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Showing posts from November, 2005

Nuclear Energy Industry Transitions

President Bush has sent five nominations to the Senate for new positions on the Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors . The nominees include: • Dennis Bottorff, chairman of Council Ventures and Council Capital Management • Robert Mike Duncan, chairman and CEO of Community Holding Co. and Community Thrift Holding Co. • William Sansom, chairman and CEO of H.T. Hackney Co. • Hward Thrailkill, former president of Adtran • Susan Richardson Williams, owner of Susan Williams Public Affairs Peter Oleksiak will replace Daniel Brudzynski as controller at DTE Energy . Brudzynski will in turn become vice president of Regulatory Affairs. Oleksiak has been with DTE Energy since 1998, most recently as assistant controller. Brudzynski joined the company in 1997. He has been controller since 1999 and vice president since 2001. ComEd has announced that, effective immediately, a new five-member board of directors has been elected for the company. The five directors are: • Frank Clark

Another Blogger for Nuclear Energy

Meet Blogs for Bush contributor Mark Noonan : At any rate, it is about the most sensible thing - if you really want to help clean up the environment, if you really believe that human greenhouse emissions are causing global warming, then you're best bet right now is to push for nuclear power. UPDATE : And in the interest of equal time, here's a post from the archives of The Postmodern Technocrat : Bush and I agree on something . Maybe we don't agree on the correct way to pronounce what it is we agree on ("”nuclear"” energy) --– but building more nuclear power plants is key in reducing our dependency on foreign oil. Here at NEI , we always take great pains to point out that support for nuclear energy isn't a left/right issue any longer . I guess this is just more proof. And before I forget, a belated "happy blogiversary" to our friend Justin Feng . Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Energy , Electricity , Environment

Taking a Second Look at a Curious Claim

Last week the California Energy Circuit published an article on the economics of ongoing operation and maintainence at the state's two nuclear power plants titled: Juice: Corrosive Investments . It's important to look at any sort of article like this with a jaundiced eye, because as we've seen before, it's easy to manipulate data to get the result that you want. In particular, the authors are concerned about the cost of replacing the steam generators at both California nuclear power plants: Diablo Canyon and San Onofre. The California Public Service Commission has already approved this in the case of Diablo Canyon: We are very worried about spending scarce resources on risky investments. We're pretty darn sure that it will become a bad deal for utility bottom lines in the long run. We certainly don't want more bankrupt utilities to pile on top of a cringing state economy. That's quite a statement to make, as the replacement of steam generators has become a

Nuclear Energy Insight

The latest issue of Nuclear Energy Insight is now available online. In it, you'll find an article on how the Megatons to Megawatts program is fueling the U.S. electricity grid. There also are reports on a new survey that finds strong support for nuclear energy among nuclear plant neighbors and a nuclear therapy that shows promise in fighting cancer. Other articles discuss a scholarship effort for future nuclear engineers, scientific findings on low-level radiation and international reactor construction efforts.

Bloggers for Nuclear Energy

Regular readers will probably notice we've done some updating on our Blogroll. The largest new section is simply a listing of all the Bloggers we've featured in the " Another Blogger for Nuclear Energy " series that we kicked off last March. It's a simple list of all the pro-nuclear sentiment we've found on the Web listed in reverse chronological order. And whenever we find another post that fits the bill, it will go to the top of that Blogroll. NB: Some of the folks we now know personally are listed under the "Friends" heading, so don't panic if you aren't listed. Think you've been overlooked? Drop us a note and we'll fix it. Thanks for reading NEI Nuclear Notes. Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Energy , Electricity , Environment

