Newest reactor at TVA’s Browns Ferry nuclear power plant completes record life and other economic news
Browns Ferry reactor completes record run
The newest reactor at TVA’s Browns Ferry nuclear power station completed a record run over the weekend and is now shut down for refueling and to replace four new feed water heaters, each weighing up to 50 tonnes .
The Tennessee Valley Authority, which operates seven nuclear reactors, said the Unit 3 reactor at the Browns Ferry plant near Athens, Alabama generated more than 20 billion kilowatt hours of electricity over 690 days consecutive electricity production. That’s enough electricity to power an average home for about 1.8 million years.
“Our carbon-free nuclear fleet is an essential part of our clean energy plan and the improvements we are making during this outage show how we are strengthening our energy infrastructure to provide reliable service to our customers and communities when they have we need it most,” Browns Ferry site vice president Matt Rasmussen said in a statement this week.
More than 100 additional outage workers will be at Browns Ferry to work on feedwater heater upgrades, part of the total of approximately 850 contractors and shared resource employees from other TVA nuclear plants being brought in to prepare Unit 3 for its next two-year power generation cycle. In total, the Unit 3 shutdown will include more than 11,000 scheduled work activities, including the installation of 328 new fuel assemblies as well as upgrades, modifications, repairs and testing of other equipment of the plant, including inspections of reactor components and maintenance of major safety systems.
Nations release 60 million barrels of oil
The 31 member countries of the International Energy Agency have agreed to release 60 million barrels of oil from their strategic reserves “to send a strong message to oil markets” that supplies will not be insufficient after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The board of the Paris-based IEA made the decision on Tuesday at a special meeting of energy ministers chaired by US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. She says half of the release will come from the United States and the band’s decision “reflects our shared commitment to address significant market and supply disruptions.”
Russia plays an outsized role in world energy markets as the third largest oil producer.
Target plans more stores, brands and online sales
Target will invest up to $5 billion this year in physical stores, renovations, new brands and expanding its online execution as the discounter continues to drive sales growth and differentiate itself from rivals.
The plans, announced at its annual investor meeting in New York on Tuesday, include opening 30 new stores, from mid-size locations in dense suburban areas to smaller stores in cities like Charleston, South Carolina. It also plans to refurbish 200 of its existing stores, reaching more than half of its 1,900 stores this year. The Minneapolis retailer is also aiming to roll out brand partnerships, including opening 250 additional Ulta Beauty stores across its stores, with plans to eventually operate 800 stores.
The moves come as Target rode through headwinds — from congested ports to inflation that was the highest in 40 years — to lift fourth-quarter profits by nearly 12% and sales by 9.4%.
“We continue to see a resilient consumer,” Target CEO Brian Cornell told analysts at the meeting.
Stellantis will double its sales and be carbon free by 2030
The maker of Jeep SUVs and Ram pickup trucks said on Tuesday it would go carbon neutral from 2038 and double its net revenue by 2030.
The CEO of Stellantis NV, the merger between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and French automaker Groupe PSA, outlined the company’s long-term strategy for 2030 to reach $335 billion (€300 billion) net annual turnover. The plan covers a critical period in the transformation of the automotive industry towards electrified and connected vehicles.
“Dare Forward 2030 inspires us to become so much more than we have ever been,” CEO Carlos Tavares said in a statement. “We are expanding our vision, breaking boundaries and embracing a new mindset, one that seeks to transform all facets of mobility for the good of our families, our communities and the societies in which we operate.”
The strategy accelerates Stellantis’ commitments even from the electrification plans it shared last summer. By 2030, 50% of sales in the United States will be electrified, compared to 40% previously, with 25 battery electric vehicles available, and 100% of sales in Europe will be electrified, compared to 70% previously. Stellantis plans to have 400 gigawatt hours of vehicle battery capacity by then, up from 140 gigawatt hours.
Stellantis has teased the first-ever battery-electric Jeep, which is expected to launch early next year.
— Compiled by Dave Flessner