[ RadSafe ] TXU plans up to 6 nuclear plants

Sandy Perle sandyfl at earthlink.net
Fri Sep 1 16:01:34 CDT 2006


TXU plans up to 6 nuclear plants
US lacks medical plans for nuclear attack, group says
French power group EDF awards contracts for new nuclear plant
China may build six nuclear plants for Pak 
Water leak shuts down Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant
The good news about nuclear destruction
Piketon in running for nuclear recycling site
GM wants to go nuclear for fuel-cell vehicles 

TXU plans up to 6 nuclear plants

Star Telegram Sept 1 Spurred by rising demand for electrical power 
and the lure of federal financial incentives, TXU Corp. on Thursday 
became the latest company to announce plans to build nuclear power-
generating plants.

TXU officials said they plan to file applications by 2008 with the 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission for approval to locate and build as 
many as six nuclear power plants, with hopes of having the first 
producing power by 2015.

TXU's existing Comanche Peak power plant at Glen Rose, southwest of 
Fort Worth, would likely be the site of one or more of the reactors.

The nuclear plants, capable of producing up to 6,000 megawatts a day, 
would be in addition to TXU's previously announced plans to build 11 
new coal-fired generating plants that would produce about 9,000 
megawatts. If all the proposed plants are built, TXU's generating 
capacity would nearly double.

"The coal plants are a short-term solution" to meet growing 
electricity demand and would be in operation by 2010, said TXU 
spokesman Chris Schein. "Nuclear is the long-term solution."

Adding both coal and nuclear plants, Schein said, would enable to TXU 
to produce more power with less pollution at lower costs. Each 1,000-
megawatt power plant would cost at least $1 billion.

TXU is the latest in a string of U.S. power-generating companies that 
have recently warmed to the idea of building nuclear power plants. 
After nearly 30 years without a new nuclear plant, at least 16 
companies have expressed interest in building up to 25 reactors 
across the U.S., according to published reports.

The Energy Department recently announced rules that allow the federal 
government to provide $2 billion worth of guarantees to the first six 
nuclear plants to be built. Experts say the regulators will look 
closely at the applications and, because of the risk of huge 
construction-cost overruns, will likely select companies with sound 
financial backing.

TXU earned $1.7 billion in profit for 2005. TXU shares (ticker: TXU) 
gained $1.21 Thursday on word of the nuclear plants, to close at 

NRG Energy Inc., a New Jersey company, announced plans in June to 
invest $5.2 billion to add two reactors to a power plant complex in 
Houston. Amarillo Power has expressed interest in building a nuclear 
plant near Amarillo.

The last nuclear plant license was issued by the NRC in 1973. 
Comanche Peak, which like many other plants was delayed for years by 
political and legal challenges and construction delays, was the last 
nuclear plant completed and began operating in 1992.

Two Glen Rose residents said they would welcome an expansion of the 

"I think it's great," said Pat Simmons, who worked at the plant for 
15 years. "I've lived here all of my life, and Glen Rose doesn't have 
a lot of jobs. And unless you work at the power plant, there isn't 
much else to do."

Expansion "will probably be a good thing because it will mean more 
people and more jobs," said Linda Hammond, owner of Loco Coyote 
Grill. "I don't worry about added pollution or waste because [TXU has 
been] pretty good over the years."

Spokesmen for consumer- and environmental-advocacy groups were 
cautious in their assessment of TXU's plans but didn't express 

"There are issues with safety and [nuclear] waste that haven't been 
adequately addressed" by the federal government, said Colin Rowan, of 
Environmental Defense in Austin. "We would like to see those issues 

A more immediate concern, Rowan said, is that the planned nuclear 
plant expansion will divert public and government attention from 
TXU's plans "to build 11 dirty coal plants now."

Public Citizen spokesman Tom Smith questioned TXU's ability to manage 
construction of a nuclear plant in light of the company's record in 
building Comanche Peak.

It was originally budgeted at $800 million and ended up costing $11 

"Why should we trust TXU to do a better job this time?" Smith said.

TXU's Schein said the difference now is that with electric 
deregulation, power-generating companies can't pass power-plant 
construction costs directly to consumers through increased rates. 
Investors who buy TXU stock or bonds, or invest with the company in 
new plants, Schein said, would bear the risk of cost increases.

TXU said it has had a preliminary discussion with other utility 
companies about investing in the planned nuclear plants.

