In the past, the American Nuclear Society has not formally engaged in energy policy debates on the issue of climate change for a variety of reasons.
However, the results of a members’ poll on climate change are in, and it is clear that ANS members are ready for the Society to participate in this important policy discussion.
A message from American Nuclear Society President Donald R. Hoffman on the results of this poll, and next steps.
2. At Nuke Power Talk this week, Gail Marcus looks at the recent molasses pipeline leak in Hawaii and notes that the reports about its potential environmental, ecological, and even human impacts bear strong similarities to discussions of the potential impacts of oil spills and radioactive releases. She also notes that this is not the first “molasses disaster,” pointing to the fact that potential risks come from many of our modern activities.
The German magazine Spiegel had a three-part article about the failure of the German Energiewende (Energy Transmission). When Meredith Angwin tweeted a link to the article, Energiewende came back with a misleading and snarky tweet about “tries to scare German readers” and included the word “oops”. However, German electricity is the second-most expensive in Europe, and about three times as expensive as the average price in the US. Oops, Energiewende. The German system isn’t working.
There was also a recent detailed cost analysis which found that the biggest factor contributing to China’s ability to make solar panels for about 23 percent less than U.S. companies turned out to be economies of scale. Typical Chinese PV factories are four times larger than those in the United States, the study found. That leads to economies in several ways: Those factories can negotiate better contracts with suppliers. Also, their manufacturing equipment can be used more efficiently, since machines can be scheduled to run more of the time by allowing flexibility in matching up the production rates of machines at different stages in the process.
China is putting $175 billion over ten years from 2010-2020 to build a 130 square-kilometer Haiyan Nuclear Power City It is the first industrial park in China to help with the rapid development of the country’s nuclear power industry. The Nuclear City is expected to have four main areas of work: development of the nuclear power equipment manufacturing industry; nuclear training and education; applied nuclear science industries (medical, agricultural, radiation detection and tracing); and promotion of the nuclear industry
5. Nextbigfuture – Production from the Cigar Lake uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan has been put back until early 2014 due to additional work on underground ore handling equipment. Modifications are also required at Areva’s nearby McClean Lake mill before the ore can be processed.
The state of California, once home to three major nuclear power plants, weathered an early July heat wave in good shape despite having only one operating reactor, Unit 2 at Diablo Canyon Power Plant. Unit 1 at Diablo Canyon was forced to shut down for about a week on June 27 after a minor leak was discovered in the residual heat removal system. The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station north of San Diego, out of service since early 2012, was officially retired earlier this summer by its owners.
A substantial amount of gas-fired capacity that has been added to the CAISO (California) grid in the past few years. The newest plant to come online is NRG’s 720-MW Marsh Landing Generating Station, near Antioch on the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta. The four-unit simple cycle plant entered commercial operation on May 1, replacing the 1950s-era Contra Costa Power Plant on the same site.
France is also considering a future with fracking and more natural gas versus maintaining current 70-80% of electricty generated by nuclear power.
7. Nextbigfuture – China’s nuclear reactors tend to cost from $1500 to $2500 per KW. This is a far lower cost than in Europe or the US. Controlled cost is a good reason that China is building about 28 out of the 69 nuclear reactors under construction in the world. China, Russia, India and South Korea are where 50 out of the 69 world nuclear reactors are being built. They all have construction costs under control and tend to be 2 to 3 times cheaper than in Europe or the USA.
Two 1700 MW EPR reactors Taishan Nuclear Power Plant are to finish late in 2013 and in 2014 and cost CNY 49.85 billion ($7.3 billion). This is $2147 per KW.
Standard construction time is 52 months, and the claimed unit cost was under CNY 10,000 (US$ 1600) per kilowatt, though 2013 estimates put it at about $2300/kW domestically. With a capacity of 1080 MWe gross (1037 MWe net), Ling Ao Phase II is the first plant to be designated as the CPR-1000 design
President Obama knew what he was saying when he complimented Sweden on their hydro-nuclear energy mix as being far ahead of the world on maintaining a sustainable planet.
From September 8-14, virtually every American Chief Nuclear Officer traveled to Japan to take part of the US-Japan CNO Summit, a historic meeting between industry leaders in the two countries. NEI’s John Keeley traveled with the group to help record what they saw. You can find all the blog entries, including video diaries at NEI Nuclear notes.