Nuclear energy plants in upstate New York benefit all of the state by avoiding 21.4 million metric tons of carbon emissions in the air, former Sen. Judd Gregg writes in an opinion letter. The plants also add jobs and inject $470 million into the local economy, having "ripple effects" for all of New York.
Japan is continuing to advance in its decommissioning of Fukushima Daiichi and management of contaminated water since an earthquake shook the nuclear power plant more than five years ago. Minister Hirotaka Ishihara said the country aims to be "transparent" as it moves ahead in the process of cleaning up the area and implementing new safety processes.
Nuclear energy has a vital role to play in reducing emissions in the US, said Nuclear Energy Institute Vice President of Policy Development and Planning Revis James in a Capital Public Radio interview. "Our ability to hold the line and advance our goals with respect to greenhouse gas emissions and other emissions goals relies on the continued presence of generation from nuclear power," said James.
Standardization of new reactor designs would benefit the nuclear energy industry by making projects less costly and simpler to complete, according to Jerry Head, senior vice president of regulatory affairs at GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy. "To be able to take a license for a reactor design to another country without changes being made to it is obviously a lot more efficient and cost-effective and gives you the ability to focus your resources," Head said.
The susceptibility of nuclear plants to price drops of other electricity sources puts some plants at risk of closing, which in turn stresses the power grid, writes economics professor Gary Wolfram. Furthermore, if nuclear plants continue to close prematurely, emissions will increase as a result, Wolfram writes.
SNC-Lavalin has agreed to use its Candu reactor technology to help China National Nuclear Corp. and Shanghai Electric Group develop nuclear plants. Under the terms of the deal, SNC-Lavalin will establish a design center in China and an additional center in Canada to aid in the development process.
It's imperative that the US get the most from carbon-free nuclear energy, writes Tim Echols of the Georgia Public Service Commission. To get the maximum benefits from nuclear energy, the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility should be completed so that weapons-grade material can be converted into fuel for commercial nuclear energy facilities, Echols writes.
The Energy Department would like to be able to establish publicly owned used nuclear fuel storage facilities and is "very much interested" in private facilities as well, according to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. US used nuclear fuel storage efforts could move more quickly with the involvement of the private sector, Moniz said.
China General Nuclear's Hongyanhe Unit 4 has begun commercial operation. The reactor has "completed all commissioning work and is qualified for commercial operation, and has commenced on-grid power generation statistics," according to the utility.
Westinghouse expects hot functional tests for its AP1000 reactor at China's Sanmen nuclear plant to be completed in October, according to Jose Emeterio Gutierrez, Westinghouse's interim president and CEO. "Hopefully, very soon we will have four AP1000s connected to the grid in China," Gutierrez said.
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