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Showing posts from October, 2008

Don't Open the Box!

What's in the box?Lot's wife was turned into a pillar of salt. Whoever opens this box will be turned into brimstone and ashes.The head of Medusa. That's what's in the box, and who looks on her will be changed not into stone but into brimstone and ashes. But of course you wouldn't believe me, you'd have to see for yourself, wouldn't you?Listen to me, as if I were Cerberus barking with all his heads at the gates of hell. I will tell you where to take it, but don't - don't open the box!Horror movies are often interpreted as coded messages of dread and loathing of the unknown, whether it be death (Night of the Living Dead), disintegration (The Exorcist, which uses devil possession as a metaphor for disease) or visions of oblivion. In the 50s, nuclear energy might have been a reasonable fear engine, but it was mostly used to grow things really really big: the ants in Them and the spider in Tarantula. These aren't really horror films, as they focus o…

Honoring Radiation Protection Professionals

Next week is National Radiation Protection Professionals Week. Why them? Let's let Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) tell you (warning: pdf):Members of the radiation protection profession make it their life’s work to allow government, medicine, academia, and industry to safely use radiation. By providing the necessary leadership, these professionals protect people from radiation hazards thus enabling society to reap benefits of this remarkable technology.And so it is: we of course think of radiation as a factor in the nuclear business but radiation is everywhere:Small amounts of radioactive materials can be found in our bodies, in products we use daily, in the ground, in building materials, and in outer space. They are a natural part of our everyday life. We commonly find radiation devices such as x-ray machines in a hospital or at the airport. We use radiation mainly for its beneficial purposes such as in medicine to diagnose disease, in industry to generate electricity, and in smo…

Chronicles in Advocacy: Tell It to the Wind

We don't share as many negative editorials with you as we used to because a.) there just aren't as many as there used to be and b.) the list of arguments is pretty short and tends to get repeated over and over. That's as tedious for us to keep rehashing as it is for you to read it.So this editorial from the High Country News ("for people who care about the west") did not raise hopes for some original debate:Then there is always the risk of a meltdown if we resume construction of nuclear power plants. Many Americans probably don’t remember or have never read about the meltdown of the Three Mile Island power plant in the 1970s. Its cleanup took from 1979 to 1993, and cost ratepayers, taxpayers and stockholders around $975 million. To paraphrase cowboy poet Wallace McCray, reincarnated nuclear power in this new century “ain’t changed all that much.”Well, you get the picture. But what struck us is the ID for the author:Russ Doty is a contributor to Writers on the Ra…

Another Blogger for Nuclear Energy

Physical Insights and Atomic Insights already beat me to the punch but we'll still do the introduction. Meet Finrod over at Channelling the Strong Force. His About this blog piece is very thought-provoking, make sure to check it out:We exist in a sea of electromagnetic force, and are for the most part utterly subject to its dictates. One other force makes itself blatantly known in the course of our mundane activities, namely gravitation, but electromagnetism packs far more power in its punch. It takes a mass the magnitude of Earth to make us weigh ten Newtons to the kilogram, but with a simple rearrangement in the structure of a vanishingly, ridiculously tiny portion of Earth’s mass, we can override the gravitational force of this entire planet, and stand on two feet (by burning sugar in our cells) … or fly to the other side of it in a 747 (by burning avgas in a jet engine).

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The images of the early nuclear age have a certain amount of baggage which we need to move beyond to make…

Sarah Palin Talks Energy - as The Race Winds Down

The Presidential campaign is, after 127 years, winding down and the candidates are essentially making their final pitches - generally dialing back the attacks and amping up the positive messages - city on the hill, the future is bright, that kind of thing. So it's interesting to see that Sarah Palin gave a full speech on energy issues today. This has proven to be one of the brightest lights of the McCain/Palin campaign because it responds in a focused way to an issue of concern. That light has dimmed a bit due to the drop in oil prices and a bit more due to the stock market tsunami, so it strikes us as a good topic on which to wind things down. Even if the short-term concern has drooped away a bit, it's still a concern and worth a hearing.The speech can be found on the campaign Web site here. Here's the take-away on nuclear energy:Another essential means to energy independence is a dramatic expansion in our use of nuclear energy. In a McCain administration, we will set th…

Blogging Yourself into a Corner

We occasionally take a look at Greenpeace's Nuclear Reaction blog (subtitle: "Blogging the Meltdown of the Nuclear Industry") so we can see if some interesting new meme is springing up we may want to note. A couple of stories caught our eyes:Business Wire: Areva: Revenue and Data for the First Nine Months of 2008
The group cleared revenue of 9.1 billion euros over the first nine months of 2008, up 12.9% compared with the same period in 2007.and The Deal: Northrop Grumman in $360M nuclear deal with French MNC
Defense and technology company Northrop Grumman Corp. said its shipbuilding division is creating a joint venture with France's Areva SA to build a manufacturing and engineering facility in Newport News, Va., to supply the American nuclear energy sector.Nothing says meltdown of the nuclear industry more than profitability and an expanding infrastructure. We cannot say the blog is being unfair with its readership, though, so points for honesty.

