Showing posts with label Idahofalls. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Idahofalls. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Fluor, NuScale expanding office presence in Idaho Falls

Now that they have a deal with the U.S. Department of Energy, Fluor Corp. and NuScale Power are getting ready to expand their offices in Idaho Falls, in the Taylor Crossing on the River development.

It is not a huge expansion, but it represents the first step in a nine-year march toward building small modular reactors on the Idaho desert.

Oregon-based NuScale, in which Fluor has been the the majority investor since 2011, announced last week that it had signed a contract agreement with the DOE for $217 million in matching funds to support development, licensing and commercialization of the company’s nuclear small modular reactor technology.

After review by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, NuScale expects to submit an application for design certification in the second half of 2016. This will allow the company to meet a commercial operation date of 2023 for its first planned project, in Idaho, with partners Energy NorthWest and Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (of which Idaho Falls Power is a member.)

NuScale's Chief Commercial Officer Mike McGough said the DOE's award was a "very important validation of our efforts," and would make it easier to raise the matching funds from investors. The office in Idaho Falls is more Fluor's than NuScale's -- "They're letting us co-habitate with them," he said -- but it will be where meetings are held regarding such matters as supply chain.

NuScale has had a prototype small modular reactor in operation since 2003.
An artist's rendering of how NuScale's small modular reactor assembly would work. For a full story, visit this link: http://greenbuildingelements.com/2013/07/01/nuscale-powers-small-modular-reactor-chosen-as-preferred-technology-by-western-initiative-for-nuclear/
"The DOE money doesn't pay for construction of a project; the idea is to help fund the development and licensing of the technology," McGough said. The cost of the entire project could top $2 billion.

NuScale has to research an "Idaho-wide region of interest," identifying possible sites on the desert, gathering geological and meteorological information. A lot of that has been gathered at the Idaho National Lab, which dates back to 1949.

While the desert west of Idaho Falls was once home to 52 reactors, only three remain in operation now, most prominently the Advanced Test Reactor, which was built in the mid-1960s. At a conference in Idaho Falls last year, NuScale detailed a goal of building 12 small modular reactors, linked together and generating 545 megawatts by 2025.

Compared to a typical pressurized water reactor generating 1,000 megawatts, the advantage to a small modular reactor of 45 megawatts is that it is a "plug and play" proposition, McGough said. Fluor wants to market nuclear power plants to the world, which is why it bought NuScale.

A design certification application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is typically a document of around 10,000 pages, after which the company would need to get NRC permission to build.

"There's lots of things you have to do, and you have to do them right," McGough said.

Unlike traditional reactors, which rely on electric pumps to keep water on the fuel rods to keep them from melting, NuScale's self-contained, self-circulating reactors shut themselves down during a station blackout.

As for the selection of Idaho Falls, it's a case of going where you are wanted. "If the community won't support it, you just shouldn't try," he said.

As part of the Intermountain Energy Summit scheduled for mid-August in Idaho Falls, NuScale has set up a Supplier's Day on Aug. 21, where possible vendors can engage in "speed dating" -- 15-minute meetings where they can discuss possibilities. "We were blown away by the response," McGough said. "There is a lot of interest in this project."

In its "State of Energy in the West" report of June 2013, one of the Western Governors Association's stated goals was to find ways to accelerate introduction of small modular reactors into Western states.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Kress Building in downtown Idaho Falls recognized by Preservation Idaho

Built in 1929 after the Idaho Falls Fire Department moved to Shoup Avenue, the Kress Building, home now to Channel Blend, has been a downtown landmark for 85 years.
One of the crown jewels of downtown Idaho Falls has been recognized this year by Preservation Idaho, which has announced its 37th Annual Orchids and Onions Awards.

The Kress Building on Park Avenue, home now to Channel Blend, is one of three being recognized in the Excellence in Historic Preservation category.

"The renovation of this downtown landmark provides an example to other owners of historic commercial properties that historic preservation efforts can achieve astonishing results with modest investment and attention to detail," said the press release announcing the award.

Every year, Preservation Idaho hosts this awards ceremony, designed to celebrate individuals and organizations that have made positive contribution to historic preservation in Idaho.

Built in 1929 on the site of the original Idaho Falls Fire Station, the Park Avenue property between A and B streets got a makeover in 2007-08.

The upper floor of the has 10,000 square feet. New heating, ventilation and air conditioning were installed, the tin ceiling was repainted and the floors were refinished.

