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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

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

Fox and Friends and Nuclear Plant Security
Both the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have concluded that U.S. nuclear plants are among the most secure of all industrial facilities. But for some reason, that fact wasn't reported on Fox and Friends this morning when Tucker Carlson interviewed Alan Kuperman of the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Project on nuclear power plant security.When it comes to the threat of terrorism, American nuclear plants responded quickly in the wake of the 9-11 attacks, spending more than $2 billion to upgrade security.The independent U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has said that nuclear power plants are "among the best-protected private sector facilities in the nation." The NRC holds nuclear power plants to the highest security standards of any American industry. These security measures get more robust the closer you get to the plant, using defenses such as vehicles, barriers/concrete walls, sophisticated intrusion detection an

UK decom sector must change plant staff mindset to avoid labor shortage
Around 18,000 engineering and construction industry (ECI) personnel work in the nuclear industry, with about 50% employed in the decommissioning sector, according to the Nuclear Workforce Assessment (NWA) published in November 2015 by the Nuclear Energy Skills Alliance (NESA). Based on the current nuclear new build schedule, overall nuclear workforce is expected to grow from 77,880 in 2015 to a peak of 111,280 in 2021. Around 2,200 new full time, high-level Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) employees will be needed per year.Related Content: Sweden's plant closures to hike skills demand from 2017UK firms urged to bring new ideas, technologies to decom supply chainUK firms await Hinkley C finance triggers to enter nuclear marketUK decom suppliers prepare for tighter project budgetsImage: Image Caption: The demand for skilled nuclear staff is forecast to peak around 2020. (Image credit: suphakit73) Channels: Decommisioning

Opinion: UK's first new reactor could be an SMR
While continuing to back EDF's 18 billion pound ($25.6 billion) Hinkley point C EPR project, the UK government launched last month phase 1 of its SMR competition to gauge developer and investor interest and plans to publish a roadmap for SMR development later this year. This roadmap must set a clear path towards streamlined Generic Design Assessment (GDA) procedures for SMR plants and provide further clarity on siting, appropriate to the specific safety cases of the new designs.Related Content: Terrestrial CEO: Plant costs of $40-$50/MWh set to displace fossil fuelsUS utilities join forces with SMR vendors to speed developmentCanada edges closer to SMR build after VC funding dealUK hikes SMR funding to accelerate first reactor selectionNuScale targets SMR cost below $90/MWh on wider deploymentImage: Image Caption: New nuclear plants will help fill the gap left by coal plant closures. (Image credit: vencavolrab)Channels: Small Modular Reactors

On Bernie Sanders, Nuclear Energy & Carbon-Free 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.Senator Bernie Sanders, who doesn’t like nuclear power anywhere, now also doesn’t like it at Indian Point Energy Center. This shouldn’t surprise anybody, but Mr. Sanders is also against climate change, and against fossil fuels. The positions are impossible to reconcile.We’re not the only ones who have noticed.Bernie Sanders climate plan would actually increase carbon emissions https://t.co/iwB6KemQTT— Mike Shellenberger (@ShellenbergerMD) December 7, 2015A persistent idea is that energy from wind and sun will replace fossil and everything else. And for years, New York has had an aggressive plan to use more renewable energy.But it is just a plan. According to a national survey by the Energy Department’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, released earlier this month, New York aimed to have about 9.5 million megawatt-hours of

Public Opinion on Nuclear Energy: Where is it Headed?
Ann BiscontiThe following is a guest post by Ann S. Bisconti, PhD, President, Bisconti Research, Inc.As we await the results of the ongoing NEI Spring 2016 Public Opinion Survey on Nuclear Energy, two other surveys have raised the question: Where is public opinion about nuclear energy headed? Scientific American Plugged In, March 23, pondered the dramatically different results from questions about nuclear energy asked in polls by Gallup and the University of Texas (UT) and essentially ended puzzled, concluding that polls are faulty. But wait a minute. Both polls are accurate, and we can learn lessons about public opinion by studying them. Gallup’s Annual Environmental Poll includes one question about nuclear energy, an NEI tracking question: “Overall, do you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose the use of nuclear energy as one of the ways to provide electricity in the United States.” Gallup found 44 percent in favor and 54 percent opposed in

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

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