FirstEnergy's Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants are Ohio's biggest producers of reliable clean energy and must be valued appropriately by the state government and regional electric grid, writes Henry Spitz, a professor of nuclear and radiological engineering at the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering and Applied Science. Ohio legislators should pass a bill similar to what was adopted in Illinois to protect the future of the nuclear plants, Spitz writes.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is pleased with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's decision to begin reviewing the utility's early site permit application for small modular reactor construction and operation at the Clinch River site. "SMR technology offers us greater flexibility to generate electricity that is clean, reliable and low-cost to meet the demands of the homes and businesses across the Tennessee Valley," said Dan Stout, TVA's senior manager for small modular reactors.
Nuclear plants have proven to be among the safest providers of reliable energy available, writes Brian Gutherman. "This clean, safe, reliable, non-polluting source of electricity should be attractive to all honest people who care about reducing pollution and taking good care of our environment," Gutherman writes.
A bill has been introduced that would support advanced reactor research and development at Energy Department facilities. "This legislation provides a path forward to ensure that the Department of Energy prioritizes research, development, and demonstration activities that can impact electricity generation, national security, and even space exploration," said House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, of the legislation.
President-elect Donald Trump's nominations of former Texas Gov. Rick Perry for energy secretary and ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson for secretary of state are a good sign for nuclear energy, as both men have supported nuclear in the past, writes Energy Fuels President and CEO Steve Antony. "At the end of the day, giving 'power' back to the people really can give Trump a tangible opportunity to create real American leadership, especially as it relates to nuclear energy, energy independence, innovation, and jobs," Antony writes.
Nuclear AMRC has confirmed a partnership with Rolls-Royce, AMEC Foster Wheeler, Nuvia and Arup to help develop Rolls-Royce's small modular reactor technology. Rolls-Royce has proposed an SMR design that could produce between 220 and 440 megawatts of energy while remaining compact enough to be transported by truck.
France's Autorite de Surete Nucleaire has provided approval for nine of the country's nuclear reactors to return to service. The reactors were among 12 that were temporarily shut down last year due to the potential for high carbon concentrations in their steam generator channel heads, which were produced by Japan Casting and Forging.
The used nuclear fuel at Commonwealth Edison's closed Zion nuclear plant in Illinois is safely stored in a facility that can withstand a direct impact from a plane, writes Nuclear Energy Institute Vice President of Nuclear Operations and Acting Chief Nuclear Officer Joseph Pollock. "A comprehensive study 'Deterring Terrorism Aircraft Crash Impact Analyses' done by the Electric Power Research Institute following the 9/11 attacks conclusively determined that nuclear plant containment structures, including the concrete and steel canisters containing the used fuel assemblies, would not be breached," Pollock writes.
More natural gas will be used in New York state to make up for energy lost when Entergy's Indian Point nuclear plant closes in four years, according to Energy GPS analyst Stefan Baden. It's unlikely that a large-scale hydropower project could be completed to replace the 2,000 megawatts of baseload power generation provided by the plant by the time it closes, Baden said.
The Quay County, N.M., Commission's approval of a plan to allow the Energy Department to conduct deep borehole testing in Nara Visa could lead to an economic boost for the city if testing ultimately occurs there. The city's residents still have to approve the project before it can move forward.
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