Russian company signs up for Rooppur studies

28 June 2013 A contract signed by NIAEP-AtomStroyExport of Russia with the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission will pave the way for preparations prior to the construction of Bangladesh’s first nuclear power plant. Russia has already agreed to provide a $500 million loan to finance the construction of a two-unit power plant at Rooppur. According to NIAEP, the newly signed contract will facilitate the preparation of documentation related to investment in construction and the environmental impact assessment for the plant, as well as providing for necessary engineering and environmental studies. The contract was signed during the international Atomexpo 2013 forum in St Petersburg by NIAEP president Valery Limarenko and Abu Sayed Mohammad Firoz of the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission. Limarenko said that the signing of the latest contract signalled a transition to a long-term cooperation. It is to be followed by further contracts covering the preparatory period, on project development and the implementation of priority construction works. Firoz, describing nuclear power as a “long-standing dream” for Bangladesh, said the latest contract was of great importance and would lead to “tangible results” for his country. Earlier this year, Rosatom head Sergei Kiryenko indicated that preparatory work could begin at the Rooppur site in 2014 prior to a 2015 construction start, if contracts for on-site surveys were signed during the first quarter of 2013 and contracts for feasibility studies, detailed design and engineering design and preparatory site works signed by the end of the year. NIAEP-AtomStroyExport was established in March 2012, bringing together power plant designer Nizhny Novgorod Atomenergoproekt with AtomStroyExport, the Russian state company responsible for overseas construction of nuclear power plants....
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URS to support Holtec SMR development

28 June 2013 Holtec International is teaming up with engineering, construction and technical services company URS Corporation to develop its SMR-160 small modular reactor (SMR). Under a memorandum of understanding signed recently, URS Nuclear – a unit of URS’ energy and construction division – will assist Holtec in the design and qualification of the various plant systems. Holtec said that as the SMR-160 is envisaged as a standardized design, the equipment layout as well as the selection of hardware features must be made with “careful consideration of the diverse climates and environmental conditions under which the power plants will be sited. Holtec describes the 160 MWe SMR-160 as an “autonomous and environmentally friendly” plant. Each unit occupies less than five acres (just over 2 hectares) of land and can be operated with conventional water or air cooling, making it suitable for sites without access to large volumes of water. Shaw and Areva Inc are also participating in development work on the project. The first SMR-160 would likely be built at the DoE’s Savannah River site, under a memorandum of agreement signed in March 2012. Similar public-private partnerships were signed by the DoE with Hyperion Power Generation and NuScale Power at the same time. General manager and president of URS’ power group Art Lembo commented, “The emergence of small modular reactors is among the most significant advancements in the global power industry today. URS is eager to support Holtec in bringing this advanced and affordable nuclear option to the power generation market.” Federal funds sought Holtec subsidiary SMR LLC submitted a formal proposal in early 2012 seeking a share of US Department of Energy (DoE) funding for small modular reactors (SMR) development. The DoE intends to fund up two designs for SMRs through a cost-shared partnership which will support first-of-a-kind engineering, design certification and licensing. Babcock & Wilcox (B&W), NuScale Nuclear and Westinghouse also applied for the funding. In November, the B&W mPower reactor was selected as the winner of the first round of funding, receiving access to $79 million to commercially demonstrate the design by 2022. A second round of funding has been announced, with the deadline for proposals being 1 July. The DoE anticipates awarding those funds by mid-January 2014. The maximum amount available in each of the first and second rounds is set at $226 million. Holtec earlier said that it would pay back any public money...
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Loan guarantee for Hinkley Point C

28 June 2013 The UK government has announced that EDF Energy’s proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant is eligible for a multi-billion pound loan guarantee. In a speech to Parliament on 27 June, chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander outlined the government’s infrastructure plan, which includes measures aimed at enabling up to £110 billion ($167 billion) of private sector investment in electricity infrastructure by 2020. The plan includes the extension of the UK guarantees scheme by two years to December 2016. A guarantee under this scheme is expected to help EDF Energy to secure financing for its Hinkley Point C project at a lower rate than would be possible without government backing. EDF Energy is planning to build two Areva EPR reactors at Hinkley Point. Planning consent for the estimated £14 billion ($21 billion) project was announced earlier this year, but EDF Energy is still locked in negotiations with the government over terms of the so-called contracts for difference (CfDs). These are intended to set a long-term price of electricity generation from low-carbon sources. A key element of a CfD is the ‘strike price’- the price that generators receive for electricity. Should the market price be below the strike price, then generators are paid the difference; should the market price exceed the strike price, then generators must pay back the difference. While the terms of the CfD strike price for the Hinkley Point C project are not yet finalised, the government has now announced the draft strike prices for renewable projects. These range from initial rates of £100 ($152) per megawatt hour (MWh) for onshore wind to £305 ($464) per MWh for tidal stream and wave technologies. The strike price for offshore wind would initially be £155 ($236) per MWh, dropping to £135 ($205) per MWh by 2019. The renewable CfDs would run for fifteen years and be linked to inflation. The energy policies announced this week would result in £60 billion ($91 billion) worth of investment in new nuclear plants by 2030, according to energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey. CfDs form a core component of the government’s strategy to bring forward investment in affordable low-carbon electricity generation – including renewables, carbon capture and storage and new nuclear,”he said. UK’s capacity challenge Alongside the raft of measures relating to electricity market reform announced 27 June, UK energy regulator Ofgem released its a report into electricity...
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Russia to increase nuclear power generation with safest technology – Putin

26 June Russian President Vladimir Putin described Russia’s plans to increase nuclear power generation using the most modern and safest technology available, including a new VVER reactor, during a meeting with Director General of the “Tomorrow in St. Petersburg you will be taking part in an international forum devoted to the development of atomic energy. I want to wish success in this work and remind [you] of our serious plans to develop atomic energy in the country. We plan to increase atomic generation in the next few years,” Putin told Amano. “It goes without saying that we are doing all this, and you well know this, with technologies that we call ‘post-Fukushima,’ that is, envisioning the maximum safe use of atomic energy for the world’s ends,” the Russian president said. Putin congratulated Amano with being elected a second time to the top IAEA post, saying that Russia is counting on continued work with and support from the agency. “I think that the international conference going on now in St. Petersburg is very timely, as more than two years have passed since the incident at Fukushima. Moreover, we know that your country plays a leading role in the design and development of nuclear technologies,” Amano said. The IAEA Director General is expected to take part in the high-level international conference Nuclear Energy in the 21st Century, which will take place in St Petersburg on June 27-29. The Russian abbreviation VVER stands for water-cooled, water-moderated energy reactor, which, for instance, is installed at the Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant in China and at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in India. Fuente:...
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Japan receives MOX shipment

27 June 2013 The first shipment of mixed oxide (MOX) fuel from Europe to Japan since the Fukushima accident in 2011 was completed today. Two ships – the Pacific Heron and the Pacific Egret – arrived at Kansai Electric Power Company’s (Kepco’s) Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture. Their cargo – 20 MOX fuel assemblies produced by Areva at its Melox plant – was then unloaded marking the completion of the fifth such MOX shipment to Japan. The vessels, owned by Pacific Nuclear Transport Ltd (PNTL) – a subsidiary of International Nuclear Services (INS) – left the French port of Cherbourg on 17 April and travelled to Japan via the Cape of Good Hope and the south-western Pacific Ocean. Areva signed a contract with Kepco in November 2008 to supply 32  fuel assemblies for use in Takahama units 3 and 4. The shipment, which was postponed following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, could be seen as a sign of confidence by the Japanese utilities of restarting their reactors. All but two of the country’s power reactors remain offline. However, last week Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) specified the regulations utilities will be required to meet in order to restart their reactors. However, additional approvals may be needed for utilities to use MOX fuel. MOX fuel contains plutonium recovered from used fuel by reprocessing. Used fuel from Japan, and other countries, has been routinely reprocessed in Europe, with MOX fuel and high-level waste being returned. Japan is working towards opening its own MOX fabrication facility, and has not sent used fuel to Europe for reprocessing since 1998. In February  1997, the Japanese government stated that, in line with the country’s long-term  commitment to nuclear energy, it was necessary for Japan to start using MOX fuel  in its commercial nuclear reactors. Following this announcement, the Japanese  electric power companies unveiled their plans to use MOX fuel in 16 to 18  reactors. Since then, several MOX fabrication contracts have started this  process. Commissioning of the Rokkasho reprocessing plant in Japan, which is based on the Areva’s La Hague technology, has been making slow progress since 2006. Earlier this month, Areva signed a new strategic agreement with Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd (JFNL) to bring the Rokkasho-mura recycling plant into commercial operation, including active testing, the start-up itself, capacity ramp-up and plant optimisation. Fuente:...
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