Sense of purpose at the 2023 ANS Utility Working Conference 1

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  1. I worked at TVA’s Bellafonte plant one hot Summer long ago. There had been a huge amount of work done on this plant. Then it was abandoned. It certainly seems like these facilities could be retrofitted as a new plant for far less money than it took to build the new units in Georgia.

    Again and again I’ve read that people consider licensing as a major road block to building new nuclear units. As Rod noted in his article, 12 nuclear plants have closed since 2005. I know they are trying to restart one of these, Palisades. I don’t know the fate of the others, but since they have casks of nuclear fuel on site, I doubt whether any of them have been redeveloped. It seems like these would be ideal sites for new reactors as the costly physical structures and substations could be re-utilized. I realize some locations would be politically difficult to begin anew. However, I think most areas would welcome the new economic activity of a retrofitted unit.

    Rod’s article stated that TVA electrical demand will double in the next 25 years. I suspect other areas are similar. Besides, many coal plants are closing. People want reliable emission free energy. How difficult would it be to retrofit defunct nuclear plant sites? Is the licensing a total restart or does the fact that nuclear operation was allowed previously allow a huge advantage?

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