Ontario Goes Coal-Free in a DecadeBy the end of 2013, one year ahead of its goal, the province of Ontario will be virtually coal-free—a first for a North American jurisdiction. How did the most populous part of Canada go from 25% to 0% coal-fired generation in just a decade, and what does this phaseout mean for the rest of the world?
Are SMRs U.S. Nuclear Power’s Last, Best Hope?Historic low prices for natural gas and slow demand recovery are the principal barriers to new nuclear power construction in the U.S. Small modular reactors (SMRs) may break through those barriers, but only if installed cost targets are met.
CFB Scrubbing: A Flexible Multipollutant TechnologyThe number of regulated air emission constituents is increasing while the acceptable amounts for release are decreasing. In the long run, picking the most flexible multipollutant technology is surely the least cost option.
China Wrestles with Power ShortagesChina has gone through three periods of nationwide power shortages since 1978. The previous two shortages were mostly caused by the lack of installed generation capacity. However, the third—which has severely restricted economic development—is a consequence of institutional problems that must be corrected.
Germany’s Energy Transition ExperimentGermany has chosen to transform its energy system within a few decades—an ambition that has evoked equal admiration and confusion. Has Europe’s largest economy embarked on a rational path to an energy future that will make it the bellwether for global acceptance of renewables, or will the complex array of current challenges encumber its grand transformation?
Mexico Uses Nuclear Plant Simulator for Safe TrainingMexico’s Federal Electrical Commission needed a safe way to train new operators at its Laguna Verde Nuclear Power Plant in Veracruz, so it developed a stand-alone process simulator that allows trainees to practice a wide variety of plant operations and responses to incidents without putting the plant itself at risk.
Microbial Control in Cooling Water Improves Plant PerformanceMicrobial inhibition, as part of a robust cooling water treatment program, presents a special challenge because of the variability in makeup water sources, plant processes, and discharge permits. Failure to maintain a proper microbial inhibition program will affect your bottom line as a result of heat rate degradation.
mPower: It’s Now or NeverChristofer Mowry, president of Babcock & Wilcox mPower Inc. and CEO of Generation mPower LLC, a joint company of Babcock & Wilcox and Bechtel to design and build the mPower small modular reactor that won a competition for a Department of Energy cooperative funding agreement, discusses the machine and the market.
OPG Proposes New Nuclear Construction at DarlingtonThe Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has issued a License to Prepare Site for Ontario Power Generation’s Darlington station expansion. This is the first of a series of licenses required to prepare, construct, and operate new nuclear reactors and the first of its kind issued in Canada in over a quarter-century.
Small Hydro, Big OpportunitySmall-scale hydro generation stands to benefit from recent congressional action aimed at streamlining what historically has been a challenging federal approvals process. That action, along with technology innovations, could make it easier to develop hydro generating capacity in sources as diverse as navigable rivers, man-made conduits, and water distribution systems.
Too Dumb to Meter, Part 11As the book title Too Dumb to Meter: Follies, Fiascoes, Dead Ends, and Duds on the U.S. Road to Atomic Energy implies, nuclear power has traveled a rough road. In this POWER exclusive, we present the 20th and 21st chapters, “Out of Sight and Mind” and “Holey Kansas,” the first two chapters of the “Waste Is a Terrible Thing to Mind” section.
A Safety Milestone at NV Energy“Safety is as Safety Does” and “Ignoring a Warning Can Cause Much Mourning” are two of the more creative safety slogans I’ve heard. Such inventive catch phrases and workplace safety posters are just part of what helps us achieve our ultimate goal, which is to ensure our employees return to their homes and loved ones in the same condition they left.
Ergonomic Oxy-Fuel TorchVictor, a Victor Technologies brand, has launched its new 400 Series of oxy-fuel torches. The 400 series is a two-piece torch that incorporates innovative handle and cutting attachment designs that…
Wireless Condition Monitoring for BearingsSKF has launched SKF Insight, intelligent wireless technologies that are integrated into SKF bearings, enabling them to communicate their operating conditions continuously, with internally powered sensors and data acquisition electronics.…
Legal & Regulatory
EPA Not Backing Down on Title V Source Rules
If you were hoping that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) defeat last summer on aggregating small emissions sources under Title V of the Clean Air Act (CAA) meant a less-aggressive stance going forward, the agency has some bad news for you.
Focus on O&M
Lithium-Ion Batteries: A Potential Fire Hazard
The proliferation of battery technologies in modern industry is presenting fire professionals with new sets of challenges. Confusion exists as to the correct approach for protecting industrial batteries from fire, whether that be in battery manufacturing, battery storage, or battery-powered applications.
My career began as a results engineer testing large utility boilers. Ever since that first assignment, I have remained interested in the details of how the measurement and control of the furnace fuel and air inputs can make a huge difference in overall boiler performance. Given that plant operations and maintenance (O&M) budgets are slimmer today than in recent memory, my experience is that targeted performance testing can provide important feedback for prioritizing maintenance expenditures. The combination of plant testing and targeted O&M expenditures provide the best opportunity for efficient and reliable plant operations. I call this approach to plant efficiency improvement “performance-driven maintenace.”