[ RadSafe ] Nuclear News - Ameren applies for new nuclear plant in MO

Perle, Sandy sperle at mirion.com
Wed Jul 30 17:05:25 CDT 2008

 Re-sending this news distribution since 7 hours have passed since I
sent the first mailing. Perhaps it is lost in Cyberspace!




Ameren applies for new nuclear plant in Mo.


100 employees of French nuclear site evacuated

More Nuclear Reactors Called for to Ensure Uninterrupted Supply of

Nuclear renaissance may revive Czech uranium mines

EDF Close to Agreement on British Energy Takeover (Update3)

DNC: John 'Not In My Back Yard' McCain Brings His Yucca Support to

Proposed SC nuclear reactors would bring energy, cost and controversy

Sask. minister to tour Bruce Power plant as province ponders nuclear



Ameren applies for new nuclear plant in Mo.


AmerenUE applied Monday to federal nuclear regulators for a license to
build and operate a potential new nuclear power plant in Callaway


The St. Louis-based utility filed an 8,000-page license application with
the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a reactor adjacent to
Ameren's existing nuclear facility, the Callaway Plant, outside of


Ameren said it has not decided to build a second nuclear plant, but
wanted to preserve that option if the need arose.


Also, applying now puts Ameren in a position to seek federal loan
guarantees and production tax credits created by the federal energy law
of 2005.


Ameren said its 1,190-megawatt electric generating plant at Callaway
accounts for 19 percent of the utility's total generation. It came
online in December 1984.


AmerenUE president Thomas Voss said greater demand for power in Missouri
in the next two decades will require the utility to have a large
generating plant online by 2018. The company said it hopes to decide by
2010 whether to proceed with the plant.


Voss said Ameren will continue to encourage development of renewable
energy sources and help customers reduce consumption and demand. "But
going forward, we will also need nuclear energy from our existing
Callaway unit and possibly from a second unit at Callaway," he said.


Ameren said it wants to pursue a possible nuclear plant because it
wouldn't produce greenhouse gases, which are believed to cause climate


But some environmentalists say the benefit is offset by the problem of
safely storing the process' nuclear waste.


Ameren spokeswoman Susan Gallagher said the Callaway plant's waste is
safely stored in secure pools onsite. She said some European nuclear
plants reuse the waste to generate more power.


Commercial nuclear power plants now produce some 20 percent of U.S.
electricity, but concern about waste disposal has hampered the
industry's growth.


Nevada's Yucca Mountain, billed as the nation's first nuclear waste
repository, originally was supposed to open in 1998 but has been beset
by lawsuits and political and scientific controversies, and cost
overruns. The best-possible opening date is now 2020.


Earlier this month, a second nuclear reactor at AmerenUE's Callaway
plant was the focus of an NRC-hosted public forum in Fulton.


Advocates touted Callaway's safety record and a jobs windfall from a
second plant.


Opponents said they want Ameren Corp., the utility's corporate parent,
to more aggressively pursue alternative and renewable energy options.


The company then known as Union Electric initially planned a second
nuclear reactor at the Callaway County site. That plan was scrapped
after a grass-roots effort opposing the Callaway project led Missouri
voters in 1976 to decisively approve a law prohibiting state utilities
from charging customers for power plants while they're being built.


Persuading state lawmakers to overturn that restriction is a top
priority for Ameren in the next legislative session. Should that fail,
the company likely won't build a second reactor but instead pursue more
costly natural gas generators.


Ameren expects the new reactor to cost at least $6 billion, or $9
billion with financing -- roughly the entire value of the parent


Scott Burnell, spokesman for the NRC, said it will take a month for
staff to ensure Ameren's application is complete.


Once the application is accepted for review, the NRC will alert the
public that it can raise challenges within 60 days. Ameren's application
will be reviewed on technical and regulatory grounds. The whole process
takes roughly 42 months, Burnell said.





