Friday, January 30, 2015

Nuclear Power Needs to Double to Curb Global Warming

Experts suggest that without nuclear power the world has little chance of restraining global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius

By Bobby Magill and Climate Central

Since the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in Japan chilled global attitudes toward nuclear power, the world has been slowly reconciling its discomfort with nuclear and the idea that it may have a role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions to tackle climate change.

The International Energy Agency and the Nuclear Energy Agency suggest in a report released Thursday that nuclear will have such a significant role to play in climate strategy that nuclear power generation capacity will have to double by 2050 in order for the world to meet the international 2°C (3.6°F) warming goal.

With fossil fuels growing as sources of electricity across the globe, the IEA sees nuclear power as a stable source of low-carbon power helping to take polluting coal-fired plants offline.


Monday, January 26, 2015

U.S., India reach agreement on nuclear power

- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 25, 2015 

President Obama announced a tentative agreement in New Delhi Sunday with India’s prime minister to open the country to U.S. firms investing in commercial nuclear power, a step that the two leaders said underscores improved bilateral relations.

The president and Prime Minister Narendra Modi said they reached an “understanding” on liability of U.S. companies in the event of a nuclear accident, and on U.S. insistence of tracking nuclear materials — issues that had prevented American companies from building reactors in India since an initial breakthrough agreement in 2006.

Read More....

Friday, January 23, 2015

US Nuclear Power Plants Posted Record High Efficiency in 2014

Average Capacity Factor of 91.9 Percent Surpasses Prior Record Set in 2007


WASHINGTON, DC, Jan. 22, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- U.S. nuclear energy facilities generated electricity at a record high level of efficiency in 2014, again demonstrating nuclear energy's value to the reliability and stability of the electric grid and to the nation's economy.

One hundred nuclear power plants operating in 31 states posted an estimated average capacity factor of 91.9 percent, based on preliminary 2014 data compiled by the Nuclear Energy Institute. That surpasses the industry's prior record set in 2007 by one-tenth of a percentage point. Capacity factor measures total electricity generated as a percentage of year-round potential generation.

 Actual electricity production from nuclear energy facilities last year was the sixth-highest ever, at an estimated 798.4 billion kilowatt-hours (kwh). The industry's record high electricity generation came in 2010, when the 104 reactors then operating produced 806.9 billion kwh of electricity while posting an industry average capacity factor of 90.9 percent.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

FirstEnergy Invested $690 Million in 2014 in the Ohio Edison Service Area to Enhance Electric System

Company Completed Infrastructure and Reliability Projects to Help Reduce Outages and Handle Future Growth 


AKRON, Ohio, Jan. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of its ongoing efforts to improve its electric system, FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) invested approximately $690 million in 2014 in the Ohio Edison service area on reliability infrastructure projects and other transmission- and distribution-related work, including building new transmission lines, new substations, and installing remote-control equipment to help reduce the number and duration of power outages.

More than $581 million of the total was spent on transmission-related projects owned by American Transmission Systems, Incorporated, a FirstEnergy transmission company. 

"We expect the results will show that in 2014 Ohio Edison performed better than the service reliability standards established by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, which we largely attribute to the work we have done to make our system more robust," said Randall A. Frame, regional president, Ohio Edison.  "The infrastructure projects we completed in 2014, and in previous years, are making a difference when it comes to reducing the number of outages our customers might experience."


Report: Power plants, gas companies still feeling each other out

By Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst, GenerationHub 

Power generators and the businesses that provide them natural gas are still figuring each other out, and a new white paper concludes that if differences between the two sectors aren’t harmonized problems could arise, according to GenerationHub.

Authored by the Illinois Institute of Technology, the Long-Term Electric and Natural Gas Infrastructure Requirements White Paper offers a series of recommendations aimed at harmonizing electricity and natural gas markets. The report also seeks to raise awareness within the industry and regulatory community about potential challenges.


