Carnival of Nuclear Energy Bloggers 311

This post represents the latest link in an unbroken chain of almost six years of the weekly summaries of the best of the pro-nuclear blogs.

Carnival-photoWith the recent completion of the Climate Change Conference in Paris, the leveraging the nuclear energy to mitigate future growth of CO2 emissions comes even more prominently into the public eye. Want to know what’s going on? Read all about it here.

Previous editions of the Carnival have been posted at the blogs cited below and elsewhere.

About these bloggers

The bloggers who write the posts cited here do so because they have come to see, based on experience, that nuclear energy is a cost-effective, carbon emission free, source of electrical power which can raise the standard of living for any population which benefits from access to it.

See the “Blogs We Read” sidebar at the ANS Nuclear Café for a complete list of pro-nuclear energy blogs. It is published by the American Nuclear Society. All the blogs listed in the right column on this site also have their own lists of blogs they read.

Posting of these blog summaries here is done with the purpose of bringing diverse ideas to the attention of a larger readership.

Your kind attention to these blog posts is appreciated. Please repost or cite in your favorite social media channels. There are live icons, with one click action, for doing so, at the end of this blog post.

Carnival 311

Editors – ANS Nuclear Cafe

Watts Bar II Attains Criticality on Start Up

On May 26, 2016 at precisely 2:16 a.m., what will probably be the final large unit in the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) nuclear fleet – Watts Bar Nuclear Plant, Unit 2 – achieved its initial criticality. This event opens the final chapter of the extended construction history of this unit, and paves way for another gigawatt of generating capacity (in nameplate rating) to be added to TVA’s generating portfolio

Editors – Nuclear Street

Quad Cities Faces Market Headwinds

Exelon Corporation said that its Quad Cities and Three Mile Island nuclear plants in Cordova, Ill., and Middletown, Pa., did not clear in the PJM capacity auction for the 2019-2020 planning year. These plants will not receive capacity revenue for that period, Exelon said.

The company said further that a portion of the Byron nuclear plant’s capacity also did not clear in the auction. However, that plant is already committed to operate through May 2020.

Scott Burnell – NRC Blog

Taking a Look at an Independent Review of Spent Fuel Pool Safety and Security

Our first look at the Phase 2 NAS report did not identify any safety or security issues that would require immediate action by the NRC. U.S. nuclear power plant security is extremely robust; the plants are some of the best protected facilities in the world. We have a long record of studying and analyzing the safety and security of spent fuel storage.

Our post-Fukushima requirements for U.S. reactors have enhanced spent fuel pool safety. For example, we required plants to improve the ability of operators to monitor the water level in spent fuel pools. We also required plants to develop new strategies for adding water to these pools to keep them cool, even under the conditions that might exist following an extreme natural event, like a severe earthquake or flood.

Looking at all the available information, we remain confident U.S. spent fuel is safely and securely stored.

Rod Adams –  Forbes.com

Variable Annual License Fees For Smaller Reactors – If They’re Light Water

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a final rule creating a variable fee structure for small modular reactors (SMR). It creates a new term called a “bundled unit” and then bases the annual fee on the thermal power output of the bundled unit. It is a three part structure with a minimum fee, a variable fee computed as a function of thermal power, and a maximum fee for a range of output power.

Unfortunately, the agency saw fit to invent a new definition of SMR that restricts the intentionally broad term to describing only light water reactors.

Rod Adams – Atomic Insights

Global Climate Panel at Nuclear Energy Assembly

The recently completed Nuclear Energy Assembly included a panel discussion focused on the importance of ensuring that nuclear energy has a loud voice and is at the table in policy discussions related to clean power production and CO2 emissions reductions.

Jay Faison from the ClearPath Foundation was a last minute substitution. His availability provided a terrific opportunity for Faison to introduce himself to the nuclear industry. Faison shared some refreshing thoughts and made several useful suggestions for nuclear advocates to move from talk to action.

Meredith Angwin – Yes Vermont Yankee

The Distribution Grid: Christine Hallquist on Grid Controversies

Christine Hallquist is the CEO of Vermont Electric Cooperative( VEC).  In this video, she describes the issues around net metering versus affordable electricity. She describes the challenges of integrating intermittent renewables in the small VEC system.  Renewables do not provide the stability that rotating-electric-machinery provides.  Such problems surface more quickly on small systems, such as VEC.  Hallquist’s presentation is a view into the future for systems of every size.

Jim Conca – Forbes

Batteries Or Train-Pumped Energy For Grid-Scale Power Storage

Today, 250 of the world’s leading energy storage experts have gathered at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to discuss the latest battery technologies, from large liquid and sodium sulfur batteries to new poly-ionics. But to store enough energy to power a city for a day, you need a train filled with a million pounds of rock. Going up and down a hill like Sisyphus, Advanced Rail Energy Storage (ARES) converts excess renewable energy into gravitational potential energy then back into electricity when needed. With no water and no turbines.

Dan Yurman – Neutron Bytes

TVA is First Mover for SMR Early Site Permit

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has submitted an application for an Early Site Permit (ESP) to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a small modular reactor (SMR) which could be built at the Clinch River site in Tennessee.

Brian Wang – Next Big Future

Cameco Uranium Deal Extended in Kazakhstan

Cameco and KazAtomProm have agreed to restructure the Inkai jont venture, extending their cooperation in the Kazakh in-situ leach (ISL) uranium project until 2045. The agreement will see Kazatomprom increase its share of the joint venture to 60% with Cameco becoming a minority owner.

The agreement provides for annual production to be ramped up to 10.4 million pounds U3O8 (4000 tU) per year over three years, following the receipt of all required approvals.

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