Federal Government uses UPLAN model to examine price volatility in ERCOT

LCG, October 11, 2022--The U.S. Energy Information Administration, or EIA, released its latest supplement to the Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) in the Texas market, assessing various possible scenarios using LCG’s UPLAN NPM model, with a special focus on the effects on wholesale power prices and market conditions.

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Michigan Governor Supports Reopening Palisades Nuclear Facility

LCG, September 16, 2022--The Governor of Michigan last week sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in support of Holtec International’s application for a federal grant under the Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) program to save the Palisades Nuclear Facility in Southwest Michigan. The federal grant could result in restarting the baseload, carbon-free, nuclear power plant.

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Industry News

Guilty Pleas in Japan's Worst Nuclear Accident

LCG, April 23, 2001A Japanese uranium processing company and six of its staff pleaded guilty today to charges of negligence in connection with Japan's worst-ever nuclear accident, in which two workers died.

The pleas were entered at the initial hearing at the Mito District Court in Ibaraki Prefecture, about 62 miles northwest of Tokyo.

Entering a guilty plea on behalf of his company, Tomoyuki Inami, president of JCO Co., said "I know it's too late for regret. I can only pray sincerely for the souls of the dead."

The accident occurred in September 1999 at a JCO plant in Tokaimura, about 90 miles northeast of Tokyo, when three workers started an uncontrolled, uncontained nuclear chain reaction by using ordinary buckets to transfer unmeasured quantities of uranium oxide to a tank of acid. Two of the workers perished.

The unorthodox procedure was in violation of government nuclear safety regulations, but was permitted by a company operating manual which had been issued without government approval. Operators of nuclear facilities are required by law to obtain approval from the prime minister before changing production methods.

Among the six staff who pleaded guilty was Kenzo Koshijima, 54, the former head of JCO Co. plant who, along with other company officials, allegedly made the changes in operating procedures in 1995 and codified them in an unauthorized operating manual the following year.

JCO, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd., still exists although it no longer operates having lost its uranium fuel processing license in March last year.

Though there were fears that the JCO accident would put a permanent damper on Japan's nuclear energy industry, that appears not to be the case. A new two-reactor nuclear power plant received a conditional green light this morning from Yamaguchi Prefecture governor Sekinari Nii.

With the governor's approval, an advisory panel for Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will thrash out details for the plant in meetings next month with Chugoku Electric Power Co. Pending approvals, Chugoku plans to put the first reactor into operation in 2012 and the second in 2015.

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