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The Record-Breaking Failures and Costs of Nuclear Power

Let’s look at the track record as a whole. According to Wikipedia’s article, List of cancelled nuclear reactors in the United States: “Of the 253 nuclear power reactors originally ordered in the United States from 1953 to 2008, 48 percent were cancelled, 11 percent were prematurely shut down, 14 percent experienced at least a one-year-or-more outage, and 27 percent are operating without having a year-plus outage. Thus, only about one fourth of those ordered, or about half of those completed, are still operating and have proved relatively reliable.”

Wikipedia’s stunning list on the same page details 157 reactors that were either canceled before or during construction.

The Record-Breaking Failures of Nuclear Power,    https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/09/24/the-record-breaking-failures-of-nuclear-power/ BY LINDA GUNTER  SEPTEMBER 24, 2021The Tennessee Valley Authority could likely rightfully claim a place in the Guinness Book of World Records, but it’s not an achievement for which the federally-owned electric utility corporation would welcome notoriety.

After taking a whopping 42 years to build and finally bring on line its Watts Bar Unit 2 nuclear power reactor in Tennessee, TVA just broke its own record for longest nuclear plant construction time. However, this time, the company failed to deliver a completed nuclear plant.

Watts Bar 2 achieved criticality in May 2016, then promptly came off line due to a transformer fire three months later. It finally achieved full operational status on October 19, 2016, making it  the first United States reactor to enter commercial operation since 1996.

Now, almost five years later, TVA has announced it has abandoned its unfinished two-reactor Bellefonte nuclear plant in Alabama, a breathtaking 47 years after construction began.

TVA was apparently happy to get out of the nuclear construction business, because, as the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported, the company “did not see the need for such a large and expensive capacity generation source.” No kidding!

Ironically, this is precisely the argument used to advance renewables, in an energy environment that cannot and will no longer support inflexible, large, thermo-electric generators that are completely impractical under the coming smart grids as well as climate change-induced conditions.

Accordingly, TVA was more than happy to accept overtures from a purchaser for Bellefonte — the Haney real estate company— whose director, Frank Haney, gained his own notoriety by lavishing $1 million on former President Trump and courting Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, possibly, suggested media reports, to curry regulatory favors for his new nuclear toy.

But when TVA announced last month that it had withdrawn its construction permit for Bellefonte, Haney got his down payment back — to the tune of $22.9 million plus interest. TVA had itself spent at least $5.8 billion on Bellefonte over the 47 years, which included long stoppages, before finally pulling the plug.

This kind of colossal waste of time and money on failed nuclear power projects is, of course, the more typical story than the myths spun in the press about the need for “low carbon” nuclear energy, a misleading representation used to argue for nuclear power’s inclusion in climate change mitigation.

In reality, the story of nuclear power development in the US over the last 50 years is beyond pitiful and would not pass muster under any “normal” business plan. How the nuclear industry gets away with it remains baffling.

As Beyond Nuclear’s Paul Gunter told the Chattanooga Times Free Press, “Bellefonte is just the most recent failure for this industry,” noting that “of the 30 reactors the industry planned to build 15 years ago with the so-called nuclear renaissance, only two are still being built. (Those two, at Plant Vogtle in Georgia, are years behind schedule with a budget that has more than doubled to $27 billion.)

As Gunter noted in the same article, “TVA has had major problems meeting projected costs and timetables for new nuclear plants, as the entire industry has had over the past 50 years. The inability to meet any budgets for these plants is what has repeatedly been the demise of nuclear energy.

“Nuclear energy is the most expensive way ever conceived to boil water and Bellefonte just shows once again how unreliable this technology really is in terms of projecting what it will cost and how long it will take to build these power plants,” Gunter told the newspaper.

That was certainly true for Westinghouse Electric Company and SCANA, still embroiled in the ever unraveling scandal around the failure to complete two new reactors at the V.C. Summer nuclear power plant in South Carolina. As executives of the bankrupt Westinghouse and SCANA, who retained them, continue to face criminal charges, Westinghouse has already had to shell out $2.168 billion in settlement payments related to the Summer debacle.

In August, news reports said Westinghouse would also be required to reimburse low-income ratepayers to the tune of $21.25 million. That’s because the new reactors got funded in part through electricity rates, even though they never delivered a single watt of electricity. The cost of the project itself eventually ballooned to more than $9 billion before collapsing.

Let’s look at the track record as a whole. According to Wikipedia’s article, List of cancelled nuclear reactors in the United States: “Of the 253 nuclear power reactors originally ordered in the United States from 1953 to 2008, 48 percent were cancelled, 11 percent were prematurely shut down, 14 percent experienced at least a one-year-or-more outage, and 27 percent are operating without having a year-plus outage. Thus, only about one fourth of those ordered, or about half of those completed, are still operating and have proved relatively reliable.”

Wikipedia’s stunning list on the same page details 157 reactors that were either canceled before or during construction.

The massive costs, of course, send most corporations running scared, the Haney family notwithstanding. Even when meaty subsidies have been dangled — as they were for the Calvert Cliffs 3 EPR project in Maryland — utility companies balk and bail. In the case of Calvert Cliffs, Constellation Energy was the US partner with the French government utility EDF. But even when offered a $7.5 billion loan guarantee by the Obama administration, Constellation viewed those terms as “too expensive and burdensome” and quit.

This left EDF, a foreign company, as sole owner, a violation of the Atomic Energy Act. The project duly collapsed, one of many referred to earlier by Paul Gunter as the fantasy of a nuclear renaissance that first sputtered, then went out.

President Obama, of course, was no friend to the anti-nuclear movement. So eager was he to boost new nuclear construction in the US that he called for the inclusion of $55 billion for nuclear loan guarantees in his $3.8 trillion 2011 budget. In his State of the Union address that year, Obama talked of “building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country.” Kool-Aid thoroughly drunk, then.

All of this should send an obvious message to the deaf ears of Ben Cardin (D-MD), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), the leading pro-nuclear evangelists in the U.S. Senate. Cardin’s power production credit bill actually has the gall to describe nuclear power as “zero-emission”, a lie that even Cardin’s own staffer was forced to concede in a recent meeting attended by Paul Gunter who called him out on it.

