[ RadSafe ] [Nuclear News] Entergy to submit reactor application

Sandy Perle sandyfl at cox.net
Thu Jan 24 12:59:45 CST 2008


Entergy to submit reactor application
NRC levies hefty fine against Entergy
Republican Senators Try To Re-Energize Yucca Mountain Project
Scientific group calls for 50 percent reduction in CO2 emissions
FPL reports gas leak at St. Lucie plant
Big firms back going nuclear
Plymouth CEO believes nuclear power will make a comeback

Entergy to submit reactor application

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Entergy (NYSE:ETR) Nuclear officials plan to 
submit an application next month for permits that would clear the way 
for construction of a new nuclear reactor at its Grand Gulf plant in 
southwest Mississippi.

Approval by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission of the Combined 
License Application would be one of the final steps before 
construction could begin. However, Entergy has not decided if the 
company plans to build the reactor yet and the final application 
process will take years.

'At this time the company has not made any decision to build, but we 
are working at efforts just to be ready -- positioning ourselves for 
the future,' said Timothy Crisler, an Entergy Nuclear spokesman.

Jackson-based Entergy Nuclear, a subsidiary of Entergy Corp., is 
seeking approval to build a second reactor at the Grand Gulf Nuclear 
Station near Port Gibson, about 25 miles south of Vicksburg.

The existing reactor, which has been producing electricity since 
1985, is one of 10 operated by Entergy. The expansion project is 
being pushed by NuStart Energy Development LLC, a consortium of 
energy companies.

NuStart is also trying to get approval for two reactors near 
Scottsboro, Ala., at the Tennessee Valley Authority's Bellefonte 
site. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission earlier this week agreed to 
consider a combined construction and operating license application 
for that project.

Energy companies are trying to get a jump start on the lengthy 
application process so they'll be able to respond to market needs in 
the future, Entergy spokesman Mike Bowling said.

'The very earliest you would be able to build a new reactor would be 
2017, so if you want put yourself in a position to have that option 
you have to prepare now,' Bowling said. 'It's keeping the option 
Entergy filed the first permit application in the process in October 
2003 and it could take nearly four more years for the latest 
application to be reviewed. Construction could take five years, 
officials say.

Eric Oesterle, a senior project manager with the Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, said Wednesday that on average it takes the agency about 
30 months to review a Combined License Application, the final 
application in the process. And even after approval, there would be a 
public hearing process that can last a year.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Entergy officials will hold a 
public meeting in Port Gibson on Feb. 21 so concerned residents can 
ask questions about the application.

There has been some opposition to the plans. In a formal objection 
filed last October with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Sierra 
Club and two Washington-based environmental groups -- Nuclear 
Information and Resource Service and Public Citizen -- urged the 
agency to hold more public hearings.

The groups said the company had not done enough to address security 
concerns. At the time, officials said security concerns would be 
addressed at the appropriate time during the application process and 
public hearings were planned anyway.

The division of tax money generated by Grand Gulf has also been a 
point of contention. Some local officials say Claiborne County, where 
the plant is located, should get more of the tax revenue generated 
there. Currently, tax revenues are split among all the counties 
Entergy serves in Mississippi.

NRC levies hefty fine against Entergy

Washington - The Nuclear Regulatory Commission Thursday issued a 
notice of violation and proposed a civil penalty of $650,000 against 
Entergy for its continued failure to comply with NRC orders to fully 
implement a new emergency notification system with back-up lower for 
its Indian Point nuclear power plant in Buchanan.

The normal fine for a civil violation is $65,000, but the federal 
agency said it wanted to emphasize the importance of prompt 
compliance with NRC orders, and because the continued failure to meet 
the implementation date was due to circumstances "reasonably within 
Entergy´s control."

The NRC will consider additional enforcement in the future if Entergy 
does not resolve the issues and make their emergency notification 
system operable in a timely manner, said NRC Executive Director for 
Operations Luis Reyes. "We are taking this situation very seriously 
and will not ease up on our scrutiny in this important matter."

