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Nuclear Regulatory Commission - News Release
No: 23-075 November 16, 2023
CONTACT: Scott Burnell, 301-415-8200
NRC Makes Available Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant License Renewal Application
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has made available an application from Pacific Gas & Electric to renew the operating licenses for Diablo Canyon Power Plant, Units 1 and 2, in Avila Beach, California.
PG&E filed on Nov. 7 an application seeking to renew the licenses for an additional 20 years of operation. Diablo Canyon’s pressurized-water reactors, about 12 miles southwest of San Luis Obispo, are currently licensed to operate through Nov. 2, 2024, for Unit 1 and through Aug. 26, 2025, for Unit 2.
The NRC staff is reviewing the application to determine if it is sufficiently complete to begin the agency’s extensive safety and environmental reviews. If the application is determined to be complete, the staff will docket it and publish a notice of opportunity to request an adjudicatory hearing before the NRC’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board. The reactors’ licenses will then remain valid, under an exemption from agency regulations, until the agency’s review is complete.
Information about the license renewal process is available on the NRC website. A copy of the Diablo Canyon license renewal application will be available at the San Luis Obispo Library, 995 Palm St. in San Luis Obispo.
Document Title:
 Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station - Pre-Notice of Disbursement from Decommissioning Trust
Document Type:
Document Date:


