Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major News and Commentary Military and Civilian Nuclear Activities

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Japan PM: No individual to blame for Fukushima

Japan PM: No individual to blame for Fukushima
AFP
Yoshihiko Noda told foreign journalists in Tokyo that the Japanese establishment had been taken in by the "myth of safety" around nuclear power and was unprepared for a disaster on the scale of last March's accident

Reactivate nuclear reactors to prevent recession


Reactivate nuclear reactors to prevent recession
The Daily Yomiuri
Most nuclear reactors across Japan have been left idle even after undergoing regular inspections since the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co. Just two of Japan's 54 commercial nuclear reactors are ...

Japan's Post-Fukushima Earthquake Health Woes Go Beyond Radiation Effects

Japan's Post-Fukushima Earthquake Health Woes Go Beyond Radiation Effects
Scientific American
The city was severly damaged by the Tsunami of Japan Earthquake and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant accident. Image: Flickr/jetalone After the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami crippled Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, ...

Japan earthquake

Japan earthquake
CNET
TOKYO--Japanese authorities are planning to use a Honeywell T-Hawk micro air vehicle to check radiation levels at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, while unmanned drone helicopters from France are also joining the effort.

One Year Later, Impact of 'Great Tohoku' Quake Still Being Felt

One Year Later, Impact of 'Great Tohoku' Quake Still Being Felt
Newswise (press release)
The magnitude 9 “Great Tohoku” quake and the resulting tsunami claimed more than 15000 lives, devastated Japan's infrastructure and economy, and triggered a multi-reactor meltdown at the Fukushima power plant.

Operation Tomodachi a huge success, but was it a one-off?


Operation Tomodachi a huge success, but was it a one-off?
The Japan Times
By ERIC JOHNSTON Operation Tomodachi, launched by the United States in response to last March's quake and tsunami, was an unprecedented effort by Washington and especially the US military to provide relief to disaster victims.

Japan's Premier Says Government Shares Blame for Fukushima Disaster

Japan's Premier Says Government Shares Blame for Fukushima Disaster
New York Times
Nuclear energy once provided 30 percent of Japan's electricity needs. In a bid to ease public worries, Japanese nuclear regulators have introduced stress tests that will focus on the reactors' ability to withstand an earthquake and tsunami like the ...

Japan Nuclear Stress Tests Fail to Assuage Public Fears

Japan Nuclear Stress Tests Fail to Assuage Public Fears
Wall Street Journal
The test's computer simulations, meant to show the risk of a meltdown if a plant is damaged by an earthquake or tsunami, have been criticized by experts as being far too narrow and unable to ensure that a disaster like the one at last year's Fukushima

Update from ANS: ANS Special Committee on Fukushima to issue report on March 8

American Nuclear Society

ANS Special Committee on Fukushima to issue report on March 8

By pbowersox on Mar 02, 2012 03:00 pm

Webcast event available coast-to-coast The American Nuclear Society Special Committee on Fukushima will issue its full report next week on Thursday, March 8.  A press conference will be held at 10 AM EST at the National Press Club, Washington, DC, and … Continue reading
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Myanmar's Leaders face a New Environmental Dilemma

Myanmar's Leaders face a New Environmental Dilemma
Friday, 02 March 2012

Having successfully persuaded the Myanmar government to stop construction of the Myitsone Dam on the Irrawaddy River and close down a planned coal-fired energy plant at Dawei on the southern coast, protesters have set their sights on the controversial Shwe pipeline, designed to stretch all the way across Burma to Yunnan in China.

The protests present a dilemma for the government, which must now learn to balance the antipathy of its citizens to exploitation of its natural resources against the vast amount of revenues that would be lost if the Shwe project were to follow the other two into oblivion. Under decades of military rule, protests against construction projects have been met with heavy-handed force. Now, if the government wants to speed up the democratization process, it must contend with what has become known as NIMBY – “not in my backyard” – in the west.

More than 125 organizations in 20 countries held demonstrations on March 1 and submitted a letter calling on President Thein Sein to postpone the trans-Burma oil and gas pipelines project, expressing serious concerns over human rights abuses as well as the social, economic and environmental impact on the Burmese people. Nearly 300 people participated in a demonstration in Yangon, wearing T-shirts with slogans like “Our Gas, Our Future.” At least nine activists were detained and interrogated by police for a brief period, but were freed. Another demonstration took place in the northern city of Chiang Mai in front of the Chinese consulate.

