Friday, June 20, 2014

The EPA Carbon Plan: Coal Loses, but Nuclear Doesn't Win

BULLETIN OF THE ATOMIC SCIENTISTS (Mark Cooper) - The claims and counterclaims about EPA’s proposed carbon pollution standards have filled the air: It will boost nuclear. It will expand renewables. It promotes energy efficiency. It will kill coal. It changes everything. It accomplishes almost nothing.

Evaluating the impact of the so-called Clean Power Plan requires a clear view of how the new rule will work. The plan centers on performance standards, which have yielded effective outcomes in other energy areas—such as appliance efficiency standards and fuel economy standards for light-duty vehicles. It sets a moderate, mid-term target for carbon reductions, but allows for flexibility because it does not dictate the use of specific technologies or products. States are allowed to design programs in response to local conditions.

The EPA plan picks a loser: coal. It does not, however, pick winners among the low-carbon options available. It does not offer much in the way of sweeteners for any specific technology. Assuming that states generally adhere to the prime directive of public utility resource acquisition—choosing the lowest-cost approach—the proposed rule will not alter the dismal prospects of nuclear power, which will therefore play no role in the reduction of carbon emissions from power plants.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Report Compares and Contrasts Owners of New Nuclear Plants

(Power Magazine  06/11/2014) - A report released this week by Moody’s Investors Service provides an interesting analysis of two companies knee-deep in nuclear plant construction projects. The peer comparison takes a look at Georgia Power Co.—a Southern Co. subsidiary—and South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. (SCE&G)—a SCANA Corp. subsidiary.

Georgia Power is adding two new units to its Alvin W. Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant while SCE&G is adding two new units to its V.C. Summer Nuclear Station. Although the projects are nearly identical from a construction standpoint (both are adding Westinghouse AP1000 reactor plants), the report suggests that the companies have very different risk profiles.


Friday, June 6, 2014

Safety comes first at nuclear power station

THE safety of the public and employees is an ‘overriding priority’ says Dungeness B station director Martin Pearson. He was speaking as the station has completed a vital stage of ongoing flood defence work in which £5 million has been invested so far.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Nuclear power, natural gas drillers like Exxon Mobil surprise beneficiaries of Obama rule (US News & World Report)

FILE - In this March 16, 2011 file photo, steam escapes from Exelon Corp.'s nuclear plant in Byron, Ill. Companies that generate electric power with anything other than coal _ and companies that produce cleaner fuels or efficiency technologies _ are likely to benefit from the Obama Administration’s new proposed limits on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. (AP Photo/Robert Ray, File)