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Advanced Nuclear Reactors Gain Bipartisan Steam

13 Sep

The allure of developing advanced nuclear power technologies not vulnerable to reactor meltdowns gained ground in the U.S. Senate this week. Bipartisan legislation was introduced to direct the Department of Energy to build a fast neutron-capable research reactor. The bipartisan bill, S. 3422, is sponsored by nine senators, including Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Dick Durbin (D-IL), […]

Undercurrents

22 May

A modeling tool aimed at helping optimize where to install electric vehicle chargers, the type—level one or two charges—and how many was the focus of a May 22 workshop at the California Energy Commission. The developing model’s focus is to understand the EV market to increase the efficient use of public investments in chargers. “We […]

Opinionated: The Long & Winding Road to End Nuclear Power in California

19 Mar

By The Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility The end of commercial nuclear power in California approaches, a little more than half a century after it began. Of all the promises and boasts made by the early proponents of nuclear energy, their claim of “too cheap to meter” would eventually prove to be its undoing—at least here […]

Juice: While We Were Gone

21 Aug

No big breaking energy news occurred during our brief summer hiatus, but there were notable energy-related developments, including the release of cost estimates of using alternative clean energy resources in place of the Puente gas power project, a restart of the controversial Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive waste dump license proceeding, and a push by Southern […]

Shorts

11 Jul

The Energy Information Administration has added forecasts for small-scale solar system power capacity to its periodic Short-Term Energy Outlook reports. In its first such forecast, EIA projected that small-scale solar nationwide will grow from 14.3 GW to 21.9 GW by the end of 2018. Annual small-scale solar generation is expected to grow from 19,467 GWh […]

Undercurrents: Nuclear Waste Gains Focus

1 Jun

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission reactivated the Yucca Mountain radioactive dump licensing process May 31, angering many. “Restarting the licensing process for Yucca Mountain would reach new heights of scientific irresponsibility,” said U.S. Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA). He pointed to the two fault lines at the Nevada site, noting hundreds of nearby earthquakes over the last […]

CPUC Rejects $1.5 B Increase for Diablo Decommissioning

25 May

The California Public Utilities Commission approved with no discussion giving Pacific Gas & Electric $2.42 billion to decommission the Diablo Canyon Power Plant and $1.06 billion for the continued decommissioning of the Humboldt Bay Power Plant. PG&E earlier this month sought a 65 percent increase of its 2012 estimate to decommission Diablo, from $2.286 billion, […]

Small CA Muni Eyes New Nuclear Project

22 Mar

Power from a new nuclear reactor complex being planned in Idaho could flow into California as early as 2025 to the Truckee Donner Public Utility District. The district’s board plans to hear as early as it next meeting on April 5 whether local residents favor contracting for power from the plant. Truckee Donner plans to […]

Federal Government Pursues the Nuclear Option

22 Mar

California’s last nuclear power plant at Diablo Canyon is set to close by 2025 but in the nation’s capital Republicans, Democrats, and bureaucrats are working to clear the way for a nuclear power renaissance based on a new generation of “advanced” reactor designs. It was all hands on deck March 22 when the Nuclear Regulatory […]

Bill Seeks to Pave Way for a U.S. Nuclear Power Revival

8 Mar

The Senate Environment & Public Works Committee March 8 took up legislation to modernize the nation’s nuclear plant licensing process in a bid to clear the way for a new generation of plants based on advanced designs. The bipartisan bill, S. 512, is a new version of legislation that failed to advance in the last […]

NRC Delves Into Palo Verde Emergency Backup Generator Failure

13 Feb

The 4,000 MW Palo Verde nuclear power plant, which supplies electricity to Southern California, is being inspected by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission after an emergency diesel generator for the plant’s unit 3 reactor broke down late last year. “The purpose of this special inspection is to better understand the cause of the failure and to […]

NRC Finds Safety Lapse at Diablo Canyon Nuke

5 Jan

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a notice of violation and ordered corrective action for a deficiency in an emergency cooling system at Pacific Gas & Electric’s Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. (more…)

NRC Says Diablo Canyon Cooling System Posed Safety Risk

17 Nov

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is weighing what action to take regarding a potential safety violation at Pacific Gas & Electric’s Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, which caused one of the emergency core cooling systems to be inoperable for up to a year-and-a-half at the plant’s unit two reactor. At a meeting on the potential violation Nov. […]

JUICE: Nuclear Waste Dump Revival

3 Nov

  Last Saturday, a Native American chief drove a stake into the ground as a symbol of protest against continuing to store radioactive nuclear waste onsite at the closed down San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in San Diego County. (more…)

SMUD Works on Nuclear Waste Storage License Renewal

29 Sep

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District will do its due diligence before submitting an application to renew its operational license for the spent nuclear fuel repository facility it operates, muni representatives told the Nuclear Regulatory Commission during a Sept. 27 meeting at NRC offices in Maryland. (more…)

SHORTS

30 Jun

The State Lands Commission June 28 agreed to extend the lease for Pacific Gas & Electric’s Diablo Canyon nuclear plant to 2025. The lease was set to expire in 2018. The extension was granted less than a week after PG&E formally agreed to drop its controversial pursuit of a 20-year operating license extension from the […]

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Radioactive Waste Storage at Nuclear Power Plants

9 Jun

The District Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit June 3 denied a group of states’ call to reject the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s rule allowing continued onsite storage of radioactive waste at nuclear power plants. (more…)

JUICE: Naughty & Nice

17 Dec

Here’s California Current’s 2015 rundown of the best and worst in the energy world directly and indirectly affecting California. (more…)

Shorts

20 Nov

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission Nov. 16 slapped Pacific Gas & Electric with a violation for changing an earthquake testing methodology in 2013 without adequate justification. “This violation is of very low safety-significance and does not challenge the seismic safety of the facility,” said Blair Jones, PG&E spokesperson. He said the utility has subsequently provided additional […]

Shorts

29 Oct

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission wants Pacific Gas & Electric to complete a seismic probabilistic risk assessment by Sept. 30, 2017, for its Diablo Canyon Power Plant. The agency outlined the requirement in a letter to 20 nuclear plant operators on Oct. 27, including PG&E. The aim is to provide the federal regulatory agency with the […]