Nuclear, Reactors

The Future of the U.S. Nuclear Industry Depends on Collaboration

Issue 11 and Volume 118.

Vogtle Unit 3 nuclear island with Unit 3 cooling tower in the background. Photo courtesy: Georgia Power
Vogtle Unit 3 nuclear island with Unit 3 cooling tower in the background. Photo courtesy: Georgia Power

By Sharryn Dotson, Associate Editor

Nuclear power projects are emerging from the ground in the U.S. and other countries, including India, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Four new builds in Georgia and South Carolina, the restarted nuclear project in Tennessee and the recent development of new and advanced reactor technologies are a sign of the progress for an industry once considered stagnate.

Nuclear Power International talked with Rita Bowser, vice president of New Build Project Advancement, Westinghouse Electric Co. LLC; David Sledzik, vice president of Product Management and International Nuclear Plants, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy; Mike Twomey, vice president of External Affairs, Entergy Wholesale Commodities; and Mike McGough, chief commercial officer, NuScale Power LLC. The discussion centered on the future of the U.S. nuclear industry and how social media has helped vendors and utilities educate the masses on this complex subject.

Power Engineering: Can we expect more construction of new U.S. nuclear in the next 10-15 years?

alt   Mike McGough: I do believe that we can expect to see more construction of U.S. nuclear plants in the next 10-15 years. Obviously, with the AP1000 projects being constructed now and the Watts Bar project almost completed, as an industry, we need those projects to be successful and we’re confident that they will. In the advent of some of the new pressures of carbon-generating baseload, combined with some of the new technologies that are being developed, like the NuScale small modular reactor, we believe that provides an excellent opportunity for new baseload to beconsidered. We are engaged with a group of utilities in our Western Initiative for Nuclear, which plans to develop a nuclear project in Idaho for a 580-MW NuScale installation for commercial operation by the end of 2023, so we have a line of sight to several additional projects that we expect in the next 10 to 15 years will become operational.
alt   David Sledzik: I agree with Mike. We will definitely see new nuclear construction in the next 10 to 15 years. We recently received our ESBWR (Economic Simplified Boiling-Water Reactor) certification from the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) to positive votes last week. We started a development agreement with Dominion for North Anna 3 about a year-and-a-half ago, and that project’s underway. We also have DTE Energy in Michigan who is the lead COLA utility for the ESBWR, and they’re targeting their COL approval in the first quarter of 2015, so that’s another exciting advancement for our technology.
alt   Mike Twomey: I agree with the previous two speakers; there are some very exciting projects that are going to move forward. I do think, however, where you will see new nuclear construction will depend on the regulatory framework in place. For vertically integrated regulated utilities that have the opportunity to create a long-term diverse portfolio with the partnership of regulators and the support of a customer base, you have the opportunity to build these large-scale projects. In parts of the country where you have a wholesale unregulated market, it will be a challenge to see new large-scale nuclear construction due to low natural gas prices and the market pricing mechanisms that don’t reflect the attributes of nuclear power. In New England and the Northeast in general, as well as the West Coast, it seems to be more difficult to get a project of that nature moving forward.
alt   Rita Bowser: I want to just add to what the other speakers already said. We’re currently building four AP1000 reactors in the U.S., and we expect that there will be more. New nuclear has to be part of the future energy mix. We all talk about the clean energy and that’s an important feature of nuclear energy. Also, addressing the security in energy supply, we have seen the fluctuations of gas prices in the past and the uncertainties that result; we want to avoid another economic downturn and energy security is necessary to do so. We believe you will see more AP1000 nuclear power plants in the mix as we go forward.

I know the question is about the U.S., but, the world is increasing its nuclear fleet substantially and as we go forward, I think that will motivate the U.S. The world nuclear fleet has more than 430 nuclear reactors, with 70 more in some phase of project development and construction currently. Clearly, there’s a reason for that; a diverse energy mix, security of supply and clean energy are all important components.

Power Engineering: The NRC recently finalized a used storage rule and lifted the suspension of licensing activities. Do you think companies and utilities will have even more incentive now to build a new nuclear plant?

Bowser: As we know, I’ve been involved in used fuel storage for a very long part of my career. As a supplier, now that licensing activities can resume with the finalization of the used storage rule, it’s important for us, because offering the AP1000 nuclear power plant with its strong licensing pedigree, particularly with the U.S. as country of origin for that licensing basis, has been important. We’ve undergone reviews in many countries, by independent, technically rigorous transparent regulators, but the U.S. licensing really remains an important standard for the rest of the globe. So, I think this is a good step for Westinghouse and the rest of the industry as we look forward in the marketplace.

McGough: I can just add that the removal of the suspension of power plant licensing activities was sort of a momentary pause, although there were not what I would call frenetic activities in new plant licensing. It certainly does remove a roadblock. But, I don’t think it changes the incentive that a utility may or may not have to develop a nuclear plant. As we talked about in the first question, there are some significant driving forces that will provide any utility incentives to have non-carbon generating baseload as a part of their mix that will be immune to price fluctuations that Rita mentioned, associated with commodity fuels like natural gas.

Power Engineering: Is there a growing trend of U.S. companies that are looking to work overseas with established and emerging countries looking to build nuclear?

Sledzik: There is definitely a renewed interest and interest hasn’t really gone away for nuclear power outside of the U.S. We’ve been working a lot with some of the countries that currently have nuclear. They have the establishment in place; the regulatory agency and how to deal with the regulatory issues that come up as well as the back end of storage, so those countries are definitely well ahead of the pack. We’ve been working in Finland, the UK is coming on really strong with Horizon, NuGen and EDF; and now with the latest EU announcement we saw in the press yesterday allowing for some kind of a strike price that will move it (Hinkley Point C nuclear project) even faster. The UK is an exciting market. Even the emerging countries want U.S. technology, they want that backing and knowledge of the U.S. and what we have done in new nuclear. I think there is a trend that really hasn’t gone away, it’s always been there, and we’re focusing a lot of efforts overseas in addition to the U.S., but we think there are huge opportunities out there.

Bowser: I agree with Dave, absolutely. The countries outside of the U.S. have substantially significant growing energy needs, and as part of satisfying those needs, they really are looking for energy diversity and clean energy as a part of their mix. We see it in our projects in China, where we have four units currently under construction with more potentially on the horizon, as well as globally. Westinghouse has significant project opportunities in the United Kingdom, Vietnam, Poland, India, Brazil, Bulgaria … I could literally go across the globe and name about a third of the countries on the planet. Everybody is interested in finding that right balance of sustainable energy that allows them to move forward in a way to meet demand in those marketplaces. It’s still an exciting time to be in this industry and I think it’s only going to get better.

Power Engineering: Another hot topic in the nuclear industry is the market conditions, particularly those working adversely against single-unit power plants such as Vermont Yankee and Kewaunee. How can this issue be dealt with before more units are forced to shut down?

Twomey: Entergy is the operator of Vermont Yankee and we did make the difficult decision to shut that facility down. There are a few factors that are conspiring against the nuclear facilities in merchant situations. Low natural gas prices are a main concern because they affect the prices that everyone in the market can get. But, there are policy decisions that the independent system operators, with input from the states that are in the areas, can take to improve the outcomes. Capacity prices today that these nuclear facilities receive do not appropriately reflect the attributes that the nuclear plants provide. That is, fuel on-site, lack of carbon emissions, reliability, and price stability. Right now, capacity prices generally treat each kilowatt-hour the same in the market, regardless of what attributes those particular generators bring to the table. By contrast, policymakers have made exceptions for long-term contracts for things like the Cape Wind project off the coast of Massachusetts. Because of those attributes, regulators are willing to sign above market, high priced, long-term contracts that really affect the ability of other market participants to continue to be viable.

The other issue, aside from capacity prices, is energy prices. The problem in some areas, including New York and New England, is that the energy market prices don’t currently reflect the true cost of providing the last kilowatt-hour of energy in a day. There are complicated formulas for establishing energy prices. But the bottom line is that uplift payments for some generators and other structures in place today artificially suppress prices for other generators. So, all generators participating in the market are not getting the appropriate price for the energy they provide. If you look at the flaws in the energy market and the flaws in the capacity market, all together, the picture that gets painted is that these nuclear facilities are there, they’re baseload — generally speaking, 24-7 — they have a terrific environmental portfolio attribute for them, and they provide reliable and price stable energy into the marketplace, but they’re really not being compensated appropriately for the value they provide. We’re engaged in conversations with policymakers to try to effect change, and we’re trying to drive the message that the importance of a diverse energy portfolio cannot be understated. We saw that last winter in New England when natural gas prices were pushed to a very high level as a result of inadequate transportation and natural gas availability. We’re gaining traction with some of these policymakers, but there’s a lot of other noise out there in the marketplace, so we continue to focus on the changes that are needed to keep these units open.

Bowser: The only thing I wanted to add, and I think that [Mike Toomey’s response] was a really helpful explanation, is that it’s about all of us. The utilities are doing a great job in educating policymakers and the communities they serve and the suppliers have a role in that as well. A piece of that is being able to answer those questions and also talk about the longer-term benefits of nuclear energy and sustainability from an energy and security of supply perspective, as well as the industry’s outstanding track record in safety. I think there’s a role for all of us in supporting that dialogue as we go forward.

Sledzik: I agree with that. NEI plays a role and it helps utilities and vendors bring a common voice in their Nuclear Matters campaign in trying to help the public and policymakers understand, so NEI does a pretty good job of pulling us all together with one common front. So, that’s part of the vendor’s responsibility as well as the utility to educate as much as possible.

Power Engineering: Besides market conditions, the opinions of the public and lawmakers play a big part into whether a plant can continue to operate or even be built, much like we’re seeing with Indian Point. How is your company working with the public and lawmakers to show them the positives of nuclear?

Twomey: Indian Point is another one of our facilities. We have been involved in a robust campaign regarding Indian Point since we filed the application for license renewal in 2007. That application is still pending in front of the NRC and there are related proceedings going on at the state level. Your question really does hit the various points. We are working not only with lawmakers, but with the public. We are participating in all the administrative proceedings to drive the message, and there are a handful of key messages. One is that nuclear power is safe. It has an excellent track record. We’ve made significant investments in Indian Point, as I know other operators have done in their own facilities. That message is important. Another message is that nuclear power is essential to a diverse energy portfolio. The low natural gas prices that we see today are likely not going to be there 10 years from now. Anyone can look at the last 30 or 40 years of energy markets in the U.S. to see that there are cycles where natural gas or other energy prices will go up and then come back down and then go up again. We spend a lot of time working through the administrative legal process, but also directly with the public, whether its paid media, social media, stakeholder outreach or direct meetings with individuals to try to drive awareness that you’ve got a safe, reliable, clean, price-stable resource in nuclear facilities. Right now, our focus in the Northeast is keeping these existing facilities open, but that is fully consistent with and supportive of efforts in other parts of the country to build new nuclear. This message campaign can’t be heard often enough, whether it’s at the local level or the national level in D.C. Rita mentioned that it is not just an effort by the utilities and operators of these facilities and she’s right. The vendors play a key role in driving that message because it’s not enough to just hear it from the operator who owns the facility. Lawmakers and the public need to hear a wider voice from other credible sources about the importance of these facilities.

Bowser: Mike, you’re right about that. We talked about the increased public awareness, and we changed our approach to that and increased our commitment to it. In the past, we had a tendency to focus our messages on our products and technologies. Today, that’s simply not enough. We have had to expand our messages and even our delivery model. We talked about social media, where we talk about clean air, sustainability and safety really early in our messages. We have far more than just a product-driven message. One of the things we recently did, and this was different for us and was generally very well-received, was using social media as a promotion tool for “Pandora’s Promise.” Our employees were engaged in that very personally and individually. We used different means of promoting this, like our media relations and television commercials and these messages have made a difference. It was about thinking outside of the box, and thinking about who needs more information to be better informed and to make better choices about the energy mix. Another example of a newer message approach that’s a little more global for us was a different sort of campaign on the Ex-Im Bank. That campaign was more targeted at the political influence of it and pointing out the impact of not having the Ex-Im Bank would have. There were people in power positions who were surprised to hear what some of the effects of that would be. I just want to reinforce the fact that we need to keep that increased commitment to the public, and continually look for ways to do that, which matches today’s communications media.

Twomey: One of the big challenges is informing policy makers of the facts of public support. Because we do polling, we keep pretty close tabs on public support for the facilities. We find we have very strong public support for the operation of each of our facilities. Indian Point is a good example of a facility that has very solid public support from those who are living and working near the facility as well as those in the general New York City area. We do have critics, we do have those who would prefer not to see the plant continue to operate, and they tend to be very loud in their expression of criticisms, but we need to be focused on delivering the facts to the policymakers so that they understand that these facilities, including Indian Point, enjoy very strong public support. That’s a message we drive home every time we have the opportunity to do that.

McGough: From the perspective of a new technology developer, with respect to small modular reactors, obviously we have to build on the success and stand on the shoulders of the existing outstanding record of the operating nuclear fleet in the country and the rest of the world. As we contemplate building new technologies, the NuScale small modular reactor design has some unique features that are very attractive to prospective customers and to the public. From a safety standpoint, the NuScale design has resolved one of the most vexing challenges in the nuclear industry, and that is how do you cope with a Fukushima-like station blackout event? In that situation, the NuScale plant is designed and has been tested and proven that it will shut itself down and cool itself indefinitely that is, forever – with no operator action, with no source of power, either AC or DC, and with no additional water other than what is in inventory on-site. So these are some relatively new types of innovations that require an education to the public. With the consumers (e.g. electric utilities) in our marketplace, our prospective customers are very eager to have us help them communicate this message to their consuming electricity users. When they consider the size of the plant being quite small compared to the larger units, they can be built more quickly and scaled for incremental baseload additions at a price point that is below the costs associated with large nuclear plants. Rita mentioned “Pandora’s Promise,” and in that film, our small modular reactor design was featured as one of the prospects for the future. So we’re working very hard to help educate the public about the differences between some of the new technologies that we’re proposing

Sledzik: From our side, we do social media outreach, even locally in the public, a lot of our engineers are involved with the local schools to help educate. One of the things we recently did in the last couple of years with our Global Laser Enrichment – which is not a nuclear plant but it’s related to it – is a lot of public outreach to neighborhoods around the plant to educate them on what we’re doing, how much impact it would have on the roads with trucks coming in and out. There’s a lot of support locally for what we do here at the plant, as well as with nuclear power, since we do have a reactor just down the road in Brunswick. We do a lot of this and, again, support NEI. We’ve also done things overseas. In Poland, we have supported some of their students there, and they have an “atomic bus” that they drive around the country and educate different cities and schools on nuclear energy. We have supported that the last few years.

Twomey: Let me add, a coordinated and consistent effort across the industry is very important for the future of these facilities. From our perspective, the continued operation of the existing nuclear fleet is important for the new builds as well. It’s important for the new small modular reactor technologies. From the public’s perspective, nuclear is nuclear, and the more challenges that are brought against existing nuclear facilities, the bigger the challenge is for the industry as a whole. Indian Point is a good example of where the whole industry needs to get behind the effort and recognize that that facility, which provides excellent reliability to the NYC area, is one of the top performing plants in the country. We just had our last annual assessment from the NRC and got consistent green ratings, which is consistent with how it’s been over the last eight or nine years. The major criticism of that facility is that it’s near a large population center. That can’t possibly be the litmus test for continuing to operate these facilities, because there are large nuclear facilities near Washington D.C., Boston, Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Miami, New Orleans, and other major cities. As we move forward with this challenge against some of these facilities, the industry as a whole has to recognize that we need to win these battles, because these facilities are critical to the nation’s energy infrastructure for a whole host of reasons. They’re an important asset from an economic standpoint, an environmental standpoint, and a reliability standpoint. We need to put forth the appropriate effort to make sure we keep these facilities in place.

Power Engineering: We have seen all of your companies on Twitter, a few on Google Plus, some, if not all of you, also have a Facebook page. Can you speak about how much social media has helped you reach out to the public in general?

McGough: I’ve been in this industry for 35 years. When I started my career with Westinghouse where I spent 14 years, we used to have a program called Campus America, which was designed to take relatively young engineers out into the public domain and speak about nuclear things. We, as a nuclear community, tend to forget that what we all know and have lived for so long is not a simple topic, and it’s not easy for the public to understand. The advent of Twitter with 140 characters where you have to get your message across, I think has forced many of us to realize that we’ve got to make it simple. We’ve got to make it digestible, and we’ve got to make it in somewhat soundbite fashion for today’s world where people expect things relatively succinct and in a fashion that is easy to understand. Nuclear energy is not a simple topic. But breaking it down into simple to digest components, with help from people like the Nuclear Energy Institute, we have worked very hard on making some very short video clips available on our website to help educate people. Our customers, the Utah Associated Power Systems, put together three, three-minute videos that educate their entire constituents. It’s been a really interesting development and it’s forced us to think differently about how we break down and parse our communications.

