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Showing posts from September, 2009

Move Over Waxman-Markey, Here Comes Boxer-Kerry

Or, The Senate Moves on Climate Change. Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) have presented the Senate’s version of the climate change bill that will start off in the Environment and Public Works committee chaired by Boxer. As we’ve seen with the health bill, legislation in the Senate moves through several committees in tandem and this one will, too. (House committees tend to control bills under their purview much more stringently.)---So what about the bill? And nuclear energy? Well, it runs 800+ pages, but seems something of a skeletal framework onto which provisions will be attached as it moves forward. But the message about nuclear energy (start at page 107) is pretty clear:(1) in 2008, 104 nuclear power plants produced 19.6 percent of the electricity generated in the United States, slightly less than the electricity generated by natural gas;(2) nuclear energy is the largest provider of clean, carbon-free, electricity, almost 8 times larger than all renewable …

Nuclear Energy to Power the Washington Capitals

If you've been to Verizon Center to see a Caps preseason game or visited the Kettler Iceplexpractice facility in Arlington, VA recently, then the biscuit is already in the basket this is old news: today NEI officially announced a corporate sponsorship deal with the Washington Capitals. Details of the season-long partnership are in the press release here and include this plum of a quote from Capitals Majority Owner Ted Leonsis:Nuclear energy is an important part of a technology-based solution to climate change. It's a proven energy provider in Virginia and Maryland for Capitals fans and we are pleased to work with NEI to raise awareness of the role that it can play in reducing greenhouses gases across America.
The ad, "nuclear: clean air energy", will be prominently displayed on the dasherboard in Verizon Center (behind the goal where the Caps shoot twice). In addition, NEI will be promoting the "clean air energy" message on radio, during game broadcasts on W…

Green Shoots in Autumn: Small Reactors on the Ascent

If you’re passing through the mid-Atlantic the first part of October to see the magnificent foliage points west and north you may consider dropping by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission complex in world-famous Rockville, Maryland, Thursday & Friday, October 8-9, for what promises to be a fascinating Workshop on potential applications for small- and medium-sized (a.k.a. modular, innovative, green) nuclear reactors.

NRC’s announcement quotes its Advanced Reactor Program director Mike Mayfield:We’re going to examine how these ‘small’ reactor vendors would need to address the NRC’s requirements in areas including safety, security, decommissioning and emergency preparedness. This meeting will help us and our stakeholders determine what issues need more clarification and get everyone’s expectations on the same page.The NRC invites the public to participate throughout the workshop, which also will cover applications other than producing electricity, such as providing heat for industrial p…

Serious Topics, Dry Wit

In a comprehensive, fascinating interview Thursday in sunny Idaho Falls with Idaho Samizdat, Dr. Dale Klein, longtime NRC commissioner and its onetime chairman, discussed rabbits in the context of public communication, cheeses, small reactors, Yucca Mountain, bozos, Blackberries, and business.

Serious quote:The U.S. has difficulty thinking clearly about how to make long-term capital commitments. The financing profile for a new nuclear reactor is now 60-80 years. Our grandchildren will benefit from them and some will operate them.Witty ones:In response to a question at the lunch meeting about the reason France has such a strong commitment to nuclear energy, he quipped, ‘That nation's energy polices come down to just four factors: no oil, no gas, no coal, and no choice.’andKlein is frustrated by people who have already made up their minds about the license application. Referring to the massive electronic document library that supports the project, he said ironically, "anyone wh…

NEI's Energy Markets Report - September 14 - 18, 2009

The latest is up, below are two tidbits you may find useful:Uranium prices continued their trend downward as prices fell to $42-$42.50/lb U3O8 last week. The EURATOM Supply Agency (pdf) “reported that, compared to 2007, total worldwide uranium production in 2008 rose more than 7% to 44,248 tU [metric tons of uranium]. Canada is still the world’s largest uranium producer (20% of world production) with a total of 9,000 tU. Contrary to 2007, Australia lost its position as the second largest producer and was replaced by Kazakhstan, which produced a total of 8,512 tU. For Kazakhstan, this represents nearly a 30% increase in production compared to 2007 (6,654 tU). Australia’s 2008 uranium production declined to 8,430 tU from 8,577 tU in 2007. After Kazakhstan, the second largest increase in uranium production came from Africa with a total of 7,926 tU (a 20% increase in comparison to 2007)” (UxConsulting, pages 1 and 3).

