DOE awards $20M to project to produce clean hydrogen from nuclear power

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding $20 million in funding to a project to demonstrate technology that will produce clean hydrogen energy from nuclear power. This approach will allow clean hydrogen to serve as a source for zero-carbon electricity and represent an important economic product for nuclear plants... Read more →

Nel to provide 1.25 MW containerized PEM electrolyzer for nuclear power plant; DOE H2@Scale project

Nel Hydrogen US, a subsidiary of Nel ASA, has received a contract for a 1.25 megawatt (MW) containerized PEM electrolyzer from a leading utility in the US. The client will be installing an MC250 electrolyzer at a nuclear power plant for self-supply of hydrogen to meet turbine cooling and chemistry... Read more →

Four first-of-a-kind 3D-printed fuel assembly brackets, produced at the Department of Energy’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, have been installed and are now under routine operating conditions at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant Unit 2 in Athens, Alabama. The components were developed in collaboration... Read more →

Rolls-Royce and Cavendish Nuclear sign delivery and manufacturing partnership agreement for SMR program

Rolls-Royce and Cavendish Nuclear have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore opportunities to deepen the relationship between the parties through cooperation on the Rolls-Royce SMR program. Under this agreement Rolls-Royce and Cavendish Nuclear commit to working together to develop the roles that Cavendish Nuclear can perform in the... Read more →

Samsung Heavy to partner with KAREI to develop molten-salt reactor floating power plants and nuclear-powered ships

Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) is making a full-scale effort to develop offshore nuclear power plant technology. SHI has signed a Molten-Salt Reactor (MSR) development and joint research agreement with the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI), Korea’s only comprehensive nuclear research and development institute. Through this agreement, SHI plans to... Read more →

Natrium reactor demonstration project slated for Wyoming

TerraPower and PacifiCorp announced efforts to advance a Natrium reactor demonstration project at a retiring coal plant in Wyoming. The companies are evaluating several potential locations in the state. The Natrium technology has a 345MW sodium fast reactor coupled with a molten salt-based integrated energy storage system that will provide... Read more →

New ARPA-E program to award $40M to reduce fuel waste 10X from advanced nuclear reactors

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $40 million in funding for a new Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program that will limit the amount of waste produced from advanced nuclear reactors, protecting the land and air and increasing the deployment and use of nuclear power as a... Read more →

Bloom Energy and Idaho National Laboratory to test use of nuclear generation to power solid-oxide electrolyzer for H2 production

Bloom Energy announced an agreement with Idaho National Laboratory (INL) to test the use of nuclear energy to produce clean hydrogen through Bloom Energy’s solid-oxide, high-temperature electrolyzer. This carbon-free hydrogen is obtained through electrolysis that is powered by nuclear generation. When the electric grid has ample power, rather than ramping... Read more →

NuScale and Prodigy sign MoU for marine-deployed generating station powered by NuScale SMR

NuScale Power and Prodigy Clean Energy, a Canadian company that designs and develops marine nuclear plants, announced a second Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support business development opportunities for a marine-deployed nuclear generating station powered by the NuScale Small Modular Reactor (SMR). NuScale Power and Prodigy Clean Energy have been... Read more →

DARPA recently awarded contracts for the first phase of the Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations (DRACO) program. The goal of the DRACO program is to demonstrate a nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) system above low Earth orbit in 2025. The three prime contractors are General Atomics, Blue Origin, and Lockheed... Read more →

NuScale Power secures $40M, support for SMR deployment from JGC Holdings

NuScale Power has finalized an investment and strategic partnership agreement with JGC Holdings Corporation (JGC HD), a holding company of the world’s leading EPC contractor group companies headquartered in Japan. As part of a commercial relationship with Fluor Corporation—NuScale’s majority investor and EPC partner in the United States—JGC HD will... Read more →

Rolls-Royce signs MoU with Fermi Energia to study potential for small modular reactors in Estonia; UKSMR

Rolls-Royce and Fermi Energia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to study the potential for the deployment of affordable, compact nuclear power stations, known as small modular reactors (SMR) in Estonia. The study will cover all aspects of deployment including grid suitability, cooling, emergency planning, human resources, licensing feasibility, economics... Read more →

DOE to award up to $20M for projects demonstrating integration of nuclear power and hydrogen

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO) and Nuclear Energy (NE) Office are joining forces to advance technologies that can efficiently integrate nuclear power and hydrogen. Up to $20 million in total funds will be available through DOE’s US Industry Opportunities for Advanced Nuclear... Read more →

Unit 5 of China’s Fuqing Nuclear Power Plant, the first project to adopt China’s indigenous Generation III nuclear power technology Hualong One (HPR 1000), has been put into commercial operation, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) announced. The success marks a milestone for the development of China’s nuclear power, making China... Read more →

Shearwater Energy developing SMR wind-hybrid energy project; selects NuScale Power

Shearwater Energy Ltd., a United Kingdom-based hybrid clean energy company, is developing a wind-SMR (Small Modular Reactor) and hydrogen production hybrid energy project in North Wales. The project would provide 3 GWe of zero-carbon energy and is also expected to produce more than 3 million kilograms of green hydrogen per... Read more →