Blair Ignores Protesters, Launches U.K. Energy Review

The debate on new nuclear build in the U.K. began in earnest earlier today, as Prime Minister Tony Blair's speech on future energy policy before the Confederation of British Industry was disrupted by a pair of Greenpeace protesters . Vowing, "I'm going to give this speech if it's the last thing I do," Blair marched to a smaller auditorium inside London's Business and Design Centre and delivered his speech in full : Mr Blair said nuclear power was a difficult issue but should be settled by open debate, not protests to stop free speech. The energy review would be headed by the Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks and report by the middle of next year, he announced. It would measure the UK's progress against a review carried out two years ago. And it would "include specifically the issue of whether we facilitate the development of a new generation of nuclear power stations", he said. Mr Blair said energy policy was "back on the agenda with a ven

Majority of Swedes Oppose Early Shutdown of Nuclear Plants

Here at NEI , we spend a considerable amount of time examining public opinion about nuclear energy, and how support for the industry has never been higher in the U.S. than it is today . And with this news out of Sweden , it looks like Americans aren't the only ones who are comfortable with nuclear energy: A majority of Swedes want their nuclear power stations to produce energy until their operational lifespan ends, and not be shut down early, a poll published on Tuesday showed. Sweden shut its Barsebäck 2 reactor on June 1st, the second reactor to be taken out of service in the country since 1999 as part of a plan to phase out nuclear power over the next 30 or so years. The poll, conducted by Temo on behalf of the Swedish nuclear industry's research and training centre KSU, found that 65 percent of those questioned did not agree with the decision to shut down reactors while they could still produce energy. We first posted on the shutdown back in May . Meanwhile, right next d

Operating Licenses for Millstone 2&3 Extended 20 Years

From NRC : The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has renewed the operating licenses of the Millstone Power Station, Units 2 and 3, for an additional 20 years. The Millstone plant is located about 3 miles southwest of New London, Conn. The licensee, Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc., submitted its license renewal applications on Jan. 20, 2004. With the renewal, the license for Unit 2 is extended to July 31, 2035, and the license for Unit 3 is extended to Nov. 25, 2045. The NRC’s environmental review for this license renewal is described in a site-specific supplement to the NRC’s “Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Power Plants” (NUREG-1437, Supplement 22), issued in July. The review concluded there were no environmental impacts that would preclude renewal of the licenses for environmental reasons. A public meeting to discuss the environmental review was held near the plant on Jan. 11. Congratulations to the team at Dominion for a job well done. Technor

More Reasoned Debate on Nuclear Energy

Whenever Patrick Moore , one of the co-founders of Greenpeace , makes the argument that many of his former confederates are beginning to reconsider nuclear energy as he has, he's often cast as a movement of one, or even a traitor . There are even some folks who are trying to write him out of the history of Greenpeace . But anecdotal evidence that Moore isn't alone in making that re-evaluation keeps piling up. Here's Richard Leyton : I’m a bit on the fence these days. A few years ago, the idea of a new generation of nuclear reactors was abhorrent. However, the last few years has led me to reconsider this. Whilst it’s clear there are inherent risks and problems associated with highly-radioactive fuel and reactors, the almost complete lack of carbon emissions makes it a compelling solution to our energy needs, without further clogging up the planet’s atmosphere. We’ve improved post-processing significantly, and if further consideration, research and debate on how we deal w

More on Nuclear Energy and Carbon Emissions

One of our favorite bloggers, Tim Worstall , is doing more yeoman's work when it comes to rebutting myths about nuclear energy. Click here for his argument debunking a letter to the editor in the Times (U.K.) on nuclear and CO2 emissions (a bad penny if there ever was one); and thanks to Tim to pointing us to an editorial from the Times doing much of the same. UPDATE : Here's more from our friends at the World Nuclear Association . Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Environment , Energy , Politics , Technology , Economics , Climate Change , U.K. , Tony Blair

Stat Pack: EIA's Annual Energy Review 2004 (Part 5)

