NRC Approves Safety Report for Westinghouse Small Modular Nuclear Reactor

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved Westinghouse Electric’s testing approach for the Westinghouse small modular reactor (SMR) design. The NRC told Westinghouse that it has granted a safety evaluation report (SER) for the licensing topical report that the company submitted in April 2012 for agency review and approval. The Westinghouse SMR is a 225-MW integral pressurized water reactor with all primary components located inside of the reactor vessel.

Energy Disconnect

Misguided policies threaten resource adequacy.

Resource planning is grinding to a halt. From EPA regulations to irrational markets, today’s policy missteps threaten tomorrow’s reliability.

B&W, TVA Plan Small Modular Reactor

Babcock & Wilcox mPower (B&W mPower) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) signed a contract to prepare and support nuclear regulatory commission (NRC) review of a construction permit application for a B&W mPower small modular reactor (SMR) nuclear plant at TVA’s Clinch River Site in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The DOE awarded a cost-sharing grant to B&W mPower in November 2012. Preliminary work at the Clinch River site is expected to begin once B&W mPower and the DOE sign a cooperative agreement for the grant funds.

Vendor Neutral

(May 2012) Entergy Louisiana starts construction on gas-fired power project; Virginia Commonwealth University and Dominion partner on a test site for efficient energy technologies; Burlington Electric Department selects Siemens for meter data management platform; IKEA commissions four Blink electric vehicle charging stations; Edison Mission Energy, TIAA-CREF and Cook Inlet Region Inc. form partnership, and others.

Turnkey Redefined

Engineering and construction firms adapt to a changing market.

Engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts are evolving as utilities seek to spread risks, contain costs, and execute their business strategies. As a result, turnkey contractors are adapting their capabilities to meet the industry’s changing needs. Leading EPC firms share their vision for a 21st century energy industry—and their role in building it.

The Incredible Shrinking Reactor

Small is beautiful for nuclear developers.

Small modular reactors (SMRs) are nuclear generating units that are about the size of railroad cars and provide about one-tenth to one-fourth the power of full-size reactors. As a result, they cost a fraction of what full-size reactors cost. The reactors are designed to provide between 40 MW and 300 MW of electric power, compared with the 1,100 to 1,700 MW output of larger reactors. In addition, most are expected to cost under $1 billion, compared with the $5 billion to $10 billion price tags of the larger units.

Price Forecasting in Spot Markets: Hidden Risks in Single-Part Bidding

The California Power Exchange doesn't solicit separate bids for plant start-up, spinning reserve or base load operation. That can make spark spreads a bit misleading

IT SHOULD COME AS NO SURPRICE THAT THE PROSPECT OF electric competition has created a huge demand for price forecasting services. To their credit, the forecasters have obliged, supplying an abundance of tools and techniques. Do the forecasts serve the needs of those who would use them?

Some might wish to use a price forecast to assign a value to assets.

Spectrum Auctions at the FCC: A Lesson for Utilities?

When the fanfare dies down, winners face the same challenge as with any new start-up but may enjoy more options than incumbent licensees.

The Federal Communications Commission's auctions of spectrum should concern two types of energy utilities: those who participate in the auctions and those who don't.

Initially, these auctions were viewed as a spectacular new regulatory tool (em able to raise billions of dollars for the public, without troubling the overburdened taxpayer. As of late, however, a dark side has emerged. Bidders have cried fraud.