Skip to main content

Jumping Fences

jumping_fenceDon’t try this at home:

An emergency was declared at the McGuire nuclear plant in Huntersville early Sunday morning after a security breach, according to a report from Duke Energy.

The report states that security saw someone climb over a fence into an unauthorized area around 3:30 a.m. on January 1.


According to police, 18-year-old David Hamilton Drake Jr. was arrested for first degree Trespassing.

Oh. Well, I can remember annoying some trainmen while crossing the switchyard as a shortcut to school and getting chased now and then. The most that would have happened to me was likely a severe beating – those were pretty tough guys.

The bottom line is: this is something not to do. Security forces don’t treat this kind of thing more lightly than those trainmen did.


Interesting article from the Yorkshire (U.K.) Post:

One third of all households in the UK will be in fuel poverty by 2030 unless the coalition Government rapidly moves to encourage and enable building of new nuclear plants, says a report released today.

The new report published by the Centre for Policy Studies, claims the number of homes in fuel poverty – defined as the need to spend more than 10 per cent of household income on fuel to maintain adequate warmth – could rise to nearly 8.5 million over the next 18 years, if nuclear energy generating capacity continues to fall as the Government delays approving new nuclear plants.

Fuel poverty. I don’t think I’ve heard that term before – if I had heard it, I’m not sure I’d have applied it to the British. The reason this would happen already implies how it will not happen – and unfortunately, that has nothing to do with nuclear energy:

Last winter, coal plants shouldered nearly 50 per cent of electricity demand and the report claims the coalition does not currently have the suitable plans in place to replace old coal and oil power supplies which will close by 2016 due to European Union rules.

Rules that don’t work don’t get implemented, so if the U.K. is threatened with “fuel poverty,” those coal plants will stay open.

Here’s the report, called The Atomic Clock. It’s very inside British energy. What I read sounds a bit like an industry wish list, or more generally a free trade screed like those produced by the Heritage Foundation here. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but it leads to a somewhat blinkered view.


Politico posted its 2012 Top 10 Energy Questions. Here’s the one about nuclear energy:

8) Is there a future for Yucca Mountain? A federal court in D.C. will hear arguments in a lawsuit led by Yucca supporters against the NRC over whether the agency can be compelled to complete its now-boxed review of the nuclear waste project without funding from Congress and with a president looking to nix it. If the court sides with Yucca supporters, the NRC might be forced — given the information already produced — into approving the project. But should the court side with the NRC, Yucca Mountain may actually stay dead.

“The NRC might be forced into approving the project.” The NRC would not be forced to do anything other than to finish reviewing the license application. It could choose then to approve or not approve it based on the application’s merits.

Though it’s not exactly unfair to call the lawsuit’s backers “Yucca supporters,” (they include the states of Washington and South Carolina, Aiken County, S.C., and several individuals), it’s not a fan club. The idea here is simply to enforce the law, specifically the Waste Policy Act of 1985, which names Yucca Mountain as the country’s used fuel repository. To change that legitimately, you need to change the law.

So you know, NEI filed a friend-of-the-court brief on this issue in December.


Steve said…
Does anyone know the date of the federal court hearing on the untimely cancellation by the NRC of Yucca Mountain? I feel like this hearing has been in the news forever but can't find any specifics.

Popular posts from this blog

A Billion Miles Under Nuclear Energy (Updated)

And the winner is…Cassini-Huygens, in triple overtime.

The spaceship conceived in 1982 and launched fifteen years later, will crash into Saturn on September 15, after a mission of 19 years and 355 days, powered by the audacity and technical prowess of scientists and engineers from 17 different countries, and 72 pounds of plutonium.

The mission was so successful that it was extended three times; it was intended to last only until 2008.

Since April, the ship has been continuing to orbit Saturn, swinging through the 1,500-mile gap between the planet and its rings, an area not previously explored. This is a good maneuver for a spaceship nearing the end of its mission, since colliding with a rock could end things early.

Cassini will dive a little deeper and plunge toward Saturn’s surface, where it will transmit data until it burns up in the planet’s atmosphere. The radio signal will arrive here early Friday morning, Eastern time. A NASA video explains.

In the years since Cassini has launc…

Sneak Peek

There's an invisible force powering and propelling our way of life.
It's all around us. You can't feel it. Smell it. Or taste it.
But it's there all the same. And if you look close enough, you can see all the amazing and wondrous things it does.
It not only powers our cities and towns.
And all the high-tech things we love.
It gives us the power to invent.
To explore.
To discover.
To create advanced technologies.
This invisible force creates jobs out of thin air.
It adds billions to our economy.
It's on even when we're not.
And stays on no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.
This invisible force takes us to the outer reaches of outer space.
And to the very depths of our oceans.
It brings us together. And it makes us better.
And most importantly, it has the power to do all this in our lifetime while barely leaving a trace.
Some people might say it's kind of unbelievable.
They wonder, what is this new power that does all these extraordinary things?

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.


The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.

What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…