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Category Archives: Energy

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Review of NRC Final Vision Statement on Advanced Reactors

In late December the staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued an updated and seemingly final “NRC Vision and Strategy Statement” for non-light water (a.k.a. advanced) reactors (Final Vision Statement).

NRC Seeking to Improve Relationships with American Indian Tribes

The relationship between the federal government and American Indian Tribes has taken on new relevance following protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline project. In this light, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has been prescient in moving forward in a number of areas to clarify and improve its relationship with American Indian communities.

Advanced Reactor Designer Terrestrial Energy Plans to File License Application with NRC in 2019

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recently published a letter form Terrestrial Energy responding to the agency’s Regulatory Issue Summary (RIS) 2016-08. Terrestrial Energy in its letter stated that it plans to submit an application to the NRC for a design certification or a construction permit “no later than October 2019.”

DOE and NRC Sign MOU to Benefit Advanced Reactors

As part of the DOE’s Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (“GAIN”) initiative, this month the DOE and NRC published a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that sets forth a process by which the two agencies will work together to help non-light water (“advanced”) nuclear reactors work through the nuclear licensing process.

Comments Received on the NRC’s Vision Statement for Advanced Reactors

Industry comments were recently made public on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC’s) draft “Vision and Strategy” statement (draft vision statement) for non-light water reactors, a.k.a. advanced reactors. This effort represents the NRC’s most significant attempt in recent years to pave the way forward for advanced reactors.

DOE Advisory Board Approves Draft Report on the Future of Nuclear Power

During its quarterly meeting on September 22, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Secretary of Energy Advisory Board approved a Draft Report of the Task Force on Nuclear Power (Draft Report), as reported by Platts Nuclear News Flashes. In its Draft Report, the Task Force recognized that nuclear energy is vital for achieving a planetary reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, but found that two things must happen for nuclear power to remain competitive: first, the overnight cost of financing a new plant must decrease, and second, “electricity markets must recognize the value of carbon-free electricity generation based on the social cost of carbon emissions avoided.”

Congress Considering Extension to Nuclear PTC

The U.S. House of Representatives is considering legislation, H.R. 5879, to extend the production tax credit for new nuclear power plants by removing any deadline on awarding the 6,000 MW of nuclear capacity available under the tax credit.

Advanced Nuclear Reactor Legislation Moving Forward in Congress

This Monday evening, September 12, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4979, the Advanced Nuclear Technology Development Act of 2016, a bill geared towards creating a viable path forward for advanced reactors (the House Bill).  The House Bill is sponsored by Representative Robert Latta, an Ohio republican, and 18 co-sponsors. The House Bill, which

Renewable Fuels Association Calls On EPA and CFTC to Investigate RIN Markets

In an August 1, 2016 letter to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) called for an investigation into Renewable Identification Number (RIN) trading and recent increases in RIN prices.  RINs are the currency used for compliance with EPA’s Renewable Volume Obligations under the Renewable

Energy Department Revises its Part 810 Guidance on Nuclear Export Controls

The Department of Energy (DOE) recently published its revised Part 810 Guidance on compliance with the amended Part 810 Regulations on nuclear export controls (10 C.F.R. Part 810). The 2015 amendments to the Part 810 Regulations represented the first comprehensive updating of DOE nuclear export control policy since 1986.

CFTC Agrees to Help EPA Police RIN Market

On March 15, 2016, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the “Sharing of Information Available to EPA Related to the Functioning of Renewable Fuel and Related Markets.” The MOU purports to respond to widespread concerns about fraud in the Renewable

Taking to the Air: Using Drones to Ensure Regulatory Compliance for Natural Gas and Oil Pipelines and Other Critical Infrastructure Owners and Operators

Energy companies that operate critical infrastructure face regulatory challenges on a daily basis as they strive to provide effective and efficient service safely. Congress may make some of these regulatory challenges less burdensome by lifting restrictions on the use of drones to monitor their assets.

FERC Rejects Jordan Cove LNG Project

On March 11, 2016, FERC denied the application for Jordan Cove’s proposed LNG export terminal and associated facilities on Coos Bay, Oregon, as well as the related Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline, a proposed 232-mile long, a 36-inch diameter interstate pipeline with capacity of approximately 1.02 Bcf per day to connect the Terminal to a liquid point.

FERC and NERC Issue Report on Electric Grid Recovery and Restoration

On January, 29, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a report on electrical grid recovery and restoration planning (Report). The Report was a collective effort authored by staff at FERC and the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC), as well as representatives from the eight regional entities to which NERC has delegated certain compliance and enforcement authority.

FERC Adopts Revised Reliability Standards for Cybersecurity

On January 21, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a final rule adopting seven revised critical infrastructure protection (CIP) Reliability Standards addressing cybersecurity of the electric grid, as initially proposed in July 2015. The revised standards were developed by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), the FERC-certified Electric Reliability Organization, in response to FERC Order No. 791.