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The nuclear power industry is dying under its own weight.New small nuclear reactors too costly, too late

Nuclear Power Won’t Survive Without A Government Handout, Five Thirty Eight, By Maggie Koerth-Baker  14 June 18Once upon a time, if you were an American who didn’t like nuclear energy, you had to stage sit-ins and marches and chain yourself to various inanimate objects in hopes of closing the nation’s nuclear power plants. Today … all you have to do is sit back and wait.

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June 15, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, USA | Leave a comment

Terra Power’s Traveling Wave Nuclear Reactor sounds great – BUT!

TerraPower’s Nuclear Reactor Could Power the 21st Century. The traveling-wave reactor and other advanced reactor designs could solve our fossil fuel dependency IEEE Spectrum, By Michael Koziol  3 June 18,    “….  ..In a world defined by climate change, many experts hope that the electricity grid of the future will be powered entirely by solar, wind, and hydropower. Yet few expect that clean energy grid to manifest soon enough to bring about significant cuts in greenhouse gases within the next few decades. Solar- and wind-generated electricity are growing faster than any other category; nevertheless, together they accounted for less than 2 percent of the world’s primary energy consumption in 2015, according to the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century.

June 4, 2018 Posted by | China, Reference, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, USA | Leave a comment

Logan city in Idaho ponders joining in costly and risky Small Modular Nuclear Reactor (SMR) development

Logan has 10 months to consider modular nuclear reactor program, HJ News.com, By Sean Dolan staff writer, 31 May 18,   “……..Right now, Logan is the largest city participating in a plan to build a small modular nuclear reactor just north of Idaho Falls.

The project is still in the development phases, and Logan has several opportunities to pull out of the project, including a coming deadline in March 2019. At that point, UAMPS Chief Legal Officer Mason Baker said, UAMPS will gauge how many cities are participating and decide whether it makes good business sense to keep going. Baker said UAMPS hopes Logan will sign power contracts before the March deadline. 

……“There’s all kinds of risks,” said Logan Light and Power Director Mark Montgomery. “There’s first-of-its-kind risk, there’s construction risk, there’s design risk, there’s a regulatory risk and probably other risks that I’m forgetting.”

Logan is set to participate in the nuclear reactor at 30 megawatts, which exceeds any of the city’s existing power contracts. Logan Finance Director Rich Anderson said there is always risk involved in the power business, but he is concerned with the financial risk involved in this level of participation…..Since 2016, Logan has paid UAMPS $206,000 for administration and general costs and has another $250,000 budgeted for this year. City Attorney Kymber Housley said there’s a risk that Logan could pay UAMPS hundreds of thousands of dollars for a project that might never happen.

“One of the big risks is it gets caught up in litigation,” Housley said in a Wednesday interview. “I don’t even think it’s a question of if; it’s more of a question of how many lawsuits will be brought trying to stop a nuclear plant.”

…… That long-term storage of nuclear waste was the main concern of Justin Robinson, vice chairman of the Logan Renewable Energy Conservation Advisory Board. Robinson urged the mayor and Municipal Council members to look at other options……https://news.hjnews.com/news/government/logan-has-months-to-consider-modular-nuclear-reactor-program/article_de23ab59-a2e2-5f74-84aa-9803c8eedf90.html

June 1, 2018 Posted by | Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear industry’s big gamble on going small – but it mightn’t work!

Small Nuclear Passes a Milestone – But Does it Have a Future?
U.S. regulators for the first time have approved a design for a ‘small modular reactor,’ but it remains to be seen whether going small can save nuclear power.  S. News, By Alan Neuhauser, Staff Writer May 22, 2018  “… the nuclear power industry is betting its future on going small.

Even as cheap natural gas and falling prices for solar, wind and battery storage have all but killed the prospects for expensive new nuclear power projects in much of the developed world – and especially the U.S. – a handful of companies is plunging ahead in an effort to design a small modular reactor promised to offer flexible, carbon-free electricity at a competitive price.

