1. Apropos Germany, apparently even the resolutely anti-nuclear editors of Spiegel magazine are finally starting to notice that relying on solar power in the winter in a cloudy country lying at 50 degrees north latitude wasn’t such a good idea. An article just appeared on their website with the title, “Electricity runs short in Germany.” According to the byline, “The nuclear shutdown has been a burden to power suppliers in any case, but the cold wave makes matters worse. They’ve had to rely on reserve sources for the second time, and also buy electricity from Austria.” Here’s the link:


    They didn’t leave the article up for long, but that’s a remarkable admission coming from Der Spiegel.

    1. To add to the fun: Imminent construction of Baltic nuclear power plant which David B. Benson posted on Brave New Climate’s Open Thread 21.

      The plant will be majority owned by RosEnergoAtom, with 49% available to private investment. Talks have so far been held with CEZ, EDF, Enel and Iberdrola and late last year Switzerland-based utility Alpiq agreed with Russian grid operator Inter RAO UES to explore possibilities for a transmission link of up to 800 MWe from Kaliningrad to Germany.

      The Russians have learned to be capitalists, and quickly, too.

  2. I think it would be a very close argument if a pro-nuke tried to argue that either of these 2 pieces of news (COL and Germany being slapped by reality) was appreciably more positive than the other.

    2022 is still a decade away, giving Germany some amount of time to come to their senses.

    I bet Gazprom (and very possibly Gerhard Schröder) has already been making some very, very angry phone calls.

    1. Making angry phonecalls? The only response Gazprom (sorry, Gerhard) Schröder deserves is extradition and trial for treason…

  3. Will this be the first Construction license granted since the AEC split, or just the first that will be successfully completed?

    Vogtle will be getting their operating license before Watts Bar Unit 2, but WBN2 will have gotten a construction license about 39 years earlier.

    1. It won’t be the first license since the creation of the NRC from the AEC. What Rod was referring to is that this is the first combined license which authorizes both construction and operation. This is done under 10 CFR Part 52 vice 10 CFR Part 50 where construction permits and operation licenses are applied for and awarded separately.

      1. I think I read elsewhere that the last Construction license (part 50) was issued in 1978, so that would have been by the NRC. Whichever plant that was for was not completed, however, since as Robert Steinhaus mentions in his comment below, the last projects in the U.S. that were completed were begun in 1974.

  4. The information about Germany is probably incorrect. They restarted old coal fired plants, and someone at the AFP news desk must have gotten it wrong.

  5. With his lone dissenting vote against Vogtle, Jaczko has set himself up for a lucrative post-NRC career as an antinuclear consultant and “expert” witness, a la Peter Bradford.

    As I have said before, there are only two ways to pry him off his throne at NRC – and both of them depend upon the results of 11/6/2012.

  6. According to this article: http://bit.ly/w3qCFp Jackzko was the one nay vote.

    So what are the odds that these things get delayed for years because of protests? Then those very same protesters turn around and say “nuclear never comes in on time and is over budget!”

    It would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

  7. Jaczko atempts to pull a “Shoreham”, voting for the design certification but against the COL.

  8. Well, Spiegel was very happy just yesterday that Germany exported elekricity to France (first time since turning off nuclear plants), claiming its a great viktory of renewables over nuclear. German Politics were delighted that solar and wind produced during their peak 10GW each (completly ignoring the fakt that the peak was over in just a few hours, demand from France not…), and claiming the commitment of France towards nuclear poses a thread to the european grid stability… of course the very same “specialist” that said that yesterday pretend nothing bad happened today…
    Sadly I have to say the powerplants that went online are not nuclear plants. its been decided months ago that the reserve will not include any nuclear plants, only old, uneconomic konventional ones.

  9. A COL license to build a new nuclear plants has been a long time coming.
    There has never been, to date, a combined construction and operating license issued by NRC.
    The internal NRC process to streamline licensing to offer COL licenses began in 1988.
    No construction licenses have been granted by NRC since 1979.
    No construction licenses that resulted in actual reactors have been granted since 1974.
    If the Southern Vogtle plant is granted a COL license, it will be a rare event.
    We need more than a token COL license being granted once every 33 years to successfully maintain nuclear’s percentage of US electrical generating capacity. We would need more than a token COL license being granted once every 33 years to replace in the US the 200 GWe of power produced from burning coal with clean nuclear.
    If the license is granted, and as of this writing it has technically not yet quite been granted, it will be an event worth celebrating.

      1. It sure would set a dangerous precedent if the anti-nukes find success in halting construction, basically nullifying the entire point of the 10 CFR 52 process.

    1. Unless there is a difference between a construction license being “granted” or “issued”, then I think you may be mistaken, Robert.

      The NRC began operations in January 1975. Since then there have been 19 construction permits issued which were eventually built. The first being Catawba in August 1975 and the latest being Shearon Harris in January 1978.

  10. Well, Shepherd Smith’s evening Fox News featured reporter Jamie Colby covering the Vogtle Electric nukes. Overtone is ominous in this report — nothing positive at all to say about ‘black hat’ nukes, like nukes are swords of Damocles that just can’t wait to blow. No attempt by Colby at citing fact over faceless fear. Colby mentions TMI and Fukushima in ominous terms but willfully omits that there were zero casualties and confined property damage at both, and she fails to pin down exactly what the critics’ qualms are. All faceless critics she mentions keep citing nukes are dangerous but no facts to back up — just let your fears and nightmares run wild. Go back to journalism school Colby and Smith.

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

    1. James, you are right. That was some of the most pathetic reporting that I have seen (outside of the NBC family, that is).

      I love how the entire death toll from the tsunami/earthquake was quickly attributed to the nuclear plant that has not killed a single member of the public.

    2. I can’t remember the last time I saw objective nuclear reporting on television. I have heard NPR do a pretty good job covering it on radio…but only sometimes. It was probably a mistake 😉 In fact, I would say David Lockbaum is far more objective in his presentations than most of the media and his job depends on him being critical of the industry. Now Arnie’s another story…

  11. I just wish now that Southern can execute. I can’t believe the bad rep that nuclear has when it comes to building plants.

    A representative of CANDU said that all plants build outside Canada were delivered on budget and ahead of time. When it’s time to build in North America, we just can’t get it done.

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