Saturday, November 27, 2010

29th Carnival of Nuclear Energy Blogs

A weekly roundup of interesting posts

carnivalThis is the weekly Carnival of Nuclear Energy Bloggers with contributions from the leading pro-nuclear blogs in North America. The blog posts here are selected by the bloggers themselves as the best posts for the past week. If you are looking for the voice the nuclear renaissance, you will find it here.

Vermont Mythbusters

At Yes Vermont Yankee Meredith Angwin breaks down three myths about the future of the Vermont Yankee reactor. She answers anti-nuclear legends with the facts.

  • Myth One: Nobody will offer for that old rust bucket
  • Myth Two: Vermont Yankee doesn't have a license to operate past 2012, so nobody will want it.
  • Myth Three: The shortfall in the Decommissioning Fund means nobody will buy the plant

Cuomo peddling baloney about Indian Point

A writer and a blogger collaborated to publish a guest opinion column Nov 22 in the New York Daily News, the city's largest circulation newspaper, that said Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo must not shut Indian Point nuclear plant, which provides safe, clean and cheap power.

Gwyneth Cravens and Dan Yurman wrote The Indian Point Energy Center in Westchester County produces 2,000 megawatts of electricity - about one-third of the metro area's needs. It powers Metro-North and the subway system, which transport an average weekday ridership of 5.1 million.

Like the circus strongman at the base of a human pyramid, Indian Point supports the statewide grid of high-voltage transmission lines that protects against power failures.

baloneySo why does Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo want to shut it down? He says it's unsafe, a target for terrorists and that replacement power can be found without short- or long-term consequences.

Cuomo and some of his political supporters appear to get their ideas about Indian Point from watching the TV cartoon series "The Simpsons." Cravens and Yurman bury the baloney by proving with the facts these claims are untrue.

China and India continue to lead the nuclear renaissance

At Next Big Future, Brian Wang reports that in India ground breaking for the two indigenous design 700 MW units, in Gujarat state last January will lead to completion of two new reactors in 2015 and 2016.

China is reducing coal consumption with plans for more than forty new reactors. For instance, Unit 1 of the Changjiang plant is scheduled to begin operating by the end of 2014. Unit 2 is set to start up in 2015.

The total cost of the first two units is put at $3 billion. More than 70% of the equipment for the Changjiang plant is to be made in China.

According to CNNC, the construction of the nuclear power reactors on Hainan will reduce the province's consumption of coal by more than 300 million tonnes annually.

Can you talk "nuclear," or can the nuclear folks talk in plain English?

At the American Nuclear Society winter meeting held in Las Vegas, two veteran public relations professionals held an interactive workshop to generate ideas about how to communicate nuclear issues at the federal level. Following their presentation on the changes to the incoming Congress, there was an interactive brainstorming session on ideas for communicating more effectively. The full report is on the ANS Nuclear Cafe blog.

This always-popular workshop was hosted by Mimi Limbach, ANS PI Committee member and partner, Potomac Communications Group, and Craig Piercy, ANS Washington representative and senior vice president of Federal Relations, Bose Public Affairs Group.

At a new crossroads?

Gail Marcus reports on Nuke Power Talk that a recent news item has reported that the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) just gained a new member country, Poland, but at the same time, has been informed that one of its earliest and most active member countries, the United Kingdom, intends to leave the agency as a budget-tightening measure within their government. As a former Deputy Director-General of the NEA, she felt that she might be able to shed some light on what these membership changes might mean.

Solar photovoltaics are not competitive with nuclear power

solar panelCharles Barton writes at NuclearGreen that charts of the performance of Germany's installed photovoltaic capacity show that when the sun goes down the light go out. He provides data some measures of how well German PV is performing on a real time and daily basis.

For example, at 2:28 PM on November 20, 2010. Germany's 15.17 GWs of installed PV capacity is currently producing 1.8 GWs of electricity, already well past its peak output for the day.

News media must pay attention to its own coverage

At Atomic Insights Rod Adams writes he is surprised just how long it takes the advertiser supported media to recognize an important story. For instance, This morning, MSNBC and Bloomberg had both noticed that Westinghouse had transferred 75,000 documents relating to the design and construction of AP1000 nuclear reactor plants to China. One of those sources linked to a November 23, 2010 Financial Times report titled US group gives China details of nuclear technology.

Neither one of them linked to a June 2007 article titled China may export technology learned by building modern reactors that warned about the implications of a signed technology transfer agreement that was an integral part of Westinghouse's sale of four AP1000s in March of 2007.

U.S. missing the boat on the nuclear renaissance

missed-the-boatAreva North America: Next Energy Blog advises readers to turn their attention to a brilliant piece published in The American Spectator’s October issue, William Tucker synthesizes one of the biggest issues surrounding the Nuclear Revival—the United States is not part of it.

Not only is the nation lagging behind on construction, training, and investments for a technology that provides huge amounts (1,000+ megawatts) of carbon-free energy, but the country has no clear outlook for when it will break out of this quagmire holding back the development of future energy security.

TVA could buy a six pack of nuclear power

While work on big reactors is lagging, at CoolHandNuke the story is that the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) could be the first customer for B&W's 125 MW small modular reactors (SMRs) – six of them. At an estimated $4,000/Kw, the purchase price would be $500 million each or a total of $3 billion for all six. TVA will evaluate the SMRs for its Clinch River site in Tennessee. If TVA decides to go forward, the first two units could be delivered by 2020.

Ontario tries again to go nuclear

After walking away from the $20 billion bid process for new reactors at Darlington last year, the provincial government says it will try again to go nuclear. The blog of the Nuclear Energy Institute, NEI Nuclear Notes, reports the government announced plans this week to spend billions of dollars more on nuclear reactors, wind and solar projects and to eliminate coal plants by 2014.

Nuclear energy is to receive the largest chunk of capital spending at C$33 billion, followed by C$14 billion for wind power, C$9 billion for solar power and C$4.6 billion for hydro- electricity. The plan also marked C$12 billion for conservation, C$9 billion for transmission lines, C$4 billion for biomass, and C$1.88 billion for natural gas.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

No nuclear reactors in Australia for now

Leading climate scientist argues for their use to combat global warming

barry.brookBarry Brook, the publisher of the widely read blog Brave New Climate, (right) has a paper in Energy (Elsevier) advocating that Australia should make large scale investments in nuclear power in response to the challenge of climate change.

According to a brief summary of the paper published in the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) on Nov 25, this would mean the construction of up to seven 1,000 MW reactors in a coastal stretch involving locations in Sydney, Newcastle, and Wollongong.

In a recent post on his blog, Brook said this about the paper which is not yet available online. (as of Nov 7, 2010) (Update: Nov 27, 2010 - Press release summary)

“I have a paper coming out shortly in the journal Energy, co-authored with Martin Nicholson and Tom Biegler. It is called “How carbon pricing changes the relative competitiveness of low-carbon baseload generating technologies” (DOI: 10.1016/”

“The core message of this paper, based on a standardized meta-review of the last 10 years of authoritative assessments of leveled cost of electricity (LCOE) and life cycle emissions (LCE), is that nuclear is the lowest-cost option for mitigating carbon emissions.”

Dim prospects for nuclear energy

Brook wrote the paper in an attempt to push Australians to think about nuclear energy as a realistic alternative to its use of coal to generate electricity. Brook is not optimistic about the prospects for change. He thinks it make take another decade or longer for public opinion to come around to his point of view.

Anti-nuclear groups were quick to confirm his view of the dim prospects of nuclear energy in Australia. According to the SMH, Ian Lowe, president of the Australian Conservation Foundation, argued “there is no convincing argument for it.”

He said solar and wind projects can be built in a year or two, but a nuclear plant can take more than a decade. He also said Australia has no solution for management of spent nuclear fuel and added building nuclear reactors might create tensions with Australia’s neighbors who might worry that nation would want to make a bomb.

Australia’s energy profile

Australia has no commercial nuclear power plants though paradoxically, it is a global leader in uranium mining. Much of the country’s mined output of yellowcake is exported to the U.S., Japan, and European Union countries.

The abundance of uranium raises two issues. First, why hasn’t Australia sought to move up the value chain to produce enriched uranium and fabricated fuel? Second, why has it stuck to its fossil energy profile?

The answer to these two questions may be that fossil energy is simply too profitable in the short term. The fossil energy supply chain is too influential to allow nuclear energy to compete on as a fuel source.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, in 2009 Australia was the world’s largest coal exporter and fourth largest exporter of liquid natural gas (LNG).

According to figures published by the Australian government, for 2007, 46% of gross energy consumption, by fuel type, came from coal, 34% from oil, and 20% from natural gas. Renewables supplied 5% of total energy.

Brook profile

Brook is a Professor on the faculty of the University of Adelaide. He is an environmental scientist, holding the Sir Hubert Wilkins Chair of Climate Change at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and is also Director of Climate Science at the University of Adelaide’s Environment Institute.

His research and teaching interests centre on climate change impacts and adaptation, computational and statistical modeling, systems analysis for sustainable energy, and synergies between human impacts on the biosphere.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Dan's 2nd Day Idaho Nuclear Chili

~ Updated for 2010! ~ Fed Up with Turkey? Try this Recipe!

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, and wanting to take a break from reading, thinking, and writing about nuclear energy, I'm offering for the 5th year my tried and true cooking instructions for something completely different.

Sunday night you will be fed up, literally, and figuratively, with turkey. Instead of food fit for pilgrims, try food invented in the wide open west -- chili. Cook this dish on Saturday. Eat it on Sunday.

These instructions take about an hour to complete. This chili has more vegetables and beans than some people might like, but we're all trying to eat healthy. Although the name of this dish has the word "nuclear" in it, it isn't that hot on the Scoville scale. If you want some other choices for nuclear chili try this Google search string.

The beer adds sweetness to the vegetables, as does the brandy, and is a good for cooking generally. In terms of the beer, which is an essential ingredient, you'll still have five cans or bottles left to share with friends so there's always that. Some readers have written suggesting the use of bourbon instead of brandy. Go for it!

However, I recommend Negra Modelo for drinking with this dish and Budweiser or any American pilsner for cooking it. Alternatives for drinking include local favorites, Moose Drool or Black Butte Porter, and regional amber ales Alaskan Amber, or Anchor Steam. You can also try Rolling Rock for cooking. Do not cook with "light" beer. It is a supremely bad idea.

History of the cooking instructions

Scoville, Idaho, is the destination for Union Pacific rail freight for the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), which is way out on the Arco desert. There is no town by that name, but legend has it that way back in the 50s & 60s, when the place was called the National Reactor Testing Station, back shift workers on cold winter nights relished the lure of hot chili hence the use of the use of the name 'Scoville" for shipping information. Overnight temperatures on the Arco desert can plunge to -20F or more. Unfortunately, the guys running the reactors couldn't drink beer, but they did have coffee. It's still that way today.

Why '2nd day' in the name?

This is "2nd day chili." That means after you make it, put it in the garage to cool, then refrigerate it, and reheat the next day. The flavors will have had time to mix with the ingredients, and on a cold Idaho night what you need that warms the body and the soul is a bowl of hot chili with fresh, warm corn bread on the side.

If you make a double portion, you can serve it for dinner over a hot Idaho baked potato with salad. Enjoy.

Dan's 2nd day Idaho Nuclear Chili -- Ingredients

1 lb chopped or ground beef (15% fat)
1 large onion
1 sweet red pepper
1 sweet green pepper
10-12 medium size mushrooms
1 can pinto beans (plain, no "sauce")
1 can black beans
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 can small, white 'shoepeg" corn

1 12 oz can beer
1 cup hot beef broth
1 tablespoon cooking brandy or bourbon
tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno peppers
2-4 tablespoons red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse powdered garlic
1/2 teaspoon cumin


1. Chop the vegetables into small pieces and brown them in cooking oil. Add 1 tablespoon of cooking brandy near the end. Drain thoroughly.

2. Brown the meat separately and drain the fat.

3. Combine all the ingredients in a large pot. Be sure to drain the beans, and tomatoes before adding. Simmer slowly for at least 60-120 min. Stir occasionally.

4. Set aside and refrigerate when cool.

5. Reheat the next day. Serve with corn bread. Garnish with shredded sharp cheddar cheese.

Feeds 2-4 adults.

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NEI’s Marvin Fertel at ANS

Trade group has a mixed outlook for the future of nuclear energy in the U.S.

curve of binding energy The plenary session of the winter meeting of the American Nuclear Society held in Las Vegas earlier this month is a place where luminaries of the industry can be assured of an attentive audience. So it comes as no surprise that these speeches are often frank as well as informative.

For instance, in 2009l NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko bluntly told the session in his view the nuclear industry was laying down on the job when it comes to safety. Also, he complained about the quality of reactor certification submissions and license applications.

Readers are reminded that regulatory agencies don’t worry about making friends. Safety is their top agenda item. Was Jaczko right? He certainly chose the right forum to air his complaints.

Marvin_Fertel_webHowever, a nuclear energy trade group, that relies on the industry for it existence, sings its tune with a different melody. NEI CEO Marvin Fertel (right) is an entertaining and informative speaker. He didn’t disappoint this year’s conference with his ‘realpolitic” views of where the industry is headed in the midst of a major economic downturn.

American’s don’t think about electricity except when it’s off

Fertel told the more than 2,000 members of the American Nuclear Society attending the group's winter meeting in sunny Las Vegas, NV, Nov 8 that Americans don't think much about energy except when they don't have it. The nuclear renaissance in the U.S. has been taking a beating lately with Constellation's pullout from the Calvert Cliffs III reactor project, but the American public may not care.

Fertel said that despite record high approval ratings for nuclear energy in polls taken by trade group that just 28% of those polled think new reactors will have a significant impact on global climate change. That may be due to the fact they don't have a good grip on the scale of new reactor construction that would be needed, which Fertel says is in the range of 150-200 new 1,000 MW reactors by 2050.

One would think these numbers would spin green groups into a frenzy. However, Fertel noted that anti-nuclear groups "are not a major force."

They're loud, but not influential," he said.

Progress in re-licensing reactors, but not for new construction

The good news in the U.S. is that relicensing of the current fleet of reactors is going well. Fertel noted that more than half have had their licenses renewed by the NRC another 18 are in process for renewal.

Gorilla in the roomThe gorilla in the room is the Obama administration's high credit subsidy fees for loan guarantees for new nuclear facilities, which was one of the factors which caused Constellation to walk away from Calvert Cliffs. Fertel told an appreciative audience, "we're going to fix this. We will meet with the White House soon."

If the Obama Democrats don't fix it, House Republicans may take action next year Fertel said.

Political difficulties aren't the only barrier to building new reactors. Fertel said the recession has "shoved demand down for electricity across the U.S."

Another factor that could have stimulated new construction has also gone by the wayside. Fertel said with the new Republican controlled House, there will be no price on carbon or cap-and-trade program for the next two years.

Looking into his crystal ball, Fertel predicted the courts will rule DOE cannot withdraw the Yucca Mountain license application. Whether the NRC will be funded to review it remains uncertain.

European anti-nuclear groups louder voice

The issue of low public support for nuclear energy is more pronounced in Europe. Jean-pol Poncelet, a senior VP at Areva, told the ANS the European Nuclear Energy Forum has data that show less than 50% of European Union country populations support expansion of nuclear energy. The reason he said is that they equate nuclear waste from reactors with the threat of nuclear weapons.

New proliferation resistant fuels may not make a difference for a long time. Russian nuclear expert Evgeny Velikhov told ANS that the long-term prospects for thorium fuels are that they won't start to make inroads on uranium oxide fuels until 2040. The Kurchatov Institute, where Velikhov works, is testing thorium fuels for an American firm.

ANS answers the mail in Vermont

For years the American Nuclear Society has represented itself as a traditional scientific society, but has not gotten involved in dueling press releases over the future of specific nuclear plants. That changed last week when ANS issued a press release to news media outlets in Vermont over the future of the Vermont Yankee reactor.

The ANS press statement was a reaction to one from anti-nuclear groups who rolled out a list of experts Monday Nov 8 to advance their political agenda to close the plant in 2012 when its current NRC license expires.

ANS fielded a press release less than 24 hours later which listed its own nuclear energy experts in the fields of licensing, workforce continuity, and radiation protection. The news media took notice. ANS told FCW Vermont Public Radio interviewed its experts the following week.

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Portions of this blog post also appeared in Fuel Cycle Week v9:N402, 11/18/10 published by International Nuclear Associates, Washington, DC.

Western Lands Uranium Gopher for 11/26/10

Powertech sues Colorado over new mining regulations

gopherPowertech (TSE:PWE), a Canadian firm developing an ISR mine in Nunn, Colo., sued the Colorado Mined Land Reclamation Board Nov 1 over new regulations implementing a state law passed in 2008.

The lawsuit represents a reversal of a previous position in which Powertech CEO Richard Clement said the firm could live with new mining regulations. Now, the firm claims the rule makes unreasonable demands on mining companies.

The first key area of contention is the requirement for the mining firm to restore groundwater quality to conditions prior to mining. The second is a so-called "blackball" provision that denies a permit to a miner if there are past violations in similar circumstances. Powertech is particularly incensed by the second issue because it isn't related to the performance of a specific firm.

The lawsuit states, "These provisions are overly broad and punitive and could prevent a good company from conducting a mining operation."

The suit also claims two Colorado legislators illegally tried to influence how the regulations were written by the mining agency. The lawmakers are Rep. John Kefalas and Rep. Randy Fisher, both of Fort Collins. Both law makers declined to be interviewed by the Denver news media about the issue.

Additionally, Powertech wants to strike two other provisions in the regulations. The first requires firms to conduct baseline groundwater studies prior to prospecting. The second gives third parties legal standing to appeal prospecting claims.

Powertech attorney John Fognani told the Denver Post "these provisions are outside the bounds of what the Colorado legislature intended." He called the provisions "a Catch-22."

Richard Clement, Powertech CEO, told FCW the firm has the most heartburn with "last minute additions" to the regulations that are not tied to the legislation.

"Legislators gave specific direction to the mining board on legislative intent that are inappropriate communication which took place outside the established process."

Clement said he's looking to the Colorado mining industry, including other uranium mining firms, to help Powertech with the costs of the lawsuit. Clement declined to say how much money would be needed to pay for the lawsuit.

Environmental groups OK with new regs

Jeff Parsons, an attorney with Western Mining Action Project, told FCW Powertech's allegations about the legislators having illegal communications with the regulatory agency is a "mischaracterization."

"As far as I know all they did was send letters to the board like everyone else."

Parsons said his organization, and the environmental groups it represents, "strongly support the new mining regulations."

In response to Powertech's lawsuit, Parsons said, "In a rule making process no one gets everything they want. We feel the board did a good job."

Synatom to sell Powertech stake

In an unrelated matter CEO Clement confirmed that Synatom is planning to sell its 19.9% stake in the firm. Clement said the Belgium firm told Powertech the investment no longer fits its long term goals. However, Clement also said that Synatom has not cancelled its offtake agreement since it still holds Powertech convertible debentures worth CDN$9 million.

Synatom, part of Belgian power utility Electrabel SA, is seeking to sell its 19.6% stake in Powertech. Belgian daily De Tijd reported last September that Cormark Securities is acting as financial advisor to Synatom in the auction process. Synatom, which is responsible for the management of the nuclear fuel cycle of the Belgian nuclear power plants, has reviewed its strategy and decided to exit the capital of the Canadian company according to financial wires services.

Supreme Court denies petition to overturn Indian Lands ruling

Uranium Resources, Inc. (NASDAQ:URRE) got some good news Nov 15 as the United States Supreme Court denied a petition to review the March 2010, 10th Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling that upheld the company's NRC license to conduct in-situ recovery (ISR) uranium mining at the Churchrock/Crownpoint project. This action closes the long running "Indian Lands" controversy.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Denver had ruled 6-5 that private land surrounded by Indian tribal land was not subject to tribal jurisdiction. The ruling opens the way for the State of New Mexico to issue a permit for mining activities on the site and for the NRC license to be renewed.

Don Ewigleben, President and CEO said in a prepared statement, "Today's announcement was significant in that it clears the last remaining legal challenge to our NRC license. We have long maintained our belief that our license was valid and have continued to move forward towards the final development of the Churchrock/Crownpoint project."

The firm said that in October 2010 it filed the necessary documents with the NRC to reactivate its license. URI said its New Mexico feasibility studies are expected to be completed by the end of 2011.

The firm said that if licensing and financing milestones are met, the company will begin construction of the facilities in 2012 and producing in 2013.

The NRC license allows for the production of up to an initial 1 million pounds per year from the Churchrock/Crownpoint project until a successful commercial demonstration of restoration is made, after which the quantity of production can be increased to 3 million pounds per year.

Uranium Resources to develop Texas property with Cameco

Uranium Resources has signed a letter of intent with Canadian-based Cameco for an extensive prospecting scope of work at a property in Texas. The three-year program will develop an unnamed site in South Texas, presumably within economic haul distance of its Kingsville and Vasquez properties. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Uranium resources also completed an offering of just over seven million shares of stock at $1.16/share reaping net proceeds of $7.8 million.

By any recent measure based on price, the offering of $1.16 was a steal. On October 1 the stock closed at $1.26. At market mid-day Nov 16 the firm's stock was trading at $2.34 share against a 52-week range of $0.38-$2.90. The profit on one million shares of stock purchased as part of the offering at $1.16 and sold today at $2.34 would have been $1.18 million.

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Portions of this blog post also appeared in Fuel Cycle Week v9:N402, 11/18/10 published by International Nuclear Associates, Washington, DC.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

International Isotopes raises $5.8 million

It is the largest investor stake so far in the project

Fluorine.svgInternational Isotopes (OTC:INIS), which is developing a uranium deconversion and high purity fluorine gas production plant in Hobbs, NM, announced it has raised $5.8 million in a private placement. It is the largest investor stake in the firm so far. The funds will be used to support NRC licensing and design of the facility.

Steve Laflin, CEO, said the funds will mean the firm can complete its NRC licensing process. Once the firm has a license, additional investors are expected to show interest in the firm.

Laflin said in a statement the NRC licensing process is going smooth.

"We're completing milestones on time and expect a license in January 2012 or sooner."

Inventory purchase agreement with DOE

International Isotopes Inc. purchased approximately 1,200 metric tons of depleted uranium materials from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) remediation contractor, LATA/Parallax Portsmouth, LLC. Contract runs thru 2014.

Additionally, this sale will save the DOE approximately $1.9 million in future disposal costs.

Laflin also said his firm is focused on building a safe and environmentally-friendly, "green" depleted uranium de-conversion and fluorine extraction facility in the nation. Measures include water conservation and energy efficiency. Contact the firm for technical details.

The proposed $93 million facility will use the company’s patented fluorine extraction process technology to convert byproduct materials from uranium enrichment operations into readily disposable forms, and in the process, produce high-value, specialty fluoride gases, which are used to manufacture of a host of products – including thin film photovoltaic materials for solar applications.

It is somewhat astonishing that a process that takes the waste product for development of fuel for nuclear power plants can turn some of it into a product needed by the solar energy industry. Now that’s technology transfer and sustainability, or whatever you want to call it, all in one place.

& & &

Note to readers: I do not own any stock in this firm nor do I make recommendations on the stock of any company.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Webinar ~ Natural Gas: Friend or Foe to Energy Sustainability?

Live Webinar Nov. 30   1 PM ET / 10 AM PT

Free registration here

natural_gasNew sourcing techniques for natural gas have a great potential impact on the makeup of global energy consumption for some time to come.

The role that larger natural gas supplies will play in a push by many countries toward more renewable fuel sources may have a significant outcome for efforts to reduce C02 emissions worldwide and combat climate change, and yet natural gas remains little-understood and, in some instances, controversial.

Some see natural gas as a big improvement over more carbon-producing energy sources like coal, while others are concerned about the environmental impact of sourcing methods like "fracking". Will natural gas serve as an aid in the transition to more responsible energy consumption, or will its newfound availability depress energy prices and slow the move to renewable sources like wind and solar energy?

The Energy Collective brings together experts on gas and energy production to provide their perspectives on the opportunities - or challenges - that natural gas may present for a sustainable energy economy:

  • What will be the impact of natural gas supply on financing renewable energy sources?
  • Which new production and transportation strategies for natural gas could make an impact?
  • Are there new opportunities for Carbon Capture and Sequestration with natural gas?
  • Should natural serve as an interim fuel source in a move toward renewables?


David Hone is Climate Change Advisor for Shell since 2001, as well as a board member and Vice Chairman of the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA). He also works closely with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and has been a lead contributor to many of its recent energy and climate change publications. David has worked as a refinery engineer in Australia, an oil economics and supply specialist and the Netherlands, and finally manager of the global trading and chartering of Shell's crude oil tanker fleet, before taking his current position.

Geoffrey Styles is Managing Director of GSW Strategy Group, LLC, an energy and environmental strategy consulting firm. His industry experience includes 22 years at Texaco Inc., culminating in a senior position on Texaco’s leadership team for strategy development, focused on the global refining, marketing, transportation and alternative energy businesses, and global issues such as climate change. Previously he held senior positions in alliance management, planning, supply & distribution, and risk management. His "Energy Outlook" blog has been quoted frequently by the Wall Street Journal and was named one of the “Top 50 Eco Blogs” by the Times of London.

Marc Gunther is a veteran journalist, speaker, writer and consultant whose focus is business and sustainability. Marc is a contributing editor at FORTUNE magazine, a senior writer at, a lead blogger at The Energy Collective. He's also a husband and father, a lover of the outdoors and a marathon runner. Marc is the author or co-author of four books, including Faith and Fortune: How Compassionate Capitalism is Transforming American Business. He's a graduate of Yale who lives in Bethesda, MD.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

TVA seeks six pack of small reactors

The utility could be the first customer for B&W's 125 MW units

mpower_in_containmentBabcock & Wilcox may be getting some early holiday cheer from the news that the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is seriously talking about acquiring six of the B&W 125 MW mPower small modular reactors (SMRs).

At an estimated $4,000/Kw, the purchase price would be $500 million each or a total of $3 billion for all six. There's no word whether B&W will offer a volume discount to its first customer.

TVA hasn't formally committed to buying the units, but has issued a letter [ML103120558] to the NRC that it plans to proceed with license applications for them. By applying for a license to build and operate all six reactors, it will only have to pay for licensing costs one time. TVA will evaluate the SMRs for its Clinch River site in Tennessee.

Read the full details now online at CoolHandNuke, a nuclear energy jobs portal and a whole lot more.


OP ED in New York Daily News about Indian Point

Gwyneth Cravens and I collaborate on it

I am pleased to report that the New York Daily News has published an OP ED in defense of the Indian Point twin reactors which New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has vowed to close.

We identify the reasons why this is a bad idea, and we caution the newly elected governor to stop peddling baloney to the people of New York.

The term “baloney” is Cuomo’s who used it in 2007 to reject the findings of the National Academy of Sciences about Indian Point’s importance to the stability of the New York grid and the strength of the reactor containment building.

The New York Daily News is the city's second largest general circulation newspaper. This is editorial is important in influencing those that have not previously even thought about energy in general or nuclear energy specifically. For subway straphangers, it tells them the electricity that powers their ride to work comes from nuclear energy.

Ms. Cravens is a noted author including "Power to Save the World: The Truth About Nuclear Energy." I am the publisher of this blog.

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ameren gets backing for second reactor at Callaway

Coalition of utilities will seek an early site permit

phoenixOnce considered deader than the proverbial doornail, the proposal for a second reactor at Ameren's Callaway site has risen like the mythical phoenix bird. It's flight is aided by support from a broad coalition of electric utilities, which need the power, and significantly, by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, who wants the thousands of jobs for his state that would come with the project.

These developments are significant because the effort to build the new reactor is being led by the governor. It is a first for the nation and stands in stark contrast to the hostile stances of newly elected governors in New York and Vermont who want to shut down reactors in their states.

In Missouri Gov. Nixon said in an official statement new nuclear generating capacity would transform the state economy, create new jobs, and maintain Missouri's affordable electricity rates which are among the top ten cheapest in the U.S. Nixon made the announcement in Jefferson City, MO, with community, labor, and business leaders standing by his side.

Read the full details exclusively at the Energy Collective now online.


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