Archive: Nuclear


Potential Impacts of Closed-Cycle Cooling Retrofits at U.S. Power Plants

The Clean Water Act Section 316(b) rule changes regarding cooling water intake structures that are expected next year could affect up to 428 power plants, representing 1,156 individual units, according to the Electric Power Research Institute. Depending on plant size and the complexity of the retrofit project, retrofit capital costs could range from very low to over $500 million for large nuclear plants. The power industry total cost is projected to be over $100 billion.

Dominion to Decommission Kewaunee Nuclear Plant, Cites Poor Economics

The Kewaunee Power Station—a 556-MW nuclear facility in Carlton, Wis.—will be shut down and decommissioned starting in the second quarter of 2013, its owner Dominion said on Monday. The company said the decision to shutter the plant was based “purely on economics.”

Report: Crystal River Repair Technically Feasible, But Costs Could Surge to $3.5B

Repair of the damaged containment structure at Progress Energy’s Crystal River nuclear power plant in Florida will likely hover at $1.5 billion, but it could escalate to as much as $3.5 billion and take eight years to complete in the worst-case scenario, an independent review of a potential repair plan shows.


South Korea Connects Two New Reactors to the Grid

3. An atomic leap. South Korea is looking to boost nuclear capacity to 43.4% of its total power profile by 2020. Two new reactors became commercially operational this summer, the 960-MW Shin Kori 2 plant near Nae-ri and the Shin Wolsong 1 (shown here) in the southwest city of Gori. Courtesy: Korea Hydro and Nuclear […]


Germany’s Reliance on Coal Grows

This August, instead of the usual fanfare at the official commissioning ceremony of RWE’s twin-unit 2.2-GW coal-fired BoA Units 2 and 3—a $3.3 billion lignite-fired power plant in Grevenbroich-Neurath near Cologne (Figure 1)—Germany’s premier of the state of North Rhine–Westphalia, Hannelore Kraft, and the newly installed federal minister of the environment, Peter Altmaier, requested a rapid cutback in power production. As 400 guests watched, the output of one unit was reportedly reduced by more than 150 MW in five minutes, and then restored just as fast. The demonstration was to show how quickly the plant could offset the intermittency of wind and solar power, the officials said, proclaiming the plant an “important element” of Germany’s energy strategy.


Plant Vogtle Moves Forward, as Do Costs and Schedules

At Plant Vogtle in Georgia, where Southern Co. subsidiary Southern Nuclear is building two new 1,100-MW AP1000 units for Georgia Power and co-owners Oglethorpe Power Corp., the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia, and Dalton Utilities, work on the first new nuclear units built in the U.S. in 30 years is progressing—albeit with hiccups.

New Bill to Limit Timespan for Reactor License Renewal Applications

A bill introduced by U.S. Reps. John Tierney and Ed Markey on Wednesday could prevent the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) from granting operating license renewals to reactor owners that apply more than 10 years before a current facility license expires.

FPL Gets NRC OK for 10% Extended Uprate of St. Lucie Unit 2

Florida Power & Light (FPL) on Monday got the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC’s) approval to increase power¬¬¬ output of St. Lucie Unit 2 by 17%, from 853 MWe to 1,002 MWe. The regulator had in July approved a similar uprate for St. Lucie Unit 1, and its decision on Monday means FPL can fully proceed with its $3 billion plan to boost nuclear output and save on future fossil fuel costs.

Three Mile Island Trips Due to Flow Imbalance in Coolant Pump

Exelon’s 852-MW Three Mile Island Generating Station near Harrisburg, Pa., on Thursday automatically tripped owing to a flux to flow imbalance of the "C" reactor coolant pump, a filing with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) shows.