Westinghouse's woes spotlight US nuclear sector's decline

March 30, 2017 by Jean-Louis Doublet
Westinghouse's bankruptcy announcement is the latest in a series of obstacles to the further development of nuclear power in the US

Westinghouse's bankruptcy announcement cast a pall over the future of nuclear energy in the United States and comes as the Trump administration seeks to revive the coal industry.

Charles Fishman, an analyst at the investment firm Morningstar, said chances were slim that the industry would commit to building new nuclear power stations any time soon.

"It might be the final nail" in the coffin, he told AFP.

Nuclear power represents only nine percent of energy used in the United States—but makes up 19 percent of electricity generation—far behind at 32 percent, petroleum 28 percent, and coal 21 percent.

In the United States, nuclear power still conjures up memories of the 1979 meltdown at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania.

No new nuclear plant was brought online between 1996 and 2016. And only four more are expected to enter service by 2021.

Even so, the United States is the world's largest producer of nuclear power, thanks to a buildup of the industry in the 1960s and 1970s, with 99 reactors currently functioning at about 60 locations.

With the Westinghouse bankruptcy, however, few operators have the financial wherewithal to build new reactors. Indeed, the unexpectedly high cost of construction was partly responsible for the woes faced by Westinghouse, which was acquired by Toshiba in 2006.

Westinghouse expects to complete a plant in South Carolina, called Summer, and another in Georgia, called Vogtle.

"Building a nuclear plant is a complex enterprise and historically such projects have seen changes in mid-stream, including companies entering bankruptcy," said Maria Korsnick, president of the Nuclear Energy Institute, an industry body in Washington.

Environmental organization Greenpeace is calling for the two planned reactors to be abandoned, noting that Vogtle is only 40 percent complete and Summer, 31 percent.

Completion could be delayed by as much as 11 years, with annual costs running at between $1.5 billion and $2 billion, the organization said in a statement.

"Scrapping the projects, which were never viable in the first place, would be the most logical option," Greenpeace said.

Trump revives reviled Yucca project

The recent slide in energy prices, with natural gas sinking 64 percent over a decade, leaves at a disadvantage. It remains expensive and offers few opportunities to cut overhead.

American engineering giant General Electric—also tied to a Japanese company, Hitachi—is developing a new generation of reactors which could be available after 2030.

But this would require US authorities to show renewed interest in nuclear power, something that so far has not happened.

Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011 certainly did nothing to help the industry's image in the United States. According to a Gallup poll published this month, just 46 percent of Americans want to see further nuclear development while 50 percent are opposed.

US lawmakers are currently considering legislation that would favor building smaller, more advanced reactors. It passed the House of Representatives in January with bipartisan support and will now be considered in the Senate.

According to the American Action Forum, a center-right think tank in Washington, the bureaucratic red tape involved in getting permission to build a amounts to $8.6 million a year in additional costs, with the average wait running to a decade.

A simplified regulatory framework for modern reactors could help revive the industry, according to Ohio Congressman Bob Latta, who first introduced the legislation now before Congress.

The industry faces another obstacle in that, while it does not contribute to global warming and emits no greenhouse gasses, nuclear energy creates the dilemma of transporting, storing and recycling its waste.

President Donald Trump's budget proposal for the 2018 fiscal year includes funding to restart licensing for a long-planned waste repository at Nevada's Yucca Mountain.

The project has languished for 30 years, having faced stiff opposition from environmentalists and former Nevada senator Harry Reid.

The proposed Yucca mountain funds are so far the most tangible sign of support for in the Trump administration. Yet they amounted to just $120 million.

Explore further: Toshiba says Westinghouse files for bankruptcy protection

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gkam
1 / 5 (10) Mar 30, 2017
Ever notice the really tall stacks and vents at nuclear facilities?

Ever wonder what is so dangerous they have to take it so high up to release it?

Power to and from the people can reverse this adventure into dangerous technology and ownership of us by Big Corporate Money. We can offset this with wind and solar, and other renewables.

But we need accountability from the corporations, and nobody has been prosecuted for the disasters at Fukushima.

Personal accountability is necessary to clean up capitalism and democracy.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.9 / 5 (7) Mar 30, 2017
George doesnt realize that the the typical fossil fuel plant exhaust stacks are just as high and for the same reasons.

But georges microsecond attention span doesnt accommodate comparisons. George thinks that emissions opacity is still governed by 100 year-old charts. This is because he couldnt pay attention long enough to learn about codes and CFR regs and get an undergrad degree like normal people.

