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New nuclear power may not be feasible in USA – former NRC chair says

Former NRC chair questions economic feasibility of new nuclear in US,  Utility Dive Iulia Gheorghiu. 12cApr 21,

Without further aid from Congress and the White House, the prospects for the U.S. nuclear industry will dwindle in the face of cheaper resources that are getting built faster than new nuclear generators, according to a former Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission………

Excepting NuScale Power, which has advanced in permitting with the NRC, the near-term potential for other small modular reactor designs to replace physical coal plants is “very low in the near future, like zero,” Allison Macfarlane, …..

The only U.S. reactors currently under construction continue to face delays. Vogtle Unit 3 and Unit 4 are poised to be the first nuclear plants completed in the United States [since 2016]……….

Excepting NuScale Power, which has advanced in permitting with the NRC, the near-term potential for other small modular reactor designs to replace physical coal plants is “very low in the near future, like zero,” Allison Macfarlane, …..

The only U.S. reactors currently under construction continue to face delays. Vogtle Unit 3 and Unit 4 are poised to be the first nuclear plants completed in the United States [since 2016]……….

Georgia Power, one of the owners of the two nuclear reactors at Vogtle Power Plant, recently announced construction remediation work, signaling further delays for the unit that is expected to be operational later this year.

“If we don’t pay attention to this issue, there is no future for nuclear, you will not build anything. It will all be too expensive, it will all take too long,” she said.

She remarked on supply chain issues with larger designs, such as the Westinghouse AP1000 design, a pressurized water reactor power plant that was used in V.C. Summer and Vogtle construction.

“The AP1000 is a good design, but it may be a dead design,” Macfarlane said.  https://www.utilitydive.com/news/former-nrc-chair-questions-economic-feasibility-of-new-nuclear-in-us/598188/

April 13, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Bitcoin: cryptocurrency an extreme energy user. Can it be justified in a climate emergency?

This is a critically important article. As long as multi billionaires like Elon Musk and Bill Gates are accepted as authorities of integrity, on what direction society should take, we are in trouble. Both of these visionary zealots are enthusiastic about nuclear power. Both are enthusiastic about nuclear-powered space rocketry. Elon Musk is all for Bitcoin. I don’t know about Bill Gates’opinion on this. While we acknowledge thsat these entrepreneurs have made beneficial achievements, we really do not need to minlessly follow them. Neither are really scientific experts, and should not in any way be determining society’s policies on climate, or anything else. Neither show any awareness of concern about unlimited growth and unlimited energy use, on a finite planet.

A new “crypto climate accord” wants to clean up Bitcoin. But the calls for government regulation, bans and taxation are growing. The post Can cryptocurrency be justified in a climate catastrophe? appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Can cryptocurrency be justified in a climate catastrophe? — RenewEconomy

Bitcoin mining and cryptocurrency in general are having what could very loosely be sort of described as a ‘coming of age’ moment. It’s loose because advocates of these digital currencies, which obtain ‘trust’ from requiring massive amounts of energy to generate (‘proof of work’), don’t seem to be handling the challenges of dealing with key issues like climate and environment particularly well.

This was explored recently in RenewEconomy, in this post detailing how there are many Bitcoin mining operations running massive server farms that either exist on carbon intensive grids, or even directly use fossil gas on mining sites where that gas would have otherwise been flared.

And last week, we covered a piece of research that predicted Bitcoin’s energy consumption will match that of Australia’s by the year 2024.

“Under the Paris Agreement, China is devoted to cut down 60 per cent of the carbon emission per GDP by 2030 based on that of 2005. However, according to the simulation results of the [blockchain carbon emission] model, we find that the carbon emission pattern of Bitcoin blockchain will become a potential barrier against the emission reduction target of China”, the researchers found. It’s significant, because the fate of China on energy and climate decides, by and large, the fate of the world.

Part of the reason interest has increased in Bitcoin was a significant purchase of it by Tesla. CEO Elon Musk is a well-known fan of cryptocurrency, including Dogecoin, an alternative to the more mainstream Bitcoin. But scrutiny of its extreme energy consumption, alongside a lack of any real sustainability or environment initiatives across the industry of Bitcoin miners, has led to nearly months now of constant criticism (including from this author).

