Archive for the ‘Nuclear Power Plants’ Category

March 26, 2014 | 3:22 pm

AREVA Continues Leading Nuclear Plants into the Digital Age

TelepermXSIn December 2013, AREVA Inc. set another benchmark for the U.S. nuclear industry with the third successful installation of a comprehensive Digital Instrumentation & Control (I&C) upgrade system.  Most importantly, the project was completed as promised–safely and on schedule.

AREVA’s TELEPERM® XS digital I&C system enables state-of-the-art digital processing of functions for Reactor Protection System (RPS) and Engineered Safeguards Protection Systems (ESPS). Including this recent installation, 80 TELEPERM® XS systems have been supplied or are currently installed in 14 different reactor designs across 16 countries.

By incorporating lessons learned from the first two U.S. installations and a continuous improvement culture, our dedicated team of professionals focused on AREVA’s four Pillars of Excellence–safety, quality, performance, and delivery–and expertly delivered this most recent I&C safety innovation.

Our utility customer’s multi-year vision and foresight now translates into enhanced safety and reliability for its nuclear energy facility. The first two installations at the site–completed in 2011 and 2012–have been operating as designed with no issues while minimizing previous operator burdens with surveillances. Last year, our customer’s TELEPERM® XS Digital I&C upgrade won the 2012 NEI Top Industry Practice Award for Vision and Leadership and the Best of the Best Award. The year prior, AREVA’s digital I&C installation won Platt’s Award for Engineering Project of the Year.

You can learn more about AREVA’s journey to address plant reliability and obsolescence in a recent Electric Light & Power article, Leading Nuclear Plants into the Digital Age.

March 17, 2014 | 10:59 am

Congressman Wilson and Secretary of State Kerry Discuss Concern with Insufficient MOX Project Funding

We appreciate the concern expressed by Secretary Kerry last week for the broader international implications of walking away from the U.S. nonproliferation commitment to permanently dispose of surplus nuclear weapon-grade plutonium through the MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF), generally called the MOX Project.

As shown in the video below, Secretary Kerry was responding to information provided by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) about the Obama Administration’s FY 2015 budget proposal to Congress to minimally fund the more than 60% constructed MFFF, subjecting the project to “cold-standby” stagnation while re-examining previously considered options.

This uncertainty in our nonproliferation agreement with Russia comes at a sensitive time in world affairs, especially since it heightens the juxtaposition with the fourth anniversary of the nonproliferation protocol signed between then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the first Nuclear Security Summit in April 2010. This protocol amending the Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement (PMDA) of 2000 specifies that the United States will dispose of no less than 34 metric tons of surplus weapon plutonium by irradiating the plutonium as MOX fuel in nuclear power reactors.

The proposed MFFF cold-standby places into question the U.S. commitment to global nuclear nonproliferation only a week before the Administration leads the international summit on nuclear nonproliferation and terrorism at the Nuclear Security Summit at The Hague, March 24-25. President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin are among the world leaders scheduled to participate. Abandoning the MOX Project will leave the U.S. with no timely cost-efficient alternative to honor the nonproliferation agreement. Selecting another option that does not honor the PMDA will require the U.S. to renegotiate with Russia.

Congressman Wilson and at least seven U.S. Senators have recognized that—to honor our existing nonproliferation commitment—we must complete the MOX Project.

March 14, 2014 | 10:08 am

NGNP Alliance and NC2I Discuss Commercialization of AREVA’s Gen-IV HTGR

AREVA HTGR Information KitThe output of next-generation nuclear reactors can do much more than just generate electricity. In partnership with the U.S.-based NGNP Alliance, the international organization NC2I is considering an AREVA-designed Gen-IV prismatic core, modular high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) concept as a powerful, low-emissions energy source for industrial steam processes.

The European Union has a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and a major element of that commitment is the Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform (SNETP) program considering three nuclear energy applications, including the “Nuclear Cogeneration Industrial Initiative.”  This initiative explores GHG reductions in areas other than electricity generation, such as industrial process heat, district heating, and desalination.

