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PROS 2015 Summer Meeting

2015 PROS Meeting will be in Texas.

A NASA tour is planned. You will love the Gulf Coast. Plan your meeting now, and have some fun too.

Read page two. News continues, don't stop on page one.

Anti-nukers, congressmen fret over Entergy finances, requested subsidies

The Recorder - Greenfield, Mass

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently reopened a year-old petition from anti-nuclear groups concerned about Entergy Corp.’s financial ability to safely operate its nuclear plants, including Vermont Yankee.

The original petition, filed before Entergy announced plans to shut the 620-megawatt Vernon, Vt., reactor at the end of 2014 for economic reasons, had called for NRC staff to seek detailed financial information from Entergy Corp., but after the company balked, arguing such scrutiny was beyond... 

Palisades owner Entergy bet on future of nuclear power -- and it has proven a gamble

MLIVE - Michigan

TOWNSHIP, MI -- The biggest threat to the Palisades Nuclear Plant may be the volatile U.S. energy market.

When Entergy Corp. bought the plant from Consumers Energy in 2007, it appeared the Lousiana-based utility was acquiring a cash cow, an investment that would... 

Feds want nuclear waste train, but nowhere to go

Yucca Mountain

(South Portal Tunnel Entracne of Yucca Mountain)

ATLANTA — The U.S. government is looking for trains to haul radioactive waste from nuclear power plants to disposal sites. Too bad those trains have nowhere to go.

Putting the cart before the horse, the U.S. Department of Energy recently asked companies for ideas on how the government should get the rail cars needed to haul 150-ton casks filled with used, radioactive nuclear fuel.

They won't be moving anytime soon. The latest government plans call for having an interim test storage site in 2021 and a long-term geologic depository in 2048.

No one knows where those sites will be, but the Obama administration is already thinking about contracts to develop, test and certify the necessary rail equipment.

U.S. Energy Department officials did not return messages seeking detailed comment. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Department of Transportation share responsibility for regulating shipments.

South Carolina nuclear plant expansion a year behind schedule, SCE&G says

Workers at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station last year. The $10 billion expansion of the Midlands power plant has been delayed.

Delays at a key supplier are pushing back by one year the $10 billion expansion of the nuclear power plant that South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. and Santee Cooper own in the Midlands.

The financial impact on the two utilities and, ultimately, their ratepayers is not yet known, officials said Tuesday.

SCE&G was recently notified by the construction consortium at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station that "substantial completion" of the first of two new reactors is now expected by late 2018 or the first half of 2019. The other will follow 12 months later.

"These expected substantial completion dates do not reflect all efforts that may be possible to mitigate delay, nor has SCE&G accepted this new schedule," the Cayce-based company said in a statement.

The builders haven't yet provided cost overruns tied to the latest delay, SCE&G and state-owned Santee Cooper said.

Details about the financial ramifications probably will be released by the end of the year, said Steve Byrne, chief operating officer of SCE&G.

Ga. Power reports 'schedule challenges but no new delays at Vogtle

ATLANTA | Adding two nuclear reactors for electricity generation at Plant Vogtle has numerous “schedule challenges” but no new delays or cost increases, according to a report filed this week with the Georgia Public Service Commission.

Georgia Power, co-owner of the plant regulated by the commission, issued its semi-annual expense report for the $198 million spent on construction in the first six months of the year. It brings the total spent so far to $2.8 billion, all of which the commission has unanimously approved for passing along to electricity customers once the new reactors go online.

However, the costs of delays reported earlier haven’t been approved. Neither has whatever the outcome of a pending lawsuit between the utility and its construction company.

“We have not made any change to the forecasted schedule or the forecasted costs in this report from the previous reports,” said Buzz Miller, the utility’s executive vice president for nuclear development.

The report notes several instances in which the contractor is dealing with engineering hurdles. In one case, a building-size component called CA05 required multiple changes.

