Exelon's Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania is facing financial difficulties and could close as soon as 2019 absent state-level policy intention, according to the utility. The plant has operated at a loss for the last six years and Exelon is facing immediate decisions on its future, said Joseph Dominguez, Exelon's executive vice president of governmental and regulatory affairs and public policy.
A planned refueling outage has begun at Xcel Energy's Monticello nuclear plant in Minnesota. The outage follows 500 days of continuous operation by the plant, which generates approximately $447 million annually in economic activity in the state, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute.
The International Atomic Energy Agency and Rosatom will team up to bolster nuclear energy infrastructure in nations that intend to build or expand nuclear energy programs, according to an agreement signed Wednesday. The deal will help countries develop national nuclear energy positions, improve nuclear safety and promote stakeholder involvement, according to the IAEA.
The unexpected $7.5 million cost of the federal application process and a planned acquisition by Energy Solutions contributed to Waste Control Services' decision to request a suspension of its application for a West Texas used nuclear fuel storage facility. The Justice Department has argued that Energy Solutions' purchase of WCS would create a used nuclear fuel disposal monopoly.
Russia and China are starting to take a larger share in nuclear plant construction than other countries, although they lack the strong nuclear governance of mainstays such as the US, France and Japan, according to a Global Nexus Initiative report. "Strong global governance is essential if the promise of nuclear power is to be achieved," said Everett Redmond, senior technical adviser for new reactor and advanced technology at the Nuclear Energy Institute.
Exelon Generation has provided funding for research by the MIT Center for Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems into fuel cladding coatings for light water reactors. The research team is working to minimize deposit buildup and hydrogen pickup, prevent grid-to-rod fretting and improve critical heat flux with a newly designed set of coatings and surface modifications for currently used fuel cladding.
Waste Control Specialists has asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to temporarily pause the review of its application for a used nuclear fuel storage site. The company "is faced with a magnitude of financial burdens that currently make pursuit of licensing unsupportable," said Rod Baltzer, president and CEO of WCS.
A House of Representatives environment subcommittee will hold a hearing regarding the disposal of used nuclear fuel in the US, according to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore. The hearing will allow stakeholders to address the potential revival of the stalled Yucca Mountain used nuclear fuel repository in Nevada, he said.
Exelon Generation and Japan Atomic Power will team to form JExel Nuclear, a joint venture to license and implement the Exelon Nuclear Management Model in nuclear plants around the world. JExel will customize its management model to fit particular nuclear energy projects and provide management services to companies using Japanese nuclear reactor technology.
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