Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major News and Commentary Military and Civilian Nuclear Activities

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Nuclear Energy Insider: Congress, Senate, NRC and National Utilities Join World’s Largest SMR Meeting

Nuclear Energy Insider: Congress, Senate, NRC and National Utilities Join World’s Largest SMR Meeting

Sources at Nuclear Energy Insider announced today that in April representatives from US Congress, Senate, NRC, National and International Utilities as well as global nuclear technology providers will make up an audience of 350+ attendees at the world’s largest Small Modular Reactor Conference in Columbia S.C. 

 The meeting will bring together the global SMR community – including attendees and expert speakers from Europe, Asia and across the USA to work together in order to build an efficient and economical SMR strategy that mitigates regulatory, technical and operational risks. The meeting is of such importance to the industry that many key contracts, investment and partnerships in the SMR community are forged at this event.

This year’s event has already grown rapidly and now includes 3 full days of business development, including a 2 day conference, 2 exclusive SMR workshops and 2 unique tours to SMR deployment sites throughout the South East of the US. Some 120+ attendees have already secured their place, including senior representatives from across the globe including Areva, B&W, China Resources, Dominion, Exelon, GDF Suez, KEPCO, RWE, Savannah River Site, SCE&G, Shaw, SMR LLC, US NRC.
To find out more about the conference you can download all of the information including the full agenda, details of tours, workshops and site visits as well as exclusive discounts here - http://www.nuclearenergyinsider.com/smr/conference-event-brochure.php

A look at the Fukushima-Daiichi plant 10 months later

A look at the Fukushima-Daiichi plant 10 months later
KSDK
Hong Kong (CNN) - A faulty thermometer is likely to blame for rising temperatures inside a stricken nuclear reactor at the Fukushima-Daiichi plant, authorities said Monday, as Japan prepares to mark one year since a devastating earthquake and tsunami ...

Nuclear crisis makes Japan ex-PM Kan an energy apostle

Nuclear crisis makes Japan ex-PM Kan an energy apostle
International News Network
TOKYO: Nearly a year after a huge quake and tsunami sparked Japan's Fukushima nuclear crisis, then-premier Naoto Kan is haunted by the specter of an even bigger disaster forcing tens of millions of people to flee Tokyo and threatening the nation's ...

Nuke crisis caused by Japan, not quake: Kan



Nuke crisis caused by Japan, not quake: Kan
The Japan Times
In an exclusive interview, Kan acknowledged flaws in how authorities handled the crisis triggered by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, including poor communications and coordination by the nuclear regulators, utility managers and the government Kan ...

New Earthquake Could Hit Japan's Fukushima Nuclear Plant: Study

New Earthquake Could Hit Japan's Fukushima Nuclear Plant: Study
Daily Beast
A study warns that another big tremor could soon hit the country's crippled nuclear plant. “I think the Japanese authorities should do everything to prepare for a possible large earthquake close to the Fukushima nuclear plant,” Dapeng Zhao, ...

OECD nuclear generation statistics through november, 2011

OECD nuclear generation statistics through november, 2011 and US generation for all of 2011. In December 2011, the United States had 70.2 TWh of generation to end the year with 789.3 billion kWh and capacity factor was 88.9 percent in 2011.
http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/02/oecd-electricity-in-2011.html

Areva Anteres reactor selected by the next generation nuclear plant project


Areva Anteres reactor selected by the next generation nuclear plant project
http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/02/areva-anteres-prismatic-modular-reactor.html

Attorney General Appeals Court Ruling

Attorney General Appeals Court Ruling

Yes, we all knew it would happen. The State is appealing the judgment. The State is throwing good money after bad, but Shumlin has to show his hard-core supporters that he really tried.

NRC Safety Culture Policy Statement:

NRC Safety Culture Policy Statement:
http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1116/ML11165A021.pdf

Friday, February 17, 2012

Japan to host global meeting on nuclear safety

Japan to host global meeting on nuclear safety

Tokyo (AFP) Feb 17, 2012
Japan said Friday it will co-host a global conference on nuclear safety with the United Nations atomic watchdog in December in the region hardest hit by last year's nuclear crisis. "Together with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Japan will co-host an international ministerial conference on nuclear safety from December 15 to 17," trade minister Yukio Edano told reporters. "J

U.S. Nuclear Trade Policy Concerns Mounting on Capitol Hill

U.S. Nuclear Trade Policy Concerns Mounting on Capitol Hill

By Elaine M. Grossman
Global Security Newswire
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has added her name to a growing bipartisan list of influential lawmakers protesting a newly unveiled Obama administration policy on nuclear trade and nonproliferation (see GSN, Jan. 23).

