[ RadSafe ] New Wave of Nuclear Plants Faces High Costs

Dan W McCarn hotgreenchile at gmail.com
Mon May 12 13:23:58 CDT 2008

<<Anyone know how to undo regulation and laws? When I asked this question of
George Gilder (Microcosm author) at last year's DDP meeting, he replied,
"The internet!">>

Dear Howard:

In the case of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2004, it was found that
Utah's additional layer of prohibitive regulations violated the NRC's right
to administer Away From Reactor Spent Fuel Storage. So now the Utah
regulations are moot. See Tenth Circuit Court 02-4149.pdf 

The 10th Circuit is currently hearing (as in TODAY, this week) issues with
NRC's right to administer and issue uranium mining permits in New Mexico.


If you are interested, I have a number of the briefs that are being
presented to the court.  I've attached them here, but they might be blocked

I have separately asked the list owner to post these documents for the

Dan ii

Dan W. McCarn, Geologist; 3118 Pebble Lake Drive; Sugar Land, TX 77479; USA
HotGreenChile at gmail.com           UConcentrate at gmail.com

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On Behalf
Of HOWARD.LONG at comcast.net
Sent: Monday, May 12, 2008 11:56 AM
To: Perle, Sandy; radsafe at radlab.nl
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] New Wave of Nuclear Plants Faces High Costs

Ted Rockwell's book, Creating the New World, has a graph on p 192, Fig 8.3,
"Growth in cost of nuclear plants and growth in number of regulatory
documents (Westinghouse)"
It shows from 1971 to 1981 a 10 times increase in both.
Association does not prove cause, but certainly the bureaucratic obstacles
imposed with the stated pupose of Greenpeace to make nuclear power
unaffordable, suggests a way to reduce costs.

Anyone know how to undo regulation and laws? When I asked this question of
George Gilder (Microcosm author) at last year's DDP meeting, he replied,
"The internet!" .

The largest Nuclear plant in the USA, near Phoenix, AZ will be toured by
Doctors for Disaster Preparedness (as much as Homeland Security permits) on
Friday, July 11, before the 15 Lecture -Question sessions on Sat and Sun.
Call now to DDP if interested, because numbers limited: 1-800-635-1196 or
ask Jeremy at www.AAPSonline.org

Howard Long
-------------- Original message -------------- 
From: "Perle, Sandy" <sperle at mirion.com> 

> New Wave of Nuclear Plants Faces High Costs 
> Wall Street Journal, May 12, 2008; Page B1 
> A new generation of nuclear power plants is on the drawing boards in the
> but the projected cost is causing some sticker shock: $5 billion to $12
> a plant, double to quadruple earlier rough estimates. 
> Nuclear power is regaining favor as an alternative to other sources of
> generation, such as coal-fired plants, which have fallen out of favor
> they are major polluters. But the high cost could lead to sharply higher 
> electricity bills for consumers and inevitably reignite debate about the
> industry's suitability to meet growing energy needs. 
> Nuclear plants haven't been built in meaningful numbers in the U.S. since
> 1980s. Part of the cost escalation is bad luck. Plants are being proposed
in a 
> period of skyrocketing costs for commodities such as cement, steel and
> amid a growing shortage of skilled labor; and against the backdrop of a
> supplier network for the industry. 
> The price escalation is sobering because the industry and regulators have
> hard to make development more efficient, in hopes of eliminating problems
> in the past produced harrowing cost overruns. The Nuclear Regulatory
> for example, has created a streamlined licensing process to make timelier,
> comprehensive decisions about proposals. Nuclear vendors have developed 
> standardized designs for plants to reduce construction and operating
costs. And 
> utility executives, with years of operating experience behind them, are
> astute buyers. 
> * The News: Estimated costs to build the next generation of nuclear power 
> plants have soared to $5 billion to $12 billion a plant. 
> * The Debate: Questions are emerging over the affordability of nuclear
> despite its popularity as an alternative to polluting coal-fired plants. 
> * What to Watch: If Congress taxes greenhouse-gas emissions, nuclear
> which aren't emitters, will become more attractive. But if coal and
> prices decline, nuclear-plant economics will get worse. 
> Now, 104 nuclear reactors are operating in the U.S. Most are highly
> but that was not the case until fairly recently. For the 75 units built
> 1966 and 1986, the average cost was $3 billion or triple early estimates, 
> according to the Congressional Budget Office. Many plants operate
profitably now 
> because they were sold to current operators for less than their actual
> The latest projections follow months of tough negotiations between utility

