Nuclear power in Carolinas’ future?

Nuclear power in Carolinas’ future?-attachment0

Four new nuclear reactors — after a nuclear-plant hiatus of some 20 years — are at least on the drawing boards of Duke Power and Progress Energy for locations in North and South Carolina, as outlined in an overview article in the Independent Weekly of Durham.

Progress Energy, which serves the Asheville area, has applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to add two reactors to its Shearon Harris plant near Raleigh, at an estimated cost of $14 billion. And Duke Energy, based in the Charlotte area, has applied for two reactors to be built in Gaffney, S.C., 88 miles southeast of Asheville, at an estimated cost of $11 billion.

Statements from both power companies acknowledge high capital costs for nuclear facilities to be offset by lower operating and fuel costs. “Nuclear power plants cost more upfront than some other forms of generation, but they provide a reliable, carbon-free resource that generates electricity for 40 to 60 years,” according to Progress Energy spokesman Mike Hughes. The Independent, however, points out that a comparison to fuel costs for coal, wood and natural gas is not a comparison to “renewable energy sources.”

The article discusses North Carolina’s Construction Work in Progress guidelines, which became law in 2007, and which would pass “the bulk of the costs” for the new plants on to consumers, whether or not the plans are completed. Neither of the companies’ proposed projects, according to the Independent, would go online before 2018.

In a companion article, the Independent discusses nuclear safety issues from the perspective of Three Mile Island revelations — referring to the U.S. nuclear industry’s worst disaster 30 years ago.

Nelda Holder, associate editor

 

 

 

 

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53 thoughts on “Nuclear power in Carolinas’ future?

  1. travelah

    Three Mile Island actually wasn’t a disaster at all. Nobody was killed, the radiation was contained and the safe guards established as a result of that accident are in place at all nuclear facilities now.

    It’s a good thing to see these plans moving forward.

  2. Mysterylogger

    So am I this is very good news in moving to better sources of energy

  3. Nelda Holder

    Technically, as an industry “disaster” and as the companion article explains: “A relatively minor problem in the plant’s Unit 2 reactor sparked a series of mishaps that led to the meltdown of almost half the uranium fuel.”

    That article was originally published in Facing South (the online magazine for the Institute of Southern Studies) and does offer details and documentation you may want to peruse.

  4. Gordon Smith

    When we’re looking at power sources, we’re best served by looking first at conservation then at renewable sources of energy. Remember that most of the southeast remains in drought.

    “Reactors require huge amounts of cooling water, which is why they’re often located near rivers, lakes or oceans. Reactors with cooling towers or ponds can use 28-30 million gallons of water per day.12 The 48 reactors with once-through cooling systems use far more (up to 1.5 billion gallons per day). A typical two-unit reactor using once-through cooling takes in about a square mile of water, 14 feet deep, each day.”

    http://www.energyjustice.net/nuclear/

  5. tatuaje

    Three Mile Island actually wasn’t a disaster at all. Nobody was killed, the radiation was contained

    You might want to read the companion article that Nelda suggested Lil’ t…..

    Oh, and some more info from the wiki….

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3_mile_island#Accident

    On 28 March 1979, there was a cooling system malfunction that caused a partial melt-down of the reactor core. This loss of coolant accident resulted in the release of a significant amount of radioactivity, estimated at 43,000 curies (1.59 PBq) of radioactive Krypton gas, but less than 20 curies (740 GBq) of the especially hazardous Iodine-131, into the surrounding environment.

    The nuclear power industry claims that there were no deaths, injuries or adverse health effects from the accident, but a peer-reviewed study by Steven Wing of the University of North Carolina found that lung cancer and leukemia rates were two to 10 times higher downwind of TMI than upwind, and also showed that there was plant and animal chromosomal damage, but without considering the effects of stress or improved screening.

    Who are you gonna believe? The people who stand to make billions of dollars from burying the facts? Or people who were there, who live there, and are backed up by an independent investigation?

    And the biggest concern of all:

    What to do with the waste? Where will it go? Which part of the biosphere, what fellow citizens, will be forced to take the “back end,” industry-speak for the hundreds of thousands of tons of waste that nuclear plants produce each year, and the lucrative, secretive business of storing it away to make these plants possible?

  6. Piffy!

    **Who are you gonna believe? The people who stand to make billions of dollars from burying the facts? Or people who were there, who live there, and are backed up by an independent investigation? **

    Dude, obviously the people who stand to make billions. Poor people’s opinions are of no value.

