Archive for the ‘News’ Category

December 6, 2013 | 10:06 am

AREVA’s Béland Awarded Membership in French Legion of Honour

Jean-François Béland expressed his appreciation for receiving the award.

Jean-François Béland expressed his appreciation for receiving the award.

AREVA Canada Executive Vice President Jean-François Béland was awarded the rank of Chevalier (Knight) in the French National Order of the Legion of Honour on Dec. 2. French Ambassador to Canada Philippe Zeller presented the award to Béland at a reception in Ottawa hosting more than 100 distinguished guests.

This distinction recognizes Béland’s role as head of AREVA Canada in furthering French-Canadian economic and cultural relations. The Legion of Honour was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 and is France’s highest decoration.

Béland joined AREVA Canada in 2008 after spending a year at AREVA’s global headquarters in Paris. He serves on the Board of the Canadian Nuclear Association and is a Member of the Energy Council of Canada. He also is a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Gallery of Canada.

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November 11, 2013 | 2:11 am

Standing Up For Those Who Served America

By Mike Rencheck, CEO, AREVA Inc. North America

AREVA Inc. North America CEO Mike RencheckOn Monday, among the parades, waving flags and memorial services that commemorate Veterans Day, it is important to remember that the members of our military often come home and face a new challenge— civilian life. Fortunately, there are ways that we, as residents and members of the business community, can show our gratitude to these American heroes. We can hire veterans.

At AREVA, a nuclear energy supplier headquartered in Charlotte, we are dedicated to hiring military veterans. In fact, about 10 percent of our Lynchburg-based workforce of almost 2,000 people is comprised of veterans and we have similar hiring practices in Charlotte, Richland, Wash., and Columbia, Md., our other larger locations. We’ve found that the job skill parallels between the military and the civilian energy industry allow veterans to translate their experience into a rewarding career with great opportunities for advancement. Our military veterans have the training and leadership skills necessary to tackle the needs of a society with a growing demand for energy.

Across the United States, nuclear and other clean energy is an important part of our lives. Nationwide, nuclear energy accounts for about 20 percent of the electricity that powers every computer, electric car and light bulb. This clean, safe and reliable energy depends on a strong and talented workforce, and we need to ensure that we are developing and attracting top talent, particularly as new nuclear plants are built and we continue to service our existing fleet. Nuclear energy already employs thousands of Americans in well-paid careers. Careers in business, communications, human resources, legal, engineering, information systems and building trades, just to name a few.

At AREVA, we have been very successful in our efforts to recruit military veterans, who represent a growing part of our team across the country. In fact, military veterans comprise nearly 10 percent of our U.S. workforce. To encourage and continue this trend, we support the Troops to Energy program, as well as many other military recruiting events, and even launched a webpage in 2012 specifically dedicated to opportunities for veterans. These valuable resources help retiring military personnel find careers that are a good fit for them.

As we celebrate this Veterans Day, I believe we should honor our veterans by helping them in their transition to successful careers in their civilian lives. At AREVA we pledge to thank those who have protected our great nation year-round by hiring veterans whenever possible.

See the original op-ed in the News & Advance.

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November 5, 2013 | 5:01 pm

NRC Dialogue: Nearly 50 Years of Safe U.S. Used Nuclear Fuel Transport and Storage

AREVA employees’ red shirts were a visual show of support in favor of nuclear energy at the NRC meeting in Charlotte.

AREVA employees’ red shirts were a visual show of support in favor of nuclear energy at the NRC meeting in Charlotte.

When you’re passionate about something called into question, you show up and speak out to ensure your opinion is heard. Sixty AREVA employees did just that yesterday evening as part of the 200 attendees at the NRC “Waste Confidence” public meeting in Charlotte, NC.

On behalf of their fellow red-shirted employees, seven AREVA employees stepped to the microphone to speak about their personal commitment to safe nuclear energy operations, their high skill level honed from continuous training, and their confidence in the advanced technologies that currently assure safe used nuclear fuel management in the United States. Each person spoke from the heart, and gave an expert opinion from years of personal experience working inside the U.S. nuclear energy industry.

