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11-01-05, 10:34 PM
I'm posting two articles here,

The first article is about the U.S. building new nuclear power plants for use in North and South Carolina.

The second article is about San Diego considering using an existing nuclear power plant to desalinize water.


Westinghouse units would be first ordered in U.S. since '78

Thursday, October 27, 2005

By Jim McKay, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

In a move that could end a long drought in the domestic construction of nuclear power plants, Duke Power yesterday said it was making plans to build two reactors designed by Monroeville-based Westinghouse Electric.

<b>The news that Duke has chosen Westinghouse's newest reactor design, the AP1000, for possible construction in its service territory of North and South Carolina was greeted with excitement at the company's headquarters campus.</b>

"This is very good news. It's a significant step,'' said Westinghouse spokesman Vaughn Gilbert, who noted that it was too early to speculate on local jobs. "It's hard to quantify [employment], but the people who developed and designed the AP1000 and who will continue to engineer it are all here in Monroeville."

Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke has not yet placed an order or signed a contract for the reactors, but said it was preparing an application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that it will submit within 24 to 30 months. That application process alone can cost approximately $30 million to do.

<b>If the regulatory process stays on schedule and Duke agrees to proceed with the project, construction could begin by 2010, Westinghouse President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Tritch said. Duke cited 2015 as a potential completion date.</b>

Construction of the last new reactor in the United States was completed in 1996, and there have been no new nuclear plants ordered since 1978, a year before the accident at the Three Mile Island plant near Harrisburg dealt a disastrous blow to the industry. Three Mile Island, the most serious accident in U.S. commercial nuclear history, led to heightened regulatory oversight and sweeping changes in nuclear power plant operations.

<b>According to the Nuclear Energy Institute, there are now 105 commercial nuclear power plants producing electricity in the United States, located at 65 sites in 31 states. Together they supply about 20 percent of the nation's electricity.</b>

Orders for Westinghouse-designed plants would have economic benefit for Pittsburgh since the company uses local vendors including Emerson Process Management Power & Water Solutions, which designs and builds sophisticated Ovation-brand control and software systems for power plants.

"It would be really good news for us,'' said Robert L. Yeager, president of the Emerson control unit at the RIDC park in O'Hara. "We have been working with Westinghouse for quite a while on the plant computer design for the AP1000. Obviously, the more AP1000s they sell, the more Ovation technology we deliver. The bottom line is it's great for us."

<b>The AP1000 technology, which is capable of generating about 1,100 megawatts of electricity, is the first of the latest generation of advanced light water nuclear reactors to receive design approval from the NRC. None of Westinghouse's competitors are that far along in the licensing process. The previous generation, dubbed Generation III by the NRC, was developed in the 1990s.</b>

Brew Barron, Duke Power's chief nuclear officer, said the advanced stage of the Westinghouse licensing process gave it an edge over competing designs from General Electric and France's Areva Group, the two main competitors to Westinghouse around the world. GE's latest design is a 1,500 megawatt Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR).

It also helped Westinghouse that two existing Duke-operated nuclear stations, the McGuire and Catawba plants, already use the pressurized water reactor technology that is the basis of the AP1000, which is described as passive gravity-aided technology that cuts down on the quantity of pumps, valves, wiring and piping used by existing nuclear plants.

"All three of the designs are good reactors. They would run faithfully and reliably,'' Mr. Barron said. "Because of our extensive experience with Westinghouse ... we are very comfortable with being able to fold a new facility using the same technology into the operations of our current nuclear fleet."

Jay Apt, executive director of Carnegie Mellon University's Electricity Industry Center and a distinguished professor in engineering and public policy, said the Duke announcement could give Westinghouse a boost in its bid to sell reactors to China.

China is reviewing bids for four nuclear plants, which would likely be built in twos and could cost $2.2 billion to $2.7 billion a pair to build. Westinghouse is among the leading bidders, and China anticipates building several more after the first four are under way.

"For Westinghouse, they must regard [this] as a very good vote of confidence in their new design," Mr. Apt, a former astronaut, said. "This is a chance of bolstering their opportunity."

The Shaw Group, based in Baton Rouge, said its nuclear services unit will join with Westinghouse to provide engineering support for Duke's licensing application to the NRC.

Shaw and Westinghouse are already working together, along with Mitsuibishi Heavy Industries of Japan, on the proposals to build four of the AP1000 reactors in China.