Nuclear Energy to Power Planes?

That's a possibility. Here's the TimesOnline:Ian Poll, Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Cranfield University, and head of technology for the Government-funded Omega project, is calling for a big research programme to help the aviation industry convert from fossil fuels to nuclear energy.

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“If we want to continue to enjoy the benefits of air travel without hindrance from environmental concerns, we need to explore nuclear power. If aviation remains wedded to fossil fuels, it will run into serious trouble,” he said.The article has really generated the comments. The first one is the best:As soon as I started reading this, one picture immediately came to mind: Marty McFly standing next to the Delorean and asking Doctor Emmett Brown, "This thing is NUCLEAR!!??"
Yep, whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it will achieve...Hat tip to Eric McErlain.

Picture of the DeLorean with Marty and Doc from Back to the Future 2.

Election Day: A Voter Scorecard on Nuclear Energy

With Election Day just one week away, NEI Nuclear Notes is here to provide readers with a handy voter scorecard on nuclear energy. We sent a survey to all 69 Democratic and Republican candidates running for the U.S. Senate (Mark Pryor [D-AR] is running unopposed) and asked these three questions:

1. Does your candidate support the use of nuclear energy as a source of carbon-free electricity in the U.S.?
2. Does your candidate support the expansion of nuclear energy in the United States?
3. Does your candidate support the expansion of nuclear energy in his/her state?

We received completed questionnaires from 31 candidates. Some key takeaways:
30 candidates were supportive of the use of nuclear energy in the U.S.30 candidates supported the expansion of nuclear energy in their state.Democratic and Republican Senate candidates from: Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, North Carolina, and Wyoming were in favor expanding nuclear power in their states.Challengers submitted 19 questionnaires, incumbents 12.
So…

The Smith View

With the predominance of knowledge industries, financial instruments, and labor-intensive services in our economy and news this political season, one might forget about the asset-intensive businesses that drive the heartland. We do not. Our membership is drawn from across the industrial spectrum and the fate of our largest members - utilities, manufacturers, suppliers and vendors, engineering and construction companies among them - depends on the interplay of capital markets; tax, trade and economic policy; and government regulation more than is the case for companies less laden with fixed assets. Thus it is heartening to hear the perspective of someone who understands the challenges of these heavily capitalized companies in today's turbulent times, a perspective that seldom reaches the front pages of The Washington Post or the New York Times or the teleprompters of CNN.
This morning, the Wall Street Journal weekend edition published an interview with Fred Smith, CEO of FedEx and a…

Pigeons Arrested at Iranian Enrichment Facility

Yes I mean real pigeons - the ones that have wings and fly. This is hilarious:Iranian security forces have arrested two "spy pigeons" near the Natanz uranium enrichment facility, the Etemad Melli newspaper reported. One of the pigeons, which had some metal rings and "invisible" strings attached to it, was caught near a rose water production plant in the nearby city of Kashan in Isfahan province. A source told the newspaper, "Early this month, a black pigeon was caught bearing a blue-coated metal ring, with invisible strings."That's not all:last year Iran reportedly arrested 14 squirrels for spying. Iran's state-sponsored news agency said at the time, "The squirrels were carrying spy gear of foreign agencies, and were stopped before they could act, thanks to the alertness of our intelligence services."I wonder what kind of hard time these squirrels and pigeons will be sentenced to do...

Picture of a spy pigeon from the International Spy Mu…

Areva, Northrop Grumman Deal Roundup

Yesterday's announced deal between AREVA and Northrop Grumman to build a $363 million nuclear reactor manufacturing plant in Newport News, VA is getting a whole lot of media attention.

The New York Times says Nuclear Power May Be in Early Stages of a Revival....Not since 1973 had anybody in the United States ordered a nuclear plant that was actually built, and the obstacles to a new generation of plants seemed daunting.

