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Lawsuit promised over 'nine-digit' nuclear tax

Lawsuit promised over 'nine-digit' nuclear tax | Nuclear News | What The Physics? | Scoop.it
The utility EnBW has announced that it will sue the German government over its unique nuclear fuel tax, while another nuclear utility is talking with Gazprom as a strategic partner for new power plants.




Phillipsburg: Refuelling the single reactor in operation has cost EnBW over €100 million extra thanks to a nuclear tax

EnBW said that it has now completed its tax return and filed it with the proper authorities. Having refuelled the 1392 MWe Phillipsburg 2 reactor, calculations show the tax on nuclear fuel rods will cost it "a nine-digit figure every year" - over €100 million ($140 million).

"Having reviewed the matter in detail and considered it extensively, EnKK [the firm's subsidiary responsible for nuclear operation] has now reached the conclusion that it is time to take legal action. This decision was based on both constitutional law and European law considerations."

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Japanese Utilities and Regulators Dismiss Tragic Nuclear History, Unsafe Procedures, Radiation Releases, as Talks of Japan's Nuclear Future Come Into Contention

Japanese Utilities and Regulators Dismiss Tragic Nuclear History, Unsafe Procedures, Radiation Releases, as Talks of Japan's Nuclear Future Come Into Contention | Nuclear News | What The Physics? | Scoop.it
Is Japan's nuclear power industry too reliant on people who really don't know what they are doing and too caught up with preventing the public from remembering it's controversial history?

On March 11th, 2011 the first nuclear emergency was declared in Japan after the disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. The recent series of events at Japanese nuclear power stations are by no means isolated incidents, and the questions raised about safety and regulation are not new either.

Japan imported its first commercial nuclear power plant from the UK in 1966, and completed its first indigenous reactors in 1970. While some herald Japan for its "good reputation" for public safety, the nuclear industry in Japan has also been a barometer of disgrace for the Japanese nation.

The core issues about Japan's nuclear program still remain more than 40 years after inception. Throughout the decades, nuclear accidents have had little impact on government policy, while disasters in the island country continue increasing in size and danger to public health.

While on one hand loudly declaring as long as the proper safeguards are in place nuclear power is safe, clean, and exceptionally powerful, utilities and regulators have knowingly shirked the responsibility to follow through, even to carry out routine safety checks.

If Japanese citizens are only now realizing the re-emerging patterns of denial, cover-up and bureaucratic collusion between the industry and the government, it should only reaffirm the public understanding of Japan's dangerous nuclear program.
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NRC chairman proposes timetable for nuclear industry reforms

NRC chairman proposes timetable for nuclear industry reforms | Nuclear News | What The Physics? | Scoop.it
Washington (CNN) -- The chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Monday the NRC should move quickly on post-Fukushima reforms, saying the commission should draw up proposed changes within 90 days, and the industry should implement them within five years.
NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko reiterated his belief nuclear power plants in the U.S. are safe and that a Fukushima-type event is unlikely -- a reference to the the triple meltdown at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi power plant after an earthquake and tsunami in March.

Last week, an NRC task force completed its 90-day "quick look" at Fukushima, and made 12 recommendations, some of them sweeping in nature. Perhaps most significant, it calls on the NRC to replace a "patchwork" of regulations developed over the years with "a logical, systematic, and coherent" regulatory framework.

It also recommends the commission require power plants to upgrade protections to nuclear reactors and spent-fuel pools to further protect them from earthquakes, floods and fires.
The task force also said the NRC should require nuclear power plants to be better prepared to handle power blackouts and events that affect more than one reactor.

"In light of the task force's work, I see no reason why the commission cannot provide clear direction on each of their recommendations in less than 90 days," Jaczko said. "That is the time the commission gave the task force to do its job, and I believe that is more than enough time for the commission to outline a clear path forward."

Both the NRC and the nuclear industry, he said, should "commit to complete and implement the process of learning and applying the lessons of the Fukushima accident within five years -- by 2016.".


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