[ RadSafe ] [Nuclear News] Areva wins nuclear fuel supply contracts from US utilities

Sandy Perle sandyfl at cox.net
Thu Feb 7 09:59:58 CST 2008


Areva wins nuclear fuel supply contracts from US utilities
Fears for future of Lithuania's nuclear town
Nuclear fusion is coming, says noted VC
NRC Inspecting Covidien That Makes Products Used in Nuclear Medicine
David Bradley, anti-nuclear crusader, dies
Professor to address the hazards of nuclear power
Nuclear Power? Why in Idaho?
No decision yet on NT nuclear waste dump
Bay City debates nuclear power in its backyard
Nuclear Energy Study Proposal
Call for debate on nuclear energy issues
Second Nuclear Reactor in New Brunswick Could Affect Mainers  

Areva wins nuclear fuel supply contracts from US utilities

French nuclear power group Areva has won major commercial nuclear 
fuel contracts with US-based utility companies, Constellation Energy, 
Tennessee Valley Authority, PPL Corporation and AmerGen Energy 
Company. The four contracts have a combined market value of over E200 

Constellation Energy placed an order for 10 reload batches of fuel 
for Unit-1 and Unit-2 of its Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant. 
Areva will also supply Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA's) Browns 
Ferry Unit-1 with two reload batches of blended low enriched uranium 
(BLEU) with fuel delivery beginning in 2010 and continuing through 

The BLEU project is a partnership between Areva, TVA, the US 
Department of Energy and Nuclear Fuel Services of Erwin, Tennessee. 
The French firm currently provides nuclear fuel to Browns Ferry Unit-
2 and Unit-3 as part of the BLEU project.

Under a contract extension, Areva will provide six reload batches for 
PPL Corporation's Susquehanna steam electric station's Unit-1 and 
Unit-2. These fuel deliveries will begin in 2011.

AmerGen Energy Company signed a contract extension for the continued 
supply of commercial nuclear fuel for the Three Mile Island Unit-1 
nuclear plant. Areva will provide five reload batches beginning in 
2009 and continuing through 2017 with options through 2021. 

Fears for future of Lithuania's nuclear town

When Lithuania's sole nuclear power station closes next year, 
European Union officials will sigh with relief, but nearby residents 
are already fretting over the future of their town.

The EU's concern is safety. The Ignalina plant has the same type of 
reactors as Chernobyl in Ukraine, where a 1986 reactor meltdown 
caused the world's worst nuclear disaster.

With the closure, Lithuania will lose a source of 70 percent of its 
electricity, and the population of nearby Visaginas, one in 10 of 
whom work at the plant, are worried about their future.

Visaginas, with its streets of concrete apartment blocks, was purpose-
built for workers at Ignalina, where the first reactor came on line 
in 1983 and the second in 1987. It houses Lithuania's highest 
concentration of Russians, imported for their nuclear skills from the 
rest of the former Soviet Union.

At the plant, in a turbine room the length of a soccer pitch, reached 
through a maze of corridors, huge cogs have been dismantled and lie 
waiting for transport to the scrap heap.

"It is a very regrettable decision as many of us will lose our jobs," 
said plant worker Mikhail Nosyrev, who was shifting equipment in the 
cavernous, metal-lined first reactor which was closed in 2004 under 
Lithuania's agreement to join the EU.

The second is to close at the end of 2009.

Retired army officer Antanas Grybauskas said: "People are concerned 
about how they will support their families, where to get another 

Lithuania's 3.4 million people and its industries are most affected, 
but the neighboring Baltic states of Latvia and Estonia will also 
face difficulties sourcing their power.


Across a huge concrete wall, the second turbine can be heard whirring 
away, pumping out power. People at the plant said closing it was 
wrong and it was safe enough to go on operating.

"The best time to close the plant would be 2011-2012 after guarantees 
of energy supplies are in place (for Lithuania), otherwise the 
closure will be very risky," said the director general of Ignalina, 
Viktor Shevaldin.

