DOE funds Southern Companies molten chloride nuclear reactors and X-energy fuel pellet reactor

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  1. AMDR

    AMDR Captain Staff Member Administrator

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    DOE funds Southern Companies molten chloride nuclear reactors and X-energy fuel pellet reactor

    X-Energy-Reactor-Steam-Generator.png

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the selection of two companies, X-energy and Southern Company, to further develop advanced nuclear reactor designs. These awards, with a multi-year cost share of up to $80 million for both companies, will support work to address key technical challenges to the design, construction, and operation of next generation nuclear reactors.

    The rest of the article is here: http://nextbigfuture.com/2016/01/doe-funds-southern-companies-molten.html

     
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  2. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

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    Energy Department Announces New Investments in Advanced Nuclear Power Reactors to Help Meet America’s Carbon Emission Reduction Goal

    WASHINGTON – In support of the Administration’s goal to produce more carbon-free energy, today the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the selection of two companies, X-energy and Southern Company, to further develop advanced nuclear reactor designs. These awards, with a multi-year cost share of up to $80 million for both companies, will support work to address key technical challenges to the design, construction, and operation of next generation nuclear reactors.

    “In order to ensure that nuclear energy remains a key source for US electricity generation well into the future, it is critically important that we invest in these technologies today,” said Secretary Moniz. “Public-private partnerships to develop advanced nuclear capabilities will enable low-carbon nuclear energy to power America for years to come.”

    Nuclear power is a critical energy source that provides almost 20 percent of the electricity generated in the United States, and over 60 percent of the nation’s carbon free electricity. These awards provide an example of the public-private partnerships envisioned under the recently launched Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) initiative. Announced at the White House last fall, GAIN provides the nuclear energy community with access to the technical, regulatory, and financial support necessary to accelerate the commercialization of advanced nuclear energy systems.

    Following a competitive process, DOE will fund cost-shared research and development activities with industry to support these two companies with performance-based advanced reactor concepts for further development in the areas of safety, operations, and economics. The projects announced today will allow industry led teams, which include participants from universities and national laboratories, to further nuclear energy technology, and will enable companies to further develop their advanced reactor designs with potential for demonstration in the 2035 timeframe. Initially, DOE’s investment will be $6 million for each project and both companies will provide cost-share. The possible multi-year cost-share value for this research is up to $80 million.

    The two advanced nuclear power projects receiving awards today are:

    • X-energy – partnering with BWX Technology, Oregon State University, Teledyne-Brown Engineering, SGL Group, Idaho National Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory to solve design and fuel development challenges of the Xe-100 Pebble Bed Advanced Reactor. This type of reactor has next generation design and the most advanced safety features and it is also smaller than traditional nuclear reactors. These factors would potentially enable such a reactor to serve a wider array of communities – particularly densely populated areas – while ensuring public safety.
    • Southern Company Services – partnering with TerraPower, Electric Power Research Institute, Vanderbilt University, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory to perform integrated effects tests and materials suitability studies to support development of the Molten Chloride Fast Reactor. The MCFR is also a next generation design with the most advanced safety features that enable its potential use across the country.
    http://www.energy.gov/articles/ener...nts-advanced-nuclear-power-reactors-help-meet
     
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  3. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

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    A good amount of our nuclear reactors are aging quickly, this investment is certainly welcome. The below article says that a lot of power plants are losing money, hopefully these new investments result in technologies that make nuclear plants more efficient and cost effective. We live in a capitalist-free market society so it is essential that new forms of energy are profitable. If they are profitable and affordable heavy government subsidies will not be critical to green energy thus allowing the market to take off by itself.

    http://www.technologyreview.com/news/544211/how-old-is-too-old-for-a-nuclear-reactor/
     
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  4. Falcon

    Falcon Major Staff Member Social Media Team

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    Nuclear power has its downsides because a Chernobyl type disaster could occur or one like the Fukishima Plant Meltdown that was caused by an earth quake. Nuke plants are other than Hydroelectric plants the only source of renewable energy that can actually meet large demands for energy.

    This investment will help make our companies more competitive in the international market, better chances for us to build nuclear plants for other countries.
     
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  5. Technofox

    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

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    Why isn't the US reprocessing nuclear fuels? One of the downsides of Nuclear Power is spent fuel that needs to be stored in special, isolated storage units, often deep-underground which puts them at odds with aquafers... nuclear reprocessing solves this issue by giving life to used nuclear fuels and allowing them to be reused in nuclear reactors, as noted with France:

    Compared to electric generating plants fueled by coal and other fossil fuels, nuclear plants have a very light “carbon footprint.” Current public policy, however, favors solar, wind and other “green” energy sources, largely because used nuclear fuel remains radioactive, and policy-makers can’t decide what to do with it.

    What we ought to do is what other countries do: recycle it. Doing so would provide a huge amount of zero-carbon energy that would help us reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

    A major obstacle to nuclear fuel recycling in the United States has been the perception that it’s not cost-effective and that it could lead to the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Those were the reasons President Jimmy Carter gave in 1977 when he prohibited it, preferring instead to bury spent nuclear fuel deep underground. Thirty-seven years later we’re no closer to doing that than we were in 1977.

    France, Great Britain and Japan, among other nations, rejected Carter’s solution. Those countries realized that spent nuclear fuel is a valuable asset, not simply waste requiring disposal.

    As a result, France today generates 80 percent of its electricity needs with nuclear power, much of it generated through recycling.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2014/10/01/why-doesnt-u-s-recycle-nuclear-fuel/#13ec6d9a7db4

    Apparently the US is concerned about nuclear fuel proliferation... doesn't seem to be a problem for Japan, the UK or France though. New reactor designs help with such concerns by using alternative fuels like Thorium, rather than Uranium, but for the 100+ reactors already in civilian operation, plus a myriad of research reactors and nearly 100 military ones, the US is missing our badly by not investing in reprocessing.

    Plus it looks cool:cool:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Atilla

    Atilla Major

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    We are stuck with the Russian Akkuyu Nuclear Plant |Hungover| Better if we worked with American or Japanese technology. I did not hear of Americans building nuclear plants in other countries. Do you have export ban?
     
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  7. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

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    Nuclear Cooperation Agreements

    Before U.S. companies can obtain an export license for nuclear equipment or materials, the United States must conclude a bilateral agreement for civil nuclear trade, or Section 123 agreement. The purpose of these agreements is to prevent diversion of U.S. commercial nuclear materials, components and technology from their intended peaceful use.
    The United States has Section 123 agreements in place with 22 countries, Euratom (which includes 27 member countries), the International Atomic Energy Agency and Taiwan. Many of these agreements are scheduled to expire by 2015. These expiring agreements include major nuclear trading partners like China. Timely renewal of these agreements is critical to continuation of nuclear trade between U.S. firms and firms in these nations.

    Many nations that are developing new nuclear programs do not have a Section 123 agreement with the United States, which closes the market to American businesses. Meanwhile, foreign suppliers are actively pursuing nuclear project development in these countries. For example, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Malaysia—all with interest in expanding nuclear energy—do not have 123 agreements with the United States and, consequently, these markets are not open to U.S. exporters.


    http://www.nei.org/Issues-Policy/Exports-Trade/Nuclear-Cooperation-Agreements
     
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