According to data from Ventyx Velocity Suite, 42,000 megawatts of capaci…

Iran Cracks Open the Door

Yesterday, we noted that Libyan President Muammar el-Qaddafi followed President Obama’s speech at the United Nations with a speech that ran about an hour over its quota. We didn’t mention that it drifted in from Cloud Cuckooland with a pit stop in Madville. It did prove the perfect introduction to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who went into full-on rant mode about Israel and capitalism. It wasn’t a heart warming performance and a lot of the delegates – Western ones, in particular – walked out.But after the speech, Iran went as far as it has done so far to open the door to negotiating over its nuclear ambitions.Iran is willing to have its nuclear experts meet with scientists from the United States and other world powers as a confidence-building measure aimed at resolving concerns about Tehran's nuclear program, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday.This might be occurring because some of the bigger countries are talking about more severe sanctions:On the si…

Rhetoric and Action at the U.N.

As you may have heard, President Barack Obama gave a speech at the United Nations about climate change yesterday. Now, just to get it out of the way, he had nothing or next to nothing to say about nuclear energy. If nuclear is there, it is there implicitly only.---We can assume Obama would like to have come with more to offer – above all, an energy bill that addresses climate change. If the tea leaf readings about cryptic statements from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (R-Nev.) are correct, there will be no bill this year. Much of the speech echoed the health care speech Obama gave last week in that it focused on the need for action.But I'm here today to say that difficulty is no excuse for complacency.  Unease is no excuse for inaction.  And we must not allow the perfect to become the enemy of progress.  That does sound more directed to Congress than the U.N., but Obama talked to the international community as well. But those rapidly growing developing nations that will produc…

E. Coli and Recovering Uranium

We thought to call this post “Diseased Waste,” but decided it wasn’t only inaccurate but sounded like a death metal band. When we hear E. coli, we think disease, though of course, the critters live in our intestines from about three days after our births onwards and only a few strains of it prove dangerous via food contamination. You can read about E. coli here.But still, unfairly, the first thought was disease. So we were intrigued by this Science Daily article about the use of E. coli to retrieve uranium from otherwise exhausted mines and even as a vehical to clean up sites. The bacterium isn’t the key here, though – it’s efficacy for this purpose has been known for awhile – it’s the additive.Here’s how the process works:Bacteria, in this case, E. coli, break down a source of inositol phosphate (also called phytic acid), a phosphate storage material in seeds, to free the phosphate molecules. The phosphate then binds to the uranium forming a uranium phosphate precipitate on the bact…

Nuclear Utility Moves Up in Credit Ratings, Bank is "Comfortable with Nuclear Strategy"

Some positive signs that nuclear utilities can continue to receive positive ratings even while they finance new nuclear plants for the first time in decades:Wells Fargo upgrades SCANA to Outperform from Market Perform

Wells analyst says, "YTD, SCG shares have underperformed the Regulated Electrics (total return +2% vs. +9%). Shares trade at 11.3X our 10E EPS, a modest discount to the peer group median of 11.8X. We view the valuation as attractive given a comparatively constructive regulatory environment and potential for above-average long-term EPS growth prospects ... Comfortable with Nuclear Strategy. SCG plans to participate in the development of two regulated nuclear units at a cost of $6.3B, raising legitimate concerns regarding financing and construction. We have carefully considered the risks and are comfortable with SCG’s strategy based on a highly constructive political & regulatory environment, manageable financing needs stretched out over 10 years, strong partnershi…

Sen. Lieberman Wants More Nuclear

Sen. Joe Lieberman [I-Conn.] wants you to know:“I don’t think we’re going to [pass a bill] without bipartisan support,” Lieberman told POLITICO last week. “And without a nuclear title that’s stronger than in the House climate change legislation, we’re not going to be able to get enough votes to pass climate change.” This being Washington, putting in such a title may sway some while putting off others and itself may not “be able to get enough votes.” In an effort to resuscitate some version of the House climate change bill in the Senate, the Connecticut independent is trying to get Republicans and moderate Democrats on board by adding money for coal power and nuclear plants — changes that would infuriate many of the bill’s liberal supporters.Lieberman calls his effort bi-partisan – Lieberman caucuses with the Democrats – but all the other Senators named as supporters in the article are Republicans. In any event, neither the story nor Lieberman’s Web site say exactly what the Senator h…