At the plant since 1983, he is reluctantly getting ready to follow 
instructions to turn off the second reactor. He wants to keep 2,000 
of the 3,200 employees to oversee decommissioning, but wonders if 
international donors will pay the 30 million euros ($44.60 million) a 
year this would cost. The alternative is a skeleton staff of 1,000.

Ignalina was built to supply power to industries in the northwest of 
the former Soviet Union and Lithuania took over after regaining its 
independence from Moscow in 1991.

Latvia imports electricity from Lithuania to supplement supplies from 
its own hydro-power plants. Estonia relies on heavily polluting oil 
shale, which is set to get more expensive under new taxes on carbon 
dioxide emissions.

Experts also forecast increasing energy demand in the Baltic states 
as the economies of the small countries expand.

The natural choice for all three is more gas and coal-fired power 
stations and Lithuania and Latvia have plans to boost output from 
such sources. But this poses problems: Russia is sole supplier and 
its neighbors fear Moscow uses its energy dominance as a political 

They have looked anxiously at price disputes between Ukraine and 
Russia and Russia and Belarus, which led to Russia cutting gas 
supplies to Ukraine.


A report for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development 
urged Lithuania to upgrade one gas-fired power plant, build a new gas-
fired plant and one new nuclear plant.

The consultancy also said Lithuania needed to build connections to 
the power grids of Sweden and Poland.

Lithuania is acting on such recommendations. With Poland, Latvia and 
Estonia it has discussed a new nuclear plant with capacity of between 
3,200 and 3,400 megawatts at a cost of 22 billion Lithuanian litas 
($9.24 billion).

But talks have got bogged down as Poland wants a third of the output 
and made agreement conditional upon connecting the plant to its grid. 
Shevaldin said the planned launch date of 2015 could be delayed at 
least two years, but Latvian government officials have said 2020 
might be more realistic.

People in Visaginas are worried, but officials are less concerned. 
Deputy mayor Dalia Straupaite said she was sure the new plant would 
eventually be built.

"I was worried a few years ago, but now I am optimistic," she said in 
her office. "I think the Ignalina nuclear power plant could become a 
tourist attraction after the closure." 

Nuclear fusion is coming, says noted VC

INDIAN WELLS, Calif.--Nuclear fusion will move from the lab to 
reality in a few years, a noted venture capitalist says.

"Within five years, large companies will start to think about 
building fusion reactors," Wal van Lierop, CEO of Chrysalix Energy 
Venture Capital, said in an interview at the Clean Tech Investor 
Summit taking place here this week. In three to four years, 
scientists will demonstrate results that show that fusion has a 60 
percent chance of success, he said.
Wal van Lierop

If van Lierop were some crazy guy off the street with an old stack of 
Omni magazines, you could dismiss him. Fusion--which extracts energy 
from nuclear reactions without the dangers associated with nuclear 
fission--has been studied for decades, but has yet to go commercial. 
Van Lierop, however, isn't a random individual. He is one of the 
earliest and more active investors in clean tech: Chrysalix started 
investing in clean energy in 2001. The firm's limited partners 
include BASF, Shell, and Rabobank.

Chrysalix's optimism is pinned on an angel investment the company 
made in General Fusion, a Canadian company that says it has found a 
way to hurdle many of the technical problems surrounding fusion. The 
company's ultimate plan is to build small fusion reactors that can 
produce around 100 megawatts of power. The plants would cost around 
$50 million. That could allow the company to generate electricity at 
about 4 cents per kilowatt hour, making it competitive with 
conventional electricity.

The company uses a technique called Magnetized Target Fusion (MTF) 
model. In this scenario, an electric current is generated in a 
conductive cavity containing lithium and a plasma. The electric 
current produces a magnetic field and the cavity is collapsed, which 
results in a massive temperature spike.