Not that any of this will stop the bill going forward and almost certainly passing. Like the three not-so-wise monkeys, those Senators and their colleagues will acknowledge no negatives about nuclear power, even as the industry’s appalling litany of financial fiascoes and failures stares them in the face. They will forge right ahead, thus dooming to its own failure the very progress on climate change they claim to champion.

September 25, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, Reference | Leave a comment

Nuclear lobby stooge Jennifer Granholm wants ”unusual partnerships” in order to save the nuclear industry

Top U.S. Energy Official Sees ‘Unusual Partnerships’ for Nuclear, From reactors at coal plants to hydrogen production and potential cross-border collaboration, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm is seeking new roles for U.S. nuclear power

Bloomberg Green, By Jonathan Tirone, 21 September 2021, The Biden administration’s top energy official said the nuclear industry should broaden its business case beyond power markets in order to ensure its place in a carbon-free economy. 

U.S. nuclear energy has come under relentless pressure in recent years from cheap natural gas, solar and wind power. More reactors are being taken offline permanently than built, risking the long-term future of the country’s biggest clean energy source.  resident Joe Biden has pledged financial support to keep aging atomic plants online. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said “building back better” for nuclear might mean more than just generating electricity as it competes with emerging renewable energy and storage technologies.

“We need to pursue a silver buckshot rather than a silver bullet approach,” Granholm said in an interview with Bloomberg News in Vienna.  The former governor of Michigan said some “unusual partnerships” between nations and industries might be needed for U.S. nuclear operators to tap the $23 trillion global clean [nuclear is NOT clean] energy market over the next decade. Granholm urged more cross-border collaboration in developing a new generation of small modular reactors, as well as using nuclear plants for the production of emissions-free hydrogen…….

Granholm spoke at a meeting of senior officials at the International Atomic Energy Agency, where Chinese and Russian envoys called for more research-and-development collaboration to accelerate the deployment of new generations of miniature reactors. 

The Department of Energy curtailed some joint projects with China during the Trump administration, including work on a test reactor backed by billionaire Bill Gates. Granholm suggested the urgency of the climate crisis might require re-evaluating prohibitions on some technology transfers and cooperation. She did not signal any new near-term partnerships with Russia or China. The issue could be revisited during two weeks of international climate talks — known as COP26 — beginning Oct. 31 in Glasgow, Scotland…..

Granholm reserved special praise for the Gates-led company, TerraPower LLC, which in June announced it would build its first test plant at a shuttered coal site in Wyoming rather than in China. …. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-09-21/top-u-s-energy-official-sees-unusual-partnerships-for-nuclear

September 25, 2021 Posted by | marketing, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Jennifer Granholm and Westinghouse enthusiastic to sell ”clean” nuclear power to Poland

You really have to wonder just who Jennifer Granholm works for. Is it the American people, or is it the nuclear industry? She’s great at regurgitating nuclear lies about ”clean” nuclear

US lures Eastern Europe with nuclear power, $23t in clean [nuclear is NOT clean]energy market

By Frédéric Simon | EURACTIV.com  24 Sept 21, The climate crisis presents “a market opportunity for carbon-reducing technologies” such as nuclear power, said US energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, teasing a $23 trillion market to countries in Central and Eastern Europe by 2030.

Low-carbon technologies “will be a 23 trillion-dollar market by the end of this decade,” which offers “an enormous potential to countries on both sides of the Atlantic,” Granholm said on Wednesday (22 September).

Speaking from Poland during an online press briefing, Granholm said the transatlantic market “will give us a chance to launch new business, new industries, to attract billions of dollars of new investment, and certainly to create millions of new jobs”………

In the US, President Biden’s ‘build back better‘ agenda includes an objective to have 100% of US electricity produced from “clean sources” by 2035, [nuclear is NOT clean] she explained, saying this involves reducing CO2 emissions by more than 50% by 2030 and cutting them down to net-zero by 2050……

Nuclear: ‘The reason we’re here.’

And nuclear power features highly among the US objectives.

“The reason we’re here in Poland is because we have been talking about a partnership in the area of nuclear,” Granholm said. “We’re really excited that we may have this partnership here with Poland”.

In October last year, Warsaw and Washington signed a 30-year intergovernmental agreement on future cooperation in the development of the Polish civil nuclear energy programme.
And the US is in pole position to win those contracts.

“Our collaboration to develop Poland’s civil nuclear programme is vital to Poland achieving EU carbon reduction targets and to guarantee its energy security,” Granholm said. “That dispatchable, clean [nuclear is NOT clean] , uninterruptable power is the gold standard of what every nation is looking for” in their quest to reduce CO2, she explained.

In July, US nuclear power firm Westinghouse announced the launch of a front-end engineering and design study – or FEED – under a grant from the US Trade Development Agency to advance Poland’s nuclear energy programme.

“It’s an opportunity to give American technology to help meet Poland’s clean-energy needs, [nuclear is NOT clean] and Westinghouse is going to offer its AP1000 nuclear reactor for the project,” Granholm said. https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/us-lures-eastern-europe-with-nuclear-power-23tln-clean-energy-market/

September 25, 2021 Posted by | marketing, politics, USA | Leave a comment

USA has conned Australia into paying for its super-costly nuclear submarine project

Last week’s AUKUS announcement was nothing more than PR stunt in Australia, with the government merely committing to spend the next 18 months deciding what to buy—which conveniently kicks any actual the decision far enough down the road to avoid the next federal election. 

Has PM put Australia on the hook to finance struggling UK, US submarine projects? Michael West Media, By Marcus Reubenstein| September 23, 2021,

“Almost comical”. Experts lambast Scott Morrison’s “crazy” AUKUS deal to buy nuclear submarine tech from parlous UK and US programs. Marcus Reubenstein finds a real prospect Australia will be used to “underwrite” the foundering foreign submarine industry.

Twenty-five years of ongoing maintenance delays for nuclear submarines, chronic shortage of both parts and skilled workers, under capacity at shipyards, and attack class submarines missing from deployments for up to nine months. These sound like potential problems for Australia’s future nuclear submarine fleet but they are actual problems right now confronting the US Navy and its fleet of 70 submarines.