Earlier this month, NuScale Power, based in Oregon, passed a significant milestone, earning Phase 1 approval from U.S. regulators for the design of its nearly $3 billion small modular reactor – an early but crucial step in the development of small nuclear technology.

…….. An operational small modular reactor, however, remains a decade or longer away from becoming concrete-and-steel reality. And in that time, the question remains whether the market for costly new nuclear plants – already a challenge, and all but dead in the U.S. – will become even more challenging in the intervening years as renewable and battery prices continue to fall and U.S. gas production booms.

One major consulting firm, which declined to comment on the record, stated bluntly, “There are doubts in terms of the economic viability of these projects.”

Some environmental groups have also shared that assessment: “Unless a number of optimistic assumptions are realized, SMRs are not likely to be a viable solution to the economic and safety problems faced by nuclear power,” the Union of Concerned Scientists, which is generally skeptical of nuclear power, wrote in 2013.

……. NuScale Chief Commercial Officer Tom Mundy has predicted that the first small modular reactors would cost about $100 per MW-hour and drop to about $90 or lower – roughly the same cost that the U.S. Energy Information Administration has estimated for large-scale advanced nuclear projects, including tax credits. Renewables such as new solar or onshore wind, by contrast, cost about $47 and $37, respectively, while advanced natural gas plants cost about $48……..  some organizations remain skeptical of nuclear’s role in addressing climate change, arguing that the technology – even for small modular reactors – remains too vulnerable to accident or deliberate attack and that solar or wind plus battery storage offer a safer option.

The Union of Concerned Scientists, for example, allows that while smaller reactors are less dangerous than larger ones, such a view can be “misleading, because small reactors generate less power than large ones, and therefore more of them are required to meet the same energy needs. Multiple SMRs may actually present a higher risk than a single large reactor, especially if plant owners try to cut costs by reducing support staff or safety equipment per reactor.” ……https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2018-05-22/small-nuclear-passes-a-milestone-but-does-it-have-a-future

May 25, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

The future is not looking good for uneconomic Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs)

Small Modular Nuclear Reactors Will Soon Face a Moment of Reckoning, NuScale is bringing small nuclear alive. But will the concept survive? GreenTech Media , 

May 16, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

Small Modular Nuclear Reactors – their connection to nuclear weapons development

Although unstated, by far the most likely source for such support is a continuing national civil nuclear programme. And this where the burgeoning hype around UK development of SMRs comes in. Leading designs for these reactors are derived directly from submarine propulsion. British nuclear submarine reactor manufacturer Rolls-Royce is their most enthusiastic champion. But, amid intense media choreography, links between SMRs and submarines remain (aside from reports of our own work) barely discussed in the UK press. 

This neglect is odd, because the issues are very clear. Regretting that military programmes are no longer underwritten by civil nuclear research, a heavily redacted 2014 MoD report expresses serious concerns over the continued viability of the UK nuclear submarine industry. And Rolls-Royce itself is clear that success in securing government investment for SMRs would “relieve the Ministry of Defence of the burden of developing and retaining skills and capability” for the UK’s military nuclear sector.

Why is the UK government so infatuated with nuclear power? https://www.theguardian.com/science/political-science/2018/mar/29/why-is-uk-government-so-infatuated-nuclear-power

As the nuclear option looks less and less sensible, it becomes harder to explain Whitehall’s enthusiasm. Might it be to do with the military? Guardian,  Andy Stirling and  Phil Johnstone, 29 Mar 18, 

Against a worldwide background of declining fortunes for nuclear power, UK policy enthusiasm continues to intensify. Already pursuing one of the most ambitious nuclear new-build agendas in the world, Britain is seeking to buck 50 years of experience to develop an entirely new and untested design of small modular reactors (SMRs). In 2016, then energy and climate secretary, Amber Rudd, summed up the government’s position: “Investing in nuclear is what this government is all about for the next 20 years.”

