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Savannah River plutonium surplus going to WIPP

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Nuclear SmartBrief
Column: Private sector leads the way on SMRs | WIPP's total COVID-19 cases rises by 2 | Savannah River plutonium surplus going to WIPP
Created for |  Web Version
September 16, 2020
Nuclear Energy SmartBrief
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Top Story
The two main criticisms of small modular reactors -- cost and subsequent delays in commercialization -- are rooted in a faulty assumption that the government is spearheading the development of the technology, writes Christopher Barnard. However, he notes, the scalability of SMRs has made them viable for private-sector development.
Full Story: National Review (9/16) 
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News Roundup
New Mexico appears to be experiencing a decline in COVID-19 cases with just two contract workers at the Department of Energy's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant testing positive last week. WIPP has seen a total of 34 cases, 12 of which the CDC has declared as recovered.
Full Story: Carlsbad Current-Argus (N.M.) (tiered subscription model) (9/15) 
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Waste Management/D&D
The Department of Energy's Savannah River Site in South Carolina is set to send roughly 7.1 metric tons of excess plutonium to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico. The plutonium from nuclear weapons development will undergo dilution to meet disposal criteria for transuranic waste.
Full Story: Carlsbad Current-Argus (N.M.) (tiered subscription model) (9/15) 
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TerraPower will join with Centrus Energy to foster production capabilities for high-assay, low-enriched uranium for novel reactor designs. Centrus has contracted with the Department of Energy to demonstrate HALEU production through 16 AC-100M centrifuges at a facility TerraPower could help expand.
Full Story: Seeking Alpha (free registration) (9/15) 
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The vitrifying process of 56 million gallons of radioactive sludge at the Department of Energy's Hanford Site in Washington could start in two years, but the site also contains nearly 2,000 capsules of highly radioactive cesium and strontium. The department has until Aug. 31, 2025, to relocate the capsules from the Waste Encapsulation and Storage Facility, which has exceeded its 30-year design life.
Full Story: IEEE Spectrum (9/2020) 
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Hitachi subsidiary Horizon Nuclear Power has confirmed it is withdrawing from the $28 billion project to build two reactors on the northern Wales island of Anglesey. Hitachi says the decision was based on the fact that "the investment environment has become increasingly severe due to the impact of COVID-19."
Full Story: The Mainichi (Japan) (9/16) 
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Construction of the Ohma nuclear power plant in Japan's Aomori prefecture has been delayed again, with construction to resume in two years and the start of operation still "undecided." The plant, which will operate on plutonium-uranium mixed oxide fuel, is still working on the details of its safety enhancement measures to meet new regulatory standards.
Full Story: Nuclear Engineering International (9/15) 
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Russian nuclear fuel company Tvel is supplying the Hungarian Academy of Sciences' Center for Energy Research with nuclear fuel in the form of VVR-M2 fuel assemblies for a research reactor in Budapest. The reactor is being used to study the properties of reactor materials and the nuclear fuel cycle to help develop nuclear power in Hungary.
Full Story: NucNet (Belgium) (9/15) 
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