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  1. Rod,

    Do you know how much, if any, of other countries nuclear wastes is being shipped and stored on US soil?

    I know Mr Blees joined on one of my thread and was supposed to get back but never did. It had to do with some sort of international anti proliferation treaty.

    I think DV82XL has some material on this.

      1. Rod is correct. The US repatriates used HEU that it supplies to other nations for use in research and isotope production reactors. This demand has generally formed part of the initial supply contract.

        As a side note, most of these reactors have been modified ti operate on fuel enriched to 20% which is at the upper end of LEU. It is my understanding the the US no longer supplies HEU to fuel foreign reactors.

      2. Yep.

        The only “foreign” spent fuels admitted in the US are the old HEU cores for research reactors that were supplied by the US to foreign countries, starting in the 50s under the Atoms for Peace program then its successors over time. The first return took place in 1963.

        Returning those spent fuel elements to the US is not only authorized but actually mandated by the US and it was a condition for foreign countries to be admitted in those programs in the first place.

    1. Here is Dan’s more complete explanation – sent after I asked him for clarification of his comment:

      Rod – All claims have been paid by the reserve fund – 75 percent of annual premiums set aside to pay claims. On a rolling 10 year basis anything not used is returned to the plant owners. The annual premium paid – less 25 percent for profit and expenses – has never been insufficient to cover claims (meaning no insurer has ever had to dip into its coffers to support the industry). Sorry for mislead – they do pay 3 to 4 claims per year, and TMI is largest with 75 mil over about 15 years. Incidentally, insurers get all interest on the reserve fund and count that toward additional profit.

  2. According to the NRC, ANI is the only mutual pool:


    The pool may have evolved into “ANI”, but ANI is just a volunteer, joint association of insurance companies.

    They also have a Foreign Sydicate which provides reinsurance, “Reinsurance is assumed on a facultative basis except in Japan, where third party liability business is assumed under a quota share treaty.”

    I don’t know how that translates regarding Fukushima.

  3. Great article Rod,

    Glad to see you had a chance to speak one-on-one with a PSR rep and speak to the facts, not the diet of anti-nuclear power claptrap this individual has been fed over the years. It also appears the individual you spoke to was willing to listen, which if true is big news as well.

  4. Further to Rod’s point, why is that the industry never points out that the DOE holds almost $80B in nuclear industry funds ostensibly for decommissioning, waste and insurance very little of which is likely to be used. When the DOE uses a teeny tiny portion of those funds for nuclear research or regulatory assistance it is always portrayed as a giant federal subsidy. What it is in fact is an odious dereliction of federal duty to support an industry with its own funds.

  5. “Failure to launch”

    Best summary of the nuclear industry’s position towards anti-nuclear attitudes, the Federal government and regulations in general. It’s cozy in there. No point going outside and taking risks.

    In a way, I’d nearly wished the state level efforts to shutter Vermont Yankee and Indian Point would succeed and push their operator into a mess. It would be a wake up call for all operators if their long paid-off, nice little atomic cash cows were at risk from being suddenly taken away from them. They would have to leave mommy’s place and go out to defend and promote nuclear power for real.

  6. This doesn’t really apply to this post at all, but does anyone have any thoughts on this letter from Markey regarding USEC?


    In many ways, it would behoove the U.S. government to maintain some enrichment capacity, but with the privatization of USEC, the issue seems pretty murky. When I initially saw that this letter had been written, my first thought was “Markey really is anti-nuke to the core”. Then I read the letter.

    It seems to me that there is still some rather significant conflict between USEC being privatized and being available to the government at the drop of a hat if needed.

    I know there are many readers here much more seasoned than I that can probably parse some additional insights from this.

    1. Upon further though, I guess it does relate indirectly to the post, and may indirectly give one example of why “the industry” might be somewhat reluctant to spreading its wings and flying on its own.

    2. And to put myself fully at risk of appearing to be arguing with myself, I will add this.

      The lack of success of USEC is also a great example of what has happened with a segment of the nuclear industry being allowed to spread its wings and enter the free market. It seems that USEC’s centrifuge technology is struggling to have any hope of competing with the Urenco/Louisiana Energy Services plant in New Mexico or with the Areva Eagle Rock plant being built in Idaho, to say nothing about the SILEX technology that GE-H may deploy in the not-too-distant future.

      So from that perspective, USEC’s failure(s) as a private entity could be construed as being indicative of the free market succeeding in one avenue of nuclear technology (enrichment services).

  7. USEC bought the rights to the AVLIS (Atomic Vapor Laser Isotope Separation)
    technology from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 1994, to commercialize this advanced technology for enrichment. At the time, LLNL had a full-scale working system. USEC told me in an interview that it then decided that it would not be “cost-effective” for the company to invest in developing this new technology, because it could more cheaply go with the older technology. At the time, I thought this was a short-sighted (stupid) decision, effectively killing a new technology that a U.S. national lab had fully developed.

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