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Russia expects to ramp up to full power unit 4 of Beloyarsk NPP in the second half of 2015
Russia expects to ramp up to full power unit 4 of its Beloyarsk nuclear power plant, a 789 MWe fast-neutron reactor of the BN-800 design, in the second half of this year, Rosenergoatom general director Evgeniy Romanov told local media on 28 February. The reactor was placed at the minimum controlled power level in June last year.World Nuclear News

GUEST ARTICLE: UK must stop ‘Braxton Hicks’ approach to nuclear to meet energy security targets
Précis:  Andrew Renton, Partner, Commercial, Bird & Bird: “Although nuclear power is probably the cheapest, large-scale, low-carbon electricity source, it is not without problems and the current situation at Hinkley Point has highlighted the challenges facing the industry.” By Andrew Renton, Partner, Bird and Bird The rebirth of civil nuclear in Britain seems to be suffering from long term Braxton Hicks. Having been granted the first nuclear site licence in the UK for 25 years, Hinkley Point is the central focus of the UK's nuclear renaissance. Image:  Primary Event:  5th Annual Small Modular Reactors Summit Premium`:  No Image Caption:  Having been grante

Yucca Mountain: “What if the answer were ‘maybe?’”
The ongoing discussion on used nuclear fuel has taken a number of twists and turns over the years, with interest in consolidated storage facilities growing – and Waste Control Specialists in Texas offering to provide such a facility – and and a permanent repository, such as was the purpose behind the Yucca Mountain project. It’s not an either/or proposition – the first collects used fuel from military and domestic sites – where it is safe as is – and the second will be its final resting place. Consolidation is the right word for the goal – it reduces the number of sites holding used fuel, over time, from many to some to one. It’s been a vexing issue, but not impossible. Nevada’s Yucca Mountain holds a special place in the conversation because the Nuclear Waste Policy Act specifies it as the permanent repository and because the project was progressing apace until President Barack Obama closed it down soon after his first election. This fulfilled a campaign promise he

Missing the Nuclear Target by a Populist Mile
The Boulder Daily Camera offers what can only be called the economic populist’s objection to nuclear energy: On the economic side, we have this Darwinian capitalism that emphasizes profit at all costs. Nothing can ever be done without everybody slurping at the trough, somewhat of an unstated mandate to always put the risk on the other guy and not pay for it ourselves, and the disastrous need for short-term profits. This would force the operators and owners to cut corners on maintenance and safety, use low-cost unqualified labor, try to circumvent the rules, and pull the profit out in terms of money early in the endeavor so as not to put the profits at risk. You can see where this argument, if valid, could go in the nuclear energy sphere. Movies such as The China Syndrome and even the more sophisticated Cloud Atlas showed capitalistic greed trumping good sense in nuclear energy (actually, Cloud Atlas made the villains the coal industry out to crush a nuclear plant). But this a

Japan returns to nuclear to get economy back on track
Précis:  As part of the Strategic Energy Plan of Japan, the country’s government has decided to include nuclear as one of four base load energy sources. While recent polls say that the majority of those surveyed are still concerned over plant safety, consumers and industry are struggling to meet the escalated costs associated with alternative, non-nuclear energy sources. According to the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA), the change in energy balance in Japan since the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi plant and tsunami disaster has been extreme. In 2010, nuclear accounted for 27% of Japan’s energy source, this was reduced to just 1% in 2013, after the Fukushima disaster at the Daiichi plant. Premium`:  No read more

Russia develops mobile unit for low-level waste processing
Atomenergomash, the equipment manufacturing and engineering division of state nuclear corporation Rosatom, said in a statement yesterday that one its subsidiaries had completed the development and manufacture of the equipment and containers of a mobile unit designed to process LLW for its customer RosRAO.Moscow-based RosRAO, another Rosatom subsidiary, began operations in 2009 for the management of used nuclear fuel, non-nuclear radioactive waste, and decommissioning services, especially of submarines. Then in 2011, NO RAO was created to consolidate these activities as the national manager of Russia's used nuclear fuel and radioactive waste. RosRAO aims to be a global provider of back-end fuel cycle services. Sergey Semin, head of project design and technology at RosRAO, said that LLW accounts for most of the volume of waste connected to the decommissioning of Russia's nuclear facilities. RosRAO was thus tasked with finding a way to reduce the volume of LLW. The results of the unit's o

