Though it has been a little quiet here on Atomic Insights in the past few days, I have been working on some stories documenting financial maneuvers in the US energy industry — especially as it related to nuclear energy.
You might be interested in reading Save Vermont Yankee. If not you, who? If not now, when? on ANS Nuclear Cafe. Comments and discussion about ways to change the current planned reality would be greatly appreciated.
While you are thinking about the impact that closing Vermont Yankee might have on the reliability of the New England power grid and the cost of both electricity and natural gas, I’d like you to also read an opinion piece titled Enron-Style Price Gouging is Making a Comeback.
That opinion piece, written by David Cay Johnston, describes how a group of Wall Street bankers called Energy Capital Partners purchased three fossil fuel power plants from Dominion in August of 2013. Within 5 weeks of closing on that purchase, Energy Capital Partners decided to permanently close the largest of those three plants.
Johnston, by the way, is a Pulitzer-prize winning reporter, a visiting lecturer at Syracuse University, and the board president of Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE).
There are dots here that need to be connected. Using skills developed as a geo plot evaluator, I’m working on determining course, speed and position of the target based on isolated and somewhat difficult to discern signals, so consider this to be a “teaser.”
Aside: If you do not understand the “geo plot evaluator” allusion, ask a friendly submariner. He might be able to help you. End Aside.
If you work for a company that has a subscription to Fuel Cycle Week, I also recommend that you find a copy of the May 8, 2014 (issued early this morning) issue and look for an article titled Greed Killed B&W SMR Project. The headline writer may have been a little premature in signing the death certificate, but the article is a fascinating look at a situation that is close to my heart and head. I can’t reveal any more right now in fairness to the publication that has purchased that article.
I apologize if you think that all information should be free, but not every publication can afford to do what we do here on Atomic Insights. It requires a fair amount of labor to develop stories, verify their accuracy and deliver and manage content. That labor deserves to be compensated.
Have a great day.
PS – Right after I hit the “Publish” button, I opened an email containing the following press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 8, 2014
NuScale Power To Open Charlotte Office, Host Recruiting Events Expanded East Coast Presence To Support Company Growth and Vision
PORTLAND, Ore. – NuScale Power, LLC announced today that it is opening an operations and engineering center in Charlotte, North Carolina in June—establishing a presence in a major hub of the U.S. nuclear industry, complementing existing operations in Atlanta and Washington, DC.
The new offices will be co-located with Fluor Corporation’s Charlotte office, and will initially house approximately 70 engineering, project management, licensing, sales, marketing and business development personnel dedicated to supporting the rapid commercialization of the NuScale Power ModuleTM Small Module Reactor (SMR) technology. Fluor Corporation is the majority owner of NuScale.
“This is an important step for NuScale as we continue full speed ahead with the technology that our customers are demanding for commercial operation by 2023. NuScale was the first company to begin efforts to commercialize a Small Modular Reactor, in 2000, long before there were other entrants or the prospects of DOE funds. Our new location in Charlotte will enable access to, and continued recruitment of, top talent in the nuclear industry,” stated John Hopkins, NuScale Power’s chairman and chief executive officer. “This is a natural evolution in our objective to become the leading global supplier of small modular reactor technology, systems and services.”
In December 2013, NuScale Power was selected as the sole winner of the second round of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) competitively-bid, cost-sharing program to develop nuclear SMR technology. NuScale and DOE are currently negotiating a cooperative agreement that formalizes the public-private relationship and establishes milestones for the five-year funding program.
In advance of the office opening, NuScale plans to host recruiting events in Lynchburg and Charlotte over two to three days in mid-May.
For more information, visit our Career Page at www.nuscalepower.com/careers.aspx.
About NuScale Power, LLC
NuScale Power, LLC is developing a new kind of nuclear plant; a safer, smaller, scalable version of pressurized water reactor technology, designed with natural safety features. Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR), a global engineering, procurement and construction company with a 60-year history in commercial nuclear power, is the majority investor in NuScale. As the sole winner of the second round of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) competitively-bid, cost- sharing program to develop nuclear small modular reactor (SMR) technology, NuScale’s design offers the benefits of carbon-free nuclear power but takes away the issues presented by the cost of installing large capacity.
A nuclear power plant using NuScale’s technology is comprised of individual NuScale Power ModulesTM, each producing 45 megawatts of electricity with its own factory-built combined containment vessel and reactor vessel, and its own packaged turbine- generator set. A power plant can include as many as 12 NuScale Power Modules to produce as much as 540 megawatts. The reactor coolant is driven by natural circulation and can be shut down safely with no operator action, no AC or DC power, and no external water. NuScale power plants are scalable – additional modules are added as customer demand for electricity increases. NuScale’s technology also is ideally suited to supply energy for district heating, desalination and other applications. NuScale is headquartered in Portland, Oregon.
For more information visit: www.nuscalepower.com.
I suspect several Atomic Insights readers will be interested in NuScale’s announcement.
If you think stories like the ones you have read about here today are useful in your investment decisions or career planning, please consider a donation to Atomic Insights LLC. Donations are not tax deductible; Atomic Insights is a for-profit, tax-paying organization with a mission.
We are passionate about finding and sharing accurate information and analysis about atomic energy, fuel choices, energy industry, hydrocarbon-fueled politics, and the difficult energy choices that we all need to make.
If you think, but I’ve already donated, ask yourself how many times you have tipped your favorite bartender, waitress, garbage man or valet. Is the service provided here any less valuable?