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Yet more delays for Finland’s troubled Olkiluoto nuclear power project

Finnish Olkiluoto-3 nuclear unit tests slipping behind schedule: TVO https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/market-insights/latest-news/electric-power/100418-finnish-olkiluoto-3-nuclear-unit-tests-slipping-behind-schedule-tvo, Elaine Hiruo –Jonathan Dart

HIGHLIGHTS

New final phase schedule due in December

Too early to say if first power tests delayed

Output schedule ‘available ahead of commercial op’

London — Areva-Siemens is to provide a new schedule in December for the final phases of the 1.6-GW Finnish Olkiluoto-3 nuclear reactor after slippage in its commissioning tests, owner operator TVO confirmed Thursday.

This could potentially push back first delivery of power in tests currently scheduled from May 2019, “but we won’t know this until December,” TVO spokesman Pasi Tuohimaa told S&P Global Platts.

Previously TVO has said test production over a roughly five-month period could account for 10%-15% of Finland’s annual electricity needs ahead of full commercial operation, or 2-4 TWh.

Such is the potential volume at risk that TVO is to put up a schedule of Olkiluoto-3’s production tests six months before commercial operation, Tuohimaa said. He stressed that at this stage it was impossible to assess accurately how much electricity would be produced during testing.

“The completion of the commissioning tests has not been progressing according to the updated schedule for commissioning by the plant supplier Areva-Siemens Consortium,” TVO said in a statement late Wednesday.

The operator could not say whether “rebaselining” of the final phase schedule would affect the current September target for the start of commercial operation at the plant, which is already almost 10 years behind the original schedule and three times over the original Eur3.2 billion budget.

Neither could TVO say whether test production of electricity at varying power levels from May 2019 would be affected by the re-scheduling.

In June 2017, TVO said Olkiluoto-3 would begin commercial operation in September 2019, rather than in May of that year as expected. Hot testing had taken longer than expected, it said.

Q2 2019 Nordic baseload power on the NASDAQ futures exchange traded Thursday 0900 GMT at Eur36.40/MWh, down 30 euro cent from two trades earlier in the European morning.

elaine.hiruo@spglobal.com– jonathan.dart@spglobal.com

 

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October 5, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, Finland | Leave a comment

Trump Signs Legislation to Promote Advanced Nuclear Reactor Technology


The bill reinforces the administration’s efforts to revitalize the U.S. nuclear industry.
GreenTech Media 

It also directs the DOE to facilitate the siting of advanced reactor research demonstration facilities through partnerships with private industry.

On the technical side, the legislation requires DOE to develop a fast test reactor, or fast neutron source, used for testing advanced reactor fuels and materials. The U.S. doesn’t currently have this capability.

October 5, 2018 Posted by | politics, technology, USA | Leave a comment

How to Get Shot of Nuclear Wastes? —

The planned incinerator at Carlisle does not give any indication where the waste would be coming from. Radiation Free Lakeland have written a letter of objection. The door is wide open to a tsunami of radioactive waste being incinerated. The private operators and even the regulators can get away with saying ‘ what […]

via How to Get Shot of Nuclear Wastes? —

October 5, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Town Council election becomes a debate on nuclear waste hosting

Hornepayne, Ont., municipal election to become debate on nuclear wasteCommunity one of three in northwestern Ontario to consider hosting nuclear waste  Jeff Walters · CBC News  Oct 04, 2018 Voters in the small northwestern Ontario town of Hornepayne will have more to consider at the ballot box than tax rates and economic growth.

October 5, 2018 Posted by | Canada, politics, wastes | Leave a comment

When is radioactive waste NOT radioactive waste? When it is magically labelled “Exempt”

Radiation Free Lakeland 3rd Oct 2018 , Nuclear mud isn’t the only waste. The industry is getting rid of waste by
sending it to landfill, ‘recycling’ – new routes are being found to
dump as much waste as possible.

The planned incinerator at Carlisle does not give any indication where the waste would be coming from. Radiation
Free Lakeland have written a letter of objection. The door is wide open to
a tsunami of radioactive waste being incinerated.

