## Prospect for Nuclear Power Industry in US

What do you mean?

Exactly what I said - ". . . reprocessing, which we now refer to as 'recycling', is back on the table". I presume by changing the name of the process, some think that the present government can circumvent Carter's Presidential Directive.

 No government agency or business has ever recycled nuclear waste for commercial use on U.S. soil, a policy begun when President Jimmy Carter renounced reprocessing and plutonium breeder research in a secret 1977 executive order. The order, Presidential Directive 8, was declassified in 1994 and survives today as President Bill Clinton`s Presidential Decision Directive 13. For reprocessing research to resume, the directive would have to be either rescinded or reinterpreted. The Bush administration has not yet decided how to proceed.
from http://nuclearno.com/text.asp?181

But that is incorrect because I have reviewed the MOX utilization in the US and we have reprocessed commercial fuel and we have irradiated MOX in several plants.

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For reference:

http://www.nci.org/new/pu-repro.htm

President Jimmy Carter, Presidential Directive/NSC-8, March 24, 1977 - http://www.nci.org/new/pu-repro/carter77/index.htm

President Bill Clinton, Statement on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and
Export Control Policy, September 23, 1993 - http://www.nci.org/new/pu-repro/clinton93.htm

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Also look for the "Advanced Fuel Cycle Inititiative" - http://afci.lanl.gov/

Basically, Yucca Mountain spent fuel repository has been designed for current and projected discharges from currently operating nuclear plants, presumably with the consideration of life extension from 40 to 60 years for many plants. But if the US builds new plants, either the capacity of Yucca Mountain has to be increased OR a new repository has to be built.

AND it is not clear that the US DOE will ever accept fuel at Yucca Mountain! Seriously. That would force the US to reprocess.
 On Fox News yesterday there was a short segment about nuclear plant security and terrorism. It was discussed a bit in here, so I want to ask, in a realistic sense, what is the most damage terrorists could do? Destroy the containment building?

Recognitions:
 Quote by theCandyman On Fox News yesterday there was a short segment about nuclear plant security and terrorism. It was discussed a bit in here, so I want to ask, in a realistic sense, what is the most damage terrorists could do? Destroy the containment building?
Candyman,

I'd find it hard to believe that they could destroy the containment building.

If you had a tank or a howitzer - you'd have to pound away at the building
all day to destroy it. Basically, nothing short of a nuclear weapon is going
to destroy a containment building in a single blow - and that includes
crashing airliners.

With all the improvements to the reactor control systems that were
instituted in the wake of the Three Mile Island accident to prevent the
operators from doing something stupid that could lead to an accident -
those same systems which prevent the operator from damaging the
plant out of stupidity - will prevent a terrorist from damaging the
plant out of malice.

Conjectures about what terrorists could do to a nuclear plant are
great "scare stories" - which is why "journalists" like them.

Dr. Gregory Greenman
Physicist

Energy Group Plans to Build Nuclear Plants in Gulf States
by Matthew Wald, NY Times

