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  1. The prototype/demonstration idea sounds good. IIRC, the last time this happened was the General Atomics HTGR at Fort St. Vrain Colorado. I never figured out why more of them weren’t built with necessary changes (electric motors for the Helium circulators). Then the delays appear to have killed the SMR based on that type of core (GT-MHR).

    Now we have a reactor design that has been delayed for at least a decade but has specifically been delayed 7 years by the NRC under the Obama administration only to be immediately hit with a delay of up to two years when they were finally going to be allowed to formally apply for design certification. So, would it be possible to somehow have a prototype/demonstration of the GE-Hitachi PRISM built in the near future instead of waiting till next decade? Or, will the NRC take just as long to approve a prototype/demonstration? Perhaps action by the Congress is what is needed.

    1. Just as the AEC was split into the Dept of Energy and the NRC, we need the NRC to again be split into a fast prototyping regulatory agency that will hand off approved and working reactors of new design to the staid, ossified, old NRC. The Old NRC will then have to force themselves, without charging time to the reactor operating company, to come up to speed on the new design.

      As it exists, the NRC will block, through outrageous cost, any new designs.

      1. I would agree about a split of the NRC and also recommend a drastic funding change for the Commission(s). The existing system of charging huge fees on a per hour basis creates the perverse incentive of making more money by taking a longer time.

  2. HAs everyone forgotten that the utilities were celebrating the establishment of the single step license? I was on the Power Escalation Test group for two NPPs. Both got the ratchet job from the DoE requiring implementation of “New” systems and costly mods before the authorization to load fuel would be given. Meanwhile the debt was increasing and compounding daily, thus, management agreed to the “new” requirements even though they were excluded by the backfit rule to avoid even more debt. And you are proposing three, or four steps and the associated ratchets? Get ready for even more expensive plants.

    1. I agree. The prototype test approval system must be completely separate
      from the current licensing apparat. Go to thorcompower/docs/protopark.pdf
      to see the original proposal before it was watered down.

  3. John C November 23, 2015 at 5:39 AM
    A step in the right direction, but you are stopping too soon. There is also no need to “reinvent the wheel”, as a working proven nuclear regulatory model already exists within the US.

    A good primer: http://fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ship/eng/appndx-c.htm
    NB “To date, more reactors have been built and safely operated by the NR (Naval Reactors) program than any U.S. program; this record of achievement is remarkable by any standard.”

    The key: All NR activities, including research, development, design, construction, testing, training, operation, maintenance, and decommissioning involve close, technically oriented interaction and dialogue between NR and its laboratories, contractors, and/or the fleet.”

    In other words responsibility from cradle to grave, with the regulators totally embedded in the process at each step along the way.

    Thus there is no need for a separate organization to “come up to speed” after new design approval as they were part of that original development process. There also is no “hand off” of responsibility after design approval, as the same organization has regulatory responsibility throughout the project life cycle.

    The missing components in the current NRC structure (among others cited in the reference) are as stated here: “The basic precept is that personnel must receive both adequate theoretical education and hands-on, practical training for their positions.”

    In other words, all the personnel in this NR organization (with the exception of some extremely specialized disciplines) are peer qualified Operators, first and foremost, who have actually demonstrated both their knowledge base and proficiency on an actual operating nuclear reactor plant.

    The regulatory integrity is built into the program and transferred to the NR regulators by completing the program. It is not enough to play “lip service” to the ideals, rather they must be demonstrated at every step along the way to your potential working peers. If you are not a true believer or are “neutral”, you are let go.

    While I admire and applaud the initiative and effort by the new NIA group, they are doomed to failure by endorsing the current NRC structure and performance as “the Gold Standard.” This gold standard virtually killed all new reactor builds in the US in the ‘80s with their response to TMI2 and is currently destined to pick off, one-at-a-time, the plants that survived the ‘80s with their response to Fukushima. (Yes, 5 exceptions, none of which are operating). That’s their track record in a nut shell. In about twenty five years there will likely be no operating commercial nuclear power plants in the US; a strange concept indeed for a “gold standard.”

    This problem can only be resolved by Congressional action to change some laws. That is not likely to happen until there is wide-spread bipartisan Congressional agreement, from one administration to the next, that a nuclear powered grid is as much a part of the national security structure as a nuclear navy. The focus needs to be on making that happen, not tweaking a system that has proved to be unworkable.

