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View Diary: Could a Solar Green White House Now Face the Nukes & Military? (26 comments)

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  •  You are speculating. (4+ / 0-)
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    Joffan, bryfry, Mcrab, erush1345
    1. Three Mile Island, the most serious accident in a Western-design nuclear reactor, was easily covered by the coverage provided by Price Anderson. Regardless, you stated the government paid for the insurance. Wrong.
    1. ?!?! The REASON we import goods is often because they are cheaper or better than what is available domestically. At any rate, nuclear firms are investing in developing a technology base here or preserving existing skills. For example, Newport News, which is known for building and servicing nuclear submarines, is building a factory to make nuclear plant components. The Shaw Group is likewise building a factory in Louisiana for nuclear components. There are other examples. A need for training new workers was recognized awhile ago. A number of community colleges now offer associate degrees in nuclear technology. University nuclear engineering programs are full of students. The pipeline is filling nicely. What has lapsed somewhat are the construction skills needed to build something as complex as a nuclear plant, but the expectation is the talent will ramp up quickly. But again, this has nothing to do with who would pay for it. Not the government.
    1. Estimates for the cost vary widely. If a nuclear plant would not be cost effective, utilities would not be ordering them and the stock holders would not stand for it. Moreover, state regulators conduct hearings that force companies to justify the need for the new generating capacity and demonstrate that the nuclear proposal represents the low cost option. But if you think you are a more sophisticated financial analyst than state public utility commissioners maybe you should run for the office. You are right that the plants are expensive to build. Depending on the circumstance, utilities would be expected to fund the projects internally to the tune of about 20% and finance the rest. The 20% would be over $1 billion which is quite a bit of skin in the game. They aren't going to go into such a venture casually. The Japanese recently announced that they would finance a large share of the new South Texas reactors. Much of the financing may come from the federal government. But it would be a loan, not a grant.
    1. Much of the "decades long" project time is in licensing, which is not that capital intensive. Actual construction times in places like Japan and Korea, who Americans intend to emulate, is more like six years. Sometimes less. At any rate, feed-in tariffs and renewable standards are subsidies. The carrying charges associated with construction of a nuclear plant is a cost...to the utility not the government.

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