Environmental Protection

Nuclear Energy


Swiss Voters Back Phaseout of Nuclear Power

They endorsed a new energy law that bans new nuclear power plants, supports renewable energy sources, and seeks to encourage lower energy consumption. The vote was 58 percent in favor.

NRC Vacancies Concern House Members

"Absent a nomination and confirmation of additional commissioners, the Commission will lack a quorum on July 1 when Chairman Svinicki's current term expires. This situation could severely inhibit the NRC's ability to execute its vital responsibility and hamper the nuclear industry," three leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee wrote in a letter to the president.

Third NRC/DOE Workshop Set on Advanced Reactor Designs

The agency defines advanced reactors as technologies using something other than water to cool the reactor core. NRC is currently discussing one advanced design with a vendor considering applying for design certification.

China's Interest in Westinghouse Sparks White House Concern

Meanwhile, NRC's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board will hold an evidentiary hearing May 2 in Homestead, Fla, about wastewater environmental impacts from Florida Power & Light AP1000 reactors at the Turkey Point site 40 miles south of Miami.

Proposals Sought for IAEA Conference on Protecting Nuclear Facilities

The IAEA International Conference on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities will be held Nov. 13-17, 2017, in Vienna, Austria.

Robotic Surveys Having Trouble Inside Fukushima Reactor No. 1

Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority is recommending using a different survey method after TEPCO said an attempt failed to deliver a camera to locations where images of nuclear fuel debris could be taken.

DOE Wants Comments on Possible Changes to Uranium Transfers

The U.S. Department of Energy is asking for comments and information by April 10 about a possible change in its transfers of uranium for cleanup services at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon, Ohio.

Major Loss By Toshiba Rattles Nuclear Sector

The Japanese company took a $6.3 billion writedown to its U.S. nuclear unit on Feb. 14 and announced several executive changes, including the resignation of Shigenori Shiga as representative executive officer to take management responsibility for the loss.



NRC Proposes Lower Fees for FY2017

The proposed rule reduces annual fees by 7.3 percent from last year for operating reactors, by 16.1 percent for most fuel cycle facilities, and by 1.5 percent for spent fuel storage and decommissioning reactor licensees.

Chernobyl Reactor Shield's Move Completed

A ceremony in Chernobyl on Nov. 29 marked the successful conclusion of the sliding operation, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development announced.

UK Environment Agency Seeking Stakeholder Comments on Reactor Design

Hitachi-GE is trying to carry the UK ABWR through its first stages of regulatory review for development in Britain.

PG&E Agrees to Shut Down Diablo Canyon

The Joint Proposal would replace power produced by two nuclear reactors at the Diablo Canyon Power Plant with a cost-effective, greenhouse gas free portfolio of energy efficiency, renewables and energy storage, according to the utility, which has committed to a 55 percent renewable energy target in 2031.

This photo shows some of the first waste being disposed at the WCS Federal Waste Disposal Facility in Andrews, Texas. It opened in June 2013 for disposal of Class A, B and C Low-level Waste and Mixed Low-level Waste, with a licensed capacity of up to 26 million cubic feet. (WCS photo)

Texas Firm Bids for Spent Nuclear Fuel Repository

Waste Control Specialists LLC announced April 28 it has filed an application with the NRC to build and manage a Consolidated Interim Storage Facility.

NRC, Army Corps Find Environmental Impacts Don't Prevent Licensing Bell Bend Reactor

Talen Energy submitted the application on Oct. 10, 2008, seeking permission to construct and operate a U.S. EPR reactor -- a third-generation pressurized water reactor -- at the site. AREVA Inc., the designer of the U.S. EPR, requested that the NRC staff suspend its safety review of the U.S. EPR design certification application in February 2015, and as a result, the U.S. EPR design certification review and Bell Bend safety review are on hold until further notice.

NRC Considering Friends of the Earth's Petition About Diablo Canyon

FOE filed it Aug. 26, 2014, stating its concerns about the Diablo Canyon Power Plant's operational safety and its ability to safely shut down in the event of a nearby earthquake.

NRC Taking Comments on Review of Wyoming Uranium Facility Expansion Plan

Strata applied to the NRC in early 2015 for approval to build and operate additional uranium recovery wells in the Kendrick expansion area, which covers about 7,800 acres adjacent to the facility, which is located 27 miles northeast of Gillette, Wyo.

DOE Issues Citations for 2014 WIPP Incidents

Operations at the U.S. Department of Energy's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, the transuranic waste disposal site outside of Carlsbad, N.M., were suspended after two serious February 2014 incidents involving worker exposures to smoke and radiation.

DOE Resumes Search for Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Waste Repository

DOE will follow the process laid out in a strategy document from 2013. The strategy is to establish a pilot interim storage facility that mainly will accept used nuclear fuel from reactors that have already been shut down; a larger interim storage facility; and one or more long-term geologic repositories.

Workers dismantled a steam generator in a unit at a German plant. More than half of all the operating nuclear power reactors are more than 30 years old, according to IAEA. (Photo by H. Vanhatalo/IAEA)

IAEA Announces 2016 Decommissioning Conference

Participants will discuss challenges, achievements, and lessons learned from nuclear site decommissioning and environmental remediation projects implemented during the past decade when they meet next May in Madrid.

Two cooling towers at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania.

Electric Power Generation Employment Down 42 Percent 2001-2014

Employment in nuclear power was essentially flat—it rose during the period but settled at 47,413 in 2014, up by 5 percent from 45,312 in 2001.

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