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nuclear regulatory commission (nrc)

Political Battles Hampering Function of Important Agency

October 24, 2014 by Rod Adams
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The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is supposed to be an independent regulator with the mission of regulating the use of radioactive materials to adequately protect public safety, promote the common defense and security, and protect the environment. Unfortunately, it has become a political battle ground.[read more]

NRC Commissioner Candidates Stephen Burns and Jeffery Baran

July 29, 2014 by Rod Adams

Filling NRC Vacancies

With some trepidation and caution, I recommend that the Senate confirm Stephen Burns as an NRC Commissioner. He will not require a lengthy acculturation process or any significant training time to come up to speed as a fully functioning Commissioner.[read more]

NRC's Allison Macfarlane and DoE's Pete Lyons Dressed Down for Actions by Predecessors

September 13, 2013 by Rod Adams
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Congress and Regulation

On September 10, 2013, the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Allison Macfarlane and the Department of Energy’s Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy, Peter Lyons, spent almost two hours testifying in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.[read more]

The Bigger Picture: Nuclear Energy vs. Fossil Fuels

June 12, 2013 by Joseph Koblich
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Examining Nuclear Energy and Fossil Fuels

A federal appeals court ordered the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to perform more thorough evaluations in support of its new Waste Confidence Rule, particularly with respect to the potential impacts of long-term storage of spent fuel at plant sites.[read more]

Nuclear Energy: What Does Kewaunee's Future Hold?

May 11, 2013 by Joseph Koblich
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Kewaunee nuclear power station

Shortly after 11 AM on Tuesday, May 8, 2013, the operators at Dominion Resources’ Kewaunee Nuclear Power Station opened the plant’s output breaker, disconnecting the turbine generator from the grid for the last time.[read more]

Calling Out Red Herrings about MOX Fuel for TVA

September 10, 2012 by a b
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The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is considering a plan to burn mixed oxide fuel in two of its power reactors starting in 2018. While the utility hasn’t formally made up its mind, the decision process reached a new stage this week. The MOX fuel is proposed to be used in commercial nuclear reactors owned and operated by TVA.[read more]

No restart date yet for SONGS reactors

August 6, 2012 by a b

Reports of a late Fall return to service are pro-forma Image Source: Smart Animation by Real IllusionBreathless news media reports last week that Units 2 &  3 at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) would restart in late Fall are off the mark. The dates, Nov 18 for Unit 2, and Dec 31, for Unit 3, are fill in the...[read more]

NRC and Regulatory Capture: Conflict of Interest?

August 6, 2012 by Margaret Harding

Regulation Image via Shutterstock

Many have looked at what happened at Fukushima and concluded that the regulator was “captured” by the industry and was no longer an effective independent regulator. Some have accused the NRC of the same problem. Regulatory capture is a real and legitimate concern for all regulators and industry. What are the causes of such “capture”?[read more]

Nuclear Quality Regulations – Time for a new look?

July 30, 2012 by Margaret Harding
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Peter Eggermann/Shutterstock

The current set of nuclear regulations were written when few quality standards existed in the industry. The NRC’s Appendix B program was a pioneer in demanding quality control, record-keeping, and training of the people performing the work. However, the criteria as written is poorly organized .[read more]

Does the US have a 'gold standard' in nuclear safety?

July 16, 2012 by Margaret Harding

OneO2/Shutterstock

Last week I discussed why the Russians might be asking the NRC for a Design Certification of the VVER. I concluded it had little to do with the supposed “gold standard” of certification the NRC provides. In reality the Russians need any independent certification to participate in the international market with smaller countries that lack...[read more]

Worth Noting – Allison Macfarlane Sworn in as Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

July 11, 2012 by Rod Adams

 The Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a brief press release late in the afternoon of June 9, 2012 titled ALLISON M. MACFARLANE BECOMES 15TH NRC CHAIRMAN. Here is the text of that press release: Dr. Allison M. Macfarlane, designated by President Obama as chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, was sworn in today as the...[read more]

Court’s Waste Confidence Ruling

June 29, 2012 by a b

Dirk Ercken/Shutterstock

It Bolsters Nuclear Opponents’ CauseTwo recent decisions by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia show just how much time, money, and political capital have been wasted on developing a rational solution to the political problem of managing the nation’s spent fuel.The first ruling, handed down by the Court of Appeals on...[read more]

NRC and Vermont Yankee Win In Federal Court

June 27, 2012 by Meredith Angwin

The Vermont Department of Public Service sued the NRC, claiming that the NRC should not have issued a license extension to Vermont Yankee because the plant's water quality permits were not in order.  Today, a federal court in Washington ruled for the NRC and for Vermont Yankee...the license extension was upheld.I am still at the ANS...[read more]

No easy answers at SONGS - Update

June 20, 2012 by a b

Esteban De Armas/Shutterstock

Faulty computer analysis, design flaws, and manufacturing changes are among the reasons there is excessive tube wear in the steam generator at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station Unit 3 California Song BirdIn a presentation at an NRC public meeting held in San Juan Capistrano, CA, on Monday June 18, Southern California Edison VP for...[read more]

My Questions for MacFarlane

June 13, 2012 by Steve Skutnik
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The nomination of Allison MacFarlane has drawn a considerably mixed reaction among the nuclear community. Given that MacFarlane's hearing is scheduled for today, here are some questions that can inform the discussion both of whether MacFarlane is a good candidate to lead the NRC and what her leadership might entail.[read more]