  7. travelah

    I read both articles. I have read far more than that. I think there is a snow job being perpetrated by the anti-nuclear activists.

  8. travelah

    Mr. Smith is correct regarding the water usage issue. The volume has to be there and in enough quantity to minimize its impact.

  9. pifftaculous

    ##I think there is a snow job being perpetrated by the anti-nuclear activists. ##

    Yeah, i’m sure the pro-nuclear activists are are all telling the truth, though, especially with so much profit at stake.

  10. tatuaje

    I think there is a snow job being perpetrated by the anti-nuclear activists.

    So are you saying that Randall Thompson, a veteran of the U.S. Navy’s nuclear submarine program, and Steven Wing of the University of North Carolina, who did a peer-reviewed study about the 3 Mile Island incident, are liars?

    That the people living in the immediate vicinity who have had dire health problems normally associated with high-dose radiation exposure are simply anomalies who would have experienced the same health problems if they didn’t live close to TMI?

    That “Three Mile Island actually wasn’t a disaster at all.”?

    I live 45 miles from the proposed Gaffney site. Is that enough distance if something goes catastrophically wrong? Should I trust the Nuclear Regulatory Commission if they say it is? How about Progress Energy? Do you think they value my best interests over their potential profits?

    And, again, what about the waste?

    Does anyone know where they are proposing storing it?

  11. tatuaje

    So, after a little research, I’ve found that Duke Energy would store the nuclear waste on site at the proposed Gaffney site….

    http://www.indyweek.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid:393820

    Currently, says Sipe of Duke Energy, the utility’s nuclear plants—like every such plant in the country—stores its spent fuel on-site, hoping that eventually the material will be able to be recycled. “We view it as a resource,” Sipe says. “The fuel is safe and secure where it is now. The intention was not to leave it at the sites long term, but it’s OK to leave it there.”

    Twenty years of spent fuel is stored in concrete-and-steel water-filled chambers at Shearon Harris, a method that will be used until the end of the original operating license in 2026. Progress Energy then will switch to what is called “dry storage” for the plant’s remaining 20 years of operation.

    Both companies contend that the material is safe where it is, but Warren is unconvinced. “They do not have a solution for this deadly, high-level radioactive waste, of which we have 70,000 tons around the U.S. that has already been created,” he says. “There’s a lot of talk that spent fuel is dangerous for thousands of years, and that’s correct. But the fact is that the spent fuel at Shearon Harris represents a clear and present danger, whether by accident or by act of malice.”

    Those security concerns are valid. In 2007, the NRC fined Progress Energy $65,000 for security violations

    There is no long-term solution to the problem of what to do with nuclear-generated waste, merely the hope that something will be worked out.

    But more important, claims that France had perfected the recycling of nuclear waste are coming under scrutiny. Critics of the French system point to the reprocessing plant at La Hague, which has been discharging 100 million gallons of radioactive waste annually into the English Channel, as well as similarly radioactive gas releases from La Hague. And the French nuclear industry, despite reprocessing, nonetheless has generated 10,000 tons of spent fuel rods like those that now sit in “temporary” storage at Shearon Harris.

    *SHUDDER*

  12. Sundance

    Well Gordon and tatuaje what do you propose? If you read the articles you can also not meet the objectives of alternative energy and energy independence without it.

    The simple fact is that we are going to have to use it as a bridge until more efficient and clean alternative energy sources can be brought on line.

    I think more research needs to be done and now I am going to make Gordon cringe because some of the GOP folks actually proposed a “Manhattan style” project to push us towards energy independence but it was dead on arrival due to the Dems controlling everything and while we are at it Gordon, cap and trade has not worked in other countries its simply another TAX!

    FYI…remember I am independent when it comes to political parties.

    Also Gordon, back to the water issue…did you know some when Nuclear power was first being developed alternative methods were used for cooling reactors. I saw a special on the history channel or something and I think some were cooled with continually circulating Zinc or Mercury through them.

    Like I said more research on Nuclear and alternatives is needed but in the mean time you are either going to have to put more greenhouse gases in the air or start using nuclear as a bridge.

  13. Piffy!

    **”Like I said more research on Nuclear and alternatives is needed but in the mean time you are either going to have to put more greenhouse gases in the air or start using nuclear as a bridge. “**

    Why? So we can run our blenders and dishwashers? You present a false dichotomy that implies conservation is not a possible choice.

    Our current power-grid structure encourages waste (profit). We need to honestly consider the “radical” notion that we can not go on consuming energy in the way we have grown accustom during the past 50 years.