Despite unique levels of long-term policy support, this nuclear new-build programme is severely delayed, with no chance of operations beginning as intended “significantly before 2025”, Costs have mushroomed, with even government figures showing renewables like offshore wind to already be far more affordable. With renewable costs still plummeting, global investments in these alternatives are now already greater than for all conventional generating technologies put together. With worldwide momentum so clear, the scale of UK nuclear ambitions are an international anomaly.

Unswerving British nuclear support contrasts sharply with obstructive national policy on other technologies. In 2015 various strategies supporting renewables and energy efficiency were abandoned, with the cheapest UK low-carbon power(onshore wind), effectively halted. The consequences of these cuts are now clear. The output of community energy projects has fallen by 99.4%. National investment in renewables has halved. Meanwhile, UK industrial strategy continues to prioritise nuclearNuclear R&D gets 12 times as much funding as renewables in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s “Energy Innovation Programme”. Instead of considering alternatives to spiralling nuclear costs, the UK government is looking to accommodate them with entirely new models of public financing. It seems clear that – for some undeclared reason and regardless of comparative costs or global trends – Britain simply must have new nuclear power.

The depth of this Whitehall bias creates a challenging environment for reasoned debate over British energy policy. To many, it seems scarcely believable that UK plans are so massively out of sync with current trends. The sheer weight of UK nuclear incumbency has successfully marginalised the entirely reasonable understanding that – like many technologies before it – nuclear power is simply going obsolete.

With direct reasons for the UK’s eccentric national position still unstated, we should pay attention to body language. Here, clues may be found in the work of the National Audit Office (NAO)Its 2017 report of 2017 points out serious flaws in the economic case for new nuclear – highlighting “unquantified”, “strategic” reasons why the UK still prioritises new nuclear despite the setbacks and increasingly attractive alternatives. Yet the NAO remains uncharacteristically unclear as to what these reasons might be.

An earlier NAO report may shed more light. Their 2008 costing of military nuclear activities states: “One assumption of the future deterrent programme is that the United Kingdom submarine industry will be sustainable and that the costs of supporting it will not fall directly on the future deterrent programme.” If the costs of keeping the national nuclear submarine industry in business must fall elsewhere, what could that other budget be?

Although unstated, by far the most likely source for such support is a continuing national civil nuclear programme. And this where the burgeoning hype around UK development of SMRs comes in. Leading designs for these reactors are derived directly from submarine propulsion. British nuclear submarine reactor manufacturer Rolls-Royce is their most enthusiastic champion. But, amid intense media choreography, links between SMRs and submarines remain (aside from reports of our own work) barely discussed in the UK press.

This neglect is odd, because the issues are very clear. Regretting that military programmes are no longer underwritten by civil nuclear research, a heavily redacted 2014 MoD report expresses serious concerns over the continued viability of the UK nuclear submarine industry. And Rolls-Royce itself is clear that success in securing government investment for SMRs would “relieve the Ministry of Defence of the burden of developing and retaining skills and capability” for the UK’s military nuclear sector. Other defence sources are also unambiguous that survival of the British nuclear submarine industry depends on continuation of UK civil nuclear power. Many new government initiatives focus intently on realising the military and civil synergies.

Some nuclear enthusiasts have called this analysis a conspiracy theory, but these links are now becoming visible. In response to our own recent evidence to the UK Public Accounts Committee, a senior civil servant briefly acknowledged the connections. And with US civil nuclear programmes collapsing, the submarine links are also strongly emphasised by a former US energy secretary. Nuclear submarines are evidently crucial to Britain’s cherished identity as a “global power”. It seems that Whitehall’s infatuation with civil nuclear energy is in fact a military romance.

So why does the UK debate on these issues remain so muted? It is now beyond serious dispute that nuclear power has been overtaken by the extraordinary pace of progress in renewables. But – for those so minded – the military case for nuclear power remains. In a democracy, it might be expected that these arguments at least be tested in public. So, the real irrationality is that an entire policy arena should so comprehensively fail to debate such crucial issues. In the end, all technologies become obsolete. If we are not honest about UK civil nuclear policy, the danger is that British democracy may go the same way.

