Skip to main content


Showing posts from September, 2005

Organizational Note

Earlier this week, NEI announced a staff restructuring . The details aren't important, but I thought I should mention how it affected me. Instead of being part of the editorial staff, I've been moved to the policy development team. Over the long run, this means NEI Nuclear Notes will probably get a lot meatier. I'm proud of the work we've done so far, but I think we need to raise our game to keep up. The move to policy development will speed that process. Prior to the restructuring, I was informed that one of our contributors, Lisa Stiles-Shell , will be coming on board as a loaned executive from Dominion Generation. As it turns out, Lisa will be occupying the same slot in Government Affairs that my former colleague, Brian Smith , once occupied here at NEI. We're glad she's coming on board. Thanks for reading, and we'll see you again on Monday morning. Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Energy , NEI

'Nuclear Power Is a Must'

An editorial in today's Orlando Sentinel urges environmentalists to "get real": Stop pretending alternative energy sources that have not yet proved economically feasible -- such as wind, solar, biomass or ethanol -- are the answer. There is no real alternative to fossil fuels in the short term, and nuclear power is a much better intermediate-term bet. That's why environmentalists need to become proponents of building U.S. nuclear-power plants. They must abandon the folks who believe that atomic power -- even used to heat and light your home -- is evil. Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy Environment Energy Politics Technology Economics

Stat Pack: EIA's Annual Energy Review 2004 (Part 3)

Over the past few weeks, the media has been bombarding us with all sorts of facts and figures regarding oil and gasoline prices. Out in public, many pundits are charging the oil industry with price gouging. Unfortunately, many of these same pundits are taking advantage of some basic economic illiteracy when it comes to the market for petroleum products. But when we walk through the section on petroleum in the EIA Annual Energy Review, those basic facts and figures are clear and easy to understand. Petroleum: Who did we get it from? What did we do with it? Where did it go? And why are gasoline prices high? Let's begin by clicking on this Petroleum Flow diagram . U.S. crude oil supply in 2004 was more than 15 million barrels per day. Of that 15 million, we imported about 65% from other countries. Who did we get it from? According to EIA's Petroleum Overview table , 17% of the crude oil produced in the U.S. came from Alaska. The other 83% came from the 48 states excluding Al

Wackenhut and Nuclear Power Plant Security

A little more than an hour ago, Instapundit linked to a story on Facing South dealing with Wackenhut and its work providing security for government nuclear facilities. Also mentioned is the fact that Wackenhut provides security for 31 nuclear power plants, and was employed by NEI to perform what are called " Force on Force " exercises designed to test site security. The post at Facing South is more or less a carbon copy of the talking points you'll find over at eyeonwackenhut.comm , a Web site operated by the Service Employee International Union which represents security personnel at a number of plants. One important point: Though Facing South and Instapundit just discovered the SEIU site today, it's been up for quite a while. When it comes to nuclear plant security, I'll just refer to this October 2004 press release we issued when all of the nation's nuclear power plants had met the deadline for enhancing security at every facility: To meet the NRC

Nuclear Energy Industry Transitions

Rebecca Schmidt will join the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in October as director of the Office of Congressional Affairs. Betsy Keeling became associate director of that office on Sept. 18. David Nevins has been named senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Constellation Energy . Nevins founded Nevins & Associates , a marketing and public affairs firm, in 1984 and served as its president. He will continue to serve as chairman of the company. PG&E Corp. announced on Sept. 22 several officer-level changes : • Ophelia Basgal is PG&E Co.’s first vice president of civic partnership and community initiatives. She is the former executive director of the Alameda County Housing Authority. • DeAnn Hapner has been named PG&E Co. vice president of federal regulatory policy and rates. She has been with the company since 1985. • PG&E Co. Senior Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer Kent Harvey transitioned to PG&E Corp. senior vice preside