Entergy recently submitted a proposed course of action to add more 
sirens and bring the system up to the level that the NRC and FEMA 
wanted before they would approve it.

Republican Senators Try To Re-Energize Yucca Mountain Project

1/24/2008 1:35:27 PM Six Republican senators introduced legislation 
Thursday aimed at boosting the effort to build a nuclear waste 
repository at Yucca Mountain in the remote Nevada desert as a storage 
space for nuclear waste from dozens of states.

The legislation would limit the requirement to make the facility safe 
for 300 years rather than 1 million years. After 300 years, Yucca 
Mountain would need another license to make it safe for the remaining 
1 million years.

The controversial Yucca Mountain repository is decades behind 
schedule, causing nuclear waste to pile up at commercial power plants 
in 39 states, proponents say

"I believe that a vibrant and growing nuclear energy industry is 
vital to the energy security of our nation and the health of our 
economy," said Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., the ranking member of the 
Senate Environment & Public Works Committee. "I am concerned however, 
that continuing delays in opening our nation's repository at Yucca 
Mountain will hinder the resurgence of nuclear energy in the U.S."

Since Congress approved the project in 2002, Nevada lawmakers have 
tried to block the project, originally scheduled to open in 1996.

Congress cut $100 million, or 20 percent, of the funding for the site 
in December, a move brought by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of 
Nevada, an ardent opponent of the project, which is about 90 miles 
northwest of Las Vegas.

All that remains employed at the Bechtel SAIC Co., LLC project is a 
team of security guards and a skeleton staff of technicians and 
maintenance workers.

Las Vegas-based Bechtel SAIC has undergone several rounds of layoffs 
since 2004-2005, when it had a peak of about 250 workers at the 
remote desert site.

Scientific group calls for 50 percent reduction in CO2 emissions

To curb global warming, we're going to have to crack down on 
greenhouse gases in a big way, says the American Geophysical Union.

The AGU, an organization which publishes and promotes geophysical 
research, issued a statement today stating that, to avoid a two 
Celsius rise in average temperatures, carbon dioxide emissions will 
have to be cut in half during the century.

"In the next 50 years, even the lower limit of impending climate 
change--an additional global mean warming of 1°C above the last 
decade--is far beyond the range of climate variability experienced 
during the past thousand years and poses global problems in planning 
for and adapting to it. Warming greater than 2°C above 19th century 
levels is projected to be disruptive, reducing global agricultural 
productivity, causing widespread loss of biodiversity, and--if 
sustained over centuries--melting much of the Greenland ice sheet 
with ensuing rise in sea level of several meters. If this 2°C warming 
is to be avoided, then our net annual emissions of CO2 must be 
reduced by more than 50 percent within this century," the 
organization stated.

Warming, the AGU further emphasized, is both real and attributable to 
humans. Global average surface temperatures rose on average rose by 
around 0.6 degrees Celsius from 1956 to 2006. Eleven of the years 
between 1995 and 2006 inclusive were warmer on average than any year 
since 1850.

"Evidence from most oceans and all continents except Antarctica shows 
warming attributable to human activities," the group said.

The looming question, of course, is how. Many believe that energy 
efficiency technologies and strategies--such as replacing 
conventional light bulbs with LEDs or flourescents or designing 
buildings to take advantage of passive cooling--could put a dent in 
emissions in the near term without breaking much of a sweat. Beyond 
that it's going to take a lot of money, subsidies and time. Many have 
proposed replacing gas cars with electrics or ethanol cars, but the 
alt car business is in its infancy. Solar power provides an 
alternative to coal, but it will likely take years to build up an 

Several politicians and scientists have begun to advocate nuclear 
power, but it remains controversial. 

FPL reports gas leak at St. Lucie plant

As required by federal law, Florida Power & Light announced Thursday 
morning it has informed regulators of an ''unusual event'' that 
occurred Wednesday at its nuclear power plant at St. Lucie.

Operators discovered at 10:15 p.m. a small gas leak from a pipe 
flange on a gas storage trailer, the company reported. The gas leak 
was contained in 13 minutes. It had no impact on public health and 
safety, FPL said.

