Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major Energy and Environmental News and Commentary affecting the Nuclear Industry.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Inspector General Report Finds EPA Should Act to Protect Texans' Drinking Water From Oil and Gas Operations


Abu Dhabi races to recruit first generation of nuclear workers

Abu Dhabi races to recruit first generation of nuclear workers The National
Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec), the government company charged with building and operating the Arab world's first civil nuclear power ...http://www.thenational.ae/business/industry-insights/energy/abu-dhabi-races-to-recruit-first-generation-of-nuclear-workers

Nuclear pact talks to start with Saudis

Nuclear pact talks to start with Saudis The Japan Times
The Abe administration will launch talks with Saudi Arabia next spring to conclude a nuclear power pact and allow Japanese businesses to export ...http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/12/28/national/nuclear-pact-talks-to-start-with-saudis/#.Ur92DRmENDQ

Your View: Nuclear power can really be 'green'

Your View: Nuclear power can really be 'green' SouthCoastToday.com
While it may be theoretically possible to stabilize the climate without nuclear power, in the real world there is no credible path to climate stabilization ...http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20131228/OPINION/312280305

Why Jordan is still pursuing the nuclear (power) option

Residual fears from the Fukushima disaster and low natural gas prices have tempered enthusiasm for nuclear power in many countries, but not Jordan.


What Energy, Environment Issues to Watch in 2014

What Energy, Environment Issues to Watch in 2014


Coakley, other AGs blast NRC on nuclear waste storage


With federal grant, INL aims to help companies improve small reactors' control rooms


Fukushima Updates 1218

From The Hiroshima Syndrome/Fukushima Commentary -

The Fukushima “Hot Particle” Myth

One of the incorrectly used terms often used concerning the Fukushima accident is “hot particle”. It unquestionably has an alarming sound to it, but what does it really mean? By examining its most-possible meaning, we find the application of the phrase to the atmospheric releases from Fukushima is entirely inappropriate.

The Terrestrial Energy Integrated Molten Salt Reactor and a supercritical CO2 turbine are both under development and should be commercially ready in about ten years

. One interesting aspect is that
they have far higher power density. They would enable a reactor and
turbine that is about 50 times more power dense than the ones that are
currently in nuclear submarines.


Japan's politics is shifting to pro-nuclear. Various pro-nuclear mayors are being elected.


Proud nuclear-enthusiast bubble dweller


GREENS vs THORIUM and Nuclear Power to Curb Global Warming


The Future of Nuclear at UC Berkeley


Iran nuclear chief: Country is pressing ahead with uranium enrichment


Where On Earth Do We Put Spent Nuclear Fuel?

Where On Earth Do We Put Spent Nuclear Fuel?


New Energy Struggles on Its Way to Markets By MATTHEW L. WALD


Command and Combust America's Secret History of Atomic Accidents

Command and Combust
America's Secret History of Atomic Accidents
By Gregory D. Koblentz
Eric Schlosser's Command and Control is really two books in one. The first is a techno-thriller, narrating a shocking nuclear accident in gripping detail. The second is more analytic, exploring the challenge at the heart of nuclear command-and-control systems: how...http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/140357/gregory-d-koblentz/command-and-combust?sp_mid=44708169&sp_rid=bWljaGVsZXRrZWFybmV5QGdtYWlsLmNvbQS2

Friday, December 27, 2013

Arab monarchies eye stronger ties with China


Transmission Investment Gets Largest Boost Since 2000


Chugoku Electric files for reactor safety checks toward resumption


Guest: Find a permanent solution for Hanford nuclear waste

Guest: Find a permanent solution for Hanford nuclear waste

The leaking radioactive waste from Hanford poses health risks, writes guest columnist Tom Carpenter.


Watchdogs criticize nuclear storage study; A.G. says NRC didn't focus on Indian Point



No penalties for Edison; financial recovery efforts could be complicated


US NRC Blog Update 12/27 Keeping Proper Track of Spent Fuel Pool Conditions

Keeping Proper Track of Spent Fuel Pool Conditions

by Moderator
Lauren Gibson
Project Manager
Japan Lessons-Learned Directorate
While “spent fuel pool #4” at Fukushima Daiichi did keep its contents safe during the March 2011 accident, no one could confirm that during the accident. The plant’s staff and other experts, including the NRC, simply didn’t have enough information to know what was going on in the pool. Why not? There was no reliable way to measure the pool’s water level.
SFP_instrKnowing the water level is important because if the pool had boiled dry, it would have damaged the fuel and added to the accident’s radiation release. The Japanese plant’s staff did the right thing in assuming the worst and making many attempts to add water to the pool. They even dropped water from helicopters. If they had known the pools were OK, however, they would have been able to focus on addressing the real problem: the damaged reactors.
This experience led the NRC to order U.S. nuclear power plants to add instrumentation to their spent fuel pools. That way, if an accident occurs at a U.S. reactor, plant staff will be able to tell when the spent fuel pool needed attention. Spent fuel pool instrumentation will help plant staff properly prioritize their accident response and keep the public safe.
U.S. reactors already monitor a small fraction of the water level in the spent fuel pool. However, this system may not work if power is lost, as it was at Fukushima, and can’t provide advance warning of low water levels.
The NRC’s order requires U.S. reactors to be able to tell whether water is at or above certain important levels. The highest level means enough water is available for the normal cooling system to work. The second level marks the level of water needed to protect someone standing next to the pool from the fuel’s radiation. The lowest level is still enough to cover the fuel, but the plant staff should begin adding more water to the pool.
Of course, water may be added—and most likely would be—prior to reaching this point. The order also requires that plant staff must be able to read these levels from somewhere away from the pool, such as in the control room.
U.S. reactors must install the new instruments no later than two refueling cycles after they submit their plan to the NRC or by the end of 2016, whichever comes first. All U.S. plants submitted their instrumentation plans in February 2013. We’ve been reviewing the plans and we recently issued interim staff evaluations. These documents give the plants feedback so they can continue on the right track for implementing the order.
The evaluations also ask plants for additional information we need to complete our review. While the agency’s final approval is yet to come, the interim evaluations give plants the confidence to order equipment and move forward with installing the instruments. We’ll provide the plants a final staff evaluation when we can conclude that they’ll comply with the order by the deadline by following their plan. We’ll continue inspecting plants to confirm they’ve finished complying with the order.
Our website’s Japan Lessons Learned section has a page with more information about the order and related guidance.
Moderator | December 26, 2013 at 9:02 am | Tags: Fukushima, NRC, nuclear power plant, spent fuel, spent fuel pools | Categories: Radioactive Waste | URL: http://wp.me/p1fSSY-1gZ