A Milestone for New Nuclear Build

The U.S. nuclear industry has passed a new milestone for new construction. NUREG-1835, "Safety Evaluation Report for an Early Site Permit (ESP) at the North Anna ESP Site" has been posted on the NRC website . Its ADAMS accession number is ML052710305. In characteristically dry style, the NRC writes that its staff "concludes that issuance of the requested ESP will not be inimical to the common defense and security or to the health and safety of the public." Congratulations to Dominion for its achivement, and thanks to Sophie Gutner for bringing this to my attention. Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Environment , Energy , Politics , Technology , Economics , Electricity , Dominion Power

U.K. Nuclear Update

The U.K. is buzzing this week after Prime Minister Tony Blair once again said that nuclear energy must be consider as part of his nation's future energy mix in order to curb greenhouse gas emissions and support further economic growth. Here's the relevant passage from the speech he delivered on Tuesday: Next year too, building on Britain's Kyoto commitments, we will publish proposals on energy policy. Global warming is too serious for the world any longer to ignore its danger or split into opposing factions on it. And for how much longer can countries like ours allow the security of our energy supply be dependent on some of the most unstable parts of the world? For both reasons the G8 agreement must be made to work so we develop together the technology that allows prosperous nations to adapt and emerging ones to grow sustainably; and that means an assessment of all options, including civil nuclear power. These comments were followed up with another statement from U.K.

OPG Moves Forward With Pickering A Restart

Here's some good news from earlier in the week from our friends in Canada that we wanted to recognize: One of four reactors at Ontario's Pickering nuclear power station began sending power to the province's electricity grid for the first time in eight years on Tuesday. The refurbished Pickering A Unit 1 had been undergoing refurbishment. The last time it delivered power to the Ontario consumer was in December, 1997. “This has been a complex management and construction challenge encompassing more than 1.9 million hours of work, 40,000 tasks and 3,000 people at its peak,” project manager Bill Robinson said. For a video describing the project click here . For other details, click here . Congratulations to the team at Ontario Power Generation on reaching another important milestone. According to this report, Ontario is going to need plenty of new capacity in the near term. Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Energy , Technology , Electricity , Canada , Ontario

Saudi Arabia, Exxon Seek to Calm World Oil Market

From today's Independent (U.K.): Saudi Arabia, the biggest oil producer, and Exxon Mobil, the largest oil company, yesterday declared that the world had decades' worth of oil to come, in an attempt to calm fears about the record prices experienced in recent weeks. Forming a powerful alliance, the Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi said, at an industry conference in Johannesburg, that the country would soon almost double its "proven" reserve base, while Exxon's president, Rex Tillerson, spoke of 3 trillion or more barrels of oil that are yet to be recovered. Well, there's at least one blogger who's expressing some doubts about this story. And here's another that says the real problem is refining capacity . Technorati tags: Energy , Politics , Economics , Oil , Saudi Arabia , Exxon

New Areva Commercial

Check out this new television ad from Areva , which looks to be based on the popular " Sims " series of computer games. Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Environment , Energy , Politics , Technology , Economics , Electricity , Areva

Another Newspaper for Nuclear Energy

From yesterday's Jersey Journal : Nuclear plants are cleaner than fossil fuel burning plants and provide a limitless amount of energy. Design is important and the review process is exhaustive. Concerns about security are legitimate, but this alone will not prevent their construction. This nation has shown an unwillingness to experiment or research economically feasible alternative energy. Like France, which has more than 50 working nuclear plants generating more than 75 percent of its electricity, the United States will be forced to -- and should -- turn to available technology for its power needs. Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Environment , Energy , Politics , Technology , Economics , Electricity , New Jersey

EPA Extends Yucca Comment Period

From the Las Vegas Review-Journal : The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday announced it will accept public comments on proposed Yucca Mountain radiation safety standards for an additional 30 days. The official comment period is being extended to Nov. 21, the agency announced in a Federal Register notice. The EPA has scheduled public hearings at Amargosa Valley on Oct. 3, and in Las Vegas on Oct. 4-6. A hearing in Washington will be held on Oct. 11. The agency is extending the comment period in recognition of "the high level of interest in Yucca Mountain." "It is important to allow adequate time for public information to readily reach more rural areas," the EPA said. Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Environment , Energy , Politics , Technology , Economics , Electricity , Department of Energy , Yucca Mountain , EPA