 Will Wade, Bloomberg News, 8 Nov 2023
BLOOMBERG — NuScale Power Corp., the first company with US approval for a small nuclear reactor designis canceling plans to build a power plant for a Utah provider as costs surge. The move is a major setback to the burgeoning technology that has been heralded as the next era for atomic energy.
The company and Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems agreed to cancel the [self-styled]  Carbon Free Power Project, according to a statement Wednesday. NuScale shares slumped as much as 42%, the biggest intraday decline since the Portland, Oregon-based firm went public through a 2022 merger with a blank-check company.
The decision to terminate the project underscores the hurdles the industry faces to place the first so-called small modular reactor into commercial service in the country. NuScale is part of a wave of companies developing smaller reactors that will be manufactured in factories and assembled on site, a strategy that’s expected to make them faster and cheaper than conventional nuclear plants.
Salt Lake City-based UAMPS [Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems] supplies wholesale electric services to about 50 municipal utilities in the US West. The companies had said that UAMPS members or other utilities needed to commit to buying 80% of the project’s power for it to be feasible. NuScale has agreed to pay UAMPS a termination fee of $49.8 million. 
“The customer made it clear we needed to reach 80%, and that was just not achievable,” NuScale Chief Executive Officer John Hopkins said on a conference call Wednesday. “Once you’re on a dead horse, you dismount quickly. That’s where we are here.”
Critics have warned that costs for the NuScale project were climbing. The company said in 2021 it would deliver power for $58 a megawatt-hour, but that figure has jumped 53% to $89, according to a report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.
Read More: Nuclear Plant $16 Billion Over Budget Arrives for Atomic Revival
Nuclear energy has seen a recent resurgence as intensifying climate change boosts the appeal of the carbon-free power source. But the major costs involved in building new plants have been a stumbling block for the industrySouthern Co.’s Vogtle project is nearing completion and will be the first newly constructed US reactors in decades — but it came in billions over budgetOne of the promises of smaller reactors is that they were supposed to be easier to build, which would limit cost overruns.
The Carbon Free Power Project would have used six of NuScale’s 77-megawatt reactors, installed at Idaho National Laboratory. It had been expected to begin delivering power in 2029. 
The project, which was granted a $1.4 billion cost-sharing award with the Department of Energy in 2020, has received $232 million of that funding, according to the department. 
“We absolutely need advanced nuclear energy technology to meet ambitious clean energy goals,” the DOE said in a statement. “First-of-a-kind deployments, such as CFPP, can be difficult.”
—With assistance from Ari Natter.ed Nov 08, 2023
NuScale ends Utah project, in blow to US nuclear power ambitions
By Timothy Gardner and Manas Mishra, REUTERS, November 9, 2023
Nov 8 (Reuters) - (This Nov. 8 story has been corrected to show that the Energy Department provided $600 million to NuScale and others to commercialize small reactor technology, not $600 million provided to NuScale, in paragraph 2)
NuScale Power (SMR.N) said on Wednesday it has agreed with a power group in Utah to terminate the company's small modular reactor project, dealing a blow to U.S. ambitions for a wave of nuclear energy to fight climate change and sending NuScale's shares down 20%.
In 2020, the Department of Energy approved $1.35 billion over 10 years for the plant, known as the Carbon Free Power Project, subject to congressional appropriations. The department has provided NuScale and others about $600 million since 2014 to support commercialization of small reactor technologies.
NuScale had planned to develop the six-reactor 462 megawatt project with the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) and launch it in 2030, but several towns pulled out of the project as costs rose.
John Hopkins, NuScale's president and CEO, said in a release that the company will continue with its other domestic and international customers to bring American small modular reactor (SMR) technology to market and increase the U.S. nuclear manufacturing bases.
NuScale hopes to build SMRs in Romania, Kazakhstan, Poland and Ukraine. Critics have warned that Russia's takeover of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine -- along with repeated shelling near it, power cuts, and perils to the plant's water cooling resources -- means that reactors, which can release toxic, radioactive materials when disasters strike, should not be built in the region.
NuScale's Utah plant was expected to be the first SMR to win a license from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for construction. But NuScale said it appeared unlikely the project will have enough subscription to continue toward deployment.
NuScale said in January the target price for power from the plant was $89 per megawatt hour, up 53% from the previous estimate of $58 per MWh, raising concerns about customers' willingness to pay.
An Energy Department spokesperson said it was unfortunate news, but added, "We believe the work accomplished to date on CFPP will be valuable for future nuclear energy projects.
"While not every project is guaranteed to succeed, DOE remains committed to doing everything we can to deploy these technologies to combat the climate crisis and increase access to clean energy," the spokesperson said.
Existing U.S. nuclear plants, which are larger, provide nearly half of the virtually carbon-free power generated in the U.S.
SMRs are meant to fit new applications such as replacing shut coal plants and being located in remote communities.
Backers have said the design was safer than today's reactors, but critics have said SMRs still produce hazardous nuclear waste.
So far, only NuScale's SMR design has been approved by the NRC.
The public U.S. money for NuScale was awarded through a non-competitive funding vehicle that came before the energy and climate bills passed during the Biden administration.
Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru and Timothy Gardner in Washington; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta, Krishna Chandra Eluri and Leslie Adler
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
NuScale small nuclear reactor project in Idaho canceled
Customers "dodge a debacle" as Utah utility UAMPS pulls the plug on the US' first SMR
By Peter Judge, Data Center Dynamics (data magazine,) November 9, 2023
Plans to build the US' first small modular reactor (SMR) in Idaho have been canceled.
The power utility Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS), and the reactor company NuScale, have announced they will cancel the Carbon Free Power Project (CFPP), a small modular reactor (SMR) project that was to be built at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL).
The data center industry has recently been eyeing up SMRs as a cost-effective way to acquire low-carbon energy. NuScale has signed a deal with blockchain firm Standard Power to build 24 of the units, each providing 77MW. However, in recent weeks, NuScale has faced investigation by lawyers, after a short seller report claimed that the Standard Power deal was likely to fail.
“We're happy for the communities and ratepayers who have dodged a huge financial debacle as a result of the cancellation of NuScale and UAMPS' proposed SMR project," said David Schlissel, director of resource planning analysis at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and author of a critical 2022 analysis of the project.
"As we have repeatedly shown, this project and the other SMRs that are being hyped by the nuclear industry and its allies are simply too late, too expensive, too uncertain, and too risky," said Schlissel. "There are less risky and more proven alternatives for addressing growing energy needs and the global warming crisis.”