Twomey: I’ll echo that 100 percent. We have a Facebook page for each individual operating plant that we have in the Northeast, not just the nuclear side. We’ve got one for Indian Point, one for Vermont Yankee, etc. We’ve also got a separate Twitter feed for each of the facilities. We find it’s such an enormously important communication tool, not just to younger people, but to anyone who is following the industry. You asked have we found it to be important and the answer is yes; I’ll give you one example. During Hurricane Sandy, we were communicating with reporters about the status of Indian Point as the storm was approaching and coming ashore in New Jersey. There was some misinformation that was generated by some parties that suggested that Indian Point was having difficulty, and we were able through Twitter to, within about 40 minutes, correct the misinformation by having the facts delivered directly to reporters in real time with credible messaging that was able to show that we really didn’t have any issues. That essentially was, from my perspective, a watershed moment for understanding that reporters and other media are using these social media tools. It’s not enough to have an answer the following day to an inquiry. You have to be able to answer immediately. These tools have been very helpful to us in keeping people on the right course with respect to what is actually going on at each of the facilities.

Bowser: We use diverse social media methodologies and platforms as well with dual sites – one each for Westinghouse Electric Company and one specifically for our AP1000 plant news – on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The biggest thing we see is that need to use various tools for our communications and to fill a desire for quick information, often in real time, from either the public or various stakeholders. That seems to be what makes the biggest difference in people’s willingness to use social media for various news sources that we provide to them. Having participated in some of those events, I feel that it is really exciting from a nuclear vendor perspective as well because it’s a real chance to more quickly share information and convey messages.

McGough: I think it’s critically important when we’re faced with those who may not necessarily be supporters of nuclear energy. I tell them you are entitled to your own opinions, but you’re not entitled to your own facts. Having the facts available in the fashion that Mike described is really admirable and it’s something that will really serve us all well.

Sledzik: I agree with everybody’s comments. This is one of the things we have learned, and the older generation of us who have been around for a while are starting to learn. The young gens society that we support fully and I think all the other guys do as well in the U.S. and around the world, have really brought social media into nuclear. That’s their world that they live in now, so we use them as a sounding board on things that we do and learn from them on how to get the word out. Our representatives of the young gens are a big support and help our PR campaigns and our social media.

Power Engineering: DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz and President Obama have both publicly backed nuclear as a generating source of the future, but high upfront costs are still a detriment to some. What can the government do to help push more new builds?

Bowser: Clearly, Westinghouse has strong feelings on this. On the U.S. side, the biggest single message is that we need to level the playing field. Within the U.S., the subsidies across electricity production have really varied, and that has put nuclear energy, among other clean energy providers, at a real disadvantage. That’s what I mean by leveling the playing field. We need to make sure that the advantages of nuclear are weighted as heavily as other generating sources. Speaking globally, there is a different kind of leveling of the playing field. We’re competing with companies that are financially backed by their governments, and tools such as the Ex-Im Bank, which I mentioned earlier, are vital if we want to remain competitive in the global market and, frankly, to retain U.S. and global jobs. That said, Secretary Moniz and the President have been absolutely stellar in supporting nuclear energy and we need to continue that push for the foreseeable future.

McGough: I would say Secretary Moniz and President Obama have exhibited excellent leadership in their interest in developing a small modular reactor program. NuScale was the recipient recently of a DOE SMR development grant, which is very similar to the DOE grant that funded the development of the ESBWR and the AP1000. With that grant money, we’re very appreciative of the opportunity to be the lead small modular reactor developer in the United States. We understand that with a grant like that from the DOE, a responsibility comes with it to use our U.S. taxpayer dollars properly, and we take that responsibility very seriously. We are working hard to meet the administration’s expectations as we move quickly toward commercialization of a product that can be built in a factory and exported internationally to help re-establish U.S. leadership in commercial nuclear.

Sledzik: Loan guarantees are huge for the U.S. market, and the DOE grants and the DOE advanced reactor cost-share opportunities that come out annually are huge. Those help us move new technology forward so that we can stay ahead of our competition, stay ahead in nuclear technology across the globe. Rita, your comment on Ex-Im financing is huge. We’ve been out there pounding the pavement on this as well. This keeps Westinghouse and GE-Hitachi competitive against those big global players that are really backed by their country and can bring that backing with them. Without Ex-Im financing, there’s an imbalance in opportunities for both of us.

