Economy of Scale?: Is Bigger Better?

(Originally published May 1996) Pick up almost any book about nuclear energy and you will find that the prevailing wisdom is that nuclear plants must be very large in order to be competitive. This notion is widely accepted, but, if its roots are understood, it can be effectively challenged. When Westinghouse, General Electric and their…

One step to save nukes – stop their immediate destruction

Nuclear plants that are economically uncompetitive under current market conditions should be retained for future operations, not immediately destroyed. Some might wonder at my wording. They might accurately point out that virtually all of the 30+ commercial reactors that have been permanently shut down in the US are still standing and have not been physically…

Another nuclear plant will close for good on Monday

The Ft. Calhoun Station (FCS) is scheduled to shut down for good on Monday, October 24. The number of operating nuclear power reactors in the US will have been in the three digits again for a just one week. That event will be a tragic shame for the surrounding community, for a gradually growing portion…

Addressing remaining concerns about nuclear energy

In recent years, critical thinkers who have habitually objected to using nuclear energy have conceded that it has a good safety record and that its CO2 and other air pollution emissions are a tiny fraction of produced by the most efficient natural gas power plants. They also recognize that nuclear power plants, unlike power sources…

Rosatom achieves a marketing win in Finland to supply Fennovoima

Finns are pragmatic people who love their country, but also recognize its geographic limitations. “Finland is a very cold and dark country. Electricity is very important to us. We are a kind of island in Europe, we have take care of ourselves. No one will help us if we run out of power.” Way back…

Nuclear less risky than natural gas – for customers

Mark Halper recently published a piece on SmartPlanet.com titled Nuclear power cheaper than gas. He cited an article from InvestorIntel.com written by Canon Bryan titled Nuclear versus Natural Gas. That article was based on a report from a private consultancy named Energy Path Corporation. The Energy Path report is titled “Will Low Natural Gas Prices…

Tina Gerhardt thinks Obama Administration likes nuclear energy – Huffington Post

Tina Gerhardt has published an almost sadly amusing article on the Huffington Post titled Obama’s Climate Action Plan: Nuclear Energy? in which she tries to make the case that President Obama’s climate action plan is an undeserved endorsement of nuclear energy. Although less in the headlines than the plan’s position on coal-fired power plants, hydraulic…

Is Levy County nuclear plant too expensive to compete with natural gas?

On Saturday, May 11, 2013, the Tampa Bay Times published a lengthy piece by Ivan Penn titled Levy nuclear plant more costly than a natural gas facility that uses a detailed analysis with substantial “error bars” around cost estimates to show that under nearly all scenarios considered, the two reactor installation that has been proposed…

Should customers allow natural gas to push nuclear out of market?

Rebecca Smith asked an interesting question in a recent Wall Street Journal article titled Can Gas Undo Nuclear Power? She describes how financial analysts are wondering whether or not certain nuclear plants are at risk of being shuttered as being uneconomical in an era of cheap natural gas. It is a legitimate question for people…

Atomic Show #192 – Zero Carbon Options for South Australia

Ben Heard is one of the growing number of environmental professionals who have seriously evaluated all options for reducing mankind’s annual production rate of carbon dioxide and discovered that the best tool available is nuclear fission energy. As a part of his continuing journey of discovery, he worked with Brown and Pang to produce a…