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​The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has accepted for review a Combined License application from Oklo Power LLC. to build and operate the company’s Aurora reactor at the Idaho National Laboratory site in Idaho.

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6/15/2020
  

The Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) announced today that two nuclear companies will be provided GAIN Nuclear Energy (NE) Vouchers to accelerate the innovation and application of advanced nuclear technologies. NE vouchers provide advanced nuclear technology innovators with access to the extensive nuclear research capabilities and expertise available across the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory complex. This is the third set of awards in FY 2020. 

The businesses selected to receive GAIN nuclear energy vouchers for Round 3 FY2020 are: SMR, LLc, Camden, NJ and Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation - Technologies, Seattle, WA

READ ENTIRE ANNOUNCEMENT

6/11/2020
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​Just as in all other industries, sustainability is vital to nuclear energy production. Recycling of nuclear fuel contributes to the environmental and social pillars of that sustainability because it simultaneously improves natural resources utilization and waste minimization. This webinar provides additional insight to the consequences of repetitive fuel recycling and compares selected reactors based on their neutronics performance in the closed Th-U and U-Pu cycles.

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6/9/2020
  

The Strategy to Restore American Nuclear Energy Leadership is a direct outcome from the efforts of the United States Nuclear Fuel Working Group established by the President in his July 12, 2019 Memorandum on the Effect of Uranium Imports on the National Security and Establishment of the United States Nuclear Fuel Working Group.

This comprehensive strategy includes policy  recommendations on Executive, Congressional, and regulatory actions that could be taken to enhance the positive attributes of nuclear power, revive capabilities of the uranium mining, milling, and conversion industries, strengthen U.S. technology supremacy, and drive U.S. exports, while assuring consistency with U.S. nonproliferation objectives and supporting national security.

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5/29/2020
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​In 2015, The Nuclear Alternative Project (NAP), a non-profit organization comprised of Puerto Rican engineers, embarked on a journey to inform the people of Puerto Rico about the technological innovations of advanced nuclear reactors and their capabilities. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, where more than 3,000 deaths were attributed to the lack of electricity and basic services, our educational effort evolved into one of need – to evaluate the feasibility of advanced nuclear reactors for Puerto Rico. 

As nuclear industry engineers and professionals we have labored to maintain the safety of nuclear reactors in the United States. We are using this same passion and knowledge base to assess the feasibility of advanced nuclear reactors to address Puerto Rico’s pressing energy needs.

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5/21/2020
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the launch of the Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP) within the Office of Nuclear Energy (NE). ARDP is designed to help domestic private industry demonstrate advanced nuclear reactors in the United States.

For the Fiscal Year 2020 budget, Congress appropriated $230 million to start a new demonstration program for advanced reactors. Through cost-shared partnerships with industry, ARDP will provide $160 million for initial funding to build two reactors that can be operational within the next 5 to 7 years.

“The next generation of nuclear energy is critical to our Nation’s energy security and environmental stewardship,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “As the recently released Nuclear Fuel Working Group’s Strategy to Restore American Nuclear Energy Leadership exemplifies, we must pursue technological innovation and advanced nuclear RD&D investments to strengthen American leadership in the next generation of nuclear technologies, ensuring a healthy and growing U.S. nuclear energy sector.”

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5/14/2020
  

A first-of-its-kind nuclear reactor that will use a 3D-printed core, advanced materials, and integrated sensors and controls is on track for completion by 2023.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, work is ramping up to demonstrate the Transformational Challenge Reactor (TCR), an innovative micro-reactor program spearheaded by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and project partners, to include Idaho National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, and industry participants. On May 11, ORNL announced the project has completed several “foundational” experiments, including selection of a core design. During a recent three-month “sprint,” it also demonstrated the “agility of the additive manufacturing technology” to quickly produce a prototype reactor core. READ MORE


5/13/2020
  

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy today announced $27 million in funding for 9 projects as part of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s (ARPA-E) Generating Electricity Managed by Intelligent Nuclear Assets (GEMINA) program. These projects will work to develop digital twin technology to reduce operations and maintenance (O&M) costs in the next generation of nuclear power plants by 10-times in order to make them more economical, flexible, and efficient. READ MORE

