Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major News and Commentary Military and Civilian Nuclear Activities

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Gulf expo could boost Mideast arms sales

Gulf expo could boost Mideast arms salesAbu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UPI) Feb 18, 2011 The Middle East's premier arms exhibition opens Sunday in Abu Dhabi amid forecasts that the region's  
military spending is set to grow by 14 percent over five years. The biannual International Defense Exhibition and Conference, known as IDEX, is also being held Sunday-Thursday as oil prices have once more risen through the $100 level, driven in part by the regional pro-democracy turmoil that has reached the Arab producers of the Persian Gulf.
Escalating tensions between Iran on the one hand and the United States and Israel on the other have led to a major drive by the Arab states in the gulf, particularly Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, to acquire more advanced and powerful weapons systems.
High oil prices provide the gulf states with vast amounts of petrodollars to fund ambitious military procurement programs. Recent analyses predict that the gulf Arab monarchies will spend $122 billion on advanced combat jets, integrated missile defense systems, main battle tanks, attack helicopters and warships over the next decade or two.
The combination of the rising oil prices -- the current level is around $103 per barrel, the highest mark since September 2008 -- and growing concerns in the gulf that they, too, will be infected by the political turmoil sweeping the region is a heady mix.
Whether, as some industry analysts suggest, this will trigger further arms purchases isn't clear.
But with strategic arms procurement seemingly already in hand, any fresh spending is likely to be directed at strengthening internal security forces to counter any threat against the regimes in place.
However, this turmoil could be exploited by Tehran, as may be the case with the current unrest in Bahrain, the only Arab state in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council alliance to have a Shiite majority.
IDEX officials say 1,060 companies will exhibit at the show in Abu Dhabi, the emirates' capital. That's a record since the expo was launched in 1993 and more than 100 higher than IDEX 2009.
This year's exhibitors include the Lockheed Martin Corp. of Maryland, the Boeing Co. of Chicago, France's Dassault Aviation, Finmeccanica of Italy which supplies warships to the gulf states, Germany's Rhinemetall AG, and Russia's state arms exporter Rosoboronexport, which notched sales of $10 billion in 2010.
The arms show will run simultaneously with a naval defense exhibition, NAVDEX 2011, with 81 companies participating. Warships from the emirates' navy, Britain, Italy and France will be on display.

GOP Bill Eliminates $1B in Nuclear Agency Funds -- Global Security Newswire

GOP Bill Eliminates $1B in Nuclear Agency Funds -- Global Security Newswire

New missile 'ready by 2015'

New missile 'ready by 2015'

  • Source: Global Times

Soldiers on Chinese missile frigate "Zhoushan" wave to see off China's sixth naval escort flotilla in the Gulf of Aden November 24, 2010. China's seventh naval escort flotilla began its escort mission on Wednesday. Photo:Xinhua

By Zhang Han and Huang Jingjing
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Conversations with History - Avner Cohen

Conversations with History - Avner Cohen 

VIDEO | Israel's Bargain with the Bomb

Conversations with History - Avner Cohen
Avner Cohen speaks with Harry Kreisler about his new book The Worst-Kept Secret: Israel's Bargain with the Bomb.

International Law and the Threat of Force

International Law and the Threat of Force

 All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations. – Charter of the United Nations, Article 2 Section 4
Advances in the development of WMD programs in the international system have led to a number of recommendations for action among the global community. While the legal dimensions of the use of force have been widely discussed, the rules governing threat to use force have received comparably little attention, even though today, such threats are being made against Iran’s nuclear program. When weighing the options, what are the rules governing the threat to use force in the international system?
Experts in the field of international law, global security, and nonproliferation were assembled to discuss the legal and policy issues concerning the threat of force in the international system. Panelists included:

Dr. Catherine Lotrionte - Moderator
Associate Director, Institute for Law, Science, and Global Security
Georgetown University
Dr. Anthony Arend
Director, Master of Science in Foreign Service Program
Georgetown University
Mr. Orde Kittrie
Professor of Law, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
Arizona State University
Mr. Leonard Spector
Director, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies Washington DC Office
Monterey Institute for International Studies

Partner, Mediator, Spoiler, or all Three? Examining Turkey's Role in U.S. Nonproliferation Priorities

Partner, Mediator, Spoiler, or all Three?
Examining Turkey's Role in U.S. Nonproliferation Priorities

A panel discussion held in Washington DC on January 26, 2011.
Under the leadership of the AKP government and its policy of "strategic depth," Turkey has taken an increasingly assertive role in regional and global politics. Ankara's good relations with Iran and other Middle Eastern states provide both challenges and opportunities to the United States. While Turkey continues to be a key strategic partner to the United States and NATO, its priorities concerning Iran, NATO decisions on missile defense, and the development of nuclear fuel cycle capabilities in the region do not alway align with those of the United States.
The panelists examine both how Turkey's domestic politics are shaping its choices on these issues and how competing strategic interests constrain U.S. policy responses.
Where do opportunities exist for the United States to improve its partnership with Turkey on nonproliferation?

