Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major News and Commentary Military and Civilian Nuclear Activities

Saturday, May 12, 2012

"Too Cheap to Meter"

Gail Marcus / Nuke Power Talk

"Too Cheap to Meter"

At Nuke Power Talk, Gail Marcus recaps the history of the phrase "too cheap to meter" that has haunted the industry for so many years. She was spurred to write on this topic this week by her husband, Mike Marcus, who writes a blog on telecommunications issues. After their recent stay in a hotel in Phoenix where they had free long-distance phone calls, Mike concluded that maybe Lewis Strauss should have said that telecommunications would become too cheap to meter! Gail links to Mike's blog so the historical evolution of pricing in the two industries can be contrasted.

Japan: Power crisis 'can be averted': Govt says restarting Oi reactors key to preventing blackouts

Japan: Power crisis 'can be averted': Govt says restarting Oi reactors key to preventing blackouts

This summer's expected power shortage in Kansai Electric Power Co.'s service area may be averted if two reactors at the Oi nuclear power plant are restarted in combination with power-saving efforts by businesses and households, according to the government's new power supply projection released Thursday.
This is the first time the government has presented a power demand-supply outlook on the assumption that a nuclear reactor will resume operations.
With no nuclear reactors operating in the country, KEPCO's service areas are expected to suffer a particularly serious power shortage this summer.
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PSEG Nuclear's Hope Creek reactor returns to service after refueling outage

PSEG Nuclear's Hope Creek reactor returns to service after refueling outage

The Hope Creek nuclear reactor here has returned to service after completion of a scheduled refueling outage, officials said Thursday.

The plant began sending out electricity over the regional power grid at 4:37 p.m. Wednesday, according to Joe Delmar, spokesman for the plant’s operator, PSEG Nuclear.

Hope Creek, one of three nuclear reactors at the Artificial Island generating site here along the Delaware River, was shut down on April 13 to begin the refueling outage, the 17th for the plant since it went online in 1986.

As of Thursday, Hope Creek was operating at 37 percent power. Operators were conducting routine start-up testing of the unit as the reactor continues to ascend to full power.
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Germany energy giant RWE hit hard by nuclear exit

Germany energy giant RWE hit hard by nuclear exit

Berlin (AFP) May 10, 2012
Germany's second-biggest power supplier RWE said Thursday its net profits had fallen by more than a quarter in the first three months of the year, hit by Berlin's decision to scrap nuclear power. Net profits fell by 28 percent in the first quarter of the year to 1.3 billion euros ($1.7 billion) on broadly flat earnings of 15.6 billion euros, the firm said in a statement.
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OPEC hikes 2012 world oil demand forecast

OPEC hikes 2012 world oil demand forecast

Vienna (AFP) May 10, 2012
OPEC revised its 2012 world oil demand outlook slightly upwards on Thursday citing a stable US economy and the shutdown of nuclear plants in Japan, which boosted demand. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries predicted 2012 demand at 88.67 million barrels per day (bpd), up 0.90 million bpd from 2011, in its latest monthly report. This represented a minor hike from its previou
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Two suspects for Italy nuclear boss shooting

Two suspects for Italy nuclear boss shooting

Rome (AFP) May 10, 2012
Italian police are searching for two men linked to the far-left Red Brigades militant group who are suspected of carrying out an attack on the head of a nuclear energy company, media reports said Thursday. The suspects, who tried to recreate a former Red Brigades cell in 2000, are thought to be behind Monday's attack in Genoa, when a gunman shot the head of Ansaldo Nucleare in the ankle, bef
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China's CNOOC starts deepwater drilling

China's CNOOC starts deepwater drilling

Beijing (UPI) May 10, 2012
China National Offshore Oil Corp. has started China's first deep-sea drilling project in the South China Sea amid heightened territorial tensions over the disputed area. The $839.9 million CNOOC 981 - the country's first domestically manufactured deepwater drilling rig - drilled its first well Wednesday. The well, Liwan 6-1-1, is 199 miles southeast of the Hong Kong Special Adm
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Russia and Japan to build gas pipeline

Russia and Japan to build gas pipeline

Moscow (Voice of Russia) May 11, 2012
The former Foreign Minister of Japan, Seiji Maehara now the Chairman of the Council for political studies of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan says that Russia and Japan are studying the possibility of jointly constructing a gas pipeline. He was speaking at the end of his talks at the office of the Russian Gazprom. The issue of building a gas pipeline on the seabed was raised by Russia

When Global Warming Hits Home (Literally)

When Global Warming Hits Home (Literally)

In a recent PBS documentary, the mayor of Norfolk, Virginia, Paul Fraim, talks about how flooding has become a monthly occurrence in his town, and how global warming and sea level rise are as much a daily issue for him as education and fighting crime. In some parts of Norfolk, streets turn into rivers at high tide. Homes are flooded five out of six years. People lose their carpets, their appliances, their savings. And they can't afford to move elsewhere.
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NRC meeting on Laser Enrichment

NRC meeting on Laser Enrichment

Last night, I went to the NRC public meeting regarding licensing of a laser enrichment facility at the GE-Hitachi site north of Wilmington, NC. I’d never been to such a meeting before so I was curious to hear what was said and see who attended the meeting.
The meeting was set up in a space at UNCW, the local university. That was the first fun thing, I don’t know all the buildings on campus, so just finding the building and a place to park was amusing. School is still in session at UNCW (finals week, I believe) so there were lots of students around.
The NRC brought in a retired NRC staff person to act as a moderator, which I thought was very effective. It prevented any one individual or group from dominating the proceedings. The meeting started with introductions and presentations by the NRC staff.

Oil Companies Buy Oil at West Texas Intermediary Price, and then Sell It at the Higher Brent Crude Price Used In Europe

Oil Companies Buy Oil at West Texas Intermediary Price, and then Sell It at the Higher Brent Crude Price Used In Europe


We noted yesterday that major U.S. oil companies are artificially raising gas prices to U.S. consumers by using the European Brent crude oil pricing yardstick.

Push from Mississippi kept Deepwater Horizon oil slick off shore

Geoscientists offer an explanation for why the Deepwater Horizon oil spill didn't have the environmental impact that many had feared. Using publicly available datasets, their study reveals that the force of the Mississippi River emptying into the Gulf of Mexico created mounds of freshwater which pushed the oil slick off shore.
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