TVA board clears revised cost estimate for Tenn. reactor project | Industry, regulators mull further extensions for nuclear plants | WCS secures Texas regulator's approval for waste-storage project
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April 27, 2012
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TVA board clears revised cost estimate for Tenn. reactor project
A revised cost estimate for the completion of the Unit 2 reactor of the Watts Bar nuclear plant in Tennessee cleared the Tennessee Valley Authority board. The board accepted a revision that increases the project's total cost to as much as $4.5 billion. Finishing the reactor "will help us deliver a balanced mix of energy sources and increase our supply of emission-free electricity," said Tom Kilgore, TVA's president and CEO. The Tennessean (Nashville) (tiered subscription model)/The Associated Press (4/26)
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Industry, regulators mull further extensions for nuclear plants
Federal regulators and industry officials are studying whether to add another 20 years to the standard license extension for nuclear plants, which would allow such facilities to operate for 80 years. While the idea could raise concerns, particularly in the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi incident in Japan, nuclear plants are subject to constant renewal and maintenance, said John Keeley, a spokesman for the Nuclear Energy Institute. "Often, the only thing that's 40 years old in a 40-year-old nuclear plant is the license," Keeley said. AOL Energy (4/26)
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WCS secures Texas regulator's approval for waste-storage project
The firm Waste Control Specialists secured the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's approval to start storing low-level radioactive waste from 38 states at a site in West Texas. Texas now has a safe solution for the disposal of the material, said Chuck McDonald, a spokesman for the company. "The state of Texas has been diligent and thorough in its oversight of this facility, which is the most robust disposal facility ever constructed in the United States," he said. CNBC/The Associated Press (4/26)
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Consumers, developers stand to benefit from cost-recovery programs
Cost-recovery programs play a key role in the development of new nuclear facilities, writes Jim Sullivan, former president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and a former chairman of the Alabama Public Service Commission. A bill being tackled by Iowa lawmakers contains such a provision, which would allow utilities to recoup from customers the financing costs for a project while it is being developed. A utility avoids paying "interest on interest" by doing so, Sullivan writes. The Gazette (Cedar Rapids-Marion, Iowa) (4/26)
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Policy Watch
Rep. Wilson rolls out bill to revive Nevada repository
Legislation unveiled by Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., would penalize the Obama administration if it doesn't reinstate the Yucca Mountain repository in Nevada as the country's designated location for radioactive waste. Waste-transfer procedures should commence by Jan. 1, 2017, otherwise the Department of Energy would be required to pay the states storing the material up to $100 million annually. "Over the past 29 years, South Carolinians have paid over $1.3 billion for the establishment of a nuclear repository at Yucca Mountain, making our state the third-highest contributor," Wilson said. Aiken Standard (S.C.) (4/26)
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Management & Leadership
3 ways to help your organization soar to success
Leaders need three things to keep their organization flying high, says Craig Fuller, CEO of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. First, develop a clear strategy; next, recruit the best people you can find; and finally, make sure that you have the right people in the right roles. "Get these things right, and success will follow," Fuller promises. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (4/25)
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Why Napoleon hated time-wasters
In the heat of battle, Napoleon once told an underling, "You may ask me for anything you like except time." Modern leaders should take a similarly strong line on time-wasters and procrastinators, writes W. Thomas Smith Jr. "Procrastination for a leader is nothing less than the disregarding of opportunity, the irresponsible mismanagement of assets and the negligence of people," he warns. DailyCaller.com (4/25)
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International
Swiss nuclear plants clear EU-ordered stress tests
All of Switzerland's nuclear plants have passed European Union-mandated stress tests for such facilities. The plants had shown "high safety margins and strong robustness" and received a "special mention" for having multiple layers of security of energy supply, according to the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate. SwissInfo (4/26)
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Committee seeks to revive Bulgarian nuclear project
Former Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev and several others have created a committee that will petition for a referendum on the Belene nuclear project in Bulgaria, which was abandoned this past month after the government said it was "economically unfeasible." "A country that has nuclear energy would have a strong economy," said Stefan Vodenicharov, head of the committee. Novinite (Sofia, Bulgaria) (4/26)
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SmartQuote
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen."
-- John Steinbeck,
American writer
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