    1. @ mjd
      Agreed. While I am politically “libertarian” and “conservative”, I would accept socialism as regards a massive deployment of nuclear energy because the physical realities of nuclear energy provide efficiency that will clearly overcome the inherent inefficiencies of socialism. There should still be a wide variety of prototype designs — but the best of those prototypes should be deployed in big numbers.

      1. I can’t tie my thoughts to Socialism. I’m proposing a regulatory structure similar to the successful one used for the US Navy nuclear program. Is that Socialist? I’m not proposing the US government build and run nuke plants. I’m proposing a regulatory structure that will encourage current utilities to invest in new (even proven advanced) builds, as opposed to avoiding investment for fear of failure due to regulatory over burden.

        The navy system works, they can develop and build a new design. The will to make it happen is because it is seen as a National Security Issue. I say a mostly nuke powered electric grid IS a National Security issue because I believe that. I’m not just “greasing the skids” for change, I believe it. Again I can’t tie that to Socialism.

        Maybe the part about National Labs doing development and building working prototypes for proof of concept is Socialist? I’m a realist, it costs too much money for private business. Especially with no line-up of buyers. And when it is a National Security issue it is exactly the function of our government. Private business (defense contractors) did not finance development of the latest design reactors for our most advanced nuke subs, the US government did. And it was done under the oversight of NR.

        I’m not proposing the US government run the commercial reactor plants. The nuclear utilities have proven they can do it. If the current regulatory structure is not allowing that, or an advanced nuke future, change the regulatory structure.

        I’m not proposing a new “outside” government agency to regulate US nukes. NR IS the navy nuke program, one-and-the-same. It is regulated by the cream of the crop from WITHIN that program with technical ASSISTANCE from all the same current government organizations that own the project from birth to grave. The current nuke utilities are perfectly capable of taking over the NR like functions. People don’t want to believe that, conflict of interest, etc.

        The success of the NR program derails every argument. It works because the program instills the required integrity in everyone who can successfully demonstrate an understanding of its principles. And I really can’t tie that to Socialism, sorry.

        1. Different people draw different lines as to where government involvement constitutes “socialism”. Much of invective leveled at “capitalism” is, in my estimation, the result of failures that are concomitant with infusing government-mandated social objectives into business. While there certainly is a need for government oversight in certain enterprises (nuclear power being a great example), there never was any genuine need for creating a housing bubble by way of government regulation and government purchase of mortgages.
          As far as using the Navy as a model: sure, there is a great deal of good there, but it is obviously a government run enterprise. The only thing that keeps it from being described as “socialist” is that it is military.
          Anyway, please note that I was not trying to be critical of your thoughts by bringing up the term “socialism.”

        2. mjd, as someone who IS a socialist let me comment. While all socialists are for regulations and national labs and so on, not all those who are for those, are necessarily “socialist”. To be a socialist you’d be for the *nationalization* of the entire energy system (with allowances for smaller businesses and entrepreneurs) and the implementation of a true national energy policy. France’s EDF came about through the struggle of that country’s massive socialist working class. The results we can see today.

          The problem with most of those who raise the cry of “Socialist” as a curse word do not at all understand the role of the State in any capitalist society. Regardless of much gov’t intervention there is, the US is still capitalist. Capitalists ultimately rule it. We have market regulations for most things including wages. The modern capitalist society would not be here without massive state *intervention* into the economy.

          From Alexander Hamilton through Richard Nixon, the State or “Big Gov’t” if one wants to use the curse word, *insured* the continuation of capitalism by providing needed regulatory framework, the upfront capital (originally through the Tariff, which is who the “Big Gov’t” sponsored Eire Canal was built and the first national highways) was always State supplied and…coordinated. Every single large civil engineering project was virtually invented and deployed by the very pro-capitalist gov’ts running the U.S.

