Friday, September 26, 2014

Exelon touts nuclear to meet EPA Clean Power Plan

September 26, 2014 | By Barbara Vergetis Lundin for FierceEnergy
To meet proposed carbon emissions reduction targets, Illinois must preserve its existing nuclear energy facilities. That is according to Exelon Senior Vice President of Federal Regulatory Affairs and Wholesale Market Policy Kathleen Barrón speaking at a policy session convened by the Illinois Commerce Commission to solicit expert perspectives on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposed rule (Clean Power Plan) for reducing carbon emissions from existing power plants.
Economic pressures facing Illinois' nuclear energy facilities have put some of them at risk of early closure and retiring the three Illinois nuclear plants at greatest risk would set the state back substantially, jeopardizing its ability to meet emissions reduction targets, according to Barrón.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Decommissioning of San Onofre nuclear power plant to cost estimated $4.4 billion

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Decommissioning of the idled San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in northern San Diego County will cost an estimated $4.4 billion, according to a plan submitted Tuesday by majority owner Southern California Edison.

The plan was vetted in a series of public meetings. Another chance for the public to comment on the plan is scheduled for Monday at 4 p.m. at the San Juan Capistrano Community Center in that southern Orange County city.
The plan, summed up in three documents submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, envisions major decommissioning work to begin in early 2016. The documents include a decommissioning plan, a cost estimate and how to manage spent fuel.


Florida nuclear power plant auctioning $100M worth of equipment

By Adam Winer, ABC

No, you can't buy uranium...

A decommissioned nuclear facility in Citrus County is selling all of its surplus supplies.
Equipment like a Micro Vu Optical Comparator, Limitorque Nuclear Service Motor and Sulzer Bing Lower Bowl are among the millions in items going up for auction Wednesday morning.
Duke Energy says the supplies were worth a total of about $100 million when they were purchased, and company officials can only hope to make most of that back.

Monday, September 22, 2014

UK agrees deal with EU on new Hinkley Point nuclear power plant

By Alex Barker in Brussels - Financial Times

Britain has agreed terms with Brussels to secure approval for billions of pounds of public funding for Hinkley Point, the country’s first new nuclear power plant in a generation. 

While the conditions are not yet public, Europe’s competition chief is satisfied the revised deal meets EU rules on state support and will propose the project is approved before the end of this European Commission’s mandate in November.

The breakthrough is a big boost for the UK government’s contract with French utility EDF, which will provide a template for the next wave of state-backed nuclear plants across Europe. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Visualizing the Changing Landscape in Nuclear Power

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Regulators Affirm Quake Safety For Last Operating Nuclear Plant In California

LOS ANGELES ( — A top Nuclear Regulatory Commission official has rejected a federal expert’s recommendation to shut down California’s last operating nuclear power plant until it can determine whether its reactors can withstand powerful shaking from nearby earthquake faults.
KNX 1070’s Megan Goldsby reports in a decision released Wednesday, operations executive Mark Satorius said there is no immediate or significant safety concern at the Diablo Canyon plant near San Luis Obispo.
Michael Peck, who for five years was Diablo Canyon’s lead inspector, said in a confidential report disclosed last month by The Associated Press that no one knows whether the plant’s equipment can withstand strong shaking from those faults.

Peck had requested the NRC study be done after the Shoreline fault was discovered in 2008. While there are five seismic faults close to the plant, both studies say they don’t pose a threat to Diablo Canyon, according NRC spokesperson Lara Uselding.

“The NRC’s position is that Diablo Canyon Power Plant is safe to operate and would be able to withstand the worst case earthquake possible on the Hosgri fault,” said Uselding. Blair Jones — a spokesman for plant owner Pacific Gas and Electric Co. — says in a statement the NRC decision reaffirms that the plant “has been and continues to be seismically safe.”


Hope Creek nuclear reactor in Lower Alloways Creek returns to service after safety valve repair

By Bill Gallo Jr. | South Jersey Times Today's Sunbeam
Posted September 11, 2014 at 11:05 AM
LOWER ALLOWAYS CREEK TWP. — The Hope Creek nuclear reactor has returned to service after being shut down for repairs to a key safety relief valve, officials said.

The plant began sending out electricity over the regional power grid at 12:26 a.m. Thursday, according to Joe Delmar, spokesman for the plant's operator, PSEG Nuclear.  "The maintenance outage was well executed and we were able to make the repairs we needed to ensure the continued safe operation of Hope Creek," Delmar said.

