Maria Korsnick describes nuclear industry strategy under incoming Trump Administration
Maria Korsnick, the new President and CEO of the Nuclear Energy Institute, recently talked with Monica Trauzzi, host of E&E News’s OnPoint. Korsnick and Trauzzi discussed the nuclear industry’s near term future and its public information strategy under the coming Donald Trump Administration. A complete transcript of the interview is posted on the E&E News site.
Korsnick began by describing how nuclear energy has bipartisan support and how NEI was prepared to continue telling people and politicians about the benefits of nuclear technology no matter which candidate won the election. Since Trump won, Korsnick said she expected that the climate change and environmental conversation might be a little less emphasized and that, though still important, it would probably not be the lead item in a conversation like it would have been under a Democratic administration.
She emphasized that there are many good reasons that nuclear energy should remain an attractive technology for the Trump Administration. Nuclear facilities provide good jobs, they contribute to a strong economy, they are important infrastructure investments and they help reduce dependency on a small set of fuel options. In addition, Korsnick pointed out that many nuclear plants are located in the “rust-belt” states that provided Trump’s margin of victory.
Trauzzi asked Korsnick about competition for nuclear energy from natural gas and wondered if the nuclear industry was concerned that its competitor might see more favors from a president who campaigned with such a strong pro-fossil fuel message.
Korsnick’s pointed out that natural gas dependency includes vulnerabilities that can be alleviated or balanced out by keeping nuclear plants as part of the portfolio. She also reminded the audience that natural gas has not always been cheap and probably will not always be cheap into the future.
“Natural gas right now obviously is at a very low price. I think actually too low. In other words, nobody’s making money in the way that the marketplace is today, but natural gas requires a lot of infrastructure, gas pipelines, et cetera, to serve those plants that they would be placed.
That’s one thing, going back to what that nuclear proposition is, all that fuel that that nuclear plant needs is right on site for the 18 months or 24 months that that plant will run. That fuel firmness is something that we should value and that the marketplace needs to value.”
Like many people in the press, Trauzzi wondered if Trump’s statements about backing away from the Clean Power Plan would harm nuclear energy’s market position. Korsnick, without being too accusatory, reminded her that the Clean Power Plan didn’t give operating nuclear plants any credit.
Aside: I’m not limited by a need to be politically polite. Not only did the Clean Power Plan fail to provide any incentive to invest in license extension for operating nuclear plants, it has been listed as a contributing reason for the decision to close the Ft. Calhoun Station 17 years before its existing license ran out. The NRDC’s assistance during CPP drafting is quite apparent to those who understand the way Washington works. End Aside.
The primary take away from the discussion should be that NEI is in capable hands, that nuclear technology is valuable and that the nuclear energy industry is continually working to improve its message. Massaging materials will remind political leaders about the value of fuel diversity, the importance of on site fuel storage, the contributions nuclear can make to clean air and clean water, the contribution it can make to community development and jobs, the need for a solid electricity supply infrastructure and the ability of nuclear energy to produce power without CO2 emissions.
Very interesting news.
I listened to the link. http://www.eenews.net/tv/2016/11/15
Very casual conversation. I loved this sentence:
“In a Trump administration, as you might would imagine, the carbon conversation and the environment conversation is going to be a little bit less than say it would have been in a Democratic administration.”
Yeh – It’s going to be ignored. Quite a bit less.
They also said this:
“We still think that we’ll have nuclear favorably. One thing that we are looking for is that we’re looking for funding for R&D, whether that’s advanced nuclear, maybe some new types of fuels for today’s nuclear plants. There’s lots to be had there.”
Maybe – The dam will break and some of these innovations we’ve been hearing about will become reality.
Im not sure a Trump admin is going to be anti environmental protection, certainly not to the extent they were portrayed to be in the campaign. I do think they will be anti regulation. They are pro abundant and inexpensive energy. I don’t see them advocating for things that significantly increase carbon pollution (or any other kind) within existing markets. As a matter of fact I speculate we will see occasional references and a hat tips to climate science and especially general conservation efforts.
Im glad you pointed out the research quote. I glossed over that in my initial reading and reaction to the piece (transcript). There is a huge amount of catch up the US needs to be doing for multiple reasons. I think those arguments will NOT be lost on this administration.
“The primary take away from the discussion should be that NEI is in capable hands, that nuclear technology is valuable and that the nuclear energy industry is continually working to improve its message.”
