its innovative plants, known as small modular reactors (SMRs). The Rolls-Royce led venture also includes Amec Foster Wheeler, Arup, Nuvia and the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre. Rolls-Royce has come up with a modular concept that allows for factory manufacture and speedy installation of the planned plants. The reactors are about the size of the O2 and could power a city the size of Leeds.

City AM 18th July 2017 read more »

The USA’s Holtec International has signed a teaming agreement with Canada’s SNC-Lavalin to collaborate in the development of Holtec’s SMR-160 small modular reactor (SMR).

World Nuclear News 18th July 2017 read more »

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has concluded that the highly integrated protection system (HIPS) platform developed for NuScale Power’s small modular reactor is acceptable for use in plant safety-related instrumentation and control systems.

World Nuclear News 18th July 2017 read more »

Posted: 19 July 2017

Small Reactors

Small Reactors Could Kick-Start the Stalled Nuclear Sector. Earlier this year, NuScale Energy took a crucial step forward in its prolonged effort to build 12 scaled-down nuclear reactors on an empty parcel at the Idaho National Laboratory, a sprawling research campus on the outskirts of Idaho Falls. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission agreed to begin the formal process of reviewing the company’s designs for the 600-megawatt plant, which could power a city the size of Boise twice over. That gives NuScale, based in Portland, Oregon, the inside track on building the country’s first commercial reactors of this type. Known as small modular reactors, or SMRs, they also represent the first substantially new reactor design of any kind to reach this NRC milestone in decades. The most immediate advantage is that they might be cheap enough to get built at all. Raising the massive up-front capital to construct new full-scale reactors has become increasingly difficult in the United States, particularly after ballooning budgets for two plants in Georgia and South Carolina ended up tipping Westinghouse Electric into bankruptcy, nearly taking its parent company with it.

MIT Technology Review 17th July 2017 read more »

Posted: 18 July 2017

ABWRs

Environment Agency has published responses. EA started assessing Hitachi-GE’s UK ABWR design in April 2014. As part of this assessment EA (the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales) consulted on preliminary conclusions for 12 weeks, from 12 December 2016 to 3 March 2017. EA published 11 assessment reports and an independent dose assessment alongside our consultation document, summary and addendum. This report is a collation of responses received to the consultation via our online e-consultation tool, email, post, national stakeholder event and local events near Wylfa Newydd and Oldbury. It does not contain our response to the points raised by individuals or organisations, as these will be included in our final decision document. We are now carefully considering all the comments raised and targeting December 2017 for our final decision.

Environment Agency 13th July 2017 read more »

Posted: 14 July 2017

Fusion

We will have to wait until the second half of the century for fusion reactors to start generating electricity, experts have announced. A new version of a European “road map” lays out the technological hurdles to be overcome if the processes powering the Sun are to be harnessed on Earth. The road map has been drawn up by scientists and engineers at EUROfusion. This is a consortium of European laboratories and universities that funds research on fusion energy. The original version of the road map, published in 2012, forecast that a demonstration fusion power plant known as DEMO could be operating in the early 2040s, in order to supply electricity to the grid by 2050. But in the updated version, yet to be released, DEMO would not start running until “early in the second half of the century”. A related document that provides more detail on DEMO’s design says that operations would start after 2054.

BBC 11th July 2017 read more »

Posted: 12 July 2017

Fusion

Technical difficulties, experimental dead-ends and eye-watering development costs – yet the gargantuan challenge of taming nuclear fusion power is certainly within reach says Dr Andrew Kirk as he talks us through the hottest challenge in energy research.

Lab News 10th July 2017 read more »

Posted: 10 July 2017

Fusion

The UK government has committed to funding nuclear fusion research alongside the European Union until the end of 2020. The Joint European Torus (JET) project, which is based at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy in Oxfordshire, is home to an advanced nuclear fusion reactor, and 600 highly skilled scientists and engineers. Signalling the UK government’s commitment to the project, business secretary Greg Clark said: “JET is a prized facility at the centre of the UK’s global leadership in nuclear fusion research, which is why the government is taking every possible step to secure its future and to maintain highly-skilled jobs in the UK.” The current contract, which includes £60m funding – or 88% of the running costs – per year from the EU, is due to end in December next year. The UK’s commitment to continue funding the facility will apply if the EU were to approve extending the UK’s contract to host the facility until 2020. A discussion will then take place on the appropriate funding split.

Process Engineering 29th June 2017 read more »

Posted: 30 June 2017

Brexit & SMRs

The government has set up a new team to spearhead the UK’s withdrawal from Euratom, a senior official said this morning. In a speech at a Nuclear Industry Association conference this morning, Matt Clarke of the civil nuclear and resilience directorate at the department for business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) said the new team had been set up within the department. He told delegates at the Nuclear New Build conference that the team would be involved in negotiations with the EU about establishing a nuclear co-operation arrangements with key partner states and establishing a new domestic nuclear safeguarding arrangements. Last week’s Queen’s Speech contained a bill to create a domestic nuclear safeguarding regime to replace the existing pan-European arrangements provided by Euratom. Clarke said: “Exit [from Euratom] does not affect the government’s aims of maintaining close co-operation on civil nuclear safety with Euratom members and the rest of the world.” He also tried to reassure the conference that the government remains committed to its small modular reactors (SMRs) competition despite a lack of progress since its launch last March. Clarke said: “The government recognises the pot of SMRs. There are a number of potential benefits in terms of providing a secure, low carbon energy source as well as broader industrial benefits and high value jobs.” He said that BEIS had met the companies which had submitted entries to the competition and would be “communicating next steps in due course.” He added that deciding how SMRs fit into the government’s wider industrial strategy was one of the “key questions” being addressed by NIA chair Lord Hutton, who is leading work on shaping a tailored “sector deal” for the nuclear industry.

Utility Week 27th June 2017 read more »

Posted: 28 June 2017

SMRs

Energy Secretary Rick Perry told lawmakers Thursday he wants to help revive the U.S. nuclear power industry with a focus on small modular nuclear reactors. The former Texas governor testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources primarily on his department’s budget request, but touched upon topics such as nuclear power, cybersecurity and energy research and development. The budget provides $703 million for nuclear energy, $313 million below the FY 2017 level, to continue innovating new and improved ways to generate nuclear power, Perry said according to a transcript of his prepared remarks.

Electric Light & Power 23rd June 2017 read more »

Posted: 25 June 2017