Coal, Gas, Nuclear

NUCLEAR POWER International Heads to Vegas

Issue 5 and Volume 4.

By Brian Wheeler, Editor

Now in its fifth year and co-located with POWER-GEN International, the world’s largest power generation event, NUCLEAR POWER International 2011 heads to Las Vegas, Nev., December 13-15 to provide the industry with up-to-date information and products for the nuclear power business. NUCLEAR POWER International 2011 will take place during an uncertain time for the nuclear power industry. Critics have questioned the safety of nuclear energy following the events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan.

NUCLEAR POWER International and POWER-GEN International attendees will have access to the annual Keynote Session, which takes place the morning of Dec. 13 from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. in the Barron Room at the Las Vegas Hilton. Keynote Speakers include David M. Walsh, senior vice president, Service and Manufacturing, Mitsubishi Power Systems America; Donald B. Karner, president and CEO, ECOtality North America; and Jack Grobe, Deputy Director, Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Mr. Grobe, who was an author in NRC’s Near-TermTask Force Review of insights from the Fukushima Daiichi accident, will discuss the NRC’s response to the events in Japan, the steps taken during the NRC review and the future of nuclear power in the U.S.

During NUCLEAR POWER International 2011, a mega-session will discuss the lessons learned and performance procedure modifications following the events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. This session will include a timeline of events discussion, summary of actions taken and an update on the current status of the plant. Speakers from the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Erler Engineering and the Nuclear Energy Institute will deliver a detailed panel discussion addressing how the global nuclear industry and regulators have responded.

Conference sessions will also provide the latest updates on nuclear projects around the world, innovations in new build design and construction and the challenges of operating a plant beyond 60 years. A Mega-Session titled “Technical and Crisis Communication-Panel Discussion” will address how important good communication practices are during a crisis situation, such as the events in Japan. The panel, with speakers from Exelon Corp. and The Ammerman Experience, will present techniques for effective communication during unplanned events using real-life case studies.

And don’t miss out on the opportunity to network with fellow colleagues in the nuclear power industry. On both Wednesday and Thursday morning from 7:30-9:00 a.m., Networking Breakfasts will be offered. On Wednesday the 14th, moderators form Fluor Power, Day and Zimmerman and URS Corp. will discuss the latest operation and maintenance trends across the existing fleet. Thursday morning, moderators from Fluor Power and Colectric Partners will present time to discuss trends and opportunities in the nuclear new build cycle. Those interested in talking about these issues are encouraged to register, and register early. Space is limited for both mornings.


NUCLEAR POWER International and POWER-GEN International are pleased to again offer multiple Technical Tours.

Attendees may choose from two tours of the Hoover Dam, which is a short drive from the Las Vegas Strip on the Colorado River. The Dam and power plant is operated by the Bureau of Reclamation and the power plant possesses 17 main turbines with a capacity of 2,074,000 kW.

NV Energy is opening several facilities to technical tours this year. The first tour will visit the 530 MW Walter M. Higgins Generating Station, a natural gas-fueled power plant located a short bus ride from the Las Vegas Strip in Southern Nevada near the California border. The plant uses two Westinghouse 501FD combustion turbines to produce electricity. Additionally, exhaust from the two turbines is recycled to produce steam for an Alstom STF30C steam turbine. Unlike conventional power plants that use substantial amounts of water for cooling, the Higgins Station uses a six-story-high dry cooling system. Similar to a car radiator, 40 massive fans (34 feet in diameter) are used to condense the steam and cool plant equipment.

In addition to the Higgins facility, tour attendees will also visit the nearby 7.5 MW Goodsprings Waste Heat facility. It is adjacent to a large natural gas compression station that pumps natural gas through Nevada to California. This thermal energy can be captured and converted to electricity by an energy converter similar to those used in geothermal electricity generation. Unlike some renewable energy that is intermittent, the Goodsprings Waste Heat Recovery project provides a more consistent energy resource, as the compressor station is expected to operate 90 percent of the time.

The second tour will visit the Harry Allen Generating Station, a natural gas-fueled power plant north of Las Vegas. The original 72 MW GE 7EA combustion turbine was completed in 1995. The second similar-sized unit was added in 2006 and includes a DLN1+ dry low-NOx combustion system. In 2011, the station added a 484 MW combined-cycle system that includes two GE 7FA+e combustion turbines and a recycled exhaust system to produce steam for a GE D11 steam turbine. The plant’s dry-cooling system enables the combined cycle plant to make the same amount of electricity with 6 percent of the water used by conventional water-cooled facilities.

Registration information and a full conference schedule can be found online at

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