The private operators and even the regulators can get away with saying ‘ what dont be ridiculous
there is NO RADIOACTIVE WASTE planned for the new incinerator’. They said
this to us about radioactive wastes being dumped at Lillyhall. This is
because the waste that used to be classified as radioactive is now
classified as “exempt” for “free release” so by the magic touch of
a magic pen it is no longer radioactive.
https://mariannewildart.wordpress.com/2018/10/03/how-to-get-shot-of-nuclear-wastes/

October 5, 2018 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment

Wales national assembly to debate motion to stop the dumping of mud from Hinkley nuclear station

Welsh leaders urged to halt ‘nuclear mud’ dumping off Cardiff, Sediment from Hinkley Point C construction site is being disposed of at Cardiff Grounds, Guardian,  Steven Morris  @stevenmorris20– 2 Oct 2018  Pressure is increasing on the Labour-led Welsh government to halt the dumping of “nuclear mud” in the sea close to Cardiff after a campaign by an eclectic group of scientists, surfers and a pop star.

October 5, 2018 Posted by | politics, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

France’s nuclear regulator ASN orders further safety work on EDF’s flagship next-generation nuclear plant at Flamanville

Watchdog warns EDF over weldings at flagship new nuclear plant, Ft.com 4 Oct 18 France’s nuclear regulator has said that EDF’s flagship next-generation nuclear plant at Flamanville might need further work due to faulty weldings which have already delayed the project.

In July, EDF said there would be further delays and cost overruns due to problems with the weldings. It pushed back the loading of nuclear fuel and the target construction costs at the late and over-budget plant. The state-backed energy utility said at the time that out of the 148 inspected welds, 33 had quality deficiencies and would be repaired. It said a further 20 would be reworked “even though they do not have any defects” while for another 10 it would submit a proposal to the ASN to convince the regulator of their safety. Now, the ASN has suggested, subject to further tests, that 8 of those 10 welds may need further work. The regulator said it “invites EDF to begin preparations on possible repair work to the welds concerned,” in a statement on Wednesday.“ASN also considers that the observed discrepancies indicate a failure of the monitoring carried out by EDF on certain activities of the EPR reactor site in Flamanville. It therefore asks EDF to extend the review of the quality of equipment installed on this reactor,”

“ASN also considers that the observed discrepancies indicate a failure of the monitoring carried out by EDF on certain activities of the EPR reactor site in Flamanville. It therefore asks EDF to extend the review of the quality of equipment installed on this reactor,” the ASN added………

The Flamanville plant in France is one of three being built in Europe using the next-generation European Pressurized Reactor technology. The other two projects are the Olkiluoto project in Finland, which is more than a decade late, and the UK’s Hinkley Point, which is mired in controversy over the high cost of the project.S……. https://www.ft.com/content/ec9c379a-c707-11e8-ba8f-ee390057b8c9ocial Responsibility

 

October 5, 2018 Posted by | France, safety | Leave a comment

Lacey township wants federal money for hosting high level wastes from Oyster Creek nuclear station

Lacey seeks federal funding for hosting Oyster Creek nuclear fuel Ocean County, MICHELLE BRUNETTI  4 Oct 18 

LACEY TOWNSHIP — U.S. Senate candidate Bob Hugin joined U.S. Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-3rd, on Wednesday in supporting federal funding for towns like Lacey that host highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel rods.

The bill, H.R. 3053, the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2018, is co-sponsored by MacArthur. It would allow the Department of Energy to enter into agreements to pay state, local and tribal governments that host nuclear plants where spent fuel is stored.

Lacey hosted the Oyster Creek nuclear plant for the 49 years of its operation, and now will host a decades-long decommissioning process of decontamination and dismantling buildings and infrastructure, and overseeing about 753 metric tons of nuclear waste. …….https://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/press/ocean/lacey-seeks-federal-funding-for-hosting-oyster-creek-nuclear-fuel/article_4a154493-7b1b-5194-a8c6-3a53c4cf6f79.html

October 5, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Jersey’s electrical utilities lobbying for nuclear subsidies

UTILITIES SUBMIT PROPOSALS FOR NUCLEAR SUBSIDIES, NJ Spotlight  | OCTOBER 3, 2018

While some residential customers may end up paying $30 more annually, large energy users may see their bills rise by $1 million a year.

