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The Middle East and North Africa
No. 4

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Volume 6


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Volume 6

SMR The New Face of


Keeping a New Generation of Nuclear Plants Cool

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Why SMRs are poised to change the way we think about nuclear energy.



Why Nuclear Suppliers Need to Think Like Manufacturers


The EPAs forthcoming cooling water intake rule is expected to be finalized this summer. Heres how to prepare.


Amid a massive workforce transition, the nuclear industry is training a new crop of employees.

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A conversation with B&Ws CEO, Jim Ferland.


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Underway On Nuclear Power

s we finalized this issue of Nuclear Power International, a major milestone for the nuclear industry passed by quietly, almost stealthilysilent and deep, you might say. Vice Admiral Eugene P. Wilkinson passed away on Thursday, July 11, at the age of 94. Decades earlier, in 1955, the vice admiral made history when, while piloting a submersible ship named the USS Nautilus out of Groton, Conn., into Long Island Sound, he uttered the now-famous words, Underway on nuclear power. The moment was not only momentous because it marked the beginning of Americas nuclear navy but because it marked the inaugural moment for something even more transformational for our planet: the use of nuclear fission to generate power. In the Nautilus, President Eisenhower recognized the potential for peaceful application of nuclear technology, leading to his Atoms for Peace program. And the rest, as they say, is history. Admiral Rickover chose Wilkinson to command the first nuclear submarine over the stern objections of many in the submariner community, in part because Wilkinson was not even a submariner himself. He was chosen, writes Wilkinsons biographer, because, not having graduated from the Naval Academy, he was free from the deadly embrace of tradition, and because he had been a trained physicist before joining the service, giving him technical know-how the older cadre of officers lacked.

cal knowledge. Taylor Wilson, who at the At a time when the course was being age of 14 became the youngest person set for how the future of nuclear powever to build a working nuclear reactor, er would play out in the Atomic Age, writes about why nuclear power needs to Admiral Rickover chose Wilkinson, a get small to survive, and suggests a molscientist willing to challenge the status ten salt small modular reactor design to quo and look out past the fog of tradido it. Tom Franch, of AREVA, writes tion. Because of this attitude toward nuabout the relatively new clear power, shared same outlook and growing threat of cyby Eisenhower and That others, the technol- bold, informed, future- berattacks and the imporogy scaled up to start orientedis what the tance of cybersecurity for providing steady, world needs from nuclear nuclear facilities. Indepenemissions-free enerpower in the 21st century. dent consultant Bill Linton writes about the very latgy to people all over est nuclear industry developments in the the world in a relative blink of an eye. MENA regionMiddle East and North Today, nuclear power is challenged on Africawhere economies dependent many fronts, while a world suffering from upon fossil-fuel exports are ramping a runaway greenhouse effect and deadly up nuclear power in an effort to ensure particulate pollution needs it more than long-term energy security while reservever. We would do well to remember ing petroleum products for sale abroad. why Wilkinson was chosen for the job. These and other articles in our upcomThat same outlookbold, informed, fuing issue of NPI point to a future for nuture-orientedis what the world needs clear power in which, while challenges from nuclear power in the 21st century. abound, technical advances both recent In this issue of NPI, we have a number and on the horizon suggest even more of articles that look toward the future promising days to come. with optimism and a respect for techni-






ou likely wont be reading this until August, but Im writing it in late June, so the title is accurate. Ive compiled some mid-year musings, only loosely connected, but they all speak to where nuclear power is and where it may be headed. Musing #1: The decision by Southern California Edison in June to permanently shut down the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station due to its steam generator problems cast a pall over the industry. Coming on the heels of the Kewaunee shutdown in May and the announcement by Duke Energy in February that it would not proceed with efforts to repair the concrete containment structure at Crystal River, the U.S. industry is now left with 100 reactors on the nuclear plant wall and some uncomfortable misgivings about the future. Because of nuclear powers tenuous hold on public perception and support, I believe many people feel that a domino effect may be in play. In other words, if one (or a few) nuclear plants shut down, the rest will come down with them. Anti-nuclear groups long for the day when this happens; pro-nuclear groups fear it.




Mid-Year Musings







The fear and optimism are probably both misguided. Reality simply doesnt conform to the domino theory. It didnt come to pass with respect to the expansion of Communism around the world, and wont happen with respect to nuclear power absent a spate of plant accidents or gross mismanagement. Lets face it: plants get old; markets change; competition emerges. For some nuclear plants, yes, that will mean retirement. Not a happy thought, but, as the Lion King put it, thats the circle of life. The hope is that these decisions can be made rationally, fully informed by technical and economic realities, which leads me to. Musing #2. Rational discussion in the public sphere about nuclear power has been challenged by Fukushima, by the fear of radiation exposure, and by the common conflation of nuclear weapons with commercial nuclear power. Into the fray steps Robert Stone, a longtime documentary film-maker who released Pandoras Promise in June

to limited theaters nationwide (www. pandoraspromise.com). The movie examines nuclear power from the perspective of five environmentalists who each decided after much investigation to support the technology. One of these individuals, Mark Lynas, is a self-avowed environmental activist who has been heavily involved in the global climate change debate. After significant soul-searching and inperson witness including a trip to the Fukushima area Lynas came to realize that nuclear power had to be part of the solution to climate change. The film does a good job of addressing many of the misunderstandings regarding nuclear power, including claims that the Chernobyl accident has killed millions of people. As a movie made by an environmentalist, about environmentalists, I believe Pandoras Promise stands a reasonable chance of engaging a wider audience in discussions around energy policy and nuclear power. I strongly recommend you go see it, and if





you cant make it to a theater screening, CNN has plans to show the documentary in late 2013. My one quibble with the movie is the absence of discussion around the economics of nuclear power. Stone presents the Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) as some sort of technological savior for the nuclear industry. Technically, I dont argue that the IFR and its breeder cousins have many positive characteristics, including a much higher extraction of energy from the nuclear fuel and the ability to burn long-lasting nuclear waste components. Short shrift is given, however, to whether the economics of these fourthgeneration reactors would be competitive with other options. Admittedly, its difficult to say since only a handful of breeder reactors have been built and only a few remain operating. But economics need to be part of the debate, not just to keep electricity prices as low as possible but also to educate the public about the importance of comparing the levelized

cost of electricity over the life of the plant rather than just the upfront capital costs, which leads me to Musing #3. President Obama released his plan to constrain carbon dioxide emissions from U.S. power plants in June. The presidents plan directs EPA to work with the states and industry to establish carbon pollution standards for new and existing plants; provides loan guarantee authority for advanced fossil and energy efficiency projects; and supports expanded renewables deployment on public lands. Im not overly confident that these actions will prompt significant changes in the generation mix, and Im even less confident that Congress would enact any broader carbon legislation in the next 5-10 years. But any movement in this direction is a potential plus for nuclear power since it could tip the economics in its direction. So we end up at musing #4. Nuclear power has a futurejust not the future you thought it would be.


Global demand for energy continues to grow. So do concerns related to the environment, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Emission-free, baseload nuclear power can be a viable option to address these concerns and meet growing demand for energy. Nuclear energy remains a viable, clean and safe option for meeting demand around the world. Now in its seventh year, NUCLEAR POWER International 2013 provides the nuclear power industry the perfect venue to gather and exchange information about nuclear powers role in todays changing world. Visit www.nuclearpowerinternational.com for more information or to register today.

