The degradation of the nuclear industry in the U.S.

Lata patched nuclear power plants in the United States are planning to exploit the "Fukushima" finale?

January 19, 2012 a federal judge Garvan Murtha ruled, according to which the decision of Vermont to close the plant, "Vermont Yankee" in achieving its forty-year life of the invalid. In this case, the District Court of Vermont has determined that the state government tried to regulate nuclear safety, which is the exclusive competence of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Given the nature of the case-American human rights court decision could have implications not only for nuclear power plants, "Vermont Yankee", but also for other U.S. nuclear plants.

The main argument of «Entergy Corp.» (Owner of the nuclear power plant, "Vermont Yankee") consisted in the fact that the state had exceeded its authority by encroaching on the scope of NRC, because the requirement to close the station is dictated by concerns with regard to its security, rather than economic considerations. The state authorities have insisted that the economic aspect is also present, presenting to the court a long-term energy program of Vermont, according to which the share of nuclear power is expected to reduce to zero. In addition, it was stated that the depreciation of equipment, after forty years of service can not be expected at the plant, "Vermont Yankee" as a reliable energy supplier. However, the court did not support those arguments.

As noted in the court's decision, the documents of legislative bodies have a "large number of examples that demonstrate the influence of radiation safety issues to motivate legislators and express their desire to develop laws that would take into account the fears of voters associated with radiological hazard." As a result, the court concluded that the state is trying to regulate nuclear safety, which is located in the exclusive competence of the federal agencies. The court also ruled that the state government can not compel «Entergy Corp.» Sell generated electricity at nuclear power plants exclusively to energy companies and the state to reduce electricity rates as conditions continued operation of the nuclear power plant, which, according to «Entergy Corp.», Takes place in Currently. Commenting on the decision of the court, «Entergy Corp.» Said it was "good news for the 600 employees [station], the environment, the residents of New England, as well as the industries that depend on electricity produced by nuclear power plants," Vermont Yankee. " Now, the question of nuclear power plants, "Vermont Yankee" will be referred back to the Public Service Commission of Vermont, which also has to take a decision on the possibility of its further exploitation. However, the decision of the District Court may, and probably will be appealed to the state Supreme Court of the United States, who will be able to put an end to this matter.

In March 2011, the NRC extended the license to operate a nuclear power plant, "Vermont Yankee" for another twenty years, until March 21, 2032. However, Vermont — the only state in the United States with the authority to prohibit the further work of the nuclear power plant. The relevant law in the state was adopted in 2006. The essence of power lies in the fact that a decision on further operation of nuclear power plants, "Vermont Yankee" to be confirmed "certificate of public good," Public Service Commission of the state of Vermont and the legislature is entitled to vote in respect of the issuance or renewal of the certificate. In February 2010, the State Senate by 26 votes to 4, made a stop at the NPP "Vermont Yankee" with the power PWR reactor with a capacity 635 MW in 2012 due to the numerous leaks of radioactive tritium at the site and the concealment of the leadership of the operating company information on the availability of underground pipeline from which the radioactive material from falling into the groundwater. In this case, the House bill is not discussed, although the extension must be approved by both chambers.
In April last year «Entergy Corp.» Submitted a claim against the State of Vermont to the district court in order to avoid stopping the NPP "Vermont Yankee" March 21, 2012. The company has motivated its claims that the rule adopted by the Vermont legislature violates a provision of the federal law on atomic energy, in which the question of extending the life of nuclear power stations in the jurisdiction of the federal government. The petition also stated that the power of Vermont changed the provisions of the memorandum of understanding dated 2002, signed after the acquisition of the company «Entergy Corp.» NPP "Vermont Yankee."