Combining domestic coal with nuclear energy to make oil?

By Rod Adams, March 3, 2012
As a South Central Virginia resident, I have something in common with the people in the Pacific Northwest who are concerned about the impact of coal exports from the US. Numerous coal laden trains pass through Lynchburg every day, many of them headed to the large coal terminal in Newport News. I can hear the rumbling of those trains at about 4:00 every morning. I once watched three trains, each...  » Continue...

Energy Department Announces Small Modular Reactor Technology Partnerships at ...

Energy Department Announces Small Modular Reactor Technology Partnerships at ...
Power Engineering Magazine
The US Energy Department and its Savannah River Site (SRS) announced today three public-private partnerships to develop deployment plans for small modular nuclear reactor (SMR) technologies at SRS facilities, near Aiken, South Carolina.

Can Babcock Wilcox Change The Game With The Modular Nuclear Reactor?


Can Babcock Wilcox Change The Game With The Modular Nuclear Reactor?
Seeking Alpha
One of the opportunities I'm most excited about - in addition to breeder reactors and uranium sea mining, which I discussed previously - are modular nuclear reactors. These devices have the ultimate effect of making nuclear power feasible on a smaller ...

NRC approves new post-Fukushima nuclear power rules


NRC approves new post-Fukushima nuclear power rules
PennEnergy- Energy News (press release)
The first set of new rules for nuclear power plants in the US since last year's catastrophe at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power reactor in Japan has received initial approval, according to Bloomberg. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's staff ...

The Demonic Reality of Fukushima


The Demonic Reality of Fukushima
CounterPunch
On March 13, 2011, even as Fukushima Daiichi's reactors were melting down and exploding, and its storage pools at risk of boiling or draining dry and the high-level radioactive waste catching fire, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) provided ...

Friday, March 2, 2012

Idaho Samizdat: Nuke Notes DOE signs three SMR firms to develop at SRS

Idaho Samizdat: Nuke Notes

DOE signs three SMR firms to develop at SRS

No federal funding is involved, but it offers access to infrastructure, skilled workers, and potential customers

 

Blog Post: Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant Weekly Review

Blog Post: Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant Weekly Review

New estimates of airborne cesium from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and accusations that Tokyo Electric Power Co. executives considered pulling out their workers entirely in the early days of the crisis highlighted the news from Japan this week.

Recent developments related to the TEPCO reactors blacked out by a tsunami and earthquake nearly a year ago include:

ANS Special Committee on Fukushima to issue report on March 8

ANS Special Committee on Fukushima to issue report on March 8

Webcast event available coast-to-coast
The American Nuclear Society Special Committee on Fukushima will issue its full report next week on Thursday, March 8.  A press conference will be held at 10 AM EST at the National Press Club, Washington, DC, and will be webcast at http://www.visualwebcaster.com/event.asp?id=85244.
The special committee’s co-chairs are Dale Klein, Ph.D., former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Michael Corradini, Ph.D., Wisconsin Distinguished Professor of nuclear engineering and engineering physics at the University of Wisconsin.

Fukushima one year on: poor planning hampered Fukushima response

Fukushima one year on: poor planning hampered Fukushima response

One year after  an earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11, 2011, an independent investigation panel has highlighted the country’s failures in disaster planning and crisis management for the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. The article shows that agencies were thoroughly unprepared for the cascading nuclear disaster, following a tsunami that should have been anticipated.

NEI to Host Blogger Conference Call on FLEX

NEI to Host Blogger Conference Call on FLEX

The Nuclear Energy Institute will be hosting a conference call for bloggers with NEI's Adrian Heymer on FLEX, the U.S. industry's strategy to enhance safety at its nuclear energy facilities. The call will be conducted from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday, March 9 and will be hosted by Dan Yurman of Idaho Samizdat.

All participants must pre-register in order to dial in to the call. Please RSVP to my NEI email address at epm-at-nei.org by COB Thursday, March 8 in order to reserve your space.

Please submit your questions prior to the call, as they'll be asked by Mr. Yurman in much the same manner as the call he hosted with NRC Chairman Greg Jaczko. If the program runs long don't fret, as we'll post answers to any question we don't get to here on the NEI Nuclear Notes blog.

For those of you who might not be familiar with Mr. Heymer, here's a short bio. Here in the U.S., there simply isn't anyone with a better read on how the incident at Fukushima is impacting the way our industry does business than Mr. Heymer.