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EDF places reactor dome at nuclear plant in France

Jul 17, 2013 EDF installed the dome on the reactor building at Unit 3 at the Flamanville European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) in France, according to Electric Light & Power/POWERGRID International. Unit 3 of the Flamanville Nuclear Power Plant is the first nuclear reactor to be built in France for some 15 years. It will have a nameplate capacity of 1,650 MW and is scheduled to come into service by 2016. Work at the Flamanville EPR site, which commenced in December 2007, has involved the full spectrum of stakeholders in the French nuclear industry, with peak personnel levels on site rising to 3,200 people in 2012 (including 60 percent regional workers, 2,600 employees of external contractors, and 600 EDF employees), representing a total of five million hours worked. This major industrial construction site

has been subject to regular inspections by the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) throughout the project. The reactor housing structure will be guaranteed leaktight by welding around the entire circumference of the dome, which will then be clad with 7,000 metric tons of concrete to boost its strength. The dome has been fitted by Bouygues Construction, the company in charge of the civil engineering works for the Flamanville EPR. The operation has required a 4 months preparation and involved 30 employees from Bouygues Construction. The Flamanville EPR construction site is entering its final phase, with 95 percent of civil engineering work completed, along with 46 percent of electrical and mechanical installation work. Now that the dome has been installed, the heavy components of the nuclear steam supply system (steam generators, reactor vessel, pressurizer, etc.) will be installed inside the reactor

building over the next few months. The first half of this year has already seen the first electrical tests and the installation of steam piping inside the turbine building, as well as the installation of the first instrumentation and control (I&C) cabinets that will eventually be used for controlling, monitoring, protecting and operating the EPR.

dismissing safety concerns and paving the way for the plant to go online.

Pakistan boosts nuclear with Chinese help

Jul 8, 2013 Plans to increase Pakistans nuclear capacity from 700 MW today to 8,000 MW by 2025 are moving forward, as the countrys nuclear commission green lights construction on a new plant near Karachi to be built with Chinese help, Kyodo news service reports. A government official speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed that the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission has given its blessing on construction of a second plant near Karachi, a 1,000 MW facility to be called KANUPP-2. The new plant will be located near the 137 MW KANUPP-1 plant, which has been in operation since 1970. The federal budget has reported allocated $60 million to purchase land for the facility. Total construction costs

Kudankulam nuke plant to come online in August

Jul 16, 2013 The Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu, along the coast of southern India, will begin delivering power to the grid in mid-to-late August, according to a report from the UKs Daily Mail. The plant went critical at midnight on July 13. The Kudankulam plant has been surrounded by controversy as a wave of protest moved to block the reactor from going online. In early May, the Indian Supreme Court issued a decision




are expected to hit $9.6 billion. Chinese involvement in the project represents a step in the countrys move to increase its footprint in the global nuclear market. The country has been rapidly scaling up its own nuclear sector over the past decade, using imported technology while developing indigenous designs.

Pandoras Promise stirs nuclear debate among environmentalists

July 5, 2013 The pro-nuclear documentary Pandoras Promise is irking some in the environmental movement, according to a review of the film from National Public Radios Richard Harris. (Pandoras Promise) was intended to trigger a conversation about nuclear, and it has, Harris said in reviewing the film. Harris quotes Edwin Lyman, from the Union of Concerned Scientists, who says, There have always been devotees

of the technology who believe that it has this promise that simply has not yet been realized. But if you actually look at the facts on the ground, nuclear power has been a very, very difficult technology to bring from the pads and pencils of the designers into the real world. In response to environmentalists critical of nuclear power and of the film, filmmaker Robert Stone says there is and never will be a perfect solution to our environmental challenges. If youre going to wait around for the absolute perfect technology where theres absolutely no downside ever, well Ill show you a technology that doesnt work.

Russias floating Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) will have a capacity of 75 MW and will be towed to remote locations in the vast country where power transmission has always been difficult. Construction on the first floating SMR began in 2007. A fleet of floating nuclear power plants has been a dream elsewhere in the world for decades, including the United States, where plans to build floating plants moved at pace until the mid-1970s when a moratorium on new nuclear build settled over the country.

Russia to launch worlds first floating nuclear plant by 2016

Jul 8, 2013 The decades-old dream of floating nuclear power plants will become a reality in Russia by 2016, according to reports from Russia Today.

Macfarlane wins new term as NRC chair

Jun 28, 2013 Allison Macfarlane has been confirmed by the Senate for a full five-year term as chair of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. A geologist and former professor of environmental science at George Mason University, Macfarlane was first appointed

to the position in July 2012 to finish out the term of chair Gregory Jaczko, who resigned after a contentious tenure marked by a reportedly combative management style. Macfarlane has vowed to bring a more conciliatory and transparent tone to the NRC while encouraging more public engagement. Her tenure thus far, however, has not been without controversy. In recent weeks, she has clashed with Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), over Boxers attempt to retrieve NRC documents relating to the now-shuttered San Onofre nuclear plant. The Nuclear Energy Institute CEO Marvin Fertel welcomed Macfarlanes reappointment, saying Over the past year Chairman Macfarlane has done an outstanding job of restoring collegiality within the commission and demonstrating respect for differing opinions to allow the agency to fully focus on fulfilling its safety mission. The credibility of the NRC is immensely important to us, as well as to the global nuclear energy community, given the agencys stature worldwide.




Nuclear industry to see boost from Obama climate policy

Jun 28, 2013 The nuclear power industry in the United States is poised to get a very welcome boost under the Obama administrations new climate policy, Bloomberg reports. Bucking the trend of backing away from investments in nuclear energy, Exelon (NYSE: EXC), the nations biggest producer of nuclear power, has held fast to a low-emissions investment strategy while its stock price declined 64 percent since 2008. As the Obama administration signals a preference for emissions-free power production, according to Bloomberg, that strategy may now finally be paying off. Renewable technologies are similarly expected to reap the benefits of the any new policy environment, while coal companies are likely to be the clear loser. The one clear winner that I think you can point to out in the industry is zeroemissions generation sources, so nuclear for Exelon, wind and solar farms for NextEra, energy analyst Andrew Smith told Bloom-

berg. Any sort of asset that doesnt produce CO2.

Obama vows carbon cap for power plants in climate policy overhaul
Jun 25, 2013 In a major policy announcement Tuesday, President Obama proposed new regulations on carbon emissions from existing power plants in an effort to jump start the administrations goals for combating climate change. If implemented, the carbon emissions cap on existing plants would be a first-of-itskind regulation sure to have significant and reverberating impacts across the power generation industry and the wider economy. As a president, as a father, as an American, Im here to say: We need to act, Obama said, speaking before an audience at Georgetown University. Power plants can still dump unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into the air for free. Thats not right, its not safe, and

it needs to stop. He noted that existing power plants account for 40 percent of carbon emissions in the United States. Obama vowed to make reducing power plant carbon emissions the cornerstone of his climate policy. Though his speech was short on details, the president doubled down on his commitment to shale gas development, stating flatly that We should strengthen our position as the top natural gas producer. Under Obamas plan, renewable energy power generation, which doubled during the administrations first term, will be doubled again by 2020. Obama noted that, Many power companies have already begun modernizing their plants and creating new jobs in the process, and that a number of state and local governments have already implemented carbon emissions regulations. Its just time for Washington to catch up with the rest of the country, he said. Tom Kuhn, president of the Edison Electric Institute, a trade association representing roughly 70 percent of the

