From Pioneer Press:
Xcel Energy took Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant off the electrical grid early Sunday so workers can repair one of 10 water heaters that feeds the reactor.
The feed water heaters heat incoming water before it is routed through the reactor. The water is boiled into steam that turns the turbine that generates electricity.
From the Huffington Post:
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has made it clear that America's 104 licensed atomic power reactors are not accidents waiting to happen.
They are accidents in progress.
And proposals to build a "new generation" of reactors are not mere scams. They comprise a predictable plan for permanent national bankruptcy.
On November 10, the USNRC delivered a stunning reprimand to Japanese-owned Westinghouse, which proposes building new atomic reactors here and around the world. The commission warned that the containment design for the new AP1000 did not include a "realistic" analysis of its ability to withstand a jet crash.
From Beyond Nuclear:
The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, up for sale and scheduled to close in 2012, was shut down Sunday evening after radioactive water escaped from a pipe leading to the reactor. Meanwhile, half an hour earlier, at Unit 2 of the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Buchanan, NY, a transformer exploded causing the shutdown of that reactor. Both plants are owned by Entergy and have been plagued by leaks, mainly of tritium. Vermont Yankee has also endured a fire and the collapse of its cooling towers (pictured). Newly-elected Vermont Governor, Peter Shumlin, a former State Senator, led the charge to get the plant closed on schedule in March 2012, a move the State Senate approved last February. The State of Vermont's Public Oversight Panel on Vermont Yankee warned of Entergy Nuclear's neglect of maintenance last July. View more coverage from TIME; Wall Street Journal; Bloomberg; Los Angeles Times; Mid Hudson News; Reuters UK; AP Google; Brattleboro Reformer; Maine Public Broadcasting Network; Vermont Public Radio (1); Vermont Public Radio (2); Vermont Public Radio (3). The Diane Rehm Show on National Public Radio will air a live nationwide call-in show on the subject of nuclear power's future in light of these two Entergy shutdowns on Tuesday morning, Nov. 9th at 10 am Eastern; you can call into the Diane Rehm Show at (800) 433-8850, or email a question or comment to email@example.com.
Every operating US nuke was ordered before 1973. With one exception, all have run more than twenty years. Heavy doses of heat and radiation have embrittled metals and weakened concrete throughout. At Yankee, New York’s Indian Point, North Anna in Virginia and quite possibly all the rest, underground pipes continually leak radioactive tritium and other lethal isotopes.
From the Hong Kong Standard:
Workers of the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station were exposed to "unacceptable" levels of radiation last month, an environmental campaigner warned, and a legislator is calling for a special meeting to discuss the incident.
Operator CLP Power, however, said the radiation leak did not cause any harm and was rated at level one on the seven- scale international nuclear incident rating system.
The latest incident at the station just 50 kilometers from Hong Kong follows a scare on May 23. In the latest incident, on October 23, a flaw was observed in a water pipe section of a residual heat removal system. The company admitted several workers were exposed to radiation - less than two millisieverts - carried by the liquid. This is less than what an average person in Hong Kong would be exposed to every year, it said.
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.