Exelon doubts EPA will order removal of West Lake radioactive waste

BRIDGETON • Construction has been almost nonstop at the smoldering Bridgeton Landfill this year, with workers laboring even during a frigid January to build the treatment plants and filtering systems that keep the worst of the odors at bay.

The Environmental Protection Agency could trigger an even bigger project if it orders removal of the radioactive waste in the next-door West Lake Landfill. Some residents and environmental groups, angered at the EPA’s 2008 plan to cap the waste, have been calling for removal for years. When Republic Services realized Bridgeton Landfill was burning, their calls grew louder.

But at least one of the parties that would be paying for a cleanup at West Lake thinks that won’t happen.

“It is unknown when the U.S. EPA will select a final remedy for public comment, but it will likely be sometime in 2015 at the earliest,” Exelon Corp. wrote in...

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Startup of European pressurized nuclear reactor in Finland further delayed until 2018

Olkiluoto 3 -reaktorin asennustöitä heinäkuussa 2014.

Finnish utility TVO says construction of the country's fifth nuclear reactor has been delayed again, with the plant not expected to go online until 2018 — nine years later than initially forecast.

French-German engineering conglomerate Areva-Siemens is building the reactor, which has been plagued by delays over faulty materials and planning problems since construction began in 2005.

The 1,600-megawatt European Pressurized Reactor — one of the first of its kind — was meant to begin providing electricity in 2009.

TVO says "it is hard for us to accept such a late startup forecast" and is seeking ways to speed up the work.

Monday's announcement represented at least the eighth delay at the Olkiluoto 3 site, where two other reactors have been operating for more than 30 years.

TVO: New timetable "hard to accept"

However in a counter-statement also released Monday, TVO said it wasn’t happy with the new timetable for completion of OL3, which was originally due to be finished in 2009.

“It is hard for us to accept such a late start-up forecast given by the supplier,” TVO’s Olkiluoto 3 project lead Jouni Silvennoinen said in the release, adding that the much of the plant has already been completed.

Cavernous Swiss power plant undermined by renewable energy

LE CHATELARD, Switzerland, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Deep in a Swiss mountain, workers have blasted out a cathedral-sized hole for a power plant that will help keep Europe's lights on, but the profit outlook for the 1.9 billion Swiss franc ($2.1 billion) project has darkened since its construction began in 2008.

The Nant de Drance plant, and others like it, is being undermined by cheap renewable solar and wind energy, which up-ends its business model of pumping water uphill at night when power prices are low and releasing it to make electricity when prices peak in the daytime - a process known as pumped storage.

These pumped storage plants are designed to balance Europe's power supply grids as they can switch on and off at the flick of a switch, unlike nuclear or coal-fired power plants.

When work started on Nant de Drance, its shareholders - a consortium led by Swiss utility Alpiq - hoped to make healthy returns.

But then things changed. Power is still cheap at night, but the traditional daytime price peak has gradually disappeared as fast-growing solar capacity in Germany floods the grids with power around midday.

As a result, Nant de Drance and some other major Swiss pumped storage projects now look a lot less profitable. Several projects in Switzerland, Germany and Austria have been put on ice. But for Nant de Drance, it was too late to stop digging.

  

Madras Atomic Power Station units renew operational licence till December 2015

NPCIL's two power reactors at Kalpakkam have renewed their operational licence with the sectoral regulator till Dec 2015, a senior official said Saturday.CHENNAI: The NPCIL's two power reactors at Kalpakkam have renewed their operational licence with the sectoral regulator till Dec 2015, a senior official said Saturday. 

The two units may increase their power output next year, he said.

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd ( NPCIL) has two 220 MW nuclear power reactors at the Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS) in Kalpakkam, about 70 km from here.

"We have renewed the licence to operate the two units till Dec 2015. The two units are generating about 170 MW. We may increase the power output next year," MAPS station director T.J. Kotteeswaran told IANS over phone from Kalpakkam on Saturday. 

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