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Nuclear Fills in Big Blind Spot as the U.N. Gathers
Former EPA Administrator and New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman weighs in on climate change in the Boston Globe, but also tilts the discussion toward local concerns: During the polar vortex event, nuclear energy facilities around the country helped to save the day in the face of extreme weather. Because uranium fuel is plentiful and stable in price, nuclear energy facilities aren’t affected by the same type of fuel price fluctuations as other sources of energy. Neglecting clean energy sources such as solar, wind, and especially nuclear, can result in blackouts, increased power bills, and will take a heavy toll on our efforts to reduce greenhouse gases. I’ll add that uranium doesn’t get diverted to home heating, which really hurt the natural gas supply in New England last year. If predictions of a powerful winter come true, expect nuclear energy’s reliability to once again play a part in keeping people warm. Whitman’s larger point is that New England is becoming


NEI CEO Marv Fertel to Participate in Ex-Im Bank Press Conference
NEI CEO Marv Fertel will be participating in a press conference on the U.S. Export Import back today at 1:30 EDT in Room S. 115 at the Capitol. Also participating will be:Sen. CantwellSen. ManchinSen. KirkSen. GrahamMs. Kavia Kusum, President, Combustion Associates Inc.Mr. Michael Richard, Director of Government and International Affairs, Westinghouse Electric CompanyMr. Dan Pfeiffer, Vice President of Government Affairs, Itron, Inc.Mr. Patrick Wilson, Director of Federal and Government Affairs, Babcock & WilcoxMr. Steven Wilburn, CEO, FirmGreen


Paks moving to 15-month fuel cycle
TVEL reports it is supplying Paks with a second-generation fuel that will allow it to extend its operational cycles. The first fuel load is 12 assemblies. Paks received regulatory approval to load the 4.7% enriched fuel earlier in the month for unit 3. In 2015, the other three 500 MWe-capacity V-213 Russian-designed reactors on the site will also move from the existing 4.2% enriched fuel and 15-month fuel cycle. TVEL said that its fuel supply contract for the site, agreed in 1999, is for the remaining life of the units, which is 2037 including life extension. The contract was worth EUR 83 million in 2013, it said. TVEL also said its second-generation fuel has also been used in Russia, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Finland.   Nuclear Engineering International



Exelon Makes the Nuclear Case in Illinois
Kathleen Barrón, Exelon’s senior vice president of federal regulatory affairs and wholesale market policy, had some strong words at a policy summit held by the Illinois Commerce Commission. “If the units at risk of closing today -- representing 43 percent of the state’s nuclear generation -- retire, they cannot be mothballed and later brought back online,” she said. “Together they represent more than 30 million metric tons of avoided carbon emissions, given that they will need to be replaced with fossil generation to provide the around-the-clock electricity needed to serve customers in the state.” That’s true. Nuclear energy is not really properly valued for its presence in the proposed EPA climate change rule (which of course could change before it is finalized), and one consequence of that would be that shuttered nuclear plants would lead to higher carbon emissions – and cause states to miss their targets. If you consider climate change an existential issue, it


Russia's fast reactor members club
Rosatom is offering "early bird" incentives to join its International Research Centre based on the multipurpose sodium-cooled fast neutron research reactor, or MBIR by its Russian acronym.Rosatom deputy director general Vyacheslav Pershukov and MBIR project director Alexander Tuzov discussed the opportunity at the International Atomic Energy Agency's General Conference in Vienna last week.The reactor complex will be located at the site of the Research Institute of Atomic Reactors (RIAR), in Dimitrovgrad. The total, fully equipped cost is estimated to be $1 billion. Of that, the Russian budget has already provided $300 million.The price of an "admission ticket" is calculated as a percentage of MBIR's flux, with $10 million buying 1% of access to the project. That 1% will be equal to 12 displacements per atom with a volume of one cubic decimeter each year for 20 years. From 2020 the fee will rise to $36 million.Tuzov said the offer is not simply about attracting extra funding. "No on


The Economic Value of Nuclear Energy in Illinois
Exelon made its case – see post below – and now we get a chance to look more deeply into the economic impact of the company’s 11 nuclear reactors (not to mention its corporate headquarters) in Illinois. NEI has released a report containing an independent analysis using a nationally recognized model to estimate the facilities’ economic impacts on the Illinois economy. Consider: Thousands of high-skilled jobs. Exelon employs 5,900 people at its nuclear energy facilities in Illinois. This direct employment creates about 21,700 additional jobs in other industries in the state. A total of nearly 28,000 jobs in Illinois are a result of Exelon’s nuclear operations. Economic stimulus. Exelon’s Illinois nuclear plants are estimated to generate $8.9 billion of total economic output annually, which contributes $6.0 billion to Illinois’ gross state product each year. This study finds that for every dollar of output from Exelon’s Illinois facilities, the state economy produces



