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Showing posts from March, 2006

Fighting Back With Online Video

Back in January, we told you about a ridiculous video created by Greenpeace U.K. of an airliner crashing into a seaside nuclear power plant while a terrified family looks on (watch it here ). More recently, I discovered a video by the Committee to Bridge the Gap on the same topic narrated by noted corporate security expert, Martin Sheen (he's like a bad penny ). Both videos leverage services from an online service called YouTube , a Web site that allows members to upload video for free. In turn, the videos can either be viewed over at YouTube , or alternately, embedded in your own Website inside a video player (we used it here ). It's a great service, and one that NEI's members ought to be using to get their message out to a wider audience. So, in the interest of equal time, NEI recently uploaded our own nuclear security video over at a competing service, Google Video . Watch it right now: And while our narrator isn't a television actor, we like to think he&

Skip Bowman on Global Nuclear Build

Earlier this week in Brussels at ENA 2006 , NEI CEO Skip Bowman laid out five key points critical to the future of the industry . Here's #3: Point No. 3: To build sustainable confidence in nuclear energy in the United States, we are defining a long-term road map and vision. For sure in the near-term: A new construction cycle for advanced light water reactors, well-suited for baseload electricity production. Possibly in the medium-term: Starting around 2025, commercial deployment of high-temperature reactors, with a more varied product slate, using advanced hydrogen production technologies, co-located with oil refineries and coal gasification plants, providing hydrogen they require to upgrade coal and the heavy crude oils of the future into usable products. Generating process heat to produce clean drinking water, to extract oil from tar sands and other industrial applications. And the long-term vision: Over the next 30 to 40 years, deployment of advanced technologies to partitio

NEI Energy Markets Report (March 20th - 24th)

Here's a summary of what went on in the energy markets last week: Electricity prices mostly increased in the East and Midwest but fell in the West (see pages 1 & 2). Gas prices at the Henry Hub rose $0.26 to $7.10/MMBtu (see page 4). Oil prices at the West Texas Intermediate were $62.64/barrel for the week of March 13th – 18th (see page 5). Nuclear capacity availability was at 82% last week. Fourteen units were in refueling outages (see pages 2 & 3). For the report click here (pdf). It is also located on NEI's Nuclear Statistics webpage . Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Nuclear Power , Electricity , Environment , Energy , Natural Gas , Coal , Oil

NAM: Time for America to Emulate French Nuclear Program

In the wake of yesterday's front page story in the Wall Street Journal on the French commercial nuclear energy program, Pat Cleary over at the NAM Blog had this to say: Here in the US, it's a different story. We remain hamstrung by some pretty lousy policy choices we've made on energy. The enviros have all but achieved a moratorium on nuclear plants here. They don't want us to drill for oil, or for natural gas, or to mine -- or burn -- coal either, by the way. And so we sit and watch our energy prices soar while our competitors can only look at us and scratch their heads. We are the only country that restricts access to its own natural resources. Who else among our competitors would be dumb enough to do that? Not China, Japan, Korea or Taiwan, that's for sure. Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Nuclear Power , Electricity , Environment , Energy , France , Manufacturing

North Anna ESP update

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to hear a presentation by Gene Grecheck of Dominion . He discussed progress on the North Anna early site permit (ESP) process. That’s a subject that dates back to some of the earliest days of this blog . Since the presentation ran for a full hour, I won’t try to repeat it here, but a couple of points seemed to be of particularly broad interest. The first point was about how we in the industry continue to wait impatiently for a new plant order. On a personal note, I would like to observe that it’s funny how our perspectives change. Five years ago, we were thrilled when anyone would say "nuclear" in a context that was not pejorative. One year ago, we were thrilled to hear that Duke was going to pursue a construction and operating license . Now, we really want to hear about a contract to build a new plant. In a few years, even that won’t satisfy us, and we will want to hear about concrete pours. But I digress. Gene did not discuss changes in

