Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major News and Commentary Military and Civilian Nuclear Activities

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Turmoil at nuclear regulatory agencies in Japan and U.S.

Turmoil at nuclear regulatory agencies in Japan and U.S.

Japanese and U.S. counterparts face major challenges over Fukishima, but for different reasons

Japanese scientist: Fukushima meltdown occurred within hours of quake


Japanese scientist: Fukushima meltdown occurred within hours of quake

TEPCO's Darkest Secret

The Fukushima Daiichi Reactors Were in Meltdown After the Earthquake, But Before the Tsunami Hit

TEPCO's Darkest Secret

By DAVID McNEILL and JAKE ADELSTEIN

Friday, August 12, 2011

Outrage Erupts After Energy Committee Evaluating Dangerous Gas Drilling Practice Is Stacked With 'Experts' on Industry Payroll

Outrage Erupts After Energy Committee Evaluating Dangerous Gas Drilling Practice Is Stacked With 'Experts' on Industry Payroll

All but one member of the group has financial ties to the oil and gas industry.

Toshiba U.S. Reactor Advances at NRC


Toshiba U.S. Reactor Advances at NRC
Bloomberg
The NRC hasn't issued a new construction license since a partial meltdown at Pennsylvania's Three Mile Island in 1979, the worst US nuclear accident. The AP1000 is the only new design far enough along to generate power in this decade. ...

Reduced Monitoring of Nuclear Stockpile Lowers Reliability: Study

Reduced Monitoring of Nuclear Stockpile Lowers Reliability: Study

A team of statisticians has determined that reducing data collection of the United States' aging nuclear arsenal would seriously undermine confidence in the systems' ability to operate as designed, Brigham Young University announced late last month (see GSN, July 11).
Brigham Young statistics professor Shane Reese and one-time co-workers from the Los Alamos National Laboratory studied the degree of likelihood that U.S. nuclear weapons would operate as intended if needed. They published their findings in the journal Technometrics.
"The purpose is to perform science experiments to get at the efficacy of a weapons system that has exceeded its original design life and certainly experienced some effects due to aging," Reese said in provided comments.

The Importance of Coal to India's Economy

The Importance of Coal to India's Economy

Large Scale Energy Storage and the Renewable Energy Problem

Large Scale Energy Storage and the Renewable Energy Problem

from OilPrice.com Daily News Update

Will Technology Save us from Peak Oil?

Will Technology Save us from Peak Oil?

Let's face it! The whole fossil fuel thing widespread use of coal, oil, and natural gas could not have happened without technological advances. Without the steam engine, the coal age would have been limited to a handful of people living near surface coal seams and burning coal for heat and cooking, and perhaps a little metal smelting. All the rest of the industrial age the internal combustion engine and nearly everything else grew out of some technological development coupled and the abundant energy from fossil fuels.
So entranced are we with the constant advances in technology many among us
Read more...
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Cooling Restored for the Used Fuel Storage Pools at All Four Damaged Fukushima Reactors

Cooling Restored for the Used Fuel Storage Pools at All Four Damaged Fukushima Reactors

Powers, ASEAN to Continue Nuke-Free Zone Talks

Powers, ASEAN to Continue Nuke-Free Zone Talks

The world's five nuclear powers expect in October to continue talks with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on potential adherence to a treaty that bans nuclear weapons from the region, Kyodo News reported on Friday (see GSN, Aug. 8).
Representatives from China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States met over three days this week with ASEAN officials in Geneva, Switzerland. They discussed strategies for addressing the powers' objections to acceding to the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone Treaty.

Steps Needed to Curb Reliance on U.S. Nukes: Analysis

Steps Needed to Curb Reliance on U.S. Nukes: Analysis

A substantive effort by the United States to curb its reliance on nuclear weapons must involve narrowing the function such arms would serve in confronting various potential enemies, or fully excluding some rivals from strategic nuclear war plans, the Federation of American Scientists said in an analysis on Thursday (see GSN, April 8, 2010).
The Obama administration called in its 2010 Nuclear Posture Review for curbs on the centrality of nuclear weapons in U.S. strategy. However, the review maintains prior stances for all nations covered by existing targeting plans because they are either nuclear powers, countries outside the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, or nations in defiance of the NPT framework and in possession of chemical or biological arsenals, according to the assessment.

Latest IAEA Annual Report Highlights Milestones in 2010

Latest IAEA Annual Report Highlights Milestones in 2010

IAEA Annual Report 2010
Important benefits derived from the peaceful applications of nuclear technology, milestones in international cooperation on nuclear, radiation, waste, and transport safety; and developments in safeguards and the non-proliferation regime are among highlighs reported by the IAEA in its Annual Report for 2010.
The report - published this week and now available online - presents a thematic analysis of major issues facing the Agency, its activities and achievements, and present current status related to safeguards, safety, and science and technology through summaries, tables and graphs. It also presents an overview of nuclear related developments worldwide in 2010 and how they affected the work of the IAEA.
The accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, caused by the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011, continues to be assessed by the IAEA. The accident and its implications are not addressed in this report, as it focuses on developments in 2010, but will be addressed in future reports of the Agency.
The Annual Report is among several official documents submitted to the IAEA General Conference when it convenes in Vienna beginning 19 September. Detailed information on specific programmes can also be found in the Agency's Nuclear Safety Review, Nuclear Technology Review, Technical Cooperation Report, and the Safeguards Statement and Background to the Safeguards Statement and Summary. These reports are also submitted to the IAEA General Conference for consideration.
To view the Annual Report and other reports online please visit the IAEA Publications section.
See Story Resources for more information.
-- By Rodolfo Quevenco, IAEA Division of Public Information