The NC2I selected the HTGR as its preferred approach because of the concept reactor’s high temperature process heat capability and its intrinsic safe operating processes, allowing collocation with industrial facilities.

As stated in the news release announcing the selection,

“[They] met last week to discuss collaboration opportunities to development and commercialize a Generation IV, intrinsically safe nuclear high temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) technology that can be used for cogeneration of process heat and electricity, displacing other fossil fuels and the greenhouse gases they cause.”

By sharing technical progress through this collaboration, we may be able to reach these industrial and environmental goals more economically.

Along with other leading global companies, AREVA is an active member of the NGNP Alliance and NC2I.

Read the NGNP Alliance release: International Industry Organizations Meet to Collaborate on Intrinsically Safe Nuclear Reactor Technology

February 7, 2014 | 4:50 pm

Southworth Discusses AREVA’s Nuclear Portfolio at Platts Conference

Platts-logoYesterday, at the Platts 10th Annual Nuclear Energy Conference, AREVA’s Chief Technology Officer Finis Southworth participated on a panel discussing the current status and challenges of new nuclear power programs worldwide.

With AREVA as the only company on the panel representing in-house new build and next-generation nuclear technology experience, Southworth’s presentation provided unique insight into the new build landscape. In discussion, he stressed that a strong regulatory framework, stable supply chain, long-term government support, and strong customer/supplier relationships are needed for new build programs to thrive.

With AREVA’s Gen III+ 1,600MWe EPR reactor, the 1,000MWe ATMEA1 reactor and the 1,250MWe boiling water KERENA reactor, plus fast breed and High-temperature Gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) technology in its portfolio, AREVA is a key player in the global new build sector.

Here in North America, Southworth emphasized that AREVA Inc.’s experience and understanding of the entire nuclear fuel cycle and technology makes it a leading supplier in the U.S. energy market – from mining to fuel fabrication, new builds to components, and outage excellence to safe used nuclear fuel management.

Explore our complete portfolio at us.areva.com.

December 12, 2013 | 3:00 pm

AREVA’s VEGAPULS Used Fuel Pool Instrumentation

Our friends at NEI have a new piece up about the nuclear industry’s latest tools for monitoring the water level in used nuclear fuel storage pools, including AREVA’s through-air radar system.

Along with the article’s general content, this is a great opportunity to add performance details about AREVA Inc.‘s groundbreaking efforts in used fuel pool level instrumentation—efforts that are already set to further enhance safety at nuclear energy facilities throughout North America.

In partnership with VEGA Americas, Inc., we’ve developed state-of-the-art tools like the VEGAPULS™ system to monitor used fuel storage pools. VEGAPULS is a through-air radar system that works by measuring the reflection times of microwave pulses to calculate a pinpoint measurement of water levels.

The benefit of using through-air radar is that it works even under adverse conditions—conditions in which used fuel pool monitoring is most important. Field tests of the VEGAPULS through-air radar demonstrated that it can efficiently handle environments containing saturated steam, dense smoke, boiling water, and floating debris without any loss of accuracy —at a range of up to 212 feet.

Check out this video demonstration of our used fuel pool instrumentation:

We’re proud to be doing our part to help utilities safely deliver and manage on-demand, clean-air nuclear energy.

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.

December 2, 2011 | 12:00 pm

Advancing U.S. Nuclear Reactor Safety

What do a late-model car and a nuclear reactor have in common? They both can react with a fast, reliable digital safety response system.

The first installation of such a system in a U.S. reactor was recognized yesterday by Platts at its 13th Annual Global Energy Awards Assembly with the prestigious “Engineering Project of the Year” award.

As described in the press release,

The June installation of AREVA’s TELEPERM® XS is the first comprehensive application of a safety-related Digital Instrumentation & Control (I&C) Reactor Protection System in the United States. The system enables state-of-the-art digital processing of functions for the Reactor Protection System (RPS) and the Engineered Safeguards Protection System (ESPS).

