Nuclear Reactors – ABWR http://abwr.org/ Thu, 24 Nov 2022 04:04:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://abwr.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/default-150x150.png Nuclear Reactors – ABWR http://abwr.org/ 32 32 Russian attack on energy grid marks dangerous new phase of invasion and threatens safety of nuclear reactors – YubaNet https://abwr.org/russian-attack-on-energy-grid-marks-dangerous-new-phase-of-invasion-and-threatens-safety-of-nuclear-reactors-yubanet/ Thu, 24 Nov 2022 02:30:28 +0000 https://abwr.org/russian-attack-on-energy-grid-marks-dangerous-new-phase-of-invasion-and-threatens-safety-of-nuclear-reactors-yubanet/ WASHINGTON (November 23, 2022) — Relentless Russian airstrikes on Ukraine’s electricity sector on Wednesday caused instabilities that forced all fifteen reactors at its four nuclear power plants off the grid. Below is a statement from Edwin Lyman, Director of Nuclear Energy Safety at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS): “Russia’s ruthless attack on Wednesday marks […]]]>

WASHINGTON (November 23, 2022) — Relentless Russian airstrikes on Ukraine’s electricity sector on Wednesday caused instabilities that forced all fifteen reactors at its four nuclear power plants off the grid.

Below is a statement from Edwin Lyman, Director of Nuclear Energy Safety at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS):

“Russia’s ruthless attack on Wednesday marks the beginning of a dangerous new phase in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. These targeted attacks on the energy grid not only pose deadly risks to Ukrainians, but now also endanger all Ukrainian nuclear power plants. The safety of nuclear reactors essentially depends on access to a stable and secure supply of electricity from the grid.

A disaster at a nuclear power plant would further devastate Ukrainian communities who are already suffering the direct consequences of power outages by spreading radiological contamination over a wide area, forcing new populations to move and endangering food supplies. and in water. Russia’s despicable tactics, intended to freeze Ukrainians, could end up harming neighboring countries, including Russia itself.

Dr Lyman also noted that unlike Zaporizhzhia, the nuclear power plant which was most directly affected by the conflict, the other three plants have older-model reactors which may be less resistant to the impacts of a military attack, in in particular the two VVER-440 reactors at the Rivne power plant.

“It is now clear that a safety zone must be established not only in Zaporizhzhia, but in all Ukrainian nuclear power plants – and should extend to the entire power grid,” Dr Lyman added.

UCS is actively monitoring the situation in Ukraine.

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work solving our planet’s most pressing problems. By partnering with people across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative and practical solutions for a healthy, safe and sustainable future. For more information, visit www.ucsusa.org.

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Japan’s nuclear watchdog plans to extend reactor life https://abwr.org/japans-nuclear-watchdog-plans-to-extend-reactor-life/ Mon, 21 Nov 2022 14:54:00 +0000 https://abwr.org/japans-nuclear-watchdog-plans-to-extend-reactor-life/ Comment this story Comment TOKYO — Japanese nuclear regulators are considering overhauling a safety rating system to allow aging reactors to operate beyond the current 60-year limit, but the move is aimed at preventing safety lapses and is not not driven by government efforts to increase the use of nuclear power, an official said Monday. […]]]>

Comment

TOKYO — Japanese nuclear regulators are considering overhauling a safety rating system to allow aging reactors to operate beyond the current 60-year limit, but the move is aimed at preventing safety lapses and is not not driven by government efforts to increase the use of nuclear power, an official said Monday.

The Nuclear Regulatory Authority Commission, at the request of the Ministry of Economy and Industry, has drawn up a plan to remove the 60-year limit and replace it with a system of potential extensions granted every 10 years after 30 years of operation.

It would be a major change from the current limit of 40 years with a possible one-time extension to 20 years, a rule that was adopted under stricter safety standards set after the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in 2011.

The draft plan still needs to be formally approved.

This decision drew mixed reactions from the public. Nuclear Regulatory Authority Commissioner Shinsuke Yamanaka denied criticism that the watchdog bowed to government pressure to extend the operational life of the reactors.

“Our judgment in our safety inspections is unaffected regardless of government policy,” Yamanaka said. “We have no intention of compromising on our strict security controls.”

Yamanaka pointed out that his agency did not initiate the change and was responding to the government’s request in order to provide security.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said in August that Japan must consider all options in its energy mix, including nuclear, to bolster its “green transformation” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and secure supply. stable energy. Japan has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

Anti-nuclear sentiment and security concerns rose sharply in Japan after the Fukushima disaster, but the government pushed for a return to nuclear power amid fears of power shortages following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and a global push to reduce greenhouse gases. Japan has been criticized for saying it will phase out fossil fuel use by 2050 without giving a clear timetable.

