Seventh Japanese reactor restarted

23 March 2018

Kyushu Electric Power Company today began the process of restarting operation of unit 3 at its Genkai nuclear power plant in Japan's Saga prefecture. The reactor is scheduled to resume commercial operation next month.

The utility said the process of extracting the control rods from the 1180 MWe pressurised water reactor (PWR) was restarted at 11.00am today. Kyushu said it plans to resume electricity generation at Genkai 3 on 25 March but noted that this date could change "due to turbine adjustment, etc."

"After restarting generating electricity, we will conduct the adjustment operation as output is gradually increased," Kyushu said. "Accordingly, the plant is expected to undergo the integrated performance test and return to commercial operation in late April."

US fiscal 2018 budget approved

23 March 2018

Both houses of the US Congress have approved an omnibus appropriations bill including USD1.2 billion for nuclear energy. The bill will see the suspension of sales by the Department of Energy of surplus uranium to pay for decommissioning work at the former Portsmouth uranium enrichment plant.

IEA sees record energy sector emissions in 2017

22 March 2018

Global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions - the largest source of man-made greenhouse gas emissions - increased 1.4% in 2017 to reach a historic high of 32.5 billion tonnes, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has announced. The increase followed three consecutive years of emissions remaining flat.

Drones to venture into Fukushima containment vessels

22 March 2018

Unmanned aerial system technology is being developed to fly into the containment vessels of the damaged reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan to assess their condition. Tokyo Electric Power Company contracted the Southwest Research Institute of the USA to carry out the work.

IAEA reviews safety at Olkiluoto 3 ahead of start-up

23 March 2018

Olkiluoto 3 - August 2016 - 48The operator of the first-of-a-kind EPR reactor nearing start-up in Finland has shown a commitment to safety, an expert team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has concluded. The team also identified areas for further enhancements as Teollisuuden Voima Oyj prepares to put Olkiluoto unit 3 online later this year.

Pipe robot aids enrichment plant decommissioning

22 March 2018

RadPiper_launch_(CMU)-48A pair of autonomous robots, developed by Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute to characterise uranium deposits in process pipes, could save tens of millions of dollars in decommissioning costs at the USA's former gaseous diffusion enrichment plants.

China launches new uranium enrichment centrifuges

21 March 2018

Demonstration enrichment plant - 48China has completed a "large-scale demonstration project for a new generation of uranium enrichment centrifuges", China National Nuclear Corporation announced yesterday. The new centrifuges have now been put into production at the Hanzhun fuel facility in Shaanxi province.


Five reasons nuclear energy will rebound in 2018

Nuclear energy has faced serious challenges in recent years because of several factors: competition from low gas prices, subsidised renewables and slow growth in electricity demand in certain markets. But because of several powerful forces we are seeing signs that this year nuclear energy will come roaring back, writes Jarret Adams.

Several nuclear plants have closed prematurely in the United States, and other shutdowns have been announced. But in every instance, the nuclear plant closures have led to higher emissions and electricity prices, pointing out a difficult truth.

Experts say it is virtually impossible for a major economy to have a reliable, low-carbon grid without nuclear energy. The Germans are learning this lesson the hard way.


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Symposium 2018