          The problem with the “Libertarian” understanding of this is that it is totally a-historical. At no point was the US a libertarian free-for-all…the state always played a strong interventionist role at a variety of levels. To deny this means means one doesn’t understand history, let alone capitalism

          1. ‘France’s EDF came about through the struggle of that country’s massive socialist working class’
            I don’t think so – the nuclear programme was hatched by Pierre Messmer, Charles de Gaulle’s right hand man, out of the blue, after the 1973 oil shock.
            ‘…The announcement of the Messmer Plan .. was enacted without public or parliamentary debate ‘ (-Wikipedia).The bulk of the country’s reactors were built in the next 15 years, before a left-wing government took office. Likewise in Spain, the nuclear build was initiated under Franco and continued under centrist governments after his death, before a Socialist government gained power and enacted a moratorium on new construction.
            I’m an instinctive lefty myself, but bossy governments seem to be the best at bulldozing big power projects through. New Zealand owes Robert Muldoon, our most obnoxious Prime Mininster, for a couple of big hydro dams, in a bravura ‘ Dam(n) the NIMBYs ‘ performance.

          2. Re: “The problem with the “Libertarian” understanding of this is that it is totally a-historical. At no point was the US a libertarian free-for-all…the state always played a strong interventionist role at a variety of levels. To deny this means means one doesn’t understand history, let alone capitalism.”
            The term “the ‘Libertarian’ understanding” supposes that there is only ONE understanding that is “Libertarian.” While I consider myself to be substantially “Libertarian” in political perspective, I am not of that mindset based upon a belief that the United States was perfectly Libertarian at any point in its history. My take on it is that voluntary systems tend to be preferable to forced systems. Exceptions abound and many predate 1776. Eminent domain, for example. Can’t build a canal or railroad without it (in an area that is already settled). I would bet that most Americans who describe themselves as “Libertarian” would be OK with using eminent domain for a new power line (they would want fair compensation for the landowner, of course). But I would also bet that most Libertarians are opposed to the Kelo decision (which authorized a locality to use eminent domain in order to get more property taxes — which, ironically, involved a commercial development that ended up not being built).

          3. John, you didn’t read what I wrote. I said EDF…formed after WWII…not by Charles De Gaulle (though he supported it at the time). The original “big gov’t” programs was an agreement by all the forces of the Resistance that all the private utilities would be nationalized into…EDF. Strikes followed the end of the war to make sure, in part, this promise was carried through. The Socialists and communists supported the nuclear program later, in the 70s. In fact the geological storage law was written by a socialist member of the NA.

          4. The Socialists and communists supported the nuclear program later, in the 70s.

            They might have in the past — back in the days of mood rings, disco, pet rocks, and leisure suits — but that certainly is not the case today.

            The Socialist President Hollande ran on a platform that called for significantly reducing France’s reliance on nuclear power. His former … er … partner? lover? what do you call them? they have kids together … Royal, who lost the election for President in 2007 as the Socialist candidate, also ran on a similarly anti-nuclear platform.

            I’m sure that France’s Socialist Party would completely eliminate nuclear altogether today if there wasn’t so much labor (and labor unions) involved in the operation of the existing plants. As that labor pool ages, retires, dies off, and becomes a diminished force in French politics, expect the French government’s attitude toward nuclear to become more like Germany’s.

            The moral of this story: Live by Big Government, die by Big Government.

  4. I don’t quite know why, but these days, whenever I see the name “Nuclear Regulatory Commission”, I tend to read it as “Nuclear Strangulatory Commission”. It rhymes so nicely…

  5. I note that when listing the assemblage of participants, there is no mention of politicians. Being as the NIA is essentially a lobbyist organization, I would be interested in what politicians, if any, are being wooed, or actually brought on board. Also, as a measure of credibility, I wonder if the NIA will openly support a presidential candidate. I can remember no election cycle that has been so rife with blatantly dishonest statements, (including absurdly revisionist portrayals of recent history, such as Trump’s latest bit of fantasy about countless thousands of american muslims celebrating the fall of the towers), being bandied forth by the various candidates. With a lobby group’s support of a candidate that engages in blatant untruths, one can draw the conclusion that dishonesty is an acceptable means to an end in the “mindset” of that particular lobbyist organization. One of the highest hurdles I have had to leap here on this website is the political mindset of many of the NE advocates here. It goes to character and credibility. When I see overt racism, or opinions based on skewed media presentations, it begs the question whether or not the claims made in defense of NE are credible when leveled by such people. Another alarm bell, for me, is when a scientific community stands mute while members of its ranks are targeted for asassination. Again, it goes to character. So, I will follow the evolution of this alliance with an open mind, but a critical eye.

