China

China is the world’s largest energy consumer and coal is its dominant fuel, meeting 60% of demand. But diversification is under way. The role of coal in meeting China’s energy growth needs has gone down steadily for decades. In the past few years, coal consumption has actually decreased while energy demand has kept growing. Excluding the ‘new renewables’ of solar and wind energy, nuclear, natural gas and hydropower have been the fastest-growing sources of primary energy in China. Their consumption multiplied 15, 10 and 5 times respectively between 2000 and 2017. Over the same period, total primary energy consumption grew threefold. Coal’s share of China’s total energy demand dropped from 68% to 60%, and oil’s share fell from 22% to 19%.

IISS 19th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 20 September 2018

Belgium

Inspections in August at the Tihange-2 and Doel-4 nuclear power plants in Belgium have shown concrete degradation in the ceilings of bunkerised buildings that house backup safety systems for the plants, the nuclear regulator has said. The Belgian Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (Fanc) said analysis is being carried out to make a precise diagnosis of the problem before repair work begins. The results of the analysis and the potential method of repair will be discussed by Fanc and its Bel V technical subsidiary. At Tihange-2, indications of concrete degradation had already been noted during previous inspections and repair work was already planned before the most recent inspections.

Nucnet 19th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 20 September 2018

France

French utility EDF reduced power generation from its 900 megawatts (MW) Bugey 3 nuclear reactor on Tuesday after saying earlier that output at another nuclear power plant could be affected by weather conditions. The utility, which operates France’s 58 nuclear reactors said earlier that generation from its Chooz nuclear power plant in the northeast of the country could be restricted from Saturday Sept. 22 due to low water levels forecast for the Meuse river.

Reuters 18th Sept 2018 read more »

Narbonne: fire starts in a storage building on the Orano-Malvési site. The incident occurred this Wednesday, September 19 at 11:20 am Three people were slightly injured. When the materials stored in drums stored on the Malvési site of Orano enter the treatment process, the protocol wants a new control of the content of said drums is performed. It was during this operation that a fire started on Wednesday September 19 around 11:20 am, in a closed storage building of the Narbonne factory.

L’independent 19th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 20 September 2018

US

The U.S. government will test and implement a new system to capture and destroy dangerous vapors released at the nation’s most polluted nuclear weapons production site as part of a settlement agreement reached Wednesday. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson told reporters that the agreement represents a major win for hundreds of workers who have been getting sick for years while cleaning up the nation’s nuclear waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in eastern Washington.

Daily Mail 19th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 20 September 2018

France

[Machine Translation] Exclusive. Justice hears a complaint of offense of favoritism against EDF. At issue: a billion-euro market to equip nuclear power plants with emergency power generators. Construction site on which the company is also very late. It must have been a simple matter of industrial routine. Much less complicated than the laborious and wasteful construction of the Flamanville EPR: to equip each of the 58 nuclear reactors (spread over 19 sites in France) with a diesel emergency power unit (DUS). An obligation imposed in 2012 on EDF by the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) after the Fukushima disaster. This DUS is a powerful 60-tonne engine, installed outside the plant in a 25-meter-long bunker, designed to withstand the most extreme events and so be able to provide electricity at any cost in a crisis. major. ASN had set a mandatory deadline for EDF to commission the emergency program: 31 December 2018.

Capital 17th Sept 2018 read more »

Canada-based L3 MAPPS has been awarded a contract by France’s Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) to upgrade its Flamanville 3 engineering simulator, based on the EPR nuclear power reactor design.

World Nuclear News 18th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 19 September 2018

US

A second breach was reported at a coal ash landfill site in North Carolina on Monday according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the latest impact from Hurricane Florence’s heavy rains. That update comes amid a state of emergency declared at a nuclear power plant overseen by the landfill’s operator, Duke Energy, as the extent of the damage from Florence — now a tropical depression — slowly becomes apparent.

Resilience 18th Sept 2018 read more »

As President Donald Trump weakens one environmental rule after another, the deep green state of California has found a way to fight back: with a rocket. “With science still under attack and the climate threat growing, we are launching our own damn satellite,” declared Governor Jerry Brown, explaining that the craft will track emissions and share the results. One of the pollutants the satellite will measure is methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Mr Brown’s declaration on Friday in San Francisco, came just two days after the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington said it wanted to relax methane rules. For California and Mr Brown, the satellite is not only about monitoring methane monitoring but also shows how much states can do themselves to fight climate change.

