The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

The unmentioned apocalyptic ISIS terror – attack on nuclear reactors

And official reports on the 9/11 attacks on New York’s World Trade Center confirm that Al Quaeda also considered targeting atomic reactors.

The obvious answer to this global nightmare is to speed the transition to a renewable energy world.

No terror group can ever cause an apocalypse by blowing up a solar panel.

Nuclear Reactors Make ISIS an Apocalyptic Threat, EcoWatch,  | November 25, 2015 As you read this, a terror attack has put atomic reactors in Ukraine at the brink of another Chernobyl-scale apocalypse.


Transmission lines have been blown up. Power to at least two major nuclear power stations has been “dangerously” cut. Without emergency backup, those nukes could lose coolant to their radioactive cores and spent fuel pools. They could then melt or explode, as at Fukushima.

Yet amidst endless “all-fear-all-the-time” reporting on ISIS, the corporate media has remained shockingly silent on this potential catastrophe.

Nor has it faced the most critical step needed to protect our planet in a time of terror: shutting all atomic reactors.

The world’s 430-plus licensed commercial nuclear plants give terrorists like ISIS the power at any time to inflict a radioactive Apocalypse that could kill millions, destroy huge parts of the Earth and devastate the global economy…… Continue reading

November 27, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, safety | Leave a comment

Nuclear power to fix climate change? It’s just not going to happen

Future Prospects…….. Can nuclear power grow as rapidly as desired by those advocating it to mitigate climate change? For that to happen, nuclear power would have to increase its share of global generation relative to sources that are proving more economically competitive, such as natural gas and renewables — and that in turn would require vastly accelerated and expanded reactor construction at prices that make sense relative to these other sources.

globalnukeNOAll of this is quite apart from the other well-known and widespread concerns about nuclear power: the potential for severe accidents, the linkage to nuclear weapons and the production of long-lived radioactive waste. These challenges will not disappear and indeed may only grow worse, which is why nuclear’s prospects as a significant climate change mitigator are feeble to nonexistent.

Nuclear Power Is No Fix for Climate, Energy Intelligence, M.V. Ramana27 November 2015

As we approach this year’s climate talks in Paris, several policymakers and organizations dealing with energy have stated publicly that an expansion of nuclear power is needed to combat global warming. The Nuclear Energy Agency and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have argued on their websites that “to limit the rise in global mean temperatures to 2°C” nuclear energy has to increase its share of global electricity production from “11% in 2014 to 17% in 2050.”What are the prospects of an expansion of nuclear power such that it increases its electricity market share by over 50% in about 35 years? The short answer is that they are slim at best.

Several technical and economic challenges confront such a large and relatively rapid expansion of nuclear reactor construction; these challenges suggest that although nuclear power will remain part of electricity generation in several countries, its prospects for significant growth are limited. In addition, there are social problems; in particular, sustained public opposition in most countries around the world, a sentiment that was clearly apparent in 2011 after the multiple meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant……..

As of November 2015, the IAEA reported a total of 441 “operational reactors” in 31 countries and Taiwan, with a combined generating capacity of nearly 382 gigawatts of electricity. However, not all of these “operational reactors” are necessarily operating. Apart from reactors that are shut down for routine maintenance or refueling, this count includes 43 reactors in Japan, only two of which are operating and generating electricity. Most of these reactors are concentrated in just a few countries — over half are in just four countries, if one counts the ones in Japan.

The IAEA also lists 65 reactors under construction with a total capacity of over 64 GW. Some of these will likely never be completed (e.g. two reactors in Japan), and some have been under construction for lengthy periods of time — most notably the US Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar-2 which may see commercial operation next year after a 43-year on-again, off-again construction period………

As with the reactor fleet, construction is also concentrated in a few countries: China alone accounts for nearly a third of the reactors under construction, and, with Russia and India, comprises over half the total number. This growth, in particular China’s rapid pace of building nuclear plants, has led some to expect an increase in nuclear power’s market share. But this is not a valid conclusion for two reasons.

