China has put its nuclear power plans on a fast track, kicking off a construction frenzy worth billions of dollars. In the latter months of 2008, the nation inaugurated construction of seven reactors, and in 2009, work will begin on another 10.
A year after Exelon Nuclear ceremoniously announced the selection of General Electric-Hitachi’s Economic & Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR) design (Figure 2) as its preferred technology for a proposed two-unit nuclear facility in Victoria County, Texas, the operator of the largest nuclear power fleet in the U.S. — and the third-largest in the world — said it had reconsidered its decision. The company said it is now negotiating separately with Toshiba and GE-Hitachi, both vendors of the Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR), and with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for its U.S. Advanced Pressurized Water Reactor (US APWR).
Though the resurgence of interest in nuclear power in recent years has spurred development of an assortment of reactor designs, emphasis has mostly been on those with capacities to produce thousands of megawatt-hours of baseload power, as is the case with designs from General Electric, AREVA, Westinghouse, and Mitsubishi that are under active review by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Power projects using any of those designs will be developed at the cost of many billions of investment dollars.
The U.S. power industry’s story in 2009 will be all about change, to borrow a now-familiar theme. Though the new administration’s policy specifics hadn’t been revealed as POWER editors prepared this report, it appears that flat load growth in 2009 will give the new administration a unique opportunity to formulate new energy policy without risking that the lights will go out.
The future of high-level nuclear waste disposal at Yucca Mountain remains uncertain as a new U.S. administration considers its nuclear agenda. The European Union’s policies remain just as unsettled. With new projects under construction in several countries and a nuclear ban in effect in others, no unified long-term storage approach is in sight.
UniStar Nuclear Energy announced on Oct. 8 that it had awarded an AREVA-Bechtel Power Corp. consortium a multi-year contract to complete detailed design engineering for a proposed AREVA U.S. Evolutionary Power Reactor (U.S. EPR) adjacent to Constellation Energy’s Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power plant in Lusby, Md. The scope of work includes full plant specifications and […]
The Bulgarian government this September announced the official launch of the Belene Nuclear Power Plant, a project it has billed one as of the largest in the European Union (EU). Valued at €4 billion, Belene is now facing funding issues — though the government, which deems the plant vital to the country’s energy and economic […]
Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman spoke at the recent 2008 Nuclear Energy Summit that was convened to discuss the importance of nuclear power to a healthy U.S. economy.
Courtesy: Platts Data source: Platts Energy Advantage and POWERmap. All rights reserved.
Top Plant: The team that handled this reactor vessel head and steam generator replacement project set a new industry standard for integrating a highly complex maintenance outage.