Barry Brook (and Co.) on Dr. Caldicott's Latest Claims on Radiation From Nuclear Plants

The debate on the effects of radiation from nuclear plants is alive and kicking at Barry Brook's blog Brave New Climate. In his latest post, he takes on Dr. Caldicott's latest junk piece that surfaced in Online Opinion:The focal claim from Caldicott in this piece is that it is dangerous to live near to nuclear power plants (NPP), because they supposedly increase rates of leukemia.

My basic response to such a claim is quite simple, and I think useful, because it cuts through the somewhat arcane and context-laden epidemiological arguments. It’s this: The additional radiation exposure of those living in the vicinity of NPP is ~0.0002 millisieverts (mSv), versus a background level of 2 to 4 mSv (depending on where you live) — the latter due to everything from cosmic rays, to ground-derived radon emissions, to eating bananas (this last one gives you more radiation than the NPP). So that’s 1/15,000 of your total yearly dosage coming from the ambient levels produced by nuclear power (…

Happiness and the Pursuit of Energy

Now, here’s the thing: if you go to a conference about some topic in your field, you’re likely to eat some bad food, catch up with colleagues you never liked and end up with a bag full of plastic from various widget vendors. So cynical. Listen and you might well also hear some ideas that charm you, some statements that surprise you.At the 2009 Scientific Forum in Vienna, we heard this from Mohamed ElBaradei of the IAEA, which sponsors the forum: This year we have chosen a timely topic: without energy there is no development, and development is life.Well, that’s not bad – poetic, in fact, a distillation of a truth. Still, it struck us as rather an odd if highly appealing utterance. Then, there’s this:In his presentation, Ashok Khosla, President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), introduced the concept of Gross National Happiness, which underlies a fundamental shift in the approach to economic development.And this:The Forum’s opening session concluded with a …

DOE to Announce Details About the Blue-Ribbon Commission on Used Nuclear Fuel "Soon"

Via Nasdaq:As part of a long-running rift over how to deal with the nation's nuclear power waste, the Obama administration announced plans this year to cancel the Yucca Mountain waste repository site 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

Although Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in April he would appoint a panel to determine the country's future nuclear waste policy, there's been no news since of who would be named and when the panel would be convened.

DOE spokeswoman Stephanie Mueller told Dow Jones on Wednesday, "We are planning to make an announcement soon," but declined to elaborate.

The Department of Energy won't say what caused the delay, but some industry officials have said one of the difficulties could be the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which guides how such panels are appointed. The law - designed to ensure an objective and balanced representation of policy options - prevents the administration from stocking the panel with members who would likely reach…

NEI's Energy Markets Report - September 7 - 11, 2009

The latest is up, here's an interesting nugget from our report:“Year-to-date [through June], total net generation was down 5.0 percent from 2008 levels. Net generation attributable to coal-fired plants was down 12.8 percent. Nuclear generation was up by 1.4 percent. Generation from petroleum liquids was down by 5.0 percent, while natural gas-fired generation was up by 1.9 percent year-to-date. Despite the small drop in wind generation in June, the year-to-date wind generation total was up by 24.4 percent” (EIA’s Electric Power Monthly).

The What Where When of Used Nuclear Fuel

Ever since Yucca Mountain succumbed – well, almost succumbed – to the Obama administration’s uncertainties about it, the question of  used nuclear fuel has been a bit of a question mark. Hmmm, maybe that’s misleading. The fuel currently rests in pools or in dry storage casks, mostly at the plants. It’s been doing that for years without issue. A central repository would be ideal, as overseeing one of anything is per se better than overseeing multiple instances of essentially the same thing. (We’re simplifying, of course – radiant matter is handled differently across industries – but Yucca was It for commercial nuclear plants.)It’s not quite a case of keeping the Brain People of Antares safe when they visit an empty earth a million years from now – they’re tough hombres and can take care of themselves quite nicely, plus they sprinkle their morning cereal with plutonium – but a logistical issue. And it’ll get taken up again at some point, whether the answer is Yucca Mountain or some oth…

