TVA’s small reactor pick moving ahead in Canada
GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy said BWRX-300 small modular reactor (SMR) has achieved a pre-licensing milestone in Canada with the completion of phases one and two of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s Vendor Design Review process.
“The successful completion of these phases and the feedback that we have received on our SMR design are important steps in the deployment of this technology,” Sean Sexstone, executive vice president of advanced nuclear for GE-Hitachi said in a statement.
Although the GE-Hitachi design for the small modular reactor has yet to get design approval from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has begun planning and preliminary licensing for the potential deployment of a BWRX-300 at the Clinch River Site in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
Last month, Fermi Energia announced that it had selected the BWRX-300 for potential deployment in Estonia. SaskPower has selected the BWRX-300 for potential deployment in Saskatchewan in the mid-2030s. ORLEN Synthos Green Energy (OSGE) and its partners have started the pre-licensing process by submitting an application to Poland’s National Atomic Energy Agency for assessment of the BWRX-300. In 2021 Ontario Power Generation (OPG) selected the GEH BWRX-300 as the technology to be deployed at its Darlington Nuclear Site.
Volkswagen to build economical EV car
To fend off incoming competition from Tesla and others, Volkswagen this week introduced its economical electric vehicle, the ID 2all concept, with a price tag under $27,000.
The ID 2all is as spacious as its Golf model and as inexpensive as the Polo sitting below the recently upgraded ID. 3, with up to 279 miles range and several new features.
“We are transforming the company rapidly and fundamentally – with the clear objective of making Volkswagen a genuine Love Brand,” Thomas Schäfer, CEO of Volkswagen Passenger Cars, said in a statement.
In a blog post, the company unveiled the electric car, which is currently only a concept. The company describes the car as having “front-wheel drive, range of up to 450 kilometers, innovative technological features such as Travel Assist, IQ.LIGHT or Electric Vehicle Route Planner and a new Volkswagen design language.”
“We are implementing the transformation at pace to bring electric mobility to the masses,” Schafer said.
VW delivered over 570,000 EVs last year, maintaining its position as the EV market leader in Europe.
In Chattanooga, Volkswagen makes the electric-powered ID.4 SUV.
Door panel maker expands in Tennessee
An automotive door panel manufacturer is expanding in Linden, Tennessee, adding 137 jobs from a planned $10.4 million investment.
NYX Linden LLC, a subsidiary of the Michigan-based automotive supplier NYX, announced the expansion Thursday. Upon completion, the company will add an additional 16,000 square feet of space to its molding bay and a 24,000-square-foot shipping warehouse.
The company designs and manufactures automotive parts and components, including door panels, center consoles, grab handles and more.
We have a dedicated workforce here at the NYX Linden plant, and this opportunity for expansion will not only create more jobs for Perry County and the surrounding areas but will also create advancement opportunities for our current employees,” Todd McCaig, plant manager for the NYX Linden LLC, said in a statement Thursday.
Mortgage rates decline after 5 weeks of increases
The average long-term U.S. mortgage inched back down this week after five straight weeks of increases, good news for homebuyers as the housing market’s all-important spring buying season gets underway.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average on the benchmark 30-year rate slid back to 6.60% from 6.73% last week. The average rate a year ago was 4.16%.
The average long-term rate hit 7.08% in the fall — a two-decade high — as the Federal Reserve continued to raise its key lending rate in a bid to cool the economy and quash persistent, four-decade high inflation.
At its first meeting of 2023 in February, the Fed raised its benchmark lending rate by another 25 basis points, its eighth increase in less than a year. That pushed the central bank’s key rate to a range of 4.5% to 4.75%, its highest level in 15 years. Many economists expect at least three more increases before the end of the year, though some have dialed those expectations back due to the recently developing banking crisis.
S&P 500 increases the most in 2 months
Stocks rallied Thursday after a group of big banks offered a lifeline to the bank that investors had zeroed in on in their hunt for the industry’s next victim.
The S&P 500 jumped 1.8% for its best day in nearly two months after 11 of the biggest banks said they would deposit a combined $30 billion into First Republic Bank. The Dow Jones Industrial Average erased an early loss of 300 points to climb 371 points, or 1.2%, while the Nasdaq composite jumped 2.5%.
“Fast-moving disruptions in the global banking industry are making for highly fluid and uneasy markets,” said John Gentry, head of corporate fixed income group at Federated Hermes. “It’s never comfortable when” markets are trying to figure out the correct price for things amid deep uncertainty. “But we suggest caution in trying to draw strong parallels to 2007-09,” when a financial crisis torpedoed the global economy.
— Compiled by Dave Flessner