The D A Ryan MSR/LFTR critique: Not ready for Prime Time, Part II

The D A Ryan MSR/LFTR critique: Not ready for Prime Time, Part II

Several weeks ago, I posted a a critical review of DA Ryan's discussion of Molten Salt Reactor technology. Ryan is a British engineer, but his assessment did not appear to be at all well informed. Ryan began with questionable assumptions, failed to note well regarded information sources that simply disagreed with his controversial views, then proceeded to reason from unsupported assumptions to dogmatic conclusions about nuclear energy.

Japan to set up new nuclear safety agency

Japan to set up new nuclear safety agency

Japan Considers Turning to Micro Nuclear Plants

Japan Considers Turning to Micro Nuclear Plants

Anti-nuclear groups shower federal regulators with legal challenges

Anti-nuclear groups shower federal regulators with legal challenges

By Andrew Restuccia - 08/11/11 12:01 AM ET
More than two dozen groups will file challenges with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Thursday calling for a moratorium on reactor licensing until the agency addresses a series of safety concerns laid out by a federal task force last month.

In total, the groups — which include nuclear critics like Friends of the Earth, Public Citizen and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy — will file 19 separate challenges with the NRC.

White House advances its energy policy without help from polarized Congress By Andrew Restuccia and Ben Geman

White House advances its energy policy without help from polarized Congress

By Andrew Restuccia and Ben Geman

UPDATE 3-Groups step up call for NRC delay after Fukushima

UPDATE 3-Groups step up call for NRC delay after Fukushima

* Green groups want NRC to stop reactor relicensing
    * Groups also challenge AP1000 design and new reactors
    * Critics say filings ignore major task force conclusion
 (New throughout, updates with comment from lawyers, analyst)
    By Eileen O'Grady and Scott DiSavino

 

Nuclear Regulator's Misplaced Focus on Process, Not Policy, Chairman Says By HANNAH NORTHEY of Greenwire

Nuclear Regulator's Misplaced Focus on Process, Not Policy, Chairman Says

NRC: License for Ga. nuke plant likely in 2012


NRC: License for Ga. nuke plant likely in 2012

NEI Executive Viewpoint Henry Ewers, GM at Electrical Builders: “We wish the general public was better educated as to the truth about nuclear power”

Executive Viewpoint

Henry Ewers, GM at Electrical Builders: “We wish the general public was better educated as to the truth about nuclear power”

NEI Weekly Intelligence Brief Weekly Intelligence Brief 4-12 August, 2011

Weekly Intelligence Brief

Weekly Intelligence Brief 4-12 August, 2011

NEI Industry Insight Nuclear momentum accelerates in MENA

Industry Insight

Nuclear momentum accelerates in MENA
11 August 2011
The UAE will be the first Arab country to develop nuclear power if it starts operating its first reactor in May 2017, as planned. Other markets including Saudi Arabia and Jordan also have ambitious new-build plans. Competing renewable energies are also vying for the spotlight. What role will nuclear play in the MENA region's energy mix?

UAE’s FANR hosts National Training Course on Response to Nuclear and Radiological Emergencies
By Heba Hashem

TCASE 13: Assessment of suitability of technologies for carbon dioxide mitigation


TCASE 13: Assessment of suitability of technologies for carbon dioxide mitigation

Barry Brook | 12 August 2011 at 4:51 PM | Categories: Emissions, Nuclear, Renewables, TCASE | URL: http://wp.me/piCIJ-1hk

Radioactivity Release from Natural Gas Production

Radioactivity Release from Natural Gas Production

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Clusterfukushima from Washington's Blog by Washington's Blog

Clusterfukushima

from Washington's Blog

A Warning for China’s Nuclear Sector

A Warning for China’s Nuclear Sector

A Warning for China’s Nuclear SectorChina’s leadership should consider the recent Wenzhou train crash a warning of the need to reevaluate the safety risks of the country’s ambitious nuclear power construction targets.

IEA monthly Energy Statistics through May, 2011

IEA monthly Energy Statistics through May, 2011

Chinese safety checks

Chinese safety checks

Chinese safety authorities have completed an intial survey of nuclear safety at the country's power plants. Details on the results and proposed improvements are to be made public in the middle of next year but there is not yet a timeline for when construction approvals may resume.

Fukushima and the Doomsday Clock

Fukushima and the Doomsday Clock

When dreadful events occur, reporters, readers, and interested citizens contact the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists asking whether we will move the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock. The alarming nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Station on March 11 prompted e-mails and calls to our office seeking the Bulletin's reaction as well as accurate information about what was happening in Japan.

