Wrap-up: Granholm, Huff talk nuclear at COP27; Progress on Fukushima wastewater plan; Another Ukraine nuke plant loses offsite power – ExchangeMonitor

Wrap-up: Granholm, Huff talk nuclear at COP27; Progress on Fukushima wastewater plan; Another Ukraine nuke plant loses offsite power – ExchangeMonitor

Updated: 11 days, 12 hours, 41 minutes, 20 seconds ago

Happy Friday, nuke-watchers. Although you may have noticed the sudden appearance of Formula One content in recent RadWaste Monitor wraps, that ends this weekend with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix — the last of the season.

Before we head off into this last weekend before Thanksgiving, though, here are some other stories RadWaste Monitor was tracking from across the civilian nuclear power space this week.

Senior Department of Energy officials were in Cairo for the last week or so at the COP27 international climate conference, where some of them took the opportunity to stump for nuclear energy as a source of carbon-free electricity.

“Nuclear is finding its way back into real acceptance and enthusiasm, and I think that is very fitting,” energy secretary Jennifer Granholm said Wednesday during a panel discussion at the conference, an annual international climate change forum held by the United Nations since 1995. “Zero-carbon-emitting power that is reliable is absolutely in demand globally.”

Meanwhile, DOE’s Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Kathryn Huff said during a virtual appearance at COP27 Tuesday that there is “no one-size-fits-all model to meet the clean energy demands of every country,” but that she is “confident and hopeful nuclear energy can be part of that solution.”

 

“There is no one-size-fits-all model to meet the clean energy demands of every country and as nations take a look at what makes sense for them, I’m confident and hopeful nuclear energy can be part of that solution.”
KH (2/2) pic.twitter.com/kPXKZtwhmR

— Office of Nuclear Energy (@GovNuclear) November 15, 2022


An international task force headed to Japan this week to review the country’s updated plans for dealing with treated wastewater at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, part of cleanup operations from the site’s 2011 meltdown.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team plans to look over changes to technical plans for discharging around 1.25 million cubic meters of treated wastewater currently stored at the plant, the agency said in a press release Friday. The updates, based on feedback from a 2022 IAEA visit, include “changes to the radiological environmental impact assessment prior to the discharge and the associated monitoring programmes,” the release said.

“The Task Force’s findings from its first mission in February 2022 were considered in depth and have been reflected in Japan’s revisions to the plan,” IAEA director-general Rafael Grossi said in a statement. “The IAEA will continue its impartial and science-based review of the proposed discharge plan.”

Offsite power at Ukraine’s Khmelnytskyy Nuclear Power Plant was restored this week after its connection to the grid was severed amid a barrage of Russian missile attacks across the country, international observers said.

The two-reactor Khmelnytskyy plant, located in northern Ukraine, regained its external power supply early Wednesday morning after a nearly nine-hour blackout, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a press release. Khmelnytskyy was forced to rely on backup diesel generators for power during that time, the agency said. An offsite electrical connection is necessary for some critical nuclear plant operations such as reactor cooling.

“While off-site power is now back at the Khmelnytskyy Nuclear Power Plant, yesterday’s power loss clearly demonstrates that the nuclear safety and security situation in Ukraine can suddenly take a turn for the worse, increasing the risk of a nuclear emergency,” IAEA director-general Rafael Grossi said in a statement. Other Ukrainian nuclear facilities have faced similar problems since Russia invaded the country Feb. 24. The six-reactor Zaporizhzhya plant in eastern Ukraine has lost offsite power several times throughout the conflict, most recently on Nov. 2.

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