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Showing posts from June, 2007

The New NEI Web Site

Over the past several months, I'm sure many of you have noticed that posting on the blog has become, well, a little more "bursty" than it had been historically. The reasons for that are pretty simple, as I've been deeply involved in the redesign of NEI's public Web site for a number of months now.

It's been an arduous process at times, but now the we're looking to launch the brand new site at the end of July. While it may be a number of weeks before the site goes live, I'm happy to give our readers a sneak peak of what's coming next. Again, click the image in order to enlarge it:


As you can see, the new site is quite an upgrade over the current one when it comes to design. But the changes didn't end there, as we re-wrote mounds of content, and reorganized hosts of links into a structure that was easier to understand and a whiz to navigate.

As we get closer to the actual launch date, I'll be sharing more details of what's to come next.…

Exelon Announces Two Possible Texas Plant Sites

From the Houston Chronicle:
Exelon Nuclear has picked two possible sites for for a proposed nuclear plant both located southwest of the Houston area.

Illinois-based Exelon, which operates the largest number of nuclear plants in the country, is considering building a plant in Matagorda County or Victoria County.

If it goes forward the primary site is a 1,250-acre tract about 10 miles south of Collegeport in Matagorda County. The secondary site covers 11,500 acres about 20 miles south of Victoria in Victoria County.

Matagorda County is already home to the The South Texas Project, near Bay City. The owners of that plant is seeking to build two new reactors.

The proposed sites are needed to seek a permit allowing the company to build and operate a plant, should it go decide to build one.

Exelon said it expects to submit the application to the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission in November of 2008.UPDATE: Our friends at Exelon have shared a map of the designated sites with us. Click the imag…

A Sense of Humor is the Best Defense

A Czech pro-nuclear group turns the tables on their anti-nuke counterparts in Austria:
The members of Start Zwentendorf, a freshly minted Czech nuclear power advocacy group, are on a bold mission. “We call for the immediate launch of Zwentendorf nuclear power plant,” the group’s Web site proclaims. “Austria’s populist, alibistic, unecological politics must stop.”

Zwentendorf, Austria’s only nuclear power plant, has been inactive since its completion in 1978, when Austrians decided in a public referendum they would prefer not to launch it.

Start Zwentendorf (SZ), an open-source community that operates through an online wiki site and has no organizational hierarchy, claims to be a partner organization of Austria’s Stop Temelín, an anti-nuclear group. The latter has for years been a vocal opponent of the Czech Republic’s Temelín nuclear power plant, organizing border blockade demonstrations to protests a perceived lack of safety measures.

SZ says the inactive Zwentendorf is more harmful to t…

Lithuania Takes Next Step Toward Baltic Nuclear Plant

From Reuters:
Lithuania's parliament adopted a law on Thursday on building a new nuclear power plant, the formal start of a project that is expected to involve Baltic neighbours Estonia and Latvia as well as Poland.

The 3,000-3,500 megawatt plant, to replace the ageing Soviet-era Ignalina nuclear reactor, which has to be shut down under a deal with the European Union, is expected to be built by 2015.

One goal is to strengthen the region's energy independence from Russia.

"Lithuania has made a strategic step, which will enhance our energy independence and strengthen our cooperation with partners in the region," Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas told parliament after the vote.

The Cost of Concentrated Solar Power

From today's edition of Electric Power Daily (no link):
EPRI estimates that a 500-MW solar plant would cost about $1.5 billion, or $3,000/kW, Bedard said. A just-built 64-MW solar plant in Nevada cost about $4,000/kW, he said. Nevada Power is buying the output from the Nevada Solar One project.

EPRI has had little involvement with solar power in the last decade, Bedard said. But climate change and renewable portfolio standards have renewed utility interest in the technology.

Currently, electricity from a CSP plant costs about 16 cents/kWh, compared with 7 cents/kWh for wind and 5.5 cents/kWh for coal, he said.That's a serious chunk of change.

The BP Annual Energy Review

In conjunction with the release of its World Energy Review, BP has also released an energy charting tool and conversion calculator that allow you to manipulate the data in some very interesting ways.

I played with it to create this chart about U.S. consumption of nuclear energy between 1965 and 2006:
Kudos to BP for doing such a great job. Applications like these really help advance public understanding of energy issues. And it doesn't hurt that they're fun to use too. Dive in, there's no reason for me to have all the fun.

Re-Running Old Anti-Nuke Arguments

Back in April, David Bradish posted an extensive debunking of a Council of Foreign Relations report on nuclear energy. Now, the author of that same report, Charles Ferguson, is back with another article in the pages of Foreign Policy magazine. But this time, our friend Rod Adams is stepping in to do the debunking:
As is often the case with anti-nuclear arguments, there are some elements of truth to the above litany, but my response as a problem solver is to think and act on ways to overcome as many of the obstacles as possible. Fortunately, many of them are imposed by humans, so they can be solved by humans. It seems to me that it is easier to solve a problem like excessive licensing delays or lack of a sufficient skilled work force than it is to solve the basic physics, chemistry, supply or weather related shortcomings of other energy sources.

Nothing I can imagine any humans doing is going to make the wind reliable, the sun shine at night or through clouds, crops grow in winter or r…

Atomic Show #63: The Adams Atomic Engine

Here's a twist in the usual Atomic Show podcast: Instead of being the host, this time our friend Rod Adams is the guest on his own show, with the hosting duties falling to Daily Kos diarist, N Nadir.

What's the occasion? Rod is talking about his baby, the Adams Atomic Engine. Give it a listen.

POSTSCRIPT: And speaking of N Nadir, he's been on something of a roll lately over at Daily Kos. Click here for his diary. You'll be glad you did.

A European Leftist for Nuclear Energy

With U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair leaving office today, I couldn't help but notice the following passage from a blog written by a Labor Party supporter from the U.K. about the political left and nuclear energy:
It is the duty of the left to protect the livelihoods and interests working people whether it be jobs at the local level or combating climate change on the world stage. Therefore the left must endorse nuclear power as the only sensible way forward whilst striving for increased investment in renewable energy.Interesting.

British Energy CEO: Operational Life of U.K. Power Stations Must Be Extended

From Reuters:
The lives of Britain's nuclear power stations must be extended where possible to meet the country's needs for CO2-free power, the chief executive of British Energy said on Tuesday.

"I think it's imperative that we maximise the stations we have," Bill Coley told Reuters on the sidelines of the Unite Nuclear New Build conference in London.

"I'm talking about extending their lives -- not just British Energy's stations, but all the stations in the UK."Sounds like an idea that should gain traction elsewhere in Europe. For more discussion, click here.

An Energy Decision in California

For a state so concerned with controlling greenhouse gas emissions, Ruth Sponsler is wondering why California isn't doing more to roll back its moratorium on new nuclear build:
At some point, California will be stuck between a rock and a hard place as it attempts to meet emissions reductions while at the same time providing sufficient electricity to meet the needs of its residents and information economy. California still has some time to do the small and medium-sized things first. Some of California's wind farms are in the range of hundreds of megawatts.

But, sooner or later, that state will need need thousands of MW of emissions-free energy. That will be the time when California will be forced to choose between hanging onto its 30-year-old nuclear power construction moratorium...orBe sure to read the rest.

Bodman on the Need for New Nuclear

Energy Secretary Sam Bodman was in Boston yesterday to address the annual meeting of the American Nuclear Society. Here's an excerpt:
[W]e must expand access to safe and emissions-free nuclear power in a way that responsibly manages waste and dramatically reduces proliferation risks. This is a tall order. But, it can and should be done. Because - and this is a critical point - at present, nuclear power is the only mature technology that can supply large amounts of emissions-free base load power to help us meet the expected growth in demand.

Yes, there are other technologies available or under development - from wind power to biomass to clean-coal and to carbon sequestration and energy efficiency technologies - that can have a big impact on our energy security.

But, if we are talking about what is available to order right now that would have a material impact on our ability to produce homegrown, clean power, we must talk nuclear.Read the rest right now.

Brazil Eyes Third Reactor

From the AP:
Brazil's energy council on Monday recommended the country resume construction of its third nuclear power plant.

The National Energy Policy Council will send its recommendation to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who will make a final decision on whether to restart work on the plant, said interim Mines and Energy Minister Nelson Hubner.

There is no timetable for Silva's decision.

Brazil currently has two operating nuclear plants, Angra 1 and Angra 2, with an installed capacity of about 2,000 megawatts. The plants are near the coastal city of Angra dos Reis.

Angra 3, located in the same region, would raise capacity to 3,300 megawatts. Work on the third plant began in 1984 but was stopped because of financing problems and concerns over security and the viability of nuclear power.For more on Brazil's possible plans, visit World Nuclear News.

On Nuclear Energy, Cooling and the Steam Cycle

It's June, so it's time to trot out the old charge that Summer heat waves are going to shut down nuclear power plants around the world. This time, the story appeared in the Globe and Mail, so I guess I ought to link to Lisa Stiles-Shell's original rebuttal.

Then again, I wonder why we haven't seen more attention paid to the performance of wind power during California's heat wave last Summer.

GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy Submits ESBWR for U.K. Regulatory Review

Just off the wire:
GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) today submitted its ESBWR reactor design to government regulators in London to initiate the generic design assessment (GDA) process as the United Kingdom considers whether to build a new fleet of reactors to help meet its energy and emissions-reduction requirements.

GEH is seeking “design acceptance confirmation” from U.K. nuclear energy regulators – the Health and Safety Executive, the Environment Agencies and the Office for Civil Nuclear Security – which is required before utilities can seek to build new plants based on the ESBWR in the United Kingdom. The business also has begun adding staff to its U.K. nuclear project development team.

Included in its application, GEH submitted letters of endorsement from credible nuclear power operators stating they considered the ESBWR to be a serious contender for the first projects in a U.K. initiative to replace the country’s existing fleet of nuclear power plants. GEH received letters of endors…

Should the Nuclear Energy Industry Be More Confrontational With Its Critics?

From time to time, readers of NEI Nuclear Notes have urged our industry to get more confrontational with our critics in the public space. Last night up in Peterborough, Ontario, one Greenpeace volunteer, Shawn-Patrick Stensil, ran straight into a number of industry advocates who had obviously had enough:
Early into Stensil's presentation Martyn Wash, general manager of the Organization of Candu Industries, asked Stensil if he was a scientist and questioned his credibility.

The two got into a heated conversation during the question and answer portion of the evening, each accusing the other of providing misinformation.

"They come here and tell half-truths," Wash said, referring to Stensil and Greenpeace.

Wash told The Examiner Greenpeace bases their argument from facts and figures dating back to the ’50s and ’60s.

"Greenpeace presents a story based on falsehoods," Wash said.

It is important to have a dialogue on the future of nuclear energy, Wash said, but there needs…

President Bush at Browns Ferry

From the Huntsville Times:
President Bush, speaking at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant in Athens, said the nation's energy policy "must include" the use of nuclear power and he called for the construction of new nuclear plants across the country.

"It's time for our country to start building nuclear power plants again," he said. "It's one thing to restart one, and I congratulate you. It's another thing to build a new one."

At the outset of his comments, Bush thanked TVA workers for bringing in the Unit 1 reactor restart "on budget and on time." The unit was restarted on May 22 after being dormant for 22 years.

He announced his Nuclear Power 2010 initiative to remove "regulatory burdens" that might hold up the approval and construction of new nuclear power plants. TVA is looking to build a new plant at Bellefonte near Scottsboro, a nuclear plant that was never completed.More later.

Strong Bipartisan Support Shown For Yucca Mountain Repository

Congress sent another strong signal yesterday that the deep geologic repository planned at Yucca Mountain, Nev. is a vital component of our national used nuclear fuel management policy.

Congressman Jon Porter (R-NV), proposed an amendment that would have cut funding for the Yucca Mountain program previously approved by the House Committee on Appropriations. However, his bid to slash over $200 million from the project was met with resounding opposition.

In a sizable margin that represented large numbers of both Democrats and Republicans, the proposed amendment failed with just 80 in favor and 351 opposed.

That reflects an increase in support for the project over previous House votes regarding the used nuclear fuel repository. When the House voted to select Yucca Mountain as the site for the program in 2002, there were 306 votes in support and 117 against. Last year, another amendment which would have restricted activity at the site also failed, 271-147.

According to the Las Vegas Revi…

Why California Needs More Nuclear Power

In today's Chico Enterprise-Record (CA), Lionel Brooks has something to say about how his home state is going about constraining greenhouse has emissions:
We may find ourselves with mandated wind power that is good as long as the wind blows, solar power that is good so long as the sun shines, and bio-power so long as the area of fertile land can be prepared and harvested.

Remember the adage, "There is no gain without pain," because that is how politicians work. The real pain-free answer is to replace aging coal-fired plants with nuclear plants. They emit no CO2. Surely the Russians, Chinese, Indians, Japanese and French can't be all that wrong in pressing ahead with nuclear. Automobiles that will need to charge batteries overnight in the garage will require a reliable and abundant supply of electric power. The day is coming when most cars will have batteries and the governor should be planning for them.I guess Mr. Brooks must have read this post from last year.