Progress Energy Calls for National Climate Change Policy

Progress Energy today released its report on global climate change, saying that there is enough understanding of the issue to warrant action by the private and public sectors. The company also called for the development of a national climate change policy, which it says should include nuclear power. "Progress Energy recognizes the importance, scale and complexity of global climate change," said Bob McGehee, chairman and chief executive officer. "Addressing this issue and other environmental challenges will require a balanced solution, including more conservation and efficiency programs, clean coal and nuclear generation , and the development and use of advanced and renewable technologies." Progress informed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in August 2005 that it plans to submit a combined construction and operating license for a new nuclear plant. It updated those plans in November 2005 to include a second application - one for the Harris Nuclear Plant site in

Senate Confirms Spurgeon as DOE Assistant Secretary

The Senate voted 88-0 yesterday to approve the nomination of Dennis Spurgeon as the Department of Energy’s assistant secretary for nuclear energy, a new position created by the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Spurgeon is a former executive vice president and chief operating officer of USEC Inc. UPDATE: Here's what NEI Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs Alex Flint had to say today about Spurgeon's confirmation: “Assistant Secretary Spurgeon has a wealth of knowledge on energy issues generally and on nuclear energy specifically. His leadership in the Office of Nuclear Energy will be tremendously beneficial to [DOE] as it seeks to implement the president’s Advanced Energy Initiative and strengthen U.S. energy security.” Read NEI's full news release here . Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Nuclear Power , Environment , Energy , Politics , Technology , Economics , Department of Energy , Spurgeon

'Team CANDU' Created to Build Nuclear Plants in Ontario

Five nuclear technology and engineering companies have joined together on “ Team CANDU ,” a four-year agreement to build new nuclear power plants in Ontario. The five companies are: - Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. - Babcock & Wilcox Canada - General Electric Canada - Hitachi Canada Ltd. - SNC Lavalin Nuclear Inc. They have partnered to devise a business model for fixed-price, turnkey plants, or plants that will be built ready to operate. The formation of Team CANDU comes after a December 2005 report by the Ontario Power Authority stated that two-thirds of Ontario’s baseload generation will need to be replaced in the next 15 years. Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Nuclear Power , Environment , Energy , Politics , Technology , Economics , Ontario

State Legislatures Support New Nuclear Build

So many states have been busy passing resolutions or legislation to support new nuclear plant construction that it might just be time for a roundup of all the activity. The bills and resolutions address the sharp increase in energy demand and consumption expected in the United States in the coming decades. They also recognize the need for increased energy independence; new-build incentives in the Energy Policy Act of 2005; and nuclear energy’s safety, reliability and clean-air attributes. The South Dakota legislature passed a resolution ( 1010 ) Feb. 27 supporting the development of nuclear power in the state. It encourages U.S. academic institutions to pursue research in developing nuclear energy, and is similar to a bill, signed into law March 3, to examine the feasibility of new nuclear generation in the state. Another resolution ( 865 ), passed by a large majority of the Georgia State Senate in March, urges electric utilities to conduct a feasibility study for building new nuc

Nuclear Energy Industry Transitions

Mike Coyle is Exelon Nuclear’s new vice president of mid-Atlantic operations. He previously served as NEI’s vice president of operations. Progress Energy has announced several management changes . Jeffrey Lyash will be president and CEO of Progress Energy Florida, effective June 1. He will replace the retiring H. William Habermeyer Jr. Don Davis, executive vice president of diversified operations, will retire April 14. Paula Sims, currently vice president of fossil generation, will replace Davis and senior vice president. Charlie Gates, coal-fired power plant manager in the Carolinas and general manager of Progress Energy’s three fossil plant regions, will replace Sims. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has named J. Sam Armijo, Ph.D. , to its Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards . Armijo is an adjunct professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno . Alexander “Andy” Karsner has been sworn in as the Department of Energy’s assistant secreta

