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On Nuclear News Roundup for 1/24/16

As a practical matter, to reduce environmental impacts, and to take advantage of existing infrastructure (switchyeards, transmission lines, roads, other utilities, and security, etc.) the new reactors will most likely be co-located with the old ones.

January 26, 2016    View Comment    

On Nuclear News Roundup for 1/24/16

The US is building a plant in South Carolina to convert weapons grade plutonium into MOX fuel. The initial run will convert 30 tonnes of PU and produce the equivalent of about 1700 PWR type fuel assemblies.  Subsequent runs will use sources such as this shipment for similar purposes.

January 25, 2016    View Comment    

On Nuclear News Roundup for 1/24/16

The answer is to get it out of Japan so that China and other S E Asia countries won't think it could be used to make nuclea weapons.  See summary and reference URL below.

http://news.yahoo.com/japan-send-plutonium-cache-us-under-nuclear-deal-074520460.html

Japan will send a huge cache of plutonium -- enough to produce 50 nuclear bombs -- to the United States as part of a deal to return the material that was used for research, reports and officials said Tuesday.

The plutonium stockpile, provided by the US, Britain and France decades ago, has caused some disquiet given that Japan has said it has the ability to produce a nuclear weapon even if it chooses not to.

Some 331 kilograms (730 pounds) of the highly fissionable material will be sent by ship to a nuclear facility (SRS) in South Carolina by the end of March, Kyodo News reported in a dispatch from Washington that cited unnamed Japanese government sources.

The shipment, which comes ahead of a nuclear security summit in Washington in March, is meant to underscore both countries' commitment to nuclear non-proliferation and is part of a deal they made in 2014.

It will be one of Japan's most significant overseas movements of plutonium since it transported one tonne from France in 1993 to be used in nuclear reactor experiments.

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January 25, 2016    View Comment    

On Nuclear News Roundup for 01/17/16

Thanks for the link. I follow WNA reports like many others.  

Cheryl Rofer, now retired from Los Alamos, has prepared an analysis asking the question of whether Rosatom is over-extended in terms of its commitments.

http://nucleardiner.com/2015/02/18/can-russia-afford-its-reactor-exports/

Rosatom's financing of many nuclear projects became possible in an era where oil sold for $100/bbl. With the significant drop in price, down to $30/bb as of 1/20/16, Russia's revenues from this source are reduced by two-thirds. Sooner or later these revenue shortfalls are going to impact Rosatom's commitments to finance new reactors as part of its export program.

January 20, 2016    View Comment    

On Nuclear News Roundup for 01/17/16

Follow me on Twitter for breaking news  @djysrv  http://www.twitter.com/djysrv   

BTW: This story keeps morphing as the price of the so-called repository keeps growing. Given that France reprocesses its spent fuel, the space needed for high level waste will be considerably less than if it had a once through cycle.  That means the cost will be lower too.

Anti-nuclear groups like to have it both ways - cite the high cost of spent fuel disposition and then also cry crocodile tears about the threat of not doing anything about it.

As for "extra provisions" keep in mind both EDF and Areva are French state owned corporations which makes this a budget issue for the government. It's just a matter of moving money from one pocket to another.

 

 

January 18, 2016    View Comment    

On Why the Next Generation of Nuclear Energy Technology Innovation Won't Be like the Last One

FERMI III will move ahead if the US auto industry recovers and it reopens closed manufacturing plants in DTE service area.  That will bring online whole second industry of suppliers all of which will bring new workers, and their families, and thus the electricity demand needed to justify the plant.

 Prior to finishing the licensing for Fermi III, DTE worked with the Michigan legislature to ring fence its service area so that independent power producers selling electricity from natural gas plants couldn't cannibalize its markets.  

SMRs have much greater chance of making impact on the US market, but won't be profitable until they have enough orders to justify investing in a factory to grind them out like washing machines.  Break point is estimated to be about 40-60 orders.  That's a big "valley of death" for current investors to sustain. Globally, UK could be where SMR factories get built based on the government's friendlier face to the industry.

 SMRs at 50-100 MW won't be "bet the company" projects and the first one provides the revenue for the next and so on building nuclear generating capacity in stages to meet demand rather than all at once.

 

January 9, 2016    View Comment    

On Why the Next Generation of Nuclear Energy Technology Innovation Won't Be like the Last One

I've posted my comments in response to Joe Deely's table on my blog as the table won't fit in this format on this site

http://neutronbytes.com/2016/01/08/what-happened-to-the-u-s-nuclear-renaissance/

 

 

 

January 8, 2016    View Comment    

On Why the Next Generation of Nuclear Energy Technology Innovation Won't Be like the Last One

ATTN: Joe Deely

Re your Energy Collective comment about reactors, send me your table in Word or Excel format. I'll add a column with my remarks for each reactor. Then I'll post it back here. djysrv@gmail.com  Dan Yurman

January 8, 2016    View Comment    

On Why the Next Generation of Nuclear Energy Technology Innovation Won't Be like the Last One

Yup. Illinois is big on coal. That's why there is a city in that state called Carbondale :-)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbondale,_Illinois

January 5, 2016    View Comment    

On Why the Next Generation of Nuclear Energy Technology Innovation Won't Be like the Last One

I didn't say the administration was "anti" nuclear, but the White House did install Kevin Knobloch, the former president of the Union of Concerned Scientists, as the Chief of Staff at DOE.  As you know, UCS is stridently abnti nuclear especially when it come anything that advances the technology that will expand its use.  

I beleive the metaphor for such an arrangement is called a "fox in the hen house.".

 

January 5, 2016    View Comment    

On Why the Next Generation of Nuclear Energy Technology Innovation Won't Be like the Last One

See my report from the ANS Winter meeting of 2011 on the status of the IFR readiness for NRC licensing via an interview with John Sackett.

http://ansnuclearcafe.org/2011/11/02/hall-talk-licensing-the-integral-fast-reactor-design/

With regard to the 15 year time horizon, see my article posted on my blog which points out that even Bill Gates work with TerraPower will take until the early 2030s working with the Chinese state owned nuclear firms to deploy a first of a kind advanced reactor.  

http://neutronbytes.com/2015/09/23/terrapower-inks-deal-with-chinas-cnnc-to-build-fast-reactor/

And yes the Russians and Chinese are eating our lunch because of the political correctness of the green wing of the Democratic party. It is a paradox since Pres.Obama comes from the state of Illinois which has more nuclear reactors than any other state and has benefitted greatly from them. 

 

 

January 5, 2016    View Comment    

On Why the Next Generation of Nuclear Energy Technology Innovation Won't Be like the Last One

** The article does talk about co-locating SMRs - 12 at a time. And renewables are a fact of life for utilities so why not capitalize on their presence?

** The 50-75 year time frame covers all three phases of innovation including TWO generations of advanced reactors, the first complete in 2030 and the second by 2050.

 

 

January 5, 2016    View Comment