Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bellefonte-1 Moving Forward

Both WBIR TV, the Knoxville News Sentinal and Dan Yurman of Idaho Samizdat are all reporting, based on a newly released Environmental impact statement that TVA is moving toward a decision to complete the long delayed Bellefonte-1 nuclear unit.

TVA plans to complete work on its Watts Bar Unit 2 nuclear plant in 2013, and it is quite likely that construction of the Bellefonte-1 unit will not be long delayed after than. Realistic estimates peg the construction of Bellefonte-1 as being about 55% complete, with completion requiring about $3.5 more billion. It would not be surprising if the Bellefonte design is somewhat revised and its power output increased before renewed construction begins. Progress appears to be made in Korean evaluation of annular nuclear fuel, with up rates of 17.55% percent being reported, without major core redesign. Up rates of as much as 50% appear possible with core redesign. It appears that a major reconstruction of the Bellefonte core and other components will be required, so the movement to 50% annular fuel based up rate will probably be more than cost effective.

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