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Showing posts from August, 2007

Ohio RPS Includes Nuclear Energy

From the Toledo Blade : Gov. Ted Strickland's energy proposal calls for Ohio's electric utilities to invest heavily in renewable and advanced energy, but it remains to be seen how much of a hammer the state would swing to make it happen. The administration has not said what would happen to a utility if it fails to meet the requirement that 25 percent of its power supply come from "advanced energy'' by 2025. That category would include fuel cell, clean coal, and nuclear technology as well as "green'' sources like solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, and landfill gases. "We want that standard to be firm, but we also understand that it would be desirable for us to have a kind of flexibility as we move toward achieving that standard,'' Mr. Strickland said. "I would expect the [Public Utilities Commission of Ohio] to continue to monitor the efforts toward achieving that standard.'' In addition to the broader 25 percent-by-2

Moore Gives DiCaprio's Movie a Thumbs Down

Dr. Patrick Moore of the CASEnergy Coalition has seen Leonardo DiCaprio's new movie, and he came away less than impressed : DiCaprio’s movie, The 11th Hour, is another example of anti-forestry scare tactics, this time said to be “brilliant and terrifying” by James Christopher of the London Times. Maybe so, but instead of surrendering to the terror, keep in mind that there are solutions to the challenges of climate, and our forests are among them. This film should be a good, clear reminder for us to put the science before the Hollywood hype. As a result of the piece, Moore was invited to be a guest on next Tuesday's edition of the Dennis Miller Show at 11:15 a.m. to talk about viable responses to climate change including the increased use of nuclear energy. To join CASEnergy , click here . Don Surber has more.

The Sky Is Not Falling

In response to news that Energy Alberta plans to build a twin-CANDU plant, the London Free-Press (Ontario) had this to say: As concerns about global warming rise to fever pitch, a full-flung debate on the role of nuclear energy in reducing CO2 emissions -- and fears about safety -- is essential. You'd think the green movement, which led the charge to reduce CO2 emissions, would welcome such an opportunity. Instead, they've responded to an application to build a $6.2 billion nuclear power plant in northern Alberta with the usual booga-booga rhetoric that unfortunately clings to the development of nuclear energy in Canada. The half-truths and dubious scientific claims by these groups lead one to believe they do their research by watching the Simpsons. Ouch!

NRDC's Cochran on Dry Cask Storage and Earthquakes

Got an interesting piece of information I wanted to pass along. Back on June 28, Tom Cochran Director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's nuclear program, testified before the California Energy Commission . Following his testimony, Commissioner James D. Boyd asked Cochran whether or not storing used nuclear fuel in dry casks was safe given California's history with earthquakes. Here's how he answered: As an organization we haven't developed a view but I'll give you my personal view. First of all I think it's nonsense to think that an earthquake is going to damage a dry cask storage container. I think you can shake those as long as you want to and you're not going to -- you might want to go back and re-rack or something in a safe facility but I cannot envision it being shaken open. So I don't think that's an argument, seismicity, for moving dry casks. I think it makes sense to have a place to move spent fuel and store it in dry casks f

New U.K. Poll Shows New Support for Nuclear Energy

For a while now, I've written that folks ought to be careful when reading public opinion polls concerning nuclear energy in Europe. For the most part, as we've pointed out here at NEI Nuclear Notes, these polls were taken before the 2005 crisis over natural gas supply that took place involving Russia and Ukraine -- an event that clearly demonstrated the need for diversity in Europe's energy portfolio. Well, I'm happy to announce that the polls have finally caught up to reality. From The Times (London): An overwhelming majority of people believe that nuclear power will have a role to play in meeting Britain’s future energy needs, despite continued opposition from environmental campaigners. The latest in a monthly series of ethical reports compiled for The Times describes a growing groundswell of support for a new generation of nuclear power plants. Nearly two thirds of those surveyed by Populus said they believed that nuclear power will form part of an overall ene

NEI's Energy Markets Report - August 20 - 24, 2007

Here's a summary of what went on in the energy markets last week: Electricity peak prices all decreased by more than $5/MWh. Except for the Palo Verde hub, the current week’s averages are all below the last four week’s average. If last year’s seasonal trends repeat this year, electricity prices could be expected to decline and remain below the 52 week average through September and October (see pages 1 and 3). Gas prices at the Henry Hub fell $0.67 to $6.25/MMBtu (see pages 1 and 3). Natural gas spot and futures prices eased as Hurricane Dean did not have a significant impact on U.S. production in the Gulf of Mexico. Moderate temperatures contributed to the decline, according to EIA. NYMEX natural gas futures registered steep declines last week, including the largest single-day movements in nearly 20 months. A 97-cent decline for the September 2007 contract on Monday was the largest decline since the January 2006 contract lost $1.26 per MMBtu on December 27, 2005. The decrease occ

Ontario to Phase Out Coal by 2014, Build More Nuclear

From yesterday's National Post Ontario's power system will rely on more wind, solar and other renewable energy sources, build more nuclear power plants and ask consumers to save more electricity to meet the province's energy needs for the next two decades under a sweeping $60-billion plan unveiled yesterday by the Ontario Power Authority. The plan would phase out Ontario's greenhouse-gas-emitting coal-fired power plants by 2014. "It's a directional plan: it's a road map," Amir Shalaby, the power authority's vice-president of planning, said. Just more good news from North America's best kept secret in emissions reduction .

