Archive: News

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Oldest U.S. Nuclear Plant Shuts Down

The Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in New Jersey, the oldest operating nuclear plant in the U.S., was shut down September 17. Workers marked the closure with a ceremony at the plant, as 400 current employees and former workers watched via a livestream as operators took the plant offline. Oyster Creek, a 625-MW single-reactor plant […]

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Appeals Court Backs Illinois’ Nuclear Subsidies

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on September 13 upheld subsidies offered by Illinois to help struggling nuclear power plants. The court rejected arguments from power producers and some Illinois energy consumers that so-called zero-emission credits (ZEC) are preempted by the Federal Power Act. Opponents argued the program violates the Commerce Clause […]

Xcel Energy is the first U.S. utility to operate drones beyond visual line of sight during ongoing inspections of transmission lines. (Photo: Xcel Energy)

In an Industry First, Xcel Energy Flies a Drone BVLOS

Xcel Energy on September 12 launched a drone to inspect electric power lines near Fort St. Vrain Generating Station in Platteville, Colorado—marking the first flight by a U.S. utility beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) during ongoing inspections. Xcel on Wednesday launched a 35-pound drone that is equipped with two cameras, as local, state, and federal […]

Vogtle nuclear expansion August 2018

Lawsuits Raise Stakes on Vogtle Nuclear Expansion Vote

As a vote by owners on the fate of the Vogtle nuclear expansion project hangs in the balance, the City of Jacksonville, Florida, and JEA—the city’s municipal utility that serves about 458,000 electric customers—filed a complaint in the Fourth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida on September 11 asking for declaratory judgment on a power purchase […]

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EIA Report Says Coal Still King on State-by-State Basis

A report this week from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows coal-fired power was still the major source of generation on a state-by-state basis in 2017, though natural gas-fueled electricity production slightly outpaced coal overall The EIA’s report, published September 10, said 18 states relied on coal for the bulk of their power generation […]

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EPA Schedules One Hearing on Proposed ACE Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on September 10 announced it will hold one hearing to get input from the public and stakeholders on its Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, the Trump administration’s replacement for the Obama-era Clean Power Plan (CPP). The EPA said it has scheduled an all-day hearing October 1 at the Ralph […]

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California Mandates 100% Renewable Energy

California Gov. Jerry Brown on September 10 signed into law a measure requiring the state to produce all its electricity from renewable sources by 2045. It’s a goal that also has been set by Hawaii and is being discussed by other states. Environmental groups and renewable energy advocates immediately praised Brown’s action. Utilities operating in […]

A nuclear plant at sunset. Artwork:Victor Korniyenko/ POWER/Sonal Patel

IAEA: ‪Global Nuclear Power Industry Is ‘Struggling’

Nuclear power’s share of the world’s power generating mix could shrink dramatically from 10% in 2017 to just 5.6% in 2050 as the industry struggles with “reduced competitiveness,” the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) suggested in a new report. The international organization based in Vienna, Austria, that works to promote the peaceful use of nuclear […]

4.	Coal stockpiles grow. U.S. coal-fired power plants saw their stockpiles grow as more electricity came from gas-fired units over the past few years. Many moved to stop shipments of coal to their facilities in order to deplete the large stockpiles on hand. Courtesy: LMB Photography

Report: 10% of U.S. Coal Mined in 1H2018 Went to Plants Scheduled to Retire

More than 10% of the coal mined from eight U.S. regions in the first half of 2018 was sent to coal plants scheduled for retirement between this year and 2032, according to a report from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The trend is another troubling sign for the struggling coal industry. The analysis released September 7 […]

A rock sample from Oklo in Gabon, the world's oldest and only natural reactor. Courtesy: IAEA Bulletin

‪The Curious Case of a Two-Billion-Year-Old Nuclear Reactor

  Scientists appear to have unraveled the mystery of uranium ore found at a mine in Oklo region of the Central African state of Gabon that exhibits a lower proportion of uranium-235 (U-235)—the fissile sort. According to an August 10 bulletin from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the first response that physicists had when […]