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New plant siting guidelines respond to growing SMR demand
Précis:  The Electric Power Research Institute has published new siting guidelines for nuclear plants which include specific recommendations for the growing Small Modular Reactor market and lessons learned from Fukushima. Identifying a suitable nuclear power plant (NPP) site can be a costly and lengthy process for operators. Siting new plants has become more challenging due to a steady increase in the frequency of natural disasters, expansion of high population centres and rises in freshwater temperatures which have accelerated evaporation and forced plant operators to invest in expensive cooling towers. In particular, the first plants being developed in the Middle East face specific logistical challenges over water supply. Related Content:  SMRs: private investors call for track record and big government orders Licensing pro

North America's private sector invests over $1 bil in new high-spec plants
Précis:  Nuclear power’s competitiveness is set to hike as a new generation of industry experts and investors prepare to commercialize advanced nuclear technology, Third Way, a centrist public policy think tank, said. A study by Third Way found that there are nearly 50 companies in US and Canada developing next generation technology, armed with $1.3 billion of private capital.   Investors range from start-ups to large international corporations and well-known names such as Bill Gates.   Related Content:  DoE provides $13m for advanced reactor research Image:  Premium`:  No Image Caption:  Credit: Arty Free copy read more

Fuel Manufacturing Innovations at AREVA Provide Reliable Global Electricity
Manuel Seubert is a process engineer in ceramics manufacturing for AREVA. He has been in the nuclear industry for 7 years. He also serves as treasurer of the NAYGN AREVA Richland chapter.Manuel SeubertWhy are you a nuclear engineer? Why do you like working where you do?I’m a process engineer in AREVA’s uranium dioxide fuel pellet manufacturing facility in Richland, Wash. I worked in a similar position at our AREVA facility in Germany before relocating to Richland. The opportunities and variety of challenges presented in my job is what I enjoy most. I am responsible for solving technical problems, investigating the source of process disconnects, as well as improving the performance of the new and existing manufacturing processes. I enjoy working in manufacturing in a technical engineering support role because it offers a wide range of exposure and it always presents interesting challenges.Why do you think nuclear energy is important to America’s energy future?Nuclear energy is imp

The PJM Capacity Auction and Nuclear Energy
Matt WaldThe following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior director of policy analysis and strategic planning at NEI.There’s an important change in the electricity system that starts with an auction taking place this week. The organization holding the auction is big in the electricity world but you may never have heard of it, and the thing being auctioned is obscure, too, so let me explain. The organization is called PJM, which once upon a time stood for Pennsylvania-Jersey-Maryland, but now it covers those states plus parts of 10 others. It runs the electric system stretching all the way from Delaware to Chicago. Some of the transactions it manages are second to second, some are in intervals of a few minutes. This one is year by year.The thing being auctioned is not energy, but capacity. When you measure energy, you spin the little wheels on an old-fashioned electric meter. But capacity means the ability to generate. If you are a utility and you’ve got customers to serve in th

Sendai Nuclear Happy Times
We’ve reported a few times in the past about Japan’s efforts to restart its nuclear energy industry. This seemed inevitable because the country was not officially closing its plants, because it was rebuilding its regulatory regime to mirror that of the United States (that is, not linked to efforts to promote nuclear technology and focused exclusively on public safety) and, not least, because resource-light Japan has very few options in the energy sphere if it wants baseload carbon dioxide emission-free electricity. If it had completely abandoned nuclear energy, that would be unfortunate but comprehensible. But it made no moves to do so.So that’s where we’ve been for the last five years. Here’s where we are now:Kyushu Electric Power began to restart its Sendai No. 1 reactor on Tuesday, the company said, the first attempt to reboot Japan's nuclear industry in nearly two years after the sector was shut down in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster.The utility, which suppli

Global Nexus Initiative to Explore Links between Climate Change, Nuclear Energy and Global Security
Mary PietryzkThe following is a guest post by Mary Pietryzk, Manager of Policy Development at NEI.What if a thoughtful group of accomplished professionals decided to explore the issues and linkages around climate change, nuclear power and global security? The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) and the Partnership for Global Security (PGS) have teamed up for a two year project to explore those linkages. Today marks the launch of the Global Nexus Initiative (GNI): Where Climate, Nuclear, and Security Meet. You can follow the work of the Initiative on Twitter using the #globalnexusinitiative hash tag.Putting their heads (and contact lists) together, PGS and NEI have created a working group of 17 highly accomplished, multidisciplinary policy professionals from the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. This is a team of energy, nuclear, climate change, and security experts that boast impressive resumes and well-earned reputations for finding creative solutions to challenging global

NRC responds on SMRs; UN backs Iran deal; Russia, Saudi Arabia sign accord
Précis:  A selection of news from the last month. NRC revises emergency rules for Small Reactors   The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is to seek approval from its executive commission for revised "emergency preparedness regulations" for small and advanced reactors, it said.    The new rules respond to enhanced safety features of the reactors.    Related Content:  Licensing process to catapult US-SMR export potential Image:  Premium`:  No Image Caption:  Credit: Dmitrii Guzhanin read more

NuScale, NRC tackle key SMR design certification points ahead of 2016 filing
Précis:  More than 600 employees and contractors are now engaged in a "gigantic" project to complete the design and certification process for NuScale's first plant built for Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) and operated by Energy Northwest. The SMR plant will likely be located in Idaho, possibly on the Idaho National Laboratory site.   NuScale is also in the final stages of commissioning the rebuilt NuScale Integrated System Test (NIST) facility, the one-third scale prototype that first went into operation back in 2003 and has recently undergone significant enhancements to include over 700 instruments to monitor and record testing data as part of the design certification process.   Related Content:  Likely options for the UK Small Modular Reactor market Image: 

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