Tuesday, January 05, 2010

US Nuclear Power Stalled by Regulations

Six US power companies are trying to get the European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) approved by the US NRC. A Fresno, California group is making plans to build one or two EPR reactors in California's San Joaquin Valley. Very optimistic of them.
AREVA and Fresno Nuclear Energy Group (FNEG) have signed a Letter of Intent to formalize cooperation in the development of one or two EPR™ reactors in Central Valley (California, United States).

FNEG is a group of investors that wishes to acquire the EPR™ generation 3+ technology to provide an environmentally responsible source of electricity to further develop the agricultural industry within Central Valley.

...The two companies will work together on the initial development and permitting process. In 2010, AREVA and FNEG will begin a series of studies to identify the most feasible site for a new nuclear power plant in California.

Certification of the EPR™ reactor is currently underway in the United States and six power companies (Constellation, PPL, AmerenUE, Amarillo Power, AEHI and Duke Energy) have already chosen the EPR™ for a total of eight potential reactor construction projects. _Nuclear News

A San Antonio, Texas nuclear plant expansion project (South Texas Project) involving Toshiba (NINA), has been thrown into disarray due to many delays and cost overruns -- most of which are due to US DOE incompetence.

Meanwhile, a new Russian joint venture is attempting to commercialise a new small (100 MWe) factory built and fueled fast reactor.
It uses chemically inert heavy liquid metal coolant in a primary circuit entirely integrated into the reactor pressure vessel. The coolant increases from 345 °C to 495 °C on passage through the reactor core and this heat is transferred to a secondary circuit and used to drive a steam turbine. From a gross thermal power of 280 MWt the net output would be 100 MWe, although smaller models are also on the drawing board and the original submarine version produced 155 MWt.

The reactor unit would be factory assembled and shipped to site for installation inside a tank of water that would provide passive heat removal and radiation shielding. Uranium oxide enriched to 16.5% uranium-235 would be one fuelling option. Reloads would only be carried out every seven to eight years. _WNN

Construction continues on new Chinese nuclear plants at various locations -- as China takes economic growth more seriously than does the Obama - Pelosi reich.  



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