If Helen Caldicott keeps distorting data about USEC's operations, we're going to keep responding. The latest example comes from nuclear energy veteran Wally Taylor, who recently wrote a letter to NEI Vice President Scott Peterson:
Mr. Peterson,Elizabeth Stuckle of USEC wrote us a note in response:
A recent letter to the editor at the Bloomington Pantagraph in Bloomington IL alleged that the Fuel Enrichment facilities produced 93% of the CFC emissions for the USA. I thought that number was a little high, given that, to my uncertain knowledge, the only operating enrichment facility in the USA, the USEC plant at Paducah, doesn't use CFCs as a process consumable. I believe that they only use CFC as a coolant medium and that any emissions they have come from leakage, not planned emissions.
I did some web based research and the earliest reference I can find comes from a debate that you had with Dr. Helen Caldecott, moderated by Juan Gonzalez. Dr. Caldecott stated that she got this number from the DOE.
So, I don't believe it. But I haven't been able to trace it's provenance. Did you or NEI follow up on that claim and can you share your information with me?
35 years in the Nuclear Industry and proud of it!
Caldicott Assertion A: Uranium enrichment uses 93 percent of the CFC gas released annually in the United States.Remember, if she keeps it up, so will we. For another blogger's take on Caldicott from her native Australia, click here.
USEC Response A
That calculation is based on 2001 data, when USEC was operating two enrichment facilities. That year, USEC consolidated production at its Paducah plant.
The shutdown of the Portsmouth, OH plant and improvements made in control of CFCs at Paducah have enabled USEC to reduce CFC emissions by about two-thirds.
The Paducah gaseous diffusion plant was built in the 1950s. USEC plans to replace it with highly efficient gas centrifuge technology, which will use no CFCs. The American Centrifuge Plant is expected to begin operations later this decade.
Caldicott Assertion B: Uranium enrichment uses electricity generated by coal-fired plants.
USEC Response B
USEC purchases the majority of its electricity from the Tennessee Valley Authority, which produces electricity using a supply mix of 61% coal, 29% nuclear and 9% hydropower.
The remainder of USEC's purchased power comes primarily from natural gas and nuclear plants.
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