Archive: Nuclear

Comprehensive Asset Management for Nuclear Plant

Asset management means different things to different people. But it boils down to converting raw data and observations about equipment and components into information and knowledge that is then used, propagated, and shared by workers and digital components to manage performance. Nuclear plants have special asset management needs, given the level of their safety, reliability, and regulatory requirements.

The Big Picture: DOE Loan Guarantees

Of the $35.9 billion in loan guarantees awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) since 2009, roughly $26.5 billion have financed nuclear and renewable power projects across the nation through the Section 1703 and 1705 loan guarantee programs.

Abundant Clean Energy Fuels Brazil’s Growth

Brazil’s power industry has long been dominated by its vast hydro resources, which historically have accounted for over 80% of the country’s generation capacity. With engineering marvels like the massive Itaipú dam and the proposed Belo Monte project, the country is a leader in the development and use of hydroelectricity on a grand scale. But as the 2001 energy crisis proved, dependence on a single source leaves the country vulnerable to severe shortages. Thanks to government programs designed to take advantage of the country’s favorable climate, Brazil is committed to diversifying its energy mix while continuing to maintain a renewable energy focus.

Specifying Nuclear DCS Power Supplies

The consideration of power supplies has become critical to the success of converting analog instrumentation and control systems to digital control systems (DCSs). Careful planning is particularly necessary for nuclear power plants, where instrumentation systems are required for safely shutting down a reactor, mitigating the consequences of an accident, and performing post-accident analysis.

U.S. Confronts Pipeline Gaps While Europe Juggles Renewables and Debt

U.S. optimism has been restored by reports of abundant, reasonably priced natural gas to fuel most new generation; however, huge gaps in the fuel delivery system (thousands of miles of pipelines are needed) will soon challenge gas plant development. Meanwhile, the cloud of sovereign debt hangs over all major capital projects in Europe, where the UK moves ahead with new nuclear projects while many of its neighbors shut the door on nuclear and struggle to finance their commitment to renewables.

NRC to Implement Lessons Learned from Fukushima

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in October directed staff to begin implementing seven safety recommendations put forth by the federal body’s Near-Term Task Force on lessons learned from the nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Daiichi power plant in Japan’s Fukushima prefecture last March. The recommendations affecting all 104 nuclear reactors (Figure 3) […]

World Energy Outlook Forecasts Great Renewables Growth

Driven by policies to limit carbon emissions, as well as government subsidies, the share of worldwide nonhydro renewable power is set to grow from just 3% in 2009 to 15% in 2035, the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts in its recently released World Energy Outlook 2011. Under the same scenario—which assumes that carbon pricing, explicit […]

China’s 12th Five-Year Plan Pushes Power Industry in New Directions

The Five-Year Plan is the expression of the centralized planning goals for China’s economy. The 12th Five-Year Plan, approved by the Chinese Government on March 14, 2011, established many social and economic goals, including significant expansion of the country’s power generation industry in many new directions.

EPRI Bridges Industry R&D Gaps

The technologies used to generate and distribute electricity will be radically transformed during the coming decade. Amid that change, the power industry must continue to meet customer reliability, safety, and cost-of-service expectations. Achieving the right balance among these often-conflicting goals is the primary focus of every utility. The Electric Power Research Institute is helping utilities achieve that balance with R&D programs for many new and emerging technologies.