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New Nukes with Dem Administration?

New Nukes with Dem Administration?

New Nukes with Dem Administration?

What do you guys feel is the future of New Nukes or expansions of existing units with a Demorat Administration?
I do not want a political discussion, just what are your thoughts for the industry with these new people coming in?
I sell testing equipment to your industry and I am a bit worried about MY future supplyiing equipment to this industry wiht some of the things being said by the varied candidates?


RE: New Nukes with Dem Administration?

Over the weekend a close friend of mine and I discussed this issue. He has positioned himself with a company that is planning on new nuke plant construction; his next promotion depends on it. He is now very concerned about his future with his employer and is considering jumping over to Petro-Chem with me if things go the "wrong way" this week; fortunately my employer has an opportunity for him if he needs it.

RE: New Nukes with Dem Administration?

Americans have gotten their appetites whetted for real energy solutions due to both the price rise of electricity based on principally fossil fuels (including the Dem's favorite "clean" fossil fuel-natural gas) and petroleum based fuels-think gasoline to get to work and the store.

The Dems are going to do what Dems do and resist any viable energy solution opting for imaginary 'pie in the sky' solutions like Solar, Wind and the like, all of which should be done to the extent that they can be done by the way-but I digress.

The voters will make them pay if they don't come up with some really good solutions, one of which is Nuclear.  About the most they are going to do is stove off the nuclear solution for another 4 or 8 years, but that's all-and that may be all for them too.

That isn't a good answer for anyone whose job is on the precipice at this point, but that is the way it will work out.  IMHO.


RE: New Nukes with Dem Administration?

People need electricity and, although they would prefer this to come with a lower carbon footprint, the decider will be price.  The driver for building new nuclear capacity will come down to the relative cost of oil, gas & coal which, given the supply and demand position, I can only see increasing.

The regulatory situation seems to have improved due to supportive funding and standardised designs. I can't see vast subsidy to drive increased renewables. I  think new nuclear will happen regardless of government sympathy.

RE: New Nukes with Dem Administration?

I see it all hinging on the carbon tax discussions.  If the numbers are set low (~$5/ton) then large modern combined cycle gas fired plants will be the rage.
If the number settles higher (~$20/ton) then Nuc plants will be built.  Maybe not many, I would only expect 4-8 of them even at these prices.
Either way coal is dead.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Plymouth Tube

RE: New Nukes with Dem Administration?

My 2 cents. I expect that a carbon tax will be imposed. There will be funds/tax credits extended for CLEAN Coal (Gasification/Sequestering). A number of the currently  planned Nucs will be built but the costs/completion schedules thereof beter be acceptable to Joe Public. Finally, agree with Ed - combined cycle gas power plants will rule. Buy GE/Seimens/MHI.


RE: New Nukes with Dem Administration?

Take a look at the individual energy companies Integrated Resource Plans. In a high carbon tax world, nuclear power is preferred at high capacity factors (~90%). The industry operates at approximately 92%.

Cost risk can also be mitigated with the DOE Federal Loan Guarantee Program, but it is severely underfunded; $18B available vs. $125B requested. This is where the Dems can impact future builds.

RE: New Nukes with Dem Administration?


All of the above comments are very informative and interesting, but, IMHO everyone is missing the most significant issue.....time.

Many of the "older generation" of nuclear power plants took from 8-15 years from the initial application to commercial operation.

Is there any reason to think that a new generation of plants will take less time to license and build ?

Over the past 30 years, I have worked on the design and construction of the Shoreham, Seabrook, South Texas Project, North Anna and Maine Yankee Power plants. I do not, in my lifetime, ever expect to have a new generation nuclear plant designed, constructed and commisioned in the United States.

Democratic  or Republican administrations be damned.... the existing technical, legal and business bureucracies are still in place and will require at least a full decade to build any new nuclear plant




RE: New Nukes with Dem Administration?

I can't say about licensing, but at least one of the new plant designs is using modular construction and is designed to be built on a 5 year timeline.

RE: New Nukes with Dem Administration?

The projected time-line for many of the new plants that just submitted their COLA coming on line is 2015 - 2018.  Actually I think you can see exact timelines at the link to the NRC website in the other thread.

And of course as we all know, these types of things always  keep exactly on schedule santa2

Eng-tips forums: The best place on the web for engineering discussions.

RE: New Nukes with Dem Administration?

There are three standardize plants.  The modular ones are int the 500-600mw range and can be built in 4 years or lsee.
The problem is one do gooder with a lawyer can throw a turd in punch bowl and delay everything.  

RE: New Nukes with Dem Administration?

