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h/t: cosmic debris

Most of us are aware of the Nuclear Energy Institute [NEI] big bucks PR push for new nukes, now that the ongoing mass meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi have faded (by design) from public awareness. NEI bought up commercial spots on Comedy Central to run during Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show," harkening back to the old nuclear industry lies about "Clean, Safe, Too Cheap To Meter" that everybody with a functioning brain knows very well to BE lies. Still, NEI is the biggest nuclear lobby in the U.S. and its job is to sell lies and attack anyone who speaks truth, so no one should be surprised that this is just what they're doing.

It's not just NEI buying cartoon time on fake news shows or attacking the Associated Press for reporting what nuclear experts have to say about the true situation in Japan and on the west coast of the United States. They are now having to try and counter other experts weighing in on the future of nuclear power - including one of their very own.

On March 12 of this year - just weeks ago - the CEO of the largest nuclear power consortium in America retired. John Rowe, CEO of Exelon Nuclear and a man who "never met a nuclear plant [he] didn't like," weighed in this week over at

Exelon's 'Nuclear Guy': No New Nukes -

Nuclear power is no longer an economically viable source of new energy in the United States, the freshly-retired CEO of Exelon, America's largest producer of nuclear power, said in Chicago Thursday.
One might suppose that the CEO of Exelon might know a thing or two about the economics of nuclear power, and Rowe was careful to keep his remarks to the economic non-viability, though as a member of Obama's Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future established in January of 2010 he is certainly cognizant of the political and safety issues presented by the meltdowns in Japan.

Meanwhile, Mark Cooper of the Vermont Law School Institute for Energy and the Environment went further in a report covered in the U.S. News and World Report: Expert: Nuclear Power Is On Its Deathbed -

"From my point of view, the fundamental nature of [nuclear] technology suggests that the future will be as clouded as the past," says Mark Cooper, the author of the report. New safety regulations enacted or being considered by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission would push the cost of nuclear energy too high to be economically competitive.

The disaster insurance for nuclear power plants in the United States is currently underwritten by the federal government, Cooper says. Without that safeguard, "nuclear power is neither affordable nor worth the risk. If the owners and operators of nuclear reactors had to face the full liability of a Fukushima-style nuclear accident or go head-to-head with alternatives in a truly competitive marketplace, unfettered by subsidies, no one would have built a nuclear reactor in the past, no one would build one today, and anyone who owns a reactor would exit the nuclear business as quickly as possible."

[my emphasis]

The public worldwide has been made painfully aware of the dangerous shortcomings of nuclear technology for more than a year now, and are not very impressed by what they've seen. Here in the U.S. the public is responsible for so much of the short and long term costs of nuclear power (including all required pre-construction studies, building costs, disaster coverage, operating costs, retrofits, new equipment, decommissioning and both short and long term waste isolation) that they have every reason to pointedly question the continued operation of nuclear power plants. Many of them are doing more than just asking pointed questions, though the controlled media in this country covers anti-nuclear demonstrations even less than they cover OWS. The tide has turned, and despite the current administration's fondness for nukes (and nuke dollars) it becomes more unlikely every day that any new nuclear facilities will ever go on line.

As usual, the bottom line is the one that holds all the sway in keeping this deadly technology - born, bred and still shrouded in secrecy and lies - going. When investors aren't investing and CEOs admit nukes aren't worth the cost or the risks, no amount of government loan guarantees will help. Recent licensing of new reactors in Georgia and South Carolina was supposed to kickstart the engines for a "Nuclear Renaissance." But despite tens of billions of dollars already committed in guarantees to the utilities, investors have not lined up to buy in and it doesn't look like the utilities will be capable of raising their portion of the costs. Thus while it's the gigantic governmental cash flow and profit margins guaranteed to the utilities that has kept nuclear power going through these past 40 years, it will ultimately be the lack of cash flow from investors that will finally shut it down.

Too late for northern Japan to have discovered they never needed nukes in the first place, we here in the U.S. can decide that for ourselves and get busy developing and deploying the range of alternative energy technologies we've got cooking. The future will thank us for it, as opposed to hating us for leaving behind megatonnage of deadly-forever environmental pollutants they'll still have to deal with even though they never got a single watt out of the deal.

It's about damned time we shut this industry down and set about cleaning up the mess.

[also published at Enformable]

Originally posted to Joieau on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 09:26 AM PDT.

Also republished by Nuclear Free DK.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I for one can't wait to hear what our (9+ / 0-)

    pro nukes have to say about John Rowe's words , will they trot out all the old insults , he knows nothing , never read a science book , hates the science of ... , irrational fear , fear mongering etc etc etc
    or will they come up with some new insults ?

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 10:00:18 AM PDT

    •  "Rowe is pro-global warming" (4+ / 0-)

      at the very least, and a conspiracist.

      Whatever we hear, it sure won't be the detailed disposition of the core material in the blown Fukushima nukes.

      Nor dependable data on what kinds of, and how much, radiation has been spread already; nor proof that irradiating large parts of the world has no ill effect on life; nor a guarantee that future earthquakes at Fukushima won't make the situation worse than it is now.

