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A software package developed by the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Consortium for the Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors (CASL) that can predict the behaviour of nuclear reactor cores with high accuracy has been licensed commercially.

Date: Saturday, 28 March 2020
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsvera-nuclear-reactor-simulation-software-licensed-for-commercial-use-7839200

The Watts Bar nuclear station in Tennessee. Photo courtesy TVA. US utility Tennessee Valley Authority took the “precautionary step” of delaying planned outages at the Sequoyah-2 and Watts Bar-1 nuclear power plants this spring by two weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic, TVA spokesman Jim Hopson was quoted in media reports as saying.

S&P Global Platts said it is the first announced delay to a US outage.

“For competitive reasons, we don’t provide specifics on our outage dates,” Mr Hopson Hopson said. “However, both of the outages were previously planned for this spring and will begin two weeks later than originally scheduled.”

According to a March 20 letter from the Nuclear Energy Institute to the US Department of Energy a refuelling outage for the 1,139-MW Sequoyah-2 unit was originally scheduled to start in late March while the 1,123-MW Watts Bar-1 unit was set to begin an outage in the middle of April.

Date: Saturday, 28 March 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/utility-delays-planned-outages-at-two-nuclear-plants-3-5-2020

California-based Oklo has submitted its application for a mini-reactor to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). It is the first combined construction and operating licence application (COLA) to NRC for an advanced reactor.

Date: Friday, 20 March 2020
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsoklo-submits-licence-application-to-us-nrc-advanced-reactor-7830190

California-based Oklo Inc has submitted a combined licence application (COLA) for its Aurora "powerhouse" to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). This is the first COLA to be submitted using a new application structure for advanced fission technologies and the first privately funded application for a commercial advanced reactor.

Date: Thursday, 19 March 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Oklo-submits-first-advanced-reactor-licence-applic

BWXT Nuclear Operations Group, Inc (NOG) has been awarded a contract from the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to manufacture TRISO nuclear fuel to support the continued development of the Transformational Challenge Reactor (TCR). The TCR project aims to build an additively manufactured microreactor, with a demonstration unit planned to be operational by 2023.

Date: Friday, 13 March 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/BWXT-to-produce-TRISO-fuel-for-3D-printed-reactor

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for Holtec International's proposed consolidated HI-STORE interim storage facility (CISF) and made a preliminary recommendation that there are no environmental impacts that would preclude it from issuing a licence for environmental reasons. Holtec proposes initially to store 500 canisters holding around 8680 tonnes of used nuclear fuel at the New Mexico site.

Date: Friday, 13 March 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/US-regulators-issue-draft-EIS-on-consolidated-used

The US Department of Energy has announced $30 million in funding for new research on fusion energy.

Date: Wednesday, 11 March 2020
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsfurther-us-funding-for-fusion-energy-7815460

Public perception of nuclear power "has been defined almost by its failures rather than by its successes", and the industry has thus adopted a defensive posture, Adi Paterson, CEO of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation told delegates at the International Youth Nuclear Congress on 9 March. The challenge now for the 250 IYNC attendees is: "How to change the narrative of nuclear in a deep and profound way," he said.

Date: Wednesday, 11 March 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Young-generation-will-change-narrative-on-nuclear

The US Department of Defense (DOD) has awarded contracts to BWX Technologies Inc, Westinghouse Government Services and X-energy LLC to each begin design work on a mobile nuclear reactor prototype. The engineering design phase of the project will last up to two years, after which one of the three teams may be selected to build and demonstrate a prototype reactor.

Date: Wednesday, 11 March 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/US-Defense-Department-awards-microreactor-contract

The US Department of Energy on Thursday announced a plan to provide $30 million for new research on fusion energy.

The funding will provide $17m for research focused specifically on artificial intelligence and machine learning approaches for prediction of key plasma phenomena, management of facility operations, and accelerated discovery through data science, among other topics.

An additional $13m under a separate funding opportunity will be devoted to fundamental fusion theory research, including computer modelling and simulation, focused on factors affecting the behaviour of hot plasmas confined by magnetic fields in fusion reactors.

Applications for the artificial intelligence and machine learning funding are open to national laboratories, universities, non-profit organisations, and private sector companies.

Date: Friday, 06 March 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/us-doe-announces-plan-for-usd30-million-in-research-funding-3-4-2020