RUS | ENG | All
Enter the email or login, that you used for registration.
If you do not remember your password, simply leave this field blank and you will receive a new, along with a link to activate.

Not registered yet?
Welcome!

2022-09-05 14:05:00

THE NEW U.S. NUCLEAR

THE NEW U.S. NUCLEAR

 

By LLEWELLYN KING  Executive Producer and Host White House Media, LLC

ENERGYCENTRALAug 29, 2022 - A new day is breaking for the nuclear industry in the United States. There are four drivers of the new enthusiasm for nuclear power, which is being felt throughout the utility world.

First, nuclear is “dispatchable.” That is the term for the power you can rely on; power that will be there when you need it, and you can dispatch it.

At present, utilities are struggling with an overload of non-dispatchable power coming from wind and solar generation. That is available only when the wind blows or the sun shines. Fossil fuel and nuclear power are dispatchable — and highly regarded in the industry.

The Texas grid, known as Electric Reliability Council of Texas, was near catastrophe during the recent extreme heat wave when wind generation, which is a major part of the Texas power portfolio, simply wasn’t there to be dispatched. The ERCOT system has 35,391 megawatts of installed wind power; less than 1,000 megawatts of that were available.

Second, a new range of nuclear power designs is making its way to market, and they have many advantages over the old, large plants of the kind that still produce 20 percent of the nation’s power, all of it dispatchable.

The new reactors, small modular reactors (SMRs), come in various sizes and use differing technologies from today’s jumbo workhorses — and they promise great things.

A panel of nuclear power experts at a recent U.S. Energy Association virtual press briefing, which I organized and hosted, agreed that whether the technology is light water, molten salt or some other choice, SMRs will use less steel and concrete per unit of power produced, and they will require less land.

They have superior, failure-resistant fuel and will be passive, inherently safer, and won’t require their big brothers’ pumps and backup generators. Also, Bud Albright, president of the U.S. Nuclear Industry Council, told the media that these reactors will operate for 60 or more years and require fueling less frequently.

The SMRs come in various technologies and sizes, from NuScale’s 80-MW light water modules being built in Idaho to GE Hitachi Nuclear’s 300-MW reactor, the BWRX-300, being considered by the Tennessee Valley Authority. The modules will offer utilities flexibility in the size of the installation as well as enable individual modules to be repaired while the plant continues to produce power.

Cost remains an open issue. The USEA’s panel was quick to point out that factory manufacturing, standardization of design, and the simplicity of the new offerings would reduce their costs. But they weren’t so sure how these could go.

Jon Ball, executive vice president of GE Hitachi Nuclear, estimated that the BWRX-300 will deliver power at $60 a megawatt hour. That is still well above the cost of wind or solar power. So dispatchability and lifespan are important.

The third driver for a nuclear surge is the Inflation Reduction Act, which has put a new spring into the power generators’ steps. Doug True, vice president and chief nuclear officer of the Nuclear Energy Institute, said the act will level the playing field for nuclear compared to wind and solar.

Louis Finkel, vice president of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, told me he thinks there will be a surge in interest among rural co-ops to build reactors and that some that now are only in the distribution business will be interested in adding generation.

The Inflation Reduction Act makes this possible in several ways, but most important, it extends to not-for-profit utilities, like the co-ops and municipals, the benefits of construction and operating tax credits. These they will receive in the form of a check from the Treasury, which can be as much as 30 percent of the project.

Overall, driving the need for nuclear is that the nation needs more power if it continues its headlong rush to electrification of surface transportation and manufacturing.

The National Academy of Sciences predicts that electricity production will have to grow 170 percent between now and 2050. NRECA’s Finkel points out that the academy’s study doesn’t include coal and gas taken out of production to achieve net-zero emissions in the same timeframe.

There would, indeed, seem to be a new day for nuclear.

-----

This thought leadership article was originally shared with Energy Central's Generation Professionals Group. The communities are a place where professionals in the power industry can share, learn and connect in a collaborative environment. Join the Generation Professionals Community today and learn from others who work in the industry.

