October Nuclear News Wrap Up: Nuclear Energy Making Strides
Numerous projects around the world point towards a future that is dependent on the nuclear industry. One common topic throughout the month revolved around energy sources. As our society continues to develop, the demand for energy continues to increase. Nuclear energy may be the answer to the global energy production crisis we have seen on the rise. Keep reading for the latest developments in the nuclear industry.
New Nuclear Energy Unit
The United States’ first new nuclear unit in more than 30 years began making strides toward becoming operational. Vogtle 3 began receiving 157 fuel assemblies into its unit and will soon produce energy for residents in Georgia for the next six to eight decades.
This is an ideal situation as Vogtle 3 and 4 will be long-term sources of energy for the state of Georgia. These units will be imperative for the future of the energy industry as a whole within the country and help ensure the growth of nuclear energy specifically. Vogtle 3 is expected to start commercial service within the first quarter of 2023 and Vogtle 4 later that year.
Annual NATO Nuclear Exercise Returns
NATO began its annual nuclear exercises on Oct. 17 and will continue until Oct. 30. These exercises, called “Steadfast Noon,” will test nuclear deterrence capabilities, utilizing air forces from 14 of NATO’s countries and over 60 aircraft. Though no live weapons are used, these exercises were established to ensure that the Alliance’s nuclear equipment remains effective from year to year.
The United States will once again send its B-52 long-range bombers to participate in the training flights. The training flights are taking place over the host country of Belgium, the North Sea, and the United Kingdom. The US bombers flew out of Minot Air Base in North Dakota.
Small Modular Reactors on the Rise
Duke Energy is involved in several projects revolving around nuclear energy. The company is continuing to use its existing nuclear energy units while adding small modular reactors (SMR) to increase its capabilities. SMRs produce 300 megawatts of energy while a large reactor traditionally produces around 1,000 megawatts. When you combine SMRs with large reactors, the options for meeting the nation’s energy crisis expand greatly, making sustainable clean energy accessible for those in remote areas.
The company is also working with Purdue University and NuScale to evaluate how nuclear can meet the university’s energy needs and to create a six-unit pilot SMR by 2030. Although it has not yet been granted an operating license, the project was the first SMR design to receive certification from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Nuclear’s Next Steps
The past month has proved that the development of nuclear energy is important and a real priority for our country now and into the future. With nuclear power stations having a low running cost and high longevity, nuclear energy serves as one of the most prominent solutions to the energy gap. Here at ARC, we are committed to promoting the growth of nuclear energy, along with the nuclear industry overall, and how it can benefit the future of our world.