Skip to main content

Summer Imminent; Nuclear Gallups Forward

imageMark your calendars:

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is poised to award Scana Corp. (SCG) a license to build two reactors in South Carolina, the second such action after a three-decade drought.

The NRC will vote March 30 on the Cayce, South Carolina- based company’s proposal to build two units at its existing Virgil C. Summer plant, about 26 miles (42 kilometers) northwest of Columbia, the agency said today on its website.

This seemed likely to happen after the approval for two reactors at Vogtle in Georgia last month, but that didn’t happen. And even in this instance, the NRC calendar marks this event as tentative. So we’ll see.

These affirmation hearings take place after all issues have been advanced. This one is scheduled for 1:25 pm and will probably be done by 1:30. It’s basically a quick okay.

Bloomberg adds this detail:

The reactors may be among the last built in the U.S. this decade, as a glut of cheap natural gas has discouraged companies from investing in nuclear energy and other forms of generation.

So yes, something in the punch bowl does smell bad. There are a bunch of companies with license applications In the hopper, so we’ll see how this dour little prediction works out.

---

Okay, Here’s the question from Gallup.

Overall, do you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose the use of nuclear energy as one of the ways to provide electricity for the U.S.?

The answer in 1994, was 57 percent (combined favor). Closely after the accident at Fukushima Daiichi, this withered to, well, 57 percent. Today it is – 57 percent. Now after the accident, some of the uncommitted vote moved to oppose territory. So nuclear energy wasn’t losing friends but it wasn’t winning them either. This is a bit of a problem, as strong opposers are as tough to dislodge from their position as strong partisans. So it isn’t all good news.

But it’s mostly good news. There’s more summary at the link.

---

In an otherwise sour article in the New York Times, economist Nancy Fobre lets the mask slip just a little, especially in light of the Gallup survey:

Yet the industry has proved remarkably successful at garnering public support in the United States, ranging from public insurance against accident liability to loan guarantees.

Even this isn’t altogether fair, but the admission that nuclear energy has garnered “public support” is more than you’ll usually see from an anti-nuclear advocate. Crediting that support to the nuclear industry is probably something NEI should show its board of directors, but we shouldn’t underestimate the power of the facilities themselves.

People who live around them tend to like them even better than the general public. Not only are they literal powerhouses, but they are economic powerhouses, too, and do a lot of good for their communities.

I know Fobre likely means public financial support, but it’s been pretty good at plain old public support, too.

From Gallup. Click to enlarge.

Comments

jimwg said…
It just totally AMAZES me of how suddenly amnesic the media and greens and their commercials have become at relating eco-darling _fossil fuel_ natural gas with Global Warming! (in fact -- Global Warming -- what's that??)

James Greenidge
Queens NY
Anonymous said…
"There are a bunch of companies with license applications In the hopper, so we’ll see how this dour little prediction works out."

Huh?

For at least the last year, NEI officials have agreed with "this dour little prediction," and have been saying (at least publicly) that there are not likely to be more than 4-6 new units operating in the US before 2020.
It really shouldn't matter how cheap natural gas is since its still a major greenhouse gas emitter. So this is about environmental protection in order to mitigate sea level rise and ocean acidification.


The best way to continue long term investment in new nuclear power plants and renewable energy is by legislatively mandating through Congress that all utilities produce at least 50% of their electricity from carbon neutral resources by 2020 (several utilities already meet this level) and at least 90% by 2030-- with the penalty of a 15% energy sin tax on all US utilities that fail to reach the mandated levels.

Its that simple, IMO!

Marcel F. Williams
Bill said…
"There are a bunch of companies with license applications In the hopper, so we’ll see how this dour little prediction works out."

According to the NRC's application schedule, the next are Levy County (2012), Lee and Fermi (2013), Turkey Point (2014), and Comanche Peak (2015?). And others, for which the schedule is "being revised" or the review has been suspended pending higher gas prices.

http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/new-reactors.html

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear Is a Long-Term Investment for Ohio that Will Pay Big

With 50 different state legislative calendars, more than half of them adjourn by June, and those still in session throughout the year usually take a recess in the summer. So springtime is prime time for state legislative activity. In the next few weeks, legislatures are hosting hearings and calling for votes on bills that have been battered back and forth in the capital halls.

On Tuesday, The Ohio Public Utilities Committee hosted its third round of hearings on the Zero Emissions Nuclear Resources Program, House Bill 178, and NEI’s Maria Korsnick testified before a jam-packed room of legislators.


Washingtonians parachuting into state debates can be a tricky platform, but in this case, Maria’s remarks provided national perspective that put the Ohio conundrum into context. At the heart of this debate is the impact nuclear plants have on local jobs and the local economy, and that nuclear assets should be viewed as “long-term investments” for the state. Of course, clean air and electrons …