Panelists

  • Jessica C. Varnum
  • Leon Fuerth
  • Dr. Stephen Larrabee
Moderated by Dr. Jeffrey Lewis

Watch the Discussion

EDF repairs reactors amid anomalies

. EDF repairs reactors amid anomalies



Paris (UPI) Feb 18, 2011 Electricite de France, the world's largest operator of nuclear power plants, is replacing backup diesel generators at eight nuclear reactor sites across France after anomalies were detected. EDF said it would replace the bearing bushings of the backup diesel generators at its Blayais, Bugey, Chinon, Cruas, Dampierre, Gravelines, Saint-Laurent power and Tricastin power stations following anomalies. The repairs can be conducted while the reactors are in operation, the company said in a statement.

Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire: 40th Carnival of Nuclear Energy Blogs

Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire: 40th Carnival of Nuclear Energy Blogs

40th Carnival of Nuclear Energy Blogs

40th Carnival of Nuclear Energy Blogs

Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire: Lawrence Solomon: The next oil crisis

Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire: Lawrence Solomon: The next oil crisis

Lawrence Solomon: The next oil crisis

Lawrence Solomon: The next oil crisis

  February 18, 2011 – 10:38 pm

AFP
The 1970s oil crisis may not remain an isolated historical episode.
U.S. has antagonized former allies in the Middle East. The next time oil runs short, they won’t run to help out
By Lawrence Solomon

Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire: GAO Report Challenges Nuclear Weapons Spending Spree

Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire: GAO Report Challenges Nuclear Weapons Spending Spree

GAO Report Challenges Nuclear Weapons Spending Spree

GAO Report Challenges Nuclear Weapons Spending Spree

Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire: Is the Obama Administration getting the message?

Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire: Is the Obama Administration getting the message?

Is the Obama Administration getting the message?

The case for new nuclear power plants

The case for new nuclear power plants

Friday, February 18, 2011

NRC releases heavily redacted Yucca Review

NRC releases heavily redacted Yucca Review       

I do not hate oil companies; I hate their business model and the way they dismiss nuclear energy by Rod Adams

I do not hate oil companies; I hate their business model and the way they dismiss nuclear energy

by Rod Adams
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Strong Demand and New Markets Benefit Molybdenum

Strong Demand and New Markets Benefit Molybdenum

Molybdenum's main use is in high strength steel alloys. These alloys are used in numerous applications from large scale construction projects, the automotive sector and the energy sector. Molybdenum is irreplaceable due to its ability to reduce corrosion as well as its unique ability for high heat applications. These factors make molybdenum essential in energy projects around the world from nuclear power to renewable energy projects.
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Dominion restarting Surry nuclear reactor

Dominion restarting Surry nuclear reactor

Report hints at problems with nuclear plant control rods at Monticello


Report hints at problems with nuclear plant control rods at Monticello

Korea Fund Is Looking Overseas

Korea Fund Is Looking Overseas

North Korea completes second missile site

 

North Korea completes second missile site

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Utilities split over small nuclear reactor economics

Utilities split over small nuclear reactor economics
Washington (Platts)--18Feb2011/509 am EST/1009 GMT

Westinghouse Unveils New Small Modular Reactor Design (With video)

Westinghouse Unveils New Small Modular Reactor Design (With video)

China Prevents Release of U.N. Report on North Korea

China Prevents Release of U.N. Report on North Korea

U.S. commits cash for Kiev's nuclear aims

U.S. commits cash for Kiev's nuclear aims

Turkey, Jordan strengthen ties, sign nuclear agreement

Turkey, Jordan strengthen ties, sign nuclear agreement

Progress Energy Won’t Build New Reactors Before 2020

Progress Energy Won’t Build New Reactors Before 2020

Alstom to relocate nuclear part production: union

Alstom to relocate nuclear part production: union
Strasbourg, France (AFP) Feb 17, 2011 - French engineering giant Alstom is planning to relocate from France to Mexico production of a part used for nuclear power plants, a union source told AFP Thursday. Alstom plans to shut its plant in the eastern town of Belfort that manufactures blades used for nuclear turbines as part of an overall plan to shed some 4,000 jobs worldwide, French unions CGT, CFE-CGC and CFTC said.  ... more

