In a letter to grid operator ISO New England, a Dominion Energy executive said the company is undertaking a strategic review of its ability to keep operating the Millstone nuclear plant in Connecticut and asked for confirmation that Dominion could choose to exit the market for economic reasons. ISO New England responded that Dominion may retire Millstone in 2022, transfer responsibility to a third party or pay a penalty to exit early.
The US needs to get used nuclear fuel management on track to ensure nuclear power's place in the energy mix of the future, write Reps. Gene Green, D-Texas, and Bill Flores, R-Texas. They serve on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is developing legislation to make sure funding that has already been collected is available for used nuclear fuel disposal, that ratepayer funds will no longer be used for other programs and that the federal government can open an interim storage facility until the Yucca Mountain repository has opened.
SCANA announced Monday it will extend by six weeks an agreement with Toshiba subsidiary Westinghouse Electric to continue construction on the V.C. Summer nuclear plant expansion in South Carolina while it determines the project's future. The assessment agreement was set to expire this week but will now end on Aug. 10.
The Senate confirmed Republican Kristine Svinicki, chairwoman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission since January, to a new five-year term on the panel. Svinicki has served on the NRC since 2008 and is expected to continue in her role as chairwoman.
India should work toward boosting its nuclear energy industry to make up 30% or 40% of the country's electricity capacity by 2050, up from 3% now, former Atomic Energy Commission head M.R. Srinivasan said. To make the economics work, major components will have to be manufactured in India, he said.
The first pouring of structural concrete can begin on reactors at India's Kudankulam Units 3 and 4, the country's Atomic Energy Regulatory Board said. Rosatom subsidiary ASE Group will pour the concrete in late June or early July, marking the official start of construction on the units.
Despite plants closing and just two new reactor projects beginning construction in the last 30 years, five companies have obtained construction and operating licenses so they can build new reactors in the future. "Having the COL in hand provides us with valuable option to move forward, if and when it make sense to do so," Dominion spokesman Richard Zuercher said.
A planned nuclear plant from startup NuScale Power would follow wind energy from the Horse Butte Wind Project in Idaho and produce more or less power based on demand. NuScale's small modular nuclear reactors allow the company to switch off individual modules to decrease output efficiently.
Energy Secretary Rick Perry told the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on Thursday that the US should focus on small modular reactors to drive a revival of its nuclear industry. The budget for fiscal year 2018 allots $20 million to early-stage research and development to support advanced SMR designs, Perry said.
Energy Secretary Rick Perry told lawmakers that the US has a "moral obligation" to address the issue of storing used nuclear fuel, with restarting the licensing of the Yucca Mountain repository and establishing an interim storage facility as the first steps toward that end. "An interim storage capability also adds flexibility to the system that will move materials from sites across the country to its ultimate disposition," he said.
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