Nuclear Power news

Trump's FERC nominee to seek counsel if coal bailout plan returns

U.S. President Donald Trump's nominee to join a key panel of independent energy regulators, who helped roll out a Department of Energy (DOE) directive to bail out aging coal and nuclear plants, told senators on Thursday he did not know if he would recuse himself if the issue reappears before the commission.
Read more [Reuters]

IAEA pushes Japan for urgent disposal of contaminated Fukushima water

Japan must urgently tackle a buildup of contaminated water at its Fukushima nuclear plant, destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami more than seven years ago, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Tuesday.
Read more [Reuters]

Switzerland signs up to ‘Paris Call’ for a safer internet

In Paris on Monday, several hundred governments and tech companies – and Switzerland – signed a new charter for trust and security online. In the so-called ‘Paris Call’, launched by French President Macron at the UNESCO Internet Governance Forum in Paris, signatories pledged to support “an open, safe, stable, accessible, and peaceful cyberspace” where international law applies, and individual rights are protected. The call outlines a list of non-binding principles that both public and private actors can implement and endorse to increase trust and stability in cyberspace. Just as with nuclear weapons, “international agreements are needed to avoid a catastrophic digital war”, said French foreign minister Jean-Yves le Drian. Such agreements are few and far between, however, with UN-sponsored efforts at global compromises often scuppered by the reluctance of many states to work together. Along with targeted attacks on countries and businesses, the 359 signatories also notably ...
Read more [Swissinfo.org: sci & tech]

French environment minister sees 'fewer' nuclear reactors by 2028

New French Environment Minister Francois de Rugy said he expected there would be fewer nuclear reactors in ten years, but gave no indication on how and when France would reduce its reliance on nuclear energy.
Read more [Reuters]

Treading carefully, Japan's nuclear industry makes a comeback

On a side street near a darkened shopping arcade full of abandoned storefronts in southwestern Japan, the Sushi Ko restaurant is unusually busy on a weekday.
Read more [Reuters]

A New Cold War? U.S. Withdrawal from Nuke Treaty Worries Europeans

U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to back his country out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty has European leaders worried about a return of the Cold War. But the decision may have less to do with Russia and more to do with China. By DER SPIEGEL Staff
Read more [Spiegel Online]

France to decide over building new EPR nuclear reactors between 2021 and 2025: AFP

The French government will decide on whether or not to build a new generation of EPR reactors between 2021 and 2025, Agence France Presse (AFP) reported on Friday, citing a working document.
Read more [Reuters]

Japan court clears way for restart of Shikoku Electric reactor

A court in Japan on Friday paved the way for Shikoku Electric Power Co to restart its only operable nuclear reactor, rejecting a lawsuit from residents to close the unit.
Read more [Reuters]

EDF's Tricastin nuclear power output could be curbed from October 27

French utility EDF said on Thursday that electricity generation at its 3,600 megawatts (MW) Tricastin nuclear plant could be restricted from Oct. 27 due to the forecast flow rate of the Rhone river where it draws water to cool the reactors.
Read more [Reuters]

Belgian reactors shutdown a test run for nuclear-free future

Belgium's energy production is plunging as its nuclear reactors are taken offline for repairs, with the power shortfall this winter seen as a test of the country's ability to cope when the reactors are phased out from 2022.
Read more [Reuters]

Outokumpu steel plant in Finland hit by four radiation incidents since July - watchdog

Outokumpu's Tornio facility in Finland, one of Europe's biggest steel plants, has suffered four radiation contamination incidents since July, the country's nuclear watchdog STUK said on Tuesday.
Read more [Reuters]

Belgian nuclear regulator says problems at four reactors are minor

Belgium's nuclear regulator said on Friday that problems identified in the concrete structures surrounding four nuclear reactors in the country were classified at the lowest level of severity.
Read more [Reuters]

Fukushima nuclear plant owner apologizes for still-radioactive water

The owner of the Fukushima nuclear plant, destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami more than seven years ago, said water treated at the site still contains radioactive materials that for years it has insisted had been removed.
Read more [Reuters]

Southern reduces Alabama Farley nuke plant ahead of Hurricane Michael

Southern Co said on Wednesday it is reducing power at Units 1 and 2 at the Farley nuclear power plant in Alabama as a precautionary safety measure in case Hurricane Michael should reach the plant with hurricane-force winds.
Read more [Reuters]