NNSA Oversight Problems Persist: GAO

NNSA Oversight Problems Persist: GAO

The U.S. Energy Department and its nuclear security arm are still moving to address suggestions by congressional auditors for stepping up oversight of atomic weapons programs, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said in written testimony issued on Thursday (see GSN, Feb. 16).

Idaho Samizdat: Nuke Notes UK & France in major nuclear reactor deal

 

Idaho Samizdat: Nuke Notes

 

UK & France in major nuclear reactor deal

UK Prime Minister Cameron deals directly with French President Sarkozy
EDF, Rolls Royce, and Areva will benefit

Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant Weekly Review

Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant Weekly Review

A faulty thermometer in unit 2, radioactive gravel and a frank mea culpa from a Japanese nuclear safety chief highlighted the news from Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant last week.

Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) plans to develop the Emirate's first nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi

Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) plans to develop the Emirate's first nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi

 Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) plans to develop the Emirate's first nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi to meet the national power requirement by 2020.

Duke Energy building "last two" coal plants: CEO

Duke Energy building "last two" coal plants: CEO

Duke Energy may be building its last two coal plants to bet instead on nuclear power, chief executive James Rogers said on Tuesday.

Russia Will Build Nuclear Power Plants In Jordan

Russia Will Build Nuclear Power Plants In Jordan

Many Middle Eastern countries have recently announced their intention to build nuclear power plants for civilian purposes
 - By Stephen Heiser -

NRC Adds 20 More Years to Vogtle Licenses

NRC Adds 20 More Years to Vogtle Licenses

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Wednesday renewed the operating licenses for Southern Co's (SO.N) Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia for an additional 20 years.
The new licenses for Units 1 and 2 will expire on Jan. 16, 2047, and Feb. 9, 2049. Southern submitted the application for the new licenses in June 2007.

Energy Northwest Considers New Nuclear Power Plants

Energy Northwest Considers New Nuclear Power Plants

According to the Seattle Times, Energy Northwest is considering building new nuclear plants. In a May 27 letter obtained by The Associated Press, the consortium asked each of its 25 member public utilities and municipalities to pitch in $25,000 for further research into building one or more small reactors. Those who pay would have first rights to any power produced if a plant is built.

NIST Processes to Help Build Next Generation Nuclear Plants

Blog Post: NIST Processes to Help Build Next Generation Nuclear Plants

Information exchange processes developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will be at the center of the effort to design and build the next generation of modern, highly efficient nuclear power plants.
New nuclear power plants will be designed, procured and constructed using advanced software applications for three-dimensional modeling and exchange of engineering information. Construction information gleaned from multiple databases and electronic documentation sources also will be used. The power industry and regulators recognize that an automated, integrated and interoperable configuration management capability must be established to maintain consistency between the design requirements and facility configuration documentation to ensure the ability to document and maintain compliance with a plant’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission license.
The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is leading the effort to develop this needed capability for new nuclear plant projects. EPRI assessed the results of the NIST-led Automating Equipment Information Exchange (AEX) project and adopted the AEX methodologies and specifications as foundational technology for achieving this new level of integrated and interoperable configuration management for critical equipment in new nuclear power plants.

President Obama's 2013 Energy Budget: Good News or Political Nothingness

President Obama's 2013 Energy Budget: Good News or Political Nothingness

President Barack Obama’s FY2013 budget includes $27.2 billion for the Department of Energy. US DOE says the budget priorities are focused on the ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy laid out in the President’s state of the union message. There are many lofty energy goals articulated in the budget: • R&D support for clean energy technologies including $276 million for clean coal and carbon capture and storage; $350 million for more ARPA-E early stage R&D;• Reduce the cost of solar energy by 75% and…Read more...

Which Trends Are Changing the World of Energy

Which Trends Are Changing the World of Energy

Technology and global competition are profoundly impacting our energy future.  The evidence is all around us in wind and solar energy advances, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing creating a new North American oil and gas boom market, and the technologies driving smart grid, microgrids, and constant energy management. What are the forces of change taking place in energy today? 1. Global competition for energy resources from emerging economies like China2. Struggle over energy policy and greenhouse gas emissions around the…Read more...

