We really like this video tour of the North Anna plant and the visual means of explaining to the CNN viewers (and Internet video viewers) how the North Anna plant’s back up generators, and safety systems performed during and after the Virginia 5.9 quake this week.
Safety upgrades and and the attention to multiple redundant back up systems made over the last 30 years can be hard to get across to users in non-abstract ways, and we think this video does a really good job. Do share it around.
By Danielle Decatur, MBA Candidate Thunderbird School of Global Management
Danielle Decatur (left), MBA Candidate Thunderbird School of Global Management
As an MBA candidate at the Thunderbird School of Global Management, it was my goal to land a summer internship in sustainability. So imagine my excitement when I found myself at AREVA, Inc. as the sustainable development and continuous improvement intern.
I recently had the opportunity to tour the Salem Hope Creek Nuclear Plant in New Jersey, hosted by PSEG, the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) (http://nei.org/), and the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment. My summer employment has allowed me to become familiar with key issues that frame nuclear and renewable energy – safety, stakeholder engagement, energy demand, and [the artist formerly known as] climate change (i.e. greenhouse gas emissions), to name a few. During my visit to the plant I was able to experience these issues first-hand and gain a renewed interest in the energy challenges the United States and the world face today. read more…
Multiple strengthening grids integral to EPR reactor construction.
Being defined by one’s actions instead of just words can be a daunting reality, but modern nuclear reactor facilities and designs unabashedly confirm the U.S. nuclear industry’s commitment and culture focused on safety.
This commitment created an astounding statistic: From the day President Eisenhower commissioned the first reactor to the present day, the ongoing commercial operations of U.S. nuclear reactors have caused zero (0) deaths in the workforce and general public. And modern reactors are designed to maintain that safety commitment with advanced technology and techniques.
For example, AREVA’s 1,600+ megawatt U.S. EPR™ reactor design completing review by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) represents additional advancements in secure, robust construction and multi-layer preventive and reactive safety systems. Here are the details divided out by the numbers … read more…
Nuclear power expansion in Florida is still under fire, despite the growing need for cleanly generated electricity. At issue is how much Florida power consumers spend now to cover planning costs for building or expanding nuclear power plants.
While the Florida Public Service Commission needs to keep those fees from causing economic hardship for homeowners or large industrial users, the state also needs to promote planning for the future of electricity generation…
The PSC will decide in the next few weeks how much Florida Power and Light and Progress Energy Florida will charge customers in 2012 for reactors that have yet to be built and plants that need to be upgraded….
Large industrial users of electricity and nuke opponents are suggesting the plants will never be built. Construction costs are rising, technology is changing for the better and public sentiment is turning in wake of the nuclear disaster earlier this year in Japan, they say.
If the reactors are unlikely to be built, why charge consumers for them?…
Opponents of nuclear power suggest new technology, conservation and alternative energy will help ease demand in the future….
That is far too hopeful. Right now, coal accounts for about 25 percent of Florida’s electricity. To reduce that usage to something that causes fewer or zero carbon emissions, the state will have to turn to natural gas and nuclear power….
On the green front, the state should encourage wind and solar options, but those methods do not generate anything close to what Florida needs from major sources of electricity.
It’s not unusual for states to look far ahead when planning for nuclear power plants. The plants are costly, they need to have the most up-to-date technology and reactors, and they have to get through mountains of red tape. But once running, nuclear power plants efficiently provide millions of watts of power…
Florida must be prepared to deal with the growing demand for power. The state shouldn’t become too reliant on any one energy source — especially coal. Nuclear plants should be part of the mix.
As the Obama Administration looks to help jumpstart job creation across the United States, it should look no farther than the nuclear energy sector. Nuclear energy already plays an important role in the U.S. economy, producing 20 percent of the nation’s electricity and employing some 120,000 hardworking Americans. Yet investment in new nuclear facilities will create many additional jobs during both the construction and operation phases. read more…
While many countries are still developing strategies for increasing their low-carbon electricity generation, France is moving forward with a significant new nuclear project that will help the nation maintain its status as having one of the lowest emissions per capita of any industrialized nation.
The Flamanville 3 nuclear power plant, under construction in the Normandy region of France, is part of the solution for meeting the nation’s growing demand for low-carbon energy. This reactor is AREVA’s EPR™ design and is the second in this series of advanced design.
EDF, the plant’s operator, announced a schedule revision today, as well as a new approach to organization. The modification of the timeline also includes “comprehensive analyses carried out as part of the post-Fukushima safety assessment audits (that) will be submitted to the Nuclear Safety Authority in September,” according to an EDF statement.