-----


Earlier:

THE NEW U.S. NUCLEAR
2022, August, 31, 11:00:00
U.S. NUCLEAR SMR FOR ESTONIA
In July 2019, Fermi Energia announced it would conduct a feasibility study on the deployment of SMRs in Estonia.
THE NEW U.S. NUCLEAR
2022, August, 3, 12:10:00
U.S. SMR CERTIFICATION
Design certification means that the NRC has determined a nuclear power plant design meets all its applicable safety requirements, independent of an application to construct or operate a plant.
THE NEW U.S. NUCLEAR
2022, August, 1, 10:35:00
U.S. URANIUM PRODUCTION MINIMUM
In 2021, owners and operators of commercial nuclear power reactors bought 46.7 million pounds (lb) U3O8 equivalent (U3O8e) at an average price of $33.91/lb U3O8e.
THE NEW U.S. NUCLEAR
2022, June, 28, 11:35:00
U.S. SMR FOR ROMANIA
Romanian company Nuclearelectrica and NuScale will cooperate with the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) on a series of engineering and design activities and studies, as well further technical analyses of the Doicești site, a former thermal power plant site which has been identified as a potential location for the SMR plant.
THE NEW U.S. NUCLEAR
2022, June, 24, 11:10:00
U.S. SMR FOR POLAND
Last Energy's SMR technology is based on a pressurised water reactor with a capacity of 20 MWe or 60 MWt.
THE NEW U.S. NUCLEAR
2022, June, 14, 11:20:00
U.S. NUCLEAR PRIORITIES
This is a fantastic moment for the United States to reclaim global nuclear energy leadership.
THE NEW U.S. NUCLEAR
2022, June, 7, 11:05:00
U.S. NUCLEAR DEVELOPMENT $1.7 BLN
The request includes $1.7 billion for the Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) and is one of the highest asks ever for NE.
All Publications »
Tags: USA, NUCLEAR, POWER
Chronicle:
THE NEW U.S. NUCLEAR
2022, September, 28, 12:14:00
2022 SAUDI PIPELINES INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE & EXIBITIONS
Eventat Co (a Saudi local company) is hosting the first-ever “2022 Saudi Pipelines International Conference & Exhibitions” from 4-6 October, 2022 at the Dhahran Expo, Dammam (Eastern Province), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The three-day conference and exhibition are dedicated to bringing together over “50+ Regional/International speakers, 100+ Sponsors/Exhibitors, 1000+ Delegates and 3000+ Visitors” from around the globe who carry significant interest in enhancing the pipelines lifecycle for the current and future.
THE NEW U.S. NUCLEAR
2022, September, 28, 12:13:00
INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS AND EXIBITION TURKEY & BLACK SEA OIL AND GAS
International Congress and Exhibition Turkey & Black Sea Oil and Gas is an international, professional platform, bringing together over 200 C-suite executives from vertically integrated oil companies, general directors, CTOs of oil refineries, gas processing plants and petrochemical facilities, initiators of investment projects on oil and gas extraction from Turkey and countries of the Black Sea area, officials of regulatory authorities, licensors of production technologies and world suppliers for the industry.
THE NEW U.S. NUCLEAR
2022, September, 28, 12:12:00
Pipelines In A Sustainable Future And Other Highlights Of TOGC 2023(TOGC 2023)
Transportation Oil and Gas Congress (TOGC) is held on February, 20-21, 2023, Istanbul, Türkiye. During 2 days of intensive networking participants get direct access to the whole pipeline chain. Among the highlights of the program are Panels, show type sessions based on discussion between panelists. They discuss the role of pipelines in a sustainable future, digital transformation and optimization of the pipeline industry, pipeline economics and pipeline integrity, H2 in Gas Grid.
THE NEW U.S. NUCLEAR
2022, September, 28, 12:11:00
TRANSPORTATION OIL AND GAS CONGRASS 2023 (TOGC 2023)
Transportation Oil and Gas Congress 2023 (TOGC 2023) takes place on February 20-21, 2023. The Congress brings together representatives from the whole pipeline chain and focuses on both strategic and technical issues of the oil and gas pipeline transportation.
THE NEW U.S. NUCLEAR
2022, September, 28, 12:10:00
NORWAY OIL, GAS PRODUCTION 1.998 MBD
Preliminary production figures for August 2022 show an average daily production of 1 998 000 barrels of oil, NGL and condensate.
THE NEW U.S. NUCLEAR
2022, September, 28, 12:05:00
U.S. FEDERAL FUNDS RATE 3.00 - 3.25%
The Committee seeks to achieve maximum employment and inflation at the rate of 2 percent over the longer run. In support of these goals, the Committee decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 3 to 3-1/4 percent and anticipates that ongoing increases in the target range will be appropriate.
THE NEW U.S. NUCLEAR
2022, September, 28, 12:04:00
9TH INTERNATIONAL LNG CONGRESS LNGCON 2023
9th International LNG Congress (LNGCON 2023) 6-7 March, 2023 Link to the Congress website: https://bit.ly/3tXVmr7
All Publications »