* [Fukushima-radiation-children thyroid followup] Fukushima Prefecture - 35.8% of children have thyroid cysts or nodules, up from 0.8% in 2001, nuclear.com info nugget
* Study doctor sez "...it is hard to believe that is due to the effects of radiation... This is an early test and we will only see the effects of radiation exposure after four or five years."
* [Fukushima-radiation-children thyroid followup] Helen Caldicott says number of thyroid nodules is extraordinary, could doses have been much greater than calculated?, nuclear.com info nugget
* [Fukushima-radiation-children thyroid followup] American Thyroid Assn president says today's ultrasound technology is much more sensitive than used in the past, nuclear.com info nugget
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see previous Fukushima news at nuclear.com's Fukushima page
US NUCLEAR POWER PLANT NEWS
* [npp-US-San Onofre] Vendor singled out by SONGS findings, World Nuclear Assn, WNN Daily
A regulatory investigation team has pointed at "faulty computer modelling" and "manufacturing issues" as contributing factors to the rapid deterioration of steam generator tubing at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS).
* [npp-US-San Onofre-steam generators] Feds OK with equipment change at Calif. nuke plant, Michael R. Blood, AP (via Nuclear Energy Institute email)
* A spokesman for the group [Friends of the Earth] , Damon Moglen, said in a statement that "the bottom line is that the NRC was asleep at the wheel then, and now we've left it up to the same people to justify their mistake."
* NEI titled their description of this story as "Equipment change at San Onofre plant is acceptable, NRC says". Here's how NEI characterized the story: "The modifications Southern California Edison made to the San Onofre nuclear plant's steam generators are acceptable, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Thursday. The company "provided the NRC with all the information required under existing regulations about proposed design changes to its steam generators," the NRC said in a report. Pete Dietrich, Edison senior vice president and chief nuclear officer, said the company would continue "to work with the NRC on the steam-generator issues and will continue to use conservative decision-making as we work on repairs and planning for the future."
* To add to nuclear*com info nugget on how different folks describe steam generators: "The generators, which resemble massive steel fire hydrants, are one of the central pieces of equipment in a nuclear plant. At San Onofre, each one stands 65 feet high, weighs 1.3 million pounds, with 9,727 U-shaped tubes inside, each three-quarters of an inch in diameter."
* [npp-US-Grand Gulf-uprate] Entergy's Grand Gulf-1 set to become the largest US nuclear plant, Platts (via Nuclear Energy Institute email)
* "... replacing significant portions of several plant systems and components, including the turbine rotors for the reactor feed pumps, power range neutron monitoring system, steam dryer, and the high-pressure turbine..."
* NEI titled their description of this story as "Entergy Grand Gulf reactor to increase capacity to 1,498 megawatts". Here's how NEI characterized the story: "Entergy is set to increase the power capacity of the reactor at its Grand Gulf nuclear plant in Mississippi by 13%, which will make it the largest power reactor in the country, with a total capacity of 1,498 megawatts electrical. The move was approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission nearly two years after Entergy applied for a license amendment in September 2010. It will take Entergy "a few months to reach the new, higher generating capacity, because our procedures require that we increase power a few percent at a time and do various checks and tests before power is increased further," said spokeswoman Suzanne Anderson."
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see previous nuclear plant news at nuclear.com's main nuclear power page
OTHER NUCLEAR POWER PLANT NEWS
* [npp-Japan-antinuc] Emotionally fuelled Japanese take to the streets, World Nuclear Assn, WNN Daily
Japan's nuclear debate has intensified considerably with the restart of reactors. Weekly protests at the prime minister's residence have been supplemented by the biggest rally so far and a huge petition.
* [npp-newbuild-South Korea] Commercial operation at Shin-Kori 2, World Nuclear Assn, WNN Daily
South Korea's newest nuclear power reactor has entered commercial operation. The country now has 22 nuclear units that together supply about one third of its electricity.
* [npp-newbuild-UAE] U.A.E. Will Start Building Second Nuclear Plant in 2013, Ayesha Daya, Bloomberg Businessweek (via Nuclear Energy Institute email)
NEI titled their description of this story as "Construction of second UAE nuclear reactor to begin in 2013". Here's how NEI characterized the story: "Emirates Nuclear Energy plans to begin construction next year on the second of its four planned 1,400-megawatt nuclear plants in the United Arab Emirates. Construction of the first facility has begun, and all four plants are expected to be fully operational by the end of 2020."
* [npp-newbuild-UK] China in talks to build UK nuclear power plants; British officials talking to Chinese about plan that could see up to five reactors being built at cost of £35bn, sources say, Terry Macalister and Fiona Harvey, The Guardian
* the UK atomic programme has been hit by rows over subsidies and worries that EDF - the French company with the most advanced plans to build new reactors in the UK - could be hampered by the change of government in Paris. China has operated its own atomic plants since 1994. It is awash with cash from its hugely successful industrial expansion and sees the UK as a potential shop window for exporting its atomic technology and expertise worldwide.
