Radiation that leaked from Daya Bay nuclear power station, China’s first large-scale atomic generator, poses no danger to the environment, the public or plant workers, said China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group Co.
The leak, detected on Oct. 23, was caused by a fault at a pipeline bearing coolant from the No. 1 reactor, the state-owned company said on its website today. The fault has been fixed since it was found on Oct. 26, Guangdong Nuclear said.
The leak is Daya Bay’s second following a leakage from a fuel rod in May. The No. 1 reactor has been shut since Oct. 22 for scheduled maintenance, Guangdong Nuclear, which owns 75 percent of the plant, said today.
From the Scotland Herald:
Radioactive waste has leaked into the Firth of Clyde from a defunct nuclear power station at Hunterston in North Ayrshire, the Sunday Herald can reveal.
Heavy rain caused contaminated silt from the site to flood onto the foreshore, in breach of safety procedures. The Government’s environmental watchdog is now investigating whether to take legal action.
The revelation has prompted condemnation from politicians and local residents, who are critical of Hunterston’s safety record. They want tough action to prevent any further leaks from the site.
“Time and again we have had leaks of low-level radioactive material into the Clyde in recent years,” said Kenneth Gibson, the Scottish Nationalist MSP whose constituency includes Hunterston.
Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station - NRC Integrated Inspection Report 05000277/2010004 and 05000278/2010004
ADAMS Accession No. ML103140643
From the Wall Street Journal:
Big French companies have a poor investment record in the U.S.: think Crédit Lyonnais in financial services, the former Suez in water and Vivendi in entertainment.
Will Electricité de France join the hall of shame? That partly depends on the outcome of a tricky negotiation with Constellation Energy Group, which wants to exercise a $2 billion put option that would require its French nuclear joint-venture partner to buy 11 coal-fired power stations. With EDF threatening to walk away from the U.S. market, its international strategy could unravel.
EDF paid a big price to buy its foothold in the U.S. Constrained by foreign-ownership rules, it paid $4.5 billion for half of Constellation's nuclear business in 2008, outbidding Warren Buffett's MidAmerican Energy Holdings, which offered $4.7 billion for the whole company. EDF also acquired an 8.4% stake in Constellation. With Constellation in dire financial straits at the time, EDF offered a backstop financing facility in the form of the put option. Despite improved cash and credit lines valued at $3.8 billion as of June 30, Constellation wants to exercise the put before it expires at year-end.
From the New York Times;
With the so-called “nuclear renaissance” looking smaller and slower than predicted, some in the nuclear industry are focusing on running existing plants longer — not only for their initial 40-year licensing period and the 20-year extension already allowed, but for a second 20-year extension.
“If you would have looked five years ago at the number of plants people were intending to construct and then you look today, it’s clear with the economic conditions we face in our nation, they’re pushing the builds out there,’’ said Maria Korsnick, the chief nuclear officer with Constellation Energy Group. (In industry-speak, that means delaying construction.)
In fact, her own company dropped out of a partnership to build a third reactor at its Calvert Cliffs site, 50 miles south of Washington, last month.
From Physics Central:
A radioactive rabbit that was on the loose this week in the Hanford former nuclear reactor site in Washington state prompted state Department of Health workers to hunt for contaminated rabbit droppings in the area.
The radioactive rabbit was among several bunnies captured over the last few days (a scene which calls to mind an iconic moment in Monty Python and the Holy Grail) at the site near Richland, Wash. The hopping critters were rounded up for testing after contaminated rabbit droppings were found last week. Only one rabbit tested positive for radiation contamination.
State department of health workers used hand-held radiation-detecting instruments to look for contaminated droppings. After capturing the afflicted rabbit, the amount of tainted droppings they found decreased, leading them to believe only one rabbit was affected. None of the droppings, so far, have been found in areas accessible to the public.
Oyster Creek Generating Station employees will continue working on replacing underground pipes during a planned outage as part of the state's tritium remediation project.
The power plant entered its planned refueling outage program on Monday morning.
More than 5,000 gallons of water have been pumped to date as part of the remediation project. Exelon Corp., the owner and operator of the Forked River-based power plant, shut down the reactor at 12:01 a.m. for a scheduled refueling and maintenance outage.
According to a statement Monday from Exelon Communications Manager David Benson, throughout the outage, workers will perform approximately 9,500 activities on a variety of plant components and systems, including replacing both of the station's main transformers, as well as finishing the majority of a 16-month, $13.3 million project to move pipes containing tritium above ground or into monitored vaults.
From the Chattanooga Times Free Press:
The Tennessee Valley Authority will spend up to $160 million here over the next three years, trying to stay out of hot water at its biggest nuclear power plant.
TVA Chief Operating Officer Bill McCollum Jr. said the federal utility will add another cooling tower and expand four of the six existing towers to better cool water from the Tennessee River that's used for power generation at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant.
The work should be done by 2013, TVA officials said.
TVA rejected a similar proposal in 2005 when officials projected that the extra cooling capacity was not needed to keep the river within thermal limits set by state regulators. But hot weather forced TVA to limit Browns Ferry generation during two of the past four summers when river water temperatures approached allowable limits.
Electricity producers such as NRG Energy Inc. and Southern Co. will benefit as Republicans who won control of the U.S. House yesterday promote nuclear power as part of clean-energy legislation.
Requirements for the use of renewable power to reduce carbon emissions and encourage U.S. energy independence may win passage if nuclear plants are added to the wind turbines and solar panels favored by environmentalists, said David Crane, chief executive officer of Princeton, New Jersey-based NRG.
“A lot of the things we’re trying to do in Washington to move forward with zero- and low-carbon generation is something that at least the mainstream of the Republican Party wants to support -- nuclear power in particular,” Crane said in an interview. “It’s not just California and Oregon tree-huggers.”
Senator Harry Reid of Nevada won reelection yesterday in a race with major ramifications for nuclear power politics.
Reid's victory over Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle not only helped the Democrats retain their majority—allowing him to retain his position as Majority Leader but also lets the Obama Administration continue moving forward with its plan to abandon a proposed nuclear waste-disposal project at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.
One of Reid's big promises to Nevada voters was that this waste site would never be developed on his watch. The Obama Administration has cooperated closely with Reid in closing down the 20-year-old project. And despite efforts by Republicans to embarrass the Department of Energy (DOE) over its apparent deference to Reid in pulling its application for a license, DOE seems likely to stay the course. As a Reid spokesperson commented to the Las Vegas Review-Journal a few weeks before the election: "As long as Senator Reid is majority leader, there will not be a Yucca Mountain. …Yucca Mountain will be dead."