With its massive money and clout, Southern California Edison was ready to ram through a license exception for a reactor whose botched $770 million steam generator fix had kept it shut for a year.
But a funny thing has happened on the way to the restart: a No Nukes groundswell has turned this routine rubber stamping into an epic battle the grassroots just might win.
This comes as the nuclear industry is in nearly full retreat. Two US reactors are already down this year. Yet another proposed project has just been cancelled in North Carolina. And powerful grassroots campaigns have pushed numerous operating reactors to the brink of extinction throughout the US, Europe and Japan, where all but two reactors remain shut since Fukushima.
In California, it’s San Onofre that’s perched at the brink. Read more »
EDF Slumps After Nuclear Price Concerns Trigger Stock Downgrade http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-16/edf-slumps-after-nuclear-price-concerns-trigger-stock-downgrade.html By Tara Patel – May 16, 2013
Electricite de France SA, Europe’s biggest power producer, fell the most in five months in Paris.
trading after Bank of America Corp. cut its rating on the stock on concern earnings from nuclear generation will fall short.
EDF (EDF) fell as much as 5.5 percent, the biggest intraday decline since Nov. 29, and was down 4.8 percent at 17.265 euros as of 4:39 p.m. local time. The French government, which controls Paris-based EDF, is due to set wholesale prices for the company’s atomic power by the end of the year as the utility pushes for higher rates to help finance investments and cover costs. The tariff “could disappoint investors,” Arnaud Joan, an analyst at Bank of America in London, wrote in a report published today. Read more »
Death Blow? “Complete rejection” of plan to restart ailing California nuclear reactor without public hearing — Plant corroding as it sits idle http://enenews.com/death-blow-complete-rejection-of-plan-to-restart-ailing-california-nuclear-reactor-without-public-hearing-plant-corroding-as-it-sits-idle 16 May 13
Reuters: An independent nuclear regulatory panel on Monday called for a full public hearing on the proposed restart of one of the two damaged San Onofre nuclear reactors, a move that will delay Southern California Edison’s plan to run the plant this summer. [...] Damon Moglen of Friends of the Earth called the ruling “a complete rejection of Edison’s plan to restart its damaged nuclear reactors without public review or input.”
San Diego Union-Tribune:: Murray Jennex, a former systems engineer at San Onofre for nearly 20 years who now teaches at San Diego State University’s College of Business Administration, said the order likely pushes back a final decision on restarting the Unit 2 reactor until after summer. “I won’t say this is a death blow to Unit 2, but it does make restart less likely,” Jennex said. “If approved, the additional downtime makes the Unit 2 restart more complex and costly due to corrosion issues from sitting.”
AP: San Onofre nuke plant restart halted [...] A federal panel sided Monday with environmentalists who have called for lengthy hearings on a plan to restart the ailing San Onofre nuclear power plant — a decision that further clouds the future of the twin reactors.
See also: Inside Sources: I was there when San Onofre nuclear plant shut down, I wouldn’t trust them to turn it back on — We’re dealing with unknown territory here (VIDEO)
Uranium on the nose, The Motley Fool By Mike King - May 16, 2013 More than 26 months after the nuclear accident at Fukushima, Japan, the nuclear industry is still feeling the effects with depressed uranium prices and cost pressures that are squeezing margins……
The price for uranium has fallen 40% since Fukushima to US$40 a pound, as Japan suspended its fleet of nuclear plants, while Germany…
….. the uranium price could stagnate at current levels for many years, much like it did after previous nuclear incidents. Japan may not restart its reactors, preferring instead to seek other energy alternatives, and reactors currently under construction could still be cancelled or postponed.
That is not good news for ASX listed uranium miners Paladin, Energy Resources of Australia (ASX: ERA), Toro Energy (ASX: TOE) or Deep Yellow Limited (ASX: DYL). http://www.fool.com.au/2013/05/16/uranium-on-the-nose/
Mega Uranium Ltd. Releases Unaudited Results for the Three and Six Months Ended March 31, 2013, Market watch, 14 May 13, ”…….Summary results for the three months ended March 31, 2013, as compared to the three months ended March 31, 2012:
-- Net loss for the three months ended March 31, 2013 was $2.6 million ($0.01 per common share) compared to a net loss of $0.4 million for the three months ended March 31, 2012 ($0.00 per common share).
….Summary results for the six months ended March 31, 2013, as compared to the six months ended March 31, 2012:
-- Net loss for the six months ended March 31, 2013 was $4.2 million ($0.02 per common share) compared to a net loss of $1.1 million for the six months ended March 31, 2012 ($0.00 per common share).......