Independent Analysis Proves the Effectiveness of Federal Loan Guarantees

Independent Analysis Proves the Effectiveness of Federal Loan Guarantees

Take a deep breath, because what I’m about to tell you may be shocking: Federal loan guarantees for energy projects have been successful, cost-effective investments—contrary to what some conservatives insist is the case. Don’t take my word for it. That’s the message from Herb Allison, former national finance chairman for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who led a team of accountants and auditors in conducting an independent analysis of the Department of Energy’s Loan Guarantee Program.

How Energy Innovation Can Help the US Job Market

How Energy Innovation Can Help the US Job Market

For a long time ‘clean’ and ‘green’ marked the forward trend in the energy industry. Then came the quest for ‘smart’ energy. And now ‘innovation’ is the buzzword.It’s easy to see why. As Americans, we believe our ability to innovate sets us apart in today’s international market. Sure China can manufacture computers and cell phones more quickly and cheaply, but we came up with Google and IPhones in the first place.

DOE Loan Guarantee for Plant Vogtle Expansion on Sound Financial Footing

DOE Loan Guarantee for Plant Vogtle Expansion on Sound Financial Footing

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Following is a statement from the Nuclear Energy Institute’s Richard Myers, vice president for policy development, planning and supplier programs, on the comparison by antinuclear organizations of the possible loan guarantee for Southern Co.’s Plant Vogtle to Solyndra.

Resurgence in American Nuclear Industry To Start in Ga., Says Energy Chief

Resurgence in American Nuclear Industry To Start in Ga., Says Energy Chief

SecretaryChu_TomFanning_PlantVogtleTour_2-15-2012In case you missed the tweets from @SouthernCompany or @EnergyPressSec yesterday, Energy Secretary Steven Chu  toured the site where two new reactors are being built at Plant Vogtle in Waynesboro, Ga. Reconfirming his commitment to nuclear energy, the Nobel Laureate spoke to the more than 500 workers already on site on the need to build new nuclear plants to create jobs for American workers and boost U.S. competitiveness.

A Preview of CNN's Report on Vermont Yankee

A Preview of CNN's Report on Vermont Yankee

For a number of weeks, we've been waiting for CNN to air an extended piece concerning the fight to keep Entergy's Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant operating -- a battle that's been thoroughly chronicled at the excellent blog, Yes Vermont Yankee. CNN has just posted a 4:40 teaser on their Web site, and if this snippet is any indication, we're in for more of the sort of alarmist reporting that's helped send the former cable news giant's ratings spinning into oblivion.

Some Facts on Vermont Yankee That Didn't Make the CNN Report

Some Facts on Vermont Yankee That Didn't Make the CNN Report

My colleague Tom Kaufmann shared a couple of data points with me that didn't make it into the excerpt of the CNN report by Amber Lyon that we watched today -- facts that demonstrate just how important the plant is to the state, its environment and economy.
  • VY makes 73.3% of the electricity generated in Vermont and accounts for 79% of the state’s emission-free energy.
  • VY’s three-year average capacity factor is 92.2% - above the industry average.
  • VY avoided the emission of 2.7 million metric tons of CO2 last year.
  • VY’s output could charge over 800,000 all-electric automobiles in one night / 2.4 million in a day. There are less than 300,000 cars registered in the state of Vermont.

How Safe is Vermont Yankee? Ask the NRC, Not CNN.

How Safe is Vermont Yankee? Ask the NRC, Not CNN.

Another colleague of mine here at NEI forwarded me a copy of the 4Q2011 Performance Summary at Vermont Yankee conducted by the independent Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Open it up and what will you find? Nothing but the color green.

Why Not Frack?

Why Not Frack?

Bill McKibben, The New York Review of Books
In one sense, the analysts who forecast that “peak oil”—i.e., the point at which the rate of global petroleum extraction will begin to decline;would be reached over the last few years were correct. The planet is running short of the easy stuff, where you stick a drill in the ground and crude comes bubbling to the surface. The great oil fields of Saudi Arabia and Mexico have begun to dwindle; one result has been a rising price for energy. . .

Deepwater Horizon disaster could have billion dollar impact

Deepwater Horizon disaster could have billion dollar impact

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010 will have a large economic impact on the US Gulf fisheries. A new study says that over seven years this oil spill could have a $US8.7 billion impact on the economy of the Gulf of Mexico. This includes losses in revenue, profit, and wages, and close to 22,000 jobs could be lost.

Documents Show Direct Link Between Corporate Money, Anti-Science Campaigns

Documents Show Direct Link Between Corporate Money, Anti-Science Campaigns

Internal documents reportedly from a free-market group were published online this week. If they are genuine, the documents reveal that some of the nation’s largest fossil fuel interests are funding attacks to discredit climate science, including in public schools.

Three Years into Obama’s First Term, Pressure to Politicize Science Persists

Three Years into Obama’s First Term, Pressure to Politicize Science Persists

The federal government is moving closer to protecting scientists and the integrity of its science-based decisions, but more must be done to protect the policy making process from corporate influence, according to a report released by the Union of Concerned Scientists today.

No Peak Oil - Why Then is Saudi Aramco Opening Old Wells for Heavy Crude?

"Reflections on the Cedar Creek Room"


"Reflections on the Cedar Creek Room"

On January 19, the Federal District Court in Brattleboro, Vt., issued a court decision in favor of Entergy Corporation, regarding the continued operation of its Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.  Howard Shaffer examines the political milieu of the Vermont Yankee court decision in light of states rights issues, shared authority among Federal and State regulators, and the political history of some other rather extreme positions taken by state governors.

http://ansnuclearcafe.org/2012/02/13/refelections-on-the-cedar-creek-room/

U.S. nuclear industry's fate rests with Southern Co.


U.S. nuclear industry's fate rests with Southern Co
Mother Nature Network
AND NOW TWO MORE: The two operational nuclear containment buildings at Georgia Power's Plant Vogtle nuclear power plant in Waynesboro, Ga. Southern Co is adding two more reactors. NEW YORK/HOUSTON - The future of US nuclear power rests squarely on the ...

The Unclear Nuclear Revival


The Unclear Nuclear Revival
Huffington Post
Southern Company subsidiary Georgia Power has already begun preparing a site at its Vogtle nuclear plant to build two new reactors. (Photo: Southern Company) My office sits about a block from the Nuclear Energy Institute's (NEI) headquarters in ...

Sticker shock – explaining rising nuclear construction costs


 

Sticker shock – explaining rising nuclear construction costs
14 February 2012
The largest factor in rising nuclear new-build costs is uncertainty caused by insufficient numbers of new-build projects. Those regions that are building many new plants now stand to gain the most in the new-build market of the future. By Steve Kidd

Why Fukushima is at greater seismic risk now than it was one year ago


Why Fukushima is at a greater seismic risk now than it was one year ago
Enformable
However a newly released study from the European Geosciences Union, warns Japanese officials and the world that the seismic risk at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has increased because the magnitude 9 earthquake jolted the plates underneath the ...

U.S. nuclear plants similar to Fukushima spark concerns

U.S. nuclear plants similar to Fukushima spark concern

 
http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/17/us/us-nuclear-reactor-concerns/index.html?hpt=hp_c1

"(CNN) -- As the United States prepares to build its first new nuclear power reactors in three decades, concerns about an early generation of plants have resurfaced since last year's disaster in Japan.
The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant -- the subject of a battle between state authorities and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission over its continued operation -- uses one of 23 U.S. reactors built with a General Electric-designed containment housing known as the Mark I."

The Weekly Wrap -- Feb. 17, 2012

The Weekly Wrap -- Feb. 17, 2012

U.S. nuclear industry's fate rests with Southern Co. | The Raw Story

 U.S. nuclear industry's fate rests with Southern Co. | The Raw Story
By Reuters
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on February 9 voted 4-1 to issue Southern a permit to build and operate two units at its existing Vogtle plant in eastern Georgia. These were the first U.S. permits issued since 1978, a year ...

US nuclear plants similar to Fukushima spark concerns


US nuclear plants similar to Fukushima spark concerns
CNN International
The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant -- the subject of a battle between state authorities and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission over its continued operation -- uses one of 23 US reactors built with a General Electric-designed containment housing ...

NRC seeks info about fuel at 11 US nuclear reactors

NRC seeks info about fuel at 11 US nuclear reactors
Reuters
By Scott DiSavino Feb 17 (Reuters) - The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said Friday it was requesting information from 11 nuclear plants regarding fuel performance during accidents. The NRC said this was not something that presents an immediate ...

Why the UK-France nuclear deal is good for the climate

Why the UK-France nuclear deal is good for the climate



http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/feb/17/nuclear-deal-britain-climate-change

Blue Jersey:: Nuclear Meltdown: Don't say they didn't warn you

Blue Jersey:: Nuclear Meltdown: Don't say they didn't warn you
No nuclear plant could have avoided a meltdown after being swamped by a tsunami and losing power to cooling systems for an extended period of time, the ...
www.bluejersey.com/.../nuclear-meltdown-dont-say-they-didn...

Former Japanese PM: Japan woefully unprepared for nuclear disaster


Former Japanese PM: Japan woefully unprepared for nuclear disaster
PennEnergy- Energy News (press release)
Some experts have criticized the design of the GE Mark I reactor, such as former nuclear engineer and Vermont Yankee plant critic Arnie Gundersen, and say that the three separate core meltdowns during the Fukushima disaster prove that the design cannot ...

Nuclear Energy: Present and Future


Nuclear Energy: Present And Future
«Market Leader» -
As we know, last year nuclear energy became a special concern for the entire world. The Fukushima meltdown in 2011 (as the result of several earthquakes and tsunamis) reminded everyone that nuclear energy is as dangerous as powerful.

Documentaries Trace Fate of Fukushima Daiichi Refugees



Ener
Documentaries Trace Fate of Fukushima Daiichi Refugees
Wall Street Journal (blog)
By Mary M. Lane “Nuclear Nation” is one of three documentaries showing at the Berlin Film festival tracing the fate of those affected by the Fukushima tsunami and subsequent nuclear meltdown on March 11, 2011. The lengthy, 145-minute documentary (soon ...

Nuclear plays key role in U.S. push for energy independence

Nuclear plays key role in U.S. push for energy independence
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's approval of the construction of two new reactors in Georgia is the first step toward the revival of nuclear power as a viable source of energy, writes Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga. Nuclear power is a proven clean technology and a stable investment that would help the U.S. achieve energy independence. "I encourage President [Barack] Obama and Secretary [Steven] Chu to continue this investment in our future by expanding the development of additional plants," Gingrey writes. The Hill/Congress Blog

* Southern defends approval of Ga. nuclear project amid lawsuit

Email this Story
  • Southern defends approval of Ga. nuclear project amid lawsuit
    A lawsuit brought by environmental and anti-nuclear groups says the construction of two new reactors at Southern Co.'s Plant Vogtle in Georgia should be stopped until post-Fukushima Daiichi safety and environmental concerns have been properly addressed. "We are confident that the [Nuclear Regulatory Commission] fully complied with the federal regulatory requirements in approving and issuing the license and see no cause to delay construction under the [combined operating license]," said company spokesman Steve Higginbottom. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

U.K. depends on France for the nuclear renaissance

U.K. depends on France for the nuclear renaissance

But first EdF and Areva have to get organized at home
By Dan Yurman

Russian Oil Industry Set to Capitalize if Embargo Hits Iran By: ANDREW E. KRAMER | The New York Times


Russian Oil Industry Set to Capitalize if Embargo Hits Iran
By: ANDREW E. KRAMER | The New York Times

Web Natives Take Aim at Energy

Web Natives Take Aim at Energy
by Mike Orcutt
Cleanweb entrepreneurs come armed with computer skills, a profit motive, and a determination to solve environmental problems.
Read More »

PennEnergy Perspectives: This Week's Most Popular Oil & Gas News

This Week's Most Popular Oil & Gas News
State Department cleared in Keystone XL review
Sinopec plans major oil refinery expansion
Study raises fears about fracking's impact on animals
World could see LNG glut in 2018
CME glitch hits crude oil market
New directors take office at Petrobras
Eni announces new giant gas discovery offshore Mozambique
Turkey to continue importing Iranian oil after Saudi talks
Halliburton and PETRONAS Carigali collaborate for the evaluation and development of shale resources
Shell gets oil exploration licence in South Africa
ConocoPhillips announces sale of offshore Vietnam business unit
Moody's reduces Eni's credit rating

Landmark Deal With France Paves Way For New Units In UK

Landmark Deal With France Paves Way For New Units In UKhttp://nuclearstreet.com/pro_nuclear_power_blogs/b/nucnet-communications/archive/2012/02/17/landmark-deal-with-france-paves-way-for-new-units-in-uk.aspx


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Sanctions Could Not Force Iran to Negotiate: Interview with Peter Jenkins,


Sanctions Could Not Force Iran to Negotiate: Interview with Peter Jenkins, the ...
Payvand
It does not contain evidence that Iran has decided to manufacture nuclear weapons (NWs), or to divert nuclear material to a Nuclear Weapon program, or to contravene the NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) in any other way.
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China urges IAEA cooperation with Iran

China urges IAEA cooperation with Iran
Press TV
As a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran is entitled to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and it should also fulfill corresponding international obligations." China has urged the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to ...

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Obama's flip-flop on nuclear fuel

Obama's flip-flop on nuclear fuel
Washington Post (blog)
The letter reads, in part: We write to urge you to uphold the so-called nonproliferation “Gold Standard” in all future US civil nuclear cooperative agreements with countries that lack nuclear weapons. This new standard — which was created by the US ...

How the U.S.-Iran Standoff Looks From Iran: Hossein Mousavian

How the U.S.-Iran Standoff Looks From Iran: Hossein Mousavian
Bloomberg
The team, of which I was part, argued that the EU3 should not be able to deprive Iran of its legitimate right under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to acquire nuclear technology, including uranium enrichment. We made it clear that actions such as ...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Environmentalists to Contest NRC License for Southern's Reactors

Environmentalists to Contest NRC License for Southern's Reactors

BusinessWeek -
By Brian Wingfield and Tom Schoenberg Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) -- A group of 12 environmental groups said it will file a court challenge to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's decision approving Southern Co.'s two new reactors in Georgia.

Three Ways Of Looking At a Disaster


Three Ways Of Looking At a Disaster
Wall Street Journal
By MARY M. LANE Less than a year after the Fukushima tsunami and subsequent nuclear meltdown, three documentaries on the subject are screening at the Berlin Film Festival. Together, they have emerged as some of the festival's most talked-about works.

Analysis: US nuclear industry's fate rests with Southern Co.


Analysis: US nuclear industry's fate rests with Southern Co
Reuters
These were the first US permits issued since 1978, a year before the partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island plant in Pennsylvania cast a pall over the industry and halted plans for dozens of plants. Government officials and Wall Street financiers ...

CNN: Concerns over aging nuclear plants

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2012/02/16/lyon-vermont-nuclear-concerns.cnn

World Economic Forum Lists their Top Ten Emerging Technologies for 2012

World Economic Forum Lists their Top Ten Emerging Technologies for 2012

The Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies presents the technological trends expected to have major social, economic and environmental impacts worldwide in 2012. They are listed in order of greatest potential to provide solutions to global challenges:

Kazakhstan keen to expand civil nuke ties with India

Kazakhstan keen to expand civil nuke ties with India

New Delhi (IANS) Feb 15, 2012
Kazakhstan is keen to expand civil nuclear ties with India, its envoy here said Wednesday. Ambassador Doulat Kuanyshev said the two strategic partners should look beyond and enhance ties in the nuclear sector, and let Kazakhstan's atomic power company Kazakhprom and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited expand cooperation. "We should look beyond. Kazakhstan is (among) main export

2013 Nuclear energy budgets in a time of deficits

2013 Nuclear energy budgets in a time of deficits

Expectations are limited as Congress looks for places to slash spending

U.S. Questions Iranian Atomic Advances

U.S. Questions Iranian Atomic Advances

"Broken" NNSA Ties With Nuclear Labs Endanger Research: Report

"Broken" NNSA Ties With Nuclear Labs Endanger Research: Report

Studies at the three U.S. nuclear-weapon laboratories could suffer as a result of a "broken relationship" with the federal agency charged with overseeing the facilities, the National Research Council said in an assessment announced on Wednesday (see GSN, Feb. 14).

How the Iran Nuclear Standoff Looks From Russia

How the Iran Nuclear Standoff Looks From Russia

How the Iran Nuclear Standoff Looks From RussiaMoscow believes that stringent international sanctions against Iran will not put an end to the Iranian nuclear program or turn the Iranian people against their government and will also fail to stave off an Israeli airstrike.

At Plant Vogtle, Energy Secretary Reinforces His Support for Nuclear Power

Blog Post: At Plant Vogtle, Energy Secretary Reinforces His Support for Nuclear Power

During a speech Wednesday at Georgia’s Plant Vogtle, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the Obama administration is committed to “help jumpstart America’s nuclear industry.”

The Age of Fossil Fuels is Far From Over

The Age of Fossil Fuels is Far From Over

Having looked at the major alternatives to fossil fuel energy production (summarized here), we come away with the general sentiment that the easy days of cheap energy are not evidently carried forward into a future without fossil fuels.  That’s right, fossil fuels will be dead and gone.  Is it time to pile them on the cart to be hauled away? In the slapdash scoring scheme I employed in the alternative energy matrix, the best performers racked up 5 points, whereas by the same criteria, our traditional fossil fuels typically achieved…Read more...

“A Key Marker for US Nuclear Energy” by AREVA North America Blog

“A Key Marker for US Nuclear Energy”

NEI's Chief Nuclear Officer Appears on PBS News Hour

NEI's Chief Nuclear Officer Appears on PBS News Hour

Last night, NEI's Chief Nuclear Officer, Tony Pietrangelo, appeared on the PBS News Hour to discuss the future of the industry in the wake of the awarding of a COL to Plant Vogtle.