But now, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 21 companies say they will seek permission to build 34 power plants, from New York to Texas. Factories are springing up in Indiana and Louisiana to build reactor parts. Workers are clearing a site in Georgia to put in reactors. Starting in January, millions of electric customers in Florida will be billed several dollars a month to finance four new reactors.

On Thursday, the French company Areva, the world’s largest builder of nuclear reactors, and Northrop Grumman announced an investment of more than $360 milli…

Mothers in Pieces

One thing you have to give groups who base their existence on not liking something, they'll pull every rabbit out of the hat in order to have their way. This differs from advocacy groups, because being zealously against something comes far more naturally to the human animal than being zealously for something (Presidential elections aside, of course, and even they are usually motored by dissatisfaction with the status quo.) But the zeal frequently doesn't work - often foiled by a tin ear for nuance - and so it has come to pass for the San Luis Obispo group Mothers for Peace, which has been trying for two years to keep Diablo Canyon from storing their used nuclear fuel. Well, lately, anyway. They describe themselves as a “non-profit organization concerned with the local dangers involving the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant” and nuclear energy in general. Luckily, they also stand for "peace, social justice and a safe environment," so we must allow that their hearts a…

Reason Roundtable

A rich discussion on nuclear energy and energy independence appeared on the Reason Foundation web site earlier this week. At last look, the dialogue continues, with the three authors exchanging perspectives on nuclear energy's role in achieving energy independence, federal energy subsidies, and the cost of new nuclear plants.

Founding a Foundry

One thing we've mentioned here a few times is that a nuclear renaissance is going to require some oomph from the steel industry if the parts necessary to build a plant are going to be built in the United States. Well, here it comes, via the, ahem, French:France's Areva SA said it is forming a joint venture with Northrop Grumman Corp. to build nuclear reactor vessels, steam generators and other pieces of heavy equipment at Northrop's shipyards at Newport News, Va., a sign that the planned construction of new nuclear reactors in the U.S. could help stimulate the country's manufacturing sector.The $360 million investment in Areva Newport News LLC will result in construction of a 300,000 square-foot manufacturing and engineering facility that will support U.S. sales of Areva's nuclear reactor, called the "evolutionary power reactor," or EPR. Areva is seeking to get the reactor design certified ...You have to pay good cash money to see the rest of the story o…

The Nucular Option

Further to KB's post below, the reason sometimes given for politicians (and others, of course) to turn nuclear to nucular - from Eisenhower to Palin (we think Jimmy Carter had a variant pronunciation, too, though different than "nucular") - is to sound down home, the way that Palin likes to drop her "g"s. It's a keeping-it-real kind of thing. However, you knew there had to be a field of study about this "issue," and that it would address nucular. William Safire, who was the New York Times' language maven before his retirement, addresses how cognitive linguistics handles "nucular":The Harvard cognitive scientist Steven Pinker informs me that ''a person mishears a sonorant consonant (like l or r or y) followed by a vowel as a vowel followed by a consonant. This can happen because the two sounds are acoustically similar -- they literally look alike on an oscilloscope. Presumably the respective neural patterns that arise when a …

Robert Draper's NYT Story on McCain

From the yet to be published New York Times Magazine cover story on the McCain campaign, we find this nuclear nugget:"in the hours after Palin’s stunningly self-assured acceptance speech at the G.O.P. convention": “[A]n elegant … woman sat alone at the far end of the bar. She wore beige slacks and a red sweater, and she picked at a salad while talking incessantly on her cellphone. But for the McCain/Palin button affixed to her collar and the brief moment that Palin’s new chief of staff, Tucker Eskew, spoke into her ear, she seemed acutely disconnected from the jubilation swelling around her. In fact, the woman was here for a reason. Her name was Priscilla Shanks, a New York-based stage and screen actress … who had found a lucrative second career as a voice coach. Shanks’s work with Sarah Palin was as evident as it was unseen. Gone, by the evening of her convention speech, was the squeaky register of Palin’s exclamations. Gone (at least for the moment) was the Bushian pronunc…

All Politics Is Local: Iowa Edition

We're reminded of that reality by this story in the Des Moines Register, which looks at the candidates energy proposals from the point of view of Iowans. The focus is on cap-and-trade, which favors low carbon-emitting energy sources by making them the beneficiary of carbon "credits" which can be sold to high emitters until they get their act together:And those issues will determine how much more companies and consumers will have to pay for energy - and how soon their bills will rise - as well as what kind of energy they'll be using.Cap-and-trade will likely impose some pain in the pocketbook, although opportunities arise as well:Also at stake: Iowa's growing wind and biofuels industries. Making coal and gasoline more expensive to use will make wind power and biofuels more economically competitive."Iowa is going to benefit from these things," said Jerald Schnoor, a University of Iowa researcher who chairs the Iowa Climate Change Advisory Council. There&…

The Wisdom of Crowds

Next week I'll be interviewing journalistWilliam Tucker and seek the assistance of Notes readers: any suggested questions I should ask the author of Terrestrial Energy? You can leave your questions for Mr. Tucker in the comments or email them here.

