Two nuclear reactors are under construction at Vogtle’s nuclear power plant in Georgia, and they are a lonely pair in a stagnating US nuclear industry. Now, leaders of municipalities and utilities that are on the hook to buy electricity from Vogtle’s new reactors are saying they want the project stopped to save their customers from having to shoulder the cost burden. The three major owners of the construction project are expected to vote on whether to keep it or cut losses in the coming days.
Ars Technica 20th Sept 2018 read more »
The two-unit coastal Brunswick nuclear power station in South Port, NC was powered down to zero power shortly in advance of the September 14th arrival Hurricane Florence with Category 1 winds (sustained < 75 mph), storm surge and torrential rainfall. Operators maintained the Brunswick units in “hot standby” (reactor cooling water at 212O F and capable of steam powering onsite turbines for emergency electricity) to provide an added measure of power supply for reactor safety and cooling systems in the event of loss of offsite power and backup emergency diesel generators. However, throughout the storm, Duke Energy reported that the nuclear power station was in “stable” condition and never lost offsite electricity power from the grid providing primary power to safety systems and cooling. A low-level emergency was declared September 15th when the reactor site was completely surrounded by rising flood waters making it inaccessible by road. Two shifts of workers were already housed onsite and supplied in advance for the storm’s duration. Offsite access by road to the Brunswick units was restored on September 18th and the “Unusual event” emergency was terminated. The continued flooding has damaged many of the bridges and roads within the ten-mile radius that encompasses the radiological evacuation planning zone for the Brunswick nuclear power station. As the flooding recedes, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will assess the damage to the infrastructure and will provide its recommendation to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) before Brunswick is allowed to restart.
Beyond Nuclear 20th Sept 2018 read more »