Performing as a key component of the “Defense in Depth” approach to nuclear energy safety, our digital I&C enables the #2 and #3 requirements in a safety response.

AREVA is the world leader in digital I&C, with safety-related digital I&C systems installed in reactors in Europe, China and Russia over the past decade. The TELEPERM® XS platform has been installed, or is on order, at 69 units at 40 separate sites in 14 countries … and now helping maintain the unmatched energy safety record of U.S. nuclear reactor facilities.

December 2, 2011 | 11:21 am

“After Fukushima: Now More Than Ever”

Nathan Myhrvold (Photo: Copyright © 2011 Intellectual Ventures Management, LLC (IV®).)

Very clear thinking and writing from former Microsoft Chief Strategist and Technology Officer, Nathan Myrvold in his NY Times Op Ed, “After Fukushima: Now More than Ever.”

Some key quotes. He begins, as the title of the piece would suggest, at the primary lessons to be learned from the Fukushima tragedy:

“The primary lesson from Japan’s recent trauma, however, is that a tsunami is dangerous to everything in its path, nuclear plants included. Consider the growing needs for reliable energy, the fact that nuclear is probably the safest form of power that can meet those needs, and the unfortunate truth that fossil-fueled alternatives emit so much pollution that they arguably pose a much greater threat than the darkest nuclear accident scenario… A logician would see no reason for ambivalence, but most people are not logical when it comes to scary events. That’s why people worry about dying in a plane crash while driving to the airport, even though the drive is more dangerous than the flight.”

And he makes a persuasive case for the role we have long advocated for nuclear power, as a key source of “baseload power” with supplemental renewable sources.

“Now the world has focused on the danger of global warming and the need for technologies that can supply large amounts of power all day, every day, without emitting CO2. Nuclear plants are the only proven technology that fits that bill; they actually deliver 90 percent of rated capacity. That means a reactor rated at 1,000 megawatts pumps a full 900 megawatts onto the grid, averaged over a decade or so. In contrast, the vicissitudes of sunlight and wind mean that, over a similar period, a solar plant delivers less than 20 percent of its rated peak capacity even if it is in a sunny desert, and a wind farm generates less than 30 percent of its potential. With no good technology to store large amounts of energy, power companies must add baseload generators (nuclear, gas or coal) as backup for every wind and solar facility.”

Then he paints a very clear picture of the global energy challenges we face:

The energy problem for the 21st century is giving every citizen of Earth enough energy to support a modern standard of living — that probably means quadrupling the output of electrical plants. Advances in efficiency could, in principle, lower that number, but more likely other factors will raise it. Today, for example, only about 1,500 watts of the approximately 6,700 watts of power a typical American uses comes in the form of electricity, based on figures from the International Energy Agency. But if we continue to use more electricity to power cars, trains and other vehicles, demand for electrical power will probably soar. Where is all that electricity going to come from?

And Myrvold closes by pointing out the very different choices being made between Germany, and other countries:

The future of nuclear energy hinges on how we reconcile fears with needs. For Germans, the emission of CO2 appears to be the lesser evil, at least at the moment. In just the past few months, Brazil, South Africa and Saudi Arabia announced plans to move ahead with the construction of nuclear plants — 16 of them, in Saudi Arabia’s case. In those nations and in India, China and other parts of the world where nuclear reactors are scheduled to go up by the dozens, the complex calculus of risk may yield a different result.

It’s a very powerful and carefully considered understanding of the need to expand nuclear energy; read the entire article here.

October 24, 2011 | 2:03 pm

Quote of the Day

“We need the power in Vermont…If we lose this plant it’s going to be a huge blow to our economy.”

- Dick Trudell, one of the supporters who gathered to show their support of the Vermont Yankee Plant

October 17, 2011 | 11:32 am

Quote of the Day

“Virginia voters approve 71 – 20 percent of using nuclear power to produce electricity and support 60 – 32 percent the construction of new nuclear plants in the commonwealth.”

From Quinnipac University polling of Virginia voters, October 12th, 2011