Power Engineering: Yucca Mountain will probably not be built. Is there even more of a need for technologies such as breeder reactors in the U.S., or will interim storage be enough at power plants?

Sledzik: The nuclear industry and even the government needs to look forward and past long-term storage into how can we recycle and use what we have as a power source. Our PRISM technology, which DOE helped fund the development for the last forty years, is an advanced solution to recycle the fuel that we would store in Yucca Mountain and use what’s there as a fuel source. Instead of having our nuclear used fuel as a liability, we’ll use it as an asset and create energy from it. We’ve been trying to move this technology forward, and we eventually gained some ground in the UK with their long-term storage of commercial-grade plutonium, and we’re helping them, as a solution, to potentially use PRISM to burn the plutonium and generate electricity. There are opportunities in the advanced generation of technology that we’re on the forefront.

Twomey: I agree that not having Yucca Mountain move forward is not an ideal situation.

But, it is worth noting and repeating, particularly from the government’s perspective, that the existing storage of spent nuclear fuel at facilities across the United States is safe, and not allow the critics to create a false issue where none should be present.

We do need to continue to work toward long-term storage or to consider utilizing the spent fuel again for energy production.

In the meantime, it is incumbent upon the industry and policymakers to assure the public that the existing configuration, although not ideal, is safe.

Power Engineering: Tell us about your advanced technologies and why your company developed them?

McGough: The NuScale design began about 15 years ago when Dr. Jose Reyes (Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of NuScale) was working on developing design certification testing for the AP1000, and he had the idea that he could develop a plant that could be immune to a station blackout condition. This was long before we had experienced the Fukushima events. The desire to continue development of our technology, which provides a new level of safety, significant simplicity of the operating systems, and provides different economics because of the ability to quickly deploy the plants from a factory manufactured platform, provides some different paradigms to new nuclear. That is the reason we are developing the plant. Probably the most important reason for us is the significant urging that we have from our customer base, which is comprised of a 24-member utility advisory board.

Bowser: We’re deploying the AP1000 plants as we speak. We made some choices when we decided to go forward with that, and it’s nice to see that others are benefitting from the philosophy we developed. Clearly, developing a standardized modular passive safety power plant literally a couple of decades ago was important, and we pursued a collaborative approach as well with utilities to incorporate their hands-on plant experience. I think that’s invaluable, because by leveraging both the manufacturer’s and operator’s experiences, we were able to design in improvements that will serve us all well in the long term. This is the same kind of approach that we’re taking forward into our SMR and other products as well. Standardization makes for safer operations, quicker licensing, lower operations and maintenance costs, even lower back-end costs for waste management and decontamination and decommissioning costs. There are a lot of advantages to that, and to the more modern modularity of construction. Those techniques, again, keep us current with the market and also bring significant cost savings every time. By way of philosophy, these are the kinds of things that we are trying to embed as sound principles and it seems like we are on our way to doing that within the marketplace, with primary focus on that hand-in-glove relationship with the utilities to address and incorporate into the design.

Sledzik: We’ve got three technologies in our new plant portfolio. We’ve got the ABWR, which has been constructed and operated in Japan, so we have history behind that and have operated and have a good knowledge base behind that and how it’s constructed and how to bring a plant online, on time and on budget. The evolution of that is the ESBWR. That is the Economic Simplified Boiling-Water Reactor. We just received our license last week from the NRC. It is a passive Gen-III+ design that we started developing in the early 1990s with a lot of support from customers, to bring their knowledge of how to make the operation of a reactor simpler, less operation and maintenance costs, as well as enhance the safety of that technology. Through those interactions with utilities, we have come up with the ESBWR. If you look at core damage frequency, it is the safest light water reactor on the market today using the true passive safety systems. The third reactor I talked about earlier is PRISM. That’s a sodium fast-cooled reactor. It’s not set up as a breeder, its set up as what I call an “eater.” We’re moving forward on this technology. The UK has deemed the PRISM technology as one of the credible options for plutonium disposition. That happened earlier this year in January. We are supporting the UK in how to potentially use this technology for their plutonium disposition and storage issues. So, we’ve got three technologies that are out there, tried and true, and we’re working forward on those.

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