Southeast Asia Going Nuclear

Southeast Asia Going Nuclear Asian Scientist Magazine
Southeast Asian countries are pushing forward in the use of nuclear power technology, says Barry Desker, Dean of the S. Rajaratnam School of ...http://www.asianscientist.com/features/southeast-asia-going-nuclear-2013/

Russia to hand over most modern nuclear technology to Vietnam

 VietNamNet Bridge
In May 2010, Russia was selected as the provider of technology for the nuclear power plant 1 in Ninh Thuan province. This is one of two plants under ...http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/science-it/92446/russia-to-hand-over-most-modern-nuclear-technology-to-vietnam.html

High cost of nuclear power puts DAE in a fix

High cost of nuclear power puts DAE in a fix Firstpost New Delhi: As the cost of electricity generation by nuclear power plants, to be set up with the help of French and American companies, is turning out to ..http://www.firstpost.com/india/high-cost-of-nuclear-power-puts-dae-in-a-fix-1306675.html

IAEA Recent Research papers

Radiological objectives and severe accident mitigation strategy for the generation II PWRs in France in the framework of PLE
506 KB - http://www.iaea.org/inis/collection/NCLCollectionStore/_Public/43/070/43070828.pdf - Text Version
by Cenerino, G.; Dubreuil, M.; Raimond, E.; Pichereau, F. (Institut de Radioprotection et de Surete Nucleaire (IRSN) - Nuclear Safety Division, B.P. 17, 92262 Fontenay-aux-Roses Cedex (France))

REC Market Jumps, but Still a Long Way to Go


Power Engineering ELetter Update 12/27

COAL-GEN 2014 call for abstracts
The deadline to submit abstracts for COAL-GEN 2014 is just around the corner. You have until Jan. 3 to submit an abstract under three tracks (Emissions Control; New Plants: Design & Construction; and Plant Management & Operation). COAL-GEN is scheduled for Aug. 20-22 in Nashville, Tenn.
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Video Highlights

Top Stories
Duke Energy implodes H.F. Lee coal-fired power plant smokestacks
Duke Energy Progress' completed the first of two implosions at the retired H.F. Lee Steam Plant last week.
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NRC cites SCE for failing to check design of steam generators at San Onofre nuclear plant
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has cited Southern California Edison for failing to properly check the design of faulty replacement steam generators that disabled the San Onofre nuclear plant.
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SDG&E sued by Montana wind farm operator
NaturEner sued San Diego Gas & Electric for breaching contracts to invest in the Rim Rock wind farm.
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EIA: Most new residential solar PV projects in California program not owned by homeowners
More than two-thirds of residential installations in the California Solar Initiative program were third-party owned in 2012 and 2013.
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The Week's Most Read Articles
NV Energy merger with MidAmerican Energy completed
MidAmerican Energy Holdings closed its merger with NV Energy on Dec. 19 after receiving final approvals from state and federal authorities.
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Study: Coal plants can be part of a cleaner energy system
A new study shows that coal generation plants can be modified to fit within the new power sector and be a part of a cleaner energy system.
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Siemens receives $400M order for natural gas-fired power units
Siemens (NYSE: SI) received a $400 million order for two combined-cycle natural gas-fired units to be installed at an 829-MW power plant project in Pennsylvania.
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U.S. utilities see decrease in electricity sales
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released a report showing U.S. electricity sales, including retail sales and onsite use of power at utility-scale generators, have declined in the past four out of five years.
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Industry Trends
Henry Hub Average Natural Gas Spot Prices
The Henry Hub is the pricing point for natural gas futures contracts. Here's a look at how prices have changed up to December 18, 2013.
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Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas' Economic Indicators
The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas offers a glimpse into how the markets are doing domestically and internationally.
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White Papers
Top 6 places to look for energy losses in commercial buildings
Small, consistent changes can make a big difference in the profitability of any facility. Find problems fast, fix them, and win by realizing the cost savings.
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Vibration monitoring of pumps
This white paper discusses vibration monitoring of pumps including failure modes, what should be monitored, and data analysis.
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