Safety inspections at Tokyo Electric Power's Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Japan's Niigata Prefecture were started by International Atomic Energy Agency officials on Tuesday. The plant's No. 6 and 7 units should undergo inspections lasting until July 31, after which a report of the IAEA team's findings will be submitted to TEPCO and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
The Association of Water and Energy Research Malaysia is pushing for the release of findings from a nuclear energy study that cost over $20 million. "The extremely low level of confidence in nuclear power plant project is directly proportionate to the secrecy of how nuclear energy development is being carried out in Malaysia," said Piarapakaran S., president of the organization. "Public's acceptance of usage of nuclear for energy must be done with full transparency and not 'make-up' consultancies."
The Export-Import Bank has halted new loan activities, but it will continue to manage transactions that had already begun, according to bank officials. "In the civilian nuclear business, foreign customers won't make a deal with you if you don't have Ex-Im-type financing lined up. The leading nuclear energy supplier nations such as Russia, South Korea, Japan and France provide their suppliers with multiple forms of support, including strong trade finance," said Nuclear Energy Institute Vice President of Supplier and International Programs Dan Lipman.
Dominion Resources will go to court to dispute the value assessment of its decommissioned Kewaunee Power Station made by officials in Carlton, Wis. Although the plant was assessed at about $10 million in 2014, the assessment went up to $457 million when an outside appraiser said the plant could be sold and reused by another party. Dominion bought the plant for under $200 million in 2005 and expects decommissioning costs to amount to over $1 billion.
In addition to third-generation nuclear reactors such as the AP1000 models under construction at operator Southern Co.'s Plant Vogtle in Georgia, proposals for fourth-generation reactors are already underway. While third-generation versions are light water reactors with advanced safety systems that improve on previous technology, fourth-generation reactors use substances such as pressurized gas or liquid metal to stay cool while running on used nuclear fuel from existing plants and other innovative fuel sources. "By 2025, we can have operating commercial Gen 4 reactors," said Samuel Brinton, a clean energy fellow at Third Way.
Nuclear plant components manufacturer Holtec recently held a groundbreaking ceremony at its new location in Camden, N.J. The move to Camden from Evesham, N.J., will make the firm eligible for up to $260 million in tax credits over the next decade. Company representatives say they plan to eventually employ around 3,000 people in Camden in manufacturing and other positions.
A Nuclear Regulatory Commission report based on force-on-force exercises conducted with nuclear plant security personnel found that of 23 total exercises, only one contained an instance where target components were not protected properly. Over 90% of the findings in NRC baseline inspections were categorized as green, or of low security significance. That mark is contrasted with the Transportation Security Administration's own screening results, in which workers failed 95% of the checkpoint tests administered.
Dominion Virginia Power chose not to file a long-term energy plan in a recent regulatory filing, instead listing plausible options for the future that feature nuclear, solar and other power sources. The report filed with the State Corporation Commission states that "uncertainty" surrounding upcoming Environmental Protection Agency regulations requires Dominion to keep its options open. "The company maintains that the proposed Clean Power Plan requires Dominion, its regulators, and other stakeholders to pause and fully re-evaluate the company's strategic path forward," the report said.
Software company Bullhorn revamped its corporate mission a few years ago to focus on helping clients help customers. The path wasn't easy, CEO Art Papas said, with employees requiring specific reasoning and expectations, as well as rewards for when they did delight customers. "You have to create an experience for employees that makes them feel like they're doing something meaningful. People want a sense of purpose," Papas said.
Too many leadership-development strategies hinge on putting people through challenges and expecting the leaders to naturally emerge, writes Dan McCarthy. That's less effective than actually nurturing and training people to lead. "The 'sink or swim' approach to leadership development rewards and promotes people who are the most adaptable, not necessarily the smartest, most talented, and possibly, the very best leaders," McCarthy writes.