UK Gives Go-Ahead for Sizewell C Nuclear Power Plant

  • UK Gives Go-Ahead for Sizewell C Nuclear Power Plant
  • EDF to Address Taishan Fuel Rod Issues for Hinkley Point and Sizewell EPR Reactors
  • Holtec Submits Federal Loan Application For $7.4 Billion SMR Plan
  • Kairos Power and Materion Commission Molten Salt Purification Plant to Produce Coolant for High-Temperature Reactors
  • Curio and Lightbridge Corporation Sign MOU on Nuclear Fuels
  • Terrestrial Energy and South Korea’s Dl E&C Sign MOU To Drive IMSR Cogeneration Plant
  • X-Energy Selects Firms for Design and Deployment of Xe-100 Advanced Reactor Fleet
  • Ghana To Announce Decision On Nuclear Plant Vendor Country, Technology

UK Gives Go-Ahead for Sizewell C Nuclear Power Plant

(WNN contributed to this report)

EPR image

The UK government committed this week to build EDF’s twin 1600 MWe EPR type nuclear reactors at the Sizewell C nuclear site at an estimated cost of GBP100 million (USD120 million).

The two huge reactors will be built next to the existing Sizewell B plant. The new plant would generate about 7% of the UK’s electricity needs and operate for at least 60 years.

It will be a mirror of of the Hinkley Point C plant, which is under construction in Somerset. All four plants are expected to be completed in the late 2020s. EDF is running behind schedule for the Hinkley Point C plant due in part to the fact that the labor force, and the firms in the supply chain, have been ravaged by successive spikes of the COVID 19 virus.

The formal decision is that the application for the construction of Sizewell C power plant has been granted development ‘consent’ by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Kwasi Kwarteng. The decision to move forward with the project is a key step in addressing the UK’s energy security needs and was widely welcomed by the industry.

Tom Greatrex, CEO of the UK’s Nuclear Industry Association said, “This is a huge step forward for Britain’s energy security and net zero ambitions. Sizewell C will provide reliable low-carbon power for more than 80 years, cutting gas use, creating thousands of high-quality, skilled jobs, and long-term investment and opportunity up and down the country.”

“When operational, Sizewell C will produce enough electricity to supply six million homes with affordable 24/7 clean electricity,” said Sama Bilbao y León, Director General of World Nuclear Association.

“Today’s decision is the next important step, not only for Sizewell C, but also for the UK as a whole, as it looks to make much greater use of new nuclear capacity to meet its net-zero targets. Sizewell C will be one of the UK’s largest ever green energy projects, and this decision significantly strengthens the pipeline of new nuclear capacity in Britain.”

UK Investment Decisions

Earlier this year, the UK government provided GBP100 million (USD120 million) in funding to develop the project, and also took legislation through parliament allowing a new way of funding new large infrastructure projects. The Regulated Asset Base (RAB) funding model – gave the government the option to take a 20% stake in the project which would when executed be worth at least USD20 billion.

Under the RAB model a company receives a license from an economic regulator to charge a regulated price to consumers in exchange for providing the infrastructure in question. It is a pay-as-you-go system with the utility allowed to recover construction costs by charging rate payers over time as it completes progress milestones. It is similar to the US system of “construction while in progress” (CWIP) which is being used to finance the construction of twin Westinghouse 1150 MWe AP000s at the Vogtle site in Georgia.

The action by the government to take a 20% equity stake in Sizewell C is intended to accomplish two objectives. First, it will replace a planned 20% equity investment by Chinese state owned enterprises which was cancelled by UK PM Boris Johnson on security grounds. Second, by having a significant equity stake in the project, the government has the expectation that this will be a confidence building measure to bring private (institutional) investors to also take a significant equity position in the plant.

EDF is expected to take an 20% equity stake (USD5 billion) in the project. As the French government is in the process of 100% nationalizing EDF, that funding will in effect be a government to government investment.

