Archive for January, 2013

Graphene Oxide Could Help With Radioactive Remediation, Say Researchers

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Graphene oxide, a two-dimensional material that contains pure carbon, has “a remarkable ability” to quickly remove radioactive material from contaminated water and could be used in cleaning up contaminated sites such as the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant, researchers at Rice University in Texas and Lomonosov Moscow State University have found.

Microscopic, atom-thick flakes of graphene oxide bind quickly to natural and human-made radionuclides and condense them into solids, Rice University said in a statement. The flakes are soluble in liquids and easily ...

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Standardisation Is Key To Reducing Up-Front Costs, Says NEI Head

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The standardisation of new nuclear units being planned for the US will be the most significant factor in reducing up-front costs for reactors, the Nuclear Energy Institute’s (NEI) president and chief executive officer has said.

In an interview with NucNet, Marvin Fertel said he doubted if the US would introduce the kind of market mechanisms being planned in the UK in an effort to attract investors to the nuclear sector.

But he said: “What we can do from our side concerning the ...

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Bulgaria Election Commission Confirms Pro-Nuclear Referendum Result

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The final results of a referendum in Bulgaria mean the issue of new nuclear build will now be debated in the country’s parliament.

Bulgaria’s Central Electoral Commission (CEC) yesterday confirmed the results of the nationwide referendum on Sunday on the development of nuclear energy through the construction of a new nuclear power plant.

According to the CEC, 60.6 percent voted in favour of new nuclear and 37.96 percent against. The CEC said 1,405,463 voters took part in the referendum out of 6,950,900 ...

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UK Repository Setback As Cumbria Votes ‘No’

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The UK government says it will embark on “a renewed drive” to find a community to host a deep geological repository for radioactive waste after a local authority in northwest England voted against hosting the planned facility.

Cumbria County Council voted today to withdraw from the process to find a host community for the underground facility. Cumbria, site of the Sellafield nuclear facility, is so far the only area to have expressed an interest in hosting the repository.

Another local authority, Copeland ...

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Japan’s Regulator Unveils Proposed New Safety Measures

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Japan’s nuclear regulator has presented a draft outline of new safety standards for nuclear power plants in the wake of the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear disaster, including countermeasures against severe accidents and criteria for evacuating areas around nuclear power plants during an emergency.

The proposed measures include a requirement to outfit plants with back-up control rooms away from reactor buildings, install new pressure vents capable of filtering out radioactive gasses, and reinforce protective structures.

The measures say nuclear plant operators should deploy movable alternative ...

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EC Calls For ITER Parties To ‘Reconfirm Their Political Commitment’

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The European Commission has called for a ministerial meeting to allow all parties to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) to reconfirm their political commitment to the project, EU commissioner for energy Günther Oettinger has said.

In a speech on 17 January 2013 at the inauguration of ITER’s headquarters in Cadarache, southern France, Mr Oettinger said the meeting, which the EC wants scheduled for the autumn of 2013, should also provide a platform for high-level discussions and decisions on the progress ...

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Swiss Phase-Out Initiative To Be Put To National Vote

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The Swiss Federal Chancellery said yesterday that 107,533 of the 108,227 signatures on a popular initiative submitted by the Green Party for a partial revision of the federal constitution on the phase-out of nuclear energy are valid, meaning the measure will be put to a nationwide vote.

The initiative calls for a mandatory 45-year operating limit for the country’s five nuclear reactors. If the initiative is adopted by voters, it would mean there would be no nuclear power production in Switzerland ...

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Poland Commissioner Says Nuclear Must Be Part Of EU Energy Mix

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Without a sustainable energy mix that includes nuclear energy, Europe’s economy will be less competitive, industry will move abroad and jobs will “inevitably be lost”, Poland’s deputy economy minister and commissioner for nuclear energy has said.

In an article written for the policy journal ‘Europe’s World,’ Hanna Trojanowska said nuclear energy is no “silver bullet” for resolving all of the EU’s energy problems, but it is a crucial part of the global solution of a sustainable and diversified energy mix.

She said ...

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