I really don’t buy this “is continually working to improve its message”. I think Korsnick sees the need, and, hopefully will come up with a viable plan to do so. But I read the quoted assertion as past tense, and I really haven’t seen any concerted effort by the “industry” to improve its message. Seems to me they’ve pretty much rolled over and played dead in regards to any PR efforts of a scale to be effective. Ms. Korsnick is saying the right things, but seems to skip telling us how she intends to procede, particularly in the PR arena. Recognizing a need, and actually filling that need, are two totally different things. It’d be nice if she’d fill in the blanks. And I wonder, has she reached out to Trump, Ebell, or any of the A-list people being considered for the DOE post, and the Dept of the Interior post? Considering this incoming administration’s infatuation with big oil, she really needs to hit the ground running. Rod, have you considered contacting her with a “Whats your plan, and how can I help?”
From the OPPD link:
“According to extensive modeling conducted by a third party, Pace Global, ceasing operations at FCS and rebalancing the generation portfolio will save the district between $735 million and $994 million over the next 20 years. ”
“The cost to decommission FCS is estimated at approximately $1.2 billion. As of the end of May 2016, OPPD has approximately $388 million in total available decommissioning funds, and was pacing toward full funding for a 2033 decommission date. To allow for decommissioning before 2033, OPPD will add to its decommissioning fund annually. The district expects to be able to cover the remaining costs without raising the existing rates.”
Okay. So they’ll “save between $735 million and $994 million over the next 20 years”, and spend an unbudgeted $812 million on unfunded premature decommissioning, which Pace Global couldn’t possibly have neglected. I’m sure it’ll all add up.
Another question being how decommissioning one small plant could possibly cost $1.2 billion, whereas the company I worked for is successfully decommioning both Zion reactors (two larger PWRs) for a total cost of $1 billion.
Also hearing ridiculous decommissioning cost estimates from the CA reactors. To me it all smells fishy. A game, perhaps, to extract more money from the public? Any thoughts, anyone?
All that said, your point about the decom fund, and the costs of early retirement, are well taken. Again, it seems like there is an incentive to close and tap the fund. This needs to be changed. And, as I’ve said before, they should be allowed to use the fund in order to pay for mothball activities.
Looks like Comm Ed may be in trouble with Zion. This article says they are running out of decommissioning money.
People have tried to explain to me why these plants were shut down and like many others, I just didn’t get it.
These were two more units that could have been mothballed until there was sufficient need.
“Since the Zion plant was deactivated in 1998, the town has struggled to make up for taxes that were lost. Zion’s mayor has said the plant paid millions in taxes annually while it operated but now pays virtually nothing.”
Nuclear plants pay for good schools in an area by the taxes they pay.
Actually, this more recent news looks pretty upbeat. On budget and ahead of schedule.
The explanations I’ve heard for the premature shutdown was that it was a way to break the plant workers’ union. No kidding.
I can confirm that asserting control over the union workers was a significant component in the decision to close Zion. Management didn’t break the union, unless you are using the word “break” in the same way that a cowboy breaks a horse in order to make it a more docile vehicle for carrying people.
There were other contributing factors that were real, including steam generators that indicated they would need to be replaced for a second time, a growing power surplus as energy intensive industry and some of the affected workers left the rust belt for various reasons and a need for Commonwealth Edison to focus its management efforts on quick performance improvements as the rest of the fleet.
Furthering the link:
“Providing safe, reliable and environmentally sensitive energy services remains OPPD’s mission. The board’s decision to cease operations at FCS will in no way jeopardize the reliability of the electricity that OPPD provides its customer-owners.”
“The district will continue to look at resource options, including the possibility of constructing or purchasing additional generation of many types (natural gas, wind, solar) and increasing demand side options as necessary.”
Natural gas is certainly safe and environmentally sensitive, and demand side options reliable. No question there.
Natural gas drillers and distributors are not single mindedly focused on dominating electricity generation. Aside from electrical generation, NG is used for heating, transportation, and most importantly as the primary feed stock in refining. The lay reader has little appreciation of the magnitude of its use in refining. In the Houston metro region there are 137 refineries. Most suppose that they all utilize oil as a feedstock. That is not the case. Out of 137 refineries, only four utilize oil. The remaining 133 utilize natural gas.
The clean power plan was an enormous gift from Obama to natural gas drillers and distributors. But it was gifted at the expense of coal powered generation mostly, and nuclear generation running a very, very distant second. Walking back the CPP will not meet as much resistance in oil and gas circles as many readers would think. The challenge to renewed nuclear is not going to come from oil and gas country; it will come from coal country. I don’t see gas teaming up with coal against nuclear. More likely gas and nuclear redouble their efforts against coal.
