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  1. One comment about Atomic Show #150:
    re: TVA allowing possible plant visits
    In Sweden, it has become very common to let the population visit the nuclear plant. In fact it is estimated that fully ONE THIRD of the population has visited a nuclear power plant (I may have read that on Atomic Insights). In the US, whatever small visit programs there were before 9/11 were shut down. It is important to re-start this.
    It is especially good for schoolkids and college kids. In 1987 (then 16), I visited the brand spankin

  2. Rod, you mentioned a 1986 article published in Fortune that you said was “quoted a lot” which had stated that mismanagement had caused a lot of problems for the construction part of the industry. Can you tell me what the title was?
    An article published in Forbes Feb 11 1985 was written about nuke industry mismanagement. It was entitled “Nuclear Follies”, is by James Cook, and it was quoted from in Al Gore’s book “Our Choice”. Gore loved this quote: “The failure of the U.S. nuclear power program ranks as the largest managerial disaster in business history, a disaster on a monumental scale”, and this: “for the U.S., nuclear power is dead–dead in the near term as a hedge against rising oil prices and dead in the long run as a source of future energy. Nobody really disputes that”. Gore, true to his anti nuke form, ran with this to say nuclear is dead everywhere in the world for all time.
    But there is some very sobering material in this article that will be part of any debate about a US nuclear renaissance even among those who want the industry to succeed.
    Obviously, there were successes. Another article in that same issue of Forbes, by the same author, entitled “The best. (Duke Power Co. successsfully owns and builds its own atomic power plants).” which goes on to describe the success Duke had with the technology. But even this article ended with this cautionary note, quoting Dukes then treasurer about Duke’s future plans for nuclear:
    We would not have gone into the nuclear business if we had realized the instability of the licensing process, says William Grigg, Duke’s treasurer. “A nuclear plant with all the regulatory uncertainties, all the investor concern, the environmental concerns, I just don’t think would be a viable option for us.”
    The article ended with this: “Where Duke’s power will come from, the next time it goes looking for some, may depend on how successful the U.S. has been in learning from the mistakes of the past.”
    I couldn’t actually find Gore’s “largest managerial disaster in business history” quote in my copy of the Forbes article he says he got it from, which I obtained from an online database available at my local library, but the article was describing exactly that. I think Gore obtained that quote from a sidebar in the actual magazine.
    But anyone considering new nuclear today will want to know if their utility is going to be one of the ones that will end up blowing it as was done so many times in the past. Cook, describing the cost of nuclear construction in the past, in “Nuclear Follies”:
    ” the costs of these plants differ widely, ranging from a commendable $932 a kilowatt for Duke Power’s McGuire 2 station to a grotesque $5,192 a kilowatt for Long Island Lighting’s Shoreham plant.
    The pressures of regulation and antinuclear interveners created more problems for some plants than for others, but they are not enough to explain so wide a range of differences. Labor costs are not appreciably lower in Chicago than they are in New York. Opposition to nuclear power is no more intense on Long Island than it is in northern California.
    The disparities in cost are so great as to make a prima facie case for mismanagement in the first degree.”
    And there is this quote from the then Chairman of Con-ed:
    American engineering, American equipment, American constructors are building plants all over the world and bringing them in at roughly one-quarter to one-third the cost of plants in the U.S. We can do it technically. We have to learn to do it institutionally, rationalizing the process to eliminate the adversarial system that we have presently. And if we learn how to do it institutionally, I think the nuclear option is very much alive.
    One glance at Alex Baldwin’s article in Huffington Post and we can be certain that the adversaries are still out there, and the comments about the NRC guy made during this podcast raise questions as to whether the NRC is going to remain as much a part of the problem as it was in the past.

    1. David – the 1985 Forbes article is the one that I meant. Only off by a year and at least I got the first letter of the magazine name right. Not so bad for an audio comment by an old man. . .

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