Vic Fregonese, responsible for AREVA’s Safety and Quality in the U.S. Region, said, “I have worked in the U.S. Nuclear Power Industry for more than 30 years.  I have worked in both the utility and supplier sectors of this business.  During that time I have witnessed our industry continue to be a safe, secure, and environmentally sound source of electricity supply to our nation.  Nuclear energy provides an emissions-free, domestic source of base load electricity generation, and creates thousands of jobs for our citizens … Safety has been, and is, our highest priority.”

Mechanical engineer Frank Barilla focused his comments on used nuclear fuel, saying it “has been stored safely for decades.  The technology is mature and well understood. Other countries such as France, Finland, and Sweden have solved this problem, and are putting geological repositories into place.”

NAYGN chapter officer and chemical engineer Matt Cagnetta stated, “I assert that this country cannot sustain its energy needs, reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by any significant factor, and continue to secure the low cost of electricity that consumers and industries enjoy without drawing from nuclear power. The many available facts and my personal experience with respect to nuclear design, licensing, maintenance, research and development, and advocacy bolster this conclusion.”

AREVA employees believe nuclear energy should serve as the solid foundation for building America’s clean energy portfolio. We have nearly 50 years’ experience in the U.S. safely removing, transporting and storing used nuclear fuel. We understand and advance the robust technology and processes needed to safely manage this unique material.

And it is from this experienced perspective that we support with confidence the proven and safe management of used nuclear fuel in the United States. The technological side of the question has been demonstrated as capable over decades of operations, and we support the NRC in its timely resolution of Waste Confidence rulemaking.

October 30, 2013 | 9:12 am

Power Magazine: Steam Generator Replacement a “Top Plant”

Outage ExcellenceAt AREVA, we take a lot of pride in the work we do. Because we make safety, quality, performance, and delivery our top priorities, we have one of the best outage excellence records in the U.S. nuclear energy industry.

So we’re pleased that Thomas Overton of Power Magazine has recognized the URS/AREVA SGT team with Entergy in replacing the steam generators at the Waterford 3 Steam Electric Station in Killona, Louisiana, by naming it one of their Top Plants for November 2013.

As Power notes, replacing a steam generator in a nuclear power plant is one of the “most challenging” tasks for a nuclear power plant … if done poorly, the process could result in extended outages or impact continued plant operations. And the generator being replaced at Waterford 3 was one of the most massive SGT had ever moved: 65 feet long and weighing 720 tons, which meant custom rigging and brilliant engineering to make a safe, timely, high-precision operation.

Despite some major challenges—including delivery delays, modifications to the plan, and even Hurricane Isaac—the expert integrated team replaced the steam generator in just 93 days, while putting together a stellar safety record that received numerous awards from the National Safety Council.

The reason for this success? Overton chalks it up to “sterling teamwork and project management” and a focus on safety from the very beginnings of the project.

That’s the kind of excellence we bring to every project we work on—outage excellence that means a better safety record, innovative technologies, and proven processes to help our customers meet their outage goals and continue safely generating clean, reliable, and dependable nuclear power.

We’re proud that, yet again, our record of excellence has delivered for a valued customer. Read more about the project in the original article.

October 17, 2013 | 9:15 am

Delta High Students Visit AREVA Richland Facility

Forty Delta High School students recently visited the AREVA Richland Fuel Manufacturing Facility to learn about the role of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in supporting the energy workforce of tomorrow.

Students from Delta High School spent the day at the AREVA Richland Fuel Manufacturing Facility in Richland, Wash., learning how science, technology, engineering, and math support the nuclear energy industry.

Students from Delta High School spent the day at the AREVA Richland Fuel Manufacturing Facility in Richland, Wash., learning how science, technology, engineering, and math support the nuclear energy industry.

