Saturday, October 13, 2012

Nuclear Energy Blog Carnival #126: Excerpts

The 126th Carnival of Nuclear Energy Bloggers is hosted by Entreprenuclear blog


3. From Rod Adams' blog Atomic Insights

Theo Simon and George Monbiot – Rational discussion about nuclear energy development

During the past week or so, Rod Adams has been spending quite a bit of time following a discussion about nuclear energy between Theo Simon and George Monbiot. It is a deeply philosophical engagement between two literate and concerned people who view nuclear energy through different lenses and have, so far, reached different conclusions about its value and potential for growth.

Rod provides a third perspective and hopes that the development of smaller reactors may encourage additional deep thinking.


4. From the ANS Nuclear Cafe:

Howard Shaffer with a very interesting history of the founding of the anti-nuclear energy movement -- as told last week at UMass Amherst by two of the very persons who helped to found it, Anna Gyorgy and Lionel Delevingne.

Margaret Harding is blogging from the American Nuclear Society-sponsored Indo–US Nuclear Safety Summit in Mumbai, India.  Her notes on the discussions of regulatory issues, emergency risk assessment, international trade relations, economy, politics...

Check ANS Nuclear Cafe for Harding's
continuing updates on news, and views, and traveler's tales, from the


5. From the Yes, Vermont Yankee blog

Meredith Angwin revisits her area of technical expertise: PWR steam generators.  In "San Onofre Thoughts and Future. I told you so", Angwin quotes some of her earlier posts on the subject. She predicted the plant would be derated but start again. Plant opponents make endless negative predictions, and are all over the airwaves if even one of them comes true.  Angwin decided to trumpet her positive prediction this time. 

6. From Nuclear Diner:

Russia Plans to Raise Two Nuclear Submarine Reactors from Sea Floor

The Russian Defense Ministry is planning to raise and scrap two sunken nuclear submarines in the northern Barents and Kara seas. Susan Voss considers the reactors in those submarines and the hazards they may or may not pose. She also looks at Project Azorian, a 1968 CIA attempt to raise a sunken Soviet nuclear submarine.
_Entreprenuclear 126 Nuclear Energy Blog Carnival
Read the whole thing

Obama's War on Nuclear Power:
The same Department of Energy loan guarantee office that gave us Solyndra, Fisker, and other boondoggles, working with the White House-connected Office of Management and Budget (OMB), has essentially spiked additional loan guarantees, effectively killing the projects.

For a plant proposed in Maryland, the bad-faith dealings of the administration were so bad that the chairman of Constellation Energy and also the utility project owner, Michael Wallace, wrote in a public letter to OMB in October, 2010:
During the course of our discussions, Constellation Energy and our partners identified a significant problem in the methodology that the OMB requires for the credit cost calculation, a problem that is applicable beyond just our project, and therefore of significant program and policy consequence. Yet in seeking to explore this further, we encountered significant delay and resistance in being able to even engage on the issue[.]
One needs a little understanding of the process to see what's going on. Say our prospective builder of a new nuke (Constellation and partners in this case) seeks a $7.5-billion loan guarantee against the government changing its mind down the road -- i.e., after the necessary government approvals are in place and a bunch of private money has been sunk into the plant. What the OMB demanded was a "credit subsidy cost" in up-front cash for the loan, in addition to the regular interest and fees. This is supposedly to act as an insurance premium against the government having to pay out later for project default. In this case, the OMB calculated a non-trivial amount of $880 million, or almost 12% of the guarantee amount. In the words of Chairman Wallace, "[t]his would clearly destroy the project's economics, or the economics of any nuclear project for that matter."

In comparison, the credit subsidy cost for loan guarantees to projects like Solyndra were zero -- the Stimulus bill allocated $6 billion of taxpayer funds for such costs to "green" projects but none for nuclear. Perhaps someone can explain the accounting logic that has Congress budget funds that will eventually return to the government. _American Thinker
This is Obama's legacy: a war on nuclear a war on coal a war on offshore oil, and a coming oil on shale fracking -- if Obama can just get re-elected first.

For the US to enter an abundant age of energy, it will need to dispense with politicians who war against all reliable forms of energy in order to throw huge sums of money at crony political supporters and their intermittent unreliable energy projects.

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