Gas is currently cheaper than coal. So long as fuel oil can be used as a storable fuel in case of pipeline congestion, coal doesn’t have anything to recommend it any more.
I think what you mean is as long as someone is willing to foot the bill for fuel oil storage…
You’re assuming someone else will be paying for it. If generators are required to have guaranteed fuel delivery to get capacity credits, they’ll pay for the backup fuel out of that.
Also, you do your readers a disservice by squelching views about the political earthquake about to hit. This is going to be massive and I see nothing capable of stopping it.
Politics is a fascinating topic that can completely consume one’s time and resources. So is energy. I’ve chosen to focus on energy here and will allow political discussion that directly relates to that topic.
The borders can get kind of fuzzy and are hard to define, so I’m trying to train the conversation participants by allowing posts to appear and then to make them disappear once I’ve had the chance to read the comment and determine if it has strong potential for diverting the conversation away from the chosen topic. In some cases — and you are not the only one who seems interested in doing this — people include statements in an otherwise worthwhile comment that seems purposely designed to draw a known reaction.
Stop it and your comments won’t get deleted.
I would prefer a system that required generators to have something more than “guaranteed fuel delivery”. As I recall, a major cause of the Great Recession was payment defaults on securities that carried “insurance.” Fuel delivery contracts wouldn’t be very useful in a polar vortex if all of the generators dealt with the same group of suppliers willing to guarantee more than they could deliver in a crunch time. It would be a bit like a 10 Mbit/sec cable connection with a houseful of devices during the holidays. (Speaking of which, it is time to call my service provider.)
Well first off I dont really see how anyone can claim Obama was “favorable” to nuclear power after nominating Gregory Jaczko. Then Allison Macfarlane – Yucca Mountain critic ? Then the unopposed shutdowns. No. That narrative is incorrect. Obama at his very best was indifferent to nuclear power.
I just dont see how you guys can let that whopper fly.
But beyond that I disagree with just about the whole approach of fixating on natural gas and singular cost arguments for nuclear power with this new administration. It may go well with what the press put out during the campaign, but that turned out to be a gross distraction and oversimplification, incorrect and its not simply how they think.
“Well first off I dont really see how anyone can claim Obama was “favorable” to nuclear power after nominating Gregory Jaczko. Then Allison Macfarlane – Yucca Mountain critic ? Then the unopposed shutdowns. No. That narrative is incorrect. Obama at his very best was indifferent to nuclear power”
“I just dont see how you guys can let that whopper fly”
Obama’s Energy Secretary Champions Nuclear Power To Fight Global
Global warming does not have to divide liberals and conservatives, or Democrats and Republicans. President Obama’s Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz illustrated the point perfectly last week, championing for climate reasons the same nuclear power that conservatives have long supported. This could be the start of a more bipartisan national climate policy.
In testimony before a Senate Appropriations Committee energy and water panel, Moniz advocated resolving storage issues for spent nuclear fuel that are blocking the expansion of nuclear power. His testimony mirrors similar sentiments he expressed earlier this year.
Actions are far more important than words. Moniz, for example, continues to support the active sabotage of the nuclear waste solution that had been under active development, to the tune of close to $10 Billion and 25 years of effort. He served on the Blue Ribbon Commission for America’s Nuclear Future, whose report cost a good deal of money and thousands of hours of effort but ended by saying we need a “consent-based” approach without defining what that meant or identifying a way to implement or fund it.
President Obama definitely said some kind words about nuclear as a candidate and while in office. He even made a few positive choices for NRC commissioners. The negatives — including backing Jaczko’s seizure of control over the NRC for several months following Fukushima — outweigh the positives.
You can easily search Atomic Insights to find many more specific examples of my growing dissatisfaction with the nuclear decisions made by a President that I strongly favored at one time.
I realize that the industry is in a tough spot, and that she needs to remain diplomatic, but I’m gonna need some more specifics.
She says that nuclear would remain attractive to a Trump administration, but I personally don’t see how. She refers to benefits (or “value”) that nuclear brings other than lack of CO2 emissions, but I don’t see how any of those benefits are valued under the current market, or how that might change. As an example, she refers to the rust belt jobs these plants provide. But what would Trump actually do to help those plants stay open?
I’m not seeing any potential federal policy proposals that would act to keep nuclear plants open, or in any way value them for any of the benefits that they provide (not CO2 or anything else). In fact, all policies being discussed or proposed by Trump and the GOP would make matters even worse, by providing even more support for fossil fuels (thus making them cheaper relative to nuclear).
I would like to hear about what specific, tangible policies, that benefit nuclear, that NEI would like the Trump administration to consider. I know, perhaps it’s premature…
As for bipartisan support for nuclear, I’m sorry to be such a glass-half-empty guy, but the only thing bipartisan I see is that nuclear is the one source that neither the Democrats nor Republicans support in any tangible way. We have a pro-fossil party and a pro-renewables (only) party. Nuclear has been left out in the cold, and it ain’t getting any better.
But perhaps her/NEI know better than I do (about how to approach things and play their hand, etc..). I wish them luck.
@Jim Hopf says November 27, 2016 at 3:47 PM
“But what would Trump actually do to help those plants stay open?”
“I’m not seeing any potential federal policy proposals that would act to keep nuclear plants open…”
I tend to agree with you, since you are apparently pointed at the current operating fleet. To stay open they have to make money, and most of those problems are caused by mandates and rate structures caused at a State level not Federal, especially deregulated markets, which account for half the plants.
One big Federal influence is having a full NRC Commission that does not allow more expanding of the original design basis of the current fleet by the Staff. Once those Capital expenses are spent (and it’s water over the dam) , they can only be recovered in regulated markets through rate increases, and in deregulated markets not at all. The post-Fukushima ‘fixes’ directly took down plants. What did they really add?
And the Security cost issue needs to be addressed. If these plants actually need the level of Security that is currently in place, why is it the responsibility of ‘an Electric Company’ to provide it?
The final change affecting O&M budgets, and the ability to make money is the INPO required staffing levels. Thirty five years after the birth of INPO if the utilities still need INPO holding their hand, INPO has failed their mission. Except they haven’t, the plants have reached ‘excellence.’ INPO won’t simply go away, they have to be ‘retired.’ Perhaps Federal pressure can help that. It DOES NOT take one staff/MWe to run these plants correctly; but it does to satisfy an INPO target of ‘Constantly Striving for Excellence” when you don’t realize you are there.
I find your last paragraph interesting. You seem to suggest that staffing levels (per MW) were significantly lower decades ago, and you seem to be someone who may have some first hand knowledge. Was staffing significantly lower back then? If so, how much lower?
I’m very interested in this, as I’d like to figure out what the main source of nuclear’s escalating costs are. Figuring that out should be the prime focus of the industry, as well as govt., at this point, in terms of actions taken to help nuclear. After that, they need to figure out how to reduce those costs (regulatory relief being on the table). To me, probably the most important nuclear R&D program there could be would be one whose objective is, how can we reduce nuclear plant staffing levels to what they were in the ’70s? And don’t say it can’t be done. They did it back then.
I hear your point about INPO, and have no basis to disagree. I also fully agree concerning security. I largely agree on new (e.g., post Fukushima) requirements, including capital requirements.
I’m not against all potential improvements in principle, but feel that they should all have to pass cost-benefit analyses (which would also consider the impacts of nuclear closures and replacements with fossil fuels). It’s likely that few, if any, would pass. However, I would take it a step further. I would demand that all OLD requirements be subject to cost benefit analyses, and be removed if they don’t pass (and I think that many wouldn’t). If we did that, nuclear costs would actually come down significantly.
“As an example, she refers to the rust belt jobs these plants provide. But what would Trump actually do to help those plants stay open?”
From two separate news agencies now, I have heard that the renewable industry currently employs far more people than the coal industry does, even when coal isn’t depressed. I have not done any research to see if I can ascertain whether or not the claim is valid. And, one wonders if it would include workers engaged in coal transportation, and other peripheral industries. But, if true, I have to believe that jobs in renewables are far more abundant than those in nuclear, as well. So, if its a jobs issue, as far as presidential policy making goes, it seems to me that expanded NE plant construction cannot hold a candle to renewables, or, renewables partnered with expanded drilling, fracking, and refining in the oil industry. Coal, and NE are the losers if Ms. Korsnick uses job creation as an incentive for presidential support. Renewables and a deregulated fossil fuel industry would be the winners in that debate.
You live close to a big windfarm. Do you see a lot of people working at that windfarm? One of the advantages of wind is that post construction it is like hydro. That is it is largely automated. It’s a good idea but the capacity factors are low and the ouput is erratic.
Once they have enough built, people working in renewables should dwindle.
Yes. There is a huge contingent of windfarm workers. Maintainance crews, road crews, office workers, managers, plus, the wind farms in this area are ever expanding. Also, older turbines and towers are being removed, and replaced with new towers. There is also a well known school that teaches about wind power technology, maintainace, and business. The solar farm as, as well, are a huge local employer, but not as much in Tehachapi, as they are more in the Mojave desert, so Lancaster and Palmdale provides the lion’s share of the solar farm workers. But, yes, the windfarms are a giant employer in the region.
Once again we see the deception and duplicity this administration has put in the mix when looking at labeling, employment and numbers. ( http://www.bls.gov/green/greencareers.htm#greendata )
Biofuels is in there !
There no category in “green jobs” for nuclear and job numbers include all stages of development and production.
Their entry on nuclear power is ridiculous. Only including “operators” ( http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes518011.htm )
Can you provide any numbers? What might seem like a “Huge contingent” in lightly populated areas might not be so impressive or impactful on a national scale.
I would assume your local chamber of commerce might have some details.
I have driven by the wind farms outside Palm Springs CA numerous times. I typically see about only 10-20% of the turbines spinning. I never see any maintenance taking place.
It’s a racket.
Ok….lets assume that in Palm Springs, and Tehachapi, there are only 100 people employed by the combined wind farms. (An asinine assumption of course. In Tehachapi alone there are eight windfarm companies.)
Ok….now, gee, how many nuclear powerplant employees would you imagine there are in those two communities?
So…lets engage in further conjecture. How many windfarms and solar facilities do you imagine there are, nationwide? And how many nuclear power plants? You do the math, I don’t see any reason to waste my time with it. We could start ten nuclear plants tomorrow, and renewables would still be the winner of an employment argument, hands down. Factor in a deregulated fossil fuel industry, and making the argument that NE is the winner as far as jobs created, is ludicrous at best, disingenuous at worst.
You can delete one of the near duplicate posts.
By the way, the MWe/employee for windfarms is about 40. For commercial nuclear power, it is about 1. So nuclear offers better and more stable employment opportunities. I would also guess that nuclear power salaries are better than those for windfarm employees. This is partly because nuclear power requires more skilled personnel as well as the much higher capacity factors.
Some additional windfarm MWe/employee numbers:
Alta Windfarm (CA): 800/50 or 16:1
Capricorn Ridge (TX): 663/36 or 18:1
Maple Ridge (NY): 321/35 or 9:1
Shiloh Wind (CA): 150/12 or 13:1
Even the 9:1 ratio would yield a total permanent job level of less than 5000.
Of all the windfarms listed in Wikipedia, the above were the only sites where I could find permanent employment numbers. Sometimes the number of construction jobs would be mentioned.
Now I am curious about similar statistics for centralized solar photovoltaic/thermal plants.
At VC Summer we currently have about 4300 engaged in construction and the traffic going home is definitely affected. I understand construction employment will peak around 5000 in the next year. I think the permanent staffing organization is still being determined but, theoretically, the station should require somewhat lower staffing than a conventional PWR due to the fewer valves etc. That might (I think will) be outweighed by greater I&C and digital systems/cybersecurity needs.
If Duke does order an AP1000, we could have some staffing issues.
POA – I regret the snide remark.
I actually enjoy researching things like this. I go where the data and logic takes me which is almost directed as much against the “conservatives” as the “liberals”. I am now even bashing the libertarians on free trade and unrestricted immigration.
From Wikipedia’s list of US windfarms, there is 41,000 MWe installed in the US.
From one of the windfarms (Crystal Lakes Wind Farm) which published employment figures, an operations/service staff of 11 was required to support 416 MWe output.
Scaling the above numbers nationwide yields a total windfarm employment of about 1100 people.
There are about 50 commercial nuclear power plant sites in the US each of which employs about 1000 people. That yields a total commercial nuclear power employment level of 50,000.
Even if my windfarm employment figure is off by an order of magnitude, windfarm employment doesn’t even approach the levels of commercial nuclear power.
Fermi…thank you. With just one small snipe at me, you put together an otherwise well researched and thoughtful rebuttal. Frankly, I’m not used to that here. Usually, rebuttals contain the word troll, anti, leftist, democrat, and little else.
Your figures are enlightening.
However, locally here, and I suspect elsewhere, the constant expansion of both wind and solar facilities employs a workforce that far surpasses the numbers employed in actual operations. Everytime I drive over to the coast, and pass through the bit of Mojave desert I go through, I see another solar facility, or two, or three, going in. I have a friend, a heavy equipment operator, that has been employed by various contractors, servicing these facilities,that has had steady employment for over fifteen years, all at renewable energy facilities.
Also, how many of the people employed, in your figures, comprise the absurd volume of rent-a-cops, whose jobs are so often lamented on this website? I guess, in this particular debate, their presence is to be celebrated, eh?
If you are interested in the employment aspects of building power plants, you might be interested in the figures from Vogtle 3 & 4 and Summer 2 & 3 which are the current plants under construction.
Both sites employ a variety of skilled trades including welders, pipefitters, concrete construction workers, electricians, iron workers, carpenters, millwrights, painters, plasterers, roofers, teamsters and heavy equipment operators. The numbers have varied since construction began in earnest in 2012 – after three years of early site preparation – but generally run between 3,000 – 5,000 for each site.
These levels will – unfortunately – continue through about 2021. The projects are about 3-4 years behind their initial schedules, but a substantial portion of that delay was caused by licensing delays and delays in resolving early differences of opinion regarding concrete and rebar standards.
Admittedly, there has also been a substantial delay inserted due to the incomplete design engineering at construction start, fabrication quality issues for the modules produced at a new factory in Louisiana, changes in project management and oversight, and overly optimistic schedules associated with the first of a kind reactor coolant pumps.
Well, Rod, the longetivity of the construction process for a NE plant certainly is daunting, no matter the reasons. One of the things that solar has going for it, at least in this area, is the desert floor requires very little excavation, large concrete pads are unnecessary, and the land is very reasonable in cost. The speed in which a solar facility gets put online is pretty impressive.
Just did a bit of a search on the installation of solar farms. Average elapsed time, according to one contractor, is approx. 16 weeks. Seems to be a pretty consistent estimate amongst solat farm contractors, give or take a coupla weeks.
Jim I think its too soon to characterize Trump as a traditional Republican.
Im glad Obama is leaving and Im hopeful the US media continues to be ridiculed. Obviously both Obama’s energy duplicity and the media’s penchant for misleading people are both still fully functioning in the Dakota Access Pipeline protest issue. In that kind of political environment, no stable long term dependable nuclear energy or nuclear tech policy would have been viable. Nuclear and the US for that matter would never do anything but decline. IMHO. But yes, probably the same with Clinton and establishment Republicans.
Heres an an excellent opinion piece that pretty much lays bare Trump’s propensity for spewing BS when talking about climate and energy issues.
I don’t envy Ms. Korsnick, because wherever she turns, when reaching out to this administration, she is going to be confronted by someone that has been made very rich by infesting in the fossil fuel industry, has lobbied in the fossil fuel industry, or is directly in business within the fossil fuel industry. The deck is stacked, completely and obscenely, by oil industry swamp dwellers. The very kind of deck that Trump said he would refuse to play with. How do these oil industry insiders profit by expanded use of nuclear energy? Ms. Korsnick is going to run head first into a brick wall. Particularly if she thinks sweet words and saying the right things to small groups of NE industry insiders is going to topple that wall. She needs a plan, she needs strong allies, and she needs to find a voice thats far far louder than those that preceded her in sitting on her throne.
It was basically a I hate trump hit piece. Its a waste of my time to read that. Ive seen the technical stuff. Ive seen some of the mess California has made too in its “carbon free” quest. Just not impressed POA. Its not how you should starting a required working relationship.
And you rebutted NOTHING in the piece. Seems to be a habit you have…..
“Wooosh…..gee, how can I avoid a substantive and thoughtful response.”
You know what POA ? I think you are right. Can you tell me what I need to know from that in a few words that plots a viable plan moving forward ? Because that’s what I thought we were discussing.
Yes, Trump is definitely not a traditional Republican, and is more of a wild card. Thus, it is not clear what he will do. That is why I’ve gone to the trouble of trying to figure out how we can take advantage of this. Who knows, it may be possible that Trump would get behind serious regulatory reform.
That said, I still think it’s unlikely. All the signs look bad. All indications are that all of the important energy positions will be filled by fossil fuel people. All policy suggestions we’re heard are to reduce fossil (not nuclear) regulations even further, and to provide other means of direct and indirect support to fossil fuels (which will harm nuclear’s competitive position).
As for nuclear regulatory reform, it’s possible, but it’s more likely that Trump’s fossil patrons/advisors will push against it, to further their own interests. Same goes for NRC leadership. We’ll see who he appoints. I can see it going either way (either better people, or more bad people, or at least people who won’t change the status quo).
I take you points about how Obama and the Democrats haven’t been much better. Policies that support renewables only actively harm nuclear (as in CA). And the CPP did nothing for existing nuclear. And then there’s Obama’s NRC appointments. OTOH, Obama was supportive of nuclear loan guarantees and PTCs (for new nuclear). Also, it’s blue, not red states that are offering a helping hand to existing nuclear.
I understand all this, about no good choices. As I’ve often said, there is a pro-fossil party and a pro-renewables-only party. Nuclear is left out in the cold.
I think we might be able to ditch that dichotomy. I dont feel like Trump is going to be that kind of leader. I think ” Nuclear Power Technology ” and ” Clean Nuclear Power ” will become its own thing and be pursued separately. At least I am hoping to see that happen.
Regardless, im more sure traditional approaches to energy solely based in that existing dichotomy are most likely to go out the window.
” Also, it’s blue, not red states that are offering a helping hand to existing nuclear. ” I could not find support for statement. I also thought most shutdowns were in blue states. Can you roughly quantify it ?
I was specifically referring to the subsidies to keep existing nuclear plants open in New York. The first example, to my knowledge, of direct support for existing nuclear, to reflect its environmental benefits. Similar action is being strongly considered right now in Illinois, another blue state.
In both cases, the support being given/considered is largely on the basis of global warming (although job preservation is also playing a role, but note that similar provisions for coal plants were dropped from Illinois bill).
I am aware of much smaller, more indirect support for nuclear in the form of payments for ensured capacity, etc.. Then again, Meredith Angwin argues that those programs actually further advantage gas over nuclear.
You may have a point that, whereas providing tangible support for nuclear is one thing, actively screwing it over is another. Another blue state, California, indeed stands out as the #1 example of the latter.
As for the other closures, the results are mixed. Vermont and Massachusetts are very blue (but especially anti-nuclear, like CA). Wisconsin and Florida are purple states (and given what they did to Crystal’s River’s containment, it probably would have been closed in any state – more of an NRC problem….) New Jersey is blue, but generally pro-nuclear. There seems to be support there even for new build.
So, in summary, the record of blue state’s is mixed. Some are very anti-nuclear and have actively screwed nuclear over, leading to closures. Others have been the only ones to tangibly support nuclear, out of concern for global warming. In Red states, they won’t screw with nuclear but won’t do anything to help it either. If a nuke is so much as 0.1 cents/kW-hr more expensive to operate than fossil plants, it will close.
Illinois just passed legislation to keep Nuclear as well:
Illinois Sees The Light — Retains Nuclear Power ( http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2016/12/04/illinois-sees-the-light-retains-nuclear-power/#12cd71fb16a7 )
“Yes, Trump is definitely not a traditional Republican, and is more of a wild card.”
Congratulations for saying that, and not having your post removed. I would caution you to avoid providing specific behaviours, action, or statements that Trump has made in the past to cite your reasoning for your distrust of what he may do. Rod seems to think such citations are unnecessary, and subject to immediate removal.
Continuing efforts at the state level are the best bet. See NY and IL (hopefully) as success.
I think reducing CO2, although not a big Trump thing, is still a winner. If we could just get the EPA limits to be totally carbon based (CIPK) driven and get the crony picking of winners and losers (i.e. “renewables”, aka solar and wind) out of the rules we would be in great shape.
Also, what’s mentioned, energy independence and infrastructure are good strategy.
“I think reducing CO2, although not a big Trump thing, is still a winner”
“Not a Trump thing” is more than likely a massive understatement. If his cabal of oil industry lobbyists, insiders, stockholders, investers, and fossil fuel think tankers that he has stacked the deck with manage to…
Institute relaxed emission controls….
Make extraction of coal, crude, shale oil, and NG cheaper through deregulation…
Reject a climate change and global warming narrative as reason for clean energy pursuits and technologies…..
Open up federal lands for expanded mining, drilling, and fracking…..
Then what exactly is it that NE has in its selling points? All the actions listed above make NE unecessary, too expensive, non competitive, and unattractive in public perception.
Its truly ironic watching NE advocates here cheering, while NE is marched to the energy production gallows by a presidential administration mounting the fossil fuel industry on a gift horse.
“Then what exactly is it that NE has in its selling points?”
I figure for one less disruption of the earth.
“Make extraction of coal, crude, shale oil, and NG cheaper through deregulation…”
“Open up federal lands for expanded mining, drilling, and fracking…..”
I’ve heard there is probably enough fuel dug up already to supply the needs of the US for many years. (unsubstantiated) At any rate you need a lot less of the stuff to produce the same amount of energy.
I think real “friends of the earth” should want nuclear power.
You wanna tell me, so far, who on the Trump team is a “real friend of the earth”?
This was my conclusion from 6 years ago: “uranium already in the US inventory, burned in Integral Fast reactors, could power the USA for over 400 years at current rates of consumption!”
Since then, Megatons to Megawatts has terminated and we’ve roughly doubled the rate of production of depleted uranium.
The schizophrenic attitude is rather remarkable, isn’t it?
Don’t believe Andrew Cuomo is a NPP supporter he is providing credits (under the Zero Emission Credit (ZEC) program only to upstate power plants because there closures would decimate the econimies of Oswego in particular and Rochester to a lesser degree.
Eligibility for the ZEC program is dependent on the PSC’s finding of public necessity. The PSC offered five criteria: (a) the historical contribution of the facility to New York’s clean energy resource mix; (b) the degree to which projected revenues at the facility are insufficient to provide compensation to preserve the facility’s environmental attributes; (c) a cost-benefit analysis of the payments in relation to other clean energy alternatives; (d) the impact on ratepayers; and (e) the public interest. The PSC analyzed all five criteria with respect to the FitzPatrick, Ginna, and Nine Mile facilities in its August 1 Order and deemed all three eligible for participation. The PSC excluded New York’s fourth nuclear facility, Indian Point, which has avoided the economic struggles facing the three upstate facilities due to its location in southern New York where energy prices are higher.
Scope and Limits
Several aspects of the ZEC program are dependent upon the continued operation of the FitzPatrick, Ginna, and Nine Mile facilities. While the program term has a 12-year term, continuance of the program after the first two years is conditional upon a buyer purchasing and taking title to the FitzPatrick facility by September 1, 2018 (the current owner, Entergy, has stated that it is not willing to keep the facility open). In addition, NYSERDA is required to ensure that contracts for all qualifying facilities are in place before any contracts become effective.
The PSC capped the total amount of amount of ZECs to be purchased at 27,618,000 MWh, reflecting the historical production of the three facilities. If any plant closes, the cap will be reduced by one-third. The PSC further imposed a performance standard on the facilities, mandating that if production falls below 85 percent of historic production levels for any two-year period, ZEC purchase obligations will be reduced for the next two-year period by 333,333 MWh per facility (plants under common ownership were permitted to consider performance as a group).
The ZEC Program has both opponents and supporters and multiple petitions for rehearing have been filed.
Ok thanks, didn’t know about that one. Its interesting the very first challenge to it was not from a renewable interest but a natural gas and coal company ( http://www.winston.com/en/energy-industry-watch/first-challenges-filed-to-new-york-zero-emission-credit-program.html )
That thanks was for you too Jim. Anyway more recently than the challenge earlier above a powerhouse of NG and Coal interests put together a court challenge on Oct 19th.
Good comparisons in here – ( http://www.winston.com/en/energy-industry-watch/federal-court-challenge-to-new-york-s-zero-emission-credit.html )
The court challenge – ( https://statepowerproject.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/ny-ces-complaint.pdf )
Also one of the plaintiffs has a piece on their site from back in 2008 U.S. “Nuclear Plant Performance Improvement Driven by Competition” ( http://www.epsa.org/documents/COMPETE_handout_Oct_08.pdf ) – so I guess they feel they are also advocating for nuclear in their own way. Weird as it may sound. I think its arguable some of the people that own and operate NPPs are also some of its worst enemies now, or at then least, not the kind of friends anyone would want.
Comments are closed.
Recent Comments from our Readers
The Clinton Nuclear Plant also in Illinois was shutdown essentially for almost 2 years before it was taken over by…
Good Podcast – Very informative One thing that was not discussed is how to deal with a particular fear that…
Renewables people are masters in marketing. Unreliable intermittent generators whose output is all over the place, and usually badly correlated…
Looking at their lineup, Westinghouse seems bound and determined to keep Gen IV in its “place” which is apparently the…
So they are developing a scaled down version of the AP1000, which is a scaled up version of the AP600,…