Now, a new initiative is attempting to change that at a surprisingly ambitious and fundamental level. Last week, a range of organisations launched the ‘Crypto Climate Accord’, aiming to decarbonise the entire cryptocurrency industry, including Bitcoin trading house Coinshares.

Among the partners are the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), well-regarded among energy experts, and representations from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Energy Web and the Alliance for Innovative Regulation (AIR) are involved too, as are the cryptocurrency companies.

“The Accord intends to achieve this by working collaboratively with the cryptocurrency industry — including all blockchains — to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2025 or sooner. While many organisations are individually taking steps to decarbonise their operations, the Accord recognises that an industry-wide coalition and scalable solutions can quickly multiply impact.”

Total decarbonisation of power by 2025 comes along with full decarbonisation of all business operations by 2040, and with the active removal of historical emissions from the Earth’s atmosphere by 2040. These are both genuinely ambitious goals, and they seem to be closely tied to international climate diplomacy. It is a far cry from the decentralised, regulation-hating, unaccountable world of Bitcoin mining as it exists today.

While this seems like a step in the right direction, it is very likely its advocates will be swimming against the tide. The very philosophy of collective action to take responsibility for the externalities of profit-making business is contrary to the libertarian values of individual freedom. Some participants may not be all that invested. “Coinshares less than two weeks ago was arguing more energy consumption is about the best thing ever. I’m not sure how this is inspired by the Paris Agreement if they’ve clearly never read it or don’t understand it”, wrote Alex De Vries, author of the Digiconomist blog.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin seems only to be getting hungrier for energy, and there doesn’t seem to be much effort to direct that big ship towards clean power sources only. Cheap coal and gas will likely get cheaper, as they both get displaced from grids by renewable energy.

The Centre for Global Development just released a new analysis showing that mining a single Bitcoin is equivalent to the total annual energy usage of 18 Americans, or 2,199 Tanzanians.

They recommend a range of policy options to forcibly clamp down on the problem, including a ban of large mining operations and taxing mining activity. Neither of these will be welcomed by the industry. “The most hopeful case for the environment is that the price of bitcoin falls low enough to push most miners out of business, leaving behind only those with access to cheap renewable energy and the most efficient mining rigs”, they write.

The question is whether voluntary accords or forcible regulation win out in cleaning up Bitcoin. The alternative is very ugly – a major new threat to climate action at a sensitive time indeed.

April 13, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, ENERGY | Leave a comment

An American village made dependent on the nuclear industry. Perry schools’ crisis if the nuclear power station shuts down

After Being “Promised Wealth:” What Happens to Perry if the Nuclear Power Plant Shuts Down? Spectrum News, By Micaela Marshall Cleveland, Apr. 08, 2021, PERRY, Ohio — What’s been called the largest corruption and money-laundering scheme in Ohio history has dominated headlines since last summer.

The political back-and-forth surrounding House Bill 6 has led to uncertainty in communities that rely on the two Ohio nuclear power plants caught up in the controversy.

What You Need To Know

The money-laundering scheme surrounding House Bill 6 has been in the headlines for months

House Bill 6 is a bailout for nuclear power plants

The halting of the bailout causes concerns the plants may close

The communities and schools depending on the employment at the plants are worried.

The village of Perry in Lake County is known for two things: The Perry Nuclear Power Plant and Perry Local Schools, and the relationship between the two is vital to the local economy. ……

Less than three miles away [from the schools complex] is the Perry Nuclear Power Plant.

It was commissioned in 1987 and a big promise was made to the people of Perry, in return for the risk of exposure.

“Back in the day, they were promised wealth that would go on through eternity,” Thompson said.

That guarantee held up at first and allowed for the Perry Local Schools District to become home to state-of-the-art facilities. 

“We were able to build and have some amenities that were not common,” Thompson said.

The Goodwin Theatre, and a campus fitness center with an Olympic-sized pool are some of those amenities. 

“You’re not going to see another district that’s built like this,” he said.

Grants have led to upgrades over the years. …..