Three decades after nuclear disaster, Chernobyl goes solar

Ukraine unveiled a solar plant in Chernobyl on Friday, just across from where a power station, now encased in a giant sarcophagus, caused the world's worst nuclear disaster three decades ago.
Read more [Reuters]

French ecology minister says Fessenheim nuclear plant to close by 2022

Ecology Minister Francois de Rugy on Thursday reiterated that the Fessenheim nuclear power reactor, France's oldest, would close before the end of President Emmanuel Macron's five-year term in 2022.
Read more [Reuters]

Trump nominates coal, nuclear bailout supporter to U.S. power agency

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday nominated a proponent of his administration's plan to subsidize aging coal and nuclear plants to a federal agency that regulates power transmission, a move criticized by environmental groups who questioned his independence on the issue.
Read more [Reuters]

Japan court rejects bid to shut Shikoku Electric reactor

Regional utility Shikoku Electric Power Co moved closer to restarting its only operable nuclear reactor, when a court in Japan on Friday rejected a lawsuit that would have prevented operation of the nuclear unit.
Read more [Reuters]

Colorado wildlife refuge at old nuclear plant is open - for now

Less than two miles (3 km) from where triggers for thermonuclear weapons were once manufactured and against the backdrop of Colorado's Rocky Mountains, a bull elk bugles as he defends his harem of cows from rival males.
Read more [Reuters]

Interview with Iranian Foreign Minister: 'The Nuclear Agreement Is Not a Love Affair'

The nuclear deal with Iran is limping on even after the United States' withdrawal. DER SPIEGEL spoke with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif about the agreement, what Europe's options are and his country's growing influence in the Middle East.
Read more [Spiegel Online]

Florence flooding limits road access to Duke nuclear plant

Duke Energy Corp said on Monday that its Brunswick nuclear power plant in North Carolina remained safely shut down despite limited road access to the site due to flooding from storm Florence.
Read more [Reuters]

Duke starts to shut North Carolina Brunswick nuclear plant ahead of Florence

Duke Energy Corp started to shut the Brunswick nuclear power plant in North Carolina ahead of Hurricane Florence, which is expected to strike the coast near the plant on Friday.
Read more [Reuters]

U.S. nuclear power plants prepare for Hurricane Florence

Several nuclear power reactors in North and South Carolina and Virginia on Tuesday started to prepare for Hurricane Florence, which is expected to hit the coast as a major hurricane on Friday.
Read more [Reuters]

French Orano opens uranium conversion plant despite glut

French nuclear group Orano on Monday inaugurated a 1.15 billion euro ($1.33 billion) uranium conversion plant despite huge global overcapacity for nuclear reactor fuel.
Read more [Reuters]

EDF must prove nuclear reactors viable, French minister says

France's state-controlled EDF power utility needs to show a new generation nuclear reactors work well, which is not for now the case, new environment minister Francois de Rugy said in remarks published on Monday.
Read more [Reuters]

Large Hadron Collider blows out ten candles

Protons and champagne corks were exploding just outside Geneva ten years ago as scientists celebrated a new era of particle physics. We look back at the successful launch of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and key milestones of the biggest scientific experiment in human history.  On September 10, 2008, the LHC, the world’s most powerful particle accelerator at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), was started up and an inaugural beam of protons was successfully guided around the 27-kilometre (16.7-mile) ring of superconducting magnets, deep beneath the Swiss-French border.  It was a landmark achievement for the thousands of scientists, engineers and technicians who had spent decades planning and building the colossal underground machine, which seeks to unlock the secrets of modern physics and answer questions about the universe and its origins, recreating conditions just after the so-called Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago. The $10 billion (CHF9.6 billion) ...
Read more [Swissinfo.org: sci & tech]

Thermal use of lakes and rivers needs more environmental research

Lakes, rivers and other bodies of water have great potential for heating or cooling buildings or industrial processes, but the impact on aquatic life is under-researched, say Swiss scientists. Climate warming is not the only cause of temperature change in bodies of water but also their increasing use for heating and cooling, say researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG) and the University of Bern. For heating purposes warmth is extracted from the water and discharged back into a lake or river at a lower temperature. The opposite applies when bodies of water are used for cooling. One example is the Mühleberg nuclear power plant near Bern, which is cooled by water from the River Aare. Earlier studies have shown that the river water is warmed by 0.7 degrees Celsius (1.3 degrees Fahrenheit) in summer and up to 2.4 degrees Celsius (4.3 degrees Fahrenheit) in winter. Cases with such high impact are known as “thermal pollution”.  EAWAG ...
Read more [Swissinfo.org: sci & tech]

