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Date 1998
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Content Type News (4) Features (14)

BE’s profits jump £42 million
30 November, 1998

How Oconee plans to reach 60
30 November, 1998
Licence renewal planning for the Oconee Nuclear Station has been a strong motivator in establishing a larger life cycle management perspective for the station, focused not only on extending operation from 40 to 60 years, but also on benefitting operations for the remainder of the facility’s currently licensed plant life. Among the most critical technical challenges faced are obsolescence of component technology, lack of spare parts and material ageing.

From below the Sarcophagus
29 October, 1998
A method for dismantling the destroyed Chernobyl reactor and its Sarcophagus is proposed, involving tunnelling from underneath the plant. Coming from below should be the safest approach, causing the least disturbance to the structure particularly during operations to remove the highly radioactive material. This will then facilitate the next stages: removing the remaining less active material and the Sarcophagus, and disposing of the waste.

Entergy may take up more nuclear
27 August, 1998

30 July, 1998
With a single 657 MWe PWR in operation, nuclear power accounts for only 1% of electricitysupplies. After long delays, construction of a 1309 MWe PWR is now again under way for commissioning next year. Brazil has abundant uranium resources and continues to invest heavily in enrichment and fuel fabrication facilities.

Optimising water chemistry
30 July, 1998
A recent EPRI report* describes how water chemistry is moving from the general to the specific.

A sound way to inspect RCCA degradation
30 July, 1998
A novel ultrasonic technique for inspecting rod cluster control assemblies (RCCAs) uses low frequency signals to accurately measure remaining wall thickness and outer diameter of component rods, allowing the detailed evaluation of RCCA degradation. Not only are the quantity of information increased and quality improved compared with other techniques currently used, the overall inspection times are greatly reduced.

Giving VVERs a new lifetime
30 June, 1998
In the original VVER design, lifetimes were specified separately for the entire plant, for the reactor pressure vessel, and for a number of other components. The Finnish view on VVER-440 ageing, however, is that the vendor’s guidance would be used only as the starting point for the utility’s own development of a plant life management strategy. The Loviisa VVER plant management concluded that it is necessary to acquire and maintain thorough technical knowledge of the plant and, in particular, its maintenance and operating history. The Russians are also renewing their approach.

A day in the life of the Kola PMU
30 June, 1998
Steve Watson, from NNC Ltd, was head of the PMU from March 1996 to April 1998. He gives this personal recollection from a day in the winter of 1997.

Tobacco politics leaves nuclear industry fuming at both Congress and White House
30 June, 1998

Containing a severe accident: the radiological safety goals of the EPR
30 April, 1998
The European Pressurized Water Reactor (EPR) is a next generation nuclear plant that is being jointly designed by Electricité de France, Framatome and Siemens under contract to the major French and German utilities. This advanced 1500 MWe plant is designed to meet stringent safety criteria to ensure that the possibility of a severe accident having consequences beyond the plant perimeter will be so small that there will be no requirement to evacuate the public or relocate the inhabitants nor need to put serious restrictions on agriculture.

United Kingdom (part2)
31 March, 1998
With the privatisation of the electricity supply industry, including some of the nuclear reactors, a new competitive climate has been introduced. The nuclear operators have responded well to the challenge and last year nuclear accounted for over 28% of electricity supplied.

Liability for all
31 March, 1998
The IAEA has recently increased the amount of insurance required for nuclear reactors and took other steps to strengthen the existing nuclear liability regime. This involved amending the Vienna Convention on civil liability for nuclear damage and adopting a new supplementary compensation convention that is designed to finally create an international liability regime that is acceptable to most countries, including the USA and non-nuclear states.

NPC – reaching those hard to get to parts
31 March, 1998
A key to good economic performance of a nuclear plant is keeping the plant operating. When equipment needs to be replaced, the speed at which the part is obtained and the certainty that it is the right part, are critical. The Framatome Technologies, Inc (FTI) Nuclear Parts Center (NPC) offers an option to utilities – an independent source for nuclear-qualified, safety-related spare parts, from valves and actuator parts, to filters and motors, to tensioners and spare reactor-vessel studs.

Inspection round-up
28 February, 1998

Current developments: inspection techniques for VVER steam generators
28 February, 1998
In the past, advanced eddy current inspection technology was not as widely applied on Soviet-design VVERs as on Western-design PWRs. Recently, however, eddy current systems have been developed for the VVERs and a solid body of inspection experience has now been built up.

Cleaning up the past:lessons from Eastern Europe
01 February, 1998
The ICEM* meetings, organised by ASME at venues outside the US, provide a global forum for discussing the problems of and sharing the lessons learnt from cleaning up environmental black spots, such as Chernobyl and the waste piles in the eastern part of Germany left over from uranium mining which the Wismut Corp is now cleaning up. There are many other smaller cases of contamination, also legacies of the old Soviet bloc, which are now being dealt with. The meeting also provides an opportunity to introduce some sensitive issues, such as the desirability of setting up regional repositories.

The linear hypothesis: have we reached a turning point?
01 January, 1998
The firmly established “linear no-threshold” (LNT) hypothesis for cancer induction from radiation exposure has been attacked by heretics who argue that in low doses, radiation may cause no harm and may even have a positive effect. At a recent conference in Seville, Spain, on the biological effects of low doses of radiation and their regulatory control, it appeared that the diverging opinions are more akin to religious than to scientific beliefs. The present confusion at least seems to recognise that there is a problem and may represent a turning point that could lead to a more rational system.

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