1. Nuke Power Talk – Last week, Gail Marcus reported on a couple of pieces of good news for the nuclear community coming from Europe in her blog, Nuke Power Talk. This week, she turns to the other side of the world and reports on some mostly positive signs from Asia, particularly South Korea and China. In addition, she notes that promising reports continue to come from Europe, this time from Poland.
Revelations over the last year concerning corruption and bribery, as well as falsified quality assurance certifications, have rocked the South Korean nuclear industry to the point where its public trust has been shaken and the industry has come under scrutiny from the Prime Minister herself. To address these problems with thoroughness and finality, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power has announced sweeping changes in its organization. Will Davis covers these developments on the only nuclear blog continuously monitoring and reporting on the situation in South Korea.
On Thursday, January 30, “the list” was out at Vermont Yankee: the list of names of people who will have a job for more than a year, and the others who will be laid off when the plant closes in a year. Angwin describes that dark day in her blog.
What was the purpose of the German energy transition? If it was to have low-carbon electricity, it was a failure. If it was to phase out nuclear, it was a success.
A summary of the Fukushima Commentary postings about the degree of meltdowns for Fukushima Daiichi units #1, #2, and #3, plus some recent related information. Did any of the material melt through the Reactor Vessel and burn through the bottom of the Containment? I don’t believe it, and here’s why.
Hermann Muller, the 1946 Nobel Prize winner in Physiology and Medicine, insisted that there was no threshold of risk from ionizing radiation. His opinion has had a long lasting influence on standards for radiation dose. He was wrong.
8. Nextbigfuture – South Korea plans to build two new APR1400 units at Shin Kori in the south east of the country. The reactors will be the fifth and sixth at the site and will come with a combined price tag of KRW7.61 trillion ($7.1 billion). $2.53 billion per gigawatt. South Korea’s goal for nuclear power plants in 2035 is to represent around 29% of capacity, up from 19% now. To do this South Korea must build Shin Kori 5 and 6 as well as three further units – in addition to completing the five reactors currently under construction and continuing to operate the existing fleet of 23. This would result in a South Korean nuclear fleet counting 33 large reactors in 2035.
China plans to complete two AP1000 reactors this year. The cylindrical water tank was lifted into place at the AP1000 under construction at Sanmen in China’s Zhejiang province. The 312 tonne module is the last module for the new reactor unit.
9. Nextbigfuture – In 2014, Lawrenceville Plasma Physics (LPP) will carry out our first crowdfunding campaign this spring. Given adequate funding and supplier timeliness, LPP will start experiments in May with the tungsten electrodes, expecting a nearly 100-fold increase in plasmoid density and fusion yield. With these experiments LPP expect to confirm in the course of a few months the predicted operation of the axial field coil and of heavier mix gases. LPP will then proceed in the fall to test shorter electrodes, which will give higher current. Finally, LPP will move to begin tests with hydrogen-boron fuel.