Japan nuclear plant's power restored after quake triggers Hokkaido blackout

Power was restored to a nuclear energy plant in Hokkaido, northern Japan on Thursday after a strong earthquake left it relying on emergency generators for 10 nervous hours, but it may be a week before lights are back on all over the major island.
Read more [Reuters]

Japanese nuclear station on emergency power after quake revives Fukushima memories

A Japanese nuclear energy station is relying on emergency back up power after a powerful earthquake knocked out electricity on the northern island of Hokkaido on Thursday, a stark reminder of the Fukushima disaster more than seven years ago.
Read more [Reuters]

French minister's exit may give EDF's nuclear plants new lease of life

The shock resignation of the French environment minister may mean that EDF can not only extend the lifespan of its ageing reactors but could even build new reactors in France, the world's most nuclear-reliant nation.
Read more [Reuters]

Popular French environment minister quits in blow to Macron

French Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot resigned on Tuesday in frustration over sluggish progress on climate goals and nuclear energy policy, dealing a major blow to President Emmanuel Macron's already tarnished green credentials.
Read more [Reuters]

Swiss farmers told to adapt to the heat or go bust

As Switzerland experiences the driest summer since records began, agricultural scientist Urs Niggli says farmers, who have seen significant crop failure, must adapt in order to survive.  Drought conditions in recent months have seen wide-ranging bans on outdoor fires, emergency water supplies airlifted to thirsty cows and a slowdown in the activity of the Mühleberg nuclear plant in Bern as it struggles to keep vital equipment cool.  The government also announced a range of temporary measures to ease the heatwave-related difficulties faced by many farmers across the country.  But Urs Niggli, an agronomist from the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, warns there will be more heatwave summers in the future, with livestock and dairy farmers hit particularly hard.  “The drought of 2018 has resulted in crop failures of up to 30%,” he told Swiss newspaper Blick on Friday.  + Swiss cereal harvests set to drop in 2018 after hot weather In the short term, the shortage of animal ...
Read more [Swissinfo.org: sci & tech]

Swiss farmers told to adapt to the heat or go bust

As Switzerland experiences the driest summer since records began, agricultural scientist Urs Niggli says farmers, who have seen significant crop failure, must adapt in order to survive.  Drought conditions in recent months have seen wide-ranging bans on outdoor fires, emergency water supplies airlifted to thirsty cows and a slowdown in the activity of the Mühleberg nuclear plant in Bern as it struggles to keep vital equipment cool.  The government also announced a range of temporary measures to ease the heatwave-related difficulties faced by many farmers across the country.  But Urs Niggli, an agronomist from the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, warns there will be more heatwave summers in the future, with livestock and dairy farmers hit particularly hard.  “The drought of 2018 has resulted in crop failures of up to 30%,” he told Swiss newspaper Blick on Friday.  + Swiss cereal harvests set to drop in 2018 after hot weather In the short term, the shortage of animal ...
Read more [Swissinfo.org: sci & tech]

Japan must act to protect Fukushima clean-up workers: U.N. experts

Japan must act urgently to protect tens of thousands of workers laboring to clean up the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station from reported exploitation and exposure to radiation, U.N. human rights experts said on Thursday.
Read more [Reuters]

Sanctions-hit North Korea warns of natural disaster brought by heat wave

North Korea on Thursday called for an "all-out battle" against record temperatures that threaten crops in a country already grappling with tough international sanctions over its nuclear weapons program.
Read more [Reuters]

France's EDF may halt four nuclear reactors due to heatwave

French utility EDF on Wednesday said that forecasts of high temperatures in the Rhone River could lead to the shutdown from Aug. 3 of four nuclear reactors which depend on its waters for cooling.
Read more [Reuters]

In hot water: How summer heat has hit Nordic nuclear plants

This year's unusually warm summer in the Nordic region has increased sea water temperatures and forced some nuclear reactors to curb power output or shut down altogether, with more expected to follow suit.
Read more [Reuters]

Heatwave forces EDF to cut output at Bugey 3 and St Alban 1 nuclear reactors

French state-controlled utility EDF on Friday halted production at its 900 megawatt (MW) Bugey 3 nuclear reactor and reported an unplanned outage at the 1,300 MW St Alban 1 reactor, because of the heatwave in the country.
Read more [Reuters]

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