DOE Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program awards $30M in initial funding for risk reduction projects

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding $30 million in initial funding to five teams for projects under one of three programs—Risk Reduction for Future Demonstration—in the new Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP). The awards are cost-shared partnerships with industry, and companies were chosen through a funding opportunity announcement... Read more →

Canada releases national Small Modular Reactor action plan

Canada Minister of Natural Resources Seamus O’Regan, released a national SMR Action Plan, which responds to the 53 recommendations identified in Canada’s SMR Roadmap that was launched in November 2018. Canada’s SMR Action Plan seeks to advance the safe and responsible development and deployment of SMRs through a pan-Canadian approach... Read more →

Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy will work with Idaho National Laboratory to demonstrate a system that uses a nuclear plant’s steam and electricity to split water. (Earlier post.) The resulting hydrogen will initially be used at the power plant, but it could eventually be sold to other industries. The new project is... Read more →

NuScale Power announced that through further value engineering efforts, using advanced testing and modeling tools, NuScale analyzed and concluded that the NuScale Power Module (NPM) can generate an additional 25% more power per module for a total of 77 MWe per module (gross), resulting in about 924 MWe for the... Read more →

Canada investing $20M in Terrestrial Energy to support development of Integral Molten Salt SMR Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Hon. Navdeep Bains, announced a $20 million investment in Terrestrial Energy to accelerate development of the company’s Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR) power plant. This is the first such... Read more →

The US Department of Energy (DOE) approved a multi-year cost share award to a new special purpose entity named Carbon Free Power Project, LLC, (CFPP) an entity wholly owned by Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS), that could provide up to $1.4 billion to help demonstrate and deploy a 12-module,... Read more →

DOE announces $160M in first two awards under Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected two US-based teams to receive $160 million in initial funding under the new Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP). ARDP, announced in May, is designed to help domestic private industry demonstrate advanced nuclear reactors in the United States. DOE is awarding TerraPower LLC... Read more →

US DOE announces $26.9M for advanced nuclear technology

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced funding for three domestic projects that will accelerate advanced nuclear technology development. These projects, valued at $26.9 million including industry cost-share contributions, will allow industry-led teams to advance the state of domestic commercial nuclear capability. Two awards will advance flexible operation of light-water... Read more →

Nuclear generation reached a near-record high in 2019, with output reaching 2657 TWh, enough to meet more than 10% of the world’s electricity demand, according to the recently published World Nuclear Association Performance Report 2020. Source: World Nuclear Association and IAEA Power Reactor Information Service (PRIS) In 2019, nuclear electricity... Read more →

NuScale Power receives US NRC design approval for small modular reactor

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) completed the Phase 6 review—the last and final phase—of the Design Certification Application (DCA) for NuScale Power’s small modular reactor (SMR) and issued the Final Safety Evaluation Report (FSER). The FSER represents completion of the technical review and approval of the NuScale SMR design.... Read more →

Researchers propose method for eliminating damaging heat bursts in fusion device

Toroidal (doughnut-shaped) tokamaks are prone to intense bursts of heat and particles, called edge localized modes (ELMs). These ELMs can damage the reactor walls and must be controlled to develop reliable fusion power. Scientists have learned to tame these ELMs by applying spiraling rippled magnetic fields to the surface of... Read more →

PPPL scientists proposes novel method for controlling fusion reactions

Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have developed a novel way to prevent magnetic bubbles, or islands, in plasma from interfering with fusion reactions—delivering a potential way to improve the performance of fusion energy devices. The novel method modifies the standard technique of... Read more →

Chevron invests in nuclear fusion start-up Zap Energy

Chevron Corporation made a Series A investment in Zap Energy Inc., a Seattle-based start-up company developing a next-generation modular nuclear reactor with an innovative approach to advancing cost-effective, flexible, and commercially scalable fusion. Zap Energy will use the funds raised in this round to continue technology development and grow its... Read more →

US DOE awards EPRI $5.1M for advanced nuclear technology

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding $5.1 million to the Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI) to develop modular-in-chamber electron beam welding capability for a future domestic advanced reactor demonstration project. This project has a total value of approximately $6.5 million of which DOE will provide approximately $5.1... Read more →

DOE invests $65M at national laboratories and US universities to advance nuclear technology

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced more than $65 million in nuclear energy research, cross-cutting technology development, facility access, and infrastructure awards for 93 advanced nuclear technology projects in 28 states. The awards fall under DOE’s nuclear energy programs called the Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP), the Nuclear Energy... Read more →

ITER, the world’s largest international scientific collaboration, is beginning assembly of the fusion reactor tokamak that will include 12 different essential hardware systems provided by US ITER, which is managed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The soup-bowl-shaped base of the ITER cryostat was gradually lifted from its frame, carried across... Read more →

US DOE launches $230M Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has launched the Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP) within the Office of Nuclear Energy (NE). ARDP is designed to help domestic private industry demonstrate advanced nuclear reactors in the United States. For the Fiscal Year 2020 budget, Congress appropriated $230 million to start a... Read more →

The US Department of Energy announced $27 million in funding for 9 projects as part of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s (ARPA-E) Generating Electricity Managed by Intelligent Nuclear Assets (GEMINA) program. GEMINA’s goal is to reduce fixed operations and maintenance (O&M) costs from ~13 $/MWh in the current fleet to... Read more →

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory are refining their design of a 3D-printed nuclear reactor core, scaling up the additive manufacturing process necessary to build it, and developing methods to confirm the consistency and reliability of its printed components. The Transformational Challenge Reactor Demonstration Program’s approach... Read more →

Texas A&M University (TAMU) engineering researchers have devised a simple, proliferation-resistant approach for separating out different components of nuclear waste. The one-step chemical reaction, described in the ACS journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, results in the formation of crystals containing all of the leftover nuclear fuel elements distributed uniformly.... Read more →

The University of Tennessee (UT) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) signed a memorandum of understanding to evaluate the development of a new generation of cost-effective, advanced nuclear reactors, such as small modular reactors (SMRs), at TVA’s 935-acre Clinch River Nuclear (CRN) site in Roane County. TVA has not made... Read more →

The US Department of Energy announced the winners of $32 million in funding for 15 projects as part of the ARPA-E Breakthroughs Enabling THermonuclear-fusion Energy (BETHE) program. (Earlier post.) These projects will work to develop timely, commercially viable fusion energy, with the goal to increase the number and performance levels... Read more →

Nuclear power plants play an important role in US electricity generation, consistently providing about 20% of total annual generation. Of the 30 US states with operating commercial nuclear power plants, 12 states generated more than 30% of their electricity from nuclear power, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).... Read more →

A software package, 10 years in the making, that can predict the behavior of nuclear reactors’ cores with stunning accuracy has been licensed commercially for the first time. The nonprofit Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is the first to hold a commercial license for the Virtual Environment for Reactor Applications... Read more →

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $30 million in funding to support innovative R&D for a range of enabling technologies required for commercially attractive fusion energy. (DE-FOA-0002288) The funding effort, Galvanizing Advances in Market-aligned fusion for an Overabundance of Watts (GAMOW, pronounced gamma), is run jointly by... Read more →

Researchers calculate social cost of German nuclear phase-out at $12B/year; 70% from increased mortality risk

In a working paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a team from UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) calculates that the social cost of the phase out of nuclear electricity production in Germany is approximately $12 billion per year. More than 70% of... Read more →

Nuclear scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have established a Nuclear Quality Assurance-1 program for a software product designed to simulate today’s commercial nuclear reactors, removing a significant barrier for industry adoption of the technology. The suite of tools called VERA, the Virtual Environment for Reactor Applications developed by the... Read more →

Oklo Inc.—a small company based in Sunnyvale, CA, developing a compact fast reactor—has received a Site Use Permit from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to build its Aurora plant at Idaho National Laboratory (INL). The site use permit makes a site available to Oklo to build its Aurora plant,... Read more →

UK-based engineering specialist Sheffield Forgemasters is leading a consortium of partners in a £10.5-million (US$14 million) project to explore the industrialization of Electron Beam Welding (EBW) in civil nuclear assemblies. The project has the potential to integrate welding into the manufacturing process, offering material improvements and vast reductions in manufacturing... Read more →

Ontario, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan to work together on small modular reactors

Ontario, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick have agreed to work together to explore new technology in nuclear power generation to provide carbon-free, affordable, reliable, and safe energy, while helping unlock economic potential across Canada, including rural and remote regions. Ontario Premier Doug Ford, New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs and Saskatchewan Premier... Read more →

The US Department of Energy (DOE) and US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to share technical expertise and computing resources to speed up the deployment of advanced nuclear technologies. The MOU centers on DOE’s new National Reactor Innovation Center (NRIC) initiative which was authorized by... Read more →

ARPA-E to award up to $35M to develop tools to transform operations and maintenance of advanced nuclear reactors

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced up to $35 million in new funding for the development of tools and systems that will enable reduced expense and increased flexibility in the operation and maintenance at nuclear power plants. ARPA-E’s Generating Electricity Managed by Intelligent Nuclear Assets... Read more →

DOE awards $15.2M to three projects for advanced nuclear technology

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced funding selectees for multiple domestic advanced nuclear technology projects. Three projects in three states will receive varying amounts for a total of approximately $15 million in funding. The projects are cost-shared and will allow industry-led teams, including participants from federal agencies, public and... Read more →

DOE awards $49.3M to national laboratories and universities to advance nuclear technology; 58 projects

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced $49.3 million in nuclear energy research, facility access, crosscutting technology development, and infrastructure awards for 58 advanced nuclear technology projects in 25 states. The awards fall under DOE’s nuclear energy programs called the Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP), the Nuclear Science User Facilities... Read more →

Moltex, a UK- and Canada-based start-up developing stable molten salt reactor technologies, reported that it has already passed its initial £4-million (US$5.05 million) target for a crowd-funding raise. The raise is now up above £4.2 million (US$5.3 million) and rising, and is boosted by a £2.5-million (US$3.16 million) corporate investment... Read more →