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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

An economic hazard to United Arab Emirates – nuclear power?

Nuclear Power: Boon Or Bane For The GCC?, Gulf Business,  
As the UAE and Saudi race to build nuclear reactors to meet mounting energy needs, the inevitable question arises – is nuclear a viable option?, Gulf business By Aarti Nagra 18 April 14

Fuelled by rising energy demand and depleting oil and gas resources, nuclear energy has gained strong momentum in the GCC, particularly in countries like the UAE. The country has lofty ambitions to generate up to 25 per cent of its electricity needs – or 5.6GW – through nuclear means by 2020.
Abu Dhabi began construction of its first nuclear reactor, Barakah 1, in July 2012, and it is in the process of building three more plants.

Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, the body responsible for the project, announced in February that the first two plants are on schedule and are up to 35 per cent complete……..However, nuclear energy may not necessarily be the best option for the GCC region, states Mohammed Atif, area manager, Energy Advisory, Middle East at DNV GL – Energy.

“A reasonable diversification of fuels is always beneficial for a region in order to reduce risks and price volatility,” he says.

“The right composition of a generation portfolio is always a difficult question and has to take political, economic, technical and environmental aspects into consideration.

“We would suggest entering into a roadmap to achieve security of supply at a good price level even without nuclear energy.”……….An Oxford report on nuclear power production in the GCC published in December 2012 also pointed out that nuclear power generation could prove an expensive option for GCC states.

“The substantial initial investment costs, coupled with the high expected level of long run variable costs, is unlikely to render nuclear power cost effective vis-à-vis conventional oil and gas fired power plants in the region,” it says.

“The existing absence of cost-recovering power tariffs throughout the GCC already renders effective cost recovery for nuclear power unlikely, implying a substantial bill in the form of nuclear power subsidies to be picked up by GCC governments.”

There are also other hidden costs, such as national and regional security concerns and the future disposal of nuclear waste.

“And the acquisition of nuclear technology by GCC states, albeit for civilian purposes, provides fuel to those critics of nuclear power in the region who fear a nuclear arms race in the Gulf should Iran pursue a nuclear weapons programme in the future.

“All these concerns make nuclear power a potentially costly option for the GCC,” the report cautions………….http://gulfbusiness.com/2014/04/nuclear-power-boon-bane-gcc/#.U1WPalVdWik

April 21, 2014 Posted by | business and costs, MIDDLE EAST, Saudi Arabia | Leave a comment

Secret deals trapping Turkey into buying Japanese nuclear technology

Buy-Japan's-nukes-2  Why would the Western authorities allow a country like Turkey to have nuclear plants?  

Because it can trap such a nation under secret deals of the colluding powers, expanding and stabilizing their profit-oriented status quo guaranteed by the magic words “national security”

Japanese Nuclear Plants For Sale http://www.opednews.com/articles/Japanese-Nuclear-Plants-Fo-by-Hiroyuki-Hamada-Fukushima-Meltdown_Government-Industry-Collusion_Government-Transparency_National-Security-140417-354.html?show=votes

By   17 April 14 I don’t understand why people are not talking about this but here it goes.  Japan has been working hard to export nuclear plants.  That’s odd, right?  After what happened in Fukushima?  I mean who would want it?  And if you want it, would you get it from Japan?

Here is an interesting fact.  Japan has accumulated at least 4000 nuclear warheads’ worth of plutonium, and in fact, it used to export plutonium to England where it was used to make nuclear weapons (1).  And that is actually an enormous feat for a nation with a peace constitution that bans wars as a means of conflict resolution, and for a nation with multiple regulations guarding against exporting weapons, which of course stipulate anything nuclear as a big no.  What I’m trying to say is that Japan has been very very dishonest about its nuclear policies. The numbers and the facts, which have become available after the accident, state that the nuclear energy has not been as efficient as what has been claimed, while the safety measures and potential risks have not been the primary concerns.  In fact some of us now believe that the primary reason why Japan acquired nuclear energy at the first place was to acquire bomb- making capability, along with the lucrative deals guaranteed by the western nuclear authorities (2).

Last year, one of the Japanese parliament members demanded detailed info regarding the export of the nuclear plant to Vietnam.  Many of us were stunned to see the disclosed papers completely filled with black rectangles, the contents were pretty much all censored due to national-security concerns (3).