First, China’s targets for nuclear power have declined significantly after Fukushima. In 2010, the official target for nuclear capacity in 2020 was 70 GW, and there were reports that it was or had been as high as 114 GW. The current target is 58 GW by 2020, and even meeting that lower target is a challenge. Second, China is not constructing only nuclear reactors, but also coal power plants, hydroelectric dams, wind turbines and solar plants at a tremendous rate. Hence, it is easy to see that nuclear power’s share of the electricity production in China — only 2.39% in 2014 — is unlikely to increase significantly for decades even if current Chinese nuclear plans go through without any further hitches.

India’s nuclear share has also remained in the 2% to 4% rangefor a couple of decades. Its nuclear program, which dates back to the 1950s, is notable for ambitious expansion plans that have never been met and there are good reasons to expect the same in the future. For example, in 2010, the head of India’s Atomic Energy Commission projected a capacity of 35 GW by 2020. The current expectation is for a little over 10 GW of installed capacity by that time.

In fact, even the IAEA, which historically has always been very optimistic about nuclear energy’s prospects, and which has as one of its objectives “to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy,” has lowered its sights:  : The latest of its projections for nuclear power’s share in 2030 ranges from 11.3% to 8.6%, with even lower projections for 2050. This is much lower than foreseen by the agency a decade ago, when it projected the nuclear share declining only to 15%-17% by 2020 and 13%-14% by 2030, and far lower than the 17% by 2050 target it claims is necessary for climate mitigation. This decline in future projections is a function of both anticipated reactor shutdowns due to aging and a reduced rate of construction of new reactors.

Is Nuclear Power Competitive?……

Future Prospects…….. Can nuclear power grow as rapidly as desired by those advocating it to mitigate climate change? For that to happen, nuclear power would have to increase its share of global generation relative to sources that are proving more economically competitive, such as natural gas and renewables — and that in turn would require vastly accelerated and expanded reactor construction at prices that make sense relative to these other sources.

All of this is quite apart from the other well-known and widespread concerns about nuclear power: the potential for severe accidents, the linkage to nuclear weapons and the production of long-lived radioactive waste. These challenges will not disappear and indeed may only grow worse, which is why nuclear’s prospects as a significant climate change mitigator are feeble to nonexistent…..

November 27, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste storage in rock salt not as safe as they thought

wastes-1Nuclear waste storage sites in rock salt may be more vulnerable than previously thought, Phys Org 
November 26, 2015 
Research from The University of Texas at Austin shows that rock salt, used by Germany and the United States as a subsurface container for radioactive waste, might not be as impermeable as thought or as capable of isolating nuclear waste from groundwater in the event that a capsule or storage vessel failed.

text-wise-owlA team of researchers from the university has used field testing and 3-D micro-CT imaging of laboratory experiments to show that rock salt can become permeable. Their findings, published in the Nov. 27 issue of Science, has implications for oil and gas operations, and, most notably,  storage. The team includes researchers from the university’s Cockrell School of Engineering and Jackson School of Geosciences.

“What this new information tells us is that the potential for permeability is there and should be a consideration when deciding where and how to store nuclear waste,” said Maša Prodanovic, assistant professor in the Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering. “If it’s an existing nuclear waste storage site, you may want to re-evaluate it with this new information.”

Salt generally blocks fluid flow at shallow depth, a feature that allows oil reservoirs to form. But scientists have long suspected that salt becomes permeable at greater depth. Jackson School professor James E. Gardner confirmed this theory through laboratory experiments with synthetic rock salt……

The critical takeaway is that salt can develop permeability, even in absence of mining activity,” said assistant professor Marc A. Hesse of the Jackson School’s Department of Geological Sciences. “Further work is necessary to study the quantity of flow that can occur.”

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, in Carlsbad, New Mexico, stores low-level nuclear waste in salt beds beneath the ground. However, high-level waste from the nation’s nuclear energy sector is stored at the power plants in pools or dry casks, methods that are considered temporary solutions. For decades there has been a proposal to build a permanent central repository under Nevada’s Yucca Mountains, but that proposal has stalled because of political and regulatory hurdles. This has renewed interest in rock salt as an alternative permanent storage solution for high-level nuclear waste. In this context, the findings of the team from UT Austin provide a timely reminder that  is a dynamic material over long timescales.