* Keith Parker, chairman of the Nuclear Industry Association in London, said it was "highly encouraging" that China wanted to invest in the UK. "They have 14 of their own reactors in operation and 25 under construction and they use both [French multinational] Areva and Westinghouse designs that could be used here. It was clear from my discussions with them that they have international ambitions."
* Former Downing Street energy policy director Nick Butler: Chinese involvement in the UK energy business could be a concern. "They will be inside the system, with access to the intricate architecture of the UK's National Grid and the processes through which electricity supply is controlled, as well as to the UK's nuclear technology. "Perhaps that doesn't matter. Perhaps a Chinese wall exists between the Guangdong Holding company and the government in Beijing. Perhaps we have reached a level of globalisation in which the nationality of ownership is irrelevant. "But even if all those things are true, it seems regrettable that in return for this investment the Chinese are not being required to halt the cyberattacks and the theft of intellectual property in which they are now the world leaders."
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* [npp-Iran-Bushehr] Bushehr Nuclear Plant to Run at Full Capacity in August, RIA Novosti (via Nuclear Energy Institute email)
NEI titled their description of this story as "Full-throttle operation set for Iran's first nuclear plant". Here's how NEI characterized the story: "Russian main contractor Atomstroyexport announced that the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant in Iran is set to be fully operational in August. The plant reached 75% of power-generating capacity in mid-February and was expected to attain 100% capacity in May."
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see previous Iran-related news at nuclear.com's Iran page
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see previous North Korea-related news at nuclear.com's North Korea page
OTHER NUCLEAR WEAPON NEWS
* [loose nukes-HEU-Russia-research reactor conversion] U.S., Russia convert nuclear reactors, United Press International (via Nuclear Energy Institute email)
* nine of the 27 research reactors that used HEU in Russia were shut down already
* 20 of the 27 [HEU-fueled research reactors in US] reactors were either converted for LEU or shut down. "The U.S. will continue to make efforts to convert the remaining research reactors as promptly as possible," the Energy Department stated.
* NEI titled their description of this story as "U.S., Russia move to pursue nuclear reactor conversion". Here's how NEI characterized the story: "The Russian government is working to convert a nuclear reactor to use low-enriched uranium by 2014. The first stage of work in a 2010 nuclear reactor conversion agreement between Russia and the U.S. is now complete, according to officials from the two countries. "The conversion of Russian research reactors from highly enriched uranium to lightly enriched uranium directly supports the president's goal to reduce the dangers of nuclear material terrorism and weapons proliferation," said U.S. Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman."
* [n-weapons-Taiwan] Taiwan Ready to Forgo Nuclear Fuel-Making in U.S. Trade Pact Renewal, Elaine M. Grossman, National Journal (via Nuclear Energy Institute email)
NEI titled their description of this story as "Taiwan will renounce nuclear-fuel production rights in U.S. agreement". Here's how NEI characterized the story: "Taiwan is prepared to give up any rights to produce nuclear fuel as part of the renewal of its atomic energy cooperation agreement with the U.S., according to officials from both countries. "This is proof that there are at least two countries -- and probably more -- out there that are willing to undertake a legally binding gold standard in their nuclear cooperation agreement," a congressional source said."
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see previous nuclear weapons-related news at nuclear.com's main Nuclear weapons page
OTHER NUCLEAR NEWS
* [uranium-Canada-China] Trade pact allows Canada to increase uranium exports to China, The Canadian Press (via Nuclear Energy Institute email)
NEI titled their description of this story as "Canada expands uranium-export agreement with China". Here's how NEI characterized the story: "Canada signed an agreement that aims to increase its uranium exports to China, its second-largest trading partner. The "supplementary protocol" signed by Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and China's National Energy Administration chief, Liu Tienan, expands a 1994 nuclear cooperation pact between the two countries."
* [n-people-Women in Nuclear] Women in Nuclear group takes tour of attack sub at Port, Florida Today (Melbourne) (via Nuclear Energy Institute email)
* About 45 members of U.S. Women in Nuclear toured the USS Missouri, a nuclear attack submarine, and learned about different applications of their field.
* NEI titled their link to this story as "Conference attendees get tour of nuclear submarine in Fla.".
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OTHER ENERGY NEWS
* [energy-environment] Nuclear is safer than coal or natural gas, even giving full credit to Stanford study on Fukushima health effects, nuclear.com info nugget
Coal 138, gas 42, nuclear 30: Nobel Prize-winning physicist Burton Richter calculates the years of human life lost due to generating a terawatt hour of electricity
* [energy-UK] Reality tests coalition's energy reforms, Pilita Clark, Guy Chazan and Kiran Stacey, Financial Times
* David Odling of the Oil & Gas UK trade body: "It is vital that ministers recognise that gas-fired power is the only technology available which can fill the coming electricity generation gap, at the necessary scale in the time available and at a cost which is affordable."
* [energy-ethanol] Soaring corn stirs up calls to curb ethanol, Gregory Meyer and Jack Farchy, Financial Times
A reduction in demand "will be necessary to prevent cupboards going bare", says Hussein Allidina, head of commodities research at Morgan Stanley.
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see previous energy-related news at nuclear.com's main Energy page