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  1. A few things:

    1) The consent base approach is the path of cowards to ignore the law. I oppose this consent base approach. (Confusing, eh?)

    2) A year ago or so, a US Court ordered the NRC to publish or finish the Yucca mountain reports. Still waiting. They NRC had the necessary funding. Is there a US judge that will put all of the NRC commissioners in contempt of court? Can we get the Yucca reports out. That would be a blast.

    3) In todays world of Wikileaks, can someone get the Yucca mountain reports on the WEB ?

    4) Georgia Power refuses the terms and conditions of the DOE loan guarantee. It simply refuses, as a company having quality revenues close to 12 billion a year, to bear interest rates that can be attributed to the Solyndra’s of this world that have no credit history. Stick to your guns Georgia Power.

    5) As for Moniz, I am disappointed. The same for MacFarlane and the other NRC commissioners who are blocking the licensing processes over a waste issue that does not impact new plants. Shameful.

  2. Rod, what in your opinion is the basis for Obama’s lack of enthusiasm for new nuclear?
    The link between Yucca’s demise and Harry Reid’s support in 2008 is clear to anyone who’s been paying attention. But is it really the lack of a repository which is holding up the show, or fossil fuel lobbying and Obama coal connections from his days in Illinois politics?

    1. It is probably related to his increasing enthusiasm for natural gas and his long term support for Wall Street bankers. There are many rich and powerful people that do not like the idea of nuclear energy competing fairly in energy markets.

  3. “For the record, I am not a fan of Yucca Mountain.”

    I agree that recycling, especially pyroprocessing, is the best solution for recovery of the valuable materials that remain in nuclear fuel after use in LWRs.

    But there are two good reasons for moving forward on Yucca:
    1) many states have laws prohibiting new nuclear unless the waste issue is resolved, and
    2) we will still need a place to store the vitrified unusable fission products for about 300 years; Yucca is emminently suitable for this.

    A third reason might be “poking Harry Reid in the eye”, but that would just be icing on the cake.

    1. I’ll add another reason.

      Some of the alternatives to Yucca Mountain that have been proposed (e.g., deep boreholes) are not going to be as amenable to being able to retrieve the stuff once the US finally comes to its senses and realizes that this so-called “waste” is actually a valuable energy resource.

    2. @ Atomikrabbit

      I want a US Judge to stick it to the NRC and Reid. Obey the law, get the Yucca reports out and execute.

      And a contempt of court to the NRC would be nice. Maybe to Dr J.

      1. Courts barely even hold the U.S. government to its own constitution. I have little faith that, unless something drastic happens, any court will do much of anything.. as much as I would love to see a Judge call Obama/Reid on their BS.

      2. Done, at least the first one: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/08/nuclear-regulatory-commission-yucca-mountain-95485.html

        But don’t decieve yourself into thinking this administration has any more respect for the courts than they do for the will of Congress, or the Constitution. They will, at best, slow walk this and stall until they can find any other excuse not to move forward, or actively fight it with appeal to Supremes.

        The only way forward will be changes of leadership in the White House and Senate.

  4. I could not agree more with this statement:

    “I liked the way that he clearly assigns the blame to the three individuals that defied the law — Senator Harry Reid, former NRC Chairman Greg Jaczko (a former Reid staffer), and President Barack Obama. I also liked the way that he described how those three people have betrayed the Americans that have been dutifully paying the fees as imposed by the federal government.”

    We should not imagine, however, that such betrayal by the Administration is only with respect to nuclear energy.

    For the record, I was not enamored by the alternative in 2008 – John McCain – nor by the alternative in 2012 – Mitt Romney – for a wide variety of issues. But nuclear would have faired better under them (or less bad, depending on one’s point of view).

    1. Hilary Clinton might very well be the next President the the USA. That won’t bode well for nuclear either.

      1. It will be even more disasterous than Obama. Hillary was the behind-the-scenes Machiavelli responsible for trashing the IFR program at INL back in the 1990s, just as it was set to demonstrate the closed fuel cycle principle on which IFR is founded. That destroyed the final remnant of the fast reactor programs in this country and also the careers of a good number of dedicated and talented researchers.

        1. ‘Hillary was the behind-the-scenes Machiavelli’. Apparently not so far that you haven’t ferreted her out … evidence?

        2. I just re-read the chapter in Plentiful Energy on the political termination of the IFR project.

          Dr. Till mentions powerful opposition forces working behind the scenes in the White House, and calls out John Kerry by name, but he doesn’t specifically mention Hillary. Not that I doubt your assertion, but it would be good to see a reference.

        3. Irrespective of whether her “Machiavellian” scheming is true, I still remember the presidential campaign of 2008.

          Edwards was the unabashed anti-nuke.

          Clinton was the “nuclear agnostic” (even though her husband ran as an anti-nuke 16 years earlier).

          By contrast, Obama was the Democratic pro-nuke candidate.

          Yes, folks, things could have been and still can be far worse than today.

          1. @Brian Mays

            The last unabashed pro-nuclear candidate from either party who was elected ended up shot in Texas just a couple of years after his election. His replacement was an unabashed natural gas fanboy.

        1. Like her husband’s administration?

          I would have assumed that fewer bimbos and willing interns would be enough differentiation.

    2. Generally speaking Republicans have been a lot closer to oil money than Democrats. So, basically I doubt it. Don’t mistake campaign rhetoric for action.

  5. The title of this posting:
    Moniz attempts to credit Obama Administration with supporting nuclear energy

    As the old saw goes, “With friends like these, who needs enemies?”

      1. If there was any doubt, the moment he picked a former UCS minion as his chief of staff should have clarified things. Although it was possible that the COS was chosen for him as a political officer, i.e. handler/watcher.

      2. Moniz still has to answer for his part in trashing the High Flux Beam Reactor at Brookhaven Lab the last time he worked for DoE. That was a perfectly benign and incredibly productive research reactor, a world-class laboratory for neutron scattering and neutron diffraction studies, which have yielded significant discoveries in recent years. The careers of many fine and capable scientists were ruined and/or curtailed because of the loss of that reactor. Now, the leaders of neutron science are in Europe, and, in a short time, Japan. This country threw away a valuable technology and Moniz was in the thick if it, and it happened for the same reasons he gave for trashing Yucca Mountain, politics (i.e., “lack of public support”). Yet, outside of this blog (because I have told you about it), I’ll bet no one knows about this shameful episode.

  6. Having met both Chu and Moniz, it is disappointing see bright individuals co-opted by politics. Actually, painful is a better term.

  7. On the bright side, somehow or other those reactors in Georgia and South Carolina are under construction. And, it’s looking like a pretty good bet that they will be done on time, or close to it, and that they are going to work just fine. That will put the lie to a lot of the bullshit we’ve been hearing.

    1. Yes, but that will put the score, in 2017 or so, at five units up (with Watts Bar 2), against four down in 2013. Assuming no other closures in the interim, we are barely treading water.

      On the bright side, with all that extra CO2, my tomato plants should be humongous!

  8. Ugh. This is the sort of post that is difficult for a left-leaner like me to read. But I can’t argue with you. While I was pleased that the president included nuclear in his speech on climate change and carbon reduction, at the same time my thought was, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

    The irony here is that when Moniz had been named and was going through confirmation, many of my progressive friends were disappointed with the selection because of the support he has stated for nuclear. To me, that was just another selling point.

    Sometimes it can get lonely being a moonbat-nukie. LOL.

  9. In March 2010 I led off a speech to an industry gathering by praising Obama for the Vogtle loan guarantee. I actually believed at the time that that was a done deal — why else would the president himself announce it. Three years later… what a disappointment.

      1. Actually, that was the line of “Otter” (Tim Matheson). Belushi’s line was, “My advice to you … is to start drinking heavily.” (Well, he was in pre-med, after all.)

    1. Moniz seems to be perfectly happy with destroying tons of U233 that would be extremely useful in starting up thorium cycle MSRs or LWBRs. if you want to minimize Pu production, U233 cycle is a way:
      http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2013/aug/13/moniz-oak-ridge-nuclear-waste-not-big-deal-nevada/

      It seems the usual cast of radiophobic Nevada politicians and media are grabbing their torches and pitchforks. Sometimes I feel like I’m living in Salem during the witch trials.

  10. Good article. Two comments: (1) Supporters of nuclear energy should argue in the strongest terms that nuclear energy is the only realistic means of stopping the greenhouse gas emissions. We must reduce these emissions by about 80 percent by 2020 to avoid complete glacier meltdown and the attendant loss of water for major rivers such as the Ganges and Yellow River, which in turn, will deprive agriculture regions of water and result in world starvation. The reason this argument is not being made is that many nuclear proponents are right-wingers who refuse to acknowledge the reality of global warming. (2) Leaving spent fuel rods in place at the sites in NOT a good option. How many Fukushimas are required to prove this point? We have the technology to use the tremendous amounts of energy left in the rods and reduce the small remaining amounts of waste to materials with 25 year half-lives. But we are allowing cheap politicians and public ignorance/ fear to oppose the best interests of our nation.