    Who do they woo? Who will they support? Where will their funding come from? What politicians lend their support? Important questions.

    1. Also, as a measure of credibility, I wonder if the NIA will openly support a presidential candidate.

      Why in the world would they? And how would getting entangled in politics of the upcoming election cycle somehow improve their credibility?

      If anything it would severely undermine it.

      1. Because they are a lobbying group, and that is ALL about politics. If you think this alliance can remain neutral, and stand outside the political arena, you’re in a more surreal fantasy world than I have thus fsr given you “credit” for. Just who do you think lobbying organizations target for their efforts? If a candidate conesvalong that strongly anti, or strongly pro, its your contention that this lobbying group should ignore airing their support, or lack of support, for such candidates? Are you really that clueless?

        1. I would think a group almost automatically in support of them would be the people at nuclear matters. The converse should also be true.


          I would think the two groups may be aligned on a number of issues since their missions do bear similarities. They definitely can’t achieve their goals by staying outside the political arena.

          1. “They definitely can’t achieve their goals by staying outside the political arena.”

            Of course not. The idea is ludicrous. But in today’s political climate, the heavy hitters are making such outrageous claims, and advocating policies that are so completely polar to who and what we are supposed to be, any lobby group should be extremely careful who they align themselves with politically. I never thought I’d see the day when obvious and blatant lying would take presidential candidates to the top of the polls. If they’ll dig their heels in on obvious lies, what possible area of governance can we trust them to be honest about? This country is in deep shit.

        2. poa – What?!

          *sigh* … I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that you don’t know how these things work.

          Lobbying groups don’t support “a candidate” — particularly not a presidential candidate, particularly not this early in the election cycle. They don’t endorse candidates and they don’t exclusively financially support any one particular candidate. Instead, they typically give money (through their PACs) to a wide variety of candidates so as to gain access to these politicians and their staff.

          For example, consider the nuclear industry’s trade group, the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), which lobbies on behalf of its donors, who are primarily utilities that own nuclear plants. In the 2012 election cycle, the NEI’s PAC donated to many candidates of both parties. They donated slightly more money to House Republicans than to House Democrats, which is not surprising since the Republicans controlled the House. In that same election cycle, they donated significantly more money to Senate Democrats than to Senate Republicans for the same reason — the Republicans didn’t take control of the Senate until the beginning of 2013.

          Geez, poa … if I keep replying to your comments like this, I’m going to have to start charging you tuition.

          1. “Lobbying Versus Advocacy
            Something that is often lost in the discussion about whether public charities can lobby or want to lobby is the fact that lobbying, under federal tax law, is a specifically defined activity. Just having a conversation with a legislator is not automatically lobbying. Lobbying is just one form of advocacy that an organization may engage in to achieve its particular goals and serve its constituencies. Other forms of advocacy include educating policymakers and the public about broad social issues, encouraging people to register to vote, organizing communities, educating voters about candidate positions, litigating, and many other activities. With the exception of lobbying and partisan political activities, all of the forms of advocacy listed above are unrestricted and unlimited for 501(c)(3) public charities.”


          2. Gads, I just reread your comment, Brian….

            “They don’t endorse candidates and they don’t exclusively financially support any one particular candidate….”

            Are you kidding me?

            Say a candidate announces that he is going to introduce legislation to ban all vanilla ice cream from being served in all california elementary schools. Is the ice cream lobby gonna funnel money into that candidates coffers?

            Then, another candidate announces he is going to make jelly beans a mandatory component of all served meals in all United States military bases. Is the jelly bean lobby going to target that candidate for increased funding for his campaign?

            Like I said, pay up. The semester is over, and ya owe me. I’m not a student loan institution.

  6. Oh I remember Armond Cohen way back when he was an attorney with the Conservation Law Foundation. He was one of the attorney’s that ran up some hefty legal bills for Public Service Company of New Hampshire, Northeast Utilities and a bunch of other companies that got hooked on the Seabrook nuclear power plant construction and licensing process. He would know a lot about old licensing law. By the way, CLF was never anti-nuclear either but they certainly could see a good pay check in litigating the NRC

    Now apparently he is paid by the nuclear utilities themselves to beat this dead horse all over again. Pretty cushy.

  7. One of the world’s biggest renewable energy companies, Spain’s Abengoa, has announced the start of insolvency proceedings. International banks’ total exposure to a full Abengoa bankruptcy stands at about $21.4 billion, meaning the company’s downfall would end up being the largest bankruptcy in Spanish history.
    Another of Obama’s pet projects bits the dust. US has invested 2.7 Billion “Green” dollars which are now up in smoke.


    1. For those who are skeptical about reports from the Washington Times, a similar tale about Abengoa can be found in the Wall Street Journal with a search for “Spain’s Abengoa Files for Creditor Protection”.

      Finding an Wall St. Journal article with Google provides a direct link with guest access instead of bumping into a paywall.

      1. Of course I am skeptical of a Washington Times article, especially when our president is addressed with disrespect; note the “Mr. Obama” rather than “President Obama”. That sets the tone right there, pretty much, doesn’t it?

        However, I find nothing else to fault in the article, not knowing much about the issue. Of course, the flavor is definitely partisan, but that doesn’t mean the actual facts aren’t as presented.

        I do find fault with Rich’s positive assertion about the taxpayer burden, however. Its an assertion that cannot be made until we know how much of the 2.7 billon was recieved, and how much was paid back. The article notes that fact.

        And btw, Rod, the WSJ may have a better reputation than the Washington Times, but to those paying attention, its hard not to recognize what side of the aisle is favored by this media entity.

        1. Actually the Washington Times was founded by staunch republican and cult leader Sun yung-Moon. It was supposed to provide an antidote to the more liberal and paper of record, the Washington Post. The Times has always be staunchly conservative.

      2. For instance, Rod, this article goes into it with a bit more detail, and puts the taxpayer burden at 230 million.

        Big difference, eh?

          1. @POA – Oops you forgot to do just a modicum amount of googling before imping I am a liar AGAIN

            The future of the $3.4 billion Vista Ridge water pipeline project with the City of San Antonio and the San Antonio Water System was put into jeopardy Wednesday when Abengoa Sociedad Anónima (SA), the Spanish renewable energy and engineering conglomerate, filed for protection from its creditors in Madrid.

            Abengoa, a renewable energy company based in Spain that has received nearly $3 billion in loans and grants from the U.S. Department of Energy, is teetering on the edge of solvency.

            Department of Energy issued a $1.45 billion loan PROJECT STATISTICS: SOLANA PROJECT SUMMARY OWNERS Abengoa S.A. & Abengoa Solar, …

            Department of Energy issued a $1.2 billion loan PROJECT STATISTICS: MOJAVE PROJECT SUMMARY OWNERS Abengoa S.A. & Abengoa Solar, …

            Abengoa :: News
            Abengoa received a federal loan guarantee, through the Department of Energy (DOE) for $1.45 billion that facilitated the financial close with the Federal …

          2. Gosh Rich, I don’t think you’re “lying” about the 2.7 billion, I just think you have mispoke, making a prediction that is impossible to make at this point. I think you haven’t thought it through, because there isn’t anything to think through yet. Not enough data, in other words.

            But claiming to have seen a thousand muslims, stateside, celebrating the fall of the towers? Yep. Thats a lie.

        1. POA
          Big difference eh?

          A simple google will find another 3.4 Billion water pipeline project in addition to the two DOE loans (@2.65 Billion to be precise) and all of those projects are now in jeopardy.
          “The future of the $3.4 billion Vista Ridge water pipeline project with the City of San Antonio and the San Antonio Water System was put into jeopardy Wednesday when Abengoa Sociedad Anónima (SA), the Spanish renewable energy and engineering conglomerate, filed for protection from its creditors in Madrid.
          http://therivardreport.com/troubled-abengoa-files-for-protection-from-creditors/ ” There are probably others in the USA.

          Not sure if you are familiar with large construction projects but usually when the main contractor goes bankrupt completion of the project means that most of the money spent is gone and completion requires even more than the original winning bid price. Each of these projects could easily cost double the original price to get a working system,

          1. As an advocate for NE, certainly you might be ill advised bringing up the subject of construction cost over-runs, eh?

            And, truth be known, isn’t it a bit early to be making predictions about american taxpayer burden in regards to this shake up? I see that abengoa has lost their bid for creditor protection. Nobody knows how this will shake out at this point. It ain’t good, but making concrete assertions about how bad it is, or where its going, is impossible. Will you admit as much? Or is it such appealing partisan ammo against Obama that you don’t care whether or not you use a Washington Times kind of approach to the story?

          2. Is everything partisan?

            Here in a Tehachapi, there is an ex-senator named Phil Wyman who is about as RW as a guy can get. He has extensive land holdings in and around Tehachapi, including a range of mountains that directly overlook Tehachapi. Heavily forested with pine, there is not a single vantage point in Tehachapi where these mountains are not providing an appealling vista. Currently they are dusted with snow, and lending us a holiday flavor without us having to actually experience the inconvenience of snow in Tehachapi, and the carnage that results when southern or central californians attempt to drive in it.

            Well, what did this $taunchly republican and con$ervative ex -senator decide to do a coupla years back? Great idea, lets cover these mountains with windfarms! Replace the pines with wind towers! Hooray!

            Fortunately, the slimy money grubbing little puke encountered enough community resistance that his plans were thwarted, despite his wealth and power. He is dumb enough to actually live in the community he sought to rape, so should he have gone through with his plans, he would have led a very uncomfortable existence. As he is not very well liked or respected anyway, I haven’t seen much of him lately around town. Ah, there IS a God!

          3. @POA – Is everything partisan?

            So, I can assume from your previous comments you have no problem with PRESIDENT Obama helping a foreign company obtain engineering projects in the USA, taking away “Stimulus money, jobs and giving it to help his benefactors? Search the number of “Abengoa” projects that have been doled out in the USA since he has taken office. Does little to help make higher paying US jobs. Which seems to be part of the pattern.

            PRESIDENT Obama claims Nuclear power is one of the tools for reducing CO2 emissions yet for 7 years he has prevented the use of Yucca Mt, which makes Nuclear cost even more. He has not given new Nuclear power the same advantage as Unreliables in his hidden agenda to eliminate the use of Coal. And appoints NRC personnel the delight in halting nuclear power. The NRC changes to cope with the Fukushima updates cost more than some of the plants cost to build originally. and the increase in safety is marginally measurable. Like the TSA – makes the uninformed feel good but reduces the risk on your flight by an insignificant amount.

          4. “So, I can assume from your previous comments you have no problem with PRESIDENT Obama helping a foreign company obtain engineering projects in the USA, taking away “Stimulus money, jobs and giving it to help his benefactors?” 


            It always cracks me up seeing assumptions like that. Its a figment of your imagination, Rich, based on your black and white kind of word view.

            “Well, he doesn’t think that, therefore he must think this”

            Stop and think how ludicrous your “assumption” is. You didn’t arrive at it by reading anything I wrote, because I didn’t even hint at such a premise. Instead, you are so bent by partisan politics, you just hafta shoehorn me into a neat little niche defined by where those such as Limbaugh or Hannity tell you to place me.

            Obama, in my mind, in no better than any of the other criminal posers vying for a chance to crap on the carpets in our White House. And you’re just one more brainwashed twit conned into thinking you’re gonna get a knight when what you’re really gonna get is a pirate.

    1. The article talks about closing Diablo Canyon and then goes on to talk about a gas explosion causing deaths in California.

      Well – gee Without the big nukes what are they going to do? Well, burn a lot more gas, of course. Yeh – the same stuff mentioned in the article that caused the deaths, not the big nukes. I guess it makes sense to somebody.

      My father used to tell me the country is tilted and all the fruits and nuts roll to the West coast.

    2. “Yes, PRESIDENT Obama has plans for nuclear power.”

      Read the article carefully, Rich. It seems that the hurdles faced by Diablo have been placed there by the state. How does Obama tie in?

      Do you perchance write for the Washington Times, or are you just an faithful subscriber?

      1. So you do not see that the number of nuclear power plants are decreasing as a direct result of him and his administration? Please explain your vision of reducing CO2 without nuclear power using the unreliables he is forcing on us and backing them up with gas? How will we manufacture anything, let alone afford to heat/cool our homes/offices?

