Both videos leverage services from an online service called YouTube, a Web site that allows members to upload video for free. In turn, the videos can either be viewed over at YouTube, or alternately, embedded in your own Website inside a video player (we used it here). It's a great service, and one that NEI's members ought to be using to get their message out to a wider audience.
For sure in the near-term: A new construction cycle for advanced light water reactors, well-suited for baseload electricity production.
Possibly in the medium-term: Starting around 2025, commercial deployment of high-temperature reactors, with a more varied product slate, using advanced hydrogen production technologies, co-located with oil refineries and coal gasification plants, providing hydrogen they require to upgrade coal and the heavy crude oils of the future into usable products. Generating process heat to produce clean drinking water, to extract oil from tar sands and other industrial applications.
And the long-term vision: Over the next 30 to 40 years, deployment of advanced technologies to partition used f…
Here's a summary of what went on in the energy markets last week: Electricity prices mostly increased in the East and Midwest but fell in the West (see pages 1 & 2). Gas prices at the Henry Hub rose $0.26 to $7.10/MMBtu (see page 4). Oil prices at the West Texas Intermediate were $62.64/barrel for the week of March 13th – 18th (see page 5).Nuclear capacity availability was at 82% last week. Fourteen units were in refueling outages (see pages 2 & 3).For the report click here (pdf). It is also located on NEI's Nuclear Statistics webpage.
In the wake of yesterday's front page story in the Wall Street Journal on the French commercial nuclear energy program, Pat Cleary over at the NAM Blog had this to say: Here in the US, it's a different story. We remain hamstrung by some pretty lousy policy choices we've made on energy. The enviros have all but achieved a moratorium on nuclear plants here. They don't want us to drill for oil, or for natural gas, or to mine -- or burn -- coal either, by the way. And so we sit and watch our energy prices soar while our competitors can only look at us and scratch their heads. We are the only country that restricts access to its own natural resources. Who else among our competitors would be dumb enough to do that?Not China, Japan, Korea or Taiwan, that's for sure.
Yesterday I was fortunate enough to hear a presentation by Gene Grecheck of Dominion. He discussed progress on the North Anna early site permit (ESP) process. That’s a subject that dates back to some of the earliest days of this blog. Since the presentation ran for a full hour, I won’t try to repeat it here, but a couple of points seemed to be of particularly broad interest.
The first point was about how we in the industry continue to wait impatiently for a new plant order. On a personal note, I would like to observe that it’s funny how our perspectives change. Five years ago, we were thrilled when anyone would say "nuclear" in a context that was not pejorative. One year ago, we were thrilled to hear that Duke was going to pursue a construction and operating license. Now, we really want to hear about a contract to build a new plant. In a few years, even that won’t satisfy us, and we will want to hear about concrete pours.
But I digress. Gene did not discuss changes in perspec…
Progress Energy today released its report on global climate change, saying that there is enough understanding of the issue to warrant action by the private and public sectors. The company also called for the development of a national climate change policy, which it says should include nuclear power.
"Progress Energy recognizes the importance, scale and complexity of global climate change," said Bob McGehee, chairman and chief executive officer. "Addressing this issue and other environmental challenges will require a balanced solution, including more conservation and efficiency programs, clean coal and nuclear generation, and the development and use of advanced and renewable technologies."Progress informed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in August 2005 that it plans to submit a combined construction and operating license for a new nuclear plant. It updated those plans in November 2005 to include a second application - one for the Harris Nuclear Plant site in North …
Spurgeon is a former executive vice president and chief operating officer of USEC Inc.
UPDATE: Here's what NEI Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs Alex Flint had to say today about Spurgeon's confirmation:
“Assistant Secretary Spurgeon has a wealth of knowledge on energy issues generally and on nuclear energy specifically. His leadership in the Office of Nuclear Energy will be tremendously beneficial to [DOE] as it seeks to implement the president’s Advanced Energy Initiative and strengthen U.S. energy security.”Read NEI's full news release here.
So many states have been busy passing resolutions or legislation to support new nuclear plant construction that it might just be time for a roundup of all the activity. The bills and resolutions address the sharp increase in energy demand and consumption expected in the United States in the coming decades. They also recognize the need for increased energy independence; new-build incentives in the Energy Policy Act of 2005; and nuclear energy’s safety, reliability and clean-air attributes.