Today, in our continuing examination of EIA's Annual Energy Review 2004, we take a hard look at Section 8 (pdf) concerning the generation of electricity. In 2004 , it took the U.S. 40.77 quadrillion BTUs to produce 3,717 billion kilowatt-hours for consumption in the residential, commercial, industrial and transportation sectors. Fossil fuels provided 69% of that energy; nuclear, 20% and renewables, 10%. About two thirds of the energy (BTUs) consumed to create electricity was lost. Why ? Electrical system energy losses are calculated as the difference between total primary consumption by the electric power sector and the total energy content of electricity retail sales. Most of these losses occur at steam-electric power plants (conventional and nuclear) in the conversion of heat energy into mechanical energy to turn electric generators. The loss is a thermodynamically necessary feature of the steam-electric cycle. Here's a chart comparing the share for fuels used for electric

Breaking the Deadlock on National Energy Policy

Here's a link to a piece from the Wall Street Journal 's John Fund outside the subscriber wall that's full of plenty of straight talk: After House leaders were forced to remove natural gas drilling provisions from the budget, Jack Gerard of the American Chemistry Council said he was "flabbergasted that some in Congress continue to live in a fantasy world, in which the government encourages use of clean-burning natural gas while cutting off supply, and then they wonder why prices go through the roof." Natural gas prices recently spiked at $14 per million BTUs, the highest in the world and the equivalent of $7 a gallon gasoline. (snip) Given the parochial interests that are retarding a sensible energy policy, national leadership is necessary to avoid continued gridlock. President Bush has been tarred as a tool of oil companies ever since his days working in a Texas oil patch, but the American people also intuitively feel that something is out of whack with energy

Scientific American Article on Used Fuel Technologies

The December issue of Scientific American includes an article on smarter use of nuclear waste (subscription required for full article) that provides a comprehensive summary of advanced used fuel treatment technologies. Here's a glimpse at the overview of fuel recycling that the article provides: • To minimize global warming, humanity may need to generate much of its future energy using nuclear power technology, which itself releases essentially no carbon dioxide. • Should many more of today’s thermal (or slow-neutron) nuclear power plants be built, however, the world’s reserves of low-cost uranium ore will be tapped out within several decades. In addition, large quantities of highly radioactive waste produced just in the U.S. will have to be stored for at least 10,000 years—much more than can be accommodated by the Yucca Mountain repository in Nevada. Worse, most of the energy that could be extracted from the original uranium ore would be socked away in that waste. • The utiliza

Forum on Nuclear Energy in Virginia

Last week, while the ANS Winter Meeting was in full-swing, a group of students at the College of William and Mary hosted a Forum on Nuclear Energy. There were about 40 people in attendance. This group of students belong to an organization known as the Global Awareness Interdisciplinary Alliance or GAIA, whose name bears intentional resemblance to James Lovelock's GAIA Theory . Four speakers were invited to the forum to field questions pertaining to safety, economics, and environmental impact. The speakers included: Gene Grecheck, Vice President of Nuclear Services for Dominion Michael Stuart, Public Information Officer of North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NA-YGN) Paul Gunter a representative of Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), an anti-nuclear organization based in Washington, DC Donal Day, an anti-nuclear research professor from UVA After a short presentation presenting facts about nuclear usage and public opinion, each speaker was allowed a fiv

U.S. GHG Emissions Down

From the Financial Times : Emissions of greenhouse gases from the US fell for the first time in more than a decade between 2000 and 2003 following a shift in heavy manufacturing away from US shores to cheaper locations such as China. James Connaughton, chairman of the White House's Council on Environmental Quality, said on Tuesday the decrease of 0.8 per cent in gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide had been unexpected: "This was not something we would have projected." The slight fall had come even as the US population grew by 8.6m, and increased its gross domestic product by the worth of the economy of China, Mr Connaughton said. For more from the CEQ, click here . Technorati tags: Environment , Energy , Politics , Technology , Economics , GHG

U.K. Nuclear Update

Apparently, it's only a matter of time before we get some significant news out of the U.K. on new nuclear build: Sizewell could be put at the heart of a revived British nuclear power industry as the Government moves to secure Britain's future energy needs and meet its obligations to cut carbon emissions. An expectation that a fundamental energy review will start imminently, and that it will lead to the go-ahead for a new generation of nuclear power stations, hardened yesterday when the Prime Minister's official spokesman confirmed that a major announcement on the issue would be made "fairly shortly ". Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Environment , Energy , Politics , United Kingdom

