The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico.
Reston, Va.-based Tularosa Basin Range Services (TBRS), a single-purpose entity under the umbrella of Bechtel National, has been awarded the 10-year, $3 billion management and operating contract for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) by the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (EM). Located near Carlsbad, N.M., WIPP is the DOE’s geologic repository for defense-generated transuranic waste.
The new contract replaces the current WIPP M&O contract held by Nuclear Waste Partnership, which expires on September 30. The contract with TBRS was announced on July 11.
Bechtel’s Ahmet Tokpinar (right) at the MOU signing ceremony with Toshiba executives Yuki Arima (left) and Kentaro Takagi. (Photo: Bechtel)
Engineering, construction, and project management firm Bechtel Corporation last week announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Toshiba America Energy Systems and Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions to pursue a civil nuclear power plant project in Poland.
The cooling towers of Unit 2 at Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station, closed since the accident in 1979.
The Three Mile Island accident in 1979 was the most-studied nuclear reactor event in the U.S. There is a plethora of research about the accident available to the general public, including the president-appointed Kemeny Commission report and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Rogovin inquiry report (split into volume one, and volume two, parts one, two, and three), which are the two detailed government-sponsored investigations into the accident. There are also thousands of documents in the NRC’s ADAMS database available to the public, an excellent overview by NRC historian Samuel Walker Three Mile Island: A Nuclear Crisis in Historical Perspective, as well as the Nuclear News special report from April 1979, and articles written by ANS members like William Burchill about the accident and the many changes it forced on the industry. If the producers of Meltdown: Three Mile Island—available on Netflix—had read any of those documents instead of relying mostly on input from antinuclear activists, their “documentary” might have been presented with at least some sense of balance and credibility.
Instead, similar to a recent Science Channel documentary on the Three Mile Island accident, Meltdown focuses on drama instead of science. This four-part miniseries does not attempt to provide a balanced set of facts from the technical community and instead relies heavily on nonexpert opinions and anecdotal statements to tell a story that easily falls apart under even the faintest scrutiny.
Nuclear News reached out to multiple ANS members who were involved with either the accident response or the clean up to help provide a critical look at some of the more egregious statements made in the documentary.
The accident at Three Mile Island revealed many areas for improvement in the safety of nuclear power that have been addressed continuously in the past 40 years.
Part one of this article, published in the May 2019 issue of Nuclear News and last Friday on Nuclear Newswire, presented insights from the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island-2 and addressed several issues raised by a previous Nuclear News piece on the accident. Part two discusses safety improvements that have been made by both the industry and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission over the past 40 years.
Mark Brzezinski, U.S. ambassador to Poland, and John Howanitz, president of Bechtel’s nuclear, security, and environmental global business unit, address representatives of 12 Polish companies that signed memorandums of understanding with Bechtel for the potential development of Poland’s civil nuclear program. (Photo: Bechtel)
Bechtel has signed memorandums of understanding with a dozen Polish companies for the potential development of two nuclear power plants as Poland seeks to lessen its dependence on domestic coal and Russian imports for its energy supply.
The MOUs were signed on April 25 during a ceremony at the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Warsaw. Offering services ranging from earthwork and infrastructure construction to concrete, tunneling, electrical installations, and heavy cranes, the 12 Polish firms are BAKS, Budimex, Doraco, Energoprojekt-Katowice, Hitachi Energy Poland, ILF, KB Pomorze, Mostostal Warzsawa, Polimex Mostostal, Protea Group, Vistal Gdynia, and Zarmen.
The Temelin nuclear power plant in Czech Republic.
In a wide-ranging “program statement” laying out its policy priorities, the Czech Republic’s new, center-right government has endorsed nuclear energy and renewables and called for power generation from coal to be phased out by 2033.
The final version of the statement was released on January 7 by the five-party coalition government, sworn into office last month and led by Prime Minister Petr Fiala, head of the Civic Democratic Party.
Hanford workers fit sections of double-walled pipe in place, connecting the site’s tank farms to the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant. (Screen shot: WRPS/YouTube)
The Department of Energy is celebrating a major milestone in its tank waste mission at the Hanford Site near Richland, Wash. DOE tank operations contractor Washington River Protection Solutions has finished construction of the pipeline that will carry treated waste from an underground tank to the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) for vitrification.