Uranium One posts $9.5m Q1 loss, production up 10% Mining Weekly, By: Natasha Odendaal 14th May 2013 JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – JSE- and TSX-listed Uranium One on Monday reported a net loss of $9.5-million for the first quarter ended March 31.
This was down from earnings of $4.5-million recorded in the comparative period the year before.
The group, which owns assets in Kazakhstan, the US, Australia and Tanzania, recorded a 60% drop in earnings from mine operations, including joint ventures (JVs), reaching $19.6-million during the first quarter, compared with the $49.3-million achieved in the corresponding period the year before.
Revenue for the period dipped to $5.2-million, from $5.3-million in the first quarter of 2012, while its JV operations contributed revenue of $57.4-million, down from the $90.6-million earned in the comparative quarter last year.
Uranium sales also declined year-on-year with 1.38-million pounds of uranium sold at an average price of $45/lb in the first quarter, compared with the 1.8-million pounds sold at $53/lb in the first quarter of 2012…… the company warned that the year ahead would be capital intensive as it incurred capital expenditure of $164-million on its assets in Kazakhstan, the US and Australia.
About $98-million was allocated for wellfield development, and the remaining $66-million for plant and equipment.
Uranium One noted that general and administrative expenses – excluding noncash items – were expected to reach about $40-million.
Exploration expenses were expected to reach $8-million. http://www.miningweekly.com/article/uranium-one-posts-95m-q1-loss-production-up-10-2013-05-14
CNBC: Nuclear power has taken a beating — Engulfed by ‘cauldron of events’ — Staggering change from just a few years ago — Not many had forecast it would “all go wrong at once” http://enenews.com/cnbc-nuclear-power-beating-engulfed-cauldron-events-staggering-change-years-many-forecast-all-wrong
Title: Nuclear Power Falters, Engulfed by ‘Cauldron’ of Bad Luck
Author: Javier E. David
Date: May 13, 2013
Nuclear Power Falters, Engulfed by ‘Cauldron’ of Bad Luck
Once touted as a successor, or at least a competitor, to carbon-based power, the nuclear sector has taken a beating as the momentum behind new projects stalls and enthusiasm for domestic fossil fuel production grows.
Across the country, plans to build nuclear plants have hit roadblocks recently—a sharp turn for a sector that just a few years ago was looking forward to a renaissance. [...]
The change in nuclear’s fortunes is staggering, given that the U.S. is the world’s largest producer of nuclear power [...]
Peter Bradford, a law professor and a former member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
“Starting about four years ago, the industry felt it was in the middle of a renaissance”
“They’ve gone from that high-water mark to a point at which … we’re actually seeing the closing of a few operating plants, which was unthinkable even a few years ago”
[He] cited a “cauldron of events” for bringing the nuclear push to a standstill
“I don’t think there were many of us that forecast they would all go wrong at once”
“We don’t fight world hunger with caviar, and we’re not going to fight climate change with outlandishly expensive energy sources”
Centrica stokes energy fears by revealing EDF nuclear timescale has doubled Centrica has ratcheted up fears over Britain’s energy security by warning that its rival EDF will take twice as long as originally planned to build the first of a new generation of nuclear power stations. The Telegraph, By Emily Gosden 13 May 2013 The British Gas owner abandoned its 20pc stake in the £14bn project at Hinkley Point in February, opting instead to give £500m back to shareholders and invest in gas in North America.
Sir Roger Carr, Centrica chairman, told its AGM on Monday that since it first considered the project the price had “rocketed hugely”, adding: “Nuclear is not a cheap option.”
Sam Laidlaw, chief executive, said: “Not only had the cost increased but also the schedule had lengthened very considerably. So instead of taking four to five years to build, EDF were telling us that it was going to take nine to 10 years to build. That is a long time to be writing out a cheque for this project.”
He added: “EDF’s agenda is different to ours. They are 85pc owned by the French government, they are using French technology and they see nuclear as a core part of their strategy going forward. Our strategy is to have customers at our core and provide the lowest cost low-carbon energy for our customers.”
Centrica later added that he was referring to the timescale for the whole project, not just construction. EDF declined to comment. The French company is in talks with the Government over the financial terms for Hinkley Point. Energy minister Michael Fallon last week said they were “inching” closer but warned there may be no agreement.
