SCANA is prepared to find a new contractor or complete construction itself on two new reactors at the V.C. Summer nuclear plant in South Carolina if Westinghouse Electric Co. is unable to finish the project. SCANA Chairman and CEO Kevin Marsh also said Westinghouse parent company Toshiba would be expected to pay for any costs arising from recent project delays.
The organization SMR Start has been formed to aid in the development of small modular reactors and help the new technology become a cost-competitive energy option. The organization asserts that public-private partnerships are the ideal method for SMR funding because they would allow for continued technological improvements over time through private investments.
Radioactive material shipments to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico should resume in April, with 128 shipments over the next 12 months, according to the Energy Department. "The exact allocation and sequence for shipping will be adjusted based on the emplacement rate at WIPP, operational needs at WIPP and generator sites, and logistical issues (such as weather) that affect shipping," the department said.
Opponents of New York's Clean Energy Standard plan to challenge the program in federal court based on Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing. In that 2016 case, the US Supreme Court ruled against Talen and a Maryland law that would have required load servicing entities to pay the difference if the market clearing price was under the contract price for wholesale energy sales.
Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., said Congress is continuing to work toward allowing the permanent storage of used nuclear fuel at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Shimkus made the statement while touring Southern California Edison's San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station with Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who recently wrote legislation that would allow the federal government to create a temporary used nuclear fuel storage site.
Kudankulam Unit 1 in India has been connected to the power grid, with the reactor planned to reach maximum capacity this weekend. The reactor will undergo a planned refueling outage in the last week of March or the first week of April.
The challenges facing the development of new nuclear plants such as the UK's Hinkley Point C project are mainly due to the infrequency with which Western nations have built plants in recent decades, writes Juliet Samuel.
Small modular reactors have the affordability and flexibility to provide the extra energy required for electric vehicles in the future, writes J. Winston Porter. Some experts have projected US electricity demand will increase by 10% due to electric vehicles.
It wouldn't be wise for Michigan or the US to forgo nuclear energy and rely on natural gas, which is subject to volatile price swings, writes Mark Perry, a professor of economics at the University of Michigan-Flint. Instead, the US should reform the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's licensing process to promote new technology and Michigan should update its clean energy program to include nuclear energy, Perry writes.
Entergy plans to move forward with its plans to become a "pure play utility" while shutting down or selling its merchant nuclear plants, according to Chairman and CEO Leo Denault. Indian Point's two reactors in New York are set to shut down in 2020 and 2021, while the utility will close its Palisades nuclear plant in Michigan and Pilgrim nuclear plant in Massachusetts in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
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