The two-story building’s architecture is elaborate. There’s even a clock tower.

“It has absolutely zero use other than aesthetics,” Thompson said. 

Many of the features are unique for a school, especially one in rural Ohio.

“You have this outside veranda that is just gorgeous,” he said pointing to the area outside the middle school.

………… “Nothing’s going to replace the revenue that the nuclear power plant has brought this community over the last 30 years,” Thompson said. ………. https://spectrumnews1.com/oh/columbus/news/2021/04/08/-they-were-promised-wealth-that-would-go-on-through-eternity–what-happens-to-perry-if-the-nuclear-power-plant-shuts-down-

April 10, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA | Leave a comment

France fully nationalises debt-laden EDF nuclear company, – EDF can now focus on renewable energy.

France reportedly to spend $12bn to buy out EDF minority shareholders

NS Energy 7th April 2021

POWERNUCLEARINVESTMENTBy NS Energy Staff Writer  07 Apr 2021

The move is part of the proposed restructuring of the multinational electric utility company

The French government is reportedly anticipating to spend around 10 billion euros ($11.87bn) to buy out minority shareholders in EDF.

The move is part of the proposed restructuring of the multinational electric utility company, in which the current ownership of the French government stands at 83.7%.

Currently under discussion between Paris and the European Commission, the restructuring is expected to result in the formation of a holding company, EDF SA, Reuters reported.

The holding company will be fully state-owned and the proposed restructuring of EDF is codenamed “Project Hercules.”

CGT union executive Sebastien Menesplier was quoted by the news agency as saying: “We are told the state will invest 10 billion euros to buy back the shares held by minority shareholders in order for EDF SA to become 100% state-owned.”

The French government has initiated Project Hercules in order to secure the future of the debt-laden nuclear unit of EDF.

The project was also conceived to enable more attractive part of the business not get impacted by the group’s liabilities.

The proposed restructuring is planned to include nationalisation of the holding company that will incorporate nuclear assets.

As part of the plans, a separate entity, which will be controlled by the holding company, will be created to hold more lucrative businesses.

EDF earlier said that it would be able to double its growth target for renewable energy if the planned restructuring was given go ahead.

The company expected to expand its renewable energy capacity to 100GW by 2030, if Project Hercules is rolled out.

In February, EDF Renewables, along with its partners Enbridge and wpd, started the construction activities at the 448MW Calvados offshore wind farm in France.

April 10, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, France, politics | Leave a comment

Uncertain future for EDF’s Dungeness nuclear power station. It may have to shut down early.

Reuters 8th April 2021, DF Energy, owned by French utility EDF, is exploring a range of scenarios for its Dungeness B nuclear plant in Britain, including bringing forward its decommissioning date of 2028, it said on Thursday. The 1.1 gigawatt Dungeness B plant, in Kent on the south coast of England, has been offline since 2018 as the company has been carrying out inspections and maintenance of pipes carrying steam to the turbine. EDF Energy has also been trying to complete repair work on corrosion identified during inspections of safety back-up systems.

The plant is currently forecast to return to service in August. It was designed in the 1960s and first started generating
electricity in 1983. EDF Energy said it has spent more than 100 million pounds ($138 million) on the plant during its current outage and it has a number of ongoing technical challenges that make its future uncertain.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-nuclear/edf-energy-could-bring-forward-decommissioning-of-dungeness-b-nuclear-plant-idUSKBN2BV1P4?rpc=401&

April 10, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, decommission reactor, UK | Leave a comment

New defects in France’s Flamanville nuclear project. Doubts that it will start-up on time, – or indeed ever!

France Info 7th April 2021, Flamanville EPR: “The start-up does not seem possible before 2023” and we can doubt “that it will start one day”, according to negaWatt. “The decision to stop the costs is extremely difficult to take because we are talking about an investment of around 20 billion euros,” said energy expert and spokesperson for the association, Yves Marignac.

https://www.francetvinfo.fr/societe/nucleaire/epr-de-flamanville-le-demarrage-ne-semble-pas-envisageable-avant-2023-et-on-peut-douter-qu-il-demarre-un-jour-selon-negawatt_4362837.html

La Presse de la Manche 6th April 2021, The Nuclear Safety Authority was notified on March 17, 2021 of the late detection of faults in several pieces of equipment in reactors 1 and 2 at the Flamanville nuclear power plant, in the English Channel.

https://actu.fr/normandie/flamanville_50184/centrale-nucleaire-de-flamanville-des-defauts-detectes-dans-plusieurs-equipements_40840704.html

April 10, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, France, politics | Leave a comment

Japanese government continues Japan’s ”Nuclear Village” generous grants to keep ageing nuclear reactors going.

