Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major News and Commentary Military and Civilian Nuclear Activities

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sandia chemists find new material to remove radioactive gas from spent nuclear fuel

Sandia chemists find new material to remove radioactive gas from spent nuclear fuel

Albuquerque NM (SPX) Jan 27, 2012
Research by a team of Sandia chemists could impact worldwide efforts to produce clean, safe nuclear energy and reduce radioactive waste. The Sandia researchers have used metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) to capture and remove volatile radioactive gas from spent nuclear fuel.

Areva order book increases despite Fukushima disaster

Areva order book increases despite Fukushima disaster

Paris (AFP) Jan 26, 2012
French nuclear energy giant Areva said Thursday its order book increased by 3.1 percent last year to 45.6 billion euros ($59.8 billion) despite Fukushima nuclear disaster hitting sales. Sales in 2011 dipped by 2.6 percent to 8.87 billion euros, with canceled orders in the wake of the disaster at the Japanese nuclear plant totalling 464 million euros, Areva said in a statement.

Nukespeak: The Selling of Nuclear Technology from the Manhattan Project to Fukushima

Nukespeak: The Selling of Nuclear Technology from the Manhattan Project to Fukushima

In the end, the answer to the mystery of why nuclear power in the United States is still afloat comes down to money.

Around the Halls: President Obama and America's Nuclear Future


Around the Halls: President Obama and America's Nuclear Future
Brookings Institution
Would it not perhaps be as reasonable to turn this function over to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency, or perhaps the Interior Department? The commission does make a bold and much needed call for changing how the ...

NRC briefed NISA on contingencies; Tepco in dark

NRC briefed NISA on contingencies; Tepco in dark
The Japan Times
By MINORU MATSUTANI The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency in 2006 and 2008 received briefings from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission on its contingency guideline for handling nuclear plants in case of a terrorist attack, which may have included ...

Anti-nuclear movement growing in Asia

Anti-nuclear movement growing in Asia
Christian Science Monitor
Though nuclear power still has a strong foothold in Asia, anti-nuclear sentiment and protest are growing from Mongolia to South Korea to Taiwan and even - in modest ways - in China.

What Sweden can teach us about nuclear waste

What Sweden can teach us about nuclear waste

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/what-sweden-can-teach-us-about-nuclear-waste/2012/01/27/gIQAdlanXQ_blog.html

Investigation Committee on the Accident at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Stations of TEPCO

Interim Report

Report

  • Interim Report (The full version is now being translated into English)

  • Summary of Interim Report
  • Japan's plutonium stockpile builds as nuke fuel cycle policy hits dead end

    Japan's plutonium stockpile builds as nuke fuel cycle policy hits dead end

    http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20120128p2a00m0na013000c.html

    Friday, January 27, 2012

    Areva's ups and downs

    Areva's ups and downs

    A turbulent year for Areva has seen a new CEO, dramatic currency fluctuations and sales impacts from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident but an increase in order backlog and only a fairly minor downturn in overall revenue.

    Immediate Action Needed on US waste policy

    Immediate action needed on US waste policy

    After nearly two years of work, the Blue Ribbon Commission has issued its final recommendations for "creating a safe, long-term solution" for dealing with the USA's used nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Efforts to develop a waste repository and a central storage facility should start immediately, it says.

    How to prevent war with Iran

    How to prevent war with Iran

    The pace of events in the confrontation between Iran, Israel, and the United States has accelerated rapidly in the last few months. The mysterious destruction of an Iranian missile facility in November was followed by a new wave of US-organized sanctions against Iran's central bank.

