Bechtel And BWXT Quietly Terminate mPower Reactor Project 1


  1. I wonder how long the NRC will continue to exist after all existing nuclear power plants are decommissioned. How many people will they require to regulate medical waste and well logging devices?

    Probably a better than even chance Westinghouse will file for bankruptcy in the next few weeks. If the allegations of “inappropriate pressure” by WEC management to pretty up the books for a Toshiba purchase are substantiated, that also implies criminal activities. Kepco would probably be interested in buying WEC for the nuclear fuel and services part of the business but would they have any interest in sustaining the AP1000? They would be smart to wait for a WEC bankruptcy to unfold as well as any criminal investigations to reveal all the creepy-crawlies. I don’t think there will be a great rush of bidders for WEC compelling Kepco to act quickly.

    Could a WEC bankruptcy decision allow WEC to cancel the AP1000 contracts with Vogtle and Summer? Summer has the existing AP1000 intellectual property in escrow but if the design is not yet complete can what’s left of WEC or a third party pick up the pieces nd complete the project? Can WEC hold on to the essential designers through a bankruptcy and the subsequent period of austerity?

    1. After reading enough things about receivership and “debtor-in-possession financing”, my guess is “yes”.  But “can” vs. “will” is always a question.

      One option that strikes me right off the bat is a split of WEC into two companies, “good-WEC” and “bad-WEC”.  “good-WEC” owns all the IP and has all the workers, and “bad-WEC” owns all the debt… plus 100% of “good-WEC”.  “good-WEC” being a separate entity, it can finish its work while the sharks swim around “bad-WEC” resolving its issues.

  2. Looks like NuScale is setting itself up to dominate the emerging SMR industry in the 2020s.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing the Federal Power Marketing Administrations and the TVA being allowed to go into “Coal Country’ and other regions of the country to offer communities the opportunity accommodate small modular reactors and renewable systems in their area for the production of electricity and for the plasma arc pyrolysis of urban and rural biowaste into synfuels for peak load energy production and carbon neutral methanol and gasoline production.

    Natural gas power plants can be easily and cheaply modified to burn carbon neutral bio-methanol. Adding hydrogen through electrolysis could triple the production of bio-methanol. Recycling the carbon dioxide produced from methanol electric power plants could continuously increase the amount of bio-methanol production.

    This would create high paying jobs in these poor communities while also allowing them to lead the way in carbon neutral energy production in the US and around the world.


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