Today's big stories from the nuclear industry:
Bloomberg: Nuclear-Waste Dump Shored Up as Germany Buys Time
Operators of an underground nuclear- waste dump in Germany are trying to shore up the interior faster than it’s being eroded by water leaks, buying time until they determine whether the site should be shut down. Workers will use cement to reinforce ceilings of chambers in the former salt mine, said Wolfram Koenig, president of Federal Office for Radiation Protection, the atomic regulator. Water has seeped into the site since at least 1988. About 12,000 liters (3,170 gallons) enter daily, forming underground pools that must be covered to avoid contamination so the water can be pumped out safely or used to make cement.
Deutsche Welle: Customers choosing green energy after nuclear reactor shutdown
The Kruemmel nuclear plant near Hamburg had been back up and running for less than two weeks after a two year shutdown when one of its transformers short circuited on July 4. There was a sudden drop in voltage, then shopping centers and traffic lights in Germany's second largest city went dark. Vattenfall, the Swedish company running the Kruemmel plant said the short circuit and the hour-long blackout were simply an isolated incident. But energy users may see it otherwise, much to the delight of green energy companies, who say they've seen a dramatic jump in customers.
The London Times: Nuclear Decommissioning Authority pledges action on million-pound bonuses
Britain’s nuclear clean-up agency has begun a review of its pay structure after The Times revealed that public servants were being paid millions of pounds in “guaranteed” taxpayer-funded bonuses every year. Stephen Henwood, chairman of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), whose clean-up activities at 19 nuclear sites, including Sellafield, absorbed £1.6 billion of public money last year, said that the system needed to be reformed. He said that four non-executive NDA directors were conducting a detailed review of the bonus scheme, under which some staff members have been asked to maintain a “tidy desk policy” as a criterion for payment.
Philadelphia Inquirer: Shutdown probed at Oyster Creek nuclear plant
ATLANTIC CITY - The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has started a special investigation into an emergency shutdown of the nation's oldest nuclear power plant. Over the weekend, the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station had to shut down when severe thunderstorms knocked out power to the area. The NRC said yesterday it was trying to determine whether problems with equipment, communication, or operator performance contributed to the problem. Four inspectors went to the Lacey Township site to review the outage and the plant's response. An NRC administrator said several equipment problems warranted closer examination. The plant received a new 20-year license in April. It will be 60 years old at the end of the new license. - AP
San Luis Obispo: New rules would limit power plants' use of ocean water for cooling
State water officials have proposed a set of stringent new rules that are intended to eliminate or greatly reduce a harmful type of ocean-water cooling at power plants such as Diablo Canyon nuclear plant and Morro Bay. It is unclear what effect the new rules would have on Diablo Canyon. They contain two exemptions for which nuclear plant operators could apply for reasons of safety or cost. Known as once-through cooling, the process involves pumping massive amounts of ocean water through the cooling system to condense steam after it has passed through the electrical generators. It damages ocean life in a number of ways including killing millions of larvae and, in some cases, sucking in and drowning seals.