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Showing posts from April, 2006

Nuclear Energy Industry Transitions

Bryan Hanson has been named site vice president of Exelon Nuclear’sClinton Power Station in central Illinois. Hanson previously served as manager of Exelon’s Limerick plant in Pennsylvania. He has been with the company since 1988.

Neville Lorick will retire as president of South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) May 15. He has been with the company since 1971. SCANA Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Kevin Marsh will replace him. Jimmy Addison, vice president of finance for SCANA and its subsidiaries, will assume the positions Marsh vacates. SCE&G is a subsidiary of SCANA.

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Dems Angry At Kennedy Over Cape Wind Fight

The fight over Cape Wind is getting louder, with a number of traditional Democrats refusing to shy away from a fight with Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA). For more, click here.

We noted Greenpeace's new video last week. For more on opposition to wind power, click here.

And for more on Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.'s activities against Cape Wind, click here and here.

Thanks to Instapundit for the pointers.

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Patrick Moore on the News Hour

Dr. Patrick Moore, co-chairman of the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition, made an appearance on The News Hour on PBS last night to talk about the 20th anniversary of Chernobyl. Click here for a transcript. For the audio from the program, click here. For video, click here.

Joining Moore on the program was Paul Gunter, a regular here in our discussion strings.

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Per Peterson on Yucca Mountain's Storage Capacity

Following up on a post we did last week about Yucca Mountain's storage capacity, Per Peterson, an engineering professor at UC-Berkeley, wanted to clarify his comments that appeared in the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
I saw the blog today on the EPRI study on Yucca Mountain's technical capacity. The quote from my longer email to Steve Tetreault, which appeared in the Las Vegas Review Journal, is being misinterpreted. I agree with John Kessler at EPRI that the performance-based capacity limit for Yucca Mountain is much larger than the statutory limit, likely substantially above 200,000 metric tons. But the science and technology base for an expanded repository design is clearly not yet in place, and it is important that DOE proceed on its current schedule to submit a license application based on its current design.

But I call this a "baseline" design, because it can then provide a starting point for subsequent license amendments to implement improvements to increase capacit…

The Tritium Challenge

Back on March 23, WTTW-TV's Chicago Tonight broadcast a story on the tritium leaks at Exelon's Braidwood Nuclear Power Plant. A friend of ours, Dimitri Dimitroyannis, Ph.D., a member of the Clinical Faculty in Radiology at Harvard Medical School, was less than impressed with what he saw. A letter he wrote to the program, which he authorized us to use here at NEI, follows:
Good Chicago Tonight folks:

I was distressed by your Madigan vs Exelon report ( Thursday 23-Mar-2006 by Ms Brackett) and especially on the alleged health risks from the tritium leak in the water table surrounding the Exelon nuclear powerplant.

Avoiding technical jargon on the risks associated with drinking tritiated water, let me propose the following: I am willing to drink water at the current maximum EPA tritium concentration (20pCi/ml) for the rest of my life-starting with a water a demonstration in front of your TV cameras.

I estimate that if I consume 2 liters per day -about 8 average size glasses- of such t…

Energy Information Digest

The April issue of Energy Information Digest is now available on the NEI Web site, in the Newsroom. In it, you'll find articles about state government resolutions and legislation in support of new nuclear plants, alternative energy legislation in the U.S. Senate, plug-in hybrids and other topics.

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NEI Energy Markets Report (April 17th - 21st)

Here's a summary of what went on in the energy markets last week:Electricity prices mostly increased throughout the country (see pages 1 & 2). Gas prices at the Henry Hub rose $0.64 to $7.45/MMBtu (see page 4).Crude oil futures saw prices above $75/barrel and natural gas futures reached above $9/MMBtu (see page 6).Nuclear capacity availability was at 81 percent last week. Fourteen units were in refueling outages, two units completed refueling outages last week and three units were shutdown for maintenance (see pages 2 and 3).For the report click here (pdf). It is also located on NEI's Nuclear Statistics webpage.Technorati tags: , , , , , , ,

Another Blogger for a Grand Bargain on Nuclear Energy

Last week it was blogger Dean Esmay who wrote that he was ready to make a deal with Greens on global warming if it meant building more nuclear power plants. This week, Dave at The Political Dogs is ready for the same deal:
Imagine if the ratio of coal to nuclear were reversed so that only 20 percent of our electricity was generated from coal and 60 percent from nuclear. This would go a long way toward cleaning the air and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Every responsible environmentalist should support a move in that direction."