While maintaining a target of 20-22% nuclear power as part of its energy mix for 2030, the Japanese government has previously insisted that it has no plans to build new nuclear power plants or replace existing ones. aging reactors, apparently to avoid triggering criticism from a still wary public.

Kishida, in a major shift towards greater use of nuclear power, has asked a government panel to rule by the end of this year on a proposal to develop and build “innovative new reactors”, such as than small modular nuclear reactors, while asking nuclear officials and experts to consider extending the operational life of aging reactors.

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Who are the leading innovators in nuclear reactor cooling systems for the power industry? https://abwr.org/who-are-the-leading-innovators-in-nuclear-reactor-cooling-systems-for-the-power-industry/ Sat, 19 Nov 2022 07:26:00 +0000 https://abwr.org/who-are-the-leading-innovators-in-nuclear-reactor-cooling-systems-for-the-power-industry/ The electricity industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by growing demand for electricity, the shift away from fossil fuel generation and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. greenhouse effect, as well as the growing importance of technologies such as heat exchangers and cooling systems. . In the past three […]]]>

The electricity industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by growing demand for electricity, the shift away from fossil fuel generation and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. greenhouse effect, as well as the growing importance of technologies such as heat exchangers and cooling systems. . In the past three years alone, more than 439,000 patents have been filed and issued in the energy sector, according to GlobalData’s report on Renewables in Electricity: Nuclear Reactor Cooling Systems.

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses more than 83,000 patents to analyze the intensity of innovation in the power sector, more than 90 areas of innovation will shape the future of the industry.

Nuclear reactor cooling systems is a key innovation area in renewable energy

Most reactor systems use a cooling system that is physically separate from the water that will be boiled to produce pressurized steam for the turbines, like the pressurized water reactor. However, in some reactors, the water from the steam turbines is boiled directly from the reactor core, for example the boiling water reactor.

GlobalData’s analysis also reveals which companies are at the forefront of each area of ​​innovation and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity in different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are more than 20 companies, spanning technology providers, established power companies and promising start-ups engaged in the development and application of nuclear reactor cooling systems.

Key Players in Nuclear Reactor Cooling Systems – A Breakthrough Innovation in Energy industry

“Application diversity” measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly divides companies into “niche” or “diversified” innovators.

“Geographical scope” refers to the number of different countries in which each relevant patent is registered and reflects the scope of intended geographical application, ranging from “global” to “local”.

BWX Technologies (BWXT) is a leading patent applicant for nuclear reactor cooling systems and a specialist manufacturer of nuclear components. It designs, engineers and manufactures precision naval nuclear components, reactors and nuclear fuel components. BWXT offers a wide range of SPIG Cooling System product lines and provides an extensive range of Turnkey Cooling Systems worldwide.

Hitachi is another key patent applicant for nuclear reactor cooling systems, offering advanced reactors, reactor components and nuclear service. Hitachi has partnered with General Electric and formed Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, with experience in, and works in the nuclear energy industry, while promoting highly reliable manufacturing and service practices. Hitachi’s contribution to Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy includes nuclear reactor cooling (high pressure reciprocating cooling system), corium shield, plate heat exchanger and corium buffer.

To better understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the energy industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on energy.


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Rising steel prices and interest rates could push the cost of the NuScale Utah project to $100/MWh, but support remains https://abwr.org/rising-steel-prices-and-interest-rates-could-push-the-cost-of-the-nuscale-utah-project-to-100-mwh-but-support-remains/ Wed, 16 Nov 2022 16:59:51 +0000 https://abwr.org/rising-steel-prices-and-interest-rates-could-push-the-cost-of-the-nuscale-utah-project-to-100-mwh-but-support-remains/ Diving brief: Rising steel prices and interest rates are driving up the projected cost of power for the 462 MW small modular reactor project planned by Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, several municipal utilities reported. Previous cost estimates called for the project to generate electricity at a price of $58/MWh, but at least one municipal […]]]>

Diving brief:

  • Rising steel prices and interest rates are driving up the projected cost of power for the 462 MW small modular reactor project planned by Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, several municipal utilities reported.
  • Previous cost estimates called for the project to generate electricity at a price of $58/MWh, but at least one municipal utility said project developers told it prices could range from $90/MWh. MWh at $100/MWh. The Utah project consists of half a dozen 77 MW reactors, developed by NuScale, with the first expected to come online in 2029.
  • The price hike likely means the UAMPS project will miss certain engineering, procurement and construction criteria allowing participants to renegotiate the price they pay or abandon the project, experts said.

Overview of the dive:

Of the 48 UAMPS members, 27 have signed on to buy power from the Carbon-Free Advanced Nuclear Power Project, or CFPP, as the Utah project is known. In recent months, these municipal electricity providers have learned costs are likely to increase.

