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US funding package supports rising SMR activity
The fiscal 2016 Omnibus Appropriations Act was signed into law December 18, boosting nuclear energy funding from $914 million in 2015 to $986 million in 2016. Within this plan, the government raised funding for SMR Licensing from $55 million to $63 million, signaling higher activity in SMR licensing this year. Funding for reactor Research and Development (R&D) rose from $133 million to $141 million.Related Content: UK hikes SMR funding to accelerate first reactor selectionAreva to supply SMR fuel; US’ Vogtle gains permit; China eyes 110 reactorsNew plant siting guidelines respond to growing SMR demandImage: Banner URL: http://www.nuclearenergyinsider.com/international-smr-advanced-reactor/Image Caption: US government support is required to propel advanced nuclear plants towards commercial deployment. (Image credit: sdominik)Channels: Small Modular Reactors

US Committee prioritizes advanced reactors; Southern, X-energy win DoE funds
US House Committee approves advanced reactor support The House of Representatives' Committee on Science, Space, and Technology has approved a bipartisan bill to support federal research and development (R&D) and stimulate private investment in advanced nuclear reactor technologies in the U.S.Related Content: US funding package supports rising SMR activityUS waste storage development hinges on political pushUK to steer plutonium processing projects by year endImage: Image Caption: Image credit: Joel CarilletChannels: Small Modular Reactors

South Africa analyzes new build bids as global markets bite
South Africa’s Cabinet approved last month a Request for Proposal (RFP) for some 9.6 GW of planned nuclear capacity, allowing the Department of Energy to receive formal new build proposals from the world’s major nuclear power companies. South Africa will only decide whether to proceed with the nuclear build plan after it has reviewed the project proposals and subsequent state funding requirements.Related Content: US set for 80-year lifespans; South Africa invites new plant bidsImage: Image Caption: South Africa needs new power generation capacity to boost economic growth. (Image credit: RapidEye)Channels: New Build

The Third Way Summit and Advanced Nuclear Reactors
Say “nuclear reactor” and what leaps to mind is a giant machine, powerful enough to run an entire city, with thousands of moving parts.But UPower Technologies has a different concept: a nuclear power plant that is mostly built in a factory, and arrives on site in two standard shipping containers. After set-up, it runs a cluster of buildings or a village. The reactor is more like a nuclear battery, with no moving parts. UPower is one of several new reactor concepts that will be the topic of discussion in the next few days. Third Way, a centrist think tank, holds an Advanced Nuclear Summit and Showcase on Wednesday. Third Way recently issued a report on the future of nuclear power, in partnership with three Department of Energy laboratories: Idaho, Argonne and Oak Ridge. In November, the White House held a summit on nuclear energy.Behind the events is the conviction that with technological progress, nuclear power, like microchips or composite materials or a lot of other evolvin

Canada edges closer to SMR build after VC funding deal
Ontario-based Terrestrial Energy announced January 8 it had raised CA$10 million ($7.1 million) in Venture Capital for the development of its Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR) technology and it would use the funds to support engineering towards pre-construction and pre-licensing applications.Related Content: US funding package supports rising SMR activityUK hikes SMR funding to accelerate first reactor selectionNuScale targets SMR cost below $90/MWh on wider deploymentImage: Image Caption: Remote towns using diesel-fired power face high fuel delivery costs. (Image credit: Maxvis)Channels: Small Modular Reactors

The 2016 State of the Union and Nuclear Energy Policy
Alex FlintThe following is a guest post by Alex Flint, NEI’s Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs. For a Q&A with him on the nuclear energy industry’s legislative priorities for 2016, click here. Tonight, President Barack Obama will deliver his eighth State of the Union address. For the first time, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) will sit behind him to his right, thinking “I could do that.” Of course, behind him to his left, Vice President Joseph Biden will be thinking the same thing but with the sorrowful knowledge that his time has passed. Finally, in front of him, at least a dozen U.S. Senators, some of whom are currently running for President, will also be thinking, “I could do that.”The pomp and circumstance is always a bit fun. I always look around to determine which member of the cabinet doesn’t attend — it’s a nasty little Cold War flashback, but at least someone is thinking about these things.Also, some of the Supreme Court justices seem less

Thorium Triggers Invasion of Norway (On Netflix)
Here at NEI, we try to keep an eye out for any television program or film that involves nuclear energy. As we've written in the past, the results can be something of a mixed bag. That's part of the reason that Pandora's Promise was such a pleasant surprise. After seeing nuclear energy viewed through a lens darkly most of the time, it was something of a shock to the system to see it described with optimism and hope.In Occupied, Norway is all in on thorium reactors.Enter Occupied (or Okkupert for my Norwegian relatives), a political thriller that debuted on European television last Fall and is now available here in the U.S. on Netflix. So what's the plot?Warning, minor spoilers ahead.Sometime in the near future, Norway is struck by a climate-related natural disaster, paving the way for the election of a Green Party government. Once in power, the new prime minister (Henrik Mestad) decides his nation needs to lead by example and stop using fossil fuels, and that means immed

What Joe Romm Gets Wrong About James Hansen & Nuclear Energy
Matt WaldThe following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior director of policy analysis and strategic planning at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.Joseph J. Romm, a former assistant secretary of energy for efficiency and renewables, and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, has recently gone after James Hansen, the climatologist who issued the clarion call warning about global warming way back in 1988. Romm says that Hansen puts too much emphasis on nuclear power as a tool to reduce the carbon-loading of our atmosphere.For people worried about climate (including me) it's distressing to see the attack, because the two men agree on the fundamental point, that we need a vigorous global campaign to prevent an awful destabilization of the climate. It's a shame to see supporters of that idea falling out with each other when their key point is not yet a universally-held view.But Romm has never liked nuclear power, and perhaps we should feel complimented that

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