webfarmer: (Default)
Mind boggling. Yes, let's build more please.

Sizewell Nuclear Disaster Averted by Dirty Laundry, Says Official Report - Guardian (UK) - 11 Jun 09

"A nuclear leak, which could have caused a major disaster, was only averted by a chance decision to wash some dirty clothes, according to a newly obtained official report.

On the morning of Sunday 7 January 2007, one of the contractors working on decommissioning the Sizewell A nuclear power station on the Suffolk coast was in the laundry room when he noticed cooling water leaking on to the floor from the pond that holds the reactor's highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel.

As much as 40,000 gallons of radioactive water spilled out of a 15ft long split in a pipe, some leaking into the North Sea. The pond water level had dropped by more than a foot (330mm) – yet none of the sophisticated alarms in the plant sounded in the main control room. By the time of the next scheduled safety patrol, the pond level would have dipped far enough to expose the nuclear fuel rods – potentially causing them to overheat and catch fire sending a plume of radioactive contamination along the coastline."
webfarmer: (Default)
Mind boggling. Yes, let's build more please.

Sizewell Nuclear Disaster Averted by Dirty Laundry, Says Official Report - Guardian (UK) - 11 Jun 09

"A nuclear leak, which could have caused a major disaster, was only averted by a chance decision to wash some dirty clothes, according to a newly obtained official report.

On the morning of Sunday 7 January 2007, one of the contractors working on decommissioning the Sizewell A nuclear power station on the Suffolk coast was in the laundry room when he noticed cooling water leaking on to the floor from the pond that holds the reactor's highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel.

As much as 40,000 gallons of radioactive water spilled out of a 15ft long split in a pipe, some leaking into the North Sea. The pond water level had dropped by more than a foot (330mm) – yet none of the sophisticated alarms in the plant sounded in the main control room. By the time of the next scheduled safety patrol, the pond level would have dipped far enough to expose the nuclear fuel rods – potentially causing them to overheat and catch fire sending a plume of radioactive contamination along the coastline."
webfarmer: (Default)
Another one of those little problems that the nuclear industry hasn't been able to handle after some 60 years of business.

Funds to Shut Nuclear Plants Fall Short - Salt Lake Tribune - 19 Jun 09

"The companies that own almost half the nation's nuclear reactors are not setting aside enough money to dismantle them, and many may sit idle for decades and pose safety and security risks as a result, an Associated Press investigation has found."

"During the past two years, estimates of dismantling costs have soared by more than $4.6 billion because rising energy and labor costs, while the investment funds that are supposed to pay for shutting plants down have lost $4.4 billion in the battered stock market."

"Federal regulators are expected to release letters later this week that will describe shortfalls at 30 of the nation's 104 nuclear plants and ask operators for details about how they plan to resolve the problem. The amount of money set aside for dismantling the plants has decreased at nearly four of every five reactors, according to an AP analysis of financial records provided every other year to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission."

"'No one at the NRC wants to acknowledge what is absolutely obvious to us, that the funds are inadequate and that the industry has bare assets,' said Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry executive and decommissioning expert. Those critics say the industry is making assumptions about their investments that do not account for another market collapse, political obstacles to getting the licenses renewed and unforeseen safety problems that could make nuclear power less palatable.

Last week, British officials reported on a 2007 leak in a cooling tank at the decommissioned Sizewell-A nuclear plant. If the leak had not been promptly discovered, officials said, nuclear fuel rods could have caught fire and sent airborne radioactive waste along the English coast, harming plant operators or the public."
webfarmer: (Default)
Another one of those little problems that the nuclear industry hasn't been able to handle after some 60 years of business.

Funds to Shut Nuclear Plants Fall Short - Salt Lake Tribune - 19 Jun 09

"The companies that own almost half the nation's nuclear reactors are not setting aside enough money to dismantle them, and many may sit idle for decades and pose safety and security risks as a result, an Associated Press investigation has found."

"During the past two years, estimates of dismantling costs have soared by more than $4.6 billion because rising energy and labor costs, while the investment funds that are supposed to pay for shutting plants down have lost $4.4 billion in the battered stock market."

"Federal regulators are expected to release letters later this week that will describe shortfalls at 30 of the nation's 104 nuclear plants and ask operators for details about how they plan to resolve the problem. The amount of money set aside for dismantling the plants has decreased at nearly four of every five reactors, according to an AP analysis of financial records provided every other year to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission."