The US is at the cutting edge of nuclear propulsion. It has the largest and most sophisticated submarine fleet in the world, its first nuclear submarine was commissioned 67 years ago, and the US has literally decommissioned twice as many nuclear subs as Australia is planning to buy. 

If the US cannot manage to keep its fleet in the water, how can the Morrison government commit up to $100 billion of taxpayer money to secure nuclear submarines and guarantee they will be always operational and ready for deployment?

Professor Hugh White, ANU Professor of Strategic Studies, former Deputy Secretary of Defence and an eminent figure in strategic policy, wrote in The Saturday Paper, “The old plan was to build a conventionally powered version of a nuclear-powered French submarine. It was crazy.”

“The new plan—to buy a nuclear-powered submarine instead—is worse”. 

Says White, “There is a reason why only six countries, all of them nuclear-armed, operate nuclear powered subs.”

The sales pitch is underway 

Last week’s AUKUS announcement was nothing more than PR stunt in Australia, with the government merely committing to spend the next 18 months deciding what to buy—which conveniently kicks any actual the decision far enough down the road to avoid the next federal election. 

The ripples of the announcement, however, reached British shores in double-quick time. Just two days after the AUKUS alliance UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallis announced a $320 million (£170m) grant to be shared between BAE Systems and Rolls Royce to develop technology for Britain’s next generation submarines. 

According to Department of Finance figures, In the past twelve months BAE Systems has collected $1.88 billion from Australian taxpayers. The Astute class submarine, touted as one of the two options Australia is considering, is manufactured by BAE Systems. 

US Naval analyst, and Forbes Defense columnist, Craig Hooper predicts AUKUS could give the US Navy a big shot in the arm as well. He says a deal with Australia could effectively underwrite major improvements to the US Navy’s outdated submarine maintenance facilities by supporting “America’s decade-long, $US25 billion ($34.6 billion) effort to refit the U.S. Navy’s four aging public shipyards. With yard repair costs already high, America would go to great lengths to welcome any additional bidders for shipyard capability improvements.”

US subs in dry dock In a report published six months ago, the US Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found: “The Navy’s four shipyards have experienced significant delays in completing maintenance on its submarines (all of which are nuclear-powered).” ………. Should Australia go down the nuclear sub path what choice will it have other than to outsource the fleet’s maintenance?   …..

Her Majesty’s sub optimal fleet

Britain, touted as the alternative nuclear submarine supplier to Australia, has problems of its own. The Royal Navy operates ten submarines, only four of them were designed and commissioned this century. 

Like their American nuclear counterparts there are systemic problems keeping these subs in service……

That report also indicated significant delays to the BAE Systems built Astute hunter-killer submarines, the same class of nuclear submarine being touted for Australian as part of the AUKUS deal………. https://www.michaelwest.com.au/has-pm-put-australia-on-the-hook-to-finance-struggling-uk-us-submarine-projects/

September 23, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, marketing, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Big questions remain about Australia’s nuclear submarines, but it’s a massive financial gain for nuclear corporations

The possibility of a submarine deal with Australia came at an opportune moment. It provided Biden with a chance to demonstrate support for a close ally and boost its military strength. For Boris Johnson it could show that
relations with the US had not fallen apart because of the chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal, and it validated claims that the UK can play a prominent security role in the Indo-Pacific region.

For Australians it provides reassurance that it is still backed by its oldest allies. Having abandoned a “forever war”, the US and UK have signed up to what the Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, has described as a “forever
partnership”. The test will lie in this submarine project being more successful than the French-backed one it has replaced. This is not something that can be taken for granted.

The big questions about the boats’ design and manufacture will not be answered until 2023. The value
of the contract will be massive, and we should expect the competing claims of all three partners to be pressed hard when they are deciding their contributions. Instead of building diesel-powered submarines with the French, Australia upgraded its requirement to nuclear-powered submarines. These are quieter, can spend more time at sea and can travel greater distances, but they are fiendishly difficult to construct. Although the UK’s Astute-class programme is now running reasonably smoothly, with each boat costing almost £1.5 billion, the first vessel was almost five years
late and massively over budget.

 Times 19th Sept 2021

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/the-submarine-deal-is-a-real-downer-for-china-x6t89v022

September 20, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, business and costs | Leave a comment

Protests against nuclear storage plans that could kill the tourist industry

Protesters warn nuclear storage plans could kill tourism as council moves
forward with talks. Protesters are unhappy after county councillors agreed
to talk to the government company behind a potential nuclear waste disposal
site in Lincolnshire. Lincolnshire County Council’s Environment and
Economy Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday morning agreed to join a working
group to look at Radioactive Waste Management’s (RWM) potential plans for
a Geological Disposal Facility in Theddlethorpe. Campaigners against the
plans who gathered outside the council before the meeting, however, are not
happy with the decision and have said moving the plans forward creates
uncertainty for local businesses and residents.

 Lincolnite 14th Sept 2021

Protesters warn nuclear storage plans could kill tourism as council moves forward with talks

September 16, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, opposition to nuclear, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Push for nuclear power in Pueblo unlikely to succeed: renewables win favour.

Pueblo’s Comanche Coal Plant Is Closing Earlier Than Expected. Is Its Future With Nuclear, Or Renewables? CPR News,  By Miguel Otárola, September 13, 2021  ”………………. Faced with a shortened deadline, Pueblo’s leaders are plotting what the city will look like when it loses the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Colorado — and a significant source of local tax revenue.

County commissioners are excited about the potential of generating nuclear energy in the community. Other leaders, including Pueblo Mayor Nick Gradisar, are banking on other ways to power the local economy. 

“There’s no reason why Pueblo can’t be the renewable energy capital of the world,” Gradisar said.

……… Researchers say Pueblo is already moving in this direction, much of that due to Xcel’s expiration dates for Comanche.

2019 study by the Colorado School of Mines suggested the city’s shift to solar and wind could lower electricity costs and bring more private investment and jobs to Pueblo.

One of those projects is currently underway. Workers are installing hundreds of rows of solar panels on a wide expanse of land just south of the Comanche plant.