“It was like a punch in the gut when they told us,” Scott Hughes, electrical manager for Hurricane City Power, said at the Oct. 5 board meeting.

The Idaho Falls Electricity Board discussed price increases at its October meeting, according to its minutes, and City of Washington Department of Electricity Director Rick Hansen , told its board on Nov. 1 that the project would “probably fail” the economic competitiveness test.

Costs above $58/MWh could allow participating utilities to drop or renegotiate the terms of the CFPP.

Hughes told the Hurricane City Power Board that the new cost projections take into account about 30% savings from the Cut Inflation Act, which includes billions in tax credits to support energy projects. ‘clean energy. Otherwise, the cost of the project could be $120/MWh, he said.

But with the project’s start date seven years away, material costs and interest rates could come down, Hughes added.

“The next question is what are we going to do instead?” He asked. “Or if the project fails, what are we going to do? There are not many options.

If other cities pull away, the project “could fail anyway,” Hughes said.

“They didn’t say 100%, but it’s most likely going to cause the [enginnering, procurement and construction] failure contract, which gives us a way out,” he said.

UAMPS spokesperson LaVarr Webb said the developer is reviewing all project costs. Final figures are not yet known, but the costs of the project have increased, mainly due to inflation and rising interest rates, he said.

Cost reduction

UAMPS is considering ways to reduce project costs and reduce risk to participating members, Webb said. The project remains on schedule to begin construction in 2026 with initial power generation three years later, he said.

Webb said prices are rising for all energy projects. At their October meeting, members of the Hurricane City Power Board discussed further project price increases and whether $100/MWh would still be a good price for CFPP power. Chairman of the board, Mac Hall, said he would be prepared to pay the increased costs because of the guaranteed distributable energy he would provide.

At the November board meeting, Hughes said it appeared support for the project remained steady among attendees and some previous attendees had shown renewed interest.

Webb said project participants “will likely have the option of exiting the project” after cost estimates are finalized.

Of the 462 MW, the NuScaleName should produce, 116 MW have been subscribed by UAMP members, Webb said. “UAMP works with outside utilities to take the balance. Productive discussions are underway with a number of utilities,” he said.

Pricing estimates for CFPP have varied, according to Scott Williams, nuclear policy analyst at HEAL Utah, who opposed the CFPP project. Initial cost estimates were $65/MWh and were lowered to $55/MWh before rising slightly when some project developers abandoned the project, he said.

Last chance to leave

The last chance for project participants to abandon CFPP is likely to be 2024, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s review of the project, Williams said.

“If the participants don’t take that off-ramp, they’re locked in and whatever happens to the cost of building after that, you know, then they’re in it, like Vogtle and Summer in the Southeast,” said Williams, referring to the development of two new nuclear reactors that each went billions over budget. The South Carolina summer project was eventually canceled.

If the CFPP project isn’t able to attract more subscribers and costs continue to rise, Williams said, “there comes a time when … the project won’t be awarded to a bondholder “.

The CFPP project could be in trouble if it can’t attract new customers, especially as there is talk of cutting federal support, said Edwin Lyman, director of nuclear power safety at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “I think it will all depend on what Congress does, if they’re willing to bail out the project, if more customers drop out,” he said.

The Department of Energy in 2020 approved a multi-year cost-share award of approximately $1.4 billion to help demonstrate NuScale reactors at the Idaho National Laboratory. Funding that must go through an annual appropriations process in Congress may have run into a problem in the Senate this year.

“There is a Senate bill that appears to be diverting some of NuScale’s funding,” Cowen analyst Marc Bianchi noted during NuScale’s third-quarter earnings call on Monday.

“We are currently working on both sides of the Hill on credits to continue to secure and then to ensure that this technology in our project at CFPP progresses,” said NuScale President and CEO John Hopkins. “The feedback we’re getting from both sides of the Hill is very positive, so we’ll see what the end result will be. But we are working diligently on it, as we do every year.

CORRECTION: We clarified in the second point that the developers of the carbon-free energy project provided the new energy cost estimates to the project participants.

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Southwest Virginia’s northern neighbor also wants to go nuclear https://abwr.org/southwest-virginias-northern-neighbor-also-wants-to-go-nuclear/ Mon, 14 Nov 2022 05:00:00 +0000 https://abwr.org/southwest-virginias-northern-neighbor-also-wants-to-go-nuclear/ Quinn Townsend There’s a new kid on the power generation block — small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) and microreactors — and West Virginia just got permission to make some friends. This spring, West Virginia passed Senate Bill 4, which repealed two outdated sections of the state code and now allows nuclear power generation in the […]]]>

Quinn Townsend

There’s a new kid on the power generation block — small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) and microreactors — and West Virginia just got permission to make some friends.

