June 12, 2011

Carnival of Nuclear Energy 56: Nuclear Politics, Future Plans and Germany, Germany, Germany

The Carnival of nuclear energy 56 is up at NEI Nuclear notes

Rod Adams at Atomic Insights indicates the NRC appears to be wavering in its commitment to its own established process because some believe that receiving 14,000 emails on the AP1000 design certification indicates a high level of general public opposition. Rod notes that the emails are mainly from a single group, the FOE (Friends of the Earth), who have professionally opposed nuclear energy for 40 years. The group claims credit for orchestrating nearly every one of those emails as part of a campaign against nuclear energy in general, not against the AP1000 in particular. The FOE sources who have identified the cited "technical issues" have questionable professional backgrounds, long histories of antinuclear activity, and little credibility.

Cool Hand Nuke - the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is getting ready to formally ask its board of directors this August to approve completion of the 1,260 MW PWR plant which halted in the late 1980s. TVA CEO Tom Kilgore told the news media June 3 Bellefonte Unit 1 could be delivering power to the grid by 2018-2020.

Deregulate the Atom - The Institute for Nuclear Power Operations in the US and the World Association of Nuclear Operators deserve a lot of the credit for improvements in safety and other design improvements. They are the Nuclear Industry’s self regulating bodies. And most of the accomplishments were made within the 10 or so years after the Three Mile Island accident. I point this out to set the record straight about who and how the excellent record of safety that has come about in the nuclear industry is not at all understood.

Atomic Power Review provides an update of Fukushima Daiichi.

TEPCO is now testing its large water purification facility, assembled over the last week or so. TEPCO still intends to have this equipment functioning within the next week.

Water injection rates to the reactor plants remain unchanged. Temperatures at No. 1 and No. 2 plants are stable, but No. 3 continues to drift upward, with bottom vessel head temp at last report being 189.2C (372.6 F).

Today, in the effort to gain working access to all reactor buildings for restoration of pressure and water level detection, and restoration of spent fuel pool systems, TEPCO finally opened up the double air lock doors at No. 2 plant and began working on filtering the air. In No. 3 plant, gamma camera surveys were conducted to map out the areas of high radiation in preparation for the aforementioned events and for the preparations for nitrogen injection to the primary containment. Areas of up to 10R/hr were found in No. 3 plant's reactor building. Nitrogen injection to No. 1 plant still continues, only rarely interrupted due to outage or nitrogen generator problems so that at the moment TEPCO estimates that over 43,000 cubic meters of nitrogen gas have been injected to the dry well for the purpose of inertion (against hydrogen gas combustion / explosion.)

Personnel have entered No. 4 plant as noted earlier to support the spent fuel pool.

The IEA's Monthly Electricity Statistics for March 2011 showed nuclear generation at 185.6 TWh (1.2 % ahead of March 2010). For the year to date up to March, 2011 the OECD is 13.5 TWh ahead of the pace of 2010.

Japan's nuclear generation in April when they were fully into the Tsunami causes Fukushima problems was 17 TWh. 3 TWh lower than March.

Lawrenceville Plasma Physics’s (LPP) research team has sorted out several issues on their dense plasma focus fusion project which should enable them to increase power substantially (perhaps 2 orders of magnitude, which would leave them 3 orders of magnitude to go.)

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