After being heavily promoted by government and industry, nuclear-
power development in the U.S. ground to a halt by the mid-1970s. 
After accidents at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania and later at 
Chernobyl in the former Soviet Union, companies struggled to complete 
projects and implement more stringent safety requirements while 
dealing with huge cost increases.


TXU opened the Comanche Peak power plant in 1992.

Fuel: Uranium dioxide

Output: 2,300 megawatts (of TXU's 18,300 daily total)

Employs: 1,300 workers

TXU expects to add 9,000 megawatts to its capacity with 11 new coal-
fired generating plants planned for the next five to seven years.

US lacks medical plans for nuclear attack, group says

WASHINGTON (AP) Sept 1-- The government doesn't have plans for 
providing treatment for radiation exposure to people downwind from a 
nuclear attack, a report released yesterday concludes.

The study by the Physicians for Social Responsibility also faults the 
Homeland Security Department for lacking communication plans to tell 
the public whether to evacuate or take shelter where they are after a 
nuclear blast.

A Homeland Security Department spokesman said the government has 
focused on preventing nuclear attacks.

The study looks at health risks downwind from a nuclear attack in New 
York City, Washington, and Chicago. Though little could be done about 
tens of thousands of deaths to be expected at the attack's epicenter, 
thousands of people might be saved if they received fast medical 
treatment or effective evacuation guidance, said Dr. Ira Helfand, an 
author of the report.

Under the nation's plan for responding to major disasters, the Health 
and Human Services Department generally is responsible for dealing 
with federal medical programs. A department representative declined 
to comment until the report could be reviewed.

French power group EDF awards contracts for new nuclear plant 

PARIS (AFP) - French electricity group EDF said it had awarded 
construction contracts of more than 650 million euros (830 million 
dollars) for work on a new nuclear power plant in northern France. 

French engineering group Alstom has won a contract worth about 350 
million euros to build a turbine for the plant while French 
construction group Bouygues is to be paid 300 million euros for the 
civil engineering part of the project.

The nuclear plant in Flamanville on the northern French coast is to 
use so-called third generation nuclear technology including a 
European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) and is to cost an estimated 3.3 
billion euros.

"Nearly 150 contracts will be awarded to big international companies 
and regional groups," EDF said.

French nuclear technology group Areva is to build the nuclear heating 
system and control centre, EDF added.

A spokesman for Alstom told AFP that the contract with EDF was for 
"the biggest steam turbine ever built by Alstom."

Work on the Flamanville reactor is expected to begin at the end of 
2007 and the plant is forecast to start generating electricity in 

China may build six nuclear plants for Pak 

Beijing (AP) Sept 1 - China hopes to sign a deal in November to 
supply reactors to Pakistan for six new nuclear power plants.

The plants would be built within 10 years, the Xinhua News Agency 
said, citing an unidentified Pakistani official. However, the agency 
did not provide the price for the deal.

China and Pakistan are close allies. The planned power plants each 
would have a capacity of 300 megawatts, according to Xinhua.

China helped Pakistan construct a 300-megawatt nuclear power station 
at Chashma in Punjab province in 1999. A second facility is under 
construction at the same site. (AP) 

Water leak shuts down Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (AP) Sept 1 - A reactor at the Diablo Canyon 
nuclear power plant has been shut down because of a water leak.

Officials say no radioactive material is expected to escape.

Operators of the Pacific Gas and Electric Company nuclear power plant 
are working to locate the source of the leak. It was discovered just 
after 2 p-m yesterday.

The reactor was shut down so repairs could be made.

A spokesman for the plant says that the leak is inside a large 
concrete containment dome that prevents any radioactivity from 
escaping to the environment.

The good news about nuclear destruction

Worldnet.daily Aug 24 - What possible good news could there ever be 
about nuclear destruction coming to America, whether it is dirty 
bombs, terrorist nukes or ICBMs from afar? 

In a word, they are all survivable for the vast majority of American 
families, if they know what to do beforehand and have made even the 
most modest preparations. 

Tragically, though, most Americans today won't give much credence to 
this good news, much less seek out such vital life-saving 
instruction, as they have been jaded by our culture's pervasive myths 
of nuclear un-survivability. 

Most people think that if nukes go off, then everybody is going to 
die, or will wish they had. That's why you hear such absurd comments 
as: "If it happens, I hope I'm at ground zero and go quickly." 