(AGI) - Helsinki, 30 July - A small fire broke out on the grounds of a
third-generation nuclear site under construction in Finland, but was put
out a few hours later without endangering the population in anyway.
Reports were from Teolisuuden Voima (TVO), the Scandinavian country's
power company which manages the plant. The fire, which did not result in
any injuries, broke out in the Olkiluoto plant in south-eastern Finland,
where the German Siemens and the French Areva are building the first
reactor in the world running on pressurized water. At the time of the
fire, work was not underway, and damage was limited to scaffolding and
some building materials. The reactor, which is expected to be ready for
2011, will be the fifth in Finland and the third in the Olkiluoto plant.



100 employees of French nuclear site evacuated


GRENOBLE, France - About 100 employees were evacuated from a nuclear
site in southern France on Tuesday after an alarm went off accidentally,
the power plant said.


The false alarm at the Tricastin nuclear complex followed two other
incidents there in less than a month -- a leak of unenriched uranium and
the release of radioactive particles from a pipe. The incidents have
raised concerns in heavily nuclear-dependent France.


Stephanie Biabaut, a spokeswoman for the plant near the city of Avignon,
said the alarm went off accidentally Tuesday, and medical tests showed
that personnel were not contaminated.


There was some confusion earlier, however, as site engineer Jean Girardi
had said medical tests found "extremely weak traces of radioactivity" on
two people checked following the alarm. He also said the alarm was
apparently set off by a minor leak of radioactive particles.


French electric company EdF, which runs the plant, declined to explain
Girardi's comments but insisted the case was merely a false alarm.


The CGT trade union said the two cases of radioactivity cited by Girardi
dated back to a July 23 incident in which radioactive particles spewed
from a pipe, slightly contaminating 100 employees.


In another incident on July 7, liquid containing traces of unenriched
uranium leaked from a Tricastin factory into two nearby rivers.


France is among the most nuclear-dependent countries in the world, with
59 reactors churning out nearly 80 percent of its electricity. But the
recent incidents at Tricastin have prompted questions about the
still-secretive state-run nuclear industry and given fodder to
anti-nuclear activists.


Environment Minister Jean-Louis Borloo has said the incidents were
minor, but ordered an overhaul of France's nuclear supervision as well
as groundwater checks around all nuclear plants.



More Nuclear Reactors Called for to Ensure Uninterrupted Supply of


A Canadian panel has called for more nuclear reactors to be set up to
ensure uninterrupted supply of radioisotopes and also a better
communication mechanism among the agencies involved. 


The shutdown of the National Research Universal nuclear reactor at Chalk
River in November 2007 had sparked off a near crisis in the nuclear
medicine community. 


The reactor, which provides two-thirds of the world's radioisotopes,
stopped supplying nuclear material essential for medical imaging and
diagnostic scans for fractures, cancers and heart conditions. It was
restarted on December 16. 


A group of health specialists, including experts from the field of
nuclear medicine, was convened by Health Canada in December 2007 during
the prolonged shutdown. The group was conveying to the government its
assessment of the impact of the isotope shortage. Once the reactor was
restarted and the supply of medical isotopes returned to normal, the
group began work on lessons learned from the situation. 


In their report released Monday, the doctors write how they were in the
dark when the Chalk River nuclear reactor halted production of medical
isotopes late last year, a critical oversight that put patients at risk.


Doctors say they were forced to delay diagnostic and treatment
procedures for patients across the country when the supply of isotopes
dried up last December. 


And not knowing how long the isotope shortage would last, they were
forced to decide whether to proceed with other procedures for their
patients that carried more risk or would be less accurate.  



Nuclear renaissance may revive Czech uranium mines


DOLNI ROZINKA, Czech Republic, July 30 (Reuters) - Renewed interest in
nuclear power and high uranium prices may extend the life of Czech
uranium mines or even reopen closed deposits, said the head of the
country's sole, state-owned miner Diamo. The centre-right cabinet of
Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek gave the ailing industry a boost last
year, allowing Diamo to explore uranium reserves at its only remaining
mine in Dolni Rozinka, 180 km (113 miles) east of Prague.

"We have completed the first three drill holes," Diamo Director Jiri Jez
told Reuters in an interview.

"It is hard to say what the reserves are now ... but we keep discovering
new reserves so it may happen that we will operate here beyond 2012,
maybe until 2015," he said.