There have been previous attempts to bring nuclear to Pueblo, but safety was and still is a concern for many……..  Don Banner, a local attorney in 2011 had come to the county with plans to build a nuclear power plant on the outskirts of town.  …  Banner said his [nuclear] proposal attracted resistance from local residents and out-of-state protestors. The county board voted against the project a month after a nuclear plant was destroyed in an earthquake and tsunami in Fukushima, Japan.

There are other roadblocks — namely, a lack of political support and the cost.

Other Pueblo leaders are cautious of nuclear power.

Gradisar said he is worried the plant wouldn’t provide any electricity to Pueblo, similar to the current arrangement with Xcel at Comanche.

State Rep. Daneya Esgar, who represents the area, called it “an idea of a few” and hoped it wouldn’t gain traction……

Nuclear energy faces another practical hurdle: The cost. Nuclear plants cost billions of dollars to build, with costs rising as safety standards have tightened. 

Banner, now 76, said the only way to make nuclear energy a reality in Pueblo is strong political support. It didn’t exist when he pitched his plan 10 years ago, and he questioned whether it exists now…. https://www.cpr.org/2021/09/13/pueblo-comanche-coal-plant-closing-early-nuclear-renewable-energy/

September 14, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Planned UK-Australia trade deal – a dangerous precedent for climate change policy

 Green groups and opposition MPs have responded angrily to news the UK
government has agreed to drop binding climate targets from the planned
UK-Australia trade deal, accusing Ministers of “a massive betrayal of our
country and our planet”.

Greenpeace’s John Sauven offered a withering
assessment of the government’s decision, warning that it set a dangerous
precedent for future trade deals with other carbon intensive nations. “It
will be a race to the bottom, impacting on clean tech sectors and farmers’
livelihoods. There should be a moratorium on trade deals with countries
like Australia until they improve on their weak climate targets and end
deforestation. At the moment the public and parliament are being duped by
the Prime Minister into thinking this deal is great for Britain when in
reality nothing could be further from the truth.”

 Business Green 9th Sept 2021

https://www.businessgreen.com/news/4036860/uk-australia-trade-deal-anger-grows-decision-water-climate-pledges

September 11, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, business and costs, climate change, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

COP26 – the need to scrutinise hidden climate agendas

there may be a need to recognize the short comings of some of the technical fixes being promoted, for example, by some ‘net zero’ enthusiasts. The NGOs can perhaps help here.  For example, Oxfam has produced a useful report, ‘Tightening the Net’, which claims that using land-based techniques alone to remove CO2 from the air and help the world reach net zero by 2050 would require at least 1.6 billion hectares of new forests. That is equivalent to 5 times the size of India, or more than all the farmland on the planet.

The charity’s report, says governments and companies are hiding behind a smokescreen of ‘unreliable, unproven & unrealistic carbon removal’ schemes, so as to ‘continue dirty business-as-usual activities’. 

COP26 Agendas  https://renewextraweekly.blogspot.com/2021/09/with-intergovernmental-panel-on-climate.html?showComment=1630897750625#c4129514770472857573  September 04, 2021 With the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) having produced a new very grim report on climate issues, all eyes are now focused on COP 26, the 26th meeting of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention of Climate Change to be held in Glasgow in November. COP 26 has the obvious formal agenda of continuing with the negotiation process over climate policy, developing on the outline COP21 Paris agreement in terms of national and global emission targets and aid funding. There is a lot to do, with many key countries still dragging their feet and the main focus will be trying to improve on that. 

However, there are also underlying policy agendas reflecting different views as to how best to cut carbon, and they may shape what goes on and what is seen as important.  Most are backed by specific groups or interests. Most familiar, there are the vested fossil fuel interests- global/local oil, coal & gas companies. Some in the past backed climate change denial, but most are now in defensive mode, seeking to limit damage to their profits/portfolios. Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) is their fall back option as part of a ‘net zero’ carbon offset concession, with 2050 targets presumably being seen as far enough off to be survivable.

At the other end of the spectrum there are the various green NGO’s, all keen on maximum carbon cuts as soon as possible. Most back renewables as the main plank, along with energy saving and a commitment to reduced energy demand- and even perhaps reduced economic growth. Most greens oppose fossil CCS, but some do back biomass CCS as a negative carbon option. Very few however like nuclear, which, as ever, is trying to get in the act despite its generally poor showing compared with renewables. But you’ll find nuclear lobbyist hard at it, always, for good or ill, keeping the nuclear debate alive – even if nuclear PR displays were apparently blocked from access to the Green Zone at COP26!

Hydrogen has meantime become a new area offering angles for all sides. The fossil lobby looks to allegedly low-carbon blue hydrogen (from fossil gas SMR with CCS), an option that seems increasing challenged.  The greens look to zero carbon green hydrogen via electrolysis (using power from renewables), and costs do seem to be falling, while the nuclear lobby (both fission and later fusion) hopes it can also get in on the hydrogen act. That seems a long shot. Especially since there is also a strong showing from the electricity lobby, which wants to see heat pumps used, not hydrogen gas – and certainly not fossil gas!

Some underlying issues

Lobby groups certainly do keep it all alive.  Although the fossil and nuclear industry lobby groups are familiar enough, there is less of an obvious renewables industry lobby, apart from some trade associations. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) doesn’t get involved much direct campaigning. So it’s often left to political pressure groups and NGOs, and their interests transcend energy policy and spread across the whole of field of eco-sustainability. 

 The renewables v nuclear/ CCS issue has already been noted, and the role of hydrogen. However, there are also issues relating to scale and distribution. Most greens would prefer energy to be generated and used locally at the smaller scale. That can be aided by PV solar, but, even with storage, there may still be a need for top-ups and balancing from outside.  That means grids, and some actually see grids as a key thing, with low-loss supergrids allowing for power trading long-distance. ……………

Transport is also obviously a key area. The standard green argument is that flying is very bad, but actually, it is only making a small contribution to CO2 at present- about 2% globally. Cars are vastly worse (they use 45% of global energy) and many more people drive than fly. But, longer-term, flying demand will build up vastly, unless blocked. ………….