Nuclear Energy as an Investment

That's the subject of a feature in this morning's New York Times . Among the highlights: how nuclear industry consolidation helped increase effciency and the nuclear advantage in operating costs. Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Environment , Energy , Electricity

Truth Buried in Humor

Here's a humorous question that actually leads to a substantive answer , courtesy of The Straight Dope : After watching Dawn of the Dead, I am left to wonder about one thing: If we were to suffer an apocalypse where most of the living became flesh-eating zombies, how long, assuming I survived, would I continue to receive hydroelectricity from my power company? Is it a mean-time-before-failure situation, or would the system automatically shut itself down after a few days? Silly? Of course. But what follows is an excellent basic primer on how North America generates its electric power. Power plants are incredibly complex facilities with an enormous number of controls, and consequently an enormous number of things that can go wrong. The level of complexity and reliability of the plants is a function of the type of power plant, the control systems installed, and the plant's age and condition. In addition to the possibility of unplanned events causing shutdowns, there is also the

NRC Hearing on New Reactor Issues

It's being Webcast live from the NRC Web site . Click here for details. The morning session, which started at 9:30 a.m. U.S. EST, will be with industry representatives. The second session, starting at 1:30 p.m. U.S. EST, will be delivered by NRC staff. Click here for the slides. Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Environment , Energy , Politics , Technology , NRC

Developing The Nuclear Infrastructure

Last week at the ANS Winter Meeting , my friend Rod Adams attended a presentation by Tom Houghton, one of my colleagues at NEI about an issue that many outside the industry aren't aware of when it comes to new nuclear build: This ramp up from current production rates will place a strain on many pieces of the infrastructure that must provide the raw materials and qualified parts needed to build new nuclear plants. In many cases, there will be competition for the production capacity from these suppliers, not only from the nuclear construction industry but also from industries like oil refining, LNG processing, and transportation that use common parts, materials and work forces. Our CEO, Skip Bowman, talked about just this subject last month in Budapest at the World Association of Nuclear Operators Biennial Meeting: There are ambitious plans to expand nuclear energy production around the world. And that means we’re going to lean heavily on the companies that provide and bend the met

U.K. Nuclear Update

In an editorial this morning, the Times of London urged the government of Prime Minister Tony Blair to push ahead with new nuclear build : Nuclear energy is an emotive subject, and it was politically understandable, though democratically lamentable, that the Prime Minister wanted to avoid it until after this year’s general election. But, stripped of emotion, the position is stark. Britain’s 12 ageing nuclear power stations provide a fifth of the country’s energy needs. Yet all but one will be out of business by 2023. Many coal-fired plants, which produce another 30 per cent, fall foul of Brussels rules on clean air and will also be shutting down over the next two decades. By then, Britain will need to find 50 gigawatts of new capacity. Given the lead time for any successor plants to be designed, approved and phased in, decisions need to be made in the next year or two. Mr Blair should continue to encourage renewable sources. The potential of wave power and tidal waters should be expl

Talking About Radiation

Over the past several weeks I've been tackling a vexing topic: How to find a way to communicate effectively with the public about radiation and our environment. It was radiation pioneer Marie Curie who said, " Nothing in life is to be feared, it is to be understood ." Unfortunately, most of the anti-nukes don't do much more than obscure honest public debate with bad science and outlandish claims (many of which are easily debunked ). To get a better understanding of the sort of challenge we're taking on, read the following passage from Back of the Envelope -- a blog written by an ex-pat New Zealander now living in Scotland. New Zealand has been a "nuclear free zone," since late Prime Minister David Lange banned nuclear arms and nuclear powered ships from the country in 1985. Though the author of the blog isn't a supporter of using nuclear energy for power production in New Zealand, he thinks it's far passed time for the country to shake of

