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US operator seeks swift SMR licensing to optimize low-carbon output
TVA was an early supporter of SMR development and is filing an Early Site Permit Application (ESPA) for its Clinch River site in Oak Ridge which will allow it to select a plant design at a later stage. U.S. carbon reduction targets and the increasing use of intermittent renewable energy capacity could boost the value of SMR production in the decades to come, Stout told Nuclear Energy Insider's 6th Annual International SMR and Advanced Reactor Summit on April 14.Related Content: Opinion: UK's first new reactor could be an SMRUS utilities join forces with SMR vendors to speed developmentCanada edges closer to SMR build after VC funding dealUS funding package supports rising SMR activityImage: Image Caption: Image credit: bjdlzxChannels: Small Modular Reactors


Germany upgrades technology to curb cost of fleet shutdown
Germany embarked on its nuclear phase out program in 2011 following the Japanese Fukushima disaster. Since then, nine German reactors have been shut down and the remaining eight operational plants are due to close by 2022. The large costs involved with decommissioning have prompted Germany’s nuclear firms to adapt methods used on earlier projects and introduce automated equipment to curb labor costs.Related Content: UK decom sector must change plant staff mindset to avoid labor shortageUK firms urged to bring new ideas, technologies to decom supply chainUK decom suppliers prepare for tighter project budgetsGerman operators seek gov’t plan on waste storage as they cost up shutdownsImage: Image Caption: Standardized processes are expected to cut costs. (Image credit: Nostal6ie)Channels: Decommisioning







The Conversation the Director of Meltdown Doesn’t Want to Have About Nuclear Energy
Tom KauffmanThe following is a guest blog post by Tom Kauffman, NEI's Director of Media Relations.Over more than three decades since the Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear accident, claims that radioactivity from the plant caused negative health effects have been refuted time and time again. In over twelve studies, not one found any detectable impacts. Any claim that cancer or other diseases have been caused by the accident doesn’t stand up to scientific scrutiny.That holds for the industry as a whole too. In research conducted for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Dr. James Hansen concluded that the use of nuclear energy has saved 1.8 million lives that otherwise would have been lost due to burning of fossil fuels.Despite this compelling scientific evidence, a former resident of the area, Jill Murphy Long, is trying to distort the truth with a new film, Meltdown. In her conversations with the press, Long has said, "I think this conversation needs to happen. I&


US utilities must commit to digitization to cut operating costs by 30%
According to the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), generating costs of US reactors have risen by 28% over the last 12 years, which is impacting the competitiveness of nuclear power in a market being increasingly penetrated by natural gas and renewable energy. The NEI aims to reverse this trend through its Delivering the Nuclear Promise (DNP) program, which was launched in December 2015 and will provide innovative solutions that can be introduced at plant level and help reduce industry-wide operating costs by 30% by January 2018.Related Content: Industrial internet turns Big Data boom into operator profitsUS set for 80-year lifespans; South Africa invites new plant bidsImage: Image Caption: Image credit: EverythingpossibleChannels: Operations & Maintenance







New US rules target faster design approvals; Wisconsin removes ban on nuclear build
US’ NIA proposes new rules to speed advanced reactor licensing The U.S. Nuclear Innovation Alliance (NIA) has proposed new regulation to streamline the licensing of advanced reactors, the industry group said April 12. The NIA’s recommendations would adapt existing requirements for light water reactors to address the features of advanced, non-light water reactor technologies. Advanced reactors use substantially different fuels, cooling systems, and safety and operating strategies to light water designs.Related Content: US one-step license gains rely on comprehensive build planUS AP1000 projects advance on revamped EPC termsUS utilities join forces with SMR vendors to speed developmentUS funding package supports rising SMR activityImage: Image Caption: Image credit: egon69Channels: New Build


How Advocacy Helped Repeal Wisconsin’s Nuclear Moratorium
Jon BreedThe following guest post is from Jon Breed, manager of state and federal advocacy at NEI.On April 1st, 2016, Governor Scott Walker signed a bipartisan bill ending Wisconsin’s 33-year moratorium against building new nuclear energy facilities. After signing the bill, Walker said that “nuclear energy sustains Wisconsin’s economy two ways, both in employing a skilled, well-paid workforce to run a nuclear plant, and in providing the affordable, reliable source of emission-neutral power on which all businesses and employers rely.”The passage of the bill is a testament to the power of coalitions and grassroots advocacy and will serve as a model for how pro-nuclear advocates drive policy outcomes in the future. A lot has changed in American politics in the past fifteen years. The age of shoe-leather lobbying has been supplemented by a new kind political influence: the power of coalition advocacy. This shift began with the rise of the internet and was refined by groups like Or







Communicating Nuclear Energy: You Don't Have to Do It Alone
Elizabeth FakoThe following is a guest post by Elizabeth Fako, a communications specialist at Entergy's River Bend Nuclear Station.When people ask what my favorite part of my job is, the answer is easy: I get to spend every day working with people who think in a completely opposite way than me and I love that. The operators, engineers and other “technically-minded” people I work closely with constantly challenge me to be a better communicator, nuclear professional and communications coach. As much as I love that aspect of my job, there’s something to be said for spending time with like-minded people. That’s one reason I found NEI’s Fundamentals of Nuclear Communication workshop so valuable; I not only got to spend three days working with other communications professionals, but also with other communicators from the nuclear industry – a career as unique as it sounds.Our presenters included NEI representatives and industry experts, sharing a wealth of knowledge


Nuclear Costs are Down and Performance is Up … Again
Michael PurdieThe following is a guest post by NEI's Michael Purdie.In 2015, total generating costs for U.S. nuclear generation declined to $35.50/MWh from $36.35/MWh, a two percent decrease (2015 dollars).  Total generating costs are the “all-in” costs that include fuel, capital, and operating expenses.As the table below shows, the costs decreased roughly evenly between fuel ($0.31/MWh), capital ($0.22/MWh), and operations ($0.33/MWh).   While the costs declined in 2015, performance improved.  The nuclear industry operated at 92.2% capacity factor, which was an increase from 2014 (91.7%) and 2013 (89.9%).The nuclear industry is fighting to be valued properly in the electricity markets.  Not only do nuclear plants provide electricity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, they provide clean energy, grid reliability, price stability, and fuel diversity.  Each of these attributes provides value that is not always priced into the market.  In a chall










 
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