New Group Calls for Nuclear Energy Policy Focus in the White House

New Group Calls for Parity in Policy Focus & Incentives Offered to Renewables and Nuclear Energy

Other Nuclear News

  • Invest in Nuclear to Galvanize Growth, says OECD-NEA

  • Jacobs Selected by Moltex Energy to Help Develop a New Type of Nuclear Power Reactor

  • Hydrogen / US DOE Providing $84 Million For Project That Includes Installing Electrolysers At Nuclear Plants

  • Feasibility Study to Complete Cernavoda 3 & 4

Good Energy Collective Launches
New Nuclear Policy Project

(NucNet) Advanced reactors ‘should get similar incentives to renewables’
A new policy research organization has called on the next administration in the White House to establish a climate office and include a nuclear-specific staff position.

gec2The US-based Good Energy Collective said the moves would be in line with recommendations in a plan put forward by Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, and the Evergreen Action group, established by staff of the Democratic governor of Washington, Jay Inslee.

The Good Energy Collective is asking the new administration to include advanced nuclear energy as a part of the climate response and set a clear mandate for adoption of the technology.

  • It said advanced nuclear energy should be integrated into climate legislation and incentives should be similar to those for renewables, including loan guarantees, production and investment tax credits, access to public land, and federal power purchase agreements.
  • The nuclear industry should create new business and finance models for new nuclear technologies and ensure a “robust commercialization pathway” to bring advanced reactor designs to market.

Nuclear energy will be needed to reach ambitious climate goals, but we must first reconstruct the technology for a new era complete with modern, socially-grounded approaches,” the Good Energy Collective said.

“Smart policies and better nuclear governance can help quickly shift the sector to a new, more sustainable pathway. Better governance will require a step-change by the administration, congress, and the nuclear industry.”

On its web page the organization described itself as a policy research organization and listed four areas where it is focusing its attention

gec imageGood Energy Collective is a policy research organization. We’re building the progressive case for nuclear energy as an essential part of the broader climate change agenda.

We develop smart policies at every scale to accelerate the just and equitable deployment of advanced nuclear technologies.

Our research is rooted in social science and champions a whole-of-government approach, so that communities can go from ideas, to development, to thoughtful and effective deployment faster and more efficiently.

Energy for equity – All communities should have equitable access to clean energy that will meet their needs and create high-quality jobs.

Voices for the future – We foster diverse leaders in nuclear energy to reshape the industry at every level and every scale.

A new social science agenda – We are developing a social science research and environmental justice agenda to work hand in hand with recent engineering innovations.

Jobs for a green recovery – Communities should have equitable access to high-quality jobs; we are mapping out the best ways nuclear jobs can help.

Webinar August 11 at 5 PM Eastern Time

The group is holding an online webinar on August 11th at 5:00 PM Eastern time. Registration is free. Anyone with an interest in the group’s agenda can sign up using a link on the home page

Media Coverage

Two of the founding team members held an indepth interview with David Roberts on the Vox Media website on Juky 21st. Four of the five board members are women, as are the co-founders: Suzy Hobbs Baker (currently creative director at University of Michigan’s Fastest Path to Zero initiative) and Jessica Lovering (currently a doctoral student in engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University).

Other Nuclear News

Invest in Nuclear to Galvanize Growth, says OECD-NEA

(WNN) The sheer size of nuclear projects might be a barrier in some markets where private investors are looking for short-term paybacks. However, during a period of economic recovery, large-scale and long-term energy infrastructure projects, such as nuclear power plants, can galvanize the social cohesion and economic spill-overs required to re-launch general economic activity.

This is the message of the last in a package of four Policy Briefs on the role of nuclear energy in the post-COVID economic recovery produced by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency in collaboration with World Nuclear Association. They study cost-effectiveness, jobs, resilience and financing.

The NEA hosted a webinar to discuss the latest report, ‘Unlocking financing for nuclear energy infrastructure,’ noting that OECD governments aim at an economic recovery that preserves the ambition for affordable energy transition plans and aligns with long-term economic, social and environmental objectives – the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Opening the webinar, NEA Director General William Magwood said: “The expectation that we are facing an economic crisis that can be ‘quickly’ dealt with over the next three years is unfortunately rather optimistic. The development of modern and resilient zero-carbon infrastructure may take a little longer. It’s important to develop plans to incentivise investment in a lot of new low-carbon generation capacity, balancing it out with a realistic forecast in the growth in energy demand. It is important to use macroeconomic models with the right granularity to properly model the energy sector.”

Beyond First of a Kind – FOAK

Sama Bilbao y Leon, head of the NEA’s Nuclear Technology Development and Economics division said that nuclear energy projects have been “misaligned” with traditional sources of capital.

“Nuclear power plant construction is a complex infrastructure undertaking that can present significant financial risks since they are capital-intensive and have multi-decadal project lifetimes,” she said, adding that there has been a “loss of confidence” due to delays and cost overruns in some recent Western first-of-a-kind (FOAK) projects.

“We have evidence from recent nuclear projects in China, Korea, Russia and the UAE that they can be completed on time and on budget. This means that the projects that we have experienced in Western FOAK projects are really not intrinsic to a nuclear power plant but are intrinsic to the project arrangement itself.”

