Passing on the knowledge of decommissioning management and
environmental stewardship from DOE site clean-up is not a
‘nice-to-have’; it could be make-or-break for the commercial nuclear
insights from the DOE, UCOR and AREVA, Nuclear Energy Insider has put
together a brand new report on the opportunities and challenges that
will arise from collaboration between these two industries. Take a look at the complimentary 10-page report here
You will receive:
An update on clean-up progress at DOE sites across the US and how
new technologies such as robotics and remote handling are improving
efficiency for D&D
Details on cross-industry opportunities for contractors with
experience on either commercial decommissioning or DOE clean-up, to take
advantage of the boom in work
into the workforce, safety and stakeholder culture that is essential
for a successful D&D project, whether commercial or federal in
Let me know if you have any questions or feedback.
Siobhan Siobhan O’Meara Head of Nuclear Energy Insider FCBI Energy +44 (0) 20 7375 7512 US Toll Free: +1 800 814 3459 + Ext: 7512
By Environmental Defense Fund Energy Exchange Blog,
/ Tuesday, August 23, 2016 10:00 AM
The Clean Power Plan oral argument is coming up soon. On September 27,
attorneys will present their arguments in front of the full U.S. Court
of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. EPA and the many supporters of the
Clean Power Plan have already filed their written arguments – and so has
the coalition of coal companies
The future of nuclear energy — our largest source of
clean power — is in serious jeopardy, and hardly anything is being done
to save it.
America could lose half of its nuclear plants by 2030,
and yet lawmakers from Washington, D.C. to Springfield, Illinois to
Sacramento, California are failing to take action.
We won an exciting victory in New York, but it was temporary and inadequate: there is no plan to replace much less build new nuclear plants.
Thorium and advanced reactors hold great promise but
where will they be built if today’s nuclear plants are decommissioned
and their sites remediated? Who will want to work and invest in an
industry that is in decline and denial?
Enough is enough. Pro-nuclear environmentalists,
students, and young nuclear professionals have to take action into our
own hands. We must unite to save nuclear at every level: in Washington,
in the states, in our plants, in the media, and in our communities.
Join us for a “Save the Nukes!", a national leadership summit October 22 - 24 in
Chicago, Illinois co-sponsored by Environmental Progress, American
Nuclear Society’s Youth Members Group, Mothers for Nuclear, North
American Young Generation of Nuclear, Thorium Energy Alliance, and Nukes
Facebook group. Here's what we have planned so far.
Saturday, October 22
5 pm Registration, Cocktails and Dinner — Dessert Panel: “How Can Illinois Save the Nukes?"
Sunday, October 23
9 - 12 noon: Why Is Nuclear in Crisis? What Is Working to Save Them? What Should We Do?
12 - 1 Lunch:
1 - 3: Get Action!
3 - 5: Get Organized! Small Group Breakout Sessions
Monday, October 24
Morning -- Meet with Legislators
Noon / Afternoon -- Fight to save Clinton and Quad Cities Nuclear Plants with a March and Direct Action!
Schedule and locations to be announced soon-- mark your calendar and tell your friends.
For more information or if you have questions, shoot me an email.
With hope for the future,
Organizing Director firstname.lastname@example.org
by Michael Shellenberger
Diablo Canyon will be mostly replaced by natural gas and emissions will increase if the Joint Proposal by
PG&E, IBEW 1245, and anti-nuclear groups is approved by the
California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and upheld by the courts.
Further, the percentage of electricity PG&E derives from low-carbon energy sources will decline from 58 to 55 percent.
Proposal claims it will replace the 17,660 gigawatt-hours of low-carbon
electricity produced by Diablo Canyon with an equal amount of
low-carbon electricity, but the details of the Proposal make clear that
will not happen. The Proposal’s specifics mandate:
1) 2,000 gigawatt-hours per year of reduced energy consumption through energy efficiency by 2025;
2) Another 2,000 gigawatt-hours per year of “GHG free energy resources or energy efficiency” to come on line by 2025;
3) There is no 3.
it: 4,000 gigawatt-hours per year of (mostly) energy efficiency and
(maybe) renewable power to replace 17,660 gigawatt-hours from Diablo
Where will the remaining 13,660 gigawatt-hours come from? The Proposal doesn’t say, but the only source it can come from is natural gas.
And with all of that natural gas will come 5.4 million tons of extra carbon dioxide emissions every year. Read More: Why Diablo Canyon Will Live — and the Corrupt Proposal to Kill It Will Fail
about energy storage? The Proposal itself admits, “energy storage, by
itself, is not a source of energy,” which may be why it doesn’t bother
setting storage targets.
What about the 55 percent (of PG&E sales) Renewable Portfolio Standard by 2031 (to last through 2045)?
That sounds good, but it starts 6 years after Diablo Canyon would close, and it’s actually a stepdown from PG&E’s current GHG free share of generation, which was 58 percent last year.