The lithium breaks down into helium and tritium. Tritium, an unstable 
form of hydrogen, is separated and then mixed with deuterium, another 
form of hydrogen. The two fuse and make helium, a reaction that 
releases energy that can be harvested. So in short, lithium, a fairly 
inexpensive and plentiful metal, gets converted to helium in a 
reaction that generates lots of power and leaves only a harmless gas 
as a byproduct. MTF has an advantage over other fusion techniques in 
that the plasma only has to stay at thermonuclear temperatures (150 
million degrees Celsius) for a microsecond for a reaction to occur, 
according to the General Fusion's Web site. General Fusion has also 
filed for several patents.

Other firms, such as Venrock, have invested in nuclear fusion, but 
most avoid it. Lierop claims that's because most don't understand the 
fundamentals. (Interestingly, Venrock's partner overseeing nuclear 
investments, Ray Rothrock, is a nuclear engineer.) It is also 
politically volatile.

"I want to see it succeed, not only because I would make a lot of 
money, but because it would solve many of our problems," he said.

Other notes from van Lierop:

o Although onshore wind power is mature, companies building offshore 
wind turbines have to figure out a way to deal with corrosion and 
maintenance. It is going to be a big problem that we will hear more 
about in the next few years.

o Municipalities will soon begin to explore solar microgrids. In this 
scenario, neighborhoods will get a substantial portion of their power 
from local solar plants. By delivering power locally, utilities will 
save on the costs of transporting power.

o Tax breaks and tax holidays may replace solar subsidies in some 
areas. Electricity is taxed, but utilities offer subsidies to those 
who install solar power. By switching to microgeneration, cities will 
find it easier to just forgo taxation rather than try to run a 
subsidy program.

He's not a big fan of corn ethanol. "Corn ethanol is a scam," he 

NRC Inspecting Covidien Unit Mallinckrodt That Makes Products Used in 
Nuclear Medicine

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal regulators are inspecting a Missouri 
company that makes products used in nuclear medicine after high 
levels of a nuclear isotope were extracted from its generators.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Wednesday said it sent a letter 
and inspectors to Mallinckrodt Inc., a unit of health care products 
company Covidien Ltd., confirming its commitment to investigate a 
problem identified with isotopes extracted from generators used for 
diagnostic imaging by nuclear pharmacies and hospitals. The low-level 
radioactive solution extracted from the generators is usually 
injected into patients to help diagnose cancer and other diseases.

The company last month received information from customers that the 
liquid withdrawn from dozens of generators showed higher levels of 
the nuclear isotope than expected.

The company had sent the generators -- containers of molybdenum-99 
coated with a protective aluminum tubing -- to more than 100 
customers around the country. It was not clear whether any patients 
had been injected with solution from the generators at issue, but 
even if that had occurred, it was not expected to pose a danger, said 
NRC spokeswoman Viktoria Mitlyng.

"It stays in the system longer, but the radiation level is still so 
low that we wouldn't expect adverse effects from it," Mitlyng said.

A special government inspection team this week began evaluating the 
cause of the problem, Mallinckrodt's response to it, the company's 
past actions and its follow-up on commitments to the government.

A Mallinckrodt spokeswoman said the Hazelwood, Mo.-based company is 
fully cooperating with the NRC and "has already taken actions it 
believes will help to mitigate this issue."

"Covidien is also reminding customers to follow package labeling for 
use of its generators, which requires the testing of each dose drawn 
from a generator for compliance with product specifications," said 
spokeswoman JoAnna Schooler.

The company late last month also began including a notice in all 
shipments about the elevated levels of the isotope in solution 
withdrawn from some generators, according to the NRC.

The government said its team will issue a report about 45 days after 
completing the inspection.

David Bradley, anti-nuclear crusader, dies

NORWAY, Maine, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- David Bradley, a doctor who became an 
anti-nuclear crusader after studying the aftermath of the tests on 
the Bikini atoll, has died in Maine. He was 92.

