Wednesday, January 20, 2016

FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company Names Marty Richey Site Vice President at Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Station

AKRON, Ohio, Jan. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/
Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Plant

FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company (FENOC), a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), has named Marty Richey site vice president at the Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Station in Shippingport, Pa.  In this position, he is responsible for overall management, direction and coordination of operations for the two-unit Beaver Valley plant.  He replaces Eric Larson, who will represent FENOC as a loaned executive to the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations in Atlanta, Ga.

"Marty brings to Beaver Valley a diverse background in all aspects of nuclear power operations, particularly outage and work management and performance improvement," said FENOC Chief Nuclear Officer Sam Belcher.  "His leadership and experience in the industry will benefit Beaver Valley as the site continues safe operation and pursuit of industry-leading operating performance." 

DOE To Invest In Small Nuclear Reactor Tech

By Michael McDonald - Tue, 19 January 2016 
While oil and natural gas prices may be very low today, in the medium- and long-term it’s likely that fossil fuels will be significantly more expensive. For that reason, it’s important that alternative energy sources continue to be developed. The Department of Energy appears to share that view as the government recently announced that it was selecting two companies, X-energy and Southern Company to work on advanced nuclear reactor designs.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

PG&E Seismic Safety Video at Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

UK And Canada Sign MOU For Advancing Nuclear Cooperation

This picture of a nuclear power plant was taken from a plane. The plant consists of 8 large dome-shaped reactor buildings and other structures.
Copyright © 2005 Ontario Power Generation Inc.
Nuclear Street News - The Natural Resources Canada, known as NRCan, and the British Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) have signed a memorandum of understanding that allows for greater cooperation in the field of nuclear energy.

The deal will build on the partnership between Candu Energy Inc. and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Canada, allowing further development of plutonium and uranium stockpiles in CANDU heavy water reactors, according to a statement.

The biggest winner in the deal is, apparently, Canada, based on the opportunities it will provide for Canadian companies. Britain is dealing with an aging nuclear power plant fleet that currently supplies the country with 18 percent of its electricity. However, all but one of the country’s nuclear power plants are expected to close by 2023.

Britain, meanwhile, has signaled that it expects to build 12 nuclear reactors by 2030 – at least enough to generate 16,000MW.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Moment of Truth Nears for Nuclear Waste Time Bomb

A worker looks through a thick glass window at part of the treatment of nuclear waste at the Areva Nuclear Plant of La Hague, near Cherbourg, western France, western France, April 22, 2015.  REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Waste treatment at the Areva Nuclear Plant, western France
Reuters: By Vera Eckert - More than half a century after the world's first commercial nuclear plant went into operation in the United States, the industry may finally be nearing a way to store radioactive waste underground permanently.

The world has 270,000 tonnes of used fuel stockpiled, much of it under water in ponds at nuclear power stations, adding to the urgency of finding a permanent storage solution for material that can remain toxic for hundreds of thousands of years.

Finland and Sweden hope to be the first countries in the world to be able to put the most dangerous high-level waste (HLW) into underground storage in the next decade, using a new technology to encase fuel rods and protect them from erosion.

At a conference in Vienna this week, the 164-nation International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) heard updates from the Finish and Swedish authorities on their model solution.


Nuclear to Play Significant Role in IEA’s Climate Strategy

WEO 2015 ClimateBy FORATOM: Posted in News-feeds - The International Energy Agency (IEA) published on 15 June 2015 a new study, World Energy Outlook Special Report on Energy and Climate Change, in which it outlines its strategy for the world to limit global warming to 2°C. The use of low-carbon energies including renewables and nuclear must sharply increase while oil and gas production must decrease for the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to peak by 2020.

The IEA defines four pillars, which are: to set the conditions for energy-related emissions to peak by 2020; to review national climate contributions regularly; to translate the national or regional climate goals into a collective long-term emissions goal; and to establish an effective process for tracking achievements in the energy sector. To do so, the IEA recommends a series of measures including increasing energy efficiency, reducing the use of inefficient coal-fired power plants, increasing investment in renewables, reducing methane emissions, and phasing out fossil fuels subsidies.