When BREDL Makes Claims, Be Sure to Check the Data

Yesterday, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) unveiled a study that makes some startling claims about the community that hosts the Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant in Georgia:
The number of people dying from cancer in Burke County is on the rise, and one group says a nuclear plant may be to blame.

A new study released by the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League shows the number of people dying of cancer in Burke County has shot up 25%, while the rest of country's cancer rate was on the decline.

"If I lived in this county I'd want to know why these numbers are increasing," said Louis Zeller with Blue Ridge.

[...]

But the most startling statistic is the change in infant mortality. In Burke County the number of infant deaths increased 70% compared to the other surrounding counties in the CSRA. But even the backers of the study admit waste from other plants could be contributing to the problem.

"It's like a crime being committed, but too many suspects to…

National Enrichment Facility Pours First Concrete

June 15, 2007 was a big day at the National Enrichment Facility in New Mexico. From a special edition of a newsletter we received here at NEI:
This was not your normal, ordinary Friday. Today was special. A major construction milestone was reached at 11:15 a.m. with the first concrete placement for the National Enrichment Facility.

A small crowd gathered around the central utilities building (CUB) vault to watch the event. The CUB will be the heart of the plant. Power, from the electrical sub station, will enter the CUB vault (or cable spreading room) and be distributed throughout the plant.

It took ten concrete trucks (or approximately 100 cubic yards of concrete) for the outside wall footer of the CUB vault. A third party testing agency performed various tests for every 50 cubic yards of concrete to ensure the quality level was met or
exceeded.Congrats to everyone at NEF for reaching an important milestone.

WEC: World Must Embrace Nuclear Energy

From Reuters:
The world must embrace nuclear power if it is to create a low carbon economy this century and beat global warming, electricity generators said on Wednesday.

The World Energy Council (WEC) said nuclear electricity was not a panacea, and had to go hand in hand with other low carbon technologies, but it would be crucial to the energy mix.

The WEC said renewables like wind, waves, solar and hydro had a role to play but would in most cases not be deployed quickly enough to decarbonise electricity production which accounts for 41 percent of world carbon dioxide emissions.

"If we are going to get through this century we had better assure ourselves that nuclear power is available for our coming generations," said Kurt Yeager, lead author of the WEC's "Energy and Climate Change" report to be released on Thursday.

The report says climate policies globally have proved inadequate to meet the challenge of global warming and governments need to be far sighted and bo…

China Takes Greenhouse Gas Emissions Lead

From The Age (Australia):
CHINA has surged past the United States to become the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, beating even the most pessimistic predictions that it would take at least another year to outstrip the US.

The findings, by a Dutch environmental agency that advises the Netherlands Government, sharply raises the stakes as world leaders try to reach a climate accord — to include China and the US — to succeed the 1997 Kyoto protocol when it expires in 2012.

Australia, which is hosting the next APEC summit, has been lobbying the US and China to strike a regional deal on climate change in Sydney in September. But in its first action plan on climate change, released this month, China committed itself to improving energy efficiency but rejected mandatory emission cuts, as the US is demanding, dealing such hopes a blow.

President Bush to Visit Browns Ferry

From the Decatur Daily:
Athens is to experience a first in its history when the nation's president visits Thursday.

A White House spokesman confirmed that President Bush will be in Athens at 1:15 p.m. to tour the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant and make remarks.

Limestone County archivist Philip Reyer said to his knowledge, a sitting president has never visited Athens.

Although local officials could not say if Bush initiated the visit, it is part of an effort by Bush to push long-stalled energy legislation in Congress. Bills in both the Senate and House include provisions designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Bush has said nuclear power is one of the best ways to reduce such emissions, especially the carbon dioxide most scientists believe contributes to global warming.

The restart of Unit 1 in May made Browns Ferry one of the largest nuclear plants in the country. The unit, shut down in 1985, is going through a gradual power increase and review process.You'll remember back in 2005…

Understanding the Lie of the Anti-nuclear Activist

While reading my Google Alerts today, I came across a gem of a blog entitled, Understanding the Lie Of The Nuclear Cycle.

It occurs to me that there are plenty of reasons to be against just about any source of energy, be it fossil fuels (CO2), nuclear (waste), or even wind (ecological impact), solar (toxic waste), or hydro (migratory fish). But when the facts aren't sensational enough to stir up emotional opposition, the anti-(fill in the blank) need only make something up.