      Today, if you exist... that's already suspicious.

      by Jim P on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 10:49:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  How many times does TRUTH have to be hidden (7+ / 0-)

      from the same public that suffers and pays for this poison?

      Many valuable links here to share - with all who love life and our environment.

      Keep up the great work J!  

      We the people - are growing and learning the sick truths of our world of poison and pain for profit and power of the 1%.

      All links to these and more here:  
      Uranium-234 detected in Hawaii, Southern California, and Seattle

      Unprecedented Spike: 1501 atoms of radioactive sulfur per meter³ was detected in California air

      Controversy after US gov’t estimate showed 40,000 microsievert thyroid dose for California infants from Fukushima — Data not released to public — “Very high doses to children”

      Over EPA limit: Cesium levels in San Francisco area milk now higher than 6 months ago

    •  Actually, I've been saying pretty much the same (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      thing on DK for awhile. For example, I said here

      At any rate, renewables and nuclear are getting their lunch eaten by cheap fracked gas.
  •  excellent news! (6+ / 0-)


    i hope people listen to him.

    Never forget that the Republican War on Women originated with religion; the GOP is but theocracy's handmaiden.

    by Cedwyn on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 10:42:16 AM PDT

    •  Excellent news if you like fracked gas. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bryfry, mojo workin

      What  Joieau made a point of not saying was the reason Rowe is no longer advocating nuclear is because natural gas is so cheap. Gas is crowding out nuclear, but it is also crowding out renewables and every other form of electricity production. While gas is better than coal, it still produces a lot of CO2 compared to renewables and nuclear.

  •  some trouble with loan guarantees for (6+ / 0-)

    that newly licensed nuke plant in Georgia, which is actually an expansion, not a new plant (I didn't know that).

    March 29: "Vogtle nuclear plant loan guarantees may not be finalized: NEI"

    Georgia Power and its partners may not be able to reach terms with the US Department of Energy on $8.3 billion in loan guarantees to finance the Vogtle nuclear plant expansion, Alex Flint, senior vice president of governmental affairs for the Nuclear Energy Institute, said Thursday.
    nobody from the companies involved is admitting defeat, but here's an interesting little tidbit from the linked story:
    Betsy Higgins, the CFO of Oglethorpe Power, another of the partners, said March 20 that finalizing the loan guarantees was going more slowly than expected and they might be completed in the third quarter.


    The Vogtle loans are backed by the full credit of the involved companies, instead of being assumed by a project finance company whose only asset is the new units, Higgins said. As a result, the partners have sought exemptions from some requirements in the loan guarantee program in order for the project's application to move forward, she said.

    Too risky for investors, of course. I also found interesting this language:

    The conditional guarantees for the two-unit, 2,200-MW Vogtle plant expansion were announced by DOE in 2010 and were said to be a sign of the administration's support for nuclear energy.

    Pro and anti nukers here read too much into the licensing -- yes, it's a Renaissance!!! and oh no, Obama wants to see nukes on every corner!!!

    Never happen. I maintain. Why invest in dangerous technology from the 20th century, with no place to put the waste?

    Another March 29 story re: how a legal challenge to sales taxes the Vogtle plant has been collecting can move forward, that I don't fully understand, but doesn't seem to be good news for owners.

    •  Well, of course they'll (5+ / 0-)

      never actually happen. That was a foregone conclusion when the loan guarantees were announced. Nobody with money is dumb enough to invest in nukes these days. What the involved 'shareholders' were going for was just the money. Which they could bank, earn money on, and play around with (greased palms syndrome) for years before finally shrugging and saying they quit and the project's bankrupt, leaving We the Taxpayers on the hook for however many tens of billions the lobbyists have managed to hoodwink from the feds to that point.

      It's always about the money. The smart money's already going into renewables instead.

    •  The article clearly states it is just a question (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      of when. The DOE states the loan guarantees themselves are not in doubt.

  •  thanks for some good news (5+ / 0-)

    and thanks as always for your informative posts

    "It's never too late to be who you might have been." -George Eliot

    by live1 on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 11:37:52 AM PDT

  •  Obama promised welfare for the nuclear (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau, PreciousLittle

    industry, and welfare they will get. It won't mean anything in terms of the overall direction of US energy (which is frack, baby, frack) but it does mean that the US will build a couple of government-funded "new technology" nukes, and will keep our decrepit Fukushima-style reactors going until we have our own Fukushima catastrophe.

    This is one of the many bargains Obama made before he was inaugurated -- along with the "no public option" bargain with big pharma, and the "lots of offshore drilling" bargain with big oil.


    •  I certainly hope not, atana. (5+ / 0-)

      Yes, Obama's beholden, and yes he's conditioned to view nukes in a positive energy role. But Obama's neither a nuke nor an economics wiz. The gist of this story is that even the recently retired CEO of Exelon and full member of the Blue Ribbon Commission (which started its work in 2010 and just submitted findings in January of this year) wouldn't invest in nukes. Because it's not worth the money or the risks, no matter how much of a government guarantee you get on the side to make it okay for your utility to be the Most Hated Entity in the community you serve.

      Cost has been attenuated for decades by the annual subsidies - utilities are guaranteed a rate of profit on nukes no matter what they cost. It's not and never has been "clean, safe, too cheap to meter," that's just the sales spiel. Truth is, it's the most expensive means of generating electricity ever conceived by the twisted minds of men. Just the waste situation is beyond conscience-able. Back when they were planning to reprocess the waste into ever more redundant WMDs plus medical isotopes there was at least an excuse. That excuse died when the good old Cold War was won. THAT happened because Chernobyl blew.

      It's never been a viable technology, and research over the past few decades has demonstrated over and over again that the 'other' uses (medical, airport screening, foot bone fluoroscopy, etc.) aren't all that useful either. It's time for this technology to be buried. It died awhile ago, stinks to high heaven.

      The writing's been on the wall since TMI-2 in 1979. It hasn't been erased by time, and no amount of lobbying pay-backs on subsidies and loan guarantees can save this industry. The people are now painfully aware of how dangerous it really is - the damned things DO explode! - and absolutely don't believe the risk is worth the cost. The investors no longer think so either, nor do the owner/operators. It's over.

  •  Don't miss this bit from the NYT (6+ / 0-)

    Detailing how the plant operators are shortchanging and delaying decommissioning 'til they can get away with the money:

    As Reactors Age, the Money to Close Them Lags

    The operators of 20 of the nation’s aging nuclear reactors, including some whose licenses expire soon, have not saved nearly enough money for prompt and proper dismantling. If it turns out that they must close, the owners intend to let them sit like industrial relics for 20 to 60 years or even longer while interest accrues in the reactors’ retirement accounts.

    Entergy is at least $90 million short of the projected $560 million cost of dismantling Vermont Yankee; the company is at least $500 million short of the $1.5 billion estimated cost of dismantling Indian Point 2 and 3.


    Gil C. Quiniones, the president and chief executive of the New York Power Authority, a state utility that sold Indian Point 3 to Entergy in 2000, called Entergy’s failure to plan for or finance the decommissioning of Indian Point in real time “stunningly irresponsible.”

    “Delaying action for 60 years — when Entergy might no longer even exist — is offensive to the communities of Westchester County and the people of New York,” he said.

    •  The utilities have been (6+ / 0-)

      assured from the moment they bought in that their decommissioning and waste processing/storage costs would be covered by the taxpayers in the end, just like all their other costs. Sure cash flow swings back and forth a bit in the columns of some ledger or other, but in the end these babies cost the utilities precisely zip overall. Rather, they get a guaranteed profit margin that was enough to have enticed them to be the bad guys in the beginning.

      And don't be fooled by whining that nukes "contribute to" liability insurance, decommissioning uber-funds, waste storage projects, etc. They don't. Government does, via its allotted billions that simply keep this industry going - mere accounting. Then, when it comes time to replace steam generators or harden spent fuel buildings, think about going dry cask storage, ordering new nukes, doing seismic studies post-Fuku, etc., etc., they just get a rate hike from their friendly state utilities commission so the customers pay for it directly.

      We get nailed coming AND going! Ain't it a positive wonder?

  •  SCE&G Disagrees (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And they're willing to put their money where their mouth is.

    CAYCE, S.C., March 30, 2012 South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G), principal subsidiary of SCANA Corporation (NYSE:SCG), and Santee Cooper, South Carolina s state-owned electric and water utility, have received approval for combined construction and operating licenses (COLs) from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for two new nuclear units at V. C. Summer Station in Jenkinsville, S.C.

    Receiving approval of our licenses to construct and operate units 2 and 3 at V.C. Summer is a significant event for our company and marks the culmination of an intense review by the NRC, said Kevin Marsh, chairman and CEO of SCANA. We look forward to building these two new nuclear units to enhance our ability to meet the energy needs of our customers.


    About 1,000 workers are currently engaged in early-site preparation work at the V.C. Summer construction site. The project will peak at about 3,000 construction craft workers over the course of three to four years. The two units, each with a capacity of 1,117 megawatts, will then add 600 to 800 permanent jobs when they start generating electricity.


    It's good for jobs, good for South Carolina, and good for America's carbon-free energy mix.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
    -- Albert Einstein

    by bryfry on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 03:18:35 PM PDT

    •  Really, their money? Not the rate-payers'? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joieau, Sandino, basquebob, PreciousLittle

      Not the taxpayers'?

      Now that would truly be an innovation in the industry, wouldn't it?

      Today, if you exist... that's already suspicious.

      by Jim P on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 04:44:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Rate-payers don't pay (0+ / 0-)

        for a license application for a new nuclear plant, which costs in the millions.

        Tax-payers don't pay for evaluation of this license. By federal law, the NRC must charge the applicant for all of the effort to review the license, to the tune of over $200 per hour of effort.

        Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
        -- Albert Einstein

        by bryfry on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 04:59:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Once again, you've missed (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          the point. Which is, where does the applicant get the money to pay fees [though almost all of the exchanges of wealth in the nuclear shell game don't involve any actual money - utilities receive more in subsidies and direct payments funneled through the government than it costs to produce electricity with any kind of nuke].

          From a UCS report published the month before Fukushima...

          UCS: After 50 Years, Nuclear Power Still Not Viable Without Subsidies

          WASHINGTON (February 23, 2011) – Since its inception more than 50 years ago, the U.S. nuclear power industry has been propped up by a generous array of government subsidies that have supported its development and operations. Despite that support, the industry is still not economically viable, according to a report released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). The report, “Nuclear Power: Still Not Viable Without Subsidies,” found that more than 30 subsidies have supported every stage of the nuclear fuel cycle, from uranium mining to long-term waste storage. Added together, these subsidies often have exceeded the average market price of the power produced.
          Even before Fukushima the guaranteed profits of nuclear utilities weren't enough for those entities, so the Obama administration had to come up with more...
          Pending and proposed subsidies for new nuclear reactors would shift even more costs and risks from the industry to taxpayers and ratepayers. The Obama administration’s new budget proposal would provide an additional $36 billion in federal loan guarantees to underwrite new reactor construction, bringing the total amount of nuclear loan guarantees to a staggering $58.5 billion, leaving taxpayers on the hook if the industry defaults on these loans.
          Then there's the hidden subsidies taxpayers take on as well, and the charges to ratepayers that make nuclear energy the most expensive electricity in the country...
          The key subsidies for nuclear power do not involve cash payments, the report found. They shift the risks of constructing and operating plants -- including cost overruns, loan defaults, accidents and waste management -- from plant owners and investors to taxpayers and ratepayers. These hidden subsidies distort market choices that would otherwise favor less risky investments.

          The most significant forms of subsidies to nuclear power have four principal objectives: Reduce the cost of capital, labor and land through loan guarantees and tax incentives; mask the true costs of producing nuclear energy through subsidies to uranium mining and water usage; shift security and accident risks to the public via the 1957 Price-Anderson Act and other mechanisms; and shift long-term operating risks such as radioactive waste storage to the public.

          The report evaluates legacy subsidies that helped build the industry, ongoing support to existing reactors, and subsidies available for new projects. According to the report, legacy subsidies exceeded 7 cents per kilowatt-hour (¢/kWh), well above the average wholesale price of power from 1960 to 2008. In effect, the subsidies were more valuable than the power the subsidized plants produced.

          This is all old news, bry-guy. No matter how many times you or Walters or y'all's great buddy Nadir whine, assert and/or insult us with 'the usual' nuke industry lies upon lies upon lies, nothing's going to save this industry. That is what Rowe wasn't too shy to come right out and say. I'm sure his parachute is golden enough to handle the blowback on truth that inevitably comes whenever an industry insider gets an honesty attack. If the owner/operators were not paid handsomely by the government, taxpayers and ratepayers MORE than the total costs of producing the power, nobody would bother to produce the power.

          Or once again, in the words of ex-Exelon CEO John Rowe...
          It's simply not worth it.

          •  Try some common sense for a change (0+ / 0-)

            If the "money to pay fees" to the government actually came from the government, then why wouldn't the government just waive those fees to begin with?

            Your link is just the usual crap published by the UCS, which they have been publishing for decades now. It's propaganda designed to play to people who do not have the first clue about how energy policy works.

            For example, it talks about the Obama administration's new budget proposal to increase federal loan guarantees, which was a proposal that was never passed. If you want to attack Obama for his energy policy, then there's nothing I can do. Apparently, you think that subsidies are bad. I suppose that you're hoping to vote for Ron Paul this fall. ;-)

            As for Rowe, he's a man who has spent his tenure as CEO buying up poorly running nuclear plants and making them run at a profit through better, efficient operation. Most of these plants are in deregulated markets -- i.e., they are merchant plants -- which means that the money that they earn depends, in general, on the most expensive form of generation supplying electricity to the grid. Now that he has his herd of cash cows, why the hell would he want anyone else muscling in on this gravy-train by building new nuclear plants, which have very low maintenance and fuel costs?!

            Certainly, he has no interest in building such plants himself; he already has all of the cheap plants he could want. It would be like killing his goose that lays the golden eggs. If he is outspoken, then it is because he would like the other utilities in his markets to build natural gas plants, which have a low capital cost, but high and highly unstable fuel costs. Merchant nuclear plants have make a killing over the last decade, mostly because the price of electricity in their markets has been driven by the cost of natural gas.

            Merchant plant operators make profits by keeping the supply of electricity limited. This is basic ECON 101. It is not in the interest of the consumer, however.

            Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
            -- Albert Einstein

            by bryfry on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 10:36:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I have no idea of the context (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Joieau, bryfry

              I don't know whether Joieau's underlying assertion is correct, but this quote from you:

              If the "money to pay fees" to the government actually came from the government, then why wouldn't the government just waive those fees to begin with?
              shows that you haven't dealt with federal contracting much if at all.

              Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

              by jam on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 06:37:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Heh ... well ... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                I thought it was a reasonable question, but contrary to what you suppose, I understand what you're saying. You bring up a good point and deserve a rec.

                Nevertheless, I have to ask, and I think that this is an important point: are electric utilities federal government contractors?

                Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
                -- Albert Einstein

                by bryfry on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 04:22:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  very interesting question (0+ / 0-)

                  1. obviously some (e.g. TVA, BPA, WAPA) are actually the feds.

                  2. all federal agencies procure power through contracts with the local utility in accordance with state laws.

                  3. Without research, I would guess that a loan guarantee would count as a federal contract.

                  Without making a blanket statement that all electric utilities are fed contractors, I would say that many certainly are.

                  What is your opinion?

                  Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                  by jam on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 05:12:41 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Good and bad points (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    obviously some (e.g. TVA, BPA, WAPA) are actually the feds.
                    Yes, of course, and I had the opportunity to cite one of TVA's projects (currently undergoing) to build/finish nuclear plants, but I didn't, did I?

                    No, I realize that TVA is a federal government entity and thus doesn't represent the private market.

                    all federal agencies procure power through contracts with the local utility in accordance with state laws.
                    That makes the federal agency a customer. That doesn't mean that the utility is a contractor.

                    If I hire someone to do some work on my house, I consider him or her to be a contractor. When I pay my gas bill each month, I don't consider the gas company to be a contractor, even though both entities provide services to me through contracts.

                    Without research, I would guess that a loan guarantee would count as a federal contract.
                    Well, a loan guarantee, I suppose, is an example of a contract, in that it is a legal agreement between two entities. However, that is very different situation than the utility being a contractor.

                    For example, how many federal contractors do you know who have to pay rather large fees upfront to earn the contract and have absolutely zero obligations to the government, other than not going bankrupt.

                    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
                    -- Albert Einstein

                    by bryfry on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:10:23 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  (I'm not even sure what the point of this (0+ / 0-)

                      discussion is) but it is interesting...

                      You and I personally distinguish between contractor and customer but do the feds?

                      Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                      by jam on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 07:00:16 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

        •  So the money just magically appears? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Ultimately, directly or indirectly, in any business venture, the cosumer, a.k.a. rate payers, pays. If it's in the form of direct, indirect or tax fees is irrelevant. We always pay.

          •  The money comes from (0+ / 0-)

            the utility. In other words, the utility must spend its own money for applying for the license from the government and all of the fees that must be paid if they want to get a loan guarantee from the Department of Energy.

            The amount that the rate-payer pays is determined by the government regulators. If you don't like that, then fine, you're arguing for deregulation. How very Reaganesque of you!

            I've always found it very amusing how so many self-proclaimed hard-core liberals suddenly become free-market advocates as soon as the word "nuclear" is mentioned. In the bat of an eye, you're singing the same tune as the Cato Institute.

            Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
            -- Albert Einstein

            by bryfry on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 10:37:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Psst, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              That money that the utilities have to pay for those things, comes from rate-payers. That's how utilities make most of their money if not all, or nearly all, of it. You know, regulators let them charge enough to cover operations, overhead, depreciation and some profit among other things. Just saying. As for the rest, nice non-sequiturs. Reaganesque, ha, good belly laugh. So if I am pro-nuclear that magically makes me more liberal? Really? Is that your best argument? Utterly lacking.

              •  Well, anytime you like ... (0+ / 0-)

                you can show me where a regulator has approved a rate increase to cover the cost of a license application.

                Please do ... I'd love to see it.

                Now, please don't get confused and reference an approval of CWIP. That is a completely different beast. It allows the utility to pay off the capital costs of a new plant while it is being constructed, which is a really, really good idea that saves money for the rate-payers in the long run.

                In a regulated environment, it makes perfect sense, since the whole premise is that access to energy is a public good (which is why electricity was regulated this way in the first place). I can get away with saying this because I am not a laissez-faire free-marketeer. Are you? And if not, why are you pretending to be one?

                Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
                -- Albert Einstein

                by bryfry on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 02:33:24 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  why don't you explain how utilities get money to recover costs related to their ability to exist, expand, operate, pay their shareholders, etc. Hot dog or lemonade stands? No. As any other business does, by charging their customers. It does not take a nuclear scientist to figure this out, just someone that has the most basic understanding of economic principles and accounting. I can not show you or teach you common sense nor am I willing to engage you in econ 101. Money does not just magically show up in CP&L's or any other utility’s bank account to cover costs related to their business or any other costs for that matter. It's a really simple concept in business, you have to at least make what costs you to be in business or you go out of business. No buts, no ifs, no magical thinking, the money has to come from somewhere. The way our system works is fairly simple when you get to the bottomline: money comes from customers, tax payers and if, and only if, you are the Federal Reserve you get to print it. Last time I checked utilities are not allowed to print their own money.

                  Your attempt to argue that utilities can not pass along  certain costs, directly or indirectly, to their customers flies in the face of reality. If they couldn't recoup certain costs, ever, as you pretend to argue, they would all be bankrupt. That's not reaganesque, that's a simple business fact. Read your own sig line and apply it to yourself, you desperately need to do so.

                  I am done with your asinine arguments, bye.

                  •  Wow! (0+ / 0-)

                    You really don't have the first clue how regulated markets work, do you?

                    You want to talk about hotdog and lemonade stands? Then consider this.

                    Suppose that you have a hotdog stand, and the local government has given you the exclusive right to sell hotdogs in your home town. Sounds great right? Well, it is until you realize that the local government has also given itself the right to determine how much you are allowed to charge for your hotdogs. So now, if you need to increase the price of your hotdogs, you have to get permission and justify the new price. If you want to build an additional hotdog stand, you have to get permission. Most of all, however, you don't get any additional revenue to compensate for the fees that go along with applying to the town to get a license to run an additional hotdog stand.

                    Understand yet?

                    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
                    -- Albert Einstein

                    by bryfry on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 04:11:44 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Are you really asking me if I understand? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      I really don't think the problem is my ability to understand how businesses work but your utter ignorance of how businesses actually work in the real world. This is not a riddle, how do utilities generate the revenue to pay the fees of which you claim they can not pass the costs to their customers? You have utterly failed to answer this simple question for several posts now. Answer that simple question and quit runing around circles as you usually do. At some point it is fair to call you a charlatan.

                      And the answer to your question is simple: that's not how the real world works. Even people in government understand that you have to be able to generate revenues and profits in order to pay fees and taxes. A concept that seems to escape you.

        •  actually, you are wrong (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          SCE&G has already adjusted rates to account for the nuclear power

          Cayce, SC, September 30, 2011….The Public Service Commission of South Carolina (PSC) has approved an increase of $52,783,000, or approximately 2.4 percent, to the retail electric rates of South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G), principal subsidiary of SCANA Corporation (NYSE: SCG). The new rates will be effective for bills rendered on and after October 30.

          SCE&G filed for the increase in May under provisions of South Carolina’s Base Load Review Act (BLRA), a law enacted in 2007 to add structure and consistency to the process SCE&G and other regulated electric utilities must follow when building nuclear power plants. SCE&G and Santee Cooper, a state-owned electric and water utility in South Carolina, are working to build two 1,117-megawatt nuclear electric-generating units at the site of the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station near Jenkinsville, S.C. The first unit is expected to come on line in 2016, the second in 2019. The BLRA allows for annual adjustments to rates during construction of the units as a means of recovering financing costs associated with the project.

          Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

          by jam on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 02:29:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, no (0+ / 0-)

            that's for CWIP, see my comment above.

            Did PSC's new rates pay for the license application that was compiled and submitted about four years ago?

            Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
            -- Albert Einstein

            by bryfry on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 02:37:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  FYI (0+ / 0-)

            An application for a combined license (COL) costs millions of dollars, both to write the application, then to pay the NRC to review the application. In the case of VC Summer, SCE&G submitted the license application over four years ago.

            Please tell me again when the rate increase was approved?

            Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
            -- Albert Einstein

            by bryfry on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 02:42:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  according to the construction cost (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              in exhibit 2 of the application they spent $21 M in 2007 which I assume is the cost of developing the application. Siting/Permitting/Licensing costs are generally rolled up into "construction costs". Just because the rate increase wasn't approved until recently has no probative value as to what it covers.

              Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

              by jam on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 04:57:06 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, ideally (0+ / 0-)

                as the utility, you'd like everything included in recoverable costs. Nevertheless, at the time they spent the millions of dollars, they had no guarantee that CWIP would be approved, so it was certainly a financial risk (although a small one compared to building an entire plant) and they spent their own money on this risk.

                Utilities are not charities. They don't take on any financial risk unless they hope ultimately to get their money back.

                Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
                -- Albert Einstein

                by bryfry on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 05:21:01 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Anti-nukes lining up to cheer for gas and coal. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bryfry, SpeedyGonzales

    No surprise there.

    It's like the quacking of ducks.

    There are zero anti-nukes, zero, who are educated enough or compassionate enough or sensible enough to understand even the first rudimentary thing about climate change, just as there are zero anti-nukes who care about the 3 million people who will die from air pollution.   They'd rather lie around lazily hoping that someone, anyone, will die from Fukushima so they can have a twenty year obsession over that person, while ignoring the 20,000 people who died from buildings collapsing in that event.

    How come anti-nukes never talk about banning buildings?

    But to return to our anti-nukes and their sudden worship of a CEO crying "Frack!  Baby! Frack!" there is a big difference between short term thinking and investing in the future.   The nuclear plants being built around the world - more than 50 of them - are designed to operate for between 60 and 80 years.  

    The number of anti-nuke types (and apparently corporate types) who are concerned about giving gifts to future generations - as the people who built 100 nuclear reactors a generation ago gave a gift to us - is zero.

    There are zero anti-nukes who give a fuck about future generations, and future generations might exist to note as much, the selfishness, the stupidity, the ignorance.

    History - in the unlikely event it should exist - will record the anti-nuke mentality as one of the more horrible forms of fear, superstition and ignorance of the 20th and 21st century.

    This year, many carbon dioxide observatories around the world will record dangerous fossil fuel waste concentrations of close to 400 ppm.

    Now, isn't it time for you all to issue your hide rates?

    I personally love it when you hide.

    Have a nice evening.

    •  Admiral Rickover had this to say: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joieau, PreciousLittle
      I'll be philosophical. Until about two billion years ago, it was impossible to have any life on earth; that is, there was so much radiation on earth you couldn't have any life — fish or anything. Gradually, about two billion years ago, the amount of radiation on this planet—and probably in the entire system—reduced and made it possible for some form of life to begin... Now when we go back to using nuclear power, we are creating something which nature tried to destroy to make life possible... Every time you produce radiation, you produce something that has a certain half-life, in some cases for billions of years. I think the human race is going to wreck itself, and it is important that we get control of this horrible force and try to eliminate it... I do not believe that nuclear power is worth it if it creates radiation. Then you might ask me why do I have nuclear powered ships. That is a necessary evil. I would sink them all. Have I given you an answer to your question?
      On the hazards of nuclear power. Testimony to Congress (28 January 1982); published in Economics of Defense Policy: Hearing before the Joint Economic Committee, Congress of the United States, 97th Cong., 2nd sess., Pt. 1 (1982)
      I guess you consider him one of the "ignorant".

      Your comment is not HR worthy, but nuclear energy ain't a panacea either nor are we as binary as you seem to be. Nuclear or carbon are not the only two alternatives inspite of what you may want say.

      Know feel free to go on with the insults as we are familiar with your MO.

      •  Since you're into quotes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Quoted below is the opinion of Ted Rockwell, Rickover's Technical Director at Naval Reactors for a decade and a half, on Rickover's statement to Congress, from which you quoted a brief snippet without any context.


        I promised to respond to the questions on Rickover's statement to Congress that we should abandon nuclear technology. It's a mixed bag, but not inscrutable. Here's my view of it.

        On Jan 28, 1982, immediately after being fired at the age of 82, by a vengeful SecNav, with the concurrence of several other officers and officials with a variety of motivations, Rickover was called to present his views on "Economics of Defense Policy" before the Joint Economic Committee. Actually, only President Reagan could fire him, because he was an official in the AEC, "with additional duties in the Navy."

        His testimony is published in a 205-page congressional report (and that's just "Part 1" of six.). In all those small-print, single-spaced pages, there are only a few sentences, on pages 60 and 61, mentioning abandoning nuclear technology. The subject of the testimony is economics, and this is the Joint Economic Committee. In the first paragraph headed "Nuclear Reactor Safety," Senator Proxmire opens with the question:

        "In view of the experience with Three Mile Island and the other accidents and mishaps, do you believe that civilian nuclear reactors can be operated safely"?

        To which Rickover answers "Absolutely, sir."

        On page 60, under "Need for Nuclear Energy," Rickover says, "Ultimately, we will need nuclear power because we are exhausting our non-renewable energy resources; that is, coal and oil." Then he diverts to the subject of radiation and the need to control it. And then, "There are, of course, many other things mankind is doing which, in the broadest sense, are having an adverse impact, such as using up scarce resources. I think the human race is ultimately going to wreck itself. It is important that we control these forces and try to eliminate them."

        Note that this talk of restricting use of resources is generic; no mention of nuclear yet. And then, in the next sentence, Rickover says: "In this broad, philosophical sense, I do not believe that nuclear power is worth the present benefits, since it creates radiation. You might ask, why do I design nuclear-powered ships? Because it is a necessary evil. I would sink them all."

        Then, further down the page, he says, "From a long-range standpoint—I am talking about humanity—the most important thing we could do at present is to have an international meeting where first we outlaw nuclear weapons. Eventually, we could outlaw reactors too" He said "could," not "should" or "must."

        And that's it. Only those brief sentences, in a very philosophical vein.

        Why did he say it? No one can know the emotions and motivations of another. But I believe there are a few common reasons for such sentiments, that we can understand, whether we sympathize with them or not. In this case, I suggest the following:

        1. Rickover had plenty of evidence that without extraordinary efforts to operate far differently from almost all other large-scale projects, you get the kind of performance record typified by the coal and oil industries, and he knew there were few persons that would be able to create the record that nuclear has achieved. So part of the reason was his feeling that "l'etat c'est moi" and therefore "Apres moi, le deluge." This is hubris, but he had a pretty good historical basis for it.
        2. Said slightly differently, it's the sentiment of the parent turning the business over to the children: "They'll never be able to run it the way we did."
        3. A totally different reason may be concern (unwarranted, in my opinion) that radioactivity is more dangerous than "ordinary" kinds of hazardous material. And that others will not have enough understanding and insight to deal with it properly.
        4. Often, an old man, ruminating on the imminence of his demise, and growing awareness that this is the one thing he can definitely not control, would rather see "his world" disappear, rather than let others screw it up.

        So, my view is that we should not consider those brief sentences, in that context, as profound and thoughtful advice.

        Note, also that despite Rickover's concern about earth's radiation levels building up, the radioactivity we create each year is not enough to keep up with earth's natural radiation decay. Each day, our natural radiation levels decrease.


        Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
        -- Albert Einstein

        by bryfry on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 05:06:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  With out context? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PreciousLittle, Joieau

          Perhaps you need to pay closer attention. The context is provided at the bottom of the quote, but in your typical fashion, perhaps an admission of the weakness of your position, create false memes and accusations. Tiresome and boring.

          Again, the context (in case you missed it or just trying to imply falsehoods):

          On the hazards of nuclear power. Testimony to Congress (28 January 1982); published in Economics of Defense Policy: Hearing before the Joint Economic Committee, Congress of the United States, 97th Cong., 2nd sess., Pt. 1 (1982)
          P.S. You and many can turn yourselfs into pretzels trying to explain Rickover's quote, the quote stands by itself.
          •  Perhaps you don't understand (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            what the word "context" means. You gave a reference -- i.e., where the words came from -- but quoting one paragraph in a 205-page report is providing zero context for those words.

            Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
            -- Albert Einstein

            by bryfry on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 10:37:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And the context is in the reference (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              but that flew right over your head. Whatever.

              •  Oh really? (0+ / 0-)

                Let's take a closer look at that. Suppose I wrote the following quotation:

                "democracy is the worst form of Government"

                Winston Churchill - 11 November 1947

                Taken from HC Deb 11 November 1947 vol 444 cc203-321.

                Here I have accurately and faithfully supplied a quote with a reference, but completely neglected the context.

                Understand yet?

                Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
                -- Albert Einstein

                by bryfry on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 02:57:28 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  So you don't know who Rickover was? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  I am sorry, I thought being such a nuclear enthusiast you would've known.

                  See, I know who Winston Churchill was, and when people talk about him I know how to put the conversation in the proper context without everything having to be spelled out for me. You know, knowledge, efficiency and all those things. On the other hand, your best argument is to engage in circular logic, being dismissive, changing the subject and all that paraphernalia necessary to change the subject.

                  Boy, it must really sting reading those words from who is considered to be the father of the nuclear Navy judging by your reaction. Look, it is simple, in any context:

                  I do not believe that nuclear power is worth it if it creates radiation.

                  Admiral Hyman George Rickover (January 27, 1900 – July 8, 1986) (Nickname: Father of the Nuclear Navy")

                  Testimony to Congress (28 January 1982); published in Economics of Defense Policy: Hearing before the Joint Economic Committee, Congress of the United States, 97th Cong., 2nd sess., Pt. 1 (1982)

                  Go have an argument with him, he said it, not me.
                  •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

                    I have supplied context. You have supplied ... what exactly?

                    I'll let Rockwell's words speak for themselves. Meanwhile, you have decided to focus on one of my offhand comments. Well, it has been a fun diversion, but you flatter yourself by assuming that what I write is for your benefit.

                    Are you going to tell me "bye" again?

                    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
                    -- Albert Einstein

                    by bryfry on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 04:18:36 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Context, read the original quote I excerpted and (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      the last sentence I quoted the second time. The first is the context for the second. Get it? You, inspite of what you might think of yourself, are not the decider of context.

                      But think about it this way, and boy if this is context, a man that spent his whole career developing, if not the safest, one of the safest ways of exploiting the atom for energy, the context of his life, had this to say at the end of his career about the nature of his lifetime work (context his whole career, get it?):

                      I do not believe that nuclear power is worth it if it creates radiation.
                      Admiral Hyman George Rickover (January 27, 1900 – July 8, 1986) (Nickname: Father of the Nuclear Navy")

                      Testimony to Congress (28 January 1982); published in Economics of Defense Policy: Hearing before the Joint Economic Committee, Congress of the United States, 97th Cong., 2nd sess., Pt. 1 (1982)

                      Somehow my suspicion is that this wont get through your denser than plutonium mind. Like I said, your argument is with Rickover and not me.
                    •  P. S. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:


  •  German News Show "The Fukushima Lie" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandino, Joieau, PreciousLittle

    They have an interview with Kan, the Prime minister. "They simply did not do what is required" he says, of Japan's "nuclear village" which decides everything nuclear. "We discover a network of lies" says the reporter. In San Francisco the interview a former lead inspector of the Fukushima plants for years, where "TEPCO was able to hide even the most serious incidents." "After I discovered cracks TEPCO told me "shut up."

    About a half-hour of not pretty. Not pretty at all. Government, TEPCO, yakuza -- the only difference is whether they raise money in the open or underground.

    Today, if you exist... that's already suspicious.

    by Jim P on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 09:41:09 PM PDT

  •  It doesn't suprise me that Joy "Joieau" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bryfry, SpeedyGonzales

    Busy is effective shilling for the method of Wall Street.

    The former CEO of Exelon in 100% correct. When viewed from an "economic" (read "Profitable") new  energy is not in the game compared with very cheap natural gas and, highly subsided (still), legally mandated, wind and solar energy.

    Capital always flows to that which is most profitable,  with greatest return in the shortest amount of time. This ipsotfacto means cheaper upfront capital regardless of it's true cost/price ratio sans subsidies, fossils and what fossil is wedded too, coal and gas, will always win.

    Exelon makes nice profits because it's plants are paid off. Despite Cooper's legal background, his view of economics is flawed, as is Joieau's, who believe where Wall Street invests, the people who broughts the absolute economic collapse of captialism in Europe today and the crisis since 2008 in the U.S., is  a 'bellweather' for any source of energy.

    If we applied the ex-CEO's 'method', which at best is sterilized micro-economics, the great dam projects of Hoover and Grand Coulee dam systems, or any dam system would never of been built; not a small hydro unit or  flood control ,which combines both energy, flood control and irrigation.

    If you were to get you collective asses out of your collective asses and realize that as a society will have to have a serious Federal energy system and not rely on what's "profitable" we could have an actual discussion.

    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 Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 07:18:02 AM PDT

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