Archive: Nuclear

IEA: Global Power Demand to Surge 2.2% Annually Through 2035

Though electricity generation has entered a key period of transition—as investment shifts to low-carbon technologies—world electricity demand is set to grow faster than any other “final form of energy,” the International Energy Agency (IEA) says in its latest annual World Energy Outlook.

Benchmarking Nuclear Plant Capital Requirements

The EUCG Nuclear Committee’s primary goal is to optimize the costs and reliability performance of participating plants by publishing for its members a comprehensive database of performance metrics and best practices derived through surveys of its membership. Earlier reports examined staffing and performance data. In this exclusive EUCG report, we examine nuclear plant capital requirements.

Are Smaller Reactors Better?

Is a paradigm shift—an economic and engineering earthquake—in nuclear power plant design on the horizon? For most of the past 50 years, the mantra in planning new nuclear plants has been “bigger is better.” But a growing number of nuclear power engineers and designers are contemplating a world where small is beautiful.

The Evolution of the ESBWR

The commercial nuclear industry is in the midst of developing multiple reactor technology options. Next in our series of articles exploring competing reactor technologies are GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) and Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR). The design improvements incorporated into these reactors include passive safety systems, design and construction simplification, and component standardization to reduce construction and operating costs.

Collaborative Team Investigates Long-Term Nuclear Operations

The Atomic Energy Act originally established the length of a U.S. commercial nuclear reactor license as 40 years and made it renewable for another 20 years. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has stated that it bases the length of these licenses (and the 50+ renewed licenses granted to date) not on any particular technical limitation but on whether the plant meets current safety requirements. Does this mean there could be reactor life after 60?

EPRI Updates Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Handbook

EPRI recently issued a handbook on nuclear spent fuel storage that examines regulatory trends affecting used fuel storage, describes available dry storage technologies, reviews planning considerations for spent fuel storage installations, and discusses technical issues affecting dry storage.

NRC Confident in Long-Term Dry Cask Storage

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved an updated “waste confidence” rule in mid-September that reflects the agency’s confidence that spent nuclear fuel (SNF) can be safely stored for at least 60 years beyond the closing date of any U.S. nuclear plant. Approval of this rule was required before the NRC can license any new reactors that will be required to store SNF on site indefinitely.

Retrofitting BWR Recirculation Pumps with Adjustable-Speed Drives

Exelon Nuclear recently replaced the original motor-generator sets for its boiling water reactor (BWR) recirculation pumps at its Quad Cities Generating Station Unit 1 with adjustable-speed drives. We examine the actual energy savings, motor-starting characteristics, control accuracy and stability, and motor and cable thermal behavior of this retrofit project.

China Begins Operation of First CPR-1000

The first unit of Ling Ao phase II (Unit 3) in Guangdong Province, China, entered commercial operation in late September. The 1,080-MW reactor is the first CPR-1000—a Chinese design—to be built, and its start-up marks a major milestone in the country’s concerted nuclear power expansion.