2020 Begins with a Waterfall of Favorable Developments for Nuclear Energy Projects Large and Small

  • SNC-Lavalin gets Contract to Start Work on 2 CANDU type reactors for China
  • Czech Republic PM C alls for Supplier For New Dukovany System To Be Chosen In 2022
  • UAE 1 st PWR at Barakah Operating License On Set up for 1 Q/2020
  • DOE Awards $3.5 Million to X-Energy for Work on Its New Gas Reactor Style
  • Advanced Reactors / NRC A dopts Recommendations for SMR E mergency Planning Zones

With 2019 being a year that great progress was made by multiple firms developing little small modulr reactors, it’s essential to also track the progress in 2020 of projects that will provide full size nuclear reactors.

The year has begun with a waterfall of favorable advancement for nuclear energy tasks large and small.  First out of the box is an announcement that SNC-Lavalin, which in 2011 purchased the reactor department of AECL, has landed a agreement with China National Nuclear Power (CNNP) to start work on a two-unit 700 MWe Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR).

The company states the AHWR style is based on the 700 MWe CANDU type (PHWR) design. Improvements are listed as compliance with present worldwide security standards (GEN III), active and passive security systems, and style components that are anticipated to decrease capital expenses and functional maintenance requirements.

The contract is the result of an agreement tattooed in September 2016 to start the style work. Also, the arrangement called for the development of two nuclear reactor design centers, one in China and the other in Canada. The design centers will collaborate to complete the Advanced CANDU type reactor. It is anticipated that the first two systems will be then built in China and then the reactor will offered through export to worldwide markets.

The CANDU type design basis functions a heavy-water moderator and heavy-water coolant in a pressure tube design and can use both recycled uranium and thorium as fuel. This suggests that invested fuel from LWR type reactors can be burned in the AHWR as the fuel assemblies are approximaely 95% U238. India has made significant investments in the development of thorium-based PHWR type reactors as part of its long-term R&D efforts.

Units 1 and 2 of the Qinshan Phase III nuclear power plant in China – majority owned by CNNP – usage the Candu 6 PHWR innovation, with AECL being the primary specialist of the project on a turnkey basis. Building started in 1997 and system 1 began up in September 2002 and system 2 in April 2003. These reactors burn U238.

Candu  schematic
CANDU Coneptual Image:  Image Source:  SNC Lavalin

In a press release, SNC-Lavalin stated the market capacity for this technology in China is significant.

“Each reactor can use recycled-fuel from 4 light-water reactors (LWRs) to create six million megawatt-hours (MWh) of additional carbon-free electrical energy without needing any brand-new natural uranium fuel.”

First Deliverables

SNC-Lavalin will produce the top-level licensing basis document (LBD) to outline the licensing procedure along with the regulative and security requirements applicable to the design, analysis, construction, commissioning and operation of the AHWR.

SNC-Lavalin will prepare Safety Design Guides (SDG) and a description and evaluation of the agreed to safety-related design modifications. SNC-Lavalin will likewise evaluation SDGs ready by partner firms included.

Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research study & Design Institute Co. Ltd. (SNERDI) serves as General Design Institute of project, and as technical manager for this contract to evaluation and accept SNC-Lavalin’s deliverables on behalf of CNNP. China Nuclear Energy Market Corporation (CNEIC) has actually been designated by CNNP as its foreign trade representative for this agreement.

Czech Republic PM C alls for Provider For New Dukovany Unit To Be Chosen In 2022

Construction of the new reator must start in 2029 and might be finished by 2036

(NucNet) A supplier/vendor for a brand-new system at Czech energy CEZ’s Dukovany nuclear power station need to be selected by the end of 2022, according to media reports which quality the statement to Czech prime minister Andrej Babiš. The EPC would most likely be a separate company.

In July 2019 the Czech government approved a initial strategy for a CEZ subsidiary to build a brand-new unit at Dukovany. Czech energy policy calls for one new system at Dukovany and possibly three more either at Dukovany or at Temelin.

The Czech government, which owns 70% of CEZ, has actually been in discussions with the energy about how to expand nuclear power and to replace aging commercial reactors that are arranged to be permanently shut down in the years ahead.

A secret issue for CEZ might be to buy out minority non-governmental financiers in the utility who are opposed to building and construction of brand-new nuclear power plants.

In September the Ministry of Environmental Defense authorized the environmental impact evaluation for the building and construction of up to 2 new nuclear power plants at Dukovany. The ministry stated the approval was for up to 2,400 MW of new capability at the site.

CEZ chief executive Daniel Benes said the company must have a tender all set by June 2020 and anticipates provides in 2021 from up to 5 bidders. He stated market estimates for the brand-new unit’s cost varied from about $5.9 bn to $6.9 bn, but a last rate would come out of the tender.