The Act of 2006 prohibits the operation of the plant after 2012 without the approval of the state legislature. Under the terms of a memorandum, «Entergy Corp.» Require the approval of the Board of Public Utilities, "the expert body, independent of legislative control." According to the «Entergy Corp.», Nuclear power plants, "Vermont Yankee" supplies electricity to a third of consumers of Vermont, and in the case of the continued operation of the station for 20 years, the population of additional revenue will amount to US $ 2 billion
In April 2011, the Board of Directors of the cooperative «Vermont Electric Cooperative» (VEC) has rejected the purchase agreement for twenty years, the electricity produced by nuclear power plants, "Vermont Yankee" and passed a resolution to stop buying electricity from the station at the end of the 2012 term of the the current agreement. According to Chief Executive Officer David VEC Hollkista, voting results are not related to the state government attempts to close the plant, "Vermont Yankee" at the end of the term of the license to operate in March 2012. "Even if« Entergy Corp. »Win a lawsuit against the state and received the necessary permission … VEC's board of directors has made it clear that no longer wants to work with the company," — said D. Hollkist.
Meanwhile, the example of Vermont can be a guide for local authorities in other states. Some of them showed great interest in the litigation, and, for example, the authorities of the neighboring state of Massachusetts even tried to connect to the course of the trial. From the office of the Attorney General of Massachusetts in the U.S. District Court received a letter, in which state attorneys presented their position on the issue of priority of federal law over state law for the operation of the nuclear power plant. In this case, the Massachusetts Attorney General's office said they were not trying to lobby the idea of closing the plant, "Vermont Yankee", but wanted to express the views of interested parties as considered in the district court the issue affects, including the powers of the State of Massachusetts and its own policy with regard to nuclear stations.

Source: Nuclear Renaissance

NPP "Vermont Yankee» (Vermont Yankee) consists of a single unit with a water boiling water reactor BWR. Commissioned Nov. 30, 1972. In 2007, the station was at the center of attention after two consecutive incidents — the partial collapse of the cooling tower and non shut-off valves on the turbine.
2007 incidents at nuclear power plants, "Vermont Yankee" explained, first of all, the human factor. After these events, plant staff "Pilgrim" encouraged industry colleagues ostracize Vermont nuclear scientists for their irresponsible attitude and unwillingness to learn from the positive experience of colleagues.

Another couple of candidates for the "eternal" operation:

"..Two nuclear reactors near Syracuse, New York, will be shut down for refueling, the experts will be included in a maze of containment and will search for signs of aging powerful steel liner, laid on concrete containment. The initiator checks on request U.S. Department of Energy, made «Constellation Energy Nuclear Group», which operates the plant, "Gina" and the NPP "Nine Mile Point." And it will be the next step in the research conducted by the government and the nuclear industry, the potential for exploitation of 104 units of nuclear power plants in the U.S. for 80 years — twice as long as the design life specified in the licensing.

 Lack of agreement in Congress on legislation in the area of energy and climate change has called into question the future of new nuclear power projects in the country. So, say representatives of the nuclear industry, the focus has shifted to the opportunity and challenges of further extending the life of nuclear power plants of the park. At the February 2011 scheduled conference with representatives of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, DOE, heads of energy companies and leading experts, which will discuss the technical and supervisory aspects, which can be an obstacle for a new wave of applications for renewal of licenses for operation of nuclear power plants … "

What do you think would find any traces of aging in the maze of containment, when there were instructed to extend the operation?

There are other signs of serious degradation of the nuclear industry in the United States:

List of news about Perepetui with the American Centrifuge resource

USEC may waive the gaseous diffusion plant in Paducah
The allocation of $ 150 million on research and development for the American Centrifuge caused controversy in Congress
USEC does not conduct operations with uranium hexafluoride in the American Centrifuge Plant after the incident on June 11
USEC is likely to receive $ 300 million in R & D centrifuge
USEC is continuing negotiations with the DoE on the American Centrifuge project
USEC and DoE agreed on the financing of R & D and demonstration for the American Centrifuge
DoE will work with USEC on reducing the risks of the American Centrifuge
USEC warns of possible closure of the American Centrifuge Project
USEC president may resign because of the incident on June 11 — Sources
Six-machine is out of order at the plant in Piketon in the incident with the loss of external power supply

Do not forget that half of U.S. nuclear power plants operating in the Russian uranium.

… Indeed, HEU-LEU agreement for 46% of the needs of all U.S. reactors in the separation operation (5.5 million SWU per year). It would seem that the refusal of Russia to the further performance of the uranium deal will put the United States on his knees — and it is permissible to use the ideology of real politik economic blackmail, Moscow could get from Washington more acceptable for themselves in terms of nuclear trade between the two countries.

The warranty reserve of LEU gives corporations USEC time required to return to work additional capacity at the plant in Padukke (3 million SWU) and the partial reopening of the plant stopped in Portsmouth (up to 8 million SWU). The rising cost of SWU will prove to be a minor — up to 15-20%, and the company USEC will qualify for subsidies from the U.S. government as a victim of "Russian tyranny."

