The April 26, 1986, disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine has been described as the worst nuclear power accident in history. Thirty-five years on, the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone has inspired its own form of tourism and Ukrainian authorities are pushing for its inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The Department of Energy and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency plan to work with the power industry over the next 100 days to strengthen the US electric grid against cyberattacks. The initiative will work to modernize cybersecurity defenses by advancing "technologies and systems that will provide cyber visibility, detection, and response capabilities for industrial control systems of electric utilities," the department said.
Georgia Power has begun hot functional testing for Unit 3 of its $25 billion Vogtle nuclear power plant expansion project in Georgia and installed a passive containment cooling water storage tank at Unit 4. Unit 3 is expected to enter service later this year or in early 2022, while Unit 4 is due to come online in late 2022.
Last week's Leaders Summit on Climate hosted by the Biden administration featured leaders from numerous countries, NGOs and private companies. In this podcast, Justin Gerdes from Energy Monitor highlights all the big news and memorable moments, including some of the emissions reduction targets that were announced and industries that are primed for decarbonization.
A coalition of nuclear organizations is urging the Biden administration to expedite the cleanup of contaminated sites by appropriating an extra $7.25 billion for the Department of Energy's Environmental Management office. The groups claim the funding "could reduce one of the federal government's largest liabilities, accelerate the national defense mission, advance environmental justice and build a nuclear workforce for the future."
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi introduced a new radioactive waste repository at the Chernobyl power plant on the 35th anniversary of the nuclear disaster. The repository, located in the uninhabited exclusion zone around the plant, will also receive waste from Ukraine's four operational nuclear power plants.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a news briefing that China will participate in the International Atomic Energy Agency's efforts to monitor Japan's planned release of radioactive wastewater from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the ocean. "The IAEA is actively setting up this working group now and has recently confirmed to China that it would invite Chinese experts to join the group," Wang said.
The Republic of Kazakhstan's JSC National Atomic Company Kazatomprom has agreed to sell a 49% stake in its Ortalyk uranium mining operation to China General Nuclear Power Corporation for $435 million, pending government approval. Kazatomprom was responsible for nearly 23% of global primary uranium production in 2020.
The June issue of Nuclear News will have a theme of Instrumentation & Controls and will focus on topics such as the NRC's modernized digital I&C infrastructure, the future of I&C regulation, and I&C innovations from the TCR Program. Advertise or subscribe by May 3. Learn more.