Canadian Energy Issues – The Bruce nuclear station near Tiverton Ontario will soon have an eighth operating reactor unit, and a total operating capacity of 6,300 megawatts. The refurbished CANDU unit 2, laid up since the late 1990s, began putting power into the Ontario grid at ten-thirty on Monday night. Bruce Power, the private company that runs the plant (the reactors are owned by Ontario Power Generation and leased to Bruce) has begun final commissioning of the unit. This gives the Bruce station an even bigger margin as by far the biggest nuclear plant in North America..
Unit 2 had an original nameplate capacity of 750 megawatts, though I think it will be able to generate more than that (around 787 MW, if you divide 6,300 by 8)
Nextbigfuture reviews the list of 14 new nuclear reactors (or reactors like the Bruce reactors that went through a long refurb and have not generated for many years) that were expected in 2012. So 9 of 14 have started and are generating some power. It is expected that 12 of 14 should be operating by the of 2012. Several of the 2011 grid connections did not generate full power until 2012.
Atomic Insights – Tepco has recently released measurements that provide convincing evidence that virtually all of the corium in Fukushima Daiichi unit #1 remains safely stored inside an intact reactor pressure vessel. Despite all claims to the contrary, no substantial quantities of that material have melted through the pressure vessel to fall onto the concrete floor of the surrounding containment structure.
It has always seemed far fetched to me to think that material from a nuclear reactor that melted several hours after fission has stopped contains the power density necessary to melt through carbon steel pressure vessels that are 6-12 inches thick.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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