    Guess Post: The Market Ticker - The Dumb Way To (Ab)use Coal

    Guest Post The Market Ticker - The Dumb Way To (Ab)use Coal

    When you're being stupid, there is only more and less stupid -- that is, it's a matter of degree.
    AKRON, Ohio - FirstEnergy will close six older coal-fired power plants in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland by September 1 due to environmental regulations.
    Bay Shore Plant, Units 2-4, in Oregon, Ohio; Eastlake Plant; Ashtabula Plant; Lake Shore Plant, Cleveland; Armstrong Power Station, Pennsylvania; and R. Paul Smith Power Station, Maryland are the six plants that will be retired.
    529 employees will lose their jobs, and in addition there will be further tax losses occasioned by the shuttering as well, along with all the pass-through economic activity (everything from lubricants to cleaning supplies to the paper for the copiers) that disappears as well.
    Why?  Because we're stuck on stupid.
    We have an intelligent way to use coal for energy production.  We can use it to power our cars and make electricity at the same time.
    But not how we use coal today.
    Instead, we should be using nuclear energy from thorium for our electrical generation in liquid salt technology reactors.  These run at a convenient temperature to provide process heat to convert coal to liquids. And the best part of it is that coal contains thorium itself, so we get multiple benefits:
    • No more oil imports.
    • A many-hundred year (500+) fuel base off known proved reserves (of coal) for hydrocarbon liquids.
    • A many thousand year base of nuclear fuel (thorium) at reasonable extraction costs
    • No mercury emissions from the resulting fuel (Fischer-Tropsch only uses the carbon in coal)
    • A roughly 50% decrease in net carbon emissions
    • The ability to have a 100% net decrease in net carbon emissions (if we get the carbon for the CTL from the atmosphere rather than coal -- feasible, but expensive compared to using coal and thus not practical today -- but it might be tomorrow.)
    • A power reactor design that is proliferation-resistant and burns nearly all of its own waste, thereby dramatically reducing the waste load compared to conventional plants, along with being much safer in that it cannot melt down (since there are no metallic fuel rods nor is high pressure required for safe operation.)
    But heh, we instead want to remain stuck on stupid, and then "crack down" on emissions from these coal plants, driving them offline.
    That's just fine provided you don't mind when there's not enough energy to sustain economic progress.
    There's a better way folks.http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?singlepost=2852165

    World’s First Atomic Laser Created, TG Daily

    World’s First Atomic Laser Created, TG Daily

    NIC Update -- BRC Report 01/28/12

    United States
    Nuclear Infrastructure
    Council

    NIC


    NIC Update -- BRC Report 

    Below is a link to the final Report to the Secretary of Energy by the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future (BRC), which was embargoed until 2:00 pm EDT today.

    A quick summary and talking points follow.

    The Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future (BRC) released this afternoon its 119-page Report to the Secretary of Energy. 
    Recognizing that "America's nuclear waste management program is at an impasse", the BRC recommends a strategy with eight key elements.
    1.    A new, consent-based approach to siting future nuclear waste management facilities.
    2.    A new organization dedicated solely to implementing the waste management program and empowered with the authority and resources to succeed.
    3.    Access to the funds nuclear utility ratepayers are providing for the purpose of nuclear waste management.
    4.    Prompt efforts to develop one or more geologic disposal facilities.
    5.    Prompt efforts to develop one or more consolidated storage facilities.
    6.    Prompt efforts to prepare for the eventual large-scale transport of spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste to consolidated storage and disposal facilities when such facilities become available.
    7.    Support for continued U.S. innovation in nuclear energy technology and for workforce development.
    8.    Active U.S. leadership in international efforts to address security, waste management, non-proliferation, and security concerns.

    The BRC is confident that its waste management recommendations  can be implemented using revenue streams already dedicated for this purpose (in particular the Nuclear Waste Fund and fee). 
    Its proposed legislative changes include: Establishing a new facility siting process, Authorizing consolidated interim storage facilities, Broadening support to jurisdictions affected by transportation, Establishing a new waste management organization, Ensuring access to dedicated funding, and Promoting international engagement to support safe and secure waste management.

    Access to Waste Fund

    The BRC recommends that the DOE's standard contract with nuclear utilities should be amended so that utilities remit only the portion of the annual fee that is appropriated for waste management each year and place the rest in a trust account.  In the long term, legislation is needed to transfer the unspent balance in the Fund to the new waste management organization.