Explaining the decision, a joint statement on the UAMPS site yesterday said: “Despite significant efforts by both parties to advance the CFPP, it appears unlikely that the project will have enough subscription to continue toward deployment. UAMPS and NuScale have mutually determined that ending the project is the most prudent decision for both parties.”
UAMPS, a non-profit utility owned by the State of Utah, which provides power to states in the inter-mountain region, originally planned the CFPP to include 12 NuScale SMR power modules delivering 720MW. The project was due to be funded by subscriptions from towns in the region, but it was scaled back to six modules (462MW) when these subscriptions lagged.
"All indications were that the project was on schedule for the first NuScale Power Module to begin generating power in 2029, with the remaining modules coming online for full plant operation by 2030" reports Aaron Larson on Power, "but the project came to an abrupt halt on Wednesday."
The decision was welcomed by Rusty Cannon, president of the Utah Taxpayers Association, in a statement: “As we have said for many years, taxpayer-funded entities should not be acting as venture capitalists on risky projects, no matter what the nature of the project is. This welcome news for taxpayers in Utah confirms what reasonable voices surrounding this project have known and spoken about for years- that it was doomed to fail.”
Warning bells had been sounded since at least November 2022, when Schlissel's IEEFA report said that the project's cost estimates had "ballooned" from $55 per megawatt-hour (MWh) to a "shocking" $90-$100 MWh, leaving the project’s future in serious doubt.
Schlissel pointed to "the long history of delayed and over-budget projects that have plagued the nuclear industry," warning that the project would require even bigger subsidies from federal taxpayers.
In 2020, the Department of Energy gave the CFPP a $1.4bn subsidy. Cannon commented: "It’s uncertain what will happen to federal subsidy now that the project has been terminated."
In recent CFPP project management meetings, CFPP project director Shawn Hughes had reported that CFPP had met or exceeded all planned milestones, and was on track to get the necessary license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
UAMPS remained positive in October, saying: “The project’s progress not only represents major achievements for CFPP as a specific entity but also within the broader context of the development of small modular nuclear reactors.”
But potential subscribers were not convinced and refused to sign up for the higher power prices, leading to the decision to pull the plug. UAMPS CEO Mason Baker said (in the release): “This decision is very disappointing given the years of pioneering hard work put into the CFPP by UAMPS, CFPP LLC, NuScale, US Department of Energy, and the UAMPS member communities that took the leadership role to launch the CFPP."
NuScale CEO John Hopkins put a positive light on the decision: “Through our work with UAMPS and our partnership with the US Department of Energy [DOE], we have advanced our NuScale Power Modules to the point that utilities, governments, and industrials can rely on a proven small modular reactor (SMR) technology that has regulatory approval and is in active production."
Although CFPP had been canceled, he said that in 10 years of work, NuScale had reached a milestone of having an SMR ready for commercial deployment, and promised to build on this: “NuScale will continue with our other domestic and international customers to bring our American SMR technology to market and grow the US nuclear manufacturing base, creating jobs across the US. We thank UAMPS for the collaboration that has enabled this advancement.”
As well as the controversial Standard Power deal, NuScale has an agreement with Nucor Corporation, to explore using SMRs to power steel mills which create metal from recycled steel. NuScale is also researching using nuclear power to make hydrogen with Shell.
The company has also initiated a project aimed at building an SMR in Poland.
NuScale's shares had already fallen 80 percent, since a high of nearly $15 in August 2022, to around $3 yesterday. Since the announcement, they have dropped to around $2.
Nuclear Reuglatory Commission - News Release
No: I-23-015 November 9, 2023
CONTACT: Diane Screnci, 610-337-5330
Neil Sheehan, 610-337-5331
NRC Proposes $43,750 Civil Penalty for Shipment of Equipment from Oyster Creek that Exceeded Radiation Limits
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has proposed a $43,750 fine for Holtec Decommissioning International for shipping radioactive materials in a package exceeding regulatory transportation limits.
The package, which contained decommissioning equipment, was shipped in an open transport vehicle from the Oyster Creek site in Lacey Township, New Jersey, to the Indian Point site in Buchanan, New York, where the radiation levels were detected on the outside surface. Holtec owns and is decommissioning both nuclear power plants.
There was no impact to the public as a consequence of this incident. The elevated radioactivity levels were confined to the top of the package and were not accessible to the public while in transit.
“This enforcement action reinforces that the NRC will hold licensees accountable if they don’t meet the requirements,” said NRC Region I Administrator Raymond Lorson. “We expect nuclear plant personnel to be diligent and ensure that no shipments are leaving their facilities that could in any way adversely affect the public.”
The NRC documented the Oyster Creek proposed violation in an August inspection report. In a separate finding, the NRC identified a “Severity Level IV” violation at Indian Point for Holtec’s failure to make a timely report to the NRC when the shipping package radiation level was found to exceed the regulatory limits. Holtec personnel at Indian Point should have reported it immediately but did not notify the NRC until the following day. This violation is lowest of four levels because there were no or relatively inappreciable safety consquences.
Holtec acknowledged the violation in a written response and provided corrective actions it has taken or will put in place to prevent a recurrence.
Nuclear Reuglatory Commission - News Release
No: I-23-014 November 9, 2023
CONTACT: Diane Screnci, 610-337-5330
Neil Sheehan, 610-337-5331
NRC Proposes $17,500 Fine to Puerto Rico Firm for Apparent Violation Involving Nuclear Gauge
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has proposed a $17,500 civil penalty against a Toa Alta, Puerto Rico, firm for failing to dispose of or transfer a portable nuclear gauge and complete decommissioning of its site within the required time period.
Almonte Geo Services Group was licensed by the NRC to own and possess portable gauges containing small amounts of radioactive material. The gauges are used for such purposes as measuring the density of soil at construction sites.
In September 2015, the NRC issued an order revoking the company’s license for failing to pay fees it owed to the agency. Under the order, Almonte was required to dispose of or transfer its nuclear gauges to another authorized party within 60 days. The company eventually transferred two of its gauges and began decommissioning activities, but retained one other gauge.
The NRC issued a notice of violation in February and informed Almonte that the agency would consider a imposing a fine if the company did not take action to dispose of the remaining gauge.
“The NRC’s primary interest is in ensuring such gauges are licensed, used and stored properly, and that they do not fall into the wrong hands, possibly harming those not familiar with the radioactive contents,” NRC Region I Administrator Raymond Lorson said.
While the company is no longer licensed to possess or use this gauge, the NRC has verified that the gauge is being properly secured at Almonte’s facility to prevent unauthorized access or removal.
Contact: Glenn Carroll, Nuclear Watch South Coordinator, 404-432-8727, glenn@nonukesyall.org
Vogtle Units 3 and 4 Could Increase Georgia Power Company Summer Residential Rates by 26%