Clamour to supply UAE nuclear needs

Clamour to supply UAE nuclear needs

Rice Is Next Japan Food Risk From Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown

Rice Is Next Japan Food Risk From Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown

Legal challenge to licensing of U.S. nuclear plants


Legal challenge to licensing of U.S. nuclear plants

Outgoing nuclear agency chief was aware of possible meltdown at Fukushima plant

Outgoing nuclear agency chief was aware of possible meltdown at Fukushima plant

Nobuaki Terasaka, outgoing director general of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), said Aug. 10 that he was aware of the possibility of a meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant due to the detection of cesium on March 12, a day after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami crippled the plant.
"I thought the possibility (of a meltdown) cannot be ruled out," Terasaka said at a news conference. His comment drew close attention because a NISA spokesman in March was replaced shortly after he admitted such a possibility.

 

Nuke Closures Could Cost Japan 5.6 Percent of GDP

Nuke Closures Could Cost Japan 5.6 Percent of GDP

Japan's Environment Ministry to Oversee New Atomic Watchdog

Japan's Environment Ministry to Oversee New Atomic Watchdog

Japan on Thursday confirmed its intention to establish within its Environment Ministry a new nuclear accident prevention entity in light of the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi atomic energy plant, Kyodo News reported (see GSN, Aug. 10).

Westinghouse Reactor Takes a Step Forward

Westinghouse Reactor Takes a Step Forward

Construction could proceed on a Westinghouse AP-1000 nuclear reactor if the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is satisfied with its safety and environmental evaluations.

Advisory Committee’s Report Critical of Fracking, Spurs Outpouring of Spin

Advisory Committee’s Report Critical of Fracking, Spurs Outpouring of Spin

Even before the natural gas subcommittee to the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board released it’s “Ninety Day Report” on hydraulic fracking today, anti-fracking groups shifted their spin operations into high gear.

Slide Show on Vermont's Energy Future

Slide Show on Vermont's Energy Future

I recently recorded a 45 minute slide show about Vermont's Energy Future. I had been meaning to do this for a long time. I want to thank the people at CATV studio of White River Junction for their work and patience in recording this, and Cavan Stone for his thoughtful editing. I hope you enjoy it!

BRC Offers Strategy for Today’s Nuclear Waste, Is Deadlocked on Tomorrow’s

BRC Offers Strategy for Today’s Nuclear Waste, Is Deadlocked on Tomorrow’s

The DOE’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future has published a draft of its report to the secretary of energy 
http://brc.gov and http://www.brc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/brc_draft_report_29jul2011_0.pdf (192 pages long)

TEPCO says it has lost contact with 143 nuclear plant workers

TEPCO says it has lost contact with 143 nuclear plant workers

Spotlight: New Nuclear Projects Can Help Administration’s Job-Creation Efforts

Spotlight: New Nuclear Projects Can Help Administration’s Job-Creation Efforts

As the Obama Administration looks to help jumpstart job creation across the United States, it should look no farther than the nuclear energy sector. Nuclear energy already plays an important role in the U.S. economy, producing 20 percent of the nation’s electricity and employing some 120,000 hardworking Americans. Yet investment in new nuclear facilities will create many additional jobs during both the construction and operation phases.

Abandoning nuclear power comes with a cost

Abandoning nuclear power comes with a cost

 

Alternative energy sources can't make up for a relatively clean fuel

 

Read more: http://www.timescolonist.com/news/Abandoning+nuclear+power+comes+with+cost/5239500/story.html#ixzz1UkcjE46r

Fukushima to create nuclear-free society through reconstruction

Fukushima to create nuclear-free society through reconstruction

Japan Official: Smaller Reactors May Be Answer

Japan Official: Smaller Reactors May Be Answer

How we know we’re causing global warming, in one handy graphic

infographic

How we know we’re causing global warming, in one handy graphic

Texas grid declares Level 1 Emergency as ten thousand megawatts of wind power stands paralyzed

Texas grid declares Level 1 Emergency as ten thousand megawatts of wind power stands paralyzed

One step closer to the AP1000 finish line Moderator | August 11, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Tags: nuclear | Categories: New Reactors | URL: http://wp.me/p1fSSY-p7

One step closer to the AP1000 finish line

Moderator | August 11, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Tags: nuclear | Categories: New Reactors | URL: http://wp.me/p1fSSY-p7
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has recently reached two milestones related to the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor design, but we’re still months away from any final decisions on these matters.
The first milestone deals with the NRC’s review of the design itself, to see if it can be approved, or certified, for U.S. use. Certification is required before the NRC can consider licenses to build and operate the design. The agency’s Office of New Reactors completed its technical work on the AP1000 by issuing a 1,500-page Final Safety Evaluation Report (FSER) last week – it will be available on the NRC’s document database under accession number ML112061231.
The technical review leads to the final step, where the agency issues a rule that declares the design certified. The New Reactors staff began this process by issuing a proposed rule in February, and the public provided more than 13,000 comments on that rule through early May. The staff are accounting for those comments, as well as information Westinghouse submitted after the proposed rule was issued.
The staff must draft a final rule based on all that information and provide the rule to the agency’s five Commissioners to consider and vote on; this step is expected to occur in the next few weeks. The Commissioners’ vote, expected by the end of the year, will provide direction to the staff that determines if and when the NRC finishes the certification process and approves the AP1000.
The second milestone involves the first Combined License application that uses the AP1000, for the Vogtle site in Georgia. The New Reactors staff, based on their AP1000 work, completed their technical review of safety issues for the Vogtle project and issued a separate FSER last week. That document, combined with a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, marks the end of the staff’s review. As with design certification, however, it’s not the end of the licensing process.
The agency’s rules call for a “mandatory hearing” to examine whether the staff’s work supports the legal conclusions necessary to issue a license. The Commissioners are going to conduct that hearing, based on the Vogtle FSER and environmental review, expected to occur later in September. The Commissioners will consider the results of the hearing when rendering a decision late this year on whether the conclusions can be made. If the AP1000 final certification rule has been approved, the Commissioners will issue their decision immediately. If the rule is still under discussion, the Commissioners must hold their decision until the rule is approved.
The bottom line is that the NRC still has months of work to do before either the AP1000 or the Vogtle license can be approved.
Scott Burnell
Public Affairs Officer