        1. “Please explain your vision of reducing CO2 without nuclear power using the unreliables he is forcing on us and backing them up with gas?”

          My “vision”??? There ya go again, Rich.

          Do you always put words in other people’s mouths, ideas in other people’s minds, just so you can hear yourself talk? It really confuses you when people aren’t packaged in the box you want to.put them in, doesn’t it?

  8. 2,500 new coal plants will thwart any Paris pledges

    The new plants will emit 6.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year and undermine the efforts at the Paris climate conference to limit global warming to 2C. China is building 368 plants and planning a further 803, according to the study by four climate change research bodies, including Ecofys and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. India is building 297 and planning 149. Rich countries are also planning new coal plants. The nuclear disaster at Fukushima has prompted Japan to turn back to coal, with 40 plants in the pipeline and five under construction. –Ben Webster,

    More at – http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/environment/article4629455.ece (Subscription required)

  9. POA – not that I wish to defend the Washington Times, but for the record I don’t think it’s unusual or disrespectful to style the president as ‘Mr. Kennedy’ or ‘Mr McKinley’ or ‘Mr Obama’ – although it’s usually done after an initial reference to his title earlier in the piece. The Economist does this with all sorts of public officials and leaders…and I am almost certain other media outlets do this.

    Rich – I’d like to have seen more from Obama, er…President Obama on nuclear power too. I voted for him twice, and this is certainly one of several areas of keen disappointment I feel when I think about this administration. But I also have to acknowledge a few political realities: Harry Reid is a key political ally and Nevada electoral votes are too important so YM is dead meat. Two, wind and solar have captured a share of the public imagination while at the same time the public has lost some confidence in nuclear power since the Japanese earthquake. That’s not right or just…but those are the realities. Mr. Obama has not shown much ability to use the bully pulpit to his advantage even when he’s passionate about something…and he has so few political chits to play, it’s hard to imagine an advisor telling him to buck the polls, and stick his neck out on nuclear power. I’d love to see some leadership here, but the headwinds are too strong.

    But for what it’s worth…I see no evidence that any of the Republican contenders in 08, 12, or 16 would have/will NOT favor fossil fuels over all else. Yes, there are those who pay lip service to nuclear, and most would make life harder for wind/solar…and that might be emotionally satisfying to people like us, but in practical terms it doesn’t keep Diablo Canyon open any longer. This is the generation of R’s who came of age yelling ‘drill baby drill’ – this is a political party powered by natural gas and coal. Strategically I think HrC actually might actually provide the best hope for expanding nuclear in the next 4/8 years because at least climate change is in her vocabulary, so will make carbon reduction a theoretical goal.


    1. Re: “…I see no evidence that any of the Republican contenders in 08, 12, or 16 would have/will NOT favor fossil fuels over all else. Yes, there are those who pay lip service to nuclear,..”

      It should be recognized that Rudy Gulliani and Bloomieberg (really a RINO) were and are still staunch advocates for Indain Point and nukes in general. The mayors of NYC during Shoreham helped the media stroke the fires to kill that plant. Even today Rudy sometimes complains when asked on energy policy that he receives zit backup (from the nuclear community.) I believe this the view of many R politicans who would otherwise lean to hawking nukes; If the community you wish to companion for won’t step up to the plate to give you air support, why bother?

      (It’s notable that Wiki actually has recruiting — er, public opposition lists of anti-nuclear protests in the United States. )

      James Greenidge
      Queens NY

    2. “But I also have to acknowledge a few political realities: Harry Reid is a key political ally and Nevada electoral votes are too important so YM is dead meat.”

      I agree with your assessment of a few political realities. However the current halt to YM can’t really be discussed without considering the impact of the “screw Nevada law” of 1987. Unfortunately we have sunk to “get even” politics over good of the country. I am no admirer of Reed, however I certainly understand what drives him on this issue. First, 2/3 of his state doesn’t want it and it is his job to represent them. Second, he had no power in ’87 when pure NIMBY politics changed the previous agreement to study YM, Hanford, and a Texas site to exclusively select YM without that study. Now he has the power, and also a long memory.
      Fact remains he was destined to be a non-issue on this until the Koch Bros decided to back a non-electable Tea Partier against him in his last election. And Harry snatched victory from the jaws of certain defeat.

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