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Current Refinements
Date 2012
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Content Type News (3) Features (102)

Making the switch
03 December, 2012
This summer, Palo Verde replaced some sections of lighting with 130 new energy-saving LED fixtures. And, as LED prices continue to fall, more nuclear power plants are likely to follow suit.

A case study of a Russian international project: Turkey's Akkuyu project
03 December, 2012
Turkey is one of the most dynamically-developing countries in the world, with high potential for growth. The growth in production and demand for electricity in Turkey are comparable with those of more developed world economies. In 2000-2012 the average annual growth in electricity demand was 6% (up to 7-8% per year over a shorter period). By this indicator Turkey is second only to China. If generating capacity is not expanded, there could be a significant electricity deficit as early as 2013. Therefore, construction of NPPs is one way of meeting growing demand for electricity.

Russia's new nuclear face
03 December, 2012
In March 2012, Atomenergoproject (NIAEP) and Atomstroyexport (ASE), two major Russian nuclear power plant development companies, merged. The development is likely to have big advantages for the country’s nuclear export plans, as illustrated by its new-build project in Turkey.

Small, but not forgotten
03 December, 2012
When NEI began compiling commercial nuclear power station performance in April 1976 (pp22-24), we included only nuclear reactors of 150 MWe gross or above. A decision was made to exclude the small prototype reactors that nations built in the 1950s and 1960s on the path towards development of true commercial nuclear plants.

Load factors to end June 2012
03 December, 2012
Data were available for 400 nuclear units with over a year’s operating experience as of 30 June 2012. They comprised 256 pressurized water reactors (including 48 of Russian design, also known as VVERs), 84 boiling water reactors, 46 pressurized heavy water reactors, 11 RBMK reactors, two magnox reactors and one fast breeder reactor (Russia’s BN-800 at Beloyarsk).

One person, x reactors
03 December, 2012
One benefit proposed by vendors of small modular reactors is their ability for many to be combined into a single station. In which case, they would likely be operated by a single operator or a crew of operators in the same control room in future. This kind of control arrangement is unusual in the nuclear industry. To understand the issues human performance issues involved, US regulators are looking to glean lessons from other industries. By John O’Hara, James Higgins and Amy D’Agostino

Digital switch
03 December, 2012
The market for digital I&C upgrades at US nuclear power plants could be worth $5.4 billion over the next ten years as utilities look to improve plant reliability, efficiency and safety. By H.M. Hashemian

The uses of virtual reality
03 December, 2012
Technology originally intended to develop 3D environments for video games has been turned to an advantage in the UK nuclear industry, in which a mockup of a facility can help clarify and resolve planning and security issues. By Will Dalrymple

Keeping up with the times
03 December, 2012
The explosive growth of consumer electronics’ features and functionality can leave large companies behind. The USNRC is piloting a scheme to allow employees to use their own devices—mainly tablet computers and smartphones—to perform real work. By Will Dalrymple

Dosimeters for all
03 December, 2012
Two hand-held radiation detectors for the consumer market are now in the final stages of development. Both connect into smartphones and tablet computers such as the iPad through the audio jack; both operate from software downloaded on to the device. The prime market for both is Japan, whose citizens have had to learn to live with the fear of radiation since the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in March 2011. By Will Dalrymple

Developing ALARA culture
03 December, 2012
This article, elaborated by a working group from the European ALARA Network (EAN) discusses the elements that constitute ALARA culture and its current status in relation to the various exposure situations. By Sotirios Economides, Frank Hardeman, Cristina Nuccetelli, Serena Risica, Caroline Schieber, Annemarie Schmitt-Hannig and Fernand Vermeersch

The trouble with scattered sources
03 December, 2012
Radiation in contaminated land is often non-uniform, and may vary in radionuclides present and activity concentrations; it may be associated with discrete objects. In these cases, although generalisations are difficult, estimates of risk to health need to take into consideration land use (and plans for such), the population of sources, exposure pathways, and the probability of receiving a serious deterministic effect.

A plant conversion
03 December, 2012
TVEL says that a corruption scandal marks the end of the past for the Siberian Chemical Combine. By Will Dalrymple

A US interim store by 2020
01 November, 2012
A new report by the Brattle Group recommends that the US government restart a spent fuel handling programme at one or a few centralized, interim dry storage facilities by 2020 to avoid adverse engineering and economic consequences. By Frank C. Graves, Mariko R. Geronimo, and Glen A. Graves

Nuclear attaché
01 November, 2012
Cynthia Jones, a nuclear security advisor at the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, has been appointed to a three-year post in Vienna to support the US mission to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). When she starts in September, she will join an elite group; the post being the only NRC?staff position located at a mission or embassy overseas. In late July, she discussed her role and her views on global radiological issues with Will Dalrymple.

Four-year SMR fuel cycle
01 November, 2012
Although the B&W mPower™ integral pressurised water reactor uses 69 standard (but reduced-height) 17x17 PWR fuel assemblies, the vendor is offering a core loading and cycle management plan for four years of continuous power operations without refuelling and without the hurdles of chemical shim. By Madalina Aimee Erighin

The new nuclear safety construct
01 November, 2012
The occurrence of a rare but destructive natural event (the earthquake and tsunami that damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant) challenges the parameters of the nuclear power plant design basis. It also demonstrates that the concept of nuclear safety should be expanded to prevent the social effects of disruption caused by a nuclear accident. A more rigorous approach should consider all risks, according to a task force set up by nuclear standards body ASME.

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