An ''unusual event'' is the lowest of four emergency action levels in 
the emergency response plan required by the Nuclear Regulatory 

An inspection of all pipes, flanges and fittings in the gas storage 
area was made following the event. No other leaks were discovered.

The announcement was the third time this week that problems have been 
reported with nuclear facilities owned by FLP Group, parent of the 

On Tuesday, the NRC said FPL was facing $208,000 in federal fines 
because firing pins were removed from the weapons of Wackenhut guards 
at its Turkey Point nuclear power plant.

Also on Tuesday, the NRC said the Point Beach nuclear plant in 
Wisconsin, which is owned by FPL Group, would need to undergo a 
special inspection because of the failure of an electrical 

In all three cases, there was no danger of leakage of radioactive 

Big firms back going nuclear

Private companies have embraced the idea of developing nuclear power, 
expecting it will reduce operating costs and attract foreign 
investment amid high energy prices.

Saha Group chairman Boonsithi Chokwatana said he wanted nuclear power 
plants to take shape even earlier than scheduled by the Energy 

"Nuclear power generation is an interesting business. If any company 
embarks on this, I'm ready to subscribe to its shares. The industry 
has a long way to go. Buildings could have their own generators," 
Boonsithi told a seminar yesterday on "Nuclear power plants for Thai 
economic sustainability".

He also urged the incoming government to ensure that nuclear power 
projects take shape within five years.

"We're backing this because Saha Group relies on exports. With higher 
energy costs, our competitiveness will be hit. Thailand must adapt, 
and nuclear power would be a way towards sustainable growth now that 
Vietnam and Indonesia have already embarked on this plan."

Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, chairperson of Toshiba Thailand and vice 
chairperson of the Thai Chamber of Commerce's energy committee, is 
also hopeful the new government will promote nuclear power generation 
and sees the importance of preparing the investment.

"If the government sees the benefits of this, it should say so. If 
the government goes ahead with this, the private sector will not let 
it go alone. We're ready to support the move," she said.

All trade chambers across the country are ready to push for this 
development by helping to educate the public in each region. They are 
also ready to stage question-and-answer sessions and activities 
targeting children - the generation that will have to live with 
nuclear power.

She said the private sector's interest in nuclear power came from the 
realisation that the world is facing higher oil prices due to 
depleting stocks of the fuel. With other countries already building 
networks to ensure energy security, Thailand will not be able to keep 
up if it does not take preparatory measures now.

Energy Minister Piyasvasti Amranand said it would take six years to 
prepare for nuclear power development. During that time, regardless 
of changes of government, the Kingdom should collect sufficient 
information before deciding whether it needs the new source of 
energy. It would take another seven years to build a plant, which 
must start feeding power into the system in 2020-2021, he said.

Piyasvasti insisted that going nuclear was inevitable because higher 
oil prices had raised power-generating costs. The cost of electricity 
generated from natural gas will rise from Bt2 per unit to Bt2.50 per 
unit from once liquefied natural gas has to be imported. Electricity 
from coal-powered plants costs Bt2 per unit and from bunker oil 
Bt4.50, compared with less than Bt2 per unit from nuclear plants.

Meanwhile, Thailand is trying to increase power purchased from Laos 
from 3,000 megawatts currently to 7,000MW, as well as reach power 
deals with other countries, he said.

Thanawat Phonvichai, director of the Business and Economic Forecast 
Centre of the University of Thai Chamber of Commerce, said he 
favoured nuclear power due to its low cost and global recognition for 

"This will ensure energy security. All factories need power. With 
power shortages, Thailand will not be attractive to foreign investors 
in the long term," he said.

He said it was a misperception that Thailand could avoid the threat 
of radioactive fallout by shunning nuclear power, now that Indonesia 
and Vietnam have already decided to use the technology. A nuclear 
power plant at home would also mean tighter safety regulations, he 

Plymouth CEO believes nuclear power will make a comeback

PLYMOUTH, Mass. - Talk of biodiesel, ethanol, wind and solar power 
have largely dominated discussion of alternative energies over the 
last few years. But William Nevelos, CEO of Bartlett Holdings in 
Plymouth, believes we are on the brink of a nuclear renaissance.

