Bechtel and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy will team to provide decommissioning services for German and Swedish nuclear plants, according to the companies. "As plants in Germany and Sweden shut down, this alliance will support customers through the end of the nuclear power plant lifecycle," said GEH Executive Vice President of Nuclear Services Lance Hall.
US District Judge Michelle Childs has ordered the federal government and South Carolina to agree on a court-enforceable removal schedule for a metric ton of plutonium that is currently stored at the unfinished Savannah River Site mixed-oxide fuel fabrication facility. Last week, Childs informed the state that the matter of $100 million in fines against the federal government stemming from the partially built facility must be taken to the US Court of Federal Claims.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is right to keep upstate nuclear plants open in order to preserve jobs, provide more energy options and provide clean power, writes Lydia Niles. Other possibilities, aside from the Clean Energy Standard's incentives, including a carbon tax, are not yet possible "because both the state and federal government are nowhere near close to accepting the very real dangers of global warming," Niles writes.
Toshiba's Westinghouse Electric is reviewing proposals for a debtor-in-possession loan that would allow the company to continue to construct nuclear reactors during a potential bankruptcy, according to sources with knowledge of the matter. Toshiba has not commented on the possibility of bankruptcy, but did acknowledge that it is considering the possible sale of Westinghouse.
Legislation that would allow non-profit nuclear energy partners to use the nuclear production tax credit has been introduced in both houses of Congress. "Other energy technologies are able to fully use their credits with public-private partnerships and nuclear energy should have the same consideration," said Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C., who co-authored the bill with Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.
South Korea's Nuclear Safety and Security Commission has approved a restart for Hanbit Unit 2, which was shut down for maintenance 10 months ago. "After inspecting 87 categories, we have confirmed there is no problem related to safety," said the commission.
Japan and France have agreed to maintain their nuclear fuel cycle policies. Meanwhile, the two nations also plan to work together to decommission the damaged reactors at Tokyo Electric Power's Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
Korea Electric Power has expressed interest in participating in Toshiba and Engie's NuGen nuclear project. Toshiba and Engie are looking for partners for the UK-based project, and KEPCO President and CEO Cho Hwan-eik said the utility "jump into the race after its sales plan is determined."
Legislation being shaped in Connecticut will allow nuclear plants that can't store their energy to start selling to utilities to remain economically viable, according to Kevin Hennessy, director of federal, state and local affairs for New England at Dominion, which operates the Millstone nuclear plant. "We don't like the volatility of a spot market," Hennessy said.
Some New York legislators and local officials have urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo to delay the implementation of the Public Service Commission's Clean Energy Standard while clean energy options are reassessed. The program is currently set to go into effect April 1.