This Week on the Hill

House Energy and Water Appropriations : Hearing on fiscal 2007 appropriations for science research within the Department of Energy. March 29, 10 a.m. (2362-B Rayburn Building). House Energy and Water Appropriations : Hearing on fiscal 2007 appropriations for energy supply and conservation within DOE. March 30, 10 a.m. (2362-B Rayburn Building). Senate Appropriations Energy and Water Subcom mittee : Hearing on fiscal 2007 appropriations for Yucca Mountain/Environmental Management/Office of Safeguards and Security. March 30, 10 a.m. (138 Dirksen Building). Note: Committee Schedules are subject to change. Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Nuclear Power , Environment , Energy , Politics , Technology , Economics

Some Notes on Tritium

There's been plenty of talk in our comment strings the past few weeks of the discovery of elevated levels of Tritium , a byproduct of nuclear power generation, in groundwater in and around a number of nuclear power plants . Recently, NEI issued a fact sheet on the incidents that provides some perspective and insight into the science involved: For perspective, the amount of tritium in the groundwater at the nuclear power plant with the highest and most extensive levels of tritium is far less than the amount of tritium in a single 'exit' sign. Many industrial-grade exit signs contain 10 to 20 curies of tritium gas. By comparison, the average concentration of tritium in groundwater at nuclear plants is at or below the EPA standard for tritium in drinking water -- 0.02 microcuries per liter. To read what other blogs are saying about the situation, click here . Nobody welcomes an incident like this, and officials in the companies involved are taking the lead in communicating

Nuclear Energy Insight

The latest issue of Nuclear Energy Insight is now available online. In it, you will find an article on near-record level of electricity production and reliability posted by U.S. nuclear power plants in 2005. There also are reports on a NASA spacecraft headed to Pluto powered by nuclear technology and “Energy Week” speeches by President Bush and Cabinet officials endorsing nuclear power as part of a secure, diverse energy portfolio. Other articles discuss a nuclear plant evacuation plan that serves as a model for Connecticut, a nuclear plant that reopened its visitor center to delight of public, and moves by state lawmakers to examine nuclear energy’s possibilities. Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Nuclear Power , Environment , Energy , Politics , Technology , Economics

Keeping Up With the Anti-Nukes

Over on our blogroll to the right, you'll notice that we added a section on anti-nuclear activists. We think it's important to track these folks, which is why we're including them. But rather than simply listing their links, we've added a new wrinkle: Whenever we have dealt with these groups in print before, I've included a link to our archives where you'll find detailed responses to their charges. Click here to see what we did with the Rocky Mountain Institute . Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Nuclear Power , Electricity , Environment , Energy

China Counts the Cost of Coal

Earlier this week, we pointed to a story about how China is producing more coal than ever before . And it's important to remember that it comes with a cost. Here's AOL Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis on his visit to Shanghai : The city is remarkably clean, but the air is not. There is a cloud of pollution that hangs over the city and stings the eyes. And everywhere you look, at every time of the day, there are people, a seemingly endless stream of people buzzing about - talking, eating, shopping, and working. After a simply observation like that, it's easy to see why China wants to build so much new nuclear generating capacity . Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Nuclear Power , Environment , Energy , Politics , Technology , Economics , China , Ted Leonsis

Stewart Brand to Address Nuclear Energy Assembly

I just spoke to my colleague Lisa Steward, and I can break the news that Stewart Brand , founder of the Whole Earth Catalog and author of the groundbreaking essay, Environmental Heresies , has agreed to address the 2006 Nuclear Energy Assembly in San Francisco on Friday, May 19. Since Brand's essay appeared in MIT Technology Review last Spring, his name has become a familiar one for readers of NEI Nuclear Notes. Click here for our complete archive on Brand and all the dust he's been kicking up in the past year. Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Nuclear Power , Environment , Energy , Politics , Technology , Economics

Getting a Correction from MSNBC

Crossing a lot of our desks at NEI today is a profile of one of our newest employees, Alex Flint, who joined NEI as Vice President of Government Affairs earlier this year . It's your typical revolving door ethics story, one where activist groups who try to conceal their own conflicts of interest try to slime a former public servant in the absence of any evidence . Nobody alleges that Flint did anything illegal. Neither the law nor Senate rules prohibited Flint from leaving the Energy Committee post after three years in which he helped develop policy and shepherd legislation on nuclear issues and going directly to work as NEI’s senior vice president for governmental affairs. And one Washington watchdog says Flint's career path is hardly surprising in today's environment, where congressional staff jobs are viewed by many as a "stepping stone to riches." Critics like Gary Kalman of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group say Flint's case is especially troubli