Thanks for your help.

Your Next Nuclear Vacation

The best takedown of the Swiss we know - because why would anyone want to take down the Swiss, after all? - comes from Orson Welles in The Third Man: Don't be so gloomy. After all, it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.Cuckoo clocks and now a way to recycle remnants of the cold war into something unique and just a little bizarre. Here's the complete writeup from World Nuclear News, which they took from Der Spiegel.The world's first "zero-rated" hotel - a former underground nuclear bunker - is set to open in Sevelen, Switzerland. The abandoned bunker has been transformed into a budget hotel by twin brothers Patrik and Frank Riklin with the motto "less is more":…

The Perils of Advocacy: Texas Edition

A group called Nuclear Energy for Texans (NET) is protesting the actions of another group, Texans for a Sound Energy Policy Alliance (TSEPA), who, according to NET, are up to mischief:"It is outrageous that this small anti-nuclear activist group would travel across the country to try and derail a project that the vast majority of Victoria, Texas residents whole-heartedly support."And though the story doesn't say what that mischief might be, Marketwatch has another press release to explain:TSEPA spokesperson John Figer states: "Exelon's record in Illinois is clear. We don't want to be a Braidwood, Texas. Beyond safety, this project critically impacts our state's water future. The Guadalupe River has been listed as one of the 10 most threatened rivers in the U.S. and we don't have enough water to support a thirsty nuclear power plant. A lack of freshwater inflow will critically impact the San Antonio bay, wetlands, estuaries, fish and the endangered wh…

The Third Presidential Debate

Or was it the 564th? Well, it was the last one anyway. Here are the nuclear quotes and we should note, this is three-for-three in which there were nuclear shout outs. Granted, all eyes are on the economy and associated pocket book issues, so we expected much less about energy policy this time out.First, McCain:Energy -- well, first -- second of all, energy independence. We have to have nuclear power. We have to stop sending $700 billion a year to countries that don't like us very much. It's wind, tide, solar, natural gas, nuclear, off-shore drilling, which Senator Obama has opposed.We've heard this one before, although it oddly came after the candidates were asked what programs they'd cut. McCain had several suggestions: he really doesn't like ethanol:I oppose subsidies for ethanol because I thought it distorted the market and created inflation; Senator Obama supported those subsidies.Answering how to eliminate dependence on foreign oil:We can eliminate our depend…

'Nuclear More Reliable for Energy than Oil and Gas'

That's according to the Nuclear Energy Agency's latest Nuclear Energy Outlook study. Here's a summary (pdf):The security of energy supply from nuclear power is more reliable than that for oil or gas, according to the authors of the first ‘Nuclear Energy Outlook’ launched today by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD)Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA).

Additionally, uranium’s high energy density means that transport is less vulnerable to disruption, and storing a large energy reserve is easier than for fossil fuels, says the publication. It adds that one tonne of uranium produces the same energy as 10,000 to 16,000 tonnes of oil using current technology. Technological developments are likely to improve that performance even more.

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According to one scenario in Nuclear Energy Outlook, existing nuclear power technologies could provide more than a fifth of global electricity by 2050 as demand for power rises in countries such as China and India. Under this…

Callaway Nuclear Plant Achieves First Breaker to Breaker Run

Well done!:AmerenUE’s Callaway Nuclear Plant has achieved its first so-called "breaker-to-breaker run" after operating for 520 days without going out of service, according to a statement released by the St. Louis-based utility.

A breaker-to-breaker run is when a plant operates from one refueling to the next without going out of service. The plant is refueled every 18 months and must go offline during refueling.

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The 1,190-megawatt plant generated 16 million megawatt hours of electricity - enough to power on average more than 857,000 households.Welcome to the club.

