1. This is all very well and a commendable step forward, NEI, but why not take a load off from playing PR by ear and pick up the phone to the Ad agencies that the Gas Industry is so successfully tapping and test out ads for a few weeks in the NYC metro market where Indian Point and Millstone and Oyster Creek and such can sure use the media education air support? Besides, Puppy Rescue would wag happy to nudge shoulders with commercials by organizations with pockets as deep as theirs.

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

  2. This is very interesting, but in the long run we are all dead. For certain nuclear plants in merchant states, those operated by Entergy in Illinois, we are talking end of operation in 2014.

    Grid reliability is totally ignored by the ISO (Independent System Operators) in all merchant states and mind you it is their day time jobs ! They have known about this forever but ignored giving this a financial premium.

    Entergy pointed out that before ISO wakes up it will be too late and nuclear plants will close (But it is their day time job!)

    Last week, Moniz woke up and said that grid reliability provided by stable base load forces had to be given value. (This one just woke up. He did not know about this 3 weeks ago)

    Who and how can the ISO dinosaurs react before they instinct us ?

    The nuclear fleet is a national asset. We have less than 10 months left for 4 or 5 plants and soon all plants operating in artificially priced merchant states.

    1. @Daniel-
      There is still plenty of year left, but so far the spot electricity prices have been high enough so that the merchant nukes should be making some profit this year. The daily Midwest spot price is near 10 cents/kwh.

      However, the even higher power prices in New England evidently aren’t enough to save Vermont Yankee. I agree it is definitely something to be concerned about. Also, I think you might mean Exelon in Illinois, not Entergy. Quad Cities and Clinton could be the next plants scheduled for closure.

  3. I am glad to see the NEI make this move. I hear Shell’s fracking commercial nearly a dozen times a day between radio, Pandora, and cable TV and feel the power of all the repetition. I believe the Shell ad campaign has aided them in NE Ohio and people are open to responsible fracking. I hope that the NEI campaign will be successful too – it is important for nuclear power to be part of the conversation. As the saying goes: “If you aren’t sitting at the table, you are going to be on the menu.”

  4. “Leslie and her team at Transatomic Power would prefer to use the material to create vast quantities of emission free electricity that could help”

    Another worthless “company” producing paper designs that don’t work.

    “He is deeply committed to the process of helping to create hundreds of high paying, long term jobs.”

    Really? Of course there is no mention as to what they actually are.

    “He states there is no viable substitute for liquid hydrocarbon fuels for transportation and points out that nuclear energy can help make it possible to convert coal into a liquid fuel when it is needed in transportation. ”

    Got to love the nuclear “industry”. They can’t even make up their conceptual mind whether to support electrification, synthetic fuels, or the hydrogen economy. They normally bash the fossil fuels as if nuclear France and Japan can just do without.

    1. I agree there are options to burning hydrocarbons for transportation. With unlimited electricity it makes sense to use electric vehicles for short distance use cases and hydrogen with fuel cells for long distance.

      Also, I think the compressed air car needs to get alot more attention. It seems a viable and practical approach that is working, and filling up the air tanks using electrically driven air compressors that are run with nuclear generated electricity seems very renewable and green.

      There is the side effect to drastically reducing the use of hydrocarbons for electricity generation and that is, there is more available for legacy transportation vehicles. Also, fossil fuels are also used in the manufacture of many of the modern products we use today.

      So yes, I also thought is was strange when a Nuclear advocate couldn’t come up with ways to also use that electricity to supplant other CO2 burning uses of hydrocarbons.

      1. Compressed air is very inefficient way to “drive” anything.

        I love your “unlimited electricity”, is that also too cheap to meter, or too cheap to compete with nat gas and solar….LOL

        1. I know what you mean. It’s kind of like “Free” solar and “Free” wind energy.

          Ain’t no free lunch in this world. On the other hand, driving nuclear energy prices as high as possible has been an effective business strategy for fossil fuel entities and an effective political strategy for anti-nuclear activists.

          Nuclear energy isn’t too cheap to meter; it’s just cheap enough to threaten trillions of dollars of entrenched energy and political interests.

          1. I think the ‘too cheap to meter’ statement was primarily meant to illustrate the fact that producing electricity with nuclear power was almost completely dependent on the initial investment cost, rather than the ongoing O&M costs.

            Because nuclear electricity was also very cheap per unit of energy, it could in principle be more convenient and cost-effective to simply charge customers for their peak power demand, rather than their energy demand. Hence the statement: “too cheap to meter”. It was in no way intended to imply that nuclear energy was or would ever be free. It therefore bears no resemblance to modern claims of ‘free’ solar or ‘free’ wind energy, IMO.

