Thursday, July 29, 2010

Yucca Mountain, Urenco, a New Energy Bill

devin_nunes A few quick hits:

A US appeals court said Wednesday it would wait until the Nuclear Regulatory Commission rules on the Yucca Mountain appeal before the commission before it hears oral arguments in a lawsuit over the planned termination of the nuclear waste repository project.

This story from Platts concerns efforts to keep the license application for the Yucca mountain used fuel repository in review at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The Commission’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board earlier ruled that the Obama administration overreached in trying to withdraw the license application – because Yucca Mountain was set as the repository through legislation that only Congress can amend or repeal – and the NRC needs to affirm or deny this ruling. Which hasn’t happened yet, hence the court’s decision to wait. Read the whole story for more details.

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Urenco lately opened a uranium enrichment plant in New Mexico – the opening had an admirably bipartisan group of local and national politicians turn out to hail it and the economic boon it represented – and may have to turn out again.

On June 30, the plant received permission from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to start a second cascade, which is a series of centrifuges that separate uranium to be used in nuclear power plants. The company hopes to get permission for a third within the next couple weeks, Urenco spokesman Don Johnson said.

That’s good and it gets better.

The continued expansion is good news for the 800 construction workers currently on-site, Johnson said.

“We foresee the construction jobs will be with us for quite a while,” he said.

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A new energy bill – there’s been a fair number of them, some of them about specific energy generators, including nuclear energy, some providing alternatives to Democratic efforts – has been introduced in the House. This is one of the latter:

Congressman Devin Nunes, R[CA], was among five representatives that introduced new legislation today designed to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign energy, provide a cleaner environment and put Americans to work.

The bill, "A Roadmap for America's Energy Future," seeks to further domestic energy production that has grown by less than one percent in the last decade compared to a demand that has risen by more than 12%.

Here are some of its provisions:

Measures in the bill include exploring untapped resources of energy such as oil production in northern Alaska and oil shale deposits throughout the country while restoring confidence in offshore oil drilling through a special commission to investigate the Deepwater Horizon disaster off the Gulf Coast.

And in the nuclear sphere:

[T]he bill would expand nuclear power production and allow nuclear waste to be recycled while giving the military incentives to transfer to liquid coal rather than oil-based fuels.

Nunes has the full bill posted. Check over at his site for that.

1 comment:

DocForesight said...

Not to diminish the environmental or economic impact of the BP spill, nor to imply that better procedures and oversight may be needed with off-shore drilling, but this gives an interesting perspective on the comparative volumes of the event:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/38294088/What_Does_184_Million_Gallons_of_Oil_Look_Like?slide=9