President Bush: We Need Alternative Sources of Energy

From a statement by President Bush following a briefing at the Department of Energy on the effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on the U.S. energy supply: It is clear that when you're dependent upon natural gas and/or hydrocarbons to fuel your economy and that supply gets disrupted, we need alternative sources of energy. And that's why I believe so strongly in nuclear power. And so we've got a chance, once again, to assess where we are as a country when it comes to energy and do something about it. And I look forward to working with Congress to do just that. In the wake of the Gulf Coast hurricanes, it's important to remember that energy diversity isn't just a buzzword or a talking point, it's an essential element of national security. Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Environment , Energy , Politics , Technology , Economics , Electricity , Department of Energy , President Bush

For Environment's Sake, U.S. Should Go Nuclear

An editorial in yesterday's Detroit News asks this question: What would be the best solution, using today's technology, to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and cut the consumption of fossil fuels? Their answer: "Go nuclear." Nuclear power plants provide a clean and virtually inexhaustible source of energy. Nuclear is the only available alternative for producing mass amounts of electricity without polluting the air or water. And yet, the United States has turned away from nuclear energy, bowing to irrational fears and the powerful environmental lobby. But it is the environmentalists who ought to be nuclear energy's biggest fans, given that nuclear is the most eco-efficient of all energy sources. The editorial hails NuStart's selection last week of Grand Gulf Nuclear Station and Bellefonte Nuclear Plant, saying the consortium should receive "all the assistance necessary" from the federal government to apply for combined construction and oper

Massachusetts Considers Hybrid Bill

The Massachusetts Senate is considering a bill that would reward drivers who buy hybrid or alternative fuel cars with tax breaks, free transponders to get through tolls quicker and open access to HOV lanes. The bill also would require that at least half of the state's fleet of vehicles run on alternative fuels by 2010, and establish an Alternative Fuels Institute at the University of Massachusetts. Massachusetts is already ninth in the nation in the number of hybrid cars on the road, according to Republican Sen. Bruce Tarr, the bill's author. "There's a willingness here to embrace this kind of technology," Tarr said. "What we're trying to do is lead the way." For more on hybrid vehicles, check out the Soultek Blog , where you can read a whole slew of posts on the topic. Also, be sure to visit . Click here to read about hydrogen and nuclear energy on NEI's Web site. You can also read a fact sheet about the U.S. Department of En

Doublecheck Your Work

On September 12, our Chief Nuclear Officer, Marv Fertel, made a joint appearance on CNBC's Squawk Box with Tyson Slocum of Public Citizen on the prospects for new nuclear build in the U.S. At the end of the interview, Slocum made a familiar charge about the energy legislation that President Bush recently signed into law. KERNEN: Mr. Slocum, you'’re going to have the last word. If it's not nuclear, do you have some other ideas for us? SLOCUM: Well, yeah, we've got to reduce demand. The United States is the biggest consumer of energy and the energy bill just signed doesn't address improving efficiency at all. Really? How can he make that claim when Title I of the legislation was named "Energy Conservation"? Don't believe me, look it up yourself right now by clicking here . Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Environment , Energy , Politics , Technology , Economics , Electricity , Public Citizen

Stein on Energy Supply: "We need to be diversified."