American electric power industry, struck a cautious tone. Kuhn stressed that any new regulations contain achievable compliance limits and deadlines, minimize costs to customers, and are consistent with the industrys ongoing investments to transition to a cleaner generating fleet and enhanced electric grid. Kuhn added that fuel diversity must remain a top consideration in any new energy policy. A group of leading environmental groups, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, and the Environmental Defense Fund, issued a joint statement praising the presidents proposals. President Obamas decision to take action to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants for the first time ever is particularly important since power plants are the largest unlimited source of carbon pollution and cleaning them up is key to protecting Americans from the impacts of climate change, the statement said. Nuclear power received short thrift in the presidents climate address, but a cap on carbon emissions could have a far-




reaching positive impact on the American nuclear industry, which has been beleaguered in recent years with high costs and new regulations. The Nuclear Energy Institute moved to stake out territory in the discussion on emissions-free energy alternatives There is no debating this fact: Nuclear energy produces nearly two-thirds of Americas carbon-free electricity, said NEI President Marvin Fertel. As a nation, we cannot reach our energy and climate goals without the reliable, carbon-free electricity that nuclear power plants generate to power our homes, businesses and infrastructure. President Obama recognized this during the presidential campaign when he said, It is unlikely we can meet our aggressive climate goals if we eliminate nuclear power as an option. Likewise, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz supports the expansion of nuclear energy to meet national energy and environmental imperatives. Resistance to the presidents plan came swiftly. Representatives from the coal

industry, which will be the primary target of any new emissions regulations, were unsurprised by the announcement but no less troubled for it. Even brand new, stateof-the-art plants wouldnt be able to meet these regulations, American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricitys Lisa Miller told Politico. Republican attorneys general from Oklahoma, Alabama, Montana and West Virginia vowed to challenge new regulations, saying in a joint statement, This presidents unprecedented use of the Environmental Protection Agency to enact overreaching regulations and circumvent state primacy has prompted our fellow Republican attorneys general to fight back and full force, and we plan to continue. The American Public Power Association said in a release that while it agreed with some parts of the Presidents plan, it had some concerns over emissions regulations. APPA is encouraged that the President has directed EPA to re-propose last years flawed proposed rule for new power

plants that effectively banned new coalfired plants, the APPA statement said. However, we are concerned that the net effect of a re-proposed rule may be the same. Thus, we urge EPA to make substantial changes including provisions that differentiate between fuel types and set a standard for coal that can be achieved using technology that is currently commercially available.

New Vogtle reactors to cause smaller customer rate increase than expected
Jun 17, 2013 The two nuclear reactors currently under construction at Plant Vogtle in Georgia will end up costing the customers less than previously thought, according to an executive with Southern Co (NYSE: SO). Speaking at the opening plenary session of the American Nuclear Societys 2013 Annual Meeting, President and CEO of Southern Nuclear Steve Kuczynksi

announced that the increase in electricity rates on customers once Vogtles two new reactors come online is expected to be limited to between six and eight percent. The revised projection is significantly lower than the projected rate increase of up to 12 percent that had been originally envisioned when the project first began, Kuczynski said. Kuczynksi attributed the change to more favorable financing arrangements with Wall Street and investors made available to the company as a result of the ongoing economic downturn in recent years. Were in a very good position economically, he said. Kuczynksi said the new numbers reflect the reality that people should not get bogged down in short term thinking when analyzing the costs and benefits of nuclear construction, instead considering the long-term benefits of stable baseload power. The new expected rate increase associated with Vogtle indicates, he said, that even this year-long delay has a negligible impact.






It can see, and slither, and writhe its way into tight spaces. Is it a snake? Well, kind of.


he modular snake robot developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellons Robotics Institute made big news this summer when it successfully inspected the bowels of Austrias dormant Zwentendorf nuclear power plant. Just two inches in diameter and 37 inches long, its body tethered to a control and power cable out the rear end, the robots 16 modules with two half-joints each gives it 16 degrees of movement, affording it the dexterity to reach places and get high-quality, welllit viewing angles that would be difficult or impossible for a human or even a

boreoscope. The right-side-up feature, in which the video feed from the camera on its head is corrected to align with gravity, makes operating the robot more intuitive. With further development and testing, such a robot could give operators a more complete understanding of a plants condition and perhaps reduce a plants downtime by enabling faster, more efficient inspections, said Martin Fries, an engineer with EVN Group, owner of the Zwentendorf facility. Next, engineers hope to make the robot even more like a snake: waterproof.

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Cybersecurity in the Nuclear Power Sector


n todays digital age, many critical business operations take place in cyberspace, requiring companies to take measures to protect their employees and business infrastructure from cyberattacks. Malicious individuals and groups, whether aiming to steal personal information or to completely destabilize an Internet network or critical infrastructure system, can expose sensitive personal and business information and disrupt critical operations. Critical infrastructure, such as electrical power generation or transmission and distribution systems, experience escalated costs to protect against potential exploitation that could adversely impact operations. The processes and practices designed to protect networks, computer programs and data from attack, damage or unauthorized access is known as cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is a growing field across all facets of business operations. We rely on digital technology to communicate, travel, work and power our homes, offices and economy. Our daily lives, economic vitality, critical infrastructure and national security depend on a stable, safe and resilient defense against cyberattacks. The threats being launched every day have driven the need to improve upon the cybersecurity protective strategies. These improved strategies aim to protect systems and networks around the globe and across personal, business and critical infrastructure boundaries.


The nuclear power industry is one of the most highly regulated and safest industries in the world, and takes cyber threats seriously. After the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) amended the plant design basis threat (DBT) to include cyberattacks. In early 2002, the NRC issued an order to

require power reactor licensees to implement interim measures to enhance cybersecurity at their sites. In 2009, the NRC amended their extensive physical protection program regulations to include a specific regulation, 10CFR73.54, for a cybersecurity program that would be a component of the operating licenses. These requirements provided high assurance that digital computer and communication systems and networks associated with safety and important to safety functions, security functions, emergency preparedness functions (including off-site communications), and support systems would be adequately protected up to and including the DBT. Subsequently, the NRC issued COMWCO-10-0001, to clarify that its cybersecurity rule should be interpreted to include components in the Balance of Plant that contain a link to radiological health and safety at NRC-licensed


nuclear power plants. Plant systems that are subject to the NRCs Cybersecurity Rule are known as critical systems. As a result, every plant submitted a cybersecurity plan to the NRC that described how the plant would implement their cybersecurity program and the




schedule for implementation. The NRC reviewed and approved each of these plans and schedules. The cybersecurity plan provides high assurance that plant critical systems and critical digital assets (CDAs) subject to 10CFR73.54 are protected against cyberattack up to and including the DBT. Each licensee plan includes an implementation schedule containing eight milestones. Seven of the milestones were due for completion by December 2012. The stringent measures implemented by the milestones were aimed at protecting the most sensitive critical systems by mitigating attack vectors. In accordance with NRC requirements, each U.S. nuclear power plant was required to: Establish a dedicated cybersecurity assessment team to meet cyber requirements as part of their cybersecurity plan. Identify critical systems and critical digital assets that fell within the scope of the NRC requirements. Isolate key control systems using either air-gaps or robust hardware-based

isolation devices. As a result, the key safety, security and power generation equipment at the plants are protected from any network-based cyberattacks originating outside the plant. Enhance and implement robust controls over the use of portable media and equipment. In instances where devices like thumb drives, CDs and laptops are used to interface with plant equipment, measures are in place to minimize the cyber threat. These measures include such actions as minimizing the use of devices that are not maintained at the plant; virus scanning devices both before and after being connected to plant equipment; and implementing additional security measures where the source of the data or device originates outside the plant. As a result of these actions, plants are well protected from attacks that are propagated through the use of portable media. Enhance defenses against insider threats. Training and insider mitigation programs have been enhanced to include cyber attributes. Individuals who work

with digital plant equipment are subject to increased security screening, cybersecurity training and behavioral observation. Implement cybersecurity controls to protect equipment deemed most essential for the protection of the public health and safety. Implementmeasurestomaintainthe effectiveness of the program. These measures include maintaining the CDAs and the equipment subject to 73.54 in the plant configuration management program and ensuring changes to the CDAs are performed in a controlled way. A cybersecurity impact analysis must be performed before making changes to the CDAs. The effectiveness of cybersecurity controls is periodically assessed and enhancements are made where necessary. Vulnerability assessments are performed to ensure the cybersecurity posture of the CDAs is maintained. As nuclear plants work to enhance their cybersecurity, they are preparing for safe and reliable operation for decades into the future. The nuclear energy industry is in

the midst of a renewal. Across the nation, nuclear plants are being licensed to operate for longer periods of time and are transitioning from analog to digital systems for increased safety and performance. While this transition to digital technology is increasing the capability, longevity, safety and reliability of Americas nuclear plants, the need to integrate robust cybersecurity measures is a necessity. Proven digital protection systems are already in place at nuclear plants around the world to proactively protect against cyber threats to plant safety and control systems. Protecting the U.S. nuclear power infrastructure from exploitation and cyberattacks perpetrated against critical system networks is an industry challenge. As threats evolve for both nuclear infrastructure and corporate networks, there is an increased need for digital security. In addition, there is a growing need for technically knowledgeable people that possess a combination of cybersecurity skills, plant system knowledge and nuclear regulatory experience.