> companies and key suppliers, and suggest efforts to control costs are
> elusive. Estimates released in recent weeks by experienced nuclear
operators -- 
> NRG Energy Inc., Progress Energy Inc., Exelon Corp., Southern Co. and FPL
> Inc. -- "have blown by our highest estimate" of costs computed just eight
> ago, said Jim Hempstead, a senior credit officer at Moody's Investors
> credit-rating agency in New York. 
> Moody's worries that continued cost increases, even if partially offset by

> billions of dollars worth of federal subsidies, could weaken companies and

> expose consumers to high energy costs. 
> On May 7, Georgia Power Co., a unit of Atlanta-based Southern, said it
> to spend $6.4 billion for a 45.7% interest in two new reactors proposed
for the 
> Vogtle nuclear plant site near Augusta, Ga. Utility officials declined to 
> disclose total costs. A typical Georgia Power household could expect to
see its 
> power bill go up by $144 annually to pay for the plants after 2018, the
> said. 
> Bill Edge, spokesman for the Georgia Public Service Commission, said
> "will look at what's best for ratepayers" and could pull support if costs 
> balloon to frightening heights. The existing Vogtle plant, put into
service in 
> the late 1980s, cost more than 10 times its original estimate, roughly
> billion for each of two reactors. 
> FPL Group, Juno Beach, Fla., estimates it will cost $6 billion to $9
billion to 
> build each of two reactors at its Turkey Point nuclear site in southeast 
> Florida. It has picked a reactor design by Westinghouse Electric Co., a
unit of 
> Toshiba Corp., after concluding it could cost as much as $12 billion to
> plants with reactors designed by General Electric Co. The joint venture GE

> Hitachi Nuclear Energy said it hasn't seen FPL's calculations but is
> its units "are cost-competitive compared with other nuclear designs." 
> Exelon, the nation's biggest nuclear operator, is considering building two

> reactors on an undeveloped site in Texas, and said the cost could be $5
> to $6.5 billion each. The plants would be operated as "merchant" plants
and thus 
> would not have utility customers on the hook to pay for them, as is the
case in 
> both Florida and Georgia. Instead, they would have to cover expenses
> wholesale power sales. 
> Several things could derail new development plans. Excessive cost is one.
> second is the development of rival technologies that could again make
> plants look like white elephants. A drop in prices for coal and natural
gas, now 
> very expensive, also could make nuclear plants less attractive. On the
> hand, if Congress decides to tax greenhouse-gas emissions, that could make

> electricity from nuclear plants more attractive by raising costs for
> that burn fossil fuels. Nuclear plants wouldn't have to pay the charges
> they aren't emitters. 
> Some states are clearing a path for nuclear-power development, even before
> are fully known. They are inspired by a growing fear of climate change.
> overwhelming feeling in Florida is that nuclear power is popular and
that's why 
> it's going to go ahead," said J.R. Kelly, head of the Office of Public
> in Tallahassee, which represents consumers. "Our main concern is the
> cost." 
> In Florida, state officials are allowing utilities to collect money from 
> customers to cover development and construction costs. In the past,
> typically required utilities to bear the costs until plants were finished.

> Many utilities said they are watching with interest. Ralph Izzo, chief
> of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. in New Jersey, said his company
may not 
> be big enough to build a nuclear plant, even though it is a nuclear
> "We're concerned by the rise in construction costs," he said. 
> ---------------------------------------------------------------- 
> Sander C. Perle 
> President 
> 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 
> Mirion Technologies: http://www.mirion.com/ 
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