The firm decommissioning the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant in New Jersey has received a Nuclear Regulatory Commission exemption from providing certain training for its security force, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The NRC says any delayed security exercises will need to be rescheduled 90 days after the health emergency ends, or by Dec. 31.
Researchers at the Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory have used a mathematical model to show that when a fusion plasma stability safety factor falls to 0.7, the plasma core's magnetic field can reconfigure into an alternating-hyperbolic. "Countering the sawtooth instability can lead to producing hotter, more twisty plasmas and bring us closer to fusion," says PPPL physicist and study lead author Christopher Smiet.
Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen of Nevada, both Democrats, are moving to keep the Trump administration from testing a nuclear weapon by adding an amendment to the defense funding bill that would prohibit public funding for testing. "Nevadans do not want to return to a time when nuclear testing was allowed in our state, putting the health and safety of Nevadans in jeopardy," Rosen said.
A Department of Energy report found that the 50-year-old Runit Dome nuclear waste repository in the Marshall Islands is structurally sound and that leaks into a nearby lagoon are not at dangerous levels. The report stated that while rising sea levels could lead to waves washing over the dome, there isn't enough data to predict "how these events might impact on the environment."
LLW Repository has selected Jacobs to develop "strategies for appropriate storage solutions, control and electronic systems enhancement and other technical services" at the UK's Cumbria low-level radioactive waste repository. "Our multi-disciplinary approach will support the safe and effective management of the repository," said Clive White, Jacobs senior vice president.
Authorities are investigating how an industrial building under construction near Iran's Natanz uranium enrichment center was damaged by fire during what Iran has described as an "incident." The facility's centrifuge was undamaged at the site, which is being monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Hungary has submitted a licensing request to the Hungarian Atomic Energy Agency to expand its 2-gigawatt Paks nuclear power plant with two Russian-made VVER reactors. The HAEA has a year to consider whether to grant the license.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, head of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, is reintroducing the American Energy Innovation Act, a legislative package containing more than 50 bills. If compromises can be reached on some details, the bill could go to the Senate floor this month.
Arizona Public Service says its plan for reaching zero-carbon emissions by 2050 includes generating 45% of its electricity from renewables by 2030. APS says if it factors in its Palo Verde nuclear power plant, it will reach 65% carbon-free power by 2030, with the rest coming from natural gas-fired power plants.
Bechtel National will receive $6.6 million in incentive pay for reaching a contract milestone -- the startup of the Analytical Laboratory -- at the $17 billion Hanford vitrification plant in Washington state. Bechtel plant project director Valerie McCain says the next step is to "integrate the training, systems, scientific instruments, and procedures needed to prepare the laboratory to support the treatment of low-activity waste."
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