26 December 2015

Nukes vs Climate

Nuclear power is often touted as being an important tool in the array of measures needed to help prevent climate change. Some environmentalists and climate scientists have recently been gaining attention because of their support for nuclear power as a tool for helping reduce our CO2 emissions. However, even though the goal of dramatically reducing CO2 emissions is critically important, there are still many reasons to be skeptical of nuclear power as the solution for creating a long-term sustainable energy system.

Huffington Post 23rd Dec 2015 read more »

Sizewell

Town councillors at Saxmundham believe safety improvements are needed at the Rendham Road access – but feel community projects funded via any permission for the Sizewell C nuclear power station will be the only way to secure action. Suffolk County Council is strapped for cash for major projects and the junction would not be the highest priority. The stretch of the A12 running past the town has several junctions and was the scene of a fatal accident last year when a motorcyclist was killed in a collision with a car just north of Saxmundham.

East Anglian Daily Times 25th Dec 2015 read more »

Georgia

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has announced “another achievement in global nuclear non-proliferation efforts”, with the shipment of high enriched uranium (HEU) from Georgia yesterday. The 1.83 kg of HEU was removed from the Breeder-1 Neutron Source at Tbilisi State University in Georgia to a secure storage facility in Russia.

World Nuclear News 23rd Dec 2015 read more »

France – Flamanville

One of the reactors at France’s Flamanville Nuclear Power Plant has been shut down due to technical failure. No radiation leak has been reported, with the plant operator saying that the incident has had no impact on the environment or safety. Employees of the nuclear power plant in Flamanville discovered a technical problem at the reactor number two on Tuesday at around 6:15pm. The pressurized water reactor was switched from the faulty main transformer to a backup, but on Wednesday the Electricite de France S.A. (EDF) decided to fully stop work of the reactor.

Russia Today 24th Dec 2015 read more »

US – MOX

The U.S. government plans to designate 6 metric tons of surplus plutonium now stored in South Carolina as waste and ship it to a storage facility in New Mexico, according to a preliminary notice filed on a federal website on Wednesday. The notice, to be posted on Thursday by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), says its “preferred alternative” for disposal of the 6 metric tons of surplus plutonium would be to turn it into nuclear waste and store it in New Mexico. Critics said the notice was a sign that DOE could decide to scrap a multibillion-dollar project in South Carolina that will mix 34 tons of surplus plutonium with uranium to form safer fuel pellets for use in commercial nuclear reactors.

Japan Times 24th Dec 2015 read more »

US – Radwaste

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is sticking with a $350 million plan to dig up and haul away nuclear waste from a dump site about 25 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. The federal agency halted the cleanup – which was originally estimated to cost $44.5 million – after unexpected amounts of complex materials, including uranium and plutonium, were discovered at the Parks Township site in 2011. The site was once owned by Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corp., which operated fuel plants for nuclear submarines in Parks and nearby Apollo. NUMEC owned the dump site from 1957 until the 1980s, but BWX Technology, formerly known as Babcock & Wilcox Co., most recently owned the land.

Washington Post 23rd Dec 2015 read more »

Japan Fukushima

From CEREA Centre d’Enseignement et de Recherche en Environnement Atmosphérique (CEREA). Animation of Caesium-137 distribution after Fukushima accident.

CEA (accessed) 26th Dec 2015 read more »

Japan – reactor restarts

Kansai Electric Power Co. said Friday it has started loading nuclear fuel into a reactor on the Sea of Japan following a court decision to lift an injunction against the move, paving the way for its restart in late January, which would be the country’s third reactor to go online. After the restart earlier this year of two reactors in southwestern Japan, while others remain offline in the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, the No. 3 reactor at the utility’s Takahama plant in Fukui Prefecture would be the first to run on uranium-plutonium mixed oxide, or MOX fuel, if it begins operations as scheduled. The utility is scheduled to insert a total of 157 fuel rod assemblies by the next Tuesday, including 24 made from MOX fuel, according to Kepco. The reactor along with the No. 4 unit at the same plant was allowed to resume operation by the Fukui District Court on Thursday. The power company envisions reactivating the No. 3 unit sometime between Jan. 28 and 30 and having it start power generation and transmission around Feb. 1, followed by the restart of the No. 4 unit in late February.