This spring, West Virginia passed Senate Bill 4, which repealed two outdated sections of the state code and now allows nuclear power generation in the state. West Virginia must take advantage of its newfound freedom to produce nuclear power, and more specifically, embrace SMRs and microreactor technologies. Unlike the massive nuclear power plants of the 1950s and 1960s, SMRs and microreactors are small enough to be built in the factory and shipped to the site. Being at the forefront of these new technologies would inspire West Virginia to once again become a leader in energy production. All the state needs to do now is streamline the SMR licensing process.

People also read…

Nuclear is a low-carbon energy source that may be able to replace – or at least offset – expensive energy, especially in remote parts of the country. While a large nuclear power plant may not be the ideal solution for small utilities or rural communities, SMRs and microreactors can fill this gap. Due to their small size and flexible design, SMRs are easier and more affordable to build than large nuclear power plants. In fact, their design allows SMRs and microreactors to be plugged into the existing power grid or remain off-grid, paving the way for nuclear power in rural areas.

West Virginia’s history with coal mining makes it a particularly well-suited choice for nuclear power generation. Outdated and aging coal-fired power plants sit idle, scattered across the state, with much of the necessary infrastructure — like transmission lines — already in place. Power companies are already converting old coal mines into solar farms, and plans could easily be expanded to include nuclear generation.

Politically, now is the time for West Virginia to embrace nuclear power. Various heads of state currently support nuclear energy projects, including US Senator Shelley Moore Capito and the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce. Since the success of new energy projects will ultimately require permit approvals, community approvals, and other regulatory reforms, it will be necessary for project managers to gain the support of federal policymakers and states as well as business leaders.

After decades of economic frustration from declining coal production, West Virginia now has the opportunity to once again be a serious contender in the energy market. Other energy-rich states like Wyoming and Alaska have also recently opened their doors to nuclear projects. Wyoming has already begun production near a former coal-fired power plant, a project that is expected to be completed by 2028. This project is possible, in part, with funding from the 2021 Investment and employment in infrastructure, which encourages states to build nuclear power plants on former coal-fired power plant sites. These incentives should encourage West Virginia to pursue similar projects.

As states like West Virginia continue to withdraw their own nuclear regulations, the federal government should do the same. Simplifying the licensing process for SMRs and microreactors can lead to new innovations in nuclear energy, benefiting both West Virginia and the country. If the NRC streamlines federal licensing processes, the nuclear power industry could take off across the country — and West Virginia has the chance to lead the charge.

With the passage of SB 4, West Virginia can reinvigorate its own labor market, while helping to meet the country’s need for clean and affordable energy. Although it may be some time before a physical reactor is operational, the future is bright for the West Virginia energy market. Continued permit reform will pave the way for Mountain State to become an energy powerhouse.

Quinn Townsend is policy manager at the Alaska Policy Forum, where she writes about taxes, education, health care, and the state budget. She holds a master’s degree in resource management economics from West Virginia University and a bachelor’s degree in economics. It was published in the Anchorage Daily News and the Columbus Dispatch.

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Utility supports solar farm atop Kentucky coal ash pit https://abwr.org/utility-supports-solar-farm-atop-kentucky-coal-ash-pit/ Fri, 11 Nov 2022 17:14:30 +0000 https://abwr.org/utility-supports-solar-farm-atop-kentucky-coal-ash-pit/ NASHVILLE, TENN. – The nation’s largest utility has proposed building a $216 million solar farm project in Kentucky atop a capped coal ash storage pit at one of its coal-fired power plants. The Tennessee Valley Federal Authority voted Thursday to advance the initiative at Shawnee Fossil Plant in Paducah. The utility called it a first-of-its-kind […]]]>

NASHVILLE, TENN. – The nation’s largest utility has proposed building a $216 million solar farm project in Kentucky atop a capped coal ash storage pit at one of its coal-fired power plants.

The Tennessee Valley Federal Authority voted Thursday to advance the initiative at Shawnee Fossil Plant in Paducah. The utility called it a first-of-its-kind pilot project that would convert land used as a waste pile for the byproduct of burning coal for electricity into a solar farm that would help generate 100 megawatts. Officials say the model could eventually be used at other Tennessee Valley Authority closed coal ash sites with a combined capacity of 1,000 megawatts if they pursue this expansion.

The solar initiative is among changes unveiled by the utility in recent years to adjust operations to combat global warming. Environmental advocates, however, continued to note that TVA’s efforts still fall short of President Joe Biden’s administration’s goal of a carbon-pollution-free energy sector by 2035.

“Moving quickly on this solar ceiling installation option at the Shawnee site allows us to go further and faster as we progress towards our renewable energy generation goals while balancing affordability, reliability and the resilience that our customers depend on,” Don Moul, TVA’s chief operating officer, said at a board meeting Thursday in Starkville, Mississippi.

