nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

EDF cuts output at nuclear power plants as French rivers get too warm

The production cuts mean that France, traditionally an energy exporter, is relying on imports from countries such as Spain, Switzerland, Germany and the UK

Company says it is reducing production for few hours where possible as ability to cool plants is restricted  https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/aug/03/edf-to-reduce-nuclear-power-output-as-french-river-temperatures-rise Julia KolleweThu 4 Aug 2022 

The French energy supplier EDF is temporarily reducing output at its nuclear power stations on the Rhône and Garonne rivers as heatwaves push up river temperatures, restricting its ability to use river water to cool the plants.

The majority-state-owned company, Europe’s biggest producer of nuclear energy, said it would extend output cuts at several power stations on the two rivers as the hot spell continues – but that a minimum level of output would be maintained to keep the grid steady.

EDF warned of potential output cuts at its nuclear power plants Tricastin, St Alban and Golfech in coming days due to high temperatures in the Rhône and Garonne rivers. It started imposing production restrictions in mid-July at Tricastin, St Alban and Bugey on the Rhône and Blayais at the mouth of the Garonne amid sweltering temperatures.

A spokesperson told the Guardian that the company was lowering production “for a few hours” where possible but not shutting the reactors completely.

After the 2003 heatwave, France’s nuclear safety authority (ASN) set temperature and river flow limits beyond which power stations must reduce their production, to ensure the water used to cool the plants will not harm wildlife when it is released back into the rivers.

Temperatures in southern France are expected to reach 40C over the next two days, according to the forecaster Météo-France.

Since 2000, production losses due to high river temperatures and low river flows have represented an average of 0.3% of annual production. However, half of EDF’s 56 nuclear reactors are offline due to planned maintenance and work to repair corrosion which was delayed by the pandemic, just as Europe faces an energy crunch following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

As a result of the maintenance work, EDF estimates its power output this year will be the lowest in more than three decades. The company issued its fourth profit warning of the year last Thursday when it reported a first-half loss of €5.3bn. The French government, which owns 84% of EDF, is in the process of buying out minority shareholders to take full control of the business.

The production cuts mean that France, traditionally an energy exporter, is relying on imports from countries such as Spain, Switzerland, Germany and the UK.

EDF is buying electricity at high market prices, after Russia’s war in Ukraine sparked an energy crisis, leaving European countries scrambling to find alternative supplies. Another strain on EDF’s finances comes from a power tariff cap imposed by the government to shield consumers from soaring energy prices.

The latest power cuts threaten to push energy prices even higher after they were sent spiralling by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February.

August 1, 2022 Posted by | climate change, France | Leave a comment

Small nuclear reactors produce more radioactive trash than large ones do- American Academy of Sciences

Despite being hailed as the future of electricity generation in the UK,
small nuclear reactors may actually produce more waste than their larger
counterparts, as our Gossage Gossip columnist explains.

A planned new generation of small nuclear reactors will create more waste than
conventional reactors, according to an authoritative new study.

The projects, called small modular reactors (SMR), are designed to be simpler
and safer than conventional plants in the case of an accident. They are
also expected to be built in factories and shipped to locations across the
world, as opposed to today’s massive reactors, which are built on-site
and typically run billions of pounds over budget. SMR backers maintain they
are a safe way to boost generation of virtually emissions-free electricity.


But the reactors would create far more radioactive waste per unit of
electricity they generate than conventional reactors by a factor of up to
30, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the American
National Academy of Sciences.

Some of these smaller reactors, with molten
salt and sodium-cooled designs, are expected to create waste that needs to
go through additional conditioning to make it safe to store in a
repository.

Allison Macfarlane, a co-author of the study and former head of
the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said SMR designers ‘don’t pay
that much attention in general to the waste, because the thing that makes
money for them is the reactor. But it is important to know about the waste
products, and whether they’re going to pose such difficulties in managing
and then disposing of them. Which they are.’

 Electrical Review 2nd Aug 2022

August 1, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, wastes | Leave a comment

Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station “completely out of control” – IAEA

The U.N. nuclear chief warned that Europe´s largest nuclear power plant
in Ukraine “is completely out of control” and issued an urgent plea to
Russia and Ukraine to quickly allow experts to visit the sprawling complex
to stabilize the situation and avoid a nuclear accident.

Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said in an
interview Tuesday with The Associated Press that the situation is getting
more perilous every day at the Zaporizhzhya plant in the southeastern city
of Enerhodar, which Russian troops seized in early March, soon after their
Feb. 24. invasion of Ukraine.