This defeatist attitude was born as the disarmament movement 
ridiculed any alternatives to their agenda. The sound Civil Defense 
strategies of the '60s have been derided as being largely 
ineffective, or at worst a cruel joke. With the supposed end of the 
Cold War in the '80s, most Americans neither saw a need to prepare, 
nor believed that preparation would do any good. Today, with growing 
prospects of nuclear terrorism, we see emerging among the public 
either paralyzing fear or irrational denial. People can no longer 
envision effective preparations for surviving a nuclear attack.

Piketon in running for nuclear recycling site

WASHINGTON (AP) Aug 30 - Community developers have proposed dusting 
off a former uranium enrichment facility in southern Ohio to build a 
nuclear waste recycling center.

A private-public partnership has applied for one of at least four 
U.S. Energy Department grants to study if temporary storage and a 
demonstration project for recycling spent nuclear fuel rods can be 
built at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant.

The Southern Ohio Diversification Initiative is vying for site study 
grants of up to $5 million. Similar proposals estimated they could 
create more than 5,000 new jobs, said Greg Simonton, head of the 
partnership applying for the grant.

The federal government´s nuclear programs are nothing new in Pike 
County, but the top local development official said it´s too early to 
tell if the latest proposal is worth the risk.

``I know our community doesn´t want to become a highly radioactive 
waste storage facility,´´ said Jennifer Chandler, Pike County´s 
community and economic development director.

Chandler said the county has a double-digit unemployment rate, making 
the project intriguing, but only if more information can be gathered.

Simonton said he still needs to find out what technology would be 
used to stabilize the fuel rods and where the nuclear materials would 
come from.

``Obviously, safety would be a very important concern,´´ he said. ``I 
don´t think we would embrace anything that wouldn´t have a certain 
degree of comfort and assurance.´´

But Simonton also said the Pike County site stands out because it 
already has two nuclear projects under way - the Energy Department is 
building a uranium recycling facility and USEC Inc. has a pilot 
uranium enrichment plant. USEC got the go-ahead Friday to start 
operating under the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The Energy Department also is considering bringing nuclear waste from 
other countries to the site that´s finally chosen.

That worries Chandler, who said the Energy Department ignored 
community requests that no outside uranium be brought into the old 
facility, instead delivering two to three cylinders of the weakly 
radioactive element each day from Oakridge, Tenn.

``I just hope this time will be different,´´ she said.

The area´s Republican congresswoman, Jean Schmidt, is willing to back 
the project, including the handling of foreign nuclear waste, if the 
community is behind it. Her chief of staff, Barry Bennett, said 
Thursday the community is already comfortable with having nuclear 
material in its backyard.

The Energy Department said in a statement that it is looking for 
welcoming communities when deciding how to distribute its $20 million 
in site review grants.

GM wants to go nuclear for fuel-cell vehicles 
Mobile Magazine Sept 1 - Having no fear of Three Mile Island or 
Chernobyl or anything of the sort, GM is charging ahead with a drive 
to tout nuclear power as the source of electricity for creating fuel-
cell vehicles' much-needed hydrogen.

In a recent article, GM references a statistic that a small bit of 
uranium can create the same amount of energy as 149 gallons of oil 
and that the uranium-produced energy has absolutely no emission, 
something that oil-produced energy can never deliver. Another 
statistic makes the claim that a full pound of nuclear fuel has 
enough electricity generation potential for 250,000 gallons of 

GM might want this, but the ultimate decision-making body might just 
be the American public. Even though some sources say that up to 20 
percent of the electricity produced today is done so through nuclear 
energy, the public perception of nuclear power and the plants that 
produce it is still very negative indeed. 

The aforementioned American and Russian disasters are still very much 
in the minds of people today. Many people also believe that the basic 
instability of nuclear power production makes it never an option. 
Should GM go ahead and embrace nuclear power, it might face a 
backlash in public opinion and at the sticker counter. 
Sandy Perle
Senior Vice President, Technical Operations
Global Dosimetry Solutions, Inc.
2652 McGaw Avenue
Irvine, CA 92614 

Tel: (949) 296-2306 / (888) 437-1714  Extension 2306
Fax:(949) 296-1144

E-Mail: sperle at dosimetry.com
E-Mail: sandyfl at earthlink.net 

Global Dosimetry Website: http://www.dosimetry.com/ 
Personal Website: http://sandy-travels.com/ 

More information about the RadSafe mailing list