UPDATE 2-Hungary says EU nuclear fuel talks do not block plant expansion
Hungary expects to wrap up talks with the European Union soon about a fuel supply deal for the country's Paks nuclear plant, the government said on Friday, adding that the EU's concerns do not block a planned expansion of the facility.Hungary last year granted Russia's Rosatom a project to build two nuclear power blocks of 1,200 megawatts each at its Paks power plant, financed partly by a favourably priced Russian loan worth 10 billion euros ($10.6 billion).The deal drew criticism that Hungary was pulling closer to Russia at a time when the EU was putting pressure on Moscow to defuse a deepening conflict with Ukraine.The government said the Euratom Supply Agency (ESA) - charged with nuclear fuel supply across the EU - had sought changes to the Paks supply deal, asking that players other than Russians be allowed to ship fuel to the plant in the future."Ongoing talks about addressing these observations, however, do not block the project," the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement,

Polar crane tested at Novovoronezh II
Novovoronezh II is the lead project for the deployment of the AES-2006 design incorporating a Gidropress-designed pressurized water reactor, an evolutionary development from the VVER-1000. Construction of Novovoronezh II units 1 and 2, also known as Novovoronezh units 6 and 7, began in June 2008 and July 2009, respectively. The original Novovoronezh site nearby already hosts three operating reactors and two that are being decommissioned.The 360-tonne crane is located under the containment dome on a trolley that moves 360° on a circular rail over the reactor shaft, enabling transport operations anywhere in the central hall of the reactor building, Rosenergoatom said. It can be used for installing large equipment, such as the reactor vessel and steam generators, as well as during maintenance work and the transportation of fuel.Rosenergoatom, the nuclear power plant operating subsidiary of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, said on 29 January it had commissioned the turbine build

Guest Writer: Ozan Karaduman, Senior Associate at Istanbul-based law firm Gün + Partners
Précis:  Ozan Karaduman, Senior Associate at Istanbul-based law firm Gün + Partners, examines the developing legal landscape impacting Turkey’s nuclear ambitions. By Ozan Karaduman, Senior Associate at Istanbul-based law firm Gün + Partners Turkey’s efforts to bring nuclear energy into its energy mix dates back to the 1950’s. However, it was not until May 2010 that Turkey took its most concrete step towards nuclear power, signing an agreement with Russia for the construction of its first plant.  Image:  Premium`:  No Image Caption:  Ozan Karaduman, Senior Associate at Istanbul-based law firm Gün + Partners: “It may be early to call it a ‘plan’ but Turkey certainly has an ambition to operate a nuclear power

Resilience Inside and Outside the Nuclear Plant
Yesterday, a group of folks got together to talk about sustainability and resilience, especially in energy infrastructure and especially as a means of developing urban centers responsibly. It may seem that nuclear energy has only a tangential role here: it provides emission-free electricity to cities that want to be as emission-free as possible. But there’s more to it than that. Sustainability in this context means doing the least damage to the environment in building and operating buildings and entire cities, with special attention paid to urban infrastructure in developing countries – a project in Cameroon was mentioned a couple of times as an example. Resilience proved to be a bit more interesting (to me) because it spoke to issues that have engaged the nuclear industry since the Fukushima Daiichi accident – ensuring that a facility can withstand and recover from a catastrophic natural disaster. The major appeal of this meeting was the participation of Amos Avidan, the senio

Yucca Mountain: Nuclear Albatross or Top 10?
A couple of mentions in the Nevada press about Yucca Mountain suggested that the state might become at least a bit more open about reactivating the project. You can read about this a couple of posts below. That’s just the tip of the mountain. There’s lately been a regular boomlet in interest in the brown mound, keyed largely to a Congressional delegation paying a visit there: Five U.S. Congress members are heading to the mothballed site of a proposed national radioactive waste dump in the Nevada desert, amid new talk about a decades-old problem — where to dispose of spent nuclear fuel stored at commercial reactors around the U.S. Note the word “dump” there? We’ll be coming back to that. The daylong tour is being led by U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, Republican chairman of the House Environment and the Economy Subcommittee and a supporter of plans to entomb the nation’s most radioactive waste 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas. “Our nation desperately needs to advance o

Plant decommissioning: why Germany faces a critical test
Précis:  If German utilities cannot clean up their nuclear plants with the biggest contingency fund in the world, what does that say for money being put aside elsewhere? Additional research by K. Steiner-Dicks The nuclear industry faces a crucial test in Germany as concerns mount over the need for government funds in plant decommissioning. But Germany’s politicians are against the call for taxpayers to foot the decommissioning bill. Image:  Primary Event:  6th Annual Nuclear Decommissioning Conference Europe Premium`:  No Image Caption:  German energy minister Sigmar Gabriel (pictured) is against tax payer funds footing the country's decomissioning bill.

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