Managing Aging Nuclear Storage Canisters
The Electric Power Research Institute, EPRI, will publish nuclear aging management and inspection guidance in early 2017. These will address the potential for chloride-induced stress corrosion cracking in welded stainless steel canisters in dry-cask storage systems.
Military Rivalry Fueled Nuclear Program
Leonard Hyman and William Tilles
If we had to choose a new nuclear generating technology today, we would emphasize one that had no potential for catastrophic failure and minimized problems of long term waste storage. Perhaps we should revisit the path not taken: a thorium-fueled nuclear reactor design.
Reprocessing nuclear fuel is a sustainable and viable option.
Reprocessing nuclear fuel separates the uranium and the plutonium for the rest of the spent fuel, enabling plant operators to reuse the uranium. But concerns over nuclear proliferation are stopping it in this country.
Tomorrow’s options for low-carbon baseload generation.
The nuclear renaissance might be postponed, but technologies continue advancing. The next generation of plants will apply innovation for safety, efficiency, and modularity.
Interim steps toward solving America’s spent-fuel dilemma.
New legislation could clear the path toward a sustainable strategy for storing spent nuclear fuel. Complexities and disagreements, however, might scuttle the effort.
Former Progress Energy CEO checks in from his new job at TVA.
Michael T. Burr, Editor-in-Chief
Fortnightly speaks with William Johnson, CEO of the Tennessee Valley Authority, about managing the country’s biggest government-owned power supplier.
The Blue Ribbon Commission’s best answer for the nuclear waste dilemma.
As the Fukushima-Daiichi crisis unfolds, the U.S. DOE’s Blue Ribbon Commission is preparing its initial recommendations on how America should deal with its commercial nuclear waste. Early indicators suggest it will endorse the so-called fedcorp model—creating an independent federal corporation, similar to TVA. But a fedcorp structure, by itself, won’t resolve the spent-fuel dilemma. Success will require a strong mandate, consistent funding—and a totally new approach to siting and management.
Could a TVA-style Fed Corp model be the answer to America’s ongoing nuclear waste dilemma? A bill sponsored by the new Senate Energy Committee chairman proposes to create just such a corporation. Constellation’s Henry (Brew) Barron discusses the proposal — and its prospects for enactment in the current political environment.
Higher prices to come?
For decades, global uranium suppliers have been providing low cost reactor fuel in plentiful supplies. However the market is changing, and nuclear fuel prices are set to increase. Some plants will be affected more than others, but the age of uranium cost certainty is coming to an end.
Reviving hope for spent-fuel storage.
With Yucca Mountain declared dead, America’s nuclear power industry needs new solutions for managing spent fuel. Although the task is complicated, examples of siting success provide hope that a collaborative approach can close the nuclear fuel cycle.