I have spent the last few hours reading some interesting, sometimes detailed articles about nuclear power in India, Texas, Vermont and South Carolina. I also re-read a thought provoking article about how the neo-cons “killed” nuclear power. Though the author of that article used the word “killed”, I think she would agree that it is too strong of a word; more accurately, the neo-con effort has successfully slowed fission’s march toward energy market domination, but it is far from dead.
Unfortunately all that reading has not left me with much time to write. Instead, I guess I will just share the links with a few comments.
India – If you are interested in a comprehensive summary of some of the investments, opportunities and politics associated with new nuclear power developments in India, I highly recommend brewing a fresh pot of coffee and sitting down to read the article titled New Energy: Nuclear Deals Mushroom in India published by India Knowledge at Wharton. It is a great read and makes me want to fire up eTrade to do some additional research on all of the unfamiliar and familiar names mentioned.
Texas – Austin, Texas has a love-hate relationship with nuclear power. It loves the low marginal cost power that it currently gets from its 17% stake in the South Texas Project, but it continues to struggle with whether or not to participate in the STP expansion. You can read more at Austin poised to reject nuclear-plant expansion. Note: the headline writer got it wrong. Austin is not deciding anything about the nuclear expansion; the only decision is whether or not to invest in the project. I expect that it will move forward with or without Austin’s help. Also in a Texas related story, it looks like NRG continues to reject Exelon’s hostile takeover bid. The company seems to be doing quite well without the big brother that would come as a result of a takeover.
Vermont – For some odd reason, Vermont’s Public Service Board continues to play a brinksmanship game with Entergy regarding a license extension for Vermont Yankee. If you peer deeply between the lines, you will find that the underlying motive seems to be a desire to force a better rate deal with the company. Can anyone help me to understand why Vermont has any say in whether the plant gets a renewed license to operate? I thought that was a federal decision.
South Carolina – Reuters is reporting that the governor of South Carolina has publicly criticized a proposed coal fired power plant because it would release noxious pollutants, exposes the state ratepayers to unknown cost risks as a result of proposed restrictions on CO2, and could be made unnecessary by the development of nuclear nuclear power plants. I like that kind of thinking.