Ghanbarzadeh hopes that “our discovery encourages others to ask questions about the safety of current and future disposal sites.”

November 27, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Reference, wastes | Leave a comment

USA’s nuclear operators want to extend reactor lives to 80 years!



If the nuclear reactor is 75 years old and faulty – will the company still be around to pay the costs? 

“Just like a car and plane, power reactors get old year by year,” Yoshiaki Himeno, a professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, said by e-mail. While owners refurbish parts and renew the systems, “the question is how long they can continue those repairs and renewals from economical and safety points of view.

America Set to Decide Whether a Nuke Can Outlive a Human, Bloomberg,    , 26 Nov 15

  • Dominion Resources first to request extension to 80 years
  • Move to push reactor life beyond 78.8-year human average
 The U.S. is set to become the first nation to decide whether it’s safe to operate nuclear power plants for 80 years, twice as long as initially allowed.

The majority of the nation’s 99 reactors have already received 20-year extensions to their original 40-year operating licenses. Now, operators led by Dominion Resources Inc. want to expand the time frame further, potentially creating a precedent for an aging global fleet at a time when the economics of the industry are undergoing dramatic change.

Dominion said earlier this month it will request an extension from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which oversees the industry. The plan has already raised the ire of anti-nuclear campaigners who cite decades of wear and tear on the nation’s reactors, as well as the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan. The NRC will release a draft report next month outlining safety measures needed to extend the time line.

 “The reality of life is the risks go up” as plants age, Continue reading

November 27, 2015 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Natural greenhouse gases increase with higher temperatures: will ,accelerate global warming

highly-recommendedGlobal warming will be faster than expected November 26, 2015

Linköping Universitet
Global warming will progress faster than what was previously believed. The reason is that greenhouse gas emissions that arise naturally are also affected by increased temperatures. This has been confirmed in a new study that measures natural methane emissions.
“Everything indicates that global warming caused by humans leads to increased natural greenhouse gas emissions. Our detailed measurements reveal a clear pattern of greater methane emissions from lakes at higher temperatures,” says Sivakiruthika Natchimuthu, doctoral student at Tema Environmental Change, Linköping University, Sweden, and lead author of the latest publication on this topic from her group.

Over the past two years the research team at Linköping University has contributed to numerous studies that all point in the same direction: natural greenhouse gas emissions will increase when the climate gets warmer. In the latest study the researchers examined the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane from three lakes. The effects were clear and the methane emissions increased exponentially with temperature. Their measurements show that a temperature increase from 15 to 20 degrees Celsius almost doubled the methane level. The findings was recently published in Limnology and Oceanography.

While increased anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are expected and included in climate predictions, the future development of the natural emissions has been less clear.

Now knowledge of a vicious circle emerge: greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels lead to higher temperatures, which in turn lead to increased natural emissions and further warming.

“We’re not talking about hypotheses anymore. The evidence is growing and the results of the detailed studies are surprisingly clear. [DB1] The question is no longer if the natural emissions will increase but rather how much they will increase with warming,” says David Bastviken, professor at Tema Environmental Change, Linköping University.

This means that warming will be faster than expected from anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions alone. According to Professor Bastviken this also means that any reductions in anthropogenic greenhouse emissions is a double victory, by both reducing the direct effect on warming, but also by preventing the feedback with increased natural emissions.


November 27, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, Reference | Leave a comment

Nuclear giants AREVA and Hitachi to help dismantle Japan’s nuclear recators

French group to help Japan dismantle nuclear reactors November 26, 2015   French nuclear giant Areva said Thursday it had linked up with Hitachi GE Nuclear Energy to help Japan dismantle boiling-water nuclear power stations. Following a massive accident at the Fukushima reactor, hit by a tsunami in 2011, Japan said it would shut down 11 nuclear reactors, although it has put two back on stream this year.