The Sizewell C decision is part of a UK government plan to completely decarbonize the country’s electricity by 2035. This means that all our electricity will be produced from renewable or low-carbon sources like solar, wind and nuclear.

Not everyone was thrilled with the decision. Greenpeace called the project an “expensive white elephant” that was “trashing an important nature reserve.” Local environmental groups echoed the comments from Greenpeace and expressed concerns about the impact of the plant on local water supplies. This is patent nonsense since the plant is located on the shores of the Bristol Channel that leads into the Atlantic ocean.

& & &

EDF to Address Taishan Fuel Rod Issues for Hinkley Point and Sizewell EPR Reactors

In July 2021 China General Nuclear (CGN) shut down one of two operating EDF’s 1750 MWe EPR reactors at the Taishan power station due to problems with the fuel rods and assemblies. Despite some sensational media reports by CNN and others, the problem was not seen as a big deal at the time by either the CGN, which is the Chinese plant operator, or EDF, which has a 30% equity stake in the plant.

reactor containment epr

CGN noted in July 2021 that the situation was “not urgent.” CGN blamed minor fuel rod damage for a build-up of radioactive gases at the Taishan plant describing it as a “common phenomenon” with no need for concern.”

“There are more than 60,000 fuel rods in the reactor and the proportion of damaged rods is “less than 0.01 percent.”

CGN called the damage “inevitable” due to factors including factors associated with fuel manufacturing. EDF said it was advised of operating problems with the fuel rods in the Taishan reactors in October 2020 but didn’t learn about a build up of unwanted gases until June 2021.

epr fuel assembly

The EPR fuel system consists of a reactor core containing 241 fuel assemblies and 89 control rods, or rod cluster control assemblies. Each fuel assembly is made up of 265 fuel rods and 24 guide tubes arranged in a 17×17 array.

The life of a fuel assembly in a reactor core is regulated to a burn-up level at which the risk of its failure remains low. Fuel “failure” in this context means a situation when the [zirconium] cladding has been breached, and radioactive material leaks from the fuel ceramic (pellet) into the reactor coolant water. The radioactive materials most likely leak through a cladding breach into the reactor coolant are fission-product gases and volatile elements, notably krypton, xenon, iodine and cesium. Xenon is of particular interest to reactor operators.

Such fuel leaks do not present a significant risk to plant safety. They can have an impact on reactor operations and hence plant economics.

In December 2021 an anonymous whistleblower told the French nuclear safety regulator that the scope of damage to the reactor involved a larger number of fuel rods. According to media reports, the problem with the fuel assemblies was caused by vibration resulting from uneven flows of cooling water in the reactor pressure vessel.  However, the number of fuel rods cited in the whisteblower report is consistent with the estimate by CGN of 1% of all fuel rods in the reactor being affected by the problem.

However, according to several UK news media reports this week, almost a year to the day since the noble gas problems were identified, EDF says it now plans to prevent future problems with the fuel rods by changing the way they are held in place. The firm is also looking into potential changes in the way cooling water is managed in the reactor pressure vessel. As of July 2022 the IAEA reports that both Taishan 1 & Taishan 2 are operational.

What is at stake for EDF and the UK is the fact that EDF is now building two EPRs in the UK, one at the Hinkley Point site and another at the Sizewell site. The latter was just approved for construction a few days ago.

EDF said it is focused on a redesign of the EPR reactor to avoid a repeat of the fuel rod failures that led to the plant shutdown in China. A spokesman for Hinkley Point C told the UK Telegraph newspaper that the Taishan fuel assembly issue was “investigated and understood.”

“Framatome has identified a detailed solution to be implemented for Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C. We are confident that this will be effective as it is based on a detailed understanding of the issue and experience from operating existing power plants, including Sizewell B in the UK. As a prudent operator, we will explore all potential alternative mitigation measures and share this information with the nuclear regulator.”

