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Small Modular Nuclear Reactor development hampered in USA

TVA’s plan for small nuclear reactor on Clinch River running into barriers, Knoxville News Sentinel Tyler Whetstone , USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee, 2 May 17, TVA’s plan to put a small modular nuclear reactor on its Clinch River site near Oak Ridge, which has been on the priority list for the energy giant, has experienced setbacks in the last year and is still a long way from getting started, members of TVA’s Regional Energy Resource Council learned Tuesday.

May 3, 2017 Posted by | technology, USA | Leave a comment

‘Political warfare” Russian claim about hidden nuclear bombs along US coastline

Russia has hidden nuclear bombs ready to detonate along US coastline, says former Kremlin spokesman
Expert says outlandish claims are ‘political warfare’,
The Independent, Will Worley @willrworley , 3 May 17 A Russian military expert has claimed  Moscow has been “seeding” nuclear bombs off the US coastline.

The Kremlin has dismissed the claim as “strange”, while an independent expert referred to it as an act of “political warfare”.

Viktor Baranetz, a former colonel and defence ministry spokesman, told Komsomolskaya Pravda Russia was “quietly ‘seeding’ the US shoreline with nuclear ‘mole’ missiles”.

The measures – which have not been proven – were “asymmetrical responses” to massive US defence spending,  Mr Baranetz said.

They “dig themselves in and ‘sleep’ until they are given the command,” he told the newspaper.

 He added: “Oh, it seems I’ve said too much. I should hold my tongue. In short, we have something to provide an ‘asymmetrical’ (and cheaper) response to the Americans.”The interview was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

The Kremlin was quick to dismiss the remarks, calling them “strange”. “I would suggest that you not take newspaper reports like this seriously,” government spokesman spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

  •    But according to James Nixey, head of the Chatham House Russia and Eurasia programme, the outlandish claim was just another episode in the “hybrid war” which he said exists between Russia and the West.

    “We are at war,” Mr Nixey told The Independent. “There’s no tanks, no shooting, no one’s dying right now. But Russia and the West aren’t just not getting on, there is a fundamental clash of interests, values and ambitions.”

    Moscow realises using the military is no longer the best way of achieving its aims, Mr Nixey said, and will use a number of methods in its place. He explained that while Russia will employ methods such as cyber-attacks, energy manipulation or bribery, the nuclear option remains the “ace in the pack”.

    “Russia ebbs and flows its nuclear rhetoric on a frequent basis – through its media, spokespersons and even President – there are ‘constant reminders’ that they are a nuclear power,” Mr Nixey said. He said the message could also be deployed through less official means, such as in journals or at conferences. …..

May 3, 2017 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Medium and long term impact of South African court ruling – not good for the nuclear industry

A judicial appeal is widely expected. But it’s unlikely that the government will succeed in overturning the essence of the judgement. And an appeals process will delay any legitimate future nuclear power procurement.

 given the prevalent suspicion around the nuclear expansion, the regulator will be hard pressed to show that the nuclear option is in the public interest.

It is therefore unlikely that any nuclear development will succeed in the foreseeable future.

HARTMUT WINKLER: Inside Zuma’s nuclear meltdown ‘The judge was unequivocal that by slipping the Russian agreement through parliament as a routine matter for noting, the former Energy Minister Joemat-Petterssen had committed a gross error’ 02 MAY 2017 – 08:01 HARTMUT WINKLER A South African court has ruled that critical aspects of the country’s nuclear procurement process are illegal and unconstitutional. The outcome is a significant setback for a network of entities that had been aggressively promoting a 9.6 GW nuclear expansion programme in the face of popular opposition.

Over the past four weeks controversy over the proposed nuclear build has reached new highs. This was sparked by a major cabinet reshuffle in which President Jacob Zuma ousted both his finance and energy ministers, replacing them with individuals regarded as pro-nuclear.