Food Irradiation and Agriculture

From the New York Times : Pierre Lagoda pulled a small container from his pocket and spilled the contents onto his desk. Four tiny dice rolled to a stop. “That’s what nature does,” Dr. Lagoda said. The random results of the dice, he explained, illustrate how spontaneous mutations create the genetic diversity that drives evolution and selective breeding. He rolled the dice again. This time, he was mimicking what he and his colleagues have been doing quietly around the globe for more than a half-century — using radiation to scramble the genetic material in crops, a process that has produced valuable mutants like red grapefruit, disease-resistant cocoa and premium barley for Scotch whiskey. “I’m doing the same thing,” he said, still toying with the dice. “I’m not doing anything different from what nature does. I’m not using anything that was not in the genetic material itself.” Dr. Lagoda, the head of plant breeding and genetics at the International Atomic Energy Agency, prides himself on

U.S. and Russia to Ink Bilateral Nuclear Energy Pact in Fall

From RIA-Novosti : A senior Russian nuclear official said Tuesday that a deal is likely to be signed with the United States this fall on the civilian use of nuclear power. The document, initialed two months ago, envisages the transfer of fissile materials, and relevant installations and equipment. "We hope the document will be signed during the coming fall," said Nikolai Spassky, deputy head of the Federal Agency for Nuclear Power.

U.S. And Australia to Sign Bilateral Nuclear Energy Agreement

From : PRESIDENT George W. Bush and John Howard will sign a new bilateral nuclear power pact during APEC, committing both countries to share research and development expertise. Although the agreement is not legally binding, it follows a similar agreement Washington struck with Japan and establishes a framework for Australia, should it decide to establish a nuclear power industry. "There is a gap in our education and regulatory knowledge and this sets the pieces in place," said one source familiar with the agreement. "It doesn't necessarily get us to the point where we could start building nuclear power plants, but this is an important agreement where we can learn from the Americans." Click here for more from our archives on Australia.

CPS Energy Endorses Nuclear Energy for San Antonio

From : The staff of CPS Energy on Monday strongly endorsed expanding San Antonio's use of nuclear power, recommending that the company's board support development of more nuclear generation. Saying the city's needs for more power will be acute by 2016, a key CPS official said nuclear power is the least expensive answer to the city's growing need for more electricity. "Nuclear generation costs appear to be the most reasonable over the long term," Mike Kotara, CPS executive vice president of energy development, said in a presentation to the city-owned utility's board of trustees. "Our study shows we will require another substantial source of electricity around the 2016 time frame," Kotara said. "We need to act expeditiously so we can keep our options open and not lose the window of opportunity." Kotara recommended that CPS take on a partner to build a nuclear generator. The board took no action Monday, but met in executive

Energy Alberta Files for New Nuclear Plant

From Reuters : Energy Alberta Corp. said on Monday it filed an application with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to build a nuclear power plant in Alberta that aims to be in service within 10 years. The Calgary, Alberta-based company said its application is for two twin-unit ACR-1000 advanced Candu reactors just west of Peace River in northern Alberta. "This is an historic moment for Canada, for Alberta and for the nuclear power industry," Wayne Henuset, Energy Alberta's chief executive, said. "We are proud to be pioneers in bringing the benefits of clean, safe, reliable nuclear power to Alberta." Energy Alberta, which teamed with state-owned Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd, said it would first build one twin-unit reactor that could produce 2,200 megawatts of electricity by early 2017. Congrats to the teams at Energy Alberta and AECL on taking the first step in this process.

Temelin Gets IAEA Sign of Approval

From Radio Praha : The drawn-out Czech-Austrian dispute over the Temelin nuclear power plant in south Bohemia, located just sixty kilometers from the Austrian border, took a new turn over the weekend when the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency Muhammad El Baradei threw his weight fully behind the Czech Republic. In an interview for Monday's edition of the Austrian paper Profil Mr. El Baradei said that Temelin posed no danger to the environment and indicated that the plant's opponents in Austria were obsessed with its existence rather than concerned about its safety. The interview was bad news for Austrian anti-nuclear activists who had been pushing their government to take the Temelin dispute to an international court. Earlier this year the Austrian government commissioned a legal study to assess its chances of winning such a dispute. The verdict was - practically none. Now, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency - Nobel Peace Prize winner - Muhammad El

India Raises Nuclear Generation Target

From The Telegraph (Calcutta): The government is planning to raise the target for nuclear power generation to 40,000MW by 2030 from 36,000MW. The Prime Minister’s energy co-ordination council had chalked out a plan to add 16,000MW of the power by 2020 and another 20,000MW over the next 10 years. Vilas Muttemwar, the minister for non-conventional energy and a member of the council, told The Telegraph, “We now plan to increase nuclear power generation capacity to 40,000MW by 2030.” The plans will, however, depend on the Left and the Congress-led alliance working out a compromise that will allow India to import uranium from Australia and Russia. “We laid a lot of stress on nuclear power because it is clean power, does not pollute much and the plant load factor is high at about 80-85 per cent,” Muttemwar said. HT: PROS .

On Nuclear Energy and Public Opinion

After reading about the results of an NEI-sponsored study that looked at how people living near nuclear power plants felt about new plants being built on current plant sites, Damon Cline of had this to say : Now, I know what you’re thinking, of course a study paid for by a pro-nuclear group is going to look favorable for the industry, but consider this: The telephone survey of 1,152 randomly selected adults was conducted this summer by independent organizations, Bisconti Research Inc. and Quest Global Research Group, and excluded people employed by electric companies. All of the people selected for the survey were adults living near the nation’s 64 nuclear plants, including the Alvin W. Vogtle Nuclear Generating Plant just south of Augusta, where two new reactors are in the works. The study, if nothing else, at least explains why protesters have to be bused in whenever there’s an anti-nuke demonstration at a power plant. To see more of NEI's public opinion research, c

Taking The Pro-Nuclear Fight to Daily Kos

Long-time readers are already familiar with NNadir , a diarist at The Daily Kos who writes about nuclear energy and the role it can play in helping to constrain greenhouse gas emissions. Now it seems, NNadir has some company. David Walters, who also started the blog Left Atomics , has started his own diary at Daily Kos to take up the fight. Click here and here for his first two diaries.

The Chicago Tribune On The Future of Nuclear Energy

From the Chicago Tribune : The U.S. has 104 operating reactors at 65 sites, providing roughly 20 percent of the country's energy needs, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Illinois, with 11 reactors at six sites, has the highest nuclear capacity of any state. With energy consumption and concerns about global warming rising, more nuclear power is a must. It can be done efficiently, cost-effectively ... and safely. Before a plant is built in the U.S., extensive studies are done at the site to account for potential natural hazards. Plants in different areas are built to different codes, to account for the likelihood of earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding and other natural disasters. "They're overdesigned," said David Wald of the U.S. Geological Survey. "They're very tough structures." [...] The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said last May that nuclear power, along with renewable energy source

Another Look at Work Force Issues

Late on Friday afternoon, The WSJ Energy Blog picked up on an issue we've been writing about for some time now, namely the challenges ahead for the industry as it faces of wave of retirements inside the nuclear work force: The shrinking nuclear power workforce is “a big issue,” that the industry would have to resolve even if new nuclear plants weren’t on the drawing board, said Randy Hutchinson, senior vice president of nuclear business development for New Orleans-based Entergy Corp. “Building new plants, to some extent, compounds that problem,” he said. About 27% of the nation’s nuclear power employees, about 15,600 workers, will be eligible to retire in the next five years, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute, the industry’s Washington lobbying group. Nearly half U.S. nuclear power employees are older than 47, and less than 8% are younger than 32, according to the NEI. Meanwhile, the number of university nuclear engineering programs has declined in the U.S. to about 29 fr

The Blogroll

As many of you can see, we've finally resurrected the Blogroll, something we lost when we switched to the Blogger beta a number of months ago. If you're not listed there, don't fret, just drop us a note and we'll add you to our list.

NEI's Nuclear Performance - July 2007

Here's a summary of U.S. nuclear plant performances last month: For July 2007, the average net capacity factor reached 97.4 percent. This figure is 0.5 percentage points higher than the same one-month period in 2006. Monthly nuclear generation was 72.6 billion kilowatt-hours for July 2007, compared to 72.2 bkWh for the same one-month period in 2006. For 2007, year-to-date nuclear generation was 468.3 billion kilowatt-hours, compared to 459.2 bkWh in 2006 (2.0 percent increase) and 461.4 bkWh in the record year of 2004. With the exception of April 2006, nuclear generation in every month of 2007 has surpassed that of the same one-month periods for 2005 and 2006. The Energy Information Administration recently analyzed the impacts of proposed climate change legislation by Senators Lieberman and McCain. The results forecast that nuclear plant capacity in the U.S. would grow from 100 GW to 246 GW by 2030. The proposed legislation would establish a series of caps on greenhouse gas emis

NEI Energy Markets Report, August 13-17, 2007

Here's a summary of what went on in the energy markets last week: Generation outages, higher gas prices and hot temperatures contributed to the more than $15/MWh increase in electricity prices at the Palo Verde and SP15 hubs. PJM West and NEPOOL prices declined by more than $12/MWh and $30/MWh from the previous week after the recent heat wave receded in the region. Entergy and ERCOT modestly declined (see pages 1 and 3). Gas prices at the Henry Hub increased $0.64 to $6.92/MMBtu (see pages 1 and 3). According to EIA, hot summer temperatures and tropical storm activity in the Atlantic last week resulted in further price increases. As of August 10, working gas in storage was 15 percent above the 5-year average inventory level. UxConsulting’s uranium spot price fell to $90/lb U3O8 (see pages 1 and 3). UxC suggests that the continued decline in prices could be due to the seasonal nature of demand as well as strained existing budgets. The estimated U.S. nuclear plant availability fac

The total life-cycle emissions of nuclear energy are comparable to renewables.

