U.S. backs nuclear loans -

Full story: Baltimore Sun

The Energy Department approved giving federal loan guarantees to finance new nuclear plants yesterday, but the industry won't be able to take advantage until Congress approves billions more to fund the program ...

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stevenporter

Harrisburg, PA

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#1
Oct 5, 2007
 
Another corporate welfare. If nuclear power were the answer, it would not need our tax dollars in addition to rate payers. The nuclear power industry already got $300 billion from the government over the last 50 years.

Its time to pull the plug on corporate welfare to an industry which threatens the whole world. Is there any question that the supposed peaceful use of atom drives the nuclear weapons pursuit? Haven't we done enough threatening to attack countries who are developing suspect peaceful power reactors.

Its a misguided & failed industry which could not exit without goverment handouts in the US, France, Japan or anywhere.

Wind and solar are the answer. Use wind to generate hydrogen, the pipe the hydrogen to distributuion centers. We are only a few years from the hydrogen-economy.
Harley Philyaw

United States

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#2
Oct 5, 2007
 
I think we need more nuclear plants to off set our relying on fossil plants. We also need to find away to dispose of our nuclear waste.
Constellation being one of the first in the industry to renew their operating license should be some indications of their operating experience.
I think it was a good choise to build a third reactor at Calvert Cliffs.
Vern C - San Diego

AOL

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#3
Oct 5, 2007
 
Let's tell Elizabeth Porter that wind
cannot be the full source for hydrogen...it will be way too expensive. Generation IV reactors will do the job, about 2023 or 2030 onwards..when 13 countries get the technology pined down. Meanwhile let's build the Generation III reactors...lots of them. They are cheaper than anything else..in the long-term.
John

Novato, CA

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#4
Oct 5, 2007
 
We need an Apollo-2 program to fund development of generation IV reactors. Greenhouse gases threaten our global climate and oil is peaking so that oil shortages may soon threaten our economy. Let's make an investment of 5% of GNP now if we wait our economy may fail to the point where we will not be able to afford the investment. GenerationIV reactors may offer high efficency for electricity, hydrogen, and potable water via desalination. The world needs all three.

Generation III are okay, but that billion $ dome makes the costs such that it is a problem affording them at the rate needed to urgently replace fossil fuel. We should expand the options in generation IV technology to include a couple types of thorium reactors. Thorium reactors may turn out to be simplest, cheapest, safest, most proliferation resistant, most efficient due to high temp and a more abundant fuel supply than uranium.
John

Novato, CA

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#5
Oct 5, 2007
 
Harley Philyaw wrote:
I think we need more nuclear plants to off set our relying on fossil plants. We also need to find away to dispose of our nuclear waste.
Constellation being one of the first in the industry to renew their operating license should be some indications of their operating experience.
I think it was a good choise to build a third reactor at Calvert Cliffs.
Nuclear waste is not a significan problem. It is actually a golden egg. Generation IV reactors will fission the waste from our current reactors. We may not need to mine uranium ore for more than a century because the 90% of the energy remaining in the spent fuel will fuel the new generation of reactor. The tiny amount of fission products from generation IV reactors will contain radioactive fission products that will decay to safe levels in about 300 years - tens of thousands of years.
Booner

Madison, AL

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#6
Oct 9, 2007
 
John wrote:
<quoted text>
Nuclear waste is not a significan problem. It is actually a golden egg. Generation IV reactors will fission the waste from our current reactors. We may not need to mine uranium ore for more than a century because the 90% of the energy remaining in the spent fuel will fuel the new generation of reactor. The tiny amount of fission products from generation IV reactors will contain radioactive fission products that will decay to safe levels in about 300 years - tens of thousands of years.
You make an important point here John. Nuclear waste is not a problem of such magnitude and urgency that we need to implement burial anytime soon. In fact, a very learned nuclear engineering professor once told me that nuclear waste is the biggest NON-problem that ever existed. The Golden Egg is a great metaphor. The unburned fuel in existing spent fuel is a valuable resource and it should remain stockpiled where it will be retrievable when needed. As far as I am concerned the Big Hole in Yucca Mountain can wait. The volume of waste is so small as to not be a serious storage problem until much later and by not burying spent fuel, the unused uranium and plutonium will be more readily available for the new generation of reactors of which you speak.
John

Novato, CA

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#7
Oct 9, 2007
 
Booner, I have learned much from your blogs. I have never been employed in the nuclear industry so I have much to learn. You have great incites into our world's problems and your expertize in nuclear power places you in a good position to present a valued position on energy policy.

Today, I was attacked in a 1000 word plus letter to the editor for my position on nuclear waste.
I gave an invited address to our City Council that was covered by the paper.

