May 19, 2021
Nuclear Energy SmartBrief
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Top Story
The International Energy Agency's Net Zero by 2050 report highlights nuclear energy's key role in the world's transition to net-zero emissions and warns that failing to act quickly on nuclear power would increase energy transition costs and jeopardize the success of the initiative. "In advanced economies, decisions need to be made about the construction and the large number of nuclear power plants that may be retired over the next decade absent action to extend their lifetimes and make the required investment," the report said.
Full Story: S&P Global (5/18),  The Associated Press (5/18),  Argus Media (5/18),  The Guardian (London) (free registration) (5/18) 
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News Roundup
QuesTek Innovations has received $1.1 million in Small Business Innovation Research Phase 2 funding from the Department of Energy to develop cold sprayable refractory materials and 3D printing processes for use in molten salt reactors. QuesTek plans to explore new refractory alloy designs using niobium, tungsten and tantalum to improve the corrosion resistance and temperature stability of MSRs.
Full Story: 3D Printing Industry (UK) (5/18) 
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SHINE Medical Technologies has won a Nuclear Regulatory Commission exemption from what it calls "unnecessarily restrictive" definitions for commercial-grade equipment to be used at its medical isotope production facility under construction in Janesville, Wis. In its exemption request, SHINE wrote that "[t]his flexibility is particularly necessary in situations in which few or no suppliers are available with a quality assurance program which meets a quality assurance standard endorsed by the NRC and Part 21 procedures."
Full Story: Nuclear Newswire (American Nuclear Society) (5/18) 
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Policy Watch
Europe needs a stable, long-term nuclear investment policy to reduce stakeholder risk, ensure affordable power for ratepayers and smooth financing procedures for new nuclear projects, which are essential to the EU's carbon neutrality goal, according to a report from Foratom. "EU governments play a major role in contributing to maintaining an affordable financing cost profile for large EU-based infrastructure such as nuclear," said Foratom Director-General Yves Desbazeille.
Full Story: NucNet (Belgium) (5/18) 
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The Biden administration will not exclude nuclear power from its climate plan despite concerns raised by some environmental groups and the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council, national climate adviser Gina McCarthy said during a virtual summit. "In many areas, continuation of the existing nuclear, as long as it's environmentally sound and it's permitted, is going to be absolutely essential" McCarthy said.
Full Story: Reuters (5/18),  The Examiner (Washington, D.C.) (5/18) 
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Testing delays will likely push the startup date of the first new unit at the Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia into 2022, Georgia Power announced Tuesday. Separately, Georgia's Public Service Commission voted to hold two days of hearings in mid-October to decide how much of the cost of building two new reactors at the plant will be shouldered by ratepayers.
Full Story: Georgia Public Broadcasting/Capitol Beat News Service (5/18) 
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Waste Management/D&D
The Department of Energy wants a permit change allowing for the construction of a fifth air shaft at its Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico to improve ventilation for underground operators. The project is expected to cost around $197 million and be completed in three to four years.
Full Story: The Santa Fe New Mexican (tiered subscription model) (5/18) 
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The Pembrokeshire County Council in South Wales has backed calls to provide a local site for the UK Atomic Energy Authority's proposed Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production prototype fusion plant. Several other sites are vying for the STEP program, which is expected to produce a concept design by 2024 and complete construction of the prototype plant by 2040.
Full Story: NucNet (Belgium) (5/18) 
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ANS Update
Last chance to save 10% at the ANS Store
Don't miss your opportunity to save 10% off all books, publications, apparel, and more at the ANS Store. Members save an additional 10% (20% total savings). Use the code "MAYSAVE10" to save. Among the discounted items are "Three Mile Island and Beyond," a new memoir by Harold Denton, who was the NRC's public face during the 1979 Three Mile Island accident. Hurry: Offer ends today. Save now.
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