Now, why would anyone want a nuclear plant from Japan? Continue reading

April 18, 2014 Posted by | Japan, marketing, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Nuclear companies switch to more lucrative business – closing down reactors

OPG, Westinghouse forge nuclear alliance OPG and Westinghouse will join forces to bid for nuclear projects around the globe  Toronto Star, By:  Business reporter,   Apr 16 2014

Ontario Power Generation will join forces with Westinghouse to bid for nuclear projects around the globe, the companies announced Wednesday.

The news comes the same week that the Ontario government set up a panel headed by TD Bank chairman Ed Clark to consider privatization – or other strategies – for provincial assets.

OPG is 100 per cent owned by the province.

“Under the agreement, the companies will consider a diversity of nuclear projects including refurbishment, maintenance and outage services, decommissioning and remediation of existing nuclear power plants, and new nuclear power plants,” OPG said a release.

money-in-wastes-2

Westinghouse will work directly with Canadian Nuclear Partners, a subsidiary of OPG headed by Pierre Tremblay….http://www.thestar.com/business/2014/04/16/opg_westinghouse_forge_nuclear_alliance.html

April 17, 2014 Posted by | business and costs, Canada, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Investors wary of South Dakota uranium mining project, and with good reason

Uranium Mine In The Black Hills Gets Federal Approval. Azarga Mining Is Elated. But Shareholders? They Still Look More Like Bagholders. http://theconstantcommoner.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/uranium-mine-in-black-hills-gets.html

     Yesterday the Nuclear Regulatory Commission gave Azarga Uranium Corporation (PWE.TO–it still carries its symbol and trades as if it’s Powertech, the company that will soon be absorbed by Azarga) its approval to go ahead and start its in situ mining venture in the southern Black Hills.  That brought the requisite cheers from the company and some brassy projections about its outlook.  I don’t normally follow penny stocks, which I think are the most laughable component of the stock market, but the brouhaha over Azarga/Powertch’s plans to extract uranium here in the Hills has caught everybody’s attention, and with good reason.  The company plans to inject water into the ground, dissolve the uranium that’s down there, pump it to the surface where the uranium will be harvested, then release the water and all its contaminants back into the ground.  The company says it’s safe, the NRC says its safe, and a lot of people living in the immediate area seem excited about the prospect of a little economic development.  But just as  its pending merger with Azarga didn’t particularly excite Powertech investors when announced earlier this year, yesterday’s NRC news fell on a generally apathetic trading community…….

Continue reading

April 17, 2014 Posted by | business and costs, Uranium, USA | Leave a comment

Employment boost for South Africa due to renewable energy projects

Green energy IPPs create 14 000 jobs http://www.iol.co.za/business/companies/green-energy-ipps-create-14-000-jobs-1.1675332 April 14 2014  Independent power producers (IPPs) using renewable energy had created about 14 000 jobs over the past three years, Energy Minister Ben Martins said on Friday. “One of the imperatives of government is to ensure that all departments assist in job creation. Through the independent power producers programme, more than 14 000 have been created,” Martins said following a summit with 61 IPPs. “At the meeting, we acknowledged and expressed appreciation of the fact that to date more than R100 billion has been invested into this particular sector.” IPPs are entities which either own and or operate facilities that generate electric power. They then sell the power to a utility, central government buyer or to end users. The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Development Bank of Southern Africa, Eskom and the Public Investment Corporation. Diplomats representing Denmark, Spain, Germany, Norway, and the UK were also present at the Pretoria meeting. Martins said the IPP project had brought significant direct foreign investment. – Sapa

April 16, 2014 Posted by | employment, renewable, South Africa | Leave a comment

SMR & Thorium proponents desperately promoting their failed plans to Australia

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

While the BHP-funded Grattan Institute and a number of other “authoritative” bodies tout Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs) – powered by Thorium, for Australia, the bottom is falling out of the SMR project.  The big firms involved are pulling out. Westinghouse already has. Babcock and Wilcox will be next.

Lobbyists like the USA’s nuclear front group, the Breakthrough Institute, have worked successfully on Australia’s pro nukers to flog off these (so far non-existent) SMRs to Australia.  Note that they leave out the word “nuclear”, knowing that this word gives their project a bad smell.

