America would be less secure, less relevant and less of a leader in nuclear science and engineering without nuclear power, write David Gattie, an associate professor of environmental engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Georgia, and Scott Jones, director of the Center for International Trade and Security in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia. "This is an issue of national security and global leadership, and U.S. policymakers should work aggressively with U.S. industry to ensure that nuclear power remains viable," Gattie and Jones write.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has solicited public comments regarding potential emergency planning requirements related to the use of small modular reactors and other new nuclear energy technology. The new regulations are being developed because current regulations were developed with light water reactors in mind and fail to address the advances made in advanced reactor technologies, according to the NRC.
A bill that would revive the Yucca Mountain used nuclear fuel repository project in Nevada and give federal agencies more authority over it will be considered during a Wednesday hearing held by the House Energy and Commerce Committee's environment subpanel. "Now it is time to get our nation's nuclear waste management policy back on track through consideration of this legislative proposal," said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., and Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill.
Japan's Kyushu Electric Power has received the approval of Saga prefecture Gov. Yoshinori Yamaguchi to restart its Genkai Units 3 and 4. The approval follows similar consent from the mayor of Genkai and the municipal and prefectural assemblies, leaving Nuclear Regulation Authority screenings to be conducted before a restart.
Toshiba will break off its nuclear energy systems and solutions division along with its energy systems and solutions business and transfer them to a new wholly owned subsidiary. The move will "aim to refine governance and risk management structures so as to match their diverse business environments, and will directly secure the services of external auditors," according to Toshiba.
General Atomics has developed nuclear reactor fuel that uses uranium carbide instead of uranium oxide, which is normally used to fuel light water reactors. Helium coolant will make meltdowns impossible, and the fuel could also reduce the amount of used nuclear fuel to be disposed of, according to Christina Back, vice president of nuclear technologies and materials at General Atomics.
Dominion's Millstone nuclear plant in Connecticut prevents 8.3 million metric tons of carbon emissions each year, according to a Nuclear Energy Institute study. Millstone is at risk of premature closure, which must be prevented to maintain the economic and environmental benefits of the plant, writes former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol Browner, a member of the Nuclear Matters leadership council.
Areva will invest $12 million to replace the scrap uranium recovery facility at its Richland nuclear fuel plant in Washington state. The new facility will allow for improved operator safety during the purification of uranium materials.
Seven workers were treated by EMTs onsite last week after they were sickened by hydrazine fumes while working inside a nuclear reactor containment building at PSEG Nuclear's Salem Unit 2 in New Jersey. The utility cleared the area and ventilated it before work resumed inside, and officials said there was no threat to public safety.
Nevada Democratic Reps. Ruben Kihuen, Jacky Rosen and Dina Titus want to speak out against the revival of the Yucca Mountain used nuclear fuel repository project at a hearing this week. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., has toured the site and will chair the Wednesday meeting.
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