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Nuclear still cost competitive in Japan, study says

Located in: Energy and Environment

02 September 2011

The costs of generating electricity using nuclear power plants in Japan, even taking into account the compensation costs related to the Fukushima Daiichi accident, still remain likely to be less than using fossil fuels, according to a new study.

Bolstering emergency preparedness at US plants

Located in: Regulation and Safety

31 August 2011

Davis-Besse (NRC)First Energy Nuclear Operating Company has begun construction of a new emergency operations facility for its Davis-Besse nuclear power plant in Ohio. The move comes as the US nuclear regulator makes changes to emergency preparedness regulations.

Hathor holding tight to Roughrider

Located in: Uranium and Fuel

30 August 2011

Roughrider drillCanadian uranium exploration company Hathor Exploration, would-be developer of the Roughrider project, has urged its shareholders not to respond to an unsolicited takeover bid from uranium mining company Cameco.

Noda to take over in Japan

Located in: Nuclear Policies

30 August 2011

Yoshihiko Noda on election to lead the DPJ (DPJ)Yoshihiko Noda has been selected as the new leader of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and therefore the prime minister of the country. He calls for the strong, independent regulation of nuclear power.

Chubu borrows to pay for gas

Located in: Industry Talk

25 August 2011

Chubu Electric Power Corp has signed a loan agreement totalling ¥100 billion ($1.3 billion) with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) for the purchase of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to fuel its gas-fired power plants following the enforced shutdown of its Hamaoka nuclear power plant. In the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi accident, prime minister Naoto Kan asked Chubu in early May to shut down Hamaoka units 4 and 5, and not to restart unit 3 of the plant in Shizuoka prefecture until tsunami defences at the site have been strengthened. Hamaoka units 1 and 2 have already been permanently shut down. The company expects work to bolster the site's tsunami defences to be completed by December 2012. In June, Chubu secured an emergency loan of ¥100 billion from the Development Bank of Japan to support rising fuel costs following the shutdown of the plant.

Tepco to try core cooling system

Located in: Regulation and Safety

24 August 2011

The temperature of the reactor core of unit 3 of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant is expected to drop significantly with the commissioning of a more efficient cooling system, according to Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco).

Brazil outlines post-Fukushima actions

Located in: Regulation and Safety

23 August 2011

Angra 1 (Eletronuclear)Eletronuclear has announced a five-year program of actions to evaluate and improve safety, security and reliability at Brazil's only operating nuclear power plant in response to the Fukushima accident.

Research institutes announce collaboration

Located in: Corporate

18 August 2011

The US-based Electric Power Research Institute and Japan's Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry have agreed to team up on research into nuclear materials and radiation issues.

UK new build regulatory plan

Located in: Industry Talk

18 August 2011

A four-year plan from the UK's Office of Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has spelt out the resources it will put towards new nuclear build in coming years. The ONR expects to issue interim Design Acceptance Confirmation for the Areva EPR and Westinghouse AP1000 by the end of the year, if the outcomes of Mike Weightman's post-Fukushima report can be incorporated. Some items will be outstanding, but these should have a predictable timetable for resolution. It also counts among its deliverables the granting of approval for non-nuclear site work for Hinkley Point C, Wylfa B and Sizewell C, as long as applications are satisfactory. Subject to government approval, the ONR will start acceptance work on a new set of reactor designs in mid-to-late 2012. Supporting all this is a new-build workforce of about 88, growing to 107 in 2015. This year's budget for new build regulation was almost £20 million ($33 million) and future budgets will vary around the £15-16 million ($24-26 million) mark to 2015. The ONR has a total budget of about £62 million ($102 million), some 98% of which is recovered from industry.

Progress report on Fukushima Daiichi

Located in: Regulation and Safety

17 August 2011

Some stabilisation targets have been met at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, but levels of contaminated water in the basements remain Tepco's biggest challenge.

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