However, – forget  the associated bad smells of terrorism targets, proliferation dangers, waste problems that go with these nasty little nuclear reactors.

The biggy is economics. They just don’t stack up economically.  (It’s such bad taste to mention this – but reneweable energy does stack up economically.  And when you’re talking about small decentralised power sources – well – solar and wind are obviously the go.)smr-aUSTRALIA-copy

April 15, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Christina's notes, marketing | Leave a comment

Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs) uneconomic: Babcock and Wilcox pulling out?

Small-modular-reactor-dudB&W scales back its small nuclear reactor project, Charlotte Observer,  By Bruce Hendersony, Apr. 14, 2014 Charlotte-based Babcock & Wilcox said Monday it will scale back its mPower small modular nuclear reactor program after being unable to attract needed investors or contracts. The president of its mPower subsidiary, Christofer Mowry, left the company as of Sunday, B&W said in a securities filing. Mowry was terminated “without cause,” the filing said. William Fox III will replace him.

Announced in 2009, small modular reactor technology had been the company’s largest research and development project……Babcock & Wilcox announced an “accelerated” search for additional investors in the program last November.

But the project struggled to find additional investors or construction contracts that would bring in enough revenue to continue its development, B&W said Monday……..mPower recorded an $87 million operating loss in 2013, B&W said in a March proxy statement. http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/04/14/4841485/bw-scales-back-its-small-nuclear.html

April 15, 2014 Posted by | business and costs, technology, USA | Leave a comment

No shortage of uranium: economics will kill nuclear power before that’s any concern

Enough Uranium, but Nuclear Power Is Still Shrinking http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/enough_uranium_but_nuclear_power_is_still_shrinking_20140412   By Paul Brown, Climate News Network This piece first appeared at Climate News Network.

LONDON—There is enough uranium available on the planet to keep the world’s nuclear industry going for as long as it is needed. But it will grow steadily more expensive to extract, because the quality of the ore is getting poorer, according to new research.

Years of work in compiling information from around the world has led Gavin M. Mudd from Monash University in Clayton, Australia to believe that it is economic and political restraints that will kill off nuclear power and not any shortage of uranium, as some have claimed.

Writing in the journal Environmental Science & Technology that renewables do not have the disadvantages of nuclear power, which needs large uranium mines that are hard to rehabilitate and which generates waste that remains dangerous for more than 100,000 years.

In addition, research shows that renewable technologies are expanding very fast and could produce all the energy needs of advanced economies, phasing out both fossil fuels and nuclear.

Mudd, who is a lecturer in the department of civil engineering at Monash, has compiled decades of data on the availability and quality of uranium ore. He concludes that, while uranium is plentiful, mining the ore is very damaging to the environment and the landscape.

 It is expensive to rehabilitate former mines, not least because of the dangerous levels of radiation left behind. As a result many of the potential sources of uranium will not be exploited because of opposition from people who live in the area.

‘Too cheap to meter’

His paper examines the history of uranium mining and its wild fluctuations in price. These have little to do with supply, but rather with demand that is badly affected by nuclear accidents like Chernobyl and Fukushima, and by the political decisions by governments to embark on new nuclear building programmes, or to abandon them.

“Despite the utopian promise of electricity ‘too cheap to meter’, nuclear power remains a minor source of electricity worldwide”, Mudd writes. In 2010 it accounted for 5.65% of total primary energy supply and was responsible for 12.87% of global electricity supply. Both contributions have effectively been declining through the 2000s.

“Concerns about hazards and unfavourable economics have effectively slowed or stopped the growth of nuclear energy in many Western countries since the 1980s.”

The Fukushima accident in Japan has accelerated the trend away from nuclear power. The growth in projects in some countries, notably China, Russia and India, does not offset the fact that many more nuclear power stations will reach retirement age over the next 15-20 years than will be constructed.

Among the factors Mudd considered in the fluctuation of supply was the conversion of Russian and American nuclear weapons into power station fuel supplying 50% of American needs since the mid-1990s, and 20% of global uranium supply.  This has not materially affected the long-term supply of uranium.

Mining blighted

Another issue that is more politically contentious is the high cost of rehabilitating mines, notably in Germany and the US. In many of the countries where uranium has been mined and no rehabilitation attempted, the prospect of further mining is blighted. Mudd gives the examples of Niger, Gabon, Argentina and Brazil, where there has been considerable public opposition to opening up fresh deposits as a result.

If these resources and other uranium deposits elsewhere in the world are to be exploited, Mudd argues, the issue of rehabilitating existing and future mines needs to be addressed.

“There is a critical need for a thorough and comprehensive review of the success (or otherwise) of global U mine rehabilitation efforts and programmes; such a review could help synthesise best practices and highlight common problems and possible solutions,” he says.

The paper also examines in detail the quality of the ore and the difficulty of extracting uranium from various rocks. Mudd concludes that as time passes the richer ores in the rocks that are easiest to extract are becoming scarce.

As a result, for each pound of uranium extracted more greenhouse gases are generated, adding to the CO2 emissions of nuclear power. However, he believes, in the overall comparisons of various energy systems the increase is only marginal.

“The future of nuclear power clearly remains contested and contentious — and therefore difficult to forecast accurately. While some optimists remain eternally hopeful, reality appears to be relegating nuclear power to the uneconomic category of history.

“Overall, there is a strong case for the abundance of already known U resources, whether currently reported as formal mineral resources or even more speculative U sources, to meet the foreseeable future of nuclear power. The actual U supply into the market is, effectively, more an economic and political issue than a resource constraint issue,” Mudd says.

April 15, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, Uranium | Leave a comment

USA, Westinghouse, Toshiba distressed as Czech Republic cancels nuclear project

graph-down-uraniumCEZ Cancels $10 Billion Nuclear Tender on Unfavorable Economics, EU Policy, WSJ  Company Targets New Expansion, Modernization Strategy by Year-End By  SEAN CARNEY  April 10, 2014  PRAGUE—Czech power company CEZ AS BAACEZ.PR +2.93% Thursday abruptly canceled its $10 billion tender for two new nuclear reactors one year ahead of the planned 2015 deadline to pick the winner, leaving the U.S. and Russian companies that had made it to the final round of bidding empty-handed…….It said plans to double the size of its Temelin nuclear power plant didn’t now make sense economically…..

nuclear-costs3Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and the country’s President Milos Zeman both described CEZ’s decision as logical.

The cancellation of the tender is a blow to the companies that had made it into the final round of bidding—Russia’s state-owned Rosatom and Pennsylvania-based Westinghouse Electric Co, a unit of Japan’s Toshiba Corp.

France’s Areva SA was originally in the final round but in 2012 was excluded from the bidding due to commercial and legal flaws in its offer, according to CEZ…….

Westinghouse officials said they were unhappy with the decision, a sentiment echoed by the U.S. government.

“[We are] deeply disappointed by the decision to cancel the tender,” said American Ambassador to the Czech Republic Norman Eisen. “As close friends and allies we also have fears what signals this could send to American and international investors.” …….http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303603904579493122292748700

April 11, 2014 Posted by | business and costs, EUROPE | Leave a comment

Arguments for nuclear power losing credibility,as Japan’s utilities jostle for funding

flag-japanIn the Wake of Fukushima: Japan’s Nuclear Energy Policy Impasse  60% of Japan’s 48 viable nuclear reactors,are not as yet being considered for application to the Nuclear Regulation Agency (NRA) for restart By Andrew Dewit Global Research, April 07, 2014
Asia-Pacific Journal

“…….Hard-Pressed Utilities

nukes-hungryAs for the utilities themselves, Tepco is not viable in its current form, having lost a stunning 81.2% of its market capitalization between March 10 of 2011 and April 2 of 2014. It was nationalized in June 2012 via a YEN 1 trillion injection of public capital, “the biggest state intervention into a private non-bank asset since America’s 2009 bail-out of General Motors (Economist, 2012). Resolving pressing matters such as the Fukushima and area clean-up and compensation, the decomissioning of ruined assets and the like are well beyond Tepco’s means. Some specialists question whether the other nuclear-dependent utilities are viable as well (Kaneko, 2013), and in early April of 2014 Kyushu Electric and Hokkaido Electric were revealed to be in discussion with the public sector Development Bank of Japan for bailouts (Financial Times, April 2, 2014). Kyushu Electric’s reliance on nuclear power is 42% of generating assets and Hokkaido Electric’s reliance is 30%. Their respective losses of market capitalization are 38.9% and 58.2%.11

The Japanese public sector has thus long been in a powerful position vis-à-vis the utilities, enabling it to press for reform. But this authority was used sparingly by the central government, even under the previous Democratic Party administration. The Tepco bailout was notable for protracted negotiations between Tepco and its politico-bureaucratic allies and state officials. They were not bargaining about weighty matters such as ownership of the power grid, but rather salaries and the size of increases on rate-payers. Outsiders regarded it as “bewildering” to see such minor items on the table. The Financial Times’ Jonathan Soble, also a close follower of Japan’s post-Fukushima power crisis and politics, argued that it “underscored the depth and resilience of Tepco’s resilience, and that of the ‘nuclear village’ of utility executives, bureaucrats and lawmakers that built Japan’s atomic power industry.“12

But now Tepco’s siblings are lining up for bailout, and this seems unlikely to end. Like big utilities in Europe and North America, Japanese utilities face the existential challenge of the ICT, renewable and efficiency-driven “electricity revolution” summarized nicely by Brookings energy security specialists Charles Ebinger and John Banks.13 A recent very detailed article in Scientific American shows how America’s 3000-plus utilities are fighting a losing battle against solar power and smart grids.14 Centralized power and monopolized conventional-grid ownership are confronting a far larger tsunami than the mobile phone shock to land-line telephony. But Japan’s monopolized and nuclear-reliant utilities have the added conundrum of nuclear power’s delegitimation in a very seismically sensitive country.

After Fukushima, the Japanese public debate received a very accelerated course of instruction on how various political economies were responding to the risks of resource price increases as well as climate change and the opportunities of developing new industries in renewable energy and related fields. The public debate also became apprised of just how far behind Japan was in its deployment of energy alternatives such as solar and wind. Moreover, the old arguments that these forms of power generation were not suited to Japan, because of “unique” winds and lack of space, lost their credibility.

The Push for Local Resilience

In addition, local governments exhibit increasing efforts to seize opportunity in the emergence of alternatives to highly centralized and concentrated nuclear power. Centralized power, such as Tepco’s nuclear reactors, led to concentrated economic benefits for a few communities whereas the risks of accident were distributed among a much broader range of communities. Fukushima Prefecture’s post-3-11 commitment to 100% renewable energy by 2040 encouraged other prefectures and cities, including Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka, to adopt ambitious targets.15

Moreover, at the end of 2013, Japan’s 16 trillion yen power market featured 192 independent power producers, including such new entrants as Toyota. That number was 79 at the end of 2012, and there has thus been a 240% increase in the number of firms.16 Japan’s “feed in tariff” policy support for diffusing renewables, effective from July of 2012, saw over four gigawatts (roughly four large nuclear reactors worth) of new renewable capacity deployed in the initial year. Japanese domestic shipments of solar cells and modules during July-September of 2013 leapt to 2.075 gigawatts, over triple the 627 megawatt level of a year earlier.17 The Pew Research April 3, 2014 publication of “Who’s Winning the Clean Energy Race? 2013” argues that China remains the leader, at USD 54.2 billion, but that “Japan experienced the fastest investment growth in the world, increasing 80 percent, to almost $29 billion.”18

Since Japan’s public debate on energy is so polarized between Team Abe and the majority, it seems useful to examine which of the two idealized options – nuclear or green – offers the better return. Table 1 is an aid to this objective by its highlighting of the profoundly skewed energy R&D priorities of all the IEA countries. Over two-thirds of the 1980 peak in energy R&D expenditures by all IEA members was devoted to nuclear fission and fossil fuels. By contrast, only 12.3% was invested in renewables and only 6.4% in efficiency. Yet according to the IEA Energy Efficiency Market Report of 2013, global energy efficiency investment in 2011 was worth roughly USD 300 billion, “a similar scale to renewable energy and fossil fuel power investments.”19 Directly comparative data on nuclear power investments appear not to be available. But Mycle Schneider, and Antony Froggatt’s authoritative “The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2013” reveals that the 2013 global total of 427 reactors with an installed capacity of 364 GWe was considerably lower than the 2010 peak of 444 reactors with an installed capacity of 375 GWe.20………… http://www.globalresearch.ca/in-the-wake-of-fukushima-japans-energy-policy-impasse/5376899?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=in-the-wake-of-fukushima-japans-energy-policy-impasse

 

April 8, 2014 Posted by | business and costs, Japan | Leave a comment

Vogtle Nuclear Plant’s huge loan guarantee, dwarfs Solyndra’s solar loan

nukes-hungryWhy You’ve Heard of Solyndra, but not Vogtle, Climate Denial Crock of the Week with Peter Sinclair January 2, 2013 The Kochtopus media machine has made sure that the misfires of a burgeoning new industry, Solar energy, have become household names. Solyndra is the best example ofnon-scandals that Fox & Friends have tried hard to pump into something substantial.

Meanwhile, backed by a loan guarantee 15 times as large as the one Solyndra got, the new Vogtle Nuclear project has been quietly plowing ahead in Georgia.  Inevitably, the same types of tiresome and monotonous glitches, snafus and gremlins so familiar to nuclear industry observers have been cropping up and bogging down the ill considered project.

Those still looking for a nuclear revival would do well to consider what those of us paying attention knew a long time ago. This stuff is just too damn complex, ponderous, and expensive to compete. But don’t expect to hear much about it on Fox & Friends.

Wall Street Journal:
The first newly licensed nuclear-power plant to be built in the U.S. in decades, the Vogtle project in Georgia, has run into construction problems and may be falling years behind schedule, according to an engineering expert advising the state.

The $14 billion plant is being closely watched by energy experts as a bellwether for the rebirth of the U.S. nuclear industry, because it involves a new type of nuclear reactor and a modular construction method that are supposed to reduce construction time and cost.

But a construction monitor warned in a report to the Georgia Public Service Commission this month that the plant, which will be operated by Southern Co. SO -1.21% on behalf of several utilities, was falling behind schedule because of what he called an unsatisfactory performance by its construction team………..

….. 4 nuclear units were planned for $660,000,000 fifteen (15) years later only 2 units were built, for $8,870,000,000. That’s more than $8 billion in cost overruns, or more than 13 times the original cost estimate. So per unit, that’s more than 26 times the original estimate, or more than $4 billion per unit.

And of course that $8,870,000,000 is in 1987 dollars. In 2012 dollars that would be about $17,976,000,000. Or about $9 billion a unit.

The stock excuse for nuclear contractors way back when was the staggering cost of constantly changing Nuclear building standards and regulations.  Of course, one of the reasons those costs became so staggering is that many of these projects were still under construction when the Three Mile Island accident shone a bright spotlight on glaring design deficiencies that citizens groups and independent scientists had been shouting about for a decade. http://climatecrocks.com/2013/01/02/why-youve-heard-of-solyndra-but-not-vogtle/

April 5, 2014 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Westinghouse to go IN to lucrative nuclear decommissioning, OUT of Small Modular reactors (SMRs)

Westinghouse backs out of Small Modular Reactor market Enformable Nuclear News Lucas W Hixson  http://enformable.com/2014/02/westinghouse-backs-small-modular-reactor-market/Danny Roderick, President and CEO of Westinghouse announced that the nuclear firm is backing off of research and development of their Small Modular Reactor design.  The Westinghouse design is a scaled down version of the AP1000 reactor, designed to produce 225 MWe, which could power 45,000 residential houses.

In December, the firm was passed over for a second time by the United States Department of Energy’s SMR commercialization program. Roderick clarified the issue and noted that it was not the deployment of the technology that posed the biggest problem – it was that there were no customers.  “The worst thing to do is get ahead of the market,” he added

SMRs-mirage

According to Roderick, unless Westinghouse was capable of producing 30 to 50 small modular reactors, there was no way that the firm would return its investment in the development project.  In the end, given the lack of market, and the similar lack of federal funding, Westinghouse was unable to justify the economics of small modular reactors at this point.

Westinghouse was working with St. Louis-based Ameren, which had indicated its desire to build a new reactor near the State’s only existing nuclear reactor – the Calloway nuclear power plant, if a federal investment could be secured.

Westinghouse will focus its attentions on its decommissioning business, which is a $1 billion dollar per year business for the firm – which is equivalent to Westinghouse’s new reactor construction business, and rededicate its staff to the AP1000 reactor design.

money-in-wastes-2

Analysts are monitoring how the companies who did receive funding from the Department of Energy perform as they evolve. Source: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazett

April 5, 2014 Posted by | business and costs, decommission reactor, technology | Leave a comment

Uranium mining affected by water shortage, water prices

nuke-tapUranium Miners in Namibia Face Rise in Water Price, Paladin Says http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-04-04/uranium-miners-in-namibia-face-rise-in-water-price-paladin-says By Felix Njini April 04, 2014 Uranium miners in Namibia, already coping with water shortages in the semi-arid Erongo region, face a steep rise in costs, Paladin Energy (PDN) Ltd. said.

“When we get it, sometimes we have problems with the quality of the water and the cost,” said Simon Solomons, managing director of Paladin’s Langer Heinrich mine. “At the moment there is no long-term solution to the water-supply situation.”

The mines operated by Paladin, Rio Tinto Plc and China General Nuclear Power Group rely on water from a 20 million-cubic-meter capacity desalination plant operated by Areva SA, a French reactor maker. Areva is in talks to sell a majority stake in the plant to state utility Namibia Water Corp. after shelving its Trekkopje project in 2012 as uranium prices slumped in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.

Namwater has “to look for finance to buy the plant,” Solomons said yesterday during a tour of the Subiaco, Western Australia-based company’s mine. “They will pass on those charges to the uranium mines.”

Calls to Namwater weren’t immediately answered.

The three mines, which require as much as 10 million cubic meters of water a year, were previously supplied by the Omaruru Delta aquifer, which has dwindling volumes as demand from the mines and surrounding towns of Swakopmund and Walvis Bay rises.

Langer Heinrich, which consumes 130,000 cubic meters of water a month, has had “no long-term and no firm discussion” with Namwater over supplies, Solomons said.

Namibia is the fourth-largest uranium producer after Kazakhstan, Canada and Australia.

To contact the reporter on this story: Felix Njini in Windhoek at fnjini@bloomberg.net

April 5, 2014 Posted by | business and costs, Namibia, Uranium | Leave a comment

Seven months ahead of schedule, Bavarian nuclear reactor is shut down

EON Closes Bavarian Nuclear Reactor Seven Months Early http://live.enformable.com/post/80979784483/eon-closes-bavarian-nuclear-reactor-seven-months-early 30 Mar 14

EON notified the Bundesnetzagentur regulator and grid operator TenneT TSO GmbH of its plan to close the 1,275-megawatt Grafenrheinfeld plant at the end of May 2015 “because of its lack of profitability,” the Dusseldorf-based utility said in a statement.

“The continued operation of nuclear power stations in Germany only makes economic sense if they can operate for a sufficient length of time without the burden of the nuclear-fuel tax,” EON said in the statement. The early shutting of Grafenrheinfeld is “unavoidable.”

March 29, 2014 Posted by | business and costs, Germany | Leave a comment

Over 800 laborers missing from Fukushima nuclear plant

KPFA in Japan: I’ve learned over 800 people have disappeared from Fukushima plant — “May have been killed or died during work” — “Gov’t Hear-This-wayactually in business with the Yakuza” (AUDIO) http://enenews.com/kpfa-in-japan-ive-learned-over-800-people-missing-from-fukushima-plant-they-may-have-been-killed-or-died-during-work-govt-is-actually-in-business-with-the-yakuza-audio?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

KPFA Flashpoints, Mar. 10, 2014 (at 3:00 in):

Steve Zeltzer, reporting from Japan: One of the things I learned in Osaka from the president of the day laborers is that many of the day laborers being brought into the plant, they’re not being registered and they’re disappearing. There were over 800 day laborers who have disappeared from contact by the union, which means they may have been killed or died during work.

KPFA Flashpoints, Mar. 11, 2014 (at 4:00 in):

Zeltzer: The government now is in control of Tepco, which runs Fukushima plant, and they’ve allowed the use contract workers, through the Yakuza. So the government is actually in business with the Yakuza, allowing the Yakuza to bring in these workers, and we heard a report that many are not even being registered when they go into the plant so they’re not entitled to health care and also when they get sick and over-doses you can’t tell because they haven’t been registered, these are the contract workers at the plant. […] These workers are basically being used as cannon fodder. Some of them are not only day laborers but also immigrant workers who are being used as well to clean up the plant.

Full Flashpoints broadcasts available here

March 21, 2014 Posted by | employment, Fukushima 2014, Japan | Leave a comment

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