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Uncertain future for EDF’s Dungeness nuclear power station. It may have to shut down early.

Reuters 8th April 2021, DF Energy, owned by French utility EDF, is exploring a range of scenarios for its Dungeness B nuclear plant in Britain, including bringing forward its decommissioning date of 2028, it said on Thursday. The 1.1 gigawatt Dungeness B plant, in Kent on the south coast of England, has been offline since 2018 as the company has been carrying out inspections and maintenance of pipes carrying steam to the turbine. EDF Energy has also been trying to complete repair work on corrosion identified during inspections of safety back-up systems.

The plant is currently forecast to return to service in August. It was designed in the 1960s and first started generating
electricity in 1983. EDF Energy said it has spent more than 100 million pounds ($138 million) on the plant during its current outage and it has a number of ongoing technical challenges that make its future uncertain.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-nuclear/edf-energy-could-bring-forward-decommissioning-of-dungeness-b-nuclear-plant-idUSKBN2BV1P4?rpc=401&

April 10, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, decommission reactor, UK | Leave a comment

Fukushima wrecked nuclear plant: area remains a health and environmental disaster

Decade After Fukushima Disaster, Greenpeace Sees Cleanup Failure, Bloomberg Green,  By

  •  Land identified for cleanup remains contaminated: Study
  •  Long-term threat to human and environmental health remains

Ten years after the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl, land Japan identified for cleanup from the triple reactor meltdown of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi atomic power plant remains contaminated, according to a report from Greenpeace.

In addition, Greenpeace said its own radiation surveys conducted over the last decade have consistently found readings above government target levels, including in areas that have been reopened to the public. The lifting of evacuation orders in places where radiation remains above safe levels potentially exposes people to an increased risk of cancer, the report said.

On average, just 15% of land in the “Special Decontamination Area,” which is home to several municipalities, has been cleaned up, according to the environmental advocacy group’s analysis of government data. That’s despite the government’s claims that the area has largely been decontaminated, the group said.

……..While the government has been steadily lifting evacuation orders on towns since 2014, roughly 36,000 people are still displaced.

Greenpeace recommended that Japan suspend the current return policy, which “ignore science-based analysis, including potential lifetime exposure risks to the population” and abandon plans to lift evacuation orders in six municipalities. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-04/decade-after-fukushima-disaster-greenpeace-sees-cleanup-failure?s=09

March 6, 2021 Posted by | decommission reactor, Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Hinkley Point B nuclear station to close ‘early’ due to aging graphite blocks

Nuclear Engineering International 3rd March 2021, REPORTS IN THE UK THAT EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point B station would close ‘early’, in 2022, sounded a strange note for nuclear industry veterans. They knew that the venerable advanced gas-cooled reactor (AGR) on the west coast, on its startup in 1979, was originally expected to have a lifetime of around 25 years.
But in fact, it has been in operation for 40 years and could have more than one more year remaining, if owner EDF Energy takes it to its final end date in mid 2022. But those newspapers had noted that EDF  had hoped to delay final shutdown until 2023. For longstanding opponents of the plant, however, closure comes not a moment too soon — and they believe equally that operation should end at the UK’s remaining AGRs.
At issue is the interlocking graphite blocks that in the AGR design form the reactor core. Opponents argue that years of irradiation have caused so much damage to the blocks that the plants should be out of operation. This is indeed one of the ageing issues that affects AGRs, but the situation, and the decision on whether to close the plant, is more complicated.

https://www.neimagazine.com/features/featurewhy-close-hinkley-point-b-early-8565897/

March 6, 2021 Posted by | decommission reactor, safety, UK | Leave a comment

Japan’s daunting task – to decommission Fukushima nuclear plant, over many decades

March 6, 2021 Posted by | decommission reactor, Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Lawsuit to prevent dangerous dismantling of San Onofre nuclear power station

Lawsuit looks to block dismantlement of Southern California’s San Onofre nuclear plant, Herald Mail Media Rob Nikolewski The San Diego Union-Tribune (TNS)  26 Feb 21, SAN DIEGO — An advocacy group based in Del Mar is taking the California Coastal Commission to court, looking to stop the dismantlement work underway at the now-shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

Officials with the Samuel Lawrence Foundation say the commission should not have granted a permit to Southern California Edison, the majority owner of the plant, to take down buildings and infrastructure at the plant.

“We felt compelled to file this lawsuit because the Coastal Commission really didn’t do what they are supposed to do as an agency to protect the public interest, to protect the environment and the coast,” said Chelsi Sparti, Samuel Lawrence Foundation associate director.