TVA said installing the solar panels at the 300-acre coal ash site, which is being closed, would not compromise the grass used to cover the waste. The project can tap into the transmission infrastructure already in place at the plant, which burns coal to produce around 8 billion kilowatt hours of electricity annually, enough to power 540,000 homes. Additionally, TVA officials are investigating whether the new federal inflation reduction law could help the project.

Pending environmental and regulatory reviews, the project could be operational within two years, Moul said.

Amy Kelly, Tennessee representative for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, said the group is “encouraged by TVA’s initiative to place cheaper, reliable, and clean solar power on the cinder basins closing in Shawnee.” . But she also said “it’s also essential that TVA clean up the toxic mess left over from more than six decades of burning coal.” She said TVA should continue its solar development, noting that the utility manages nearly 300,000 acres of land.

Kelly said the coal ash was in unlined pits in Shawnee, contaminating groundwater. TVA spokesman Scott Brooks said when its groundwater monitoring shows “corrective action is needed,” the utility takes actions outlined in the federal coal ash rule and state rules. .

Kelly also said renewables should be considered, instead of natural gas, because they end work at aging coal-fired plants. Switching to natural gas is under consideration for TVA’s coal-fired plants in Cumberland and Kingston, Tennessee, although final decisions have yet to be announced.

TVA already has plans to add 10,000 megawatts of solar power to its system by 2035. It has solicited requests for proposals for up to 5,000 megawatts of carbon-free power before 2029. TVA has also associated with projects with several leading industrial clients who want their operations linked to renewable energy. In addition, it is developing small-module nuclear reactors and infrastructure to support electric vehicles.

But critics said TVA is still failing to meet its climate change obligation. At a hearing in September, US Democratic Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts expressed “frustration with TVA” and said it was “rather disgusting” that TVA was bragging about finding nuclear power plants, but “the energy efficiency, wind or solar, escapes scientists, escapes management.

TVA has set itself the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2035, compared to 2005 levels. TVA CEO Jeff Lyash has stated that TVA will not be able to achieve the 100% reduction target without technological advances in energy storage, carbon capture and small modular nuclear reactors, aiming for 80% instead. The utility has its own ambitious goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

There are enough Biden-selected TVA nominees currently awaiting Senate confirmation to constitute a new majority on the board.

TVA power supplies electricity to local power companies serving 10 million people in Tennessee and parts of six surrounding states.

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Electricity prices in France top €1,000/MWh as more nuclear reactors close for winter https://abwr.org/electricity-prices-in-france-top-e1000-mwh-as-more-nuclear-reactors-close-for-winter/ Tue, 08 Nov 2022 23:03:45 +0000 https://abwr.org/electricity-prices-in-france-top-e1000-mwh-as-more-nuclear-reactors-close-for-winter/ France’s wholesale power prices for mid-winter jumped above €1,000/MWh (1,540 A/MWh) after the operator of the world’s largest nuclear fleet revealed more problems and more breakdowns in its reactors. The price spike for January delivery came after utility EdF cut planned output for the fourth time this year, on this occasion due to extended shutdowns […]]]>

France’s wholesale power prices for mid-winter jumped above €1,000/MWh (1,540 A/MWh) after the operator of the world’s largest nuclear fleet revealed more problems and more breakdowns in its reactors.

The price spike for January delivery came after utility EdF cut planned output for the fourth time this year, on this occasion due to extended shutdowns at four reactors and maintenance delays at others. caused by the waves of strikes that have affected the country this year. autumn.

It also dramatically reversed weeks of falling spot and futures prices as gas stocks improved and the weather remained wild. But as analysts noted at the height of the summer, nuclear issues pose just as big of a threat to the EU grid as gas issues.

Energy analyst Gerard Reid noted in a LinkedIn post that half of France’s 56 reactors are out of service due to emergency scheduled or emergency maintenance measures.

“For months….EdF has said everything will be fine this winter, but on Friday the company announced that four more reactors that were due to come back online in the coming weeks will be delayed until early next year” , Reid wrote, noting that this was the fourth drop in production in 2022.

“The implications are huge,” Reid noted. “For every one degree drop in temperature, France needs an additional nuclear power plant to provide the energy needed to produce heat throughout the country.

“This means that on a cold day in January, France needs about 45 GW of nuclear power. Yesterday there was only 25 GW online.

The news is important because the French nuclear fleet is often presented as the “backbone” of the European network, especially since the impact of the Russian embargo on gas and soaring prices have raised fears of shortages of electricity throughout Europe.

Many European countries now have their gas storage facilities full and are confident they can get through the winter unless there is a major cold snap.

But France’s shift from a major exporter of nuclear energy it had no use for to a major importer of electricity from other countries threatens to change the equation. Bloomberg’s Javier Blas says France now faces a serious risk of blackouts this winter.

