Supply chain disruptions during the pandemic have likely caused testing delays and cost increases at the $22 billion International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project under construction in France, and a full impact assessment is expected by the end of the year. Despite the disruptions, the project has "given us the chance to assess more precisely than before the feasibility [of] key technologies," said ITER Director General Bernard Bigot.
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The Department of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory and Idaho State University have started a local survey that includes questions about the public's views of nuclear power and knowledge about nuclear technologies. "The public's perception has a lot to do with acceptance when we have new projects coming in and locations of projects," said Rae Moss, INL's director of communications and outreach.
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The Department of Energy has chosen Kathryn Huff, an assistant professor of nuclear engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, to serve as the Office of Nuclear Energy's principal deputy assistant secretary and acting assistant secretary. "I'm honored that the Biden-Harris administration has called me to serve ... during a crucial time in humanity's endeavors toward sustainability, reimagination of our energy infrastructure, and centering of environmental and energy justice in technology policy," Huff said.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will hold a virtual meeting on Thursday to review last year's safety performance of the 10 nuclear power plants located in Region 4, including Wolf Creek in Burlington, Kan. Inspection findings and performance metrics from the 10 plants met standards for the green category or had very low-level safety significance, which calls for normal oversight levels this year.
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A nuclear waste drum sparking incident in February at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico was caused by the presence of titanium fragments, which are considered prohibited materials and shouldn't have been packed, according to a report from the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board. A full report with additional details about the incident is expected to be issued this week.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is poised to approve NorthStar Nuclear Decommissioning's request to dispose of roughly 2 million gallons of low-level radioactive wastewater from the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant at US Ecology Idaho's waste facility near Grand View, Idaho. The NRC may also grant US Ecology a license exemption for the reception, processing and disposal of the Vermont Yankee wastewater.
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Canada-based Moltex Clean Energy expects to install and start up its Wasteburner (SSR-W) small modular reactor at Point Lepreau in New Brunswick by the early 2030s. "The concept design has been finalized and we're going through the exciting transition to the engineering design process," Moltex Project Director Andy Ballard said during a webinar.
Canadian 11th-grade student Zachary Ireland has won a spot at this month's Canada-Wide Science Fair for his school project on finding an element or substance suited for absorbing radiation and slowing a nuclear reaction to prevent accidents. Of the seven elements Ireland researched, he found that cadmium had the best potential, with a roughly 60% chance of absorbing a neutron.
Join us today from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT for the 10th installment of the ANS Young Members Group Spotlight on National Labs series featuring Sandia National Laboratories. Register now to participate in this free event and learn about Sandia National Laboratories' current and future research projects. Learn more.