The New Silk Road for Energy

The New Silk Road for Energy

Dan Denning, Money Morning
China is more dependent on the flow of Middle East oil than any other country in the world. This highlights the importance of the physical infrastructure needed to move oil and gas around the world. In a peaceful world based on commerce and trade, these energy networks expand and function freely. . .

What's Next After Yucca Mountain

What's Next After Yucca Mountain

Editorial, New York Times
The country has repeatedly tried and failed to find a burial spot for spent nuclear fuel rods that will remain radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years. The rods are currently stored in cooling pools or dry casks at nuclear power plants across the country. But that is becoming politically untenable. Nine states have already banned the construction of new reactors until the waste problem is solved or substantial progress made. . .

Secrecy Over $8 Billion Vogtle Nuclear Reactor Deal Challenged in Court

No More Solyndras: Groups Call on DOE to Force Public Release of Details


No More Solyndras: Groups Call on DOE To Force Public Release of Details on ...
MarketWatch (press release)
16, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- With More than 15 Times the Solyndra Loan Guarantee on the Line, US Taxpayers Being Kept in the Dark About Huge Vogtle Risks; Nine Groups Cite NRC Law Violation in Going to Court to Block Vogtle Licensing.

US groups file suit to block new Southern Vogtle reactors


US groups file suit to block new Southern Vogtle reactors
Reuters
* New Vogtle reactors to cost about $14 billion * NRC issued Vogtle new reactor license last week * NRC Chairman voted against the new reactor license By Scott DiSavino Feb 16 (Reuters) - Public interest groups filed suit against Southern Co in federal ...

NRC approves Constellation-Exelon deal

 NRC approves Constellation-Exelon deal
Wall Street Journal
AP BALTIMORE — Exelon's proposed takeover of Constellation Energy crossed another hurdle Thursday when the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the $7.9 billion deal. Constellation's nuclear division, the Constellation Energy Nuclear Group, ...

NEI opposes plan to charge industry for cleanup

NEI opposes plan to charge industry for cleanup
Nuclear industry officials continue to dispute the Department of Energy's claims that companies should pay for cleaning up gaseous-diffusion plants in Oak Ridge, Tenn., Paducah, Ky., and Portsmouth, Ohio. The Nuclear Energy Institute said that the Obama administration is attempting to charge the industry a second time for the cleanup. "The nuclear energy industry will continue to vigorously oppose this outrageous attempt to have our companies make up the government's failure to fulfill its legal obligation to this long-standing environmental program," said Alex Flint, senior vice president of government affairs at NEI. EENews.net (subscription required)

The toxic debate over climate science

By Marc Gunther, February 16, 2012
 Can the climate-science debate get any more toxic? The Heartland Institute, a free-market think tank that challenges the scientific consensus about climate change, was embarrassed by the release yesterday (Feb. 14) of confidential documents, including the names of corporate donors. They were published by environmental bloggers led by the DeSmog Blog, which describes its purpose as “clearing...  » Continue...

Nuclear Energy Insider: Congress, Senate, NRC And National Utilities Join ...

Nuclear Energy Insider: Congress, Senate, NRC And National Utilities Join ...
Daily Markets (press release)
This makes the 2nd Annual Small Modular Reactor Conference in Columbia SC the only conference in the nuclear calendar that attracts the right decision makers from central government, national utilities, reactor vendors and key specialists

Al Fin: Gas Cooled Modular Reactors Will Change the Future of ...

Al Fin: Gas Cooled Modular Reactors Will Change the Future of ...
Small modular nuclear reactors will have a revolutionary effect on the future of electrical power generation. But a particular type of small modular reactor -- the ...
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Nuclear power will propel U.S. forward


Nuclear power will propel U.S. forward
The Hill (blog)
02/16/12 10:38 AM ET The last time a nuclear reactor was approved, the year was 1978. Jimmy Carter was president, the Bee Gees dominated the Billboard Top 100, Animal House debuted at the top of the box office, and a gallon of gas cost 63 cents.

Japan Ignored Nuclear Risks, Official Says


Japan Ignored Nuclear Risks, Official Says
New York Times
TOKYO — In surprisingly frank public testimony on Wednesday, Japan's nuclear safety chief said the country's regulations were fundamentally flawed and laid out a somber picture of a nuclear industry shaped by freewheeling power companies, ...

