The state of Nevada has filed a new motion with the federal court in Reno to amend a lawsuit to force the Energy Department to remove weapons-grade plutonium it secretly shipped to the state last year. Energy Department lawyers say Nevada has changed its argument from claiming it was unsafe to transport the material to demanding it be moved.
The Nuclear Fuel Working Group's upcoming recommendations will help boost the domestic uranium mining industry, says Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who is a member of the working group. "I think the challenge has always been to keep a uranium mining industry that was viable in US and dealing with a global market place," said Perry.
FirstEnergy Solutions says it may be forced to move forward with closing two Ohio nuclear power plants if state financial support is jeopardized by a petition effort to overturn the recently passed funding law. "Unfortunately, any additional negative news from the courts or the successful submission of petitions to put a referendum on the ballot will destabilize the financial situation of those plants," FirstEnergy said in a written statement.
The Department of Energy has given startup Blue Wave AI Labs a $6.9 million grant to develop artificial intelligence and machine learning models for predicting when nuclear reactor components may need to be replaced. Blue Wave engineers located at the Purdue University Research Park in Indiana say the system could help nuclear power plants avoid costly unscheduled outages.
International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol told a Paris energy conference that he is "worried about the decline of nuclear in the energy mix if governments don't change their policies." Birol noted that governments are failing to allow new nuclear power plants or give lifespan extensions at a time when greenhouse gas emissions are rising.
Two Massachusetts state senators have filed a bill seeking to make the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station's Nuclear Decommissioning Advisory Panel more effective at sharing local residents' views. "This has been a process where our communities have been unheard and left out," said State Senator Julian Cyr, a co-sponsor of the bill.
Researchers at the Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have found that using 3D-printed parts allows them to sort and recycle another 2% of a nuclear reactor's spent fuel that has not been recycled in conventional ways. "Rather than store 5% for hundreds of thousands of years, the remaining 3% needs to be stored at a maximum of about one thousand years. In other words, this additional step may reduce the length of storage almost one thousand-fold," said Andrew Breshears, a nuclear chemist at Argonne
International experts attending a Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute event discussed plans to create an international network of advanced robots to be used in the event of a major nuclear power plant disaster. KAERI head Park Jin-ho said the Institute is looking to launch a joint nuclear robotics response center by 2021.
A no-deal Brexit could disrupt the UK's nuclear industry by forcing firms to obtain new export-import licenses to access enriched uranium from European Union countries. The UK imported more than $440 million worth of uranium and plutonium products from European countries last year, according to United Nations data.
Scientists from Japan, Finland, France and the US have used a new method to map the distribution of radioactive cesium-rich microparticles in the soil around the damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The research found the cesium followed the distribution patterns of the early radioactive plumes, indicating that the microparticles only formed during a short period of time.
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