    Consent Based Siting

    Once the new waste management organization is established, the BRC recommends that it should:
    • Establish a set of basic initial siting criteria
    • Encourage expressions of interest from a large variety of communities that have potentially suitable sites
    • Establish initial program milestones
    Fed Corp

    Due to lack of confidence and trust from the overall record of DOE and the federal government, the BRC concludes that a new, single-purpose organization is needed to provide the stability, focus, and credibility that are essential to get the waste program back on track.  According to the report, a congressionally chartered federal corporation offers the best model.  The central task of this organization would be to site, license, build, and operate facilities for the safe consolidated storage and final disposal of spent fuel and high-level nuclear waste.

    Geologic Disposal Facility

    The Report states, "Disposal is needed and that deep geologic disposal is the scientifically preferred approach has been reached by every other country that is pursuing a nuclear waste management program...We believe permanent disposal will very likely also be needed to safely manage at least some portion of the commercial spent fuel inventory even if a closed fuel cycle were adopted."

    Consolidated Storage

    The BRC believes developing consolidated storage capacity would allow the federal government to begin the orderly transfer of spent fuel from reactor sites to safe and secure centralized facilities independent of the schedule for operating a permanent repository.

    Transportation

    According to the Report, the BRC believes state, tribal, and local officials should be extensively involved in transportation planning and should be given the resources necessary to discharge their roles and obligations in this arena.

    The BRC recognizes that while it would be premature to fully fund a technical assistance program before knowing with some certainty where the destination sites for spent fuel are going to be, substantial benefits can be gained from a modest early investment in planning for the transport of spent fuel from shutdown reactor sites.

    Advanced Technologies

    The BRC recommends ongoing work by the NRC to develop a regulatory framework for advanced nuclear energy systems.  Specfically, the BRC recommends "adequate federal funding be provided to the NRC to support a robust effort in this area. 

    The BRC does not make specific recommendations concerning future DOE funding for nuclear energy RD&D, given the extraordinary fiscal pressures the federal government will confront in coming years.

    Closing the Fuel Cycle

    The report takes a dim view of closing the fuel cycle - in fact calling any policy to close the fuel cycle "premature" and arguing that available and reasonably foreseeable reactor and fuel cycle technology developments - including advances in reprocessing and recycling technology - cannot impact the current paradigm over at least the next several decades if not longer.
       
    "... It is the Commission's view that it would be premature for the United States to commit, as a matter of policy, to "closing" the nuclear fuel cycle given the large uncertainties that exist about the merits and commercial viability of different fuel cycles and technologies options."
      
    ... no currently available or reasonably foreseeable reactor and fuel cycle technology developments - including advances in reprocessing and recycling technologies - have the potential to fundamentally alter the waste management challenge this nation confronts over at least the next several decades if not longer.
    Other

    It should also be noted that the Commission, consistent with its charter, did not:
    • Render an opinion on the suitability of the Yucca Mountain site or on the request to withdraw the license application for Yucca Mountain.  Instead, we focused on developing a sound strategy for future storage and disposal facilities and operations that we believe can and should be implemented regardless of what happens with Yucca Mountain.
    • Propose any specific site (or sites) for any component of the waste management system.
    • Offered a judgment about the appropriate role of nuclear power in the nation's (or the world's) future energy supply mix.


    U.S. Nuclear Infrastructure Council
    Talking Points
    Regarding the
    Report to the Secretary of Energy by the
    Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future (BRC)

    While we regret that the Blue Ribbon Commission did not choose to consider the Yucca Mountain project or consider site specific options, its report corroborates once again that a geologic disposal facility is the foundation for any national spent fuel management program -- and that there is no "silver bullet" for Yucca Mountain.  To this end, we are pleased that the BRC recommendations do not preclude Yucca Mountain as an option going forward.  We continue to support the completion of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's review of the Energy Department's license application for Yucca Mountain in concert with the provisions of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act.

