PSEG Nuclear has submitted an application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to increase the licensed output capacity of its Hope Creek nuclear plant in New Jersey by 1.6%. The power uprate would involve upgrading monitoring equipment, allowing the utility to calculate reactor power more accurately.
The House Appropriations Committee pushed forward a spending bill that includes $30 million to revive the license process for the Yucca Mountain repository. The bill would also allocate $969 million to nuclear energy research, development and demonstration activities.
During a committee markup, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., presented an amendment to the fiscal 2018 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill to change language he says would cause problems in developing small modular reactors. "Rather than building a bunch of $6 billion-plus reactors that take the utility and put it in a compromising situation if you can't build on time, small modular reactors are the way of the future," he said.
The Ghana Research Reactor, a miniature neutron source reactor made by the China Institute of Atomic Energy, has been converted to run on low-enriched uranium instead of highly enriched uranium. Four more Chinese-supplied reactors outside of China will be converted, with a reactor in Nigeria slated for conversion in 2018.
For the US to maintain its position of leadership in nuclear energy and to influence nonproliferation and safety policies, lawmakers must help the industry grow, writes Mike Wallace, former co-chairman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies Commission on Nuclear Energy Policy in the US. About 60 nuclear reactors are being built across the globe, while nuclear power plants in the US are being retired and new construction is delayed.
Anti-nuclear sentiment is largely unfounded, as nuclear power generation is safe and has positive effects on the environment, compared to other forms of energy, William Gloege writes. No one was harmed at incidents at Fukushima Daiichi and Three Mile Island because of radiation, but carbon emissions are a serious danger if we don't reduce them, he writes.
Nuclear power in Pennsylvania provides 93% of carbon-free energy in the state, but if state lawmakers don't act, Exelon's Three Mile Island nuclear plant will be retired early, former Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., writes. To address climate change now, policymakers must preserve nuclear power in the state, he writes.
Five senators are supporting the Securing Energy Infrastructure Act introduced by Sens. Angus King, I-Maine, and Jim Risch, R-Idaho. The bill would start a two-year pilot program to identify cybersecurity gaps in the energy sector and to seek ways to isolate the power grid from threats.
The clean energy provided by nuclear power is essential to global climate goals and should be used in combination, not competition, with other renewable-energy sources, Rosatom deputy director-general Kirill Komarov said at the Expo 2017 conference. Though people often forget about nuclear energy as a clean-energy source, it is reliable and predictable with low volatility, he said.
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