Duke, which provides electricity to more than 2 million customers in the Carolinas, said it must build new capacity to serve the 40,000 to 60,000 new customers it adds every year.

"We project strong growth in our base load demand over the next 10 to 15 years,'' Mr. Barron said.

Duke, which already operates three nuclear generating stations, eight coal-fired plants, 31 hydroelectric stations and numerous combustion turbine units, has yet to select a site for the new nuclear plants, but expects to do that by the end of the year. It is looking at some 14 locations in the Carolinas, some of which it already owns.

Mr. Barron said the company is also looking at other types of facilities including coal and combined-cycle facilities that could be used to meet its growing load demand between now and the construction of new nuclear facilities

The recently passed federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 includes numerous incentives intended to encourage the development of new nuclear plant capacity.

Mr. Barron, of Duke, said the incentives act did not drive the decision announced yesterday. He said the evaluation for the projects began a year ago before the Energy Policy Act was finalized .

"It's a good option for our customers. It's not dependant on the various aspects of the energy act," he said.

A consortium of eight U.S. utilities, under the banner of NuStart Energy Development, in September announced potential sites where one or more of its corporate members might put a new reactor. The potential projects involve both GE and Westinghouse designs.

One of those applications involves a site adjacent to NuStart member utility Entergy's Grand Gulf Nuclear Station in Port Gibson, Miss. The GE reactor is the preferred technology for that project.

The Westinghouse design was picked for a second NuStart project, which is proposed for the Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA) unfinished Bellefonte plant in Scottsboro, Ala.

The NuStart industry group plans to submit license applications to the NRC for review in late 2007 and early 2008. The licenses could be issued as soon as 2010 following a two-to-three years review process.

"With NuStart's announcement of the two sites, a U.S. nuclear renaissance is clearly within reach," Andy White, president and CEO of GE Energy's nuclear business, said at the time.

Separately from that NuStart project, Entergy said it will simultaneously develop an application to potentially build and operate a second GE designed reactor, this one adjacent to tis River Bend nuclear power plant near St. Francisville, La.



October 31, 2005

Water Authority to study nuke plant for desal concept

By: GIG CONAUGHTON - Staff Writer

NORTH COUNTY ---- <b>County water officials have decided to take a deeper look at the idea of using the San Onofre nuclear power plant to turn seawater into drinking water.

San Diego County Water Authority officials ---- who are still trying to close a deal to build a seawater desalination plant in Carlsbad ---- voted last week to commission an $825,000 study that would predict the costs of building a plant at the nuclear power station, which is 17 miles north of Oceanside.</b>

In 2004, the Water Authority conducted a preliminary study that reported there were no "fatal flaws" that would prevent the agency from building a seawater desalting plant at San Onofre.

On Monday, agency officials said the new study was expected to take 18 months to two years to complete, and do several things, including:

- Determine whether the nuclear power plant's existing pipelines that bring in seawater to cool the generating plant are in good enough shape to use for a desalination plant.

- Estimate how much it could cost to build a seawater plant at two separate sites at the plant.

- Estimate how much it would cost to build pipelines that would connect the desalination plant to Water Authority aqueducts ---- which would deliver the desalted seawater around the county.

Water Authority officials emphasized that the new study was preliminary and would have to be followed by even more detailed investigations.

"We are still in the very early planning phase of this project," said Cesar Lopez Jr., senior water resources specialist.

The Water Authority, which supplies nearly all the water that county residents use each year, said $566,250 of the study's cost would be paid for by federal and state grants. The agency is splitting the remaining cost with the Municipal Water District of Orange County, which also is <b>interested in building a plant that could churn out 50 million to 100 million gallons of drinking water a day.</b>

The Water Authority's first "fatal flaw" study did not look into one issue that could kill the plant ---- whether the public would reject the idea of churning out drinking water at a nuclear power plant.

Engineers say there is no possibility the water produced by a desalting plant would ever come anywhere near the power plant's radioactive power generators.

Despite that assertion, the public has been known to be skittish about water-quality issues.

Water officials across Southern California have been vexed for decades in their attempts to push forward "recycled water" projects ---- even for irrigation purposes ---- after recycling treated sewage was dubbed "toilet to tap" by the public and media.

Lopez said the public perception issue could be answered in the new study, because it was expected to include an undetermined number of public forums as part of its process.

