UK ABWR executives chart path ahead for Horizon

15 December 2017

Successful completion of the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) process for Hitachi-GE's UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (UK ABWR) is a "huge step forward" for Hitachi's UK subsidiary Horizon Nuclear Power, two senior executives said this week.

Hitachi-GE Regulatory Advisor Dave Watson and Horizon Technical Director Mark Lunn spoke to World Nuclear News as the Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales announced yesterday they had awarded the UK ABWR a Design Acceptance Confirmation and a Statement of Design Acceptability.

Lunn said: "It's a huge step forwards for us with the project because it shows an ability to deliver to schedule. The number of the assessment findings that we'd consider to be technically challenging is also significantly lower than what previous GDAs have seen. That shows how mature the ABWR design is and so this will show the market what a good product we have in the ABWR. To achieve a clean DAC with minimal assessment findings is a testament to the quality of the design that we have."

Finnish cities consider SMRs for district heating

15 December 2017

A number of Finnish cities have begun studies to evaluate the feasibility of using small modular reactors (SMRs) instead of fossil fuels to provide district heating, according to Energy for Humanity. A recent study looked at completely decarbonising electricity, transport and heating in Helsinki through the use of small, advanced reactors.

Kansai applies for key restart checks at Mihama unit

15 December 2017

Mihama NPP 48Kansai Electric Power Company has applied to the Japanese regulator for pre-service inspections of unit 3 of its Mihama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture. These inspections mark the final regulatory stage in the restart procedure for the country's reactors.

Hitachi-GE ABWR design cleared for use in UK

14 December 2017

Wylfa Newydd CGI - 48Hitachi-GE's UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (UK ABWR) is suitable for construction in the UK, regulators have concluded following an in-depth Generic Design Assessment. The regulators said they were satisfied the reactor "meets regulatory expectations on safety, security and environmental protection at this stage of the regulatory process".

Senate Committee chair calls on EPA to withdraw uranium rule

15 December 2017

The chairman of the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Senator John Barrasso, has called on the US Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw a proposed rule requiring uranium recovery operators to conduct up to 30 years of groundwater monitoring following in-situ leach uranium production.

Vogtle owners receive full payment from Toshiba

14 December 2017

Toshiba has completed the early payment of $3.225 billion, reflecting the remaining outstanding amount of its $3.68 billion parent company guarantee obligation to the owners of the Vogtle nuclear construction project in the USA. The company is negotiating the settlement of the full guaranteed amount due to the owners of the VC Summer project.

Multi-agency safety exercise for Canadian plant

13 December 2017

Pickering_safety_exercise_ExUC_(CNSC)-48Ontario Power Generation and over 30 partner organisations have completed Exercise Unified Control, a two-day, large-scale emergency preparedness exercise at the Pickering nuclear power plant. The exercise is part of the lead-up to the relicensing of the plant in 2018.

Chemistry, minerals and microbes in nuclear waste management

Current solutions for intermediate and higher activity radioactive wastes storage are temporary. Nuclear waste stores have lifetimes of around 100 years and storage ponds, which dissipate the decay heat from used nuclear fuel and act as powerful radiation shields, several decades. Research into biogeochemical control over radionuclide behaviour is therefore of great value for a deep geological disposal solution, writes Katherine Morris.

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