Apparently, in Washington argue that way. The White House is sure — the output of Russian HEU-LEU will not cause any real damage to U.S. energy security. Moreover, the United States will be able to without a lot of stress to get rid of dependence on Russia and to resume its expansion in the global uranium market.

The logic of the State Department analysts found to be valid if one prerequisite. Corporation USEC, will the creators of the three-tier architecture of HEU became the owner of a margin between the purchase price for the Russian contractor EPP and EPP final sales price to the American consumer has to invest if not all, most of it in the construction of the first plant in the U.S. centrifuge uranium enrichment plant in Piketon . Obsolete gas diffusion enterprise Padukke and Portsmouth are good only in case of force majeure — if only because of the fact that the cost of uranium enrichment is higher than in the modern Russian and European plants.
It is associated with Piketon main hope for the future of Americans weakening U.S. dependence on imported EPP. The mega-project "The American Centrifuge" in its history, has experienced a lot of ups and downs, and favorable conditions for the United States HEU-LEU deal would seem to have provided him the green light. But private corporation USEC could not resist the temptation to find "other applications" for Russian uranium margin, and now for the completion of Piketon banal lack of money.
"Immediately after the privatization of USEC, against her were nominated by the various accusations of incompetence to dishonest collusion and bribery … The financial situation of the corporation is very heavy, and the future of its uranium enrichment program in the U.S. is under question … High overhead costs and outdated technology of the sample 50th USEC's turned the business into non-profit and completely dependent on Russian subsidies "- wrote in May 2002« Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists ».

Since then, little has changed. "Operating organizations (in the U.S.) hate USEC. Russian hate USEC. U.S. Department of Energy hates USEC », — the British newspaper« Financial Times ». In these circumstances, the universal hatred, concentrating Corporation regularly postpones launch of the plant in Piketon, constantly recalculates the construction budget upward, as well as permanently require additional infusions from the federal budget.

Below is a quick overview of the news from the site

13.03.2012 15:32
Republican Senator from South Carolina Lindsey Graham introduced the upper house of the U.S. Congress a bill obliging the President to determine the project repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as the first option when you create the final disposal of spent fuel and HLW . According to the document, in the event of the President, all of the fund for the management of spent fuel and radioactive waste should be returned to power companies. With 75% of the returned funds must be received on account of electricity consumers, the remaining money will be used to upgrade and expand the storage of a station SNF and HLW …

(from the repository should be abandoned — it's expensive, let SNF lies at the station, as at Fukushima)

29.02.2012 15:55
The company «FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co.» (FENOC) submitted on February 28, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) report on the results of the U.S. analysis the causes of cracks in the outer containment shell reactor nuclear power plant, "Davis-Besse" in Ohio. According to the document, the root cause of defects found was the penetration of moisture into the concrete shell, caused by prolonged rainfall and storm that occurred in January 1978, the subsequent cold snap has led to the freezing of water in the concrete, which caused its destruction …

(Weather is a 30-year-old's fault)

29.02.2012 17:23
«Omaha Public Power District» (OPPD) intends to abandon plans to increase capacity single unit of NPP "Fort Calhoun" in Nebraska by 17%. This is stated in the letter the company sent to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) dollars. "In view of the prevailing conditions OPPD currently has no plans to … more power. If the company decides to go back to the project in the future, we will inform the Commission about it, "- said in a letter …

(that's nice, but it will increase the power of unpredictable consequences)

16.02.2012 12:16
The "nuclear renaissance" in the United States in the current decade unlikely, To promote projects of construction of new nuclear power units need to change approaches to the management of the investment process in the industry at the regional level, according to a special report by the rating agency «Standard & Poor's», presented on February 15. Experts believe that S & P, the economic crisis, which reduced demand for electricity, and low natural gas prices that encourage the construction of thermal power plants, led investors to abandon the construction of new nuclear power in favor of gas-fired generation. "Market conditions in combination with the typical nuclear projects lengthy planning cycle and construction will prevent the erection of new [nuclear] power ", at least until the end of the decade, the report said …

(long-term planning cycle is incompatible with the effective management)

16.02.2012 19:23
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will increase U.S. inspection activities after issuing prescriptions with the final assignment of the "yellow" category of violation at the plant "Palisades" in Michigan. Violation of September 25, 2011 was due to the use of improper maintenance instructions, which led to a malfunction of the electrical equipment and shutdown of the reactor. "Yellow" category means that the violation is significant from the point of view of safety.

(here without comment, "yellow" industry)

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See also In the past 33 years in the United States is not built any new nuclear power stations

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