Areva was involved in the Fukushima clean-up, but that reactor is not covered by the new agreement, the French group said in a statement. It has been working with Hitachi to improve Japanese reactors’ safety for the past two years.

Areva’s role will now be to participate in preliminary studies for dismantling boiling-water reactors.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has been pushing for a return to nuclear  to generate electricity after Japan’s several dozen  went offline in the wake of the 2011 disaster.

The resource-poor nation’s energy bill has soared since it was forced to turn to fossil-fuel imports to plug the gap.

But the Japanese public remains wary of atomic power, and Abe’s push has prompted rare protests and damaged his popularity.

November 27, 2015 Posted by | decommission reactor, France, Japan | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste dump a danger to water, threat to Nevada’s farming community

Oscar-wastesNevada says national nuclear dump could harm farm community,Naples
Herald, By Nov 23, 2015 BY KEN RITTER  
water-radiationRadioactive well-water contamination could threaten some 1,400 people in a rural farming community if federal regulators allow the nation’s deadliest nuclear waste to be buried in the Nevada desert, state officials said in a report issued Friday.

A 53-page document submitted to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission derides environmental assessments of the proposed Yucca Mountain repository as legally inadequate. It also characterizes the project itself as “an unworkable waste management plan at an unsafe repository site.”

 The state says groundwater studies don’t properly address the danger to people in nearby Amargosa Valley or the cultural and spiritual effect that construction of the repository would have on Native Americans.

“In the end, there are real people there,” said Robert Halstead, chief of the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects and the top state official leading opposition to the project.

“That’s the thing about the way the NRC has approached the whole process,” Halstead said Friday. “Their maps imply there is no population there. They label it as the Amargosa desert.”

George Gholson, chairman of the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe, submitted additional comments Friday accusing commission officials of failing to evaluate effects that building the project would have on tribal members.

“Radioactive contamination of groundwater and springs … affronts the Timbisha’s way of life, is disrespectful to cultural beliefs, and constitutes an environmental justice infringement on the rights of a sovereign nation,” the letter said.

The documents amount to the state staking its legal ground to oppose the Yucca Mountain project. They came on the last day of an environmental study comment period ahead of yet-to-be-scheduled licensing hearings and amid calls from some in Congress to restart the long-mothballed project.

Commission officials didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

More than three decades of study yielded findings that water seeping through tunnels containing some 77,000 tons of spent nuclear reactor waste could become contaminated and slowly migrate into groundwater west along the normally dry course of the ancient Amargosa River, toward Death Valley in California……..

A federal appeals court breathed new life into the project in 2013 with an order that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission either approve or reject the Energy Department license application.

Officials say a full slate of licensing hearings could take at least three years.

November 27, 2015 Posted by | USA, wastes, water | Leave a comment

France’s new energy to drastic ally limit electricity from nuclear power

radiation-sign-sadflag-franceFrance’s nuclear industry on back foot over new energy law, Michael Stothard in Paris ,26 Nov 15  Designed to shift France on to a greener footing ahead of next week’s climate change conference in Paris, the adoption of a new energy law has instead alarmed the country’s powerful nuclear industry and raised fundamental questions about the country’s energy mix.

The long-awaited energy transition law was finally passed with nearly 1,000 amendments and after a gruelling 150 hours of parliamentary debate.

Under the controversial legislation parliamentarians agreed to drastically reduce the country’s output of nuclear energy from 75 per cent of the current total to 50 per cent by 2025. They also committed to sizeable increases in the use of renewable energy to make up for the shortfall in nuclear energy production and targeted a 40 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Overall energy consumption would fall by a fifth by 2030 under the new law……..
The energy debate has raised questions about the future of France’s nuclear industry, long a source of national pride, and comes on the eve of a climate conference in Paris aimed at reaching a new global accord on reducing carbon emissions.