5/13/2020
  

A host of novel fuel and material concepts are being investigated as part of the Gen IV reactor development initiative. While many of these candidates are rooted in historical programs from previous reactor development campaigns, most of these concepts were never fully evaluated for long-term performance in non-LWR facilities. The performance data that is needed for candidate material downselection, feasibility studies, and eventual qualification is, currently, very costly in terms of monetary cost and human capital. The use of an 'all of the above' strategy for performance assessment is needed to reduce the cost of ushering materials through the qualification process. In this presentation, we will discuss the efforts that are currently underway, and those planned for the near future, to advance many of these candidates from concept to deployment. READ MORE

5/6/2020
  
​WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced selections to receive funding to accelerate advanced nuclear technology development. There are two selections - one to support site preparation for a future domestic advanced reactor demonstration project and one for an advanced reactor regulatory licensing grant. The projects have a total value of $5.4 million.

The awards are through the Office of Nuclear Energy’s (NE) funding opportunity announcement (FOA) U.S. Industry Opportunities for Advanced Nuclear Technology Development. This is Cycle 2020-1, which is the eighth round of funding provided through this innovative FOA. DOE announced previous funding awards in 2018 and 2019. Subsequent application reviews and selection processes will be conducted through December 2022, as supported by Congressional appropriations.

“These cost-shared projects will allow the industry and government to work together to advance U.S. commercial nuclear capability,” said Dr. Rita Baranwal, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Nuclear Energy. “Nuclear energy plays a vital role in our all-of-the-above energy strategy to meet increasing energy demand and clean energy goals.”


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4/28/2020
  

The NSUF is seeking input on needs and recommendations to assist DOE-NE in determining what capabilities supporting research are of highest interest to the nuclear energy (NE) research community over the next 1, 3, and 5 years. This is an informal request from the NSUF and is intended to supplement the official annual request for information from DOE-NE. The information provided has the potential to influence DOE-NE infrastructure investments.

The input being sought includes capability descriptions, potential scientific impact, programmatic importance, anticipated utilization, and costs (capital investment, installation, and operating and maintenance [O&M]). Input is requested not only for new capabilities but also replacement or expanded capabilities. It is envisioned that selected capabilities might be considered for inclusion in the NSUF.

Click on the link below to enter your input. Up to three capabilities for each 1, 3, and 5 year outlooks will be accepted. Please submit your information to NSUF by 5:00 p.m., ET, April 23, 2020.

LINK TO SURVEY

4/7/2020
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​The objective of the GIF VHTR Hydrogen Production Project Management Board is to provide a collaborative environment among the signatories for the development, optimization and demonstration of economical large-scale hydrogen production processes that do not emit greenhouse gases through the use of nuclear energy. The main processes considered by the signatories include Sulphur-Iodine (S-I), High Temperature Steam Electrolysis (HTSE), Copper-Chlorine (Cu-Cl) and Hybrid Sulphur (HyS). The signatories include Canada, EU, France, Japan, Korea and the USA. China has been an observer, waiting to join the group formally, but contributing strongly to the developments. The S-I process has been demonstrated for short term operation by China, Korea and Japan. EU, France and the USA have been very active in HTSE. Canada has been focusing on the Cu-Cl Cycle with plans for demonstration of an integrated lab-scale system in 2021. This webinar will provide an overview of these activities and their relevance to mitigating global warming READ MORE

4/2/2020
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Oklo Submits the First Combined License Application for an Advanced Fission Plant

  • Oklo's combined license application for the Aurora powerhouse is the first to be submitted for an advanced fission plant. 
  • Oklo is the first to submit a combined license application using an entirely new structure to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. 
  • The existing application and regulatory structures are based on historical nuclear reactor designs, and Oklo's modernized application is an important step towards commercializing advanced technologies in the U.S. 
  • Oklo's license application is also the first privately funded combined license application, and the first to be submitted online. 

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3/17/2020
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Although researchers at national laboratories have traditionally thought in terms of getting "awards" to fund their projects, a U.S. Department of Energy program is taking a new approach to keeping the nuclear energy research and development fires stoked.

Since 2016, the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) has been providing vouchers to help companies engaged in nuclear research, streamlining commercialization efforts by offering the resources of DOE's national labs for much less than what they would typically cost.

"In an ideal case, a young startup company has run into an issue that it doesn't have the resources to solve," said John Jackson, GAIN's technical interface. "We view ourselves as a high-end technical service to benefit the United States."

