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Fri Jan 09, 2015 at 07:36 AM PST

World Nuclear Roundup #37

by davidwalters

[From Neutron Bytes, the premier new nuclear news blog. Additional links added by this daryist-DW]

In case you were unplugged over the holiday season, here are some global nuclear news items that crossed the wires.

UAE to complete all four of its reactors by 2020

The United Arab Emirates will be getting 25% of its electricity from four new nuclear reactors starting in 2020, if all goes well. The units, being built by a South Korean consortium, are each rated to provide about 1400 MW of electrical power. The reactors are being built at Baraka, a remote coastal site on the Persian Gulf.

CEO of the Emirates Nuclear Corp.,Mohammed Al Hammadi, told UAE English language media on 12/22/14 that the first unit will be complete in 2017 and the other three will each complete in sequence a year apart.

The electrical power from the reactors will have three important uses. Desalinization plants will provide fresh water to the desert country. It will support the growth of a finished aluminum goods manufacturing industry exploiting the nation’s bauxite deposits, and it will power the country’s growing urban centers at Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

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Thu Dec 25, 2014 at 10:09 AM PST

World Nuclear Roundup #36

by davidwalters

[From Neutron Bytes, the premier new nuclear news blog. Additional links added by this daryist-DW]

Where Putin travels reactors and reactions follow

In a state visit to India this week Russian Premier Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Naranedra Modi signed an agreement for Rosatom to build nuclear reactors there.

Despite wildly inflated reports in the Indian press that Russia would supply up to 20 reactors, a more realistic assessment is that at a minimum it will build two more units  built at Kudankulam (right). There Rosatom recently completed and commissioned two 1000 MW VVERs.

Ignored in the hoopla of the joint announcement by the two leaders is that the Russian deal may finally put enough pressure on the Indian government to make substantial changes to a nuclear liability law that has locked all outside vendors out of the country’s market.  

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Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 10:24 AM PST

World Nuclear Round Up #35

by davidwalters

Been a LONG time since my last update on the state of new nuclear technology and deployment. As I've been busy protesting the recent spate of racist cop murders and protesting the tuition hikes, this sort of general leftist solidarity has force me to put nuclear energy on the back burner for awhile. So here goes:

These will be fairly random items ... and thoughts ... on recent events in the nuclear world. Oh, and in no particular order.

1. The Chinese government is set to resume approvals for the construction of coastal nuclear power plants, having suspended approvals and licensing for all new reactor projects in 2011.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced plans on 4 December for the development of unspecified nuclear power plant projects along China's eastern coast. NDRC secretary general Li Pumin said that construction of the plants would be carried out under strict safety protocols.

Note: China has a hugely ambitious energy policy centered on using nuclear energy to replace coal. Mainland China has 22 nuclear power reactors in operation, 26 under construction, and more about to start construction. Additional reactors are planned, including some of the world's most advanced, to give more than a three-fold increase in nuclear capacity to at least 58 GWe by 2020, then some 150 GWe by 2030, and much more by 2050. By 2011 a full 75% of their grid will be generating power from Fast Reactors.

2. Turkey: In the last few weeks they signed an agreement with Russia's Rostatom to build 4 VVER1200s on the Mediterranean coast. 4 more reactors, the Westinghouse AP1000s will be built in cooperation with China on the Black Sea coast.

3. Vietnam: Vietnam is the most active in S.E. Asia and is currently undertaking site preparation, work force training and the creation of a legal framework. Moreover, Vietnam has signed a co-operative agreement (that includes financing) with Russia to build its first nuclear power plant, with construction expected to begin in late 2014 and nuclear to enter the power mix before 2025.  As of now at least 8 reactors are planned and approved for construction 2 each from Russia, Japan and the U.S.

4: MORE China: new Chinese reactor design passes safety review. The ACP1000 reactor design has successfully passed the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA's)Generic Reactor Safety Review (GRSR), China National Nuclear Corporation has announced.

5. Russia: The third reactor at Russia's Rostov nuclear power plant was brought to the minimum controlled power level yesterday, moving it a step closer to starting commercial operation. Russia's plan is to start 2 to 3 reactors per year.

Russia is moving steadily forward with plans for much expanded role of nuclear energy, including development of new reactor technology. Efficiency of nuclear generation in Russia has increased dramatically since the mid-1990s. Over 20 nuclear power reactors are confirmed or planned for export construction. Exports of nuclear goods and services are a major Russian policy and economic objective. Russia is a world leader in fast neutron reactor technology.

Note: the primary reason for Russian expansion...32 to 60GWs over the next 15 years depending on to sell more natural gas which is one of their biggest foreign exchanger earners (next to oil in fact). As nuclear displaces fossil fuel on an exact 1Mw to 1Mw ratio, the logic is hard to dispute (the UAE and S. Arabia, not covered in this post (are largely motivated for the same reasons: if they use nuclear they can burn less fo what it is they like to export. There are other obvious reasons as well but this is a big one for all three of these countries.


Wed May 22, 2013 at 09:45 AM PDT

World Nuclear Round Up #34

by davidwalters

[Continuing coverage of the world's nuclear renaissance. Here, the French designed EPR is coming on line, apparently on time and at budget. Go figure? This will be 2 reactors each 1700 MWs of non-carbon energy. More to come...David Walters]

The first Chinese-made steam generator for an EPR has been completed and is being transported to unit 2 of the Taishan plant in the country's Guangdong province.
Taishan 2 SG (CGNPC) 460
The first Chinese EPR steam generator starts its journey to Taishan (Image: CGNPC)

The four steam generators for Taishan 1 - measuring 25 meters long and weighing 550 tonnes each - were manufactured at Areva's plant at Chalon-St Marcel, France. However, those for subsequent Chinese EPR units are to be produced domestically.