Adrian Heymer is the Executive Director, Strategic Programs, at the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI). In this position he serves as the industry's point person in organizing an integrated response to the events at Fukushima Daiichi. Other responsibilities at NEI have encompassed new nuclear plant deployment, electricity deregulation, plant performance improvement, risk-informed regulation and industry quality programs. Prior to joining NEI he worked in support of Nebraska Public Power District’s Cooper Nuclear Station, Nebraska; at Lloyds Register on technical certifications and inspections; and served in the Royal Navy.

We're all looking forward to your questions. See you on March 9 at 11 a.m.

TVA Statement on Severe Weather and Nuclear Plants

TVA Statement on Severe Weather and Nuclear Plants

The American Midwest and Southeast have been struck by tornadoes today. We just received the following statement from the Tennessee Valley Authority concerning the status of several nuclear power plants in their service:
TVA has activated its Transmission Emergency Operations Center to assess the damage and manage the response to today’s severe storms. At this time, TVA reports 10 transmission lines are out of service, with the most severe weather reported in North Alabama and Southeast Tennessee. The transmission system is stable and secure. All TVA customer connections are in service with the exception of five connection points for Volunteer Electric in Hamilton and Bradley counties.
Initial reports from Athens and Huntsville, Alabama, are that an estimated 44,000 customers are experiencing outages. We are aware of outages in other locations, but we do not have estimated customer numbers yet.

All three nuclear sites remain safe following the recent storms. The three units at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant near Athens, Ala., are operating at full-power. Sequoyah Unit 1 in Soddy-Daisy, Tenn., was shutdown February 27 for a scheduled refueling outage and will not be returning to operation until later this month. Sequoyah Unit 2 is currently at 80 percent power, due to transmission lines being out of service in the area of the plant. Watts Bar Unit 1 in Spring City, Tenn., is operating at full power.

TVA crews are assessing the damage as the weather permits and it is safe to do so.

We will provide additional reports as soon as we have information.
Please note that U.S. nuclear plants have endured this sort of real world stress test before. Click here for more.

5 Things We Learned at the ARPA-E Summit

5 Things We Learned at the ARPA-E Summit

Martin LaMonica, CNET
There's good energy at the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit.The conference, held this week and organized by the ARPA-E agency, brings together the movers and shakers in clean-energy technologies who are trying to take inventions from research labs and make them viable commercial products.

Who's Paying for a Nuclear Resurgence?

Who's Paying for a Nuclear Resurgence?

Pamela Coyle, EnergyBiz
If the United States is to see a nuclear power renaissance, rate increases in many states will kick in long before the plants are operational. For utility customers in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida they already have.Georgia Power, part of Southern Co., announced a monthly increase of 57 cents for the average customer beginning January 2012 for financing two additional nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle near Augusta. The first such increase, $3.73, took effect in January 2011.

What the Saudis Can Tell Us About Oil Prices

Kenneth Rapoza, Forbes
Whether or not a pipeline exploded in Saudi Arabia late Thursday is beside the point. Oil prices are on a hair trigger alert to news, most of it ferociously negative. In the aftermarket hours on Thursday, Brent crude prices jumped nearly $4 to over $128 a barrel. They haven't been that high since the summer of 2008 when bulge bracket banks like Goldman Sachs were forecasting oil at $200 by years end.

America's Neverending Fossil Fuel Fever

America's Neverending Fossil Fuel Fever

Michael Klare, The Nation
It was not very long ago that America seemed headed on a path of reduced dependence on fossil fuels;oil, coal and natural gas and greater reliance on renewable forms of energy, such as wind and solar. Our addiction to fossil fuels is one of the most serious threats to our national security in the twenty-first century. Barack Obama declared while campaigning for president in 2008. Not only does the consumption of these fuels contribute to global warming, he argued; it also finances anti-American tyrants and terrorists. 

Can Nuclear Energy be Finally Safe? The Potentials of Thorium

Can Nuclear Energy be Finally Safe? The Potentials of Thorium ...
Thorium-based molten salt reactors are unlike any typical nuclear reactor, capable of producing more energy without the environmental risk.
www.theenvironmentalblog.org/.../nuclear-energy-finally-safe...

What caused Japan's triple nuclear meltdown?

What caused Japan's triple nuclear meltdown? One unprecedented ...
The first anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake is approaching and the fall-out from the triple nuclear meltdown it created continues to plague the ...
www.japansubculture.com/.../what-caused-japans-triple-nuclea...

Nuked: How Bad Was Fukushima?

Nuked: How Bad Was Fukushima?
TIME (blog)
The stories detailed the Rebuild Japan report, a deep and independent investigation of the events surrounding the Fukushima nuclear meltdown that occurred nearly a year ago. And the takeaway was alarming: at one point Japanese officials feared that ..

Levelized Current and Future Costs of Nuclear, Solar and Fossil Fuels

Levelized Current and Future Costs of Nuclear, Solar and Fossil Fuels




Nextbigfuture has looked at detailed comparisons of energy costs many times. We again look at future costs of nuclear and solar and coal.

Two thirds of the cost of coal energy is the whatever the future cost of coal is. So future coal and fossil fuel energy prices will be determined by future commodity prices. Nuclear and solar power are dominated by the construction costs and financing so future energy costs are not tied to consumables. Although the materials used for construction are a factor.
http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/02/levelized-current-and-future-costs-of.html

atomic power review Palisades post-hearing, and more on embrittlement

atomic power review



Posted: 01 Mar 2012 06:08 PM PST
As we all probably expected, the NRC hearing on Palisades went off last night with the NRC assuring the attendees that while there are significant personnel related (and that really means procedural, or else "safety culture") issues and opportunities at Palisades the plant is safe to operate. The NRC assured everyone that if Palisades were not safe, it would not be on line.

Click here for a brief locally written roundup on the NRC hearing.

Greenpeace Lessons from Fukushima

Lessons from Fukushima

Publication - February 28, 2012
It has been almost 12 months since the Fukushima nuclear disaster began. Although the Great East Japan earthquake and the following tsunami triggered it, the key causes of the nuclear accident lie in the institutional failures of political influence and industry-led regulation. 
 

New post from Oil and Glory The Weekly Wrap -- March 2, 2012

New post from Oil and Glory



Posted: 02 Mar 2012 04:30 AM PST
Surging oil, but a paradigm shift in the U.S. economy: Against the drumbeat of steadily improving economic numbers, could the U.S. actually be on the cusp of a tumble back into recession and a greater geopolitical comeuppance? If you look at economic history, the answer is yes. Yet history may be changing, according to Citigroup oil analyst Daniel Ahn, with whom I exchanged emails this morning.

Post-Fukushima Reactor Safety Rules Advanced by U.S. Nuclear Agency Votes Bloomberg

NRC to issue first post-Fukushima safety rules
Mother Nature Network
This week, a majority of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission voted to issue the first three proposed rules recommended by the agency staff, although the commissioners differ on some important details. The staff said its recommendations, based on eight ...
See all stories on this topic »

Mother Nature Network
US NRC to issue first post-Fukushima safety rules
Reuters UK
Staff proposals based on NRC task force recommendations * Commissioners differ on making all changes mandatory * Fukushima changes expected to add to nuclear plant costs (Adds commissioner comment from filings) By Eileen O'Grady March 1 (Reuters) - As ...
See all stories on this topic »
Reactor-Safety Rule Tied to Japan Backed by Two U.S. NRC Members
Bloomberg
A majority of the five-member US Nuclear Regulatory Commission voted to issue rules on reactor safety, moving the agency a step closer to enhancing safeguards in response to Japan's 2011 disaster. NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko and member William Magwood ...
See all stories on this topic »

Bloomberg
Post-Fukushima Reactor Safety Rules Advanced by U.S. Nuclear Agency Votes
Bloomberg
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission moved closer to imposing tougher safeguards at the nation's reactors, a year after a disaster in Japan that triggered radiation leaks from a crippled power plant. A majority of commissioners led by Chairman Gregory ...

Energy Department Announces Small Modular Reactor Technology Partnerships at

Energy Department Announces Small Modular Reactor Technology Partnerships at ...
Duluth Weekly
WASHINGTON, DC, (March 2, 2012) - The US Energy Department and its Savannah River Site (SRS) announced today three public-private partnerships to develop deployment plans for small modular nuclear reactor (SMR) technologies at SRS facilities, ...
See all stories on this topic »
US DOE lays groundwork for SMR construction on agency site
Platts
The US Department of Energy has signed memorandums of understanding with three companies that could lead to the construction of several small modular nuclear reactors on its Savannah River Site in South Carolina, the agency said Friday.


Energy Department Announces Small Modular Reactor Technology ...
Energy Department Announces Small Modular Reactor Technology Partnerships at Savannah River Site. March 2, 2012 - 10:27am ...
energy.gov/.../energy-department-announces-small-modular-r...
Green Car Congress: DOE announces small modular reactor ...
DOE announces small modular reactor technology partnerships at Savannah River Site. 2 March 2012. The US Energy Department (DOE) and its Savannah ...
www.greencarcongress.com/2012/03/smr-20120302.html
Energy Department Announces Small Modular Reactor Technology ...
Energy Department Announces Small Modular Reactor Technology Partnerships at Savannah River Site. The U.S. Energy Department and its Savannah River ...
www.newsroomamerica.com/.../energy_department_announce...

Japan may have no nuclear reactors by summer


Japan may have no nuclear reactors by summer
Mother Nature Network
By Kiyoshi Takenaka, ReutersThu, Mar 01 2012 at 5:19 AM EST WARNING: The crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant reactor buildings on Feb. 28. (Photo: Yoshikazu Tsuno/Reuters) TOKYO - It is possible none of Japan's nuclear reactors, ...

Fukushima one year on: poor planning hampered Fukushima response


Fukushima one year on: poor planning hampered Fukushima response
Science Daily (press release)
Their article highlights how Kan secretly instructed Shunsuke Kondo, chairman of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), to draw up a "worst case scenario" for the nuclear accident as the crisis deepened -- that is, six increasingly drastic scenarios ...

US doesn't support NGOs to oppose nuclear power projects


US doesn't support NGOs to oppose nuclear power projects
Times of India
WASHINGTON: The US has said it's strongly supportive of India's investment in civil nuclear power and its support to NGOs goes only for development and for democracy programmes and not for opposing projects like Kudankulam.

Vietnam's Nuclear Dreams Blossom Despite Doubts


Vietnam's Nuclear Dreams Blossom Despite Doubts
New York Times
HANOI, Vietnam — Inside an unheated classroom at the Institute for Nuclear Science and Technology here about 20 young government technicians from Vietnam's incipient nuclear power industry kept on their winter jackets on the first morning of a 10-day ...

Are India nuclear power plants safe: 3 deaths at Kalpakkam raises doubts


Are India nuclear power plants safe: 3 deaths at Kalpakkam raises doubts
Power Engineering Magazine
India, March 1 -- By John CK Daly India is betting heavily on nuclear power to meet its surging energy needs. While India currently has six nuclear power plants (NPPs) with 20 reactors generating 4 780 megawatts seven other reactors are under ...

Seductive nuclear power of Thor


Seductive nuclear power of Thor
Mail & Guardian Online
A mineral being discarded as "waste" may well be able to provide South Africa's -- and the world's -- energy needs for the next thousand years or more. Thorium, aptly named after the Norse god of thunder, Thor, is a nuclear fuel that is four times more ...

Fukushima: Chaos reigns


Fukushima: Chaos reigns
Salon
By Justin McCurry, GlobalPost Debris is seen scattered near the Unit 6 reactor building of stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012 (Credit: AP Photo/Yoshikazu Tsuno, ...

"Indian PM Singh claims anti-nuclear protests funded by U.S. NGOs"



http://ansnuclearcafe.org/2012/03/01/indian-pm-singh-alleges-anti-nuclear-protests-funded-by-u-s-ngos/

"Indian PM Singh claims anti-nuclear protests funded by U.S. NGOs"

"Space nuclear propulsion: Humanity’s route to the solar system"

http://ansnuclearcafe.org/2012/02/29/space-nuclear-part-one/

"Space nuclear propulsion: Humanity’s route to the solar system"

Wesley Deason introduces the uses of nuclear fission to enable human
space exploration beyond earth orbit - starting with safety and control
at launch and in space.

American Nuclear Society to Issue Report on Fukushima for One Year Anniversary: Thanks to Webcast Event Available Coast-to-Coast


March 2, 2012, 7:30 a.m. EST

American Nuclear Society to Issue Report on Fukushima for One Year Anniversary: Thanks to Webcast Event Available Coast-to-Coast

Cleantech Leaders Put Their Heads Together In D.C.

By Nino Marchetti, March 2, 2012
The recently concluded U.S. Department of Energy ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit, of which EarthTechling was a media partner, brought together some of the best and brightest minds over the course of several days to discuss cleantech innovations. The summit is a result of the works of the Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), which launched in 2009 to help...  » Continue...

What Would It Take for Gas to Hit $5 per Gallon?

By Geoffrey Styles, March 2, 2012
After returning from a business trip to California, I don't find media speculation concerning the possibility of $5 gasoline later this year quite as far-fetched as I might have last week. Perhaps seeing $4.299 per gallon posted for unleaded regular on many street corners there, compared to $3.699 or so here, gave me a touch of "availability bias" even if I also understand that gasoline taxes in...  » Continue...

Current Rate of Ocean Acidification Worst in 300 Million Years


Current Rate of Ocean Acidification Worst in 300 Million Years
Posted: 02 Mar 2012 01:42 AM PST
Science has published a troubling but not entirely surprising article on the fact that the oceans are acidifying at the fastest rate in 300 million years. Actually, it could be the fastest rate over an even longer time period, but we can only go back with any degree of accuracy for 300 million years.

TransCanada to reapply for Keystone XL permit

TransCanada to reapply for Keystone XL permit
TransCanada Corporation announced today it has sent a letter to the U.S. State Department informing the Department the company plans to file a Presidential Permit application in the near future for the Keystone XL Project.
Full Article

This Week's Most Popular Oil & Gas News from PennEnergyperspectives

This Week's Most Popular Oil & Gas News
Macondo partners 'facing billions in fines'
EU delays ruling on oilsands crude
Tribunal says Chevron's Ecuador arbitration may proceed
Caltex sees loss from oil refineries in Australia
Major offshore oil discovery made in Brazil
Parameters defined for South Stream in Slovenia
More oil from Snorre A drilling facilities upgrade
BP agrees to sell Kansas gas production and processing assets
Consent to remove offshore standby vessel
New pre-salt discovery in Campos Basin
TransCanada to build southern leg of Keystone oil pipeline
Gazprom and Total discuss implementation of Shtokman Phase 1

UPDATE 2-Japan says possible all reactors shut this summer

UPDATE 2-Japan says possible all reactors shut this summer

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/01/japan-nuclear-restart-idUSL4E8E13HJ20120301

Regulators assure public Entergy plant is safe

Regulators assure public Entergy plant is safehttp://www.cnbc.com/id/46591157

Safety, environmental reports positive for proposed GE-Hitachi plant

Safety, environmental reports positive for proposed GE-Hitachi planthttp://www.wilmingtonbiz.com/industry_news_details.php?id=3297

Two New Mexico counties serious about storing spent fuel: ex-official


Two New Mexico counties serious about storing spent fuel: ex-official
Phoenix (Platts)--1Mar2012/407 pm EST/2107 GMT


Two New Mexico counties have joined forces to propose that 1,000 acres they jointly own be used as an interim storage facility for utility spent nuclear fuel, and they hope to have a business plan in 60 days on how to carry that out, a former local official said Thursday.

Speaking at a nuclear waste conference in Phoenix, Arizona, Bob Forrest, a former mayor of Carlsbad, New Mexico, said that Eddy and Lea counties had issued a request for information from companies that might be willing to work on this project. Nine teams responded, and the counties picked teams headed by Areva Inc. and Fluor, he said.

Carlsbad, which is in Eddy County, is where the US Department of Energy's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, a deep-geologic repository for defense transuranic waste such as plutonium-contaminated gloves, rags and equipment, is located. The Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future, or BRC, highlighted WIPP in a report the commission issued in January as an example of a consent-based siting process that worked.

Article continues below...

PPL chief says new safety rules could lead to reactor sales

PPL chief says new safety rules could lead to reactor sales
Single nuclear plant owners in the U.S. could consider selling their facilities because of new safety rules imposed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi incident in Japan, said William Spence, president and CEO of PPL. "There will be a lot of companies like ourselves that will have to look hard at their role in nuclear," he said. But Pence said PPL has no plans to sell its Susquehanna nuclear plant in Pennsylvania because the company considers it a key asset. Bloomberg

Panel: Fukushima had minimal impact on public health

Panel: Fukushima had minimal impact on public health
A panel of American radiation experts has concluded that the health effects from the Fukushima Daiichi incident are minimal, even if some areas near the facility must remain off-limits for years. "From a radiological perspective, we expect the impact to be really, really minor," said Kathryn Higley, a nuclear engineering and radiation health physics professor at Oregon State University. The Wall Street Journal/Japan Real Time blog (3/2), The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/Green blog

Fukushima a year on



Fukushima a year on
MinnPost.com
By Justin McCurry, Global Post | 08:20 am FUKUSHIMA, Japan — A visit to the scene of Japan's worst nuclear accident, almost a year after the area was struck by a powerful earthquake and tsunami, is a study in contrasts. Elsewhere along the vast ...

Sizing Up Health Impacts a Year After Fukushima

Sizing Up Health Impacts a Year After Fukushima
New York Times (blog)
The panel discussion, at the National Press Club in Washington, is one in a series of events timed to the first anniversary of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident at the nuclear plant in March 2011. While the quake and tsunami killed an ...

Tritium leak: Post-quake radiation plume stokes concern


Tritium leak: Post-quake radiation plume stokes concern
The Hook
By Courteney Stuart | stuart@readthehook.com Seven months after the East Coast's biggest earthquake in a century, tests have revealed an elevated level of tritium near the North Anna nuclear generating plant. When the 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck ...

Energy Department Announces Small Modular Reactor Technology Partnerships at Savannah River Site

THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
Office of Public Affairs

News Media Contact: (202) 586-4940
For Immediate Release:  Friday, March 2, 2012

Energy Department Announces Small Modular Reactor Technology Partnerships at Savannah River Site

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Energy Department and its Savannah River Site (SRS) announced today three public-private partnerships to develop deployment plans for small modular nuclear reactor (SMR) technologies at SRS facilities, near Aiken, South Carolina. As part of the Energy Department’s commitment to advancing the next generation of nuclear reactor technologies and breaking down the technical and economic barriers to deployment, these Memorandums of Agreement (MOA) will help leverage Savannah River’s land assets, energy facilities and nuclear expertise to support potential private sector development, testing and licensing of prototype SMR technologies.

The Energy Department, Savannah River Site and Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) have entered into three separate agreements with Hyperion Power Generation Inc.; SMR, LLC, a subsidiary of Holtec International; and NuScale Power, LLC. The agreements will help these private companies obtain information on potential SMR reactor siting at Savannah River and provide a framework for developing land use and site services agreements to further these efforts.

“The Obama Administration continues to believe that low-carbon nuclear energy has an important role to play in America’s energy future,” said Secretary Chu.  “We are committed to restarting the nation’s nuclear industry and advancing the next generation of these technologies, helping to create new jobs and export opportunities for American workers and businesses.”

The Energy Department has taken a number of steps to help jumpstart America’s nuclear industry and ensure that nuclear power continues to play an important role in the U.S. energy mix. As part of these efforts, the Department has worked to advance small modular reactors, which provide an important opportunity for America’s manufacturing sector to make and sell cutting-edge technology. Small modular reactors have the added advantage of passive safety systems, compact and scalable design and lower capital costs.


By strengthening information sharing and access to site facilities and technical expertise, these MOAs will help break down engineering and testing barriers to advanced nuclear reactor research and development while providing these nuclear companies with the resources to support effective deployment plans.

Today’s announcement builds on the Energy Department’s work to develop nuclear power as a vital part of America’s all-of-the-above energy strategy:
·         The Energy Department announced $10 million in new research funds earlier this month to solve common challenges across the nuclear industry and improve reactor safety, performance and cost competitiveness.
·         In 2010, the Department signed a conditional commitment for $8 billion in loan guarantees to support the Vogtle project, where the Southern Company and Georgia Power are building two new nuclear reactors, helping to create new jobs and export opportunities for American workers and businesses.
·         The Energy Department has also supported the Vogtle project and the development of the next generation of nuclear reactors by providing more than $200 million through a cost-share agreement to support the licensing reviews for Westinghouse’s AP1000 reactor design certification.  The Vogtle license is the first for new nuclear power plant construction in more than three decades.
·         Promoting a sustainable nuclear industry in the U.S. also requires cultivating the next generation of scientists and engineers. Over the past three years, the Department has invested $170 million in research grants at more than 70 universities, supporting R&D into a full spectrum of technologies, from advanced reactor concepts to enhanced safety design.

The Memorandums of Agreement announced today do not constitute a federal funding commitment. The Energy Department envisions private sector funding will be used to develop these technologies and support deployment plans. The agreements, and the officials and offices involved with these activities, are separate and distinct from the Energy Department’s Funding Opportunity Announcement for small modular reactor cost-share projects announced earlier this year.

Idaho Samizdat: Nuke Notes SMR vendors seek $452M in federal funding

 

Idaho Samizdat: Nuke Notes

SMR vendors seek $452M in federal funding

Designs that can be licensed and enter revenue service by 2022 are sought
This is an update to my coverage published in Fuel Cycle Week V11:N458 2/2/12 by International Nuclear Associates, Washington, DC

Fourth ‘anti-nuclear’ NGO says we got no foreign funds in last two years

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/fourth-antinuclear-ngo-says-we-got-no.../918982/


Fourth ‘anti-nuclear’ NGO says we got no foreign funds in last two years

Kennedy Maize at Power has published two articles on Fukushima

Kennedy Maize is a columnist at Power magazine who recently became editor at Managing Power magazine for those that don't subscribe to Power.  He has reported on nuclear power since TMI where I believe he got his start in the power reporting sector. 
 
He just published two articles as part of the 1 year anniversary of Fukushima.  In both articles he continues to make his claim that Fukushima was, is and will continue to be worse for the nuclear industry then Chernobyl because this accident happened in a "western" reactor design not with RBMK design.
 
 
His other article published yesterday as well is:
 

Too Dumb to Meter: Follies, Foibles, Dead Ends and Duds on the U.S. Road to Atomic Energy


 
Friends and Colleagues,

I’m writing to announce publication of my new book Too Dumb to Meter:
Follies, Foibles, Dead Ends and Duds on the U.S. Road to Atomic
Energy, which is now available at the CreateSpace bookstore
(https://www.createspace.com/3698924)  and Amazon.com in printed form
and (coming soon) at Amazon as a Kindle e-book. Too Dumb to Meter will
also soon be available at other bookstores.

More information about the the book and the book project is available
at the website www.toodumb.org. The site includes information about
the book,  along with a bonus chapter, a picture gallery, and the “Too
Dumb Film Festival.”

Too Dumb to Meter explores the history of misguided and mismanaged
projects that were pursued in the name of fostering uses of atomic
energy in the post-World War II era.

When World War II ended, the U.S. went wild for atomic energy. The
atom would be the rage of the age, transforming civilization, solving
a multitude of problems, and providing an endless source of energy for
time to come. It didn’t quite work out.

The book presents a different story that often is far more interesting
and amusing. It’s a cautionary account of the perils of government
hubris, public hysteria, and planning gone wild. Covering misguided
policy, misunderstood history, misapplied engineering, and mistaken
economics, it details some of the things that went wrong, often
terribly and expensively wrong, from the very first conception through
to the failed implementation. It discusses the stubborn belief that
big science, big engineering, and big government money provide the
means to solve any technical problem.

Too Dumb to Meter chronicles failed efforts to develop a variety of
atom-powered flying machines from bombers to air-breathing cruise
missiles to rockets and bomb-propelled space craft. It discusses the
mishaps encountered when the U.S. tried to substitute H-bombs for
dynamite and diesel engines in rearranging the landscape. It examines
the nation’s infatuation with what it thought was a scarce and
expensive mineral -- uranium -- which turned out to be plentiful and
cheap. And it dissects the repeated inability of the nation to figure
out what to do with what was left over from its endeavors: messy and
dangerous radioactive waste.

The book also puts these episodes into context, discussing the
formation of the post-war enterprise to push atomic energy, including
the Atomic Energy Commission and the congressional Joint Committee on
Atomic Energy.


I hope you enjoy the book.

Ken Maize

Thorium Revisited: Safe Nuclear Energy?

Thorium Revisited: Safe Nuclear Energy?
The Data Center Journal (blog)
Energy is a growing and increasingly expensive appetite of consumers, companies and nations worldwide; could thorium, a potentially safer and more efficient alternative to uranium, be the means of slaking the world's thirst for energy while solving ...

The Investigation Committee on the Accident at Fukushima

The Investigation Committee on the Accident at Fukushima Nuclear Power Stations of Tokyo Electric Power Company has posted their report in English:
http://icanps.go.jp/eng/interim-report.html

The RJIF Investigative Panel on Fukushimat - Press handout

The RJIF Investigative Panel on Fukushima has posted the Press handout for their report's announcement press conference earlier this week.
 

Atomic Power Review

Atomic Power Review has a two-part contribution this week concerning Palisades in particular and reactor pressure vessel embrittlement / pressurized thermal shock in particular.
 
 
and
 
 
In these two posts, Will Davis addresses claims in the press expressing concern over pressure vessel embrittlement.  In part 1, a background on Palisades with a link to a past APR article on this topic and some embrittlement discussion.  In part 2, a great deal more detail on embrittlement from A. David Rossin and from a number of print sources published on the subject.
 
                                                                                                                -Will Davis