Of the 49 vouchers that have been issued since 2016, work has been done for small companies such as Oklo, of Sunnyvale, California, and Creare, of Hanover, New Hampshire. Yet giants such as Westinghouse and GE-Hitachi have also benefited from GAIN vouchers. READ MORE


3/17/2020
  

​The Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) announced today that two nuclear companies will be provided GAIN Nuclear Energy (NE) Vouchers to accelerate the innovation and application of advanced nuclear technologies. NE vouchers provide advanced nuclear technology innovators with access to the extensive nuclear research capabilities and expertise available across the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory complex. This is the second round of awards in FY 2020. READ MORE


3/12/2020
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​Micro-reactors are very small nuclear reactors capable of operating independently from the electric grid to supply highly resilient power, and are well suited to serve the power needs for remote communities that currently do not have access to reliable, resilient and affordable energy. A typical commercial microreactor is envisioned to be a mobile nuclear power plant in a 2-20 MWe range that is fully factory built, fueled and assembled. It is transportable to the remote site via ground, sea or air with black start, renewable integration and island mode operation capability. They are designed to be self-regulating and walk-away safe with minimal operator intervention. NEI estimates that Microreactors could deliver electricity at rates between $0.09/kWh and $0.33/kWh. This presentation will describe 'genericized' microreactor designs being pursued by various vendors, technology gaps and the role of DOE's Microreactor R&D. READ MORE

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3/3/2020
  

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is authorized by the FY2020 Congressional appropriations to initiate an advanced reactor demonstration program. DOE has issued a Request for Information/Notice of Intent (RFI/NOI) on the government-wide point of entry (beta.SAM.gov) as part of its market research for this program. The RFI/NOI notifies interested parties of DOE’s intended strategies to implement this program, as well as solicits input regarding these strategies from interested parties, including advanced reactor developers. The RFI/NOI gives interested parties the opportunity to provide DOE with their insights on how the demonstration program could be successfully executed. DOE intends to use the information submitted in response to the RFI/NOI to inform its procurement approach. 

Please see the RFI/NOI by clicking HERE


2/6/2020
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​To maintain U.S. global advanced nuclear leadership, it is important to have a versatile, high-energy neutron source. The U.S. Versatile Test Reactor (VTR) can provide that capability to accelerate research and test nuclear materials, fuel, and other components. The VTR can assist in developing innovative nuclear energy technologies that have inherent safety features, lower waste yields, the capability to consume waste materials, the ability to support both electric and non-electric applications, and other improvements over the current generation of reactors. Furthermore, the success of the VTR will advance the U.S. industry by not having domestic nuclear developers relying upon Russian or Chinese test facilities and allowing the U.S. to be a competitive international resource for irradiation and testing services. In addition, constructing the VTR will enable the U.S. government to demonstrate advanced reactor technologies. READ MORE

1/24/2020
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INL News Release

IDAHO FALLS, IDAHO – Dr. John Wagner, associate laboratory director of Idaho National Laboratory’s Nuclear Science & Technology Directorate, has announced the selection of Christine King to serve as director of the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) initiative, effective Feb. 17. As director, King will lead efforts on behalf of the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy to provide the nuclear community with access to the technical, regulatory and financial support necessary to move innovative nuclear energy technologies toward commercialization.

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1/23/2020
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A Memorial Mass will be held at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church 3513 N St., NW, Washington, DC, in Georgetown, on Monday, January 13, at 10:30 am. Read More 


1/8/2020
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​The Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) announced today that two nuclear companies will be provided GAIN Nuclear Energy (NE) Vouchers to accelerate the innovation and application of advanced nuclear technologies. NE vouchers provide advanced nuclear technology innovators with access to the extensive nuclear research capabilities and expertise available across the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory complex. This is the first round of awards in FY 2020.  READ MORE

12/19/2019
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The Energy Department has granted compact fast reactor developer Oklo Inc. a permit to build a small nuclear reactor at the Idaho National Laboratory. 

Oklo, which will announce the landmark development Tuesday, is the first non-light water power reactor design to receive a site use permit, effective for the lifetime of the plant. 