What can we expect from COP26? 

It will be interesting to see how the various technical fixes & social fixes issues are dealt with in Glasgow. It’s only a week, and that may mostly be taken up with haggling on targets and dodging invoices for aid!  But some of the wider issues and social fix options may get an airing. The world is changing, and though issues like meat eating are still on the fringe, wider issue are emerging, with Scotland often being a pioneer.   More immediately, Scotland is now getting almost all its power from from renewables, so that technical fix may be an inspiration to many people. . Though perhaps a bit peevishly, Greta Thunberg was not that impressed with Scotland’s progress. However, there may be a need to recognize the short comings of some of the technical fixes being promoted, for example, by some ‘net zero’ enthusiasts. The NGOs can perhaps help here.  For example, Oxfam has produced a useful report, ‘Tightening the Net’, which claims that using land-based techniques alone to remove CO2 from the air and help the world reach net zero by 2050 would require at least 1.6 billion hectares of new forests. That is equivalent to 5 times the size of India, or more than all the farmland on the planet. The charity’s report, says governments and companies are hiding behind a smokescreen of ‘unreliable, unproven & unrealistic carbon removal’ schemes, so as to ‘continue dirty business-as-usual activities’. 

Well, CCS and the like may not be the main reason, but it certainly is worrying that growth in renewable capacity had slowed in the UK. The latest DUKES statistics indicate a year-by-year fall in new capacity added since 2015, with just a 1GW expansion last year, half of that being for offshore wind. The slow down is arguably mainly due the demise of the Feed in Tariff and the block to CfD access for onshore wind and large PV. That may be reversed in the next CfD round, due to be opened up for bids in December. Let’s hope so, otherwise we could have the odd spectacle of the UK promoting renewables hard at COP26 while its own efforts have been diminishing. 

September 6, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, climate change, secrets,lies and civil liberties, spinbuster | 2 Comments

Since 9/11, US Has Spent $21 Trillion on Militarism at Home and Abroad

Since 9/11, US Has Spent $21 Trillion on Militarism at Home and Abroad  https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/09/01/911-us-has-spent-21-trillion-militarism-home-and-abroad“Our $21 trillion investment in militarism has cost far more than dollars.” JAKE JOHNSONSeptember 1, 2021

In the 20 years since the September 11 attacks, the United States government has spent more than $21 trillion at home and overseas on militaristic policies that led to the creation of a vast surveillance apparatus, worsened mass incarceration, intensified the war on immigrant communities, and caused incalculable human suffering in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, and elsewhere.

According to State of Insecurity: The Cost of Militarization Since 9/11 (pdf), a report released Wednesday by the National Priorities Project, the U.S. government’s so-called “War on Terror” has “remade the U.S. into a more militarized actor both around the world and at home” by pouring vast resources into the Pentagon, federal law enforcement, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), an agency established in response to the September 11 attacks.

Released in the wake of the final withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan after two decades of devastating war and occupation, the new report argues that the Taliban’s rapid takeover of the country “raises deep questions about our military investments to date.”

“Twenty years ago, we were promised a vision of the War on Terror that did not come to pass: that Afghanistan would not become a quagmire, or that the Iraq War would be over in ‘five weeks or five days or five months’ and cost a mere $60 billion,” the report notes. “As the country went to war and refocused domestic security spending on terrorism, few had any inkling of the far-reaching ramifications for the military, veterans, immigration, or domestic law enforcement.”

The National Priorities Project (NPP), an initiative of the Institute for Policy Studies, estimates that of the $21 trillion the U.S. invested in “foreign and domestic militarization” in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, $16 trillion went to the military, $3 trillion to veterans’ programs, $949 billion to DHS, and $732 billion to federal law enforcement.

In addition to fueling death and destruction overseas, the new report stresses that spending on overseas wars heightened domestic militarization, making police crackdowns on dissent at home even more violent.

There is evidence that the War on Terror drove transfers of military equipment to police, as surges ended and the Pentagon looked to divest from surplus equipment,” the analysis notes. “Transfers in 2010, when the military was still deeply engaged in the War on Terror, totaled $30 million. Over the next few years, the U.S. pulled forces out of Iraq, and military equipment transfers skyrocketed, peaking at $386 million in 2014. Today, transfers are still far higher than they were early in the War on Terror, totaling $152 million in 2020 and $101 million in just the first half of 2021.”

Lindsay Koshgarian, program director of NPP and lead author of the new report, said in a statement Wednesday that “our $21 trillion investment in militarism has cost far more than dollars.”

There is evidence that the War on Terror drove transfers of military equipment to police, as surges ended and the Pentagon looked to divest from surplus equipment,” the analysis notes. “Transfers in 2010, when the military was still deeply engaged in the War on Terror, totaled $30 million. Over the next few years, the U.S. pulled forces out of Iraq, and military equipment transfers skyrocketed, peaking at $386 million in 2014. Today, transfers are still far higher than they were early in the War on Terror, totaling $152 million in 2020 and $101 million in just the first half of 2021.”

Lindsay Koshgarian, program director of NPP and lead author of the new report, said in a statement Wednesday that “our $21 trillion investment in militarism has cost far more than dollars.”

  • $4.5 trillion could fully decarbonize the U.S. electric grid;
  • $2.3 trillion could create five million $15-per-hour jobs with benefits and cost-of-living adjustments for 10 years;
  • $1.7 trillion could erase student debt;
  • $449 billion could continue the extended Child Tax Credit for another 10 years;
  • $200 billion could guarantee free preschool for every 3-and-4-year old for 10 years, and raise teacher pay; and
  • $25 billion could provide Covid vaccines for the population of low-income countries.
  • The NPP report was published on same day that Brown University’s Costs of War Project released a new analysis estimating that U.S.-led post-9/11 wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere have killed at least 929,000 people—a figure deemed likely to be a “vast undercount”—and cost more than $8 trillion.”The end of the war in Afghanistan represents a chance to reinvest in our real needs,” Koshgarian said Wednesday. “Twenty years from now, we could live in a world made safer by investments in infrastructure, job creation, support for families, public health, and new energy systems, if we are willing to take a hard look at our priorities.”