 It will be months before the state decides whether customers need to subsidize nuclear power, but New Jersey’s four electric utilities are already proposing how they will recover those costs.

In filings with the Board of Public Utilities, each of the utilities submitted tariffs disclosing how they will recoup the cost of buying Zero Emission Certificates (ZECs), the potential $300 million annual subsidy aimed at propping up the state’s supply of nuclear power.

The proposals are the latest in a series of filings that could boost bills to customers by billions of dollars if approved by the regulatory agency, most stemming from two bills signed into law this spring that will transform energy policy in New Jersey.

PSEG threatened to shut down units in South Jersey

The most contentious bill involved proposed subsidies to avert the closing of the three remaining nuclear power plants in New Jersey. Without financial incentives, Public Service Enterprise Group threatened to shut down the units it operates in South Jersey……

Is it a done deal?

“It gives the appearance of being a fait accompli,’’ said Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey, part of a coalition that opposed the nuclear bill. “The ZEC tariffs give the appearance that it is a done deal.’’

The board must still approve the tariffs, as well as any application by a nuclear-plant owner for the subsidy.

The proposed surcharge is established by the bill signed by Gov. Phil Murphy, but the tariffs submitted to the BPU vary on how much customers will pay depending on what customer class they’re in……..

Stefanie Brand: ‘It all adds up’

“The numbers appear small, but in fact they are quite large,’’ said Steve Goldenberg, an attorney representing large energy users. When you multiply the change by a whole lot of kilowatt hours, you derive a very large number.’’

The annual costs for some large energy users will exceed $1 million, Goldenberg said. “The lowest I’ve heard is $300,000.’’

Others worry the potential subsidies, when added to other costs that are pending before the BPU, or recently approved, will be a huge hit to ratepayers.

“It all adds up,’’ said Stefanie Brand, director of the Division of Rate Counsel. PSE&G has more than $10 billion in proposed rate increases pending before the BPU, if a recent $1.9 billion gas modernization program is included, Brand said.

Those cases include $2.5 billion to improve the resilience of its electric and gas distribution system; a $4 billion clean-energy initiative filed last Friday, and the proposed nuclear subsidy.

“The fact is there is no way to spend $10 billion and not have it be very expensive to ratepayers,’’ Brand said…….https://www.njspotlight.com/stories/18/10/02/utilities-submit-proposals-for-nuclear-subsidies/

October 5, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA | Leave a comment

USA threat about “taking out” Russian missiles

US threatens to ‘take out’ Russian missiles if Moscow keeps violating nuclear treaty By Ryan Browne and Frederik Pleitgen, CNN October 2, 2018   CNN)The United States Permanent Representative to NATO, Amb. Kay Bailey Hutchison, warned Tuesday that the US could “take out” Russian missiles that are perceived to be in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty should Moscow continue to violate the agreement…..

October 5, 2018 Posted by | politics international, Russia, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announces 3 New IAEA Safety Guides on Radiation Protection

Three New IAEA Safety Guides on Radiation Protection Available

The recommendations provided in these three Safety Guides, together with the requirements of IAEA General Safety Requirements( GSR Part 3), provide a basis for including environmental considerations in the assessment and management of radioactive releases.
  • IAEA Safety Standards Series No. GSG-8, Radiation Protection of the Public and the Environment, provides high level/generic guidance in relation to the protection of members of the public and the environment in planned exposure situations, existing exposure situations and emergency exposure situations. Key stakeholders from governments, regulatory bodies and operating organizations are provided with a structured approach to controlling radiation exposures resulting from the operation of facilities and environmental contamination resulting from accidents.
  • IAEA Safety Standards Series No. GSG-9, Regulatory Control of Discharges to the Environment provides specific guidance on the application of the principles of radiation protection and safety objectives associated with the control of radioactive discharges from facilities and activities and on the process for their authorization. Recommendations and guidance focus on the process for the authorization for discharges, including the setting of discharge limits, the means of verification of compliance, that will contribute to control radiological impact on the public and the environment.
  • IAEA Safety Standards Series No. GSG-10, Prospective Radiological Environmental Impact Assessment for Facilities and Activities details the general framework and methodologies for prospective radiological environmental impact assessment. It defines various types of methodologies that can enhance prospective radiological environmental impact assessment, which are normally undertaken at the pre-operational and the operational stage of a facility or activity, as a requirement for their authorization. The methodologies are also applicable for governmental decision-making processes, such as for the environmental impact assessment process included in several national and international regulatory frameworks.

