Climate change research and diversity in the sciences could take center stage at the Department of Energy's Office of Science if Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, President Joe Biden's nominee to head the office, is confirmed by the Senate, experts say. The Office of Science sponsors six research programs, including nuclear physics and fusion energy sciences.
Speaking at a virtual conference, NextEra Energy Chairman and CEO Jim Robo said the role of nuclear power in decarbonization is "clearly very important" and that global decarbonization efforts regress every time a nuclear reactor unit is closed. Robo says he is optimistic about nuclear power's future in the US because the Biden administration recognizes its importance for achieving emission goals.
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Pacific Gas & Electric plans to shut down units one and two at its Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in California in 2024 and 2025, respectively, and invest $350 million in a dry cask storage system to store the spent fuel after decommissioning, PG&E said during a public meeting. Another public meeting is scheduled for Aug. 25 to discuss potential uses for the Diablo facilities and lands after decommissioning.
The firm responsible for decommissioning the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant in New Jersey has finished transferring 33 casks of spent nuclear fuel from the site to dry storage. The firm said moving the waste in just 32 months after the plant permanently shut down was "a new world record."
The Advanced Test Reactor at Idaho National Laboratory will be offline for nine months as it undergoes a once-in-a-decade replacement of fuel and internal components, as well as the installation of a new top head closure plate. The ATR supports academic and industry research around the world, and about half of its capacity is used to support the US Navy and the Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Energy.
Japanese engineering firm IHI will purchase an $18.4 million stake in US small modular reactor developer NuScale Power next month, with the possibility to expand it to $36.5 million. IHI will also supply some nuclear reactor components, including reactor core containment structures, to NuScale's SMR project in Idaho.
Spain should reevaluate its decision to phase out its nuclear fleet by 2035, and instead consider leveraging its nuclear infrastructure and workforce to achieve long-term carbon neutrality by 2050, advises a report from the International Energy Agency. The report also urges Spain to include a centralized storage facility and a deep geological repository in its nuclear strategy to avoid cost overruns from plant decommissioning and radioactive waste management.
A survey conducted by Japan's Board of Audit found that 12,894 of the 561,232 decontaminated locations close to the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant did not see a drop in radiation doses, despite cleanup efforts. The area where the decontamination work took place between 2012 and 2017 covers 11 municipalities in Fukushima prefecture.
The July issue of Nuclear News will feature editorial on Health Physics and Isotopes & Radiation, including radiation events during space flights, a lab's work on electronics and radiation, a company's research in the area of medical isotopes, and more. Advertise or subscribe by June 3. Learn more.