 Daily Mail 3rd Aug 2022

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-11075895/UN-nuclear-chief-Ukraine-nuclear-plant-control.html

August 1, 2022 Posted by | safety, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Damage to marine life from seismic testing, and from dumping of radioactive waste.

 Concerns raised as the UK starts hunt for undersea nuclear waste disposal
sites. Animal welfare groups and campaigners blast ongoing surveys for
undersea nuclear waste dump. Officials have been warned about the potential
environmental impact of plans to dispose of radioactive nuclear waste
beneath the seabed off the north coast of England.

Yesterday, ELN reported
that the first marine geophysical surveys to determine suitable sites for
nuclear waste disposal started in the Irish sea near Cumbria. Nuclear Waste
Services (NWS), the developer of the Geological Disposal Facility (GDF)
said it is “committed to environmental protection at all times”.


Richard Outram, Secretary of the campaign group Nuclear Free Local
Authorities, told ELN: “The Nuclear Free Local Authorities are opposed to
both the seismic testing and its purpose. “Our concerns regarding the
testing regime itself is that it necessitates the prolonged and repeated
sound blasting of the seabed of the Irish Sea every few seconds for a
period of several weeks whilst the ship patrols a search area of some 250
square kilometres and that this activity will be both disruptive and
harmful to marine life, some of which has protected status, both in the
area and for many miles around it.”

Mr Outram added that he was not
convinced that any nuclear waste dump facility, however well engineered,
could provide a ‘forever guarantee’ against a potential leakage
scenario.

Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme Manager Rob Deaville
from the Zoological Society of London said: “Many species of odontocetes
are sensitive to noise disturbance, given their primary sense is acoustic
in nature. “Generating impulsive noise, such as through seismic surveys,
can have a disturbance effect and may cause habitat avoidance and
potentially exclusion from an area. “Depending on how close animals are
to the source of impulsive noise, potential impacts can also include direct
physical effects ranging from temporary or permanent threshold shifts in
hearing to direct blast trauma and also the risk of decompression sickness
like conditions in some species that may ascend too rapidly to startle
responses.

“Finally, the area is a known habitat for many cetacean
species, ranging from coastal harbour porpoises to deeper diving Risso’s
dolphins. So, I would still have a concern about the seismic survey efforts
and our teams are very much on standby, in the event we receive increased
reports of live/dead strandings over this period.”

 Energy Live News 3rd Aug 2022
 https://www.energylivenews.com/2022/08/03/concerns-raised-as-the-uk-surveys-undersea-nuclear-waste-disposal-sites/

August 1, 2022 Posted by | oceans, UK | Leave a comment

A worsening situation of cracks in Britain’s ageing nuclear reactors

Today (10am, 1 August) Reactor 3 at the Hinkley Point B nuclear power
plant will cease generation for the last time. After the closure of Reactor
4 last month, this will finally bring all electricity production at the
Somerset site to a halt.

Although there were calls for the plant to be
granted a lifetime extension, recent revelations about the extent of
graphite core cracking at Hinkley Point B have convinced the Nuclear Free
Local Authorities that EDF Energy made the right call in sticking to its
closure plan, and the NFLA fears that core cracking will increasingly
compromise the safety of Britain’s remaining aging Advanced Gas Cooled
Reactors if their operating lifetimes are further extended.

In March 2014,
in response to a Freedom of Information request submitted via the Office of
Nuclear Regulation, EDF Energy reported that at their two oldest AGR
stations, Hunterston B (now closed) and Hinkley Point B, there were ‘less
than 10% cracked bricks in the reactor’. In 2017, the Office of Nuclear
Regulation made a major concession to EDF Energy by doubling the tolerances
so that it was now acceptable for a plant to operate with up to 20% of
graphite bricks cracked, rather than the original 10%.

However, in a
response dated May 2022 to a specific enquiry from the NFLA Secretary about
graphite cracking, it became clear that at Hinkley Point B even the raised
tolerance has been breached with the nuclear regulator reporting that in
Reactor 3, 28.8% of graphite bricks were observed to be cracked and in
Reactor 4, 22% with ‘a 99.9% confidence level’ of accuracy, with keyway
cracking observed in both.

Although overall cracking in the other AGRs is
presently reported to be under 10%, worryingly cracks in the vital keyway
bricks have been discovered at Heysham 2, Reactor 7 and at Torness, Reactor
1, which is the currently the last reactor scheduled to be closed in 2028,
suggesting a worsening situation.