“All the world is watching,” said Ségolène Royal, France’s energy minister, at a climate change event this month in Paris. “Changing the way we consume energy is key to our preparation for the climate summit.”……

November 27, 2015 Posted by | France, politics | Leave a comment

Coal ash is NOT more radioactive than nuclear waste

text-radiationCoal ash is NOT more radioactive than nuclear waste   The idea that coal ash is 100 times more radioactive than nuclear waste has been making the rounds among bloggers and Twitterers discussing the coal ash catastrophe in Tennessee, thanks to a headline which makes that assertion in Scientific American online. In fact, Google the words in the headline and you’ll come up with dozens of Web sites that have repeated this statement.

The problem is that it is a profoundly preposterous idea unsupported by a single shred of evidence. Continue reading

November 27, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

Pope and Muslim leaders in call for climate action

PopePope Francis says failure of climate summit would be catastrophic, Guardian 26 Nov 15 
Pope meets Muslim and other religious leaders in Nairobi to call for success at the Paris summit and for greater environmental protections in Africa. 
World leaders must reach a historic agreement to fight climate change and poverty at coming talks in Paris, facing the stark choice to either “improve or destroy the environment”, Pope Francis said in Africa on Thursday.

Francis chose his first visit to the world’s poorest continent to issue a clarion call for the success of the two-week summit, known as COP21, that starts on Monday in the French capital still reeling from attacks that killed 130 people and were claimed by Islamic State.

In a long address in Spanish at the United Nations regional office, Francis said it would be “catastrophic” if particular interests prevailed over the common good of people and the planet or if the conference were manipulated by business interests.

In Kenya, at the start of his three-nation Africa trip, the pope also said dialogue between religions was essential to teach young people that violence in God’s name was unjustified.

Bridging the Muslim-Christian divide and climate issues are major themes of the trip that also takes him to Uganda, which like Kenya has been a victim of extremist attacks, and the Central African Republic, a nation riven by sectarian conflict.

“We are confronted with a choice which cannot be ignored: either to improve or destroy the environment,” the pope said in Nairobi, home to the UN Environment Programme headquarters.

He noted that some scientists consider protection of the Congo basin tropical forest, which spreads over six countries and is the world’s second-largest after the Amazon, essential for the future of the planet because of its biodiversity.

Francis, who took his name from St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of nature, has made protecting “God’s creation” a plank of his pontificate. In June, he issued a landmark encyclical calling for urgent action to save the planet…….

November 27, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, Kenya, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Declaration of the World Nuclear Victims Forum in Hiroshima

The world nuclear victims forum was held at Hiroshima.
“A charter of world Nuclear Victim’s rights” was adopted.

Declaration of the World Nuclear Victims Forum in Hiroshima
(Draft Elements of a Charter of World Nuclear Victims’ Rights)
November 23, 2015

1. We, participants in the World Nuclear Victims Forum, gathered in Hiroshima from November 21 to 23 in 2015, 70 years after the atomic bombings by the US government.
2. We define the rights of nuclear victims in the narrow sense of not distinguishing between victims of military and industrial nuclear use, including victims of the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and of nuclear testing, as well as victims of exposure to radiation and radioactive contamination created by the entire process including uranium mining and milling, and nuclear development, use and waste. In the broad sense, we confirm that until we end the nuclear age, any person anywhere could at any time become a victim=a Hibakusha, and that nuclear weapons, nuclear power and humanity cannot coexist.
3. We recall that the radiation, heat and blast of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki sacrificed not only Japanese but also Koreans, Chinese, Taiwanese and people from other countries there as a result of Japan’s colonization and invasion, and Allied prisoners of war. Continue reading

November 27, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Japan, politics international, Reference, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Indonesia’s fires – enormous output of greenhouse emissions

Indonesia smoke 15Indonesia: fires threaten to send even modest climate ambitions up in smoke The Conversation,  Economist and research scientist at the Research Centre for Climate Change, University of Indonesia , 26 Nov 15 At the Paris climate negotiations, Indonesia will bring to the table a target of an unconditional 29% emissions reduction by 2030, increasing to 41% on condition of international assistance.

