Illinois legislators in the House and Senate voted 63-38 and 32-18, respectively, to pass an energy bill that will help Exelon's Clinton and Quad Cities plants remain open. The bill now goes to Gov. Bruce Rauner, who has indicated he will sign it.
Plant Vogtle Unit 3 had its first reactor pressure vessel placed just two days after the CA01 module was finished for Unit 4, marking two major construction milestones within a one-week period. Units 3 and 4 are expected to begin operation in 2019 and 2020, respectively.
Nuclear plants don't affect the environment as much as other energy sources and are more sustainable than wind and solar power, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. Nuclear energy accounts for approximately 63% of the carbon-free power in the US, with each nuclear reactor able to prevent 3.1 million tons of carbon emissions each year.
Environmental group Hudson River Sloop Clearwater has filed a lawsuit in New York state Supreme Court over the Public Service Commission's Clean Energy Standard. The lawsuit is "based on ideology, not reality, and ignores the many benefits these upstate nuclear plants provide," said PSC spokesman Jon Sorensen.
Sixty radioactive-waste containers will be treated at the Los Alamos National Laboratory beginning in the spring, according to the Energy Department. A series of safety tests and building upgrades at the facility will have to take place before the treatment can begin.
Kudankulam Unit 1 in India operated continuously for 278 days before being shut down for maintenance, according to site director R.S. Sundar. "The second unit is also functioning exceptionally well, and it will reach its maximum generation capacity of 1,000 megawatts equivalent either in December-end or in January next year," Sundar said.
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner supports a bill that would provide incentives for the carbon-free energy provided at Exelon's Quad Cities and Clinton nuclear plants and help them stay open, according to Exelon. Rauner's aides have indicated he will sign the bill if it is passed by legislators.
Talen Energy's planned transfer of its Susquehanna nuclear plant in Pennsylvania to Riverstone Holdings has been approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Talen subsidiary Susquehanna Nuclear owns 90% of the plant and will continue to operate it following the transfer, according to the NRC.
Republican insiders say Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., is likely going to be the next chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He is one of three lawmakers campaigning for the position, along with Reps. John Shimkus, R-Ill., and Joe Barton, R-Texas.
The sale of Entergy's FitzPatrick nuclear plant to Exelon and the clean energy incentives that will allow the plant to stay open are positive developments for New York, writes the Watertown Daily Times editorial board. "We commend the [Public Service Commission] in approving the transaction and moving the process along," the board writes.
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