 NFLA 1st Aug 2022

August 1, 2022 Posted by | safety, UK | Leave a comment

Senator Manchin Democrats Bill to give $30 billion lifeline to save America’s moribund nuclear industry

Manchin Deal Tosses $30 Billion Lifeline to US Nuclear Reactors,

  • Tax credit for nuclear power included in Senate spending bill
  • Incentive could save as much as 38% of fleet, analyst says

Bloomberg, By Ari Natter, August 4, 2022

Struggling nuclear reactors would get a $30 billion lifeline under the Democrats’ climate change and tax bill that could save dozens of nuclear power plants from an early retirement. 

Included in the $433 billion Inflation Reduction Act, which is slated for a Senate vote as soon as this week, is a 10-year production tax credit for nuclear energy producers that could be a boon for reactor operators such as Southern Co., Constellation Energy Corp., Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. and Energy Harbor Corp.

The proposed $15 per megawatt-hour credit for existing nuclear plants — which provide about 19% of the nation’s electricity — will help an industry that has undergone a wave of closures. Reactors have high operating costs and are increasingly struggling to compete with cheaper electricity produced using natural gas and renewables.

Between 22% and 38% of the nation’s nuclear fleet of 93 reactors is at risk of retiring in the 2030s, depending on natural gas prices, according to an analysis by Rhodium Group…………………………

It remains to be seen whether the Inflation Reduction Act, which represents a compromise between Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, will be backed by the full Democratic caucus in the 50-50 Senate. It would also have to pass the House, where progressives sought a much more expansive plan. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-08-03/machin-deal-tosses-30-billion-lifeline-to-us-nuclear-reactors

August 1, 2022 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Ukraine wants to export nuclear-generated electricity to European states – but is that safe?

 Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko has a problem. His
government has tasked him with convincing the EU that the country’s nuclear
fleet is safe enough to export massive amounts of
electricity to the bloc in a bid to help fill Kyiv’s depleted coffers and
bring down eye-watering European power prices.

But the Russian occupation of several Ukrainian nuclear sites since the invasion — coupled with the
minister’s very public spats over safety with the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA) — have raised European fears about the safety of
Ukraine’s power system.

 Politico 2nd Aug 2022

https://www.politico.eu/article/ukraine-pitch-export-power-europe-nuclear-safety-snag/

August 1, 2022 Posted by | safety, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan Visit Stoked Tensions With China. What Comes Next?

Truthout Amy Goodman & Juan GonzálezDemocracy Now! U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has left Taiwan after a series of high-profile meetings with Taiwan’s pro-democracy president and other lawmakers. Pelosi’s visit made her the most senior U.S. official to visit Taiwan in 25 years and stoked tensions with China, prompting the nation to announce it would carry out new air and naval drills and long-range live-fire exercises in six areas around Taiwan beginning Thursday. The Quincy Institute’s Michael Swaine says President Biden should have done more to prevent the visit and uphold the One China policy, calling the move a “basic violation of the understanding that the United States and China reached at the time of normalization.”……………………………………..
more  https://truthout.org/video/nancy-pelosis-taiwan-visit-stoked-tensions-with-china-what-comes-next/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=cc78ff56-e8af-4904-b6ea-6971941975d2

August 1, 2022 Posted by | politics international | Leave a comment

Is Taiwan’s Independence Worth War?

https://original.antiwar.com/buchanan/2022/08/01/is-taiwans-independence-worth-war/ by Patrick J. Buchanan 

When a man knows he is about to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully, said Dr. Samuel Johnson.

If there is any benefit to be realized from the collision between China and the U.S. over Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s proposed trip to Taiwan, it is this: America needs to reflect long and hard upon what it is we will fight China to defend in the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea.

China, after all, is a nuclear-weapons nation with a manufacturing base larger than our own, an economy equal to our own, a population four times ours and fleets of warships larger in number than the US Navy.

An air-naval-and-missile war in the Western Pacific and East Asia would be no cakewalk.

A massive barrage of anti-ship and hypersonic missiles launched by China could cripple and conceivably sink the US carrier Ronald Reagan now in the South China Sea. The Reagan carries a crew of thousands of sailors almost as numerous as the US casualty lists from both Pearl Harbor and 9/11, the worst attacks in and on the US outside of such Civil War battles as Gettysburg and Antietam.

What in East Asia or the Western Pacific would justify such losses?

What would justify such risks?