2005 ANS Winter Meeting: Lisa's Log

I’ve spent the past week at the American Nuclear Society's (ANS) 2005 Winter Meeting. The theme of the conference was “Talk about Nuclear Differently: A Good Story Untold” and I was thrilled to see the building enthusiasm in the industry. Over the next few days I’ll try to capture some of my thoughts and impressions and I hope other blog contributors will offer theirs as well. The conference began with one of the most interesting plenary sessions I’ve ever attended. Receiving a standing ovation after his remarks was Dr. Patrick Moore who titled his presentation “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Nuclear Energy.” We’ve mentioned Moore on this blog many times because of his dramatic departure from Greenpeace co-founder to a supporter of nuclear energy, but I’ve never heard him speak. It was riveting. I took copious notes but couldn’t keep up with him so I hope his slides appear at the ANS website and that our friend Rod Adams at Atomic Insights captured the audio file and re

Nuclear Energy Industry Transitions

Geoffrey Chatas has resigned as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Progress Energy . Peter Scott III, president and CEO of Progress Energy Service Co., has assumed the CFO title in addition to his current role. Scott had served as CFO from 2000 to 2003. He has held his current titles since January 2004. Longenecker & Associates Inc. has appointed Dale Allen to the company’s strategic advisory board. Allen is an associate vice president of CH2M HILL Global Nuclear Services . Ed Daniels has been appointed director of the energy systems division at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory . Daniels previously served as the section leader for the division's process engineering team. Gregory Bowman is the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's new resident inspector at Indian Point 2 in Buchanan, N.Y. Bowman joined the NRC in 2002 as a reactor inspector. Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Environment , Energy , Politics , Technolog

More Energy News From NAM

Our friends over at the NAM Blog have been all over energy issues and how they affect American businesses. Earlier this week, NAM's President, Gov. John Engler, went to St. Louis and delivered a speech at Rockwell Automation on the current energy crunch in America's economy, and how it's walloping domestic manufacturing ( text , video ): Consumers will pay 48 percent more for natural gas this winter than last year -- and at least 31 percent more for home heating oil. The average household heating bill will top $1,000 for the first time. In some parts of the country, like my home state of Michigan, those figures could be much higher. For manufacturers, the problems are magnified. Dow Chemical's plastics plant in St. Charles, Louisiana -- a 2,000-acre city of pipes, steel towers and spherical holding tanks -- uses about 100 billion Btu of natural gas every day. The St. Charles plant produces a range of man-made compounds needed to make everything from shampoo to shaving

EDF Public Offering Set for Monday

From Bloomberg : Electricite de France SA will raise as much as 7 billion euros ($8.2 billion) in an initial share sale that will make it Europe's biggest publicly traded utility. (snip) EDF's 58 nuclear reactors produce about 75 percent of France's power, reducing the company's liabilities under European Union rules that started this year to limit emissions of carbon dioxide. Utilities including Essen, Germany-based RWE AG and E.ON have complained that the EU limits have driven up costs. Interesting. Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Energy , Electricity , Environment , France

Nuclear Engineers Best Paid in Discipline

That's the conclusion of a salary survey that was released yesterday by the National Society of Professional Engineers: Nuclear engineers have the highest average annual salary of all disciplines at $119,643, followed by petroleum engineers at $117,004 and fire protection engineers at $93,343. To purchase the survey, click here . Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Energy , Electricity , Engineering , Oil , Careers

AJC Readers Respond to Senator Frist

The Op-ed authored by Senator Bill Frist (R-TN) that appeared in yesterday's edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has kicked up a lot of dust in some letters to the editor as some anti-nukes came out swinging. In many ways, I think radical environmentalists are getting so desperate, they're not bothering to see whether their arguments still make any sense. For instance, here's an excerpt from a letter by Alice Slater of the Global Research Action Center for the Environment (GRACE): Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), who received tens of thousands of dollars from the nuclear industry during his last election, omits the astronomical cost of getting nuclear up and running. Nuclear power does not make economic sense. For starters, this ignores the fact that while nuclear requires higher up front capital costs, operating expenses are far lower due to the low cost of fuel. So, unlike natural gas-fired electric capacity, which has been rocked in recent months, nuclear has wha