    We agree with the BRC that a prompt solution to the nation's spent fuel management challenge is urgently needed and that failure by the federal government to come to grips with its responsibilities has proved damaging and enormously expensive with the cost of inaction now measured in the billions of dollars -- and mounting.  The report is crystal clear that the U.S. Department of Energy's commitments to utilities and electricity consumer stakeholders have not been met over decades and that a new organization is needed to lead the nation's spent fuel management program - specifically an empowered federal corporation with authority, funding and portfolio.

    We are encouraged that the report affirms key components of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, while suggesting some overdue enhancements, most notably an independent "FedCorp" with the resources and authority to succeed; ensured access to dedicated funding; and more flexibility in constructing one or more consolidated interim storage facilities. Consolidated storage can be an important element in any comprehensive strategy to jumpstart forward progress toward meeting contractual and statutory obligations, including shut-down nuclear plants.  As the BRC notes, there is no safety or security risks with current storage.  Along with consolidated storage, we also believe that "closing" the fuel cycle and recycling should be on the table as part of any integrated approach. We strongly disagree with the BRC's observation that no technology development has the potential to fundamentally alter the waste management paradigm for the next several decades if not longer.
    Although the BRC report does not lay out a definitized path forward with timetables, we hope that its review will lend clarity to the need, urgency, structure and available avenues to meet the solvable challenges of the nation's current spent fuel management impasse.

    Please note that while this statement reflects the consensus of the Council , it may not necessarily reflect the views of individual members.
    ###


     


     
    Harrison Akins
    Policy Fellow - Small Reactor Commercialization
    U.S. Nuclear Infrastructure Council
    1317 F Street NW, Suite 350
    Washington, DC 20004

    US Takes Charge of G-8 Nonproliferation Bodies

    U.S. Takes Charge of G-8 Nonproliferation Bodies | Global Security ...
    The United States this year is heading three entities expected to establish and carry out nonproliferation policies for the Group of Eight leading industrialized ...

    Obama's about face on nuclear non-proliferation

    Obama's about face on nuclear non-proliferation
    Washington Post (blog)
    Lawmakers and nonproliferation experts also said they fear more lenient nuclear-cooperation agreements with Jordan and Vietnam could undercut the campaign to contain Iran's nuclear program.

    Financial Times Energy 01/28/12

     
    Financial Times

    Energy
    Friday January 27 2012

    FT.com - Energy
     

    BP blow in legal fight over gulf spill
    http://link.ft.com/r/A1TNOO/L9G01Z/XTL8JY/AMY4HI/8ZS76G/FW/h?a1=2012&a2=1&a3=27
     
    Anglo American reveals mixed output results
    http://link.ft.com/r/A1TNOO/L9G01Z/XTL8JY/AMY4HI/HYLIMA/FW/h?a1=2012&a2=1&a3=27
     
    Iran threatens to act first on EU embargo
    http://link.ft.com/r/A1TNOO/L9G01Z/XTL8JY/AMY4HI/4CIVBV/FW/h?a1=2012&a2=1&a3=27
     
    Vale to appeal R$9.8bn Brazil tax ruling
    http://link.ft.com/r/A1TNOO/L9G01Z/XTL8JY/AMY4HI/16KOLG/FW/h?a1=2012&a2=1&a3=27
     
    Obama seeks to lift natural gas demand
    http://link.ft.com/r/A1TNOO/L9G01Z/XTL8JY/AMY4HI/VL7TRE/FW/h?a1=2012&a2=1&a3=27
     

    Utilities company and industry news with expert analysis from the Financial Times
     

    Japan to inject $12.9bn into Tepco
    http://link.ft.com/r/A1TNOO/L9G01Z/XTL8JY/AMY4HI/R3VPQS/FW/h?a1=2012&a2=1&a3=27
     

    Mining company and industry news from the Financial Times
     

    PotashCorp cuts back on shipments
    http://link.ft.com/r/A1TNOO/L9G01Z/XTL8JY/AMY4HI/XH5BNN/FW/h?a1=2012&a2=1&a3=27

    This Week's Most Popular Oil & Gas News 01/28/12

    This Week's Most Popular Oil & Gas News
    ANGA statement on the President's State of the Union Address
    Ministry of Petroleum and Energy announces nominations for the 22nd licensing round
    As Keystone XL and Northern Gateway oil pipelines stall, other projects ready to de-bottleneck Cushing
    Gazprom to speed up drilling of Tajikistan's deepest well
    Africa Oil spuds Ngamia-1 well in Kenya
    Vermilion Energy Inc. closes acquisition of oil producing properties in France
    Statoil acquires new license offshore Greenland
    Expro secures multi-million pound well test and subsea contract with Maersk Oil UK
    Lundin Petroleum to increase production in 2012
    Lukoil to invest USD 1.3bn in Trebs, Titov oil fields.
    Gas prices hit record low, could fall further

    Shale oil development to cut US relaince on imports

    Shale oil development to cut U.S. reliance on imports
    While attention in the oil industry remains firmly fixed upon the Middle East, the U.S. Energy Information Administration suggests that America could soon become substantially less reliant on such foreign sources of energy.
    Full Article

    US Department of Energy Memorandum on Nuclear Safety

    US Department of Energy Memorandum on Nuclear Safety

    As part of its Implementation Plan for Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board Recommendation 2011-1 a commitment was made to reiterate the top DOE leadership's expectations for the achievement of Nuclear Safety throughout the Department. That statement can be found at: http://www.hss.energy.gov/deprep/2012/TB12J24A.PDF. For background regarding the Recommendation go to dnsfb.gov.

    The Realist Prism: Iran Nuclear Standoff Obscures Broader Proliferation Challenges


    The Realist Prism: Iran Nuclear Standoff Obscures Broader Proliferation Challenges

    By: Nikolas Gvosdev | Column
    America’s current standoff with Iran over the direction of Tehran’s nuclear program is only one symptom of a larger problem. As more countries to turn to atomic energy, some of these nuclear newcomers will want to control the entire fuel cycle on their own territory. The U.S. approach to Iran’s nuclear program offers no guidance for coping with the resulting spread of nuclear technology.

    American lawmakers Warned of Emerging Nuclear Power Market Risks and China's



    Bloomberg
    American Lawmakers Warned of Emerging Nuclear Power Market Risks and China's ...
    San Francisco Chronicle (press release)
    Cleantech analyst firm Kachan & Co. was among a number of voices in Washington this week advocating American lawmakers support new safer, cleaner nuclear power options in the face of growing Chinese enthusiasm for the technologies.

    Experts cast doubt on Japan nuclear power plant stress tests

    Experts cast doubt on Japan nuclear power plant stress tests
    Christian Science Monitor
    By Justin McCurry, Correspondent / January 27, 2012 Kansai Electric Power's Ohi nuclear power plant No. 3 (r.) and No. 4 reactors are seen in Ohi, Fukui prefecture, north of Tokyo, Thursday.

    SRS will continue to lead in nuclear technology


    Part 4: SRS will continue to lead in nuclear technology
    Aiken Standard
    One example is the Small Modular Reactor, part of a generation of new nuclear power plants that can provide a flexible, cost-effective energy alternative. SRS is engaging multiple SMR manufacturers in both conventional light water and advanced designs.

    Department of Energy will fund up to Two Small modular Nuclear Reactors for 2022

    Department of Energy will fund up to Two Small Modular Nuclear Reactors for 2022
    Next Big Future
    World Nuclear News - The US Department of Energy (DoE) is to help push forward the manufacture of small modular nuclear reactors through new cost-sharing arrangements with private industry to support design and licensing activities.

    NRC to review request to halt nuke plant's relicensing

    NRC to review request to halt nuke plant's relicensing
    The Daily News of Newburyport
    By Angeljean Chiaramida Staff writer NEWBURYPORT — Two of the region's state lawmakers have called upon the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to halt consideration of relicensing the Seabrook, NH, nuclear power plant.