Taken together, two 1200 MW systems costsing $5.9 Bn to $6.9 Bn would come in at at a really competitive price of $2500 to $2900/Kw. Benes’ numbers might be extremely positive. None of the companies that have actually expressed an interest in the project are able to provide complete size reactors in this cost variety. The Czech Republic is not India or China where really low labor expenses and a heavily subsidized heavy industry for long lead time components might drive down costs.

According to media reports, 6 firms have actually revealed interest in structure the brand-new nuclear system or units. They are China’s CGN, Russia’s Rosatom, South Korea’s KHNP, France’s EDF, Westinghouse, and the Atmea consortium of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and EDF.

There are four Russia-designed VVER-440 reactor systems at the Dukovany website. The federal government has said they need to be changed by new ones.  The Czech Republic has six commercially operational reactor systems. In addition to the 4 units at Dukovany, there are two Russian VVER-1000 units at Temelín. The more recent VVER got in income service in 2000 and 2002 respectively. They are both due for a 20 year license extension.

UAE Very First PWR at Barakah Operating License
on Schedule for 1 Q/2020

(Wire services) An authorities of the UAE nuclear energy regulative company said in a declaration at an market conference that the operating license for the first South Korean built PWR system of the Barakah power station might be released in the very first quarter of 2020. Start-up would follow later on in 2020.

Christer Viktorsson, director-general of the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, was cautiously positive about meeting this schedule.  He stated that missing unforseen problems, the plant will meet these turning points.

The four Barakah reactors are being developed by the Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO). There have been numerous hold-ups in beginning up the very first system due to problems getting enough staff trained and certified to run the reactor.

DOE Awards $3.5 Million to X-Energy
for Work on Its New Gas Reactor Style

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded nearly $3.5 million to X-energy to further establish its innovative nuclear reactor. The project will analyze ways to reduce building and upkeep expenses of the designer’s Xe-100 reactor style.

X-energy, situated in Rockville, Maryland, is developing a pebble bed, high-temperature gas-cooled reactor. The granted task will particularly focus on cutting costs through underground construction, the use of pooled off-site resources and streamlined passive security systems that don’t rely on big local water sources or pumps to avoid fuel damage. DOE is funding $3,468,323 of the $7,127,814 cost-shared project.


“Advanced reactors are taking off in the United States with more than 50 U.S. companies presently developing the technology,” stated Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette.

“These private-public collaborations are critical to ensure the success of the next generation of nuclear reactors by making them more inexpensive to construct and run.”

DOE has actually awarded $195 million over the last two years through its U.S. Industry Opportunities for Advanced Nuclear Technology Development financing opportunity. Subsequent quarterly application evaluation and choice procedures will be carried out three times per year over the next 3 years.

Advanced Reactors / NRC A dopts Recommendations
for SMR E mergency Preparation Zones

(NucNet) The US N uclear Regulative Commission has voted to adopt personnel recommendations to use “appropriately-sized” emergency situation preparation zone requirements for advanced nuclear technologies, consisting of little modular reactors, according to a declaration by the Nuclear Energy Institute.

The NEI said the relocation “demonstrates a dedication to updating policies so they align with the smaller sized size and the intrinsic security functions of innovative nuclear innovations.”

The NRC has modified the procedure for establishing the size of an emergency planning zone basing its radius on the potential effects related to the type of the advanced reactor.

Also, the NRC said it was seeking public comments on the proposed rule for emergency situation preparedness for SMRs and other new technologies. The NRC is proposing to change its guidelines and develop alternative requirements adopting a “risk-informed, performance-based, and technology-inclusive” approach.

The company stated in its declaration that the option requirements would include a scalable method for determining the size of the emergency situation planning zone around each center, based on the distance at which possible radiation dosages could need protective actions. The public and other interested celebrations can usage this rule making effort to comment on emergency preparedness policy issues such as:

• What planning activities ought to use to the performance-based method?
• How need to risk analysis be used to the performance-based technique?
• What particular factors or technical factors to consider are needed when using the scalable EPZ technique?

NEI applauded the NRC  action calling is it a “major turning point”

In its press declaration the NEI, which is a U.S. industry trade group for the nuclear energy market, consisting of utilities and item and service service providers, said it was pleased by the NRC’s action.

“This is a major turning point.  The staff’s recommendation to define more appropriately-sized emergency situation planning zone (EPZ) requirements for innovative nuclear innovations, the NRC shows a dedication to improving policies so they align with the smaller sized size and the intrinsic safety features of innovative nuclear innovations.”

The 10- mile zone in usage for existing plants was developed 40 years ago; since then, there has been extra research and boosted understanding of the security benefits of sophisticated reactor styles.

NRC regulations on emergency situation readiness were developed in the late 1970 s and have focused on big light-water reactors. In 2016, the NRC began evaluating its guideline making procedure taking into accountant emerging nuclear technologies like SMRs.



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