New details of safety violations found by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission at Westinghouse's nuclear fuel factory during an inspection last November indicate that access to the tamper seals on nuclear material containers was not properly controlled at the facility in Columbia, S.C. The NRC said there was no evidence that any nuclear material was missing, but the commission is demanding that Westinghouse fix the problem or face penalties.
The US, UK and Europe are taking different approaches to dealing with disposal of nuclear waste as more nuclear power plants near retirement. Isolation and containment of the waste underground remains the most workable solution.
Italian state shipyard Fincantieri, which works with Lockheed Martin to build combat ships in the US, has been awarded a $111 million contract to supply equipment for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor program, whose participants include the US, European Union, China, India, Japan, South Korea and Russia. The equipment that Fincantieri provides will be used to heat and cool plasma during the fusion process.
The cooling pipes that maintain the underground ice wall designed to prevent groundwater from flowing through the contaminated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster site are leaking, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings. The leak is not dangerous and has not compromised the ice wall's operations, TEPCO says.
Romania's state-owned nuclear company, Societatea Nationala Nuclearelectrica, has awarded Candu Energy a $10.8 million contract to assess Unit 1 of the Cernavoda nuclear plant in advance of a planned refurbishment. The upgrades are scheduled to begin in 2026 and are expected to extend the plant's operational life by four years.
Researchers are harvesting nuclear waste materials from the UK's decommissioned Berkeley Nuclear Power Station for use in low-current batteries that could last for thousands of years. The researchers aim to isolate the radioactive carbon-14 isotope from waste graphite and encase it within manufactured diamonds to create self-contained power supplies that could be used for a range of applications including pacemakers and space flight.
The Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., has developed a system to prevent industrial radioactive materials from falling into the hands of terrorists. Developed with funding from the National Nuclear Security Administration, the system uses radio frequency tags, global positioning systems, radiation detection and software to track the materials.
Hitachi chairman Hiroaki Nakanishi discusses the future of the nuclear energy business and changes the firm is making to its business model.
US District Judge Terry Wooten declined to hear a class-action lawsuit filed against Santee Cooper over the failed V.C. Summer nuclear project in South Carolina, sending it back to state court. The case was filed on behalf of Santee Cooper's more than 2 million customers and involves the state's 20 electric cooperatives, as well as South Carolina Electric & Gas owner Dominion Energy.
GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy is partnering with TerraPower to design and build the Versatile Test Reactor as part of a Department of Energy program seeking to build a VTR at a national laboratory site by 2026. The VTR will be used to test new materials and nuclear fuels for advanced nuclear energy technologies.