Safeguarding the nuclear fuel cycle

Safeguarding the nuclear fuel cycle

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Overseas Investments by Chinese National Oil Companies

The International Energy Agency has done us all a service in this report, the full text of which can be accessed and downloaded at http://www.iea.org/papers/2011/overseas_china.pdf

The LFTR in Social Media and in the Media from The Nuclear Green Revolution by Charles Barton

The LFTR in Social Media and in the Media

from The Nuclear Green Revolution

NATURAL GAS FROM CRS


NATURAL GAS FROM CRS

New reports from the Congressional Research Service on natural gas and miscellaneous other topics include the following (all pdf).

"Implication's of Egypt's Turmoil on Global Oil and Natural Gas Supply," February 11, 2011.

"Israel's Offshore Natural Gas Discoveries Enhance Its Economic and Energy Outlook," January 31, 2011.

"Global Natural Gas: A Growing Resource," December 22, 2010.

National Grid Encouraged by FERC Power-Line Plan, U.S. Head Says

National Grid Encouraged by FERC Power-Line Plan, U.S. Head Says

Possible fuel rod hazard seen at some nuke plants

Possible fuel rod hazard seen at some nuke plants

Harvard: Coal adds 18 cents a kilowatt hour to your bill

Harvard: Coal adds 18 cents a kilowatt hour to your bill

Harvard Study: Coal costs US Public up to $500 Billion Annually
That's above the market price of coal fired electricity
Aboard the Greenpeace ship Artic Sunrise in Boston Harbor this morning Paul Epstein of Harvard Medical School's Center for Health & Global Environment announced the findings of his new study on the life-cycle external costs of U.S. Appalacian mined coal. The chart on right os from the Harvard pamphlet about the report.
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New Harvard study examines full cost of coal

New Harvard study examines full cost of coal

Coal Costs US Public Up to $500 Billion Annually: Harvard Study

Coal Costs US Public Up to $500 Billion Annually: Harvard Study

What is coal’s true cost?

What is coal’s true cost?

U.S. to expand civilian nuclear cooperation with Russia - official

U.S. to expand civilian nuclear cooperation with Russia - official

Related News

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Legislature to consider resolutions pushing for support of Centrifuge

Legislature to consider resolutions pushing for support of Centrifuge

Commerce Report Calls For Incentives For Small Nuclear Reactors

Commerce Report Calls For Incentives For Small Nuclear Reactors

US to commit $50m to Ukraine’s nuclear security program

US to commit $50m to Ukraine’s nuclear security program

Thorium: the miracle cure for a new nuclear backbone?

Thorium: the miracle cure for a new nuclear backbone? 
http://analysis.nuclearenergyinsider.com/industry-insight/thorium-miracle-cure-new-nuclear-backbone?utm_source=http%3a%2f%2fcommunicator.nuclearenergyinsider.com%2flz%2f&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=eBrief+nuclear+17+Feb+11&utm_term=Thorium%3a+the+miracle+cure+for+a+new+nuclear+backbone&utm_content=581808

Waste Storage at Nuclear Plants Versus Waste Dumping at Coal Plants by Rod Adams

Waste Storage at Nuclear Plants Versus Waste Dumping at Coal Plants

by Rod Adams

Shell warns world energy demand will outpace supply

Shell warns world energy demand will outpace supply


Shell published Signals and Signposts – a report into future energy scenarios which offers a deeper understanding of global developments and the world’s energy supply, use and needs. They help us to make crucial choices in uncertain times as we grapple with tough energy and environmental issues.
Signals and Signposts -- updates our thinking by taking into account the impact of the global economic and financial crisis. Over the next four decades, the world’s energy system will see profound developments. Heightened collaboration between civil society and the public and private sectors is vital if we want to address economic, energy and environmental challenges. Partnerships must be grounded in commercial reality, but energy and environmental developments have to accelerate in the right direction. We must widen and deepen the debate across industry and geographical boundaries.

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Syria still stonewalling UN nuclear probe: diplomats

Syria still stonewalling UN nuclear probe: diplomats

Hey Utah, China knows Weinberg was right about TMSR’s. No Water Needed!

Hey Utah, China knows Weinberg was right about TMSR’s. No Water Needed!