In Sunday's Boston Globe , columnist Charles Stein made the case for a diverse energy mix -- one where nuclear power plays a larger role than it does today: There are plenty of specialists around who are firmly convinced that high oil and gas prices are here to stay. Richard Lester suggests we should be wary about such pronouncements. ''Smart people don't get this right," said Lester, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor of nuclear science and engineering. In 2003, Lester and some colleagues wrote a report on the future of nuclear power. They assumed natural gas prices -- the main competition -- would stay in a range of $3 to $6 per million BTUs. Last week natural gas was selling for more than $12 per million BTUs. The solution here is obvious: We need to be diversified. Investors spread their bets around because they don't know which stocks will do well and which will do poorly. We need to do the same with sources of energy because, in truth, we

Revisiting RMI's Bad Data

One of the things we try to do here at NEI Nuclear Notes is take a closer look at the claims made by many environmentalists and put them to the test. As I've mentioned several times before, my colleague David Bradish has taken the lead in this area and given a number of studies closer look. And one of the studies that David took apart was authored by the Rocky Mountain Institute , an organization run by Amory Lovins (for more on Lovins, click here ). Unfortunately, even if you debunk a study once, others with an ideological agenda will continue to use it to buttress their flawed arguments . Such was the case when the San Francisco Chronicle ran an op-ed piece by Mark Hertsgaard titled, "Nuclear Energy Can't Solve Global Warming." In that article, Hertsgaard dutifully mentioned RMI's flawed study as if it were fact -- something we made sure to mention right away . But as we've seen before, it doesn't stop there. Hertsgaard has since re-posted the articl

BusinessWeek's False Impressions

Alongside this week's cover story, " The Next Big One ," BusinessWeek ran a sidebar called " Sleepless Nights " that details the top 10 risks to America. Take a look at the chart entry for a dirty bomb, which states that materials for a dirty bomb can be gathered from "power-plant wastes" and that such a threat would cause "immediate deaths in the hundreds [and] long-term cancer deaths in the thousands." Then take a look at a fact sheet on NEI's Web site called " Used Fuel Secure at Nuclear Power Plants Could Not Be Used to Make a 'Dirty Bomb.' " In particular, this fact sheet notes: The possibility of utilizing used nuclear fuel for a “dirty bomb” is fraught with practical and logistical obstacles that would render such a scenario essentially impossible. A “dirty bomb” is a bomb made of conventional explosives covered with radioactive material that would be used by terrorists to spread radiation. However, no nuclear

Stat Pack: EIA's Annual Energy Review 2004 (Part 2)

Last week we gave you an Overview of EIA's Annual Energy Review 2004 . This week we are going to break it down further to the sectors where energy is consumed. Just to recap, here are definitions for each sectors from AER's Glossary : Commercial Sector: An energy-consuming sector that consists of service providing facilities and equipment of: businesses; Federal, State, and local governments; and other private and public organizations, such as religious, social, or fraternal groups. The commercial sector includes institutional living quarters. It also includes sewage treatment facilities. Common uses of energy associated with this sector include space heating, water heating, air conditioning, lighting, refrigeration, cooking, and running a wide variety of other equipment. Industrial Sector: An energy-consuming sector that consists of all facilities and equipment used for producing, processing, or assembling goods. The industrial sector encompasses the following types of acti

Megatons to Megawatts Reaches Milestone

Our friend Charles Yulish at USEC sent us a note this week to remind us of a very important milestone achieved this week by "Megatons to Megawatts": Megatons to Megawatts (M2M) program—elimination of the 10,000th nuclear warhead—the half way mark in this program. 250 metric tons of HEU from Russian warheads has been diluted and recycled into fuel for American power reactors -- 10 percent of America’s electricity is produced using M2M fuel. Nuclear power plants are helping to make the world safer by using this fuel, which is derived from warhead material that is diluted in Russia and shipped to America for use in the nation’s nuclear power reactors. The fuel is no longer bomb-grade, and can’t be used as a weapon. It is identical to the low enriched fuel produced in U.S. and other facilities and safely transported globally for more than half a century. USEC Inc. is the U.S. executive agent operating this program, at no cost to American taxpayers. The program will conti

German Nuclear Update

With the chances of the Green Party joining a coalition government dead , the possibility of a nuclear energy revival in Germany is still in the offing: German opposition leader Angela Merkel said differences with the Greens are too great to schedule a further round of talks on forming a government, signaling that she's leaning toward a "grand coalition" with Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats... One key area of dispute between the parties concerns CDU and FDP plans to extend the life of nuclear-power plants to reduce energy costs for consumers and industry. In 2000, the Greens secured an accord with Germany's utilities to shut down the country's 19 nuclear plants over 21 years. Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Environment , Energy , Politics , Technology , Economics , Electricity Germany