  • Governments can support financing through a range of mechanisms. She added that direct financial support includes equity, debt, export credit agencies, and loan guarantees.
  • Indirect financial support includes power purchasing agreements (PPAs), such as the Contract-for-Difference in the UK and the Mankala model in Finland, and regulated assets, such as the rate-of-return in the USA and the regulated asset base in the UK.
  • Government ownership of infrastructure projects will have an “enormous impact” because it would “inspire confidence among private investors and would also send a very important signal to society as a whole.”

The other three Policy Briefs are: Building low-carbon resilient electricity infrastructures with nuclear power; The role of nuclear energy in the cost-effective decarbonization of electricity systems; and Creating high-value jobs in the post-COVID-19 recovery with nuclear energy projects.

Jacobs Selected by Moltex Energy to Help Develop
a New Type of Nuclear Power Reactor

moltexJacobs (NYSE:J) was selected by Moltex Energy to support their development of a new type of nuclear power plant – the Stable Salt Reactor. Jacobs will build an experimental facility for thermal transfer testing at its Birchwood Park research and development facility in the U.K.

Based on breakthrough science, Moltex Energy’s Stable Salt Reactor is designed to generate low cost electricity by burning processed spent fuel pellets which would otherwise have to be stored as radioactive waste.

Jacobs’ chemistry, materials, engineering, instrumentation and modeling teams will collaborate with Moltex engineers to create a technically complex simulation to replicate the heat output of a fuel channel and to validate computational fluid dynamics modelling of the thermal transfer across the fuel assemblies into the coolant.

Moltex already uses Jacobs’ ANSWERS® software for radiation transport modeling and simulation of reactor performance.

“We’re looking forward to continuing our support for Moltex into this new phase of development as part of our strategy to be a solutions provider at the cutting edge of research into advanced reactors,” said Jacobs Critical Mission Solutions International Senior Vice President Clive White.

“The Stable Salt Reactor design is significant because of its potential to recycle waste in a clean, safe and economical way, generating electricity which will power communities while reducing carbon emissions.”

Moltex has been awarded more than $6 million in funding from Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, a United States Department of Energy agency, to help develop the reactor, which is cooled using molten salt.

Hydrogen / US DOE Providing $84 Million For Project that Includes Installing Electrolysers at Nuclear Plants

(NucNet) Demonstrations are planned at two commercial reactor sites

The US Department of Energy is encouraging the production of hydrogen from commercial nuclear power plants by providing more than $84M to improve electrolysers that split water into oxygen and hydrogen gas and for installation demonstrations at two commercial nuclear power plants. DOE said a single 1,000-MW nuclear reactor could produce more than 200,000 tonnes of hydrogen each year.

In one DOE-backed project valued at $7.2M, Exelon, the country’s largest nuclear plant operator, will install a 1 MW electrolyser at one of its 21 reactors. The DOE will split the cost with the utility giant. Exelon plans to complete the demonstration in April 2023 and will use the hydrogen it produces onsite.

Separately, Energy Harbor, an Ohio utility company, is set to install a 2 MW electrolyser at its Davis-Besse nuclear station in Ohio. Project manager Alan Scheanwald said the equipment will be installed during the plant’s next refuelling outage in March 2022.

Partners in the demonstration are Xcel Energy, which owns three reactors at two sites, and Arizona Public Service, which operates three reactors at the Palo Verde nuclear station. The DOE is providing $9.2M of the project’s $11.5M cost. The hydrogen generated will be sold for offsite use.

Feasibility Study to Complete Cernavoda 3 & 4

(WNN) Romania has launched a tender for a new feasibility study to complete units 3 and 4 of the Cernavoda nuclear power plant for which it is prepared to pay up to RON1 million (USD$245,000). There is also the option of a single unit being put up for auction, according to a report by Economica.Net.  The tender was issued with a very short timeframe for responses as bids are due August 11th.

The announcement follows an action by the Romanian government to cancel an agreement with a Chinese state owned nuclear firm to finish construction on the two partially built reactors  which are PHWRs based on the CANDU design, according to a notice in the government’s official gazette. Most of the work on units 3 and 4 was done in the 1980s prior to the fall of the government of Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989.

The tender for a feasibility study, which was published in mid July, lists includes the following requirements:

  • An updated electricity price and demand forecast; project cost estimate together with a calculation methodology;
  • An updated financial model for the project that takes into account the current situation in both the energy and construction services markets;
  • New relevant technical information obtained from other studies developed by SN Nuclearelectrica SA or EnergoNuclear SA, since 2012;
  • Updated information regarding the infrastructure of the Romanian electric transmission network and new interconnection lines;
  • Identification of the support mechanisms necessary for the implementation of the project (for example Contracts-for-Difference, Capital Work in Progress, State Guarantees, etc.).

Cernavoda NPP is the only nuclear power plant in Romania and consists of two 650 MWe pressurized heavy-water reactors. Unit 1 went into commercial operation in 1996 and unit 2 in 2007. Operator Nuclearelectrica plans to extend the operating life of unit 1 to 60 years.

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