Band of Green Brothers

And Sisters, too, of course. Darn that Shakespeare.During AFL-CIO Convention proceedings yesterday in Pittsburgh, delegates adopted Resolution 10, entitled “Creating and Retaining Sustainable Good Green Jobs.”  An excerpt from this resolution reads:In addition to coal plants with CO2 capture, new nuclear generation also will be a necessary component of our electrical energy portfolio. Nuclear power is the only existing base-load generation technology that does not produce CO2 emissions. Using green technology, deploying advanced coal technology, modernizing the electric grid and building a new generation of nuclear power plants can create substantial long-term employment in manufacturing and construction if we make certain that the domestic U.S. supply chain produces the wire, steel, pipes and nuclear vessels that will be needed.Note that nuclear and coal are not really defined as “green,” but that’s okay. The AFL-CIO recognizes nuclear energy’s role in carbon reduction and job creat…

Things to Come in Iran and Indiana

A fair number of news stories are not about what happened but what might happen soon. The story below about California concerns an as-yet unissued executive order that might (or might not) include nuclear energy. A thing to come.---A Bad Thing to Come: War in IranIran is ready to defend its nuclear facilities against any foreign attack, chief of Iran's Nuclear Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi said Tuesday. "Iran has been continuously threatened with attacks on its nuclear facilities ... Tehran is confident of its capacities to defend itself," Salehi told Iran's IRINN state TV channel. Capacity? Sure. Actual ability? Well…---A Good Thing to Come to Forestall the Bad Thing to Come: Joint Talks with Iran:After months of anticipation, the United States, Iran and other world powers on Monday set an Oct. 1 date to meet and potentially discuss Iran's nuclear program, which remains a source of concern to the West and Israel.While the Obama administration has reverse…

FPL Testimony Rebutting Southern Alliance for Clean Energy's Claims on New Nuclear Plants

It's been two years since Florida Power & Light petitioned (pdf) their public service commission to receive approval to build two new nuclear plants at its Turkey Point facility. And two years later, the debate about the need for those reactors continues on.

Most recently, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy attempted to dissuade the Florida PSC for the need of those reactors in light of today's low natural gas prices, the economic downturn, and the potential passage of the Waxman-Markey climate bill. In response, FPL analyzed SACE's narrow claims and took them to town (pdf):The purpose of my [Steven R. Sim] rebuttal testimony is to discuss and respond to a number of statements and recommendations made by Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) Witness Cooper who has filed testimony in this docket.
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SACE’s witness Witness Cooper declares there is a high level of uncertainty in the future. Then, when reviewing FPL’s current economic analysis of Turkey Point 6 &…

The Governor and the Red Heat of Nuclear Energy

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger wanted a bill that would ensure that 33% of the state’s energy would be powered by renewable energy sources by 2020. The legislature delivered just such a bill. The governor now threatens to veto it and impose a solution via executive order instead.Why?Environmentalists who have been told about the governor's still-evolving plans said Schwarzenegger also was considering directing the California Air Resources Board to look at broadening the state's definition of renewable energy sources to include large hydroelectric dams and nuclear energy plants.Right now, this is a comment just in passing. Nuclear energy isn’t renewable in the way the term is understood, so that’s just semantics. And Schwarzenegger hasn’t said, as far as we can find, that he feels the state can’t achieve its goal without nuclear – we’re going to assume it, but we don’t know it.What we do know is that the legislation had broad support – environmentalist, labor unions…

Yukiya Amano Takes Over at IAEA

And here we had just gotten used to Mohamed ElBaradei – we were almost fans:The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Monday formally appointed Yukiya Amano of Japan as its new director general from December 1, succeeding Mohamed ElBaradei.The 150 member states of the UN nuclear watchdog approved Amano -- who has been Tokyo's ambassador to the IAEA -- by acclamation on the first day of the agency's annual week-long general conference.And the takeaway on ElBaradei, who served for 12 years:ElBaradei, 67, has frequently come under fire, particularly from the United States, for being too soft on Iran, which is suspected of seeking to develop the atomic bomb under the guise of a civilian nuclear energy programme.That’s probably why were fans – he kept the agency’s balance between superpowers to the right of him and developing nations to the left of him. We’re not sure “He didn’t rat out his members” qualifies as retirement card material, but he faced a lot of graceless push…

Food for Thought: Belgian Publisher Says Nuclear Industry Should Engage Public on a More Emotional Level

From WNA's World Nuclear News:A nuclear plant as the setting for a new hit TV series? Popular entertainment media could prove to be more effective at engaging public support and acceptance for nuclear energy than past industry attempts to convince the world of nuclear's merits.