Indonesia’s emission reduction plan (or Intended Nationally Determined Contribution) is therefore slightly higher than its 2009 commitment to reduce emissions by 26% by 2020.

There are three problems with Indonesia’s INDC. The target is not ambitious; the plan is incoherent; and with the recent massive forest fires in Indonesia that have yet to be accounted for in the INDC it does not accurately reflect emissions for Indonesia.

Such a problematic INDC would affect the global efforts to adequately tackle climate change, since Indonesia is one of the biggest carbon emitters in the world. The forest fires have pushed the country into the top ranks of global greenhouse gas emitters……

November 27, 2015 Posted by | climate change, Indonesia | Leave a comment

Is nuclear power competitive? Actually – NO!

scrutiny-on-costsNuclear Power Is No Fix for Climate, Energy Intelligence, M.V. Ramana, 27 Nov 15

“…….The primary constraint on the growth of nuclear power is economic competitiveness. Nuclear power is an expensive source of power, and expensive in two ways. The first is a result of the high cost of constructing a nuclear power plant; unlike, for example, natural gas-based plants, this construction cost is the dominant contribution to the economics of nuclear energy. While these high costs have been known for some decades now, around the turn of this century, when there was talk of a nuclear “renaissance,” nuclear promoters claimed that there were new ways of reducing capital costs through improved design and construction methods. Studies produced by nuclear industry organizations and academic institutions typically assumed that a 1,000 megawatt reactor would cost around $1,500 to $2,000 per kilowatt, or $2 billion.

Once actual projects were on the drawing board, however, these hypothetical numbers moved quickly north. In Europe, two French-led flagship projects were initially estimated at around $2,250-$2,475/kW in the case of the Olkiluoto-3 reactor in Finland in 2004, and around $2,600/kW in the case of the Flamanville plant in France in 2006, both higher than the figures assumed by the academic and industry studies. In the US, cost estimates by electric utilities building reactors were higher — the corresponding initial estimates for two Westinghouse AP1000 reactors under construction at the Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia were $4,700/kW, for just the nuclear reactor, and $6,412/kW, when the other costs associated with the project were included.

When construction actually started, those numbers were soon obsolete and costs once again rose. Today, as work on these projects continues and completion dates are extended well beyond original dates, the cost estimates keep rising. As of early 2015, Vogtle’s total cost was estimated at around $7,300/kW. Likewise, the costs of the two European projects have more than doubled. The story is similar in Russia, India and China, although the starting cost estimates were lower.

Original construction timelines now seem completely absurd. Olkiluoto-3’s construction time went from four years to 13 and Flamanville-3 from five to 11. One of the Koodankulam reactors in southern India took 12 years to be commissioned, in comparison with the initial estimate of six years; the second one is yet to start operating, and the construction period count there is upwards of 13 years. All of these experiences should serve as reminders that cost and time overruns for reactor construction, long the bugbears of the nuclear industry, have not been exorcised by modern construction and manufacturing methods.

The industry typically attempts to explain these cost and time overruns as the result of teething problems in first-of-a-kind projects and argues that as more projects get under way these problems will be sorted out. Unfortunately, historical experience belies this expectation: Nuclear construction costs have typically gone up, not down, as more reactors are built, and this trend has been extensively documented in the US, France and India. The tendency toward increased costs despite experience is being demonstrated currently, with the estimated cost of a planned French reactor at Hinkley Point in the UK higher than estimates for the same reactor at Flamanville and Olkiluoto, and with the estimated cost of the Russian reactors proposed to be constructed in Turkey and in Bangladesh being higher than the Koodankulam reactors in India.

Higher Generating Costs

For a long time now, the nuclear industry had a comforting answer to this problem of high construction costs: it may take a lot, both of time and money, to build a reactor, but once built and paid for, the reactor will generate low-cost electricity that can be sold for handsome profits. The experiences of the last few years have burst that bubble. Marginal costs associated with producing nuclear electricity have been rising, to the point that some utilities are doing the unthinkable: shutting down nuclear reactors even though their licenses would allow them to operate for a decade or more beyond the planned shutdown date.