Physorg is one of the few places george can come and make up all sorts of lying bullshit without being personally accountable for it.
gkam
1.6 / 5 (7) Mar 30, 2017
Vents at nuclear facilities are for radioactive gases from deaerating the working fluid/coolant water. They allege the radionuclides have such short half-lives they are depleted before they reach the top.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.4 / 5 (5) Mar 31, 2017
What radionuclides are you talking about?
Zzzzzzzz
5 / 5 (2) Mar 31, 2017
Otto - George is right on this one with his second post. The Off Gas stack on a Nuke is based on travel time and decay of fast decaying gaseous effluents.
In his first post however, George is not so right. Exposure levels available in these gaseous are low level. Problem events at Chernoble, Fukushima, and/or Three Mile Island are widely separated from the processes that off gas stacks handle.
WillieWard
3 / 5 (2) Mar 31, 2017
"All natural substances contain radioactive material. In fact, beer contains thirteen times as much radioactivity as the cooling water discharged from a nuclear power plant."
https://uploads.d...c11b.jpg
Playonwords
3 / 5 (2) Mar 31, 2017
The primary purpose of these vents are for warm air and steam, i.e. waste heat. Yes, if there are incidental releases of radioactive gases then they are released via these vents rather than being confined to a surface layer nearer the ground, this allows a rapid decrease in concentration of the radioactive material.

Personally I think that the sooner these over engineered radioactive tea kettles are shut down the better but spreading scare stories does not help.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.2 / 5 (5) Mar 31, 2017
Otto - George is right on this one with his second post. The Off Gas stack on a Nuke is based on travel time and decay of fast decaying gaseous effluents
-And i want to know where this info comes from.

From here?
(10 CFR) > PART 100—REACTOR SITE CRITERIA

-Nothing in here about decaying isotopes. Only dilution.
The primary purpose of these vents are for warm air and steam, i.e. waste heat
-And youve got to source your info or youre just playing around.

From what i read in the CFR srack height and exclusion zones are related.
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Apr 01, 2017
Zzzzz, I reported that because I know the guy who did the studies of those gases for Lawrence Livermore with actual sensors, not calculations. They were much higher than they alleged, and the organization prevented him from publishing his results.

Ain't no scare story, wordplay. It's true. The guy quit and went to medical school instead.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.2 / 5 (5) Apr 01, 2017
Zzzzz, I reported that because I know the guy who did the studies of those gases for Lawrence Livermore with actual sensors, not calculations
Heresay from a confirmed liar is worthless
Ain't no scare story, wordplay. It's true
-as are proclamations of veracity.

Nobody here will ever believe a word you say.
Captain Stumpy
4 / 5 (4) Apr 01, 2017
George is right on this one
@Zzzzz
not really - for starters, he doesn't specify which tall stacks

for two: the entirety of his argument is based upon speculation and can't be referenced by evidence, as he notes in his last post where he reported your post because of his opinion and beliefs

please note that he provides absolutely no empirical evidence, links, references etc?

that is why i will be reporting all his posts in this and any thread where he talks about nukes without references to factual science - including his appeals to articles or emotional content

especially now that he is reporting others for simply disagreeing with his beliefs

.

.

i want to know where this info comes from
@otto
https://www.cdc.g...04-2.pdf
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.2 / 5 (5) Apr 01, 2017
Ok I did see this

"The first of these is 131I; its half-life is 8.04 days and it is produced in
large quantities (tens of millions of curies) in a load of reactor fuel. Other radioiodine isotopes,
with half-lives ranging from about 1 hour to 1 day (132I, 133I, 134I, and 135I), are produced in
similarly large amounts during reactor operation. However, they decay in the fuel quickly
following reactor shutdown and much smaller quantities are available for release when the fuel is
processed. A number of radioiodines have even shorter half-lives"

-but I didnt see anything about any of this relating to stack and exclusion zone design vs isotope decay or 'travel time' vs dispersion and dilution.
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Apr 01, 2017
""The first of these is 131I; its half-life is 8.04 days"

So it takes more than eight days for the gases to reach the top of the stack?

Anybody believe that?
Captain Stumpy
4.2 / 5 (5) Apr 01, 2017
-but I didnt see anything about any of this relating to stack and exclusion zone design vs isotope decay or 'travel time' vs dispersion and dilution
@otto
there may be a reference in the CFR's about air quality sending you all over the place looking for information
(most CFR's do this intentionally - it's a red tape tactic)

look for air quality regulations and references like:

ANSI (American National Standards Institute). 1969. Guide to Sampling Airborne Radioactive
Materials in Nuclear Facilities. ANSI N13.1-1969. American National Standards Institute,
Inc., New York, New York. OpenLit. Anonymous. 1953a.