NEI Energy Markets Report (March 13th - 17th)

Here's a summary of what went on in the energy markets last week: Electricity prices mostly increased throughout the country (see pages 1 & 2). Gas prices at the Henry Hub rose $0.36 to $6.84/MMBtu (see page 4). Nuclear capacity availability was at 85% last week. Twelve units were in refueling outages. LaSalle 1 completed a 26 day refueling outage and set a new world record for longest continuous run by a light water reactor at 739 days on February 20th. The previous record was held by Peach Bottom 3 at 708 days (see pages 2 & 3). For the report click here (pdf). It is also located on NEI's Nuclear Statistics webpage . Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Nuclear Power , Electricity , Environment , Energy , Natural Gas , Coal , Oil

China to Set Coal Output Record

From the China Daily : Top energy planners are seeking, in the next five years, to raise China's coal output to an unprecedented level and, at the same time, reduce the number of large mining disasters. China's coal output will be between 2.5 billion and 2.6 billion tons in 2010, as compared with 2.19 billion tons in 2005, according to Guo Yuntao, director of the China Development Research Centre for the Coal Industry, in an interview with China Daily. The growth rate being forecast by the planning team led by Guo is much slower than in the last five years, when China's coal output rose from about 1.3 billion tons in 2000. More from the Houston Chronicle . Technorati tags: Energy , Politics , China , Coal , Electricity

Nuclear Energy Industry Transitions

TXU Corp. last week announced several leadership changes . Mike Childers is the new CEO of Generation Development. Chief Financial Officer Kirk Oliver and General Counsel Eric Peterson will be leaving TXU Corp. David Campbell, executive vice president of corporate planning, strategy and risk, will temporarily assume Oliver’s responsibilities. David Poole will be the company’s new general counsel and executive vice president of legal. The Shaw Group has hired Dave Barry as president of the Shaw Stone & Webster Nuclear Services division. Barry joins Shaw from Bechtel , where he had been for six years, most recently as operations manager for fossil power projects. PG&E Corp. has elected Richard Rollo as vice president of strategic development and business integration, effective March 29. Rollo joins PG&E from Health Net Inc. , where he was vice president of corporate development and M&A. Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) has named Traci Bender its vice presid

Nuclear vs. Wind, Part II

Today, I'm posting the conclusion of my discussion with Dave Erickson from Re/Action on Climate Protection regarding the relative benefits of wind and nuclear energy. In my last post, I looked at why displacing all of America's coal generated electric capacity with wind wasn't practical or achieveable. To read Part I, click here . Today, in Part II, I'm taking a closer look at the economics of wind and nuclear energy. Cost of Wind vs Cost of Nuclear to Replace Coal There are several points I would like to argue about Dave’s post: capacity factors, costs and new nuclear build. The sources Dave uses for his information are excellent. He cites the MIT Study on the Future of Nuclear Power and IEA’s Projected Costs of Generating Electricity . Costs Everyone who wants to pronounce nuclear as uneconomical always cites the MIT Study . The study, whose authors are in favor of nuclear, offered suggestions for how nuclear can overcome a number of well known challenges, incl

Nuclear vs. Wind, Part I

Over the past few weeks I have been engaged in a discussion over the benefits of wind and nuclear with Dave Erickson at Re/Action on Climate Protection . Two of his recent posts, Replace coal with Wind and Cost of Wind vs. Cost of Nuclear to Replace Coal , deserve further discussion. Dave argues that wind is more cost effective than nuclear. However, his post is about climate protection and he never mentions that nuclear power is the leading source of emission free electricity in the U.S. Nuclear plants already avoid almost 700 million metric tons of CO2 annually in the U.S., and more than 2 billion metric tons of CO2 annually worldwide. Replace Coal with Wind? Probably not. The U.S. has the largest reserves of coal in the world . Replacing coal completely with wind simply doesn't make economic sense. While coal releases significant emissions, it is getting cleaner. Any new coal plant built has to meet many stringent air requirements. To comply, coal plants are fitted with sc