      2. Can’t understand why anti-nukers love to hang nuclear energy on some nobody’s catchy slogen “too cheap to meter”. All taxpayers are always told at the beginning that new highways and bridges are going to be toll-free once they’re all paid up but always fail the promise, so people not going to buy or drive or love their cars any less because of that?

    2. starvinglion, if there was a definitive answer at this point to which combination of electrification, synthetic fuels, or hydrogen was going to ultimately be the most economical, you would have a point. The key take-away is that each of the 3 could hold merit in providing longer-term sustainability than fossil fuels if the source of their primary energy were fission fuels rather than fossil fuels.

  5. I think Bailey is presenting a confused message when she includes coal as part of a low-carbon energy portfolio. I’m assuming that she includes natural gas because it is necessary for the practical operation of any renewable energy plant. It would be interesting to know if she sees the disconnect in her message.

    We don’t have to stop mining coal but we need to stop burning it. It will become a precious resource for future generations when carbon-fibre and graphene technology take off. We need it now to make steel and in the future as a building material. It’s probably the only material that would support a space elevator.

        1. Is it in every way? One of the major successes of atomic power recently in the media is the curiosity rover. No one can deny that. Not to mention things like the ever impressive voyager accumulation of accomplishments.

          Why are these not (at least visually) part of the discussion? They are certainly will be central to nuclear power in the long run. If there is one.

  6. Another person advocating for a nuclear future is James Hansen. He recently wrote the following piece on what he sees as needing to be accomplished to reduce CO2 emissions.


    A few snippets:
    “France achieved the greatest reduction of energy intensity (Fig. 4b) via a shift over about a 10-year period to nuclear power for 80% of its electricity.”

    … “the United States and China should agree to cooperate in rapid deployment to scale in China of advanced, safe nuclear power for peaceful purposes, specifically to provide clean electricity replacing aging and planned coal-fired power plants, as well as averting the need for extensive planned coal gasification in China , the most carbon-intensive source of electricity.”

    Rod- This sentence seems to be a smoking gun, of sorts.
    “The asymmetry finally hit me over the head when a renewable energy advocate told me that the main purpose of renewable portfolio standards (RPS) was to “kill nuclear”.”

    There could be some truth in that. They are purposefully called RENEWABLE portfolio standards, so as to exclude nuclear from the start. Hansen recommends they instead should be called Carbon Free Portfolio Standards.

    1. His article on lives saved by nuclear is one of a few they include in the “clean air” additional info section. I had to jump around a bit through the carbs to get to the meat. But at least its in there to some extent. Id increase the technical resources if I were them. And tweak the artwork, layout and color of the first page.

      1. James Hansen has got it right. I love reading his stuff.

        “Killing nuclear power” is the worst policy goal imaginable if climate change is to be solved. Environmentalist who maintain such policy are mere pretenders.

        To get the world off cheap fossils, you need a replacement that is both clean and cheap. By focusing on replacements that are clean but expensive, anti-nuke environmentalists are putting future generations at risk. Anti-nuke claims about ‘the risk to future generations’ of nuclear power is getting it completely backwards.

  7. @Pete51
    Thanks for the heads up on Hansen article. I think everyone who reads this blog should read it. It puts the whole nuclear advocacy enterprise into a nice, coherent framework.

    However, that first sentence you quoted has a “typo” in it (I’ve notified Hansen):
    It should read “…greatest reduction of *carbon* intensity (Fig. 4b) via …”.

  8. They might want to hold off on the “Clean Air Energy” tagline until the news dies down on the 13 WIPP workers on the outside of the plant who took significant lung doses.

    1. “significant lung doses.” you have a source for that? or do you mean just significant for detection ? Ive seen no indication of the significance of the doses. Only that they were tested for external contamination and that came up negative.

      This is a radionuclide used in consumer smoke detectors and a contaminant in nuclear weapons manufacturing.

      Why would that influence NP to a reasonable person? That site handles all manners of wastes. Spent fuel is a standardized unit which definitive storage and handling procedures can be formulated around. .

    2. You might want to hold off on the “significant lung doses” tagline until you have some actual facts to back up that claim.

    3. Whether the workers took doses or not why shouldn’t WIPP or nuclear plants keep the “Clean Air Energy” tagline? You know how many workers get snuffed at work at “Clean Energy” natural gas in just one year and it hasn’t slowed their ads saying it any!

  9. A little perspective :

    There are over 500 coal power plants operating in the US.

    Each (500 MW) each YEAR releases (fly ash and captured) around 2.6 tons of uranium (containing 37 pounds of uranium-235) and 6.4 tons of thorium mixed in with the silicates in the ash and sludge with other stuff. But that doesn’t even matter really. What does:

    3.7 million tons of carbon dioxide.
    10,000 tons of sulfur dioxide.
    10,200 tons of nitrogen oxide.
    500 tons of small particles.
    220 tons of hydrocarbons. (VOCs, Dioxins, etc…)
    720 tons of carbon monoxide.
    125,000 tons of ash and 193,000 tons of sludge from the smokestack scrubber.
    225 pounds of arsenic, 114 pounds of lead, 4 pounds of cadmium, and many other toxic heavy metals
    Around 170 pounds of mercury (no controls) 17 pounds to the air with controls.(the rest in the scrubber/sludge ash)

    ( http://www.desmogblog.com/coal-power-industry-united-states-facts )
    ( http://web.ornl.gov/info/ornlreview/rev26-34/text/colmain.html )

    1. You just don’t get it John! 10,000 tons of sulfur dioxide is totally nothing to anybody’s health compared a fly turd amount of anything radioactive, right???

      1. I wish, A fly turd would be Kilimanjaro compared to the stuff they freak out about.

    2. Thanks, John T Tucker. I copied and pasted your comment to my Facebook page.

      1. Its hard for even me to believe Paul. I have referenced it a few times and it still shocks me. And the closer you look the worse it gets. The Mercury stuff is actually from EPA documents but all of it is correct to the best of my knowledge. Honestly, why does it seem no one cares?

        1. They do care. The EPA is forcing coal plants all over the country to put in ACI (Activated Carbon Injection) to lessen the amount of mercury emitted. Scrubbers are being built all over for the Sulfur products.

          It’s hard to get too excited about something that has been a big thing since the days of Watt and Newcomen. Nukes ain’t been around so long. Easy to be scared about something new. Nukes are built like fortresses. It looks like they are hiding something.

          1. Thanks Eino. But the problem is that even if the mercury is scrubbed out, it still exists in the refuse from the scrubbers and that refuse must be disposed of.

  10. “It’s not really a national campaign as much as it is a national policy maker focused campaign. Most of what this campaign will touch will be inside the Beltway,”

    OK so I’m not going to see these ads interspersed between the beer commercials while watching a ball game. They aren’t meant for me. They aren’t meant for the hoi polloi.

    This sort of reminded me of the talk of special interests lobbying in Washington. I guess it should because that is who the group putting on the ads is, a special interest group. It made me think they are trying to influence politicians and have nuclear power “trickle down” to the rest of us.

    Then I got to thinking that some sort of grass roots campaign would be better. This is what many of the environmentalist groups appear to be. then I thought a little more, ……yah but the environmentalist groups are really financed by big players and the image is mostly sham.

    Then I came to the conclusion. They ought to be targeting the 1%. These are the people that have their people pick up the phone and tell the politicians how to vote. Maybe ads reminding rich people that they breathe the same air as the rest of us. Tell them that there may be mercury in their caviar. Tell them that there may be less fish in the sea for them to catch when they are out with their big yachts. Then tell them that nuclear power can help.

  11. Much of Europe that depends to some extent on Russian gas has to be sweating the Ukraine situation out. Ive seen many comments around the web saying Ukraine is completely Dependant on Russian gas. That isnt true. Ukraine gets around 48 percent of its electric power from Nuclear.

    The largest NPP in Europe is in Ukraine.

    They are Dependant on Russia for fuel (which has a significant resupply lag time) but at one point Westinghouse was making fuel for some of their reactors. They signed a long term contract with Russian TVEL in 2010. I imagine they will be contacting Westinghouse soon.

    Nuclear Power in Ukraine ( http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Country-Profiles/Countries-T-Z/Ukraine/ )

    Thankfully without Russian gas everyone wont freeze as nuclear power is less influenced by immediate market conditions (another selling point) but that situation in general is becoming more worrisome.

  12. Nuclear power is essential for the future. In retrospect, Gen. III+ reactors are somewhat over-engineered in terms of safety and regulatory requirements. All these drive costs up, and ultimately, no body is ordering sufficient numbers to acquire the economies of scale. I am not suggesting we ‘downgrade’ them in any way; but the Chinese experience has shown some interesting (and developing results).

    The Chinese have about 12 CPR1000 (Gen. 2+) operational. These were quick and relatively cheap to construct (as little as $1500-1800/kW) but like their other fleets; they are all Gen. 2/2+ technology; and China won’t purchase so many of them.

    Now they are embarking on Gen. 3+ including the EPR, AP1000 and (newly announced) ACC1000; a fusion between the Gen. 3 ACP1000 and Gen. 3+ ACPR1000+ reactors. It is not clear how rapidly these can be produced. Full scale production of AP1000/CAP1000 will be slow and a learning curve.

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