Lucrative grants offered to keep aging nuclear reactors running,  http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14326422

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

April 7, 2021   
The central government is offering billions of yen in new grants to Fukui Prefecture to allow a nuclear plant operator to run its aging reactors beyond their operational life span of 40 years.

Fukui is not the only prefecture in Japan that hosts old reactors, and the grants could create momentum toward the restarts of these units.

“As for an expansion of grants, up to 2.5 billion yen ($22.6 million) will be provided per nuclear plant to a prefecture preparing to respond to the extension of the 40-year life of reactors,” the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in a document presented to the Fukui prefectural government on April 6.

The ministry’s offer is expected to become a key point of discussions as Fukui Prefecture and the prefectural assembly begin to weigh whether they should approve of the restart of three reactors in question there.

Fukui Governor Tatsuji Sugimoto hailed the central government’s offer, calling it “a step forward.”
He had urged the prefectural assembly to discuss the restart issue in February, but the assembly put off the debate, citing a lack of measures to revitalize the local economy.

Osaka-based Kansai Electric Power Co. is pushing to reactivate the three reactors in Fukui Prefecture–the No. 1 and 2 reactors at the Takahama nuclear plant in Takahama and the No. 3 reactor at the Mihama nuclear plant in Mihama.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority has given its one-time permission to operate those reactors for 20 more years beyond their 40-year life spans.

If the local governments approve the restarts, Fukui Prefecture would receive a combined 5 billion yen under the new grant setup.

The town halls of Takahama and Mihama have already given the greenlight to the restarts. The remaining hurdle is whether the governor and the prefectural assembly will approve them.

The maximum 2.5 billion yen will be made available over a period of five years, according to the industry ministry’s Agency for Natural Resources and Energy.

The offer of the funds came in response to the Fukui prefectural government’s request for additional grants concerning the reactors as a measure to stimulate the local economy.

The prefectural government is expected to discuss how to distribute the grants with Takahama and Mihama.

Other prefectures hosting old reactors operated by companies seeking the 20-year extension will be eligible for the new grants.

The only other facility that has gained the NRA’s permission to operate beyond 40 years is the Tokai No. 2 nuclear plant in Ibaraki Prefecture.

Five other reactors in Japan have been in service for more than 35 years.

The decommissioning process has started for other aging reactors because their operators decided that upgrades and additional safeguard measures required to bring them back online would be too expensive.

(This article was written by Kenji Oda and Takayuki Sato.)

April 8, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Bitcoin mining to consume more electricity than whole of Australia by 2024 — RenewEconomy

Researchers warn bitcoin mining could undermine efforts to reach global climate targets, with electricity consumption expected to surpass that of Australia. The post Bitcoin mining to consume more electricity than whole of Australia by 2024 appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Bitcoin mining to consume more electricity than whole of Australia by 2024 — RenewEconomy

The amount of electricity consumed by bitcoin mining operations will surge over the next three years, consuming more power than entire countries, including that of Australia, new research has predicted.

In a new research paper published in the journal Nature Communications, researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Tsinghua University have projected that on current trends, bitcoin mining electricity consumption will more than double from its current levels, peaking in 2024.

At that time, the researchers say, the total electricity consumption of Bitcoin miners will reach as high as 297 terawatt-hours annually if no measures are undertaken to curb energy use or emissions. This will be more than the annual electricity consumption of the whole of Australia, which currently stands at around 265 terawatt-hours per year.

The surge in electricity consumption will see bitcoin rank as the equivalent of the 12th largest electricity consumer amongst all countries, higher than the likes of major European economies, including Italy and Spain.