    NRC staff says renewables can't replace proposed Calvert Cliffs-3 nuclear plant Platts


    NRC staff says renewables can't replace proposed Calvert Cliffs-3 nuclear plant
    Platts
    US Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff asserted Thursday that renewable electricity generating sources are not a viable alternative to UniStar Nuclear Generating Services' proposed Calvert Cliffs-3 nuclear power plant in Maryland. Andy Kugler, an NRC ...

    Sundance Diary: "Atomic States of America" Turns the Lens on Nuclear Power


    Sundance Diary: "Atomic States of America" Turns the Lens on Nuclear Power
    OnEarth Magazine (blog)
    By the end of the film, the NRC was reminiscent of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) prior to the financial meltdown. “At one of the documentary filmmakers forums over the weekend, we talked about this recurring theme of regulatory capture,” ...

    North Korea's new nuclear plant a safey worry: expert


    North Korea's new nuclear plant a safety worry: expert
    Chicago Tribune
    SEOUL (Reuters) - Secretive North Korea is making rapid progress in building a uranium-fuelled reactor that poses an alarming safety risk, a nuclear expert said on Thursday.

    After earthquake, Japan can't agree on the future of nuclear power


    After earthquake, Japan can't agree on the future of nuclear power
    Washington Post
    But in the wake of a nuclear accident that changed the way this country thinks about energy, the system has proved ill-suited for resolving conflict. Its very size and complexity have become a problem. 
     http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/after-earthquake-japan-cant-agree-on-the-future-of-nuclear-power/2012/01/22/gIQAJOfaRQ_story.html

    CEZ May Seek Investor for $10 Billion Temelin Reactor Project


    CEZ May Seek Investor for $10 Billion Temelin Reactor Project

    CEZ AS (CEZ), the largest power producer in central and eastern Europe, will consider bringing in an investment partner to help finance a $10 billion project to build two reactors at the Temelin nuclear power station.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-26/cez-may-seek-investor-for-10-billion-temelin-reactor-project.html

    Nuclear Reactors in Japan Examined

    Nuclear Reactors in Japan Examined


    OI, Japan—Japan on Thursday welcomed an International Atomic Energy Agency delegation it invited to check safety procedures at its third-largest nuclear-power plant, a move designed to pave the way for the restart of dozens of idled reactors around the country.
     http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204661604577184631752777086.html?mod=dist_smartbrief

    Washington delegation must fight to proceed with Yucca Mountain nuclear-waste repository

    Washington delegation must fight to proceed with Yucca Mountain nuclear-waste repository

    The Obama administration must not be allowed to unilaterally cancel the Yucca Mountain nuclear-waste repository, say two Tri-Cities leaders. Congressman Jay Inslee and others ought to be speaking out against the move now, they say.

    OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Lawmakers prep for nuke waste report probes — and maybe bills By Ben Geman and Andrew Restuccia

    OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Lawmakers prep for nuke waste report probes — and maybe bills

    By Ben Geman and Andrew Restuccia
     http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/206885-overnight-energy

    Drawing the Right Lessons From Fukushima



    Matt Bennett

    Drawing the Right Lessons From Fukushima 

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matt-bennett/fukushima-nuclear_b_1234077.html

    9 high-profile champions of nuclear power

    9 high-profile champions of nuclear power

     

    http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/energy/photos/9-high-profile-champions-of-nuclear-power/christine-todd-whitman

    How much can I earn.. in the nuclear industry?