The Rozinka mine has some 700 tonnes of proven uranium reserves left,
enough to keep it open at least until 2010. The new exploration should
be largely completed by the year-end.


The industry has been on the brink of extinction since the 1989 collapse
of the Communist regime, which in its hey-days in the 1950s forced tens
of thousands of political opponents, held under harsh conditions in
labour camps, to extract the radioactive ore for export to the Soviet


But record high oil prices and fear of Russian energy supremacy put
energy security high on the agenda in Europe, bringing resources such as
uranium back in favour.


The Czech move mirrors rising interest in exploration by fellow EU
members such as Romania, which plans to double uranium output this year.
Bulgaria will decide this autumn whether to grant new permits after
closing its mines in the 1990s.

Spot prices of uranium, used to fuel nuclear plants, hit a record $136
per pound last June. They have since slipped to $64.50, according to Ux
Consulting, a leading publisher of uranium prices, but still remain high
above the $10-$15 level seen for years before the peak.


Some 263 tonnes of uranium were extracted from the Rozinka mine last
year and output of 230 tonnes is planned for 2008. Uranium coming from
waste processing at another location should put Diamo's total production
at 310 tonnes this year, Jez said.

Although a fraction of the maximum 3,036 tonnes per year seen in the
late 1950s, the current figures still put the Czechs in 12th place in
the world behind South Africa and ahead of Brazil, according to the
World Nuclear Association.


Diamo's output covers roughly one third of Czech power firm CEZ's needs
of 700 tonnes a year.



Jez said a huge deposit of some 115,000 tonnes at Diamo's northern mine
of Straz pod Ralskem, closed since 1996, was out of reach in the near
future due to resistance by the Greens, a junior government member, as
well as by neighbouring villages.

This might change, however, with next general election in 2010, Jez
hopes, given CEZ's plans to expand its nuclear assets.

"This is a world-ranking deposit, which could supply our nuclear plants
for 150 years," Jez said. "Interest is high. Recently, we had Romanians
here, looking to buy uranium."

He said it would take five to 10 years before mining could start in
Straz, where reserves are roughly equal to what the country had
extracted in total since the end of World War II.


Czech uranium has already drawn interest from Australia's Uran Limited,
but its requests for permits have been turned down by the environment
ministry, controlled by the Greens.



EDF Close to Agreement on British Energy Takeover (Update3) 


July 29 (Bloomberg) -- Electricite de France SA, the world's largest
owner of nuclear reactors, is close to an accord to buy British Energy
Group Plc for 12.5 billion pounds ($24.9 billion), three people with
knowledge of the talks said. 


The proposed price is about 775 pence a share, two of the people said.
That's 7.2 percent above today's close of 723 pence and 27 percent more
than March 14, the trading session before British Energy said it may get
an offer. Centrica Plc may acquire about 25 percent of the British
Energy business as part of the agreement. The takeover may be discussed
by Electricite de France executives at a July 31 meeting, said the
people, who declined to be identified because the talks are


A deal would conclude more than three months of talks on British
Energy's future after the company said in May it received a ``range of
proposals'' for a takeover. Gaining control of the East Kilbride,
Scotland-based company, the U.K.'s largest nuclear generator, would give
Electricite de France access to eight U.K. atomic plants as well as
sites on which new ones can be built. Prime Minister Gordon Brown said
on June 22 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, he backs new atomic plants to meet


Energy Cost 


``High energy prices, further life extensions and access to the
country's most qualitative new-build sites make us confident that the
real value of British Energy to EDF is close'' to 770 pence a share,
Dexia Bank NV analyst Steven de Proost said in a note published July 25.
The bank reiterated a ``buy'' rating on the utility yesterday before a
possible deal. 


Electricite de France shares fell 1.1 percent to 54.59 euros in Paris
trading, while shares of British Energy, which have climbed 32 this
year, dropped 0.6 percent to 723 pence in London. Centrica rose 1.6
percent to 309.75 pence and is down 14 percent since the end of


British Energy, led by Chief Executive Officer Bill Coley, said last
week it is in ``advanced discussions'' regarding a takeover offer
without specifying whom the talks were with. 