Interdependent Reactors Are the Fastest Route to 2020 Energy Independence says Kirk Sorensen

Interdependent Reactors Are the Fastest Route to 2020 Energy Independence says Kirk Sorensen

A Road Map for the Realization of Global-scale Thorium Breeding Fuel Cycle

A Road Map for the Realization of Global-scale Thorium Breeding Fuel Cycle This describes a 5-7 year doubling time for the Uranium 233 that is needed to start the molten salt thorium reactors.

by Single Molten-Fluoride Flow (28 pages, by Kazuo Furukawa*, Kazuto Arakawa, L.Berrin Erbay, Yasuhiko Ito, Yoshio Kato*, Hanna
Kiyavitskaya, Alfred Lecocq, Koshi Mitachi, Ralph Moir, Hiroo Numata, J. Paul Pleasant, Yuzuru Sato, Yoichiro Shimazu, Vadim A.Simonenco, Din Dayal Sood, Carlos Urban, Ritsuo Yoshioka 2007)


The Thorium Molten-Salt Nuclear Energy Synergetic System [THORIMS-NES], described here is a symbiotic system, based on the Thorium-Uranium-233 cycle. The production of trans-uranium elements is essentially absent in Th-U system, giving nuclear proliferation resistance. The energy is produced in molten salt reactors (FUJI) and fissile 233U is produced by spallation in an Accelerator Molten-Salt Breeders (AMSB). This system uses the multifunctional “single-phase molten-fluoride” circulation system for all operations. There are no difficulties relating to “radiation-damage”, “heat-removal” and “chemical processing” owing to the simple “idealistic ionic liquid” character of the fuel. FUJI is size-flexible, and can use all kinds of fissile material achieving a nearly fuel self-sustaining condition without a continuous chemical processing of fuel salt and without core-graphite replacement for the life of the reactor. The AMSB is based on a single-fluid molten-salt target/blanket concept. Several AMSBs can be accommodated in regional centers for the production of fissile 233U, with batch chemical processing, including radio-waste management. FUJI reactor and the AMSB can also be used for the transmutation of long-lived radioactive elements in the wastes, and has a high potential for producing hydrogen-fuel in molten salt reactors. The development and launching of THORIMS-NES requires the following three programs during the next three decades: (A) pilot plant: miniFUJI (7-10 MWe): (B) small power reactor: FUJI-Pu (100-300MWe). (C) fissile producer: AMSB for globally deploying THORIMS-NES

Development of the micro-mini thorium molten-salt power plant 'miniFUJI'.

Development of the micro-mini thorium molten-salt power plant 'miniFUJI'.
Since smaller thorium molten-salt power plant is easier to construct, we will develop the 10,000kW micro-mini thorium molten-salt power plant 'miniFUJI' within five years. This micro-mini power plant is planned as a local power plant to meet the high need of power supply for servers in information industry and for the stations of charging electric vehicles. 

Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors

Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors

An old idea in nuclear power gets reexamined

China Announces Thorium Energy Project

China Announces Thorium Energy Project

China enters race to develop nuclear energy from thorium

China enters race to develop nuclear energy from thorium

Scientists and private firms in China have embarked on a major new push to develop liquid-fluoride thorium reactor technology

Video: Manchester Report - Thorium nuclear power

China's Thorium Reactor and Japan's targets 10 MW thorium miniFuji for 2016

China's Thorium Reactor and Japan's targets 10 MW thorium miniFuji for 2016

Register UK - China has committed itself to establishing an entirely new nuclear energy program using thorium as a fuel, within 20 years. The LFTR (Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor) is a 4G reactor that uses liquid salt as both fuel and coolant. China uses the more general term TMSR (Thorium Molten-Salt Reactor).
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Nuclear Research Highlighted by Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Nuclear Research Highlighted by Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

How much oil does Saudi Arabia actually have?

How much oil does Saudi Arabia actually have?

Is it 260bn or 550bn barrels? Should we believe the Americans or the Saudis? The answer may lie in the provenance of the information

NRC has four certified nuclear reactor designs but many other designs have tried to get to certification and failed

NRC has four certified nuclear reactor designs but many other designs have tried to get to certification and failed

Russia to help Belarus build nuclear power plant

Russia to help Belarus build nuclear power plant

Seven Steps The US Can Take To Reclaim The Nuclear Power Initiative

Seven Steps The US Can Take To Reclaim The Nuclear Power Initiative

Intel Agencies Update Report on Iranian Nuclear Work

Intel Agencies Update Report on Iranian Nuclear Work

TAPI and CASA-1,000: Energy Geopolitics on Whose Terms?