The reactor was taken offline Friday evening for the work after it was discovered a valve was not operating as designed. The relief valve's function is to protect the reactor from overpressure in the event of a trip — a sudden shutdown. It would release steam to relieve pressure within the reactor. In the plant there are 14 of these valves.


Friday, September 5, 2014

NRC issues mid-cycle assessments for US nuclear power stations

Source: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued mid-cycle assessment letters to the nation’s 100 operating commercial nuclear power plants regarding their performance through the first half of 2014. The mid-cycle assessment period concluded June 30, with 90 plants in the two highest performance categories.

“These assessment letters are the result of a systematic NRC review of performance indicators and inspection findings at each domestic power reactor facility,” said Scott Morris, director of the Division of Inspection and Regional Support in the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. “In addition to ensuring that the nation’s nuclear power plants are safe by inspecting them and rating their performance regularly, our goal in issuing these letters is to ensure all our stakeholders clearly understand the basis for our assessments of plant performance and the actions we are taking to address any identified performance deficiencies.”


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Energy secretary pushes for nuclear power

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho • U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz championed the use of nuclear power and urged politicians and leaders in the energy industry to adapt and modernize energy production to help minimize the fallout from global warming.

Moniz stopped to speak in Idaho Falls on Wednesday at the inaugural Intermountain Energy Summit as part of his weeklong tour throughout the West. Idaho's Republican congressmen Jim Risch, Mike Crapo and Mike Simpson also spoke during the conference.

"The predictions of a world where we do nothing predict unhealthy outcomes for our forests," Moniz said. "Working hard on it means innovating energy technology. And I want to emphasize, the goal of energy is very simple, keep the costs down. As we have seen, that will make the policy making easier."


Want to fight climate change? Build more nuclear power.

Aging plants and competition from cheaper alternatives threaten the future of US nuclear power, the country's largest source of carbon-free electricity. Even with renewable energy, it will be exceedingly difficult to meet US climate change targets if much of American nuclear goes offline, Cunningham writes.

The floundering U.S. nuclear industry just got a bit of good news: Utah is considering building two new nuclear reactors.

Blue Castle Holdings Inc. has signed a memorandum of understanding with Westinghouse that could eventually lead to the construction of two AP1000 nuclear reactors. The two reactors have an estimated cost of $10 billion and an estimated operational date of 2024.

If constructed, Blue Castle says the reactors will increase Utah’s electricity generation capacity by 50 percent, which would replace the power lost with the retirement of a few coal plants in the state.



Saudis Announce Plan to Build 1st Nuclear Reactor

Energy officials in Saudi Arabia announced Tuesday that they are embarking on a plan to build a nuclear reactor “for peaceful purposes,” Israel’s NRG News reported, quoting the London-based “Al-Hayat” Arabic-language daily.

Senior sources in the Muslim kingdom told the newspaper that construction of the reactor is expected to begin before the end of the calendar year.

“Construction of the first Saudi nuclear reactor will take ten years, according to the plan, although we hope that we can complete the task in less time,” the newspaper said, quoting Saudi sources.
The kingdom’s ultimate goal, the report stated, is to establish four nuclear reactors throughout the country.

Meanwhile, nuclear industry monitor, the World Nuclear Association (WNA) said, in a report released in May, that the kingdom’s goal is, in fact, 16 nuclear power reactors, “to be built over the next 20 years at a cost of more than $80 billion, with the first reactor on line in 2022.”

The Saudis hope to reach “17 GWe of nuclear capacity by 2032,” which would supply 15 percent of their projected needs by then.

Read More....

Above-Average Growth Reported for Nuclear, Renewables in 2013

POWER Magazine | Sonal Patel

Despite stagnant economic growth globally, primary energy consumption surged in 2013, with growth for nuclear power and renewables in power generation expanding at above-average rates, BP said in its recently released Statistical Review of World Energy 2014.

According to the report, world power generation grew 2.5% in 2013, slightly up over 2012 (which saw 2.2% growth over 2011) but below the 10-year trend (3.3%). And while electricity generation fell for the third year in a row in member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), it surged 4.8% in non-OECD countries. China, followed by the U.S., was the world’s largest power generator. Meanwhile, India overtook Japan to take third place.