Date archive for August, 2015

Moving On: The Then and Now of Nuclear Decommissioning

by Admin - on Aug 18th 2015 - Comments Off on Moving On: The Then and Now of Nuclear Decommissioning

Nuclear DecommissioningWhen a nuclear power company decides to close their power plant immediately, decommissioning follows. This is done by removing the plant from service and reducing harmful radioactivity that permits property release. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) implements strict rules regarding power plant decommissioning, which involves clean-up of radioactive fuel or contaminated plant systems.

According to the International Energy Agency, over 200 reactors will face decommissioning during the next 25 years. With the help of new technology and the industry’s best practices, the process faces smoother operations.

Background on operating reactors

The average lifespan of operating reactors in the U.S. reaches more than 35 years. Since 1996, the country did not sell any new nuclear reactor online but permanently removed 5 from service during the past 3 years. Despite power plants possessing 40-year-old operating licenses with additional 20 years, some still face shut downs due to financial problems and other reasons.

The average age of international power plants does not significantly fall behind in the US. Majority of the world’s 438 reactors are over 30 years old. Countries such as Switzerland and Germany plan to remove nuclear power out of their energy options.

 How plants develop a plan

Plants planning nuclear material decommissioning consider their facility’s physical condition, current configuration, and level of radioactive contamination. Decommissioning specialists get the details from the company’s historical records and refine using a standard measurement program.

Power plants also develop a material inventory for the site. They also consider two of the most important decommissioning cost improvements: contamination levels and quantity of contaminated material.

Using technological improvements

Currently, important progress occurs in the field of power plant decommissioning. Technology plays a vital role by offering resources such as 3D computer-aided design, wireless communications, data sharing, and pattern recognition. Artificial intelligence can also allow machines to recognize the plant’s changing layout through 3D models.

Decommissioning is up for numerous changes. With proper cost-effective management and the help of technology, power plant decommissioning faces a smoother process in the future.

New Air Conditioners: Key Player in Your Energy Savings

by Admin - on Aug 12th 2015 - Comments Off on New Air Conditioners: Key Player in Your Energy Savings

New Air ConditionersForty percent of the energy consumed in many Australian homes go to heating and cooling, according to the Department of Industry and Science. This does not include water heating yet.

With such high power rates and consumption, it becomes necessary for you to keep the electricity bill as low as you can. As it eats up almost half of your energy consumption, it’s best to start with your HVAC system. A good first step is to determine whether a new air conditioner is the most cost-effective solution, as the age of your AC unit has a big impact on how much energy it needs to run.

New is Always Better

Sydney-based Apex Air Conditioning says older, outdated air conditioners consume more energy than newer models. This is particularly true for improperly maintained or problematic units.

New models have more innovative technologies to make the most of the energy consumed, which means they use less for more. If you decide to replace your old AC, take note of the following factors to ensure you get the most savings:

  • Local climate
  • Cooling needs (just specific rooms or the entire house)
  • Size of the area that needs cooling
  • Existing energy-efficient products, such as window treatments and insulation

Making Sure New is Better

When shopping for a new AC, do not be tempted to go for a unit that is bigger than what you need. Apart from being more expensive upfront, this will cost you more along the way, as larger systems eat up more energy. In fact, when installed in an area that is too small, the unit can make the air warmer.

Hire professionals to install your new unit. Errors in installation can have a huge, negative bearing on the efficiency (both in energy and performance) of your cooling systems.

A new AC system may cost you some money for now, but the long-term savings you get will definitely make up for it. What’s more, you’ll be doing your part in saving the environment.