The researchers say that without stricter regulatory controls, the growing energy demand of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies more broadly could undermine global sustainability efforts.

Using a simulated carbon emissions model, the research led by researchers Dabo Guan and Shouyang Wang estimates that Bitcoin mining will be responsible for 130 million tonnes of carbon emissions – higher than the emissions of countries like Qatar and the Czech Republic.

The operation of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin requires substantial computational power to process transactions and to maintain a transaction ledger.

Computers dedicated to processing these transactions are awarded in return for their computational power by being issued units of the cryptocurrency.

The offer of potentially lucrative cryptocurrency units in return for computing resources has sparked a surge in investment in dedicated ‘mining’ equipment, which has sent energy consumption surging with it.

This has particularly been the case in China, where access to cheaper supplies of electricity and ready access to the necessary computer equipment has made bitcoin mining a profitable venture.

It is estimated that around 70 per cent of bitcoin miners are located in China.

But the researchers said that the operations are already causing electricity demand throughout China to increase, with bitcoin mining ranking in the top 10 among China’s 182 prefecture-level cities, as well as amongst 42 major industrial sectors in China.

Bitcoin is already responsible for approximately 5.4 per cent of China’s electricity emissions.

The researchers warned that the bitcoin mining operations could undermine China’s efforts to meet its targets under the Paris Agreement.

“The Paris Agreement is a worldwide agreement committed to limit the increase of global average temperature,” the research paper says.

Under the Paris Agreement, China is devoted to cut down 60 per cent of the carbon emission per GDP by 2030 based on that of 2005. However, according to the simulation results of the [blockchain carbon emission] model, we find that the carbon emission pattern of Bitcoin blockchain will become a potential barrier against the emission reduction target of China.”

As Ketan Joshi reported for RenewEconomy, the quest to supply Bitcoin mining operations with cheap sources of power have seen operators turn to fossil fuel generators for their supplies of electricity.

The researchers suggest that an ‘individualised’ approach that encourages miners to shift away from regions predominantly powered by coal and into regions that can act as a source of zero emissions electricity.

he paper warns that the imposition of carbon prices or taxes may only work to shift miners to other countries with lower energy costs, potentially seeing them continue to use supplies of fossil fuel electricity.

The researchers say miners should be moved into regions with higher proportions of renewable energy supplies, such as hydroelectricity, and supporting operations to take advantage of surplus electricity supplies.

While this ‘site regulation’ approach modelled by the researchers showed electricity demand growing even higher, potentially reaching 320 terawatt-hours by 2025, however, emissions will be substantially lower.

“Among all the intended policies, Site Regulation shows the best effectiveness, reducing the peak carbon emission per GDP of the Bitcoin industry to 6 kg per USD. Overall, the carbon emission per GDP of the Bitcoin industry far exceeds the average industrial carbon intensity of China, which indicates that Bitcoin blockchain operation is a highly carbon-intense industry,” the paper says

April 8, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, China, ENERGY | 1 Comment

In a positive move, Polish utilities remove their investment in nuclear power development.

Nuclear Project Divestment Positive for Polish Utilities,   Fitch Ratings, Tue 30 Mar, 2021. -London-. The announced divestment of shares in the first nuclear power plant project in Poland to the State Treasury is positive for the credit profiles of divesting utilities, Fitch Ratings says.

For utilities, this step takes away the risk of being involved in high-risk, long-term and very capital-intensive nuclear generation projects, which are beyond the capacity of even a consortium of utilities if not backed by price-support mechanisms or state guarantees to debt. It will also let utilities concentrate on expansion in much less capital-intensive and much shorter time-to-EBITDA wind, solar and gas-fired generation……….

As per Poland’s new energy policy, the first nuclear power block is expected to start generation in 2033….
The government is planning to make nuclear generation a source of baseload electricity……….
the adoption of the country’s new energy policy in February 2021, new nuclear power programme in October 2020 and negotiations with suppliers of nuclear technology. The US’s Westinghouse Electric Company (B/Stable) is leading the race………

However, even after the final decisions with respect to location and construction are taken, the process will be lengthy and technically complex, so delays beyond the planned delivery date of 2033 are a real possibility. Most of the ongoing nuclear generation projects in Europe face multi-year delays. This strengthens our view that the announced withdrawal of PGE, ENEA and Tauron from the nuclear project company is positive for their credit profiles.

