Zero-emission credits in Illinois and New York are keeping nuclear power plants operating, and operators in other states are pushing for similar regulations to keep plants open as the Energy Department says the percentage of nuclear power in the energy mix could drop from 20% to 11% by 2050. Other operators say that market reform to compensate companies for reliability is the solution.
NorthStar is in a good financial position to complete the decommissioning of Entergy's Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant that it plans to buy, with money in the plant's decommissioning trust fund currently running about $73 million more than the projected costs, Milton Eaton writes. In addition, the investment firm that recently bought NorthStar has promised to provide necessary capital.
Tokyo Electric Power told Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority that it will produce safety manuals that make it clear that safety is the highest priority for Units 6 and 7 of its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant. The NRA is mulling whether to allow TEPCO to restart the reactors.
Russia and Paraguay signed an agreement at the International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference to cooperate on nuclear power. Specific areas of cooperation include development of Paraguay's nuclear infrastructure, safety, storage, research and training.
China will more than double its nuclear power capacity in 10 years under current plans, helping increase global capacity by 6.6%, according to BMI Research.
The Georgia Public Service Commission approved Georgia Power's schedule for continuing the Plant Vogtle nuclear plant expansion project. The commission did not address the reasonableness, which has a legal meaning under state law, of Georgia Power's revised cost and schedule.
Though nuclear power plants shut down periodically for routine maintenance, the percentage of time they are generating power and operating at maximum capacity is much greater than that of wind or solar, which only produce energy when conditions are right, World Nuclear Association Director General Agneta Rising writes. Nuclear has similarly low emissions as other renewables and needs to be a vital part of the energy mix, she writes.
NuScale has completed five studies on uses for its small modular reactor design that don't involve power generation, Thomas Bergman, NuScale's vice president for regulatory affairs, said. The studies looked at ways to use the technology to advance NuScale's mission of boosting quality of life through the production of electricity, heat and water, such as water desalination, hydrogen production and reduction of carbon emissions from oil refineries.
Duke Energy Chief Nuclear Officer William Pitesa is joining the Nuclear Energy Institute as chief nuclear officer. Pitesa's former position will be filled by Duke Energy Nuclear Chief Operating Officer Preston Gillespie.
China's HTR-PM program, which is developing designs for high-temperature, pebble-bed reactors cooled by helium, is progressing, getting the country closer to using nuclear power as a replacement for coal. The country is also studying a larger high-temperature reactor, HTR-PM600.
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