That headline is pretty easy to understand, isn't it? We've written about the topic or something related to it more times than I can count, but for every time we've addressed the topic, we always seem to need to do it again. After reading an article about the downside of biofuels in the Guardian , Geoff Wells wrote the following on his blog concerning nuclear energy and total life-cycle emissions: A similar absence of lifecycle accounting has distorted the nuclear energy debate. Nuclear power stations are being promoted as clean and green–as emitting no greenhouse emissions. However, a full life-cycle analysis takes into account not only what is emitted by the power station, but the combined impacts of mining, enrichment, fuel fabrication, decomissioning and waste storage. At the highest grades of ore, nuclear stations produce more energy than they consume. But at the lower grades of ore, which are far more abundant, nuclear power stations become net consumers of energy,

Second Life to Get a Nuclear Reactor

This is very cool. From Insider Higher Ed : Robert C. Amme, a research professor of physics at the University of Denver, thinks there aren’t nearly enough scientists with expertise in managing nuclear waste. So to train the next generation of environmental assessment specialists, he’s taking them to a place where there’s no radiation, nuclear fallout or even laws of gravity. Armed with a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Amme and his colleagues are preparing to build a nuclear reactor — in the virtual, online world of Second Life. The interface, created by Linden Research, has over 8 million users who can interact with and help shape their own online environments, including the ability to buy and sell property using a proprietary currency and meet new people. Yet critics have contended that Second Life’s influence is overrated and has little offline value; still only a fraction of its members actively participate in the virtual “metaverse.” I've played

NPR, the Steam Cycle and Nuclear Energy

This morning on NPR, Morning Edition ran a feature on France's nuclear reactor fleet and how about a third of those reactors had to cut power during the European heat wave of 2003 . While I'm not going to quibble with the basic premise of the piece, there are a number of facts that NPR left out that taken together, fail to show the entire picture. The situation described in France and occurring right now at Browns Ferry here in the U.S. is not unique to nuclear reactors, it's something that can affect any power plant that uses the steam cycle -- and that's about 80% of our current generating capacity. For example, three coal plants in Canada had to go off line recently for just the same reason. We also need to keep in mind that this is not an operating problem, rather, utilities are simply acting as responsible stewards of the environment. As our CEO Skip Bowman put it in a note to us here at NEI this morning: Commercial reactors typically operate under licenses

Nuclear Power Plant Neighbors Accept Potential for New Reactor Nearby by Margin of Nearly 3 to 1

More ammunition to fight the folks who say NIMBY. From the NEI newsroom : Eighty-two percent of Americans living in close proximity to nuclear power plants favor nuclear energy, and 71 percent are willing to see a new reactor built near them, according to a new public opinion survey of more than 1,100 adults across the United States. Only residents within 10 miles of an operating nuclear power plant – electric company employees excluded – were questioned. The survey also found that 86 percent give the nearest nuclear power plant a “high” safety rating, and that 87 percent are confident that the company operating the power plant can do so safely. The telephone survey of 1,152 randomly selected plant neighbors—18 adults within 10 miles of each of the nation’s 64 nuclear power plant sites – was conducted in July and August by Bisconti Research Inc. with Quest Global Research Group. The survey, with a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points, was commissioned by the Nucl

Washington Times Endorses New Reactor at Calvert Cliffs

From Sunday's edition of the Washington Times : While it's true that this technology brings inherent risks which must be carefully analyzed and addressed, we applaud the Calvert County Board of Commissioners for their enthusiastic support of the plan. The commissioners recognize the financial and environmental benefits of an additional reactor. Once the 1,600-megawatt, $4 billion reactor is built, an estimated 2.6 million customers could be served and the county would benefit from job growth as well as many millions of dollars in tax revenue. We hope Unistar's application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is processed in a timely manner.

Senator Sam Nunn on Energy Security

Former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn is apparently contemplating a run for President . And one of the issues he's concerned with is energy security: Nunn singled out the debate over energy and global warming. Those most concerned with global warming won't consider nuclear energy as an alternative, he said. Those who advocate energy independence ignore the fact that there is "no analysis whatsoever that could lead you to believe we're going to be independent in this country on energy," Nunn said. "We'll have interdependence and security in energy, but people aren't talking about that." If/when Senator Nunn decides to jump into the race, we'll keep an eye on his position on energy policy just as we have with other candidates.

Giuliani Supporting New Nuclear on Stump in New Hampshire

From The Primary Source : Speaking at a company that makes high-end solar panels, Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani said there was "no magic bullet" in ending dependence on foreign energy sources. Giuliani, who wore a tie with small windmills, said that as president he would encourage the federal government to encourage several types of energy sources then "step back" and let the free market take over and decide which energy sources are more popular. He said that he considered all alternative energy sources like wind and solar a part of this as well as the use of coal and even the more controversial use of nuclear power plants. "I support an increase in the incremental role of nuclear energy," Giuliani said. For more from our archives on Mayor Giuliani, click here .