EON Cuts 10% of Workforce, Reduces Dividend After Profit Drops

EON Cuts 10% of Workforce, Reduces Dividend After Profit Drops

A Look at the DOD's Operation Energy Strategy

A Look at the DOD's Operation Energy Strategy

US soldiers run on water, batteries and fuel. The latter two are becoming quite a challenge for the armed forces as they require a reliable and assured supply of operational energy.
As indicated in the Fiscal Year 2012 Operational Energy Budget Certification Report released by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Plans and Programs in January 2011, “growing operational energy demands are having an impact on military effectiveness, raising the risks and costs for U.S. forces. On the battlefield, large fuel supply lines are challenging to route, vulnerable to attack, and consume significant combat and monetary resources. At home, Read more...

Nigeria Still Considering Nuclear Power

Nigeria Still Considering Nuclear Power

Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, is considering building nuclear power plants to alleviate the country’s chronic energy shortages, despite the negativity surrounding nuclear power in the aftermath of Japan’s March Fukushima debacle.
Nigerian Minister of Power Barth Nnaji said, "Nigeria intends to sit down and properly evaluate what happened in Japan and weigh the risk against national interest," The Vanguard newspaper reported.
Nnaji made his observation after meeting with nuclear power specialists from Russia’s Rosatom atomic agency, who are in the country to seek government's assistance to commence the construction of Nigeria’s first nuclear power plant.
Minister of Science and Technology Ita Oko-Bassey
Read more...

End of the Energy Subsidy Gravy Train

End of the Energy Subsidy Gravy Train

The drama that raised the national debt ceiling without increasing taxes is sending warning shots across the bow for many industries.  The message for energy subsidies, including the tax credits and treasury tax grants for wind and solar, as well as tax credits for oil and gas companies, could not be clearer.  The gravy train is ending because the Government cannot afford it, and political realities won’t tolerate it much longer.
The debt deal did not cut renewable energy subsidies. But it set up a super committee of Congress that must produce $1.3 trillion in spending cuts by Thanksgiving.  This sets
Read more...

Is Shale Oil the Answer to U.S. Energy Security

Is Shale Oil the Answer to U.S. Energy Security

A series of articles by Reuters columnists and Chesapeake Energy’s August 2011 Investor Presentation (once the “Ra-Ra” is filtered out) serve to underline the rapid and largely unseen revolution that is going on in the domestic US oil & gas industry. And I don’t mean in shale gas — well, close — this is shale oil. From almost nothing just two years ago, production is ramping up faster than just about every projection expected. Chesapeake alone is expecting some 41 percent of its production to come from oil by 2012, up from just 12 percent in 2009, as this
Read more...

Syrian Banks Blacklisted Over WMD Ties

Syrian Banks Blacklisted Over WMD Ties

The Obama administration unveiled punitive measures on Wednesday against two Syrian financial institutions for their alleged ties to WMD proliferation in Syria and North Korea (see GSN, Aug. 8).
The moves bar the government-run Commercial Bank of Syria and a subsidiary, the Syrian Lebanese Commercial Bank, from engaging in transactions with U.S. individuals and from accessing any assets the firms might possess under U.S. control.

Israel Dismisses Report on Nuke-Free Zone Talks Proposal

Israel Dismisses Report on Nuke-Free Zone Talks Proposal

Israel has received no formal proposal for talks with Arab nations on establishing a Middle Eastern nuclear weapon-free zone, Israeli Atomic Energy Commission insiders said on Wednesday, adding that Jerusalem's stance on the matter has remained consistent (see GSN, Aug. 10).