Iodine Monitoring. Pages 77-86 from Notebook. SRS Phase II Database MJC199408181. June 10--26.

it's not easy to keep following backwards and you may have to seek a university library that deals with environmental and nuclear engineering studies before you can track it all down
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Apr 01, 2017
The standards are irrelevant if they are being exceeded in reality.

Once again, experience overrides theory.
Captain Stumpy
4 / 5 (4) Apr 01, 2017
@otto
10CFR20 RIN 3150–AF31 Resolution of Dual Regulation of Airborne Effluents of Radioactive Materials; Clean Air Act
https://www.gpo.g...1221.pdf

you may well find your regulations and reasoning within this and similar references to other agencies, though again, it will mean backtracking a sh*tload of links and references, which may or may not be available (or searchable) on the web
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Apr 01, 2017
One source, regarding refueling:

http://www.agreen...ing.html

And another
https://www.ncbi....K201991/
"Effluent Releases from Nuclear Power Plants and Fuel-Cycle Facilities"

TheGhostofOtto1923
4.2 / 5 (5) Apr 01, 2017
""The first of these is 131I; its half-life is 8.04 days"

So it takes more than eight days for the gases to reach the top of the stack?

Anybody believe that?
What, that half lives are known by scientists? I believe that. How come you dont believe that?

And sorry stump, Im not going to do other peoples research for them. What I found in CFR tells me that stack and exclusion area design are based on dispersion and dilution, not half lives. Your first ref suggested that half lives exceed travel time through the system.

Dispersion and dilution, same as combustion products.
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Apr 01, 2017
This is an important hindrance for new nukes. We taxpayers gave a guarantee we would pay off the $8,300,000,000 debt if the company could not. How big a subsidy is that?

And in Europe, the EPR is having birthing problems as well.

But for some reason, I think the next nuclear "problem" may come from India.

The world will have to suffer at least one more nuclear disaster before we get rational.
Captain Stumpy
4.2 / 5 (5) Apr 01, 2017
And sorry stump, Im not going to do other peoples research for them
@otto
don't apologize to me... i know exactly how you feel. notice i didn't bother to actually do any research either?

i just thought i would offer some info in case you ever were curious and wanted to know for yourself

in no way, shape or form am i in any way supporting anything said by the idiot liar-kam said because the entirety of the argument from said idiot is an emotional distraction from the facts

this is why the idiot can't actually provide factual arguments and has to distract with other stuff - like above
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Apr 01, 2017
I guess Rumpy has not learned of the metallurgy problems with the reactor vessels for the unit at Hinkley and another one in China (whose government had to be brought in to share the extreme costs of building a nuke in England).

And the subsidies refer to those loan guarantees to Vogtle for their new nukes, now made a potentially-bad investment by the failure of Westinghouse Nuclear.
Captain Stumpy
4.2 / 5 (5) Apr 01, 2017
@STOLEN VALOR LIAR-kam
I guess Rumpy has not learned of the metallurgy problems with the reactor vessels for the unit at Hinkley and another one in China (whose government had to be brought in to share the extreme costs of building a nuke in England)
so super genious - please tell everyone how this relates to stack height?

where are your links/references?

where is the factual science based argument?

you have yet to be able to make any argument regarding nuclear anything without making the argument:
1- about you, or your irrelevant history that isn't applicable to the topic

2- emotional

3- i series of divergent irrelevant distractions from the original claims or topic

this is evident above where you were cornered with facts

considering the above is just another demonstration of this, and you want to clean up the site, then, per your request...
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Apr 01, 2017
What a crybaby. We went over this before, Rumpy.

