In no particular order, we start with Ted Rockwell at Learning About Energy who contributed a thought-provoking essay on the topsy-turvy world of nuclear energy. Here’s his synopsis:
Nuclear means being special. That brings special favors, but we soon learn that it also brings a curse that is hard to shake: no solution that would otherwise be quite adequate is ever good enough for nuclear. People are ready to believe that our competitors’ problems will soon be solved, but for nuclear, we have to promise that we’ll make each succeeding plant safer than its predecessors.
Rod Adams at Atomic Insights has been racking up the comments after challenging the regulatory system on excessive costs due to the extremely conservative linear no threshold theory:
The regulatory system in the US for nuclear energy is based on the assumption that all radiation, no matter how small the dose represents an avoidable risk. The rules push nuclear facility operators to keep doses as low as reasonably achievable, but the regulators assume a broad definition of a "reasonable" cost for reducing radiation doses.
Nuclear costs would fall if regulators recognized the science showing that there is no harm from doses that are within the normal variations in natural background radiation.
Brian Wang at Next Big Future noted how fast India is increasing its nuclear generation and exceeding its projected targets.
Dan Yurman at Idaho Samizdat reported on the delay for two new nuclear units in the Czech Republic due to lower electricity demand and possibly Germany’s decision to keep their reactors running longer.
Gail Marcus at Nuke Power Talk liked the World Nuclear Association’s idea of building more attractive nuclear facilities for a “less-intrusive profile”:
There is no reason why much of our infrastructure needs to be quite as unattractive as some of it is. If designed right from the beginning, many facilities could be made more attractive for minimal additional cost.
Margaret Harding at ANS Nuclear Cafe explained the spaghetti of regulations among five different departments regarding nuclear export control. In order to reduce this complexity, Margaret referenced Defense Secretary Gates’ proposal to create a single list, single agency and single IT infrastructure to manage the process.
Steve Aplin at Canadian Energy Issues discussed another go at building new nuclear at Darlington in order to replace 6,000 MW of coal. Aplin pointed out how history has proved that when decision-makers take bogus ideas like Amory Lovins’ ‘negawatts’ seriously, the result is skyrocketing greenhouse gas emissions and a stagnant job market.
As the details of all loan guarantees are proprietary, Caperton has no knowledge of the financial protections included in any given transactions, and thus no basis to evaluate whether a credit subsidy cost is “correct”.
Meredith Angwin at Yes Vermont Yankee wasn’t shy to discuss the Vermont gubernatorial politics. In a debate between anti Vermont Yankee Senator Shumlin and pro VY Lt. Governor Dubie, Meredith took issue with Shumlin’s tactic of describing Vermont Yankee as Entergy Louisiana.
Picture of the assembly modular building for Vogtle units 3 and 4 with units 1 and 2 in background.