The reshuffle prompted some of the largest and most diverse street protests since the dawn of the country’s democracy in 1994. While many factors contributed to the outpouring of public anger against the president, the nuclear question was a common motif in the protests.

Opposition to the nuclear expansion programme centred on two points: the first was its prohibitive costs – some estimates put it at R 1 trillion which is roughly equivalent to the government’s total annual tax revenue.

The second is that it has become contaminated by allegations of corruption, with evidence pointing to politically connected groups and individuals benefiting handsomely from it.

Back to the drawing boardThe court’s ruling in effect means that the planners will have to go back to the drawing board. The case in the Western Cape High Court was brought by two civil society organisations, Earthlife Africa and the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environmental Institute (SAFCEI).

The most far reaching aspects of the judgment were that it overturned ministerial proclamations made in 2013 and 2016 that enabled the development of 9.6 GW of nuclear power. It furthermore invalidated the intergovernmental nuclear collaboration agreements South Africa had signed with Russia, the US and South Korea.

The court’s ruling on the promulgations was damning and unambiguous.

South Africa’s Electricity Regulation Act requires the Minister of Energy to promulgate any energy generating capacity expansion through the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA). The regulator is required to vet the proclamation to ensure that it is in the public interest.

The Minister of Energy issued two promulgations to establish 9.6 GW of nuclear energy generation. The first one was concluded in 2013 but only made public two years later. The second one, which delegated the nuclear procurement to the state electricity utility Eskom, whose leadership is strongly pro-nuclear, was hurriedly and stealthily implemented in 2016 on the eve of the first sitting of Western Cape High Court on the matter.

Neither of these proclamations allowed a public participation process.The court ruled that both promulgations were illegal and unconstitutional. It found that the regulator had failed to carry out its mandate because it had endorsed the minister’s directives uncritically and hurriedly. In doing so it had not allowed public input nor had it considered the necessity of the nuclear build or the consequences of its delegation to Eskom.

The court was equally clear on the collaboration agreements. Unlike the relatively vague agreements concluded with the US and South Korea, the Russian agreement had a great deal more detail in it. It specifically committed South Africa to build nuclear power plants using Russian technology, set out a timeframe and placed specific liabilities on South Africa.

South Africa’s constitution stipulates that international agreements that will have a substantive impact on the country must be approved by parliament. The agreement with Russia clearly falls into this category and therefore needed to be submitted to parliament for debate and approval.

The judge was unequivocal that by slipping the Russian agreement through parliament as a routine matter for noting, the former Energy Minister Joemat-Petterssen had committed a gross error. In his judgment he said: It follows that the Minister’s decision to table the agreement in terms of section 231(3) was, at the very least, irrational. At best the minister appears to have either failed to apply her mind to the requirements of sec 231(2) in relation to the contents of the Russian IGA or at worst to have deliberately bypassed its provisions for an ulterior and unlawful purpose.This could open the door for further action against the minister as well as Zuma, who, according to the court papers, instructed her to sign the Russian agreement.

The US agreement was concluded in 1995 and the South Korean agreement in 2010. But they were only presented to parliament in 2015. The court declared them invalid in view of the inexplicable time delay.

The medium and long term impact A judicial appeal is widely expected. But it’s unlikely that the government will succeed in overturning the essence of the judgement. And an appeals process will delay any legitimate future nuclear power procurement.

Any attempt to re-initiate a nuclear build would have to start from scratch. Based on the judgement it can safely be assumed that the regulator can only endorse nuclear expansion if it can demonstrate that it’s necessary and that it’s a better solution to any other energy option.

But given the prevalent suspicion around the nuclear expansion, the regulator will be hard pressed to show that the nuclear option is in the public interest.

It is therefore unlikely that any nuclear development will succeed in the foreseeable future.

May 3, 2017 Posted by | Legal, South Africa | Leave a comment

South Africa’s new energy minister talks about nuclear transparency, “public participation”

New energy minister departs from nuclear script, Times Live,  Linda Ensor | 02 May, 2017  Energy minister Mmamoloko Kubayi has committed her department to public participation and transparency around the nuclear procurement programme. In her first public comments since taking office‚ the minister told members of parliament’s energy portfolio committee that she did not have any problems with a call for public participation in last week’s Western Cape High Court judgment.

Judge Lee Bozalek declared that the determinations gazetted by former energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson were unconstitutional and unlawful because the National Energy Regulator of SA had not followed legal prescripts around public participation.

These determinations were the basis on which Eskom has proceeded with its request for information for the procurement of 9‚600MW of nuclear energy.

However‚ while supporting the need for public participation‚ the minister said she was concerned about the status of the determinations.  It might be necessary to seek a declaratory order from the court or appeal the judgment……

May 3, 2017 Posted by | politics, South Africa | Leave a comment


 Call it what you want. There is an explanation for his behavior.

Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, we have seen numerous examples of Donald Trump’s behavior fitting neatly into the blueprint presented in this blog.  The “black heart” and “lack of empathy” Mr. Khan so eloquently spoke of falls within the framework of a dangerous personality disorder according to experts.  Some call it Narcissistic Personality Disorder, while other experts describe this behavior as sociopathic, or psychopathic.

The purpose of the original posting below (link to WordPress article dated 07.14.16 is posted here) is to call attention to an apparent mental health issue relating to Trump.  It is to provoke thought and incite a broad discussion around Donald Trump’s apparent dangerous personality disorder, and to provide a reliable and consistent profile of Trump’s behavior.

Based on Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Martha Stout’s highly-touted book, The Sociopath Next Door, Trump seems to fit the bill of a sociopath, and that is why I speculated that he is a sociopath in the original posting.  A reasonable person must admit that Trump’s behavior does align with the description in her introductory chapter (YouTube link is here).

Many experts believe Trump is a narcissist.  In fact, a retired psychotherapist, with over 40 years of experience, wrote a comment about my article, stating that he believes everything I wrote about him in the posting is “precise and true,” though he believes Trump “fits into the diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder, one of the most severe I and most other psychotherapists I have talked to, and who have written about it, have ever seen.”

Call it what you want to.  diagnosis is for the experts.  My thesis below is simply that “Trained in sociopathy or not, I can state one certainty: If there is a debate about whether a person is a narcissist or a sociopath (or any of the related personality disorders), there is much cause for alarm if you are within that person’s sphere of influence. The stakes are even higher if the questioned individual is in contention to lead the free world.”

With or without agreement to the posting’s proposition, if you believe this discussion should be had on a broader level, I kindly ask you to chime in, and to share it.  I believe it gives a strong perspective, in real-life terms, on what the world is observing in Donald Trump’s campaign and behavior.  It also provides an education that could help everyday people gain perspective and healing when they are affected by someone with a personality disorder, such as sociopathy.

Thank you for reading this post, your comments.  This article has now been read in 30 countries worldwide, and several experts have chimed in favorably towards the thesis.

Note:  Please leave your comments at the original postinglink to WordPress article dated 07.14.16 is posted here so it will be combined with the broader discussion.  This posting may be updated or replaced from time-to-time.

May 3, 2017 Posted by | politics, psychology - mental health, USA | Leave a comment

Consequences of Chernobyl

Hidden Radiation Secrets of the World Health Organization, CounterPunch  MAY 2, 2017

“………..WHO held a Chernobyl Forum in 2004 designed to “end the debate about the impact of Chernobyl radiation” whilst WHO maintains that 50 people died.

Here’s the final conclusion of that Chernobyl Forum ‘04: The mental health of those who live in the area is the most serious aftereffect, leading to strong negative attitudes and exaggerated sense of dangers to health and of exposure to radiation. Mental health was thus identified as the biggest negative aftereffect.

Because that conclusion is so brazenly bizarre, the Chernobyl Forum ‘04 must’ve been part of an alternative universe, way out there beyond the wild blue yonder, maybe the Twilight Zone or maybe like entering a scene in Jan Švankmajer’s Alice, a dark fantasy film loose adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.

