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Sat Dec 24, 2011, 02:39 PM

After Fukushima: A Changing Climate For Nuclear

http://www.npr.org/2011/12/24/144194064/after-fukushima-a-changing-climate-for-nuclear
[font face=Times,Times New Roman,Serif][font size=5]After Fukushima: A Changing Climate For Nuclear[/font]

by Christopher Joyce
December 24, 2011

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Jaczko has not stepped down. And despite the bitterness, work continues at the NRC — the commission just approved a new, safer power plant design, called AP1000.

That could help get new reactors built. But Marc Chupka, who advises electric utilities as an economist with the Brattle Group in Washington, wonders who's going to pay for them.

"Right now, just the plain economics of nuclear power are underwater," he says. He notes that over the past decade, construction costs have skyrocketed and natural gas got more plentiful and cheaper.

"Things change significantly over relatively short periods of time," Chupka says, noting that it takes about a dozen years to plan and build a new nuclear plant. "That makes it an incredibly challenging environment to plan for the long term. And that adds to the risk and it makes investors understandably skittish."

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11 replies, 1690 views

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply After Fukushima: A Changing Climate For Nuclear (Original post)
OKIsItJustMe Dec 2011 OP
Bob Wallace Dec 2011 #1
wtmusic Dec 2011 #2
OKIsItJustMe Dec 2011 #3
kristopher Dec 2011 #4
OKIsItJustMe Dec 2011 #5
wtmusic Dec 2011 #7
Bob Wallace Dec 2011 #8
kristopher Dec 2011 #10
madokie Dec 2011 #9
Bob Wallace Dec 2011 #6
SpoonFed Dec 2011 #11

Response to OKIsItJustMe (Original post)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 03:06 PM

1. Investing in nuclear, a huge risk...

Get in early and it's going to be twenty years or more before you break even - just get your investment back but no earnings.

What could happen in those 20 years?

Another TMI/Chernobyl/Fukushima. People decide that they just don't want the risk of nuclear in their back yard and shut you down.

Solar prices drop as expected and affordable battery storage is developed. With wind already around $0.05/kWh and solar expected to reach that level in the next few years. All that is needed is storage for around a nickle per kWh and we're looking at 24/365 power at a dime or less. Far below the cost of new nuclear. If you're the most expensive provider you won't sell your product.

Temperatures continue to rise and droughts become more common. Water tables continue to fall. Lack of cooling water requires thermal plants to close for significant parts of the year, making it impossible to pay the loans.



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Response to Bob Wallace (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 03:26 PM

2. No, "all that is needed" is some magic pixie dust

to make wind and solar economically viable.

This is "expected", that is "expected". Why do both need to rely on the largest percentage of subsidies per MW generated of any form of commercial power? You'd think private investment would be chomping at the bit to profit on such sweet "expectations".

Hmm?

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Response to wtmusic (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 03:32 PM

3. Nuclear Power Subsidies: The Gift that Keeps on Taking

http://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear_power/nuclear_power_and_global_warming/nuclear-power-subsidies-report.html
[font face=Times,Times New Roman,Serif][font size=5]Nuclear Power Subsidies: The Gift that Keeps on Taking[/font]
[font size=4]Download: Nuclear Power: Still Not Viable without Subsidies (2011) | Nuclear Power Subsidies: Executive Summary (2011)[/font]

[font size=3]Government subsidies to the nuclear power industry over the past fifty years have been so large in proportion to the value of the energy produced that in some cases it would have cost taxpayers less to simply buy kilowatts on the open market and give them away, according to a February 2011 report by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

The report, Nuclear Power: Still Not Viable without Subsidies, looks at the economic impacts and policy implications of subsidies to the nuclear power industry—past, present, and proposed.

How would you like your subsidy?

Nuclear power subsidies vary by type of ownership (public or private), time frame of support (legacy, ongoing, or new), and the type of cost (or “attribute of production”) they address—from startup capital to decommissioning and waste disposal. Subsidies can take many forms, including tax breaks, accident liability caps, direct payments, and loan guarantees.

While the exact value of these subsidies can be difficult to pin down, even conservative estimates add up to a substantial percentage of the value of the power nuclear plants produce—approaching or even exceeding 100 percent in the case of legacy subsidies and subsidies to new privately-owned reactors (see chart).



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Response to wtmusic (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 03:38 PM

4. Why do you persist in attempts to misuse data?

What is your goal; to gain a clear understanding of the relative worth and challenges facing each source of generation or to misuse data to paint a false picture favoring your preselected preference?

You know your use of the data is designed to mislead.

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Response to wtmusic (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 03:39 PM

5. Democrats Weigh the True Costs and Risks of Nuclear Energy Post-Fukushima

http://democrats.science.house.gov/press-release/democrats-weigh-true-costs-and-risks-nuclear-energy-post-fukushima
[font face=Times,Times New Roman,Serif][font size=5]Democrats Weigh the True Costs and Risks of Nuclear Energy Post-Fukushima[/font]

May 13, 2011

[font size=3]Today, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology’s Subcommittees on Investigations & Oversight and Energy & Environment held a joint hearing on Nuclear Energy Risk Management.