Contact:

Artur Galbarczyk
Director
+48 22 338 6291
Fitch Ratings Ireland Limited Sp. z o.o. Branch in Poland
Krolewska 16, 00-103 Warsaw

Arkadiusz Wicik
Senior Director
+48 22 338 6286

Media Relations: Adrian Simpson, London, Tel: +44 20 3530 1010, Email: adrian.simpson@thefitchgroup.com

Additional information is available on www.fitchratings.com https://www.fitchratings.com/research/corporate-finance/nuclear-project-divestment-positive-for-polish-utilities-30-03-2021

April 6, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, EUROPE | Leave a comment

Ohio’s Electric Power Association happy to see the end of customer-funded nuclear subsidies

EPSA expresses support for Ohio’s end of customer-funded nuclear subsidies, https://dailyenergyinsider.com/news/29767-epsa-expresses-support-for-ohios-end-of-customer-funded-nuclear-subsidies/?amp  Chris Galford,  With Gov. Mike DeWine’s approval last week, Ohio House Bill 128 officially put an end to nuclear energy subsidies in the state and amended existing law to better benefit solar resources instead, earning praise from the Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA).

Specifically, H.B. 128 took aim at the provisions of another bill, H.B. 6, from the last General Assembly.

“Today is a long-awaited day for Ohio families and businesses,” Todd Snitchler, head of the EPSA, said. “The nuclear subsidies included in H.B. 6 were unnecessary and unjustified, and only passed due to the alleged unprecedented corruption in the legislative process and referendum effort. The H.B. 6 debacle shows that politically motivated efforts to subsidize favored energy resources at the behest of powerful and well-funded interests invites malfeasance, undermines competition and innovation, and drives up costs for consumers without ensuring better energy solutions for those paying the bill.”

H.B. 6 had, at the time, been widely promoted by FirstEnergy Corp. and FirstEnergy Solutions. It categorized nuclear power alongside other renewable energy sources. It allowed providers to draw credits for each megawatt hour of electricity reported and to draw from a $20 million annual disbursement fund for renewable sources, among other things.

The EPSA staunchly opposed that fact, and even now, Snitchler added that the rest of H.B. 6 should be taken up by the Legislature and resolved. However, the national trade association did call the current moves a win for fair market competition and consumer choice.

H.B. 128 was sponsored by state Reps. Jim Hoops (R-Napoleon) and Dick Stein (R-Norwalk)

April 6, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, Legal, USA | Leave a comment

Japanese engineering firm EPC joins with NuScale in small modular reactor investment


Japanese EPC firm takes $40M stake in nuclear SMR developer NuScale Power,
Power EngineeringBy Rod Walton -4.5.2021

A Japanese energy project engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor is the latest industry firm making a major investment in a nuclear small modular reactor (SMR) firm.

Majority investor Fluor Corp. announced Monday that JGC Holdings Corp. invested $40 million in NuScale Power LLC. NuScale is a SMR developer which already is reachintg U.S. federal regulatory approval to move forward on project deployment.

Portland, Oregon-based NuScale will advance its global development with investments and EPC partnerhips with companies like JGC and Fluor……….  https://www.power-eng.com/nuclear/japanese-epc-firm-takes-40m-stake-in-nuclear-smr-developer-nuscale-power/

April 6, 2021 Posted by | business and costs | Leave a comment

No market for small nuclear reactors, so no justification for setting up factories to make them.

IEEE 9th March 2021, Small modular and advanced nuclear reactors have been proposed as potential ways of dealing with the problems—specifically economic competitiveness, risk of accidents, link to proliferation and production of waste—confronting nuclear power technology. This perspective article examines whether these new designs can indeed solve these problems, with a particular focus on the economic challenges.