Take cancer rates for instance.

We've all heard the far-fetched claims of often-debunked pediatrician-turned-nuclear-expert Helen Caldicott before: Cancer rates are higher around nuclear facilities. But the questions she can never answer, even when asked face to face: If your claims are true, then why do medical studies, such as the one performed by Johns Hopkins University of over 30,000 nuclear workers, show no increase in cancer rates - even for the people who work closest with this radioactive material? Wh…

News on the Electric Grid

From Reuters:
Most people in the United States only think about where electricity comes from when the lights go out suddenly.

But unless the antiquated transmission grid is fixed, expensive blackouts that bring modern life to a grinding halt will become ever more common, according to "Lights Out" (Wiley, $27.95), a new book by Jason Makansi.Then again ...
The average US electricity customer loses power for more than three hours annually – outages that cost the US economy about $80 billion.

That may be about to change.

America's power grid has a new cop on the beat, ready to slap stiff fines on power companies that don't meet new national standards for grid reliability. The standards become mandatory on Monday.

Reliance on voluntary guidelines and collegial cooperation among power companies is out. Fines of as much as $1 million a day are in – levied by the North American Reliability Corp. (NERC), which is freshly armed with a federal mandate.

Giving Nuclear Energy a Second Look in California

Over at Inside Bay Area.com, Sarah Tribble has put together a nice overview of why policymakers in California are giving nuclear energy a second look. Here's a passage that made me smile:
As California grapples with global warming, energy-industry leaders, environmentalists and policy-makers are subtly — but significantly — starting to shift their thinking about the controversial power source.

"Nuclear power has to be part of the solution," Stanford University President John Hennessy said at an alternative-energy gathering in Palo Alto this spring. "Can we really understand the notion of risk? Nuclear plants versus carbon emissions — which will kill and has killed more people?"

The audience applauded.Here, here.

Relicensing Indian Point

The editorial board at The Journal News in New York met last week with NRC licensing staff - P.T. Kuo, director of the license renewal division; Rani Franovich, licence renewal branch chief, and Bo Pham, manager for the Indian Point review. Click here for excerpts of the discussion.

Blogging 101 With EPRI

I know Monday's are usually the busiest day of the week here at NEI Nuclear Notes, but a combination of meetings and other duties have kept me away from the keyboard. And now, I'm actually going to be doing a presentation on blogging for the folks at EPRI.

Look for some updates later tonight. Please check back then.

The Keystone Report on Nuclear Energy

From the NEI newsroom:
Capping a year-long evaluation of nuclear energy by a diverse group of experts, The Keystone Center today issued a report that details the group’s consensus that U.S. nuclear power plants are safer today with an improved safety culture; that climate change policies will improve nuclear energy’s relative economics, and that options are available today to safely manage used fuel.

The report, a “joint fact-finding on nuclear power,” was undertaken to provide an “assessment” of nuclear energy amid growing discussion – in policy circles and among the general public – of the technology’s appropriate role in the nation’s energy future.

“Nuclear technology is re-emerging as a power generation option in the face of concerns about climate change, energy demand growth, and the relative cost of competing technologies,” the report states.For a copy of the final report, click here.

Following Greenpeace, Follow the Money

Plenty of our friends in the anti-nuclear movement often go to great pains to detail many of the PR activities that groups like NEI engage in -- Sourcewatch, being just one example.

But all too often, many of those same groups won't reveal the sources of their funding. Which is why this exchange between Rod Adams and one of his readers -- who isn't a native speaker of English -- caught my eye:
I have a friend whose girlfriend was a speaker of Greenpeace for antinuclear matters in the Czech republic, now she does the same ... for Calla (a similar organization), that is a long story, but anyways my friend, boyfriend of this lady, told me once with a surprised face: "all this environmentalists movements in Czechia are financed from Austria, you didn't know that? I thought everybody knows that."Sounds like something somebody ought to look into.

When It Comes To The Energy Work Force, Things Are Tough All Over

Goeffrey Styles:
Two weeks ago I looked (5/25/07) at the risk that higher biofuels mandates would deter the expansion of US refineries. Today's Wall Street Journal examines another constraint on those expansions: an industry-wide shortage of experienced personnel, along with higher construction costs. This problem is another consequence of the extended "wilderness years" from which the sector has only recently emerged. Two decades of low margins and large investments to comply with expanding environmental regulations imposed cost pressures that forced refineries to run as leanly as possible. In the meantime, an entire generation found employment in other, flashier industries. Unfortunately for consumers, the bill is coming due now.That sounds a lot like the situation the nuclear sector faces, as our work force continues to age, and we need to recruit more new workers into the employment pipeline. For more, click here.