AREVA is working closely with EDF to optimize the EPR™ reactor based on feedback provided by the first construction projects. We are already applying this experience to improve the two EPR™ reactor construction projects in China.
“The success of the Flamanville EPR is a major challenge for the industrial expertise of the nuclear industry. We will continue to work together on the feedback from the first EPR sites in order to learn from it for the benefit of future construction projects around the world,” said Hervé Machenaud EDF’s Group Senior Executive in charge of Production and Engineering and Claude Jaouen, Senior Executive Vice President of AREVA’s Reactors and Services Business Group.
For more information on the Flamanville 3 project and AREVA’s scope, click here.
While other countries ponder their low-carbon energy dilemmas, you can take a closer look at the construction of an EPR™ reactor and see what is to come at Flamanville 3. Check out the video here of the Olkiluoto 3 EPR™ reactor construction project in Finland where AREVA has already installed the four steam generators.
With digital technology at the helm of many industries such as aviation, automotive and navy nuclear, the U.S. commercial nuclear fleet is embracing digital technology to improve safety, reliability and plant availability. With significant installations in Europe and Asia, AREVA is bringing this digital technology to the United States.
In a nutshell, replacing the existing analog control system with a modern digital platform enhances the facility’s capabilities to ensure safe and reliable nuclear plant operations. And in the same way that advanced Generation III+ nuclear reactor designs emphasize redundant physical safety features, the digital I&C system ensures continuous integrity with its own inherent system redundancies.
This globally proven technology is already in operation or being installed at 69 units on 40 separate sites in 14 countries, and in reactors by 10 different suppliers. Last year, AREVA became the first and only supplier in the U.S. to receive NRC approval for full plant specific application of a safety-related digital I&C system.
By first evaluating and implementing regular, intentional safety upgrades and improvements like digital I&C, the U.S. nuclear industry continues progressively operating as a safe, secure clean energy source reliably generating 20% of American households’ electricity.
The decontamination system co-developed by AREVA and Veolia Water* for the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has just reached the milestone of 18,000 tons of highly-radioactive water treated to-date, representing 15% of the accumulated volume.
Installed on the Fukushima site that was severely damaged following an earthquake and tsunami that hit the North-East of Japan in March, the system was designed, constructed, and launched in a record-short time (2 months) and is an essential element to stabilize the situation of the nuclear plants. It will improve the access of workers to strategic parts of the site, and allow TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) to re-circulate the water used for cooling the reactors.
Constructed and commissioned by AREVA and Veolia experts, the system reduces the water radioactivity level by a factor of 10,000 and can treat up to 50 tons of contaminated water per hour. These technologies have a proven track record in AREVA’s La Hague and Marcoule facilities and across hundreds of Veolia Water projects in the world.
All together, over 200 AREVA and 60 Veolia experts from France, Germany, the United States, Japan and Sweden were mobilized non-stop on this project.
For more information, check out NPR’s profile on ‘Fukushima Workers Tackle Highly Radioactive Water.’
Progress can be a matter of perspective, but in the months since an extreme earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants, the U.S. nuclear industry has clearly made many significant advancements:
Began examining every single one of the 104 American nuclear power plants, confirming (PDF) that the ongoing safety and operational upgrades installed during the decades since the plants were built have maintained a secure level of performance and modernization … even in the case of a flooded river plain.
Confirmed the vision and value of advancing America’s nuclear power fleet with new, modern reactors, such as AREVA’s EPR™ reactor, built from the ground up with active and automatic safety systems and enhanced operational design efficiencies
Conducted personal interviews and opened their doors to host facility tours for government, media and public scrutiny of plant security, fuel management, operational processes, and contingency plans
Engaged in the national nuclear fuel cycle deliberations discussing the option of recycling used fuel to recapture and reuse the 96% energy content that remains, evaluating centralized interim storage of used fuel, and the eventual development of a repository.
As with any advancement, progress is pegged on a continuum from past accomplishments to future goals. The U.S. nuclear industry’s intense, ingrained focus on safety is obvious with the unmatched statistic of zero deaths attributed to operating a commercial nuclear reactor beginning with President Eisenhower commissioning the first commercial nuclear power plant in 1954. No other energy industry in the U.S. comes close to matching this commitment and accomplishment.
In support of the nation’s goal of reduced carbon emissions and energy security, the nuclear power industry can play a larger role if we expand its current 20% supply of America’s electricity demand with modern, safe reactors. Additional reactors could significantly reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and replace fossil-fuel-generated carbon emissions with reliable, sustainable nuclear power. In tandem with expanding renewable energies, expanding safe nuclear energy could help us meet the expected 100% increase in electricity demand by the year 2050 with low-carbon sources.