POWERnews [Dec. 31, 2014]

Solar Firms Report Fallout From China, Taiwan Tariff Determination

A major U.S. solar manufacturer will shutter a manufacturing plant in Tennessee in part due to ongoing challenges presented by global trade disputes.  Polycrystalline silicon–maker Hemlock Semiconductor, a company majority…

Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant Shuts Down for the Last Time

Operators at Entergy’s Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station (VY) took the plant offline permanently on Dec. 29 at 12:12 p.m. EST, ending a 42-year operational history. The shutdown is the…

Burns to Replace Macfarlane as NRC Chairman

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced on Dec. 23 that Stephen G. Burns will replace Allison Macfarlane as chairman, effective Jan. 1, 2015. Burns, a 33-year veteran of the agency—became…

FPL Gets Approval to Invest in Gas Wells

The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) on Dec. 18 approved Florida Power & Light’s (FPL’s) request to invest in natural gas wells in Oklahoma. NextEra subsidiary FPL, one of the…

Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co. Hacked

Computer systems at Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co. (KHNP)—the operator of South Korea’s 23 commercial nuclear reactors—were hacked and information divulged via blog posts and posts on Twitter, according…

Congressional Passage of Cybersecurity Bill Is a Triumph for Automation, Groups Say

The Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014 that cleared Congress last week and was presented to President Obama on Monday has the backing of automation organizations.  The bill was one of…

Natural Gas Overwhelmingly Replacing Coal, Says Report

The growth in natural gas–fired generation in the U.S. since 2007 has overwhelmingly displaced coal-fired generation, according to a report from the Breakthrough Institute released Dec. 15. Consistent with the…

NRC: DOE Does Not Meet Land Ownership, Water Rights Requirements for Yucca Mountain Site

In the third part of a long-awaited safety evaluation report (SER) for the stalled Yucca Mountain permanent nuclear waste repository released today, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) says the Department…