TMI Update: Jan 14, 2024


Did you catch "The Meltdown: Three Mile Island" on Netflix?
TMI remains a danger and TMIA is working hard to ensure the safety of our communities and the surrounding areas.
Learn more on this site and support our efforts. Join TMIA. To contact the TMIA office, call 717-233-7897.

    

 
Tuesday, October 3, 2023
4:00 - 5:15 pm Eastern Time (US)
Hybrid Event on Zoom and In-Person
Shiffman 217, Brandeis University
 
 
 
**Speaker will present via Zoom

About the Event

Nuclear report cover by Mycle SchneiderContrary to public perception, the nuclear power industry continues its slow, decades-long decline. Over the past two decades, 99 reactors were connected to the grids in the world while 105 were closed. Since 49 of the startups and no closures were located in China, the reactor fleet in the rest of the world declined by 55 units. Did the trend change in recent years? No. In 2022, nuclear power production outside China dropped by 5 percent to its lowest level since the mid-1990s. Since December 2019, all of the 28 reactor construction-starts in the world were implemented either in China (17) or by the Russian nuclear industry (11) in various countries.

Even in China, nuclear expansion remains modest. In 2022, three reactors with a combined 2.2 GW of capacity came online compared to 125 GW of wind and solar. Nuclear power is irrelevant in the global market place for electricity generating technologies. In the meantime, the existing nuclear fleets are aging—US reactors average 42 years on the grid—and are struggling in many countries with unplanned or excessively long outages for inspections, maintenance, and repairs. The largest nuclear operator in the world, French state-owned utility EDF, carries a net debt load of US$70 billion. Its nuclear fleet’s annual load factor—equivalent hours at full nominal capacity—dropped to 52 percent in 2022. The best performing Scottish wind farm averaged 54 percent over the past five years. While the impression is that of a blooming sector, the nuclear industry is struggling in all areas, especially with its fierce renewable energy competitors.

World Nuclear Industry Status Report (WNISR)

 

 




About the Speaker

head shot of mycle schneider

Mycle Schneider works as independent international analyst on energy and nuclear policy and is the Coordinator and Publisher of the annual World Nuclear Industry Status Report. He is a Founding Board Member and Spokesperson of the International Energy Advisory Council (IEAC), USA, and a Founding Member of the International Nuclear Risk Assessment Group (INRAG), Vienna. In July 2018, he was appointed to the International Nuclear Security Forum (INSF), hosted by the Stimson Center, Washington D.C. Since 2007, he has been a member of the International Panel on Fissile Materials (IPFM), based at Princeton University, USA. In 2013, he initiated the Seoul International Energy Advisory Council (SIEAC) advising the Seoul Metropolitan Government, South Korea, and acted as its coordinator until 2019. Between February 2010 and June 2011, he was a Lead Consultant for the Asia Clean Energy Policy Exchange, implemented by IRG, funded by USAID, with the focus of developing a policy framework to boost energy efficiency and renewable energies in six Asian countries.

 
 
 
 
 
 
©Nina Schneider
Today, the U.S. NRC Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released a report on the NRC’s oversight of its Research and Test Reactor (RTR) Program.  The OIG’s Special Inquiry saw its origins in an investigation into the events and circumstances surrounding a February 2021 radiation release at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and later broadened to include consideration of the NRC’s oversight of other RTR facilities nationwide, to assess potential systemic issues.
 
“As our report shows, addressing opportunity areas in the NRC’s RTR program is vital to ensuring successful regulatory oversight of new projects, such as medical isotope facilities and prospective RTRs based on advanced reactor technology, since these programs are currently planned to be reviewed under RTR policy guidance.  This report demonstrates that the same or similar causes that led to the NIST event have ramifications for other RTRs nationally,” said Inspector General Robert J. Feitel.
 
The Inspector General added, “The OIG’s investigative and technical staff must be commended for such a thorough and far-reaching report that demonstrates superb, independent oversight.”
 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission - News Release
No: 23-062 September 29, 2023
CONTACT: Scott Burnell, 301-415-8200
David McIntyre, 301-415-8200
 
NRC Approves License Transfers for Energy Harbor Nuclear Plants
 
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved the transfer of the licenses for four operating reactors and their associated spent fuel storage facilities from Energy Harbor Nuclear Corp. to Vistra Operations Company LLC. The transfer is part of VistraOps’ acquisition of Energy Harbor’s nuclear assets.
 