Now, if Mr. Moore is willing to go out on a limb like this and embrace nuclear power, so am I. I'll say the environment is doing whatever you want, if that means embracing nuclear energy. So, here it is: I admit the globe is warming, OK? Now let's get cracking on building nuclear power plants. Sign the damn protocol or make a new one as long as you guys are willing to go nuke.That's two so far. Anybody else interested?

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More Natural Gas?

British pundit George Monbiot has reevaluated his stance on the U.K. energy situation, and he's concluded that the solution is more natural gas:
This winter, we nearly had to do without it altogether. First Russia's state-controlled producer Gazprom cut the supplies to Europe to show Ukraine where real power still lay; then the private monopolists in the European Union appeared to restrict the flow through the "interconnector" that supplies the United Kingdom. At just the wrong moment - February 16 - the UK's main gas storage facility (on the Rough Field in the North Sea) blew up. Centrica, the company which runs it, predicted then that it would remain closed for a month. A month later, the company said it would be shut until May. Now its spokesman tells me that it will be back in business "from June 1". The "from" does not inspire confidence.Remember, this is from an article that supports the expanded use of natural gas, and blocking the const…

India Nuclear Update

From The Hindu:
India and Germany today agreed to co-operate in several areas including that of civilian nuclear power, trade, infrastructure, and energy, and hi-tech sectors such as space. The two countries have also agreed on bilateral co-operation in Defence.

The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, told newspersons that the two countries will co-operate in nuclear civilian power. He added that India has an impeccable record in ensuring nuclear non-proliferation.

"We assured that the co-operation will not result in unauthorised nuclear proliferation."For our previous coverage on happenings in India, click here.

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CASEnergy Coalition Kickoff

This morning at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., the The Clean and Safe Energy Coalition (CASEnergy Coalition) held a public kickoff of its campaign to educate the American public about the economic, environmental and energy security benefits of the expanded use of nuclear energy.

From the Mission Statement:
The Clean and Safe Energy Coalition (CASEnergy Coalition) supports the increased use of nuclear energy to ensure an environmentally clean, safe, affordable and reliable supply of electricity. Nuclear power enhances America's energy security and economic growth, helps attain cleaner air and improves the quality of life, health and economic well-being for all Americans.CASE is co-chaired by former EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman and Greenpeace co-founder Dr. Patrick Moore. As I'm sure many of you recall, Dr. Moore kicked up quite a fuss about a week ago with his op-ed piece in the Washington Postabout expanding the use of nuclear energy.

The kickoff press …

President Bush Discusses Hydrogen Technology on Earth Day

Yesterday President Bush marked Earth Day at the California Fuel Cell Partnership by discussing his agenda to help develop advanced transportation technology:

I strongly believe hydrogen is the fuel of the future. That's what we're talking about. Hydrogen is used in a fuel cell that can power a car that uses no gasoline, produces no pollution or greenhouse gas emissions. Hydrogen vehicles can be twice as efficient as gasoline vehicles. Hydrogen can be produced from domestic energy sources, which means it has the potential -- a vast potential -- to dramatically cut our dependence on foreign oil. Click here for the White House fact sheet.

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Looking at Gazprom

From today's New York Times:
Gazprom is not just a lucrative state-owned monopoly, but also a powerful instrument of Kremlin policy at home and abroad. It has undertaken an array of projects that have little to do with its stated corporate interests, but much to do with politics -- from bidding for the Olympics to buying up independent media, from sustaining unprofitable farms to subsidizing Russian industries with cheap energy.

