Tag archives for nuclear power

After more than a two-year hiatus, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is once again renewing licenses for aging nuclear power plants. The independent federal agency gave a 20-year license renewal on Oct. 20 to Limerick Generating Station Units 1 and 2 near Philadelphia and is now reviewing renewal applications for 17 additional reactors, including Indian…

Which is more important: Meeting energy demand, lowering carbon emissions, or conserving water? How about all three? The Three Big Challenges Facing the Electric Power Industry The U.S. electric power industry has huge challenges to meet in the coming decades. First and foremost it has to meet growing demand for electricity. By 2050 it is…

Vermont’s nuclear power era is almost over. Entergy Corporation will shutter Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in 2014, ending nuclear power production in the Green Mountain State. Tuesday’s announcement ended years of controversy and legal wrangling over the plant’s future; in the end, the millions of dollars needed to run the facility simply no longer…

A lot of the debate over energy and climate change has focused on changing how people live. But in a lot of ways, where someone lives is as important as how they live. Not all parts of the United States are the same when it comes to how much and what kind of energy is…

After world-leading energy efficiency gains in the 1970s, Japan’s energy kaizen stagnated. Japanese industry remains among the most efficient of 11 major industrial nations, but Japan now ranks tenth among them in industrial cogeneration and commercial building efficiency, eighth in truck efficiency, and ties with the U.S. for next-to-last in car efficiency.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has delayed a final decision on requiring filters for emergency vents on the 31 U.S. nuclear reactors that are  similar in design to those at Japan’s ill-fated Fukushima Daiichi. NRC staff experts earlier concluded the vents should be outfitted with filters, even though the chance of a failure that would require…

Reports of a 7.3 magnitude earthquake in Japan Friday sparked fears of a tsunami and potential nuclear plant damage, with the impact of the 9.0 magnitude 2011 Tohoku earthquake and ensuing Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster still being felt in Japan’s energy landscape a year and a half later. The latest quake occurred east of Sendai,…

No ignition at the U.S. National Ignition Facility, home to the world’s largest laser.

How do Obama’s words on energy compare to Team Romney’s? Last week, while the Republicans were celebrating the Romney-Ryan ticket in Tampa, Florida, we posted a count-the-words analysis of their energy plan. The plan’s overall aim is to achieve energy independence for North America. The numbers told us the path to independence for the Romney…

Oil, gas, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, efficiency. Which are the Republican hopefuls’ priorities? This week, it’s convention time for the Republican presidential and vice presidential nominees. Last week, the Romney-Ryan team rolled out its energy policy [pdf] for the nation. Entitled “The Romney Plan For A Stronger Middle Class: ENERGY INDEPENDENCE,” the new plan, running…

In a sign of the severity of this summer’s record heat, one of the two reactors at Connecticut’s only nuclear power plant has been shut down due to historically high water temperatures in Long Island Sound, source of the facility’s cooling water. Unit 2 of Millstone Power Plant near New London was shut down Sunday…

Gregory Jaczko, chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, announced his resignation this week, but he is still making pointed comments about the need to strengthen regulations to ensure nuclear power plants are safer. “I think the Fukushima event was a wake-up call, hopefully for everyone,” Jaczko said in a news conference today, referring to…

One of our fathers had a sign in his garage: “If you don’t have time now to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” That line comes to mind with the latest energy news from Japan, which is embarking on a massive switch in its energy policy, on the fly.…

Taxpayers could end up being on the hook for a very large bill. Subsidies have been very much on the minds of lawmakers of late. The Obama administration failed in its bid to get Congress to withdraw the substantial subsidies we provide to the oil and gas industry. And the New York Times reports that…

One year after the Fukushima disaster in Japan, the nuclear industry is still grappling with how to handle the risks that come with extreme natural disasters. What if something similar happened in the United States? According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, there were five nuclear shutdowns in the U.S. last year, all due to…

A look at things a year after one of the world’s worst nuclear accidents. On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake erupted some 50 miles off Japan’s Tohoku coast. The ensuing tsunamis set off by the quake devastated communities up and down the Japanese coast, killing some 20,000 people. The one-two natural-disaster punch also…

Sometimes the decisions we make are less decisive than they seem. Last week, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued its first license for a new plant in forty years. But that decision, significant though it is, doesn’t do anything to settle the major questions we face on energy. Here’s three points to consider when you think…

A report released Wednesday by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) attempts to provide the first-ever public assessment of nuclear security in 176 countries. The NTI Nuclear Materials Security Index, developed with the Economist Intelligence Unit, foremost provides a security ranking for the 32 countries possessing nuclear materials, with Australia scoring highest. Japan, still reeling from…

In North Korea’s capital city of Pyongyang, pictured above last year on May Day, light radiates from Juche Tower, the monument built to commemorate the 70th birthday of ruler Kim Il Sung in 1982. But that power did not flow to the nation’s people. Among the deprivations that marked the nuclear-armed era of Kim’s son,…

After reaching an all-time high in 2010, this year the nuclear power capacity—the amount of electricity that all the world’s nuclear power plants can produce—took a dip. (Related: World Electricity Mix Interactive) The earthquake-tsunami disaster at the Fukushima power plants in Japan, which are still being cleaned up, led many to sour on nuclear energy.…

Dominion Virginia Power has restarted the first of two nuclear reactors at the North Anna Power Station in Louisa County, Va., for the first time since a 5.8-magnitude earthquake struck the area on August 23. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission granted the company permission to restart the reactors on Friday. The quake’s epicenter was just…

A group of 285 large investors, representing more than $20 trillion in assets, urged world governments to forge a binding treaty at upcoming climate negotiations in Durban, South Africa, and said global spending has not been nearly enough to keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius. The call came from a coalition of four green investment…

The North Anna nuclear facility that shut down following Virginia’s 5.8-magnitude earthquake in August remains offline, but regulators say the plant sustained “no significant damage” and that the plant operator’s response protected public safety. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission held a public meeting Monday during which it summarized its findings in the wake of North Anna’s…

The U.S. nuclear industry needs more qualified people and better equipment to assess seismic risk for its nuclear plants, panelists told regulators in a meeting on post-Fukushima safety recommendations this week in Rockville, Md. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Japan Near-Term Task Force report, which was released in July, outlined 12 action items for bolstering plant…

The North Anna nuclear power plant in Louisa, Va., has restored its normal power supply after a 5.8-magnitude earthquake forced it to operate on back-up generators briefly Tuesday, but the plant remains offline as inspections continue. Jim Norvelle, spokesman for plant operator Dominion Virginia Power, said Wednesday that the plant “will be shut down until…