Advanced Reactors At DOE and DOE Federal Facilities
(NucNet): The US House of Representatives has asked the energy secretary to prepare a report on a pilot program for deploying advanced reactor technology at key government facilities. According to the NEI, the request was contained in an amendment to the National Defence Authorization Act of 2019, which was passed by the House on May 24, 2018 and will now go to the Senate.
The NEI said the amendment was “a powerful bipartisan message” to the nation about the utility and viability that innovative nuclear designs hold in the years ahead.
Maria Korsnick, NEI president and chief executive officer, said the promise of advanced reactors had taken an enormous step closer to becoming reality with bipartisan support on Capitol Hill to pursue the siting, construction and operation of an advanced reactor to provide resilient power to our country’s critical national security locations.
She said lawmakers identified the US Department of Defence and the US Department of Energy as government partners for small and micro-reactor technology.
“The next 10 years are a critical time for the US nuclear industry to begin moving to a wider range of reactor types, including small and advanced reactors. Luckily, the nation is blessed with a plethora of innovative talent, with dozens of technology developers, suppliers and the national laboratory system working hard to bring these cutting-edge designs to market.”
NEI Focuses on advanced nuclear technologies
(Daily Energy Insider) Emerging nuclear technologies like small modular reactors (SMR) and advanced nuclear reaction concepts highlighted the Nuclear Energy Institute’s 65th annual Nuclear Energy Assembly (NEA) that was held in Atlanta, Georgia.
The conference featured three panels that focused on uses for advanced nuclear technologies, new “beyond electricity capabilities” including process heat and deep decarbonization, and innovation reactor designs.
The Washington-based think tank Third Way outlined more than 40 companies and research institutions that are currently working on SMR and advanced nuclear reactor concepts. Dominion Energy announced that it’s investing in GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s BWRX-300 SMR design on the first day of the conference.
The economic viability of advanced reactor designs that feature fewer components and more simplistic systems that can be built cheaper and more quickly was also a topic of conversation.
The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) recently released a report on the feasibility of various designs. Tina Taylor, the senior director of research and development and chief nuclear officer at EPRI, said, “The good news is that a lot of these technologies are headed to the lower end of the cost spectrum,”
Kathryn McCarthy, the vice president for research and development at Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), said producing hydrogen to decarbonize the transportation sector could be a potential revenue source for SMRs in Canada. That includes long-distance trucks and trains and the Toronto light rail system, she said.
TerraPower President Chris Levesque noted that the company’s Traveling Wave Reactor design is advancing from the research to the test phase with approvals from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission or China’s National Nuclear Safety Administration within site. (See IEEE Spectrum article on the technology and reactor design)
The company’s also working on a molten chloride fast reactor concept with domestic and international partners.
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