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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 05:12 AM
Original message
TVA plan for Ala. nuclear plant drops to 1 reactor
Source: AP

The Tennessee Valley Authority, faced with falling electric sales and rising costs from cleaning up a massive coal ash spill in Tennessee, on Friday trimmed plans for a potential four-unit nuclear plant in northeast Alabama to one reactor.

The nation's largest public utility, which two years ago had positioned itself as a leader in this country's so-called "nuclear renaissance," said it would prepare a supplemental environmental impact statement to consider a single reactor for its unfinished Bellefonte site near Scottsboro, Ala.

That single unit might be one of the two advanced Westinghouse AP1000 reactors for which TVA has already applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a combined construction and operating license. Or it might be one of the two incomplete reactors that have been mothballed at the site since 1988.

A third option would be to not build anything, though TVA officials continue to see nuclear in the agency's future particularly because of tougher clean-air standards on power generators.


Read more:

We know we have much better solutions than nuclear:

- McKinsey must-read: U.S. can meet entire 2020 emissions target with efficiency and cogeneration while lowering the nations energy bill $700 billion!

- If Obama stops dirty coal, as he must, what will replace it?

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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 06:13 AM
Response to Original message
1. Al Gore explained why this would happen back in 2007
The AP article in the OP mentions how many reactors were cancelled by TVA back in the 1970's.
Back in 2007, Al Gore talked about this in televised hearings before Congress:
"I don't think it's going to play a major role ... the reason it's going to be limited is mainly the cost. They're so expensive and they take so long to build"

You mentioned nuclear -- I'm sure that'll come up again, I'm not, I'm not an absolutist in being opposed to nuclear, I think it's likely to play some role, I don't think it's going to play a major role, but I think it's going to play some additional role, and I think the reason it's going to be limited is mainly the cost. They're so expensive and they take so long to build, and at present, they only come in one size, extra large, and people don't want to make that kind of investment in an uncertain market for energy demand.


I'm not opposed to nuclear; I have deep questions about it, I'm concerned about it; I used to be enthusiastic about it.

Back when I represented Congressman Gordon's district, TVA had 21 nuclear power plants under construction; and then later I represented Oak Ridge where we're immune to the effects of nuclear radiation, you know (laughter) so I was very enthusiastic about it. But, but 19 of those 21 plants were canceled, and I'm sure Bart gets the same questions I used to get about whether those partly finished cooling towers might be used for a grain silo ... but people are upset, still, that they have had to pay for 'em and not be able to get electricity for 'em ...

And I think the stoppage of the nuclear industry was really less due to Three Mile Island and Chernobyl and environmental concerns, and more due to the fact that after the OPEC oil crises of '73 and '79, the projection for electricity demand went from 7% annualized compounded, down to 1% and, and when energy prices are going up, the uncertainty over how much they can plan for also goes up.

Now electricity ought not follow the price of oil, but it does, because there's just enough, uh, fungibility between oil and coal on the margins that electricity chases oil. Now oil's back at $60 a barrel; where's it gonna be a year from now? We don't know, but the fact of the uncertainty is itself the reason why these utilities do not want to place all their chips in one large bet that doesn't mature for another fifteen years at a very expensive cost. The new generation, there may be smaller incremental power plants, standardized, safer, more reliable; perhaps we may get a solution to the long-term storage of waste issue -- I'm assuming we will; reactors are ... (chair interrupts)

Al Gore was right - they started cancelling reactors in 1974, immediately after the 1973 oil crisis. Anyone can verify this by looking at the dates listed in NUREG-1350 Appendix C, "Canceled U.S. Commercial Nuclear Power Reactors" at

Here's a chart of reactor orders - dropped like a rock right after the 1973 oil crisis:

We're in a similar situation today, and we know that efficiency and renewables are much more cost-effective than nuclear.

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Faith No More Donating Member (230 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:19 AM
Response to Original message
2. I wish someone would make the bastards clean up their coal fired plants in Tennessee.
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 11:21 AM by Faith No More
The pollution that drifts over into North Carolina is terrible. Some days, the air quality here in the NC mountains is worse than that in Los Angeles.
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Wizard777 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:23 AM
Response to Original message
3. How can Iran be sure they won't use this facility to make Nuclear Weapons?
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 11:24 AM by Wizard777

After all Iran is going green too.
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