Somewhere within the 981 square miles of the Idaho National Laboratory there is a site that will be selected as the location for a first-of-a-kind commercial 50 MW small modular reactor.
NuScale is preparing to submit a 12,000 page application for design certification to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission this fall. The NRC is expected to take three or more years to review the trailblazing design.
Lightbridge, a company that was originally incorporated as Thorium Power, Inc., has achieved significant milestones since 2010, when it made a strategic turn from thorium based fuels to low enriched uranium metal alloy fuels in 2010. It’s developing a joint venture with Areva to produce commercial fuel and will begin the final phase of qualification testing with an operating temperature, pressure, and neutron flux test run in Norway’s Hallam reactor starting in early 2017. Development is ahead of schedule and under budget.
The focus of EMC2 efforts has sharpened considerably and is now totally concentrated on experimentally producing a so-called Wiffle Ball (WB) plasma in a Polywell magnetic field configuration and diagnosing it in detail to verify its confinement properties, a step that is essential to the success of their fusion power concept.” In a briefing on November 7, 2013, Dr. Jaeyoung Park of EMC2 provided the committee a very thorough briefing on their latest laboratory results. In the committee’s opinion the EMC2 staff has “kept their eyes on the ball” in spite of the trying financial conditions under which they have been operating for the past several months. Their recent results have been dramatic.
BP says the global use of nuclear energy is forecast to grow by 1.9% per year from 574.0 million toe (tonnes of oil equivalent) in 2014 to 859.2 million toe in 2035, which is an overall increase of 50%. Nuclear output in the European Union and North America is expected to decline 29% and 13%, respectively, as aging reactors are gradually retired and “the economic and political challenges of nuclear energy stunt new investments”. However, output in China is forecast to increase 11.2% annually. BP said Japan’s nuclear output will reach 60% of its 2010 level by 2020 as reactors restart over the next five years.