New Projects, Nuclear, Reactors, Retrofits & Upgrades

Operating nuclear plants beyond 60 years, new project updates & more at NUCLEAR POWER International 2015

Issue 5 and Volume 8.

Sharryn Dotson   By Sharryn Dotson, Editor

Nuclear power plants around the world are shutting down and operating longer. Electricity prices either benefit plant operators or can be the reason a plant closes. The industry is in a state of extremes and experts from around the world will be in Las Vegas to discuss what the industry must do to overcome the setbacks as well as continue the momentum.

NUCLEAR POWER International 2015 runs December 8-10 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The conference and expo will feature three conference sessions and one mega-session sure to inform attendees about different issues affecting the nuclear power generation industry.

The conference begins Tuesday, December 8 with the POWER-GEN International 2015 Keynote Address titled “Transition and Transformation.” Featured speakers are: Victor Abate, President and CEO of Power Generation with GE Power & Water, Steve Berberich, President and CEO of the California ISO, Stuart Hemphill, Senior Vice President of Power Supply and Operational Services with Southern California Edison, Robert Flexon, president & CEO of Dynegy, and Steven Edwards, Chairman, President & CEO of Black & Veatch. We will have more on POWER-GEN International 2015 in a preview written by conference Chairman Russell Ray (page 23).

The first session is called “To Close or Not To Close,” which focuses on the economics and regulations behind the closure of nuclear power plants around the world. The industry is working to find a solution to keep plants open, but many questions are left unanswered. Why are these plants closing? What can be done to change the financial situations? How do we keep the grid safe when these plants shut down?

Wednesday morning is the session titled “60 Years and Beyond.” Nuclear power plants are being designed to operate beyond the 40- and even 60-year timeframe, and experts will take a look at how pushing reactors’ lifespan can affect other parts of the industry, such as licensing, equipment, maintenance and even financial and regulatory aspects.

Wednesday afternoon’s session focuses on new nuclear projects around the world. Speakers will discuss the regulatory and licensing processes of constructing new projects, as well as how international cooperation is helping emerging and established industries to get financing and government support.

Thursday’s mega-session focuses on how modern technology can help nuclear power fleets, from SCC technology to potential air entrainment in the spent fuel pool cooling water system.

The plenary session is also Thursday afternoon. It is a panel discussion that looks at the transitioning of the power generation industry.

There are also plenty of opportunities to network with other attendees. Monday, Dec. 7 is the Projects of the Year Awards Gala. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. with a three-course meal followed by the winners of the Projects of the Year, Woman of the Year and Papers of the Year awards. Peabody Energy will also recognize winners of the Advanced Energy for Life Clean Coal Awards. In addition, there are several tech tours to choose from Monday morning, including Ivanpah solar plant and Hoover Dam.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, stick around after the exhibit floor closes to share drinks with 22,000 of your closest friends. There will be bars located throughout the exhibit hall. Be sure to also check out the networking party on Tuesday night from 6:30 to 8:30 at Foxtail.

If you prefer to get your day started early, join other attendees at the networking breakfasts on Wednesday and Thursday. Topics include the outlook for nuclear in 2016, policy & regulation, challenges facing renewables, energy storage and more.

I hope to see you at NUCLEAR POWER International 2015!