Bradley was a patient at a rehabilitation center near his home in 
Norway, the Los Angeles Times reported. He suffered from kidney 
failure and died Jan. 7.

A graduate of Harvard Medical School, Bradley was sent to Bikini 
Atoll in the Marshall Islands to monitor radiation from the nuclear 
tests. The experience and hearing others talk of inevitable war 
between the United States and Soviet Union led to a change of career.

Bradley began lecturing for the United World Federalists. In 1948, 
"No Place To Hide," his diary of his experiences on Bikini was 
published. He continued to campaign against testing and for medical 
care and benefits for veterans exposed to radiation.

Bradley was also a ski champion who made the U.S. Olympic team in 
1940, although the games were not held. In 1960, he was manager of 
the U.S. Nordic team and he was one of the authors of "Expert 

He is survived by his second wife, Sally, and six children from his 
first marriage.

Professor to address the hazards of nuclear power

A nuclear-free energy policy will be the subject of guest speaker and 
visiting professor Arjun Makhijani 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Trinity 
Presbyterian Church.
The event is co-sponsored by the NT Peace Studies department, Peace 
Action Denton and the Sierra Club. The organizations hope Makhijani 
will inform the public about two new nuclear power plants proposed 
for Texas and give information about alternatives.
"Most people are not aware of the power plants being proposed," said 
Dan Burnam, a Coordinator for Peace Action Denton. "Nuclear power is 
still not a safe avenue to take."
Burnam, a Denton resident, said nuclear power is risky, and because 
Makhijani is the president of the Institute for Energy and 
Environmental Research, he could make an impact.
Denton will be Makhijani's first stop on a week-long tour to promote 
his book "Carbon-Free, Nuclear-Free: Roadmap to a U.S. Energy 
Makhijani holds a doctorate in engineering and has written several 
books and journal articles about the dangers of nuclear power.
Makhijani said nuclear power is a clear threat to the environment. A 
power plant uses almost 65 million gallons of water a day as coolant, 
Makhijani said.
Energy company NRG has proposed to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission to
build the first nuclear reactors in the United States since 1984. The 
power plants are planned for an area near Bay City, Texas.
Makhijani said the proposal from NRG is ambiguous about the amount of 
water the power plants would need to use from the Colorado River and 
how that would affect the surrounding community.
"We need a fully renewable energy economy to protect the environment, 
to protect against nuclear proliferation and to prevent conflicts 
about oil," Makhijani said.
Makhijani said Texas is an important part of the debate about carbon-
free energy policy because although it is the leading producer of 
petroleum in the U.S., Texas wind energy has greater potential than 
the combined energy of all 104 U.S. power plants. He also said 
worldwide investment in wind energy for the last decade is more than 
100 billion dollars.
"Texas has enough resources to meet its growth," Makhijani said. "By 
going towards a carbon-free economy, we can begin to solve some of 
these problems."
Makhijani said although environmental concerns are important, energy 
alternatives must also be economically feasible and technologically 
possible. He said these problems with wind power and solar power can 
be solved with the right approach.
"We need to address questions like what happens when the wind doesn't 
blow and the sun doesn't shine," Makhijani said. "It is important to 
move in the right direction because we don't have the money or the 
time to waste."

Nuclear Power? Why in Idaho?

NIMBY - the acronym for not in my backyard! Idahoans should embrace 
nuclear power to supply our clean energy needs and reject the 
arguments of those who would deny us those benefits based on emotion 
and distorted information.