So all the efficiency and renewables the Proposal mandates—or vaguely promises—would leave PG&E’s energy mix slightly dirtier in 2045 than it was in 2015—no progress at all for 30 years because of Diablo’s closure.
while it might constitute a nominal replacement (almost) of Diablo
Canyon, it would likely come by buying Renewable Energy Certificates
from out-of-state renewable plants, leaving California’s in-state
generation markedly dirtier. Under that RPS mechanism, California has
met its nominal renewables targets even as the GHG free share of
in-state electricity generation has fallen by 20 percent over the last
The reason the Proposal doesn’t call for replacing Diablo
with renewable energy is simple: California’s grid can’t handle it. The
state is already struggling to integrate intermittent renewable power,
and is having to curtail mid-day surges of solar to avoid destabilizing
The Proposal acknowledges that Diablo must be closed to
make room for curtailed solar. (Of course, replacing clean nuclear power
with clean solar power does nothing for the climate, although its great
for the solar industry.)
But it also states that closure will
“impact the efficient and reliable balancing of load,” which means
blackout risk. That’s why the Proposal is careful not to mandate any
more destabilizing solar or wind—and leaves the door wide open for
reliable gas generation.
Which leaves load reduction through
energy efficiency as the main (though woefully inadequate) green
component of both the Proposal and PG&E’s forecasts. But while
energy efficiency is great, load reduction is plumb stupid as climate
Grid electricity is the easiest part of the energy supply
to decarbonize, so we should be using more electricity—for transport,
heating and other purposes—not less; PG&E’s generation should grow
mightily to accommodate all the Tesla’s and Volts Californian’s could be
driving on electricity from Diablo Canyon. The Proposal’s prescription
for grid austerity marks a disastrous wrong turn for California energy
All of this fits a growing pattern. Despite green groups’
claims that nuclear power can be easily replaced by wind, solar and
energy efficiency, recently closed plants from Vermont Yankee to
California’s San Onofre have been replaced overwhelmingly with
fossil-fueled power. With Diablo Canyon, at least they are admitting
ahead of time that renewables can’t do the job.
Decommissioning of the Merlin Research Reactor in Germany. (Photo: Forschungszentrum Juelich GmbH)
Germany recently announced a milestone in the complete
dismantling of the reactor pressure vessel of the Obrigheim nuclear
power plant in Germany. After 36 years of operations the plant shut was
down in 2005 and has been in the process of dismantling since 2008.
Boris Bredenbach, a well-known decommissioning expert gave us some
insight details on Germany’s experience in this specialised field in an
article published in the March 2016 issue IAEA Bulletin.
Germany has gained considerable experience in the decommissioning of
nuclear facilities since the 1970s. Currently 16 nuclear power plants,
both power and prototype reactors, are at different stages of
decommissioning. Three decommissioning projects have been completed (see
Following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (NPP) accident in
March 2011, the German Government decided to end the use of nuclear
energy for the commercial generation of electricity by gradually phasing
it out. This decision resulted in an amendment of the German Atomic
Energy Act (AtG) on 31 July 2011, withdrawing the authorization to
operate an installation for the fission of nuclear fuel for the
commercial production of electricity for the seven oldest NPPs and NPP
Krümmel on 6 August 2011, and setting end dates for the authorization
for the remaining nine NPPs in a phased approach ending in 2022.
Since then, all eight NPPs, which were shut down in 2011 applied for a
decommissioning licence. Additionally, NPP Grafenrheinfeld was shut
down on 27 June 2015, half a year before its originally scheduled end
date. An application for decommissioning was submitted well in advance,
as is the case for NPP Gundremmingen B, which is still in operation and
which is scheduled to shut down at the end of 2017.
The map below provides an overview of the nuclear power plants under
decommissioning in Germany, as well as those already either dismantled,
permanently shut down but awaiting granting of the decommissioning
licence, or in operation with the foreseen end dates. In addition to the
power and prototype reactors, more than 30 research reactors of various
size and more than ten nuclear fuel cycle facilities have been shut
down and have been or will be decommissioned. In many shapes and forms
There may be many decommissioning projects proceeding concurrently,
but each project is unique. The course of the project, its financing,
the choice of decommissioning strategy and many other conditions depend
on the type of facility and its owner:
Power reactors and plants for uranium enrichment and fuel
fabrication belong to the power utilities and the companies operating in
Research reactors, prototype reactors for electricity production and
prototype nuclear fuel cycle facilities are, on the other hand,
established at research centres or universities. They are financed
The decommissioning of the Greifswald and Rheinsberg NPPs of the
former East Germany is financed from the federal budget, as are the
decommissioning and remediation of the uranium mining and processing
facilities of East Germany.