IAEA Issues Report on Kashiwazaki Kariwa Nuclear Plant

Click here for the summary and here (PDF) for the complete report. From the summary: Earthquake damage to the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power station on 16 July appears to be limited and less than expected, according to an IAEA expert report released today and submitted to the Japanese authorities. Although it appears that the earthquake of 16 July 2007 significantly exceeded the level of the seismic input taken into account in the design of the plant, the installation behaved in a safe manner, during and after the earthquake. In particular, the automatic shutdown of the reactors of Units 3, 4 and 7, which were at full power, and of the reactor of Unit 2, which was in the start up state, were performed successfully. According to the report's findings, this is probably due to the conservatisms introduced at different stages of the design process, the so-called 'design safety margins'. "The combined effects of these conservatisms were apparently sufficient to compe

NEI Energy Markets Report, August 6-10, 2007

Here's a summary of what went on in the energy markets last week: Entergy, ERCOT and PJM electricity peak prices increased by more than $10/MWh while Palo Verde, NEPOOL and SP15 modestly declined. The Midwest, South and Eastern regions of the U.S. continued to experience hot summer temperatures last week (see pages 1 and 3). Gas prices at the Henry Hub increased $0.12 to $6.28/MMBtu (see pages 1 and 3). According to EIA, above normal temperatures last week resulted in upward spot price movement. UxConsulting’s and TradeTech’s uranium spot prices fell to $105/lb U3O8 (see pages 1 and 3). TradeTech’s price fell $15 which “is the largest single drop recorded in the spot price since TradeTech began publishing prices in 1968.” UxC’s mid year uranium production assessment for 2007 was adjusted downwards to 112 million pounds from 117 million pounds. Even though prices have been declining for the past seven weeks, UxC affirms there is still concern on the security of near and long-term

The "blast zone" of a nuclear power plant?

A recent article in the Washington Post discusses an NRC public meeting on new construction at Calvert Cliffs. It ends with the following backhanded endorsement: Clyde Thomas, who works at the plant, said experience makes him feel confident the area is safe. "I wouldn't live in the blast zone if I didn't," he said. The "blast zone" of a nuclear power plant? What's that? It seemed like a rather clumsy comment. But later I received an e-mail with this explanation from Mr. Thomas: I still think I was set up! I told the reporter I lived close to the plant and then he asked me if I didn't mind living in the "blast zone" and then I said "I wouldn't live in the blast zone if I did." I guess I shouldn't have repeated his "blast zone" comment... Sometimes it's interesting how reporters choose their quotations.

PUC Chair: "United States has made a huge, huge error in not pursuing nuclear energy sooner."

From Hometown : Public Utilities Commission Chair LeRoy Koppendrayer is direct — you can’t talk about electric power, cutting carbon emissions, and not talk about nuclear energy. The countries most aggressively pushing the United States to comply with the Kyoto Protocol — to limit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions — have nuclear power, he said. “It’s my personal opinion that the United States has made a huge, huge error in not pursuing nuclear energy sooner and more aggressively than we have,” said Koppendrayer, former Republican lawmaker from Princeton. “We simply have put our head in the sand on that issue — going forward with a lot of rhetoric and a poor energy policy,” he said, speaking for himself, not the commission.

Question of the Day

After posting a clip of the Democratic YouTube debate, Domestic Divapalooza asked: I don’t favor nuclear power either, do you? Why OR why not? Be sure to stop by and let her know what you think. As always, please be polite.

Australia to Sell Uranium to India

From Nuc Net: Australia has decided to change its foreign policy to allow the export of uranium to India, but only subject to a number of “strict conditions”, prime minister John Howard has announced. In a statement today Mr Howard said conditions for uranium exports to India, which has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), include: • Conclusion of a suitable safeguards agreement between India and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) covering all designated civil nuclear facilities; • A consensus decision by the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to make an exception to its guidelines enabling international civil supply to India; • Conclusion of a bilateral civil nuclear cooperation agreement between India and the US; • Satisfactory progress in implementing India’s commitment to place designated civil nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards in perpetuity. Mr Howard said Australian uranium supply to India would also be conditional on the conclusio

Re-Running Caldicott

Editor's Note: Over at E&E TV, everyone is on vacation so they had to re-run an interview with Helen Caldicott that originally ran last Fall. Well, if they can re-run the video, we can certainly re-run what we originally wrote in response to her original appearance . That text follows. A previously recorded interview with Helen Caldicott is running today on E&E TV . I could do a point by point rebuttal, but there isn't anything there that we haven't seen before over the past few weeks. It's classic Caldicott, all of the same old charges delivered with the same old intensity. We're glad to see that Caldicott deigned to mention David Bradish's efforts to debunk her book, chapter by chapter. Her claim that this proved that she's credible had me roaring. For those so inclined, here are all of our previous posts on Caldicott from NEI Nuclear Notes : " Nuclear Power Is Not The Answer " Dr. Caldicott vs. Nuclear Power, Round 1 Dr. Cald

FPL Outlines Nuclear Energy Expansion Plans

From the Palm Beach Post : Florida Power & Light Co. on Wednesday announced a nuclear power plan that could see customers of the state's largest utility getting 30 percent of their electricity from fission by 2020. The utility wants to upgrade each of its four nuclear reactors - two at the St. Lucie plant on Hutchinson Island and two others at the Turkey Point plant near Miami. The move would add 414 megawatts of power to the grid between 2011 and 2012. FPL, owned by FPL Group Inc. (NYSE: FPL, $58.97), also reiterated that it wants to build two more reactors at Turkey Point by 2018 and 2020 and wants to choose from one of five reactor designs by early next year. "We need to take concrete steps now to investigate the ability for new nuclear power," Steve Scroggs, FPL's senior director for nuclear project development, told the Florida Public Service Commission on Wednesday. FPL's executives have been bullish on nuclear power, but right now it occupies only 2

Calvert County Commission Expresses Support for New Reactor

From the Washington Post : The Calvert County commissioners approved a letter of support Tuesday for the Evolutionary Power Reactor that UniStar-Constellation has proposed to construct at the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant site near Lusby. "Many of the decisions we make are difficult; many take months, even years," Commissioners President Wilson H. Parran (D-At Large) read from the letter drafted by Economic Development Director Linda S. Vassallo. "But the decision to support the potential expansion remains simple and uncomplicated. Nuclear energy is clean and reliable. Calvert Cliffs is a good and responsible corporate citizen in our community."

AAEA President and Son Booted From Climate Conference

Here's an incredible story: After attending the Southeast Convergence for Climate Action for a full two days, Norris McDonald, head of the African-American Environmentalist Association, and his son Sandy were asked to leave the event by conference organizers. Click here for the whole story. In the meantime, here's a video clip of McDonald's son, Sandy, describing how he felt about getting booted from the meeting:

IAEA Team: Japan Reactor Damage "Appears less than expected."

from Bloomberg : Damage to a nuclear power station run by Tokyo Electric Power Co. from a July 16 earthquake ``appears less than expected,'' the International Atomic Energy Agency said after a three-day examination. A team of inspectors ``has concluded that plant safety features performed as required during the earthquake,'' the IAEA, as the United Nations nuclear watchdog is known, said in an Aug. 14 statement on its Web site. ``Damage from the earthquake appears to be limited to those sections of the plant that would not affect the reactor or systems related to reactor safety.'' [...] Six IAEA experts, led by Philippe Jamet, director of the agency's installation nuclear safety division, visited the Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear station, the world's biggest, from Aug. 6 to Aug. 9. The team's report will be released ``within a few days,'' according to the statement. ``The team conducted a three-day physical examination covering the complex

Report on Calvert Cliffs Public Meeting

Last night on Solomons Island, Maryland, the NRC held a public meeting concerning adding a third reactor at the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant near Lusby. NEI's JoAnn Sperber was on hand to provide a report. Calvert Cliffs Plant Neighbors Say 'Yes, In Our Backyard' Southern Maryland policymakers and business leaders strongly endorsed plans to build a third reactor at Constellation Energy's Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant during a Nuclear Regulatory Commission meeting last night in Solomons, Md. Wilson Parran, president of the Calvert County Board of County Commissioners, kicked off the meeting by describing a letter the board had approved earlier that day in support of the plant's expansion. "Some decisions are difficult," he said. "But this one was simple, uncomplicated and easy. Constellation is a great partner. Nuclear energy is clean and reliable. Nuclear energy is critical to our country's energy strategy." U

EPRI Study: Diverse Energy Portfolio, Including Nuclear Energy, Could Lower Cost of Cutting CO2 Emissions

From EPRI : The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) today released a study that shows that the aggressive development and implementation of a full portfolio of advanced electricity technologies could reduce the economic cost of cutting future U.S. CO2 emissions by more than 50 percent while meeting the continuing growth in demand for electricity. “EPRI’s analysis clearly shows that if we can deploy a ‘full technology portfolio,’ we can provide lower-carbon electricity throughout the economy while simultaneously meeting additional demand for electricity due to population growth and economic expansion,” said Steve Specker, EPRI president and chief executive officer. Previous EPRI work has shown that absent investments in advanced technologies, significant reductions in future emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases will result in higher prices for electricity and natural gas, and reduced economic growth. However, by developing and deploying advanced electricity technologies,

NEI Exec on Kojo Nnamdi

Click here to listen to an interview on the Kojo Nnamdi Show on the nuclear renaissance. One of my colleagues, Tony Pietrangelo, is a guest on today's show, where Rebecca Roberts is filling in for Nnamdi. The show is on right now -- 12:00 p.m. U.S. EDT -- so click right in. UPDATE : In case you missed the show live, an archival copy should be posted here sometime after 3:00 p.m. U.S. EDT.

Hillary Clinton on Nuclear Energy

Grist has put together a page detailing the environmental positions of all the candidates for the Democratic nomination for President , and is also fronting an interview with Senator Hillary Clinton on her environmental positions . Here's her take on nuclear energy: Q. What about nuclear power? A. I am agnostic about nuclear. I am very skeptical that nuclear could become acceptable in most regions of the country, and I am doubtful that we have yet figured out how to deal with the waste. But I keep being given information about research that is being done to resolve the waste problem. I know that will continue because that has a lot of economic power and resources behind it. But until we can figure out what to do with the waste and overcome the political objections, we should not be putting a heavy emphasis on nuclear. For previous posts on Clinton's position, click here and here . Thanks to Ben Smith for the pointer.

NWR Supports Nuclear Energy with 2008 Sponsorship Campaign

From Newman Wachs Racing : ELKHART LAKE, Wis. - The Champ Car Atlantic series comes to a close this weekend as the Grand Prix at Road America concludes this year for the Atlantic division, at picturesque Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Not so for Newman Wachs Racing Team - - - The NWR is happy to launch their 2008 Season Program aptly titled "NUCLEAR CLEAN AIR ENERGY" based on NEI's current campaign statement. The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI)'s objective is to ensure formation of public policy to promote the beneficial uses of nuclear energy and technologies, NEI will encourage a collection of public and private organizations united under the promotion of the technological advancement of nuclear power to aid in additional support. Along with the promotional message to educate the public in all possible aspects of this energy resource, comes the use of the motorsports arena to transmit a positive message to aid recruiting efforts to college and university students on becomi

NEI's Energy Markets Report, July 30 - August 3, 2007

I'm sure some of the readers here have noticed that the markets report hasn't been posted to NEI's blog for several months. The reason for this was that we stopped updating materials on our old public website to work and prepare the launch of the new website . While we were in the transition phase to the new website, we also took the time to redesign the report to give it a brand new look. Check it out below. Here's a summary of what went on in the energy markets last week: According to the August 7 edition of EIA’s Short Term Energy Outlook, the run-up in crude oil prices in the past two months (below $65 on NYMEX in mid-May and above $76 in early August) is the result of increasingly tighter world oil markets. EIA expects the spot price of natural gas at the Henry Hub to average $7.45 per thousand cubic feet (mcf) in 2007, a $0.52-per-mcf increase from the 2006 average. EIA assumes that lower temperatures during 3Q2007 compared to last year will keep elec

Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant May Need Year for Repairs

From the Australian Broadcasting Company : The head of an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts has indicated that it could be a year before a Niigata Prefecture nuclear power plant, damaged by the July 16 earthquake, can resume operations. Speaking to reporters in Tokyo after a four-day inspection of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power station, Philippe Jamet, director of the IAEA's Nuclear Installation Safety Division, said the process of restarting the plant could take ''months or a year". "[It is] not something you can do very fast. It was a very big earthquake,'' he said. Japanese nuclear experts have said it would take at least a year to put the plant back into operation, but it was the first time that a third-party body such as the IAEA has expressed such a forecast. Asked whether a report the IAEA will issue about damage to the plant would contain negative news for Japan, Mr Jamet said, ''I'm not too worried&quo

America's Nuclear Plants Running Close to 100% Capacity

NEI's Energy Markets Report will be published shortly, but I thought it might be wise to pass along some preliminary numbers that are critically important at a time when the mercury is rising to record temperatures all over the country. When you look at the measure of capacity factor , America's nuclear plants are running about as close to 100% as you can reasonably get: Monday, July 30 – 99.53% Tuesday, July 31 – 99.54% Wednesday, August 1 – 99.77% Thursday, August 2 – 99.60% I'm sure Dave will have the complete report in the coming days. Still, with the temperature rising, I think these numbers are important to keep in mind. Here are some other numbers to keep in mind too. For other recent nuclear performance stats, click here .

Germany's Environmental Challenge and Nuclear Energy

In the latest issue of The Economist , our readers will find a series of inconvenient facts that we've covered here at NEI Nuclear Notes many times before: Germany's aversion to nuclear power may run counter to its desire for both cheap electricity and security of supplies. It is set to replace half its ageing power stations (nuclear and conventional) over the next 15 years. Ms Merkel has presided over three “energy summits”, the last one in July, but there is still no clear idea of how to fill the gap left by the nuclear phase-out. The environment ministry, created after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, has many ideas. Seeking to boost Germany's energy efficiency by 3% a year, it proposes offering tax incentives to modernise buildings and imposing road tolls not only on heavy vehicles but also on light trucks. It wants to tweak subsidies for renewable energy, which already cost consumers some €4 billion ($5.5 billion) a year. Solar energy (not much use in cloudy Germ

More on Crocodiles and Turkey Point

A few weeks back, we noted a CBS News feature on how Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant has helped spark a comeback for the American Crocodile . Now, others are starting to notice too, including The Energy Blog : I thought this was a desperate attempt by the nuclear industry to get some good press, but crocodile supporters will find it encouraging. As my regular readers should know, I am a supporter of nuclear power, because it is the cleanest (fuel disposal aside & that is manageable) method we have for producing power and is needed for the next 50 years (yes 50 or more) until our renewable energy supplies can take over. We need to build demonstration plants using the latest technology and also clean coal plants with sequestration so we can realistically compare these technologies. The WSJ Energy Blog noticed too.

On the Trail of Joseph Mangano

Joseph Mangano , is at it again with his baby teeth act, this time in the pages of the Star-Ledger with an op-ed calling for the closing of Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Plant. One more time, here's the crux of our case against Mangano . Eight state departments of health have investigated Mangano's claims, and all eight states (Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Michigan) refused to validate them. Even better, here's what the New Jersey Commission on Radiation Protection had to say about Mangano's research: The Commission is of the opinion that "Radioactive Strontium-90 in Baby Teeth of New Jersey Children and the Link with Cancer: A Special Report," is a flawed report, with substantial errors in methodology and invalid statistics. As a result, any information gathered through this project would not stand up to the scrutiny of the scientific community. There is also no evidence to support the allegation that the

Battling with Helen Caldicott

Over at Physical Insights , Luke is getting busy posting a chapter-by-chapter deconstruction of Helen Caldicott's book, Nuclear Madness . As you might guess, we think it's a good idea . Check it out.

IAEA Projects Substantial Expansion of Nuclear Energy

From NucNet: Medium-term projections point to the possibility of “a substantial expansion” in the use of nuclear energy, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said in its annual report for 2006. The Vienna-based agency said that for the first time projections also recognise that nuclear energy would mitigate the discharge of carbon into the atmosphere, since energy produced from fossil fuels accounts for about half of human-made greenhouse gases. The IAEA also referred to projections from the International Energy Agency (IEA), which show that global energy consumption could increase by 53 percent by 2030. Approximately 70 percent of this growth is likely to come from developing countries. The IAEA says it has established a ‘Nuclear Power Support Group’ to provide coordinated support to member states considering the introduction or expansion of nuclear power. For a copy of the report, click here . UPDATE : Link fixed.

Debunking Paul Josephson and the Anti-Nuke Talking Points

Back on July 30, the LA Times ran an op-ed from Colby College history professor Paul Josephson entitled, The Mirage of Nuclear Energy . Like so much we read about the industry through the eyes of anti-nuke activists like Josephson, it read like a laundry list from a long-forgotten time. Today, the newspaper finally got around to running some dissenting viewpoints . Here's one letter from Times reader Joe Vitti: Paul Josephson should first check with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to see how farfetched his arguments are about the "mirage" of nuclear power. The lowest cost clean power (10%) delivered to the customers of the city of L.A. is from the Palo Verde Nuclear Power facility in Arizona. He speaks of the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl incidents that occurred almost 30 years ago but does not mention the 103 nuclear reactor plants that have been operating safely and economically throughout the U.S. for 40-plus years, providing up to 20% of the powe

Nuclear Energy and Red State America

When I read this post by indie-filmmaker Brian Flemming on U.S. public opinion and nuclear energy, the following passage stuck out a little bit: One thing we know for sure: If France does it [nuclear energy], and it works, red-state U.S. will hate it. Actually, as anyone familiar with the nuclear industry already knows, what some folks refer to as "red-state" America is probably more familiar with nuclear energy than any other region of the country. And as we saw last week, after 30 years of safe and reliable operation, plenty of folks around the country -- even those who don't live in "red-states" -- are eager to see new plants open . Don't get me wrong, the last thing I want to do is write some sort of "gotcha" post to prove somebody wrong. However, it just goes to show that when it comes to public opinion about nuclear energy, there's more support out there than many people think. For more information, see the archives of Perspective o

Newsweek on the Nuclear Energy Comeback

From Newsweek : Climate change hardly qualifies as good news for anyone. But for advocates of nuclear energy, these are practically glory days. As the urgency of combating global warming has risen, even environmentalists and politicians who may have once chained themselves to the reactor gates are taking another look at the industry that has languished in regulatory and PR hell since the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island in 1979. The reason? Nuclear energy, which now generates 20 percent of the nation’s electricity, does not produce greenhouse gases. “If you believe that climate change is the issue of our generation, then it’s disingenuous to say that nuclear energy is off the table,” says Bill Chameides, chief scientist for Environmental Defense, who admits his own position on the issue has evolved from “skeptical” to “agnostic.” Give it a read.

New Features at NEI Nuclear Notes

Hello, I'm one of the web guys over at , and today I've been working with Eric to add some new functionality to NEI Nuclear Notes. Here's what we've worked on: Over on the right, you'll notice two new "feeds," or lists of links pulled from other sources. The first is a selection of timely articles pulled from, a social bookmarking site . Just the newest five are listed here, but you can find a whole bunch more on our page. The second feed below it is a list of links powered by, another social bookmarking site. These are to resources that are static or at least less time sensitive, such as the U.S. NRC website or the Virtual Nuclear Tourist . Again, only the five most recently added are listed here, the rest are on our page. Next, underneath each blog posting now are four icons: . Each of these icons provide a fast access to various social news and bookmarking sites. Clicking these icons will "recomm