September 2, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Uranium prices and the true financial and climate costs of the Megatons to megawatts program

the Russian price the Americans paid for fuel from bombs bears no relationship to the actual costs of producing it, not only in money, but in greenhouse CO2 pumped into the atmosphere.

Megatons to Megawatts’: Prices and true costs of nuclear energy, SEP 1, 2021 KELVIN S. RODOLFO, Rappler.com

Clearly, the uranium market is not a free one in any sense of the word, and never will be’The following is the 13th in a series of excerpts from Kelvin Rodolfo’s ongoing book project “Tilting at the Monster of Morong: Forays Against the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant and Global Nuclear Energy.”
Promoters of nuclear power say it’s “cheap.” If you want to invest in it, however, look at how fickle uranium prices have been. Over time, they have varied by more than eight times!

Clearly, the uranium market is not a free one in any sense of the word, and never will be’The following is the 13th in a series of excerpts from Kelvin Rodolfo’s ongoing book project “Tilting at the Monster of Morong: Forays Against the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant and Global Nuclear Energy.”
Promoters of nuclear power say it’s “cheap.” If you want to invest in it, however, look at how fickle uranium prices have been. Over time, they have varied by more than eight times!

Besides satisfying Russia’s urgent needed for cash, selling this cheap Megatons to Megawatts fuel was a means to two ends. The first is much-extolled: to shrink the huge global stockpiles of nuclear weaponry. But has the project really made us safer?


All the world’s nuclear weapons have declined from as many as 70,300 in 1986 to about 13,890 in early-2019. The reduction happened mostly during the 1990s. But today’s weapons are much more lethal; the nuclear countries, instead of planning to disarm, are retaining large arsenals, making new weapons, and increasing their use in geopolitics.

The second, central role of Megatons to Megawatts was to keep nuclear power financially affordable, so the power industry would continue to use it. Now that the Russian leadership is better-off financially, it is less eager to trade bombs for electricity, and the jittery global realpolitik may well also direct more uranium away from fuel and back to weapons once again.

Finally, and most importantly: what did the reactor uranium made from old Soviet warheads really cost in treasure, and in greenhouse CO2? We know the market price of this new fuel, but what were the true costs of its manufacture, from its mining, milling, enrichment to weapons grade, then its dilution back down into reactor fuel?

During the mad rush to gain nuclear equality with the US, the Russians spared no expense. Their oldest weapons contained uranium that had been enriched with technologies that used about 40 to 60 times more electricity for every kilo of highly-enriched uranium than modern centrifuges do. And more energy, money, and CO2 emissions were used to dilute that warhead uranium back.

Finally, and most importantly: what did the reactor uranium made from old Soviet warheads really cost in treasure, and in greenhouse CO2? We know the market price of this new fuel, but what were the true costs of its manufacture, from its mining, milling, enrichment to weapons grade, then its dilution back down into reactor fuel?

During the mad rush to gain nuclear equality with the US, the Russians spared no expense. Their oldest weapons contained uranium that had been enriched with technologies that used about 40 to 60 times more electricity for every kilo of highly-enriched uranium than modern centrifuges do. And more energy, money, and CO2 emissions were used to dilute that warhead uranium back down to reactor grade, for which work the Russians eventually received $8 billion.In short, the Russian price the Americans paid for fuel from bombs bears no relationship to the actual costs of producing it, not only in money, but in greenhouse CO2 pumped into the atmosphere. A later Foray will evaluate the true costs in greenhouse CO2 for making nuclear fuel. On top of  whatever values we arrive at, we must recognize that significant but forever unknowable amounts were generated by Megatons to Megawatts.

Our next Foray is about the intricate entanglement between nuclear weapons and nuclear power. – Rappler.com  https://www.rappler.com/voices/thought-leaders/opinion-megatons-megawatts-prices-true-costs-nuclear-energy

September 2, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, Uranium, USA, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Two Billionaires Join Forces in Poland’s Nuclear Energy Push

Two Billionaires Join Forces in Poland’s Nuclear Energy Push, Bloomberg WealthBy Maciej Martewicz. 31 August 2021, ”’….. Michal Solowow, who controls chemicals producer Synthos SA, and Zygmunt Solorz, the main owner of media and telecommunications giant Cyfrowy Polsat SA, plan to build four to six nuclear reactors, each with a capacity of 300 megawatts. ……. Synthos’ green energy unit, which has exclusive rights in the country for GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s small nuclear reactors, will provide the technology, the companies said in a statement, without specifying the project’s timeline or cost.

…….. The companies said that their private project isn’t competing with the state’s plan to build as much as 9 gigawatts of nuclear power using large reactors of more than 1 gigawatt capacity each.   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-08-31/two-billionaires-join-forces-in-poland-s-nuclear-energy-push

September 2, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, politics | Leave a comment

Cover-up? Unreported event of Hanford nuclear workers’sickness

Unreported event at Hanford nuclear site that sickened workers ‘smells like a cover-up,’ advocates say,  Workers reported smelling odors, resulting in symptoms such as dizziness and shortness of breath. The contractor denied a chronic problem, toxic vapors, is to blame.  https://www.king5.com/article/news/investigations/hanford-nuclear-site-washington-state-tank-farms-workers-sickened-investigation/281-48a540ea-1fa5-4de9-8ab7-b1dc9db6e5c8  Susannah Frame August 27, 2021

RICHLAND, Wash. — On June 18 of this year, 10 workers at the Hanford nuclear site in eastern Washington digging in what are known as the “tank farms,” were overcome by strange odors. Nine of the workers sought medical treatment, including three who were transported to the hospital for an overnight stay and were given oxygen.

The KING 5 Investigators have found the event went unreported by the contractor involved – Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS).

According to WRPS documents obtained by KING 5, symptoms reported by workers included dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, headache, nausea, a metallic taste in the mouth, stomach issues, light headedness and cough.

Smelling unusual odors, followed by adverse medical conditions are hallmark signs of a chronic problem at the nuclear reservation: exposure to toxic vapors that vent from underground nuclear waste holding tanks.  

WRPS is under a legal obligation to report vapor events on a publicly available website.

