Most Clicked NEI SmartBrief Stories

1. NRC upholds seismic safety finding for Calif. nuclear plant

NEI SmartBrief | Apr 29, 2015

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has reaffirmed its earlier finding that Pacific Gas and Electric's Diablo Canyon nuclear plant could withstand the force of a nearby earthquake. "The real question that needs to be answered is what the plant can withstand," said NRC geosciences and geotechnical engineer Diane Jackson. Four significant faults are located around Diablo Canyon, according to PG&E seismologist Norm Abrahamson. Tribune (San Luis Obispo, Calif.), The (04/28)

2. NRC approves Fermi 3 reactor in Mich.

NEI SmartBrief | May 01, 2015

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said it will issue a combined license for DTE Energy to build and operate the 1,560-megawatt Fermi 3 reactor next to its Fermi 2 plant on Lake Erie. The decision includes new conditions reflecting safety requirements that have been introduced since DTE first applied to build the reactor. "With this license, DTE Energy now possesses the most diverse, comprehensive slate of options to plan for Michigan's energy future," said DTE Energy President and Chief Operating Officer Steven Kurmas. Detroit Free Press (05/01)

3. N.M. group outlines plans for interim used nuclear fuel storage facility

NEI SmartBrief | Apr 30, 2015

A group of officials from Holtec International and Eddy and Lea counties in New Mexico has outlined its plans to develop a temporary storage facility for used nuclear fuel from power plants throughout the U.S. The Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance's announcement comes a month after the Energy Department's acknowledgement that interim storage sites for used nuclear fuel would be needed while a permanent storage site is established. "We became convinced that this is an extraordinary, safe process that needs to occur in this country," said John Heaton, Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance chairman and former state legislator. Washington Times, The (04/29)

4. Tenn. nuclear plant prepares reactor for operation

NEI SmartBrief | Apr 30, 2015

Tennessee Valley Authority's Watts Bar nuclear plant will soon have increased capacity due to the addition of its Unit 2 reactor, which is scheduled for a performance test in May. Construction on the reactor began in 1973, but was suspended for a lengthy period starting in 1985. "We're feeling pretty good about meeting our schedule and finishing up the unit prior to June 2016," said TVA Senior Vice President Mike Skaggs. "But we've got a lot of challenges and risks ahead of us and we're not as worried about meeting our schedule as we are in making sure that when Watts Bar comes online it is safe and of high quality." Chattanooga Times Free Press (Tenn.) (04/30)

5. Some nuclear operators may need to increase decommissioning funds

NEI SmartBrief | May 04, 2015

PG&E's Humboldt Bay reactor, which has been shut down since 1976 but not fully decommissioned, is one instance where nuclear operators don't yet have the cash to pay the full decommissioning costs. Currently, PG&E's Humboldt Bay trust fund is short of the estimated $441 million cost to complete decommissioning. Nuclear Regulatory Commission records show that 82 of the 117 nuclear plants in the U.S. will likely need to bolster decommissioning funding. Bloomberg (05/03)

6. Mass. plant shutdown brings boost to local economy

NEI SmartBrief | Apr 29, 2015

Entergy's Pilgrim nuclear power plant in Massachusetts is shut down for refueling and maintenance, which has brought about 1,000 outage workers to town. "It's a great thing for the town of Plymouth because it's filling hotel rooms, it's filling restaurants," said Ray Tompkins, who works at the Plymouth Moose Lodge. During a media tour of the facility, Entergy officials touted safety and security measures and said they are continuing to improve. New England Cable News (Boston) (04/28)

7. Energy-conscious consumers reduce power demands, execs say

NEI SmartBrief | Apr 28, 2015

Energy consciousness among consumers, along with an abundance of natural gas, have led to a reduced demand for nuclear power and electricity in general. "The most obvious example of that would be the shift from incandescent lights to compact fluorescents," said Tennessee Valley Authority Vice President Joe Hoagland. The Nuclear Energy Institute's Richard Myers said new nuclear plants will be needed to meet future energy demands. American Public Media/Marketplace (04/27)

8. Have China and Russia stolen the nuclear thunder from the U.S.?

NEI SmartBrief | Apr 29, 2015

A pro-nuclear op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal that mentions Mao and Lenin may well be to wake up slumbering capitalists. Read more.

9. Science behind Yucca Mountain repository shouldn't be ignored

NEI SmartBrief | Apr 29, 2015

Critics of the Yucca Mountain repository project in Nevada are ignoring over 30 years of research from scientists representing the Energy Department, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and laboratories and universities around the U.S., writes Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill. Among the possibilities taken into account before the NRC deemed the site safe for at least 1 million years were volcanic activity, earthquakes and other low-probability events. Las Vegas Review-Journal (04/29)

10. Opinion: Government must keep nuclear plants open

NEI SmartBrief | Apr 30, 2015

Government regulators and legislators must do what they can to keep U.S. nuclear power plants open, write former Sens. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., and Judd Gregg, R-N.H. The premature closure of three nuclear plants in Illinois alone would result in $1.8 billion in lost economic activity per year. Nuclear plants account for 63% of the nation's carbon-free power and one-fifth of the country's overall electricity. Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model), The (04/30)

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