British Energy spokesman Andrew Dowler and Centrica spokesman Andrew
Turpin declined to comment yesterday. Electricite de France spokeswoman
Carole Trivi also declined to comment. 


The acquisition, if agreed on, would come 15 months after Spanish power
company Iberdrola SA paid 14.4 billion pounds for Glasgow-based Scottish
Power Plc in April last year. 


Nuclear Increase 


The government owns 35.7 percent of British Energy, and has sought new
investors for atomic plants which Business Secretary John Hutton said on
March 10 may ``maintain or increase the nuclear contribution'' to the
country's electricity production. 


The country may need to spend 45 billion pounds through 2025 on new
generation, Ernst & Young LLP said in January. 


Electricite de France, which is based in Paris, expects to run 10 of the
latest new-generation reactors by 2020, Chief Executive Officer Pierre
Gadonneix has said, similar to one under construction at Flamanville,
Normandy, in northern France. Centrica, based in Windsor, England, and
led by Chief Executive Officer Sam Laidlaw, is Britain's biggest energy


The purchase would expand Electricite de France's operations in the
U.K., where its EDF Energy Plc unit sold power to 7.9 million customers
last year. The French utility can raise power rates more in the U.K.
than in France, where an agreement with the government links increases
to inflation. EDF Energy announced last week a 17 percent increase in
power bills and a 22 percent rise in gas charges. 


Higher Prices 


The Business and Enterprise Committee in the House of Commons, which
includes members of Parliament from the U.K.'s three main political
parties, concluded in a report yesterday that the country has higher
natural gas prices than other European countries. The panel said this
suggests a lack of competition, though it didn't find proof of


``Britain has a diverse electricity generation portfolio, owned by a
number of different companies,'' the report said. ``We are concerned
that this may be undermined by market consolidation, such as a takeover
of British Energy.'' 


Brown favors nuclear power because it emits less carbon dioxide, the gas
blamed for global warming, than gas and coal- fed stations. The U.K.'s
policy contrasts with Germany, which is committed to closing down its
nuclear power plants by about 2021. Italian Prime Minister Silvio
Berlusconi's new government announced its intention in May to start
building a nuclear plant within five years, after the country abandoned
atomic energy for safety reasons in the 1980s. 


Earnings Drop 


British Energy in May said full-year profit declined 28 percent after
the discovery of corroded wires led to production shutdowns. Net income
for the fiscal year ended March 31 slid to 335 million pounds from 465
million a year earlier. 


EDF said in May first-quarter sales rose 5.2 percent 18.3 billion euros
($28.8 billion) on increased heating demand and higher prices. The
company has said earnings will be crimped this year by higher costs and
reactor repairs that will dent output. In February it published results
showing a 44 percent increase in second-half net income to about 2.11
billion euros. 


EDF, which operates 58 reactors in France, is pursuing projects in
China, South Africa and the U.S., Gadonneix said in an interview on July


UBS AG is advising the government on the sale of its stake, Merrill
Lynch & Co. is advising EDF and NM Rothschild & Sons Ltd. is working
with British Energy. 



DNC: John 'Not In My Back Yard' McCain Brings His Yucca Support to


WASHINGTON, July 29, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Senator
John McCain today will bring his promise of four more years of President
Bush's failed energy policies back to Nevada. The last time he was in
the Silver State, McCain gave a 3,000 word speech on energy that didn't
mention Yucca Mountain or solar power once. Instead, McCain focused on
his newfound support for offshore oil drilling, which even he and
President Bush admit will have only a "psychological" impact on gas
prices. McCain's support for offshore drilling may not provide economic
relief for working families, but it did open a flood of new support for
McCain's campaign from the oil and gas industry. 


