APR: your source for nuclear news and analysis since April 16, 2010

Friday, February 24, 2012

Atomic Power Review - February 24, 2012

It's time for another roundup of widely published and not so widely published nuclear energy news... but first, a note about a new APR feature.

Sharp eyed readers may have noticed the appearance of another link in the "Pages on this site" section, labeled "Fukushima Daiichi Accident Reports." This new stand-alone page gives links to all of the official compilations of accident events, reports on the actions taken, analyses of the quality of the response by official bodies, and so forth. It is intended to be a single stop clearinghouse for finding official (and thus realistic) appraisals of the events leading to the accident, during its progression, and during the recovery. I will continue to add more links as I find them so that this resource continues to be relevant. Now to the news.

FUKUSHIMA DAIICHI - There appear to be some further intermittent problems with some of the temperature indications at Fukushima Daiichi No. 2 plant; TEPCO seems unworried by these random spurious indications, even though it states that it continues to monitor No. 2 containment for xenon. In a separate area, TEPCO has decided that movement of barges and small vessels inside the breakwater which are anticipated for further recovery work would stir up the contaminated sea bed; therefore, TEPCO will soon begin covering the seabed inside the breakwall with concrete. According to TEPCO's press releases the equipment for this work is already on hand.

More on a previously reported story -- Denki Shimbun has a good article on the price Japan is paying for shutting down almost all of its nuclear generating capacity.

Nuclear Energy - USA and Around the World

Byron Station (Illinois) has received an award for progress in developing onsite wildlife habitat by the Wildlife Habitat Council. Click here for a short story. Byron has been certified under WHC's "Wildlife at Work" program; click here to read about this program.

Pilgrim Watch, an activist group who would like to see Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station shut down (Pilgrim is a GE BWR/3 in a Mk I containment at Plymouth, MA) have been turned back again at reopening a hearing concerning Pilgrim's licensing -- but they have been joined by NRC Chairman Jaczko (who dissented with the other NRC Commissioners who all voted to halt this attempt by Pilgrim Watch) in the sentiment that more public questioning on Fukushima related issues is needed. Click here to read more. It certainly seems to be getting more and more clear as to whether or not Chairman Jaczko feels as if all new plant licensing, relicensing and construction should wait until every last possible deduction from the Fukushima Daiichi accident has been made - but those could continue for twenty years. Discretion might be the best part of valor, but he who hesitates is lost; the energy policy of the United States is what hangs in the balance.

Speaking of post-Fukushima unfounded fears, we have on the opposite side of the spectrum the president and CEO of Ontario Power Generation coming right out and saying that post-Fukushima fear should not be allowed to stop the public from understanding the potential of nuclear energy - and in a way he's glad that the nuclear industry has been pushed back into the spotlight. Click here to read a very solid, pro-nuclear but definitely post-Fukushima article about nuclear energy in Canada.

Alstom is so sure of the nuclear renaissance that it's expecting good things from its now two-year-old plant in Chattanooga. According to Alstom's CEO, the nuclear renaissance is delayed but not scuttled by any means. Click here for a brief article.

That's this week's late-week roundup!

10:25 PM Eastern Friday February 24, 2012


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