The nine-page suit has been filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court and assigned to Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff. An opposition brief from the Coastal Commission is expected to be filed in May and a trial is anticipated to begin in late June………

Among the issues Edison critics had with the permit centered on the planned demolition of two spent storage pools. Highly radioactive fuel rods were placed into the 40-feet-deep pools to be cooled before they being put into stainless steel canisters and then slowly moved to a “dry storage” facility at the north end of the plant.

Edison says the pools are not necessary now that all the canisters have been transferred to the dry storage facility but the Samuel Lawrence Foundation says the pools should remain in case something goes wrong.

“We need the ability to replace storage canisters as they degrade from age or damage,” foundation President Bart Ziegler said in a statement. “The only available facility is the spent fuel pool and the Coastal Commission is permitting the utility to destroy it.”

Edison told the commission that keeping the pools would “pose significant challenges” to decontaminate and dismantle the plant. Plus, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved amendments to the plant’s operating license requiring that no used-up fuel goes into the pools once the waste has been transferred to the dry storage facility.

The storage pools have not yet been demolished.

The Coastal Commission approved the permit on the condition that Edison establish an enhanced inspection and maintenance program for the canisters, which cumulatively hold 3.55 million pounds of used-up nuclear fuel, or waste, that helped power the facility.

The utility complied and last July, the commission approved the program on a 10-0 vote.

Starting in 2024, Edison agrees to inspect two spent fuel storage canisters every five years and inspect a test canister every 2 1/2 years. The program also calls for Edison to apply a metallic overlay on canisters, using robotic devices, in case canisters get scratched.

The permit, which lasts 20 years, includes a special condition that allows the commission by 2035 to revisit whether the storage site should be moved to another location in case of rising sea levels, earthquake risks, potential canister damage or other scenarios.

Despite the added measures, Coastal Commission members reluctantly approved the permit, saying their options were limited because the federal government has never opened a site where waste from commercial nuclear plants can be sent. About 80,000 metric tons of spent fuel has piled up at 121 sites in 35 states…….

The lawsuit says the commission’s decision violates the Coastal Act and “maximizes risk to life and property and threatens geologic stability along the bluffs” along the beach at San Onofre. The plant sits on an 85-acre chunk of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton owned by the Department of the Navy, overlooking the Pacific to its west and Interstate 5 to its east.  https://www.heraldmailmedia.com/news/nation/lawsuit-looks-to-block-dismantlement-of-southern-californias-san-onofre-nuclear-plant/article_e7b541ce-cfc4-5cb9-a923-cbb8263e728e.html

February 27, 2021 Posted by | decommission reactor, USA | Leave a comment

Crimea to demolish dangerous, (and never operational), nuclear power station

Decommissioned Crimea nuclear plant to be demolished: government ,  S and P Global, Vladislav Vorotnikov , EditorSteven Dolley 8 Feb 21,   Moscow — The government of Crimea has decided to fully demolish the Crimean Atomic Energy station near Shcholkine, construction of which was halted after the Chernobyl accident in 1986, the government said in a statement on its website Feb. 5.

Construction of the plant and its one 1,000-MW VVER-1000 started in 1976, and by 1986 was nearly complete. However, a Soviet government inspection after the Chernobyl accident found the plant to be located on a geologically volatile site and construction was canceled in 1989.

By the end of 2021, the authorities plan to demolish two diesel generator stations, the turbine hall, machine block foundation, pumping station, and the nuclear power plant’s reactor compartment, the government said Feb. 5.

“These objects are unsuitable for operation,” Daniil Pidaev, spokesperson for the Crimean Architecture and Building Ministry, told to the Russia Gazette, the Russian government’s in-house publication. “They have lost their properties, are in a dilapidated state, and there is a threat of collapse,” posing a threat to those who visit the facilities, Pidaev said…………  https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/market-insights/latest-news/electric-power/020821-decommissioned-crimea-nuclear-plant-to-be-demolished-government

February 9, 2021 Posted by | decommission reactor, Russia | Leave a comment

Unsafe plan for abandoning nuclear reactors onsite, and developing Small Nuclear Reactors

“IAEA guidance that entombment is not considered an acceptable strategy for planned decommissioning of existing [nuclear power plants] and future nuclear facilities.”

February 4, 2021 Posted by | decommission reactor, Reference, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

Increasing business and jobs in closing down Europe’s nuclear reactors, as renewable energy grows

the rising demand for power generated from renewable energy sources is propelling the decommissioning of nuclear power reactors

Europe Nuclear Decommissioning Service Market Forecast to 2027: COVID-19 Impact and Analysis by Reactor Type; Strategy; Application; Capacity and Country – ResearchAndMarkets.com  Yahoo Finance, 3 Feb 21,   The “Europe Nuclear Decommissioning Service Market Forecast to 2027- COVID-19 Impact and Analysis by Reactor Type; Strategy; Application; Capacity and Country” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.The nuclear decommissioning service market in Europe was valued US$ 2.68 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach US$ 4.29 billion by 2027; it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.2% from 2020 to 2027.

The growing health concerns due to radioactive emissions from aging infrastructures have compelled the European countries to decommission nuclear power plants that are nearing the end of their operational lives. France and Germany are among the leading countries in the nuclear decommissioning services market in this region.

The two countries rely heavily on nuclear power generation; however, the rising demand for power generated from renewable energy sources is propelling the decommissioning of nuclear power reactors in the countries mentioned above. The main countries contributing to the European nuclear decommissioning services market include the UK, Italy, Russia, and the Rest of Europe (Sweden and Belgium).

In Germany, the nuclear energy generation sector contributes 12% to the total electricity generation. The country has no plans to construct newer nuclear power plants in the coming years. Germany decommissioned 11 nuclear power plants in the past decade, including Philippsburg nuclear facility that retired in 2019.

The German government has laid down its plans to decommission the remaining 6 nuclear power plants by 2022; these plants are Gundremmingen nuclear plant (2021), Grohnde nuclear power plant (2021), Brokdorf nuclear power plant (2021), Neckarwestheim nuclear power plant (2022), Isar nuclear plant (2022), and Emsland nuclear power plant (2022). The decommissioning strategies laid down by the government have been creating business growth opportunities for decommissioning service providers.

With the growth in the demand for electricity generated via renewable sources, rise in thermal power plants, and aging of long-established nuclear power plants, the governments are undertaking significant steps to decommission several power plants that are nearing the end of operational life. This is boosting the demand for services offered by the nuclear decommission services market players. The average lifespan of a commercial power reactor is 35-40 years.

A large number of commercial reactors operating today are soon likely to reach the end of operational life, and the governments of respective countries have approved the plans for their decommissioning. The cost of dismantling and decommissioning a commercial nuclear power plant is high and requires huge workforce.

The Italian nuclear power generation and transmission sector contributes to only 8% of the country’s overall electricity generation and transmission. The country had 4 reactors in the past, but it has been decommissioning the reactors following the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Italy relies heavily on import of electric power and is the world’s second-largest net importer of electricity. Sogin S.p.A., a government-owned nuclear decommissioning service provider, has been engaged in dismantling and decommissioning several nuclear power plants in the country. ……….https://finance.yahoo.com/news/europe-nuclear-decommissioning-market-forecast-124000767.html 

February 4, 2021 Posted by | decommission reactor, EUROPE | Leave a comment

Creating jobs and community opportunities -Pickering City Council wants immediate dismantling of nuclear station

Clean Air Alliance (accessed) 8th Jan 2021, Ontario’s new Minister of Finance, Peter Bethlenfalvy, can create 16,000 person-years of employment in Pickering by directing Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to immediately dismantle the Pickering Nuclear Station after its operating licence expires in December 2024.

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, immediate dismantling is “the
preferred decommissioning strategy” for nuclear plants. In fact, dismantling is the one area of employment growth in the nuclear industry.

Immediate dismantling will permit most of the 600-acre site to be returned to the local community by 2034 for parkland, recreational facilities, dining, entertainment, housing and other employment uses. That is among the reasons why Pickering City Council unanimously supports having the plant dismantled as “expeditiously as possible” after it is shut down.

Unfortunately, OPG wants to delay dismantling until 2054 to put off its
dismantling costs for 30 years despite the fact that it already has more
than $7.5 billion in its decommissioning and dismantling fund.

https://www.cleanairalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Pickering-Right-Choice-Book-2019-8.5×11-nov-21-Readers-Spread-PROOF.pdf

January 10, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, Canada, decommission reactor, politics | Leave a comment

Decommissioning of Oyster Creek nuclear station – a nasty precedent for closing down of other USA reactors.

January 7, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, decommission reactor, politics | Leave a comment

Holtec wants to build new nuclear reactor at site of USA’s oldest, most dangerous nuclear station

New Jersey nuclear plant proposed at site of old reactor  PBS,  Jan 5, 2021 

LACEY, N.J. (AP) — The company that’s in the process of mothballing one of the nation’s oldest nuclear power plants says it is interested in building a new next-generation nuclear reactor at the same site in New Jersey.

Holtec International last month received $147.5 million — $116 million of which will come from the U.S. Department of Energy — to complete research and development work on a modern nuclear reactor that could be built at the site of the former Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in the Forked River section of Lacey Township, New Jersey.

Holtec owns that facility and oversaw its shutdown in 2018……

company spokesperson Joe Delmar said   Holtec is “actively engaged with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission” about the project, but has not yet formally applied to build the reactor…..

Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club and a longtime opponent of the Oyster Creek plant, called the proposal “a threat to health and safety.”

“Things are going from bad to worse,” he said. “What was supposed to be the cleanup and ending of the Oyster Creek nuclear plant is now being looked at for another nuclear power plant. The whole point of closing and decommissioning this site was to get rid of the oldest and probably most dangerous nuclear plant. Putting all of that nuclear material in one area that is vulnerable to climate impacts like sea-level rise is a disaster waiting to happen.”…….    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/economy/new-nuclear-plant-could-rise-at-site-of-former-one-in-nj

 

January 7, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, decommission reactor, politics | Leave a comment

Fukushima nuclear clean-up hugely affected by discovery of lethal radiation levels

January 2, 2021 Posted by | decommission reactor, Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Dismantling Duke Energy’s Crystal River nuclear plant

November 29, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, USA | Leave a comment

£132billion and counting – Britain’s nuclear decommissioning mess could take 120 years

Daily Mail 27th Nov 2020, The £132bn bill to make our nuclear sites safe: Decommissioning will cost a fortune and could take up to 120 years, report warns. The cost to current and future taxpayers is estimated at £132billion and more than a century of work will have a significant impact on those who live nearby, added the report. Just to get the sites to the care and maintenance stage of the process will cost up to £8.7 billion.
The PAC said past experience suggests the estimates will soon be out of date, with costs rising even higher. According to the report the NDA admits that it does not fully understand the condition of the sites, which include ten former Magnox power stations.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8991859/The-132bn-bill-make-nuclear-sites-safe-Decommissioning-cost-fortune.html

November 28, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, decommission reactor, UK | Leave a comment

UK taxpayers foot huge bill for the incompetence of The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA)

UK’s nuclear sites costing taxpayers ‘astronomical sums’, say MPs
Public accounts committee says ignorance, incompetence and weak oversight to blame,  Guardian, 
Damian Carrington Environment editor @dpcarrington Fri 27 Nov 2020 The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has a perpetual lack of knowledge about the state and location of waste on the 17 sites it is responsible for making safe, a powerful committee of MPs has found.

This results from decades of poor record keeping and weak government oversight, the MPs said. Combined with a “sorry saga” of incompetence and failure, this has left taxpayers footing the bill for “astronomical sums”, they said.

The NDA acknowledges that it still does not have full understanding of the condition of its sites, including 10 closed Magnox stations from Dungeness in Kent to Hunterston in Ayrshire, the MPs report said.

The NDA’s most recent estimate is that it will cost current and future generations of UK taxpayers £132bn to decommission the civil nuclear sites, with the work not being completed for another 120 years.

Since 2017, the NDA’s upper estimate of the cost of the 12-15-year programme just to get the sites to the ”‘care and maintenance” stage of the decommissioning process has increased by £3.1bn to £8.7bn. “Our past experience suggests these costs may increase further,” said the MPs’ report.

The lack of knowledge of the sites was a significant factor in the failure of a 2014 contract the NDA signed with a private sector company to decommission the Magnox sites. The government was forced to take back the contract in 2018 and the botched tender has now cost taxpayers £140m, the MPs found.

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, deputy chair of the public accounts committee (PAC), said: “Although progress has been made since our [2018] report, incredibly, the NDA still doesn’t know even where we’re currently at, in terms of the state and safety of the UK’s disused nuclear sites. Without that, and after the Magnox contracting disaster, it is hard to have confidence in future plans or estimates.” ……….

The UK has eight operating nuclear power plants, with all but one due to retire in the next decade. Only one new plant is being built, at Hinkley Point in Somerset, and it is years behind schedule and billions over budget.

Despite recent speculation over another new plant being given the go-ahead at Sizewell in Suffolk, Boris Johnson failed to announce this in his green industrial revolution plan last week. The government’s new national infrastructure strategy, published on Wednesday, said: “The government is pursuing large-scale nuclear projects, subject to clear value for money for both consumers and taxpayers.”

In 2015, the government stripped another private consortium of a £9bn contract to clean up the nuclear waste site at Sellafield. The company had been heavily criticised for its executives’ expense claims which included a £714 bill for a “cat in a taxi”.  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/nov/27/uks-nuclear-sites-costing-taxpayers-astronomical-sums-say-mps#_=_

November 28, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, decommission reactor, politics, UK | Leave a comment