The permit is a critical milestone on the path toward deployment of Oklo’s 1.5-megawatt Aurora plant, which company co-founders Jacob DeWitte and Caroline Cochran unveiled at an invitation-only event in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 7, and later announced more widely on Dec. 2. READ MORE

12/10/2019
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Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded nearly $3.5 million to X-energy today to further the development of its advanced nuclear reactor. The project will examine ways to reduce construction and maintenance costs of the developer’s Xe-100 reactor design.

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12/5/2019
  

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, in a bipartisan vote of 70-15 the United States Senate confirmed Dan Brouillette to be the 15th U.S. Secretary of Energy. An official swearing in will take place at a later date.  Prior to confirmation, Acting Secretary Brouillette served as the Deputy Secretary of Energy under Secretary Rick Perry. READ MORE

12/2/2019
  

Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC (BEA), the managing and operating contractor for the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory (INL) in Idaho Falls, Idaho, is seeking an Expression of Interest (EOI) from industry stakeholders interested in forming a partnership to achieve maximum progress in deployment of the Versatile Test Reactor (VTR). 

The scope of such a Partnership could include but not be limited to the development and deployment of a new fast neutron testing capability (VTR), other uses of VTR capabilities beyond just advanced reactors design and licensing, reducing the cost and schedule risk of new nuclear plant design and construction and other compatible uses of VTR capabilities.  READ MORE


11/18/2019
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TRISO (TRi-structural ISOtropic) particle fuel has been developed for use in modular high temperature gas reactors (HTGR) designed to passively maintain core temperatures below fission product release thresholds under all licensing basis events and accident scenarios. This webinar will give and overview of the US DOE Advanced Gas Reactor (AGR) TRISO Fuel Qualification and Development Program's activities focused on enhancing TRISO fuel performance by using uranium osicarbide (UCO) fuel kernels and improving coated particle and compact fabrication methods for deployment in advanced HTGRs were radioactive releases are significantly reduced at the plant exclusion boundary.  READ MORE


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11/14/2019
  

IDAHO FALLS, IDAHO – Dr. John Wagner, associate laboratory director of Idaho National Laboratory’s Nuclear Science & Technology Directorate, has announced the selection of Dr. Ashley Finan to serve as director, and Nicholas Smith to serve as deputy director of the INL-based National Reactor Innovation Center. As NRIC directors, Finan and Smith will lead efforts to accelerate the testing, demonstration and commercialization of innovative reactor technologies in the United States. READ MORE

10/3/2019
  

​Earlier this week ARPA-E  issued a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) of up to $35 million in funding for a new program, Generating Electricity Managed by Intelligent Nuclear Assets (GEMINA). GEMINA projects will develop tools and systems to enable more flexible, less costly nuclear power plants. 

The GEMINA program will develop digital twin technology for advanced nuclear reactors, using artificial intelligence and advanced modeling controls to create tools that introduce greater flexibility in nuclear reactor systems, increased autonomy in operations, and faster design iteration. The development of these digital twins will work towards a goal to contribute to a 10x reduction in operating and management (O&M) costs at advanced reactor power plants.

For more information on ARPA-E's GEMINA program, click here. The deadline to submit a concept paper for GEMINI is 9:30 a.m. ET on November 13, 2019. Additional information, including the full FOA and how to find project teaming partners, is available on ARPA-E's online application portal, ARPA-E eXCHANGE.

10/2/2019
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A major design goal for Generation IV nuclear energy systems is to reduce or eliminate the likelihood and/or extent of reactor core damage incurred during an off-normal operating event, thereby eliminating the need for offsite emergency response.  One approach for achieving this objective is to develop inherently safe reactor designs that can passively dissipate decay heat to the environment without relying on operator action during an event of this type.   Historically, this approach has been taken for both sodium- and gas-cooled Generation IV reactor types by providing Reactor Cavity Cooling Systems (RCCS) that are designed to passively dissipate decay heat to the environment by natural convection while maintain fuel temperature below the threshold for onset of core damage.

This presentation will begin by providing a high level overview of RCCS systems that have been developed for advanced reactor designs over the years.  This will be followed by a summary of large scale integral effect tests that are currently underway at Argonne to provide licensing-quality data for two of these systems; i.e., air- and water-cooled RCCS concepts. SEE FLYER



10/1/2019
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Nuclear Energy forum hosted on October 1st by the State of Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC). 

Attached Summary and Presentations:  READ MORE


10/1/2019
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