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11 Comments

  1. Getting to first base is not a victory. Anti-nukes have been shutout for the last ten years. Nuclear case law is pretty much settled. The reason for declaring victory is fund raising. Most so called environmental groups really do not do anything for the environment.
    Some environmental groups have achieved success for their causes by compromise. The owners of the nuke plant want something and they trade by giving something like anaerobic digester on dairy farms or wild life reserves. Both sides get to declare victory
    It has been my experience that people who work at nuke plants care about their local environment. When the Boy Scouts are planting trees, some of the parents work at the nuke plants. Local environmental activists want the same thing, to protect the environment for our children.
    The anti-nukes are big carpet baggers fighting power plants everywhere. It is about billing attorney hours not protecting the environment.

    1. Kit – I agree except that I think you are being a little generous in your analogy. Being allowed “standing” is more like being allowed to be in the line-up vice getting to first base.
      Actually getting a hit or a walk takes a better argument.

  2. “The Sierra Club and The Friends of the Earth are fighting to slow down and increase the cost of the process of licensing and building…”
    They complain that atomic energy is too expensive and takes too long to build – and they do everything they can to make it more so. Reminds me of the kid who murders his parents and then asks for leniency because he is an orphan.

  3. Rod – Would the deployment of small (5-100 MWe) modular NPPs avoid this interpretation of “major federal actions”?
    Here, here! to both Kit P and harlz.

  4. Doc
    All electric generating stations have a lengthy permitting process with public participation and the opportunity to get tied up in court. The anti-s are against everything in practice. The long battle to build renewable energy projects is just noticed on a national level.
    This actually works in favor of large nukes. First, because case law is settled. Second, nukes actually have less environment environmental impact than either wind or solar.
    What do you think is easier, siting one large nuke or 300 biomass plants?

    1. I wouldn’t choose the biomass plants at all, or in very limited locations and due to their proximity to reliable quantities of raw material.
      Large nuke makes sense considering the case law aspect. I just didn’t take the time to read the link to Federal regulations to discern if there was a floor under which a small nuke plant would have minimal exposure to delaying litigation attempts by the anti’s.

    2. Kit – the reason why I’m in favor of both large nukes AND small nukes is because the law can be changed – and another world is possible. Just because right now a large nuke might appear to be preferred by the market and by regulation, I think that ultimately, there are a lot of needs for electricity that come in 1.5 MWe or 15 MWe, or even 150 MWe increments that ultimately add up to far more use of electricity than the moderate number of needs that come in 1.5 GWe increments. We do need those 1.5 GWe plants, but having smaller plants too – ones that can be deployed – small and nimble – prepackaged – containerized – modularized – inherently safe – pre-approved and pre-inspected for your convenience – plug and play – allow for more agility in nuclear development.
      GenIV reactors – ones that don’t need a containment because they can’t make a mess – like the pebble-bed/prismatic gas turbine reactors – are perfect for this sort of application. All there needs to be is a regulatory system updated to recognize the difference between a LWR with thousands of MWth, that could possibly cause a mess (yeah, when the moon turns blue, swine go airborne, and a herd of elephants charges through the containment), and a GenIV plant with tens or hundreds of MWth, that can’t make a mess, no matter what. All you’d need is a certified design and a manufacturing license.
      Plus, if reactors get down into the previously mentioned sizes that the municipal utility, the power cooperative, the small electric company, or even the industrial facility can buy and run, you’ve just made opposition to nuclear power far harder. If you don’t need a license to buy and install a certified reactor, you’ll have thousands of these going out across the country. The opposition will be forced to divide their forces, and when divided they become weak.
      Having a lot of small, agile targets, rather than large slow-moving targets makes it a heck of a lot harder to stop them.

      1. “GenIV reactors – ones that don’t need a containment because they can’t make a mess – like the pebble-bed/prismatic gas turbine reactors – are perfect for this sort of application.”
        But these reactors do have containment, which is key to their safety design.

  5. “Ham Sandwich Gets Intervenor Standing” …surprised this isn’t on Drudge with a siren.

  6. Now we will be subject to yet another storm of press releases by the anti’s and the “green” groups declaring nukes are bad and the nuke industry is still dead. The real purpose of the press releases, however, will be to get the dollars flowing into the coffers. It has probably been a bad year for donations to the “green” groups due to the economy as it has for all groups that rely on donations to accomplish their mission. The press release to the faithful will be to let them know that the big bad nukes are being held in check even though the facts do not support their statements. But it will allow their supporters to feel good about themselves as they send in more money to keep the big bad nukes from expanding which will ultmately be a losing effort since nukes must and are being built.
    Just another example of the incredibly short attention span of most people, the use of emotions over engineering facts by the “green” groups to gain financial and political advantage as well as the general lack of technical knowledge that exists in our time.

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