Court Rules Against Bush Administration on New Source Review

From Greenwire (subscription required): One of U.S. EPA's most controversial overhauls to the Clean Air Act program was deemed illegal today by a federal appeals court. A three-judge panel from the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia unanimously rejected EPA's changes to the New Source Review program. Judge Judith Rogers, lead author of the 20-page opinion, said EPA's August 2003 rule changes violated the air pollution law. The ruling is a major victory for New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (D) and the coalition of states, large and small cities and environmentalists that has opposed the Bush administration's air pollution policies. The groups sued EPA immediately after it completed the rules, and they scored an early victory in December 2003 when the court issued a temporary injunction that halted their implementation. This is huge. More later. UPDATE : More from the Washington Post : Scott H. Segal, a spokesman for a Washington-based

NEI Turns 12

On this day in 1994 , the marriage of the U. S. Council for Energy Awareness, the Nuclear Management and Resources Council, Inc., the American Nuclear Energy Council, and the Nuclear Division of the Edison Electric Institute resulted in the creation of the Nuclear Energy Institute . To all NEI employees, past and present, happy anniversary. Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Nuclear Power , Electricity , Environment , Energy , Politics

Duke, Southern Company Announce Joint Project

From the Charlotte Business Journal : Duke Power has chosen 2,022 acres near Gaffney, S.C., as the site for a proposed $6 billion, two-reactor nuclear plant, with rival Southern Co. of Atlanta to be a partner in the project. The Cherokee County Council has offered Duke Power an incentive package including a 50 percent property tax credit and access to low-interest bonds to get the plant built there. The proposed plant could bring about 800 permanent jobs to the county. Brew Barron, Duke Power's chief nuclear officer, says construction jobs would number about 1,000 at the peak of activity. "A lot of the new plant design involves much more modular construction than the old plants," he says. "So the number would be something less than what you might have seen historically for plant construction." It could take 10 to 12 years for the plant to become a reality, and neither utility is yet committed to construction. That decision will come later, Duke Power and So

Australia Nuclear Update

Crikey takes a look at the possible revival of nuclear energy down under. Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Nuclear Power , Electricity , Environment , Energy , Politics , Technology , Economics , Australia , China

More on Jared Diamond and Nuclear Energy

Last July, my former colleague Brian Smith posted about best selling author Jared Diamond's support for the expansion of nuclear energy both in the U.S. and abroad . He made his statement during a lecture sponsored by Stewart Brand's Long Now Foundation , and was prompted by an audience question to Diamond. Thanks to Google Video , the recording of the event is now online . To fast forward to the specific exchange between Brand and Diamond, move the progress bar to the 1:10:00 mark and hit play. It's a lot more powerful to see and hear it happen than to just read a transcript. Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Environment , Energy , Politics , Technology , Economics

Senator Larry Craig on the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership

Via Google Video and the office of Senator Craig : Though the camera is first focused on Deputy Secretary of Energy Clay Sell at the start of the video, the camera switches to Senator Craig a few seconds in. For more, here , here and here . Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Used Fuel , Energy , Reprocessing , Technology , Electricity , Yucca Mountain

Once Again on Nuclear Energy and Total Lifecycle Emissions

Couldn't help but notice an editorial from earlier this week in the Salt Lake Tribune from some anti-nuke activists: Some of Utah's lawmakers argue that nuclear energy is clean, safe and cheap. We disagree with them on the supposedly low level of greenhouse gas emissions released throughout the nuclear fuel cycle... A couple of days ago, our new friend from Environmental Action, Navin Nayak, said he couldn't understand why folks like us bother to advocate the continued and expanded use of nuclear energy . The above paragraph is one of the reasons why -- because plenty of anti-nuke activists figure if they keep repeating the same lies over and over again then people will begin to believe them. So, once again, from our archives: Debunking Arguments on Lifecycle Emissions NIRS/WISE Fails NEI Data Integrity Test Revisiting Total Lifecycle Emissions and Nuclear Energy I'd like to think this would be the last time I have to do something like this, but I think we a

