The Fearless Green Deal

By Robert Hargraves Democratic president Franklin D Roosevelt proclaimed at his 1933 inauguration, “…the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”  In years past Republican presidents were conservative stewards of the environment. Theodore Roosevelt started National Parks. Nixon created the…

Are we finally approaching lift-off for a real Renaissance?

Obituaries of the “Nuclear Renaissance” have been widespread and frequent in the years since the Great Recession and reactions to the Great Northeast Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami. I’m pretty sure those obits have been premature in declaring the subject to be dead. Last week, I attended the 6th Annual Advanced Reactor Summit and Technology Showcase….

Fission heated gas turbines address MIT Future of Nuclear challenges. Easier, straighter, less costly path

Addressing Recommendations of MIT Future of Nuclear Energy In a Carbon Constrained World The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a world renowned institution that has produced thousands of highly educated engineers and scientists. It is generously supported by foundations, corporations and governments. In 2003, the MIT Energy Initiative, began publishing a series of reports…

Nuclear plant output in China poised for rapid increases in 2018-2020

The last two days in June 2018 saw the first power generation from two separate first of a kind nuclear plants in China. Taishan 1, a 1650 MWe European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) was connected to the grid at 5:59 pm local time on June 29, 2018. Less than 24 hours later, at 4:48 pm local…

NuScale announces a major step in the NRC’s review of its passively safe SMR

NuScale, a leader in the increasingly competitive field of advanced nuclear reactor design, has announced that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) reviewers issued a document that formally agrees that their design does not require any electrical power to achieve safe shutdown. It’s difficult to explain the importance of that regulatory position. People with experience…

Vogtle continuation decision tells me America still produces leaders that can make complicated, long-term decisions

The Georgia Public Service Commission unanimously approved a plan to continue the Vogtle Expansion Project. Georgia Power, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Southern Company, immediately accepted the deal contained in the plan and will continue moving forward with due diligence and effort. The announced decisions made me even more confident that there is strong…

Did the Republican tax reform bill add the last straw that halts large nuclear plant construction in U.S.?

Early this morning, Senate Republicans passed a tax reform package. Despite passing generous, deficit-increasing legislation that includes many provisions that favor corporations and most forms of energy production, it did not include an extension of the operational deadline that must be met to qualify for the nuclear production tax credit. In my analysis, there is…

Atomic Show #261 – Three advanced nuclear technology developers

Advanced nuclear development projects have made some significant steps during 2017. I met – via Skype – with representatives of three of the projects yesterday. Several more were invited, but were busy doing business even on a Sunday evening. The three who were able to attend were Seth Grae, the CEO of Lightbridge (NASDAQ: LTBR),…

Who will be ThorCon’s EPC contractor?

Who will be ThorCon’s EPC contractor?

By Jack Devanney Engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractors have led recent nuclear plant projects into disasters. Deca-billion dollar cost overruns. Schedules doubling. Some projects being cancelled after squandering billions of dollars. Giant corporations facing bankruptcy. This raises the obvious question: if Westinghouse can’t build a standard nuclear power plant, how in the world will a start up like ThorCon…

Is V.C. Summer really dead or is near term revival possible?

Several leaders in the South Carolina government are actively searching for ways to revive the V. C. Summer expansion project. The project includes construction of two Westinghouse AP1000 power plants capable of producing 1,140 MWe each. That is enough new nuclear capacity to enable the state to idle or close almost all of its coal-fired…