The transfer covers the following operating reactors:
  • Beaver Valley Power Station, Units 1 and 2 (Shippingport, Pennsylvania)
  • Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station (Oak Harbor, Ohio)
  • Perry Nuclear Power Plant (Perry, Ohio)
VistraOps currently operates the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant and its spent fuel storage facilities, which are located in Glen Rose, Texas.
 
The NRC staff’s review of the license transfer application concluded that VistraOps is financially and technically qualified to conduct the activities authorized by the licenses. The NRC staff also concluded that VistraOps satisfies the NRC’s decommissioning funding assurance requirements, and that the facilities are not owned, controlled, or dominated by a foreign entity.
 
https://files.constantcontact.com/abc65024401/7ee258bf-32c2-48a3-bbd6-c0cec7c545aa.jpg?rdr=true

Beyond Nuclear Bulletin
September 28, 2023

MEET THE WINNERS!
Nuclear-Free Future Awards event

In 2022, three extraordinary activists were honored with a Nuclear-Free Future Award. However, at the end of 2022, the Awards transited out of their former home at the Nuclear Free Future Foundation and there was no official ceremony. Until now! Beyond Nuclear invites you to meet the 2022 winners at a special online awards ceremony on Friday, October 13 at 1pm U.S. ET. Please register at the link below to hear from uranium mining activist, Anthony Lyamunda, Resistance (Tanzania); Nuclear Hotseat podcaster, Libbe HaLevy, Education (USA); and nuclear policy researcher, Malte Göttsche, Solution (Germany) as they are interviewed about their work. A special announcement about the 2023 Awards event and winners will be made during the event.

  Register  

BAIT AND SWITCH
Holtec license transfer NRC meeting

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced an October 3 meeting with Holtec at 1 - 3pm ET. (Pre-register to attend) Holtec schemes to not only restart the half-century old, permanently shutdown Palisades reactor, but also to build four small modular reactors (SMRs) on the site. Holtec had claimed from 2020 until April 2022, that it was taking over Palisades to decommission the nuclear plant. But then Holtec CEO, Krishna Singh, floated building SMRs there. Days later, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer floated restarting the closed reactor. Holtec announced in September 2022 it had already applied to the U.S. Department of Energy for billions of dollars to restart the closed reactor and $7.4 billion more for the SMRs.

Read More

SAVE THE DATES!
Native American Nuclear Issues Forum

Ian Zabarte (pictured), Principal Man of the Western Shoshone, has announced the 2023 Native American Forum on Nuclear Issues, November 20 & 21 in Las Vegas, Nevada. It will also be webcast. Western Shoshone Spiritual Leader Darlene Graham will attend. Day 1 presenters include: Carletta Tillousi; Lorraine Rekmans; Anna Rondon; Dr. Tommy Rock; Peter d'Errico; Steve Newcomb; Joe Kennedy; Beatta Tsosi-Peña; Mary Gibson; Dave Archambault, Sr.; and Zabarte (moderator). Day 2 presenters include: Susan Alzner; Rozsa Greg Gyorgy; Mary Palevsky; Mary Olson; Judy Treichel; Steve Frishman; Kevin Kamps; Melissa Bumstead; Sarah Fox; Dave Hazzenzhal; and Molly Johnson (moderator). More info is at the Native Community Action Council website. The Western Shoshone have led the resistance against nuclear dangers in Newe Sogobia for many decades.

Read More

HELP RADIATION SURVIVORS
Long-fought-for compensation within reach

Hope exists for those exposed to falloutand others who were ignored. For nearly two decades, Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium (TBDC) has pushed to amend The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) to include Trinity downwinders. The U.S. Senate as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has not only added Trinity downwinders, but others in seven additional states and uranium workers employed post 1971. The Senate and the House NDAAs will now go through the reconciliation process. The House bill needs to have the RECA amendments included. Thank your Senator and please contact your U.S. Representative using the web comment form provided by Union of Concerned Scientists. Ask them to support adding the RECA amendments to the NDAA to mirror what was passed in the Senate with no changes.

  Act Now  

Beyond Nuclear | 301.270.2209 | www.BeyondNuclear.org

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Subject: Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, Unit 2 - Authorization and Safety Evaluation for Alternative Request for Valve 251130 (EPID L-2023-LLR-0045)
 
ADAMS Accession No.: ML23257A122
 
 
Using Web-based ADAMS, select “Advanced Search”
Under “Property,” select “Accession Number”
Under “Value,” enter the Accession Number
Click Search
Nuclear Regulatory Commission - News Release
No: II-23-028 September 23, 2023
Contact: Dave Gasperson, 404-997-4417
 
NRC Approves Further Uranium Enrichment at American Centrifuge Plant
 
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has authorized American Centrifuge Operating LLC to proceed with its planned demonstration project to produce high-assay low-enriched uranium, known as HALEU, under its contract with the Department of Energy. This is a major step in developing advanced fuels for the next generation of nuclear reactors.
 