Member States are encouraged to apply these recommendations and use them to enhance and develop national regulations on protection of the environment from harmful effects of ionizing radiation, Telleria said. Effective national radiation protection infrastructures, including the existing and those under development, can benefit from these new safety guides that promote the establishment optimal levels of protection. https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/three-new-iaea-safety-guides-on-radiation-protection-available

 

October 5, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation | Leave a comment

Belgium plans to sue Google over its refusal to blur sensitive military sites and nuclear power plants

Google Faces Lawsuit In Belgium For Not Blurring Military Sites And Nuclear Power Plants On Maps, Gizmodo, Matt Novak Sep 29, 2018 Belgium plans to sue Google over the tech giant’s refusal to blur sensitive military sites and nuclear power plants on the company’s various mapping platforms. Military leaders in Belgium have not yet filed a formal complaint but confirmed to Reuters that they intend to sue……

The platforms at issue are Google Earth, Google Maps and Street View — all of which rely on elements of third-party imaging, which appears to be the crux of Google’s pushback. In short, Google would have to alter images that they’re receiving from other technology companies that do satellite imaging. Google refuses to do that for reasons still unknown.  …..https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2018/09/google-faces-lawsuit-in-belgium-for-not-blurring-military-sites-and-nuclear-power-plants-on-maps/

October 5, 2018 Posted by | EUROPE, Legal | Leave a comment

South African Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene testified to the nuclear corruption in former South African regime

Nene refused to sign off on nuclear energy – and it cost him his job https://businesstech.co.za/news/energy/275039/nene-refused-to-sign-off-on-nuclear-energy-and-it-cost-him-his-job/ South African Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said he met repeatedly with members of the Gupta family, who have been implicated in a corruption scandal related to former President Jacob Zuma and separately was twice pressured to sign a multi-billion Russian nuclear-power deal by former Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson.

Nene made his comments in a statement accompanying his testimony at a judicial inquiry into allegations of corruption and so-called state capture which involve the Guptas, who are friends with the former president.

Nene denied wrongdoing in his meetings with the family and said he refused to sign the agreement for Russia to provide nuclear energy, a plan that had been publicly backed by Zuma.

President Cyril Ramaphosa came to power in February and has changed the top management at the likes of the revenue authority and the state power utility as part of his pledge to fight corruption. He reappointed Nene as finance minister, a move that helped bolster investor confidence after years of economic mismanagement and regular cabinet changes under Zuma.

Nene first served as finance minister until December 2015, when Zuma fired him, causing a plunge in the rand and bonds. Mcebisi Jonas, who was Nene’s deputy, told the commission the Guptas offered him a bribe to take over the finance minister post, which he declined.

Nene rejected pressure to approve the construction of as many as eight nuclear reactors, which would have the capacity to generate 9,600 megawatts of energy. The costs of the project, championed by Zuma, would have been “astronomical,” he said in his statement.

In July 2015, Nene twice refused to sign a letter from Joemat-Pettersson providing a guarantee to the Russian government on the nuclear program.

“As a result of my refusal to sign the letter, I was seen as the person standing in the way of the nuclear deal,” he said. “I was accused of insubordination, not only by the president but by some of my colleagues.”

October 5, 2018 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, South Africa | Leave a comment

Nuclear power advocate nominated to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Key Backer of Trump’s Coal and Nuclear Bailout Effort Is Nominated to FERC https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/key-backer-of-trumps-coal-and-nuclear-bailout-effort-is-nominated-to-ferc#gs.gyTRPcM

Bernard McNamee could soon sit on the commission that unanimously rejected a DOE coal and nuclear bailout plan he has championed.