Since President Richard Nixon’s trip to China, and President Jimmy Carter’s abrogation of the mutual defense treaty with the Republic of China on Taiwan in 1979, the US is not obligated to come to the defense of Taiwan against China, which claims that island the size of Maryland as “part of China.”

Our military posture has been one of “strategic ambiguity.” We will not commit to go to war to defend Taiwan, nor will we take the war option off the table if Taiwan is attacked.

But if the US went to war to defend Taiwan, what would it mean?

We would be risking our own security and possible survival to prevent from being imposed on the island of Taiwan the same regime lately imposed on Hong Kong without any US military resistance.

If Hong Kong, a city of 7 million, can be transferred to the custody and control of Beijing without resistance from the US, why should it be worth a major US war with China to prevent that same fate and future from befalling 23 million Taiwanese?

The retort comes instantly.

Allow China to take Taiwan without US resistance, and our treaties to fight for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand become suspect.

Belief in the US commitment to fight for the nations of East Asia and the Western Pacific would dissipate. The entire architecture of Asian defense against Communist China could disintegrate and collapse.

If we allowed Taiwan to be taken by China without intervening, it is argued, the value of US commitments to fight to defend scores of allies in Europe and Asia would visibly depreciate. US credibility would suffer a blow as substantial as the loss of South Vietnam in 1975.

The fall of Saigon was followed by the loss of Laos and Cambodia to communism, the overthrow of the shah, the Iranian hostage crisis, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the strategic transfer of Ethiopia, Angola, Mozambique, Nicaragua and Grenada to the Soviet bloc, and the rise of Euro-communism on the Old Continent.

Pelosi’s prospective visit to Taiwan, and the bellicose reaction of Beijing, should raise other relevant questions.

If this should lead to a U.S.-China war, what would we be fighting for? And what would victory look like?

A restoration of the status quo ante? Permanent independence for Taiwan, which would require a new and permanent war guarantee by the US and a new U.S.-Taiwan defense pact?

Would a permanent commitment to fight to defend Taiwan from China be acceptable to an American people weary of commitments and wars?

Again, why would we risk our own peace and security for Taiwan’s freedom and independence, when we would not risk our own peace and security for the freedom or independence of Hong Kong?

And after our victory in the Taiwan Strait, how would we secure indefinitely the independence of that nation of 23 million from a defeated power of 1.4 billion, bitter and bristling at its loss?

Consider: China, in this 21st century, has grown massively, both militarily and economically, and in both real and relative terms, at the expense of the United States.

Nor are the growth trends for China, with four times as many people as there are Americans, favorable to the USA.

What guarantees are there that 2025 or 2030 will not bring a more favorable balance of power for China in what is, after all, their continent, not ours?

Unlike in the Cold War, time is not necessarily on the side of the United States and its allies when all three of the nuclear powers in East Asia – China, Russia, North Korea – are hostile to the USA.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Churchill, Hitler, and “The Unnecessary War”: How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Web page at www.creators.com.

August 1, 2022 Posted by | politics international, Taiwan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Reduced electricity output from France’s nuclear reactors due to high temperatures.

 French utility EDF warned on Wednesday of potential output cuts of up to
3.8 GW at its nuclear power plants Tricastin, St Alban and Golfech due to
high temperatures in the Rhone and Garonne rivers. The output curbs could
start tomorrow at Golfech (2.6 GW).

 Montel 3rd Aug 2022

https://www.montelnews.com/news/1339940/edf-warns-of-up-to-38-gw-cuts-on-cooling-issues

August 1, 2022 Posted by | climate change, France | Leave a comment

Fukushima Prefecture seeks government help in preventing reputational damage to its marine products

Local officials from Fukushima Prefecture on Wednesday called on the
central government to take measures to prevent reputational damage to
marine products, a day after giving their approval to the construction of
facilities to release treated water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear
power plant into the ocean.

The mayors of the two towns hosting the
Fukushima Daiichi plant, Okuma and Futaba, and Fukushima Gov. Masao
Uchibori made the request during a meeting with Economy, Trade and Industry
Minister Koichi Hagiuda in Tokyo.

 Mainichi 3rd Aug 2022

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20220803/p2g/00m/0na/033000c

August 1, 2022 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Cracking in the graphite core of Advanced Gas Cooled Nuclear Reactors

Today (10am, 1 August) Reactor 3 at the Hinkley Point B nuclear power plant
will cease generation for the last time. After the closure of Reactor 4
last month, this will finally bring all electricity production at the
Somerset site to a halt.

