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  1. While it’s very disheartening if this is true it may bolster the case for Lightbridge fuel since it improves safety and economics in existing reactors. This is assuming they can overcome persistent doubts and delays. If they can and if the industry becomes more profitable then nuclear could receive more tax dollars. Everyone loves you when you’re winning but hard to find a friend when you’re down.

  2. “while every Republican senator that is not being treated for brain cancer voted for the bill” while true this is an insensitive statement and should be re-phrased

    1. If it’s true, it’s not insensitive to either McCain or the rest of the GOP. I want to know how they could cut the AMT for corporations but not individuals? How could they leave favorable tax treatment for unreliables?

  3. I thought Vogtle had a 50/50 chance of surviving until the PTC was dropped and Jacksonville Energy Authority reportedly wants out. Now I expect Vogtle will be cancelled. Even if Vogtle survives, large nuclear is dead in this country at least for decades. Large nuclear evolved in a different era that is more past than present.

    I wasn’t involved with construction but my observations tell me that we really don’t have the human resources for large nuclear construction, which despite the AP1000’s “modular construction”, still required > 5000 construction workers and who seemed to be a real struggle to find. Many were in their 50s or older (a consequence of years of downplaying vocational skills in the education system). The medical incident rate was somewhat high, not just injuries but heart attacks etc. Another thing I noticed was the large amount of trash thrown along the sides of the road taken by most of the construction workers (who were the main users of this remote road).

    Hopefully, NuScale won’t have these problems.

    1. In talking to a couple of people involved in the VCS project, apparently there were a lot of bodies thrown on the project for no reason other than a friend of a friend, etc. Unfortunately, these projects were looked upon by some as jobs programs instead of a race to the top.
      Until we as a country get away from the idea that large infrastructure projects are there just to create jobs, we will continue to have outrageous cost overruns and delays.

      1. I have never heard that. I did hear that many would often be idle until their specific job packages were ready. Productivity rarely met projections. Westinghouse would continue to repeat boilerplate about schedule improvements were being evaluated. Turned out that when SCANA and Southern looked at internal WEC documents, there was no integrated project schedule. I don’t see how their bankruptcy shields them from criminal liability.

        I wonder if site productivity has improved at Vogtle since Southern took over. It did not at Summer, though there may not have been enough time. Really, if design changes are holding things up and your designer is in bankruptcy turmoil, there is not much you can do.


    2. My first summer job was Signalman “Helper” on the RR. I was amazed at the Union rules and their strangle hold. E.g. in replacing the insulators between sections of track for the crossing signals a Signalman handles the insulation and a Track worker handles the nuts, bolt and washers. I got one warning the first time i touched a bolt in trying to align the insulators.
      I then discovered the IBEW and the other unions at Nuclear power plants. The unions there have an even stronger hold than the RR unions. E.g. A Union Operator was the only person allowed to touch the elevator button on the typical elevator like in any office building you have been in. Witnessed several walkouts (always on Friday) when a non “Operator” touched the button for the floor he wanted.
      Note: “Operator” is referring to the union title of those construction workers that “operate” equipment, that is start the sump pump and other electrical equipment. Some one else would lower the sump pump into the pit so that the water could be pumped out.

  4. I’m still waiting for someone to prove to me how reducing the corporate tax rate indefinitely results in higher wages and more jobs. We’re living in fantasy land: the gap between the haves and have nots has never, ever been larger. That being said, no one is going to move forward with large scale nuclear in this country. We just don’t have the horses in the stable to do it anymore, and we’ve been surpassed by the other nationally backed players worldwide. I was very, very hopeful for SCANA and Southern until we fell on our faces. Vogtle isn’t looking too good right now, even at 65% completion. Can NuScale pull off the upset and actually prevail in the face of all this?

    1. “I’m still waiting for someone to prove to me how reducing the corporate tax rate indefinitely results in higher wages and more jobs”

      Corporate America has done very well by their lobbyists with this bill. They will hire more. Just wait until 2018. Any Republican voted out of office will take one of the increased lobbying jobs and be paid better than his or her elected position.

  5. Let’s not forget that the original tax bill passed by the House of Representatives included the PTC extension, which is set to expire in 2020. Not a single Democrat voted for that bill, the the Democrats have done squat to save Vogtle, which I agree is most likely dead very soon.

    1. @Jim Horner

      If so, why didn’t the House representatives to the conference committee stand firm on maintaining the PTC.

      There weren’t any Democrats invited to the meetings.