ROSATOM starts development of medium nuclear power generation in Russia
ROSATOM launches a program of small and medium nuclear power generation development in Russia. The corresponding decision of principle was made at the level of top management of the state corporation, Deputy CEO of ROSATOM Vyacheslav Pershukov says.There is a need in small and medium-size power reactors in the regions which have poor grid infrastructure, remote regions where fuel supplies from outside are complicated. Earlier, CEO of ROSATOM Sergey Kirienko stated that the state corporation intends to accelerate the work to design small and medium-size reactors, which would better meet electricity needs of third countries as well, and this will allow Russia settling in the nuclear build markets of these states.On Tuesday, addressing the international conference “Innovative Designs and Technologies of Nuclear Power”, Pershukov said that past week ROSATOM’s top management had discussed the issue of small and medium nuclear power development in the Russian Federation. “The decisio


Kazakhstan removes research reactor HEU
Kazakhstan has removed a stockpile of Russian-origin fresh high-enriched uranium (HEU) fuel from the critical assembly of the WWR-K Research Reactor in Almaty, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said yesterday. The fresh HEU, representing 10.2 kilograms of uranium mass, was sent to a secure storage facility in Russia on 29 September. The HEU removal operation was managed by the IAEA, Kazakhstan, Russian and the USA under the Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI). "With the completion of this shipment, Kazakhstan has made a significant contribution to reducing the amount of HEU material in the country," Sandor Tozser of IAEA's Department of Nuclear Energy, said. Kazakhstan's government requested assistance from the IAEA in July this year to implement the removal operation. "The IAEA mobilized its project support mechanism and signed a tripartite contract with the Federal State Unitarian Enterprise Scientific Research Institute, Scientific Industrial As


FANR green lights two more reactors in UAE
Précis:  The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has authorised the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) to begin building two additional nuclear power reactors at the Barakah site in the Western Region of the Abu Dhabi Emirate, it has been reported. The “Licence for the Construction of Units Three and Four of the Barakah Nuclear Facility and Related Regulated Activities” wasapproved by the FANR Board of Management at its meeting on Monday 15 September. The licence authorises ENEC to construct two additional Korean-designed, advanced pressurised water reactors of the type known as the APR1400, each capable of producing 1,400 megawatts of electricity. Image:  Primary Event:  6th Annual Nuclear Construction Summit Premiu



Nuclear EROI tops the charts for carbon-free energy says report
Précis:  Support for new US projects lags because of cheap gas and fashionable renewables. But what if a study could show nuclear is the only true path to carbon-free energy? Georgia Power’s September 2014 images of progress at Vogtle Unit 3 nuclear island show workers swarming like ants around the new plant’s containment vessel. Off in the distance, Unit 3’s cooling tower dominates the landscape. It is an imposing sight. And rare. Right now, Vogtle 3 is one of just five new reactors being built in the US, the world’s largest nuclear market. Meanwhile, four plants are closing. So that is a net gain of one new plant, representing 1% of the US total. Image:  Premium`:  No Image Caption:  While the economics for nucl


Revolutionising the supply chain by maximising safety operations through advanced products, services and universal programmes
Précis:  Safety measures at nuclear plants across the globe have been enhanced since the ensuing effect of a tsunami on Japan’s Fukushima’s Daiichi plant, a situation that has led to the supply chain for nuclear plants having to adapt to protect existing and new-build plant projects. The Areva Group, for example, stepped up its safety operations after the events of three years ago, and the new construction projects of their EPR reactors have passed through post-Fukushima security measures, through domestic safety organisations. Another example of where this industry adaption has taken place is in Finland, where the local safety authority STUK in their final assessment of the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant 3, says that the design functions on the plant are now strong enough to combat the possibility of earthquakes and flooding. Image:  Primary


Eyeing the competition: Is nuclear power putting its best foot forward?
Précis:  The nuclear industry through a concerted effort must show how certain federal mandates and subsidies are creating a false sense of energy security for consumers when it comes to “cheaper” alternatives. According to the US Energy Information Administration, during 2013 gas generated 344,648 more Mwh’s compared to nuclear power. From 2006 onwards, gas has produced more energy than nuclear, and the production gap has grown wider year on year since then. Natural gas prices have continued to spiral downwards, as production has considerably increased, leaving nuclear energy a problem as increased gas volume achieves economies of scale. Image:  Primary Event:  6th Annual Nuclear Construction Summit Premium`:  No






 
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