For the nuclear industry, safety and security are non-negotiable; best-in-class cybersecurity is critical to the continued operational excellence of the U.S. nuclear fleet.


The U.S. nuclear power industry is a critical segment of the economy and the industry is investing heavily in improving its cybersecurity protective strategies. The key for success in cybersecurity in the nuclear power industry is to have technically knowledgeable resources, both in understanding cybersecurity needs and plant system knowledge. Handling CDAs and network configurations, completing detailed susceptibility and consequence assessments and analysis, and running full-scale vulnerability and penetration testing services are just a few of the capabilities needed to establish a robust cybersecurity program at a nuclear facility. Once a plant has the appropriate resources, it needs cutting-edge technology to help enhance its cyber protec-

tion. The ever-evolving nature of cyber threats means that there is also a need for evolution in the products used to combat those threats. A plant equipped with the most up-to-date cyber threat analysis platform, including unique digital signature tools, endpoint protection and network situation awareness modeling tools, will be better able to detect and mitigate the threat of cyberattacks. Due to its impact on the economy and its dedication to the safety and security of its plants, the nuclear industry needs to partner with companies that have experience in cybersecurity and protecting critical infrastructure. One such example is AREVAs recent partnership with Northrop Grumman. Northrop Grumman supports the U.S. federal government in providing cybersecurity support to U.S. defense, intelligence and civilian agencies. Meanwhile, AREVA has digital expertise, plant engineering and system knowledge, and extensive regulatory experience. Together, AREVA and Northrop Grumman cybersecurity experts assist

utility customers in addressing their cybersecurity needs with forwardlooking solutions. In response to the NRCs call for commercial nuclear facilities to establish and implement cybersecurity measures, these experts assist utility customers in maintaining compliance with the NRCs requirements. Further, nuclear plant licensees can leverage these experts knowledge, processes, tools, methods and cutting-edge technology to stay ahead of the evolving cybersecurity landscape. As utilities upgrade their older analog systems to newer digital technology, cybersecurity experts are working with them to ensure these new advanced systems meet stringent cybersecurity requirements. These advanced digital technologiessuch as AREVAs TELEPERM XS digital control system, which has already been approved and licensed by the NRCaddress the increasing obsolescence of nuclear plant analog systems and lead the nuclear industry in cybersecurity risk mitigation. The AREVA technol-

ogy meets stringent cybersecurity requirements and is currently installed or on order at 77 plants in 16 countries. Cybersecurity plays a significant role in securing the infrastructure assets for the nuclear sector. Through partnerships between the nuclear industry and cybersecurity providers who possess unique nuclear experience, the industry can be confident that their critical digital assets will be protected. Teams of highly skilled cyber engineers work daily to protect the nations critical assets against threats and exposure. And because of strict regulatory oversight and a culture steeped in safety and security, there is no industry better suited to address cybersecurity for the energy sector than the nuclear industry. The cutting-edge expertise brought together by the AREVA-Northrop Grumman team is one example of a partnership that takes a proactive, multi-pronged approach to ensure the cybersecurity of the U.S. nuclear power sector, helping utilities meet todays missions and address tomorrows threats.




Nuclear Dawn in the Desert

Market Overview: The MENA Region (Middle East and North Africa )

Two years since Nuclear Power Internationals last report, the MENA region is still aggressively pursuing nuclear power. This article discusses some of the latest changes in the region, including progress on nuclear development as well as remaining challenges.

and gas for electricity. Country planners point out that it is important for the entire world for Saudi to avoid this scenario. So what has changed over the past few years since NPIs last report? Lets take a look at some key countries to better understand their situations and assess the opportunities and challenges.

hile perhaps not so obvious to the observer in the United States or Europe, commercial nuclear power is growing at a very healthy rate on a global basis. With 69 new plants under construction worldwide and between 150 and 200 more in the planning stages in 2013, only 2 years after Fukushima, we might call this a boom. While most of these new units are to be sited in East Asia, as we will see, there is significant interest by countries in the broader Middle East region and this is attracting a lot of attention by suppliers worldwide. One may wonder why the oil and gas rich countries of the Middle East would need or want to invest in nuclear power but a closer look reveals that economically it makes a lot of sense. Countries ranging from Egypt to Saudi Arabia to United Arab Emirates to Jordan, Turkey and Iran have fast growing populations and electricity demand keeping pace. While many (though not all) of these countries have abundant hydrocarbon energy resources, they want to diversify their generation as well as preserve these natural resources for export and other needs. Their fast-growth is causing internal energy consumption to rise rapidly. Saudi Arabia predicts that at current growth rates, by the 2030s it may no longer be the worlds swing producer of oil, unless it develops an alternative to burning a higher and higher percentage of its own oil


The most obvious progress in the region has been the rapid advancement of the UAEs commercial nuclear program in Abu Dhabi, at the Barakah site. In 2008 the country selected Lightbridge as a consultant to develop their nuclear law and to help in the initial establishment of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and federal regulation. CH2M Hill was chosen to provide program management and to further implement the countrys vision. The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) was established to create a gold standard regulatory infrastructure. The UAE nuclear program so far,


has been touted as a highly successful model for other countries to emulate. Progress occurred rapidly as bid packages were developed and proposals submitted and reviewed. Ultimately Korean Electric Power Company (KEPCO) and their APR1400 reactor design was selected for the first four units. The schedule is to bring units 1-4 online, one each year from 2017 through 2020. FANR issued the Unit 1 License approximately one year ago. Concrete work began immediately and Unit 1 is now rising out of the desert. A number of unique challeng-





es are being met by all partners. The APR1400 design had to be adapted to both the unique climate of the Middle East and to the desert site. The challenges of summer heat, desert sand, and warmer-than-typical cooling water were not trivial for the KEPCO design team. Other hurdles have included staffing and training, fuel procurement, and waste management plans. One of the most important challenges has been creating FANR, the nuclear regulatory body of the UAE. Accord-

ing to leaders in the organization, FANR has been staffed with a large number of experienced personnel from many countries ranging from the United States and Canada to the UK and South Africa, while still employing large numbers of national staff. While the objective is to grow the percentage of Emiratis staffing this organization, it is acknowledged that it will take some time to transition to a significant mix of indigenous personnel because of the extensive nuclear training and experience required. The importance of establishing a sound regulatory body cannot be overemphasized. By all accounts, it seems that the UAE has done this well. A key point emphasized by a FANR leader we interviewed is the realization that deciding to implement nuclear power requires at least a 100-year commitment. Today, the UAE generates approximately 109 TWh of electricity annually from 100% hydrocarbon energy resources. The population is growing rapidly at almost 3% per year and GDP

is growing comparably. By bringing 1400 MWe of new capacity online annually from 2017 - 2020 (totaling 5,600 MW), the country will achieve the diversification and preservation of its declining hydrocarbon resource base for export and other in-country use.

