State proposes hefty fee hikes on nuclear plants

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ALBANY — State fees on nuclear power plant operators could nearly double next year under the governor’s proposed budget.

Annual fees would swell from $550,000 to $1 million per reactor, according to budget division spokesman Matt Anderson. The money collected from New York’s six reactors would be split – half funneling to the counties and local municipalities located around the reactors and the other half staying with the state, Anderson said.

Entergy Nuclear, the New Orleans-based company that owns two reactors at the Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan and another at the James Fitzpatrick site near Oswego, declined to opine about the state’s squeeze.


Think Twice Before Building More Nuclear Plants

Think Twice Before Building More Nuclear Plants

Published: November 3, 2008

To the Editor:

Re “After 35-Year Lull, Nuclear Power May Be in Early Stages of a Revival” (“The Energy Challenge” series, Business Day, Oct. 24):

There are many reasons to balk at constructing new nuclear power plants. Safety, storage and security are significant obstacles, the last two of which may be insurmountable.

Ten seismic faults lie within a 20-mile radius of Yucca Mountain, located 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas. And scaling up nuclear power would require the capacity of one “Yucca Mountain” every 5 to 10 years until the midcentury.

Nuclear plants take a decade to build, and estimates for the cost of a nuclear plant have just doubled from $6 billion to $12 billion.

Replacing carbon waste with radioactive waste is not healthy and probably not insurable. A better proposal, offered by Al Gore, is to build a cleanly powered smart grid. With a 10-year timetable and a cost of $1.5 trillion to $3 trillion, such a grid would maximize the benefits and minimize the potential consequences for our health and the global environment. Paul R. Epstein

Boston, Oct. 27, 2008

The writer is the associate director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard Medical School.

Kucinich to Investigate Safety of Nuclear Plants

Kucinich to Investigate Safety of Nuclear Plants

Multiple Close Calls and Recent Radioactivity Release Warrant Scrutiny

WASHINGTON – October 29 – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), chairman of the Domestic Policy Subcommittee, said today that he will direct his staff to investigate safety concerns in nuclear power plants. The investigation follows the latest safety incident at nuclear power plants in Northeast Ohio, the accidentally discovered release of radioactive water at the Davis-Besse Power Plant in Oak Harbor, Ohio last Friday.

In November 2007, the Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Lake County, Ohio automatically shut down when two water-cooling pumps malfunctioned and portions of the backup systems failed. In February 2002, a football-sized crater was accidentally discovered in the reactor vessel and experts predicted the plant might have been as close as 60 days away from bursting the slim steel liner that stood in the way of the radioactive release into the air.

Demonstrating that the safety concerns are not restricted to Ohio is a report on the reactor meltdown risk from fire hazards released today by Beyond Nuclear, the North Carolina Waste Awareness and Reduction Network and the Union of Concerned Scientists. Fire hazards are found to be the primary but not the only risk. Other hazards include releases of radioactivity that do not involve a full reactor meltdown, such as the underground leak of tritium-contaminated water at Davis-Besse.

“We must make sure proper oversight on these facilities is being performed in order to protect our environment and our health. Today, I have instructed my staff to investigate the safety issues associated with the operation of nuclear power plants because the dangers to the environment and economy are too great to ignore,” stated Kucinich.

Nuclear plant’s licensing aired

Nuclear plant’s licensing aired

Kewaunee Power Station has applied for renewal in 2013

CARLTON — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission held two informational meetings Wednesday at the Carlton Town Hall to talk about the license renewal application for the Kewaunee Power Station owned by Dominion Power.

Brian Holian, director of the NRC Division of License Renewal, and Environmental Project Manager Sarah Lopas provided licensing procedures and requirements and also asked for public comments.

Holian said information gathered from the afternoon meeting and from another meeting Wednesday evening would aid in the licensing process.

The Kewaunee Power Station license expires Dec. 21, 2013. Its renewal application includes general information about the plant owner, technical information about plant structures, components and management of its aging process.

The NRC conducts safety, staff and environmental reviews. It does inspections while an advisory committee on reactor safeguards conducts an independent review.

Many of the concerns expressed by the public focused on the above ground storage of spent nuclear fuel. Originally they were stored in pools on the property.

“Spent fuel pools were not meant to store fuel for 40 years,” Holian said. “The older fuel is safe in the dry casks for now but won’t stay forever.”

Carlton Town Supervisor Ken Paplham said the town passed a resolution in 1993 prohibiting outdoor storage of nuclear waste.

“Now we have outdoor storage,” he said. “The town should be compensated $250,000 per year and $40,000 for each cask.”

Dominion is one of the largest employers in the county and provides quality jobs, Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation Director Jennifer Brown said.

— Barb Ludlow writes for the Kewaunee County News.

Nuclear plants aren’t the right option for power

Nuclear plants aren’t the right option for power
Some people want to eliminate all handgun ownership from law-abiding American citizens, even though less than .0001 percent of all legally owned and secured firearms account for misappropriate accidental or intentional discharge.

Are you surprised that many of those same anti-gun advocates want us to install nuclear power plants when the radioactive waste from those already in operation pose a threat to the next hundred thousand or more generations? And if we have our own toxic waste, that leads us into the corner of having to explain our refusing to accept the deadly contaminants from nuclear plants in other states. Of course, best-case scenario is there’s never a plant malfunction like Three Mile Island or Chernobyl. We won’t talk about worst-case scenario; it’s just a gamble with your life.

Maybe these people would be satisfied building more coal-fired plants here where there’s no coal and the guaranteed result is simply air, soil and water pollution. The thinking may be that free-floating coal dust will make us more like Los Angeles where you’re able to see the air you are forced to breathe. The water pollution might even have the desired effect of eliminating those thousands of tons of carp in our streams, even though it would probably kill off the trout and salmon as well; but hey, if we can’t drink the water, why should the fish be allowed to?


Twin Falls

10 More Nuclear Plants to Be Built

10 More Nuclear Plants to Be Built

By Oh Young-jin
Staff Reporter

Korea plans to build 10 more nuclear power plants by 2030 and to raise its reliance on alternative energy sources five-fold in order to wean itself from fossil fuels.

In a report to President Lee Myung-bak, Knowledge Economy Minister Lee Yoon-ho said Wednesday that a total of 111 trillion won or about $100 billion will be needed to increase the portion of non-fossil energy sources from 4.6 percent of projected overall energy needs at present to 11 percent by 2030. The energy plan covers 22 years starting this year and is up for renewal every five years.

The long-term energy plan is regarded as overly ambitious considering the country lags in the development of new energy sources technology, Critics said it was hastily devised following President Lee’s Aug. 15 Liberation Day speech, which highlighted so-called “green growth” that was more attentive to environmental protection.

At the same time, 11 new nuclear power plants will be built to provide for 59 percent of energy needs, up from the current 36 percent now. Twenty nuclear power plants are in operation at the moment, generating 17,716 mega watts. This accounts for 15 percent of the total energy consumption and 26.7 percent of electricity generation. France, which relies the most heavily among developed countries on nuclear power, produces 43 percent of all its energy generation and 79 percent of electricity through nuclear power, according to 2005 data.

In terms of alternative energy development, the plan sees a whopping 4,400 percent jump in solar energy use; 33-fold for wind power; 19 times for bio-fuels and 51 times for thermal heat.

As part of its solar energy promotion, 1 million households will be designated as “green homes” that will use solar panels as source for heating by 2020. Power plants will be also required to generate portions of their power generation by harnessing bio-fuels, wind and tidal power.

Minister Lee said that of the 100 trillion won needed, 72 trillion will come from the government and 28 trillion won from the private sector. An additional 11.5 trillion won will be spent on research and development.

In order to lay the groundwork for the expansion of nuclear power generation, Lee said that land for 10 nuclear power plants will be secured by 2010, with each being the size of the existing Gori Nos. 3 and 4, and being capable of producing 1.4 million kilowatts.

“The new nuclear power plants will be built to accommodate development demands by residents in the pertinent areas,” the minister said. In an extreme case of “not in my backyard” or nimby phenomenon, residents have shunned the construction of power plants or waste disposal sites with violent demonstrations occurring in the process. Lee’s offer of incentives is intended to stem such public shows of dissatisfaction in advance.

In terms of electricity bills, Lee said that moves will be made to bring the bills to the real costs of power generation by, among other things, cutting down on subsidies.

If the ambitious energy plan is implemented, Korea will be able to save about $34.3 billion in energy imports; reducing its reliance on fossil fuels by 22 percentage points to 61 percent and create nearly 1 million jobs, the ministry said