Today: 17.Oct.2017

Steven Mufson, Washington Post: The long quest to revive America’s nuclear power industry suffered a crippling setback when two South Carolina utilities halted construction on a pair of reactors that were once expected to showcase a modern design for a new age of nuclear power built at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station. The project has been plagued by billions of dollars of cost overuns, stagnant demand for electricity, competition from cheap natural gas plants ... ..., and the bankruptcy of Westinghouse Electric, the lead contractor and the designer of the AP1000 reactor that was supposed to be the foundation of a smarter, cheaper generation of nuclear power plants.

Published in Energy Today

Reuters, Tom Hals, Emily Flitter: In 2012, construction of a Georgia nuclear power plant stalled for eight months as engineers waited for the right signatures and paperwork needed to ship a section of the plant from a factory hundreds of miles away. The approach - building prefabricated sections of the plants before sending them to the construction sites for assembly - was supposed to revolutionize the industry by making it cheaper and safer to build nuclear plants. But Westinghouse miscalculated the time it would take, and the possible pitfalls involved, in rolling out its innovative AP1000 nuclear plants, according to a close examination by Reuters of the projects. The miscalculations underscore the difficulties facing a global industry that aims to build about 160 reactors and is expected to generate around $740 billion in sales of equipment in services in the coming decade, according to nuclear industry trade groups.

Published in Energy Today

The Economist: THE Barakah nuclear-power plant under construction in Abu Dhabi will never attract the attention that the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in neighbouring Dubai does, but it is an engineering feat nonetheless. Remarkably, its first reactor may start producing energy in the first half of 2017—on schedule and (its South Korean developers insist) on budget. That would be a towering achievement. Of 55 plants under construction, the Global Nuclear Power database reckons almost two-thirds are behind schedule. The delays lift costs, and make nuclear less competitive with other sources of electricity, such as gas, coal and renewables.

Published in Energy Tomorrow