Nuclear power The Economist


Nuclear power
The Economist
He urged Congress to pass tax incentives for energy efficiency and clean energy and to end oil-company subsidies. But Mr Obama made no mention of nuclear energy, even though America's 104 nuclear reactors provide around one-fifth of its electricity,

Update from i-Nuclear: ‘Urgent and speedy action’ still needed on UK new build, despite EDF plant life extension by I-Nuclear

i-NUCLEAR

‘Urgent and speedy action’ still needed on UK new build, despite EDF plant life extension

by I-Nuclear
The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change says nuclear plant life extension announced by Electricite de France February 16 does not alter the need for “urgent and speedy action” on new nuclear build in the UK.
EDF Group said February 16 that it expects to extend the operating lives of its 14 advanced gas-cooled reactors (AGRs) by an average of seven years -- two years longer than its previous estimates of only last year.
Life extension at EDF’s AGR fleet could retain the equivalent of at least 6.5 gigawatts of nuclear electrical capacity on the national grid, equivalent to at least four 1,600-MW EPR reactors – more if Dungeness B is included in the AGRs to obtain future life extension.
In its national energy policy statements last year, DECC said it expected to lose 10GW of nuclear power capacity on the grid over the next 20 years. However, EDF’s plans could significantly delay the loss of existing nuclear capacity.
It could mean the only nuclear capacity to be lost between now and 2021 could be the four Magnox reactors at Oldbury and Wylfa, all of which are scheduled to close permanently this year, and Dungeness B.
Dungeness B got a 10-year life extension in 2008 and is now scheduled to close in 2018, which would remove about 1GW from the grid.
Oldbury and Wylfa together represent about 1.7GW at their design ratings. In fact, they’ve been operating substantially below design rating and so represent about 1.4 GW or less of actual capacity being lost.
In a statement released with the EDF Group’s 2011 financial results February 16, EDF said: “EDF Energy has completed a further technical review of the potential life limiting plant areas. Subject to the necessary formal reviews and approvals in due course, EDF Energy is now expecting an average of 7 years across all of the Advanced Gas Reactor (AGR) stations – including Heysham 1 and Hartlepool whose 5-year extensions were announced in December 2010 - and 20 years for Sizewell B.”
That could mean that instead of decommissioning the AGRs between 2014 and 2023, as previously envisioned, the AGRs would start being decommissioned in 2021, while some would continue operating through 2030.
Compared to decommissioning them on their former schedules, life extension could retain at least 6.5GW of nuclear electric capacity on the national grid, not counting Dungeness. That figure also excludes Sizewell B, which is not an AGR, but a pressurised water reactor.
With seven-years added to their operating lives, there could still be 6.4GW of AGR nuclear capacity operating in 2020 --comprising Heysham 2, Hinkley B, Hunterston B, Torness, Hartlepool and Heysham 1  -- and at least 2.4GW to 2030, comprising Heysham 2 and Torness.
The UK Office for Nuclear Regulation do not have a separate, formal program for decision-making on life extension and there is no specific consent or approval required. Instead, life extension is considered within the context of existing licensing requirements and the ONR’s 10-year periodic safety reviews.

New nuclear needed

A DECC spokesman said February 16 that the government is confident the underlying analysis in the energy national policy statements is “robust and the need for low carbon capacity including [new] nuclear remains.”
He said the government has no plans to revise the NPSs. “The NPS need case was…set out to ensure the Government can meet its carbon reduction target of 80% by 2050 and the underlying evidence shows that nuclear will be needed to achieve these legally binding targets alongside significant demand-side reduction and investment in renewables and CCS (carbon capture and storage),” the spokesman said.
EDF is planning to build four new EPR reactors, two each at Hinkley Point and Sizewell. “The first planning application for a new nuclear plant at Hinkley has been received and it is anticipated, if consented, to be operational from 2019,” the DECC spokesman said. “Plans for other sites are on a slower trajectory which means most new plan[t]s will only be operational from 2021/22 and thereafter,” he said.
“Given the long period it takes to construct a new nuclear plant the need for urgent and speedy action remains in line with our NPS need case,” the DECC spokesman said.
An EDF spokeswoman said February 16 that its plant life extension plans “could play an important role to help minimise the amount of fossil plant that will need to be built in the UK in the medium term” and would also contribute to maintaining security of supply over the same period.
Even with plant life extension, the EDF spokeswoman said, “most of the existing plant, except Sizewell, will cease to operate in the 2020s and will not contribute to the electricity mix in 2030.”
“New nuclear offers reliable low carbon electricity generation at a time when the UK is predicted to face a risk of potential shortfall in electricity production,” the spokeswoman said. –David Stellfox