1/19/2022 – Advanced Reactor Stakeholder Public Meeting
An early topic in the meeting was related to the status of the advanced reactor generic environmental impact statement and rulemaking. The proposed rule package is publicly available and is with the NRC Commission for review and vote. If the Commission votes to approve, there will be a 75-day public comment period. The rulemaking information can be found in NRC ADAMS (ADAMS Accession Number ML21222A044) and on the NRC Planned Rulemaking Activities website.
12/14/2021 – EPRI Lunch and Learn with ENERCON
ENERCON has been actively supporting the development of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) and other advanced reactor designs by providing engineering, licensing, and environmental services to several advanced nuclear vendors. ENERCON joined EPRI’s Advanced Nuclear Technology (ANT) Program in 2021 and is actively engaged with the program and the workshops. Members of ANT program include major nuclear companies and research organizations that are developing advanced reactor technologies, including the various types of SMRs, Micro Reactors, and other Gen IV reactor designs.
EPRI’s Advanced Nuclear Technology Program goal is to reduce the risk and uncertainty of building and operating nuclear power plants by improving every stage of the deployment life cycle – siting, licensing, constructing, startup, and initial operations. The ANT program targets efficiency improvement opportunities by developing technical products and tools that minimize deployment and operational risks and uncertainties.
EPRI ANT program leaders recently presented the details of the ANT program in a training session to ENERCON nuclear engineering personnel, which generated more excitement about the future of advanced nuclear technologies and ENERCON’s participation with these technologies.
11/08/2021 – 2021 NAYGN Southeast Region Conference
Nuclear professionals of all ages converged on Southern Nuclear Company’s offices in Birmingham, Alabama, from November 8th through the 10th at the North American Young Generation Nuclear (NAYGN) Southeastern Regional Conference. The conference theme was “Sparking change today for a cleaner, sustainable future tomorrow.” Representatives from SNC, TVA, Entergy, ENERCON, and others honed soft skills, networked, and heard from some of our industry’s top figures such as INPO Director Ramon Martinez, Brown’s Ferry Site VP Matthew Rasmussen, SNC Engineering VP Brad Adams, and the keynote speaker: former US NRC Chairman Kristine Svinicki.
10/18/2021 – 2021 Test, Research, and Training Reactors (TRTR) Annual Conference
The 2021 TRTR Virtual Conference covered a broad array of topics and challenges for the US TRTR fleet. Topics covered included advanced reactors, licensing processes, and a variety of modernizing TRTR modifications. The conference held true to the theme that innovation and modernization are transforming the industry.
10/08/2021 – USNIC House Update Meeting
The US Nuclear Industry Council hosted a meeting with Peter Spencer from the House Energy and Commerce Committee to provide an update of the ongoing activities in the House of Representatives related to the nuclear power industry. The industry representatives expressed concern that without federal DOE support for developing High-Assay Low-Enriched Uranium (HALEU) enrichment facilities, many of the advanced nuclear developers will not be successful in commissioning their reactor designs. Approximately 80% of the advanced nuclear reactor designs rely on HALEU, and the only HALEU enrichment facility is located in Russia. Approximately $31 Million was allocated in the current federal budget for HALEU, and the industry’s opinion is that $200 Million is required to support HALEU.
The industry expressed concern that the proposed regulations for Part 53 are overly restrictive considering the potential hazards associated with the advanced reactor designs. The USNIC submitted letters to Congress documenting the industry concerns and emphasized to Mr. Spencer that Congress needs to be more involved with the NRC rulemaking to ensure that the Part 53 rulemaking is not overly restrictive.
09/15/2021 – NRC Part 53
ENERCON attended the NRC Public Meeting on 10 CFR Part 53 Licensing and Regulation of Advanced Nuclear Reactors. The discussion during this meeting focused on evaluating changes to facilities as described in the FSAR (the Part 53 equivalent to 50.59. The key difference with the Part 53 version of 50.59 is the use of PRA-centered approaches. The discussion continued to describe how the PRA-based design lends itself to this rule language, particularly when evaluating event sequences margins. This process provides a great framework for evaluating the margins gained or lost from the proposed change.
06/29/2021 – NRC MELCOR Workshop
ENERCON attended the NRC Public Meeting on the use of the SCALE and MELCOR software to model the Nuclear Steam Supply Systems of various advanced reactor technologies. During this meeting, the NRC staff presented the details of their approach to model the reactor systems and determine various parameters such as thermal-hydraulic parameters, radioactive source terms, criticality, beyond design basis accident progression, and radioactive effluent releases.