“The situation changed dramatically this year, when France went from one of Europe’s largest electricity exporters to a net importer due to problems with its reactors,” Bloomberg wrote recently.

“The outages have worried officials that France and the wider region could run out of power in winter, when Europe’s electricity demand peaks.”

Oil Price writes that news of the nuclear problems sent French electricity contracts skyrocketing, above €1,000/MWh at one point for January delivery. It also impacted Dutch gas futures, the European benchmark, although those prices fell on hopes of a continued warm spell across Europe.

In France, the issue of power supply dominated political debate and nightly newscasts, down to constant questions about how television personalities wear warm clothes to reduce the need for heating.

“The only question I have is whether there will be power outages or orderly shutdowns of industry, as I don’t think EDF will commission the 20 GW of power plants needed to by the end of this year,” Reid wrote.

“The alternative, with your head in the sand, is to sit back and hope that the unusually warm autumn we are currently experiencing across Europe continues into winter.”

Source: Rystad Energy.

Update: Rystad Energy analysts said in a note released on Tuesday (European time) that the French January contract was still trading at around €920 per MWh, almost three times the price in Germany (€360 per MWh). ).

“Market participants are pricing a risk premium on supply shortages in France,” Rystad noted, adding that real and future power futures in France have been trading for some time at a significant premium per compared to prices in Germany.

“EDF’s announcement also increases the risk of supply shortages for the coming winter, with availability at historically low levels for this time of year, at around 50% availability.”

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Iran admits supplying drones to Russia https://abwr.org/iran-admits-supplying-drones-to-russia/ Sat, 05 Nov 2022 09:22:46 +0000 https://abwr.org/iran-admits-supplying-drones-to-russia/ Iran’s foreign minister on Saturday acknowledged for the first time that Iran had transferred drones to Russia months before President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Hossein Amir-Abdollahian claimed that his country had transferred “a limited number of drones” to Russia while denying having supplied it with missiles. According to the minister, in Tehran they had […]]]>

Iran’s foreign minister on Saturday acknowledged for the first time that Iran had transferred drones to Russia months before President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

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Hossein Amir-Abdollahian claimed that his country had transferred “a limited number of drones” to Russia while denying having supplied it with missiles.

According to the minister, in Tehran they had talks with Ukrainian representatives and asked them to show them evidence of Russia’s use of missiles produced by their country, but according to him, they did not come to the talks .

The Iranian minister’s statement, reported in the regime’s media, followed reports that Iran had asked Russia to help it purchase additional nuclear materials and produce nuclear fuel.

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The fuel could help Iran run its nuclear reactors and could further shorten Iran’s so-called “break-in time” to create a nuclear weapon.

Meanwhile, Russian drone attacks in Ukraine continue to escalate. Last month, US media reported that Iranian military instructors had arrived in Crimea to help operate the drones.

Iran’s supply of drones and possible ballistic missiles to Russia for its war against Ukraine is “unacceptable”, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday.

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National legal group supports impact assessment request for New Brunswick’s nuclear reactors https://abwr.org/national-legal-group-supports-impact-assessment-request-for-new-brunswicks-nuclear-reactors/ Wed, 02 Nov 2022 22:26:30 +0000 https://abwr.org/national-legal-group-supports-impact-assessment-request-for-new-brunswicks-nuclear-reactors/ The Canadian Environmental Law Association supports a request for a federal environmental impact assessment of a proposed small modular reactor project at Point Lepreau. The Canadian government says that small modular reactors are designed to have lower initial capital costs and improved safety features compared to traditional reactors. Two Saint John-based companies, ARC Clean Technology […]]]>

The Canadian Environmental Law Association supports a request for a federal environmental impact assessment of a proposed small modular reactor project at Point Lepreau.

The Canadian government says that small modular reactors are designed to have lower initial capital costs and improved safety features compared to traditional reactors.

Two Saint John-based companies, ARC Clean Technology and Moltex Energy, received tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer funding to develop reactors.

Nuclear power does not emit carbon dioxide that causes climate change, although environmentalists have pointed to long-term safety and waste issues.

The Coalition for Responsible Energy Development in New Brunswick has submitted its application for an impact assessment of the proposed small nuclear reactor demonstration project at Point Lepreau.

In a statement to CBC News, ARC Clean Technology said it “fully supports important regulatory processes designed to protect the environment and the well-being of Canadians.”

The statement said ARC’s small modular reactors provide safe, reliable, carbon-free power and “we are well prepared to participate in any environmental impact process required by provincial and federal jurisdictions.”