Training a New Generation of Nuclear Specialists

Training a New Generation of Nuclear Specialists

Nuclear Facility
Students from the 2010 School of Nuclear Energy Management see the inner workings of a nuclear facility. (Photo: R. Bahdanovich/IAEA)
As the generation of professionals who built and led the nuclear power industry for the last half century approaches retirement, there is a shortage of new nuclear specialists to take their place.
Therefore, training opportunities like the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP)/IAEA School of Nuclear Energy Management, now underway in Trieste, Italy, are vitally important for the safe and successful continuation of the nuclear power industry.
In a video address at the School's 8 August opening ceremony, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano underscored the need for trained nuclear professionals, even in countries which have decided to abandon the technology for electricity generation.
"Despite Fukushima Daiichi, global use of nuclear power will continue to grow in the coming decades. Even the few countries which have decided to abandon nuclear power will still need a highly qualified workforce for decades to come - to run existing nuclear power plants, to decommission them and to ensure the safe disposal of nuclear waste. Countries which have ambitious expansion plans, and what the IAEA calls 'newcomer' countries, also have considerable needs for new nuclear expertise," said Amano.
The School focuses on preserving, sharing and developing nuclear energy knowledge accumulated through years of experience in order to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
According to Alexander Bychkov, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Nuclear Energy Department, the school is part of the IAEA's responsibility to help Member States, especially those considering or starting national nuclear power programmes.
Addressing the participants during the opening ceremony, Bychkov said, "When you return to your countries after these three weeks, you will be better prepared to contribute to building and managing nuclear power programmes responsibly, safely and sustainably."
In light of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, which has had far-reaching implications, Bychkov admonished participants to see their field more clearly.
"You must understand that all aspects of nuclear energy - the technical elements and the management elements - have to be considered as one unified system. Only then will you succeed as effective nuclear energy managers."
Background
This is the second School of Nuclear Energy Management organized jointly by the IAEA and the ICTP. The first took place in November last year.
In 2012 the School will be held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in January and in Tokyo, Japan in June. Other countries have also requested to host the School in the future.
Approximately 60 participants from more than 30 countries are taking part this year. The programme of study, delivered by 40 international lecturers, covers the most important topics related to the nuclear energy sector.
The topics will include: nuclear power; nuclear fuel cycle and waste management; energy planning, economics and finance; nuclear safety, nuclear law, international conventions and relevant mechanisms; as well as nuclear non-proliferation and safeguards.
See Story Resources for more information.
-- By Sasha Henriques, IAEA Division of Public Information

Legal challenge to licensing of U.S. nuclear plants


Legal challenge to licensing of U.S. nuclear plants

Updates from ANS Nuclear Cafe Can California meet its Renewable Energy Portfolio? Part III

Updates from

ANS Nuclear Cafe

Can California meet its Renewable Energy Portfolio? Part III

By pbowersox on Aug 11, 2011 01:00 am

by Ulrich Decher The first two parts of this series (here and here) presented historical trends in electricity generation in California, and the growing use of in-state natural gas and imports of electricity from grids in neighboring states. They also … Continue reading
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share on Twitter Like Can California meet its Renewable Energy Portfolio? Part III on Facebook

Benchmarks for Quantifying Fuel Reactivity Depletion Uncertainty

  Benchmarks for Quantifying Fuel Reactivity Depletion Uncertainty  

 
Product ID: 1022909 Sector Name: Nuclear
Date Published: 8/8/2011 Document Type: Technical Report
File size: 2.35 MB File Type: Adobe PDF (.pdf)
Implementation Category: 
Reference
Foundational building blocks for product research and development, often including scientific findings and field experience that feed into Category 1 or Category 2 recommendations.
Implementation Type: 
Benchmarking
Plant operating experience and/or benchmarking studies

  


 
   Full list price:No Charge   
 
   
This Product is publicly available.
 
  Abstract  
  Analytical methods, described in this report, are used to systematically determine experimental fuel sub-batch reactivities as a function of burnup. Fuel sub-batch reactivities are inferred using more than 600 in-core pressurized water reactor (PWR) flux maps taken during 44 cycles of operation at the Catawba and McGuire nuclear power plants. The analytical methods systematically search for fuel sub-batch reactivities that minimize differences between measured and computed reaction rates, using Studsvik Scandpower's CASMO and SIMULATE-3 reactor analysis tools. More than eight million SIMULATE-3 core calculations are used to reduce one million measured reaction rate signals to a set of 2500 experimental fuel sub-batch reactivities over the range of 0 to 55 gigawatt-days per metric ton (GWd/T) burnup. Experimental biases derived for the CASMO lattice physics code were used to develop a series of experimental benchmarks that can be used to quantify reactivity decrement biases and uncertainties of other code systems used in spent-fuel pool (SFP) and cask criticality analyses. Specification of 11 experimental lattice benchmarks, covering a range of enrichments, burnable absorber loading, boron concentration, and lattice types are documented in this report. Numerous tests are used to demonstrate that experimental reactivity burnup decrements are insensitive to the specific lattice physics codes and neutron cross-section libraries used to analyze the flux map data.
Experimental results also demonstrate that CASMO hot full power (HFP) reactivity burnup decrement biases are less than 250 pcm over the burnup range from 0 to 55 GWd/T, and corresponding 2σ uncertainties are less than 250 pcm. The TSUNAMI tools of Oak Ridge National Laboratory's SCALE 6 package were used to extend HFP results to cold conditions, and cold reactivity burnup decrement uncertainties increased to approximately 600 pcm.
This report provides a basis for quantification of combined nuclide inventory and cross-section uncertainties in computed reactivity burnup decrements. Results support the Kopp Memo 5% reactivity decrement uncertainty assumption, often applied in SFP criticality analysis, which is shown to be both valid and conservative for CASMO-based fuel depletion analyses.