It briefly discusses the technical challenges confronting advanced reactor designs and the many decades it might take for these to be commercialized, if ever. The article explains why the higher construction and operational costs per unit of electricity generation capacity will make electricity from small modular reactors more expensive than electricity from large nuclear power plants, which are themselves not competitive in today’s electricity markets.


Next, it examines the potential savings from learning and modular construction, and explains why the historical record suggests that these savings will be inadequate to compensate for the economic challenges resulting from the lower generation capacity. It then critically examines arguments offered by advocates of these technologies about job creation and other potential uses of energy generated from these plants to justify subsidizing and constructing these kinds of nuclear plants. It concludes with an assessment of the markets for these technologies, suggesting that
these are inadequate to justify constructing the necessary manufacturing facilities.

https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/9374057

March 25, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

German government settles disputes with nuclear plant operators

German govt decides amended nuclear law, settles disputes with plant operators,  https://www.cleanenergywire.org/news/german-govt-decides-amended-nuclear-law-settles-disputes-plant-operatorsClean Energy Wire 24 Mar 21,

Germany’s government cabinet today approved an amendment to the Nuclear Energy Act which provides for financial compensation to nuclear power plant operators due to the country’s phase-out decision of 2011. Plant operators will be compensated with a total of 2.4 billion euros for the amount of electricity they couldn’t sell and devalued investments, government ministries had announced earlier this month.

An amendment of the existing compensation rules was necessary after Germany’s highest court ruled in November 2020 that the compensation clauses in the nuclear exit law are unconstitutional. While the ruling left the general nuclear phase-out decision and timetable untouched, it forced the government to revisit the law again. Now the government also announced that it had agreed with energy companies EnBW, E.ON/PreussenElektra, RWE and Vattenfall to set the actual amounts of compensation and in return have the companies settle all related legal disputes.

Environment minister Svenja Schulze, whose ministry drafted the amendment said in a press release: “It is good that we are now finally drawing a line under the protracted legal disputes. This is happening at a price that is significantly lower than the energy suppliers’ original demands.”

Germany will pay compensation totalling about 2.428 billion euros. Vattenfall will receive 1.425 billion euros, RWE 880 million euros, EnBW 80 million euros and E.ON/PreussenElektra 42.5 million euros. The compensation is granted primarily for electricity volumes that cannot be used in the group’s own nuclear power plants (RWE and Vattenfall) – a total of about 2.3 billion euros – and for devalued investments in the lifetime extension withdrawn by the German Bundestag (EnBW, E.ON/PreussenElektra and RWE).

Germany’s accelerated nuclear exit was passed by a large majority in parliament in 2011. The last nuclear reactor will go offline at the end of 2022.

Minister Svenja Schulze said that, with the accelerated nuclear phase-out, Germany has created “predictability and reliability on the energy market and cleared the way for electricity from wind and sun”. Johannes Teyssen, CEO of German energy company E.ON, told business daily Handelsblatt that days of nuclear energy are numbered, as no business-oriented company will invest in it. “If nuclear power plants are still being built anywhere, it will be by state-owned companies or with massive state support,” he said, and added it is “too expensive, too risky and too politically explosive”. Teyssen also said he was sceptical of plans for small nuclear power units.NEWS

March 25, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, Germany, politics | Leave a comment

Investment advice? Some big worries against investing in nuclear power

IW Long Reads: Is Nuclear Energy On The Road To Ruin Or A Sustainability Silver Bullet?  How the world can reach net zero target without resorting to nuclear power, Investment Week,   Anna Fedorova-22Mar 21, Anyone who has seen the TV series Chernobyl knows that when things go wrong with nuclear power the consequences are dire. And while it may seem that matters have evolved since the days of the Soviet Union, the nuclear disaster in Fukushima that happened just ten years ago suggests otherwise.
……….[Elizabeth Stuart, analyst, sustainability research at Morningstar Europe], says  with every other aspect of sustainability, “there is no silver bullet and nuclear is so very far from a perfect solution”. 

For example, even when nuclear reactors are running properly, they use “tremendous amounts of water to cool the reactors”, while mining and refining the Earth’s finite resources of uranium ore also requires a large amount of energy.

And of course, there is the question of waste management over many generations, given that uranium rods remain dangerously radioactive for 10,000 years.

