Atomic Show #236 – Local Nuclear NW, NE, Canada

On March 30, 2015, I gathered a few of my pro-nuclear blogging friends together for a chat about recent events and activity in three separate areas, the Pacific Northwest, the US Northeast, and the eastern provinces of Canada.

We also chatted about recent budget hearings for the DOE and the NRC and the way the proposed budgets help to illuminate the Administration’s real priorities. Spending plans often do not mirror political rhetoric, but they help indicate actual prioritization choices.

Based on the submitted budget, the Administration’s interest in helping to reduce the upfront costs of working through the thicket of federal regulations for small modular reactors (SMRs) fell by 33%.

It’s interest in that loudly touted program is 100 times less than its interest in supporting a $6 billion/year expenditure for tax credits for industrial wind development that return 30% of the project cost to the developer about one year after the turbines start spinning.

My guests were

Steve Aplin, who blogs at Canadian Energy Issues

And

Meredith Angwin, who blogs at Yes Vermont Yankee and Northwest Clean Energy

Here is a photo that includes both Steve and Meredith (along with Jarrett Adams, Gwyneth Cravens, Jack Gamble, and our Avignon tour guide) in Avignon France in June 2010. Great memories made with some terrific people.

Avingon France Jun 2010

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SMRs – lots of noise but DOE budget that’s 1% of annual wind tax credit

I’ve been spending some time watching, rewatching and clipping interesting excerpts from the Senate Appropriations Energy and Water subcommittee hearings on the FY2016 Department of Energy budget. It’s not everyone’s idea of entertainment, but it’s fascinating to me to watch publicly accessible discussions about how our government makes decisions, sets priorities and spends the money […]

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South Australian senator believes there’s value in “nuclear waste”

South_Australia

South Australian Sen. Sean Edwards sees economic opportunity for his state by taking advantage of other countries’ irrational fear of radioactive materials. He wants to turn what some call “waste” into wealth. He and his staff recognize that there are tens of billions of dollars set aside in government budgets around the world for safe […]

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NRC FY2016 budget hearing – Sen Alexander and Sen Feinstein

On March 4, 2015, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development held a hearing about the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s FY2016 budget. The video archive is available for review. The only senators from the subcommittee who took part in the hearing were Sen Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Sen Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) with an invited […]

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Agencies should not allow creation of a hostile environment at public meetings

On February 19, 2015, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) transported a substantial contingent of regulators to Brattleboro, VT to hold a public meeting about Entergy’s Post Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report (PSDAR) for the permanently shutdown Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. Brattleboro Community TV produced a video record of the event. Watching that video is […]

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Atomic Show #235 – Energy and Empire by George Gonzales

Energy and Empire cover

Dr. George Gonzales is an associate professor of political science at the University of Miami. In 2012, he published a book titled Energy and Empire: The Politics of Nuclear and Solar Power in the United States. In his book, Professor Gonzales recognizes that the development of nuclear energy poses an obvious threat to the continued […]

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Proving a Negative – Why Modern Used Nuclear Fuel Cannot Be Used to Make a Weapon

Editor’s note: This post was first published on Jul 24, 2010. While working on a new post involving the use of fast spectrum reactors to address many important society challenges, I thought it would be worthwhile to share this important background piece to let you start thinking about some of the misinformation you might have […]

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Should NRC spend time and money simplifying transition to decommissioning?

In the past three years, five nuclear reactors in the United States have permanently ceased operations and are in the process of transitioning to a decommissioning status. There is not a well defined process for making that transition and for applying appropriate, risk-informed regulations. As a consequence of that situation, the owner of each plant […]

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Building a powerful pro-nuclear coalition

The nuclear energy enterprise is not healthy in North America and Europe, the places that discovered the science and invented the technologies. That situation needs to change with due haste into sustainable progress that is not artificially restricted by annoying, delaying, costly opposition from people who either do not understand or do not value the […]

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Shaping public perceptions of radiation risk

Note: The below is part of a longer work in progress. Comments and corrections are greatly appreciated. On Monday, November 17, the US House of Representatives passed H.R. 5544, the Low Dose Radiation Research Act, which called for the National Academies to “conduct a study assessing the current status and development of a long-term strategy […]

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FOE’s manipulative legal strategy for closing nuclear reactors

During a recent discussion on James Conca’s article titled Are California’s Carbon Goals Kaput?, Paul Gunter of Beyond Nuclear accused Conca of trying to revise history. Gunter’s comment includes a lengthy interpretation of the events surrounding the closure of San Onofre from the point of view of a man who has been a professional antinuclear […]

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Is it really necessary to have a deep geologic repository for used nuclear fuel?

Though I have often received quizzical, almost uncomprehending looks from my type ‘A’ colleagues on submarines and in my other jobs, I’ve often been guided by a simple principal of decision-making – “If it’s too hard, quit.” Please don’t think that means I’m the type of person who can never get anything done or who […]

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