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Will the microgrid industry and the public accept small nuclear reactors?

By Lisa Cohn Photo: Sakkmesterke, Shutterstock

The federal Department of Energy (DOE) is studying small nuclear generators as a carbon-free, resilient and potentially affordable component of microgrids, but some microgrid industry members say it’s unlikely their nonmilitary customers will soon embrace the technology because of safety concerns.


Emerging small reactors projected to provide 90 GW of nuclear power to the US grid by 2050: NEI survey

By Elizabeth McCarthy

The push for carbon-free energy will drive the growth of small modular reactors, or SMRs, with 300 of them expected to be online by 2050 supplying 731 TWh of power, according to the results of a survey the Nuclear Energy Institute conducted with a subset of its member utilities and released Aug. 5.


Newsom plan aims to extend life of Diablo Canyon nuclear plant

By Michael R. Blood Photo: Michael A. Mariant, Associated Press

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday proposed extending the life of the state’s last operating nuclear power plant by at least five to 10 years to maintain reliable power supplies in the climate change era.


Wildfires could release radioactive particles from nuclear sites

By Ycc Team

Nuclear disasters can release widespread, dangerous radioactive fallout. Research facilities and nuclear weapons tests can also leave behind varying levels of radioactive particles in soil and plants.
Christine Eriksen of ETH Zürich warns that at some sites, wildfires could later release those particles into the air.
“Locally, in the area of the fire and where the smoke travels to, the particles will travel with that,” Eriksen says.


A New Era Of Nuclear Power Has Just Begun

By Will Lockett Photo: NuScale

Nuclear power is key to our fight against climate change. Despite its potential dangers, it actually has the lowest death rate per gigawatt of power produced by any energy source and is one of the lowest carbon energy sources we have. What’s more, we need its powerful, compact, and on-tap energy nature in our future carbon-neutral energy grids as it fills a critical hole left by solar and wind. But nuclear power has a problem: it is damn expensive and inflexible, causing many to turn their backs on this vital energy source. Fortunately, the US nuclear regulators have just approved a new revolutionary nuclear reactor design that will solve these problems and beckon in a nuclear renaissance. Welcome to the incredible world of NuScale’s groundbreaking Small Modular Reactor (SMR).


Breakthrough Discovery Will Make Fusion Reactors More Powerful & Compact

By Will Lockett

Fusion energy has the potential to revolutionise human society. In theory, it can create copious amounts of energy from a minuscule amount of fuel and generate on-demand power with no carbon emissions or high-level nuclear waste. This is why it has been hailed as the ultimate energy source. But in practice, it is a nightmare. For decades, our machines have lagged far behind what is expected and have been so inefficient that they use more energy to run fusion reactions than the energy they have been capable of extracting from them. Thankfully, a recent innovation using magnets could be about to change that. But what do magnets have to do with fusion? And could this really unlock this utopian energy source?


Climate Change Could Make Nuclear Power Plants Useless

By Will Lockett Photo: Fusun Tut, Unsplash

Nuclear power is incredible when you think about it. We can harness the power of atomic degradation and utilise Einstein’s theory of special relativity (E=MC²) to create powerful on-demand low carbon energy. Such technology has the potential to halt our rampant fossil fuel consumption and negate the…


‘The clock is ticking’: PG&E exploring possibility of keeping Diablo Canyo open to boost reliability: CEO

By Kavya Balaraman Photo: Tracey Adams

Pacific Gas & Electric is exploring the possibility of keeping the 2.2 GW Diablo Canyon nuclear plant open beyond its currently scheduled retirement in 2024 and 2025 to support the reliability of California’s electricity system, PG&E Corp. CEO Patti Poppe told analysts during the company’s earnings call Thursday.


Nuclear Power Plants Are Struggling to Stay Cool

By Gregory Barber

FROM ITS HUMBLE start as a glacial trickle in the Swiss Alps, the Rhône River quickly transforms into one of the world’s most industrialized waterways. As it winds through the south of France toward the Mediterranean Sea, its chilly water is drawn into boilers, sucked through pipes as coolant, deviated for agriculture. Among its biggest customers is a battalion of nuclear reactors. Since the 1970s, the river and its tributaries have helped generate about a quarter of France’s atomic energy.


Calif.’s last nuclear plant faces closure. Can it survive?

By Anne C. Mulkern Photo: Tracey Adams , Flickr

California political leaders are debating whether to keep the state’s final nuclear power plant open beyond 2025, a decision with repercussions for the state’s emissions, electricity mix and ability to prevent blackouts amid high demand in the years ahead.
But saving the Diablo Canyon Power Plant — near the Pacific Ocean in San Luis Obispo County — would require clearing numerous hurdles within just a few years.