A spokesman for the UK’s Office of Nuclear Regulatory (ONR) told the Telegraph newspaper it is in regular contact with counterparts in France, Finland and China on the Taishan issue.

He added: “The knowledge gained in relation to this matter will be used to inform the ONR about the regulation of nuclear plants in the UK, such as Hinkley Point C, where an EPR reactor will be installed.”

The ONR stated that the EDF had “more than enough time” to make any changes to Hinkley based on Taishan’s lessons.

Taishan 1 and 2 are the first two reactors based on the EPR design to begin operating anywhere in the world so far. The 1750-megawatt reactors entered commercial operation in December 2018 and September 2019, respectively. The Taishan project – 140 kilometres west of Hong Kong – is owned by TNPJVC, a joint venture between CGN (51%), EDF (30%) and the Chinese utility Guangdong Energy Group (19%).

& & &

Holtec Submits Federal Loan Application For $7.4 Billion SMR Plan

(NucNet contributed to this report) US small modular reactor developer Holtec has submitted a loan application to the Department of Energy (DOE) on 7/19/22 for $7.4 billion (€7.2bn)> The funds, if granted as a loan, would be used to build the first SMR-160 SMRs as a four-unit power station, to expand the output capacity of its existing heavy manufacturing plant in Camden, New Jersey, and to establish a new “supersize” factory to manufacture SMR-160s. The loan would help fund the company’s plan to build up to four of its SMR-160 reactors and to expand its manufacturing capacity to build the first wave of SMRs in large numbers.

Holtec is well versed in seeking government support for its SMR design and related manufacturing plants. In 2014 the firm won a $260 million tax credit from the State of New Jersey to build an OEM manufacturing plant to make components for SMRs at a site in Camden, NJ. The firm promised the plant would create or save over 400 high paying jobs. The firm later revealed plans, since set aside, to build a similar plant in Ukraine to serve European markets.

holtec SMR

Unlike the loan guarantees issued by the Obama administration, this application to DOE is for cash to build the first four SMRs and new manufacturing plants. At a hypothetical benchmark cost of $4,500/Kw, the four 160 MWe PWR type SMRs would cost about $2.9 billion in today’s dollars. This would leave over $4 billion for the expansion of the Camden heavy manufacturing plant and construction of a “supersize factory” to build future SMRs.

Holtec’s SMR is still in the pre-licensing stage at the NRC. Once a an application for a combined construction and operating license (COL) is submitted, the NRC estimates the process for the safety design review can take up to four years. Assuming Holtec submits a application to the NRC before 2025, the first 160 MWe SMR could break ground before the end of this decade. Long before that happens the firm needs to select a site for the four unit power station and an adjacent manufacturing plant.

A Holtec spokesman confirmed to Neutron Bytes that the former Oyster Creek nuclear power station in southern New Jersey is a potential site for the SMR and the manufacturing plant. Holtec is currently decommissioning the boiling water reactor that operated at the site. The firm is also decommissioning three other nuclear reactors but they are not considered to be candidates for co-location of an SMR according to a Holtec spokesman.

A spokesman for Holtec told Neutron Bytes, “Oyster Creek is the only Holtec decommissioning site under consideration at this time. Its close proximity to the Camden manufacturing facility make it an ideal location. I would also like to note that under an agreement we signed with New York, SMRs will not be considered for the Indian Point site.”

The other two sites where Holtec is decommissioning closed nuclear power plants are Pilgrim in Massachusetts and Palisades in Michigan. Neither site as this time is slated for SMR development though their proximity to transportation and grid connections make then plausible choices for an SMR developer.

If the New Jersey site doesn’t turn out to be suitable for the SMR, there are other options Holtec said. “Inevitably, the first mover state will become the leader in the emerging industry of small modular reactors with tens of thousands of new high-paying jobs in manufacturing, reactor support services, nuclear plant operations and related areas,” Holtec said. The spokesman add that the expanded factory to build SMRs would likely be located near the site for the first four-unit power station.

Holtec Plans for SMR Manufacturing Plants

Holtec’s Camden and Pittsburgh plants, both equipped to manufacture heavy capital equipment of the kind needed in SMRs, produce nearly 1,000 pieces of heavy equipment and weldments each year.

Under the Holtec plan, Camden will be enlarged with additional machining, robotic welding, and material handling equipment to increase the throughput of SMR-160 components to help meet the projected rise in demand for the SMR-160s expected in the next decade.

Holtec said in a statement on its website the advanced manufacturing capabilities located in Camden will be enlarged with additional machining, robotic welding, and material handling equipment to increase the throughput of SMR-160 components to help meet the projected rise in demand for the SMR-160s expected in the next decade.

Holtec said it plans to build the new facility to materially improve America’s nuclear manufacturing capacity, and to make it available to other nuclear plant suppliers with capital hardware needs.

Entergy MOU for Holtec SMRs at Existing Sites

Separately, nuclear operator Entergy Corporation has signed a memorandum of agreement with Holtec for Entergy will evaluate the feasibility of deploying one or more SMR-160s on one or more of its existing sites. Entergy has four remaining nuclear reactors that it owns and operates.

A spokesman for Holtec said Entergy would not be involved in the Oyster Creek location at this time. He said future sites for Holtec’s SMRs at the site of one or more of its operating reactors are still to be determined. The MOU with the utility Entergy, which operates nuclear power plants at five sites, is to evaluate the feasibility of deploying a Holtec SMR in Entergy’s service area.

Entergy’s chief nuclear officer Chris Bakken said in a press statement the company will be evaluating Holtec’s SMR-160 system as a means to potentially help it meet net-zero goals. Entergy operates six nuclear units at five stations: Arkansas in Arkansas state, Cooper in Nebraska, Grand Gulf in Mississippi, and River Bend and Waterford in Louisiana. The Cooper nuclear power plant is owned by the Nebraska Public Power District and operated on its behalf by Entergy.

Holtec’s coordination with the DOE Loan Programs Office is being led by its wholly owned subsidiary, Holtec Government Services (HGS). As the executive sponsor of the loan application, HGS President Vice Admiral Fritz Roegge, USN (retired) credited the federal loan as the essential vehicle to help build and deploy SMRs to meet the demand for reliable clean energy. He acknowledged the consistent support of Loan Programs Office personnel to the HGS proposal team throughout the complex loan application process

& & &

Kairos Power and Materion Commission Molten Salt Purification Plant to Produce Coolant for High-Temperature Reactors

kairos power logo

As part of a Cooperative Development Agreement with Materion Corporation, Kairos Power has commissioned a Molten Salt Purification Plant (MSPP) at the Materion campus in Elmore, Ohio, which is 30 miles southeast of Toledo, OH. The plant, designed by Kairos Power, will produce large quantities of fluoride salt coolant to be used in high-temperature molten salt reactors.

Kairos Power’s fluoride salt-cooled high-temperature reactor (KP-FHR) technology is cooled by a mixture of lithium fluoride and beryllium fluoride salts known as “Flibe” which is chemically stable and operates at low pressure. This molten salt coolant will be used in Kairos Power’s Engineering Test Unit (ETU), and the Hermes demonstration reactor, as well as future commercial KP-FHR reactors. (image below courtesy of Kairos)

kairos molten

As an industry leader in the production and manufacturing of beryllium-based materials, Materion supplies beryllium fluoride for the MSPP plant and contributes the expertise, staffing and will operate the plant. The decision to locate MSPP at Materion’s Elmore facility reinforces a long-term, strategic commitment by both companies to demonstrate leadership in molten salt production.

By confirming the chemical process to produce Flibe at industrial scale, MSPP will help ensure the success of Kairos Power’s iterative hardware demonstrations, reducing risk in a critical path workstream for the commercialization of KP-FHR technology while delivering cost certainty.

Keith Smith, Materion vice president of Nuclear, Science, and Government Affairs, said in a press statement, “This is the largest Flibe production facility ever built and has the capacity to generate commercial quantities of the material,”

& & &

Curio and Lightbridge Corporation Sign MOU to
Explore Collaboration in the Nuclear Fuel Supply Chain

  • Curio’s TRUfuel Technology, Coupled with Lightbridge-Designed Metallic Fuel Rods, Can Power the Existing Fleet and the Next Generation of Nuclear Reactors

Curio announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Lightbridge Corporation (Nasdaq: LTBR) as an industry partner and potential off-taker of products produced through Curio’s TRUfuel technology.

“Our collaboration with Lightbridge is an important step to ensuring there is an adequate fuel supply chain to maintain our current fleet of nuclear reactors and deploy the next generation of reactors,” said Edward McGinnis, Chief Executive Officer of Curio. “Curio’s TRUfuel is the fuel of the future, and we stand ready to help the U.S. reclaim global nuclear energy leadership.”

McGinnis said the Curio process will have the strongest proliferation barriers possible. Plutonium that could be used for weapons would remain commingled with highly radioactive materials as a self-protective measure, he said. He added that the firm is focused on recovery of uranium for use in making new fuel and specific isotopes for medical purposes.

Curio, which has yet to pick a site for its fuel recycling plant, estimates that its plant could be operating in possibly 12 years. The costs of such a plant are enormous and face significant risks.

The Department of Energy shut down construction of a plant in South Carolina to reprocess weapons grade plutonium into MOX fuel assemblies for PWR reactors after spending $4.5 billion with off the charts estimates of costs to complete it. It didn’t help that Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), in who’s district the plant was being built, was a vocal opponent of the Obama administration.

Seth Grae, CEO at Lightbridge, told Neutron Bytes in a video conference call that his firm is very interested to see what Curio is able to deliver with its TRUfuel technology. “We are excited to enter into this agreement with Curio as we explore future government funding opportunities.”

He emphasized that technical details of Curio’s process are still under wraps and declined to provide any details of how the firm’s plans to reprocess spent nuclear fuel would provide a feedstock to Lightbridge to manufacture nuclear fuel.

Grae did say the MOU is based on the plausible path forward of Curio’s business plan.

“There is a potential use of transuranic material as feedstock material in Lightbridge-designed metallic fuel rods to power existing large reactors and coming small modular reactors.”

Grae said his firm could potentially use output from Curio’s process to manufacture both conventional light water reactor fuel at enrichment levels up to 5% U235 and HALEU fuel with enrichment levels up to 19% U235. Grae did not have a timeline for when Lightbridge might receive usable output from Curio’s planned reprocessing plant.

Grae said that the fuel that Lightbridge would manufacture from Curio’s reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel would not be mixed oxide fuel (MOX) which is a powdered mix of plutonium and uranium in standard fuel pellets and assemblies.

Lightbridge is working on developing a Zirconium clad metallic fuel at HALEU levels of enrichment. The advantages, Grae said, “are much more surface area where the water touches the fuel rod, a shorter path to heat conductivity, and no gaps between fuel pellets and the fuel assembly tube.”

lb fuel slide

Overall, Grae said the MOU with Curio “is a big deal because we do not do many MOUs unless something really looks interesting.”

Looking to the future, Grae sees in the coming decades more small modular reactors being built.

SMRs will be especially attractive to countries that can’t afford full size reactors, and some won’t have the capabilities to manage the spent after it is ready to come out of the spent fuel pool. That’s where reprocessing could come in.

Earlier this month Energy Northwest of Richland became the first commercial nuclear power producer to sign up to potentially buy recycled nuclear fuel from Curio.

About Curio’s Reprocessing Plans

Melanie White, Director of Communications at Curio, said in an emailed statement to Neutron Bytes that Curio’s plans to deploy the nation’s first state-of-the-art commercial nuclear fuel recycling facility will provide a variety of in-demand commodities and products.