“I’m still amazed that not one piece of paper has been put out about this exposure, there’s been no announcement,” said Tom Carpenter, executive director of the advocacy group Hanford Challenge. “It’s getting to the point where this silence is very suspicious. It’s like: ‘What are you hiding?’”

The contractor said they did not post the event on their website because they’ve determined the worker’s symptoms were not caused by vapors, but “most likely” by a malfunctioning gas-powered wheelbarrow.

“WRPS collected air samples from the small pieces of fuel-powered equipment used in the soil work. One piece of equipment, a small gasoline-powered wheelbarrow that was difficult to start and used during the June 18 event, was smoking when it started and high levels of volatile organic compound emissions were noted,” a WRPS spokesperson said.

Toxic vapor exposures have been a significant problem at Hanford since the 1980s when the operational mission went from producing plutonium, to clean up only.

Several government reports have identified that poisonous vapors, without warning, will vent from underground tanks. Hanford has 177 underground holding tanks that store the deadliest waste at the site.

Tanks in the tank farm near where the workers got ill in June contain contents including plutonium, the radioactive isotopes of americium and strontium 90, mercury, nickel, lead and cyanide.

In 2014 the KING 5 Investigators revealed a record number of vapor exposures in the tank farms. Approximately 56 workers fell ill with symptoms in the rash of exposures. After each incident, WRPS said their testing didn’t show chemicals of concern over regulatory limits. WRPS officials denied chemical vapors were to blame for the events.

That pattern wasn’t new. Expert reports detailed the same cycle happened at Hanford in the 80s and in the 90s: a slew of exposures, followed by denials by the tank farm contractor, and workers left sick and unable to work.

Many workers said they felt betrayed by the contractors over the years for not being honest about the dangers of vapors.

“Until they are in the field and until they smell what we smell and until they feel like we feel and until they get injured like we get injured, they don’t care,” said Mike Cain, a 47-year current Hanford employee who spent 25 of those years in the tank farms. “Everything that we described 30 years ago, 40 years ago, is still there. Yet they keep doing the same thing over and over and over again.”

After the string of exposures in 2014, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Hanford Challenge and Local 598 all filed lawsuits against WRPS and Hanford’s owner, the U.S. Department of Energy. The complaint accused the contractor and federal government of failing to protect workers from vapor exposures, that can cause adverse health effects including lung disease, nervous system damage and cancers of the liver, lung, blood and other organs. The lawsuit also alleged the Department of Energy had been well aware of the dangers for 25 years, yet “Energy did not fix the problem.”

settlement agreement was reached in September 2018. Hanford officials agreed to improve health and safety conditions, install engineering to keep vapors out of the breathing space of workers. They also agreed to provide respiratory protections including supplied (fresh) air that is worn in tanks on the backs of workers, if needed.

In the June event, workers were not using supplied air. According to workers, the contractor had downgraded respiratory protection to respirators with cartridges. Respirators are lighter and more cost effective than supplied air.

“(That) never should have happened if they were wearing fresh air. Never should have happened,” Cain said.

“They’re not protecting workers. They have a long history of not doing so, of putting money and profits before workers health and safety which is ironic because they’re all about saying they want to protect health and safety. They’re not doing it,” Carpenter said.

A WRPS spokesperson said the company did not skimp on safety protocols in the June event.

“Respiratory controls at the TX Farm during the June 18, 2021 event complied with the tank farms vapors settlement agreement requirements… workers were wearing air-purifying respirators consistent with interim mandatory respiratory protections consistent with cartridge testing results,” the spokesperson said.

What is Hanford?

Hanford is the most contaminated worksite in America. Located near Richland in eastern, Wash., workers at the site produced plutonium for the country’s nuclear weapons program for approximately four decades. Plutonium produced at Hanford fueled the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, that led to the end of WWII. Since the late 80s, Hanford has been a clean up site only.

The settlement agreement also makes it mandatory for WRPS to report events on its website that fall into the category of an “AOP-15.” On the WRPS website, an AOP 15 is described as an unidentified odor event: “When a worker reports an unexpected and unidentified odor in the tank farms, and reports medical symptoms potentially related to that smell.”

In the June event, WRPS did not characterize it as an AOP-15, therefore, company executives said they had no obligation to report it.

“Smells like a cover-up”

“This lack of information sharing and reporting smells like a cover-up. We do not want to see a return to downgraded worker protections that result in routine vapor exposures. The cycle of exposures must end at Hanford, and meaningful and long-lasting regulations should be enacted to assure that Hanford tank farm workers can conduct a cleanup without risking their own health and safety,” said Carpenter of Hanford Challenge in a press statement sent on Friday.

On Thursday, a WRPS executive told KING 5 that the company’s definition of an AOP-15 had changed in 2020. In an email to employees on Dec. 1, 2020, WRPS Executive Jeremy Hartley said that moving forward, an AOP-15 will occur when personal ammonia monitors worn by workers set off an alarm.

“Ammonia has been verified as a sentinel indicator of changing levels of other chemicals of potential concern. The procedure changes clarify and reinforce a disciplined conduct of operations by recognizing the administrative and engineering controls in place, relying on the ammonia monitors and verifying the conditions when an alarm set point is reached,” Hartley wrote.

Given this change, the WRPS spokesperson said they followed protocol by not reporting the event on the website.

As this event did not involve an ammonia alarm, it is not classified as an AOP-15,” the spokesperson said.

Government scientists have concluded that ammonia does not have to be present for other chemicals of concern to release in concentrations that could harm human health. In 2004 the Department of Energy released a Hanford report concluding the potentially harmful gas, nitrous oxide, can be present without the presence of ammonia.

“Based on…characterization data (the contractor) CH2M HILL has incorrectly assumed that nitrous oxides are present only when ammonia is present,” report authors wrote. “…nitrous oxide vapors in tank headspaces can be present in (dangerous) concentrations, even in the absence of ammonia.”

Stakeholders such as Hanford Challenge and union safety representatives said they were unaware that WRPS had changed its AOP-15 definition.

A WRPS communications specialist said they are committed to the safety of workers.