“There are also second order effects to investment in nuclear energy such as the certainty that this research can be used to create nuclear weapons and that plants are a high value targets should a war break out,” Stuart adds.

“Disruption in a nuclear plant invariably won’t remain within country borders so there is also the issue of diplomacy to consider. In short, nuclear is a textbook example of a controversial stock and any investor would be wise to question its place in an ESG portfolio.” ……………….

the balance is expected to shift towards renewables, which is expected to lead to a decentralisation of the power grids, posing further challenges for nuclear.

Jonathan Cohen, partner at Howard Kennedy, says: “Currently, nuclear power projects are being developed at very high costs and it is difficult to finance new projects without large state expenditure.

……………wide scale support from the private sector just is not there, with investors increasingly choosing to stay on the safe side and invest in renewables instead.

Robeco, for example, excludes electricity utilities that generate more than 30% of their power from nuclear sources from all of its sustainable strategies, and does not invest in nuclear power at all in its RobecoSAM Smart Energy Equities strategy.

This decision is driven by a combination of “unique risks”, negative environmental impacts, relatively high costs of nuclear and the “impressive technological and cost developments in both renewables and storage technologies”.

Mark Campanale, founder of the Carbon Tracker Initiative, says: “Our view is that given so many cheaper renewable energy resources available, why would anyone want to go to the expense of what is an uncompetitive technology on price, one which takes hundreds of years to clear up its waste?”

According to Eduardo Monteiro, co-CIO at Victory Hill Capital Advisors, even if nuclear is to play a “robust role” in a country’s energy supply, it has too many shortcomings as a sustainable investment alternative, and should therefore be avoided.

“The waste generated will be a legacy for future generations to deal with and as such investors need to think about the very real negative impact these holdings will have in both the broader sense but also to financial returns,” he says.

“Such managers may naturally prefer to invest in renewables to support their interpretation of ESG investing and the transition to ‘clean’ energy more widely,” he says.  https://www.investmentweek.co.uk/analysis/4028635/iw-long-reads-nuclear-energy-road-ruin-sustainability-silver-bullet

March 23, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs | Leave a comment

US Nuclear Corp signs agreements with Chinese nuclear corporation

US Nuclear Completes $256,626 Shipment to China, Signs New Agreement With CNNC Subsidiary, Intrado, March 22, 2021 LOS ANGELES, CA, (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — via NewMediaWire – US Nuclear Corp. (OTCQB: UCLE) recently completed a shipment to China of USN’S popular tritium and carbon-14 air samplers as well as portable tritium monitors worth a total of $256,626.

Furthermore, as part of US Nuclear’s expansion into the Chinese market, US Nuclear signed a new “Cooperation Agreement” on March 1, 2021 with Dalian Zhonghe Scientific and Technological Development Co., a subsidiary of China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC). Together, the companies will work to design the perfect instrumentation to outfit Chinese nuclear power plants.  The instruments are planned to be built at a local factory in China to be cost-competitive and will be optimized for Chinese operators based on the local regulations and procedures.  This can be a game changer since currently 80% of nuclear instruments purchased are imported into China at a high cost, and the functionality often does not fit local procedures, regulations, and language.

US Nuclear already has a local sales office in Beijing, China, and this new cooperation agreement with Dalian Zhonghe will help US Nuclear capture even more of the burgeoning market for nuclear power and radiation detection equipment in China.

The China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) controls most nuclear sector business including R&D, engineering design, uranium exploration and mining, enrichment, fuel fabrication, reprocessing, and waste disposal.  It is also said to be the major investor in all nuclear plants in China.

China’s Nuclear Power Measurement Market

China is by far the world’s most active builder of nuclear power with plans to surpass the U.S. as the world’s top producer of nuclear energy by as early as 2030…………

China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) designs and builds nuclear power plants and oversees all aspects of China’s civilian and military nuclear programs.  ………  China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) designs and builds nuclear power plants and oversees all aspects of China’s civilian and military nuclear programs.  https://currently.att.yahoo.com/att/us-nuclear-completes-256-626-123000822.html

March 23, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, China, politics international, USA | Leave a comment