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

California's Mega-Drought: Nuclear Power To The Rescue

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant in San Luis Obispo County, California has had a seawater desalination plant for its entire existence, producing all of its fresh water needs from operations to cooling to irrigation to supplying drinking water to its employees. But it only uses about 40% of its capacity and is willing to use all of it to produce fresh water for the nearby community to help with the effects of the megadrought.
Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant
Forbes>Energy (James Conca) - The only power facility in California that does not use any of the state’s precious fresh water is the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant near San Luis Obispo. And it can even produce additional freshwater for the nearby community.

The nuclear plant desalinates ocean water using reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration. The nuclear plant depends on the desalination plant as its sole source of fresh water, used for the plant’s two nuclear reactors as well as all other water needs such as drinking water for its employees and irrigation of its grounds.

Although a relatively small plant, Diablo Canyon’s seawater desalination plant is presently the largest operating desal facility on the West Coast, producing about 675,000 gallons of freshwater a day.


Friday, May 29, 2015

NRC Prepares for TVA’s New Nuclear Power Plant

Watts Bar 2
Watts Bar 2
May 28, 2015—As the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar 2 project completes its transition from construction to operational readiness, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has granted its Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation the authority to issue a full-power operating license once it is satisfied that all regulatory requirements have been met.

TVA hailed the move toward the start-up later this year of the 1,150-megawatt reactor.

“The commission’s action was a critical regulatory step necessary to keep Watts Bar 2 on track to become the nation’s first new nuclear generation of the 21st century,” TVA Chief Nuclear Officer Joe Grimes said in a statement. “The delegation of this authority signifies confidence that NRC inspections show Watts Bar 2 is being built according to rigorous regulatory requirements and industry standards.”


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The case for nuclear power – despite the risks

The Conversation - Gary Was:  Nuclear power is likely the least well-understood energy source in the United States. Just 99 nuclear power plants spread over 30 states provide one-fifth of America’s electricity. These plants have provided reliable, affordable and clean energy for decades. They also carry risk - to the public, to the environment and to the financial solvency of utilities.

Risk is the product of the probability of an occurrence and its consequence. The probability of dying in a car accident is actually quite high compared to other daily events, but such accidents usually claim few individuals at a time, and so the risk is low. The reason nuclear energy attracts so much attention is that while the probability of a catastrophic event is extremely low, the consequence is often perceived to be extremely high.


Friday, May 15, 2015

China's Coming Nuclear Power Boom

Ramping up growth in the nuclear industry will be crucial to achieving China’s emissions goals.

Get ready for China’s nuclear industry to boom (no pun intended): The China Nuclear Energy Association (CNEA) predicts that eight new nuclear reactors will begin operation this year. If so, that will mark the largest single-year increase in nuclear power production in China’s history.

China is looking to more than double the number of nuclear power plants in operation — there are currently 23 operating, with 26 under construction. If all the projects are completed as planned, it would bring China’s nuclear energy capacity up to 49.9 gigawatts, compared to the current capacity of 21.4 gigawatts. Plus, CNEA expects an additional six to eight nuclear energy projects to be approved this year.

Zhang Huazhu, the chairman of CNEA, called 2015 “an important yet for China to resume its nuclear power program.” Like many countries, China slammed the brakes on nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster in Japan; the industry in China is just beginning to regain its footing. A rapid expansion of nuclear power is critical for weaning China off of coal and reaching emissions reduction targets, but safety concerns (and public fears) continue to plague the industry. In 2014, China didn’t approve a single new nuclear power project, and investment in the industry dropped by 6.6 percent, Zhang said, speaking an industry conference in Beijing.

Currently, nuclear energy accounts for less than 3 percent of China’s total power generation. “In the coming decade, China will maintain a rapid pace of nuclear power development so that it can reach the target of nuclear installations by 2020 and make better use of energy,” Zhang said.  China’s stated goal is to have 58 gigawatts in nuclear power capacity by 2020, but that goal may be difficult to reach given the slowdown in construction after 2011.