During a day trip to the AREVA Richland facility, students had an in-depth view of local operations that support the global nuclear industry, including fuel engineering, manufacturing, and services. Students also talked with members of AREVA’s North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NAYGN) group to learn about energy and engineering career paths.

“These students are the future STEM workforce, and we enjoyed showing them what we do at the AREVA Richland Fuel Manufacturing Facility,” said Dominique Grandemange, Richland site manager. “It is well known that the nuclear industry is facing a challenge due to its aging workforce, and our site is no exception to this situation. This visit was an excellent opportunity to spark students’ interests in STEM careers and continue to develop our partnership with local schools such as Delta.”

October 4, 2013 | 5:36 pm

Pandora’s Promise Screening Draws Wide Audience in Saskatoon

By Jarret Adams, VP Communications, AREVA Resources Canada

Pandora's Promise

Following a successful debut at the Sundance Film Festival and screenings across the United States and in larger Canadian centers, Pandora’s Promise premiered in Saskatoon at the Roxy Theatre on Oct. 1. Showing to a near-full capacity crowd, the documentary provided a compelling conversation about nuclear power, climate change and how we can responsibly power our world. After the film, a panel debated the merits of nuclear energy in Canada and internationally.

The documentary, by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Robert Stone, tells the intensely personal stories of environmentalists, including Stewart Brand, Gwyneth Cravens, Mark Lynas and Michael Shellenberger, and energy experts who have undergone a radical conversion from being fiercely anti to strongly pro-nuclear energy, risking their careers and reputations in the process.

The film also considers the critical role that nuclear energy can play in helping fight climate change, because, it bears mention once more, that nuclear power plants generate electricity without producing greenhouse gases.

The panel after the film featured two nuclear supporters Heather Kleb, president of the Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA); and Ron Oberth, president of the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries (OCI); and two antinuclear activists, Jim Harding, author and retired University of Regina professor; and David Gary, author and boardmember of Clean Green Saskatchewan.

In her opening remarks, the CNA’s Kleb explained Canada’s nuclear energy sector has “over 40 years of safe operations. No member of the public has ever been harmed by activities at one of our facilities. We are actually known around the world for our safety record.”

“We produce virtually no greenhouse gases and therefore do not contribute to the production of smog, or climate change,” Kleb said. “We produce power around the clock – we reliably provide 24/7 baseload power.
OCI’s Oberth cited the success of nuclear energy in Ontario. “Because nuclear energy produces more than 50 percent of Ontario’s electricity, per capita emissions are 80 grams/kilowatt-hour, which is among the lowest of any area in the developed world,” Oberth said.

Many AREVA and Cameco employees as well as many other Saskatoon area residents attended the Oct.1 event; another screening at the Roxy Theatre is scheduled for Oct. 10 at 7 pm.

Scott Larson of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix recently spoke with director Robert Stone and published a transcript of their discussion.

We encourage you to go see the movie, and join in the clean air energy discussion.

September 27, 2013 | 10:37 am

Video: High-impact Test of Nuclear Fuel Storage System

Making the point on safe and secure used nuclear fuel storage and nuclear transport containers, this video is worth seeing again.

In November 2010, AREVA successfully conducted a high-impact crash test demonstrating that the company’s concrete storage modules, such as those used in the current NUHOMS® dry cask storage system, can withstand intense impact without loss of integrity or safety.

As this video shows, the 1:3-scale test simulated the impact of a military airplane jet engine shaft at the most sensitive location on the AREVA TN “TN NOVA™” used nuclear fuel overpack system.

The impact was impressive. The 660-pound steel projectile fired at the TN NOVA struck with a speed of 534 mph, knocking the heavy canister into the air to land yards away—unharmed. The test successfully demonstrated that the TN NOVA internal canister, which would contain the used nuclear fuel, remained leaktight after the projectile’s impact.

The test was conducted by the CEA, France’s Commission on Nuclear and Renewable Energy.

Learn more about AREVA TN’s 40+ years of safe used fuel management and nuclear transport in the United States by visiting the website.

