Construction now is under way on both the Shin Kori Units 3 and 4 nuclear powerplants. These units will be the first of a new generation of light-water reactors called Advanced Power Reactors in South Korea that use a domestic design developed by Korea Power Engineering Co. Both reactors will be 1,400 MW. The oceanfront site in Gori is located about 30 km north of Busan in southeastern South Korea. Excavation work began in January 2008, the first concrete for Shin Kori Unit 3 was poured in October 2008 and work on the reactor containment building currently is under way.
As the U.S. Dept. of Energy and its contractors rev up construction of permanent repositories for nuclear wastes now lingering in aging, corroded and heavily contaminated facilities at some of the agency’s former weapons-production sites, new technology is helping cleanup crews get at the nastiest and toughest-to-remove remnants. Photo: Washington River Proltection Solutions Robotic arm system, now being tested at the Hanford nuclear waste site, will reach deep into storage tanks and break up different forms of waste. At DOE’s Hanford site in eastern Washington, officials are using insect-like crawlers to prowl the radioactive floors of 177 enormous underground waste
The renewable-energy sector got a boost on Oct. 7 when the Dept. of Energy announced it will expand its loan guarantee program to commercial renewable-energy projects under the Energy Policy Act of 2005. DOE also unveiled a new Financial Institution Partnership program (FIPP) to expedite the agency’s loan-guarantee underwriting process and leverage private-sector expertise in funding eligible projects. Renewable-energy advocates say by expanding the loan-guarantee program to cover commercial, rather than just “innovative” projects, DOE will enable more renewable-energy projects to be built. But, they add, Congress should restore the $2 billion diverted from the loan-guarantee program to pay for
Duke Energy and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill have signed an agreement for a pilot project to install up to three offshore wind turbines in the state’s Pamlico Sound. Duke and UNC are completing the scoping document for the project, says Duke spokesman Tim Petit. After the scoping document is complete, Duke will issue a request for proposal for engineering and construction services. Turbines would be installed from eight to 10 miles offshore and would have a capacity of about 3.5 MW.
On Oct. 2, Hawaii became the second state to propel alternative energy development by requiring power utilities to buy renewable power at specific prices under long-term contracts, a practice known as “feed-in tariffs.” Widely used in Europe, the rule has been effective in spurring project development, says Jamie Steve, director of government relations for San Francisco-based Pattern Energy Group, formerly Babcock and Brown’s North American energy development group. Vermont adopted similar requirements last month. Hawaii adopted the rule to help the state meet a mandate to have 40% of its power come from renewable sources by 2030. At least 33
The Tennessee Valley Authority will seek engineering and construction proposals next month to convert to dry storage all of its wet-storage impoundments for combustion by-products. The project, which will take until 2020 to complete and could cost up to $2 billion, follows the 2008 failure of a coal-ash pond at the utility’s Kingston, Tenn., powerplant that spilled 5.4 million gallons of waste material over 300 acres and into the Emory River. Cleanup could cost $1.2 billion. Photo: TVA Tennessee ash spill pushes TVA to rethink waste storage at all powerplants. Robert Deacy, TVA senior vice president for clean strategies and
Columbus, Ohio-based American Electric Power has begun to capture carbon dioxide at a coal-fired powerplant in New Haven, W. Va., as part of a $100-million, 20-MW validation-size carbon-capture and storage-system project. AEP hopes to begin injecting the gas into a well by Sept. 25. The firm demonstrated the technology on a 1.7-MW unit and has applied for $334 million in federal stimulus money to fund about half the cost of commercial installation. The system uses a chilled ammonia process to capture carbon dioxide and, at commercial scale, will capture 90% of the gas from part of the 1,300-MW plant. The
Geothermal energy experts are playing down worries about the threat of induced seismicity connected with enhanced or engineered geothermal systems (EGS) following news reports about an earthquake apparently caused by an EGS project in Germany. The project in the western German city of Landau in der Pfalz is continuing operation while a panel of experts evaluates data from the mid-August magnitude-2.7 temblor. Officials of Geox GmbH, the plant’s owner, deny the temblor was caused by their plant. +Image Photo: AltaRock Energy Inc. Enhanced Geothermal System Globally, about 9,000 MW of geothermal projects are operating today. Most of them tap water
The Maryland Energy Administration encouraged wind-energy developers on Sept. 15 when it issued a request for expressions of interest for future projects. “We have very significant wind off the Maryland coast, and we want to look into cost-effective ways to build offshore wind parks,” says Malcolm Woolf, agency director. The state seeks information to assist it in developing options, including financing, technologies, water depths and preferred capacities, he says. However, Maryland won’t consider wind parks in the Chesapeake Bay, Woolf says. He adds it could take at least two years before construction could start on the first offshore wind park.
Son La Dam, located on the Da River in northern Vietnam, will be the largest hydropower project in Southeast Asia when it is completed in 2012. Under construction since 2005, the roller-compacted-concrete dam will measure 139 meters tall, 900 m long and 4.8 million cu m in total volume. Installed capacity will be 2,400 MW. Over 5,000 workers were on-site by May 2009. Electricitie de Vietnam (EVN) is the owner. Colenco Power Engineering Ltd. (Switzerland) was responsible for design. SMEC International (Australia) is the lead construction supervision partner, along with Nippon Koei and J-Power of Japan. Song Da No. 9