McCain may be reluctant to detail his record on Yucca Mountain, but the
facts are clear. Except for some election-year hedging during his two
presidential campaigns, McCain has repeatedly been a champion of Yucca
Mountain. In fact, despite his admitted concern about shipping nuclear
material through Arizona McCain wants to build at least 45 new nuclear
power plants and says dealing with spent nuclear fuel is a "NIMBY"
problem that we must have "guts and the courage" to address. See the
DNC's web video "NIMBY: Not In McCain's Back Yard:


"During his 25 years in Congress, Senator McCain has been a part of
America's energy problem by repeatedly voting against the kind of
policies that would create green jobs in Nevada and break our dependence
on fossil fuels," said Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Karen
Finney. "Now, McCain is promising more of the same by pandering to his
new friends in the oil and gas industry and promising to store tons of
spent fuel in Nevada, even though he's not comfortable shipping the
material through Arizona on its way there. America's working families
deserve new energy ideas, not more of the same failed policies that have
cost us jobs, driven energy prices through the roof, and done nothing to
make America less dependent on foreign oil." 

The following is a fact sheet on McCain's support for Yucca Mountain: 




McCain Has Consistently Voted to Approve Yucca Mountain As A Nuclear
Waste Dump Site. In 2002, John McCain voted to approve a site at Yucca
Mountain as a repository for nuclear and radioactive waste. After the
vote, McCain said that storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain would
answer "one of the most important environmental, health and public
safety issues for the American people." In 2000, McCain voted to
override the presidential veto of legislation that would establish a
permanent nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. In 1997, McCain
similarly voted to establish a repository at the Mountain. McCain voted
yes on a similar bill in 1996. [2002 Senate Vote #167, 7/9/2002; The
Arizona Republic, 7/10/2002; 2000 Senate Vote #88, 5/2/2000; 1998 Senate
Vote #148, 6/2/1998; 1997 Senate Vote #42, 4/15/1997; 1996 Senate Vote
#259, 7/31/1996; 1996 Senate Vote #256, 7/31/1996] 


McCain: "I Am For Yucca Mountain." The Las Vegas Sun reported that in
2007 McCain told the Deseret News, "I am for Yucca Mountain. I'm for
storage facilities. It's a lot better than sitting outside power plants
all over America." [Las Vegas Sun (Las Vegas, NV), 5/28/08] 

McCain: "I Believe That Yucca Mountain Is A Suitable Place For Storage."
At a campaign event in Springfield, Pennsylvania, McCain said, "I
believe that Yucca Mountain is a suitable place for storage and I know
that there's controversy about it and lawsuits and all that. But
shouldn't America, a country as smart and as wise as we are, be able to
find a place to store spent fuel?" [CNN Live Feed (Springfield, PA),


McCain Senior Adviser Holtz-Eakin Called Political Opposition To Yucca
Mountain "Harmful To the U.S. Interests." "McCain criticized both
Democrats for their opposition to Yucca Mountain. 'The political
opposition to the Yucca Mountain storage facility is harmful to the U.S.
interest and the facility should be completed, opened and utilized,'
McCain adviser Holtz-Eakin said." [Reuters, 5/6/08] 

McCain: "We Will Build At Least 45 New Nuclear Plants." In a speech in
Denver, Colorado, McCain said, "We will develop more clean energy.
Nuclear power is the most dependable source of zero-emission energy we
have. We will build at least 45 new nuclear plants that will create over
700,000 good jobs to construct and operate them." [CNN Live Feed, Speech
(Denver, CO), 7/7/08] 




2008: Campaigning In Nevada, McCain Said He Could Be Compelled To
Reverse Support For Storage Of Nuclear Waste At Yucca Mountain. The Las
Vegas Review-Journal reported that "On the nuclear dump site about 100
miles northwest of Las Vegas, which most Nevadans oppose, McCain
stressed the importance to national security of finding somewhere to
store spent nuclear fuel currently at power plants across the country.
But he indicated he could be persuaded to end his support for Yucca as
the site. 'I will respect scientific opinion,' he said. 'The scientific
opinion that I had up until recently was that Yucca Mountain was a
suitable storage place.'" [Las Vegas Review-Journal (Las Vegas, NV),


1999: McCain Made Same Vague Promise To Consider Other Sites For
Disposal To Nevadans Prior To His 2000 Run. On a trip to Nevada in
February 1999, McCain met with key supporters in the gambling industry
and the editorial board of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The Associated
Press reported that McCain's votes to store nuclear waste at Yucca
Mountain could hurt him among Nevada voters. According to AP, "McCain
said he is willing to hear arguments on the issue of whether Yucca
Mountain, 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas, is suitable as the nation's
nuclear waste repository, but he said the storage problem must be
resolved." McCain also said, "I'm not expert enough to know if that's
the place or not, but it's unconscionable to leave nuclear waste sitting
around in facilities forever." [Associated Press, 2/17/1999] 