No: 23-073 November 8, 2023
CONTACT: David McIntyre, 301-415-8200

NRC Releases Zion Nuclear Power Plant Site for Unrestricted Public Use

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has released for “unrestricted use” most of the land
on and around where the Zion Nuclear Power Station once operated. This means that any
residual radiation is below NRC’s limits and there will be no further regulatory controls by the
NRC for that portion of the property. Only the plant’s spent fuel storage facility, covering about
5 acres, will remain under NRC license and oversight.

NRC staff determined ZionSolutions had satisfactorily finished decommissioning of the
plant and decontamination of the site to meet the agency’s radiation protection standards. This
clears the way for ZionSolutions to transfer the spent fuel storage facility license to Constellation
Energy Generation, which will be responsible for the security and protection of Zion’s spent fuel
facility until an offsite storage facility or permanent disposal site becomes available.

Constellation is free to use the remainder of the former plant site for any application.
The Zion plant, located in Zion, Illinois, consisted of two pressurized-water reactors that
operated from 1973 until 1997. Then-operator Commonwealth Edison certified the permanent
shutdown of the plant in 1998. In 2010, the licenses were transferred to ZionSolutions, a
subsidiary of radioactive waste disposal company EnergySolutions, to expedite the
decommissioning process.

The NRC approved the current transfer to Constellation in 2019, conditional on
ZionSolutions’ successful completion of the decommissioning work. Once the two companies
close on their transaction, the NRC will issue amendments changing the name on the license to
Constellation Energy Generation.


Docketed today 11/8/2023 Zion - Request for Extension of Order Approving Transfer



Document Title:  Zion Nuclear Power Station, Units 1 and 2, Request for Extension of Order Approving Transfer of the License from ZionSolutions, LLC to Constellation Energy Generation, LLC
Document Type:  Letter
Document Date:  10/31/2023
Subject: NRC Request for Additional Information re. Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, Units 1 & 2 - Relief Request 5RR-02 (EPID L-2023-LLR-0027) Email
ADAMS Accession No.: ML23303A166

Oil & gas industry joins fight against nuclear waste site proposed in southeast New Mexico
Adrian Hedden
Carlsbad Current-Argus
November 7, 2023

Some of the biggest oil and gas companies in the Permian Basin came out against a proposed nuclear waste facility in southeast New Mexico.

The basin spans southeast New Mexico and West Texas and is regarded as one of the most active fossil fuel regions in the world. It was forecast to produce about 5.9 million barrels of oil per day (bopd) in November, according to the Energy Information Administration. That is about half of the more than 12 million bopd of total U.S. output.

