1. Your comment about Westinghouse and AP-1000 is fully understood by the folks I know at Westinghouse. They claimed to have learned the lesson CE did with S Korea by selling four plants and not two (i.e., make enough money since they will likely sell no more in China). Their gamble is to build the AP-1000 in China so the US utilities will not have to be the first. Westinghouse has a non-compete agreement for the US, but they seem to recognize that they are sacrificing some of the Asian market by the deal with China.

    My opinion is that they did not have much choice as US utilities are very nervous about first of a kind (FOAK) and the difficulties in our financial system.

  2. Comment requested, least I can do. Kelly Taylor’s laugh is pleasant and thankfully ubiquitous.

    She has a point about the gates along I-64. I’m curious about what they’re for, while I wasn’t before hearing this. Actually, I’m not curious. (Gilda Radner) Never mind. (/Gilda Radner)

  3. Actually, I got curious myself and feel the need now to apologize for the mysterious comment that I made on the show.

    It turns out that the Virginia Department of Transportation installed the gates on I-64 as part of its hurricane preparations – they allow VDOT to close off the entrances and completely reverse the flow of the interstate in the case of a need for evacuation.


    It is amazing what one can learn with a few simple keystrokes in the right block of a browser window.

  4. Various “refugees” tell me that Warren Buffett is shaking things up at Constellation in ways that are driving out a large number of experienced nuclear employees, with more to follow after they earn their bonuses in December. Either he will experience lower costs and create a new paradigm, or put the Constellation nukes in NRC column 4 and learn a costly lesson in the need to sustain excellent performance.

  5. Joe – thank you for the insight. If you happen to correspond with your colleagues in “refugee” status, please share my contact information with them. It is an important company and an important story for us all to understand. If I have it wrong in my interpretation of MidAmerican’s take over being a positive for the nuclear development part of the company, I would love to find out early rather than later.

    For example – what are the specific changes that are causing experienced people to leave? Why would a company that wants to build new nuclear plants allow or encourage their existing talent to take a walk?

  6. Ahh. Thanks, Mr. Adams. Hurricane evac. Riiight. Good cover story. We have those kinds of gates around here for snow “situations.” No, really, we do. At least that’s what they tell us.

    Meanwhile, have you heard back from Joe? What does “NRC column 4” mean?

  7. Never mind again. I didn’t use the “right block of a browser window” but Yahoo regarding Perry, OH:

    “The equipment problems and the licensee’s corrective action deficiencies have placed the plant in Column 4 in the five-column system the NRC uses to determine its response to nuclear plant performance. “

  8. If the “mysterious comment” was about the Yorktown Naval Weapons Station, its existence is public knowledge. It’s even got a website: https://www.cnic.navy.mil/Yorktown/index.htm I’m sure there’s secret stuff going on there, but I took it for granted that it has stockpiles of ‘single-use, non-recyclable, fast-neutron energy generators’.

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