atw - March 2018

_Nuclear Energy Technologies for the Arctic
_U.S. Regulator Rejects Proposal to Subsidize Nuclear and Coal Power Prices
_Integrated Risk Informed Decision Making in Nuclear Reactors
_Investigations on the Influence of the Geometry of Carbide Lamellae in Concrete Milling
_2017 Nuclear Power Plant Compact Statistic

The Nuclear Option: Can this Be Africa’s Energy Future?


There are worldwide 448 commercial nuclear reactors in operation today, but only two of them, at Koeberg, in Africa. Yet if ambitious policymakers have their way, that could change. For the first time, many African countries have expressed an interest in developing nuclear power for peaceful energy generation. According to the IAEA, more than 30 member states are considering or preparing nuclear power programmes for the first time, a third of them in Africa. One thing does seem certain. If Africa starts to commission new nuclear reactors, China and Russia, and their affiliated state-run enterprises, will be at the front of the queue to provide the technology. Scott Firsing, an international relations and security expert focusing on foreign power involvement in Africa, says their interest is linked to the projection of strategic power and investment into Africa, but also to secure access to uranium reserves.

Russian Nuclear Energy Technologies for the Development of the Arctic

Andrej Yurjewitsch Gagarinskiy

Small nuclear facilities have become an integral part of two important areas of human activities, namely, they are the basis of nuclear ships and scientific/educational research reactors that are in fact the main training facilities for new nuclear specialists all over the world. However, despite great and justified expectations of their developers, small nuclear power plants (SNPPs), with their obvious advantages (compared to conventional energy sources) in hardly-accessible areas, have not yet managed to start playing a notable role in the power industry.  This is also completely true as concerns the task of using nuclear technologies for the development of the Arctic, where only the nuclear ship propulsion can be considered as an accomplished technology. Russia is the world’s only country that has civil nuclear ships in operation. 

U.S. Regulators Reject Proposal to Subsidize Nuclear and Coal Power Prices

Jay R. Kraemer

On January 8, 2018, the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) unanimously rejected a rulemaking proposed by Secretary of Energy Rick Perry designed to enable the owners of coal and nuclear power plants to charge higher prices for their output, and thereby to prevent further premature retirements of such plants. The FERC has exclusive authority, under the Federal Power Act, to establish rules for interstate wholesale sales of electricity. Although the FERC simultaneously initiated a new proceeding to consider how to enhance the resilience of electricity supply and delivery in the U.S., that proceeding seems unlikely to offer near-term relief to nuclear plants that are approaching closure due to their inability to compete economically both with facilities fueled by low-priced natural gas and with renewable power sources benefitting from favorable tax provisions. Accordingly, the American nuclear power industry will probably have to look elsewhere for relief from its present dire economic circumstances. 

The Importance of Integration of Deterministic and Probabilistic Approaches in the Framework of Integrated Risk Informed Decision Making in Nuclear Reactors

Mohsen Esfandiari, Kamran Sepanloo, Gholamreza Jahanfarnia and Ehsan Zarifi

Analysis of nuclear reactor accidents and transients are very necessary for prediction of emergency conditions, being used to control and respond to extreme conditions. The nuclear accident investigation and safety analysis have been performed by either probabilistic or deterministic approaches. In this paper, the recent investigations on combining deterministic, probabilistic approaches and integrated risk informed decision-making (IRIDM) are reviewed in studying of events and making decisions in nuclear reactors. Then, the importance of the combined approaches for more comprehensive integrated risk informed decisions making are presented. By combination of both approaches and using IRIDM, the analysis of nuclear accident can be more realistic and, contrasting design basis accidents (DBAs) and beyond design basis accidents (BDBAs) with high accuracy is possible. Generally, the IRIDM approach can confidently be used in assurance of safety of any type of nuclear reactors.

