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A Billion Miles Under Nuclear Energy (Updated)
And the winner is…Cassini-Huygens, in triple overtime.The spaceship conceived in 1982 and launched fifteen years later, will crash into Saturn on September 15, after a mission of 19 years and 355 days, powered by the audacity and technical prowess of scientists and engineers from 17 different countries, and 72 pounds of plutonium.The mission was so successful that it was extended three times; it was intended to last only until 2008.Since April, the ship has been continuing to orbit Saturn, swinging through the 1,500-mile gap between the planet and its rings, an area not previously explored. This is a good maneuver for a spaceship nearing the end of its mission, since colliding with a rock could end things early.Cassini will dive a little deeper and plunge toward Saturn’s surface, where it will transmit data until it burns up in the planet’s atmosphere. The radio signal will arrive here early Friday morning, Eastern time. A NASA video explains.In the years since Cassini has launch

Sneak Peek
There's an invisible force powering and propelling our way of life.It's all around us. You can't feel it. Smell it. Or taste it.But it's there all the same. And if you look close enough, you can see all the amazing and wondrous things it does.It not only powers our cities and towns.And all the high-tech things we love.It gives us the power to invent.To explore.To discover.To create advanced technologies.This invisible force creates jobs out of thin air.It adds billions to our economy.It's on even when we're not.And stays on no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.This invisible force takes us to the outer reaches of outer space.And to the very depths of our oceans.It brings us together. And it makes us better.And most importantly, it has the power to do all this in our lifetime while barely leaving a trace.Some people might say it's kind of unbelievable.They wonder, what is this new power that does all these extraordinary things?

Automation, cutting upgrades set to slash reactor removal costs
Rising decommissioning activity has prompted the development of new technologies and business models which shorten project durations and control costs. Last year, the U.S. Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) launched a research project to evaluate advanced techniques for segmentation of reactor internals in a bid to improve efficiency and safety.Related Content: Areva eyes five-year decommissioning timelines under faster modelKewaunee uses tech, licensing know-how to achieve fastest reactor defuelEntergy decommissioning team executes proactive labor strategy ahead of US closure surgeGerman utility warns of ‘short’ decommissioning services market from 2020Image: Image Caption: Research groups are integrating robotics advancements with more efficient cutting technologies to reduce decommissioning costs. (Image credit: Kunrun)Channels: Waste ManagementDecommisioning

UK eyes state-owned decom company; US accelerates nuclear support, injects into Vogtle
UK government set to end outsourcing of decommissioning projects The UK government is likely to bring back "in-house" the decommissioning of the first generation of UK reactors after errors in the contractor procurement process raised the cost to UK citizens, the Financial Times reported October 15.Related Content: New decommissioning reports tackle cost estimation challengeGerman utility warns of ‘short’ decommissioning services market from 2020UK 6-billion-pound decom tender cuts spending via unrealistic schedule Image: Image Caption: The UK government is looking to overhaul decommissioning management following scope and schedule overruns. (Image credit: Pesian1801).Channels: New BuildOperations & MaintenanceDecommisioning

Conflicting Government Rules Are Damaging the Power Grid
One of the strengths of the electric system is its diversity, with energy flowing from generators that use a variety of fuels. But conflicting government policies and poorly constructed markets are reducing that diversity, and the result will be electricity that is more expensive, more prone to price spikes, and less reliable, according to a new study. The problem may not be immediately evident to consumers, for whom the light switch on the wall is like a water faucet connected to a vast system of reservoirs and feeder streams. As long as the water comes out, the user doesn’t really care where each drop came from. The consumer is well served by the diversity of supply, even if the diversity isn’t obvious. The same is true for electric current.But the power grid is changing, according to a report issued Tuesday by the economic analysis firm IHS Markit, Ensuring Resilient and Efficient Electricity Generation: The Value of the Current Diverse U.S. Power Supply Portfolio, which lays ou

California utilities seek fast reactor dismantling, regulation to control costs
Californian nuclear operators are prioritizing swift fuel transfer and focusing resources on the regulatory and cost estimation challenges for upcoming decommissioning projects, project directors at SCE and PG&E, told the Nuclear Decommissioning and Used Fuel Strategy Summit on October 2.

Hurricane Harvey Couldn't Stop the South Texas Project
The South Texas ProjectAs Hurricane Harvey battered southeast Texas over the past week, the devastation and loss of life in its wake have kept our attention and been a cause of grief.Through the tragedy, many stories of heroics and sacrifice have emerged. Among those who have sacrificed are nearly 250 workers who have been hunkered down at the South Texas Project (STP) nuclear plant in Matagorda County, Texas.STP’s priorities were always the safety of their employees and the communities they serve. We are proud that STP continued to operate at full power throughout the storm. It is a true testament to the reliability and resiliency of not only the operators but of our industry. The world is starting to notice what a feat it is to have maintained operations through the catastrophic event. Forbes’ Rod Adams did an excellent job describing the contribution of these men and women:“STP storm crew members deserve to be proud of the work that they are doing. Their families should take c

Areva eyes five-year decommissioning timelines under faster model
As low wholesale prices continue to impact the competitiveness of nuclear power plants and accelerate closure plans, new ownership models are being introduced to raise the efficiency of decommissioning practices. Around 15 U.S. nuclear reactors are reportedly at risk of closure in the absence of regulated price support and operators have been urged to decommission closed units as fast as possible to minimize costs and avoid unforeseen risks.Related Content: Kewaunee uses tech, licensing know-how to achieve fastest reactor defuelEntergy decommissioning team executes proactive labor strategy ahead of US closure surgeGerman utility warns of ‘short’ decommissioning services market from 2020New reactor ownership models set to cut decommissioning costsCalifornia's $4 billion SONGS project set to test decom efficiency gainsImage: Image Caption: Faster fuel transfer and reactor segmentation is set to cut decommissioning costs. (Image credit: Areva/ E.ON)Channels: Decom

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