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September 26, 2013 | 6:39 pm

Lights, CANBERRA, Action!

CANBERRAcontestHey Students! We want to see what you are learning while using CANBERRA equipment, so send us a video!

If it’s selected as a top finalist, you could win $1,000 or other great prizes!

Here’s how …

  • Submit a video demonstrating a nuclear measurement application using CANBERRA products.
  • Include scientific information, and try to teach us something.
  • Make it creative and engaging!

Complete submissions must be received by November 1, 2013, at 5:00 pm ET.

Our judges will select up to 5 finalists. The top video submissions will be displayed on our website and the winner will be decided by the public.

Take a look at our new lab manual for inspiration!

For more information and to upload your video submission, visit www.canberra.com/videochallenge

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September 25, 2013 | 10:24 am

Diversity and STEM Creating Innovative US Nuclear Energy Workforce

By Mike Rencheck, CEO, AREVA Inc. North America

Areva Inc. CEO Mike RencheckOn September 24, 2013, I joined a panel convened by the Department of Energy to emphasize our shared commitment to diversity and encourage a greater engagement of minorities in the energy sector. The Minorities in Energy Initiative expands the national dialogue on economic development, STEM education, and climate change, and will advance our country’s ability to meet America’s critical economic and security needs. Our workforce must be proficient in science, technology, engineering and math education (STEM) to lead the world in twenty-first century industries, like the energy industry.
read more…

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August 21, 2013 | 3:07 pm

Taking a Deep Breath and Reconsidering Nuclear Energy

Don’t miss this excellent article by New York Times Economic Scene columnist Eduardo Porter, “Coming Full Circle in Energy, To Nuclear.”

He begins by describing his visit to a site on the Wyoming plains where 10 percent of our nation’s coal is being dug out from one of the world’s largest strip mines:

“Standing at the precipice, staring into the thick black mineral vein, I find it difficult to envisage how an enterprise of this magnitude could be stopped, and what could take its place.”

“… even as the consensus among experts builds that coal and other fossil fuels must be sharply reduced and eventually removed from the energy matrix, there is no agreement on what sources of energy could feasibly take their place, and how to get from here to there.”

This raises the question facing the U.S. and our energy policy vision with an eye on climate impact: Which replacement clean air energy source can generate substantial amounts of on-demand power with a stable domestic fuel price and efficient technology implementation?

Porter explores the economic side of the technology question first using a recent analysis of power generation, stating:

“… even if the world were to impose a tax of $30 per metric ton of carbon dioxide, neither wind nor solar could outcompete gas and coal. A new generation of nuclear power, by contrast, is potentially the cheapest energy source of all.

The study projected that the typical nuclear generator in North America could produce power at $50 to $75 per megawatt/hour, depending on assumptions about construction costs and interest rates, against $70 to $80 for coal-fueled power. Wind-powered electricity would cost from $60 to $90, but there are limits to how much it can be scaled up. A megawatt/hour of solar power still costs in the hundreds. The study concluded that nuclear power would prove even more competitive in Asia and Europe.”

Next, he considers the stark questions and new answers passionate environmentalists are realizing as they re-examine long-held biases and the climate urgency of billowing emissions. As an example, Porter presents environmentalist Robert Stone and his film “Pandora’s Promise”, citing the filmmaker’s views that the environmental need for nuclear power is becoming ever clearer to a new generation of environmentalists.

But where is this additional nuclear energy? Though the daily renewal of existing U.S. nuclear energy facilities added about the power equivalence of six new nuclear reactors, Americans’ increasing energy demands require that our country accelerates the development and implementation of next-gen nuclear energy technology, and train a substantial new workforce to build and operate them.

Porter’s key point is the one he closes the article with: “If nuclear power is to play a leading role combating climate change, it should start now.” The nuclear energy technology already exists. It’s the political vision that’s still in development.

Additional insightful content makes this article very much worth reading and sharing.

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