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Kewaunee uses tech, licensing know-how to achieve fastest reactor defuel
On June 15, NAC completed the transfer of 887 fuel assemblies from pool to pad in 23 weeks at the 556 MW PWR Kewaunee Power Station (KPS) in Wisconsin. Kewaunee was shut down on May 7, 2013 after the plant became uneconomical due to falling wholesale prices. In December of that year, NAC was awarded the turnkey contract for site engineering, Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) expansion, storage system, pool-to-pad equipment and loading services.Related Content: Entergy decommissioning team executes proactive labor strategy ahead of US closure surgeNew reactor ownership models set to cut decommissioning costsCalifornia's $4 billion SONGS project set to test decom efficiency gainsOperators told to plan shutdowns three years ahead, focus on laborImage: Image Caption: NAC International transferred 887 fuel assemblies to storage pad in 23 weeks through a turnkey contract. (Image credit: NAC International).Channels: Waste ManagementDecommisioning

US Senator demands details of nuclear plant cyber attacks; UK Hinkley build cost rises 8%
US Senator demands details of cyber attacks on nuclear reactors Senator Edward Markey has called for U.S. federal government departments to reveal how many nuclear power plants have been impacted by cyber attacks and demonstrate sufficient cyber security measures are in place, following media reports of security breaches.Related Content: Nuclear cloud computing growth to challenge cyber security toolsSocial engineering seen as rising cyber threat to nuclear industryIndustrial internet turns Big Data boom into operator profitsImage: Image Caption: The cyber attacks appear to be limited to administrative and business networks, government investigators reportedly said. (Image credit: 400tmax).Channels: New BuildOperations & MaintenanceSupply Chain

Why Nuclear Plant Closures Are a Crisis for Small Town USA
Nuclear plants occupy an unusual spot in the towns where they operate: integral but so much in the background that they may seem almost invisible. But when they close, it can be like the earth shifting underfoot.Lohud.com, the Gannett newspaper that covers the Lower Hudson Valley in New York, took a look around at the experience of towns where reactors have closed, because the Indian Point reactors in Buchanan are scheduled to be shut down under an agreement with Gov. Mario Cuomo.Patty O’Donnell, chairwoman of the Vernon, Vermont, select board, had to drastically cut the town’s budget in the wake of the closure of Vermont Yankee. Photo courtesy of LoHud.com.From sea to shining sea, it was dismal. It wasn’t just the plant employees who were hurt. The losses of hundreds of jobs, tens of millions of dollars in payrolls and millions in property taxes depressed whole towns and surrounding areas. For example:Vernon, Vermont, home to Vermont Yankee for more than 40 years, had to cut its

New decommissioning reports tackle cost estimation challenge
Nuclear decommissioning activity is set to hike in Europe and the U.S. in the coming years as ageing fleets and regulatory shifts combine with stubbornly-low wholesale power prices. Operators and stakeholders are requiring an increasing level of detail of cost estimates and greater transparency over calculations and procedures. Operators build up nuclear decommissioning funds based on estimated costs but very few decommissioning projects have been completed thus far and estimates vary widely between countries and corporations.Related Content: New reactor ownership models set to cut decommissioning costsFrance's lower-cost decommissioning plan rests on Chooz A reactor learningsCalifornia's $4 billion SONGS project set to test decom efficiency gainsUS utility’s deferred reactor clean-up shows cost pressure on early closuresUS operators urged to decommission immediately to prevent cost hikesImage: Image Caption: Advanced decommissioning work at plants such as EnBW's Obri

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants
A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.Huh?The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean

NRC approves NuScale I&C security system; Holtec, SNC-Lavalin accelerate SMR-160 program
US NRC approves NuScale's modular plant protection platform The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has approved NuScale's Highly Integrated Protection System [HIPS] Platform for use in plant safety-related instrumentation and control (I&C) systems, NuScale said in a statement.Related Content: NRC finalizes advanced reactor action plan to optimize tight resourcesNuScale files US’ first SMR license application as suppliers await tenderOntario eyes Pan-Canadian SMR fleet to fill 2030s supply gapWestinghouse 3D printing trials reveal cost savings for all reactor typesImage: Image Caption: NuScale's HIPS security platform uses four module types which can be interconnected in multiple configurations to support a variety of safety systems. (Image credit: hywards)Channels: New BuildOperations & MaintenanceSmall Modular ReactorsSupply Chain

21 Experts Debunk a Radical Claim about Renewable Energy
Energy experts are at war over a radical assertion that by mid-century the United States will be able to meet all its energy needs with wind, solar and hydro power.The claim was made in 2015 by four academic researchers, led by Mark Z. Jacobson, for the continental United States, and it asserts that those renewables will replace not just the coal and natural gas used to make electricity, but also the gasoline and diesel that run cars and trucks, and the gas used in home heating. The paper is regularly cited by environmentalists who claim that the current fleet of U.S. nuclear reactors could close without any consequences to grid reliability.But last week, a group of prominent researchers, some from Stanford and UC-Berkeley, and others from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, Carnegie Mellon and other mainstream organizations, published a second paper that said that while they support the expanded use of renewables, Professor Jacobson et al. were dreaming.One of t

TMI Cancer Study: Radiation, Health and Questionable Claims
Researchers at the Penn State College of Medicine recently published a study claiming that analysis of thyroid tumors showed tissue differences, based on where the patient lived. People who lived near Three Mile Island at the time of the 1979 accident had tumors more likely to have come from radiation exposure than people who developed thyroid cancer while living elsewhere, according to the researchers.Science is advanced by experts who publish new findings, and readers who then evaluate the conclusions and how they fit into the existing body of knowledge. We welcome all contributions to knowledge. But scientific studies should be read with care, so their claims can be understood, and so we can determine how the findings fit with what was previously understood. And these findings don’t fit.Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating StationDespite what a reader might assume from a news headline, this paper does not assert that Three Mile Island is the cause of any cancers. It goes

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