Why Houston Needs Nuclear Energy Now

In January, NEI CEO Skip Bowman addressed the Houston Forum and had the following to say about why the city and the state should give nuclear energy a second look: In 2004, South Texas Project and Comanche Peak produced about 11 percent of the state'’s electricity. Replacing the South Texas Project (STP) and Comanche Peak generating capacity with fossil fuel sources would mean an additional 31.6 million tons of carbon dioxide. That'’s the equivalent of emissions from six out of every seven cars in the state. By building emission-free generating capacity such as new nuclear power plants to meet growing electricity demand, we reduce the clean-air compliance costs that otherwise would fall on other types of generating capacity that do produce emissions. Nuclear power plants create headroom underneath emissions caps for the industrial sector and for transportation, and to allow continued economic growth. To the extent we build new nuclear power plants, we also reduce the demand

Australia and China Near Uranium Deal

At least that's the word from the official government broadcaster. Stay tuned for details. Thanks to Phronesisaical for the pointer. Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Nuclear Power , Electricity , Environment , Energy , Politics , Technology , Economics , Australia , China

More on Nuclear Construction and RFID

Back in January, we pointed to a piece that talked about how Hitachi was planning to use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to track components during the construction of nuclear power plants. Now Hitachi has announced that they plan to implement this in reactor construction as soon as 2007 , using the technology to track the work history of 50,000 pipes. Thanks to RFID in Japan for the pointer. Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Nuclear Power , Energy , Electricity , Hitachi , RFID

NEI Energy Markets Report (March 6th - 10th)

Here's a summary of what went on in the energy markets last week: Electricity prices fell in the East but mostly increased throughout the rest of the country (see pages 1 & 2). Gas prices at the Henry Hub fell $0.34 to $6.48/MMBtu (see page 4). Electricity demand is expected to increase only slightly in 2006 (0.4 percent) because of weak heating-related demand this past January and the lower expected cooling-related demand this summer in comparison to conditions seen in 2005. Electric power sector demand for coal is projected to increase by 0.6 percent in 2006 and by another 2.5 percent in 2007. Total natural gas demand in 2006 is projected to remain near 2005 levels, then increase by 2.4 percent in 2007 (see page 8). For the report click here (pdf). It is also located on NEI's Nuclear Statistics webpage . Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Nuclear Power , Electricity , Environment , Energy , Natural Gas , Coal , Oil

This Week on the Hill

"This Week on the Hill" is a new feature on NEI Nuclear Notes. We'll be listing all relevant congressional hearings for the upcoming week and beyond. Please note that the dates, times and locations are subject to change - but we'll do our best to stay on top of things. Senate Appropriations Energy and Water Subcommittee : Hearing to examine proposed budget estimates for fiscal 2007 for the Office of Science, the Energy Supply and Conservation account, and the Fossil Energy Research and Development account within the Department of Energy. Tuesday, March 14, 2:30 p.m. (138 Dirksen Building). House Appropriations Energy and Water Development Subcommittee : Hearing on fiscal 2007 appropriations for DOE nuclear waste disposal. Scheduled to testify: acting director of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management. Wednesday, March 15, 10 a.m. (2362-B Rayburn Building). House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality : Hearing on the status of the Y