The 58-year-old Lakeville resident has served as chief executive 
officer of Bartlett since 2004, when founder Bruce Bartlett retired 
and recapitalized the company. Since then, Bartlett has diversified 
its holdings, expanding from its original focus on radiation 
protection and other nuclear services to providing services for coal-
burning power plants as well.

Bartlett employs about 4,200 during peak seasons in the spring and 
fall, and services some of the nation´s largest nuclear power plant 
operators. Despite his company´s diversification, Nevelos said it is 
still heavily invested in nuclear power - an investment he expects to 
yield large in the years to come.

Why do you think nuclear energy has played such a limited role in the 
debate over alternative energies?

Well, I think the tide has certainly changed. I think if you go back 
approximately five years ago, you probably have a population approval 
rating of about 35 to 45 percent, and the recent poll that the 
(Nuclear Energy Institute) just published shows that the nuclear 
acceptance by most of the population is around 65 to 70 percent.

And I think there´s so much concern about the greenhouse gas effect 
people are now starting to see that it is the most favorable of 
anything that´s out there. It´s not realistic, we just don´t have the 
technology now for solar, geothermal (and) the hydro-capacity in the 
United States is pretty much at its peak as far as what can be done. 
We´re experiencing a lot of drought, so even that is something we 
haven´t been able to really tap to the point where we were 20 years 

What do you think caused the stigma around nuclear power, and why do 
you think that stigma is decreasing?

I think that a lot of it has to do with education. I think a lot of 
people still equate nuclear power to nuclear explosion, nuclear 
warheads. I think a lot of people view the power plant as a means for 
manufacturing of nuclear weapons.

NEI has done a remarkable job in educating the public. Also, it´s 
been 25-plus years since Three Mile Island and I think there´s been a 
safety record that people have now come to appreciate in the United 
States. They look at France, they look at the Third World countries 
that are expanding Nuclear power is being embraced by them. I think 
people are starting to see the difference between nuclear power and 
nuclear proliferation.

What do you see as the best way to handle waste from a nuclear power 

I think that right now the solution that is in the works as far as 
Yucca Mountain - geological repositories are certainly the way to go 
I think the utilities have worked very diligently as far as proving 
to the public that the storage of the nuclear waste, the high-level 
waste, can be done safely.

I think the one issue that I would like to see as far as an effort 
along with Yucca Mountain, and I know they´re working on this, is the 
transportation associated with that - nice, safe transportation to 
get to Yucca Mountain. Yucca Mountain is in a nice, remote area. 
There´s enough funding that 1,000 years from now we´re not going to 
have to worry about people stumbling on a Love Canal, or whatever. I 
think we´ve learned our lessons as a society, not with nuclear per 
se, but with chemical wastes and other waste, and we´re more 
environmentally conscious.

What do you see as the future of nuclear power in the United States?

I would like to see in the next 25 years us approaching the same 
capacity that is dependent on nuclear energy as France, which would 
be around 75 to 80 percent The new (federal) energy act provided 
first of their kind engineering grants that are going to see 
additional monies put their way so they can develop new power plants.

I think they´re going to do it more efficiently so it´s going to be 
more economical as far as the construction. More modular design, 
where most of the work is going to be off site and it´s going to be 
brought to the site so we´re going to have per megawatt lowering of 
the actual cost. All of those things will put us at that 85 percent. 
I don´t think I´ll see it in my lifetime - but you might.

Where do you see Bartlett in the future?

I think we´re positioned very well now for the nuclear renaissance. I 
think we´re positioned well for the retrofits associated with the 
coal-fired plants. There´s going to be a long-term construction phase 
as far as getting us up above 50 percent as far as nuclear goes, and 
the coal retrofits - in order for us to get more environmentally 
conscious in the United States - are big So both nuclear and coal, 
and the other thing that I like is we´ve concentrated on specialty 

Sander C. Perle
Mirion Technologies, Inc., Dosimetry Service Division
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 cox.net 

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

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