Here are the reactor references:
"Hinkley Point: Design difficulties loom"
http://www.bbc.co...35989850

"UK nuclear strategy faces meltdown as faults are found in identical French project"
http://www.indepe...163.html

"Flamanville EPR in France is facing huge problems with its metallurgical flaws in the reactor vessel"
http://www.bridgw..._vessel/

"Serious safety flaws found in EDF's nuclear reactors"
https://nuclearin...eactors/

Is that enough for a while?
Captain Stumpy
4.2 / 5 (5) Apr 01, 2017
@STOLEN VALOR LIAR-kam
What a crybaby
projection and ad hominem sniping that you wish to rid the site of - therefore, per your request...
We went over this before, Rumpy
no, we didn't: nor have you provided any legit references for your stack height above
Here are the reactor references...Is that enough for a while?
and again:
1- your primary and first argument was stack height - none of these is a reputable source for stack height

2- the above sources all go to articles
an article is the opinion of the author - it is not a study, nor is it valid reputable source material for a "scientific" claim from an engineer with an MS (and any STEM graduate would already know this)

3- not a single link you provided has links or references to scientific studies or even CFR's

so again, you've not provided a single scientific reference or legitimate argument from science

your entire argument is an emotional appeal to fear

per your own request then...
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.7 / 5 (6) Apr 02, 2017
George thinks that throwing unrelated links around will make him look less wrong. Typical psychopath bullshit.

Maybe he doesnt really know the difference between stacks and vessels? Thats sure what it looks like doesnt it?

After all he has no idea what CFRs and EPAs and ANSIs and ASTMs and KWHs and MSs are and so of course can pretend he does and nobody will notice.

He even implied awhile ago he had a PHD. Maybe he thinks its an honorary award for excellence.
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Apr 02, 2017
There are a lot of nukes being built worldwide. I'll bet many of them never get finished.

And it was fun to see the wiki warriors try to cover their butts.
WillieWard
3 / 5 (4) Apr 02, 2017
Coal and gas plants are easier to get finished to work symbiotically with intermittent wind/solar mystical placebo.
Wind and solar are a joke, a fiasco, in terms of CO2 reduction, e.g. Germany and California. Not even Greenpeace trust in Sunshine&Breeze to propel their ship and motorboats across the oceans, they still prefer marine diesel.
http://www.herald...3461.jpg
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Apr 02, 2017
Little by little, Willie, . . . but it is going much faster than that, isn't it?
WillieWard
3 / 5 (4) Apr 02, 2017
Little by little
"Little by little", trillions euros invested, and never proven to be able to deeply decarbonize modern grids, while carbon-free nuclear power has already done that in a fast and safe way, e.g. France and Sweden.
https://pbs.twimg...Uh8B.jpg
https://uploads.d...bfe4.jpg
http://www.tandfo..._oc.jpeg
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Apr 02, 2017
The argument is actually over in the US.

We will need at least one more nuclear tragedy to grind this monstrous technology to a halt elsewhere.
Captain Stumpy
4.2 / 5 (5) Apr 02, 2017
@STOLEN VALOR LIAR-kam
The argument is actually over in the US
false claim
https://science.e...0215.pdf

https://www.rt.co...reactor/

http://www.usiter.org/

https://en.wikipe..._Reactor

We will need at least one more nuclear tragedy to grind this monstrous technology to a halt elsewhere
this is called an emotional fearmongering bias based upon lack of knowledge and or logic

you have also refused to actually provide evidence for your claims above, then attempted to distract with non-relevant OT posts about the topic from non-science sources which argue from emotion, not relevant facts

per your own request to clean up the site...
WillieWard
3 / 5 (4) Apr 02, 2017
We will need at least one more nuclear tragedy...
One more nuclear incident with zero deaths by radiation exposure, will be enough for fearmongers and faux-greens to fight more vigorously to replace carbon-free nuclear power by coal and/or natural gas/fracking and mystical bird-choppers placebos as they already did in Japan and Germany.
Greenpeace loves marine diesel, all Eco-hypocrites love fossil fuels and hate real carbon-free energy.
gkam
1.6 / 5 (7) Apr 02, 2017
Why does Rumpy use as a source the Russian propaganda arm of the GRU for his references?
https://www.rt.co...reactor/

RT is that outlet.

I think he may be a GRU stooge.

Meanwhile, my reference to the dying industry was for fission, not fusion.

Westinghouse does not have any working fusion reactors. Nobody does.
Captain Stumpy
3.9 / 5 (7) Apr 02, 2017
@STOLEN VALOR LIAR-idiot
Why does Rumpy use as a source the Russian propaganda arm of the GRU for his references?
ever hear of second party validation? as in: not from the original source?

most people with a STEM degree know what that is - why don't you?
I think he may be a GRU stooge
and i have proven you are a libelous idiot, chronic liar as well as completely ignorant of basic science
Meanwhile, my reference to the dying industry was for fission, not fusion
and i have pointed out to you many, many times that both are nuclear and you still make the claim that nuclear is bad without qualifying your statement

this is why your chronic lies and misinformation is stupid

this is also why you need to be specific as well as share links/references when you make a claim about anything on a science site directed at scientific discourse

so again, per your request to clean up the site...
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.7 / 5 (7) Apr 02, 2017
Little by little, Willie, . . . but it is going much faster than that, isn't it?
-Another thinly-veiled psychosex post. Are you revealing that you have a little willie AND preejaculatory syndromes in one very sticky post?