From a completion standpoint, some of the most pertinent issues are the lack of qualified equipment/material suppliers. Most of the suppliers in the USA are long gone.  

RE: New Nukes with Dem Administration?

DECEMBER 23, 2008, 7:35 A.M. ET
Obama Science Adviser Supports Long-Term Coal, Nuclear Devt

By Ian Talley


WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--President-elect Barack Obama's next senior science adviser, Harvard academic and vociferous climate change advocate John Holdren, is a proponent for clean coal and advanced nuclear energy, according to his previous speeches and policy work.

But the types of coal and nuclear generation that Holdren advocates is years away from commercial development, and it's questionable whether he will encourage near-term private-sector expansion of the two sectors.

According to a Belfer biography of Holdren, the environmental professor holds degrees in aerospace engineering and plasma physics, and is a specialist in energy technology and policy, climate change and nuclear arms control. He has long been an outspoken advocate for strong governmental regulation to curb greenhouse gases.

Holdren's expertise fits squarely into Obama's plan to shift the country away from fossil fuel production and towards lower carbon-emitting sources and greater efficiency. The president-elect wants to cut greenhouse gas emissions 80% from 1990 levels by 2050, and has stocked his cabinet with Nobel Laureate physics whiz Steven Chu as Energy Secretary and a raft of environmental regulators to transform the country's energy economy.

Like Chu, Holdren is an advocate of encouraging innovation in efficiency and renewable sources of energy, and analysts are forecasting a broad expansion of those sectors. But two sectors - coal and nuclear power - have expressed concern that their future under an Obama presidency was bleak given the Obama team's climate change policy and comments on nuclear funding and waste.

Coal-fired plants are the biggest generators in the country, but they also belch out more carbon dioxide than nearly any other industry.

And nuclear generation is one of the costliest enterprises in the energy industry when factoring in long-term radioactive waste disposal. Analysts and generation companies such as Areva (CEI.FR) say government funding, including waste liabilities and loan guarantees, is essential to jump-start a domestic renaissance. Because of public concerns over safety and project costs, no new plant-building projects have been started for decades. With billions in loan guarantees now available, however, more than two dozen applications have been submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for new plants.

Holdren in speeches this year said better coal and nuclear technologies were key to solving the world's energy and environmental crises.

"The solution...(is to) use the world's abundant coal resources without intolerable impacts on regional air quality, acid rain and global climate," he said in March.

"(It's also to) expand the use of nuclear energy enough to make a difference for climate change and oil and gas dependence, while still reducing accident, terrorism and proliferation risks," he said in the same presentation. If the challenges of high cost, waste disposal, safety and weapons proliferation can be adequately addressed, then the Harvard academic supports a nuclear expansion.

In particular, Holdren advocated coal generation with carbon capture and storage. Many environmentalist organizations are fighting against CCS because the potential for long-term emission leakage from the underground reservoirs where gases are sequestered. By most expert accounts, sequestration technology is at least a decade away from becoming commercially deployable.

Holdren advocates using advanced nuclear technology to provide the country's heat, light and transportation, but has been outspoken against re-processing, which takes conventional spent nuclear fuel and processes it to further energy supply.

He has said the government should fulfill its current nuclear waste waste obligations at Yucca Mountain, Nev., if legally possible, but at the same time develop a dry-cask spent-fuel storage system at multiple sites across the country.

"This is a proven, safe, inexpensive waste-sequestering technology that would be good for 100 years or more, providing an interim, back-up solution against the possibility that Yucca Mountain is further delayed or derailed - or cannot be adequately expanded before a further geologic repository can be ready," a 2005 report chaired by Holdren recommended.

As Chairman of the board at the National Commission on Energy Policy, Holdren advocated the government funnel billions of taxpayer funds annually into carbon sequestration demonstration projects and advanced nuclear technology research.

Professor Matthew Bunn, a Harvard professor who's worked with Holdren for years on nuclear policy, says there are a number of advanced nuclear power concepts that are more proliferation resistant that existing systems.

Bunn says there are literally dozens of potential technologies of advanced nuclear power concepts, including high temperature gas reactors, lead-cooled fast reactors, variations on light water reactors and molten-salt reactors.

It's unclear at this point, however, whether Holdren will advise Obama to agree to the nuclear industry's call for an expansion of the federal loan guarantee program to nearly $100 billion from around $17 billion now. Companies such as Exelon (EXC) say the guarantees are necessary to build the 30-plus new reactors that firms have applied for approval to construct.

-By Ian Talley, Of Dow Jones Newswires, 202-862-9285; ian.taley@dowjones.com


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