MCCAIN 2008: Dealing With Spent Nuclear Fuel Is A "NIMBY" Problem, US
Must Have The "Guts And The Courage." At an energy briefing in Santa
Barbara, CA, McCain spoke about spent nuclear fuel and said, "But it's
not a technological breakthrough that needs to be taken. It's a, it's a
NIBMY problem. It's a NIMBY problem. We've gotta have the guts and the
courage to go ahead and do what other countries are doing and they are
reducing the pollution to our environment rather dramatically without
any huge pain to anybody." [CNN Live Feed, Briefing (Santa Barbara, CA),


MCCAIN 2007: Just Don't Ship it Through My Back Yard. "Interviewer: What
about the transportation? Would you be comfortable with nuclear waste
coming through Arizona on its way, you know going through Phoenix, on
its way to uh Yucca Mountain? McCain (Shaking Head): No, I would not.
No, I would not." [Nevada Newsmakers, May 2007:



Proposed SC nuclear reactors would bring energy, cost and controversy


JENKINSVILLE, SC (WIS) - South Carolina needs safe, reliable and
environmentally friendly energy. 


The state's biggest public and private utilities say nuclear is the way
to go. 


But it will cost us, and sooner than we might think. 


Two nuclear generating units built and operated by two of the state's
major utilities, SCE&G and Santee Cooper, could be a big part of South
Carolina's energy future. 


The units would be located in Jenkinsville, already home to the VC
Summer Nuclear Plant. 


If both go online, the new nukes could turn out enough electricity to
provide power to 1.8 million customers. 


"We looked at coal-fired generation, we looked at natural-gas fired
generation. Nuclear. We looked at renewables. And at the end of the day,
every time we went through that process of evaluating, nuclear came out
on top," says Eric Boomhower of SCE&G.


Nuclear power, though controversial and costly, is undeniably efficient.
A small fuel pellet provides the energy equivalent of nearly a ton of


Boomhower says nuclear is also a clean, practical and increasingly
popular alternative to fossil fuels. 


"I think what has grown is public support for nuclear. You know, it's a
different world that we live in today than it was 25-30 years ago. The
importance of generation that is clean, you know, not emitting
greenhouse gases, is more important than ever. And nuclear has really
come to the forefront in terms of what solutions do we have available to
us," says Boomhower.


But with a total project cost of nearly $10 billion, ratepayers will be
asked to chip in. 


SCE&G is asking for a rate increase of about .5 percent for the average
residential customer starting next march. 


The first of the two units is not scheduled to begin operation until


And you would continue to pay during what will be a long review process.


First, the state public service commission will be holding a public
hearing in late October that could last five days. 


The Nuclear Regulatory Commission would then spend three to four years
examining the plan. 


If approved, construction would take five or six years. The total cost
to SCE&G alone would be more than six billion dollars. 



Sask. minister to tour Bruce Power plant as province ponders nuclear


REGINA - Saskatchewan's attempt to enter the nuclear power game takes
another step today with a tour of an Ontario power plant.


Lyle Stewart, the province's enterprise and innovation minister, says
he's been invited to tour Bruce Power's massive nuclear generating


Bruce currently operates six reactor units on a site northwest of


The tour comes after Bruce announced last month that it will study the
potential of bringing nuclear energy to Saskatchewan - the world's
largest producer of uranium.


Stewart says he wants to see what the facilities look like and what kind
of "a footprint" they have.


The minister half-jokingly says that "Bruce is likely trying to sell"
him on the idea, adding that he believes the company is sold on the idea
of doing business in Saskatchewan.




Sander C. Perle 
Mirion Technologies

Dosimetry Services Division 
2652 McGaw Avenue
Irvine, CA 92614


+1 (949) 296-2306 (Office)

+1 (949) 296-1144 (Fax)


Mirion Technologies: http://www.mirion.com/ 



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