EDF wants a guaranteed price for the electricity it will generate for up to 40 years, subsidised by levies on consumer energy bills. Rival companies SSE and Npower have urged ministers not to proceed with the deal…….. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/10055107/Centrica-stokes-energy-fears-by-revealing-EDF-nuclear-timescale-has-doubled.html
Regulatory panel delivers setback to restart plans for San Onofre nuclear plant http://www.scpr.org/news/2013/05/13/37250/regulatory-panel-delivers-setback-to-restart-plans/ Ben Bergman | May 13th, 2013 Southern California Edison’s plan to restart the San Onofre nuclear power plant was dealt a setback today by federal regulators when it recommended the utility must go through a licensing review process before the plant can be restarted. Read the findings below.
The decision – if it stands – could potentially delay a restart of the facility for years.
Ever since San Onofre closed in January 2012, Edison has been trying to get the plant re-started as quickly as possible.
Environmental groups have wanted the opposite. And now they may have gotten their wish of grinding the process to a halt. ”This is a complete victory,” said Bill Walker, spokesman for Friends of the Earth. That’s the environmental group that petitioned regulators to require Edison to go through a lengthy judicial-style license review before restarting the plant.
The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board – part of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) – sided with the group Monday. ”The ruling assures there will be a trial-like formal process with a judge where we and the public will have our day in court,” said Walker.
Edison would only say it’s reviewing the decision. It will most certainly file an appeal.
And, the NRC cautions that environmental groups shouldn’t pop the champagne yet. The agency’s staff could still approve Edison’s re-start plan, before any judicial hearings.
Russia to emerging countries: We’ll build, operate your nuclear reactors Smart Planet, By Mark Halper | May 13, 2013, “…..State nuclear power company Rosatom, “Is offering a special package deal to build and operate nuclear power stations abroad in a bid to win business from developing countries, a company official was quoted on Monday as saying,” Reuters reports. “The offer to ‘Build, Own, Operate’ (BOO), also includes financing to countries seeking to build nuclear plants.”
Rosatom, which competes against the likes of Toshiba’s Westinghouse subsidiary and France’s Areva to construct reactors around the world, has in the past handed over the day-to-day operations of finished reactors to utilities. Now, it’s offering to hang around on site after completion.
“Under the BOO model, Rosatom not only builds the nuclear plant, but also owns it and runs it for up to sixty years,” Reuters writes, citing French publication Le Figaro. “Rosatom also delivers nuclear fuel to the plants.”
“With this model, we are fully responsible for the plant’s security,” Le Figaro quoted Rosatom deputy CEO Nikolai Spassky as saying…… http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/bulletin/russia-to-emerging-countries-well-build-operate-your-nuclear-reactors/19573
The Nuclear Regulation Authority has just started studying how the 3/11 quake affected the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Mr. Abe is pushing the export of nuclear power plants before the effect of quakes is fully understood. Such a policy is irresponsible.
Export of nuclear technology http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2013/05/14/editorials/export-of-nuclear-technology/#.UZL05qJwpLs Editorial, MAY 14, 2013 In his recent visits abroad, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Turkey that will enable the export of Japanese nuclear power plant technology to them. The Abe administration is also pushing talks to facilitate the conclusion of similar agreements with Saudi Arabia and Brazil.
Mr. Abe is trying to promote the export of nuclear technology at a time when the nuclear crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant remains ongoing and many Fukushima residents still live in fear of exposure to radioactive substances released by the plant. Some 150,000 of them still cannot return to their homes and communities due to radioactive contamination. In addition, important questions concerning the cause of the Fukushima nuclear crisis have yet to be resolved despite the studies by investigation committees set up by the government and the Diet. Read more »
Platts Survey: High Capital Costs and Maintaining Public Confidence Cited as Greatest Challenges Facing European Nuclear Power Markets Sacramento Bee, May. 9, 2013 -LONDON, May 8, 2013 – /PRNewswire/ — High capital costs and maintaining public confidence are seen as the greatest challenges facing the European nuclear power industry, according to a recent survey conducted by Platts, a leading global energy, petrochemical and metals information provider. The survey included more than 100 utilities, builders, consultancies, and regulators in Europe and precedes the eighth annualPlatts European Nuclear Power Conference set for June 26-27 in Warsaw, Poland.
Political risk, long construction periods, regulatory uncertainty and safety concerns were also highlighted as key hurdles before the Continent’s nuclear power companies.