The ARC 100 reactor developed by Advanced Reactor Concepts. ARC Clean Technology said it “fully supports important regulatory processes designed to protect the environment and the well-being of Canadians.” (CRA Nuclear Canada)

Kerrie Blaise, a lawyer at the Canadian Environmental Law Association, said impact assessments “allow us to examine the impact of a project before it develops.”

She calls it a “look before you jump” approach. She said the assessments looked at risks, costs, damage to current and future generations and the life cycle of the project.

She said nuclear projects like reactors don’t seem to trigger the impact assessment process.

“What we’re actually seeing is a reduction in the number and scope of projects that actually go through an impact assessment process,” Blaise said.

The Coalition for Responsible Energy Development in New Brunswick said in its request that 15 groups across New Brunswick and Canada have written letters of support for their request. One of the letters was from the Canadian Environmental Law Association.

The association looks at nuclear issues through its public interest legal aid clinic, so Blaise said they were happy to lend their expertise with a letter of support.

Blaise said that as a one-of-a-kind project, the Small Modular Reactor project should “attract the most rigorous public scrutiny.”

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, to whom the request and letters of support are addressed, has until Jan. 2 to decide whether there should be an impact assessment, Blaise said.

She said if an impact assessment is granted, that process will have to start and end before a building permit is granted.

Blaise said if the impact assessment is granted, it will clarify “what is otherwise only a conceptual design at this time”. She said this would put the project into a lens where they could look at waste generation and how the project will meet international climate commitments.

“The issues an impact assessment would examine and the information the public would have access to are very different from what you would see in a closer regulatory licensing process.”

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Molten salt reactors could save nuclear energy https://abwr.org/molten-salt-reactors-could-save-nuclear-energy/ Sun, 30 Oct 2022 22:00:00 +0000 https://abwr.org/molten-salt-reactors-could-save-nuclear-energy/ This article is an episode of Future Explored, a weekly guide to world-changing technology. You can get stories like this straight to your inbox every Thursday morning by subscribe here. Molten salt reactors, a type of nuclear reactor first explored in the 1950s, could be the future of clean energy – if we can overcome […]]]>

This article is an episode of Future Explored, a weekly guide to world-changing technology. You can get stories like this straight to your inbox every Thursday morning by subscribe here.

Molten salt reactors, a type of nuclear reactor first explored in the 1950s, could be the future of clean energy – if we can overcome the problems that have held them back for more than half a century .

Fission 101

Nuclear fission occurs when a neutron hits the nucleus of an atom, splitting the atom. This releases a tremendous amount of energy, along with extra neutrons which can then split more atoms, creating a self-sustaining fission reaction.

Nuclear reactors control the fission process so that the energy, released as heat, can be used to boil water, creating steam that can spin electricity-generating turbines.

The process creates no carbon emissions and can take place whether the sun is shining or the wind is blowing, making nuclear power a potentially important ingredient for a clean energy future.

It takes about 7 years and 10 billion dollars to build a nuclear power plant like the ones we already have.

However, today, nuclear represents only 10.3% of the world’s electricity production, and the number of reactor closures exceeds the number of constructions.

This is partly because it takes about 7 years and $10 billion to build a new nuclear power plant like the ones we already have, and some potential operators are hesitant to make such a large investment, especially when the electricity from natural gas and renewable energies are becoming cheaper.

At the same time, many potential constructions are pushed back by a public concerned about the possibility of a nuclear disaster, such as Chernoby or Fukishima, despite the fact that nuclear energy is historically much safer than coal or natural gas.

Molten salt reactors

To increase the amount of electricity generated by nuclear fission, we may need to rethink how we harness it.

In most nuclear power plants today, water is pumped under high pressure to the reactor core where fuel pellets enclosed in metal rods undergo fission. This heats the water to around 600 F, but the high pressure prevents the water from boiling.

The super hot liquid water is then pumped into a chamber containing more water. Its heat causes this water to boil, creating the steam needed to turn the turbines. The cooler water then returns to the fuel chamber to be reheated so the cycle can continue.

The high pressure needed to keep the super hot water in liquid form increases the likelihood of a leak, and if any water escapes, the fuel can overheat, melt the containment rods and potentially release radioactive material into water and the environment.

To avoid this, reactors require many back-up systems and redundancies, which further increases their cost and complexity.

Molten salt reactors are expected to be cheaper to build and even more reliable than today’s nuclear power plants.

This design isn’t our only option, though.

In the 1950s, American researchers began to explore the concept of molten salt reactors, which use molten salt – salt that is solid at room temperature but liquid at high temperatures – instead of water as the heat transfer material. heat and keeping the fuel at a stable level. Temperature.

The type of salt proposed for these reactors remains liquid at temperatures as high as 2,500 F – without any pressurization. This higher temperature would increase reactor efficiency and generate more electricity, while the lack of pressurization would reduce the risk of leakage.

Nuclear fuel cannot melt if it is already liquid.