Here’s reality: Chernobyl Liquidators fought the Chernobyl disaster. Eight hundred thousand (800,000) Liquidators from the former USSR, largely recruits from the army, with average age of 33, fought the Chernobyl disaster.

According to an interview (2016) with a Liquidator, “We were tasked with the deactivation of the third and fourth reactors, but we also helped build the containment sarcophagus. We worked in three shifts, but only for five to seven minutes at a time because of the danger. After finishing, we’d throw our clothes in the garbage” (Source: Return to Chernobyl With Ukraine’s Liquidators, Aljazeera, April 25, 2016).

“Estimates of the number of liquidators who died or became ill as a result of their work vary substantially, but the men of the 633rd say that out of the 259 from their group, 71 have died. Melnik says that 68 have been designated as invalids by a state committee, which investigates their health and determines whether or not their diseases are attributable to Chernobyl… Dr Dimitry Bazyka, the current director-general of the National Research Centre for Radiation Medicine in Kiev, says that approximately 20,000 liquidators die each year,” Ibid.

As for total deaths, the Chief Medical Officer of the Russian Federation reported that 10% of its Chernobyl Liquidators were dead by 2001. The disaster occurred in 1986 with 80,000 dead within 16 years. Authorities out of Ukraine and Belarus confirmed Russian death numbers. Yet, WHO claims 50 died.

Eighty-thousand (80,000) Liquidators, as of 16 years ago, dead from Chernobyl, and that body count, according to Ms Katz, leaves out the people most contaminated by Chernobyl, meaning evacuees and also 57% of the fallout for Chernobyl came down outside of the USSR, Belarus, and Ukraine, and in 13 European countries 50% of the countryside was dangerously contaminated.

As for studies of the radiation impact of Chernobyl: “Thousands of independent studies in Ukraine, Belarus, and the Russian Federation and in many other countries, that were contaminated to varying degrees by radionuclides, have established that there has been significant increase in all types of cancer, in diseases of the respiratory, gastrointestinal, urogenital, endocrine immune, lymph node nervous systems, prenatal, perinatal, infant child mortality, spontaneous abortions, deformities and genetic anomalies….” (Katz)

Hence, WHO’s handling and analysis and work on Chernobyl leaves the curious-minded speechless, open-mouthed, agape, and confounded……..

May 3, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Belarus, Reference, spinbuster, Ukraine | Leave a comment

UK House of Lords Report on Small Modular Nuclear Reactors’ non progress

HOUSE OF LORDS Science and Technology Select Committee 3rd Report of Session 2016–17 HL Paper 160 Nuclear research and technology: Breaking the cycle of indecision
Potential Challenges The ‘first of a kind’ build cost for any commercial SMR would be comparable to that of a conventional large reactor and would therefore need Government support. Cost savings for manufacture will typically only be realised after 10 or more reactors have been built, which is likely to be bigger that the UK market for SMRs. SMRs have the potential to both increase and decrease the proliferation risk depending upon the type of SMR produced.
We are disappointed that the Government launched a competition for SMRs and has not kept to its stated timetable. This has had a negative effect on the nuclear sector in the UK and if the Government does not act soon the necessary high level of industrial interest will not be maintained. It is particularly alarming that the results of Phase One of the competition, which does not involve the selection of an SMR design, have yet to be announced by the Government.

May 3, 2017 Posted by | politics, technology, UK | Leave a comment

Nuclear industry sponsors school students’essays (Bet the essays are all pro nuclear!)

Students win nuclear essay contest May 1, 2017 By KEVIN Skyline High School students David Hill and Phil Ma will receive $1,500 scholarships after winning an essay contest about nuclear technology.

The Idaho Section of the American Nuclear Society initiates the contest each fall. This year’s topic: why would a commercial entity build a reactor on a national laboratory site and how will the electricity be used?

The prompt came on the heels of Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems choosing a spot at the U.S. Department of Energy’s desert site for the small modular reactor being developed by NuScale.

The reactor, currently under review by the U.S. National Regulatory Commission, is slated to provide electricity for dozens of community-owned utilities.

“We thought it was a good time to have students look into that subject and learn more about a project that may actually occur locally; we think it’s relevant to the INL and local community,” society education committee chair Roger Mayes said.

Four judges reviewed submitted essays on content and clarity.

Hill won the 9-10 grade level contest with his essay titled, “A Small Modular Reactor, In Idaho?”

In the 11-12 grade level contest, Ma won with his essay, “NuScale SMR Technology Comes to Historic Nuclear Site.”

Scholarships will be awarded at a society dinner meeting May 18 at the Energy Innovation Laboratory, 775 University Blvd. Society president Andrew Klein will speak.

A social time begins at 6 p.m.; dinner and the program will follow at 7 p.m. Dinner is $20.

For dinner reservations, RSVP to Danielle Perez at by May 15.

Reporter Kevin Trevellyan can be reached at 542-6762.

May 3, 2017 Posted by | spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear industry very worried about Brexit

Nuclear industry warns UK must avoid ‘cliff edge’ over Brexit, Leaving Euratom treaty without new deals would have dramatic impact on Hinkley Point C and other stations, says NIA, Guardian, Adam Vaughan, 3 May 17, The UK nuclear industry has issued its strongest warning yet to ministers on the problems it faces if the government is unable to strike new international atomic power deals during Brexit talks.

Failure to put in place alternative arrangements to replace the existing European nuclear treaty, Euratom, which the UK is quitting as part of the article 50 process, would have a “dramatic impact” on Hinkley Point C and other new power stations around the country, the industry said.

Ministers must avoid a “cliff edge” when the UK exits Euratom or face “major disruption to business across the whole nuclear fuel cycle”, the Nuclear Industry Association will warn the government on Wednesday.

The stark briefing to officials, seen by the Guardian, comes just a day after MPs said the continued operations of the UK nuclear industry were at risk from exiting the Euratom treaty. A Lords committee on Tuesday also said the UK risked losing access to markets and skills when leaving Euratom.

Tom Greatrex, the chief executive of the NIA, said: “We’ve had today two select committee reports that have both touched on this. The industry has been and is clear to government we are ready to do what we can – but it needs the government to get on with this and engage now, regardless of all the other issues they have to deal with.”

Theresa May’s decision to call a general election had made matters worse, he added, because it had squeezed the time available to establish alternatives to the treaty.

 Euratom was first signed in 1957 by Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, and covers nuclear power station inspections, trade of materials and research.

The UK’s departure will mean the government needs to agree a new inspections regime with the International Atomic Energy Agency to replace Euratom inspectors.

“If the UK has not replaced the Euratom safeguards regime with its own system by the time it left Euratom, normal business could be disrupted right across the nuclear industry,” the NIA paper said. Falling back on World Trade Organisation standards would risk putting the UK in breach of its obligations in international nuclear law, the organisation added.

Nuclear cooperation agreements (NCAs) would also need to be put in place with key nuclear countries outside the EU, including the US, Japan and Australia, because the UK’s agreements with those governments are currently based on its membership of Euratom……

May 3, 2017 Posted by | politics, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

World Health Organization’s Flawed Fukushima Report

Hidden Radiation Secrets of the World Health Organization, CounterPunch  MAY 2, 2017

Alex Rosen of Int’l Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War critiqued the two WHO Fukushima reports, found to be extremely problematic, and once again, similar to Chernobyl, shoddy work that sweeps way too much dirt under the carpet.

Here’s the problem: WHO’s estimates of Fukushima radioactive exposure are at least 50% less than any other estimates, including estimates provided by TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company, the plant operator) itself. But, WHO is supposed to be the guardian of public health concerns, not TEPCO.

