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This blog is aimed at tracing the world news related to nuclear power development internationally and in particular countries. Being an independent resource, we accept all kinds of opinions, positions and comments, and welcome you to discuss the posts and tell us what you think.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Nuclear News 04/02/2008

Lukashenka gives his official OK to construction of nuclear power plant
Beloryskiye Novosti

Alyaksandr Lukashenka on January 31 signed a directive of the Security Council to authorize the construction of a 2,000-megawatt nuclear power plant in the country.
Under the directive, titled on the Development of Nuclear Power Industry in the Republic of Belarus, the first nuclear power unit will be started in 2016 and the second one in 2018.
According to earlier reports, experts currently consider two sites for the construction of the plant, with one of them located near Bykhaw, Mahilyow region, and the other between Horki and Shklow also in the Mahilyow region that has been affected worst by the Chernobyl nuclear accident along with the Homyel region.
The plant is estimated at $4 billion. It would generate some 15 percent of all energy consumed in the country.
The government is reportedly considering Westinghouse Toshiba, a US-Japanese venture, the French-German Areva Group, and Russia’s Atomstroiexport as major potential suppliers of equipment.
The construction of the plant was discussed by Mr. Lukashenka and officials of the Security Council this past month. The presidential press office said in its written comment that the discussion yielded an “ultimate political decision” to build the plant.

US nuclear power plants to get more Russia uranium

U.S. nuclear power reactors will be able to obtain more supplies of Russian enriched uranium for fuel, under a trade deal signed by the two countries late on Friday
The agreement will provide U.S. utilities with a reliable supply of nuclear fuel by allowing Russia to boost exports export to the United States while minimizing any disruption to the United States' domestic enrichment industry.

IAEA Concludes Follow-Up Mission to Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant

An IAEA follow-up fact-finding mission to the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Japan has concluded from the examination of the plant´s key safety areas that there was no significant damage to safety equipment from a strong earthquake last year.
"The first objective of the team has been to confirm that there appears to be no significant damage to the integrity of the plant", said Phillipe Jamet, whose team was able to view key internal components in the plant inaccessible during their first visit in August last year.
The IAEA team´s site visit followed three days of open and constructive discussions with Japanese regulatory officials, the plant´s operators, and other experts.
The mission concluded that significant data about the earthquake has been gathered and efforts to obtain remaining information are underway. Overall interpretation of all the data will still be necessary to reach a full understanding of the 16 July 2007 earthquake and to assess the possibility of future ones.

DTE Energy shuts down nuclear power plant after pumps malfunction

DTE Energy Co. has shut down its Fermi 2 nuclear power plant after two cooling water pumps stopped working.
DTE spokesman Scott Simons said Friday the utility is investigating, and won't restart the plant until it figures out the cause of the problems.
The Monroe Evening News reports crews manually stopped the nuclear fission process when it became clear the pumps stopped working. The company said all safety systems worked as designed during the shutdown at the Monroe County plant.

UK Nuclear: The power investment of 2008
International Herald Tribune

Now that the government in Britain has formally backed nuclear power as a desirable option for the country's electricity demands, industry analysts are sizing up investment opportunities in the segment with renewed vigor. A slew of stock recommendations among utility companies, engineering businesses and uranium miners suggest that nuclear could be the winning investment theme in the power sector this year.

In a move to secure energy supplies and tackle climate change, the government sanctioned the construction of six nuclear reactors in an energy white paper published in January. The plants, set to be operational by 2020, would replace an aging fleet of 19 power stations that supply around 18 percent of Britain's electricity needs. The cost of the construction program is estimated to be £75 billion, or $149 billion, over 20 years.

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