Instead of solid fuel rods, separate from the heat-carrying water, some molten salt reactor designs require the fuel to be dissolved in the molten salt itself.

This eliminates the risk of melting – the fuel cannot melt if it is already liquid – and if there were a leak, any salt and fuel that escaped would quickly solidify into rock as it cooled. This would be easier to clean than the water or radioactive steam released in the event of a leak from a pressurized water reactor.

Molten salt reactor designs also include a safety feature called a “freeze valve” or “freeze plug”. This plug separates the molten salt mixture above from a holding tank below. If the mixture ever gets too hot, the valve melts and the molten salt falls into the tank under the effect of gravity, which stops a disaster even if all the backup systems have failed.

molten salt reactor

An example of solid (left) and molten (right) salt. Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Although we don’t know for sure what it would cost to build a molten salt reactor, analysts expect it to be cheaper to build than standard water reactors since the design includes fewer parts.

Reactors can also be more reliable – today’s reactors typically have to be taken offline every 18-24 months for refueling, but spent fuel dissolved in molten salt could potentially be processed and new fuel added during that the reactor was operational.

However, the promise of molten salt reactors has yet to be realized.

“Even today, no material can function satisfactorily in the high radiation, high temperature, and corrosive environment inside a molten salt reactor.”

MV Ramana

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory built the first proof-of-concept molten salt reactor capable of self-sustaining fission, the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE), in 1965.

But over the next four years it was unexpectedly shut down 167 times – mostly due to technical issues involving various components – and in 1969 it was shut down permanently.

If these technical problems had not occurred, it is still not known how long the reactor could have survived another problem related to the use of molten salt.

“Even today, no material can function satisfactorily in the high radiation, high temperature and corrosive environment inside a molten salt reactor,” wrote energy and resources expert MV Ramana in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in June 2022.

A new era

No one has operated a molten salt reactor since MSRE closed, but with climate change exacerbating the need for cleaner energy, we are now seeing renewed interest in the design.

Bill Gates’ bet

In February 2022, TerraPower, a nuclear energy company founded by Bill Gates, and Southern Company, a gas and electric utility, announced that they were teaming up to build the Molten Chloride Reactor Experiment. (MCRE) funded by the DOE at the Idaho National Laboratory.

When complete, the MCRE will be the world’s first critical fast spectrum salt reactor – fast reactors are able to sustain fission without using a moderator to slow the neutrons released during the fission process, increasing their efficiency.

Data from the test reactor will inform the development of TerraPower’s Molten Chloride Fast Reactor – the company plans to build a 180 megawatt demonstration of this system in the early 2030s, which would be enough to power around 90,000 homes.

The Chinese thorium reactor

In August 2022, China authorized researchers from the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics (SINAP) to start up an experimental molten salt reactor, fueled by a mixture of uranium and a much more abundant element, thorium.

“For now, there is enough uranium to power all the reactors in operation,” nuclear reactor specialist Sylvain David told FRANCE 24 in December 2021. “But if the number of reactors increases, we could arrive at a situation where the supply would no longer be sufficient, and the use of thorium can considerably reduce the need for uranium.

While SINAP’s molten salt reactor is only designed to generate enough electricity for around 1,000 homes, if tests go well, China is ready to build a larger version that could power hundreds of thousands. of hearths.

molten salt reactor

A sectional view of the SINAP molten salt reactor. Credit: SINAP

The micro-reactor

In October 2022, researchers at Brigham Young University announced the design of a molten salt reactor that they say is powerful enough to power 1,000 American homes with electricity – and small enough to fit in the bed of a 40 foot truck.

This small size would presumably be much cheaper and simpler to build than a standard nuclear power plant and could facilitate the delivery of nuclear power to remote areas, but there are currently no plans in place to build the one of the reactors.

BYU researcher Matthew Memmott, however, told the Register that his team also developed a method to make the salt less corrosive by removing water and oxygen from it. They have already partnered with the San Rafael Energy Research Center in Utah to build a salt refining center for operators of molten salt reactors, both mini and large.

molten salt reactor

BYU researcher Matthew Memmott working in his lab. Credit: Brooklyn Jarvis Kelson/Photo BYU

Look forward

These are just a few of the many groups that are taking a closer look at molten salt reactors, but even if one or more of their designs are built, we won’t know for some time whether they’ve managed to overcome the corrosion problem that has long held back technology.

“The problem with corrosive products is that you only realize their damage five to ten years later,” said Francesco D’Auriam, a specialist in nuclear reactor technology at the University of Pisa, at FRANCE 24.

If today’s researchers can build a molten salt reactor that resists corrosion and overcomes the technical challenges faced by MSRE, the device could increase the amount of electricity generated by nuclear fission – and bring us closer to a clean energy future.

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