Sellafield Residue Export Facility Licence Granted

Sellafield Residue Export Facility Licence Granted

China completes post-Fukushima nuclear safety inspection

China completes post-Fukushima nuclear safety inspection

Burr says half of new energy generation should be nuclear

Burr says half of new energy generation should be nuclear

Florida PSC begins hearing on nuclear plant costs

Florida PSC begins hearing on nuclear plant costs

Oyster Creek gets thumbs up for cyber-security plan

Oyster Creek gets thumbs up for cyber-security plan

NRC holds Entergy to decommissioning guarantee

NRC holds Entergy to decommissioning guarantee

Book Review: Why the "Green Revolution" Was Not So Green After All

Book Review: Why the "Green Revolution" Was Not So Green After All

Nuclear regulators are told law prohibits new licensing until post-Fukushima review is taken into account

Nuclear regulators are told law prohibits new licensing until post-Fukushima review is taken into account

ShareThis
Thursday, August 11, 2011
For Immediate Release
Contact:
Nick Berning, 202-222-0748,nberning@foe.org; Leslie Anderson, 703-276-3256, landerson@hastingsgroup.com

MULTIPLE LEGAL CHALLENGES: ALL NUCLEAR REACTOR LICENSING MUST BE DELAYED OR CANCELLED DUE TO EXISTING FEDERAL LAW

26 Groups Call on Nuclear Regulatory Commission to Follow Legal Requirements for Reactor Licensing & Relicensing  

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- August 11, 2011 -- Not only should the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) slow down reactor licensing and relicensing in order to address a range of health and safety concerns raised by its own experts in the task force review of the Fukushima disaster, but the reality is that the NRC is required to apply the brakes in order to comply with existing federal law, according to 19 separate legal challenges filed today by a total of 26 public interest groups and several individuals.
The groups contend that under federal law, the NRC may not issue or renew a single reactor license until it has either strengthened regulations to protect the public from severe accident risks or until it has made a careful and detailed study of the environmental implications of not doing so. The groups are also pursuing a technical finding from high in the NRC that leads to upgraded safety standards.
“What we’ve learned in the wake of Japan’s nuclear disaster -- and what the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s experts concluded -- is that current regulations are fundamentally inadequate. They simply do not provide the level of safety required by laws including the National Environmental Policy Act and the Atomic Energy Act,” said Phillip Musegaas, Hudson Program Director of Riverkeeper, Inc., which today filed a contention document related to the Indian Point reactor in New York State with the NRC. “The law requires regulators to take this information into account before issuing any licenses for reactors. Our filing today is intended to force them to do so.”
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s 90-day review of the lessons learned from the meltdowns and radioactive release at Fukushima produced substantial new information that raised health and safety concerns that now must be considered in formal environmental impact statements, the groups contend. Because of this, existing environmental impact statements for all reactors in the licensing process fail to satisfy the requirements of NEPA, and issuing licenses prior to the completion of supplemental environmental impact statements would be illegal.
“Significant regulatory changes are needed to ensure that existing or new nuclear reactors do not pose unacceptable safety and environmental risks to the public,” said Dr. Arjun Makhijani, a nuclear expert who prepared a declaration that will be filed with the contentions.  “In light of the disastrous and ongoing events at Fukushima, it is clear that the issues of public safety raised by the Task Force are exceptionally grave.”
The delays that could result from additional analysis are likely to be substantial, and it is possible license applications could be rejected altogether at the end of the licensing process. If a license is issued prior to the NRC conducting the required environmental analyses, the commission could be held accountable by federal courts.
A list of the 26 groups filing contentions with the NRC today follows. The contentions address reactors at facilities including Diablo Canyon, Watts Bar, Bellefonte, Summer, South Texas, Comanche Peak, Vogtle, Turkey Point, Indian Point, Calvert Cliffs, Davis-Besse,  Seabrook, Fermi, Levy, Shearon Harris, North Anna, Bell Bend and W.S. Lee.
An example from the contentions being filed today can be found at:
http://foe.org/sites/default/files/SLOMFP_Fukushima_Contention_TO_BE_FILED_8-11-11.pdf

The supporting technical declaration can be found at:
http://foe.org/sites/default/files/Makhijani_Declaration_for_new_Fukushima_Contention_with_CV_8-8-11.pdf

Groups filing contentions include:

Beyond Nuclear
Bellefonte Efficiency and Sustainability Team
Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League
Center for a Sustainable Coast
Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario
Don’t Waste Michigan
Ecology Party of Florida
Friends of the Coast
Friends of the Earth
Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions
Green Party of Ohio
National Parks Conservation Association
NC WARN
New England Coalition
NIRS Southeast
People’s Alliance for Clean Energy
Public Citizen
Reduction Network in COL
Riverkeeper Inc
San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace
Savannah Riverkeeper
Seacoast Anti-Pollution League
SEED Coalition
Sierra Club (Michigan Chapter)
Sierra Club of New Hampshire
Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

 

Anti-nuclear groups shower federal regulators with legal challenges By Andrew Restuccia - 08/11/11 12:01 AM ET

Anti-nuclear groups shower federal regulators with legal challenges

By Andrew Restuccia - 08/11/11 12:01 AM ET

Are MIT Students Smarter Than 5th Graders?

Posted: 10 Aug 2011 01:30 AM PDT
Ask any climate scientist to explain global warming to a fifth grader, and they will pull out the bathtub analogy: The atmosphere is the tub. The level of carbon is the water standing in said tub. There’s a spigot and a sink—water in and water out. For the longest time, carbon in and carbon out of the atmosphere have been in balance. Then man came along and fiddled with the spigot. Now there’s an ever increasing flow of carbon in, and the level in the atmosphere keeps rising. Simple enough.