DOE Releases Draft Plan on Emissions Reductions

Yesterday, the Department of Energy announced it had released a draft strategic plan on reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the application of advanced technology: The technologies developed under the Climate Change Technology program will be used and deployed among the United States' partners in the Asia-Pacific Partnership for Clean Development that was announced earlier this year. "This Strategic Plan is the first of its kind and will provide a comprehensive, long-term look at the role for advanced technology in addressing this important global concern," David Conover, Director of the Climate Change Technology Program said. "“This forward-looking document will allow us and our partners to drive and capitalize on technological innovation far into the future. The Asia-Pacific Partnership coupled with the technologies that we will develop will have a significant impact in addressing this long-term challenge." For a copy of the plan, click here . For mo

Bodman on NuStart

Here's a statement from Energy Secretary Sam Bodman on yesterday's NuStart announcement : Today's announcement is a major step in the right direction. As America's energy needs continue to grow with our economy, further building our nuclear infrastructure will ensure that we can generate large amounts of reliable, affordable, emissions-free power. The companies of the NuStart Consortium are to be congratulated for their efforts; they are truly the trailblazers for 21st century power generation in America. For the latest media clips on NuStart , click here . Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Environment , Energy , Politics , Technology , Economics , Electricity , NuStart Energy Sam Bodman , Department of Energy

NuStart Selects Grand Gulf and Bellefonte for COLs

Just off the wire from NuStart Energy Development : The nation’s largest consortium of nuclear power companies today selected Grand Gulf Nuclear Station and Bellefonte Nuclear Plant as the sites it will use on applications for combined construction and operating licenses for new nuclear plants, the first in 30 years. Grand Gulf, owned by an Entergy subsidiary, is near Port Gibson, Miss. Bellefonte, owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority, is near Scottsboro, Ala. “The need for new, advanced nuclear energy plants that are safe, clean, dependable and can generate electric energy without emitting air pollutants is growing more evident every day,” said Marilyn Kray, president of NuStart Energy Development LLC. “Our country needs these advanced nuclear plants. We must reduce our dependence on imported foreign energy. Americans want affordable energy and a clean environment without risking climate change.” Great news. A few weeks ago, our President and CEO Skip Bowman projected that Ameri

More Bad Data From Amory Lovins

Over at the Alternative Energy Action Network , Arthur Smith is taking issue with some of the conclusions that Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute made in the current issue of Scientific American : The September 2005 Scientific American, a very good issue generally on "Crossroads for planet Earth" and the major near-term issues we're facing, includes an article by Amory Lovins that misleads far more than it informs. In the article's five sections Lovins pushes his two major themes of energy efficiency and hydrogen, with a nod to renewables, asserting that all we need do is take advantage of existing technologies to both save money and greatly reduce our use of oil and emissions of carbon dioxide. But the arguments and numbers he uses to make his case don't add up. As some of our readers might recall, a few months ago my colleague David Bradish took a tough look at some of RMI's research, and found it wanting . And our friend Rod Adams has a number

Professor: Ontario Should Turn to AECL for Nuclear Build

The Canadian province of Ontario faces a number of challenges when it comes to its electric grid -- challenges that have lead many pundits and policymakers to suggest that it was time for the province to reconsider nuclear energy. In today's Toronto Star Alan Middleton, a professor at York University, agrees, but said that the province doesn't need to look any further than its own backyard when it comes to a reactor design: We have a world-class nuclear industry here in Ontario. The CANDU 6 operates in five countries on four continents. In terms of average lifetime capacity factor, the single most important measure of reactor performance, the CANDU 6 fleet ranks well ahead of the French and U.S. reactor fleets. In 2002, the top three CANDU 6 units actually achieved an average 97.1 per cent capacity factor. CANDU 6 is already licensed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and is considered to be among the safest reactors in the world. CANDU 6 is a proven safe, clean, relia

"They sure have saved us all."