    How much can I earn.. in the nuclear industry?

    http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/smart-takes/how-much-can-i-earn-in-the-nuclear-industry/21894

    US Should Move Quickly To Handle Nuclear Waste - PanelUS Should Move Quickly To Handle Nuclear Waste - Panel

    US Should Move Quickly To Handle Nuclear Waste - Panel

    Nuclear science week inspires students, answers questions by Kelly Gustafson

    Nuclear science week inspires students, answers questions

    by Kelly Gustafson

    http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=199354&terms=nuclear

    Upton and Shimkus Welcome Blue Ribbon Commission’s Recommendations on Nuclear Waste, Announce Hearing

    House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans

    Press Release

    Upton and Shimkus Welcome Blue Ribbon Commission’s Recommendations on Nuclear Waste, Announce Hearing

    January 26, 2012
    WASHINGTON, DC – Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL) today welcomed the final report from the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future. While disappointed that President Obama prohibited the commission from reviewing the merits of Yucca Mountain, Upton and Shimkus agree with several of the commission’s recommendations and believe the report’s findings only underscore the urgent need to move forward with development of the Yucca program.
    Chairmen Upton and Shimkus made the following statement:
    “In the wake of the Obama administration’s mismanagement of Yucca Mountain, we agree with the commission that a new organizational structure must be put into place to manage our country’s nuclear waste. The current administration has proved unwilling to carry out the law; it’s time to think about a new single-purpose entity to put our country’s nuclear future back on track. As recommended in the report, it is crucial this authority have full access to the Nuclear Waste Fund. Recent House efforts to fund Yucca Mountain have been repeatedly thwarted by Harry Reid’s Democratic Senate and the White House. We must decouple these funds from political whims imposed by the budget cycle to ensure the billions of dollars taxpayers and ratepayers have poured into Yucca Mountain will not be squandered.
    “The commission underscored the need for prompt action on a long-term storage disposal facility, and we believe Yucca Mountain remains the most shovel-ready, thoroughly studied option. While we develop this repository, we agree that we must also prepare for the large-scale transport of nuclear waste. As our nation’s nuclear waste increases, so does the need for a long-term nuclear waste solution. We will continue to examine the commission’s findings as we work to ensure the safety of our nuclear future.”
    The Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy has scheduled a hearing next week to further discuss the report. The hearing, titled “Recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future,” will be held on Wednesday, February 1, 2012, at 9:30 a.m. in room 2322 of the Rayburn House Office Building. Witnesses to be announced.

    Update from American Nuclear Cafe 01/28/12



    It was a good week for small modular reactor technology, including the U.S. Department of Energy unveiling a draft Funding Opportunity Announcement for SMRs ( http://www.ne.doe.gov/newsroom/2012PRs/nePR012012.html ).  Meanwhile, the Department of Defense is also shifting to clean energy sources that reduce greenhouse gases.  Can Small Modular Reactor system lifecycle costs compete with existing installation electricity costs?  William J. Barattino at the ANS Nuclear Cafe summarizes his initial assessment of the market size of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) on U.S. Army installations - and the results are encouraging...

    http://ansnuclearcafe.org/2012/01/23/small-modular-reactors-on-military-installations/

    Blue Ribbon Commission says U.S. should start looking for Yucca alternative Read more here: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2012/01/27/1803374/blue-ribbon-commission-says-us.html#storylink=cpy

    Blue Ribbon Commission says U.S. should start looking for Yucca alternative

    Read more here: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2012/01/27/1803374/blue-ribbon-commission-says-us.html#storylink=cpyhttp://www.tri-cityherald.com/2012/01/27/1803374/blue-ribbon-commission-says-us.html

    Obama's Nuclear Commission Issues Final Report, Urges Immediate Action On Atomic Waste

    Obama's Nuclear Commission Issues Final Report, Urges Immediate Action On Atomic Waste

     

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2012/01/26/obamas-nuclear-commission-issues-final-report-urges-immediate-action-on-atomic-waste/

    Thursday, January 26, 2012

    How seawater could corrode nuclear fuel

    How seawater could corrode nuclear fuel

    Japan used seawater to cool nuclear fuel at the stricken Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant after the tsunami in March 2011 -- and that was probably the best action to take at the time, say experts. But researchers have since discovered a new way in which seawater can corrode nuclear fuel, forming uranium compounds that could potentially travel long distances, either in solution or as very small particles.

