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A recent statement from Fitch Ratings casts doubt on any new nuclear construction in the US in the immediate future. Similar concerns were voiced during discussions at a full committee hearing of the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources to Examine Opportunities and Challenges Associated with Advanced Nuclear Reactor Commercialisation.

Date: Wednesday, 06 December 2023
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US-based BWX Technologies (BWXT) has signed a two-phase, two-year contract with the US Wyoming Energy Authority (WEA) to assess the viability of deploying small-scale nuclear reactors in the state. BWXT said it will execute the contract in close consultation with the State of Wyoming and other Wyoming organisations and companies.

Date: Friday, 15 September 2023
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The US Department of the Air Force, in partnership with the Defense Logistics Agency Energy, has issued a request for proposal (RFP) for a microreactor to be built at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska.

Date: Thursday, 29 September 2022
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The US Department of Energy (DOE) has released a 127-page report, “Investigating Benefits and Challenges of Converting Retiring Coal Plants into Nuclear Plants”, identifying 157 retired coal plant sites and 237 operating coal plant sites as potential candidates for a coal-to-nuclear (C2N) transition. The study, conducted by Argonne National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, sponsored by DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy, said 80% of the identified plants were good candidates to host advanced small reactors.

Date: Friday, 16 September 2022
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The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on 5 May that, to speed up greening of the emerging hydrogen economy, it had launched an initiative to develop a roadmap for the commercial deployment of hydrogen production using nuclear energy. The initiative brings together decision makers, designers, project managers and operators to share the latest advances in national strategies and technologies and to identify technical readiness for different technologies of hydrogen production using nuclear energy. The initiative will culminate in a roadmap guiding document, to provide countries with a tool for evaluating, planning and strategising the development of nuclear hydrogen projects.

Date: Wednesday, 11 May 2022
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Massive laboratory site covers more than 2,300 sq km Idaho National Laboratory is the US’s centre for nuclear energy research and development. Courtesy INL. Idaho National Laboratory is looking for ideas that can help it reduce its energy-related emissions using nuclear-generated electricity and heat as it strives to meet its net zero goal across the entire 2,300 sq km laboratory site by the beginning of the next decade.

Battelle Energy Alliance (BEA), the contractor that manages and operates INL, has issued a request for information that will be used to inform several alternative approaches, including design, construction and operation of an onsite nuclear reactor that will help the lab achieve zero carbon emissions by 2031.

BEA is requesting input as it plans for the nuclear energy component of its net-zero programme.

“Nuclear energy is absolutely essential to achieving national and international net zero goals,” said INL director John Wagner. “We see this work as not only a core part of our mission, but also an opportunity to lead by example and reduce barriers to deploying emission-free nuclear energy technologies to local and global communities.”

Date: Thursday, 05 May 2022
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US TerraPower and Southern Company have finalised a subrecipient agreement to design, construct and operate the Molten Chloride Reactor Experiment (MCRE) – intended to be the world’s first critical fast-spectrum salt reactor – at Idaho National Laboratory (INL).

Date: Tuesday, 01 March 2022
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US Southern Company said on 18 November that it had established a cooperative agreement with the Department of Energy (DOE) to design, construct and operate the Molten Chloride Reactor Experiment. The small reactor experiment, selected for funding under DOE’s Advanced Reactor Demonstration Programme (ARDP), will advance US TerraPower’s Molten Chloride Fast Reactor (MCFR).

Date: Tuesday, 23 November 2021
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Southern Company and the US Department of Energy (DOE) have signed an agreement to design, construct and operate the Molten Chloride Reactor Experiment (MCRE) - a proof-of-concept critical fast-spectrum salt reactor. Southern will lead a collaborative effort to build the MCRE - which it says will be the world's first fast-spectrum salt reactor to achieve criticality - at Idaho National Laboratory (INL).

Date: Saturday, 20 November 2021
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Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) said on 19 July that it would reduce the number of small modular reactors (SMRs) it planned to build in Idaho from 12 to six. The project is part of a US Department of Energy (DOE) initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by using nuclear power to complement intermittent renewable energy. DOE in late 2020 awarded the cooperative about $1.4 billion to support development and construction of the commercial reactors at its site in eastern Idaho that includes the Idaho National Laboratory.

Date: Wednesday, 28 July 2021
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