The author rants that Price-Anderson will cost the taxpayer hundreds of billions when a 600 billion $ accident occurs. I call that fear mongering. He cites a 77 million $ estimate for completion of Yucca Mountain. He worries about lawsuits amount to 100s of millions $ over Yucca Mountian. He states that the taxpayer will be stuck with most of the bill. I would think that the law requires the industry to bill the customers. Interest and the one mill paid/kWh should go a long way to covering the bill, if more is required I suppose another mill could be added. I don't put much stock in estimates. I have recently seen estimates in the 30 million range. It all depends on the point that the estimator is pushing No one will be held responsible for missing an estimate unless under contract. He takes a negative view of MOX fuel reprocessing in France. He is an ethics professor. Any thoughts on how to answer this anti-nuke?
John

Novato, CA

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#8
Oct 9, 2007
 
I wonder how much the nuclear industry pays the government for the benefits of the Price-Anderson Act? Has the Price-Anderson Act ever paid out a cent of public money to the nuclear industry? What are the chances that the taxpayer will be left holding the bag?

I need to respond to this comment from the letter in today's newspaper: "The biggest benefit, however, was reauthorization and extension of the Price-Anderson Act, which limits the industry's liability in the event of an accident. That limits the amount of primary insurance that nuclear operators must carry to $300 million, and caps the total liability of nuclear operators in the event of an accident or attack at $10.5 billion."

I wonder if the $300 million is per reactor and what does this insurance cost the operator? I seem to recall that the 10.5 billion would be paid out by assessing a fraction from each member of the industry, is that correct? It is my understanding that Price-Anderson is a really good deal for the government which assumes a risk that has an extremely low probablity of happening. If the 10.5 billion were to be exceeded, I believe that the act does not state that the government will pick up the tab. Rather it says that congress will take up the issue or soomething to that effect.

If someone can explain Price-Anderson, I certainly would be appreciative of any info on the subject.
Booner

Madison, AL

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#9
Oct 9, 2007
 
John wrote:
...Today, I was attacked in a 1000 word plus letter to the editor for my position on nuclear waste.
I gave an invited address to our City Council that was covered by the paper.
The author rants that Price-Anderson will cost the taxpayer hundreds of billions when a 600 billion $ accident occurs. I call that fear mongering. He cites a 77 million $ estimate for completion of Yucca Mountain. He worries about lawsuits amount to 100s of millions $ over Yucca Mountian. He states that the taxpayer will be stuck with most of the bill. I would think that the law requires the industry to bill the customers. Interest and the one mill paid/kWh should go a long way to covering the bill, if more is required I suppose another mill could be added. I don't put much stock in estimates. I have recently seen estimates in the 30 million range. It all depends on the point that the estimator is pushing No one will be held responsible for missing an estimate unless under contract. He takes a negative view of MOX fuel reprocessing in France. He is an ethics professor. Any thoughts on how to answer this anti-nuke?
Wow! A thousand-word letter to the editor! That’s a guest editorial! You might start by asking for equal newsprint space. Most newspapers limit letters to around 250 words unless they are pro-nuke and then the limit is more often zero words. Well, you asked for my thoughts so here goes….you have an uphill battle. But there is hope because mainstream news agencies, one-sided as they are (but try very artfully to disguise), no longer have the virtual monopoly on public information that they once had. More and more people are getting their information online plus bloggers have been very good at exposing media bias and misinformation. Not that things will change soon in your hometown newspaper, but at least it’s a start. Stay tuned to forums like this one. In the broad view, about all you can do as an individual is to turn on your BS detector and challenge unrealistic assertions, and just as importantly, their sources as well. Your antagonist letter writer is a case in point. Who makes these estimates which he or she quotes? It is not likely that numbers like these came from an ethics professor’s research. The sources are incredibly easy to check out anymore. Just google the name of the author or organization, and you will usually find a career writer,“researcher” or political lackey, whose intentions are clear… oppose nuclear and give the truth a day off (permanently). My guess is that your ethics professor letter writer did not do one ounce of research and completely overlooked the bias of the sources. He is only parroting some blatantly biased assertions made by one of several fear-mongering propaganda mills. I can say this confidently because I have heard or read most of their nonsense. Of course, you know their game, if they can’t pull others to their point of view with logic and reason, just scare the hell out ‘em. That used to work quite well when lefties dominated the news agencies, but things are different now than in the ‘70s when anti-nuclear (and anti-just-about-anything) activists were in vogue.[to be continued]
Booner

Madison, AL

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#10
Oct 9, 2007
 
[continued] More people are educated now about nuclear power and have jobs in the nuclear industry where they see first hand that it is a safe technology and a safe work environment. I optimistically think the truth will out, especially now that there are plenty of sources of unfiltered truth. You might try to link up with Energy Central, a not-necessarily-pro-nuke outfit, but it is relatively free of political dogma and is loaded with energy information from high-level experts. Finally, I think you could easily challenge the ethics of your ethics professor. My God, opposing mixed oxide fuels (MOX)???!!! That is just not possible from an ethical point of view. Taking plutonium and other unburned fissile materials out of nuclear weapons and converting them to reactor fuels is the most responsible thing you could possibly do with the stuff. Fission removes plutonium forever. It is BETTER than burial because of the clean energy it can provide. Ultimately, of course, some nuclear byproducts will have to be buried but it doesn’t have to be plutonium.

Unfortunately, the scare was produced over 30 years ago and the news agencies have selectively fomented the fears ever since while effectively suppressing all evidence to the contrary. Fear is an awful thing to try to overcome with truth and logic because those concepts are generally lost on a pathetically energy-illiterate public, whereas fear sells newspapers and it garners votes. In counterbalance, we can only continually challenge fearmongers to bring something to the debate besides fear, while sticking steadfastly to the truth and openness. Having said all that, I have great confidence that most folks can still recognize the truth when they have access to the relevant facts. That part is up to people like you and me and the several others on these energy posts who have simply taken it upon themselves to bear the truth. I wish you well.
Booner

Madison, AL

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#11
Oct 9, 2007
 
John wrote:
I wonder how much the nuclear industry pays the government for the benefits of the Price-Anderson Act? Has the Price-Anderson Act ever paid out a cent of public money to the nuclear industry? What are the chances that the taxpayer will be left holding the bag?
I need to respond to this comment from the letter in today's newspaper: "The biggest benefit, however, was reauthorization and extension of the Price-Anderson Act, which limits the industry's liability in the event of an accident. That limits the amount of primary insurance that nuclear operators must carry to $300 million, and caps the total liability of nuclear operators in the event of an accident or attack at $10.5 billion."
I wonder if the $300 million is per reactor and what does this insurance cost the operator? I seem to recall that the 10.5 billion would be paid out by assessing a fraction from each member of the industry, is that correct? It is my understanding that Price-Anderson is a really good deal for the government which assumes a risk that has an extremely low probablity of happening. If the 10.5 billion were to be exceeded, I believe that the act does not state that the government will pick up the tab. Rather it says that congress will take up the issue or soomething to that effect.
If someone can explain Price-Anderson, I certainly would be appreciative of any info on the subject.
Price-Anderson is a topic I can't help you on quickly, but I'll see what I can find out for you. I think others might be better on this than I am. Personally, I don't see why P-A should be a challenge that needs answering by you. That debate belongs in congress and currently is the law of the land. Of course it benefits the nuclear industry, but in turn every living person in the country benefits from the clean electricity which nuclear power provides.
Booner

Madison, AL

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#12
Oct 9, 2007
 
John wrote:
I wonder how much the nuclear industry pays the government for the benefits of the Price-Anderson Act? Has the Price-Anderson Act ever paid out a cent of public money to the nuclear industry? What are the chances that the taxpayer will be left holding the bag?
I need to respond to this comment from the letter in today's newspaper: "The biggest benefit, however, was reauthorization and extension of the Price-Anderson Act, which limits the industry's liability in the event of an accident. That limits the amount of primary insurance that nuclear operators must carry to $300 million, and caps the total liability of nuclear operators in the event of an accident or attack at $10.5 billion."
I wonder if the $300 million is per reactor and what does this insurance cost the operator? I seem to recall that the 10.5 billion would be paid out by assessing a fraction from each member of the industry, is that correct? It is my understanding that Price-Anderson is a really good deal for the government which assumes a risk that has an extremely low probablity of happening. If the 10.5 billion were to be exceeded, I believe that the act does not state that the government will pick up the tab. Rather it says that congress will take up the issue or soomething to that effect.
If someone can explain Price-Anderson, I certainly would be appreciative of any info on the subject.
I believe money was paid to claimants affected by TMI. As I recall this was mostly for expenses related to the evacuation, not for actual damage.
The $300,000,000 is per plant. The probability of payout is indeed very small for several reasons, the low probability of a core-damage event in the first place, the low probability of failure of the reactor vessel even if there is core damage, and the low probability of release from the containment structure(s) surrounding the reactor pressure vessel. The defense-in-depth concept further includes several emergency cooling water sources and years of intense simulator training of operators on the ways to handle emergencies. The improvements on existing plants since the 70s have lowered the overall risk by an order of magnitude (about ten times) and the newer designs will lower the risk by 1 or more additional orders of magnitude. Don’t know the cost per owner. You could be right on who pays over the 10.5 B. You should be able to find some good online info to fill in those details.
Booner

Madison, AL

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#13
Oct 9, 2007
 
stevenporter wrote:
Another corporate welfare. If nuclear power were the answer, it would not need our tax dollars in addition to rate payers. The nuclear power industry already got $300 billion from the government over the last 50 years.
Its time to pull the plug on corporate welfare to an industry which threatens the whole world. Is there any question that the supposed peaceful use of atom drives the nuclear weapons pursuit? Haven't we done enough threatening to attack countries who are developing suspect peaceful power reactors.
Its a misguided & failed industry which could not exit without goverment handouts in the US, France, Japan or anywhere.
Wind and solar are the answer. Use wind to generate hydrogen, the pipe the hydrogen to distributuion centers. We are only a few years from the hydrogen-economy.
The Topix Science/Techology editor, Cash, once noted that subsidies are a reality whether we agree with them or not (or words to that effect) which kind of tempered my view just a little bit. I for one, am against the concept in general. If I had my way subsidies of all kinds would be outlawed except in times of national emergencies to address specific needs. I believe that upon reaching maturity, that on a level playing field nuclear power would prosper. But subsidizing perceived beneficial things is a business our government has decided to engage in and it is the law of the land. Wind and solar are getting a big piece of the pie too, as well they should, in order to promote their startup and trial. It worked for nuclear and it might work for some renewable sources as well. It might interest you to know that the vast majority of $ supposedly given to nuclear power has been in research. This is not only for nuclear-produced electricity, but for advancement of nuclear technology in other beneficial fields as well, such as nuclear fusion, nuclear waste reduction, hydrogen production, nuclear medicine, aerospace, food preservation, and I am sure there’s more. I must respectfully disagree with your assertion that the industry is failed and misguided. Far from it. Despite a rough start, the bad old days of the 70s are over. Plants have remarkably improved safety and just as remarkably improved generation. Capacity factors are now in the 90 percentiles, up from barely 50%, which means revenues are up and costs are down. Interveners and obstructionists have lost the upper hand and nearly the entire fleet of existing nukes have or will have renewed licenses for 20 more years… the bargain of the century. Wind, solar, hydrogen? Bring 'em on. Baseload nukes will be their backbone.
Booner

Madison, AL

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#14
Oct 10, 2007
 
John wrote:
Any thoughts on how to answer this anti-nuke?
John, I meant to comment further on the so-called estimates last night, but it was getting late. I think those numbers are highly suspect and should be challenged. High numbers like that can only be speculative, and cynically speculative at that. The TMI accident actually proved the worth of the reactor pressure vessel and the primary containment (outer pressure boundary) as well. Today's barriers to release are even bette. As for Chernobyl to compare to, that is not even on the radar because we don't have anything like it. As you have correctly asserted, the risk for actual payout of any amount is quite low and is vanishingly small for a large payout.
Donnie

Akron, OH

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#15
Oct 10, 2007
 
Booner wrote:
<quoted text>
I believe money was paid to claimants affected by TMI. As I recall this was mostly for expenses related to the evacuation, not for actual damage.
correct, there was no actual damage outside the plant.
Booner

Madison, AL

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#16
Oct 11, 2007
 
Donnie wrote:
<quoted text>correct, there was no actual damage outside the plant.
Sorry if I sounded uncertain on that issue. Shoulda-coulda have worded it in stronger terms. The fact that nobody was injured and no damage outside the plant was done is a monument to the strength and quality of the reactor pressure vessel and the primary containment structure even though the reactor core was badly damaged. Will also state here for our readership that the root causes of that accident have been thoroughly studied and resolved. NO other industry has faced their past mistakes and acted to correct them more thoroughly than the nuclear industry.
vaughn s k nebeker

Boise, ID

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#17
Feb 5, 2009
 
what jemming up the nuclear prossess's is the govit not able to pay for work and or laber completed.. to the tuen of $880.0 billion dallor's... it were the NRC said sockit to them.. the bill is still $880.0 trillion usd dallor's... thay deliberly pull fraud. then get bit.. it why the cash up frount pallasie..
the only resion the number are so high is thay
keep defroding the account.
vaughnnebeker

Boise, ID

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#18
Jun 3, 2009
 
there are no lone's. out.
I been lessing theem the technology. but there not paying up.
i went out gathered up $747.00 in tabacco coupon
sold them. for cash. plus $58.00 the capitel that that put out cherobyl was not a nagitive [-] on the book's. the lawywer was payed cash on a flat fee for the desine patent and or copy right.
there can not be a lone do to one evermade one.
it a credit compeny looking for somthing that not there. The retired state of idaho aturiny genreal
was payed cash. The 1973 law allow both patent 7 copy right. vaughn S K Nebeker

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