March 29, 2018 Posted by | politics, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Much hype about Small Modular Nuclear Reactors – but are they viable?

Interest in Small Modular Nuclear Reactors Is Growing. So Are Fears They Aren’t Viable
SMRs are the future of nuclear. Will they always be the future?
Greentech Media 

March 17, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

Los Alamos Board of Public Utilities – doubtful about viability of Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs)

BPU has doubts about nuclear power project http://www.lamonitor.com/content/bpu-has-doubts-about-nuclear-power-project, By Tris DeRoma, February 26, 2018 

February 27, 2018 Posted by | politics, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, USA | Leave a comment

Vain hopes for Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs) – expensive and there are no customers anyway

Small Modular Reactors for Nuclear Power: Hope or Mirage? https://www.theenergycollective.com/m-v-ramana/2426847/small-modular-reactors-nuclear-power-hope-mirage   by M.V. Ramana 

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 plants.

In October 2017, just after Puerto Rico was battered by Hurricane Maria, US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry asked the audience at a conference on clean energy
in Washington, D.C.: “Wouldn’t it make abundant good sense if we had small modular reactors that literally you could put in the back of a C-17, transport to an area like Puerto Rico, push it out the back end, crank it up and plug it in? … It could serve hundreds of thousands”.

As exemplified by Secretary Perry’s remarks, small modular reactors (SMRs) have been suggested as a way to supply electricity for communities that inhabit islands or in other remote locations.

In the past decade, wind and solar energy have become significantly cheaper than nuclear power

More generally, 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.

Still expensive

The inability of nuclear power to compete economically results from two related problems. The first problem is that building a nuclear reactor requires high levels of capital, well beyond the financial capacity of a typical electricity utility, or a small country. This is less difficult for state- owned entities in large countries like China and India, but it does limit how much nuclear power even they can install.

The second problem is that, largely because of high construction costs, nuclear energy is expensive. Electricity from fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas, has been cheaper historically ‒ especially when costs of natural gas have been low, and no price is imposed on carbon. But, in the past decade, wind and solar energy, which do not emit carbon dioxide either, have become significantly cheaper than nuclear power. As a result, installed renewables have grown tremendously, in drastic contrast to nuclear energy.

How are SMRs supposed to change this picture? As
the name suggests, SMRs produce smaller amounts of electricity compared to currently common nuclear power reactors. A smaller reactor is expected to cost less to
build. This allows, in principle, smaller private utilities and countries with smaller GDPs to invest in nuclear power. While this may help deal with the first problem, it actually worsens the second problem because small reactors lose out on economies of scale. Larger reactors are cheaper
on a per megawatt basis because their material and work requirements do not scale linearly with generation capacity.

“The problem I have with SMRs is not the technology, it’s not the deployment ‒ it’s that there’s no customers”

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.

Ahead of the market

For high learning rates to be achieved, there must 
be a standardized reactor built in large quantities. Currently dozens of SMR designs are at various stages of development; it is very unlikely that one, or even a few designs, will be chosen by different countries and private entities, discarding the vast majority of designs that are currently being invested in. All of these unlikely occurrences must materialize if small reactors are to become competitive with large nuclear power plants, which are themselves not competitive.

There is a further hurdle to be overcome before these large numbers of SMRs can be built. For a company to invest
in a factory to manufacture reactors, it would have to be confident that there is a market for them. This has not been the case and hence no company has invested large sums of its own money to commercialize SMRs.

An example is the Westinghouse Electric Company, which worked on two SMR designs, and tried to get funding from the US Department of Energy (DOE). When it failed in that effort, Westinghouse stopped working on SMRs and decided to focus its efforts on marketing the AP1000 reactor and the decommissioning business. Explaining this decision, Danny Roderick, then president and CEO of Westinghouse, announced: “The problem I have with SMRs is not the technology, it’s not the deployment ‒ it’s that there’s no customers. … The worst thing to do is get ahead of the market”.

Delayed commercialization

Given this state of affairs, it should not be surprising that
 no SMR has been commercialized. Timelines have been routinely set back. In 2001, for example, a DOE report on prevalent SMR designs concluded that “the most technically mature small modular reactor (SMR) designs and concepts have the potential to be economical and could be made available for deployment before the end of the decade provided that certain technical and licensing issues are addressed”. Nothing of that sort happened; there is no SMR design available for deployment in the United States so far.

There are simply not enough remote communities, with adequate purchasing capacity, to be able to make it financially viable to manufacture SMRs by the thousands

Similar delays have been experienced in other countries too. In Russia, the first SMR that is expected to be deployed is the KLT-40S, which is based on the design of reactors used in the small fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers that Russia has operated for decades. This programme, too, has been delayed by more than a decade and the estimated costs have ballooned.

South Korea even licensed an SMR for construction in
2012 but no utility has been interested in constructing one, most likely because of the realization that the reactor is too expensive on a per-unit generating-capacity basis. Even the World Nuclear Association stated: “KAERI planned to build a 90 MWe demonstration plant to operate from 2017, but this is not practical or economic in South Korea” (my emphasis).

Likewise, China is building one twin-reactor high- temperature demonstration SMR and some SMR feasibility studies are underway, but plans for 18 additional SMRs have been “dropped” according to the World Nuclear Association, in part because the estimated cost of generating electricity is significantly higher than the generation cost at standard-sized light-water reactors.

No real market demand

On the demand side, many developing countries claim to be interested in SMRs but few seem to be willing to invest in the construction of one. Although many agreements and memoranda of understanding have been signed, there are still no plans for actual construction. Good examples are the cases of Jordan, Ghana and Indonesia, all of which have been touted as promising markets for SMRs, but none of which are buying one.

Neither nuclear reactor companies, 
nor any governments that back nuclear power, are willing to spend the hundreds of millions, if not a few billions, of dollars to set up SMRs just so that these small and remote communities will have nuclear electricity

Another potential market that is often proffered as a reason for developing SMRs is small and remote communities. There again, the problem is one of numbers. There are simply not enough remote communities, with adequate purchasing capacity, to be able to make it financially viable to manufacture SMRs by the thousands so as to make them competitive with large reactors, let alone other sources of power. Neither nuclear reactor companies, 
nor any governments that back nuclear power, are willing to spend the hundreds of millions, if not a few billions, of dollars to set up SMRs just so that these small and remote communities will have nuclear electricity.

Meanwhile, other sources of electricity supply, in particular combinations of renewables and storage technologies such as batteries, are fast becoming cheaper. It is likely that they will become cheap enough to produce reliable and affordable electricity, even for these remote and small communities ‒ never mind larger, grid- connected areas ‒ well before SMRs are deployable, let alone economically competitive.

Editor’s note:

Prof. M. V. Ramana is Simons Chair in Disarmament, Global and Human Security at the Liu Institute for Global Issues, as part of the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.  This article was first published in National University of Singapore Energy Studies Institute Bulletin, Vol.10, Issue 6, Dec. 2017, and is republished here with permission.

February 22, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, Reference, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

The not very rosy future for Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

A year in review: the trends in nuclear construction, Global Construction, By DAN BRIGHTMORE Feb 12, 2018 “……Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) and other kinds of so-called ‘advanced reactors’ continue to be positioned as a solution to the problems confronting nuclear power and the still costly renewal requirements of monolithic reactors. SMRs are nuclear power reactors with an electrical output below 300MWe and distinguishable from large reactors by modular design, with prefabrication in offsite factories and the potential for multiple reactors to be deployed at the same site to create bigger power plants. Proponents claim they will be faster, cheaper and less risky to build while safer to operate than large nuclear plants.

NuScale has claimed that “once approved, global demand for SMR plants will create thousands of jobs during manufacturing, construction and operation” and “re-­establish US global leadership in nuclear technology, paving the way for NRC approval and subsequent deployment of other advanced nuclear technologies”. It predicts “about 5,5­75GWe of global electricity will come from SMRs by 2035, equivalent to over 1,000 NuScale Power Modules”.

However, Danny Roderick, former president and CEO of (now bankrupt nuclear services market leader) Westinghouse, once countered: “The problem I have with SMRs is not the technology, it’s not the deployment – it’s that there’s no customers… The worst thing to do is get ahead of the market.” Currently there are no operational NPPs in the world that can be considered fully-fledged SMRs. Several countries and companies are at different stages in the development of SMR technologies. NuScale is the frontrunner to deliver a SMR in Idaho with the initial operational date of 2024. Meanwhile, mPower (another previous beneficiary of Department of Energy funding to the tune of $80m per year) has been struggling to advance a similar project mooted in Tennessee which was terminated in March last year. Elsewhere, South Korea’s System-Integrated Modular Advanced Reactor (SMART) is the first land based SMR to receive regulatory approval anywhere in the world. However, SMR’s are often found to be too expensive on a per-unit generating-capacity basis which has led to this project being shelved. The words of incoming South Korean premier President Moon echo the sentiments of many world leaders now exploring other forms of energy creation: “We will scrap the nuclear-centred policies and move toward a nuclear-free era. We will eliminate all plans to build new nuclear plants.”….  http://www.constructionglobal.com/infrastructure/year-review-trends-nuclear-construction

February 17, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

Holtec and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) are going to try to market Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

World Nuclear News 15th Feb 2018, Holtec International and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) are to collaborate
on accelerating the commercialisation of Holtec’s SMR-160 small modular
reactor (SMR). Their cooperation will initially include nuclear fuel
development and control rod drive mechanisms. Under a memorandum of
understanding, GEH, Global Nuclear Fuel (GNF), Holtec and SMR Inventec LLC
(SMR LLC) have agreed to enter into a “procompetitive collaboration” to
progress the SMR-160. GNF, a GE-led joint venture with Hitachi and Toshiba,
is primarily known as a supplier of boiling water reactor fuel. SMR LLC is
a wholly-owned subsidiary of Holtec established in 2011 to manage the
development of the SMR-160.
http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN-Holtec-and-GEH-team-up-on-advancing-SMR-160-1502184.html

February 17, 2018 Posted by | Japan, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, USA | Leave a comment

Collaboration to try and market Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs)

 GE Hitachi, Holtec Announce Cooperation to Accelerate Commercialization of SMR-160 Small Modular Reactor, Power Magazine 
02/14/2018  GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH), Global Nuclear Fuel (GNF), Holtec International and SMR Inventec, LLC (SMR, LLC), today announced a collaboration to advance the SMR‐160, a single loop, 160 MWe pressurized light water reactor based on existing light water technologies.In a Memorandum of Understanding, the companies have agreed to enter into a procompetitive collaboration to progress the SMR-160 which SMR, LLC intends to develop, design, license, commercialize, deploy and service globally. The cooperation will initially include nuclear fuel development supported by GNF and control rod drive mechanisms designed by GEH, and may later extend to other areas.

“We are excited to leverage the experience and capabilities of world class nuclear companies like GEH and GNF as we bring our game changing SMR-160 technology to global markets,” said Holtec President and CEO Dr. Kris Singh. “SMR-160 has prioritized safety in its design, to produce a right-sized, passively safe and cost-effective solution for carbon-free energy. This collaboration will ensure the SMR-160 supply chain, to deliver and fabricate critical SMR-160 technologies and components, including at our new Advanced Manufacturing Division in Camden, New Jersey.”……http://www.powermag.com/press-releases/ge-hitachi-holtec-announce-cooperation-to-accelerate-commercialization-of-smr-160-small-modular-reactor/

February 16, 2018 Posted by | marketing, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

Trump’s budget bill gives tax credits to save Vogtle nuclear plant expansion, and promote Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

Platts 9th Feb 2018, The budget bill President Donald Trump signed Friday morning to avert a shutdown of the US government includes a broadening of production tax credits for nuclear projects critical for the completion of two reactors at Georgia Power’s Vogtle station and designed to spur development of the first commercial small modular reactors in the US.

The 2,300-MW Vogtle plant  expansion in Waynesboro, Georgia, has experienced delays and cost overruns that threatened its completion. The Georgia Public Service Commission gave the go-ahead for rate recovery, which Georgia Power had said was crucial for completing the nuclear generating units. But the production tax credits were also a key element of the project’s economic case, Georgia Power officials have said.
https://www.platts.com/latest-news/electric-power/washington/us-budget-bill-includes-credits-for-georgia-nuclear-21293499

February 12, 2018 Posted by | politics, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

The USA nuclear lobby is now trying to tie up longterm tax-payer funding for Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

Report Urges Long-Term Power Agreements for SMRs at Federal Sites , Nuclear Energy InstituteFeb. 1, 2018—A new study funded by the U.S. Department of Energy recommends that federal agencies (such as DOE and the Defense Department) be allowed to enter into 30-year power purchase agreements with utility operators of small modular reactors (SMRs).

Typically defined as reactors having a generating capacity smaller than 300 megawatts-electric, SMRs are a good fit for sites like DOE’s 17 national laboratories, the study says.

For example, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the largest consumer of electricity among the agency’s sites and is engaged in several critical, round-the-clock defense and research-related activities………

“Leveraging the federal government’s strong credit standing as a purchaser of the power and its continual need for baseload power is important in the development of SMRs. Federal agency purchasers can help to set the market and offer more certainty to other initial buyers,” the study says.

“By creating an authority that permits federal agencies to purchase power for up to 30 years, SMR developers will be able to use traditional financing to repay a project financed project or a long-term bond over an up to 30-year term, making the financing more affordable.”

Currently, only the Department of Defense has the authority to enter into power purchase agreements of 30 years in duration, in certain circumstances.

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is currently going through the Nuclear Regulatory Commission early site permit process for developing two or more SMRs at the Clinch River Site.

The study urges moving the pilot project at Clinch River forward to completion……..

Another example of collaboration between a small modular reactor developer and a national laboratory is NuScale Power, of which the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) is planning to build up to 12 at the Idaho National Laboratory. Under this project, DOE or other federal entities could enter into power purchase agreements with UAMPS or its associated utilities. ……

Another example of collaboration between a small modular reactor developer and a national laboratory is NuScale Power, of which the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) is planning to build up to 12 at the Idaho National Laboratory. Under this project, DOE or other federal entities could enter into power purchase agreements with UAMPS or its associated utilities. ……

The report, conducted by Kutak Rock and Scully Capital for DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy, builds on a January 2017 report which studies the options available to federal agencies looking to buy power from SMRs. https://www.nei.org/News-Media/News/News-Archives/2018/Report-Urges-Long-Term-Power-Agreements-for-SMRs-a

 

February 3, 2018 Posted by | politics, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

British plan to provide household electricity by plutonium – in Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

 

Times 28th Jan 2018, Britons could be taking showers and warming homes with hot water piped
directly from a nuclear reactor, under proposals to build small atomic power stations in cities. Urban nuclear reactors, similar in size to those
in nuclear submarines, could generate not only electricity but also hot water, suggests a report by Policy Exchange, a think tank.

The paper reflects government thinking, as the National Nuclear Laboratory hasalready drawn up plans for a first “small modular reactor” at Trawsfynydd in north Wales. The Department for Business, Energy andIndustrial Strategy has also supported the idea. Such reactors could befuelled by plutonium, a waste product of Britain’s existing nuclearindustry. Stockpiles exceed 100 tons.   https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/mini-nuclear-reactors-could-heat-homes-pxk3h8nkl

January 29, 2018 Posted by | - plutonium, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, UK | Leave a comment