The TVA and New Nuclear Build

Over the past 18 months or so, those of us in the nuclear industry have been encouraged by much of the coverage we've seen in the mainstream media about the possibilty of new plant construction. Then again, it's one thing when national publications give the issue some attention. But it's another thing entirely when alternative publications like LA Weekly and MetroPulse in Knoxville, Tenn. start to pay attention. Here's an excerpt from the MetroPulse feature on the plans underway at the TVA: Bellefonte was selected, in TVA’s estimation, because of its geographic location within transmission reach of most major power markets in the eastern United States and its existing infrastructure, including river intakes, cooling towers and an electric switchyard. Also important considerations were community support from the Scottsboro area and the state of Alabama, and the potential for partnerships, with TVA being open to partnering with other nuclear operating companies or p

Nuclear and Wind to Produce Hydrogen

That's an idea two scientists from Canada are exploring : In the system envisioned by Alistair Miller and Romney Duffey of Atomic Energy of Canada, nuclear power plants would be paired with wind turbines to power electrolysis cells, which make hydrogen by passing an electric current through water. Wind on its own is too variable, Miller says, leaving electrolysis equipment frequently idle and driving up costs. "The economics just don't work," he says. "It produces very expensive hydrogen." Pairing it with nuclear would keep the equipment operating closer to full capacity and bring the cost down, he says. A bonus is that when the wind is strong and electricity demand is high, excess power can be sold at a profit to the grid. This means that, unlike traditional electricity-based hydrogen production, Miller's system actually makes hydrogen cheaper as the cost of electricity goes up. We're always saying there's no reason nuclear and renewables can

Sproat Nomination Approved by Senate Committee

My colleague Trish Conrad tells me that Edward F. (Ward) Sproat's nomination as Director, Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, Department of Energy, was approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee earlier today on a unanimous voice vote. UPDATE : Platts is reporting that Sens. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and John Ensign (R- Nev.) have placed a hold on the nomination, making it likely that Sproat's nomination won't be considered by the full Senate until sometime next year. Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Environment , Energy , Politics , Yucca Mountain , Department of Energy

Another Blogger for Nuclear Energy

Meet Janelle Penisten : I want to work. I want to feel like I’m doing something to contribute to the growth of the nuclear industry. Cliche, I know. While taking nuclear engineering classes technically is helping the nuclear industry to grow, I don’t see direct results. I want deadlines that aren’t in the form of a homework set. I want to do work that I enjoy, not enroll by default in the only three NERS classes that I haven’t already taken. I want to design reactors and see my work get implemented. On behalf of everyone at NEI, welcome to the nuclear industry and good luck. We're glad to have you aboard. Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Energy , Electricity , Environment

Blair Reiterates Support for Climate Change Action

From 10 Downing Street : Tony Blair has said he remains keen to see 'binding agreements' put in place to deal with the problems the world faces from climate change. Speaking to MPs today during PMQs, he refuted suggestions that his 'resolve was weakening' on the issue, but said that any framework on emission targets needed to be agreed by everyone. In particular, he said, the US, China and India - as the world's largest and fastest-growing economies - had to sign up to make any such treaty worthwhile. Earlier this month, at an international conference on climate change in London, the PM said the world needed to deal with the challenge of global warming 'on a sustainable basis'. Mr Blair pointed out that the evidence of climate change was getting stronger and even those who doubted it accepted there were concerns over energy security and supply. Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Environment , Energy , Politics , Technology , Economics , Climate Change , U

