Nuclear generation was lower in September compared with over the summer as more plants began refueling sooner than expected and some experienced unplanned outages related to Hurricane Florence. However, there have still been fewer unscheduled outages for 2018 than in the last few years.
The South Carolina General Assembly is accepting nonbinding bids for Santee Cooper as lawmakers explore selling the utility company, which was involved in the V.C. Summer project. ICF International will assess any bids on behalf of the General Assembly, likely making a recommendation by the end of February.
Washington state's Department of Ecology approved permits for an Effluent Management Facility at the Hanford nuclear site. The facility is the last major support building needed for Hanford's vitrification plant.
Exelon's Oyster Creek nuclear plant can remove various emergency planning measures starting in September, says the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. This includes eliminating an Emergency Planning Zone.
Although the Trump administration's effort to bail out nuclear and coal plants has stalled, it could still make a comeback, but in a different variation, says an unnamed White House official. "[P]olicies never truly die and a resurrection when Trump is back on the ballot in 2020 remains a distinct possibility," says Rob Rains of Washington Analysis LLC.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has received Holtec International's amended Oyster Creek nuclear plant decommissioning report, which says the process could be completed within 10 years.
Uranium tariffs would lead to higher prices, potentially forcing more nuclear plants into retirement, writes Sonecon LLC Managing Director Paul Stockton. "Such retirements are dangerous for grid resilience, disastrous for cutting greenhouse gasses, and bad for U.S. national security," he writes.
An exemption that allows up to $20 million of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant decommissioning trust fund to be put toward managing nuclear waste has been given to plant buyer NorthStar Group Services, says the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. NorthStar could start decommissioning next year and be done as soon as 2026.
EDF Energy hopes to start building its Sizewell C nuclear plant in the UK in 2021, says CEO Simone Rossi. The plant is to be mirrored after EDF's Hinckley Point C to reduce design costs.
A reactor at the Southwest Experimental Fast Oxide Reactor site, owned by the University of Arkansas, has been removed and placed into a containment vessel and will be taken to a site in Nevada, says Energy Solutions. "We had to demolish the containment dome, which is a steel dome, and the bio-shield structure around the reactor," says project manager Dean Wheeler.
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