TAPI and CASA-1,000: Energy Geopolitics on Whose Terms?

A Sea Change In Global Oil Pricing Is Coming ) from Clusterstock by Daniel Dicker

A Sea Change In Global Oil Pricing Is Coming (

from Clusterstock

If greenhouse gas emissions stopped now, Earth still would likely get warmer

If greenhouse gas emissions stopped now, Earth still would likely get warmer

Attorney General George Jepsen Challenges Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Radioactive Waste Ruling

Attorney General George Jepsen Challenges Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Radioactive Waste Ruling

3 States Challenge Federal Policy on Storing Nuclear Waste By MATTHEW L. WALD

3 States Challenge Federal Policy on Storing Nuclear Waste

New York Sues to Stop Storage of Nuclear Rods

New York Sues to Stop Storage of Nuclear Rods

Program Factsheets Header FY 2012 NE Budget Request Presentation by Peter Lyons, Acting Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy

FY 2012 NE Budget Request Presentation
by Peter Lyons, Acting Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy

NFS' nuclear fuel deliveries to continue

Security Industry


NFS' nuclear fuel deliveries to continue

GE Hitachi works with Lockheed Martin on reactor

GE Hitachi works with Lockheed Martin on reactor

NY, VT, Conn. suing NRC over nuclear waste storage

NY, VT, Conn. suing NRC over nuclear waste storage

Feds issue final study on uranium enrichment plant

Feds issue final study on uranium enrichment plant

Will Green Nukes Save the World?

Will Green Nukes Save the World?

Is a U.S. Nuclear Revival Finally Underway?

Is a U.S. Nuclear Revival Finally Underway?

Four new reactors are under construction in the U.S.--on time and on budget--today

Westinghouse SMR Design

Westinghouse SMR Design

Biofuel plant planned for Florida

.
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It's the Shoreham Syndrome, Not the China Syndrome, That Discourages Wall St. From Nuclear Energy by Rod Adams

It's the Shoreham Syndrome, Not the China Syndrome, That Discourages Wall St. From Nuclear Energy

by Rod Adams

Small Nuclear Reactors for Military Installations: Capabilities, Costs, and Technological Implications

Small Nuclear Reactors
for Military Installations:
Capabilities, Costs, and
Technological Implications

Proposed DOE Budget Ends Funding for Yucca Mountain Waste Repository

Proposed DOE Budget Ends Funding for Yucca Mountain Waste Repository

UAE, S.Korea N-pact model for region’

UAE, S.Korea N-pact model for region’
SEOUL: Ambassador Hamad Al Kaabi, UAE Permanent Representative to the IAEA, has said that the UAE approach and contract with the Korean led consortium demonstrated the viability of a robust model for the introduction of nuclear energy programmes in the Gulf region.

A model that could serve as a viable approach for other GCC countries, which experience similar challenges and conditions as the UAE.
Speaking at “GCC Days” in Seoul, the UAE envoy said,” UAE partnership with the Korean nuclear industry has the potential to be expanded to support other GCC countries’ plans to develop new nuclear energy sectors in the region.”

“Nuclear energy is emerging in the GCC as a proven, reliable, commercially competitive option to meet aggressive energy demand growth in the future. The nuclear programme requires a set of capabilities and skills not readily availability in the GCC countries.”
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New North Korean Space Launch Site Appears Completed from VOA News: Top Stories by Steve Herman

New North Korean Space Launch Site Appears Completed

from VOA News: Top Stories

New satellite imagery seen by VOA News shows North Korea has completed a launch tower at its second missile launch facility, in the country’s northwest.  Intelligence analysts in the United States and South Korea are keeping a close eye on the facility, near Tongchang-dong.
The site is seen as a critical element in Pyongyang's quest to build a missile capable of delivering a nuclear weapon across the Pacific.

OECD nuclear generation up to November 2010

OECD nuclear generation up to November 2010

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Is Oil Output Peaking or Not? Either Way, Cheap Oil Is Gone for Good

Is Oil Output Peaking or Not? Either Way, Cheap Oil Is Gone for Good


See full article from DailyFinance: http://srph.it/g3FEYg

Pentagon Deputy: What if al-Qaeda Got Stuxnet? * By Spencer Ackerman

Pentagon Deputy: What if al-Qaeda Got Stuxnet?

