1. A two-reactor nuclear power plant at Fangchenggang in autonomous Guangxi province has been approved by Chinese officials.
Having already completed site preparation, project lead China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corporation is expected to officially start construction later in July and put the reactors into operation in 2015 and 2016. Fangchenggang will feature two domestically developed CPR-1000 units producing 1037 MWe each for a grand total of 24 billion yuan ($3.5 billion), with four more planned to follow.
2. A University of Texas nanomaterial researcher will simulate the cracks that form in the metal-alloy surface, or cladding, of nuclear fuel rods. These cracks – which develop in the stressful reactor environment of tremendous heat, corrosion, irradiation and pressure – are microscopic in size but can cause a reduction in the fuel burn-up rate, decreasing power station efficiency and increasing nuclear waste.
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