Recap: IEA Report on MENA Energy Outlook

Yesterday morning I attended a briefing at CSIS by Fatih Birol of the International Energy Agency , as he made a public rollout of the IEA report on the energy outlook over the next 25 years in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). His presentation -- click here for a copy (PDF)-- was public and on the record, but the Q&A was off. Some highlights: Birol outlined three scenarios for the future: 1) Business as usual, with assumptions on demand, price, regulation and infrastructure investment remaining relatively unchanged (he calls this the "reference scenario"). Global energy prices are projected to increase 50% over the 2004 baseline under the reference scenario. 2) The "deferred investment" scenario, where MENA nations fail to make the necessary investment to keep up with global demand for oil and natural gas -- both in terms of production and refining capacity. Under this model, oil prices will increase 32% above the reference scenario. 3) A final

More At Stake Than Just a Power Uprate

In Vermont, the state is in the midst of a two-day public hearing on whether or not to approve a 20% power uprate for the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. Opposition to the uprate is coming from the usual suspects making the same old arguments. Here the conclusion of an editorial from the Vermont Guardian : Nuclear power makes no sense for a state like Vermont, which has emerged as one of the few places on the planet where this message is being sent. This is the home stretch --— a critical time to speak the truth about power to the powers that be. What the Guardian doesn't want to tell you is that the uprate is desperately needed in an area of the country that has neglected building new electric generating capacity for some time. That was the conclusion of a report published recently by the New England Energy Alliance, an industry group formed with the goal of countering the sort of NIMBYism advocated by the Guardian . Here's the Hartford Courant : "Our assessment of

PBMR Update

Rod Adams pointed me to this story concerning the long-term electricity situation in South Africa and how the deployment of the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) might help the situation. For another take on the PBMR, click here . Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Politics , Technology , PBMR , South Africa, Electricity

German Nuclear Update

After Germany's latest parliamentary election left the Bundestag in a deadlock , presumptive Prime Minister Angela Merkel has been forced to create a coalition government with the Social Democrats headed by her predecessor, Gerhard Schroder. One of the main sticking points has been the phase out of Germany's nuclear plants. Merkel's Christian Democratic Union wanted to overturn it, or at least delay the deadline. Schroder's party, who engineered the deal with an assist from Germany's Green Party, wouldn't agree to any change. Here's how it came out according to Bloomberg : NUCLEAR ENERGY: The lifespan of Germany's nuclear-power plants won't be extended. An agreement signed by Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and power companies five years ago that aims to phase out nuclear power by 2021 will be left unchanged. Merkel initially sought to delay the phase-out to about 2027. So it looks like the status quo for the foreseeable future, or at least until th

U.K. Nuclear Energy Update

There are more signs that U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair's government is moving toward new nuclear build. Here's the latest from yesterday's Independent : The comments from [Trade Minister] Ian Pearson, the minister for trade with a brief on energy issues, are the most explicit expression of support for nuclear power from a senior Labour figure. Nuclear power is virtually carbon free. "My personal view is that we ought to look at a limited new-build nuclear programme, probably based around existing sites," he said. "That strikes me as pretty much a no-brainer. To meet our future climate-change targets, it is the right thing to do, and in terms of the energy mix." He conceded that "there are a whole series of concerns you have to get right" over nuclear energy, for example how to safely store radioactive waste. Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Environment , Energy , Politics , United Kingdom

Frist: America has waited, "far too long," to build new nuclear.

Here's Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) from today's Atlanta Journal-Constitution : Sometime in the next five years, if all goes according to plan, construction workers will turn over the first spades of dirt for the foundations of a new nuclear power plant. It will be a day America has awaited for far too long. Meeting our energy needs in a cost-effective way while reducing our dangerous dependence on foreign oil requires that we end the country's long nuclear energy drought... Without nuclear power we will likely face another energy crisis. The federal government's forthcoming official 30-year energy forecast, indeed, will assume that we're going to build another six gigawatts of generating capacity -- roughly six new reactors. In July, furthermore, Congress passed legislation that will provide utilities with incentives to build new nuclear facilities... The rebirth of nuclear power will mean changed attitudes, cleaner air and greater energy independence