Nuclear industry urges market shift to prevent closed plants


Executives from Entergy Corp. and Exelon Corp. renewed industry calls for a shift in the current electricity market, which they argue now gives too much power to cheap natural gas and subsidized wind, in order to prevent future nuclear reactors closings, E&E reports.

Hungary lawmakers OK Russia nuclear plant deal

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungary's parliament on Thursday authorized a deal with Russia to build two reactors at the country's only nuclear power plant in the southern city of Paks.

Russia will loan Hungary up to 10 billion euros ($13.5 billion) — around 80 percent of the construction costs — and 40 percent of the job will be carried out by Hungarian suppliers and subcontractors.

The deal was approved 256-29 Thursday by lawmakers from the governing Fidesz party and the far-right Jobbik opposition party. Most left-wing lawmakers voted against it.

Minimal damage from NM nuclear repository fire

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — Crews declared a blaze at an underground nuclear repository in southeastern New Mexico snuffed out and determined that there was minimal damage after a truck hauling salt caught fire and prompted an evacuation.

Two mine rescue teams went into the earth at the Carlsbad-area Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, where the federal government seals away its low-grade nuclear waste, including plutonium-contaminated clothing and tools. The teams determined the fire was no longer burning and reported the air was clear and safe to breathe, a news release and Susan Scott, a spokeswoman who answered an emergency line, said late Wednesday.

All employees were evacuated from the underground site after the fire broke out about 11 a.m. Wednesday, and none of the radioactive waste was affected, plant officials said. Six people were treated for smoke inhalation and released a short while later.

Iran: US 'wishes won't come true' at nuclear talks

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's foreign minister said Wednesday that Washington's "wishes are unlikely to come true" in talks between the Islamic Republic and world powers over its nuclear program, the government's latest apparent attempt to deflect criticism from hard-line skeptics who say that President Hassan Rouhani will give up too much for too little in upcoming negotiations over a final comprehensive deal.

Mohammad Javad Zarif indicated the U.S. wanted Iran to give up major parts of its nuclear program but said such demands won't be carried out.

"America has wishes and those wishes are unlikely to come true and that's why they are negotiating with the Islamic Republic of Iran to achieve a solution based on realities," he told a news conference in Tehran.

DOE official warns nuclear closures could strain climate goals


Energy Department Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Pete Lyons said a recent string of nuclear reactor closures could pose a threat to the administration's greenhouse gas reduction goals by increasing the amount of fossil fuels used to generate power, E&E reports.

NRC to require information trove on Vermont Yankee despite closure plan

The Barre Montpelier Times Argus

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said it would not exempt Entergy's Vermont Yankee plant, set to be voluntarily shuttered, from safety studies and improvements unless it submits additional information on plant operations, The Barre Montpelier Times Argus reports.

NRC names Pilgrim among nation's worst-performing plants

Cape Cod Times

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission named Entergy's Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Mass. as one of the  nine worst-performing plants in the nation based on unplanned shutdowns, opening the door for closer scrutiny at the plant, the Cape Cod Times reports.

Cybersecurity report shows lax data security at NRC

The Washington Post

In a report, Republicans on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee noted several governmental cybersecurity issues across the federal government, including unauthorized information disclosures from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, The Washington Post reports.

US officials: Iran is not open for business, yet

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials said Tuesday that an interim deal with Iran that promises to curb its nuclear program in exchange for some relief from economic sanctions does not mean that Tehran is open for business.

Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman and David Cohen, undersecretary for terrorism and financing, acknowledged that European businesses are rushing to Iran to prepare for the possibility that all sanctions will be lifted if a comprehensive agreement is reached preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

Both Sherman and Cohen sought to reassure members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — some of whom are eager to restore sanctions against Iran — that the U.S. will continue to enforce existing sanctions even as some are being eased and that those who violate them will be targeted.

NRC begins pump inspection at Millstone plant


The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said it launched a special inspection into repeated pump-reliability issues at Dominion's Millstone-3 reactor at its nuclear power plant in Waterford, Conn., Platts reports.


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