1. I think we in the industry should do a better job of communicating to the general public how much it, too, is paying for “the waste issue” ridiculousness.

    As tax payers we are paying to dispose of defense waste. As tax payers we are also paying for the damages awarded to US utilities over the government’s failure to take title to the used fuel.

    As consumers some of us are also paying for the cost of onsite storage of used fuel, pending DOE getting its act together, in addition to the now suspended nuclear waste fund fee.

    Some of us are, literally, paying 4 times–and will likely pay several more times in the future. The politics of “the waste issue” are extraordinarily expensive.

    We need to communicate what the real cost is of delay is–and point fingers at the opponent groups and pols who are responsible.

    1. @Andrea Jennetta

      While all of those waste-related costs are true, I think the most devastating real cost of delaying solutions to “the waste issue” is the opportunities that continue to be lost by discouraging us from building new nuclear plants with all due haste. We need to reduce our abject dependence on fossil fuels for so many good reasons.

      1. “We need to reduce our abject dependence on fossil fuels for so many good reasons.”

        Not least of which is that we now have a resurgent Russia, who’s fearless leader laments the disintegration of the Soviet Union, and is will recklessly improvise to rebuild what he can.

        A reduction in the world price of natural gas and Oil, would go in forcing the Russian Government to court the better aspects of their people. As it is, we’ll get Russian Nationalism, and further adventures, beginning in the Eastern Ukraine, and further nationalistic rallying behind their fearless leader.

        Nuclear Energy development would go a long way toward a more peaceful Russia, but we can expect a Schizophrenic west to both try to keep fossil fuel revenues high in the west while trying to reduce Russia’s revenues, in the same set of products.

        Its going to be painful to watch.

        1. @John Chatelle

          Notwithstanding the fact that many good people have minor holdings in oil and gas companies through their pension plans, I think the world would be a far better place if multinational oil and gas companies and their financial/government/media partners had a smaller portion of the world’s capital resources under their control.

          Lower energy prices would also slow the development of what I call “extreme extraction” – tar sands, oil sands, fracking, shale oil, deep water, Arctic, methane hydrates and oil shale.

    2. Solution:  Let it sit where it is, in pools and dry casks, at nuclear plant sites.

      That’s where it needs to be when the TransAtomic reactors are installed as expansion units.  The fuel comes out of the storage and goes into the TransAtomic reactors.  Each 1 GW LWR produces enough SNF to start another 520 GW of TransAtomic units every 3.5 years or so.  You set aside enough SNF to provide makeup fuel for the expected life of the TransAtomic units; at half a ton per unit per year over perhaps 60 years, that’s 30 tons per unit in addition to the 65 tons required for starting.  You can take your time about that part.

      The existing plant sites are the best places because all the power transmission corridors etc. are already in place.

      1. Pretty sure some serious work would be required to convert the fuel form from LWR SNF to feedstock for an MSR. It would likely be best to have only one or two centralized facilities for such a task.

        And where the heck did that 1 GW LWR being able to provide 520 GW of Transatomic fuel value come from? That is way way off, is it not?

        1. Typo.  I meant 520 MW.  We have enough SNF in inventory to start around 500 GW of TransAtomic reactors.

          Since people are sensitive about the issue of shipping SNF around, processing it on-site would help mollify the opposition.  The cladding would have to be stripped off the pellets, and the pellets dissolved in HF.  Once converted to fluoride salts, the reactor’s own fuel reprocessing system (or an expanded version thereof) could handle the rest.

            1. @Andrea Jennetta

              I agree. Instead of mollifying the opposition, we need to marginalize them. People need to be told — repeatedly — about all of the good things they are being forced to give up due to irrational radiation fear. That includes being told how much they are spending and who is benefitting by stoking the fear.

              In my experience, people are pretty smart and they get pretty active when they realize they’ve been lied to by people they thought they could trust.

              For example – how many of the students that listen to Lovins know he is paid three times as much as a Navy Admiral ($725K plus expenses and speaking fees in 2012) to run a $14 million dollar per year operation?

          1. Honestly, nothing will mollify the opposition.

            There are several tiers of opposition.  The most dedicated is fanatic and quasi-religious, and cannot be mollified.  But the fanatics are a fringe; there’s a much larger “mushy middle” which responds to questions like “what do you do with the waste?”

            If your answer is “turn 96% of it into energy and materials which become essentially stable in 300 years”, the mushy middle is likely to be favorable.  This is even more likely if you (a) don’t have to move the existing spent fuel anywhere, and (b) can turn the spent fuel coming out of existing reactors into fuel for the new ones in a relatively brief time.  Emptying the spent fuel pools would eliminate one of the fringe’s biggest issues.  They can’t claim that zirconium fires will make California uninhabitable if there’s nothing there, can they?  They’d have to come up with a whole new set of claims, and establishing credibility would be a lot harder now that the Internet is available to counter their FUD.

  2. Mr Kein errs when he states that the Waste Confidence issue creates hurdles for new licences or extensions.

    This constraints has been unamimously self imposed by all NRC commissionners. Shame on them. All of them.

  3. Have you noticed that every Time Dr J shows up in the média Mr Klein follows suit rapidly to contradict him ?

    I think it is his way to enforce his no bozos allowed rule. The Bozo here is Dr J of course.

  4. Commissioner William C. Ostendorff stated a while ago that he was confident procedures fir licensing would resume in the summer of 2014.

    That is very soon indeed.

  5. Having read most of the BRC report, Senate Bill S-1240 — the Nuclear Waste Administration Act of 2013 — does (in daft form) a concise job of summarizing the BRC’s intent. Those keen on taking names might note the bill’s sponsor, Ron Wyden (D-OR), and co-sponsors Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Angus King (I-ME), and (ahem) Lamar Alexander (R-TN). Those keen on cynicism might note S-1240 was referred to Senate Energy and Natural Resources whose chair — Mary Landrieu [D-LA] — will determine whether it ever again sees the light of day. (But Lisa Murkowski is ranking member, so there may be some hope.)

    1. @Ed Leaver

      Despite my repetitive efforts to point out that there are interests in the coal, oil and gas industry that work against nuclear energy, that statement is not universally true. There are also many people associated with fossil fuels who clearly recognize the value of low cost, clean energy and work to support all of the fuels that can do that job.

      Senators from Louisiana have a good record of supporting nuclear energy. I have personally met with members of Senator Landrieu’s staff — several years ago now — about supporting some work we were doing with AAE.

      She is one of the people who cares deeply about using energy sources to enable human’s to prosper. She is also supportive of using the cleanest possible energy, but realizes that coal is okay if the choice is no energy at all.

      1. @Rod Adams
        Thanks. My apologies if I am seen to mistakenly miscast aspersions upon Sen. Landrieu. In principle the NWAA should be a no-brainer for all concerned. It sets up a clearly defined waste disposal and used fuel interment policy, recognizing the reality that much military waste will never be candidate for eventual recycling, while most of the civilian stuff will. The bill also seeks to site repositories where they are actually wanted. Such is highly desirable and if the bill becomes law it will be interesting to see how that part plays out. Statistically of course, the odds are heavily against any particular bill being signed into law.

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