August 22, 2016

Carnival of Nuclear Energy 323

1. Forbes - James Conca - Will A President Hillary Clinton Close Down Nuclear Power Plants?

No. In fact, Clinton generally supports nuclear energy. She does not want any nuclear power plants to close prematurely, particularly the New York Indian Point plant. Clinton has said that “rapidly shutting down our nation’s nuclear power fleet puts ideology ahead of science and would make it harder and costlier to build a clean energy future”, agreeing with EPA chief Gina McCarthy and leading climate scientist Dr. James Hansen. Clinton opposes the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository and supports the Blue Ribbon Commission’s recommendations for our nuclear future.

2. Does the Asahi Shimbun Comprehend the F. Daiichi Ice Wall’s Purpose?

The “ice wall” at Fukushima Daiichi is misunderstood by Japan’s number two newspaper. The “wall” is supposed to stop contaminated water from mixing with fresh groundwater. But, the Asahi incorrectly reports that it is supposed to stop external groundwater flow, misleading its 12 million readers.

3. Nextbigfuture - Russia plans to construct 11 new nuclear power reactors by 2030 - including two BN-1200 sodium-cooled fast neutron reactors. A document, which covers "territorial planning for energy" for the period, also identifies six points for radioactive waste disposal.

The 11 units do not include those already under construction - Kaliningrad, Leningrad, Novovoronezh and Rostov - or the floating reactor Academician Lomonosov. The BN-1200 reactors are to be built at the Beloyarsk and South Urals nuclear power plants.

The fast nuclear BN-1200 reactor will be vast improvement and upgrade over the BN-800

The BN-1200 reactor is a 1200 MW sodium-cooled fast breeder reactor project, under development by OKBM Afrikantov in Zarechny, Russia, and the design was originally planned to be complete by 2017. In 2015 Rosenergoatom postponed construction "indefinitely" to allow fuel design to be improved after more experience of operating the BN-800 reactor, and amongst cost concerns.

4. Nextbigfuture - Unit 4 of the Beloyarsk nuclear power plant started operating at 100% power for the first time today. The BN-800 fast neutron reactor is scheduled to enter commercial operation later this year.

The BN-800 reactor was brought to minimum controlled power for the first time in June 2014, at which time commercial operation was planned for the end of that year. However, in December 2014 Rosenergoatom announced that nuclear fuel for the unit would first be developed further. It was brought again to the minimum controlled power level in August 2015, and again in November 2015, eventually being connected to the grid on 10 December 2015.

Since the beginning of this year, during its ascent to full power, Beloyarsk 4 has generated more than 1.3 billion kWh of electricity. It is planned to produce 3.5 billion kWh during the whole of 2016.

The 789 MWe BN-800 Beloyarsk 4 is fuelled by a mix of uranium and plutonium oxides arranged to produce new fuel material as it burns. Its capacity exceeds that of the world's second most powerful fast reactor - the 560 MWe BN-600 Beloyarsk 3.

The BN-800 core with metallic fuel should have an average burnup 80 MW·days/kg. (fuel burn-up of 70-100 GWd/t). Normal light water reactors now have about 50 Gigawatts per day per ton of fuel, and new LWR will have about 65 GWd/t and annular /cylinder shaped for better hear management fuel will enable older reactors to have higher burnup. A followup russian fast reactor could have 120 GWd/t fuel burnup

5. Nextbigfuture - Unit 2 of the Changjiang nuclear power plant on China's southern island province of Hainan has entered commercial operation.

The 650 MWe CNP-600 pressurized water reactor met all the conditions for entering commercial operation at 5.00pm on 12 August, having completed a 168-hour continuous demonstration run.

The reactor achieved first criticality on 9 June following the completion of loading 121 fuel assemblies into its core on 12 May. It was connected to the grid on 20 June.

The units will avoid the burning of some 300 million tonnes of coal and the resulting emission of about 7.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide and 5.8 tonnes of sulfur dioxide, it claims.

Changjiang 2 becomes CNNC's 15th power reactor in commercial operation. It now has 12,162 MWe of generating capacity online. CNNC also has another nine units under construction and several more planned.

Changjiang units 1 and 2 (Image: CNNC)

6. Nextbigfuture - Shikoku Electric Power Company announced August 12 that it had initiated the process to restart unit 3 of its Ikata nuclear power plant in Japan's Ehime prefecture. It becomes the fifth Japanese reactor to resume operation under new safety standards introduced following the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Output from the 846 MWe pressurized water reactor will then gradually be increased and full capacity should be reached on 22 August. The unit is set to re-enter commercial operation in early September.

7. Nextbigfuture - The final "super modules" have been lifted into place in the containment vessel of VC Summer unit 2, marking a milestone in the construction of the AP1000 reactor. Construction began on both units in 2013, with unit 2 expected to enter operations in 2019 and unit 3 in 2020.

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