TVA asks for public comments about proposed nuclear reactor site

TVA Clinch River Site
The Clinch River Site in west Oak Ridge is pictured above. The road running from bottom to top on the right (east) side of the Clinch River connects to Bear Creek Road in southwest Oak Ridge. Highway 58 is off to the top left of the photo and the Heritage Center is to the north. (Photo courtesy TVA)

The Tennessee Valley Authority is asking for public comment about a proposal to build one or more small or advanced nuclear reactors in west Oak Ridge.

The reactors would be on the Clinch River Nuclear Site, near the Clinch River and south of Heritage Center (the former K-25 site) in Roane County.

The reactors could be advanced or small modular nuclear reactors. They would have a maximum total electrical output of 800 megawatts. They would be smaller than traditional nuclear power plants, and they would produce less power.

Oak Ridge Today has previously reported that the reactors could provide enough electricity to power several cities the size of Oak Ridge

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NRC will issue early site permit for TVA Clinch River site

TVA Clinch River Site
The Clinch River Site in west Oak Ridge is pictured above. The road running from bottom to top on the right (east) side of the Clinch River connects to Bear Creek Road in southwest Oak Ridge. Highway 58 is off to the top left of the photo and the Heritage Center is to the north. (Photo courtesy TVA)

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced Tuesday that it will issue an early site permit to the Tennessee Valley Authority for the Clinch River site in west Oak Ridge, where small modular nuclear reactors could eventually be built.

The early site permit closes several site-related issues, including many related to environmental impacts, for small modular reactors at the site, the NRC said in a press release Tuesday.

The Commission authorized the agency’s Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation to issue the permit following a hearing on August 14. The Commission found the staff’s review of TVA’s application to be adequate to make the necessary regulatory safety and environmental findings, the press release said.

The early site permit, which will be valid for up to 20 years, is expected to be issued in the next few days.

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NRC could finish design review of small reactor by 2020

Cross-sectional view of the NuScale Power small modular reactor building. (Image courtesy NuScale Power)

NuScale Power of Portland, Oregon, said Monday that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has completed the second and third phases of its review of NuScale’s design for a small modular nuclear reactor, and the NRC is on track to complete the design review by September 2020.

This could be important to Oak Ridge because small modular reactors are possible at the Clinch River Nuclear Site in west Oak Ridge, although there are additional approvals that would be required.

The completion of the second and third phases of the NuScale design review is six weeks ahead of schedule, the company said in a press release on Monday.

“Completing phases 2 and 3 of the NRC’s design review certification process is a critical milestone for our company and the advanced nuclear industry,” said NuScale Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Hopkins.

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NRC has public hearing on Clinch River Nuclear Site in August

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Clinch-River-Nuclear-Site-Map-EIS-April-2019.jpg
This image shows the location of the Clinch River Nuclear Site in west Oak Ridge. (Image by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission from the April 2019 “Reader’s Guide” for the “Final Environmental Impact Statement for an Early Site Permit at the Clinch River Nuclear Site.”)


The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission will have a mandatory hearing on August 14 regarding an application for an early site permit for one or more small modular nuclear reactors at the Clinch River Nuclear Site in west Oak Ridge. It’s the final step in the agency’s review of the application.

The Commission hearing will include testimony and exhibits from the Tennessee Valley Authority, which applied for the early site permit, as well as from the NRC staff. The testimony and exhibits will be about the question of whether the NRC staff’s review adequately supports the findings that are necessary to issue a permit, a press release said.

The August 14 hearing will begin at 9 a.m. in the Commission Hearing Room at NRC Headquarters at 11555 Rockville Pike in Rockville, Maryland. The hearing will be open to public observation and webcast. A detailed agenda and presentation slides will be available in advance on the Commission’s meeting page.

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NRC has hearing on Oak Ridge site that could host small nuclear reactors

Image by the NRC from the April 2019 “Reader’s Guide” for the “Final Environmental Impact Statement for an Early Site Permit at the Clinch River Nuclear Site.”

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has scheduled a hearing for an application for a site in west Oak Ridge where small modular nuclear reactors could be built.

The hearing has been scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday, August 14, at the NRC in Rockville, Maryland.

The NRC will discuss an early site permit application submitted by the Tennessee Valley Authority for the Clinch River Nuclear Site. TVA has proposed using the 935-acre site, which is along the Clinch River south of Heritage Center (the former K-25 site), to build two or more small modular reactors. The site once hosted the former Clinch River Breeder Reactor Project.

During the August 14 hearing, the NRC will have an evidentiary session to hear testimony and receive exhibits in the uncontested proceeding for TVA’s early site permit application, according to a notice published in the Federal Register on Monday.

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Public can comment Tuesday on potential environmental impacts at Clinch River site

Clinch-River-Site-Bear-Creek-Road-Entrance-March-27-2016

The small nuclear reactors that could be built along the Clinch River in west Oak Ridge could provide enough electricity to power several cities the size of Oak Ridge. The Bear Creek Road entrance to the Clinch River Site, where the reactors could be built by the Tennessee Valley Authority, is pictured above on Sunday, March 27, 2016. (File photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

 

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission will meet with the public in Kingston today (Tuesday, June 5) to discuss a draft conclusion that environmental impacts would be small enough to allow an early site permit to be issued for the Clinch River site in west Oak Ridge, where a small modular nuclear reactor could be built.