White wrote that these products will include domestically produced low-enriched uranium (LEU) nuclear fuel for the current U.S. fleet of nuclear reactors as well as HALEU (high-assay low-enriched uranium) and transuranic based TRUfuel [tm] for advanced reactors.

“Our technology combines well-understood processes utilizing molten salts and high-temperature chemistry. Little attention is given to the fact that only 4% of the energy value has been consumed from our so-called used nuclear fuel, which is actually a national treasure. Curio will solve the waste issue by recycling and developing these isotopes for a wide variety of industries: advanced nuclear, medicine, space, and advanced batteries.”

White addressed a key question which is how much fuel would the plant produce once in operation.

“Our technology is compact, modular, scalable integrated, proliferation-hardened, and substantially autonomous. A NuCycle facility will have a throughput of 4000 MT/yr, recovering enough uranium to produce 40% of America’s existing uranium demand.”

& & &

Terrestrial Energy and South Korea’s DL E&C Sign MOU To Drive IMSR Cogeneration Plant

  • The agreement aims to accelerate deployment of IMSR Generation IV nuclear plants for industrial, chemical and petrochemical applications

Terrestrial Energy and DL E&C have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOU) to cooperate in the development and accelerated deployment of the IMSR cogeneration plant in the industrial sector.

Terrestrial Energy’s MOU with DL E&C is the latest entry into the North American nuclear market by a South Korean firm driven by firms there which have experience with nuclear exports including the construction of four 1400 MWe PWRs in the United Arab Emirates.

pathways to uses of IMSR

According to the agreement, Terrestrial Energy and DL E&C intend to partner and accelerate the development and deployment of IMSR plants that produce cost-competitive, carbon-free thermal energy for specific industrial applications, notably in the chemical and petrochemical sectors, where DL E&C excels in design and construction.

DL E&C is a recognized leading global engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor. DL E&C provides a comprehensive array of services including feasibility studies, project management, engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning and start-up, operation and maintenance, investment, and project financing across a broad field, which includes petroleum refining, chemical, petrochemical, power, and energy plants, building and housing, and civil works.

Jae-Ho Yoo, Chief Executive of DL E&C Plant Business Division, said: “Our interest in SMR technology as a next-generation energy source has grown considerably in the last couple of years. We saw the potential of Terrestrial Energy as our business partner with its safer and more energy efficient IMSR technology.

Simon Irish, Chief Executive of Terrestrial Energy, said: “DL E&C’s deep industrial reach across global markets will aid Terrestrial Energy as we advance commercial IMSR plant deployment.”

In Canada Terrestrial Energy is competing with US based X-Energy which recently signed on with Ontario Power Generation to build an advanced SMR to provide process heat for industrial uses.

& & &

X-Energy Selects Firms for Design and Deployment of Xe-100 Advanced Reactor Fleet

X-energy announced a significant step toward the creation of a unique energy delivery model with the selection of Zachry Group and the combined team of Burns & McDonnell and Day & Zimmermann as constructors to collaborate and work with the company on the next phases of design and deployment of its Xe-100 advanced reactor fleet.

X-Energy-Reactor-Steam-Generator.png

X-Energy is currently in a cost-sharing contract under the Department of Energy’s Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP) to build a first of a kind unit at a site near Richland, WA, adjacent to the Energy Northwest’s Columbia Generating Station. Also, X-Energy recently signed on with Ontario Power Generation to build an advanced SMR to provide process heat for industrial uses.

To deliver on the anticipated demand for its advanced reactor technology, X-energy selected two world-class constructors able to deliver an optimized construction schedule, standardized advanced work packages, and the latest construction techniques and digital technology. The selection culminates a detailed, year-long process with a host of qualified construction firms having global and scalable experience.

Previous new nuclear projects have utilized standard methods of contracting for construction services, with owners often engaging constructors after or in the late stages of project development.