Terry Vogel of Pittston, Maine has a bone to pick with environmentalists, as he outlined in a letter to the editor in the Kennebec Journal : Let's hear it for the nuclear power opponents who supposedly caused the shutdown of Maine's only nuclear power plant. They can be proud that the electric rates are rising and the fossil fuels are being depleted faster than ever. According to them, we can be safer while freezing in the dark -- well, at least those who cannot afford to pay for higher electricity and fuel bills. They sure have saved us all. Where are those brave souls now who fought the big bad nuclear evil? Are they standing up and taking credit or just hiding? They certainly do not seem to have answers for the current situation. They have not offered to help offset the costs they have caused. I would like to see a few of them respond with workable and affordable alternatives -- the key words being workable and affordable. Well, we know where at least one of those envir

Nuclear Energy Industry Transitions

Black & Veatch Corp. , a global engineering, consulting and construction company, has named Dan Churchman chief engineer for its nuclear organization. Churchman will be responsible for nuclear engineering functions as Black & Veatch grows its nuclear services business. Prior to joining Black & Veatch, Churchman held various technical and management positions with Entergy and was a United States Navy Surface Warfare Officer, Nuclear Power Specialist. Diana Severs Ferguson has resigned from her position as president of The Shaw Group Inc.'s environmental and infrastructure division, effective Sept. 19. Ferguson will remain with the company until Dec. 31, but Tim Barfield - president and chief operating officer of Shaw - will also serve as president of the environmental and infrastructure division until Ferguson's replacement is named. UPDATE: Shaw also announced, on Sept. 21, that Charles Hess has joined the company as senior program director within Shaw

STP Preps for Hurricane Rita

CNN is reporting that South Texas Project plans to shut down its two-reactor power plant in Bay City, Texas - 12 miles inland from the Texas coast - as Rita, now a Category 5 hurricane, nears land. "We have a specific plan in place on what to do with a hurricane approaching," spokesman Alan Mikus said. "Our plan calls for the complete shutdown of the plant in advance of the storm's arrival." ... He added that the plant shutdown would likely occur about seven hours before landfall. If Rita maintains the forecast track, the hurricane would come ashore early Saturday somewhere between Corpus Christi and Galveston. Customers will not lose power during the shutdown because other power companies will pick up the load, the spokesman said. The nuclear plant itself will operate off power from other companies for cooling the fuel supply and spent fuel storage, he added. Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy Environment Energy Politics Technology Economics Hurricane Ri

Peach Bottom Sets New Record

From the York Daily Record : Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station says its Unit 3 reactor has shattered a world record for longest continuous run among light-water reactors. At 9:40 a.m. Monday, Peach Bottom's Unit 3 boiling-water reactor had operated for 707 days, five hours and 40 minutes without a shutdown, the plant's operator said. Peach Bottom's two boiling-water reactors jointly produce more than 2,200 megawatts of continuous power. One megawatt is enough electricity to power about 800 homes. Congrats to the team at Exelon for a job well done. Back in August, General Electric named five of Exelon's reactors, including Peach Bottom, as the most efficient boiling water reactors in the world. Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy Environment Energy Politics Technology Economics

Bodman: America Needs "Resurgence" of Nuclear Power

In a speech at the Commonwealth Club last month, Energy Secretary Sam Bodman outlined six steps America has to take in order to ensure energy security . Guess what was on the list: The second major thing that needs to happen is the resurgence of nuclear power. Nuclear power presently supplies 20 percent of America's electricity. It is manifestly safe. It is clean. It is efficient and affordable. And it produces no greenhouse gases, which has to be a consideration at a time when concerns about GHG emissions and global climate change are running high. As with refineries, no new nuclear power plants have been built in the U.S. in decades, a vestige of the incident at Pennsylvania's Three Mile Island in 1979. That episode spurred a number of safety and regulatory changes. As a result, nuclear power is even safer and more efficient than a quarter century ago. And it is still just as clean, which is why we need nuclear power to remain a key component in our power mix. The energy

U.S. News & World Report: 'Go Nukes!'