By Spencer Ackerman

Highlights of the Obama Budget

Highlights of the Obama Budget

Reportlinker Adds New Build Nuclear Power Market - Opportunity Assessment, Technology Analysis and Regional Breakdown

Reportlinker Adds New Build Nuclear Power Market - Opportunity Assessment, Technology Analysis and Regional Breakdown 

 

http://www.reportlinker.com/p0382675/New-Build-Nuclear-Power-Market---Opportunity-Assessment-Technology-Analysis-and-Regional-Breakdown.html

Could underwater nuclear stations be headed for the English channel?

UPDATE 1-Syria mulls first nuclear power plant by 2020

UPDATE 1-Syria mulls first nuclear power plant by 2020

NY, VT, Conn. suing NRC over nuclear waste storage

NY, VT, Conn. suing NRC over nuclear waste storage

Super compact fusion reactor secures funding

Super compact fusion reactor secures funding

Tokamak Solutions works on neutron fusion reactor
British firm Tokamak Solutions has received a round of funding in support of its development of a fusion reactor that will produce neutrons and process neutron byproducts. The fusion neutrons have uses in the medical isotope field. The Engineer (U.K.)

Obama Administration Seeks Additional $36 Billion For Nuclear Loan Guarantees


Obama Administration Seeks Additional $36 Billion For Nuclear Loan Guarantees


The Obama administration is requesting an additional $36 billion in nuclear loan guarantees in its budget plan for fiscal 2012, up from its budgeted $18.5 billion. The guarantees would make it easier for nuclear companies obtain credit. Nasdaq.com/Dow Jones Newswires
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Obama budget could boost B&W reactor projects

Obama budget could boost B&W reactor projects


The Babcock & Wilcox Generation mPower Reactor could benefit from the Obama administration's proposed budget for fiscal 2012. The Department of Energy is requesting $67 million to help fund the development of small modular reactors. "Any time you can bring together this kind of a public-private funding arrangement, it really helps move technology like this forward a lot quicker and with a lot lower risk profile," said Rick Bonsall, vice president of business development for Generation mPower. The News & Advance (Lynchburg, Va.)
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The coming misery that Big Oil discusses behind closed doors

The coming misery that Big Oil discusses behind closed doors

Short-sighted US Nuclear Policy

Short-sighted US Nuclear Policy

Mapping Asia’s Nuclear Future

Mapping Asia’s Nuclear Future

The New START has entered into force. It’s now time for Asian nations to step up and help tackle the nuclear threat, says Richard Weitz.

Monday, February 14, 2011

U.S. Counterterror Chief: "Dirty Bomb" as Much a Risk as Biological Weapon -- Global Security Newswire

U.S. Counterterror Chief: "Dirty Bomb" as Much a Risk as Biological Weapon -- Global Security Newswire

3 Charts From Shell On The Future Of Energy

3 Charts From Shell On The Future Of Energy

A response to Peter Lang on Coal and Nuclear Costs

A response to Peter Lang on Coal and Nuclear Costs

In a discussion of Integral Fast Reactor costs on Brave New Climate, Australian Engineer Peter Lang, a frequent poster/commenter on Brave New Climate has posted a challenge to nuclear power supporters. Lang, who is a AGW skeptic, argues, argues,
If we cannot have nuclear cheaper than coal we should wait until we can. We should not embark on unilateral action to stop climate change. We should not impose a carbon price in Australia.
In response, I argued:
Both IFRs and MSRs are possible with 10 years, provided we are willing to leave out all the bells and whistles and go with existing and proven technology. The resulting reactors will not be breeders, and the number of IFRs (ARC-100) possible is likely to be limited, although the sky is the limit as far as the number of MSRs is concerned.

Is it possible to build these reactors cheaper than coal? There is not enough evidence for ARC-100 type reactors to even hazard a guess, but there is probable cause to believe that SMR MSRs can be produced in factories at a cost that is at least competitive with coal. How is that possible? MSRs can be built with very compact cores, and operate at one atmosphere pressure. That means that they require less material in core and building construction. Secondly MSRs do not require
explosive or flammable materials in their core, thus they also require fewer safety features. MSRs are simpler than LWRs and IFrs, and require fewer parts. MSRs can be air cooled and located entirely underground. Hence many factors which contribute to reactor expenses, cost significantly less with MSRs.

MSRs operate at higher thermal efficiency than either LWRs or IFRs, and greater efficiency plus compact core size are factors in lower reactor costs. MSRs are capable of performing multiple missions, and for some electrical generation missions including load following and electrical back up, lower cost materials can be substituted, for the more expensive materials required by base load MSR power plants.