Maine House Tables Nuclear Study Group Proposal

Maine Representative Bob Walker is concerned about his state's energy future, so he introduced legislation in that state' House of Representatives to create a nuclear energy study group to prepare to build new nuclear power plants.

Unfortunately, the effort was defeated:
A roll call vote this week, which divided along party lines, approved a motion to “indefinitely postpone” the Walker amendment, effectively killing it.

Rep. Walker submitted the legislation to amend LD 1851, a bill to establish the State of Maine as a member of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a 10-state agreement designed to reduce emission of carbon dioxide by electricity generating plants. That bill has been passed by the Legislature.

The Walker amendment would have created the Maine Nuclear Power Council to explore the need for carbon-free alternatives for power generation.

The council, consisting of seven members, would have been responsible for examining ways to reduce Maine’s reliance on fossil…

Another Blogger Tires of Helen Caldicott

Last year during Helen Caldicott's book tour, my colleague David Bradish did some excellent work debunking it chapter by chapter. In my regular reading this morning, I came across a blog post that seems to suggest that the truth about Caldicott is getting out:
I got a suggestion for Ms. Caldicott, we need alternatives to fossil fuels NOW. We should have been looking at alternatives to fossil fuels in the 80’s when she was destroying nuclear energy and not offering any viable alternatives. Because of her actions, we are in a hell of a crunch NOW. Sure, being green is great, and is the ultimate future of energy, but because of people like Caldicott, we’re in a jam NOW. In the 80’s, she killed off a non-fossil-fuel source of energy and gave us NOTHING. Now, 20 years later, she’s wanting to kill of a non-fossil-fuel source of energy and is offering us NOTHING.

So, excuse me if I suggest that the people that got us in this mess be ignored and we listen to people with some answers. Nucle…

South Africa Places its Bets on Nuclear Energy

Columnist Melanie Gosling has taken a look at South Africa's energy budget, and she doesn't like what she sees:
Eskom has a budget of R6-billion for nuclear energy, but a mere R4,5-million for renewable energy.

This vast difference in South Africa's energy spending was highlighted at the Renewable Energy and Climate Change conference on Thursday, hosted by the Western Cape's department of environmental affairs and development planning.

Yaw Afrane-Okese, renewable energy specialist at the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa), told delegates that part of Nersa's job was to review Eskom's budget.

He said anyone who compared the amount Eskom spent on nuclear energy with the amount it spent on renewable energy, would be "amazed".

"If you compare this (R4,5m on renewables) to the billions on nuclear energy, really, there is nothing green here, far from green," Afrane-Okese said.On the contrary, I think there's plenty of green in South …

A Democrat's Take on Greenpeace

In his latest diary at Daily Kos, N Nadir takes a closer look at Greenpeace and its methods:
Greenpeace is an organization that proudly announces that it is it acceptable to deal with half of the problem of climate change two full generations from now. Never mind that the means by which this dealing with half of the problem is dubious and has remained dubious for many decades in spite of similar past wishful thinking and cheering, or that energy demand should be expected to rise if we are to eliminate poverty, from where exactly does Greenpeace think that all the oil and coal and gas to cover the half they don't talk about is going to come? This is NOT an environmentalist position.

Greenpeace is an organization that files suits against nuclear power plants and then announces that nuclear power is too expensive because people file suits against nuclear power plants. Greenpeace is an organization that announces that so called "nuclear waste" cannot be shipped because t…

Are Environmentalists In Favor of Anything?

From the Wall Street Journal:
Al Gore has been hectoring Americans to pare back their lifestyles to fight global warming. But if Mr. Gore wants us to rethink our priorities in the face of this mother of all environmental threats, surely he has convinced his fellow greens to rethink theirs, right?

Wrong. If their opposition to the Klamath hydroelectric dams in the Pacific Northwest is any indication, the greens, it appears, are just as unwilling to sacrifice their pet causes as a Texas rancher is to sacrifice his pickup truck. If anything, the radicalization of the environmental movement is the bigger obstacle to addressing global warming than the allegedly gluttonous American way of life. . . .