Although there were calls for the plant to be
granted a lifetime extension, recent revelations about the extent of
graphite core cracking at Hinkley Point B have convinced the Nuclear Free
Local Authorities that EDF Energy made the right call in sticking to its
closure plan, and the NFLA fears that core cracking will increasingly
compromise the safety of Britain’s remaining aging Advanced Gas Cooled
Reactors if their operating lifetimes are further extended.

Hinkley Point B was the first plant to be equipped with two Advanced Gas Cooled Reactors
(AGRs), entering service in 1976. Over 300 fuel channels and 10 layers of
graphite bricks make up the core of each AGR. EDF Energy has described the
graphite structure as ‘the major safety requirement of the core’.

Each graphite brick is loosely connected to its neighbouring bricks by graphite
‘keys’ and there are also ‘keyways’ at the top and bottom of each
brick. The continued integrity of the structure is vital to operational
safety as it provides pathways for the fuel rods, which generate the
fission reaction, to be loaded and for the control rods, which moderate the
reaction, to be inserted.

Although overall cracking in the other AGRs is
presently reported to be under 10%, worryingly cracks in the vital keyway
bricks have been discovered at Heysham 2, Reactor 7 and at Torness, Reactor
1, which is the currently the last reactor scheduled to be closed in 2028,
suggesting a worsening situation.

NFLA 1st Aug 2022

August 1, 2022 Posted by | safety, UK | Leave a comment

A fake ‘community partnership’ on ocean nuclear waste dumping

Nuclear Waste Service have announced their decision to form a community partnership. Their choice of name for the new group is almost as comic as it is misleading.

At present there is only one member who comes from “the affected community.” Even the two council representatives live 30 and 50 miles from the site. As for partnership, NWS pay the chair and the so called independent facilitator. NWS have written the recruitment criteria for potential members.

To be a true partnership their has to be a level of equality but to quote George Orwell “everyone is equal but the pigs are more equal than others.” In truth this cannot be considered either a community based project or a partnership.

Guardians of the East Coast GOTEC 17th July 2022

https://www.gotec.org.uk/post/community-partnership-formed

August 1, 2022 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

To join UK’s Nuclear Waste ‘Community Partnership’ one must be required to have a ‘commitment to exploring development’ of an ocean nuclear waste dump

Assertions are being made we were invited to join the community
partnership. This is not the case. When the announcement was made we were
sent the same press release that went out to the media. In short, it
announced that the, so called partnership, had been formed and that NWS was
recruiting members. Hardly an invitation.

We investigated further and found this at the top of the personal qualities required of members. Commitment
to exploring the possibility of the development of a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) in the identified Search Area, according to the requirements of the Working With Communities Policy.

GOTEC 17th July 2022

https://www.gotec.org.uk/post/gotec-has-not-been-invited-to-join-the-community-partnership

August 1, 2022 Posted by | spinbuster | Leave a comment

Construction begins at Fukushima plant for water release

The construction of facilities needed for a planned release of treated radioactive wastewater into the sea next year from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant has begun despite opposition from the local fishing community

abc news, by MARI YAMAGUCHI Associated Press, August 04, 2022,  TOKYO — The construction of facilities needed for a planned release of treated radioactive wastewater into the sea next year from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant began Thursday despite opposition from the local fishing community.

Plant workers started construction of a pipeline to transport the wastewater from hillside storage tanks to a coastal facility before its planned release next year, according to the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings.

The digging of an undersea tunnel was also to begin later Thursday.

Construction at the Fukushima Daiichi plant follows the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s formal approval last month of a detailed wastewater discharge plan that TEPCO submitted in December.

The government announced last year a decision to release the wastewater as a necessary step for the plant’s ongoing decommissioning…………………..

Local fishing communities and neighboring countries have raised concerns about potential health hazards from the radioactive wastewater and the reputation damage to local produce, and oppose the release.

Scientists say the impact of long-term, low-dose exposure to not only tritium but also other isotopes on the environment and humans are still unknown and that a release is premature.

The contaminated water is being stored in about 1,000 tanks that require much space in the plant complex. Officials say they must be removed so that facilities can be built for its decommissioning. The tanks are expected to reach their capacity of 1.37 million tons in autumn of 2023…………………….

TEPCO and the government have obtained approval from the heads of the plant’s host towns, Futaba and Okuma, for the construction, but local residents and the fishing community remain opposed and could still delay the process. The current plan calls for a gradual release of treated water to begin next spring in a process that will take decades………………..

more https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/construction-begins-fukushima-plant-water-release-87905471

August 1, 2022 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment