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In a devastating pair of financial reports that might be called "The Emperor Has No Pressure Vessel," the New York Times has blazed new light on the catastrophic economics of atomic power.

The two Business Section specials cover the fiasco of new French construction at Okiluoto, Finland, and the virtual collapse of Atomic Energy of Canada. In a sane world they could comprise an epitaph for the "Peaceful Atom". But they come simultaneous with Republican demands for up to $700 billion or more in new reactor construction.

The Times's "In Finland, Nuclear Renaissance Runs Into Trouble" by James Kanter is a "cautionary tale" about the "most powerful reactor ever built" whose modular design "was supposed to make it faster and cheaper to build" as well as safer to operate.

But four years into a construction process that was scheduled to end about now, the plant's $4.2 billion price tag has soared by 50% or more. Areva, the French government's front group, won't predict when the reactor will open. Finnish utilities have stopped trying to guess.

Finnish inspectors say Areva allowed "inexperienced subcontractors to drill holes in the wrong places on a vast steel container that seals the reactor." The Finns have also cited Areva for "the attitude or lack of professional knowledge of some persons."

Areva hopes to build similar reactors in the US. Its boosters have promised cheaper, cleaner, faster nuke construction with standardized designs like the one at Okiluoto. But "early experience suggests these new reactors will be no easier or cheaper to build than the ones a generation ago" whose price tags soared by 700% and more, and whose completion schedules ran into the decades.

Areva's second "new generation" project at Flamanville, France, is also over budget and behind schedule. Cracks have turned up in critical steel and concrete components, along with revelations that critical work has been done by unqualified welders.

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has not approved the Areva design in use at Okiluoto and Flamanville. Four other designs under consideration are also mired in process. Some are still being altered. A post 9/11 issue is their ability to withstand a jet crash, which the 104 US reactors currently licensed to operate were not forced to consider.

The fiascos in Finland and Flamanville have thrown Areva into economic chaos now being mirrored at the Atomic Energy of Canada, Limited. Once touted as a global flagship, AECL sucked up 1.74 billion Canadian dollars in subsidies last year and has been a long-term money loser which the government has now announced it wants to sell.

AECL's natural uranium/heavy water design has flopped in the world market. "Design issues" with its installed plants require heavy maintenance. AECL's Chalk River research facility, which suffered a major accident in 1952 (in which former President Jimmy Carter served as a "jumper") needs 7 billion Canadian dollars for clean-up work. Its 51-year-old medical isotope facility recently popped a major leak that may close it forever.

The Paris-based energy expert Mycle Schneider reports that of 45 reactors being built worldwide, 22 are behind schedule and nine have no official ignition schedules.

Despite the torrent of bad economic indicators, Republicans like Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) continue to demand massive government funding for new reactor construction. Alexander says he wants the US to build as many as 100 new reactors here, even though the private sector won't finance or insure them. The media is citing the idea as a $700 billion package, but in fact the project price of building new reactors is on the rise, and by some estimates has already exceeded $10 billion each. The Department of Energy has cited four finalists for $18.5 billion in loan guarantees voted in with the 2005 Bush Energy Plan. Florida and Georgia have raised rates to pre-pay proposed new reactors.

But Missouri has turned down a proposed rate hike for a new Areva project. And green activists have three times beaten proposed $50 billion federal loan guarantee packages to fund "new generation" construction. Grassroots battles are now raging to prevent the re-licensing of aging reactors like Vermont Yankee and New York's Indian Point.

As Congress deals with a wide range of energy-related legislation, the nuclear industry is desperately grabbing for any federal money it can get. One bill after another has been floated with nuclear hand-outs hidden in various nooks and crannies.

As the comparative price of efficiency and renewables plummets, the window may be closing fast on the possibility of building new nukes in the US, raising the industry's desparation level.

This battle will certainly rage for years to come. But the appearance of such brutally bad news from Finland and Canada in the Business Section of the New York Times bodes ill for an industry that, after fifty years, cannot get private funding or liability insurance, cannot deal with its wastes, and now cannot demonstrate the ability to produce new product anywhere near on time or budget.

At very least, Paul Joskow of MIT tells the Times, the rollout of new nukes may be "a good deal slower than a lot of people were assuming."

--
Harvey Wasserman's SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH is at www.solartopia.org. This article was first published by http://freepress.or

Originally posted to harveywasserman on Thu May 28, 2009 at 10:44 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Nice article Harvey (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    John DE, BobTrips, rubine, chrome327, Floande

    When I saw the title I was hoping it was going to be about our costs in maintaining a massive nuclear arsenal. I read somewhere that we spend like $50B on maintenance for nuclear weapons.

    Glad to see this Republican spin debunked. Thanks. Post a tip jar and stick around a while.

    Found the link.

    $31 billion spent each year to maintain and secure a nuclear arsenal of almost 5,400 nuclear weapons, with 1,500 still deployed on missiles ready to launch within 15 minutes.

    •  Definitely post a tip jar (6+ / 0-)

      It's not cool to just drop crosspost articles here without commenting and engaging with the community.

      •  Don't hold your breath (5+ / 0-)

        Harvey has 1 comment ever, and it wasn't even in one of his own pieces of propaganda.  If you want to get a fuller sense of just how strong the farce is in Harvey, read his last diary, The 8 Green Steps to Solartopia

        BTW, here's step 1 ...

        1.BAN WASTE AND WAR:  Nothing may be produced that cannot be fully recycled or that will not completely bio-degrade.  This includes weapons whose sole purpose is death and destruction, and whose manufacture and use must be ended by a global community that knows war to be the ultimate act of ecological suicide.  

        He apparently forgot step zero: Acquire omniscient powers over the earth.

        Harvey has an agenda, not a serious quest for the best energy solutions, just the most ideologically pure solutions.  Meanwhile, as we wait for his, "Then a miracle occurs" solutions, we continue to burn fossil fuels which are surely killing our planet.  But this is deemed better than nuclear power because of paranoid fears of imaginary scenarios - and if you read enough of Harvey's stuff it becomes apparent that he's clueless about the physical realities of nuclear power - a US Chernobyl indeed ...

        [A little rambling but it's late, I'm tired, and it's been a long couple of days.]

        •  That should be a banable offense (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kalmoth, G2geek, kbman, Norbrook

          Thanks for the heads up

          •  i'd say a person shouldn't be able.... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Norbrook

            ...to post a diary unless they have posted at least two comments in the preceding day and maintained a running total of 5 points of Recs over the course of the preceding week.  

            In other words, the bare minimum of accountability to the community.

            That will prevent the hit-and-runs from using this place as free advertising for their agendas.  

            •  I'd say (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              johnnygunn, kalmoth, BobTrips, Norbrook

              that's a pathetic metric of someone's worth. (And I'm usually in agreement with your comments). That kind of point-based restriction would be absolute death to the spontaneous flow of information that makes this site unique (whatever the accompanying headaches may be). The existing restrictions work well. It's also unclear to me why someone who has information the dKos community might find valuable must in turn be "accountable" to it (e.g., the occasional politician or celebrity post, or, as you put it, the "hit-and-runs"). People with one legitimate thing to say do exist (social workers, members of certain organizations who want to make an announcement), and should be able to say it here, without jumping through hoops, "joining the club," learning to be "cool," or passing sniff tests first. dKos doesn't just service would-be editorialists, but is perhaps under-recognized as an organizing tool, which requires the occasional bulletin-board style post; one of those brought me here originally.

              •  there is that. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kalmoth, kbman, Calamity Jean

                It's all about maintaining the balance.  

                Generally we deal pretty well with the hit-and-runs.  

                But accountability in some form is highly useful, aside from the fact that flagrant spammers can get insta-banned.

                So perhaps this:

                Every diary automatically generates one "feedback" or "TJ" comment from the user, as the first comment, when the diary goes up.

                That way there's no hoop jumping, aside from having to be a registered user for a few days before getting diary-posting privs.  

  •  OH NOZ! Another Drive-By Diary (8+ / 0-)

    About that nasty nukular power.

  •  This is interesting (3+ / 0-)

    I questioned the efficacy of new nuclear power plants on a thread a few months ago and a couple of people replied saying that the new designs were very promising.  My concern then was storage of waste.  While that may be in theory less of a problem with the new designs, it seems there are many other problems attending their construction, and I still don't know what to believe about waste storage.  The whole industry gives me the creeps because of the damage scale of a single catastrophic event.  I know that coal and oil are strangling us, but, yeesh, nuclear power does not look like the near term alternative its advocates make it out to be.  

    Life is good. Injustice? Not so much.

    by westyny on Thu May 28, 2009 at 11:15:25 PM PDT

    •  people generally get creeped out by (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kalmoth, kbman, Norbrook

      stuff they don't understand well.

      This is the nature of things.  

      And also it's why those of us who have spent the time to do the research & reading, usually end up in favor of nuclear fission.  

      In any case, what's permanently creepy is what coal is doing to our planet.  Have you seen the videos of the methane bubbling up through the ice and people lighting the methane on fire?   Now consider that methane is a heck of a lot more powerful a greenhouse gas than CO2.  Our CO2 is producing a positive feedback cycle and that methane is one of many results.

      Think of living in a desert devoid of 95% of complex organisms.  

      That's really creepy.  

      And that's why we need nukes in the mix along with renewables and ferocious conservation, as in, 50% cutback in resource throughput per capita in North America.

      •  Exactly. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kalmoth, G2geek, kbman

        I've gotten pretty tired of seeing the use of Chernobyl as a bogeyman by various groups.  If you actually look at what that was, it was an obsolete reactor design which wasn't in use anywhere else, lacking in a number of safety features, as well as having a number of other maintenance and personnel problems.  

        I think that I have had enough of you telling me how things will be. Today I choose a new way to go ... and it goes through you!

        by Norbrook on Fri May 29, 2009 at 06:05:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Don't present a false dichotomy... (0+ / 0-)

        The options presented to us are not only nuclear or coal.

        We need neither to supply our electricity.

        We can can produce all the power we want for less money and leave both nuclear and coal in our dirty past.

        15 to 6. Pulled ahead as soon as the gate opened and never looked back....

        by BobTrips on Fri May 29, 2009 at 07:41:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Truer words were never written. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kalmoth

        In any case, what's permanently creepy is what coal is doing to our planet.

         
        A few months ago I was reading about a new fusion reactor design that uses boron as fuel and might be ready in the next five years or so.  That sounded pretty cool, but we can't wait for it.  Among other things, it needs a nine or ten foot sphere of hard vacuum.  While some people work on small fission and fusion reactors, the rest of us need to push for solar water heaters on every sunny roof, PV panels suspended over every parking lot, and turbines on every windy hill.  

        Renewable energy brings national security.

        by Calamity Jean on Fri May 29, 2009 at 07:58:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  it comes back to values, i think (2+ / 0-)

    the pride of one's expertise. the weight of the task and its impact for good or bad.

    serious and mature people don't fuck around with such things. and hire people who would drill holes in the wrong places.

    the lack of care, of depth, or understanding of how we fit in this world is overwhelming. i know my comment sounds far from the topic, but that's where it ends and begins, for me.

    how do we approach life? what is important to us? what do we respect and value?

    thanks for the diary.

    "Well we don't rent pigs and I figure it's better to say it right out front because a man that does like to rent pigs is... he's hard to stop" Gus McCrae

    by pfiore8 on Thu May 28, 2009 at 11:49:17 PM PDT

  •  How about linking (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kalmoth

    to the articles you cited in your diary, so we can read them ourselves?

  •  "Areva, the French government's front group" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kbman, Norbrook, CornSyrupAwareness

    "Front group"?

    There's plenty of things to criticize about nuclear power, but your tone is ridiculous. It's a state-owned company; nothing nefarious about that, we have plenty of those. It's actually MUCH saner and transparent than the alternative, which is private companies lobbying the gov't for business.

    As for those reactor constructions being late and over budget, well that's bad in itself but I fail to see what that says about nuclear power and the dangers thereof.

    A "centrist" is someone who's neither on the left, nor on the left.

    by nicta on Fri May 29, 2009 at 12:40:46 AM PDT

    •  By and large, the French love their nukes (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nicta, kalmoth, kbman, Norbrook

      because they were "the peoples power" and were not creatures of Bechtel and General Electric. The social history of nukes in France is fascinating and revealing. (Yes, there are protesters and heavy anti-nuke activity in France as well.)

      "True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country" - Vonnegut

      by the fan man on Fri May 29, 2009 at 06:03:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes it was the far left in France, the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nicta, kbman

        mass based CGT union lead by the Communist Party and the FO union lead by the Socialists who pushed through the nationalization of the electrical grid and power production forming EDF there. A great victory for the people of France.

        In fact, the battle now is the almost totally privatized Areva and the ongoing battle against Sarkozy's push to privatize EDF. It would be a disaster.

        The only thing specifically that Wasserman, who never does his own research btw, is that the cracks that appeared in the concrete in Flamesville is the direct result of 'bidding' allowed for under the NEW privatization schemes. Previously, EDF not only ran all 58 reactors in France but also BUILT THEM. The unions are battling to reverse this trend, thus making them safer, and cheaper to build.

        Secondly, the overbudget/behind-schedule, interestingly enough, in Flamesville vs that of Finland is less so in the former compared to the latter.

        There is a huge learning curve and it is expected that the first set of plants, 4 to 6, will in fact be over budget. But since they are building one design, the costs will inevitably come down.

        David

        Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

        by davidwalters on Fri May 29, 2009 at 07:57:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry David (0+ / 0-)

          But Areva is not "almost totally privatized." Not even close.

          In fact, Areva would be in a much better position today, since it has been short of cash this year in a tough lending market, if it were more privatized.

          The French government hasn't been doing any favors for Areva recently. It's time for the French to reconsider whether government ownership is the way to go.

          An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
          -- H. L. Mencken

          by bryfry on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 10:07:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The issues around nuclear power... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kalmoth, Calamity Jean

    aren't only in regards to engineering.  The consolidation of the energy companies over the last 20 years, including entities like Enron, has created huge problems with the current system and blocked any kind of comprehensive solution to our energy issues.

    Now the pro-nuclear advocates suggest giving these same extremely powerful and corrupt companies billions of dollars to rebuild our energy system.

    Nuclear power is intensely capital intensive, which means powerful people making lots of money while cost overruns and delays triple the original bid.

    Then when its built they'll get a hefty cut every time we pay an energy bill.

    We need an alternative financial structure as well as alternative sources of energy.

    The ekpyrotic theory hypothesizes that the origin of the observable universe occurred when two parallel branes collided.

    by rubine on Fri May 29, 2009 at 01:16:38 AM PDT

    •  Nope. Try this: a $25 million reactor. (5+ / 0-)

      Micro-nukes are the wave of the future.  The Hyperion "nuclear battery" design produces 25 MW (the equivalent of a small wind farm with 25 decent wind turbines), or enough electricity to power a village.

      Teamed up with wind, it can make feasible wind farms in locations where intermittency would otherwise be a deal-killer for a wind project without the nuclear backup.  

      Teamed up with solar, it eliminates the need for all those toxic lead batteries in each house.  

      These things are sealed and safe, the manufacturer is a small company, and a small investor group can scrape up the capital to install one.

      Problem solved.

      Now let's get to shutting down the damn coal plants before the climate catastrophe renders us extinct.  

      •  But the Hyperion "nuclear battery" won't be ready (0+ / 0-)

        to deliver until 2013 at the absolute earliest.  IF they can pull it off, I'll say, "Good for them."  But it's not a solution yet, and may never be.  

        In the meantime, there are thousands of places that could hold a wind turbine, and hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses that could use solar water heaters and PV panels.  More wind and more solar mean less coal even if we will never be able to back them up with "Hyperion nuclear batteries".

        Renewable energy brings national security.

        by Calamity Jean on Fri May 29, 2009 at 07:39:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Problem is not solved... (0+ / 0-)

        What you are proposing is "littering" the world with nuclear plants.  A little reactor in every community.  

        And no way to successfully dispose of the used fuel.

        (Just put it somewhere and let our great-great-great-grandchildren figure out something.)

        Furthermore, there is absolutely no need to put "toxic lead batteries" in each house.  That's a very large dose of bull. And it's bull on multiple levels.

        What makes the most sense is

        a) to continue to build more wind capacity and to increase the rate of build,

        b) to build more thermal solar, including heat storage (which is now being included in some plants),

        c) to continue building wet rock thermal,

        d) to continue to install more PV/thin film solar,

        e) to continue development of wave, tidal and slow flow hydro,

        f) to continue development of dry rock geothermal,

        and the big

        Z) conserve!

        Right now there are states in which citizens use two times as much electricity per person as do the citizens of California and New York.  

        There is no reason for that waste to continue.  Those people can cut their consumption and not damage their lifestyle or decrease their level of comfort.

        15 to 6. Pulled ahead as soon as the gate opened and never looked back....

        by BobTrips on Fri May 29, 2009 at 07:55:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And none of this will address replacing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kbman

          coal and natural gas. You can't run a grid on this and this is the reason there are no plans by even the most pro-renewable gov't panels, anywhere, that see this coming to fruition. They will end up not shutting down coal plants and in fact building more fossil plants, like Denmark and Germany has, like Spain is planning to do.

          I live in California and our per-capita is the second or third lowest energy and carbon use there is. But this is exactly hte method that got California into trouble in the 1990s (with 2000 being the peak of the crisis). The completely mistaken believe that "negawatts" can handle growth. Conservation and effiency, both worthwhile goals, can not handle absolute growth as you bottom out on both of these methods.

          Mr. Lovins, when he was advising the California Energy commission in the 1970s and 1980s never, ever, took into account "growth". If you have the best efficiency you can get, the minute another house is build, you need new baseload. There is simply no getting around that.

          Conservation: a good practice in general (cuz it's cheap!) but not totally necessary as a "solution". With a full out building program for all kinds of new nuclear, we can replace ALL fossil plants with clean non-polluting nuclear energy and make our planet livable. We can use them for desalination of salt water and maybe tear down some dams. We can even produce synfuel with it.

          David

          Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

          by davidwalters on Fri May 29, 2009 at 08:04:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No David... (0+ / 0-)

            You can absolutely run the grid on the sources I listed.

            We will need natural gas for sometime into the future.  But natural gas does not present the more immediate problems of coal and nuclear.

            Natural gas creates less CO2 per watt of electricity than does coal and capacity can be built quickly and relatively inexpensively.  NG can assume the role of safety net until we build adequate power storage.

            The cost of NG production is the cost of the fuel.  That makes NG an excellent backup solution.  Utility companies will find it a no-brainer to build more green capacity and storage to avoid firing up their NG turbines.

            15 to 6. Pulled ahead as soon as the gate opened and never looked back....

            by BobTrips on Fri May 29, 2009 at 08:39:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Bob, you are wrong... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kbman

              You first sentence contradicts, I think, the rest of what you say. If in fact you "can't run the grid on the sources you listed, then we are wedded to volatile natural gas prices forever.

              In fact phasing out nuclear energy in Germany means MORE coal plants. This is the WRONG direction and I hope their phase out fails miserably.

              It is wrong, factually, to think that "gas" bridges some cap as "back up". If you can't run the grid on the resources you noted, then gas isn't back up, it's what runs the grid, not the other way around.

              Building "adequate storage"...for a national grid capacity of 500 GWs...would bankrupt the US. It would put ALL these resources way and above the cost of nuclear...which is why it's almost never included in costs for new renewables.

              David

              Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

              by davidwalters on Fri May 29, 2009 at 09:10:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  David... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kalmoth

                We disagree.  Vastly.

                Thermal storage is relatively inexpensive.  That's why we are starting to see it included in thermal solar plants.  

                Flow batteries are not very expensive and new technology promises to bring the cost down.

                Furthermore your "500 GWs" is way off the mark.  All we need is bridging storage.  Much of that will be provided by EVs plugged into the grid.  (Watch for numbers coming out of Stanford soon.)

                15 to 6. Pulled ahead as soon as the gate opened and never looked back....

                by BobTrips on Fri May 29, 2009 at 09:17:49 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Bob, we do disagree..albeit it politley so. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kbman

                  Thermal storage is not 'inexpensive'. In fact, no one has done it for 24 hour on demand power. It has yet to be scaled up. The best I've seen under construction is the Spanish site which is planning 7.5 hours over prime time solar. I think it was so cheap, "relatively speaking", we'd see at least planned. It is not.

                  I admit not knowing much about flow batteries. I urge you to do a diary here on this, it would benefit us all (or on storage technology in general, to broaden it out a bit).

                  500 GWs is about daily average use in the US. We have 300 GWs of coal. "Bridging technology" won't do it unless it's nuclear. I've written several diaries on how to phase out coal on a state-by-state or plant-by-plant basis. No renewable tech can make this claim.

                  Bob, it's pure fantasy to think that EVs are going to store anything or feed the grid. I laugh when I hear this. Not at 40 to 200 mile range batteries! Who would want to wake up and instead finding their EV charged, it's drained by their using their flat screen after dinner? It's absurd, really.

                  David

                  Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

                  by davidwalters on Fri May 29, 2009 at 09:28:23 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Watta load of carp... sorry. (0+ / 0-)

                    Thermal storage is a mature technology. Moreover, distributed thermal storage is perfect to meet the load which contributes about 40% of the total peak load, namely the microclimate maintenance in buildings - heating and cooling. Moreover, your objection to use of EV and PHEV batteries as a part of the energy grid is pure strawman.

                    •  note to self - must herewith abstain... (0+ / 0-)

                      from profligate use of "moreover"...

                      •  Moreover... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        kalmoth

                        as I noted no one is building baseload storage. At least I've seen nothing about it in the last year. What proposals are there? How come we havn't seen it? How come it's not being proposed?

                        You need baseload storage to phase out fossil fuel generation.

                        David

                        Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

                        by davidwalters on Fri May 29, 2009 at 01:26:54 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I am, I am, I am! (0+ / 0-)

                          Just submitted a paper to Solar Energy... BTW, nuclear power,  baseload storage, and electric vehicles all click together quite nicely.

                          •  I was just talking by skype with (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            kalmoth

                            Dan Yurman, from Idaho Samidztat. He's written on the fact solar and wind work together will, especially with nuclear anchoring new grid and UHVDC tech. There are proposals in Europe for this sort of thing as well.

                            Like I said, they are actually complementary and different "products" aimed at different parts of the market.

                            David

                            Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

                            by davidwalters on Fri May 29, 2009 at 05:09:01 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

  •  Add the cost of 10,000 years of waste storage (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johanus, BobTrips, Calamity Jean

    and monitoring, and suddenly the energy produced ain't so cheap.

    Alternatively, add the cost of jettisoning the waste in containers into the sun... See how that business model turns out.

    Externalized costs entirely distort the energy industry. If they (tax support, environmental degradation and clean-up, economic productivity losses due to health problems, healthcare, etc.) were included in the cost of the energy produced, our energy policy would be completely different, end to end. Oh yea, and we and the planet would all be the better for it.

    They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify their fraudulent invasion of Iraq.

    by Words In Action on Fri May 29, 2009 at 06:03:09 AM PDT

  •  Dear Mr. Wasserman... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kbman, CornSyrupAwareness

    Please stop using Daily Kos as dumping grounds for crossposts from your blog. Either engage the community, or don't let the door hit ya where the Divine split ya, no offense, and thanks for all your good works.

  •  Half-truths and cherry picking. (4+ / 0-)

    What Wasserman does is reduce all development in nuclear to the Finnish plant.

    He failed (as usual) to provide full quotes from the article. The article notes that countries with a REAL national policy in fact are far more succesful:

    Most of the new construction is underway in countries like China and Russia, where strong central governments have made nuclear energy a national priority. India also has long seen nuclear as part of a national drive for self-sufficiency and now is seeking new nuclear technologies to reduce its reliance on imported uranium.

    By comparison, "the state has been all over the place in the United States and Europe on nuclear power," Mr. Joskow said.

    The lesson here is that if the U.S. and Finland were to adopt such a policy then the price of these plants and skills used to build them become more profound.

    Thus the Koreans and Japanese bring in GEN II and III plants in the 1990s on schedule and under budget. The Chinese have done this with the VVER reactors and expected to bring the first two AP1000s in.

    The real costs and scheduling results will not come in until 2012 and 2013 and then onward as we see the Chinese and Korean plants come in. Wasserman always ignores Asia as it doesn't fit his preconceived and ill-informed rants against nuclear.

    Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

    by davidwalters on Fri May 29, 2009 at 09:07:31 AM PDT

    •  One of the reasons Japan is able to build ABWR (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kbman, mojo workin

      plants on time and on budget is that they take a modular approach to plant construction, sort of like high-end modular home construction. The EPR, on the other hand, is still built around the old fashioned "stick" approach. Although modular builds require more logistical support, like barging the modules to the site and procuring high load lift cranes to set them in place, fewer field welds are required and QA is much easier on a factory floor than at a construction site. To be honest, unless they figure out how to modularize EPR construction, I fear they will always be more complicated and less predictable to build. I don't know much about the construction paradigms for AP1000 or other designs.

      •  Yes, the EPR has, technically, the worst (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kbman, Blubba

        production style. The AP1000s are modular and of course the US has applications in for several ABWRs. It will be interesting, if they are approved, to see how the US styles of building modularly contrast with the Japanese.

        David

        Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

        by davidwalters on Fri May 29, 2009 at 01:28:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Compared to what? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kbman

    A bunch of dumb ass anti-nuke fantasies about "solar will save us" geared wholly and totally to the rich brat bourgeois shits who don't give a rats ass about dangerous fossil fuel war, dangerous fossil fuel terrorism, dangerous fossil fuel economics, dangerous fossil waste, or dangerous fossil fuel accidents.

    Dumb fundie anti-nukes have been reading the selective attention tripe in the New York Times for more than 40 years, predicting the "death of nuclear power" endlessly.   They were uneducated anti-science freaks in 1970, and they are still uneducated anti-science freaks now.

    In all that time, they've been hyping dumb fundie dangerous fossil fuel funded creeps like Amory Lovins, and is car CULTure fantasies.

    The Finnish Reactor will produce each year more energy than the entire wind energy program of the dangerous fossil fuel "drill baby drill" country of Denmark.

    Anti-nukes, of course, are like arsonists who want praise for being firemen.

    They don't give a rat's ass how many people they kill each year.

  •  Harvey, thanks for this article. (0+ / 0-)

    Days have past since you posted it here, and I have questions about possible financing for new nuclear power plants included in legislation passed in the Senate & the House.


    ````
    peace

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