The authorization signed Sept. 21 allows the company to possess and use enough uranium to perform Phase 1 of the company’s contract with DOE, the production of 20 kilograms of HALEU. The company plans to enrich the uranium in its HALEU Demonstration Cascade module at the American Centrifuge Plant in Piketon, Ohio. HALEU is enriched up to 20 percent in the isotope U-235, higher than the typical 3-5 percent found in current nuclear reactor fuel.
 
“This authorization follows a rigorous review of the American Centrifuge Plant’s safety features and operating procedures,” said NRC Region II Administrator Laura A. Dudes. “The NRC is committed to ensuring that all nuclear facilities operate safely and securely, and we will continue to closely monitor the HALEU Demonstration Cascade to ensure that it continues to meet our high safety standards.”
 
The NRC in June authorized the company to possess a smaller amount of material as part of its project preparations. The company plans to initiate HALEU production in October and complete Phase 1 in December.
 
The amount of material and higher enrichment level authorized make the American Centrifuge Plant the first Category II fuel facility licensed by the NRC.
Details of the inspections and the latest authorization letter are available on the NRC website.
 
Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards
Items of Interest
Week Ending September 8, 2023
 
Inflation Adjustments to the Price-Anderson Act Financial Protection Regulations: Final
Rule; 10 CFR Part 140 [NRC-2023-0110; RIN 3150-AL01]
On September 5, 2023, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) published a notice in
the Federal Register (88 FR 60565) amending its regulations to adjust for inflation the maximum
total and annual standard deferred premiums specified in the Price-Anderson Act. The NRC
must perform this adjustment at least once during each 5-year period following August 20, 2003,
as mandated by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended. This final rule is effective on
October 5, 2023.

Increased Enrichment of Conventional and Accident Tolerant Fuel Designs for LightWater Reactors: Regulatory Basis; Request for Comment; 10 CFR Parts 50, 51, and 71
[NRC-2020-0034; RIN 3150-AK79]

On September 8, 2023, the NRC published a notice in the Federal Register (88 FR 61986)
requesting comments on a regulatory basis to support a rulemaking to amend the NRC's
regulations related to the use of conventional and accident tolerant light-water reactor fuel
designs. The NRC's goal is to establish effective and efficient licensing of applications using
fuels enriched to greater than 5.0 and less than 20.0 weight percent uranium-235. The NRC will
hold a public meeting to promote a full understanding of the planned rulemaking and facilitate
public comment on the regulatory basis. Comments are requested by November 22, 2023.



New Podcast Episode

Boy and Island: Episode 4
 

Welcome back to the Boy and Island podcast!!!

Introducing: Episode 4 "Honor Thy Error as a Hidden Intention"
After a routine medical procedure goes awry, sending his father Jim into a months-long health crisis, Hurst embarks on an esoteric ponderance on the nature of errors that includes the zen wisdom of composer John Cage, Brian Eno’s “Oblique Strategies,” the roving spirituality of walking, the pleasures and terrors of misunderstood song lyrics, the tragic convergence of mechanical and human error at the center of the accident at Three Mile Island, and more!  Listen now

And a quick reminder to check out my very special interview with my mom, Anne Hurst, that commemorated the 44th anniversary of the accident at Three Mile Island back in March.

Thanks again for your interest. Stay tuned for some exciting news on the Boy and Island project.  Go to boyandisland.com for more info, drop me a line, tell a friend and take care!

Best,
A

Listen on boyandisland.com
Listen on Apple Podcasts
 
The Boy and Island podcast is a companion to the book project currently in development by Andrew Hurst. The podcast follows Andrew's creative process as he reflects on the Three Mile Island accident after 40-plus years and examines the remarkable ways that time has distorted, as well as clarified the event's importance as a pivotal moment in world history and as a penultimate event in his family's history.

SUBJECT: UPDATED INSPECTION PLAN FOR SUSQUEHANNA STEAM ELECTRIC STATION, UNITS 1 AND 2 (REPORT 05000387/2023005 AND 05000388/2023005)
 
SUBJECT: UPDATED INSPECTION PLAN FOR PEACH BOTTOM ATOMIC POWER STATION, UNITS 2 AND 3 (REPORT 05000277/2023005 AND
05000278/2023005)
 

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