Despite hostilities that linger as a result of the 1986 nuclear nightmare at Chernobyl, Ukraine, and pressure from the European Union to shut down older-generation plants, Eastern European countries from the Baltic to Bulgaria are renovating existing nuclear plants or building new ones. If these projects become reality, the region will be able to secure its power supplies as well as cover the ongoing shortages in countries such as Greece, Macedonia, and Albania.
The future of high-level nuclear waste disposal at Yucca Mountain remains uncertain as a new U.S. administration considers its nuclear agenda. The European Union’s policies remain just as unsettled. With new projects under construction in several countries and a nuclear ban in effect in others, no unified long-term storage approach is in sight.
Though the resurgence of interest in nuclear power in recent years has spurred development of an assortment of reactor designs, emphasis has mostly been on those with capacities to produce thousands of megawatt-hours of baseload power, as is the case with designs from General Electric, AREVA, Westinghouse, and Mitsubishi that are under active review by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Power projects using any of those designs will be developed at the cost of many billions of investment dollars.
The U.S. power industry’s story in 2009 will be all about change, to borrow a now-familiar theme. Though the new administration’s policy specifics hadn’t been revealed as POWER editors prepared this report, it appears that flat load growth in 2009 will give the new administration a unique opportunity to formulate new energy policy without risking that the lights will go out.
UniStar Nuclear Energy announced on Oct. 8 that it had awarded an AREVA-Bechtel Power Corp. consortium a multi-year contract to complete detailed design engineering for a proposed AREVA U.S. Evolutionary Power Reactor (U.S. EPR) adjacent to Constellation Energy’s Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power plant in Lusby, Md. The scope of work includes full plant specifications and […]
The Bulgarian government this September announced the official launch of the Belene Nuclear Power Plant, a project it has billed one as of the largest in the European Union (EU). Valued at €4 billion, Belene is now facing funding issues — though the government, which deems the plant vital to the country’s energy and economic […]
Top Plant: The team that handled this reactor vessel head and steam generator replacement project set a new industry standard for integrating a highly complex maintenance outage.
Top Plant: Nuclear plant owners understand the economic importance of squeezing every last megawatt-hour from their power generation assets and minimizing outage durations. When First Energy assumed operating responsibility for Beaver Valley, the plant’s operating record was unspectacular, but today the plant has established itself as a routine top-quartile performer, thanks in part to its Full Potential Program.
This summary of power generation projects is a web-only supplement to the November 2008 special report titled “Whistling in the dark: Inside South Africa’s power crisis.”
The year 2008 is shaping up nicely for nuclear power in the U.S. Since September 2007, when NRG Energy and the South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Co. filed the first complete U.S. nuclear plant license application in 29 years with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), a dozen more companies and consortia have followed suit. And […]