Monday, January 12, 2015

Exelon Statement on Illinois Nuclear Power Plant Report

CHICAGO, Jan 12, 2015 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Exelon today issued the following statement on the State of Illinois report on potential nuclear power plant closings prepared in response to House Resolution 1146:

We thank the state for its attention and work on such an important issue for Illinois and the future of the state’s energy assets. The report confirms that the state’s six nuclear power plants provide substantial economic and environmental benefits to Illinois residents and businesses. It also highlights the negative impacts closing one or more of the state’s nuclear facilities prematurely would have on Illinois’ economy, energy prices and carbon emissions, and concerns it would raise about the reliability of the electric grid. The report makes clear that the future of Illinois’ nuclear power plants should be an issue of statewide concern.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

TVA Asks Customers to Conserve in Light of Peak Power Demand

The Tennessee Valley Authority is asking for a voluntary reduction in electricity use until Friday
afternoon as a result of frigid temperatures causing high demand across the Southeast.

The request extends to all electric power consumers- residential, commercial and industrial customers.  The voluntary reduction will help ensure a continued supply of power to essential services throughout TVA's seven-state service territory and avoid interruptions of service.

All of TVA's available generating resources are being used to meet the peak power demand. TVA's bulk electric system remains secure and stable at this time.

'When it's below freezing, each time the temperature drops one degree another 400 megawatts of electricity is needed for our system,' said Jacinda Woodward, senior vice president of TVA Transmission and Power Supply.

'Setting your thermostat 2-3 degrees below normal this evening and Thursday morning can really help TVA manage the high power demand during this challenging time.'

A peak power demand is expected to happen Wednesday evening as regional temperatures are forecast to drop into single digits causing electricity demand to exceed 31,000 megawatts.

TVA says another peak demand will happen again Thursday morning with electric loads peaking around 32,400 megawatts.


Nuclear Power Turns To Salt

By Forbes (James Conca) - Today, the United States Department of Energy announced that its Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee is partnering with Canadian nuclear company Terrestrial Energy Inc. (TEI) to assist with TEI’s new Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR). The engineering blueprint stage for this GenIV reactor should be reached in two years. The reactor should come online in less than ten.

Think of it: a nuclear reactor that
  • is cheaper than coal
  • creates much less waste and few long-lived radioactive elements
  • uses almost all of the fuel which lasts 7 years between replacement, and can be recycled easily
  • is modular, from 80 MWt to 600 MWt, able to be combined and adapted to individual needs for both on and off-grid heat and power
  • is small enough to allow fast and easy construction, and trucking to the site
  • operates at normal pressures, removing those safety issues, and at higher temperatures making it more energetically efficient
  • has the type of passive safety systems that make it walk-away safe
  • does not need external water for cooling
  • can load-follow rapidly to buffer the intermittency of renewables
  • cannot be repurposed for military use and has strong proliferation resistance
  • can last for many decades
  • uses a liquid fuel
 Now that is different!


Monday, January 5, 2015

Nuclear power needed to tackle climate change, say leading scientists

Monday, January 5th, 2015 By Charlotte Malone

Top conservation scientists have stated that in order to tackle climate change and protect the natural environment nuclear power must be considered. They warn that relying solely on renewables to replace fossil fuels is “risky”.
Nuclear - Paul J Everett via Flickr
In an open letter over 70 scientists call on environmentalist and campaign groups to stop focusing on “idealistic perceptions of what is ‘green’” and instead look at the benefits of nuclear power generation.

Signatories state they support the broad conclusions of an article published in the journal Conservation Biology. The research states that the full range of electricity-generation sources, including nuclear power, must be deployed to replace the burning of fossil fuels if the world is to have a chance of mitigating severe climate change.

The scientists argue that renewables alone cannot provide a solution. This view has also been taken by two Google engineers who recently argued that today’s renewable technologies alone couldn’t cut greenhouse gas emissions enough to halt climate change.