Uranium

Activists in Niger urged President Mahamadou Issoufou to negotiate with Areva SA after the French company said it will cut 200 jobs at one of its uranium mines in the West African nation to adjust to lower prices for the nuclear fuel. “It’s absolutely untrue that the only solution is to lay off staff,” said Al-Moustapha Alhacen, head of Aghirin’man, a non-governmental organization in the northern Nigerien desert town of Arlit, about 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) from the capital, Niamey. “Areva must accept to negotiate.”

Bloomberg 17th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 19 October 2017

Chernobyl

A Valleys manufacturing firm is playing a crucial role in the long-term operation to make safe the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Pontypool-based Flamgard Calidair has developed innovative fire and shut off dampers to the Chernobyl New Safe Confinement, a €1.5bn multinational engineering project which is due to be installed before Christmas.

Wales Online 18th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 19 October 2017

US – radwaste

The mining of salt from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico is expected to resume in the coming weeks. Mining of Panel 8 was halted in 2014 following separate fire and radiological events that suspended waste emplacement operations at the facility.

World Nuclear News 18th Oct 2017 read more »

In the event of a dirty bomb or a nuclear meltdown, emergency responders can safely tolerate radiation levels equivalent to thousands of chest X-rays, the Environmental Protection Agency said in new guidelines that ease off on established safety levels. The EPA’s determination sets a level ten times the drinking water standard for radiation recommended under President Barack Obama. It could lead to the administration of President Donald Trump weakening radiation safety levels, watchdog groups critical of the move say. “It’s really a huge amount of radiation they are saying is safe,” said Daniel Hirsch, the retired director of the University of California, Santa Cruz’s program on environmental and nuclear policy. “The position taken could readily unravel all radiation protection rules.”

Bloomberg 16th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 19 October 2017

Korea

The Biennial General Meeting (BGM) of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) kicked off in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang, on Monday, bringing together some 500 nuclear industry experts and leaders from around the world – but the government kept the meeting’s profile very low. The biennial event, held at the Hico Convention Center in Korea’s cultural capital some 340 kilometers (211 miles) southeast of Seoul, has the theme “Leading Nuclear Safety in a Changing World” and will run for six days. Speakers include Zhang Tao, president of China National Nuclear Power, Agneta Rising, director general of the World Nuclear Association and Vincent de Rivaz, CEO of EDF, the French electricity utility. On the first day of the event, speeches delivered in panel discussions were not provided to the press. Not a single placard was hung at the Hico building promoting the event. Entrance to the convention center was closely regulated. No press was allowed inside, not even a photographer, one security personnel said. The secretive nature of the proceeding was surprising given the biennial event is often called the “Nuclear Power Olympics” for the scope of expertise and ideas presented. News reports said state-run Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) was deliberately avoiding publicity because of the Moon Jae-in government’s attempt to wean Korea off nuclear power.

Korea Joongang Daily 17th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 19 October 2017

Japan

A data falsification scandal hit Japan’s Kobe Steel in recent weeks. The company admitted widespread falsification of data related to quality control in metals products provided to various customers. Kobe cited a set of copper pipes provided to TEPCO for Fukushima Daiichi as being among of the questionable parts. TEPCO claimed the parts were never actually used. Another report cited the non used pipes were actually delivered to Fukushima Daini.

Fukuleaks 17th Oct 2017 read more »

Robots have become central to the cleaning-up operation at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant, six years after the tsunami that triggered the nuclear meltdown. It is estimated that around 600 tonnes of toxic fuel may have leaked out of the reactor during the incident. The Tokyo Electric Power Company is using a variety of robots to explore areas too dangerous for people to go near. BBC Click was given rare access to the site to see how the decontamination work was progressing.