George spreads the leaves of his book wide for the world to see. If it dares. If it cares.

And I see now why he is infatuated with filthy emissions in soaring exhaust stacks. Do reactors pulse george?

Lessee the reactor is actually the womb and the stack is the... aw never mind.
manfredparticleboard
4 / 5 (4) Apr 02, 2017
Paging Dr Freud...Dr Freud to this thread please, we have some projection issues down here...

Nuclear by and large is safe, it is reliable and it is unwieldy. It's downfall is the massive investment needed in the complicated engineering to support the mining and processing, the decommissioning and disposal problems and the regulatory affairs from alpha to omega.

It's too top heavy by comparison to other forms of power generation; cheap investment money that littered the ground in the 80's and 90's isn't there anymore. Why buy problems when you can get more bang for your buck with a solar farm. Storage will develop to meet base load, you can guarantee that, and no one is going back to candle lit caves by transitioning from archeo-carbon.
Mark Thomas
5 / 5 (1) Apr 13, 2017
"Westinghouse does not have any working fusion reactors. Nobody does."

That, IMHO, is the real problem. Fusion technology either needs to be developed or proven impractical. Let's say fusion will never work. That means nuclear is the only option in space beyond the point where solar becomes impractical. While the first solar powered probe (Juno) is currently in orbit around Jupiter, sunlight is only about 4% as strong at that distance, suggesting solar power at Jupiter and beyond will have very limited uses. For spacecraft propulsion it may be possible to have crewed explorion of the solar system with chemical rockets and refueling stations, just like it is possible to build a transportation system around wood burning cars, but that would be inefficient to the point of being unworkable. Sooner or later the need for better spacecraft propulsion will be obvious to all concerned. At this point the question is whether it will be nuclear or fusion.
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Apr 13, 2017
"solar power at Jupiter and beyond will have very limited uses"
--------------------------------

I live in California, which has sufficient sun to power both my house and automobile.

But go to any utility-related site and see how many nukes are struggling to stay online. They just cost too much to run. Even when completely paid off, they cannot compete with wind and solar carrying their construction costs.
WillieWard
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 13, 2017
I live in California, which has sufficient sun to power both my house and automobile.
Share your technology with Greenpeace, they still use marine diesel.
gkam
1.6 / 5 (7) Apr 13, 2017
Why do you continue to bring up marine fuels while we are discussing stationary power generation?

The point is we taxpayers may be on the hook for another nuclear tragedy, this time one of malfeasance, to the tune of BILLIONS of dollars.

We should NOT be bailing out Big Corporate Power, owner of many politicians, from the consequences of their own hubris.
WillieWard
3 / 5 (4) Apr 13, 2017
Why do you continue to bring up marine fuels while we are discussing stationary power generation?
Greenpeace does not even use a "stationary power generation" based on wind and solar placebos to produce electricity to keep lights on in their ships.
"Intermittent Renewables" = "Scam of the Century"
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Apr 13, 2017

Nukes are losing in the US, Willie, and you can bet Greenpeace will not use them, either.

Did you know GE Nuclear is not owned by us either, but by Hitachi? We have no US nuclear industry.
WillieWard
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 13, 2017
you can bet Greenpeace will not use them, either.
Of course, they prefer fossil fuels. All that faux-greens and fearmongers have done have just resulted in making mankind more reliant on fossil fuels which is far deadlier than carbon-free nuclear power
"Work begins to build world's newest cutting-edge coal-fired power plant" - 8 April 2017
"A joint venture by five companies began construction work in the Iwama-machi district of Iwaki city, Fukushima Prefecture, on April 7 to build a coal-fired thermal power plant, based on the world's most advanced "integrated coal gasification combined cycle" (IGCC) technology."
http://www.fukush...l?id=816
Japan prefers coal and Greenpeace prefers marine diesel. Lamentable!

gkam
1 / 5 (4) Apr 17, 2017
What does this mean to the four AP1000 plants in construction by Westinghouse?

Will the companies to which we gave the loan guarantees belly up on them, leaving us with the $8,300,000,000 cost?

Why do we still liseten to Big Nuclear Money? When are they going to pay for themselves?

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