These dams provide cheap, renewable energy to 70,000 homes in Oregon and California. Replacing this energy with natural gas -- the cleanest fossil-fuel source -- would still pump 473,000 tons of additional carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. This is roughly equal to the annual emissions…

Winning the Public Relations Battle One Mind at a Time

A few days ago, I noted a post from Steven Aplin about how Ontario's achievements in carbon emissions reduction are being purposely ignored by environmental activists.

Then again, there are others who understand the need for new nuclear, like David Goodings of Burlington, Ontario, who wrote the following in a letter to the editor in the Toronto Star:
Like the proverbial generals who continue to fight the last war while preparing for the next one, Greenpeace Canada's Dave Martin continues to tilt against nuclear power with 30-year-old arguments – despite the fact that the world around him has dramatically changed.

An entirely different opinion was recently expressed by the co-founder of Greenpeace, Patrick Moore, who had this to say in a May 11, 2007 article in the Hamilton Spectator: "When I helped found Greenpeace in Vancouver in the 1970s, my colleagues and I were firmly opposed to nuclear energy. But times have changed. I now realize nuclear energy is the only non-greenho…

GE and Hitachi Make Nuclear Joint Venture Official

I know we've mentioned this news before, but in case you missed the press release earlier this week:
GE and Hitachi, Ltd. have today completed the first half of their agreement to form a global alliance of their nuclear businesses, creating one of the world’s most comprehensive nuclear power plant and services operations that will compete for new reactor projects around the world.

The global business that will operate throughout the world, excluding Japan, is called “GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy” and officially began business today. It is 60% owned by GE and 40% by Hitachi, and will be led by the executives of GE’s current nuclear business.

In Japan, the business is planning to begin operations in early July and will be called “Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy.” It will be owned 80.01% by Hitachi and 19.99% by GE and will be led by the executives of Hitachi’s current nuclear business. All entities will share a joint advisory committee.

With climate change and energy security concerns driving a …

NEI Energy Markets Report (May 28th - June 1st)

Here's a summary of what went on in the energy markets last week:

Electricity prices were mostly increasing throughout the country. Prices experienced jumps greater than $10 in the East and Midwest (see pages 1 & 2).Gas prices fell at the Henry Hub $0.05 to $7.60 / MMBtu (see page 4).Uranium prices rose to $138 / lb U3O8 and $135 / lb U3O8 according to TradeTech and Ux Consulting (see page 7).By 2011, the following amounts of new generating capacity are expected to start up:
39,000 MW coal; 46,000 MW natural gas; and 29,000 MW wind (see page 8).For the report click here (pdf). It is also located on NEI's Nuclear Statistics webpage.

Ontario: The Best Kept Secret in Emissions Reduction

Steven Aplin says that what's been happening in the energy sector in Ontario deserves more attention:
Canada has achieved major greenhouse gas reductions in recent years (see article). This is due almost entirely to reductions in Ontario’s power generating sector, where emissions were 15 million tonnes lower in 2006 than in 2003.

It’s depressing that nobody knows about this. Professional environmental advocates pretend the reductions didn’t take place, for two reasons. First, they are partisan to a fault, and their partisan leanings are definitely not toward the federal Conservatives. So they don’t want to give any credit to a party they don’t like. Second, they don’t like the cause of the emission reductions: nuclear power.

Hence, they never mention Ontario’s stunning reversal. Nor, for the most part, do their media interlocutors. Instead, they trot out phony scorecards like the one today from the World Wildlife Federation, which puts Canada in second-last place among greenhouse gas…

Why Wisconsin is Looking at Nuclear Energy Again

The Green Bay Press-Gazette has an update on the proposed legislation we reported on last month concerning a possible lifting of the state's moratorium on new nuclear build:
Some might consider the push for nuclear energy a step backward, but state Rep. Phil Montgomery says both can work together to build the energy supply.

The Republican from Ashwaubenon, who co-authored the state's renewable energy bill last year and chairs a special task force on nuclear energy, said nuclear power provides a larger and more constant supply of electricity to Wisconsin's energy portfolio. He said climatic conditions vary energy output for wind and solar, making them "peaking powers."

"What our task force showed is that nuclear is a vital part of that generating portfolio," Montgomery said. "And as plants and technology age, we are very much in a building mode again."

Two weeks ago, the task force proposed legislation that would make it easier to introduce new nuc…

IEA Warns Germany on Nuclear Phaseout

From our buddies at World Nuclear News:
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has warned that Germany's decision to phase out nuclear power would limit its full potential to reduce carbon emissions "without a doubt."