The latest edition of U.S. News & World Report takes a new look at nukes . The article points to Hurricane Katrina, rising natural gas prices and increasingly strict regulation of greenhouse gas emissions as major reasons for a possible resurgence in new nuclear plant construction. The federal government has been plenty eager to kick-start the moribund industry. Just last month, President Bush signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which contains guarantees and incentives including $2 billion to cover possible delays at as many as six new nuclear plants and annual production tax credits. More important, perhaps, Congress extended the five-decade-old Price-Anderson Act through 2025, limiting operator liability in the event of an accident. The new legislative action follows Bush's Nuclear Power 2010 initiative, launched in 2002, which promoted public-private partnerships to spur new reactor construction. Yet all these government nudges might be going for naught were it not for t

New York Times Editorial Supports Waste Storage Sites

Friday's edition of The New York Times included an editorial hailing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's decision last week to authorize a nuclear waste storage site in Utah. The editorial carefully lays out the case for storage in Utah, noting the importance of such a site as a temporary solution until the Yucca Mountain repository project in Nevada is complete. So far as is known, the used fuel rods can be left there safely for decades. But it becomes awkward and costly to guard and maintain the storage casks after the reactors themselves have been retired from service. Several reactors have already been shut down, and more are apt to follow. In some cases, the spent fuel rods sit on land that might have more valuable uses. Unless these used fuel rods can be sent to Yucca, a destination that has not yet been approved to receive them, it seems desirable to have a backup site. ... We remain hopeful that Yucca can qualify as a permanent disposal site. But if Yucca fails to pa

Quote Of The Day

Here's Steve Eldridge from today's D.C. Examiner : Good move by Amtrak to back off its planned fare increase for now. The struggling service said rising fuel costs would force some fares, especially in the Northeast Corridor, to go up substantially. Last time I checked, Amtrak's trains ran on electricity. Excuse me, but just how does that electricity that moves the trains get generated? Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Environment , Energy , Politics , Technology , Economics , Electricity

Stat Pack: EIA's Annual Energy Review 2004 (Part 1)

Every year the Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration publishes the Annual Energy Review : The Annual Energy Review (AER) is the Energy Information Administration's (EIA) primary report of annual historical energy statistics. For many series, data begin with the year 1949. Included are data on total energy production, consumption, and trade; overviews of petroleum, natural gas, coal, electricity, nuclear energy, renewable energy, international energy, as well as financial and environment indicators; and data unit conversion tables. The 2004 publication was published in August. Its 435 pages are packed with charts, tables, graphs and numbers. It's a statistician'’s dream! Over the next few weeks I'll take a closer look at particular sections of the AER. I'll try to help readers understand what the report is about and what it means in terms everyone can understand. Energy Overview On the main page of the AER , there are flow diagrams of dif

Nuclear Energy Industry Transitions

Charles Yulish , vice president of corporate communications for USEC Inc. , will retire on Sept. 23. Yulish has been USEC's principal spokesperson since he joined the company in 1995. John Welch will be joining USEC as president and chief executive officer on Oct. 3. He will also become a member of the board of directors. James Mellor, the current president and CEO, will remain the company's chairman. Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Lisa Gordon-Hagerty will be leaving USEC, the company announced Sept. 9. These changes come on the heels of USEC's Sept. 7 announcement that it will realign the company to focus on both current operations and the American Centrifuge, USEC's next-generation uranium enrichment technology. The restructuring is designed to streamline USEC's organization and resize its headquarters operations, Mellor said. The reorganization affects all levels, eliminating various positions - including those at the senior level - e

UniStar Clip File

Yesterday's announcement of the UniStar joint venture between Areva and Constellation Energy has generated a lot of attention. I'm pressed for time right now, but be sure to check this Google News search for all the stories on the partnership. Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy Environment Energy Politics Technology Economics Constellation Energy Areva Unistar