“The health and safety of the workforce is always paramount,” the company official said.8

August 30, 2021 Posted by | employment, health, legal, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

 Engie nuclear subsidiary Endel in bad shape about to be sold

 Nuclear: Engie about to sell its Endel subsidiary to the Altrad group. The
energy company’s industrial and nuclear maintenance subsidiary is in bad
shape. The state has given the green light for the operation.

 Le Figaro 26th Aug 2021

https://www.lefigaro.fr/societes/nucleaire-engie-sur-le-point-de-vendre-sa-filiale-endel-au-groupe-altrad-20210826

August 30, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, EUROPE | Leave a comment

Even the right-wing Competitive Enterprise Institute doubts the wisdom of bailing out struggling nuclear power stations

The dubious Senate proposal to bail out nuclear powerplants,      https://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/569831-the-dubious-senate-proposal-to-bail-out-nuclear-powerplants  BY BENJAMIN ZYCHER, — 08/28/21 Costly economic distortions are an inexorable result of government bailouts for specific industries, the justifications for which are almost always deeply dubious.

Consider section 3203 of the proposed Senate Energy Infrastructure Act. It would establish a $6 billion credit program over four years starting in fiscal year 2022 for nuclear electricity plants “projected to cease operations due to economic factors.” The credits, disbursement of which would cease after 2031, would be defined as a certain dollar amount per megawatt-hour (mWh) of generation. And just as the production tax credit for wind electricity has been extended 13 times, it is difficult to believe that once implemented a similar subvention for nuclear power will fail to prove semi-permanent.

And sure enough: The draft legislation directs the comptroller general to submit by Jan. 1, 2024 “any recommendations to renew or expand the credits.” 

The bill makes it clear that the ostensible rationale for the credits is “the potential incremental air pollutants that would result if the [given] nuclear reactor were to cease operations. …and be replaced with other types of power generation.” 

But the draft legislation asks no one to investigate or even to speculate about whether the hypothetical increase in air pollutants resulting from a shutdown of a nuclear generating plant would yield a violation of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) in the relevant geographic region for any of the (criteria) pollutants covered by the Clean Air Act. 

Because the Clean Air Act requires that the respective NAAQS “protect the public health” with “an adequate margin of safety,” it is difficult to believe that a shutdown of a limited number of reactors and replacement with, say, combined-cycle gas generation, would result in ambient air quality in excess of a given NAAQS. The “public health” would continue to be protected.

Forget air pollution. This proposed subsidy is a bailout — that is, a sizable economic distortion to be added to all of the other distortions inflicted by various policies upon electricity markets. Would it not be better to reduce that aggregate of economic losses rather than to add to them? The actual unpublicized justifications for this proposal are exceedingly weak. 

Competitive price pressures from generation fueled with inexpensive natural gas. Competition is the very basis of a market economy, and a failure to foresee the sharp decline in natural gas prices when nuclear investments were made does not justify a federal bailout. Investors and managements contemplating large investments know that there are important risks, both known and unknown, and make their decisions accordingly. The proposed subsidy would shift those risks onto the taxpayers writ large, and there is no reason to believe that such a shift is efficient. 

Single-unit vs multi-unit nuclear operating costs. Two of the nuclear generating stations desperate for operating subsidies (Davis Besse and Perry, both in Ohio) are single-unit facilities, which have operating costs per mWh higher than those for multi-unit stations, because their fixed overhead costs are spread over less generation, and because they cannot achieve scale economies similar to those of multi-unit plants when negotiating service and fuel contracts. There is no reason that taxpayers should bear the attendant economic burdens.

Potential mismanagement. It is no secret that business management, like all human endeavors, varies in terms of the efficiency of the decisions made and the conduct of operations. Not only does the proposed legislation not consider the cost effects of possible mismanagement, it also reduces the economic penalty for such inefficiency.

Costly state regulation and the effects of “renewable portfolio” or “clean energy” standards. Regulation at the state level, imposed by legislatures, public utility commissions and other official bureaus, obviously creates costs and distortions, often sizable. Moreover, about 30 states require that some proportion of the electricity produced or consumed in the state be generated by certain technologies (e.g., wind and solar power), and those requirements often exclude nuclear electricity.

Is there a reason that federal taxpayers should be forced to bear the consequences of state laws and regulations? Reforms of state policies yielding adverse outcomes must be implemented at the state level; a federal bailout reduces the incentives for such reforms. The owners of nuclear powerplants should make their case to the state legislatures.

The distortions created by the federal wind production tax credit. The one argument in support of the proposed nuclear subsidy that is not wholly spurious is the effect of the wind production tax credit (PTC), now between $15 and $25 per mWh. The PTC thus allows the wind producers to reduce the prices that they bid for sales into bulk power markets – sometimes to negative levels – while still “earning” positive net prices. 

This obviously is unfair competition: The operators of nuclear plants receive no such subventions, and for technical engineering reasons, it is difficult or impossible for nuclear plants to ramp generation up and down in response to short-term price fluctuations.

So, one could argue that the proposed nuclear subsidy corrects the competitive problem created by the PTC, but that is a non sequitur. If the distortions created by given policies are to be addressed by incorporating new distortions, over time the entire economy in effect will become centrally planned, as one set of distortions after another is adopted to deal with the problems created by earlier ones. The proper course is to end the wind PTC and not to bail out nuclear plants with another subsidy program.

Note also that the prospective “profitability” of a given nuclear plant hinges on assumptions about prices, operations costs and other parameters that are subject to important uncertainties. One study by the former chief economist of the PJM Regional Transmission Organization projects net operating profits for 2021 of $30.4 million and $47.5 million for the two plants in Ohio referenced above, respectively. Another study from the PJM itself projects 2021 operating losses for those units of $28.8 million and $33.2 million, respectively.

In short, such calculations are far from straightforward, and no one will be surprised when those applying for the new nuclear credits find ways to increase the magnitude of the operating losses they will claim. 

The arguments in favor of this proposed subsidy are exceedingly weak, and the central principle weighing against it is powerful: Let us reduce rather than increase the distortions created by government economic policies. A failure to keep that principle in mind will yield ongoing economic losses for all of us.

Benjamin Zycher is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. 

August 30, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA | Leave a comment