The legal framework for the decommissioning of nuclear
facilities results from the AtG. It stipulates that decommissioning is
subject to licensing by the competent authority. According to the AtG,
there are two different strategies allowed: immediate dismantling or
dismantling after safe enclosure. The decision as to which
decommissioning strategy to implement is taken by the operator. Most
operators have opted for dismantling immediately.
For the licence application, specified documents and information have
to be submitted to the competent authority of the State in which the
nuclear facility is located. These have to describe, among other things,
the procedure applied for, the planned dismantling measures and
associated techniques to be used, the environmental impact and the
provisions for radiation protection. Further details are regulated by
the Nuclear Licensing Procedure Ordinance and are included in the
Compliance with the requirements for work permitted in the
decommissioning licence is supervised by the competent local state
authority. The authority verifies whether the conditions specified for
the work and the licensing conditions imposed are complied with.
Additional inspections are carried out by independent experts
commissioned by the authority for assistance. Furthermore, the
techniques and methods specified in the licence will be fully specified
and a detailed plan prepared in the course of the supervisory procedure.
Future tasks in Germany are the completion of the current
decommissioning projects and the decommissioning of the nuclear
facilities that are still operating once they have reached the end of
their operating life. The number of parallel decommissioning projects of
large scale facilities required by the phase-out of nuclear power could
pose challenges in terms of the availability and maintenance of
competences at all levels (operators, regulatory body, technical support
organizations, and suppliers).
Past, current and future decommissioning projects of nuclear power
plants in Germany. (Source: Installation and Reactor Safety Company,
In the latest issue of Nature, FAS Director of the Project on Government Secrecy, Steven Aftergood, had his book review of The Ethics of Invention: Technology and the Human Future by Sheila Jasanoff published.
No First Use of Nuclear Weapons and More from CRS by Steven Aftergood, FAS This update
features 9 new and updated Congressional Research Service reports across
a variety of issues, from "No First Use" policy discussion to airline
passenger protection rights. Full story.
Security for Domestic Intelligence Facilities Revised by Steven Aftergood, FAS After an
incident at the CIA headquarters on June 13, a new directive was put
into motion to set security standards for facility protection, design,
and renovation.Full story.
Defense Support of Civil Authorities: Overview by Steven Aftergood, FAS The Department of
Defense published a three-volume manual detailing the conditions under
which the DoD can intervene in domestic civilian affairs.Full story.
Neil Sheehan Public Affairs Officer Region I In February, Entergy announced plans to permanently shut down the James A. FitzPatrick nuclear power plant
on Jan. 27, 2017. However, there are indications – based on recent
negotiations between Entergy and Exelon – that the facility may not
cease operations after all.
On Aug. 9, Exelon announced
it had reached a deal to purchase the Scriba (Oswego County), N.Y.,
boiling-water reactor from Entergy for $110 million. This agreement
occurred after the New York State Public Service Commission approved
Zero Emission Credits, or subsidies, which will help upstate N.Y.
nuclear plants stay online amid historically low energy prices.
Challenging market conditions had earlier prompted Entergy to
announce the plant’s closure. The NRC in 2008 had approved a renewal of
FitzPatrick’s initial 40-year operating license, extending it until
Before the sale of the plant can be completed, the transaction will
undergo reviews by the NRC, as well as other regulatory agencies. NRC
staff will evaluate Exelon’s technical and financial capabilities
to ensure the plant’s safe operation and to provide reasonable
assurance that adequate funding is available to safely decommission the
unit after the final shutdown has occurred.
Exelon currently owns and operates 22 reactors at 13 plant sites in
the U.S. The company also runs Fort Calhoun under a contract with the
Omaha Public Power District.
We will publish on our website and in the Federal Register a
notice of having received the license transfer application, dated
August. 18, and the opportunity to request a hearing on the proposal. As
for the process itself, such reviews generally take from six months to a
year. For example, when the FitzPatrick operating license was
transferred from the New York Power Authority to Entergy in 2000, the review was completed in about half a year.
As a footnote, Exelon already owns the Nine Mile Point nuclear power plant, which is located next-door to FitzPatrick.
Some Okuma evacuees make temporary returns to home… Kawamata Town to be fully reopened by April 1, 2017…
Ikata unit #3 is now at 100% power… Antinuclear tents are removed from
the Industry Ministry’s property… Officials continue to search for the
remains of residents missing due to the 2011 tsunami… Another
ex-Fukushima worker gets workman’s compensation for low level radiation
exposure… and more.
Does the Asahi Shimbun Comprehend the F. Daiichi Ice Wall’s Purpose?
The “ice wall” at Fukushima Daiichi is misunderstood by Japan’s number
two newspaper. The “wall” is supposed to stop contaminated water from
mixing with fresh groundwater. But, the Asahi incorrectly reports that
it is supposed to stop external groundwater flow, misleading its 12
Electric Power Company’s initiative to create a frozen soil barrier
around Japan's damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to prevent the
groundwater from becoming contaminated with radioactive materials has
not shown any success, the Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority's
expert panel member said.