The South Dakota legislature passed a resolution (1010) Feb. 27 supporting the development of nuclear power in the state. It encourages U.S. academic institutions to pursue research in developing nuclear energy, and is similar to a bill, signed into law March 3, to examine the feasibility of new nuclear generation in the state.
Another resolution (865), passed by a large majority of the Georgia State Senate in March, urges electric utilities to conduct a feasibility study for building new nuclear powe…
Mike Coyle is Exelon Nuclear’s new vice president of mid-Atlantic operations. He previously served as NEI’s vice president of operations.
Progress Energy has announced several management changes. Jeffrey Lyash will be president and CEO of Progress Energy Florida, effective June 1. He will replace the retiring H. William Habermeyer Jr. Don Davis, executive vice president of diversified operations, will retire April 14. Paula Sims, currently vice president of fossil generation, will replace Davis and senior vice president. Charlie Gates, coal-fired power plant manager in the Carolinas and general manager of Progress Energy’s three fossil plant regions, will replace Sims.
Recently, NEI issued a fact sheet on the incidents that provides some perspective and insight into the science involved: For perspective, the amount of tritium in the groundwater at the nuclear power plant with the highest and most extensive levels of tritium is far less than the amount of tritium in a single 'exit' sign. Many industrial-grade exit signs contain 10 to 20 curies of tritium gas. By comparison, the average concentration of tritium in groundwater at nuclear plants is at or below the EPA standard for tritium in drinking water -- 0.02 microcuries per liter.To read what other blogs are saying about the situation, click here.
The latest issue of Nuclear Energy Insight is now available online. In it, you will find an article on near-record level of electricity production and reliability posted by U.S. nuclear power plants in 2005. There also are reports on a NASA spacecraft headed to Pluto powered by nuclear technology and “Energy Week” speeches by President Bush and Cabinet officials endorsing nuclear power as part of a secure, diverse energy portfolio. Other articles discuss a nuclear plant evacuation plan that serves as a model for Connecticut, a nuclear plant that reopened its visitor center to delight of public, and moves by state lawmakers to examine nuclear energy’s possibilities.
Over on our blogroll to the right, you'll notice that we added a section on anti-nuclear activists. We think it's important to track these folks, which is why we're including them.
But rather than simply listing their links, we've added a new wrinkle: Whenever we have dealt with these groups in print before, I've included a link to our archives where you'll find detailed responses to their charges. Click here to see what we did with the Rocky Mountain Institute.
Earlier this week, we pointed to a story about how China is producing more coal than ever before. And it's important to remember that it comes with a cost. Here's AOL Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis on his visit to Shanghai: The city is remarkably clean, but the air is not. There is a cloud of pollution that hangs over the city and stings the eyes. And everywhere you look, at every time of the day, there are people, a seemingly endless stream of people buzzing about - talking, eating, shopping, and working.After a simply observation like that, it's easy to see why China wants to build so much new nuclear generating capacity.
I just spoke to my colleague Lisa Steward, and I can break the news that Stewart Brand, founder of the Whole Earth Catalog and author of the groundbreaking essay, Environmental Heresies, has agreed to address the 2006 Nuclear Energy Assembly in San Francisco on Friday, May 19.
Since Brand's essay appeared in MIT Technology Review last Spring, his name has become a familiar one for readers of NEI Nuclear Notes. Click here for our complete archive on Brand and all the dust he's been kicking up in the past year.
It's your typical revolving door ethics story, one where activist groups who try to conceal their own conflicts of interest try to slime a former public servant in the absence of any evidence.Nobody alleges that Flint did anything illegal. Neither the law nor Senate rules prohibited Flint from leaving the Energy Committee post after three years in which he helped develop policy and shepherd legislation on nuclear issues and going directly to work as NEI’s senior vice president for governmental affairs.
And one Washington watchdog says Flint's career path is hardly surprising in today's environment, where congressional staff jobs are viewed by many as a "stepping stone to riches."
Critics like Gary Kalman of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group say Flint's case is especially troubling in lig…
Here's a summary of what went on in the energy markets last week: Electricity prices mostly increased throughout the country (see pages 1 & 2). Gas prices at the Henry Hub rose $0.36 to $6.84/MMBtu (see page 4).
Nuclear capacity availability was at 85% last week. Twelve units were in refueling outages. LaSalle 1 completed a 26 day refueling outage and set a new world record for longest continuous run by a light water reactor at 739 days on February 20th. The previous record was held by Peach Bottom 3 at 708 days (see pages 2 & 3).For the report click here (pdf). It is also located on NEI's Nuclear Statistics webpage.
From the China Daily: Top energy planners are seeking, in the next five years, to raise China's coal output to an unprecedented level and, at the same time, reduce the number of large mining disasters. China's coal output will be between 2.5 billion and 2.6 billion tons in 2010, as compared with 2.19 billion tons in 2005, according to Guo Yuntao, director of the China Development Research Centre for the Coal Industry, in an interview with China Daily. The growth rate being forecast by the planning team led by Guo is much slower than in the last five years, when China's coal output rose from about 1.3 billion tons in 2000. More from the Houston Chronicle.
TXU Corp. last week announced several leadership changes. Mike Childers is the new CEO of Generation Development. Chief Financial Officer Kirk Oliver and General Counsel Eric Peterson will be leaving TXU Corp. David Campbell, executive vice president of corporate planning, strategy and risk, will temporarily assume Oliver’s responsibilities. David Poole will be the company’s new general counsel and executive vice president of legal.
The Shaw Group has hired Dave Barry as president of the Shaw Stone & Webster Nuclear Services division. Barry joins Shaw from Bechtel, where he had been for six years, most recently as operations manager for fossil power projects.
PG&E Corp. has elected Richard Rollo as vice president of strategic development and business integration, effective March 29. Rollo joins PG&E from Health Net Inc., where he was vice president of corporate development and M&A.
Today, I'm posting the conclusion of my discussion with Dave Erickson from Re/Action on Climate Protection regarding the relative benefits of wind and nuclear energy. In my last post, I looked at why displacing all of America's coal generated electric capacity with wind wasn't practical or achieveable. To read Part I, click here.
Today, in Part II, I'm taking a closer look at the economics of wind and nuclear energy.
Costs Everyone who wants to pronounce nuclear as uneconomical always cites the MIT Study. The study, whose authors are in favor of nuclear, offered suggestions for how nuclear can overcome a number of well known challenges, including waste di…
Replace Coal with Wind? Probably not. The U.S. has the largest reserves of coal in the world. Replacing coal completely with wind simply doesn't make economic sense. While coal releases significant emissions, it is getting cleaner. Any new coal plant built has to meet many stringent air requirements. To comply, coal plants are fitted with scrubbers an…
From Greenwire (subscription required): One of U.S. EPA's most controversial overhauls to the Clean Air Act program was deemed illegal today by a federal appeals court.
A three-judge panel from the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia unanimously rejected EPA's changes to the New Source Review program. Judge Judith Rogers, lead author of the 20-page opinion, said EPA's August 2003 rule changes violated the air pollution law.
The ruling is a major victory for New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (D) and the coalition of states, large and small cities and environmentalists that has opposed the Bush administration's air pollution policies. The groups sued EPA immediately after it completed the rules, and they scored an early victory in December 2003 when the court issued a temporary injunction that halted their implementation.This is huge. More later.
UPDATE: More from the Washington Post: Scott H. Segal, a spokesman for a Washington-based coalition …
On this day in 1994, the marriage of the U. S. Council for Energy Awareness, the Nuclear Management and Resources Council, Inc., the American Nuclear Energy Council, and the Nuclear Division of the Edison Electric Institute resulted in the creation of the Nuclear Energy Institute.
To all NEI employees, past and present, happy anniversary.
From the Charlotte Business Journal: Duke Power has chosen 2,022 acres near Gaffney, S.C., as the site for a proposed $6 billion, two-reactor nuclear plant, with rival Southern Co. of Atlanta to be a partner in the project.
The Cherokee County Council has offered Duke Power an incentive package including a 50 percent property tax credit and access to low-interest bonds to get the plant built there. The proposed plant could bring about 800 permanent jobs to the county.
Brew Barron, Duke Power's chief nuclear officer, says construction jobs would number about 1,000 at the peak of activity.
"A lot of the new plant design involves much more modular construction than the old plants," he says. "So the number would be something less than what you might have seen historically for plant construction."
It could take 10 to 12 years for the plant to become a reality, and neither utility is yet committed to construction. That decision will come later, Duke Power and Southern (N…
In January, NEI CEO Skip Bowman addressed the Houston Forum and had the following to say about why the city and the state should give nuclear energy a second look: In 2004, South Texas Project and Comanche Peak produced about 11 percent of the state's electricity.
Replacing the South Texas Project (STP) and Comanche Peak generating capacity with fossil fuel sources would mean an additional 31.6 million tons of carbon dioxide. That's the equivalent of emissions from six out of every seven cars in the state.
By building emission-free generating capacity such as new nuclear power plants to meet growing electricity demand, we reduce the clean-air compliance costs that otherwise would fall on other types of generating capacity that do produce emissions. Nuclear power plants create headroom underneath emissions caps for the industrial sector and for transportation, and to allow continued economic growth.
To the extent we build new nuclear power plants, we also reduce the demands place…
Here's a summary of what went on in the energy markets last week: Electricity prices fell in the East but mostly increased throughout the rest of the country (see pages 1 & 2). Gas prices at the Henry Hub fell $0.34 to $6.48/MMBtu (see page 4).
Electricity demand is expected to increase only slightly in 2006 (0.4 percent) because of weak heating-related demand this past January and the lower expected cooling-related demand this summer in comparison to conditions seen in 2005. Electric power sector demand for coal is projected to increase by 0.6 percent in 2006 and by another 2.5 percent in 2007. Total natural gas demand in 2006 is projected to remain near 2005 levels, then increase by 2.4 percent in 2007 (see page 8).For the report click here (pdf). It is also located on NEI's Nuclear Statistics webpage.
"This Week on the Hill" is a new feature on NEI Nuclear Notes. We'll be listing all relevant congressional hearings for the upcoming week and beyond. Please note that the dates, times and locations are subject to change - but we'll do our best to stay on top of things.
Senate Appropriations Energy and Water Subcommittee: Hearing to examine proposed budget estimates for fiscal 2007 for the Office of Science, the Energy Supply and Conservation account, and the Fossil Energy Research and Development account within the Department of Energy. Tuesday, March 14, 2:30 p.m. (138 Dirksen Building).
The Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) elected Lewis Hay III as chairman of its board of directors. Hay is chairman and CEO of FPL Group Inc. INPO also elected David Ratcliffe as the board’s vice chairman. Ratcliffe is chairman, president and CEO of Southern Co. INPO re-elected the other members of its board for 2006.
Kirk Schnoebelen has been elected president of Urenco Inc., effective immediately. He succeeds Charles Pryor, who continues to serve as non-executive director and president and CEO of Urenco Investments Inc.
One of the more frustrating aspects of blogging about nuclear energy issues is the fact that we seem to have to keep answering the same questions over and over again. A good example is the following passage from a story that appeared today over at Oh My News International: [German energy expert Dr. Hermann] Scheer was in Australia last week to argue against the "nuclear solution" to climate change. Uranium is, like fossil fuels, a finite resource. It's an obvious point to make, but one which is being overlooked in the giddy rush to secure new energy sources.
The world's uranium, Scheer warned, will be depleted almost as fast as fossil fuels and nuclear power is an expensive, dangerous and shortsighted alternative to polluting coal and gas fired power.
"Uranium will be depleted in fifty years, and even earlier if a large number of new nuclear power stations come online. If Australia does not expand uranium mining beyond its current, restricted three mines policy, nu…
To date, 39 nuclear reactors have received 20 year license extensions. 12 other reactors have filed for an extension and another 27 which have announced intentions to do so. If all 103 nuclear reactors in the U.S. receive a 20 year extension, and the industry anticipates they will, the first retirement will not be until 2029.
When a nuclear plant retires, the primary source of fuel for its replacement would be coal. A typical 1,000 MW nuclear plant consumes about 20 metric tons of uranium during its fuel cycle (18 or 24 months). A comparable coal plant would need about 3.43 million tons of coal each year to provide the same generation as a nuclear plant. And as we saw earlier this week, transporting large volumes of coal can present other challenges as well.
To replace the same generation with a natural gas plant, you'd need 65.8 billion cubic feet of gas, and for oil, 13.7 million barrels.
If you multiply these figures by 20 years you would need: 68.6 million tons of coal; or 1,316 bi…
Environmental Action is drinking a type of Kool Aid only made in the Rocky Mountains. Here's Navin Nayak: I haven't heard much from this morning's committee hearing on energy independence, but I did track down Amory Lovin's press release for the event. As usual, his thoughts are bold and solidly backed by research.Carefully researched? I guess it depends on who you talk to. Take a look at the following links to see what we're talking about: