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12 Comments

  1. Whenever I talk with people about Nuclear power and how safe it already is and the new designs that are even safer their question is, why are we NOT doing this? What is stopping this?

    Evidently, our NRC chairman following the lead of at least one Senator is stopping this. However, your blog shows that there are some other commissioners who are also unwilling to stand up and be counted in this process.

  2. Rod, to be fair, TVA does seem to be delaying their final decision on whether to go ahead with construction of Bellefonte Unit 1.

    In what I personally think seems to be an odd twist, that would seem to be somewhat contrary to the to always putting safety first, it almost seems like the NRC is trying to push TVA’s schedule regarding a final construction decision on Bellefonte (at least, from the way I read TVA’s response letter at the link to follow).

    http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1112/ML111260331.pdf

    1. mike, it only takes the first paragraph of that article:

      Engineers from the Tokyo Electric Power company (Tepco) entered the No.1 reactor at the end of last week for the first time and saw the top five feet or so of the core’s 13ft-long fuel rods had been exposed to the air and melted down.

      to realise that you are reading nonsense. No-one has seen the fuel rods; anyone paying attention has known since some time in March that some fuel melting occurred at Fukushima; and the water level has been much lower than that, and indeed may still be.

      I’d recommend http://atomicpowerreview.blogspot.com for continuing technical updates.

    2. @Mike – anyone hurt yet?

      Oops, this just in from the New York Times – a recovery worker in his 60s has just died after carrying a load while wearing a face mask and anti-contamination clothing. In a nuclear plant, it is world wide news when a man in his 60s dies after exertion. I wonder how many times similar events happen around the world each day.

      http://nyti.ms/mtm95F

      1. I’m in my (ahem– late) forties. And I won’t wear a facesucker anymore for the sake of “protection” from a vanishingly small risk. Does anyone in the public understand what “vanishingly small” means?

        While the poor fellow COULD have died from exertion alone, I’ll bet a contribution comes from LNT hooey regulations and unfounded fear of radiation. Maybe he’d be alive if we put relative risks in perspective and had not been wearing stifling gear.

        Dang, Rod. I’m in a moral dilemma working in my industry. At least that guy you met (John M.) at the ANS student meeting is leaving us to go to Palo Verde, where they PRODUCE.

  3. The NRC is still collecting the Yucca Mt. fees, federal jobs have increased by over 20% in the last two years, the entire NRC budget is paid for by the licensees, Those fees were increased each of the last two years, and Jackzo has “constrained resources?”

    1. @ Rich – the NRC does not collect fees for Yucca Mountain. It does collect fees for its regulatory “services” to the tune of $4.7 million per year per reactor for up to 5,000 regulator hours per year. Any additional services over that amount get billed at $259 per regulator hour.

      New license applications cost $250,000 initially plus $259 per regulator hour.

  4. An interesting question occurs to me: How much has been contributed into the Nuclear Waste Fund by the DoE, which inserted its own non-civil waste burial requirements into the program after it started? Is this amount perhaps zero? Would that be an anti-subsidy?

  5. Regarding the Nuclear Waste Fund (which amounts to approx. $ 30 bn., I believe): why can’t this money be spent on developing new reactors that can recycle virtually all the “nuclear waste”, like the Integral Fast Reactor ?

    1. There is specific language in the contracts between the utilities who are paying the fees and the federal government that prohibits the money being used for fuel cycle research and development. The utilities rightly want that money to be used for the contracted purpose – removing the fuel from the reactor sites where it is currently being stored.

      However, there is nothing that stops the federal government from imposing a new 1 mill per kw-hr charge to pay for a fuel cycle research program. Considering that the wholesale cost of electricity varies between 4-25 cents per kilowatt hour in various places in the United States, 0.1 cent is not much of a tax.

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