Nuclear power

  • Replacing uranium with thorium to lead to safer, sustainable nuclear power

    With the 50 percent increase in global population which is expected over the next fifty years, in order just to maintain per capita electricity consumption, a major power station would need to go online every day somewhere in the world; if this increase in power production is going to be low-carbon, then nuclear power has to play a role in that; scientists say; if uranium was replaced by thorium as a fuel source, current reactor technology could be used and nuclear waste could be safely recycled indefinitely

  • Big step taken to develop nuclear fusion power

    Unlike today’s nuclear fission reactors, fusion reactors use a similar process as that which powers the sun; researchers have successfully developed a key technology in developing an experimental reactor that can demonstrate the feasibility of fusion energy for the power grid; nuclear fusion promises to supply more energy than the nuclear fission used today but with far fewer risks

  • Experts: stronger regulation of military, civilian nuclear programs required

    All nuclear energy and weapons programs should be independently regulated and subject to rigorous peer review, according to three experts on nuclear policy who held high office in different U.S. administrations; they note that despite international diplomatic efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and ensure that nuclear material is protected against theft, there is growing apprehension about terrorists acquiring weapons or nuclear material

  • Entergy’s Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station gets new 20-year license

    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) yesterday announced its decision to renew the operating license for Entergy’s Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Massachusetts; the approval means the NRC has concluded there is no safety or environmental issue that precludes renewal of the plant’s license to operate for an additional twenty years

  • Sandia Labs technology used to clean up Fukushima after disaster

    A Sandia Lab-developed technology — crystalline silico-titanate, or CST — is a molecular sieve that can separate highly volatile elements from radioactive wastewater; the technology has been used to remove radioactive material from more than forty-three million gallons of contaminated wastewater at Japan’s damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant

  • Probability of nuclear reactor core meltdown higher than expected

    Currently, there are 440 nuclear reactors in operation, and sixty more are planned; new research finds that reactor accidents involving a core meltdown, as were the Chernobyl and Fukushima, may occur once every ten to twenty years — some 200 times more often than estimated in the past; the authors of the study note that they did not take into account potential contributing factors to accidents such as the age and type of reactors, or whether reactors are located in regions of enhanced risks such as earthquakes

  • Westinghouse, Missouri utilities promote Westinghouse Small Modular Reactor

    Westinghouse Electric Company and the Missouri Electric Alliance led by Ameren Missouri have formed a utility participation group called the NexStart SMR Alliance; alliance members signed a Memorandum of Understanding that highlights the importance of advancing nuclear energy by deploying the Westinghouse Small Modular Reactor (SMR)

  • Seismic safety worries about South Carolina nuclear fuel facility

    The worries about the seismic safety of nuclear energy-related facilities, worries which have only grown since the March 2011 Fukushima disaster, extend not only to nuclear power reactor, but to other facilities as well; the most recent example is a Westinghouse facility outside Columbia, South Carolina, one of only three facilities in the United States which make nuclear fuel for commercial reactors

  • Westinghouse AP1000 reactor concludes qualification testing

    Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear reactor’s design differs from earlier reactor design in that it employs passive safety systems which rely only on natural forces such as gravity safely to shutdown and remain cool; Westinghouse says it has successfully completed the design, manufacture, and qualification of the lead AP1000 Reactor Coolant Pump

  • Small modular nuclear reactor may come to South Carolina

    The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) recently announced federal award totaling up to $452 million to support engineering, design certification, and licensing for up to two first-of-its kind small modular nuclear reactor (SMR) designs; a South Carolina-based organization dedicated to promoting innovative nuclear power generation wants to bring one such SMR to the state

  • U.S. nuclear industry strong safety performance in 2011

    Studies show that the U.S. nuclear power industry achieved strong safety performance in 2011; U.S. nuclear energy facilities in 2011 recorded the lowest number of unplanned shutdowns in more than a decade

  • Nuclear power stations launches emergency operations center

    The new 12,000 square-foot facility at the Beaver Valley Power Station supports overall management of activities related to maintaining public health and safety during the emergency at the plant

  • Fusion presents low proliferation risk

    American researchers have shown that prospective magnetic fusion power systems would pose a much lower risk of being used for the production of weapon-usable materials than nuclear fission reactors and their associated fuel cycle

  • New nuclear program to address U.K. capability gap

    A joint project between the Universities of Manchester and Sheffield for a New Nuclear Build and Manufacturing (NNUMAN) program has been awarded £4 million funding by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to research innovative manufacturing for the future of the U.K. nuclear power supply

  • New method for cleaning up nuclear waste

    There are more than 436 nuclear power plants operating in thirty countries, and they create a lot of nuclear waste; one of the more toxic elements in that waste is radionuclide technetium (99Tc); approximately 305 metric tons of 99Tc were generated from nuclear reactors and weapons testing from 1943 through 2010