MSRs are simpler and require fewer parts than IFRs and LWRs. MSRs can be rapidly built in large numbers in factories. Labor saving machines can be employed in factory based MSR construction. Factory workers employed in MSR construction require fewer skills that construction workers who build LWRs. Factory employed workers compute to work from their homes, while LWR construction workers live in temporary housing close to their work site. These factors raise LWR labor costs as well as labor cost associated with coal fired power plants.

In addition, traditional coal fired power have hidden social and environmental costs, including the environmental consequences of acid rain, and the health consequences of breathing polluted coal smoke. The cost of health care related too coal smoke caused illnesses, and the cost to agriculture caused by acid rain caused crop damage is added to the cost of coal generated electricity, that cost rises significantly, and the cost of pollution control equipment adds significantly to the cost of electrical generation from coal fired plants.

All of these considerations support the argument that MSRs are potentially cost competitive with coal fired power plants. This evidence, although not yet conclusive, is sufficiently strong to require further investigation.
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21st Century Nuclear Challenges: 1 Mass Deployment, A. Coal Replacement

21st Century Nuclear Challenges: 1 Mass Deployment, A. Coal Replacement

21st Century Nuclear Challenges: 1 Mass Deployment, A. Coal Replacement

Pakistan doubles its nuclear arsenal: Is it time to start worrying?

Pakistan doubles its nuclear arsenal: Is it time to start worrying?

Dutch government supports nuclear project

Dutch government supports nuclear project
One of the two companies seeking to construct a reactor in the Netherlands could secure a final license by 2015, provided it meets safety requirements and can function without federal financial support, Economics Minister Maxim Verhagen said. Energy Resources Holding and Delta are vying for the license

Republicans seek release of Yucca Mountain report

NRC is urged to release safety report on Yucca Mountain project
Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives are urging the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to circulate, by Feb. 24, a safety-evaluation report on the Yucca Mountain nuclear-waste repository. In response, NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko said "the bulk of the information will be made public," but "will take some degree of time." Las Vegas Review-Journal/The Political Eye blog
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Chu: U.S. needs to consider other options for nuclear waste

US must move past Yucca dump for nuke waste-Chu

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CR would slash EPA, White House energy office Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/49383.html#ixzz1DyTccGd7

Republicans' spending bill targets White House, EPA's climate rules
The continuing-resolution bill proposed by House Republicans on Friday seeks to end funding for the White House energy adviser's office and cut the Environmental Protection Agency's budget by $3 billion. The bill also contains provisions that would block the EPA's mandate to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions and prevent the Nuclear Regulatory Commission from abandoning licensing studies for the Yucca Mountain waste-storage project in Nevada. The Politico (Washington, D.C.) (2/11),  

House GOP spending bill prohibits funding for EPA climate regs

The Hill/E2 Wire blog (2/11),


GOP won't shut down government to block EPA climate rules

The Hill/E2 Wire blog
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URS secures services deal for Idaho nuclear project

Areva Enrichment Services has given URS a contract to supply procurement, construction and management services for the Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility. The Idaho plant, which aims to supply low-enriched uranium for commercial nuclear facilities, has also secured a $2 billion conditional federal loan-guarantee commitment.

Small-reactor development to be included in Obama budget plan

Small-reactor development to be included in Obama budget plan
The Obama administration's budget plan for 2012 will include a funding request for the design of small "modular" reactors, several people involved with the proposal say. The Department of Energy is seeking $500 million over five years, which is half of the projected cost to complete two reactor designs and gain clearance from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Nuclear industry windfall feared

Nuclear industry windfall feared

IAEA's Amano: Iran still steadily producing uranium

Lally WeymouthIAEA's Amano: Iran still steadily producing uraniumLally Weymouth interviews the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

President’s Energy Budget Invests in Innovation, Clean Energy, and National Security Priorities

THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
Office of Public Affairs


News Media Contact: (202) 586-4940
For Immediate Release: Monday, February 14, 2011

President’s Energy Budget Invests in Innovation, Clean Energy, and National Security Priorities
DOE also making tough budget choices and instituting
management reform efforts to save taxpayer money

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu today detailed President Barack Obama’s $29.5 billion Fiscal Year 2012 budget request for the Department of Energy, emphasizing that it is part of an Administration-wide plan to win the future by out-innovating, out-educating and out-building the rest of the world. At the same time, the FY 2012 makes tough choices, cutting programs and expenses to underscore the Administration’s commitment to fiscal responsibility and shared sacrifice.