Turkey, a much larger country than the UAE, is ranked second in population in the region (80.7 million), after Egypt (85.3 million), and is very close in size to Iran (79.9 million). Turkey generates more than twice as much electricity as the UAE and is much more diversified. Its generation mix is about 23% hydro plus a small amount of renewables and the majority from fossil fuels including coal, oil and gas. Adding nuclear will help meet the countrys high electricity demand growth, which has averaged above 6% over the past 3 years and could grow by more than 50% by the early 2020s. Adding nuclear to the mix will also provide further diversificaIAEA DIRECTOR GENERAL YUKIYA AMANO AT BARAKAH NUCLEAR POWER PLANT CONSTRUCTION SITE, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE IAEA).

tion and position Turkey for a long-term future in which expansion of fossil and hydro generation may be increasingly challenged. Further, it will reduce Turkeys dependence on Russian natural gas. The Akkuyu nuclear site in the Mersin province on the Mediterranean coast was originally licensed in the mid-1970s, but has been delayed several times. In 2010, an agreement between Russia and Turkey resulted in a restart under a buildown-operate (BOO) model. This plant




will be a first for this approach that is being aggressively promoted by Rosatom. The Akkuyu NPP will have four power units of 1200 MW each. After construction, it will produce about 35 billion kilowatthours per year. The units are expected to come online sequentially starting in MR ALI AKBAR SALEHI, MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE ISLAMIC REPUB2019 through 2023. LIC OF IRAN (SECOND FROM LEFT) MET IAEA DIRECTOR GENERAL YUKIYA AMANO (NOT PICTURED) AT THE IAEAS HEADQUARTERS IN VIENNA, AUSTRIA (PHOTO A second site at COURTESY OF DEAN CALMA & IAEA). Sinop on the Black Sea coast has also gone through multiple for 2023. The ATMEA1 reactor is a joint planning and negotiating phases with venture between AREVA and Mitsubivendors ranging from Canadian to Koshi Heavy Industries. The investment rean to Chinese to Japanese and French. is expected to total about $22 billion. In May, the Turkish and Japanese governHowever, there are several concerns ments agreed to cooperate in the developabout nuclear power in Turkey. The ment of a contract to build and operate 4 country bridges two continents and its ATMEA1 reactors totaling 4,400 MWe underlying tectonic plates make Turwith commercial operation scheduled key more earthquake prone than many

other countries in the region. These conditions require design adaptations to assure safety. There is also a serious concern over public acceptance, as demonstrations against nuclear power illustrate publics resistance to the technology.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), a world leader in production of oil, gas, and petroleum products, is also a huge generator of electricity. In the region, it generates more electricity than Iran, but with only 1/3 of its population. Saudis highly industrialized economy as well as huge energy requirements for water desalination and air conditioning drive this demand. Today, Saudis electricity is generated almost 100% from hydrocarbon resources (oil and gas). KSAs planners have foreseen a huge dilemma as growth in population and industrialization continue to increase its electricity demands. The generation of even more electricity from oil and gas will consume larger quantities of the

countrys resources that would otherwise be available for export. This would result in a huge cost to its economy. To solve this challenge, KSA has established King Abdul City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (K.A. CARE) and has budgeted in excess of $300 billion for future development programs. This government agency is working with numerous consultants and contractors to diversify the Kingdoms electricity production and has envisioned as many as 16 nuclear power units in addition to significant renewable energy resources. These announcements have attracted the attention of global nuclear power firms from Korea and France to the United States and we are seeing early involvement of key global nuclear vendors such as GE-Hitachi, Westinghouse/ Toshiba, AREVA, EDF and KEPCO, as well as others. The USA and Saudi have a long history of close working relationships in the oil, gas, refining and power sectors and some believe this will carry into the nuclear arena as well. GE, for




instance, has provided over 500 gas generators in the KSA which generate over half its electric power. GE also has made a significant impact through training and growing local employment. At a recent supplier conference, K.A. CARE made it clear that localization of the supply chain will be an important selection criteria. KSA has signed nuclear cooperation agreements with Argentina, China, France, and South Korea. In July, Areva and EDF signed a further agreement with Saudis National Institute of Technology to train technicians in various nuclear disciplines. France has welcomed a number of visits by KSA representatives for educational purposes in fuel cycle activities, NPP operation and construction. However, there remains a significant hurdle yet to be bridged before the development of nuclear power in KSA. Like the UAE, Saudi must establish bi-lateral nuclear trade agreements (often referred to as a 1-2-3 agreement in the US). These agreements clear the path for sharing nuclear technologies. They are used to

Saudi has signed nuclear agreements with Argentina, China, France & South Korea.
limit proliferation of nuclear technologies and materials, and to prevent their access by terrorist organizations. The US Congress will have to approve a 1-23 agreement between the US and KSA and the infrastructure has to be established that assures appropriate safety and safeguards. It has been suggested that US suppliers may be excluded from these huge Saudi opportunities unless the agreement is achieved soon. It is not clear at this time how long it may be before an acceptable agreement can be achieved. There are a number of 1-2-3 agreements up for renewal and there are many complexities for consideration at this time, including the highly sensitive issue of enrichment. K.A. CARE has stated, Saudi Arabia will only deploy the most advanced and thoroughly tested technologies, paying maximum attention

to safety, security and safeguards of the highest international standards.

Iran is a close third in population in the region with 79.9 million people. It is growing rapidly, and until economic sanctions began taking effect GDP growth was relatively high (5.9%); more recently, since international sanctions began taking a serious toll, it declined to below 1%. Iran is the second largest generator of electricity in the region, closest to Saudi Arabia and Turkey. While oil and gas are a major source of this electrical energy, it also has some hydropower. Nuclear power has been under very slow development in Iran for many years. The Bushehr NPP was actually started in 1975, then abandoned in 1979 after the Shah was deposed. In the early 2000s it was resumed through a deal with Russias Atomstroyexport/Rosatom. According to the IAEA it went commercial in July of 2012. It has a capacity of 1,000 MWe. Irans plans call for additional nu-

clear reactors, but the timing is not clear. The country also mines, enriches and manufacturers nuclear fuel. Irans nuclear program is not fully cooperative with IAEA and is regularly noncompliant in matters of nuclear energy, inspections, etc. Its no secret that the world strongly believes that the Iranian government besides developing commercial nuclear poweris developing highly enriched nuclear materials for weapons. As a renegade country and sponsor of terrorism, Iran is the cause of much concern over even the peaceful use of nuclear power in the Middle East. Further, its go it alone policy leave its nuclear power industry disadvantaged from a safety perspective, since it does not get the benefit of regulatory and peer reviews that other countries enjoy.

Among the smaller countries of the Mideast, Jordan has a population of 6.5 million and electric generation capacity of 14.6 TWh. Jordans electricity is gen-




erated almost totally from oil and gas; but the country imports a high percentage of its energy needs. According to the IAEA, a Royal Decree to pursue nuclear power was issued in January 2007, taking into account national goals for energy security and diversification, and a desire to reduce dependence on imports. While Jordan has considered nuclear power for some years, it has now developed a more specific strategy and plan, including identification of a potential site. However, financing is an obstacle and true progress in implementation is very slow. In recent years, its announcements of intended contracting bids have been subsequently delayed. Jordans strategy aims to ensure the security of its energy supply for electricity production and water desalination. Unfortunately, its desire to include fuel production, to leverage its indigenous uranium deposits as a financing scheme runs counter to nonproliferation policy. The Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) has been working with WorleyParsons since 2009 to provide pre-con-

struction consulting services. The scope of work includes feasibility and financial assessment, technology assessment and selection, and the preparation of utility organization structures. JAEC is seriously looking for options that include public-private partnerships and ways to go forward despite its limited resources.

The most populous country in the MENA region is Egypt with 85.3 million people. Like the other countries in the region, it is fast growing in both population and GDP, though economic activity has been adversely affected by the last several years of political upheaval. Egypt is not as oil-rich as its neighbors and uses most of its oil and gas for internal consumption. The interest country leaders have expressed in nuclear power is driven by the need to diversify generation and to meet growing demand. The country needs to discourage consumption of hydrocarbons and find alternatives for in-country energy production. Egypts recognition of the value of nuA ROUNDTABLE AT THE NUCLEAR ENERGY INSIDER MENA CONFERENCE IN DUBAI.

clear power was evidenced by a recent signing of an agreement between a representative of an Egyptian delegation in South Korea and the South Korean Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy. In seeking ways to reduce hydrocarbon dependence, the Egyptian Ministry of Electricity and Energy has developed plans to establish bidding processes for the rights to build a plant in El-Dabaa. The site, located on the Mediterranean Sea, has been studied and is believed to be suitable for up to 4,000 MWe as well as a desalination plant. However,

local residents have hosted a sit-in to express their objections to the plant. In later developments, at the time of this writing in July 2013, Egypts military officers removed the countrys first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, and suspended its Constitution. The political turmoil that began in early 2011 with the Arab Spring has continued to the present day. Egypts current political situation serves as an example of why any nuclear program must be established on the foundation of a stable government.





