Skip to main content

Nuclear Energy Under the Florida Palms

palm trees in Florida_jpg Here’s some interesting news out of Florida:

A state Senate committee today approved a bill that would require Florida's electric utilities to get 20 percent of their power from "clean" energy, including nuclear and coal, by 2020.

Under the bill, which was approved in a 6-3 vote, 5 percent of that 20-percent goal can be met with nuclear or new coal-burning technology.

We’ll let coal take care of itself, but we think nuclear could very well get Florida to that 20 percent mark quite handily. Why?

The Shaw Group Inc. and Westinghouse Electric Co. LLC have signed a contract for engineering, procurement and construction of a two-unit nuclear powerplant at a greenfield site in Levy County, Fla. Progress Energy Florida Inc., the owner, expects to receive a combined construction and operating license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission by early 2012.

And the schedule for this?

Current plans are for operation of the plant in the 2016-18 time frame, after which Progress Energy will retire its two oldest coal-fired units at the Crystal River Energy Complex in Citrus County, Fla.

So in time for the 2020 mark. Presumably, that coal plant cannot be retrofitted for carbon capture or it could be a win all around the Florida energy sphere. Now to see if other energy sources can step up for that other 15 percent.

What you’ll see a lot of in Florida. A company I used to work for had a warehouse in Florida that frequently had alligators sidle up to its cooling unit. The gators would cover the fan and cause the unit to overheat. Eventually, the company built a fence around the unit, but an occasional rack of teeth would investigate then lope off disappointed. (I was there when a gator planted itself at the front door – never a dull moment.)

Comments

Nice Propaganda piece. First, if the nuclear industry is lucky, they might get Congress to fund tops 3 projects....Florida applications are not even close to being in the top five.

Further, the last ten nuclear projects have come in on average 300 percent over budget, and at least three years behind schedule...you can double, maybe triple that in Ameerica.
Anonymous said…
On the other side of the state, FPL is working to uprate their four nuclear units by about 12% each. That adds probably 440 MWe of nuclear capacity.

Sorry, SFAdmin, they're doing it without relying on luck.
Anonymous said…
SFA,

The Florida plants are being built under the rate base system, with cost recovery during construction. Thus, they will not need any Federal loan guarantees.

As for cost, the last 10 plants to be built were, of course, the most delayed, and therefore the most over-budget. Nice intellectual sleight of hand.

Also great is the assumption that we have learned nothing from the last round of construction, or the 30+ years of operating experience. Or the assumption that the streamlined, one-step licensing process (which greatly limits intevention after construction starts) will not help at all...

Cost estimates for new plants are much more conservative (high) than they were for the first wave, which, along with all the reasons given above means that the chance of significant overrun is much lower. Also, despite these very pessimistic cost estimates, the utilities proved (and convinced the Florida PUC) that new nuclear would be the cheapest option for new capacity.

These Florida plants are going forward.

Jim Hopf
Martin Burkle said…
Responding to the last 10 nuclear plants built being over budget. Well the last 10 nuclear plants build were not in the United States. Does anyone have information on the cost of some of the recent plants built in Japan?
KenG said…
Some of those last 10 were undoubtably in Korea. The Korean plants are built on time and on budget. With 20nuclear units in operation, electric rates in Korea have been essentially constant for the last 25 years. They clearly know how to do it right.
Bill said…
I believe Japan's ABWRs were completed ahead of schedule and under budget.
Bill said…
FPL is adding about 400 MW of nuclear power, for about $1.5 billion.
www.fpl.com/environment/nuclear/power_uprate_faq.shtml

They're also adding 75 MW_peak (18 MW_average) of solar thermal power, for $476 million.
www.tcpalm.com/news/2008/dec/03/worlds-first-hybrid/

Which makes more sense?

Popular posts from this blog

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

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

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

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

A Billion Miles Under Nuclear Energy (Updated)

And the winner is…Cassini-Huygens, in triple overtime.

The spaceship conceived in 1982 and launched fifteen years later, will crash into Saturn on September 15, after a mission of 19 years and 355 days, powered by the audacity and technical prowess of scientists and engineers from 17 different countries, and 72 pounds of plutonium.

The mission was so successful that it was extended three times; it was intended to last only until 2008.

Since April, the ship has been continuing to orbit Saturn, swinging through the 1,500-mile gap between the planet and its rings, an area not previously explored. This is a good maneuver for a spaceship nearing the end of its mission, since colliding with a rock could end things early.

Cassini will dive a little deeper and plunge toward Saturn’s surface, where it will transmit data until it burns up in the planet’s atmosphere. The radio signal will arrive here early Friday morning, Eastern time. A NASA video explains.

In the years since Cassini has launc…