“The United States faces a choice today: will we lead in innovation and out-compete the rest of the world or will we fall behind?  To lead the world in clean energy, we must act now.  We can’t afford not to. Through our investments, we are laying the groundwork for the nation’s future prosperity and security,” said Secretary Chu. “While we are investing in areas that are critical to our future, we are also rooting out programs that aren’t needed and making hard choices to tighten our belt.  Additionally, we are improving our management and operations so we function more efficiently and effectively.”

Specifically the President’s FY 2012 budget request for the Department of Energy:

•    Puts the nation on the path to reach a bold but achievable goal of generating 80 percent of America’s electricity from clean sources by 2035 as called for by the President. 
    Supports groundbreaking basic science, research and innovation to solve our energy challenges and ensure that the United States remains at the forefront of science and technology.
•    Leads in the development and deployment of clean and efficient energy technologies to reduce our dependence on oil, accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy and promote economic competitiveness; and
•    Strengthens national security by reducing nuclear dangers, maintaining a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent and cleaning up our Cold War nuclear legacy. 
•    Advances responsible environmental management by cleaning up hazardous, radioactive legacy waste from the Manhattan Project and the Cold War.

Some highlights in the FY 2012 budget include:

·         $3.2 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, because investing in clean energy will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs here at home. 
·         Promoting renewable energy and energy efficient projects with $300 million in credit subsidies to support approximately $3-4 billion in projects.
·         $36 billion in loan guarantee authority to help jumpstart the domestic nuclear industry, as well as additional investments in the research and development of advanced nuclear technologies, including small modular reactors. Combined with existing authority, the additional loan guarantee authority will support 6 to 8 nuclear power projects, which will result in the construction of anywhere from 9 to 13 new reactors. 
·         To spur innovation, the President’s budget request invests in basic and applied research and keeps us on the path to doubling funding for key science agencies, including the Department’s Office of Science. 
·         $5.4 billion for the Office of Science to expand our investment in basic energy sciences, advanced scientific computing and biological and environmental sciences – all key areas for our future economic competitiveness.
·         $550 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to continue support for the promising early-stage research projects that could deliver game-changing clean energy technologies.
·         $146 million to support the three existing Energy Innovation Hubs and to establish three new Hubs in the areas of batteries and energy storage; smart grid technologies and systems; and critical materials. Through the Hubs, we are bringing together our nation’s top scientists and engineers to work over a longer time frame to achieve a specific goal.
·         $100 million to continue supporting 46 Energy Frontier Research Centers started in 2009.
·         A five-year FY 12 to FY 16 request of nearly $65 billion for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) reflects the President’s nuclear security priorities, as well as his commitment to modernize the U.S. nuclear weapons enterprise and sustain a strong nuclear deterrent for the duration of the New START Treaty and beyond. 
·         To support the President’s goal of securing all vulnerable nuclear material around the world in four years, the budget invests $2.5 billion in the NNSA Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation program. This is part of a five-year, $14.2 billion commitment for the program.


In developing this budget, several program reductions and terminations are proposed, further demonstrating the Obama Administration’s commitment to fiscal responsibility. The Department also continues to make progress on a management excellence agenda to improve our operations.

They include:

·         In the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, DOE reduced funding for the hydrogen technology program by more than 40 percent, or nearly $70 million in order to focus on technologies deployable at large scale in the near term.
·         In January, DOE decided that it would end operation of the Tevatron, at the Fermi National Laboratory, rather than extend them through FY 2014. It is projected this decision will save the Department $35 million for FY 2012.
·         DOE has reduced the budget for the Fossil Energy Office by 45 percent, or $418 million. This includes zeroing out the Fuels Program, the Fuel Cells Program, the Oil and Gas Research and Development Program, and the Unconventional Fossil Technology Program.
·         The proposal to repeal a number of subsidies and tax preferences available for fossil fuels.  Repeal of these subsidies and preferences will save the taxpayer approximately $3.6 billion in FY 2012.
·         The Department is reducing administrative expenses across all programs in the FY 2012 budget from FY 2010 levels. 

In the FY 12 budget request, the Department was able to reduce the cost of its corporate management by nearly 13 percent, cutting nearly $45 million from its budget. Some of these spending reductions came from:

·         Office of the Secretary: 14 percent reduction;
·         Office of the Chief Financial Officer: 16 percent reduction;
·         Office of the Chief Information Officer: 17 percent reduction ;
·         Office of Human Capital Management: 22 percent reduction;
·         Office of Public Affairs: 16 percent reduction

For more information about the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2012 budget proposal for the Department of Energy, please visit www.energy.gov.