It has also been at the center of Russia's foreign policy, used as a cudgel in recent disputes over gas prices with Ukraine and other neighbors. Its chief executive, Aleksei B. Miller, recently warned Europe not to block its further expansion into European markets, lest it decide to sell its natural gas elsewhere.Something to think about.

UPDATE: Here's more from The Australian:
A STUDY by the West's energy watchdog is expected to show that expanding civil nuclear power offers the best hope of tackling global energy insecurity - a finding that woul…

Another Blogger for Nuclear Energy

Blogger Dean Esmay is a doubter when it comes to global warming. But if environmentalists insist on regulating carbon emissions, he's got a deal for them:
Although I've also long said I'll compromise with the Greens: I'll happily support curbing CO2 emissions if part of the deal is that they stop demonizing nuclear power and support the building of new nuclear plants throughout America. Barring that, I'll continue my firm opposition to the Kyoto protocol and similar programs.Something tells me his deal might find some takers.

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Nuclear Energy Industry Transitions

UniStar Nuclear has appointed three new executives:
• Shawn Hughes, Ph.D. will be senior vice president of project management. He joined Constellation Energy in 2004 as manager of nuclear projects.
• Rod Krich will be senior vice president of regulatory affairs. He previously served as vice president of licensing projects for Exelon Nuclear and as and vice president of regulatory affairs for Exelon.
• Dinesh Mehta will be chief financial officer. He currently serves as divisional vice president of financial modeling for Constellation Generation Group.

Cardinal Health Inc. has appointed R. Kerry Clark president and CEO. He also will become a member of the board of directors. Clark succeeds Robert Walter as chief executive. Walter, who founded the company, will remain chairman of the board.

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EPRI Study: Yucca Mountain Could Hold Up to Nine Times Design Capacity

The Electric Power Research Institute, known in the industry as EPRI, presented a study yesterday that said that the planned used fuel repository at Yucca Mountain could hold as much as 628,000 tons of used nuclear fuel if the project were expanded and re-designed.

From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
A reconfigured repository would dwarf the current legal limit of 77,000 tons. The study assumes the repository area could be doubled, and that storage tunnels could be grouped or carved into multiple levels of the mountain.

(snip)

The Yucca study is being performed by the Electric Power Research Institute, the research arm of the utility industry. A preliminary draft is expected to be published in May while analysts continue to delve into the topic, said John Kessler, the institute's high level waste manager.

Kessler told the NRC panel that researchers were conservative in their modeling, and assumed a "hot temperature" repository design, the same being considered by the Energy De…

Nuclear Energy Finds New Support in U.K.

On threeseparateoccasions in January, I called British newspapers to task for fronting public opinion polls about nuclear energy while failing to note that these polls were conducted prior to Russia's natural gas shutoff to Eastern Europe only a few weeks before.

Well, after waiting for a few months, a poll was published Monday that shows public opinion beginning to move the other way:
The U.K. public's support for nuclear power has increased as energy prices soar, with almost half of Britons saying they're not prepared to pay a premium for electricity from renewable sources, a study said.

About 36 percent of Britons want to see an increase in nuclear capacity, compared with 29 percent one year ago, according to a study by KPMG International and YouGov Plc. About 45 percent of the survey respondents said they want a reduction in nuclear power, less than the 58 percent last year.

(snip)

About 44 percent of the survey respondents said they weren't prepared to pay ``a single p…

Patrick Moore Hits #1...

For the second day running, Patrick Moore's article on expanding the use of nuclear energy from Sunday's Washington Post, has been ranked by Technorati as the most discussed news item in the Blogosphere.

For a complete list of who's talking about it, click here.

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The Rotten BANANA of the Environmental Movement

After getting to know the folks who make up the fierce opposition to wind power projects, Anne Applebaum of the Washington Post puts her finger on the larger problem when it comes to building new energy infrastructure:
The problem plaguing new energy developments is no longer NIMBYism, the "Not-In-My-Back-Yard" movement. The problem now, as one wind-power executive puts it, is BANANAism: "Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything." The anti-wind brigade, fierce though it is, pales beside the opposition to liquid natural gas terminals, and would fade entirely beside the mass movement that will oppose a new nuclear power plant. Indeed, the founders of Cape Wind say they embarked on the project in part because public antipathy prevents most other utility investments in New England.

Still, energy projects don't even have to be viable to spark opposition: Already, there are activists gearing up to fight the nascent biofuel industry, on the grounds that fields of…

NEI Energy Markets Report (April 10th - 14th)

Here's a summary of what went on in the energy markets last week:Electricity prices mostly decreased throughout the country (see pages 1 & 2). Gas prices at the Henry Hub fell $0.16 to $6.84/MMBtu (see page 4).New addition to the report – SO2 and NOx allowance prices:SO2 spot allowance prices fell $73.00 to $733.61 / ton. NOx SIP Call allowance prices remained at $2,475 / ton (see page 7).For the report click here (pdf). It is also located on NEI's Nuclear Statistics webpage.Technorati tags: , , , , , , ,

Thoughts From the Gristmill

Some thoughts about the nuclear energy industry from David Roberts at Gristmill:
It got me thinking about the nuclear question again, and a post I wrote almost a year ago -- one of my favorites -- called "Renewable energy and the devolution of power." The idea was basically this: The kind of distributed-energy/smart-grid future greens envision would, if implemented, devolve political power outward from Washington. It would substantially increase regional self-sufficiency. This, as much as any technical debate, explains why the power elite has neglected to pursue it, and even fought against it.

It also, I think, explains Washington's love of nuclear energy. Nuclear is a familiar template for them: a large industry with one or two dominant corporations, with lobbyists that move in and out of government positions -- the usual chummy arrangement. It's something they can understand and control.

If regions create their own energy, they have much less need for, and are much le…

Skip Bowman at LA Town Hall

Last September, our President and CEO, Skip Bowman, delivered a speech entitled, "Why America Needs Nuclear Energy Now," at Town Hall LA. Thanks to the folks at Town Hall LA, we've uploaded a copy of the video to Google Video:



For a transcript of the speech, click here.

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U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory Released

From EPA:
The report shows that both methane and nitrous oxide emissions have decreased from 1990 levels by 10 percent and two percent, respectively. Overall, greenhouse gas emissions during 2004 increased by 1.7 percent from the previous year. This increase, which occurred during a period of economic expansion, was due primarily to an increase in carbon dioxide emissions associated with fuel and electricity consumption. Fossil fuel combustion was the largest source of emissions, accounting for 80 percent of the total. While the U.S. economy expanded by 51 percent from 1990 to 2004, emissions have grown by only 15.8 percent over the same period.Click here for the report.

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DOE to Fund Research to Produce Hydrogen From Reactors

The Department of Energy announced last week that it will allocate up to $1.6 million this year to fund industry studies of methods for producing hydrogen from reactors in a safe and environmentally sound manner.

DOE is seeking industry proposals for these financial assistance awards. The agency will cover up to 80 percent of the total cost of each feasibility study.

“Hydrogen is a key component of our energy future, and developing this clean source through our nuclear reactors will help reduce America’s dependence on foreign sources of energy,” Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said.

DOE will accept proposals from project teams until June 5. Its solicitation is available online at e-center.doe.gov/.

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NEI Welcomes New Members

Altran Solutions, a consulting firm based in Cranbury, N.J., provides engineering and technical services to nuclear facilities.

Wyle Laboratories Inc., an engineering firm based in El Segundo, Calif., supplies utilities and power plant equipment manufacturers with safety-related testing services and equipment, and engineering, research and consulting services.

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Nuclear Energy Industry Transitions

The Department of Energy’sArgonne National Laboratory has announced a number of changes.
• Phillip Finck has been named associate laboratory director for applied science and technology. He worked at Argonne from 1986 to 1991 and rejoined the lab in 1997.
• Alan Foley is the new director of national security.
• Ian Foster has been appointed director of the Computation Institute, which is moving from the University of Chicago to Argonne. Foster has been with the laboratory since 1989.
• Ewing “Rusty” Lusk has been appointed acting director of Argonne’s mathematics and computer sciences division. He has been with the laboratory since 1980.
• Rick Stevens has been appointed associate laboratory director for computational and biological sciences. Stevens has been with the laboratory since 1982.
• Kevin White has been appointed director of the new Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology. He currently teaches at Yale University.

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Nuclear Energy Insight

The latest issue of Nuclear Energy Insight is now available online. In it, you will find an article on a land transfer near FPL's Turkey Point plant that will preserve and enhance Biscayne National Park's vital wetlands. There also are reports on the Chernobyl accident and recent scientific studies on its effects, as well as a National Academy of Sciences study that found nuclear fuel transport is safe. Other articles discuss a project to bring an advanced teaching and test reactor to a west Texas university, lawmaker support for nuclear energy and development of technology to aid new-plant construction.

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Patrick Moore Live Online at 11 a.m. U.S. EDT

He'll be part of an online chat at washingtonpost.com at the top of the hour to talk about yesterday's opinion piece on nuclear energy. Click here to join the conversation.
Nuclear power is dependent upon uranium, which is an element that must be mined. I am left wondering: How is this any more practical than coal mining? Where is uranium found -- and which particular countries are rich in the resource? And, as with coal or oil, won't there eventually be a uranium scarcity problem?Once again, I'll refer back to a June 2005 post by my NEI colleague, Dr. Clifton W. Farrell:
Forecasts of new nuclear generation expect approximately 40-60 new reactors worldwide by 2020. This will increase uranium demand to approximately 195 million pounds in 2010 and 240 million pounds by 2020. For an assumed price of $30/lb U3O8, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) estimated world uranium resources in 2003 to be 3,537,000 metric tons, an amount adequate to fuel conventional reacto…

Patrick Moore Resumes Pro-Nuclear Push

Dr. Patrick Moore, one of the co-founders of Greenpeace, is making another big splash today with an op-ed in favor of the expansion of the use of nuclear energy in today's Washington Post:
n the early 1970s when I helped found Greenpeace, I believed that nuclear energy was synonymous with nuclear holocaust, as did most of my compatriots. That's the conviction that inspired Greenpeace's first voyage up the spectacular rocky northwest coast to protest the testing of U.S. hydrogen bombs in Alaska's Aleutian Islands. Thirty years on, my views have changed, and the rest of the environmental movement needs to update its views, too, because nuclear energy may just be the energy source that can save our planet from another possible disaster: catastrophic climate change.

Look at it this way: More than 600 coal-fired electric plants in the United States produce 36 percent of U.S. emissions -- or nearly 10 percent of global emissions -- of CO2, the primary greenhouse gas responsibl…

Sweden Nuclear Update

Here's more evidence that Sweden is reconsidering its nuclear phase-out:
A survey into attitudes to nuclear power conducted annually by the SOM Institute and published by Svenska Dagbladet shows that 50 percent of Swedes want to keep atomic energy in the long term. According to the report, 33 percent of people questioned wanted to keep using the country'’s ten remaining reactors or to extend their active life.

Some 17 percent of Swedes want nuclear power to be expanded in the future.

The survey represents a shift in attitudes. In 1999 a majority wanted to get rid of nuclear power. Now only one in three Swedes favours this. This puts opposition to nuclear power at its weakest since opinions on the issue were first polled.For the results of another poll from last November, click here.