Also, two critical population studies are ignored in the WHO reports, i.e., all of the residents within the 20 km exclusion zone are eliminated, even though their radiation exposure would be very high, actually highest. The second group ignored is workers on site… ahem!

Additionally, WHO cavalierly approved the Japanese government’s drastic change in annual maximum radiation exposure allowed for the general population up to 20 mSv per year.

May 3, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Cumbria politicians clash over impact of Brexit on nuclear plans

Politicians clash over impact of Brexit on nuclear plans. North West Evening Mail,  2 May 2017 SOUTH Cumbria politicians have clashed over claims that the impact of Brexit could damage Britain’s nuclear future.

The business, energy and industrial strategy committee of MPs raised concerns of a long-term risk the UK could become a “rule taker”, unable to influence the European rules and standards.

The committee urged ministers to find transitional arrangements to keep Britain in the agency until a new plan could be hammered out.

Barrow and Furness’ sitting MP, John Woodcock, has criticised plans to leave nuclear research agency Euratom, with potential delays in finding an alternative threatening power supplies and inhibiting nuclear trade and research…….

May 3, 2017 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Central Europe still believes in nuclear power, despite the growing safety and financial risks

Central Europe keeps the nuclear faith, DW, 2 May 17  The financial and geo-political risks attached to nuclear power are rising, but Central Europe’s belief is unshakable. Tom Gosling reports from Prague. Nuclear power is facing a fight for its life. Increased safety concerns, weak energy markets, and shifting technological potential look to be pulling the rug from under the 20th-century dream of a nuclear future of clean, cheap and plentiful energy. Struggling projects across the Visegrad region illustrate the difficulties.

In spite of the shadows cast by Chernobyl and Fukushima, and the pickle in which US-Japanese giant Westinghouse finds itself, nuclear remains at the forefront of national energy strategy in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

The projects have spent years treading water, and many are thought unlikely to ever become a reality. Yet in contrast to many countries to the west, it’s not public opinion but hard cash that’s the problem.

“Nuclear is a religion in Visegrad,” announces Jan Haverkamp of Greenpeace CEE (Central and Eastern Europe). “There is no discussion of investment risk or real safety concerns. The only thing discussed is who will pay for the initial project.”

No business for private investors

That sticking point has seen a longstanding political scrap in the Czech Republic flare up again ahead of elections later this year. The expansion of the nuclear fleet is the central plank in the country’s long-term energy strategy, but no one wants to stump up the 300 billion Czech crowns (11 billion euros; $12 billion) it would cost……..

While the public may be convinced, nuclear projects are too rich and too risky for private investors. Prague’s efforts to push Czech state-controlled energy group CEZ into building new units face a “big obstacle” in the form of private shareholders, says Petr Bartek, an analyst at Erste Group.

However, squeezed by financial constraints and EU regulation, states are not keen either. The Czech government insists it will not offer power price guarantees – a stance that saw CEZ scrap an eight-billion-euro tender in 2014.

Even when the state is ready to play a role, it doesn’t necessarily work out. Slovakia’s project to expand the Mochovce plant is hugely over budget and delayed by several years. The problems provoked a bitter spat with project partner Enel, and the Italian utility plans to exit the country, handing local oligarchs greater leverage over the energy market as it goes……..

While Prague insists an open tender remains the preferred route, analysts are skeptical that the cash for new Visegrad nuclear plants will be found anywhere but Moscow or Beijing.

However, not everyone is keen on help from outside. Fearing leverage from abroad, the nationalist Polish government has recently gone back to the drawing board on financing plans for the country’s first nuclear plant, which would cost around 10 billion euros…….

May 3, 2017 Posted by | EUROPE, politics | Leave a comment

Ratepayers to be left with the bill for Georgia Power’s multibillion-dollar nuclear gamble ?

Utility’s mistakes might be ours to pay MCADAM, SANDY SPRINGS, 2 May 17 

Ratepayers in Georgia paid in advance for Georgia Power’s multibillion-dollar gamble on two new nuclear reactors at plant Vogtle. We were told at the time that it was in our best interest to pay up front. But much of the money we paid up front actually was realized as profit for shareholders. Maybe that helps explain why Southern Company’s stock price has risen about 60 percent since work began in 2009.

