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Conversion: Is renewal on the way?
07 October, 2013
During the past year, the market for converting uranium ore concentrates (U3O8) to natural uranium hexafluoride (UF6) was stable relative to the uranium and enrichment markets despite some mixed signals. By Eileen Supko and Thomas Meade

SCC coding classification advice
18 September, 2013
Done wrong, categorizing systems, structures and components (SSCs) can create a huge burden on nuclear component costs, conservatively quadrupling the cost of nuclear safety components in pedigrees. By James August

Pipe wall thinning inspection using EMAR
11 September, 2013
The electromagnetic acoustic resonance (EMAR) method provides accurate and stable evaluation of thickness of pipes, regardless of geometry. Demonstrated at unit 2 of the Tsuruga nuclear power plant in Japan, it has the added advantages of being non-contact, relatively easy to use and enabling a reduction of inspection time. By Toshiyuki Takagi, Ryoichi Urayama, Toshiaki Ichihara, Tetsuya Uchimoto, Taku Ohira and Takayoshi Kikuchi

What happened next at the world’s association
02 August, 2013
Far from harming the World Association of Nuclear Operators, the Fukushima disaster has given the all-inclusive utility association a new mission. By Will Dalrymple

Half way - a review of post Fukushima actions in the Americas
24 July, 2013
After worldwide calls to action came in the wake of the tsunami that devastated Fukushima Daiichi in March 2011, nuclear power plants have been shoring up their defences for more than a year already. Much has already been accomplished; many projects are only months away from realization. By Will Dalrymple

Valve design hots up
04 July, 2013
Some kinds of Gen-IV reactors planned for development over the next 20 years propose raising primary- and secondary-circuit temperatures and pressures beyond current PWR levels.

Taking apart Greifswald, two ways
26 June, 2013
Experience dismantling Germany’s Greifswald nuclear power plant has shown that both the conventional cutting strategy and large component management strategy can be successful. However, the latter option is often favoured when considering economic and radiological factors. By Ralf Borchardt

Formula One operations
07 June, 2013
A race can be won or lost in the pit lane—and what was seemingly impossible yesterday becomes today’s standard as experience and new technologies combine. Most nuclear capacity loss is directly attributable to planned outages; these can be reduced efficiently and safely by all operators willing to invest in improvements. With a focused effort, a global nuclear fleet capacity factor of over 90% is achievable.

Ultrasonic inspection systems for Atucha 2
22 May, 2013
Difficult and restricted access conditions and complex geometrical constraints have created problems for developing automated inspection systems for the main reactor pressure vessel components of the Atucha 2 PHWR, including of the RPV welds itself, the closure head and main coolant pipe welds. By G. J. Campbell and L. J. Visconti

WHO reports low health risk from Fukushima
17 May, 2013
Two years on from the accident at Fukushima Daiichi in Japan, the World Health Organization (WHO) has published the first preliminary analysis of the global health effects due to radiation exposure from the event.

UK electricity market reform
13 May, 2013
Tony Roulstone explains the complex status of progress towards a new environmentally-balanced electricity market

Developing the FLEX plan
10 May, 2013
All US nuclear power plants have used a four-step process to develop diverse, flexible strategies to protect against extended loss of power resulting from beyond design basis events. These so-called FLEX plans have now been submitted to the US regulator. By Mike Powell, Jeff Taylor and Susan Baier

Studying silicon carbide for nuclear fuel cladding
19 April, 2013
With its high melting point and low oxidation rate, silicon carbide remains stable even in nuclear accident scenarios. A wide-ranging R&D programme in the USA is now underway to assess the feasibility of an SiC nuclear fuel cladding. By Shannon Bragg-Sitton, Kristine Barrett, Isabella van Rooyen, David Hurley and Marat Khafizov.

Fleet IS for France reactors
16 April, 2013
A programme launched more than six years ago to renovate the nuclear information system for EDF’s French reactor fleet was rolled out in 2012 at Blayais NPP. By Yves Corre, Dominique Minière, Jean-Marc Herodin and Jacques Leclercq.

Thermal treatment of ILW
06 March, 2013
Thermal treatment, including vitrification, could reduce by half the volume of some intermediate-level wastes destined for a geological repository, whilst maintaining a degree of radioactive shielding. Thermal treatment methods are introduced and recent tests of ILW simulant in the UK are discussed. By Neil C. Hyatt and Mike James

Linking humans and systems in nuclear power
01 February, 2013
Traditional engineering methods do not make provision for the integration of human considerations, while traditional human factors methods do not scale well to the complexity of large-scale nuclear power plant projects. Although the need for up-to-date human factors engineering processes and tools is recognised widely in industry, so far no formal guidance has been developed. This article proposes such a framework. By Jacques Hugo

Unlocking Energy Innovation
30 January, 2013
In a recent book, Unlocking Energy Innovation: How America can Build a Low-cost, Low-carbon Energy System, Richard Lester and David Hart [professor of public policy at George Mason University] put forward a step-by-step plan to move the US energy system away from its heavy (more than 85%) dependence on fossil fuels.

The energy question
30 January, 2013
Dr Richard Lester, head of the Nuclear Science and Engineering Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, gives an insight into the importance of nuclear power for building affordable, reliable and clean energy systems of the future, and the main challenges the industry is facing.

Molybdenum-99 market supply and demand
01 January, 2013
Reliability of supply of medical isotopes has declined over the past decade due to unexpected or extended shutdowns at the few ageing Mo-99-producing research reactor and processing facilities. These shutdowns have created global supply shortages. Here, the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) updates its 2011 report on the subject to reflect recent market changes, based on information from its High-level Group on the Security of Supply of Medical Radioisotopes (HLG-R) and other key stakeholders.

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