There are a number of other countries in the region that have expressed interest in nuclear power. A few, such as Kuwait, have decided not to pursue it at this time. For others who have expressed interest, peaceful conditions, political stability, safety leadership culture, security, and financial wherewithal are essential prerequisites. These requirements make nuclear power in some of these countries unlikely for a number of years to come. To quote a long-time industry player we interviewed, Nuclear plants shall not be built on shaky ground, or in shaky countries.

Considering that nuclear power requires a 100-year commitment, it is essential that the regions nuclear power plants be limited to selected countries that can assure their sustainable, safe operation.
ment, it is essential that the regions nuclear power plants be limited to selected countries that can assure their sustainable, safe operation. It is paramount that the MENA regions nuclear industry be built upon the foundations that this unique industry and unique part of the world requires.
Bill Linton is Principal of Linton Consulting, a profes-

Commercial nuclear power is likely to grow significantly in the MENA region over the next 10-20 years. A number of key countries have the economic drivers, energy demand and financial strength to build nuclear industries. However, considering that nuclear power requires a 100-year commit-

sional practice active in energy, power, nuclear, process and manufacturing. Lintons ongoing Strategic View process has focused on nuclear for the past 5 years. The process involves ongoing monitoring of industries through confidential executive interviews, roundtables, tours, and conference activities. This article is based upon insights gained from our research, visits to the Middle East, and interactions with government and private sector managers in a variety of countries and companies over the past few years.


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Redeeming the Atom

At age 14, Taylor Wilson became the youngest person ever to build a working fusion reactor. Since then he has inked a book deal, spoken at TED, and seen movie rights to his story get bought up by a major studio. Now 19, his work continues in pursuit of advances in nuclear technology

Why we need small-scale nuclear power

new nuclear technologies, but rather small incremental improvements to existing designs. I have long argued that nuclear physics is simply a morally neutral, fundamental property of nature, and that nuclear technology can be a powerful tool if wielded properly. Much like our advances in computing, we are left with nothing more than a tool, albeit, in the case of nuclear energy, one that is intrinsically more powerful than any other. As with any other tool, we can either choose to use it for good or malice, responsibly or recklessly. While our brief adolescence with the technology has been clouded under the shadow of nuclear war, there may well be a redemption for nuclear energy in the future. Human conflict has long been driven by scarcity of resources, a challenge nuclear power is poised to meet like no other technology, and I truly believe that, properly implemented, we have the possibility of using this


he second half of the 20th Century was coined the Atomic Age, in acknowledgment of how, for better or worse, the ability to manipulate the atom fundamentally changed the course of history. Most would argue that the 1950s and 60s were the height of the fervor and excitement surrounding peaceful applications of atomic energy. It was a time when this newfound power could do anything, raising the possibility of incredible destruction and incredible progress. In contrast to the hype, what happened over the following decades was not radical innovation and application of

technology to secure the greatest period of peace we have ever enjoyed as a species. In sitting down to evaluate the future of nuclear power, however, many uncomfortable truths soon became evident. While the benefits of an energy-dense, baseload power source amid a global race to eliminate carbon emissions are obvious, nuclear power is being weakened in the face of a boom in hydraulically fractured shale gas reserves and the plummeting cost of renewable installations. The intensive postFukushima regulatory environment and the large installed capacity of new nuclear projects utilizing designs such as the AP1000 mean few utilities can stomach the price tag, even with large government loan guarantees. Nevertheless, more than any of these issues, what sticks out to me as a singular challenge for the industry is the basic technology at the core of todays nuclear utilities. While admittedly we are generations ahead of those early pioneers in nuclear energy, and the marginal improvements are uncountable, todays PWRs and




BWRs are the same basic technology we originally tapped to bring nuclear power onto the grid in the 1950s. While the industry has had an enviable safety record, and exposing its weaknesses requires exceptionally unlikely cascading failures, the technology at work today does have its intrinsic flaws. So much of the cost of nuclear power comes from the fact we have to regulate using the concept of defense in depth. While incredibly rare, there is always the possibility of core damage in the event of loss of offsite power or a large break LOCA. Fukushima demonstrated what hazards lie in the catalytic tendency of zircalloy cladding to produce explosive chemical potentials at elevated core temperatures. Because of these fundamental issues in implementation, were forced to ensure multiple redundant systems are in place to prevent damage and the release of radioactivity. But what if we could adopt a technology that relied less on defense in depth by using a reactor that is not

only passively safe, but intrinsically safe? What if we could have a nuclear power plant that runs more like a giant battery? What if we could develop a technology with strong negative coefficients and tightly limited reactivity, then eliminate every chemical or hydraulic inclination for radiological materials to leave the primary system of the reactor and turn up the heat of the neutrons so that along with an incredible reduction of spent nuclear fuel volume, you end up burning higher order actinides and reducing the radiotoxicity of the waste tremendously? What if we could then put this technology in a sealed, mass-produced unit that rolls off an assembly line, like the Ford model Ts of old or todays mass-produced items with high risks and technological complexity similar to a nuclear plant , such as rockets and Boeing 747s. Many have long sought such a system, and yet none exists in production today. But this technology is possible and, most importantly, it doesnt require solving a physics problem to implement

in fact, weve had the basic know-how for decades. At its heart, the technology is the molten salt reactor invented at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the 1960s. The reactor designs I have developed are inspired by this original concept to provide some of the necessary features just touched on. Additionally providing passive emergency cooling, an extremely compact core and reactor subsystems, few moving parts, minimal online processing, and the latest materials and fabrication techniques, and you can have an idea of the design I am working to move to market. With a sealed module design life of 30 years, even with the harsh fluoride salt environment, there are no exceedingly difficult materials problems. Designs range in size from 2 to 100MWe, the range in which the core technology excels. 50 MWe, however, is the standard design for utility costumers needing townsized distributed power generation. Consisting of two modules that are transported to a site, the core and

additional internal UF6 reservoirs are filled from standard transport cylinders of low-enriched UF6 once onsite. These heat and power modules are lowered below grade to provide physical protection against any and all forms of impact, and a borated cap separates these two modules. The reactor module has as an output for a non-radioactive secondary salt loop, which is exchanged with a loop of supercritical CO2 that feeds the second module, a supercritical CO2 brayton cycle with associated turbo-machinery. While the reactor module is completely sealed and not field serviceable, maintenance can be performed on the power module. For this technology to work, no rethinking of physics is necessary and it doesnt even demand a new class of materials or manufacturing techniques. All it requires is the dedication to continue to design the best reactor system possible and bring it to market successfully. Even the regulatory problems that have inevitably doomed short-lived attempts




at innovative nuclear power concepts become trivial with such an intrinsically safe reactor. Instead of regulating the defense in depth protection of a light water reactor, you are regulating a box of non-weapons-usable radioactive material, which, if correctly engineered, has no inclination to spread its contents outside its containmentsomething no more threatening to a dairy farm next door than a wind farm. But its high capacity factor means it runs all the time, and with a 30 year sealed lifetime, it beats any fossil fuels, even

