NRC approves final rule on used fuel storage

27 August 2014

The issuance of licences for new US nuclear power reactors and the extension of operating licences for existing ones will soon resume following the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC's) approval of a final rule on the continued storage of used fuel.

The rule updates the NRC's 2010 "waste confidence" decision which doubled the period allowed for onsite storage of used fuel to 60 years but was then overturned by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in June 2012 because it said the agency had failed to consider what would happen if a repository is never built, or the environmental impact of potential fires and used fuel pool leaks at nuclear power plants.

The NRC responded to the court ruling by suspending final licensing decisions on new reactors, reactor licence extensions and used fuel storage facility licence renewals. The commission directed NRC staff to develop a new rule and a supporting generic environmental impact statement within two years.

Ukrainian used fuel store under construction

27 August 2014

Ukraine CSFSF ceremony 48A ceremony has been held to mark the start of construction of Ukraine's central used fuel storage facility, which is being built near resettled villages in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

China Three Gorges to invest in nuclear

26 August 2014

China National Nuclear Corporation has signed a cooperation agreement with hydroelectric company China Three Gorges Corporation. The two companies will work together on nuclear power projects.

Uprates approved for Peach Bottom reactors

26 August 2014

Peach Bottom 48An increase in power output of over 12% at each of units 2 and 3 of the Peach Bottom nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania has been approved by the US nuclear regulator.

Cooperation deal to develop advanced reactor

27 August 2014

PGSFR (KAERI) 44x48South Korean designers have secured help from Argonne National Laboratory to develop an advanced reactor, which is partly based on America's successful EBR-II prototype. A 150 MWe sodium-cooled demonstration unit is slated for 2028.

Polish public supports nuclear plan

26 August 2014

Public support for the construction of Poland's first nuclear power plant has soared to 64%, but an independent Polish think-tank warns that public debate must be refocused away from current concerns about international political crises if that support is to be long lived.

Final voyage for Atlantic Osprey

22 August 2014

Atlantic_Osprey_towed_(INS)_48After years of transporting materials to facilitate nuclear recycling, UK-registered nuclear cargo vessel Atlantic Osprey has begun its final voyage to the Swansea dock where it is itself destined to be broken up and recycled.


What turned Fukushima from a medium-ranking industrial accident, of the kind that happens perhaps eight or ten times a year, into a disaster, with a reported death toll among the evacuees of over 1000? It wasn't the radiation, writes Malcolm Grimston.

In common with Three Mile Island, Fukushima doesn't seem to have caused any deaths from radiation; even at Chernobyl the demonstrable death toll which resulted from radiation exposure was small compared to events like Bhopal or the Banqiao dam failure.

What created the human misery at Fukushima was the response - not the immediate precautionary evacuation, but what followed and ironically what preceded. Read more... 

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Symposium 2014