Water Authority officials have said in the past that San Onofre is potentially the perfect site for a seawater desalting plant.

That's because it comes with a considerable amount of electrical power ---- which would be needed to power pumps for a desalting filter system ---- and it already has an inflow and outflow of seawater that is now used to cool the nuclear reactors generating San Onofre's electricity.

Any deal to build a desalination power plant would have to be blessed by the U.S. Marine Corps and Southern California Edison.

The San Onofre nuclear station is operated by Edison on land leased from Camp Pendleton.

Meanwhile, Water Authority spokesman John Liarakos said the agency continues to negotiate with Connecticut-based Poseidon Inc. to try to finalize a deal to build a seawater desalination plant in Carlsbad.

The agency and Poseidon have held off-again, on-again negotiations over the proposed plant since 2001.

Poseidon owns a 60-year lease on the proposed site, the Encina Power Plant in Carlsbad.

And the agency has signed a tentative deal with the city of Carlsbad to build a 50-million-gallon-a-day plant. But most experts believe that deal can't be done unless the Water Authority becomes part of it.

Water Authority board members, meanwhile, have identified the Carlsbad project as their No. 1 priority.

"All I can tell you at this point is the meetings and conversations are continuing," Liarakos said. "We're ever hopeful."

DVD Polizei
11-01-05, 10:36 PM
Good. Every state should have 10 nuclear power plants. Cheap energy, stupid! :up:

11-01-05, 10:39 PM
Oh man, I want me a nuclear power plant. :(

We ought to be building another 50 of these in the next 10 years.

11-01-05, 10:40 PM
Good. Every state should have 10 nuclear power plants. Cheap energy, stupid! :up:

Except that you predict we will be electing Democrat govenors and a president. Finally, the "fatal flaw" is found. -wink-

DVD Polizei
11-01-05, 10:47 PM
[runs out of thread to edit insane Democratic Prediction Post]


11-02-05, 12:04 AM

Myster X
11-02-05, 12:35 AM
We should.

1:22 p.m. November 1, 2005

LIVERMORE Two environmental groups have sued Alameda County over its decision to renew permits for Altamont Pass wind turbines that kill hundreds of migrating birds each year.
The groups Californians for Renewable Energy and the Golden Gate Audubon Society claim the Board of Supervisors was "arbitrary and capricious" when it approved in September permits covering more than 3,600 wind turbines in the Altamont Pass, about 50 miles east of San Francisco.

Nicki Carlsen, an attorney representing wind-power firms in the area, said she believed the supervisors acted properly when they voted 4-1 to approve the 13-year permits.

In renewing the permits, the board required wind farm operators to shut down the turbines for at least two months each winter, eliminate the 100 most lethal ones and replace all of them before the permits expire.

The board also voted to require full-time monitoring of bird fatalities, and the formation of a plan to protect bird habitat and an environmental review of the region's wind farms.

The 50-square-mile Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area generates up to 800 megawatts of pollution-free electricity, but an estimated 1,700 to 4,700 birds are killed there each year, including federally protected raptors such as golden eagles, burrowing owls and red-tailed hawks.

11-02-05, 01:19 AM
It's about time.

11-02-05, 06:50 AM
Oh man, I want me a nuclear power plant. :(

We ought to be building another 50 of these in the next 10 years.

Do you want one in your back yard? ;)

I agree. We have the current technology to do this. Let's do it.

Red Dog
11-02-05, 08:04 AM

11-02-05, 08:16 AM
Why is this in Politics? I'm for it as well.

11-02-05, 08:18 AM
grundle puts all of his threads in the politics forum. ;)

11-02-05, 09:04 AM
Why is this in Politics?
Wait two pages.

11-02-05, 09:08 AM
Top ten comments you never thought you'd hear on this forum:
8. I'm already bald so I want a nuclear power plant in my backyard.
1. The French lead, the US follows.


11-02-05, 11:13 AM
Do you want one in your back yard? ;)

I agree. We have the current technology to do this. Let's do it.

I do. We have the perfect place for it by John Day Dam. Already near the main power grid, lots of water from the Columbia River. Site was an old aluminum plant. It would mean a lot of jobs, and I would love one here.

11-02-05, 01:54 PM
Why is this in Politics? I'm for it as well.
It's because of politics that the U.S. hasn't ordered any new nuclear power plants for the past 30 years.

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