FT 18th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 19 September 2018

Hualong One

The first full-scope simulator for the Chinese-developed Hualong One reactor has been delivered to the Fuqing nuclear power plant, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) announced on 14 September. Simulators are a vital piece of equipment for training plant operators, both at the start of their careers and for their continuing training. CNNC said the new simulator passed the acceptance test and was officially delivered 115 days in advance of schedule. Experts concluded that all the indicators of the Hualong One full-scope simulator meet the relevant functional and performance requirements, it added, and the simulator is now ready to be used to train reactor operators.

World Nuclear News 17th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 18 September 2018

Non-Proliferation

In the past three years alone, Huizenga has worked with Russian nuclear weapons experts to remove weapons-useable highly enriched uranium from Poland, Georgia and Kazakhstan; led efforts to remove more than 500 kilograms of uranium and plutonium from a Japanese research facility; and coordinated with the International Atomic Energy Agency and Chinese counterparts to remove uranium from a research reactor in Ghana and convert the reactor for use with non-weapons grade fuel.

Medium 7th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 18 September 2018

Belarus

The Russian state nuclear industry corporation Rosatom has confirmed plans to commission the first unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant by the end of 2019. The plans were discussed as Prime Minister of Belarus Sergei Rumas met with Rosatom Director General Aleksei Likhachev on 15 September, BelTA has learned.

Belarus News 17th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 18 September 2018

France

[Machine Translation] No, French energy infrastructure is not so sure. The debate on the level of safety of energy infrastructures continues. In a previous forum, Christophe-Alexandre Paillard challenged the conclusions of a book “Nuclear, immediate danger” (Flammarion ed). Their authors respond. By Bernard Nicolas, co-author and director of “Barrage: the disaster scenario” (France 2, Special Envoy), Hugues Demeude and Thierry Gadault, co-authors of “Nuclear, immediate danger” (Flammarion, 2018) and “Dam: the disaster scenario “. But, we have a small problem: we do not see how bad we are. Our investigation is based on the use of EDF internal reports on the actual state of nuclear reactors. For what reasons does Christophe-Alexandre Paillard accuse us of “bad faith”, when we have only brought to the attention of the general public information circulating internally at EDF? Say what are the problems and explain their gravity would it be forbidden? In the case of the Vouglans dam and the catastrophic consequences of its rupture, we demonstrate that EDF Nucléaire did not use the most penalizing hypothesis concerning the capacity of the dam. This assertion is based on the study of the flood tests conducted by the nuclear power of the electrician: they hold a solid dam at a rating of 424 m NGF, while the hydraulic direction of EDF says that the full dam displays a dimension of 429 m above sea level. These 5 meters of difference represent a water volume of 85 million m3 (out of a total capacity of 600 million m3). Who can believe that this “error” is innocent?

La Tribune 17th Sept 2018 read more »

[Machine Translation] Can EDF’s finances support such a trajectory? The company’s chief financial officer, Thomas Piquemal, slammed the door in 2015, worried that the UK’s Hinkley Point EPR would weigh heavily on the company. According to him, the need for the electrician to finance alone two thirds of the project creates a situation too risky. “Who would bet 60% to 70% of its heritage on a technology that we still do not know if it works, while it’s been ten years that we try to build it? “, He launches in front of the deputies in 2016. This is the heart of the problem for EDF: how to finance new reactors? For Hinkley Point, it took considerable resources, even though EDF won a gold contract with the British state: for thirty years, the French group will sell its electricity at a guaranteed rate, twice the current price electricity! In other words, British consumers will see their bill increase. In fact, most countries that continue to build nuclear power can only do so with a strong commitment from the state and a guaranteed income for private investors. But the France of 2018 is no longer that of Pierre Messmer and the Commissariat au plan in 1974, when the French nuclear plan was launched. The impossible equation But the atom requires long time. “When we talk about the EPR, we are talking about an investment over a century. We are in a period in which people want shorter-term returns, even in infrastructure, “says Emmanuel Autier of Bearing Point. “We are not going to scramble to finance a project that has not yet proved its worth while it is much more profitable and less risky to finance renewable energy,” notes an investment fund manager. Especially since EDF’s current structure, subject to stock market fluctuations, does not encourage long-term commitment. “Finance costs are a very important part of construction. A listed company can not wear that on its balance sheet in a massive way, “agrees Valérie Faudon, SFEN. “It will be necessary for the state to play its full role by creating a new regulatory framework,” admits Xavier Ursat. In other words: to sustain the EPR – and make survive EDF – it will be up to the state to guarantee the investments and consumers to bear the burden on their electricity bill. This is the impossible equation in which EDF is: to survive in its current form, it must.

Le Monde 16th Sept 2018 read more »

Nuclear: the amazing schedule for the extension of reactors. The first reactor of the Tricastin plant will stop in June 2019 to start the extension work after 40 years. But ASN will not give its generic opinion on the subject until the end of 2020.

Les Echos 17th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 18 September 2018