Japan Times 25th Dec 2015 read more »

Kansai Electric Power Co. said Friday that it has started loading nuclear fuel into a reactor on the Sea of Japan following a court decision to lift an injunction against the move, paving the way for its restart in late January as the country’s third reactor to operate.

Mainichi 25th Dec 2015 read more »

The Fukui District Court on Thursday overturned an injunction against restarting reactor Nos. 3 and 4 at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Takahama plant, clearing the way for the units to become the third and fourth to go back on line since the Fukushima disaster in 2011 sparked a moratorium on nuclear power. With the decision, Kepco said it will move quickly to fuel up the No. 3 reactor for restart by late January. Plans call for the No. 4 reactor to be refueled in late January for restart by late February.

Japan Times 24th Dec 2015 read more »

Belgium

A nuclear reactor in Belgium has been taken offline less than a week after starting up again. A water leak on a generator outside of the plant’s nuclear area forced the shutdown. A spokesperson for the Belgian energy company, Electrabel, told news agencies that the Doel 3 reactor near Antwerp had been shut down so the water leak could be repaired. The leak poses no threat to public safety or the environment, the spokesperson said. The reactor had only this week been brought back online after a period of inactivity lasting over 18 months due to hairline fractures discovered in the reactor. A similar problem also shut down the Tihange 2 reactor, but both reactors have been deemed safe to operate. The potential danger of the aging reactors is a cause for concern in neighbouring Germany. Protests this week occurred in the German border city of Aachen against Belgium’s use of nuclear power, which comes from seven plants and makes up about half of the country’s energy mix.

Deutsche Welle 25th Dec 2015 read more »

The Belgian nuclear regulator has approved the restart of units 1 and 2 of the Doel plant. The units – which were both taken offline earlier this year in accordance with the country’s nuclear phase-out legislation – were required to meet new safety requirements in order to continue operating until 2025.

World Nuclear News 23rd Dec 2015 read more »

South Africa

South Africa approved a plan for the country to procure as much as 9,600 megawatts of nuclear-generated power. “Electricity produced from the new generation capacity shall be procured through tendering procedures which are fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective,” the Minister of Energy and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa said in a Government Gazette statement, dated Dec. 21. The statement is signed by the former Energy Minister Ben Martins with a date stamp of November 2013. President Jacob Zuma first announced plans in February 2014 to add 9,600 megawatts of nuclear power to the national grid to address energy shortages in Africa’s most-industrialized economy. While the government has declined to reveal the expected cost because the contracts are still being negotiated, estimates range from $37 billion to $100 billion. The Cabinet approved the start of the nuclear-energy procurement program at its Dec. 9 meeting.

Bloomberg 24th Dec 2015 read more »

A GOVERNMENT gazette notice released by the Department of Energy on December 21 has confirmed Cabinet’s decision to move ahead with the 9,600 MW nuclear procurement programme.

BD Live 24th Dec 2015 read more »

India

Westinghouse Electric Co. expects to reach a deal with India by the end of next year to provide at least six nuclear reactors. The Pennsylvania-based company, which is a unit of Toshiba Corp., is in negotiations with India to build AP1000 reactors with a capacity of 1,150 megawatts each in the state of Gujarat, Chief Executive Officer Daniel Roderick said in an e-mail. Progress toward a deal comes as India considers changes to liability laws for nuclear accidents.

Bloomberg 24th Dec 2015 read more »

Russia and India signed agreements on Thursday boosting cooperation in energy and defence, New Delhi aiming to modernise its armed forces and build a nuclear industry and sanctions-hit Moscow seeking investment and new markets.

Reuters 25th Dec 2015 read more »

Indian manufacturers supplying parts to nuclear reactors say they are preparing for a jump in orders and revenues as New Delhi pushes ahead with a plan to build new plants across the country over the next few years.

Reuters 24th Dec 2015 read more »

Bangladesh

DHAKA Bangladesh’s state-run Atomic Energy Commission signed a deal with Russia on Friday to set up two nuclear power plants, each with 1,200 megawatt capacity, an investment totalling $12.65 billion, a government official said.

Reuters 25th Dec 2015 read more »

Energy Business Review 24th Dec 2015 read more »

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Published: 26 December 2015