Annual expenditures in the US averaged for the whole fleet — not counting initial construction costs, which have largely been paid off — cover fuel purchases, salaries for workers and activities like uprating generation capacity, replacing equipment and regulatory work. The total is in the vicinity of $40 to $45 per megawatt hour, which should be seen in the context of recent bids for new solar photovoltaic projects (including the cost of recouping initial construction expenditures) that are around $50/MWh, and even lower than $40/MWh in some parts of the country. These higher-than-expected nuclear generating costs and the falling costs of competing sources of electricity explain why in the past few years US utilities have decided to prematurely shut down at least eight reactors — particularly stand-alone single units that don’t enjoy the economies of scale of plants with two or more reactors.

Across the Atlantic, Vattenfall, the Swedish state-owned utility, is closing down two reactors at the Ringhals nuclear power plant earlier than planned. Another large utility, E.On, justified its decision to shut down two of the reactors at Sweden’s Oskarshamn power plant by saying that “there are no prospects of generating financial profitability either in the short or the long term.” Although there have been no shutdowns yet in France, its audit court, Cour des Comptes, estimated that production costs for EDF’s 58 reactors had risen from €49.6 to €59.8/MWh between 2010 and 2013. The company has also been selling much less electricity to its competitors than in earlier years, leading analysts to conclude that “nuclear energy is less competitive than it was in the past.” This, in France, the country most reliant on nuclear power — and which has also decided to pare back nuclear’s contribution to its overall generation from just under 80% to 50% by 2025………..

November 27, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, Reference | Leave a comment

Russia keen to market nuclear power to impoverished Cambodia

Russia to help Cambodia build capacity for nuclear power, REUTERS, YEKATERINBURG, nuclear-marketing-crapRUSSIA/PHNOM PENH 26 Nov Russian-Bear Russia will help Cambodia work towards building a nuclear power plant under an agreement the two countries signed this week, said Sergei Kirienko, the head of state nuclear firm Rosatom.

Cambodia depends heavily on imported fuel and power. Electricity in the country is among the most expensive in Southeast Asia and a common source of complaint from investors.

“The Cambodian government is mulling, in future, a nuclear power station construction,” Kirienko told reporters on Wednesday when asked about the agreement.

Cambodian energy officials declined to comment on the deal on Thursday.

The agreement was signed during a visit by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to Cambodia this week. His visit was the first to Cambodia by a senior Russian politician since 1986.

Under the terms of the agreement, Russia will provide expertise, research and training to Cambodia……

November 27, 2015 Posted by | ASIA, marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

USA anxious about nuclear proliferation, but keen to market nuclear technology to South Korea

Buy-US-nukesUS, South Korea ratify deal on nuclear energy A pact between Seoul and Washington on nuclear energy has officially entered into effect. The deal, almost five years in the making, stops short of allowing South Korea to reprocess nuclear fuel from the US. The 20-year accord came into force on Wednesday, with South Korea’s foreign minister and the US ambassador exchanging documents in Seoul.

South Korea is among top five consumers of nuclear energy in the world, and home to 23 nuclear power plants.

However, all of the nuclear fuel in the country is provided by the US.

Seoul has repeatedly urged Washington to allow South Korea to develop uranium enrichment and reprocessing capabilities, citing energy concerns and environmental issues. The US is opposing the move, fearing that such technology could also be used for weapons-grade nuclear material.

The US government is concerned about sparking the nuclear rivalry between Seoul and North Korea,the country that already conducted three successful nuclear tests.

The latest accord denies South Korea the right to reprocess and enrich the US-origin fuel.

However, Seoul and Washington agreed to establish a high-level committee to discuss the issue, which South Korean officials described as a step towards securing a possible consent from Washington in the future.

South Korea is also seeking to become a key exporter of atomic power plants.fighters-marketing-1

The US ally could also research technologies such as “pyroprocessing” which are generally considered safe from the proliferation standpoint.

November 27, 2015 Posted by | marketing, USA | Leave a comment


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