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New reactor ownership models set to cut decommissioning costs
Stubbornly-low wholesale power prices have dented the economic competitiveness of U.S. and European nuclear power plants and decommissioning activity is expected to hike in the coming years in the absence of regulated price support. There are currently 18 U.S. nuclear power plants being decommissioned and this will soon increase following a recent spate of plant closure announcements due to sustained low power prices.Related Content: France's lower-cost decommissioning plan rests on Chooz A reactor learningsCalifornia's $4 billion SONGS project set to test decom efficiency gainsOECD expands decommissioning cost benchmarks ahead of closure surgeUS operator contracts out decom work to speed progress, prioritize consumersImage: Image Caption: Entergy's 2 GW Indian Point nuclear plant is one of several U.S. plants set to close in the coming years. (Image credit: Johnrob)Channels: Waste ManagementDecommisioning

The Story NEI’s Maria Korsnick Will Tell Wall Street
There’s a lot going on in our world, and this Thursday at 8:30 a.m. EST, the Nuclear Energy Institute will be making its annual presentation to dozens of Wall Street analysts.The United States continues to operate the world’s largest fleet of reactors, and is the technology leader. Maria G. Korsnick, our president and chief executive, will talk about how we plan to embrace that leadership role, and how we are part of the nation’s critical infrastructure.Nuclear power is increasingly recognized at the state level as providing tremendous value, not all of it compensated in the markets. The reactors provide diversity to the system, always-on, 24/7 power, with no air emissions. They are impervious to pipeline glitches, frozen coal piles, droughts and other interruptions. New reactors marching toward completion in South Carolina and Georgia will be part of those states’ energy backbone for a long time, probably the remainder of the century.We are also moving towards second license r

How States Are Taking the Lead to Save Nuclear Energy
A big part of my job is working with members of state legislatures and their staffs. One the most important working relationships I have is with the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). State legislators from all over the country look to NCSL for policy analysis, leadership opportunities, state benchmarks and, most importantly, facts and information to help them shape policies on the issues that they face.  NCSL’s new report, “State Options for Keeping Nuclear in the Energy Mix,” has all the history, facts and figures to explain why state policies and the electricity markets have created unintended consequences for nuclear power. By introducing price competition and Renewable Portfolio Standards, which are meant to encourage new technologies, policymakers have inadvertently created a math problem that ends up subtracting nuclear.  It is hardly sensible to subsidize one form of zero-emissions energy in a way that pushes another form of zero-emissi

With Nuclear Plants Closing, Fears Grow for Stability of New England’s Electric Grid
We can’t really say it snuck up on us, but New England’s electricity infrastructure is already prone to supply interruptions and price spikes, and getting more so. And so far the steps to counter the problem have been very limited.There’s a new warning from the non-profit company that operates the six-state grid, the Independent System Operator – New England (ISO-NE). One easy work-around – building gas plants that can run on oil in a pinch – is getting harder to use, because of air pollution rules, according to the head of the organization, Gordon van Welie, president and chief executive. His warning came in ISO-NE’s annual update on the state of the region’s electric grid.The result is a loss of energy diversity that threatens the stability of supply and price, according to van Welie, who spoke to reporters on Jan. 30. Among the elements in this unhealthy trend are the premature closings of two nuclear reactors, Vermont Yankee, in December, 2014, and Pilgrim, in Plymo

Terrestrial Energy to unveil US SMR site, supplier plans in 2017
Terrestrial Energy affiliate TEUSA announced January 24 it has started pre-license application dialogue with the US NRC for its 400 MWth Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR400) design and plans to submit a Design Application Certificate (DCA) or Construction Permit (CP) to the NRC no later than October 2019.Related Content: NuScale files US’ first SMR license application as suppliers await tenderIdaho government predicts economic boom from first SMRTerrestrial CEO: Plant costs of $40-$50/MWh set to displace fossil fuelsImage: Image Caption: Terrestrial Energy's nuclear island and balance of plant. Channels: New BuildSmall Modular ReactorsSupply Chain

Canada set for first lead-cooled reactor by 2025 after $200mn funding boost
A number of advanced nuclear reactor developers are targeting the Canadian market, where the risk-informed regulatory framework is considered more supportive for licensing new designs than in the U.S. and where numerous remote communities and industrial facilities represent captive electricity consumers.Related Content: Moltex Energy sees UK, Canada SMR licensing as springboard to AsiaTerrestrial CEO: Plant costs of $40-$50/MWh set to displace fossil fuelsImage: Image Caption: LeadCold's SEALER reactor designChannels: New BuildSmall Modular Reactors

Restoring U.S.-Russia Nuclear Cooperation: A Practical Guide for Policymakers
U.S.-Russia relations have been increasingly strained in recent years over the Ukrainian crisis, the war in Syria and the allegations of Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election. An unfortunate casualty of these tensions has been U.S.-Russia nuclear cooperation. Despite shared critical interests that range from nuclear safety, security and nonproliferation to research and development in civil nuclear energy, bilateral cooperation has all but ceased. President Donald Trump campaigned on a promise – welcomed by President Vladimir Putin – to improve bilateral ties. But a closer relationship between the presidents will not be sufficient to overcome disagreements. What is required is a road map for incremental progress, based on mutual national interests. For the critical area of nuclear cooperation, such a road map has just been published.Developed by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) in partnership with Russia’s Center for Energy and Security Studies, and with contri

France's lower-cost decommissioning plan rests on Chooz A reactor learnings
A committee of French MPs presented to Parliament February 1 a report on the technical and financial feasibility of nuclear power plant decommissioning in France. The 12-member committee interviewed 70 market participants in France and abroad to assess the current technical expertise in decommissioning and whether decommissioning funds accumulated by EDF would cover costs.Related Content: California's $4 billion SONGS project set to test decom efficiency gainsOECD expands decommissioning cost benchmarks ahead of closure surgeUK uses multiple site data to save over 1 billion pounds on decomUS operators urged to decommission immediately to prevent cost hikesImage: Image Caption: French state-controlled EDF must lower nuclear power capacity from 75% of generation to 50% by 2025. (Image credit: Gregory Dubus)Channels: Decommisioning

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