Obama, McCain Voters Favor Nuclear Energy

And by an impressively wide margin, too. A new poll from Bisconti Research for NEI interviewed 1000 voters to determine the support for nuclear energy depending on which candidate they were leaning towards - we've always liked the idea, much used by pollsters, of the "leaning" voter. You get an image of a grove of folks, swaying as the political winds move them. Before going through the results, we would have anticipated that John McCain voters would prefer nuclear energy much more than Barack Obama voters; Obama's support has been positive if a bit on the tepid side and we expected his candidacy would attract more environmental no-nuke diehards. But see for yourselves. “Overall, do you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose the use of nuclear energy as one of the ways to provide electricity in the United States?”Favor (which combines strongly and somewhat favors):Obama: 72%McCain: 86%That's about what we expect from the McCain crowd…

The Nuclear Option: CNBC

Your must-see TV tonight (assuming watching Warren Sapp and Susan Luccicut the rug doesn't float your boat): CNBC premieres its 60-minute special,"The Nuclear Option," at 9:00 ET. From the programming notes,Power consumption in the United States has never been greater. Currently the country gets 20% of its electricity from nuclear energy. But with the price of oil soaring and increased opposition to coal fired plants, many wonder if America should be more like France, where 80% of the power is nuclear. Americans haven’t built a new nuclear plant in thirty years. Now the country sits on the verge of a nuclear revolution.

CNBC's Melissa Francis explores the issue, which according to a recent CNBC poll has the nation divided. She takes viewers on a rare tour inside of a nuclear power plant, to France where nuclear energy is working, and to what may be the future home of the first new nuclear power plant in the United States in over 30 years.

A Nuclear Reactor on the Moon?

This story was made public about a month ago, but hey, better late than never:NASA engineers are exploring the possibility of nuclear fission to provide the necessary power and taking initial steps toward a non-nuclear technology demonstration of this type of system.

A fission surface power system on the moon has the potential to generate a steady 40 kilowatts of electric power, enough for about eight houses on Earth. It works by splitting uranium atoms in a reactor to generate heat that then is converted into electric power. The fission surface power system can produce large amounts of power in harsh environments, like those on the surface of the moon or Mars, because it does not rely on sunlight...Nuclear energy is used to power submarines, used to power millions of homes and businesses, and used to power rockets going to other planets, to name a few. It looks like there's not one thing nuclear energy can't power.

Picture of the proposed fission surface power system.

The New York Times on the Candidates' Nuclear Views

Here's the opening paragraph of Larry Rohter's story:Contrary to what Democrats may think, there is more to John McCain’s energy program than “drill, baby, drill.” And contrary to what Mr. McCain has been saying on the campaign trail, where he proposes the construction of 45 nuclear plants by 2030, Barack Obama does not “oppose the use of nuclear power.”This pretty well lines up with what we've said as this campaign rolls along (always pleasing), and the story gets Obama's campaign to open up a bit more on what seems to us tepid support:Elgie Holstein, an adviser to Mr. Obama on energy issues, accused the McCain campaign of misrepresenting Mr. Obama’s position on nuclear power. “Some specific proposals that Senator McCain has made are troubling,” Mr. Holstein said, because of the problems of storage and reprocessing, and the issue of non-proliferation of nuclear fuel.Of course, Obama and Holstein could be more forthcoming on how they want to deal with what they call p…

When It Absolutely, Positively Must

In nature, every niche has its creatures and every creature has its niche. From Psalm 104 to Darwin, humans have noted the precise fit between resource and need across all existence. Much of the debate about energy arises from differing views on the needs that are to be served and the fit between those needs and the resources available. Sometimes the needs of a particularly demanding niche help us to see what a resource does, or can do, elsewhere.

This week a news article described the retirement of the Russian ice-breaker Arktika. Lead ship in a class that includes five sister ships, the Arktika is powered by two nuclear reactors that in combination deliver more than 72,000 horsepower to the propellers. The ship entered service in 1975 with a design life of 25 years. According to the article, the ship's life was extended an additional eight years through "engineering knowledge", much as the life of U.S. nuclear plants is being extended through design studies and replacem…

The Second Debate: McCain, Obama and Nuclear Energy

First, McCain:You're going to be examining our proposals tonight and in the future, and energy independence is a way to do that, is one of them. And drilling offshore and nuclear power are two vital elements of that. And I've been supporting those and I know how to fix this economy, and eliminate our dependence on foreign oil, and stop sending $700 billion a year overseas.McCain probably needs to stop staying he "knows" how to do something, because it can make people wonder why anyone would think otherwise, but he's on solid ground here. We're still not convinced on the efficacy of offshore drilling, but he is, and who here is a single issue voter anyway?and:We can work on nuclear power plants. Build a whole bunch of them, create millions of new jobs. We have to have all of the above, alternative fuels, wind, tide, solar, natural gas, clean coal technology. All of these things we can do as Americans and we can take on this mission and we can overcome it.We l…

