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UK-based clean energy company Shearwater Energy Ltd is developing a wind-SMR (small modular reactor) and hydrogen production hybrid energy project in North Wales.

Date: Tuesday, 19 January 2021
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Romania says SMRs could offer a long-term solution for development of the Romanian nuclear industry. Courtesy NuScale. The US Trade and Development Agency has awarded a $1.2m grant to Romania’s national nuclear energy company Societatea National Nuclearelectrica, to support the development of small modular reactor solutions in Romania.

USTDA said its technical assistance will support Romania’s efforts to include SMR technology in its national energy strategy. The assistance will identify a short list of SMR-suitable sites, assess SMR technology options and develop site-specific licensing roadmaps. Nuclearelectrica has chosen Illinois-based Sargent & Lundy to carry out the assistance.

Nuclearelectrica chief executive officer Cosmin Ghita said that in addition to the current development of two new units at the Cernavodă nuclear power station, the company is also interested in assessing the development of SMRs as a long-term solution for development of the Romanian nuclear industry.

“We are interested in features like flexibility, modularity and higher efficiency that could provide advantages for both the energy system and businesses after 2035,” he said. “The grant awarded by USTDA will allow us to further explore siting and technology compatibility with the proper technical assistance and have this assessment process initiated in due time for further decision-making.”

Date: Saturday, 16 January 2021
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The challenges the nuclear industry faces are largely external and must be overcome if it is to help tackle the existential threat of climate change, panellists in the Nuclear Energy and its Future session of the Reuters Next conference on 11 January said. These challenges include: the notion nuclear is an out-dated technology; the cost of finance; market design; political changes; perceived competition with renewable energy; and the public's misconceptions about radioactive waste.

Date: Friday, 15 January 2021
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The US Department of Energy (DOE) has released the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for construction of the Versatile Test Reactor (VTR), a sodium-cooled reactor that will provide a source of fast neutrons needed to test advanced reactor technology, fuels and related materials. The draft EIS will be open for a 45-day public comment period.

Date: Wednesday, 23 December 2020
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US-based NuScale Power announced that it has finalised an agreement with Sarens USA to support deployment of its small modular reactor (SMR) and provide a cash investment in NuScale.

Date: Friday, 18 December 2020
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The US Department of Energy (DOE) on 16 December announced $30 million in initial funding for one of three programmes under its Advanced Reactor Demonstration Programme (ARDP).

Date: Friday, 18 December 2020
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Synthos Green Energy has announced the completion of a deployment feasibility study for the implementation of a fleet of GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy BWRX-300 small modular reactors in Poland. The study, which was prepared by Exelon Generation, will help the Synthos Group estimate how many reactors would need to be built to make the most of the cost effect of serial SMR production.

Date: Thursday, 17 December 2020
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A computer-generated image of a NuScale SMR nuclear power plant. Courtesy NuScale. Updated analysis has found that the recently announced 25% increase in power output of a NuScale small modular reactor means one 77-MW module is capable of producing 2,053 kg/hour of hydrogen, or nearly 50 tonnes a day.

This is an increase from 1,667 kg/hour of hydrogen, or 40 tonnes per day for a a module before the recent increase in power output.

As a result of the lower levelised cost of electricity from the increased power output, hydrogen produced by a NuScale high-temperature steam electrolysis (HTSE) system is forecast to be cost competitive with high capacity factor renewable hydrogen cost estimates while also providing continuous, controlled hydrogen production.

NuScale said the 25% power increase would see the overnight capital cost of its SMR technology fall on a per kilowatt basis from an expected $3,600 to approximately $2,850. The 25% increase in power means a 12-module plant will now approach a size, 924 MW, that makes it a competitor for the gigawatt-size market.

Date: Friday, 11 December 2020
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GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) announced on 1 December that the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) had issued a Final Safety Evaluation Report for the first of several licensing topical reports (LTRs) that have been submitted for the BWRX-300 small modular reactor (SMR).

Date: Friday, 04 December 2020
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The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued a final safety evaluation report for the first of several licensing topical reports (LTRs) that have been submitted by GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy for the BWRX-300 small modular reactor, the US-based company announced on Tuesday.

The LTR, which was submitted to the NRC in December 2019, forms the basis for the dramatic simplification of the BWRX-300, a statement said. Topical reports deal with a specific, safety-related subject and are designed to minimise the time and resources that both industry and NRC staff expend on multiple reviews of the same topic.

“Obtaining NRC approval of the specific innovations that simplify the BWRX-300 design is a major milestone in our efforts to license this game-changing technology,” said Jay Wileman, president and chief executive officer of GEH. “The BWRX-300 will leverage much of the existing licensing basis of the NRC-certified ESBWR [Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor] and this LTR will accelerate our commercialisation efforts as we remain focused on making the first SMR operational later this decade.”

Date: Wednesday, 02 December 2020
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