Výběr zpráv ze sítě NucNet - 50. týden 2005

Canada Report Calls For Big Increase In Nuclear Power Generation

The Canadian province of Ontario will need to add as much as 12,400
megawatts (MW) of nuclear power generation by 2025 if expected demand is to
be met and a possible “energy gap” filled, a new report has concluded.

Ontario Power Authority’s (OPA) “Supply Mix Advice Report,” released on 9th
December 2005, says the extra capacity should be achieved through the
refurbishment of existing units, where it is economic, or replacement where
it is not economic.

One of the recommendations in the five-volume report is to begin an
immediate investigation into the potential of refurbishing existing nuclear
units. The report says this task should begin immediately because “the scope
is complex and requires extensive planning and coordinating”.
The report, which will now be considered by the minister for energy, also
calls for the government to define a process that enables new nuclear
development as early as possible.

A lack of investment in the electricity sector in the past decade, combined
with growth in demand, could create an energy gap of roughly 24,000 MW by
2025, equivalent to about 80% of Ontario’s current capacity, says the
report.

The report’s analysis shows that through their life cycle, nuclear plants
have less overall environmental impact than natural gas-fired generation and
operate at lower cost for base-load needs. Changes in the Ontario electricity
sector over the past few years make it possible to better manage the major
risks of nuclear construction, which are cost overruns and delays. And
“significant progress” has been achieved on the issue of spent nuclear fuel
management.

The report says nuclear’s share of the future energy mix would fall slightly
from 51% in 2005 to 50% in 2025, with renewables also offering considerable
potential, especially in the long-term. Gas-fired generation should play a
targeted, but critical role, while energy conservation and other forms of
demand management must be a major part of any plan.

In 2004, a government task force recommended that nuclear remain part of
Ontario’s energy mix and that decisions on the fate of off-line reactors be
made quickly (see News No. 18, 21st January 2004). The task force warned that
Ontario faced a looming electricity supply shortfall as coal-fired generation
is taken out of service and existing nuclear plants approach the end of their
planned operating lives.

In October 2005, utility Bruce Power reached agreement with OPA to launch a
4.25-billion Canadian dollar (3.7 billion US dollars, 3 billion euros)
four-year programme to restart units one and two at its Bruce A nuclear power
plant. The agreement also includes the refurbishment of units three and four
at the plant.

Canada has 18 operational nuclear units, as well as seven that have been
shut down, including units one and two at Bruce A. Pickering-1 in Ontario
re-entered commercial operation on 3rd November 2005, but in August 2005,
utility Ontario Power Generation decided not to go ahead with the
refurbishment of Pickering’s units two and three.

The full report can be downloaded from the OPA website
(
www.powerauthority.on.ca).

Iran Confirms Plans For More Nuclear Units

Iran will start the tender process for the construction of new nuclear power
units early in the next Iranian calendar year, which starts on 21st March
2006, the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) has confirmed.

The AEOI’s director Gholamreza Agazadeh said Iran is preparing for the bid
as the first step towards increasing planned nuclear capacity. If the
necessary funds are available, negotiations with foreign companies will begin
early next year, Mr Agazadeh said.

Mr Agazadeh noted that the proposed units would probably be constructed in
either Khuzestan province in the south-west of the country or Bushehr
province in the south, site of the 1,000-megawatt (MW) Bushehr-1 unit, which
is scheduled to begin commercial operation in 2006.

The Iranian parliament has called on the government to put on-line 20,000 MW
of nuclear capacity over the next 20 years.

Mr Agazadeh also said construction of a 360 MW light water reactor designed
entirely by Iran is already under way in Khuzestan and the International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been informed. It will take six or seven
years to complete, he said.

On the nuclear fuel required by the power plants, Mr Agazadeh said: “I have
no doubt that our efforts to produce fuel domestically will bear fruit. There
is no doubt about the fact that we must carry out enrichment in the future.”

Mr Agazadeh said a number of countries have said they might be willing to
take part in the enrichment process at the Natanz nuclear complex, 250
kilometres south of the capital Tehran. In November 2005, the AEOI said it
would seek potential partners from outside the country to invest in the
facility.

Mr Agazadeh said the first Bushehr nuclear power unit is more than 90%
complete and will begin commercial operation in 2006. In February 2005, Iran
signed agreements for Russia to provide nuclear fuel for the plant beginning
in 2006 and eventually take back the plant’s spent fuel (see Briefs No. 25,
28th February 2005). Iran plans to construct two units at Bushehr, although
the site has room for up to four.

In a resolution adopted on 24th September 2005, the board of governors of
the IAEA urged Iran to “re-establish full and sustained suspension” of all
reprocessing and enrichment-related activities (see also World Nuclear Review
No. 134, 12th August 2005). On 31st October 2005, UK Foreign Secretary Jack
Straw said “we call on Iran to meet urgently and in full the requests of (the
IAEA’s) board of governors, to suspend fully all of its uranium
enrichment-related and reprocessing activities” and return to talks with the
so-called E3 group of countries (Britain, France and Germany) and the EU.
Those talks are expected to resume in Vienna on 21st December 2005, but Mr
Agazadeh said Iran does not want “endless or purposeless talks”. He said: “We
have not restarted enrichment at Natanz and will not do so during the talks.”

Zdroj: NucNet

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