"'No one at the NRC wants to acknowledge what is absolutely obvious to us, that the funds are inadequate and that the industry has bare assets,' said Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry executive and decommissioning expert. Those critics say the industry is making assumptions about their investments that do not account for another market collapse, political obstacles to getting the licenses renewed and unforeseen safety problems that could make nuclear power less palatable.

Last week, British officials reported on a 2007 leak in a cooling tank at the decommissioned Sizewell-A nuclear plant. If the leak had not been promptly discovered, officials said, nuclear fuel rods could have caught fire and sent airborne radioactive waste along the English coast, harming plant operators or the public."
webfarmer: (Default)
From theory into practice at last.

Denmark to Power Electric Cars by Wind in Vehicle-to-Grid Experiment - Guardian (UK) - 19 Jun 09

"Currently 20% of the island's electricity comes from wind, even though it has enough turbines installed to meet 40% of its needs. The reason it cannot use the entire capacity is the intermittency of the wind: many turbines are needed to harness sufficient power in breezes, but when gales blow the grid would overload, so some turbines are disconnected.

So the aim of the awkwardly named Electric Vehicles in a Distributed and Integrated Market using Sustainable Energy and Open Networks Project – Edison for short – is to use V2G to allow more turbines to be built and provide up to 50% of the island's supply without making the grid crash."


IBM Joins EDISON Project to Build Smart Grid for Electric Cars - Science Centric - 19 Mar 09

"Within the project, researchers from IBM Denmark and from IBM's Zurich Research Laboratory will develop smart technologies that synchronise the charging of the electric vehicles with the availability of wind in the grid. IBM has also contributed a hardware platform to the Technical University of Denmark that will be used for large-scale real-time simulations of the energy system and the impact of electric vehicles. When completed, the project will contribute to reaching the political objective of increasing the share of renewable energy in overall energy consumption."
webfarmer: (Default)
From theory into practice at last.

Denmark to Power Electric Cars by Wind in Vehicle-to-Grid Experiment - Guardian (UK) - 19 Jun 09

"Currently 20% of the island's electricity comes from wind, even though it has enough turbines installed to meet 40% of its needs. The reason it cannot use the entire capacity is the intermittency of the wind: many turbines are needed to harness sufficient power in breezes, but when gales blow the grid would overload, so some turbines are disconnected.

So the aim of the awkwardly named Electric Vehicles in a Distributed and Integrated Market using Sustainable Energy and Open Networks Project – Edison for short – is to use V2G to allow more turbines to be built and provide up to 50% of the island's supply without making the grid crash."


IBM Joins EDISON Project to Build Smart Grid for Electric Cars - Science Centric - 19 Mar 09

"Within the project, researchers from IBM Denmark and from IBM's Zurich Research Laboratory will develop smart technologies that synchronise the charging of the electric vehicles with the availability of wind in the grid. IBM has also contributed a hardware platform to the Technical University of Denmark that will be used for large-scale real-time simulations of the energy system and the impact of electric vehicles. When completed, the project will contribute to reaching the political objective of increasing the share of renewable energy in overall energy consumption."
webfarmer: (Default)
I really enjoy watching Rachel Maddow. She's smart and fair and funny. Not much more can this observer ask for in political commentary.

She had a brief blurb on the GOP's latest fantasy energy policy that included a call for 100 new nukes in our future.

This inspired me to write her show a little note. All to be found behind the cut.

The note starts here... )
webfarmer: (Default)
I really enjoy watching Rachel Maddow. She's smart and fair and funny. Not much more can this observer ask for in political commentary.

She had a brief blurb on the GOP's latest fantasy energy policy that included a call for 100 new nukes in our future.

This inspired me to write her show a little note. All to be found behind the cut.

The note starts here... )
webfarmer: (Default)
With thanks to [profile] maryrobinette. Science fictional prognostication at its best.

Warning. YouTube ahead... )
webfarmer: (Default)
With thanks to [livejournal.com profile] maryrobinette. Science fictional prognostication at its best.

Warning. YouTube ahead... )
webfarmer: (Default)
Several new tidbits...the audio link at the end is quite good.

U.K. Expert: U.S. Not Losing Nuclear Power 'Race' - Environmental Protection - 01 June 09

"The U.K. energy expert said that, not only is nuclear power in France, Finland, and Great Britain now plagued with problems, but almost nothing that is positive about the experiences in those nations would translate to the United States. Thomas is the author of 'Areva and EDF: Business Prospects and Risks in Nuclear Energy' (March 2009) and the co-author of 'The Financial Crisis and Nuclear Power' (February 2009).

Thomas said: 'We've been waiting in vain on a 'Nuclear Renaissance' in Europe since the early 1990s. Even before the recent collapse in energy prices and the financial downturn, it was clear that all of the talk of a new resurgence in the prospects for nuclear reactors was just that: talk. It is for this reason that I find it so odd that the case for more nuclear power is being built in the United States on an entirely mythical notion of some kind of international 'race' that the U.S. supposedly is losing. In reality, the nuclear power industry in Europe is in the midst of the same kind regulatory and financial uncertainty that makes the future of the industry murky at best in this nation.

'For example, the mistaken notion that the United States need only copy the 'French model' on nuclear power is particularly bizarre. The two main French entities in nuclear power—Areva and EDF—originally were and remain today largely branches of the French government. They are directed as a matter of state policy and have benefited from extremely favorable government financing and credit assurances. To duplicate this experience in the United States, you would essentially have to nationalize your electric utilities and have all new power plant siting decisions emanate from the White House.'"


A Global Nuclear Renaissance: Is the United States Missing Out? - Environmental and Energy Study Institute

"On May 21, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) held a briefing to examine the renewed interest in nuclear power globally and its prospects in the United States. Demand for energy coupled with the need to develop low-carbon sources has led some nations to focus on nuclear power. But even before the recent financial crisis, issues dealing with material shortages, untested designs and high default rates made nuclear energy a risky undertaking for private investors. This briefing addressed developments in the nuclear industry in Europe, projections for new nuclear power in the United States, and the financial risks associated with investing in nuclear power to address the urgent climate situation.

Speakers for this event included:

* Stephen Thomas, Professor of Energy Policy, Public Services International Research Unit in the Business School of the University of Greenwich, UK, Presentation (pdf format)

* Peter Bradford, Adjunct Professor, Vermont Law School; former Chair, New York State Public Service Commission and Maine Public Utilities Commission; former Commissioner, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Presentation (pdf format)

Click here to read EESI's 2007 issue brief Loan Guarantee Provisions in the 2007 Energy Bills: Does Nuclear Power Pose Significant Taxpayer Risk and Liability?

Streaming video of the briefing"


And the audio of an on-line press conference titled "The Myth of the European 'Nuclear Renaissance'" held by the Physicians for Social Responsibility

"ABOUT PROFESSOR THOMAS

Professor Thomas has been a researcher in energy policy for more than 25 years. He writes particularly on economics and policy towards nuclear power, liberalization and privatization of the electricity and gas industries and trade policy on network energy industries. He is a member of the editorial boards of: Energy Policy, Utility Policy, Energy and Environment, and International Journal of Regulation and Governance.

CONTACT: Leslie Anderson, (703) 276-3256 or landerson@hastingsgroup.com.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A streaming audio recording of the news event is available here: http://www.hastingsgroupmedia.com/psr/052009Thomastelenewsevent.wma "
webfarmer: (Default)
Several new tidbits...the audio link at the end is quite good.

U.K. Expert: U.S. Not Losing Nuclear Power 'Race' - Environmental Protection - 01 June 09

"The U.K. energy expert said that, not only is nuclear power in France, Finland, and Great Britain now plagued with problems, but almost nothing that is positive about the experiences in those nations would translate to the United States. Thomas is the author of 'Areva and EDF: Business Prospects and Risks in Nuclear Energy' (March 2009) and the co-author of 'The Financial Crisis and Nuclear Power' (February 2009).

Thomas said: 'We've been waiting in vain on a 'Nuclear Renaissance' in Europe since the early 1990s. Even before the recent collapse in energy prices and the financial downturn, it was clear that all of the talk of a new resurgence in the prospects for nuclear reactors was just that: talk. It is for this reason that I find it so odd that the case for more nuclear power is being built in the United States on an entirely mythical notion of some kind of international 'race' that the U.S. supposedly is losing. In reality, the nuclear power industry in Europe is in the midst of the same kind regulatory and financial uncertainty that makes the future of the industry murky at best in this nation.