“While most of these challenges are traditional to the industry and likely always will be, they’ll likely be heightened as new units, particularly those using new designs, are built,” said Platts Chief Editor of nuclear publications Tom Harrison, who reviewed the survey results. “Currently these challenges are being viewed in a particular context, one of: increased concerns about climate change, the pursuit of energy diversity, cost/benefit of competing generating sources, and attention to safety and its costs in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident.”
A newer aspect to these challenges, Harrison explained, is that reactor vendors and other suppliers competing for new export opportunities are exploring new ways of packaging deals as nuclear power programs are introduced in other countries.
Industry supporters and detractors are expected to watch closely the first new nuclear projects in Europe to see how they fare as they encounter those political, financial, regulatory and safety issues…… http://www.sacbee.com/2013/05/09/5406980/platts-survey-high-capital-costs.html
What to do when the patient is hot http://www.theheart.org/article/1535927.do 7 May 13, MAY 7, 2013 Shelley Wood Boston, MA - Patients who’ve had a nuclear imaging study with radioactive tracers become, themselves, radiation emitters—something that hospital staff should keep in mind, say researchers in a new analysis trying to quantify that risk. Their research letter is published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology . Read more »
it’s a bit dodgy to buy from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, who built the Fukushima nuclear reactors
Japan signs Turkey nuclear deal, BBC News 4 May 13, Shinzo Abe signed the deal in Turkey with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan The Turkish government has signed a deal with a Japanese-French consortium to build a new nuclear power station.
The $22bn (£14bn) contract is Japan’s first successful bid for an overseas nuclear project since a tsunami wrecked the Fukushima power station.
The deal was signed by visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said it would transform relations with Japan into a “strategic partnership”.
“What happened at Fukushima upset all of us. But these things can happen. Life goes on. Successful steps are being taken now with the use of improved technology,” the Turkish prime minister added.
The deal comes as part of renewed efforts to promote Japanese nuclear technologies abroad, despite concerns over safety. One of the Japanese firms included in the consortium is Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, one of the companies behind the Fukushima plant damaged in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Turkey is also prone to earthquakes, and the government cited Japan’s expertise in earthquake protection as one of the factors in signing the deal……http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22398356
Will Repairs to the Oconee Nuclear Plant Cost Duke Energy a Billion Dollars?, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/philip-radford/will-repairs-to-the-ocone_b_3208859.html Philip Radford, 3 May 13 Duke Energy and government regulators have been hiding a not-so-little secret from the people of the Carolinas. Duke’s Oconee nuclear power plant, three aged nuclear reactors 30 miles from Greenville, SC, isat risk of a meltdown should an upstream dam fail. If that were to happen, a meltdown of all three reactors on the scale of the Fukushima meltdowns and subsequent containment failure are virtual certainties according to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) documents obtained by Greenpeace .
We’ve also received a tip that the cost to upgrade the Oconee nuclear plant site to address this triple meltdown threat would cost Duke Energy a billion dollars.
A billion dollars.
So at Duke Energy’s annual shareholder meeting yesterday in Charlotte, NC, I asked Duke CEO Jim Rogers a question about his company’s dangerous nuke plants and the billion dollar cost to protect and upgrade. Tellingly, Jim Rogers did not dispute the billion dollar price tag nor the need to better defend Oconee from flood waters….. It’s worth noting that Mr. Rogers didn’t deny the potential billion dollar price tag of the Oconee repairs. Even for Duke, that’s a serious amount of money.
I wonder if Duke’s shareholders know that the company could end up being on the hook for that kind of a pricey fix? Greenpeace appreciates Mr. Rogers acknowledging the threat to Oconee and the enormous expense of fixing it. If Rogers wants to do the most fiscally prudent thing for Duke’s investors, he should retire the reactors. Duke and its regulators have known about this threat for decades and have utterly failed to address it. While regulation of nuclear power can be very complex, the issue at Oconee is pretty simple to understand. As you can read here, the potential flood height at Duke Energy’s Oconee nuclear plant is well above the height of Oconee’s flood walls leaving important safety equipment vulnerable.
Does this sound familiar? It should. In Japan, the nuclear industry knew that the flood wall at Fukushima was too low and did nothing about it there either.
Other nuclear laden electric corporations face steep costs to upgrade old and dangerous reactors. Dominion recently testified that Fukushima fixes would cost their corporation between $30 and $40 million. But the billion dollar price tag to reduce the risks at Oconee is truly staggering. Rather than wasting a billion dollars on old reactors that will never be safe, Duke Energy should invest in renewable energy and efficiency. Wind turbines and solar panels don’t threaten the Carolinas with the prospect of nuclear meltdowns.
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