In a special presentation to the World Nuclear Association's 34th Annual Symposium, Belgian publisher and former nuclear engineer Alain Michel exhorted the nuclear industry to make more efforts to engage public support on an emotional level - and popular entertainment media would be the perfect platform to achieve this.

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After ten years of research on how public opinion of nuclear activities is affected by emotional influences such as television, film or books, Michel is convinced that nuclear communication should be more emotive. Pointing to the success of popular television series on a worldwide scale in raising the profile of certain professions - the CSI franchise and forensic medicine being but…

NEI's Energy Markets Report - August 31 - September 4, 2009

It's been a year and a half since I last highlighted NEI's Energy Markets Report on our blog. We've still been writing the reports but it just fell by the wayside on posting the latest here. Since the last time I posted one, the report has become a little more meaty in the text and we've added the Baker Hughes rig count on oil and gas.

I plan to start highlighting the report again on the blog but instead of pasting the whole text like I used to, I'll just throw out an interesting and useful nugget from the report and if you want more you know where to click. Also, if anyone would like to be put on the email distribution list to keep up in case I miss a post or two on the blog, my contact info is in the report. Hope you enjoy!From 1973 to 2008, total US energy consumption increased 31 percent, gross domestic product in chained 2005 dollars increased 170 percent, and total energy consumption per real dollar of GDP fell 51 percent - EIA’s latest Monthly Energy Review

Looking for a Few Good Anti-Nuclear Arguments

We’re always on the lookout for interesting anti-nuclear editorials. These days, the arguments have thinned out considerably – perhaps the fear factor enabled by Three Mile Island and Chernobyl has finally been beaten back by the pummeling of time, maybe the inability to deny the efficacy of nuclear energy in climate change discussions has just knocked the wind out of opponents. So we’re always interested in new arguments.So, color us giddy when the Pottstown (Penn.) Mercury gave us this:Every dollar directed to dangerous, polluting, and costly nuclear power in the energy bill is a dollar that won't be available for safer, more sustainable solar and wind power, which can be produced far sooner. Removing hundreds of billions in nuclear power giveaways (past and present), solar and wind power would be far cheaper without the risks. This is about loan guarantees, which the author(s), billed as the Alliance for a Clean Environment board of directors, don’t seem to understand represen…

Waiting for Coal’s Next Act

Even if one allows that the coal industry solves outstanding issues with carbon capture and sequestration – and it might - the rising tide of nuclear and renewable energy sources can make the coal industry look, fairly or unfairly, retrograde and outmoded. Although coal has made out pretty well in energy legislation so far, the industry clearly feels vulnerable, which leads to things like this:The chief executive of coal mining giant Massey Energy blasted supporters of climate-change legislation and other environmental issues affecting the coal industry at a free Labor Day concert and rally in southern West Virginia.CEO Don Blankenship said he wanted to show people at the event how government regulation is hurting the coal industry, driving up energy prices and making the country less competitive.Well, Blankenship has to say something, and these are arguable points. But then:Headlining the event were Fox News personality Sean Hannity and [Hank] Williams [Jr.], while rocker Ted Nugent…

News Video of Three Mile Island's Steam Generator Replacement Project

WGAL Channel 8 caught the video and pictures of one of two 510 ton steam generators crawling off the barge in Maryland. Here's TMI's page describing the project:Exelon Nuclear entered into a contract with AREVA NP Inc., to design and build TMI's replacement steam generators. The cost of replacing TMI Unit 1's steam generators is a $300 million investment into the plant. The replacement steam generators will have numerous material and design enhancements compared to the original steam generators, such as Alloy 690 tubing for reliability and longevity, use of forgings to minimize pressure vessel welds, and improved access for inspections.By now, both steam generators should be on their 75 mile, 20 day land journey to Three Mile Island from Port Deposit, MD. I wish I could be the driver for those mammoths!