 WASHINGTON, Sept. 22 - A consortium of eight companies said on Thursday that it would spend about $100 million to prepare applications to build two nuclear reactors, in Mississippi and Alabama, a step that seems to move the industry closer to its first new reactor order since the 1970's. The announcement was made by NuStart Energy, a consortium of companies that has substantial government financing. The consortium selected a site in Claiborne County, Miss., adjacent to Entergy Nuclear's Grand Gulf reactor, and another in northern Alabama, next to the Tennessee Valley Authority's long-abandoned Bellefonte nuclear construction project. The Energy Department is committed to sharing costs to develop the two applications, and has agreed to pay the application fee, about$30 million, for one of them; the consortium is asking the department for money for the other. At the same time, Entergy announced that it would act on its own to develop an application for a reactor at a site next to its Waterford plant, in Louisiana. The government, the reactor manufacturers and companies that own and operate existing reactors are testing a reformed licensing procedure, established by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in the 1990's to avoid the pitfalls of the 1970's and 80's, when several reactors were ordered and construction begun before design was completed or regulatory approval obtained. Under the program, designs for the Grand Gulf reactor, to be made by General Electric, and the Bellefonte reactor, to be made by Westinghouse, will be mostly completed and also approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission before substantial work is done at the sites.
http://www.nustartenergy.com/
 NUSTART NEWS RELEASE — Washington — The nation’s largest consortium of nuclear power companies today selected Grand Gulf Nuclear Station and Bellefonte Nuclear Plant as the sites it will use on applications for combined construction and operating licenses for new nuclear plants, the first in 30 years. Grand Gulf, owned by an Entergy subsidiary, is near Port Gibson, Miss. Bellefonte, owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority, is near Scottsboro, Ala. . . . . , but a new nuclear plant would bring considerable economic benefits – about 2,000 construction jobs for a four-year period, then 250-400 professional permanent jobs to operate and maintain the new plant. Ms. Kray said NuStart will prepare two COL applications, one for the GE design and one for the Westinghouse design, but is currently funded by DOE to submit to NRC only one of the two. NuStart has a request pending at DOE that would permit NuStart to submit both applications. “We want competition and some selectivity,” she said. The next step is for NuStart to begin detailed engineering and environmental work of the two respective reactor technologies at their designated sites in support of the applications for a combined COL which NuStart will file with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in late 2007 or early 2008. After an estimated two-year review, the NRC could issue in 2010 its first COL for a new nuclear power plant in 30 years. Then any NuStart member company or group of companies could take over the approved NuStart license in 2010 and use it to build that reactor. Construction is expected to take four years so the earliest that the first new nuclear plant could startup would be about 2014. The NuStart work is being funded under the Department of Energy’s Nuclear Power 2010 program to kickstart new nuclear energy construction. The federal government is sharing 50-50 the cost of the detailed engineering with NuStart.
http://www.nustartenergy.com/Display...?ID=20050922-1
 Admin NuStart Selects Grand Gulf, Bellefonte For Advanced Nuclear Plant Licenses http://www.entergy-nuclear.com/Nucle...ar&List=Region WASHINGTON - The nation's largest consortium of nuclear power companies today selected Grand Gulf Nuclear Station and Bellefonte Nuclear Plant as the sites it will use on applications for combined construction and operating licenses for new nuclear plants, the first in 30 years. Grand Gulf, owned by an Entergy subsidiary, is near Port Gibson, Miss. Bellefonte, owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority, is near Scottsboro, Ala.

http://nuclear.gov/nerac/reports1.html

Also in the news, Toshiba has purchased Westinghouse Electric from BNFL.

 Feb. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Toshiba Corp., Japan's largest maker of nuclear power plant equipment, will pay $5.4 billion to buy 100 percent of Westinghouse Electric Co. to expand in atomic energy amid renewed interest in countries such as the U.S. and China. "The time for nuclear is right," said British Nuclear Fuels Plc Chief Executive Officer Michael Parker said today in an interview in London. British Nuclear Fuels is a U.K. state-owned maker of reactors. Toshiba, based in Tokyo, is seeking to expand its power plant operations as earnings from chips and consumer electronics slow amid increased competition. Westinghouse would give Toshiba the pressurized water reactor technology preferred by China, which may spend as much as$54 billion by 2020 building nuclear plants. Toshiba plans to sell a minority stake in Westinghouse to several investors, the company said today in a statement. The nuclear power-generation market is expected to grow by 50 percent by 2020, the statement said. Marubeni Corp., Japan's fifth-largest trading company, is in talks with Toshiba to invest in Westinghouse, Takashi Hashimoto, a spokesman at Tokyo-based Marubeni, said earlier today. Mitsui & Co. and Shaw Group Inc. were identified as possible partners, according to the Nihon Keizai newspaper last month.
http://www.irnnews.com/news.asp?acti...&article=10616

BNFL, Toshiba Agree to Sale of Westinghouse
http://www.bnfl.com/content.php?pageID=69&newsID=248

