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Fennovoima applies for VVER reactor
Fennovoima has asked for permission from the Finnish government to construct a Russian AES-2006 nuclear plant at its Hanhikivi site, near Pyhäjoki.The company, which was formed in 2007 by the Voimaosakeyhtiö group of Finnish industrial and energy companies, was awarded a decision-in-principle in 2010 to construct a new nuclear plant of 1500-2500 MWe capacity. At the time, Fennovoima had been considering Areva's EPR and SWR-1000 along with Toshiba's ABWR as possible reactor designs. Now that it has decided to construct Rosatom's AES-2006 plant, which uses a 1200 MWe-class reactor, Fennovoima has had to submit an application to amend the 2010 decision-in-principle to include the smaller overall plant capacity and different design.Fennovoima's submission of supplementary information follows a recent ruling by the country's Chancellor of Justice that the original 2010 decision-in-principle remains valid despite the changes to the project. Finland's Green League - a member of the six-part

Decommissioning Fukushima: not a task to take on alone?
Précis:  While reports coming out of the IAEA signal Japan has made good progress in remediating the area around the damaged Fukushima plant, some in the industry believe the decommissioning task is not a job for a single nation. By Elisabeth Jeffries Additional reporting by K. Steiner-Dicks Japan has made good progress in remediating the area around the damaged Fukushima plant, as well as planning the decommissioning process, according to two new reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). However, some believe the views made so far are too narrow given the huge decommissioning task that Japan, as a single nation, should understandably not take on its own. Image:  Primary Event:  5th Annual Nuclear Decommissioning Conference Premium`: 

Popular Mechanics Calls Joe Mangano's Research, "Junk Science"
For years, we've been telling you about freelance anti-nuclear activist Joe Mangano and how he leverages flawed research to stoke fears about nuclear energy. Now, another serious science writer has taken a closer look at Mangano's studies and says it's part of a larger trend of agenda-driven science being peddled to the press.On newsstands now is the April 2014 issue of Popular Mechanics. There you'll find a feature (yet to be published online) titled, "Junk Science." In it, Science Editor Sarah Fecht investigates a claim that Mangano and Janette Sherman made in 2012 that 14,000 American deaths could be linked to fallout from Fukushima Daiichi.Interviewed for the piece is Dr. Robert Emery of the University of Texas at Houston:"I read the thing and was taken aback," says Emery, who has a doctorate in public health and is a licensed health physicist. The study implied fallout from Fukushima caused 484 deaths in Houston. If there had been radiation-related deaths in Texas,

Thorium: The Artisanal Nuclear Energy
While reading an article touting the benefits of thorium as a fuel for nuclear reactors, author Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry veered into this paragraph: Within the energy analysis community, nuclear advocates are one hipster subset. But as always when we're talking about hipsters, there's a subset within the subset. And these energy hipsters are pushing a nuclear technology that has all the advantages of traditional nuclear and none of the drawbacks. Its name is thorium. So does this mean that thorium powers artisanal nuclear energy? Must the operators (men and women) grow elaborate beards? Gobry zooms away for this idea about as fast as he had it, but we find the idea of thorium fans as a hipper-than-thou cohort of already hip nuclear energy advocates weirdly appealing as well as weird. --- But not necessarily without serious support, though from the least hip group imaginable: China is developing a new design of nuclear power plant in an attempt to reduce its reliance on

Smolensk II site unveiled to visitors
Senior Russian nuclear power plant engineers and journalists have visited a site near the village of Pyatidvorka Roslaviskoye that has been earmarked for the second Smolensk nuclear power plant.Three potential sites have been under consideration for Smolensk II, but engineering surveys have shown Pyatidvorka to be the preferred option, Smolensk NPP chief engineer Alexander Vassiliev told journalists. The site is 6km from the existing three-unit Smolensk I nuclear power plant. Vassiliev said that "preparations" for construction had already begun.Smolensk II will be home to four VVER units under a regional planning scheme approved by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in November 2013. Licensing activities are already under way, and first concrete is planned for unit 1 in 2017, with the unit becoming operational in 2022. The second Smolensk II unit is expected to start operation in 2024.Smolensk I's three RBMK reactors should remain in operation until the new plant starts to come online unde

Why Should You Consider a Career in Nuclear Energy?
Scott PetersonThe following is a guest post by Scott Peterson, NEI's Senior Vice President of Communications.The red clay landscape of rural Georgia may seem like an unlikely setting for technological innovation in the nuclear energy industry. The expansion of Plant Vogtle is the largest construction project in the state’s history. The project is midway through building two state-of-the-art reactors that will power 500,000 homes and businesses. Nearby, Mark Verbeck, a Navy veteran and second-generation industry leader, is training the men and women who will operate the massive electricity-producing machines. “I’m one of 5,000 workers building the future of nuclear energy,” says Verbeck. “Nuclear plant construction is creating jobs and growing local economies around the world.”As Georgia Power’s manager for reactor operators training at full-scale, digital simulators, Verbeck oversees the development of a next generation workforce in the nuclear industry. New employ

