Entergy's Pilgrim nuclear plant in Massachusetts can't close earlier than its planned June 2019 retirement as critics have suggested because the grid is underfueled and Entergy has a contractual obligation, writes Matthew Cordaro, former president and CEO of the Midwest Independent System Operator. Generators had to use coal and oil to supply the grid this winter, and there are no better short-term options to replace nuclear power if Pilgrim closes early, he writes.
Whistler waves, which are often formed by lightning, have been found in the plasma of a nuclear fusion tokamak during a reaction. The properties of whistler waves could keep runaway electrons from causing damage to the tokamak and disrupting the process.
A carbon tax would help keep existing nuclear energy plants in operation by rewarding its clean energy generation without giving a lifeline to coal plants, Chris Tomlinson writes. Many nuclear operators also own coal plants and are asking for support for their entire fleet, linking nuclear power with coal power.
Representatives from Holtec International and the Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance answered questions Friday from the New Mexico lawmakers about plans to build an interim storage facility in southeastern New Mexico. Lawmakers voiced concerns that with no permanent repository being established by the federal government, the New Mexico site could become the default permanent repository.
The UK government has put out a tender for a company that would go to international nuclear power plants and other sites with sensitive nuclear information to train employees on security procedures to prevent attacks. This move is part of an ongoing push to increase security and awareness of nuclear plants as potential terrorist targets.
Tokyo Electric Power's Fukushima nuclear power plant produces 160 tons of tritium water each day, and the site has almost no more capacity to add storage tanks for the water. The Japanese government and TEPCO have not yet agreed upon a way to dispose of the tritium water but will likely need to make a decision in the near future.
The federal government and NextEra Energy are arguing their cases in a federal appeals court over whether used nuclear fuel storage fees qualify for tax deductions. The government argues that NextEra is treating the storage of used fuel as a decommissioning cost rather than an operating cost.
Guanyu Su, a nuclear science and engineering Ph.D. student at MIT, is studying heat transfer in nuclear reactors, which may lead to reactors someday being able to run hotter and generate more electricity. "To increase efficiency and maintain safety, we need new ideas and techniques," he said.
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