Under the X-energy Project Delivery Model (X-PDM), constructors and suppliers work alongside X-energy in all phases of design, equipment supply, fabrication, and construction to develop detailed project costs, project schedules, advanced work plans and four-dimensional modeling prior to the start of safety-related construction. This collaborative approach aims to greatly reduce risk and uncertainty as early as possible.

X-energy selected the two constructors because of their demonstrated commitment to the X-PDM, their use of advanced construction technology, their deep experience in delivering large, complex projects, and willingness to work together and combine their expertise with X-energy to create a fleet of Xe-100 advanced reactors.

“Selecting and partnering with our constructors this early in the development process is a paradigm shift for the entire nuclear energy industry,” said Clay Sell, CEO of X-energy.

“X-energy’s Xe-100 is a next generation high-temperature gas reactor built on decades of research, development, and operating experience. Each reactor is engineered to operate as a single 80 MW electric unit and is optimized as a four-unit plant delivering 320 MW electric.”

& & &

Ghana To Announce Decision On Nuclear Plant Vendor Country, Technology

np-ghana_thumb.png

(Wire services) Deputy Minister of Energy, William Owuraku Aidoo said this week Ghana’s government will soon announce its decision on the vendor country to build Ghana’s first one-gigawatt nuclear plant by 2030. The plant will serve as a sources of baseload electricity for the country.

The announcement will announced the type of nuclear power technology it will seek and the vendor to supply it. Aidoo said government and technical experts were finalizing the selection of a preferred site for the nuclear power plant.

The Ministry of Energy had issued Requests for Information to six vendor countries to seek technical, financial and contractual information from the vendor countries regarding the technology to deploy for the building of nuclear power plant. A total of 15 responses were received from vendor countries, including China, Russia, United States of America, South Korea, Canada and France.

Six of the responses received proposed large nuclear reactor technology while nine made offers for small nuclear reactors. The decision will focus on the both large Reactor (1000+ MWe) and Small Modular Reactor (< 300 MWe, in modules).

Dr Stephen Yamoah, Executive Director of Nuclear Power Ghana, said the country was in its second phase and that key expected deliverables at the end included a site approval report for site permit, and site evaluation report for construction permit. Previously, he said Ghana is seeking to have the reactor operating by 2030. He did not disclose how the project would be financed to build it.

Dr Yamoah said four candidate sites had been identified which met requirements such as closeness to a water body, security, safety, and population density.

Experts say Ghana has exhausted its hydro base as an energy source and looking to explore other clean options such as nuclear power that has a long-term energy security.

The nuclear projects will help the country achieve its updated ten-year, Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement, which aims at reducing 64 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO).

US Involvement for SMRs in Ghana

World Nuclear News reported in March 2022 that he US and Ghana have announced their partnership to support Ghana’s adoption of small modular reactor (SMR) technology under the US Department of State’s Foundational Infrastructure for Responsible Use of Small Modular Reactor Technology (FIRST) program.

It will support Ghana’s adoption of SMR technology, including support for stakeholder engagement, advanced technical collaboration, and project evaluation and planning. Japan, which has partnered the USA on the FIRST program, will also build on its existing partnership with Ghana to advance Ghana’s civil nuclear power aspirations, the Department of State said.

Minister of Energy Matthew Opoku Prempeh said the FIRST program will further develop Nuclear Power Ghana’s competencies towards delivering on its mission to build and safely operate Ghana’s first nuclear power plant.

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1 Response to UK Gives Go-Ahead for Sizewell C Nuclear Power Plant

  1. Mark Norris says:

    Sizewell ‘C’ water supplies: Sizewell is on the east coast of England and takes its cooling water from the North Sea not the Bristol Channel as stated. The problem is make-up towns water supplies which are a challenge in UK’s driest county. Easily solved from an engineering perspective by bringing-in a new main or by de-salination.

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