Europe's Largest Solar Power Plant to Open in Ukraine

Europe's Largest Solar Power Plant to Open in Ukraine
KYIV, Ukraine, August 10, 2011/PRNewswire/ --

By the end of the current year the newly built solar power plant in Crimea is set to reach the production rate of 100,000 megawatt-hours of electricity in a year. This rate makes the station the most powerful solar power plant ever built in the region and one of the largest solar power plants in the world. The power plant of this caliber is estimated to reduce Ukraine's carbon dioxide emission by 80,000 tons.

The solar power plant in Okhotnykovo, Crimea, is a part of the country's national Natural Energy project. The State Agency of Ukraine for Energy Efficiency and Energy Conservation (SAUEEEC) launched the project in 2010. It is aimed at producing electric energy from the "clean" sources - the sun and the wind - in the amount of 2,000 MW. The objective of this initiative is to supply the low transportation cost electricity and preserve the environment. The SAUEEEC expects the production share of alternative energy to make up to 30 percent of Ukrainian energy market before 2015.

The Okhotnykovo plant will provide an output of 80 MW making it the largest solar power plant in Europe. Currently, the largest solar power plant is located in Italy and produces 72 MW.

Venture Capitalists Back Away from Clean Energy

Venture Capitalists Back Away from Clean Energy

from Technology Review Feed - Tech Review Top Stories

MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility Get Thumbs Up During Inspection

MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility Get Thumbs Up During Inspection

from AREVA North America: Next Energy Blog

Peak Oil: Grim Reality or Conspiracy Myth?

Peak Oil: Grim Reality or Conspiracy Myth?

The era of cheap oil is over and will never come back… Conventional oil peaked in 2006,” Fatih Birol, International Energy Agency Chief Economist, 25 May 2011

There is perhaps no more divisive issue in the world energy markets than the concept of “peak oil,” which has ignited vociferous debate on both sides of the issue.

Shorn of its complexities, peak oil boils down to a half-empty/half-full glass debate. The peak oil theory, first enunciated by Marion King Hubbert, a geologist working at Shell’s research lab in Houston, stated that any finite resource (including oil), will have
Read more...

A Look at the DOD's Operation Energy Strategy

A Look at the DOD's Operation Energy Strategy

US soldiers run on water, batteries and fuel. The latter two are becoming quite a challenge for the armed forces as they require a reliable and assured supply of operational energy.
As indicated in the Fiscal Year 2012 Operational Energy Budget Certification Report released by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Plans and Programs in January 2011, “growing operational energy demands are having an impact on military effectiveness, raising the risks and costs for U.S. forces. On the battlefield, large fuel supply lines are challenging to route, vulnerable to attack, and consume significant combat and monetary resources. At home, Read more...

A Presidential Policy Directive for a new nuclear path

A Presidential Policy Directive for a new nuclear path

from Web Edition | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

NEI Nuclear Notes Wednesday Update

NEI Nuclear Notes

 

Wednesday Update

From NEI’s Japan micro-site:
NRC Votes Are All In on Task Force Report

Iraq power plans short-circuit

Iraq power plans short-circuit
Baghdad (AFP) Aug 9, 2011 - Mismanagement and bureaucratic deadlock in Iraq's electricity ministry have short-circuited a quick-fix plan for some 50 power plants to alleviate the country's severe power shortage, officials say. Electricity minister Raad Shallal al-Ani, whom Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has moved to dismiss but who must still be questioned by parliament, announced on March 23 that Iraq planned to build ... more

NRC Issues Final Safety Evaluation Report for AP1000

NRC Issues Final Safety Evaluation Report for AP1000

Nuclear power research programs awarded $39 million

Nuclear power research programs awarded $39 million

World's demand for oil to fall as recovery falters, says IEA

World's demand for oil to fall as recovery falters, says IEA

While the fall in oil prices will be welcomed, the fact that it has been precipitated by a slowdown in the pace of economic recovery is less happy news
By Sarah Arnott

Japan to use extra 230,000 b/d oil for power in 2011: IEA


Japan to use extra 230,000 b/d oil for power in 2011: IEA

Brown’s Ferry Nuclear Power Plant Has to Shut Down Again

Brown’s Ferry Nuclear Power Plant Has to Shut Down Again

German nuclear shutdown forces E.ON to cut 11,000 staff


German nuclear shutdown forces E.ON to cut 11,000 staff

Effects of Japanese disaster continue as £1.7bn closure cost pushes German power firm into first quarterly loss for 10 years

Millstone scrutiny warranted

Millstone scrutiny warranted

No. 2 N-plant was prepared for venting

No. 2 N-plant was prepared for venting

TEPCO teetering on financial edge

TEPCO teetering on financial edge

Japan’s ‘can-do’ bid for a nuclear-free era By David Pilling

Japan’s ‘can-do’ bid for a nuclear-free era

ATOMIC POWER REVIEW Nuclear Energy in Japan: August 10, 2011

ATOMIC POWER REVIEW

Nuclear Energy in Japan: August 10, 2011

We find ourselves at another noteworthy point in the recovery from the Fukushima Daiichi accident, although none of the media in Japan have made note of it. This point is that point at which the media totally ceases daily, or even every-other day, coverage of an event and instead turns to the future implications.