All that oil production is driven by some of the world’s largest energy companies establishing heavy operations in the region.

Occidental Petroleum, Concho Resources, Diamondback Energy and Fasken Oil and Ranch signed on to a Nov. 1 letter from the Permian Basin Coalition, along with other oil and gas companies and local governments, to oppose a nuclear waste storage facility near Carlsbad and Hobbs that Holtec International proposes.

Holtec proposed to build a facility to temporarily store spent nuclear fuel rods at the site on the surface, ultimately with a capacity to hold up to 100,000 metric tons of the waste brought into the region via rail from nuclear power plants around the country.

About 2,000 metric tons of the waste is produced annually by reactors in the U.S., according to a report from Department of Energy.

The proposed location was on an about 1,000-acre tract of land near border of Eddy and Lea counties.

Government and business leaders in Eddy and Lea counties and the cities of Carlsbad and Hobbs touted the project as a safe means to diversify the economy of the oil-dependent region and drive-up local revenue.

They formed the Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance (ELEA) which sited the facility, recruited Holtec and aided the company in applying in 2017 for a federal license through the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

The NRC issued Holtec’s license in May after years of public meetings, comments and analysis of the project.

But in its letter to U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), a frequent critic of the Holtec project, the coalition urged the lawmaker to seek federal legislation that would block the proposal.

The letter argued temporary storage as the company planned to build, should only exist when a permanent repository was available.

Such a site does not exist in the U.S. after a project at Yucca Mountain, Nevada was blocked by lawmakers in that state.

“The cross-country transport, consolidation, and interim storage of America’s entire inventory of spent nuclear fuel should only be considered once a permanent repository is underway and should never occur absent consent from affected communities,” read the coalition’s letter.

That consent was not present in New Mexico or Texas, argued the letter, where a similar facility in Andrews, Texas was licensed by NRC last year but was blocked by a court order.

Both states passed legislation barring high-level nuclear waste storage, amid opposition from New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Lujan Grisham called the projects “economic malpractice” for the risks she said they could pose to other industries nearby.

And the U.S. Department of Energy recently started a program to develop regulations for a “consent-based” siting model for nuclear facilities, that would require states to agree to host the facilities.

A bill to put such policy into law was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Dina Titus of Nevada, with identical legislation brought to the U.S. Senate by Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto also of Nevada.

Neither bill had garnered co-sponsorship by any of New Mexico’s congressional delegation as of Friday.

The coalition’s letter called on Heinrich to fight against any federal bills to allow nuclear waste sites like Holtec’s be developed without consent from host states, and push policy to strengthen such requirements as in Titus’ bill.

“Therefore, we are writing to respectfully request that you remain diligent in ensuring that no such legislation is enacted and humbly ask for your leadership in passing legislation to protect not only the State of New Mexico but also neighboring Texans and the many vulnerable communities along the waste’s transportation routes,” read the letter.

The group argued nuclear waste storage in the region could also endanger the oil and gas industry, a major arm of the local and national economy, along with nearby farming and ranching producers.

“The Permian Basin ranks at the top nationally as our country’s most productive source of food, fuel, and fiber for its overwhelming energy, agriculture, crops, and livestock production,” read the letter. “Its importance to our economy and security cannot be downplayed, and it is no place for high-level nuclear waste.”

Opposition from proposed host states should be given a higher weight than the desires of companies and federal agencies in finding locations for nuclear waste facilities, said Titus in a statement issued upon her bill’s introduction.

“We must codify the protection of their voices into law to protect the health and safety of our communities and guarantee a process that honors the consent of state, local, and tribal leaders,” read the statement.

In announcing the DOE’s $26 million project to develop consent-based siting regulations, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said consent-based siting was crucial to address the nation’s nuclear waste while protecting local communities.

“It is vital that, as DOE works to be good stewards of the nation’s spent nuclear fuel, we do right by communities in the siting process and include them in the decision-making at the outset,” Granholm said.

Adrian Heddencan be reached at 575-628-5516,achedden@currentargus.com or@AdrianHedden on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Draft Interim Staff Guidance on Creditworthiness Criteria for Decommissioning
Document Title:
  Interim Staff Guidance on Creditworthiness Criteria for Parent and Self-Guarantees, Decommissioning Financial Assurance
Document Type:
Document Date: