The Millstone nuclear plant in Connecticut will remain in service as plant owner Dominion Energy reached a decade-long deal with utility companies on Friday. The contract will provide a "modest financial uplift" for Dominion this year and going forward, said the company.
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission member Bernard McNamee said he hopes to prove he is independent when it comes to agency issues, including those involving nuclear plants. McNamee, elected to the FERC in December, previously helped review a federal proposal to subsidize nuclear plants.
The delays in renewing a Dangerous Waste Regulation Permit for Perma-Fix at the Hanford site are unnecessary, with the permit having been in the renewal process since 2009, suggest local leaders. "We currently are reviewing the company's fourth attempt to submit a complete and accurate application," said John Price of Washington state's Ecology Department.
Flooding in Nebraska caused the Cooper nuclear plant to declare a "Notice of Unusual Event," but it remained operational on Friday and Saturday. There was no leakage or threat to operations despite the main road near the plant -- U.S. 136 -- being completely shut down.
The $116 million included in President Donald Trump's budget proposal for Yucca Mountain, the proposed nuclear waste repository in Nevada, is "great news," said Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C. "[I]t's time to restart the program so we can move nuclear waste out of South Carolina and into long-term storage," said Duncan.
Nuclear waste storage startup Deep Isolation, which proposes to use horizontal drilling technology to store nuclear waste underground, hopes to partner with the federal government to develop permanent locations. The cost of Deep Isolation's proposed method would be about 66% less than the cost of a repository such as Yucca Mountain, according to Deep Isolation's chief of staff, Sophie McCallum.
NuScale has invested over $500 million in small modular reactor designs. However, the company's design still requires the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's final approval, which it may see in September 2020.
Brazil is looking to open up to foreign private investment, which would potentially allow countries like the US to invest in small nuclear reactors, as well as the Angra 3 nuclear plant, said Brazil's mines and energy minister, Bento Albuquerque. The countries are expected to discuss investment opportunities, Albuquerque said.
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