'For example, the mistaken notion that the United States need only copy the 'French model' on nuclear power is particularly bizarre. The two main French entities in nuclear power—Areva and EDF—originally were and remain today largely branches of the French government. They are directed as a matter of state policy and have benefited from extremely favorable government financing and credit assurances. To duplicate this experience in the United States, you would essentially have to nationalize your electric utilities and have all new power plant siting decisions emanate from the White House.'"


A Global Nuclear Renaissance: Is the United States Missing Out? - Environmental and Energy Study Institute

"On May 21, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) held a briefing to examine the renewed interest in nuclear power globally and its prospects in the United States. Demand for energy coupled with the need to develop low-carbon sources has led some nations to focus on nuclear power. But even before the recent financial crisis, issues dealing with material shortages, untested designs and high default rates made nuclear energy a risky undertaking for private investors. This briefing addressed developments in the nuclear industry in Europe, projections for new nuclear power in the United States, and the financial risks associated with investing in nuclear power to address the urgent climate situation.

Speakers for this event included:

* Stephen Thomas, Professor of Energy Policy, Public Services International Research Unit in the Business School of the University of Greenwich, UK, Presentation (pdf format)

* Peter Bradford, Adjunct Professor, Vermont Law School; former Chair, New York State Public Service Commission and Maine Public Utilities Commission; former Commissioner, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Presentation (pdf format)

Click here to read EESI's 2007 issue brief Loan Guarantee Provisions in the 2007 Energy Bills: Does Nuclear Power Pose Significant Taxpayer Risk and Liability?

Streaming video of the briefing"


And the audio of an on-line press conference titled "The Myth of the European 'Nuclear Renaissance'" held by the Physicians for Social Responsibility

"ABOUT PROFESSOR THOMAS

Professor Thomas has been a researcher in energy policy for more than 25 years. He writes particularly on economics and policy towards nuclear power, liberalization and privatization of the electricity and gas industries and trade policy on network energy industries. He is a member of the editorial boards of: Energy Policy, Utility Policy, Energy and Environment, and International Journal of Regulation and Governance.

CONTACT: Leslie Anderson, (703) 276-3256 or landerson@hastingsgroup.com.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A streaming audio recording of the news event is available here: http://www.hastingsgroupmedia.com/psr/052009Thomastelenewsevent.wma "
webfarmer: (Default)
This is the saddest part of how this new nuclear saga may play out in countries that REALLY can't afford the "advance" of nuclear power. Nuclear France, Inc. must be providing some serious sweeteners on this deal given the turn around in policy.

Eskom to Bankrupt SA [South Africa]? - iAfrica.com - 27 May 09

"By pushing ahead with its nuclear plans, South African power utility Eskom will bankrupt this country, environmental lobbyists Earthlife Africa said on Wednesday. Accusing Eskom of an 'uneconomic U-turn' on its nuclear plans, Earthlife Africa questioned the utility's ability to fund its R1.3-trillion capital expenditure programme."

""In just over six months, Eskom has changed its mind on nuclear power. In December 2008, Eskom considered nuclear power to be too expensive. In May 2009, Eskom released plans to build [4000MW of]nuclear plants," said Earthlife Africa energy policy officer Tristen Taylor."

"Three nuclear plants, each with a generation capacity of 4000MW, would be brought into operation every two years starting July 2018 through to July 2022. Eskom currently operates Africa's sole nuclear power plant with a total capacity of 1800 MW. "


Press Release: Eskom's Uneconomic Nuclear U-Turn - Earthlife Africa Jhb - 27 May 09

"Press Release: Eskom’s Uneconomic Nuclear U-turn
Earthlife Africa Jhb
27th of May 2009

In just over six months, Eskom has changed its mind on nuclear power. In December 2008, Eskom considered nuclear power to be too expensive. In May 2009, Eskom released plans to build nuclear plants. What changed?

From the financial point of view…nothing. Nuclear power remains the most expensive form of electricity generation, comes with inherent safety risks, and produces highly radioactive waste that must be dealt with for hundreds, if not thousands, of generations. The costs of generating electricity from nuclear power exceed that of coal, natural gas, geothermal, wind, solar thermal, and landfill gas.

Where Eskom hopes to find the money for this expensive project is beyond comprehension. Currently, Eskom does not have a funding model to support its current CAPEX programme of R340 billion. Eskom’s recent application to NERSA is about seeking a 34% tariff increase to meet rising primary energy and maintenance costs; covering the R1.3 trillion CAPEX programme is not included in current electricity tariffs.

Recent reports suggest that Eskom will be seeking funding from the Government for its nuclear programme. Ordinary citizens will have to pay for an industry that produces radioactive waste, creates fewer jobs than any other form of electricity generation, and is the most expensive form of electricity generation.

By pushing ahead its nuclear plans, Eskom will bankrupt this country.

Key Facts on Nuclear Power:

* Estimated Capital Cost of New Nuclear Power Plant: R1.82/kWh [1]
* Estimated Total Cost per kWh for New Nuclear Power Plant: R2.46/kWh [2]
* Current Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariffs (which include profit for companies and capital costs) as Approved by NERSA:
** Wind: R1.25/kWh
** Landfill Gas: R0.90/kWh
** Small Hydro: R0.94/kWh
** Concentrated Solar: R2.10/kWh

For more information, please contact:

Tristen Taylor
Energy Policy Officer
Earthlife Africa-Johannesburg Branch
Tel: +27 11 339 3662
Fax: +27 11 339 3270
Cell: +27 84 250 2434
www.earthlife.org.za

[1] This assumes no cost overruns. However, cost overruns of nuclear power are legendary. Areva, who built Koeburg and is bidding to build additional reactors in the Cape, is trying to build a new pressurised reactor in Finland. In Nov. 2008, Areva announced that costs for that reactor have soared from €3 billion to €4.5 billion and the finish date has been pushed back from 2009 to 2011. The recurring trend within the industry in considerable cost overruns; in the USA, 75 reactors had combined initial construction budgets of US$45 billion, actual construction costs ran to US$145 billion. In India, the last ten reactors built averaged construction cost of 300% above budgeted costs.

[2] Please see “Business Risks and Costs of New Nuclear Power”, pg. 31, http://climateprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/nuclear-costs-2009.pdf
webfarmer: (Default)
This is the saddest part of how this new nuclear saga may play out in countries that REALLY can't afford the "advance" of nuclear power. Nuclear France, Inc. must be providing some serious sweeteners on this deal given the turn around in policy.

Eskom to Bankrupt SA [South Africa]? - iAfrica.com - 27 May 09

"By pushing ahead with its nuclear plans, South African power utility Eskom will bankrupt this country, environmental lobbyists Earthlife Africa said on Wednesday. Accusing Eskom of an 'uneconomic U-turn' on its nuclear plans, Earthlife Africa questioned the utility's ability to fund its R1.3-trillion capital expenditure programme."

""In just over six months, Eskom has changed its mind on nuclear power. In December 2008, Eskom considered nuclear power to be too expensive. In May 2009, Eskom released plans to build [4000MW of]nuclear plants," said Earthlife Africa energy policy officer Tristen Taylor."

"Three nuclear plants, each with a generation capacity of 4000MW, would be brought into operation every two years starting July 2018 through to July 2022. Eskom currently operates Africa's sole nuclear power plant with a total capacity of 1800 MW. "


Press Release: Eskom's Uneconomic Nuclear U-Turn - Earthlife Africa Jhb - 27 May 09

"Press Release: Eskom’s Uneconomic Nuclear U-turn
Earthlife Africa Jhb
27th of May 2009

In just over six months, Eskom has changed its mind on nuclear power. In December 2008, Eskom considered nuclear power to be too expensive. In May 2009, Eskom released plans to build nuclear plants. What changed?

From the financial point of view…nothing. Nuclear power remains the most expensive form of electricity generation, comes with inherent safety risks, and produces highly radioactive waste that must be dealt with for hundreds, if not thousands, of generations. The costs of generating electricity from nuclear power exceed that of coal, natural gas, geothermal, wind, solar thermal, and landfill gas.

Where Eskom hopes to find the money for this expensive project is beyond comprehension. Currently, Eskom does not have a funding model to support its current CAPEX programme of R340 billion. Eskom’s recent application to NERSA is about seeking a 34% tariff increase to meet rising primary energy and maintenance costs; covering the R1.3 trillion CAPEX programme is not included in current electricity tariffs.

Recent reports suggest that Eskom will be seeking funding from the Government for its nuclear programme. Ordinary citizens will have to pay for an industry that produces radioactive waste, creates fewer jobs than any other form of electricity generation, and is the most expensive form of electricity generation.

By pushing ahead its nuclear plans, Eskom will bankrupt this country.

Key Facts on Nuclear Power:

* Estimated Capital Cost of New Nuclear Power Plant: R1.82/kWh [1]
* Estimated Total Cost per kWh for New Nuclear Power Plant: R2.46/kWh [2]
* Current Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariffs (which include profit for companies and capital costs) as Approved by NERSA:
** Wind: R1.25/kWh
** Landfill Gas: R0.90/kWh
** Small Hydro: R0.94/kWh
** Concentrated Solar: R2.10/kWh

For more information, please contact:

Tristen Taylor
Energy Policy Officer
Earthlife Africa-Johannesburg Branch
Tel: +27 11 339 3662
Fax: +27 11 339 3270
Cell: +27 84 250 2434
www.earthlife.org.za

[1] This assumes no cost overruns. However, cost overruns of nuclear power are legendary. Areva, who built Koeburg and is bidding to build additional reactors in the Cape, is trying to build a new pressurised reactor in Finland. In Nov. 2008, Areva announced that costs for that reactor have soared from €3 billion to €4.5 billion and the finish date has been pushed back from 2009 to 2011. The recurring trend within the industry in considerable cost overruns; in the USA, 75 reactors had combined initial construction budgets of US$45 billion, actual construction costs ran to US$145 billion. In India, the last ten reactors built averaged construction cost of 300% above budgeted costs.

[2] Please see “Business Risks and Costs of New Nuclear Power”, pg. 31, http://climateprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/nuclear-costs-2009.pdf
webfarmer: (Default)
I decided that it might be a wise idea to mirror my LiveJournal site on Dreamwidth and got the files successfully transferred in just a couple minute operation. For security purposes, I changed my LJ password before using it and then changed it back after the migration was successful.

If LiveJournal ends up with serious problems at some point in the future, I feel like I now have my bases covered. Also I've been able to archive the site with ljArchive which is a very handy free utility. Makes it easy to search for certain key words in earlier posts.

Fortunately, I got a free invite from a friend so I didn't have to pay the small fee for signing up on Dreamwidth.

Also found that I can post to both blogs at the same time using the Semagic editor (which is open source but only for Windows afaik). What didn't work (unsurprisingly) is the friends transfer. So I'm picking folks off manually to build up that network again. Those with the same name and icons are easy to match up of course. Others, not so much. I'm using webfarmer over there too if anyone wants to friend me.
webfarmer: (Default)
I decided that it might be a wise idea to mirror my LiveJournal site on Dreamwidth and got the files successfully transferred in just a couple minute operation. For security purposes, I changed my LJ password before using it and then changed it back after the migration was successful.

If LiveJournal ends up with serious problems at some point in the future, I feel like I now have my bases covered. Also I've been able to archive the site with ljArchive which is a very handy free utility. Makes it easy to search for certain key words in earlier posts.

Fortunately, I got a free invite from a friend so I didn't have to pay the small fee for signing up on Dreamwidth.

Also found that I can post to both blogs at the same time using the Semagic editor (which is open source but only for Windows afaik). What didn't work (unsurprisingly) is the friends transfer. So I'm picking folks off manually to build up that network again. Those with the same name and icons are easy to match up of course. Others, not so much. I'm using webfarmer over there too if anyone wants to friend me.
webfarmer: (Default)
This is a fun one.

Nuclear: Atomic Power Has Favorable Reaction - Financial Times - 26 May 09

"A western energy executive who has been studying China’s nuclear programme tells a story about looking at pictures of the site being cleared for construction. 'Before, there was a mountain there. Then they bring the army in and a few months later the mountain has gone, and they have the space to build six reactors.'

He tells the story with a slightly wistful air. If only – he must be thinking – building reactors in the west were that easy.
"

"Stephen Thomas, professor of energy studies at the University of Greenwich, argues: 'The two main French entities in nuclear power – Areva and EDF – originally were, and remain today, largely branches of the French government. They are directed as a matter of state policy and have benefited from extremely favourable government financing and credit assurances.

'To duplicate this experience in the US, you would essentially have to nationalise your electric utilities and have all new power plant siting decisions emanate from the White House.'


Although issues of safety, nuclear proliferation and waste disposal often dominate the political debate about nuclear power, the central issue for companies thinking of investing in nuclear power is simply cost. New nuclear plants are hugely expensive. EDF estimates about €4bn-€5bn ($5bn-$7bn) for one of its 1,600 megawatt reactors."


Consider that this single reactor cost is a huge portion of the book value of even the larger utilities. Duke Energy, for example, is just north of $20 billion. How big of a bet do taxpayers and ratepayers really want to place on this unproven new technology? Recall, no prototypes are being built, they are jumping straight to full and enormous scale.

It's clear that Wall Street still finds it radioactive. Thus the continuing industry calls for federal loan guarantees by the billions and state approvals of "pre-paid", by the ratepayer, nuclear plant financing.
webfarmer: (Default)
This is a fun one.

Nuclear: Atomic Power Has Favorable Reaction - Financial Times - 26 May 09

"A western energy executive who has been studying China’s nuclear programme tells a story about looking at pictures of the site being cleared for construction. 'Before, there was a mountain there. Then they bring the army in and a few months later the mountain has gone, and they have the space to build six reactors.'

He tells the story with a slightly wistful air. If only – he must be thinking – building reactors in the west were that easy.
"

"Stephen Thomas, professor of energy studies at the University of Greenwich, argues: 'The two main French entities in nuclear power – Areva and EDF – originally were, and remain today, largely branches of the French government. They are directed as a matter of state policy and have benefited from extremely favourable government financing and credit assurances.

'To duplicate this experience in the US, you would essentially have to nationalise your electric utilities and have all new power plant siting decisions emanate from the White House.'


Although issues of safety, nuclear proliferation and waste disposal often dominate the political debate about nuclear power, the central issue for companies thinking of investing in nuclear power is simply cost. New nuclear plants are hugely expensive. EDF estimates about €4bn-€5bn ($5bn-$7bn) for one of its 1,600 megawatt reactors."


Consider that this single reactor cost is a huge portion of the book value of even the larger utilities. Duke Energy, for example, is just north of $20 billion. How big of a bet do taxpayers and ratepayers really want to place on this unproven new technology? Recall, no prototypes are being built, they are jumping straight to full and enormous scale.

It's clear that Wall Street still finds it radioactive. Thus the continuing industry calls for federal loan guarantees by the billions and state approvals of "pre-paid", by the ratepayer, nuclear plant financing.
webfarmer: (Default)
Love it when things work out right for the good guys.

Petraeus Endorses Obama's Plans to Close GITMO, End Torture - Huffington Post - 26 May 09

"'I think, on balance, that those moves help [us],' said the chief of U.S. Central Command. 'In fact, I have long been on record as having testified and also in helping write doctrine for interrogation techniques that are completely in line with the Geneva Convention. And as a division commander in Iraq in the early days, we put out guidance very early on to make sure that our soldiers, in fact, knew that we needed to stay within those guidelines.

'With respect to Guantanamo,' Petraeus added, 'I think that the closure in a responsible manner, obviously one that is certainly being worked out now by the Department of Justice -- I talked to the Attorney General the other day [and] they have a very intensive effort ongoing to determine, indeed, what to do with the detainees who are left, how to deal with them in a legal way, and if continued incarceration is necessary -- again, how to take that forward. But doing that in a responsible manner, I think, sends an important message to the world, as does the commitment of the United States to observe the Geneva Convention when it comes to the treatment of detainees.'"
webfarmer: (Default)
Love it when things work out right for the good guys.

Petraeus Endorses Obama's Plans to Close GITMO, End Torture - Huffington Post - 26 May 09

"'I think, on balance, that those moves help [us],' said the chief of U.S. Central Command. 'In fact, I have long been on record as having testified and also in helping write doctrine for interrogation techniques that are completely in line with the Geneva Convention. And as a division commander in Iraq in the early days, we put out guidance very early on to make sure that our soldiers, in fact, knew that we needed to stay within those guidelines.

'With respect to Guantanamo,' Petraeus added, 'I think that the closure in a responsible manner, obviously one that is certainly being worked out now by the Department of Justice -- I talked to the Attorney General the other day [and] they have a very intensive effort ongoing to determine, indeed, what to do with the detainees who are left, how to deal with them in a legal way, and if continued incarceration is necessary -- again, how to take that forward. But doing that in a responsible manner, I think, sends an important message to the world, as does the commitment of the United States to observe the Geneva Convention when it comes to the treatment of detainees.'"
Page generated Jul. 25th, 2017 08:46 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios