DTE Energy wants to keep its nuclear energy options open as it moves away from coal plants to cleaner energy sources, according to Chairman, President and CEO Gerry Anderson. "We need to stay flexible with our portfolio" because energy trends make it tough to predict the future, he said.
Grid operator PJM Interconnection would prefer that states work together to implement policies such as carbon pricing instead of independently developing incentives for struggling nuclear plants, according to Stu Bresler, PJM's senior vice president of operations and markets. Nevertheless, PJM is "looking at ways that we can implement market rules that would harmonize the states' public policy pursuits with how the wholesale market operates," Bresler said.
Security guards at Tennessee Valley Authority nuclear plants will soon stop carrying handguns as sidearms as part of a shift toward better weaponry and safety systems, according to the utility. "Today's security strategy for our nuclear plants provides our security officers with state-of-the-art weapons that are more effective than handguns," Nuclear Energy Institute spokesman John Keeley said of the change.
The Energy Department is likely to support Congress as it attempts to revive the Yucca Mountain used nuclear fuel repository in Nevada, said Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill. "I think we have an administration that wants to comply with the law," Shimkus said regarding a recent meeting with Energy Secretary Rick Perry.
FirstEnergy CEO Charles Jones spoke in favor of legislation that would create zero emission credits during an Ohio House Public Utilities Committee hearing Tuesday. "Ohio cannot afford to continue heading down a path that could lead to less fuel-diverse and fewer homegrown energy resources, more energy imports, fewer jobs and less economic growth -- not to mention more volatile electricity prices for our customers and your constituents," Jones said.
South Africa's Western Cape High Court ruled against the government's plans to expand its nuclear energy presence with the help of Russia and other nations. The court's ruling followed testimony from groups that said the government had not properly consulted the public about its nuclear energy plans.
TerraPower's traveling wave reactor design uses high-speed neutrons to create a chain reaction that ultimately results in three to six times less used nuclear fuel than other reactor designs. TerraPower also says its design will improve safety and provide about 30 times as much energy as conventional reactors.
One of the barriers to the completion of the Yucca Mountain used nuclear fuel repository in Nevada is the lack of an ideal route to transport used nuclear fuel to the facility, according to Bob Halstead, executive director of Nevada's Agency for Nuclear Projects. A train route that was studied by the Energy Department was blocked by former President Barack Obama's Basin and Range national monument designation, while the Walker River tribe has withdrawn its permission for the government to transport used nuclear fuel through its reservation on another possible route.
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