Nuclear power displacing coal in the USA and Russian reactor starting in India now and Belrussia in 2017 and 2018

1. A Tennessee Valley Authority plan designed to guide decision making recommends greater use of nuclear power, natural gas and renewable resources and less reliance on coal in the next two decades.

The Knoxville-based utility is idling 1,000 megawatts of coal-fired generation while spending $2.5 billion over five years to finish a 1,200-megawatt reactor at its Watts Bar site by October 2012. TVA said one megawatt of nuclear capacity can provide power to about 585 homes.

Coal, nuclear tradeoff

The recommended plan includes a range of idling coal-fired power generation, possibly up to another 3,700 megawatts by 2017 and expanding nuclear power up to 5,900 megawatts by 2029.

TVA operates 29 hydroelectric dams, 11 coal-fired power plants, three nuclear plants and 11 natural gas-powered facilities that can produce about 34,000 megawatts of electricity.

2. All appears to be set for the start-up of the first of two Russian nuclear power reactors built at Kudankulam by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd as part of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) in Tamil Nadu. Two pressurised water reactors from Russia, each with a capacity of 1,000 MWe, have been built at Kudankulam by the NPCIL.

Enriched uranium fuel bundles are expected to be loaded into the first reactor by the end of March and the reactor itself is expected to be started up in April.

3. Russian scientists have created a durable material for the construction of nuclear reactors, which prolongs the life of objects up to 100 years.

A few days ago, Rosatom decided to use this material in the manufacture of reactors for the new station. An Experimental Design review has been started. Alloy to be used when creating the station, which will be built in Russia after the Baltic NPP.

The first units using the new material could be in 2016-2018.

4. Russia is on schedule to complete the first Belarusian nuclear plant in 2017 and the second in 2018

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