While in Kingston, the NRC staff will discuss the agency’s draft environmental impact statement on the early site permit application for the 1,200-acre Clinch River site, which is south of East Tennessee Technology Park (the former K-25 site) and east of State Route 58.

“The NRC is interested in the public’s views on the agency’s overall draft conclusion that environmental impacts would be small enough to allow the agency to issue the permit,” a press release said.

The NRC will be at Noah’s Event Venue, which is at 1200 Ladd Landing Boulevard in Kingston, from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. (as needed) on Tuesday, June 5. NRC staff will describe the environmental review process and the conclusions of the draft environmental impact statement. Each meeting will conclude with a formal public comment period, the press release said. NRC open houses, which are scheduled from 1-2 p.m. and 6-7 p.m., will provide the public the opportunity to talk informally with agency staff. [Read more…]

Updated: X-energy, Centrus Energy to develop fuel for advanced nuclear reactors

Larry Cutlip, left, Centrus Energy vice president of field operations, and Pete Pappano, X Energy vice president of fuel production, announce a collaboration on fuel for advanced nuclear reactors at the Nuclear Suppliers Workshop at Pollard Technology Conference Center on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

Larry Cutlip, left, Centrus Energy vice president of field operations, and Pete Pappano, X Energy vice president of fuel production, announce a collaboration on fuel for advanced nuclear reactors at the Nuclear Suppliers Workshop at Pollard Technology Conference Center on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

 

This story was last updated at 5:30 a.m. Sept. 7.

Two companies that have operations or employees in Oak Ridge are exploring a collaboration for the possible production of fuel for advanced nuclear reactors.

The two companies, X Energy LLC and Centrus Energy Corporation, announced Wednesday that they have signed a memorandum of understanding for the potential collaboration.

They are expected to put together a business plan for the fuel fabrication business. It’s not clear how long that might take, said Jeremy Derryberry, Centrus Energy senior communications manager.

But the companies are working toward the development of a fuel fabrication facility that could possibly be in Oak Ridge, where Centrus, formerly known as USEC, has had operations for about 15 years.

“We really think that Oak Ridge can be a nexus for the advanced reactor industry in the U.S. going forward,” Derryberry said in a telephone interview Wednesday.
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NRC seeks comment on environmental matters at Clinch River Nuclear Site

TVA-SMRs-at-NRC-Meeting-April-12-2016

The Tennessee Valley Authority has applied for an early site permit that could allow small modular nuclear reactors at the Clinch River Site in west Oak Ridge, possibly as soon as the mid-2020s. Pictured above at a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission meeting on the early site permit on Tuesday, April 12, 2016, is Dan Stout, TVA senior manager, small modular reactors. (File photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

 

The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission will seek public comments on what environmental matters it should consider during its review of the early site permit application for the Clinch River Nuclear Site in west Oak Ridge.

The NRC will seek the comments during two meetings in Oak Ridge on Monday that are part of the process used to develop an environmental impact statement.

The first meeting is from 1-4 p.m. Monday, May 15, in the Pollard Technology Conference Center Auditorium at 210 Badger Avenue in Oak Ridge. The second meeting is from 6-9 p.m. that same day.

The Tennessee Valley Authority submitted an application last May for the early site permit for small modular nuclear reactors, or SMRs, at the Clinch River Site in west Oak Ridge. The early site permit application is for two or more SMRs. The NRC accepted the application for “docketing and detailed technical review” in December.

A specific reactor design has not been selected. TVA has identified parameters for a surrogate nuclear plant, and the NRC will use them to evaluate the site’s suitability for building and operating a new nuclear plant. [Read more…]

DOE provides more funding for small nuclear reactor project

mPower Containment

Conceptual drawing of an underground containment structure housing two B&W mPower™ reactor modules. (Image courtesy B&W)

Federal officials have agreed to spend another $20.5 million on a project that could result in a small modular nuclear reactor in west Oak Ridge within a decade.

The Babcock & Wilcox Co. announced Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Energy has allocated the additional funding to an agreement with Babcock & Wilcox mPower Inc. (B&W mPower) under what is known as the Small Modular Reactor Licensing Technical Support Program.

The small modular reactor, which can generate 180 megawatts of electricity, could be built at the former Clinch River Breeder Reactor site in west Oak Ridge by 2022. [Read more…]

TVA, B&W sign agreement for small nuclear reactor at Clinch River Site

The Tennessee Valley Authority and Babcock and Wilcox announced Wednesday a major step in their joint effort to build and test the nation’s first small modular reactor at TVA’s Clinch River Site in Oak Ridge.

TVA and B&W signed a contract Feb. 7 that formalizes the process toward the eventual submittal and Nuclear Regulatory Commission review of a licensing application for a B&W mPower small modular reactor, or SMR, nuclear plant at Clinch River.

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