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Videos of the Day: Crash Testing at Sandia National Labs

Containers used to transport used nuclear fuel have been extensively tested to survive crashes with trucks and trains at Sandia National Laboratories. In all of the following tests conducted by Sandia, used nuclear fuel transportation containers retained their integrity and would have kept their radioactive cargo locked safely inside.

This video shows a container loaded onto a truck and crashed at 80 miles per hour into a 700-ton concrete wall backed with 1,700 tons of dirt.



In this video, a container loaded onto a locomotive crashes at 80 miles per hour into a 700-ton concrete wall backed with 1,700 tons of dirt. Next, a container on a flatbed tractor-trailer is broadsided by a 120-ton locomotive traveling at 80 miles per hour.



For more information on the safe transport of used nuclear fuel, click here.

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On Security at Nuclear Power Plants

Earlier this week, the Philadelphia Inquirer published an editorial critical of NRC's efforts at regulating security at America's nuclear power plants. This morning, NEI's Vice President of Communications, Scott Peterson, sent a letter to the editor in response:
Your April 10 editorial “NRC and Nuclear Plant Security” inaccurately described the findings of a Government Accountability Office report that evaluated the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s processes for regulating security at commercial nuclear power plants.

Contrary to your characterization, the GAO’s evaluation concludes that considerable security enhancements have been made at nuclear power plants since 2001. The report states that the NRC’s oversight process “resulted in a DBT (design basis threat) requiring plants to defend against a larger terrorist threat, including a larger number of attackers, a refined and expanded list of weapons, and an increase in the maximum size of a vehicle bomb.”

As your own editoria…

NEI Energy Markets Report (April 3rd - 7th)

Here's a summary of what went on in the energy markets last week:Electricity prices increased in the East and Midwest but mostly decreased in the West (see pages 1 & 2). Gas prices at the Henry Hub fell $0.19 to $6.99/MMBtu (see page 4).Electricity consumption is expected to increase only slightly in 2006 (0.7 percent) because of weak heating-related demand this past January and the lower expected cooling-related demand this summer in comparison to conditions seen in 2005. Electric power sector consumption of coal is projected to increase by 0.7 percent in 2006 and by another 1.8 percent in 2007. Total natural gas consumption in 2006 is projected to fall below 2005 levels then increase by 3.4 percent in 2007 (see page 8).For the report click here (pdf). It is also located on NEI's Nuclear Statistics webpage.Technorati tags: , , , , , , ,

Methane Hydrates, Plug-In Hybrids and Nuclear Energy

Glenn Reynolds points to a Popular Mechanics piece on the potential of extracting natural gas from methane hydrates from the sea floor, but then concludes...
Me, I favor plug-in hybrids and lots of nice, clean nuclear plants. No greenhouse ramifications there.Indeed. And for our friends who love plug-in hybrids (and we do too here at NEI Nuclear Notes), visit our friends at Green Car Congress.

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Patrick Moore in Australia

Pro-nuclear environmentalist Patrick Moore is visting Australia, and he did an interview with ABC Radio National. Though he's in the country to talk about PVC piping (taking on more Greenpeace-sponsored hysteria), the interview deals with other environmental issues as well. Click here for the interview, and advance the interview to the 23:05 mark for the interview with Moore.

Thanks to NEI Nuclear Notes reader Daniel Work for the pointer.

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Bodman to Visit Yucca Mountain

Just off the wire from DOE:
On Thursday, April 13, 2006, Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman will visit the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Yucca Mountain site. Following a tour of the site, Secretary Bodman will host a press conference at Yucca Mountain’s north portal to discuss the new legislation sent by DOE to the U.S. Congress on April 5, 2006, for accelerated construction of the nuclear waste repository.Technorati tags: , , , , , ,

Learsy: India Nuclear Deal Good for U.S. and the World

Over at the Huffington Post, long-time energy industry observer Raymond J. Learsy writes that Congress ought to give President Bush the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the nuclear energy deal with India:
Critics have charged that the president was so eager to sell the Indians nuclear fuel and technology that he caved in to all their demands, permitting them to maintain an uninspected nuclear weapons program along with the civilian program to be supervised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Other critics warned that Iran and North Korea would use the deal as an excuse for pursuing their own nuclear weapons programs as though either nation needed any further excuse to pursue its nuclear ambitions.

But Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has convincingly argued that there's no comparison between the two rogue nations and democratic India. She says clean nuclear energy could cut India's emissions of carbon dioxide by 170 million tons a year, as much as the Nethe…

Small Town America Embraces Nuclear Energy

In today's New York Times, reporter Rick Lyman uncovers something we've been telling you about for some time here at NEI Nuclear Notes -- the fact that many small towns are embracing the possibility of new nuclear build:
Bill Whelchel, working the main chair at Elmore's Barber Shop on Limestone Street, paused the clippers above his customer's half-sculptured crew cut to consider the question of atomic energy.

"I'm not worried at all about putting in a new nuclear power plant," said Mr. Whelchel, 76. "We're used to nuclear power around here. Plus, it'll create jobs, and one thing I've learned is that working people are happy people."

More than a quarter century after the accident at Three Mile Island and two decades after Chernobyl, America's utilities stand at the early edge of what promises to be the first large-scale wave of nuclear plant construction since the 1980's.

And the energy companies are finding -- especially in the s…

Infrastructure Can't Keep Up With Global Oil Demand

From The Times (U.K.):
THE world lacks the means to produce enough oil to meet rising projections of demand for fuel over the next decade, according to Christophe de Margerie, head of exploration for Total and heir presumptive to the leadership of the French energy multinational.

The world is mistakenly focusing on oil reserves when the problem is capacity to produce oil, M de Margerie said in an interview with The Times. Forecasters, such as the International Energy Agency (IEA), have failed to consider the speed at which new resources can be brought into production, he believes.

M de Margerie argued that the resources were simply not available. He said: "Take Qatar. How many projects can you have at the same time? You have more than 100,000 people working on sites. It's a big city of contractors. Now they have the problem of having to build a new power plant to supply a city of contractors."

The IEA was mistaken in using recovery factors that failed to consider the timing …

NY AREA Addresses AG Spitzer on Indian Point

Just arriving on my desktop was a copy of a letter that John Kelly, a member of New York AREA and one-time director of licensing at Indian Point Energy Center, sent to New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer on March 31 in response to a speech on energy policy he gave in Albany on March 29. Because there isn't any online copy of the letter available, I'm reprinting it here in full:
March 31, 2006
The Honorable Eliot Spitzer
State of New York
Office of the Attorney General
120 Broadway, 25th Floor
New York, NY 10271

Dear Attorney General Spitzer:

The New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance (New York AREA) shares your concern, expressed in your energy policy speech on March 29 in Albany, that trace amounts of tritium and strontium 90 are assumed to be leaking into the Hudson River from the Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan.

Using conservative, worst case assumptions, the radiation dose to the maximally exposed individual reported by an NRC Special Inspection Report on Mar…

NRC Issues Final Environmental Impact Statement for Grand Gulf

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued its final environmental impact statement on the proposed early site permit (ESP) for the Grand Gulf site in Mississippi. The NRC found no environmental impacts that would prevent issuing an ESP for the site.

The ESP process allows a company to obtain advance approval of a site for a new reactor, allowing it to defer the decision to build until later.

System Energy Resources Inc. (SERI), a subsidiary of Entergy Nuclear, filed its ESP application with the NRC in 2003. If approved, the ESP gives SERI up to 20 years to decide whether to build a new reactor at Grand Gulf and then to file an application with the NRC for approval to begin construction. The NRC said it expects to complete the entire review process for Grand Gulf early in 2007.

The NRC currently is considering two early site permits, for Exelon’s Clinton site in Illinois and Dominion’s North Anna site in Virginia.

Read the full environmental impact statement here.

This is exciting s…