Employing nearly 200 people downtown, Channel Blend is a company that provides call center services and lead qualification for insurance companies and other business clients.

CEO Jeff Neiswanger said at the time he was certain that restoring the building would have a ripple effect, and he was right.

At the risk of editorializing, it's pretty obvious the '20s and '30s were a time when businessmen had a lot more pride in their names than they do today. The S.H. Kress chain of discount department stores disappeared for good in 1981, but if you look up at the pediment of the building his name endures.

In the National Trust Guide to Art Deco in America, writer David Gebhard singled out Kress stores as examples of architectural excellence: "All of these are sophisticated designs, and some ... are outstanding examples of the popular Moderne."

The 37th Annual Orchids & Onions Awards Ceremony will take place May 31 at 11 a.m. at the Mountain Cove Gym, Veterans Administration Medical Center in Boise. To read more online, visit www.preservationidaho.org/orchids-onions.

Center for Aesthetics plans May 20 Beauty and Glamour Gala

Tickets go on sale Friday for the Center for Aesthetics Beauty and Glamour Gala, which will be May 20 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Idaho Falls location, 2375 E. Sunnyside Road, Suite G.

In addition to makeup demonstrations, prize giveaways and one-night-only pricing on popular procedures, the special guest will be Michael McCarthy, national makeup artist for Colorscience.

In the 1980s, McCarthy was a makeup artist for both high fashion and retail clients in the United States and Europe. When he returned to his native Seattle, he began developing his reputation as an aesthetician with an artistic perspective, revolutionizing the industry by developing makeup studios and retail boutiques within larger salon and day spa businesses. He continued to develop his theatrical makeup skills as a principal makeup artist for the Seattle Opera.

Tickets for the event are $25, covering admission for two. Space is limited. For more information, call 529-8232.

Monday, May 5, 2014

17th Street Starbucks opening planned for May 12

A spokeswoman for Wadsworth Development said this morning that the new Starbucks at 900 E. 17th Street is scheduled to open next Monday, May 12.  This will be the second free-standing Starbucks in Idaho Falls.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Togo's franchise planned for Idaho Falls

A picture of a Togo's from the company's Web site 
Togo's Eateries, has announced it will be coming to Idaho Falls, as part of an expansion that includes franchise agreements to develop five restaurants in eastern Idaho and eight in Salt Lake City.

The Idaho Falls restaurant is one of five that Ty and Debbie Jenkins are signed on to develop, along with Twin Falls, Pocatello and Rexburg. Ty Jenkins is CEO of DocuTech, a company that develops and markets Web-based mortgage compliance software.

Overall, Togo's has more than 325 locations open and under development throughout the West. Last year, the company launched a franchise development incentive program to drive expansion in key growth markets. Both new and existing franchisees who sign new agreements for three or more locations receive reduced royalty fees for the first two years for each new restaurant developed in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Nevada and Arizona. Additionally, franchisees benefit from $10 million for remodels and transfers, as well as $5 million to build new restaurants.

To become a part of the Togo's team, candidates should possess liquidity of $150,000 for a single restaurant and a net worth of $300,000. Area developers looking to develop three or more restaurants should have liquidity of $450,000 and net worth of $900,000. Special incentives are available for qualified franchisees interested in opening three or more restaurants.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Martina McBride to headline Hawkfest 2014

Country superstar Martina McBride will be the headliner this year at Hawkfest 2014, sponsored by 105.5 The Hawk and Riverbend Productions.

Tickets for the July 5 show go on sale Thursday at 10 a.m. at hawkfestidaho.com, in person at the Idaho Falls Arts Council box office, 498 A Street.

The recipient of more than 15 major music awards, McBride got her big break opening for Garth Brooks. She starred with George Strait on his “Cowboy Rides Away” tour.

The festival will also feature Craig Morgan ("That’s What I Love About Sunday," "Red Neck Yacht Club," "International Harvester," "Wake Up Lovin’ You"), ACM Top Vocal Group Gloriana ("Wild At Heart," "Kiss You Good Night," "Best Night Ever") and new country artist John King ("Tonight, Tonight"). For more information, visit

Riverbend Productions is a division of Riverbend Communications, which operates Classy 97 (KLCE-FM), Z103 (KFTZ-FM), 105-5 The Hawk (KTHK-FM), KBEAR 101 (KCVI-FM), NewsTalk 97.7FM (KLBY-AM/KBLI-AM), Riverbend Outdoor, and Riverbend Digital.