The IEA made the statement on the launch of its 2007 review of its summary of German energy policy. The agency publishes similar documents on policies in all its 26 member countries.

IEA executive director Claude Mandil praised German prudence on climate change, saying the country was promoting "sound, sustainable energy policy in Europe and around the world" through its presidencies of the Group of Eight industrialised nations (G8) and the EU. Nevertheless, he continued to say Germany was facing some key challenges in energy - one of which was the key issue of the nuclear phase-out.Not anything here that we haven't talked about in the past, but it's nice to see a third party confirm a possible crack-up in German energy policy.

NEI Sponsors Creative Coalition Webcast

Just off the wire, taking place right now:
The Creative Coalition brings a distinguished delegation and their keynote program, Talking the Talk: The Creative Coalition’s 21st Century Debate Dialogues, to New Hampshire for the 2008 CNN Presidential Debates. The Dialogue event will be moderated by The Creative Coalition Advisory Board member Lawrence O’Donnell, Jr. and feature notable thought leaders, policy makers and actors.

The dialogue will include viewpoints from the left, right and center, featuring syndicated columnist Arianna Huffington, Republican pollster Dr. Frank Luntz and CNN’s Bill Schneider who all will engage in a lively discussion on issues surrounding the Presidential election and offer an in-depth look at the debates. This event and brunch will be held on Monday, June 4th, the day after Sunday’s Democratic Candidate debate.

As the nonprofit, nonpartisan public advocacy arm of the arts and entertainment industry, The Creative Coalition works to mobilize and educate the …

Marc Fisher on Nuclear Energy

Recently, columnist Marc Fisher of the Washington Post took a visit to the North Anna Nuclear Station in Virginia to get a look at Dominion Virginia's possible plans to build a new reactor:
"The nuclear issue has hardly even come up" in the local debate over expanding North Anna, says the Dominion executive who runs the plant, Dan Stoddard. "The only real issue was the impact on the lake. People who live here often say, 'We're not opposed to the plant as long as we can't see it, hear it or smell it.' "

There is still great concern about the nation's failure to figure out what to do with the spent fuel rods that emerge from nuclear plants. But the path toward the new reactors seems relatively smooth. For now, all of the spent fuel ever produced at Lake Anna sits in rows of 14-foot-high concrete and steel canisters on an open-air concrete pad behind a barbed-wire fence near the power plant.

That's just too obvious an environmental problem -- …

NEI Energy Markets Report (May 21st - May 25th)

Here's a summary of what went on in the energy markets last week:
Electricity prices were mixed throughout the country (see pages 1 & 2).Gas prices fell at the Henry Hub $0.03 to $7.65 / MMBtu. The yearly weighted average rose to $6.71 / MMBtu (see page 4).Seven reactors were in refueling outages with two finishing last week. Seven reactors were down for maintenance last week (see pages 2 & 3). SO2 prices increased again last week to $624.80 / ton. (See page 7)For the report click here (pdf). It is also located on NEI's Nuclear Statistics webpage.

T. Boone Pickens on Nuclear Energy

From the Dallas Business Journal (subscribers only):
"More recently he (Rudy Guiliani) was speaking on the West Coast, and he said basically what (I) said in the Los Angeles Times: That the fuel of the future of course is going to be nuclear power. Got to have it; got to use it. It's clean. There have been no accidents with it, and you can get rid of the waste. That will be the first question about it. But Giuliani said we're not going to be energy independent; we're going to have to figure a way out of this. I think that's the way the question should be answered.Interesting.

Breaking Bread with a Pro-Nuclear Blogger

It's been a busy week filled with meetings and other responsibilities that have kept me away from blogging, but I wanted to take a few moments to write about a lunch meeting that my colleague David Bradish and I had earlier today with N Nadir, the famous pro-nuclear blogger who conducts his business over at Daily Kos.

As many of our readers know, we've been pointing to Nadir's (not his real name) posts at DailyKos for some time now, at times astonished at the sort of support nuclear energy can enjoy at a traditionally progressive blog like that one.

Then again, Nadir told me he wasn't surprised, as has been seeing a movement of a number of Democrats and others of a progressive political stripe give nuclear energy a second, and enthusiastic look.

We had a very interesting lunch, and Nadir passed along some advice that I'm sure to take to heart when it comes to confronting our industry's foes. In particular, Nadir made it clear that we needed to be more, not less c…