A Task for Generations - A Commission Plans for the Future
World Nuclear Performance Report 2016
The Swedish Energy Policy Agreement in a Nuclear Perspective
Leadership and Safety Culture
CFD Analysis for a Molten Salt Blanket System
Iran is considering Bulgaria’s offer to sell it the Russian-made reactor equipment produced for the abandoned Belene nuclear project. The Belene project was initially planned and started in the 1980s, but was stopped in the early 1990s. In 2008 the project was formally given new life, but suspended again in 2010 and abandoned in 2012. The International Court of Arbitration (ICA) ordered the Bulgarian operator Natsionalna Elektricheska Kompania EAD to pay € 620 m in compensation to Russia’s Atomstroyexport.
Bernhard Fischer and Gerd Jäger
German Federal and State governments have committed the political foundations for the disposal of high radioactive, heat-generating waste with the Repository Site Selection Act (StandAG). The act defines a new site selection procedure and the “Kommission Lagerung hoch radioaktiver Abfallstoffe” (Commission Storage of High Radioactive Waste). The Commission should evaluate the site selection process criteria, processes and decision-making basis, evaluate the StandAG and make proposals for public participation and transparency. The commission presented its final report on 5 July 2016. atw spoke with the representatives of industry, Dr Bernhard Fischer and Prof Dr Gerd Jäger, on the commission work.
Stefan Nießen and Eric Blanc
The strategy for disposal of spent nuclear fuel in Germany requires an interim storage over a longer period. The used fuel assemblies are stored in dry storage casks. An alternative method for storage is the conditioning of the fuel elements. This technology is proven on an industrial scale and is carried out at the La Hague plant. The know-how is currently available for both, the operators as well as in industry and science in Germany.
A larger number of nuclear power units are under construction than at any other time in the last 25 years, and with another ten new reactors coming online 2015 demonstrated improving new build performance all round. The existing global fleet, totally 439 by year-end, generated roughly 10 % of the world’s electricity, making up around one-third of the world’s low-carbon electricity supply. Nevertheless, there are challenges ahead for the global nuclear industry. The World Nuclear Association’s vision for the future global electricity system consists of a diverse mix of low-carbon technologies – where renewables, nuclear and a fossil fuels work together in harmony to ensure a reliable, affordable and clean energy supply.
Since the establishment of nuclear power in the 1970s and 1980s Sweden has been more or less fossil free when it comes to electricity production. Nuclear power production together with a large hydropower production is taking care of daily load variations. Sweden has found a receipt that many countries strive for. After decades of nuclear debate and unclear future it is now very satisfying to have a society based long term energy policy agreement for nuclear power. The Phase-out Act has been removed and will not be reinforced. New reactor constructions are allowed at existing nuclear sites, up to a maximum of ten reactors. The nuclear tax will be removed.
In a referendum on 23 June 2016, 51.9 % of the British voters decided to leave the EU. The question did not include explicitly the exit from the EURATOM Treaty (EAV). Since the 2009 Lisbon Treaty the Euratom Community is a supranational organisation of the new EU. This raises the question whether the exit of Britain from the EU also means an exit from the Euratom treaty.
Erwin Fischer and Eckhard Nithack
The meaning of leadership for safety in the nuclear industry is pointed out. This topic has became an increasing rank since the German “Energiewende”. Despite the phase-out of the German NPP's nuclear safety and the belonging safety culture needs to be well maintained. A challenge for the whole organisation. Following the challenge to operate nuclear power plants towards Operational Excellence a highly skilled and motivated organisation is needed. Therefore Leadership is a valuable success factor.
Even for extreme weather incidents NPPs are forced to ensure frequencies of non-tolerable status of less than 10-4/a. This is also valid for the effects of lightning strikes. The existing verification for lightning and overvoltage protection of an NPP in Germany is a deterministic one: for a defined event its sufficient control must be the proven. In this study the approach for a verification regarding the safety related I&C systems of NPP leading to the required frequency target value and the steps necessary are presented. The assessment is summarised with the results and estimation of the frequency value that lightning strikes to the NPP are not certainly controlled, also taking into account additional protection measures.
Mohammad Nazififard and Kune Y. Suh
This computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis aims to evaluate the flow structures and heat transfer characteristics in Sphere Packed Pipe (SPP) for potential application in fusion reactors. The SPP consists of metal spheres which are packed in a pipe and disturb the flow inside of the pipe to boost the heat transfer. One of the potential applications of SPP is using it at the first wall of Force Free Helical Reactors (FFHR). The numerical model has improved on the numerical model, gaps between pebbles and channel wall, and turbulent model compared to previous numerical studies. The standard k-ɛ model, Omega Reynolds stress model, the Shear Stress Transport (SST) model and k-ɛ EARSM/BSL have been applied as turbulence model to examine the effect of turbulence model on validation of numerical results. The present numerical model can be used in the design of the blanket of fusion reactor.
Summary report on the “Nuclear Energy Campus” of the 47th Annual Conference on Nuclear Technology (AMNT 2016) held in Hamburg, 10 to 12 May 2016. Other Sessions of AMNT 2016 will be covered in further issues of atw.
Christian Raetzke, Erwin Fischer and Ludger Mohrbach
Summary report on the Key Topics “Outstanding Know-How & Sustainable Innovations” and “Enhanced Safety & Operation Excellence” of the 47th Annual Conference on Nuclear Technology (AMNT 2016) held in Hamburg, 10 to 12 May 2016. Other Sessions of AMNT 2016 will be covered in further issues of atw.
On 21 June 2016, prior to the publication of the report of the Commission Storage of High Radioactive Waste, “Emotions in the realisation of a repository for nuclear waste” were the topic of a workshop. The workshop was organised in the context of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) interdisciplinary research platform ENTRIA. In his opening remarks, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Smeddinck (Institute of Law of the University of Braunschweig) noticed, that emotions have been neglected in the scientific analysis so far, but fears and feelings to be considered with a special view.
Since voting in a referendum to leave the European Union, the UK has been hard at work on “shaping the destiny” of its place in the big wide world outside the family of EU nations – particularly in terms of business and investment. Shortly after this referendum EDF announced the decision to invest in the Hinkley Point C nuclear project. Inexplicably, new UK prime minister Theresa May said there would be no green light or signing of investment guarantees by her new administration, which “needed more time” to consider the project. Nuclear power is not the only industry that the UK will need to nurture to make an economic success of the country in the future – but nuclear will be key to the UK’s industrial and economic success.