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The US Department of Defense (DOD), acting through the Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO) and with the Department of Energy (DOE) as a cooperating agency, has released a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the construction and demonstration phase of a prototype mobile microreactor. A public comment period on the draft EIS will begin on 24 September.

Date: Tuesday, 21 September 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/US-DOD-invites-public-comment-on-Project-Pele-draf

Canadian companies Cameco and X-energy have entered a non-binding and non-exclusive Memorandum of Understanding to explore possible areas of cooperation to support the potential future deployment, fuelling and servicing of Xe-100 small modular reactors (SMRs) in Canada and the USA.

Date: Saturday, 18 September 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Cameco-X-energy-join-up-to-support-SMR-deployment

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory ORNL said on 3 August that it is to examine Westinghouse Accident Tolerant Fuel (ATF). ORNL recently received several nuclear fuel test rods that were irradiated in a commercial reactor. The new advanced fuel concept is being developed by Westinghouse through DOE’s ATF programme. The industry-led effort is looking to commercialise new fuels within the decade to help improve the performance and economics of US reactors. ORNL will examine the irradiated fuel rods over the next year to support licensing efforts with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). 

Date: Friday, 06 August 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsoak-ridge-national-laboratory-to-examine-westinghouse-accident-tolerant-fuel-8969081

US-based BWX Technologies (BWXT) announced that its BWXT Nuclear Operations Group subsidiary has completed its TRIstructural-ISOtropic (TRISO) nuclear fuel line restart project and is producing fuel at its Lynchburg facility in Virginia.

Date: Friday, 13 November 2020
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsbwxt-restarts-triso-fuel-line-8359001

Fiscal 2021 allocations released yesterday by the US Senate Committee on Appropriations include USD150 million to initiate the uranium reserve programme to address challenges to the production of domestic uranium. The bills provide appropriations for the fiscal year running from 1 October, 2020 to 30 September, 2021 and also include continued funding for the Advanced Reactors Demonstration Program.

Date: Friday, 13 November 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Senate-committee-includes-uranium-reserve-in-FY202

The US Department of Energy (DOE) on 13 October announced it has selected two teams to receive $160 million in initial funding under the new Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP).

Date: Friday, 16 October 2020
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsus-funding-for-terrapower-and-x-energy-8181875

A design concept for a nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) reactor to power future astronaut missions to Mars has exceeded key performance parameters and optimised the reactor for manufacturability, General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) has announced. The reactor's features include a compact core thanks to the use of high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU) fuel.

Date: Friday, 18 September 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/GA-delivers-HALEU-fuelled-reactor-concept-for-Mars

The design was produced as part of a NASA-funded study Image courtesy General Atomics US-based General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) has delivered a design concept for a nuclear thermal propulsion reactor to power future astronaut missions to Mars.

The design was produced as part of a NASA-funded study. GA-EMS said its design exceeded the key performance parameters requested by NASA.

The reactor concept incorporates advancements in modern nuclear materials and manufacturing methods with experience from GA-EMS’s involvement on NASA Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Project Rover in the 1960s. Project Rover was one of the first programmes to demonstrate the feasibility of space-based nuclear thermal propulsion.

GA fabricated approximately six tonnes of the nuclear fuel kernels for the project. In 1965, the company was also directly involved in nuclear fuel testing and characterisation for the SNAP-10A reactor, the only US nuclear power reactor launched into space, which powered the satellite for 43 days. The fuel used for that reactor is the same fuel that has been used since the 1950s in General Atomics Triga reactors.

Date: Wednesday, 16 September 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/general-atomics-submits-nuclear-reactor-concept-for-missions-to-mars-9-2-2020

The Doel nuclear power station in Belgium. Westinghouse Electric Company of the US and Spain-based Enusa Industrias Avanzadas announced the installation of EnCore fuel at Engie Electrabel’s Doel-4 nuclear power plant in Belgium.

Westinghouse said this installation marks the first insertion of EnCore Fuel rod assemblies in Europe, and the second insertion into a commercial nuclear power plant worldwide.

“The insertion of EnCore Fuel at the Doel plant is a significant milestone for our accident tolerant fuel prograemme,” said Tarik Choho, Westinghouse president of EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) operating plant services. “This installation is part of the successful deployment of EnCore Fuel to the global nuclear energy industry.”

The lead test assemblies (LTAs) were manufactured and delivered under an agreement between Westinghouse and Enusa, which was signed in 2018 to allow for collaboration on the advancement of the EnCore Fuel programme at Westinghouse.

Date: Friday, 11 September 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/encore-fuel-loaded-at-doel-4-nuclear-station-9-4-2020

Lead test assemblies of EnCore accident tolerant fuel (ATF) have been installed in Engie Electrabel's Doel unit 4 in Belgium, Westinghouse Electric Company and ENUSA Industrias Avanzadas (ENUSA) have announced. Doel 4 is the second commercial nuclear power plant in the world, and the first in Europe, into which EnCore assemblies have been installed.

Date: Thursday, 10 September 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/First-European-reactor-loads-EnCore-accident-toler