The Neckarwestheim nuclear power plant in Germany. (Photo: EnBW)
German chancellor Olaf Scholz has provided what appears to be the final word on the fate of his country’s three remaining operating nuclear power plants.
Via an October 17 letter, Scholz informed economy and energy minister Robert Habeck, environment minister Steffi Lemke, and finance minister Christian Lindner of his decision to keep all three facilities operating “beyond 31 December 2022 until 15 April 2023 at the latest.” The order ends months of argument between Scholz’s two coalition partners—the stridently antinuclear Greens and the center-right Free Democrats (FDP)—regarding the plants’ continued operation. (Habeck and Lemke are Green Party members, while Lindner is with the FDP.)
The Neckarwestheim nuclear power plant in Germany.
For the few members of the nuclear community who haven’t already been made aware, the Wall Street Journal yesterday published a story headlined “Germany to Keep Last Three Nuclear Power Plants Running in Policy U-Turn.” According to the WSJ, the German government plans to postpone retirement of the plants—all of which had been slated for closure by the end of 2022—fearing an inadequate energy supply this winter.
NNSA administrator Jill Hruby (right) and Ken Nakajima, director of the Institute for Integrated Radiation and Nuclear Science at Kyoto University, in the KUCA control room. (Photo: NNSA)
E.ON subsidiary Preussen Elektra’s Grohnde nuclear plant, located near the town of Hameln in Lower Saxony, on the banks of the Weser River. (Wikimedia/Heinz-Josef Lücking)
March 19, 2021, 2:07PMUpdated December 28, 2021, 7:00AMNuclear News
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station site. Image: Courtesy of TEPCO.
As 2021 closes, Nuclear News is taking a look back at some of the feature articles published each month in the magazine. March 2021 marked 10 years since the earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan and crippled the Fukushima nuclear station. This article from our March issue remains timely since various news outlets continue to report on the dangers of the Fukushima waste water without providing context to the Japanese plan to discharge the water. The March issue of Nuclear News also included a great review article from Lake Barrett outlining the current status of the decontamination and decommissioning going on at Fukushima.
The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) became a household name a decade ago as the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, center of the largest nuclear accident in a generation. Now in 2021, as a result of the continuous mitigation efforts, TEPCO is currently storing 1.2 million cubic meters of treated wastewater—and counting—in more than 1,000 large storage tanks on site. This wastewater has been in the spotlight for the past few years since current projections show that storage capacity will run out by 2022.
U.S. Forest Service employees Secunda Hughes (left) and Andrew Thompson inspect irrigation piping and sprinkler heads, part of a 62-acre pine plantation used to safely disperse tritium at the Savannah River Site.
The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (EM) is managing the release of tritiated water using a 62-acre plantation of pine trees and other natural resources to limit radioactively contaminated groundwater from reaching waterways on the Savannah River Site in South Carolina.
A Japanese rat snake is fitted with a GPS transmitter that will allow researchers to track its movements. (Photo: Hannah Gerke)
Author Joshua Goldstein, from the video "The Nuclear Option"
Climate activists rarely mention nuclear power as a tool in the battle against climate change, consumer reporter John Stossel comments during the video "The Nuclear Option" on his YouTube channel.
Watts Bar nuclear power plant in Tennessee
Construction and maintenance services firm Day & Zimmermann (D&Z) has paid $200,000 to resolve allegations that it submitted false claims to the Tennessee Valley Authority for services performed in connection with capital improvement projects at the Watts Bar nuclear plant, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee announced last week.
A current picture of the Fukushima nuclear power station with the more than 1,000 water storage tanks on site. Photo: Courtesy of TEPCO.
The Japanese government will soon announce the decision to dispose of stockpiled Fukushima wastewater into the Pacific Ocean, according to an AP News story published last Friday. The decision is years in the making and follows the guidelines from a panel of government-appointed experts named the Subcommittee on Handling of the ALPS-Treated Water (ALPS Subcommittee).