I am an engineer who began his nuclear power career in 1968 working 
with General Electric's Nuclear Power Divisions. Over my long career, 
I have developed expertise in reactor design, reactor safety, and 
nuclear waste management. Nuclear power has a proven safety record. 
There are over 104 nuclear power plants in the U.S. and just over 500 
around the world. In spite of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, the 
industry's safety record over the last 40 years is outstanding. No 
lives have ever been lost to a nuclear accident in the U.S. nuclear 
power program. No other industry can match that safety record. New 
nuclear plant designs will offer even better reliability and greater 
safety. The nuclear waste disposal issue has scientifically sound and 
safe solutions; other countries have reprocessed their spent fuel 
into new fuel for decades. We reprocessed U.S. Navy fuel in Idaho for 
many years. Implementing our spent fuel management options - disposal 
at Yucca Mountain or fuel reprocessing - is impeded by political 
opposition not science.

Idaho needs reliable and clean electric power. Currently, Idaho 
relies on out-of-state imports for about 80 percent of its energy 
needs, all of it from fossil fuels. That includes half of its 
electric power and all of its natural gas. Water power supplies most 
of the rest of our electricity and wind and other renewables are less 
than 1 percent. Most of the renewable sources depend on the weather 
and its variability. We clearly do not want to dam any more rivers. 
For the future, only coal and nuclear power can economically fill the 
void for large scale, reliable power generation. Power from natural 
gas-fired turbines, the choice during the 1990's, has become 
extraordinarily expensive and the cost keeps increasing. Furthermore, 
natural gas for this power source is same fuel we use for heating our 
homes. I have seen my gas bills increase nearly three fold in the 
last 10 years largely caused by the demand from gas turbines. We 
don't need higher home heating bills - we need nuclear power.

More importantly, the benefits of nuclear power are many. It is 
environmentally clean and reliable. Nuclear plants emit no greenhouse 
gases or other air pollutants, emit less radioactive emissions than a 
coal plant, and have a physically small environmental footprint. 
Nuclear power plants operate reliability with most U.S. plants 
exceeding 90 percent on line time. Nuclear plants are not sensitive 
to extreme weather conditions. They operate when the Idaho weather 
dips below zero - when the wind is often very still and the coal 
piles freeze. Lastly, producing nuclear electric power contributes to 
our national security and energy independence. We can reduce the 
amount of natural gas burned in turbines and save it for home heating 
purposes. We can stop heating with oil.

The economic benefits are also large. In Idaho, nuclear power will 
provide for our needs and a portion of the power will be sold to 
other states; however, all of the economic benefits occur in Idaho. 
Construction jobs, operations jobs, and local property taxes are the 
largest and direct benefits. In addition, power plant service 
companies will bring other jobs to the area.

So, while the debate will intensify and the opposition will only drag 
out the tired and worn out arguments, Idahoans should embrace this 
greenhouse gas free, power source and enjoy the environmental, 
economic and energy benefits.

William Quapp is a mechanical engineer and environmentalist who has 
lived in Idaho Falls for most of the last 35 years. He is currently 
involved in developing waste to energy solutions using gasification 

No decision yet on NT nuclear waste dump

The Federal Government says it hasn't yet made a decision on whether 
to go ahead with a nuclear waste dump at Muckaty Station in the 
Northern Territory.

A spokeswoman for the Resources Minister Martin Ferguson says the 
Minister is still taking advice from the department.

The Howard Government had been considering building the dump at 
Muckaty, near Tennant Creek.

Before the federal election, the Labor party promised to repeal 
federal legislation on nuclear dumps.

Bay City debates nuclear power in its backyard
Commission hearing on proposed plant expansion draws strong support 
and opposition

BAY CITY - The nuclear power debate returned to the public square in 
Texas on Tuesday when activists, politicians and citizens lined up to 
speak up about proposals to expand the nuclear power plant near Bay 

In a pair of public meetings, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission took 
comments on what issues should be considered in evaluating a proposed 
expansion of the South Texas Project, the 2,700-megawatt power plant 
in rural Matagorda County.

The two new reactors could be the first new units approved for 
construction in the U.S. in 30 years.

"We are not here to promote nuclear energy," said Nilesh Chokshi, 
deputy director of environmental review in the NRC's office of new 
reactors. Rather the agency is focused on the safe construction and 
operation of the nation's nuclear power plants, he said.

Located south of Bay City near Wadsworth, the plant broke ground in 
1976. The work was completed in fits and starts because of cost 
overruns - from a $1 billion estimate in 1973 to $6 billion when 
finished in 1986 - and a change of contractor because of quality 

The plant has ranked high for energy output in recent years, however, 
with Unit 1 named the top producing nuclear power generator in the 
world last year.

New Jersey-based NRG Energy, Texas' second-largest power producer, 
owns the largest stake in the plant, 44 percent. Public utilities in 
San Antonio and Austin own 40 percent and 16 percent, respectively.

The proposed expansion drew political support during Tuesday's 

"You've heard of NIMBY - not in my backyard?" said Bay City Mayor 
Richard Knapik. "Well, I'm for PIMBY - please, in my backyard. What 
community would not welcome a $6.4 billion investment in their 
backyard, 4,000 construction jobs and 800 permanent jobs?"

Waste storage issue
But many speakers opposed the expansion, citing among other concerns 
the lack of a permanent storage site for nuclear waste, the possible 
effects on groundwater of uranium mining in the U.S. and abroad and 
insufficient attention to conservation and energy efficiency as 
alternatives to new power plants.

"You're being given a false choice here, either two new nuclear 
reactors or no new jobs," said Laura Cushing, an organizer with the 
Southwest Workers Union from San Antonio, who spoke against the 

A number of speakers criticized the licensing process and what they 
said was a small window of opportunity for the public to intervene.

Tom "Smitty" Smith, director of the Texas office of Public Citizen, 
noted that two key parts of the plant's expansion application are 
incomplete and that Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials stopped 
review of them until the operator works out technical issues with the 
firm designing the reactors.

"How can we in the community have a fair and adequate opportunity to 
review all of the application to determine if we want to intervene or 
raise issues if the application isn't even complete?" Smith asked. 
"Will you guarantee us a free pass on documents that might later come 
across your desk from the company?"

Provision to intervene
Jim Biggins, an attorney with the commission, said a provision lets 
the public intervene at a later date if applicants file documents 
that raise new issues.

Georgia Rice Herreth, a former Bay City council member, said she 
thought the community was better prepared to handle the challenges 
that might come with the building of two more reactors than it was 
when the first two were built.

"There was a lot of controversy then, as there is now, but that's 
good because it brings out things that may not have been considered," 
Herreth said.

Comments from Tuesday's meetings will be used by the agency in 
considering the expansion application, particularly the draft 
environmental impact statement that is expected to be filed in the 
next year or so. Another public meeting will follow the filing of 
that document.

Nuclear Energy Study Proposal

OLYMPIA -- This afternoon, a legislative committee took up a bill 
sponsored by State Senator Jerome Delvin.

He wants colleagues to study the pros and cons of nuclear power as a 
future energy source.

He believes Washington state can help lead the country, in generating 
nuclear power. He believes we can have an unlimited supply of clean, 
cheap and safe energy.

"It's been demonized, by the environmental community. But really, if 
they're going to be honest about global warming, they have to 
consider nuclear power, because if they don't, if they're not willing 
to consider, then I think they're being dishonest with the public," 
said State Senator Jerome Delvin, (R) 8th Legislative District.

Delvin wants the legislature to budget 50-thousand dollars for a task 
force. He says he has bipartisan support.

Call for debate on nuclear energy issues

NEW DELHI: The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 
(UNFCCC) believes that there should be extensive discussions with the 
public on all issues related to the use of nuclear energy as a safer 
alternative to traditional forms.

Talking to reporters here on Wednesday, UNFCCC executive secretary 
Yvo de Boer said nuclear energy had a role to play in meeting the 
commitments of halving the emissions by 2050, but there were issues 
related to its use. "Also, the use of nuclear energy would differ 
from country to country as there is a strong public opposition to it 
in some countries, apprehensions regarding waste disposal and even 
security," he said.