From a Position of Strength: NEI on the Energy Bill

We’d be remiss not to note an exceptionally good op-ed from NEI’s President and CEO, Marv Fertel, over at the Hill. He actually returns focus to the energy bill, which has been hibernating after passing the House while health care took center stage, and proposes some ideas that bolster the nuclear energy industry without breaking the bank at Monte Carlo. The timing’s about right – energy will return to view in the next few weeks – so let’s look at the bullet points:• Ensure that the volume of loan guarantees available for new reactors is comparable to other carbon-free electricity sources and refining the Department of Energy loan guarantee program in key areas that are slowing implementation of the program;• Provide new tax stimulus for investment in new nuclear energy facilities, new nuclear component manufacturing and workforce development;• Expand the existing production tax credit to all new reactors that produce electricity by 2021;• Reduce the time to market for advanced react…

The Money Trap

If we didn’t like nuclear power very much and our arguments against it were running a little thin, we might consider using current events as a wedge. For example, you may have heard that the economy has been struggling. Hence:The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, which is opposing new nuclear plants in several states, will ask the PSC to re-evaluate the urgency for new nuclear energy in Florida given the recession and the slowing growth of the utilities' customer base.This comes from the Orlando Sentinel and nowhere in the story does the SACE say anything about mutated alligators making a meal out of grandma or radioactive sludge in the everglades. It’s all about the money – admittedly a big subject for all power plants, but most particularly for nuclear energy plants. So what is the response?Progress officials said Friday they have already taken into account the country's economic downturn and its project's construction delays by reducing how much they want to bill cus…

Some Labor Day Weekend Reading: Blogroll Updates and "Unique Reactors"

It's been awhile since we've updated our blogroll and we have quite a few new blogs to add. In alphabetical order we have Brave New Climate from Australia who's author, Barry Brooks, writes about climate change and nuclear power. The quality and detail of his posts have generated a ridiculous amount of discussion and have been quite enjoyable to read.

From the industry we have the NAYGN Clean Energy Insight crewwho we've highlighted before and Clean Energy America who's authors speak around the country at college campuses, civic groups, radio stations and other venues.

Then we have Nuclear Power? Yes Please who's authors span from Japan, Netherlands and Sweden. They caught my attention when they blasted a lame Greenpeace argument.

Sad to say, We Support Lee has been permanently deleted, we're going to miss her posts. But the new nuclear plant she advocated so strongly for is still trucking along in the licensing process.

On a different note and for some weeken…

NEI's Field Trip to the PJM Interconnection Hub

Last week about 30 of us from NEI took a field trip to the PJM Interconnection hub in Valley Forge, PA to learn how the electric grid operates. For those who may not know, the "PJM Interconnection is a regional transmission organization (RTO) that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in all or parts of 13 states and the District of Columbia." PJM is currently the world's largest competitive wholesale electricity market and what I find fascinating about the hub is that it can manage the flow of electricity hundreds of miles away.

When we arrived, we had the fortunate opportunity to listen to PJM's CEO give us an overview of their operations as well as allow us to shoot tons of questions at him. After he finished, our other hosts took us to the control room which was located several floors below ground level. Talk about an IT person's dream (or nightmare). Two video walls totaling about 100 feet wide by 30 feet tall display information on power plants, …

Rod Adams Takes On NIRS' Scorecard on the Nuclear Industry's Recent Failures

Last week, the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) issued a myopic press release dismissing the recent successes of the nuclear industry based only on how many states overturned their ban on building new nuclear plants. From Rod:According to NIRS, there have been six attempts in 2009 by the nuclear industry to overturn existing state laws that effectively ban projects to build new nuclear power plants or the collection of construction work in progress payments (CWIP) before beginning to operate plants in rate regulated states. NIRS has claimed that each of these attempts has failed. The six states listed on the NIRS score card are Kentucky, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and Hawaii.Funny enough, Rod found this fact about one of the states that NIRS counted:I learned something by listening to the conference call and the question and answer session on streaming audio that people who read the press release will not learn - Wisconsin has not even had their legi…