to Windscale or Chernobyl, not even Fukushima, or the scary but relatively benign Three Mile Island LOCA. Finally, what about the cost? If this new nuclear doesnt compete in the market now, it will never get built. Along with its small size, this technology, in decreasing risk and even eliminating expensive components like those necessary to handle the pressures of light water reactors, will be competitive even with the short-lived inundation of cheap shale gas we see currently in the domestic energy market. I personally believe that the I believe that our only true limitations are the basic implications of physical principles that govern the natural universe. such a project mean it shouldnt inexpensive shale gas. No proliferation be a completely privately funded effort, of nuclear weapons or nuclear terrorism; but the technology must be a competitive, no chemical or hydraulic potential money-making proposition in the free to expel its contents, and a carbon market if it is to be federally subsidized. footprint that looks like wind, solar, Correctly designed, this technology will or geothermal deployable anywhere in be competitive and the way to bring the world, at any time. Other than the this to market is what the Department fuel inside, this bears no resemblance of Energy has already proposed for the

development of more traditional Small Modular Reactors: a cost matching agreement with private investment. Maybe its my age, or perhaps my brain is just wired differently, but I dont agree with the cynicism sometimes passed around when it comes to new generation nuclear technology. Whether it is safety, cost, politics or just public perception hurdles that must be overcome, someone always has a reason why not to do it. The same goes for just about any technology, even something with as friendly a face as solar power. But I refuse to accept this defeatism. I believe that our only true limitations are the basic physical principles that govern the natural universe. All other challenges just require clever engineering and the will to press on, and they can be overcome. Thankfully we were given a powerful tool in the basic physics of nuclear structure. And I think wed be foolish to not take any opportunity we are given when it comes

to these basic principles, to explore them and utilize them to the fullest. I am a fan of renewable energy, solar in particular, when deployed in the right geographical location, but I deeply believe that we cannot eliminate the pollution to our environment with this approach exclusively. I also believe that in a couple of decades fusion power will reach the grid, hopefully with my own contribution, and that this could truly be the abundant, waste-free energy holy grail that will keep our civilization trucking on long into the future. But there is a complicated series of steps to reach this goal, and even if we reach breakeven on fusion power tomorrow, we still have a long road ahead of engineering challenges to see its implementation. In the intervening years, however, whether you live in a small village in Africa, or small town America, I have no doubt that your life, and the future of our species, will be forever changed for the better by Small Modular Reactor technology.




Lessons Learned from Successful Nuclear Uprate Projects


The Grand Gulf Behemoth challenging enough on their own, with complex scopes of work and the need to coordinate significant numbers of manual and non-manual teams. EPU projects are particularly challenging because not only is there a significant amount of work required, but the work takes place in a nuclear plant that is already in operation, sometimes on the operating unit itself, requiring intense focus and care. When the generation of power from a nuclear facility is at stake, there simply isnt room for errors. Utilities depend on construction companies to maintain the safety, functionality, and compliance of its operating units while working on the other unit, just as people in surrounding communities depend on the safety of the plant and the power it generates. The challenges of EPU projects are generally met through the use of large teams of experts. These experts may come from all over the world, and they may have different backgrounds in welding, pipe-fitting, and engineering. However, while they have the skills In fall 2012, work was completed on the extended power uprate project at Entergys Grand Gulf Nuclear Generating Station, near Port Gibson, Mississippi. The project increased the energy output of the plant by more than 13 percent, making the Grand Gulf Nuclear Generating Station the most powerful nuclear reactor in the United States and one of the most powerful in the entire world with a total capacity of 1443 MW. CB&I (then The Shaw Group Inc.) won the EPC contract for the EPU project and oversaw most of the work, with the exception of the steam dryer and turbine components. The uprate of the BWR plant involved replacing the heat exchanges, main feedwater heaters, moisture separator reheaters and main transformers, as well as enhancing the plants cooling capacity. The main generator and high-pressure turbine rotor were both replaced as well, which was completed by Siemens. Uprates have become a popular method of expanding nuclear power in a cost effective and efficient way. According to the NRC, the regulatory body has approved uprates adding up to 6,862MW of electricity generating capacity in the United States, equivalent to constructing a handful of brand new reactors from the ground up. -Ed.

xtended power uprate (EPU) projects on nuclear power plants deliver significant benefits to utilities and the communities the plants help power. They increase nuclear power output from existing facilities and modernize the plant in a fraction of the time and cost of a new build. Bechtels extended power uprate work includes the completion of more than a dozen units with over 14 million man hours worked since 2009. Most recently, Bechtel completed one of the largest EPU projects of its kind in U.S. history on behalf of the NextEra Energy nuclear fleet. Work was done at the Point Beach nuclear plant in Wisconsin and at the St. Lucie and Turkey Point nuclear plants in Florida. The projects, were recognized by the Nuclear Energy Institute with the Best of the Best Top Industry Practice awards in innovation

and excellence. The EPUs increased generating capacity in Florida by more than 500 megawatts the equivalent of building a new mid-size plant and added enough electricity to provide power to about 300,000 additional customers. EPU projects are as complex as they are desirable and effective. These projects include major construction activity that requires highly detailed and complex planning to meet tight schedules while maintaining quality and safety. To produce successful results, EPU projects require a shift in mindset and approach, as well as tested teams and processes to ensure that new megawatts are delivered in a reliable and safe manner.


Large construction projects are




formance tools, and many other specialties demanded by the work at hand. Another challenge that can affect project outcomes is schedule pressure. The maCARPENTERS LOADING A SCAFFOLD CART DURING THE ST. LUCIE NUCLEAR EPU PROJECT. jority of EPU required for the project, they may not work occurs during an outage, which have had prior experience working in means a significant amount of planning nuclear plants before. For example, a is required prior to construction in order pipefitter may not typically deal with to limit the duration of the outage and/ the complexity and large diameter pipe or prevent any delays. Unlike greenfield that need to be installed around existing projects where construction might go structures and other electrical and meon for several months to several years, chanical components. In these cases, at construction at EPUs typically happens Bechtel we evaluate a workers skills, and over the course of two to four months. provide training and testing in welding The implementation of the scheduling shops, for example, before work begins for example, preventing the stack of inside the operating facility. The compatrades and the execution of the plan ny also provides training in human peraccording to the schedule are critical.

Throughout its 115-year history, Bechtel has built some of the largest and most complex projects worldwide, including work at more than 150 nuclear plants around the globe. Based on its vast nuclear and EPU experience, Bechtel has identified key lessons learned that can serve as guidance for similar projects.

At regular intervals, nuclear power plants undergo scheduled outages for maintenance or for minor modifications to equipment. EPU project outages, however, are typically much bigger in scope, requiring the significant changeouts or upgrades of major equipment such as feedwater pumps, heat exchangers, steam turbines, condensers, and control systems, and piping and electrical commodities. As mentioned previously, in many cases, the work is done while

other units are still in operation. Another key difference between modification and construction projects is staffing. EPU projects require high numbers of skilled teams. Many of these team members may not have worked together before, and some will be new to nuclear power projects. In addition, their work is being done in congested spaces, where safety and security are always a concern. EPU projects require a shift in approach and mindset akin to what is required on a large-scale engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) job. EPUs involve a significant number of potentially complicated modifications with a lot of variability in the scope of the work performed due to the discovery phase and are thus are better suited with an EPC approach. An EPC approach provides a carefully coordinated integration of engineering, procurement, and construction with the operator of the plant and ensures that




the detailed engineering and planning done before construction begins can be modified and managed as the project is

If managed like a modifications project or refueling outage, the success of the EPU could be severely compromised.
executed. This approach also ensures large equipment arrives on time and in the right condition, and the team is well-trained on tools and processes that will enable seamless construction so as not to disrupt the operating plant. If managed like a modifications project or refueling outage, the success of the EPU could be severely compromised. During a refueling outage, for example, the operations team typically puts clearances on primary nuclear systems first to allow work to begin on those systems. In an EPU project, however, because a large amount of the work may happen on secondary non-nuclear

systems, such as feedwater heaters and condensers, and piping systems that support the steam turbine, the project will be significantly impaired if the order of clearance releases are not modified. This is why EPU projects require a shift in approach and focus.