    BRC Releases Final Report; Japan Invites in IAEA by Mark Flanagan

    BRC Releases Final Report; Japan Invites in IAEA

    Idaho Samizdat: Nuke Notes: BRC releases final report on spent fuel

    Idaho Samizdat: Nuke Notes

     

    BRC releases final report on spent fuel


    It calls for leadership by Congress and the White House to resolve the current impasse

    http://djysrv.blogspot.com/2012/01/brc-releases-final-report-on-spent-fuel.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FYiuo+%28Idaho+Samizdat%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

    IAEA: Starting Right Developing Countries Make Progress Toward Nuclear Power

    Starting Right

    Developing Countries Make Progress Toward Nuclear Power

    Bohunice NPP, Slovakia
    The IAEA supports countries with their new nuclear power programmes by providing international standards and guidance, peer review and advisory services, capacity building and training, and forums where experts can network and share their experiences. (Photo: Vuje)
    Developing countries that have taken decisions to start nuclear power in recent years are continuing with their plans. At a workshop in Vienna this week, they are sharing information on their experiences starting nuclear power programmes and incorporating the lessons learned from the accident in Japan in the planning process.
    After the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan in March last year, interest declined in some countries that had been considering nuclear power. Others are taking a "wait and see" approach. But around thirty countries continue to consider nuclear power as a serious option in their energy mix because of their concerns about growing energy demands, dependence on fossil fuels, climate change and energy security.
    "I believe that all Member States should have access to nuclear power if they wish to add it to their energy mix," IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said. "While it is up to each country to decide whether they wish to opt for nuclear power, the IAEA has a key role to play in ensuring that the development of nuclear power programmes takes place in a safe, efficient, responsible and sustainable manner."
    Some countries have taken concrete steps toward their first NPPs in the past year. For example, Belarus reported that it signed an agreement with Russia for its first NPP in October. Bangladesh and Vietnam have also signed Intergovernmental Agreements with Russia regarding nuclear power.
    Though nuclear power's overall safety record is strong, the accident in Japan offers several lessons for countries introducing nuclear power, notably the importance of designing a power plant to withstand the most extreme hazards foreseeable at the plant's site and ensuring sufficient emergency preparedness and response capabilities. The IAEA is implementing a Nuclear Safety Action Plan which identifies 12 actions to improve global nuclear safety after Fukushima, including specific actions for countries starting nuclear power programmes.
    "Safety must also be the watch word for Member States considering the introduction of nuclear power," IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano stressed.
    As part of the Action Plan, Member States are encouraged to develop an appropriate infrastructure to support the nuclear power programme. The IAEA issued a document on Milestones in the Introduction of a National Nuclear Power Programme in 2008 to guide Member States. The IAEA Milestones Approach assists nuclear newcomers with guideposts to mark progress during planning stages, to demonstrate to national and international stakeholders their commitment to nuclear safety and control of nuclear materials. The IAEA also provides standards, guidance, reviews and assessments, missions, and specific assistance as additional support for newcomer countries.
    Building a new nuclear power infrastructure is a major undertaking that requires careful planning, preparation and a significant investment in time and resources. The infrastructure to support the successful introduction of nuclear power covers a wide range of issues, from the physical facilities for the delivery of electricity, the site and supporting facilities for handling radioactive waste, to the legal and regulatory framework to the human and financial resources necessary to implement the required activities. It entails attention to many complex and interrelated issues over a long duration - and a commitment of at least 100 years.
    The IAEA supports new nuclear power programmes with international standards and guidance, peer review and advisory services, capacity building and training, and forums where experts can network and share their experiences.
    The 6th Workshop on Topical Issues on Infrastructure Development, from 24-27 January 2011, is one such forum, providing a platform for the exchange of information in developing nuclear infrastructure between nuclear newcomer countries and recognized experts in the field.
    -- By Alexey Katukhov, Anne Starz and Alan McDonald, IAEA Division of Nuclear Power

    (Note to Media: We encourage you to republish these stories and kindly request attribution to the IAEA)