There are 104 operating nuclear power plants in the United States that provide roughly 20-percent of the nation’s electricity. No new nuclear power plants have been built in the U.S. for the past thirty years, since the Three Mile Island nuclear accident. Over the last few years, there has been a renewed interest in building a new generation of nuclear power plants in the U.S., and a renewed push for more subsidies to underwrite this construction. Public support for this policy has eroded as a consequence of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami in Japan that resulted in the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. The partial meltdown and spent nuclear fuel fires reminded the world of the potential catastrophic consequences of nuclear power.

Members and witnesses at today’s hearing pointed out that the nuclear power industry has received billions of dollars in federal subsidies from the U.S. government for nearly 60 years, yet the industry is still unable to stand on its own two feet. “Despite decades of support, nuclear power plants are still unable to operate competitively in the U.S. energy market,” said Representative Donna F. Edwards (D-MD), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight. “Now, we are being asked for still more subsidies to build another generation of plants. The public gravy train has got to come to a stop for this now mature industry,” she said.

These taxpayer subsidies have helped the nuclear power industry to profit handsomely for years. Six of the leading nuclear power companies that own a total of 51 operating nuclear power plants in the U.S. made nearly $16 billion in profits in the past two years alone, according to their own annual reports.

Representative Brad Miller (D-NC), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment added his views. “I am a cautious, reluctant supporter of nuclear technology. But we must acknowledge the real costs and give other technologies a fair shake at competing,” said Miller. “This industry would not have been born were it not for government investment, and 60 years later, it would not survive without the government propping it up.”

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Response to OKIsItJustMe (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 03:47 PM

7. Your post: "nuclear power plants in the U.S. made nearly $16 billion in profits alone"

If your argument is against the economics of nuclear power, you're doing a rotten job.

A much more productive endeavor would be to go after the subsidies, wouldn't it?

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Response to wtmusic (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 05:19 PM

8. What's your logic...

in predicting the cost of future reactors from reactors built decades ago?

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Response to Bob Wallace (Reply #8)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 09:20 PM

10. This page is dedicated to

This page is dedicated to the worst among us; the unscrupulous landlords who milk a property without concern for tenants, neighborhoods or their own long term interests.

The roof leaks: "Humm, I thought I fixed that."

The toilet leaks : "Put a towel around it."

The front steps are broken: "Use the back door."




There are three ways to benefit financially by investing in rental housing: Cash Flow, Appreciation and Tax Shelter.

Most good and scrupulous investors try to maximize their return on investment by taking advantage of all three possible benefits. They do it with financial and tax planning, careful purchase of each property, good property management while they own it, then professional marketing when they decide to sell.

However, there are short sighted fools who rape neighborhoods and steal money from a property by chasing cash flow with no thought to the long term ramifications. As a sad result, slumlords destroy buildings, neighborhoods and seriously impact the lives and hopes of poor tenants and their children. They also miss a chance to make a decent profit while building long-term financial security by investing intelligently in rental housing.

Typically, a slumlord looks for an opportunity to buy a structurally and aesthetically challenged property for little or no down-payment. That kind of deal is all to often available from someone who bought something that was fairly decent, but then "milked" and mismanaged the property until they can no longer stand to deal with the maintenance problems and the kind of problem tenants you get in a problem building.

A slumlord is happy to take over any junk property they can get cheap, with little or nothing down. Why not, they don't ever intend to finish paying for it anyway. Their whole goal is to put the least amount of money possible in a property and take the most they can out of it - for as long as they can. A slumlord is not usually concerned about tax benefits, because they try to collect as much of the rent in unreported cash as they can. They are not concerned about appreciation because they intend to abandon the property when it has been finally milked dry...


http://rhol.org/rental/slumlord.htm


Slumlord management doesn't apply just to housing.

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Response to wtmusic (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 09:05 PM

9. That is 51 operating nuke plants making 16 billions in the last two years

*These taxpayer subsidies have helped the nuclear power industry to profit handsomely for years. Six of the leading nuclear power companies that own a total of 51 operating nuclear power plants in the U.S. made nearly $16 billion in profits in the past two years alone, according to their own annual reports.*

It has a little bit of a different meaning when read in the the context that it was printed, huh

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Response to wtmusic (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 03:40 PM

6. Not hmm.

New global investment in clean energy reached $243 billion in 2010, up from $186.5 billion in 2009.

2010 investment in renewables double those from 2006.

As for subsidies, nuclear in the US is heavily subsidized. Private money won't touch nuclear unless taxpayers assume the risk and provide free liability insurance.

Solar is getting subsidies. Those subsidies have brought the price of solar from over $50/watt to under $1/watt. We've poured many billions of taxpayer money into nuclear and the price just keeps on going up.

BTW, wind needs no magic pixie dust. It is already one of our two cheapest ways to bring new power to the grid. And the cheapest carbon-free source.

--

Oh, and I guess you missed the news. Solar in several parts of the world has already reached grid parity.

http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/New-Study-Solar-Grid-Parity-Is-Here-Today/


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Response to OKIsItJustMe (Original post)

Tue Dec 27, 2011, 07:28 AM

11. Interesting if not myopic premise in the title...

that we're anywhere near "after Fukushima", except perhaps where the nuke industry PR machine might want to wishfully be.

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