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NRC approves Pilgrim transfer; Australian nuclear "not viable"; Tepco considers decommissioning reactor
Our pick of the latest nuclear power news you need to know.
NRC approves transfer of Pilgrim from Entergy to Holtec
Entergy Corporation has completed the sale of the subsidiary that owns the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station to a Holtec International subsidiary for decommissioning.
Pilgrim was shut down permanently by Entergy on May 31 after providing electricity for more than 46 years. Entergy and Holtec announced the Pilgrim sale agreement a year ago, and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the transfer of Pilgrim’s licenses to Holtec on August 22.
The NRC found that Holtec possesses the required technical and financial qualifications to own and decommission Pilgrim safely and in accordance with all NRC requirements.
“Protecting public health, safety, and the environment is the foundation upon which all Pilgrim decommissioning work will occur,” said Holtec’s President & CEO Dr Kris Singh.
“We are committed to engaging with stakeholders at the local and state levels to ensure a smooth flow of information throughout the decommissioning process. The cutting-edge technologies we use will ensure maximum safety for our employees and communities and enable the site to be decommissioned decades sooner than if Pilgrim had remained under Entergy’s ownership.”
Report says nuclear power in Australia “not viable option”
Developing nuclear power in Australia is not a viable option, according to a report from leading think-tank the Australia Institute.
The National Energy Emissions Audit said the country’s increased development of wind and solar power would render nuclear power uneconomic.
The report follows recent announcements by Australia’s Minister for Energy, Angus Taylor, that the potential for nuclear energy would be examined by a parliamentary enquiry, but that the current ‘ban’ on nuclear would remain in place.
The Australia Institute found that for 44 hours in July, South Australia generated enough wind and solar energy to power more than 100 percent of the grid.
The Australia Institute’s director of climate and energy Richie Merzian said the data proves there is no need for nuclear power plants to provide reliable energy.
"What our audit shows is the windows where you need that peak demand are few, but that's really where the additional support needs to come and that won't be provided by a baseload support like nuclear," Merzian told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
Tepco considers decommissioning at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power plant
Tokyo Electric power Company (Tepco) has said it is considering decommissioning at least one reactor at the world’s biggest nuclear plant by capacity, Kashiwazaki-Kariwa.
Tepco President Tomoaki Kobayakawa made the comments in a statement following questions raised over the nuclear plant’s future by local government in Kashiwazaki.
In 2017, Tepco received initial regulatory approval from the Japanese government to restart reactors 6 and 7, each with a capacity of 1,356 MW. The plant site has seven reactors with a total capacity of 8,212 MW, accounting for one fifth of Japan's nuclear capacity.
Mayor Masahiro Sakurai demanded in 2017 that Tepco submit plans to shut at least one of reactors 1 to 5 in return for approval of the restart of reactors 6 and 7, according to Reuters news agency.
Tepco has already announced plans to close its Fukushima Daini plant, near the Fukushima Daichi plant where an earthquake and tsunami caused the meltdown of three reactors in 2011. Kashiwazaki-Kariwa is Tepco’s last remaining nuclear power plant.
Tepco may take steps to decommission more than one of reactors 1 to 5 within five years after the restart of reactors 6 and 7 if it is confident it can secure enough non-fossil fuel energy sources, according to the statement.
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