Sri Lanka Takes a Look at Thorium

And why not? They have a lot of it:Vitharana had told the newspaper that Sri Lanka had Thorium deposits in the Western coast of the island from Beruwala to Negombo, which is an areas stretching South and North of the capital, Colombo.What they don't have is the technology to use it, but luckily their neighbors to the north, also with piles of the stuff, is trying to make it plausible:"The Indians have developed a technology to enrich Thorium as a source of energy to produce electricity," minister Vitharana was quoted as saying. "They are on the verge of commissioning a reactor for power generation in India using Thorium as main resource." This is all at the chatter level - literally, with Sri Lanka and India broaching the subject at the IAEA's annual conference - and pretty abstract - Thorium has gotten over some impressive technical hurdles, but there are other issues to consider, especially:the high cost of fuel fabrication, due partly to the high radioa…

South Texas Project Nuclear Plant Sets Record on Continuous Operations

From STP:The South Texas Project established a U.S. nuclear power industry record Sunday, completing four consecutive breaker-to-breaker production runs by repeatedly operating both its units continuously between refuelings. The plant shut down its Unit 2 reactor Sunday for routine refueling and maintenance.

No other nuclear power plant has accomplished this in the five decades since the first commercial reactor in the U.S. began operations in 1958.

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During the past four years, STP’s two units have produced more energy than any other two-unit nuclear power plant in the country. Both units have led the nation in production, and Unit 1 led all 439 reactors worldwide in electric generation last year.

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In its record-setting production runs, STP generated 65 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity. That equates to approximately 7.5 percent of all electricity used in Texas during that time.

Unit 1 operated continuously from April 2005 to October 2006, when it was shut down for refue…

Thoughts on the DOE Loan Guarantee Program

The Department of Energy is moving forward with its clean energy Loan Guarantee program. In a press release last week, DOE announced that it had received applications from 17 companies to build 14 nuclear power plants totaling 21 new units and almost 29,000 megawatts of new electrical capacity. In total, the applications seek $122 billion in loan guarantees, while the program is authorized to commit only $18.5 billion to new nuclear plants. Following the DOE announcement, NEI's Richard Myers, Vice President, Policy Development, noted in an interview with Bloomberg that the oversubscription is a sign that $18.5 billion is not adequate to provide the financing support necessary. In a piece on the loan guarantee program and another on the debt ceiling of the Tenessee Valley Authority, Dan Yurman explains why.

In essence, there are some jobs so big they are beyond what the private sector alone can do. Federal support, such as loan guarantees, enables the private sector to attract …

Paul Newman on Nuclear Energy

The National Review has a terrific piece on our old friend Paul Newman and his support for nuclear energy. Here's a taster:“In all the meetings I had with Paul Newman, he struck me as very open-minded and inquisitive,” says [Denis Beller, a professor of engineering at the University of Nevada]. “He came out to Nevada in 2002 and visited the Harry Reid Center for Environmental Studies, where several faculty members showed him research on the transmutation of nuclear waste. They also discussed why ideas like launching nuclear waste into the sun were not really practical. The visit ended with a trip to Yucca Mountain, where Kevin Phillips, the mayor of neighboring Caliente, whose front porch is only 50 yards from the rail line where waste would be transported, told Newman he was not opposed to the project. Later [Newman] told me, ‘That’s the most impressive thing I’ve seen.’”There's also a shout-out to NEI's involvement with Newman-Wachs, Newman's car racing outlet:In 20…

India Notes NEI on the US-India Agreement

NEI has been supportive of the US-India nuclear trade agreement and worked to help it along its winding trail through the international and national thickets where it could. The Indians have noticed this, as this story from NDTV demonstrates:Nuclear Energy Institute, the policy arm of US nuclear energy industry, has welcomed the Congressional ratification of the historic US India Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement and said that it has the potential to strengthen the American economy.
"The agreement holds the potential to strengthen the US economy while fostering within India increased use of nuclear energy to cleanly provide the reliable electricity that is so vital in modern society," said Frank Bowman, president and chief executive of the Nuclear Energy Institute.
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[NEI] was part of the US nuclear industry delegation, which visited India last year to have a preliminary round of talks with the Indian Government officials and also the private sector.Most of what…