Mr. de Boer said that while we were talking in terms of reducing the 
global emission by 50 per cent, the reality was that the emission 
would actually go up by 50 per cent as the investment on meeting the 
energy demands of the future would be $20 trillion. "All countries in 
the world have concerns over energy pricing and security," he said.
Striking the right balance

However, the biggest challenge faced by the world at present was 
striking a balance between halting climate change and enhanced 
economic growth for poverty alleviation in the developing countries. 
"We need to take some bold actions by engaging developing countries 
such as India, China, South Africa and Brazil, but they can only be 
engaged if their economic growth is not checked," Mr. de Boer 

On the post-Bali scenario, he said there were differences of opinion 
among the nations but the mood was positive. The European Union 
wanted internationally binding targets while the United States sought 
"aspirational" measures. Agreeing that there was not enough money in 
the Adaptational Fund, Mr. de Boer said the fund had just been 
launched and he expected it to grow in future once the 2 per cent 
levy on Clean Development Mechanism was in place.

Second Nuclear Reactor in New Brunswick Could Affect Mainers  	  

ELLSWORTH - Planning for a second nuclear reactor near Saint John, 
New Brunswick, has implications for the price of electricity in 
Downeast Maine.

For years now, Governor John Baldacci and his counterpart in New 
Brunswick, Premier Shawn Graham, have been exploring the legal, 
political and economic complexities of an energy partnership between 
Maine and New Brunswick.

Those discussions will continue next week in Augusta, when Graham 
addresses a joint session of the Maine Legislature at 11 a.m. 
Tuesday, Feb. 12.

New Brunswick and adjacent Atlantic Canada provinces are seen by 
Baldacci and Maine Public Utilities Chairman Kurt Adams as potential 
sources of lower-cost electricity for Maine consumers than power now 
purchased through New England´s wholesale energy market. New 
Brunswick officials see Maine as a gateway to energy-needy urban 
areas in the Northeast.

A Maine-New Brunswick energy partnership would take advantage of a 
curious supply-and-demand situation. Maine´s biggest demand for 
electricity is in the summer, when air conditioning drives up 
electric bills. New Brunswick´s biggest demand in the winter, as most 
homes and other buildings there rely on electric heat. Cross-border 
exports would help both partners meet seasonal peak load demands.

Maine and other New England states could also move toward meeting 
their carbon emission reduction goals by consuming electricity 
produced in Atlantic Canada facilities that don´t burn fossil fuels. 
New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are home to wind 
farms, hydro-electric plants and the existing nuclear generating 
station at Point Lepreau near Saint John.

On Monday, New Brunswick Energy Minister Jack Keir received a 
feasibility study that evaluated market demand for electricity 
generated by a proposed second nuclear generator at Point Lepreau. 
That market, the study said, could include energy exports to Maine 
and through Maine to other New England states that now rely heavily 
on oil and natural gas as fuel sources for generating electricity.

Keir said the cost of a second reactor and a timeline for its 
construction have yet to be determined.

Existing transmission lines between Point Lepreau and Orrington are 
sufficient to handle the output of one reactor, he said, but new 
lines would be needed to handle the output of two reactors for export 
into New England. Keir said private-sector investors in a second 
reactor would also want long-term contracts with U.S. utility 
companies, which could prove problematic.

"This is a huge decision and a huge investment," he said of the 
proposed expansion at Point Lepreau.

"We´re moving ahead aggressively to push for a win-win partnership 
with Maine," Keir told The Ellsworth American by phone. "These things 
never move ahead as quickly as you would like, but we´ll work on it 
until we get it done."

Sander C. Perle
Mirion Technologies, Inc., Dosimetry Services Division
2652 McGaw Avenue
Irvine, CA 92614 

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

Global Dosimetry Solutions, Inc.: http://www.dosimetry.com/
Mirion Technologies, Inc.: http://www.mirion.com/

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