      1. I suspect the nuclear PTC was tossed under the bus as a sweetener for deficit “hawks”. The same “hawks” that shovel billions down the maw of the pentagon.

    2. As y’all probably know, the Republicans have not given up on the PTC. From ANS Policy Wire…

      “Last night the Senate Finance Committee released a bill that would “extend a series of lapsed or soon-to-expire energy-related tax credits,” including the nuclear power production credit that would remove a 2020 deadline to take advantage of the credit. The office of Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) said they are “hopeful it gets done before the end of the year or early next year.”

      E&E News reports that the chairman of the Georgia Public Service Commission has said he’s received assurances from both Isakson and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) that Congress will take up the power production credit. The Georgia Public Service Commission is set to vote on the fate of Vogtle today.”


      1. More here, including a link to the bill.

        Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee released plans last night to extend a series of lapsed or soon-to-expire energy-related tax credits, covering energy efficient homes and buildings, biodiesel, geothermal energy and more.- It also extends the availability of a tax credit for new nuclear power projects, which could be key for Southern Company’s efforts to complete a troubled reactor project in Georgia.

      2. Thank you Brain for looking it up.

        And the Brain cancer comment – why? – perhaps they were distracted by the opportunity of reducing taxes for 80 percent of Americans or that 47 percent of the actual savings would be to households making between 40,000 to 200,000.

        1. @John T. Tucker

          I never cease to be impressed by people who manage to believe that tax cuts are the best way to improve the country.

          That’s especially true from a party that often claims to want government to be run more like a business.

          What business chooses to reduce prices on premium products even if customers have demonstrated that they will pay the high prices, even if they occasionally complain about them?

          Of course, I am biased towards ensuring that the government has the resources that it needs to keep paying its obligations – including my pension – and to help its citizens to have access to increasing prosperity.

      3. Much of the money is not only wasted, it actually works AGAINST us. Most of military spending actually gets us in trouble and rather than used for any rational defensive needs actually creates more insecurity.

        We pay for dysfunctional families to expand. We pay to import poor people.

        And that pension (social security)? I’m planning to apply at 62 because with the new demographics social security will no longer be the “third rail”. When it goes broke, don’t count on those “doing the jobs Americans won’t do” to support a tax hike to save it.

      4. We are $20T in debt. What we really need are large federal spending cuts and a balanced budget amendment to the COTUS that prevents spending in excess of revenue except in the case of extreme national emergency such as a world war.

        The GOP tax plan is likely to help just about everyone’s purse in the near term, but the potential losers are our children who will have to shoulder this burden. I suppose if GDP stays above 3%, it may all work out.

        No administration wants a balanced budget amendment in their first term, as it is likely to stifle growth for a while. You may have noticed that now that Republicans are in charge (officially, but I wish they would be united and actually take charge), the Democrats are now concerned about the deficit again, because they certainly don’t want to see life improve for the average voter.

        The Democrats say that this tax bill will mainly benefit the wealthy. Well, of course that is true, as the wealthy pay the most taxes, and the poor pay none, or less than none.

        Ironically, the Democrats also say that millions of Americans will pay more (e.g. some blue states with high state/local/property taxes) due to the $10k limit on state/local/property taxes. While that is true too, by definition, it is the wealthier people who will pay more, as they are the ones that will not be able to deduct their exorbitant SLAPT any more. I thought I heard them say that the wealthier paying more is a good thing? Isn’t the real problem with the tax rate in California, New York & New Jersey?

        Merry Christmas to all.

  6. Looks as though it’s another bill we have to pass to see what’s in it? I just didn’t get a chance to read the 479 plus pages, did anyone else here?

  7. I was a consultant at Diablo Canyon and got chewed out by a (union) I&C tech because I touched “his” meter. It was like “Don’t touch that meter!”, and all we were doing was checking for a low-resistance ground fault. My professionalism finally got the best of me and I told him I was going to fix this thing whether he liked it or not.

    I heard a horror story at Shoreham that they’d have an outside person come in and calibrate an in-line pressure or flow rate meter. A union guy would come along with a pipe wrench and smash the faceplate of the meter. They knew that would require re-calibration and, oddly enough, there only union guys around to do it. When Cuomo was making noises about having LIPA take the plant from LILCO these incidents were mentioned to him, but since Cuomo was in their pockets he gave them a pass and threatened to bring the utility executives up on RICO charges, the lousy rat.

    1. They’ll do anything to protect their jobs at the expense of safety and other peoples money. I’m a union member but some of their policies/rules get vacuous at times.

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