BBC 18th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 19 October 2017

Chernobyl

A manufacturer from Torfaen is helping to dismantle the remains of the Chernobyl nuclear power station. A concrete and steel arch will cover the reactor which was destroyed in the 1986 disaster. Pontypool-based manufacturer Flamgard Calidair has developed fire and shut off dampers for the project, known as the Chernobyl New Safe Confinement. The £1.3bn (€1.5bn) building is set to be completed before Christmas 2017.

BBC 17th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 18 October 2017

Europe

The construction of nuclear power plants in a transboundary context require the government of the country of origin to ensure participation of the public concerned in its own territory as well as that of the neighbouring countries affected. Analysis by Linli-Sophie Pan-Van de Meulebroeke. In the context of a bilateral cooperation agreement with Germany regarding the construction of a nuclear power plant in Temelín, the Czech Republic was alleged to be in non-compliance with Articles 3(9), 6 and 9 of the Aarhus Convention. With regard to Article 6 of the Convention, the Compliance Committee has confirmed the Maastricht Recommendations according to which a transboundary context does not release the concerned Party from its obligations under the Convention. The ultimate responsibility for ensuring that the public participation procedure complies with Article 6 still rests with the competent authorities of the Party of origin.

Client Earth 17th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 18 October 2017

South Africa

South African President Jacob Zuma made a close associate energy minister on Tuesday as his government tries to push through a big nuclear deal but his sacking of another minister was seen undermining his ANC party’s ruling alliance.

Reuters 17th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 18 October 2017

US

Mark Cooper: In 2008, the “nuclear renaissance” hype was in full swing. South Carolina was one of the first states to hop on the bandwagon. Public and investor-owned utilities rushed to sign a contract for two new reactors at the V. C. Summer nuclear station before the design for the Westinghouse AP1000 reactors was finalized, to avoid the price run-up that was expected to occur when orders for dozens of reactors were signed. There was no rush of orders, but there were 17 formal revisions before the design was finalized, and perhaps many hundreds more made in a more informal manner. A decade later, the nuclear industry is in shambles. Billions of dollars were spent on the two now-abandoned reactors at V. C. Summer, and only two other reactors remain under construction, at a plant in Georgia. The South Carolina reactors were so far behind schedule and over budget that they triggered the bankruptcy of the reactor vendor (Westinghouse), the near-bankruptcy of its corporate parent (Toshiba), and the resignation of the CEO of the utility (Santee Cooper) that owns 45 percent of the V. C. Summer project. The nuclear industry’s collapse is stunning, but it should come as no surprise. This is exactly what happened during the first round of nuclear construction in the United States, in the decade between 1975 and 1985. History is repeating itself because of a dozen factors and trends that render nuclear power, new and old, inevitably uneconomic.

Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 17th Oct 2017 read more »

Scana Corp., already the target of federal and state investigations, said it received a subpoena from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with an abandoned nuclear power project. The Cayce, South Carolina-based company said it will “fully cooperate” and offered no further details, according to a statement Tuesday. Scana is under a federal investigation and a state probe into the expansion of its V.C. Summer nuclear reactor, a project it canceled after costs spiraled to more than $20 billion.

Bloomberg 17th Oct 2017 read more »

Utility regulators in Florida on Tuesday rejected Florida Power & Light’s (FPL) request to recover costs incurred after 2016 for two new nuclear reactors at the utility’s Turkey Point power plant. The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) said in a statement that there was insufficient evidence to decide on FPL’s request to recover costs because the utility did not file a feasibility analysis for the new reactors in 2017 as required under Florida’s nuclear cost recovery rules.

Reuters 17th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 18 October 2017

China

China is on track to install a record-smashing 50GW of solar PV in 2017, with latest data showing that the nation has so far installed around 42GW, taking its total installed PV capacity to around 120GW. According to the latest report from Asia Europe Clean Energy Consultants (AECEA), China needs to add just under 3GW of new solar in each remaining month of 2017 to reach 50GW, and deliver a second consecutive record breaking year.

Renew Economy 18th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 18 October 2017