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Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:01 AM PDT

Green Nuclear Junk

by davidwalters

[I had a small hand in this letter but it was drafted and finally put together by Ben Heard and Geoff Russell.--David Walters]
Published at and and various other climate change activist sites including this one.

In their determination to attack nuclear power and those who support it, anti-nuclear activism has walked away from the scientific process. As a result, nearly the entire community of environmental organisations in Australia is currently standing behind figures that are completely mathematically incorrect. Will they correct these blatant errors and open their publications to expert external review? Or is correct maths and good science optional when you wear the colour green?

The great scientist Carl Sagan famously said that extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence. So how is it that Jim Green, an anti-nuclear campaigner with no scientific journal publications, can accuse James Hansen, one of the most extraordinary scientists of the last 50 years, of junk science?

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Thu May 09, 2013 at 09:41 AM PDT

World Nuclear Energy Roundup #33

by davidwalters


First, the pertinent data on Vietnam's energy development;

Vietnam has considered establishing nuclear power generation since 1995, and firm proposals surfaced in 2006.
    Russia has agreed to finance and build 2000 MWe of nuclear capacity.
    Japan has agreed similarly for another 2000 MWe.

Vietnam is the most significant of the three lower Mekong countries, with a population of 88 million. Vietnam produced 100.1 billion kWh gross in 2010 from 19.7 GWe of plant, giving per capita consumption of 1140 kWh/yr. In 2009, 33% of the country's capacity was hydro, 17% gas (CCGT), 12% coal, 6% oil - all under Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), and 33% was with IPP & BOT outside EVN.

Electricity supply in 2010 was 38% from hydro, 33.6% gas and 18.5% coal. GDP growth in 2010 was 6.8%. In 2012 demand is expected to be 10.9% up on 2011, total 120.8 billion kWh: 45.0 hydro, 24.8 coal, 45.7 gas, 0.5 oil, and 4.65 import from China. A total of 3.1 GWe capacity is due to be added in 2012.

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Fri May 03, 2013 at 11:14 AM PDT

World Nuclear Energy Roundup #32

by davidwalters

[OK, not "32" but I lost count of how many of these I did so there!]

A few news items, mostly garnered from World Nuclear News. Love 'em or hate 'em, they do report on new builds, advances and setbacks. I usually post their stop without commentary or introductions. Here I've entered my much loved personal commentary through out....

So...the world nuclear build up hasn't really slowed down, Fukushima or no Fukushima. But it does stand mired in controversy and portends hope from every conceivable angle. So here are few tid bits in the world of nuclear.

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Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 09:46 AM PDT

Ontario's Energy Transition

by davidwalters

Energy transitions

Ontario's approach is in stark contrast to that taken in Germany, which has a commitment to end the use of nuclear power and rely instead on renewable sources. This has seen significant coal capacity being constructed as a 'bridge technology' to a hoped-for renewable future. Japan too is struggling to replace the nuclear power kept offline since the 2011 accident at Fukushima Daiichi. Imports of LNG have leapt and officials recently began fast-tracking planning permission for coal plants. Meanwhile, a report by the International Energy Agency noted unhappily that the UK was the only country that has committed to not build any more unabated coal.

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China is to reprocess used reactor fuel at a plant supplied by Areva, according to a letter of intent signed in Beijing yesterday.

The agreement sets out the technical specifications of the future plant, the project's organisation and the scope of work for the partners, Areva and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC). Areva said it was a milestone that represented a signature on part of acontract for sale. Heads of those companies Luc Oursel and Sun Qin put pen to paper in the presence of French and Chinese Presidents Francois Hollande and Xi Jinping on 25 April during an official visit.

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Florida Power & Light (FPL) is celebrating the completion of a major five-year upgrade program that has added over 500 MWe of capacity to four reactors at its Turkey Point and St Lucie sites.

The uprates are the result of a 5-year major engineering project.

Turkey Point 4 was the last of the units to undergo an extended power uprate: work was completed at Turkey Point 3 and St Lucie 1 and 2 in 2012. The overall project was initially projected to add a total of 399 MWe, but according to FPL it surpassed that mark by end of 2012, and it is now estimated that the major engineering work at the plants will add around 30% more capacity than originally projected. The power increase has been achieved through significant upgrades to plant systems and components, including feedwater pumps and high-pressure turbines.

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The world's governments are failing on almost every level to clean up their energy systems and must intervene to support nuclear power, said the IEA, noting that only renewables and electric vehicles are 'on track'.

A report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) contains recommendations to reduce the carbon footprint of all aspects of energy generation. It was launched today at the Clean Energy Ministerial meeting taking place in New Delhi and is directed at the IEA's member governments, which are responsible for 75% of global energy use.

The stern message from IEA executive director Maria van der Hoeven was that "the carbon intensity of the global energy supply has barely changed in 20 years, despite successful efforts in deploying renewable energy." She complained that progress towards clean energy "has stalled" and that "market failures are preventing the adoption of clean energy solutions."

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From the World Nuclear News, reprinted here with permission:

A formal agreement with the US Department of Energy (DoE) means that Babcock & Wilcox (B&W) mPower can access the first $79 million of federal funding under a government program to accelerate commercialization of small modular reactors (SMRs).

The mPower America team of B&W, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and B&W subsidiary Generation mPower was selected in a competitive process to receive DoE funding to commercially demonstrate the mPower SMR by 2022. Now that the cooperation agreement has been signed, the $79 million allocated for the first year of the program will be available immediately to the B&W mPower program.

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