The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is considering the possibility of new emergency preparedness requirements for small modular reactors, non-light-water reactors and other new technologies. The NRC's basis document states that the designs "typically have lower probabilities of severe accidents because of their smaller size or innovative safety features, which would also likely lower impacts to public health and safety from any radiological emergency."
Interim market rules that would allow full cost recovery and a return on investment for nuclear energy and coal generators could be put in place without changing market behavior, according to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Neil Chatterjee. The interim step could include a limitation that would force utilities "to bid in their costs so that ... they're not getting an advantage from that cost recovery," Chatterjee said.
Emirates Nuclear Energy and Korean Electric Power have completed the installation of Barakah Unit 3's reactor containment building liner dome section and concrete pouring for the dome. Barakah Unit 1 is now 96% complete, while overall construction of all four units at the plant has surpassed 84% completion.
China General Nuclear Power and Electricite de France have completed the first assessment stage for new nuclear reactor technology that could be used at a new nuclear plant in Essex. The technology is being developed by General Nuclear Services, a partnership between the two utilities.
Energy Secretary Rick Perry's proposal to compensate nuclear plants and coal plants in order to keep them running is a good idea, writes East-West Strategic Advisors Managing Partner Mike Moore. "Some have said this would cost too much, but the alternative is heightened risk of a catastrophic energy disruption, which we definitely cannot afford," Moore writes.
President Donald Trump will nominate Nuclear Energy Institute Director of Federal Programs Melissa Burnison to be the Energy Department's assistant secretary for congressional and intergovernmental affairs. In her current position with NEI, Burnison "plans, directs and executes legislative strategies for nuclear energy programs and policies on behalf of the nuclear energy industry," according to a White House statement.
The South Carolina House of Representatives voted to approve six bills that intend to cap the amount that utility customers will pay for South Carolina Electric & Gas and Santee Cooper's abandoned V.C. Summer nuclear reactor project. Meanwhile, House Speaker Jay Lucas has vowed that legislators will "gut existing laws" that permitted costs to be charged before project completion.
Russia has signed a memorandum of cooperation to help the Philippines develop policies for nuclear energy and conduct feasibility studies related to small modular reactors. Russia and the Philippines will also team for an audit and assessment of the Bataan nuclear plant, which was constructed in 1984 but has never entered operation.
Rosatom has announced the successful delivery of a reactor vessel for Leningrad Phase II Unit 2. The reactor vessel weights 340 metric tons and is built from carbon steel that can reliably stand up to extreme temperatures, according to Rosatom.