DOC's SMR PPP Newsletter

February 9, 2021

DOC's SMR PPP Newsletter

February 9, 2021

Recent Developments


1/28/21 – Yellowstone Public Radio: Montana's Colstrip coal plant could change to nuclear

Montana lawmakers are considering a feasibility study for transitioning the state's Colstrip coal-fired power plant into a nuclear power plant using small modular reactors. If the proposal is passed by the state's Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee, an interim committee would be instructed to complete the study before September 2022.

1/XX/21 – NEI: Factsheet on Current Russian/Chinese Market Control

As it stands now, the dominant global supplier is Russia and the fast-rising rival is China. Recently, Russian nuclear supplier Rosatom signed an agreement with the African Commission on Nuclear Energy to cooperate on nuclear projects, giving it an edge in a region that is looking to expand its use of the technology. And China is gearing up to quadruple its nuclear capacity in an effort to reduce carbon emissions that will position them as a leader in nuclear energy.

2/1/21 – Utility Dive: NRC likely to focus on safety under new chairman

President Joe Biden's appointment of Christopher Hanson as chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission may make the NRC more safety-oriented than it was under Hanson's predecessor, Kristine Svinicki, who worked to streamline design reviews. Biden's climate plan includes advanced nuclear technology and he has said his administration will look to address cost, safety and waste disposal issues, which could mean stricter regulations, experts say.

2/2/21 – Power Engineering: TVA invites comments on impact of proposed SMR

The Tennessee Valley Authority has opened a public comment period until March 19 on the possible environmental impact of a plan to build a small modular reactor at its Clinch River Nuclear site, and has opened a comment period until March 19. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved the proposal, but TVA says it currently has no plan to build the plant.

2/17/21 – Stimson: Bringing the Back-End to the Forefront: Looking Ahead to the Future Nuclear Fleet

UPCOMING EVENT… The Stimson Center’s Nuclear Safeguards Program presents its latest working paper exploring how emerging or “advanced” reactors will differ from the current fleet in spent fuel disposal, processing, and nuclear safeguards. In this webinar, Rowen Price introduces her findings and, in discussion with James Casterton and Andrew Worrall, examines how these reactors will disrupt conventional spent fuel management and international safeguards. February 17, 2021 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST WebEx Webinar

European/Global News:

[Estonia] 1/24/20 – New Estonia Government Will Prioritize Nuclear and SMRs

A new Estonian government (to be sworn in 1/26) has drafted a Coalition agreement stating expressis verbis: "We will continue discussion on utilization of nuclear energy in Estonia. We will seek opportunities to increase competences in nuclear energy". Fermi Energia believes that with the new government Estonia will be able to deploy SMRs in the early 2020s.

[Ukraine] 1/27/21 – Nuclear Engineering International: Ukrainian government takes over management of Energoatom

On 20 January, the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers decided to transfer direct management of nuclear utility Energoatom from the Energy Ministry to the government. Prime Minister Denis Shmygal announced the decision on his Telegram channel. He said the decision was made in line with instructions from the President of Ukraine, as well as the conditions of the Third Energy Package of the EU in terms of delimiting transmission system operators, producers and suppliers of electricity. A number of thermal power plants and a hydroelectric plant were also transferred to government management.

[Czech Republic] 1/27/21 – Bloomberg: Czech Parties Clash Over Russia’s Role in Planned Reactor Deal

The Czech government and opposition parties failed to agree whether to invite Russian companies into a tender to build a new nuclear reactor, prolonging uncertainty over the $7 billion project planned by power utility CEZ AS. Prime Minister Andrej Babis is seeking a broad political consensus on the plan because preparations and building of the reactor will span several governments. The approved timetable envisages construction works to last from 2029 to 2036.

[Poland] 2/2/21 – Reuters: Poland to speed its energy transformation plans

Poland's Cabinet has passed a resolution to speed up the country's clean energy transformation and expects to use renewable sources to generate 23% of its electricity by 2030. The plan includes construction of Poland's first nuclear power plant by 2033.

Related: German government concerned about Polish plans for new nuclear power plants

[Canada] 1/28/21 – ANS Newswire: Canada and Europe team up to drive new nuclear

The European Atomic Forum and the Canadian Nuclear Association have agreed to collaborate on promoting innovation in nuclear technology, including small modular and advanced reactors. "This agreement will work to [ensure] that nuclear is part of the clean energy mix to meet the climate change challenge on both sides of the Atlantic," says John Gorman, president and chief executive of the Canadian Nuclear Association.