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Mar-07-2014 11:27printcomments

Reactor Reax Top Stories - Paying in Advance for Nothing at All

"Reactor Reax" is featured on www.NuclearBailout.org, a Web site maintained by Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Nuclear Hazard
Nuclear Hazard by Zsnesfreak

(WASHINGTON DC) - Exelon loves free markets — until it doesn't, Crain's Chicago Business, March 5, 2014. "If Exelon's nuclear plants are losing money, the company has only itself to blame. Exelon chose a business strategy that worked well for a while but turned south as market conditions changed. Sure, lots of smart people were surprised when new technologies unlocked vast natural gas reserves and upended the cost structure of the power industry. But that's the kind of risk that comes with free markets. When you detect and manage risk adeptly, you do well. When you miscalculate, you don't do so well. Exelon apparently wants to do well whether or not it manages market risks effectively. The credit/surcharge idea its lobbyists are circulating would stick the public with the costs of its mistakes."

Paying in advance for nothing at all, Tampa Bay Times, February 28, 2014. "Lynn Good, president and CEO of Duke Energy, has proposed expanding the advance fee to include construction of other power plants. She is likely to face challenges from Florida lawmakers because of two projects that went sour: the botched Crystal River nuclear plant upgrade project that led to the permanent shutdown of the reactor, and the now-canceled Levy County nuclear project. Both projects, which Duke Energy inherited in its merger with Progress Energy in July 2012, used the nuclear advance fee and are costing consumers billions for not a single kilowatt of power. Now, a fresh nuclear issue that has come to light at the St. Lucie power plant raises the specter that the Legislature will look more carefully at how to deal with the advance fee law."

THREE YEARS AFTER: Quake or tsunami? Panels at odds over cause of Fukushima nuclear disaster, Asahi Shimbun, March 5, 2014. "The thousands of families wanting to know what specifically led to the Fukushima nuclear disaster that turned their lives upside down might have to wait decades for an answer. The different panels that investigated the cause of the triple meltdown could not even agree on the time the tsunami struck the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant on March 11, 2011. The government and Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the stricken plant, maintain that a tsunami of unforeseeable size was solely to blame. TEPCO also said the accident was inevitable after it started to unfold. However, a Diet investigation panel raised the possibility that shocks from the magnitude-9.0 Great East Japan Earthquake were also partly responsible, an argument that could have serious implications for safety measures at nuclear plants and the extent of responsibility of TEPCO and the government."

Obama budget puts SC's MOX fuel project on ice, The State/Columbia, SC, March 5, 2014. "Clements has estimated that about $5 billion has been spent so far on the MOX program and that another $22 billion would have to be spent if the project was carried out over the next 20 years. No utilities have stepped forward to offer nuclear reactors to use any MOX fuel, Clements said, which has made the construction of the $8 billion MOX plant a facility without customers. 'With the prospect of more cost increases and no customers to use any MOX fuel that the MOX factory might produce, DOE had no other option but to put the project on ice,' said Clements."

Investigation continues, WIPP's future uncertain, KRQE TV/Santa Fe, NM, March 5, 2014. "A recent string of concerning and potentially dangerous events, the first real blemishes in an otherwise spotless 15 years for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, has raised questions about the future direction of one of the country's largest nuclear waste repositories. Last week, U.S. Department of Energy officials confirmed 13 employees tested positive for low levels of radiation contamination. That disclosure followed news that a trace amount of radiation was released above ground at the WIPP site near Carlsbad on Feb. 14. And earlier in February, an underground fire sent six workers to the hospital. The events come at an inopportune time, when some experts are contemplating whether WIPP should expand its mission to accept higher levels of nuclear waste."

"Reactor Reax" is featured on www.NuclearBailout.org, a Web site maintained by Physicians for Social Responsibility. For more information, contact reactorreax@nuclearbailout.org.

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