TVA moving ahead with Babcock & Wilcox mPower small modular reactor; Bechtel begins refueling and uprate work at Xcel's Monticello plant; NRG starts...
The US Department of Energy (DOE) launched a new five-year research and development project to design and demonstrate dry cask storage technology for high burn-up spent nuclear fuel. The project, to be led the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), will be funded at least 20 percent by private industry, according to DOE, which intends to invest $15.8 million in the research over a five-year period. DOE studied the current long-term dry cask systems used to store spent nuclear fuel and has “identified areas for continued research and data collection related to the storage of high burn-up spent fuel.” EPRI aims to finalize a testing plant by the end of 2013. Activities from 2014 through 2016 will focus on designing the instrumented lid, obtaining a license for the modified lid, identifying the fuel rods to be included in the test program, procuring the cask, and conducting a dry run.
Florida Power & Light completed a five-year, multibillion-dollar investment to upgrade its Turkey Point and St. Lucie nuclear plants, adding more than 500 MW of energy capacity. The upgrades of Turkey Point Unit 3, located in Miami-Dade County, and St. Lucie Units 1 and 2, located in St. Lucie County, were completed in 2012. FPL says it exceeded the initial 399 MW expected for the entire project at the end of 2012, with total capacity exceeding plans by nearly 30 percent.
Babcock & Wilcox mPower (B&W mPower) and the DOE signed a cooperative agreement for funding through DOE’s small modular reactor (SMR) licensing technical support program. For the first year of the program, $79 million will be immediately available to support development and licensing of B&W’s mPower technology. DOE says that about $150 million will be made conditionally available during the five-year period of the award, with the possibility of $76 million or more of additional federal funding in the future.
Panda Energy awarded an engineering, procurement, and construction contract to Bechtel for the Panda Temple II generating station, a 758-MW natural gas-fueled, combined-cycle power plant in Temple, Texas, south of Dallas. Bechtel also is designing and building the adjacent Panda Temple I project, and the Panda Sherman power project in Sherman, Texas. Siemens will provide the power-island package, including the natural gas and steam turbines, and waste heat recovery boilers. This is the third power facility to be built by Bechtel and consortium partner Siemens for Panda Power Funds.
Siemens entered a long-term service contract for the largest combined cycle power plant in Russia, the 800-MW Kirishi power plant, which was repowered in March 2012. Per the agreement, Siemens will provide maintenance of the gas turbines and generators for 12 years. Kirishi was the first combined-cycle repowering project in Russia, and it increased the unit’s capacity from 300 MW to 800 MW, and raised its efficiency from 38 percent to 55 percent.
American Electric Power (AEP) selected Open Systems International (OSI) to provide two generation management systems for the company’s generation assets in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) and PJM markets. The generation management systems are based on OSI’s monarch (Multi-platform Open