Engineering teams perform a significant amount of preparation work prior to the start of construction in order to define changes that will likely be required during the outage. However, on an EPU project, its impossible to fully determine all existing conditions of a plant and its equipment until the team is able to go in and see it during the outage. While engineering teams may have a few months to perform design for previously identified changes in a typical maintenance project, the short duration of an outage accelerates the design schedule for the unexpected changes by at least several weeks. If

something is found during the discovery phase of an outage, engineering teams move into high gear to find the most appropriate and safest solutions possible. EPU project teams must learn to expect the unexpected its a given. Naturally, an experienced EPC team will prepare for as many project detours and changes as it can, and mitigate those changes. But the team also recognizes that it cant anticipate all the changes that will occur before such a project starts. Teams must design for flexibility based on the physical conditions they find during discovery. For example, it may be common for engineers to design a pipe support only to find out that it could not be attached to the plant structure due to some as-found condition or due to anchor bolt interference with concrete rebar. Therefore, they have to find other alternatives that can be quickly implemented while meeting the design requirements and maintaining safety. In another example, teams may map out electrical configurations and termination


points but the plans wont become firmly set until the relevant experts can personally open electrical boxes and see the configurations first-hand. As such, teams need to plan for validation of physical conditions as early as possible to allow for design corrections to be made without affecting the overall schedule.




Keen observation is the key to safety

Bechtels extended power uprate project with Florida Power & Light included an incident rate well below the US industry average. This was achievable thanks to specific programs that kept a constant watch on human behaviors and potential risks. One was the Safety Observation Program, which was implemented across all three plants Point Beach, St. Lucie, and Turkey Point. The program was particularly successful at the Turkey Point EPU since it represented the culmination of lessons learned from the earlier Point Beach and St. Lucie projects. The team leveraged Florida, Power & Lights existing Safety Observation Program for maintenance and modification work and reshaped it to include observations of construction work, such as rigging and welding. The team believed the program would help get ahead of any potential injuries from occurring and maintain the combined projects existing safety record, which was already better than the industry average for the number of recordable incidents and lost time injuries. While the EPU projects in general already have a better-than industry average safety record, Zero Accidents should be the ultimate goal The Safety Observation Program encouraged regular engagement between supervisors in the field and the craft. The program required supervisors to perform daily observations in the field for things such as pre-job briefs, work management, human error prevention, radiological safety, rigging, and security, to name a few. Supervisors filled out observation cards, which were scanned into a system and analyzed to uncover potential areas for improvement. Every week, the team would discuss an area that needed attention, thereby decreasing the potential for an unwelcome surprise. On the Turkey Point project, for example, supervisors made one million observations during the outage (about five months in duration), which was at peak staffing with about 2,000 workers on site. Sometimes the unexpected isnt related to construction at all. Sometimes, the unexpected arises during licensing. For example, at the St. Lucie plant, the

EPU project team had to get licensing amendments approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission before the plant could come back online. This process involved necessary backand-forth exchanges that took more time than anticipated. Therefore, its important for teams to be flexible and agile so that questions and comments raised during the review process can be accommodated in a timely manner. One way to cope with these unexpected issues is to have an issues manager on site whose sole purpose is to oversee issues so that other project and site managers, in addition to the project as a whole, can focus on moving the project forward. The issue managers role is to create a plan for addressing unexpected events and progress toward resolution of problems ensuring that the discovery and the resulting project changes do not adversely impact outcomes. Issues managers can also draw on the talents of technical experts who can solve problems quickly and efficiently. Of the

1,300 engineers supporting Bechtels power business, 188 are technical specialists and 185 code committee members, who actively craft standards/

EPU project teams must learn to expect the unexpected - its a given. Naturally, an experienced EPU team will prepare for as many project detours and changes as it can, and mitigate those changes. But the team also recognizes that it cant anticipate all the changes that will occur before.
codes for the industry at large. The team also includes a handful of Fellows from various global engineering associations, who have earned a special distinction for outstanding engineering achievements. Bechtel draws on the strength of its technical experts to effectively deal with the unexpected and to predict a successful outcome for its clients.




EPU projects present the singular challenge of maintaining safety in a complex working environment while short time frame, so as to keep the plant in operation. In order to address


these challenges on the Florida Power & Light project, for instance, Bechtel included specific daily schedule and cost reports that were necessitated by the massive scope of the project. Tools like these help the team pinpoint potential issues quickly so that they can be escalated and dealt with swiftly. The tools used by EPC companies offer some of the best records of success with EPU projects, since they can bring decades of knowledge and their own carefully-owned processes. Companies with only engineering expertise, or only construction, for example, may not have the breadth of experience necessary for successful outcomes. Companies undertaking EPU projects must also have an experienced team that is skilled at the flexible application of their tools and processes. Nuclear plant owners and regulators have specific reporting requirements, not to mention their own detailed processes designed to improve safety and efficiency. These processes need to be followed even as outside workers begin the work on-site.

In this sense, EPU projects become a collaborative effort between the EPC contractor and the power facility owner. For example, at Bechtels project for Florida Power & Light, the utility had in place very effective training and monitoring programs for utilizing human performance tools. These tools helped decrease errors and included training for situational awareness, selfchecking, procedure use and adherence, effective communication, and signing for completed work. The Bechtel team adopted these processes during work on the Point Beach project and incorporated them at the subsequent outages for the St. Lucie and Turkey Point plants. The collaborative approach should extend to other contractors on-site. Projects of this size will include multiple vendors, and EPC contractors should exWWWWpectW to integrate their schedules and estimates with projects being undertaken by other experts. The combination of experienced teams and time-tested tools and processes contributes to one of the most important

outcomes of any EPU project: a safe working environment for every member of the team and community. No project is considered a success if its safety record is bad. Safety is a core value at Bechtel and is best managed when managers maintain a constant vigilant toward potential hazards and mitigate delays that result in work done too quickly or without proper safeguards. The safest environment is one that is on schedule.


EPUs can be viable options for utilities seeking to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and get more return on investment from existing facilities. However, these projects cant come at the expense of safety to workers and the public, nor can they impact service to utility customers by forcing downtimes. An EPC-led approach that takes into account the true complexity and scale of extended power uprate initiatives will go a long way toward achieving safety, timeliness, cost, and efficiency goals.

Plan today to attend NUCLEAR POWER International in Orlando, Florida, U.S.A., Nov. 12 14, 2013. Register at www.nuclearpowerinternational.com.




JULY 2013


Nuclear Energy Institute Mitigating System Performance Index Workshop The Marquette Hotel Minneapolis, Minnesota http://www.nei.org/newsandevents/conferencesandmeetings/mspi


Nuclear Energy Institute Nuclear Fuel Supply Forum The Westin Georgetown Hotel Washington, D.C. http://www.nei.org/newsande vents/conferencesandmeetings/nfsf



American Nuclear Society16th International Conference on Environmental Degradation of Materials in Nuclear Power Systems - Water Reactors Asheville, NC http://www.ans.org/meetings/m_175


American Nuclear Society Utility Working Conference and Vendor Technology Expo Westin Diplomat Hollywood, FL http://http://www.ans.org/meetings/ calendar/d_8-12-2013


Coal-Gen Charlotte Convention Center Charlotte, North Carolina http://www.coal-gen.com/index.html

10-11 Nuclear Energy Institute Hostile Action-Based Exercise Workshop Hilton Alexandria Old Town Alexandria, Virginia http://www.nei.org/newsandevents/ conferencesandmeetings/hab


World Nuclear Association Annual Symposium Central Hall, Westminster, London http://www.wna-symposium.org/ Nuclear Energy Institute - Fire Protection Information Forum SheratonPhiladelphia Downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania http://www.nei.org/newsandevents/ conferencesandmeetings/fpif


Government Affairs Conference Nemacolin Woodlands Farmington, Pennsylvania

30-4 Oct. IAEA - Regional Workshop on Simulation Tools for Decommissioning Dose Assessment and Optimization Mol, Belgium http://www.iaea.org/OurWork/ST/NE/ NEFW/WTS-Networks/IDN/events.html