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NEI CEO Marv Fertel on the Closing of Palisades Power Plant
Marv FertelThe following statement is from NEI President and CEO Marv Fertel concerning the closing of Palisades Power Plant."Palisades has been churning out emissions-free electricity since the end of 1971. It provides 600 people with well-paid, year-round jobs, and it is the largest taxpayer in Van Buren County, in southwestern Michigan. It helps stabilize the grid, and provides a vital hedge against severe weather (like most of the U.S. is experiencing now) or other events with a potential to interrupt fuel supplies.""But the market does not value the plant for providing any of those benefits. Nuclear plants are operated by corporations, with an eye on the bottom line. What is not paid for does not endure. Governor Rick Snyder called it 'a major employer and economic engine for the region.' We hope that some other source of employment will follow on that spot, on the sand dunes of Lake Michigan, and that it will be as quiet, safe and clean."

Operators told to plan shutdowns three years ahead, focus on labor
Low wholesale prices have slashed nuclear operators’ profits and increased the need to optimize decommissioning costs. There are currently 18 nuclear power plants being decommissioned in the U.S. and this will soon increase following a recent spate of plant closure announcements. Many more plants are at risk of closure under current market conditions.Related Content: US utility’s deferred reactor clean-up shows cost pressure on early closuresUS operators urged to decommission immediately to prevent cost hikesUS reactor closures raise urgency of new decommissioning rulesGermany urged to remove nuclear decommissioning hurdles to speed closuresImage: Image Caption: Research shows proactive work during plant operations cuts the cost of transitioning to dismantling. (Image credit: TommL)Channels: Operations & MaintenanceDecommisioning

Diversity is Strength in Electricity
The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior director of policy analysis and strategic planning at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.It’s time, says the expert, to step back and take a look at the role of natural gas. Electricity demand shifts up or down in a heartbeat, or considerably faster. The hardware that supplies power generally changes slowly, because power plants and transmission lines take years to plan and build. Those two considerations are balanced by an expert organization called the North American Electric Reliability Corporation. NERC looks ahead a decade and projects whether the system will have enough “reserve margin.” That is, will it be able to produce as much power as consumers will demand.But this year NERC, as it is known, shifted gears. Yes, it raised questions about the adequacy of generating capacity in some regions in the next decade, but it also took notice of a different problem: a huge fraction of that generating capacity uses a singl

Why Quality Assurance Programs Verify Safety of Components at U.S. Nuclear Power Plants
Pam CowanThe following is a guest post by Pam Cowan, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at the Nuclear Energy Institute.Earlier today, the Wall Street Journal published a story concerning manufacturing records and forgings at AREVA’s Le Creusot forge in France. A very limited number of U.S. facilities are using components forged at Le Creusot.After an investigation by AREVA in coordination with the affected plants, it was determined that the components were safe and met required quality standards. Additionally, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to date has not identified any safety significance at U.S. plants, stating, “examination of the evidence, to this point, fails to raise a safety concern.” Here's more from AREVA:Significant progress has been made on both investigations, including the identification of components that may have been affected in the United States, and the review and verification of the quality and safety of those components.AREVA contacted the U.S.

What the Trump Administration Could Do to Help the Nuclear Energy Industry
Maria KorsnickThe Nuclear Energy Institute’s chief operating officer, Maria Korsnick, made the following statement in response to a Bloomberg News report today that President-elect Donald Trump’s advisers “are looking at ways in which the U.S. government could help nuclear power generators being forced out of the electricity market.”“Americans will benefit immensely from the incoming administration’s focus on existing nuclear generating plants as part of maintaining and improving our nation’s critical infrastructure. Federal and state leaders must act urgently to preserve at-risk nuclear energy facilities, just like lawmakers and agency officials in Illinois and New York have done, to help achieve a stronger economy, cleaner air and enhanced energy diversity and security. Thanks to the actions taken recently in Illinois and New York, thousands of jobs have been saved and consumers will be spared the cost of replacing the carbon-free electricity generation reliably provide

3D printers could slash SMR lead times from years to months
The UK government launched in March a competition to find the best value SMR design and has pledged to spend 250 million pounds ($311.2 million) on nuclear R&D projects between 2015 and 2020, including 30 million pounds on an SMR advanced manufacturing program.Related Content: Westinghouse targets first SMR within a decade using '100% modularity'Rolls-Royce plans UK funding surge upon SMR design approvalSMR developers shrug off Brexit fears to deepen ties with UK suppliersNuclear engineers apply 3D printing to cut cost of parts replacement Image: Image Caption: New research is revealing the advantages of additive manufacturing. (Image credit: Nuclear AMRC)Channels: New BuildSmall Modular ReactorsSupply Chain

Canadian plant offtake contract spurs cost-cutting digitization projects
Bruce Power’s eight Canada deuterium uranium (Candu) reactors have a total capacity of 6.3 GW and supply more than 30% of Ontario's electricity from a site situated north-west of Toronto. In December 2015, Bruce Power signed an amended long-term nuclear Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) agreement with Ontario's Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) at a price of CA$65.73/MWh (US$48.5/MWh), up slightly from the previous contract price of CA$64.90/MWh.Related Content: US utilities must commit to digitization to cut operating costs by 30%Industrial internet turns Big Data boom into operator profitsNew York carbon credits keep FitzPatrick online; Utah selects site for first SMRCalifornian plant to close on renewables growth; EDF backs Hinkley C despite BrexitImage: Image Caption: Bruce Power's offtake contract with the Ontario grid operator will support a suite of investments designed to improve competitiveness.Channels: Operations & Maintenance

South Africa delays nuclear build; US Justice Department blocks waste merger
South Africa nuclear build delayed to 2030s South Africa has delayed plans to build new nuclear plants to the 2030's, according to updated Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) documents published by the energy ministry on November 22. The government now predicts 1.4 GW of new nuclear capacity will come online in 2037, followed by a further 1.4 GW in 2039 and a further 4.1 GW in 2041, in its base-case new build scenario.Related Content: South Africa analyzes new build bids as global markets biteUS operator contracts out decom work to speed progress, prioritize consumersUS waste facility developer acts on local impact queries to avoid delaysImage: Image Caption: South Africa remains heavily dependent on coal-fired power generation. (Image credit: Genija)Channels: Waste ManagementNew BuildSmall Modular ReactorsDecommisioning

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