Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 1, 2014

Posts in "Nuclear"

October 29, 2014

NRC Reinstates Nuclear Licensing Program

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has resumed issuing license renewals for nuclear power plants, ending its two-year hiatus.

Initial licenses are issued by NRC to commercial power plants for up to 40 years. Owners are then offered the option to renew their licenses every 20 years following this initial period. Renewal is based on several factors including compliance with NRC regulations, particularly waste confidence, which is the ability of a nuclear facility to safely manage and dispose of its waste.

In 2011, the waste depository program at Yucca Mountain in Nevada was terminated. Then, in June 2012, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia struck down certain provisions of NRC’s Waste Confidence Rule, specifically stating that “NRC should have analyzed the environmental consequences of never building a permanent waste repository.” As a result of the ruling, NRC suspended its licensing program altogether even though plants continued submitting requests for renewal.

More than two years later, on Sept. 18, NRC issued a revised Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel rule, paving the way for revival of its licensing program.

NRC is currently reviewing the applications of 17 nuclear reactors, including plants whose initial licenses expired during the hiatus. (NRC rules allow for continued operation of plants, while it completes a review, as long as the application is submitted five years prior to expiration.)



October 17, 2014

ICYMI: Oil Slides, CO2 Talk & Yucca Echoes

Down, down, down was the way oil looked this week, with the global benchmark Brent crude dropping 27 percent from July before rebounding slightly Thursday. Full story

October 3, 2014

ICYMI: Cove Point LNG, India Agreement & Radio Star Ernie

175090439 445x297 ICYMI: Cove Point LNG, India Agreement & Radio Star Ernie

Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz to be on NPR radio show.

Here’s a roundup of this week’s stories and items of note.

Citing the expiring investment tax credit, a company balked on plans to build a second solar concentrating plant after getting approval for just half the project. Full story

October 1, 2014

DOE Signs Settlement Agreement, Restarts Work on Hanford Vitrification

14March HLW facility 445x297 DOE Signs Settlement Agreement, Restarts Work on Hanford Vitrification

Construction of Hanford high level waste facility. (Bechtel)

The Energy Department told Bechtel to resume engineering work on a key aspect of the Waste Treatment and Isolation Plant at the Hanford site in Washington, the company announced on Wednesday. Full story

WIPP Cleanup Could Top $550M

WIPPCont 445x365 WIPP Cleanup Could Top $550M

(Energy Department)

The Energy Department Tuesday released a plan to reopen the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico following a February accident and release of radiation. The department expects to spend between $310 million and $550 million, with the intention of resuming additional storage of transuranic waste from the nation’s legacy nuclear defense sites by 2016. Full story

September 30, 2014

Billions to Advance Advanced Reactors

msr lg 445x328 Billions to Advance Advanced Reactors

Molten salt reactor diagram (Energy Department)

The Energy Department is looking to develop advanced nuclear reactors, announcing Monday a $12.6 billion draft loan guarantee solicitation for new technologies. Full story

September 29, 2014

On Tap This Week: Conferences, Expos & An Anniversary

The Johnson Rice 2014 Energy Conference kicks off Monday in New Orleans and runs through Wednesday with presentations Monday from Pioneer Energy Services and Wednesday from Tesco Corp. Full story

September 26, 2014

Questions on CO2 Compliance Dates

92591158 445x295 Questions on CO2 Compliance Dates

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Industry, states and advocacy groups are asking how EPA’s Clean Power Plan will treat measures that will be taken between the reference year of 2012 and the compliance deadline of 2020. Full story

September 23, 2014

You Say USEC…

centrifuge 445x296 You Say USEC...

American Centrifuge Project cascade (USEC)

I’ve read about it several times, but USEC’s new name won’t stick in my head. Full story

September 18, 2014

Moniz Unveiled

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Photo courtesy of the Energy Department

CQ Roll Call’s Geof Koss sat down with Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz earlier this summer to discuss his relationship with Congress, as we mentioned last week. The whole story is now available outside the paywall.


September 12, 2014

Following Nuclear Option, NRC Regulators Get Fast-tracked

20071116 055 445x288 Following Nuclear Option, NRC Regulators Get Fast tracked

Susquehanna Nuclear Power Plant (Nuclear Regulatory Commission)

Given changes to confirmation rules made by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, two nominees to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission are poised to be confirmed next week. Full story

Moniz’s Congressional Straddle

wr20140915 26moniz hair cx 445x593 Monizs Congressional Straddle

Moniz fishing for salmon in Alaska with Verne Martell, Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s husband. (Energy Department)

Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz is embraced by members on both sides of the aisle while straddling the contentious divide over energy and environment issues, CQ Roll Call’s Geof Koss reports in the forthcoming copy of CQ Weekly (subscription). Full story

September 8, 2014

White House Asks for Energy Add Ons in Continuing Resolution

WS3b 445x317 White House Asks for Energy Add Ons in Continuing Resolution

Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz visited the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in August
(Energy Department)

The administration is asking Congress to add money for uranium enrichment decommissioning and cleanup at a nuclear waste facility  in a continuing resolution expected to be passed in coming days. Full story

September 4, 2014

FERC to Wade Through Market Revisions With Congress on Sidelines

76412175 445x296 FERC to Wade Through Market Revisions With Congress on Sidelines

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will evaluate making changes to competitive markets in cases over the next several months, Chairwoman Cheryl LaFleur said Thursday. Full story

August 19, 2014

EPA Aims to Get Half the Waxman-Markey Carbon Cuts

carboncut1 445x424 EPA Aims to Get Half the Waxman Markey Carbon Cuts
Regulations could obtain half the carbon reductions that were envisioned under a congressional measure that fell apart in 2009, according to a CQ Roll Call analysis. Full story

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