Nuclear Energy Industry Transitions

President Bush announced his intention to nominate Philip Moeller and Jon Wellinghoff to be members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission . Each would serve the remainder of five-year terms, expiring in 2010 and 2008, respectively. Moeller is executive director of the Washington office of Alliant Energy Corp. Wellinghoff is a partner at Beckley Singleton . The Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) elected Lewis Hay III as chairman of its board of directors. Hay is chairman and CEO of FPL Group Inc . INPO also elected David Ratcliffe as the board’s vice chairman. Ratcliffe is chairman, president and CEO of Southern Co . INPO re-elected the other members of its board for 2006. Kirk Schnoebelen has been elected president of Urenco Inc. , effective immediately. He succeeds Charles Pryor, who continues to serve as non-executive director and president and CEO of Urenco Investments Inc. UniStar Nuclear , the joint venture between Constellation Energy and AREVA Inc., has a

Amory Lovins, Subsidies and Environmental Action

Over at the Environmental Action blog , Navin Nayak is objecting to our post from yesterday listing all of the work we've done looking at Avory Lovins and the Rocky Mountain Institute . And he's calling us out: For today, we'll focus on RMI's main argument, which is that nuclear power is not competitive without massive federal support; if every energy source (including efficiency) were allowed to compete on a level playing field, nuclear would sink to the bottom. Funny, but the issue of subsidies is one that my friend Lisa Shell took on a couple of months ago, both here and in a letter to the editor at the Fredericksburg Freelance-Star . So, rather than go point by point with Nayak, just read Lisa's response . Here's more from Nayak: So I guess all I'm really wondering is why the nuclear industry bothers? Why? It's simple, really. Because more often than not, plenty of anti-nukes cherry pick the data in order to support erroneous conclusions . And

Revisiting the Uranium Supply

One of the more frustrating aspects of blogging about nuclear energy issues is the fact that we seem to have to keep answering the same questions over and over again. A good example is the following passage from a story that appeared today over at Oh My News International : [German energy expert Dr. Hermann] Scheer was in Australia last week to argue against the "nuclear solution" to climate change. Uranium is, like fossil fuels, a finite resource. It's an obvious point to make, but one which is being overlooked in the giddy rush to secure new energy sources. The world's uranium, Scheer warned, will be depleted almost as fast as fossil fuels and nuclear power is an expensive, dangerous and shortsighted alternative to polluting coal and gas fired power. "Uranium will be depleted in fifty years, and even earlier if a large number of new nuclear power stations come online. If Australia does not expand uranium mining beyond its current, restricted three mines polic

Japan Nuclear Update

Hokuriku Electric's Shiga plant in Ishikawa, northern Japan, is expected to start commercial operations on March 15 . Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Nuclear Power , Electricity , Environment , Energy , Politics , Technology , Economics , Japan

Value of Nuclear License Renewal

To date, 39 nuclear reactors have received 20 year license extensions . 12 other reactors have filed for an extension and another 27 which have announced intentions to do so. If all 103 nuclear reactors in the U.S. receive a 20 year extension, and the industry anticipates they will, the first retirement will not be until 2029. When a nuclear plant retires, the primary source of fuel for its replacement would be coal. A typical 1,000 MW nuclear plant consumes about 20 metric tons of uranium during its fuel cycle (18 or 24 months). A comparable coal plant would need about 3.43 million tons of coal each year to provide the same generation as a nuclear plant. And as we saw earlier this week, transporting large volumes of coal can present other challenges as well . To replace the same generation with a natural gas plant, you'd need 65.8 billion cubic feet of gas, and for oil, 13.7 million barrels. If you multiply these figures by 20 years you would need: 68.6 million tons of coal; or

Drinking Amory's Kool Aid

Environmental Action is drinking a type of Kool Aid only made in the Rocky Mountains . Here's Navin Nayak : I haven't heard much from this morning's committee hearing on energy independence, but I did track down Amory Lovin's press release for the event. As usual, his thoughts are bold and solidly backed by research. Carefully researched? I guess it depends on who you talk to. Take a look at the following links to see what we're talking about: Rod Adams vs. Amory Lovins Bad Data Leads to Bad Conclusions More Bad Data from Amory Lovins Revisiting RMI's Bad Data Revisiting RMI and Amory Lovins Doublechecking the Numbers Checking the Data with Peter Asmus Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy , Environment , Energy , Electricity , Carbon Emissions , Rocky Mountain Institute , Amory Lovins