Applied Reliability Assessment for the Passive Safety Systems of Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) Using System Dynamics (SD)

Yun Il Kim and Tae Ho Woo

The passive system by the free-fall is investigated in the accident of nuclear power plants (NPPs). The complex algorithm of the system dynamics (SD) modeling is done in the passive cooling system. The nuclear passive system by free-fall is successfully modeled for the loss of coolant accident (LOCA). Conventional passive system of gravity or natural circulation is working only when the piping systems is in the good condition. The external coolant supply system is introduced in the case of the piping system failure. The water is poured into the reactor through the guiding piping or tube. If the explosion happens, the coolants could be showering into the reactor core and its building. New kind of passive system is expected successfully in the on-site black out where the drone could be operated by battery or engine.

Studies on the Geometric Influence on Hard Metal Shavers During Concrete Shaving

Simone Müller and Sascha Gentes

Minimising contaminated waste is a top priority in decommissioning projects in the nuclear sector. In the area of building decontamination, efficient processing of all affected concrete ceilings, walls and floors is essential and quickly results in a surface area of several thousand square metres to be processed. Decontamination is mainly carried out by using milling machines, e. g. rotary cultivators. Within the scope of a research project (BMWI, ZIM, funding code: KF2286004LL3) the project partners Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT) and Contec Maschinenbau & Entwicklungstechnik GmbH (Alsdorf/Sieg) investigated the influence of the geometry of the cutting tools on concrete removal. This article shows results from the test program conducted at the Institute for Technology and Management in Construction (TMB) of the KIT, Department of Deconstruction of Conventional and Nuclear Structures.

The Technology of TVHTR-Nuclear-Power Stations With Pebble Fuel Elements

Urban Cleve

The German development of TVHTR Power Stations was primarily initiated through the ideas of Prof. Dr. R. Schulten. He developed this technology in the 1950's while employed by Brown Boveri. Dr. Schulten became CTO at the new BBC/Krupp Reaktorbau GmbH in Mannheim and later as Professor and Director of KFA-Jülich Nuclear Research Department.  Two HTR nuclear power plants have been build in Germany, comissioned and successfully operated: The AVR in Jülich and the THRT-300 in Hamm-Schmehausen. Well know seawater desalination plants can be installed, working as distillation process so as MSF (multi-stage-flash)-plant. The heat would be supplied by HTR reactors. Additionally the co-installation of solar plants is possible.

On the Rationality of the German Nuclear Phase-out

Wolfgang Stoll

Our state of mind appears to be in equilibrium when it is balanced between opportunity and risk. The relationship between individual expectations of happiness and risk endured varies greatly depending on the state of mind of the individual. It is our understanding of ourselves that manageable individual risks are more likely to be taken than risks imposed by external forces. The anti-nuclear protesters operate skillfully with this super-extension of the term to create general anxiety. However, the problem is of a general nature. Classical scientific findings come mainly from the field of very high probability, which we simply describe as the causal link between cause and effect. In general, however, in the advance of our knowledge into ever more complicated contexts, right down to the so-called statistical “noise”, the connection between cause and effect is becoming less and less clear. This vagueness opens up a great deal of discretion.

Nuclear Power Plants: 2017 atw Compact Statistics


At the end of the last year 2017, nuclear power plants were operating in 31 countries worldwide. In

total, 448 nuclear power plants were operating on the key date. This means that the number declined slightly by 2 units compared to the previous year’s number on 31 December 2016. 3 units started operation, 5 units stopped operation. The installed nuclear capacity is still high that with 420 GWe gross. 56 plants in 16 countries were under construction. In addition, there are about 125 nuclear power plant units in 25 countries worldwide under development.

Could Our Nuclear Vision Benefit From a Spell of Tesla Magic?

John Shepherd

As I put the finishing touches to this latest article, US entrepreneur and boss of the Tesla car giant, Elon Musk, successfully launched a new rocket, the Falcon Heavy, from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. What this has to do with nuclear today? Technologically speaking nothing. But think ‘outside the box’ – as I’m sure many of you have been told in those corporate management-training classes. The answer is: ‘vision’. The unabashed vision to be bold, daring, imaginative. The vision to believe in technology and to be unafraid to build on the experience and knowledge gained to date, including the failures, as we take the next steps forward.


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