 

Japan Witheld Nuclear Meltdown Simulation Showing 18,000 Deaths And 55 Mile Dead Zone

Japan Witheld Nuclear Meltdown Simulation Showing 18,000 Deaths And 55 Mile Dead Zone

Nuclear Plant Cost Recovery

Nuclear Plant Cost Recovery

August 10th, 2011 by Whitney Ray Florida’s two largest power companies are asking the Florida Public Service Commission permission to charge customers for nuclear power plants that have yet to be built.

E.ON blames nuke decision for huge loss


E.ON blames nuke decision for huge loss

Citizen group tracks down Japan's radiation

Citizen group tracks down Japan's radiation
Amid contradictory government statistics, a volunteer group has recorded 500,000 radiation points across the country.

Wednesday's Readers' Page centerpiece: Could nuclear reactor meltdown happen here?

Wednesday's Readers' Page centerpiece: Could nuclear reactor meltdown happen here?

IEA says global oil demand growth slows

IEA says global oil demand growth slows
In Categories: Capital markets
Posted at 20:31 by John McDermott
High oil prices and weaker economic growth have “dramatically” curtailed the expansion of global oil demand, with the world registering a zero increase in June, according to the International Energy Agency, reports the FT. The IEA’s monthly oil market report, released on Wednesday, disclosed a substantial cooling of demand and an increase in supply. Saudi Arabia raised its output by a further 100,000 barrels a day to reach 9.8m b/d in July, the highest level for 30 years. The kingdom has now increased production by 1.1m b/d since January, meaning that Opec has fully compensated for the loss of Libyan output. But high prices have also led to falls in consumption. Total demand for oil products in Asia fell by 500,000 b/d between May and June, declining from 20.6m b/d to 20.1m b/d. This decline was led by China, where oil demand fell by 1.5 per cent between May and June. Overall, the IEA has trimmed its forecast of global oil demand this year by 100,000 b/d, saying it will average 89.5m b/d.

Speaking of Power: Fracking Problems



Speaking of Power: Fracking Problems

By most estimates, natural gas is likely to become the dominant power generation fuel in the U.S. within perhaps a decade. The rapid growth in natural gas supplies follows advanced drilling techniques that can economically tap large shale gas reserves located deep beneath Earth’s crust. Unfortunately, it only takes one outlaw drilling company to frack it up for the rest of us. More »

0, 2011 CRUCIAL NRC SAFETY BACKING FOR NEW VOGTLE REACTORS CLEARS WAY FOR COL HEARING

August 10, 2011
CRUCIAL NRC SAFETY BACKING FOR NEW VOGTLE REACTORS CLEARS WAY FOR COL HEARING
Two new AP1000 reactors proposed for the expansion of Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro, Ga., on Tuesday received a Final Safety Evaluation Report (FSER) from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). In a major milestone for the project—the first two reactors that will be built in the U.S. in 25 years—the federal regulatory agency concluded there are no safety aspects that would preclude it from issuing a limited work authorization and combined construction and operating license (COL) for the project. Read More »

Japan to lift some nuclear evacuation advisories



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Japan to lift some nuclear evacuation advisories

German Nuclear Exit May Cost 32 Billion Euros, Handelsblatt Says

German Nuclear Exit May Cost 32 Billion Euros, Handelsblatt Says

Guest column: S.C.’s energy powerhouse

Guest column: S.C.’s energy powerhouse

Researching Safer Nuclear Energy By MATTHEW L. WALD

Researching Safer Nuclear Energy

Rice from town near Tokyo is radiation-free, tests show

Rice from town near Tokyo is radiation-free, tests show

(Reuters) - Samples of rice grown in a town near Tokyo showed no radioactive materials when tested, officials said on Wednesday, a relief for farmers preparing to ship Japan's traditional food staple.

TEPCO to begin building cover over Fukushima reactor Wed.

TEPCO to begin building cover over Fukushima reactor Wed.

The bright future of solar powered factories

The bright future of solar powered factories

Join the Movement to Quit Coal

Across America, people are living in the shadow of the coal industry. One American dies every hour as a result of pollution from coal-fired power plants and coal is costing all of us together an extra half a trillion dollars per year. But citizens everywhere from small towns to big cities are coming together to take back their right to clean air and water.
Community Forums are tools that help you organize in your community to fight back against coal. Once you’ve joined a Community Forum, you can connect with others who are interested in the same issues, learn more, post news and resources, and plan together.

IAEA Good Practices for Water Quality Management in Research Reactors and Spent Fuel Storage Facilities

Good Practices for Water Quality Management in Research Reactors and Spent Fuel Storage Facilities

Japan Disaster Caps Decades of Faked Reports, Accidents

Japan Disaster Caps Decades of Faked Reports, Accidents

Updates from ANS Nuclear Cafe

Updates from

ANS Nuclear Cafe

Turning Inspiration into Action

By rmichal on Aug 10, 2011 01:00 am

by Suzy Hobbs A recent article called “Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Power in Japan,” written by Karen Street has gotten a lot of attention over the past week. It is a well written and comprehensive look at how humanitarian issues … Continue reading
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ANS issues report on spent fuel

By dyurman on Aug 09, 2011 10:44 am

The American Nuclear Society issues a comprehensive spent fuel report by Dan Yurman One day ahead of the Blue Ribbon Commission’s draft recommendations for managing spent nuclear fuel and nuclear waste, the American Nuclear Society on July 28 issued its … Continue reading
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