Environmental groups were quick to decry McNamee’s choice to replace outgoing Commissioner Ron Powelson, a Republican who nonetheless voted last year with the rest of the commission to deny Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal for FERC to use its authority to create out-of-market payments for coal and nuclear power plants.

McNamee, by contrast, worked on this proposal as DOE’s deputy general counsel for energy policy and defended it in a Senate hearing this year as head of DOE’s Office of Policy. He has also defended the department’s ongoing efforts to demand out-of-market payments for coal and nuclear power plants, using federal laws intended to keep critical infrastructure running in times of national emergency.

These efforts have been roundly decried by environmental groups, state and federal regulators including many former FERC commissioners, consumer advocates, and the natural gas, solar, wind and energy efficiency industries. They’ve also been undermined by data from mid-Atlantic grid operator PJM, which has reported no threats to grid reliability from the impending closures of several coal and nuclear plants in its territory .

These power plants belong to FirstEnergy, the utility that in March asked DOE to use its emergency power to prop up its now-bankrupt generation unit. DOE’s plan was also influenced by Perry’s association with coal company CEO and owner Robert Murray, an outspoken financial supporter of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, whose company sells much of its coal to FirstEnergy’s plants.

DOE hasn’t made its plans public — they were revealed via a leak of a supporting document in June — which makes it difficult to assess how they would affect energy markets. But forcing utilities to buy power from the power plants likely to be supported could raise costs for U.S. consumers by billions of dollars per year. Preliminary estimates range from the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity’s projection of about $4 billion per year, to The Brattle Group’s estimate of between $9.7 billion and $17.2 billion per year.

Unlike Powelson, who previously served as a utility executive and Pennsylvania utility regulator before being appointed to FERC, McNamee is an attorney who’s worked for the attorneys general of Texas and Virginia and for Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), as well as for anti-regulation think tanks.

His nomination, first floated as a possibility by Politico in August, has largely been seen as the Trump administration’s efforts to get a reliable pro-coal and nuclear vote on FERC.

“The selection is not at all unanticipated, as Powelson’s departure was widely seen as opportunity for the White House to more closely align FERC with its own policies,” Jason Johns, a partner at the law firm Stoel Rives, wrote in a Wednesday email. “It is my belief that Powelson’s opposition to certain policy efforts came as a surprise to the White House, particularly the White House’s efforts to subsidize coal and nuclear facilities. I’m confident the White House is looking to address those surprises with this choice.”

John Moore, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Sustainable FERC Project, noted that “McNamee’s past writings and career track record suggest that he would seek every opportunity possible to support fossil fuels. […] He should be prepared to answer some very hard questions about his previous comments and positions, and how they would affect FERC independence” during his Senate confirmation hearings.

Mary Anne Hitt, senior director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, called McNamee “a political plant for Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Donald Trump. Collectively, they are trying to use FERC to manipulate America’s electricity markets to bail out dirty and expensive coal plants that are heading toward retirement, while locking in a fossil fuel future for communities across the country.”

October 5, 2018 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Delay at Olkiluoto nuclear project French-German consortium Areva-Siemens unable to complete tests

Nuclear plant delay, YLE  4 Oct 18  Daily Turun Sanomat reports that the start of regular power production at Finland’s biggest nuclear reactor, Olkiluoto 3, may be pushed back yet again.

TVO – the owner of the power plant – said the French-German consortium Areva-Siemens has not been able to complete commissioning tests at the Eurajoki site as planned, the paper says. According to TVO, it is still unclear whether the supplier’s test delays will affect the launch of the plant, which has been scheduled for September 2019.

The project in western Finland has been hit by repeated delays, spiraling costs and legal disputes. The construction of the 1,600 MW reactor began in 2005, and initially it was scheduled to start producing electricity in 2009.

On Tuesday, Finland’s Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority expressed concerns about the safety culture at energy company Fennovoima, which seeks to build a nuclear power plant in northern Finland. https://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/thursdays_papers_bus_driver_walk-out_nuclear_power_plant_delay_and_finns_in_drug_bust/10438247

October 5, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, Finland | Leave a comment