2022 marked another strong year in Holtec’s nearly four decades of operations, living up to our corporate credo “A Generation Ahead by Design” in our diverse endeavors. The focus to provide safe, secure solutions to the nuclear energy industry for spent fuel storage and transport, decommissioning, unconditionally safe nuclear energy generation and cutting-edge energy storage and steam generation technology called, the Holtec Green Boiler – all recorded landmark achievements in 2022. The Company’s core competencies in engineering, design, fabrication, site construction and commissioning were also increasingly leveraged in 2022 to support U.S. Government customers in the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense.
The bastion of our cutting-edge technologies, the Corporate Engineering Division, produced over 500 safety-significant reports, position papers, drawings and the like, and secured 22 new patents from the U.S. patents and trademarks office in 2022. The total number of Holtec’s U.S.-granted patents now stands at 197.
Our industry-leading dry storage technology has had another successful year with 160 of Holtec’s dry storage systems safely loaded in 2022 maintaining a zero recordable injury record. Our patented portable robot deployed to make strength-welded joints in multi-purpose canisters in high radiation fields became a celebrated dose-mitigation device through its flawless performance at our North and South America sites.
On-time delivery around the globe of the highest quality equipment continued throughout 2022 from Holtec’s three U.S.-based nuclear manufacturing facilities and our commercial fabrication plant in Dahej, India, despite a lethargic supply chain injured by the lingering effects of COVID-19. Together, our factories delivered over 1,500 pieces of capital equipment and ancillaries to our clients on five continents.
2022 saw the addition of Palisades and Big Rock Point to our fleet, making Holtec International the largest owner of decommissioning nuclear power plants in the U.S.
Our seven year-long program to license and build a Consolidated Interim Storage (CIS) facility in New Mexico to fulfill the U.S. Government’s aspiration dating back to 2012 to consolidate the vast quantity of spent nuclear fuel presently stored at more than 70 nuclear sites in 35 states is reaching successful conclusion with the expected issuance of the license early this year for our HI-STORE CIS facility by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The NRC issued the final environmental impact statement (EIS) for our proposed HI-STORE CIS facility in July of 2022, which found the HI-STORE CIS to be environmentally safe and harmless for the host region. The HI-STORE CIS program has been funded in its entirety by Holtec, sustained by the enthusiastic support of the nuclear-savvy communities in Southeastern New Mexico incorporated as ELEA.
Holtec believes that realization of a functioning CIS will remove the largest obstacle to the renaissance of nuclear power in the U.S. leading to the rise of small modular reactors, such as our SMR-160 advanced light water reactor, which is widely believed to be an epitome of guaranteed safety and indispensable for a stable clean energy supply base in our country.
At the three-unit Indian Point facility, our pioneering HI-CUT reactor segmentation technology debuted in 2022 setting new records for personnel safety and dose mitigation.
Repeating the technological feat at Humboldt Bay 15 years ago, Holtec devised and licensed the “HI-LIFT heavy load handling device” for Indian Point Unit 3 that overcomes the Plant’s structural and installed crane capacity limitations. HI-LIFT is scheduled to be installed and commissioned in this quarter. The proven HI-LIFT technology stands to provide the solution path for decommissioning many nuclear units around the world that face crane capacity or building structural strength limitations.
Buoyed by the U.S. Government’s supportive posture, Holtec has significantly boosted its clean energy research and development efforts to bring the first SMR-160 advanced light water reactor online as early as 2029 – one year earlier than previously scheduled. With federal support for our project under the U.S. DOE Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program and with our TEAM HOLTEC partners, notably Hyundai Engineering and Construction, and Mitsubishi Electric, we are on the way to completing the Preliminary Safety Analysis Report and Standard Plant Design Specification for SMR-160 before the end of this year.
In 2022, Holtec submitted a $7.4 billion dollar application to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Program Office to increase the capacity for manufacturing SMR components at our existing U.S. facilities, to construct and commission at least four SMR-160 plants in the U.S. in the first wave, and to build one or more additional manufacturing plants to support the anticipated need for accelerated supply of SMR-160 plant components. Our federal loan request to support the above initiatives is premised on our belief that the Inflation Reduction Act will unleash great demand for base load and dispatchable clean power, made possible only with small modular reactors paving the way to a large global export market for U.S.-supplied reactors. Holtec is actively evaluating the siting location for the new ultra-modern manufacturing plant(s).
We expect to pair the SMR-160 plant with a Clean Energy Storage and Generation (CESG) system, the Green Boiler, that has been in development by the Holtec advanced technology group since 2021. A Green Boiler facility can store surplus energy from an SMR-160, a wind or a solar power plant, and generally from the grid in periods of excess power, then deliver that stored energy in times of generation deficit. The Green Boiler is intended to make intermittent renewables like solar and wind into base load energy generators! A variation of the CESG system called HI-HEAT has been engineered to provide energy for district heating systems, replacing fossil burners to provide steam and hot water to urban centers. Our immediate focus is to help Ukraine.
Design and supply of a variety of tubular heat exchangers for our clients continued through the year with emphasis on serving the defense needs of the country through our Holtec Government Services subsidiary.
Holtec Security International (HSI) continues to post impressive growth expanding its security custodianship to eight nuclear reactors and to protecting America’s critical infrastructure, including industrial, corporate and governmental facilities.
We wish our readership a healthy and happy Near Year.