In December of last year, the Public Service Commission decided that ratepayers should pay for almost all of the accumulated overages. Those overcharges amounted to billions of dollars. And now, the entire project might be scrapped. The PSC’s Tim Echols jumps into action. According to Echols, someone other than Georgia Power should pay for Georgia Power’s mistakes. Ratepayers should never have had to pay for this fiasco. Maybe Echols finally realizes this. So now he’s begging for a bailout from our federal government.


May 3, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Utility teams building nuclear reactors in Georgia and South Carolina scrambling to deal with Westinghouse bankruptcy

Deadline dodged, Southern, SCANA weigh wresting nuclear plants from Westinghouse, Utility Dive, Gavin Bade Peter Maloney, 2 May 17 

Dive Brief:

  • Southern Company and SCANA reached interim agreements with nuclear developer Westinghouse on Friday to continue construction on two nuclear plants as the developer works through bankruptcy proceedings.
  • SCANA and Santee Cooper, South Carolina’s state-owned utility, agreed to an extension of an interim agreement with Westinghouse that will see the contractor continue construction on the V.C. Summer nuclear plant through June 26.
  • Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power also extended its construction agreement with Westinghouse on the Vogtle nuclear plant, but only until May 12. Both construction agreements were slated to expire at midnight on Friday, and the companies will use the extra time to evaluate if they should take control of construction from Westinghouse.

Dive Insight:

The utility teams building nuclear reactors in Georgia and South Carolina were scrambling Friday as they addressed the end of 30-day agreements with bankrupt Westinghouse Electric, the contractor for those plants.

Officials at SCANA and Santee Cooper, which are building two reactors at the V.C. Summer nuclear station in South Carolina, reportedly said they would use the time to evaluate whether to take control of the project from Westinghouse or abandon it……..

Westinghouse’s bankruptcy has raised deep doubts over the fate of the only two new nuclear plants to be built in the United States in 30 years. Both nuclear projects are years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget, which helped push Westinghouse into bankruptcy at the end of March and prompted parent company Toshiba to plan a split into four separate subsidiaries.

Both projects are also working against a Dec. 31, 2020, in-service deadline to be eligible for a $0.018/kWh federal production tax credit. Last week, SCANA officials told analysts that extending the deadline for those incentives could be key to completing the projects.

May 3, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

South African govt will challenge High Court’s ruling against nuclear power procurement

Government will challenge High Court’s nuclear energy ruling Business Tech, 2 may 17 Energy minister Mmamoloko Kubayi told the portfolio committee on energy on Tuesday that she would be challenging the recent High Court ruling that called the country’s nuclear procurement processes unconstitutional.

She said that the department remains committed to the nuclear energy plan, and would seek a declaratory order from the court that it can continue with its plans, or alternatively appeal the judgment.

According to Kubayi, she has not problem with the request in the judgement that more public participation take place, saying she is in favour of running an open and transparent process.

She stressed, however, that the nuclear plan couldn’t be abandoned, with nuclear energy forming an integral part of the country’s energy future, with predictability and certainty needed for investors…….

The ruling has set back South Africa’s nuclear ambitions significantly, with even appeals processes and the litigation surrounding it likely to push back the process by about a year.

According to analysts, this delay is likely to put even more pressure on president Jacob Zuma and the political sphere leading up to the ANC’s elective conference in December, as the nuclear programme is a key component in pushing certain political interests.

The appeal comes as no surprise.

“The stakes politically and geopolitically for the government, and specifically for President Zuma, are simply too high. So much has been invested in terms of political capital, including two reshuffles. We therefore fully expect the government to continue to push down this road,” said research analyst at Nomura, Peter Attard Montalto.

May 3, 2017 Posted by | Legal, South Africa | Leave a comment