Rostov 3 primary circuit tests
Water tightness tests of the reactor vessel and main circulation system are underway at unit 3 of Russia's Rostov nuclear power plant. The unit is scheduled to start operating later this year.Demineralized water is being pumped into the unit's reactor vessel, Russia's state nuclear corporation Rosatom reported. The reactor vessel head is not yet in place, so the tests are not being carried out at normal operating temperatures and pressures.The tests will, however, verify that the joints between the 320-tonne vessel and attached pipelines are watertight and provide an opportunity to test the cooling system. These tests are expected to take almost four weeks to complete, after which final assembly of the reactor will be completed and further pre-operational tests conducted.Chief engineer at the Rostov plant Alexei Zhukov said, "The next stage will be testing the water tightness of the piping systems of four accumulators for the emergency cooling system, then then safety system pipes and

A Pilgrims Progress Away from Nuclear Misinformation
A bunch of Massachusetts papers are buzzing with this news: Residents who live in Plymouth or other towns near the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station run an increased risk of developing cancer, according to an epidemiologist called as an expert witness for the defense Wednesday during the trespassing trial of 12 Cape activists in Plymouth District Court. Richard Clapp, a retired professor from the Boston University School of Public Health, said the continued operation of the Plymouth plant was "a risk and an unacceptable risk in my view." Dr. Clapp is certainly a respectable figure, but he does not like nuclear energy even a little. Interestingly, in an editorial he wrote against including nuclear in a climate change bill back in 2008, he included a laundry list of objections – cost, risk, threats, etc – with only a bit devoted to health issues as he saw them. Health: The nuclear fuel cycle exposes workers and communities to radiation from mining, milling, fuel fabrication,

Spent fuel management: are you prepared for the long haul?
Précis:  Spent fuel management is becoming a higher priority for many plant operators now that pools are reaching full capacity. Nuclear Energy Insider takes a closer look at how this dynamic is impacting the profitability and long-term O&M responsibilities of today's nuclear power plants. One of the most critical parts within the early stages of any nuclear decommissioning project is preparing for the removal of spent fuel, which contains significant amounts of fissile material as well as highly radioactive fission products, says Adrian Bull, Director of External Relations, National Nuclear Laboratory. Image:  Primary Event:  5th Annual Nuclear Decommissioning Conference Premium`:  No Image Caption: 

UK industry eyes global decommissioning glut
Précis:  Could the UK export its know-how as market conditions in Germany, Japan and the USA add to the significant decommissioning task facing the nuclear industry worldwide? The UK seems poised to lead a growing globalisation of nuclear decommissioning as an increasing number of plants shut down over the next 15 years. Last October, the British government and private sectors backed a GBP£1m support package to help decommissioning supply chain players compete for work in the global nuclear market. Image:  Primary Event:  5th Annual Nuclear Decommissioning Conference Premium`:  No Image Caption:  Ron Gorham, NDA Head of Supply Chain Optimisation and SME Champion, c

SMR Supply Chain: keeping skills and costs on track
Précis:  We take a snapshot of the current preparedness of the SMR supply chain and learn of the messages already resonating among SMR developers; one is to build products which can compete with other energy sources, namely natural gas; and another is to keep on top of all regulatory requirements. It is not hard to see why interest in the development of small and medium sized reactors (SMRs) is growing across the globe. The obvious perceived benefits include increased security, advanced waste management, utilisation of resources, economic viability, and flexibility in design and fuel cycle options. Image:  Primary Event:  4th Annual Small Modular Reactor Conference Premium`:  No Image Caption: 

Russia, India discuss agreement on second phase of Kudankulam NPP
Russia and India are engaged in consultations on the text of the feasibility study agreement for the construction of a third and fourth units at the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in India’s southern Tamil Nadu state, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said. “Consultations are underway. We think that the atmosphere at the consultations is improving, and we hope for a positive solution,” he said on Wednesday, February 26.Russia believes that “the present government of India is able to fully implement the roadmap that calls for building up to 14-16 units at nuclear power plants using Russian designs. These include the Kudankulam NPP and one other site to be coordinated by the central and regional Indian authorities,” Rogozin, who is the co-chair of the Russian-Indian Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Science, Technical and Cultural Cooperation, said.He stressed that “as far as phase 2 [units 3 and 4] is concerned, Russia proceeds from the confident p

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