Ah, the fun never stops in our industry.
 Recognitions: Gold Member Science Advisor Nuclear energy will rise from the dead again someday. Think modular fast gas, or pebble bed reactors for now. Middle east oil reserves will be nearly depleted by 2050, IMO. A few countries, like the US, will be able to milk their domestic reserves for a decade or two.
 It's really frustrating how candidates who run on a pro-environment platform (at least comparatively) at the same time bash nuclear energy and, whether they want to or not, only increase the fossil fuel-based market share - which they also rant against constantly. My family is in the oil business and has been for some time (so financially it's no particular sweat to us if the nuke industry tanks) but each one of us sympathizes with the nuclear industry for two reasons. First, every sane person - especially in the exploration business - knows that it's getting harder to find new reserves. In fact, iirc, the ratio of new reserve discoveries-to-oil and gas consumption has been negative (more new demand, less new oil) since something like 1975. The ones we have found are harder to get to -deep sea/artic reserves - and less profitable, making the whole thing enormously more speculative (a risk which gets passed on to the consumer). The market economics of the oil and gas industry are extremely complex and very interesting, but would require an entire thread to fully introduce. But the second reason the oil and gas exploration industry is sympathetic to the plight of the nuclear energy industry is that they are having to face, in a less vicious but more pervasive way, the attacks from folks who seem to always be critical and never constructive (generally, under the 'environmentalist' nom-de-guerre) when it comes to energy supply and demand. For example, there is simply no logic (rooted in understanding of economics or conservation for that matter) in opposing - across the board - drilling in ANWR, middle east oil dependence, AND, at the same time, nuclear energy generation. For whatever reason, there is little compromising on their side, except semantically, with unsubstianted or unreasonable pleas toward things like solar energy, which, right now, simply can't supply (in an economically reasonable manner) the massive mW that nations demand. (And also because the attacks can get pretty personal and vicious. When I tell people my family's in the oil industry, they immediately think and sometimes accuse crazy things like being imperialist propogaters of war in the middle east, drilling in ANWR, destroyer-of-rare algae (yes, that ones real) etc. all the while overlooking the simple fact that, the more the US actually gets cheap oil, the less profitable our industry becomes. Crazy, I tell ya..) I've got shares - which have been tanking, btw - in some nuke energy businesses, simply cause I think they're the real future in energy production.

 Quote by jhe1984 Also, my teacher said that the only by-product of a nuke plant (apart from the waste - which he said is only not recycled in US, unlike France et al) was steam. Is that correct?
Not quite.

Nuclear plants generate low, moderate and high level waste, which are ranked by radioactivity.

The high level waste consists of spent fuel, which having operated in the core for 4-6 years, contains fission products. The spent fuel is stored in the spent fuel pool until it cools sufficiently to then put it in dry storage. In theory, the spent fuel is supposed to go to a final repository (once-through fuel cycle plan), which is supposed to be Yucca Mountain, NV. That hasn't happened yet, so the spent fuel continues to accumulate at each reactor/plant site.

In the normal course of operation, corrosion products in the cooling system become radioactive. This material (several 10's of kg) is collected on filters, which ultimately must be disposed. This waste is sent to special sites which dispose of low or moderate radioactive waste.

Other low-level waste accumulates during normal maintenance. Workers clothing, even with very low levels of radioactivity must be disposed of according to strict rules.

 Quote by jhe1984 I've got shares - which have been tanking, btw - in some nuke energy businesses, simply cause I think they're the real future in energy production.
You mean utility shares?
 Yep. Two utilities within the NuStart Consortium. Had 'em for about a year now. Hopefully they'll pick up. I've only got a limited number of shares currently because 1) it doesn't seem like the nuclear power industry is a particularly nimble creature (with application and building restrictions and all) and 2) I have yet to really understand the innerworkings of nuclear energy consortiums. Mainly I'm banking on the DoE incentives coming to fruition between '08 and 2011. If the next Congress (or President for that matter) does an abrupt about-face - which apparently can happen [thinking of that Cuomo story] - then I guess I'm s.o.l. But like I said, this is more me owning em cause I believe in their practicality (apart from the market). <--- why idealists make bad floor traders...
 Admin DOE will be tight on money. The time to buy ETR was a year ago, but they are doing reasonably. It it prudent to do one's research.

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 Quote by hitssquad Would neutron-radiation embrittlement of the steel rebar in older containment buildings also be an important factor, Astronuc?
I would say that if the neutron flux is high enough to damage the building, I wouldn't want to be standing just outside of it !

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 Quote by vanesch I would say that if the neutron flux is high enough to damage the building, I wouldn't want to be standing just outside of it !
vanesch,

You are very correct. The rebar in the walls of the containment doesn't get the hefty
neutron dose.

Embrittlement by neutrons is limited only to those parts of the plant that get a
direct exposure to neutrons - namely the reactor vessel and its internals.

Dr. Gregory Greenman
Physicist