    This is far bigger than individual lifestyles. It is about fundamentally changing how we choose to see our relationship with the resources we tap for energy.

  14. travelah

    Yeah, i’m sure the pro-nuclear activists are are all telling the truth, though, especially with so much profit at stake.

    Both sides need a bit of reflection.

  15. Bjorn

    The article discusses North Carolina’s Construction Work in Progress guidelines, which became law in 2007, and which would pass “the bulk of the costs” for the new plants on to consumers, whether or not the plans are completed. Neither of the companies’ proposed projects, according to the Independent, would go online before 2018.

    What’s the difference between the Somali Pirates & these crooks?

  16. Piffy!

    “What’s the difference between the Somali Pirates & these crooks? ”

    You mean, beyond skin color and accumulated wealth?

  17. Sundance

    PFKaP…I did not say I was against conservation so stop puting words in peoples mouths….it very rude and childish on your part!

    You need to conserve and and develop resources what you are advocating PFKaP might send the economy into something a lot worse then the great depression. Conversation will not solve the problem alone.

    Here in Mexico electric costs have three tiers and the more you use the higher the rate and it gets progressively worse…I guess its similiar to cap and trade but not quite.

    If you have A/C in your home and run it you will pay dearly for it at the end of the two month billing cycle.

  18. Sundance

    The problem with the proposed Cap and trade is organizations can to buy credits from others that have credits and that is B.S. It will only create additional creative book keeping with lack of transparency.

  19. dave

    “”what you are advocating PFKaP might send the economy into something a lot worse then the great depression. Conversation will not solve the problem alone. “”

    Some of us consider the stability of the environment for future generations far more important than the short-term gains of the “economy”, mr sundance in mexico.

  20. travelah

    The economic ruin of future generations for the very questionable aims of today’s environmental social anti-capitalists is not a gamble worth taking. The result will reflect human history. More and more people will be impoverished, greed will establish itself more firmly and absolutely nothing will have impacted the environment.

    Understand this even though it is hard for some to grasp. Everything the leftist-liberals want to force down people’s throats in this matter comes at a great cost and when the pendulum swings the other way, can be undone with a chainsaw and the stroke of a pen. Keep making enemies in the manner you are making them now and you will eventually become the enemy and justifiably so. Of course, these are all meaningless words to the ragtags.

  21. travelah

    Cap & Trade will put more people out of work than the current recession. Instead of recapitalizing aging infrastructure, companies will find it more profitable to shut down and build elsewhere. There is a giant mythology being created about green jobs and carbon neutrality. The only green jobs that could be created are those tied to construction of green infrastructure. They are temporary jobs at best and considerably fewer than those lost. As for carbon footprints, it is a giant shame.

  22. Sundance

    No Dave…unfortunately your now read what I said correctly…..your reading what you want to…how typical, are you associated with URTV or something?

    You need conservation and you need to develop alternatives but conservation will not solve the entire process so Nuclear is needed to act as a bridge and other alternatives will have to be developed along with more research going into Nuclear.

  23. As someone who survived the Three Mile Island Nuclear accident, I can say there was an accident and a cover up to go with it.

    This year was the 30th year anniversary yet No word in the media covering that fact.

    The 2nd Law suit for damages was thrown out after the judge denied the expert witnesses. Now who was paying who for silence?

    With the multiple options for renewable energy available with no harmful side effects why should we allow any less?

  24. Piffy!

    “”You need conservation and you need to develop alternatives but conservation will not solve the entire process so Nuclear is needed to act as a bridge and other alternatives will have to be developed along with more research going into Nuclear. “”

    Why?

    Really, Why is Nuclear power ‘needed’?

    Is it completely impossible for ‘modern’ humans to not use more than their fair share?

  25. Sundance

    GloLady…for starters how about starting to answer the questions asked to you by numerous folks on another thread rather then hoping that by ignoring the situation it will go away. I have a feeling that even if you get your wish as in the vote it will not be the end of the problem for you folks at URTV.

    Now since you have decided to join this thread here is the break down on alternative energy. It presently accounts for 1 and a half percent of our use. Out of that, over 70 percent of alternative is currently nuclear, and if your planing on developing wind and solar farms then some environmentalist would be shouting about that as well, so what do you propose?

    In the mean time you have to build the infrastructure for alternative energy and bring it online which will take a very long time, longer then building the twenty nuclear plants that are currently planned in the US.

    There has to be a bridge to meet future energy demand as conservation will not do it alone. What do you propose until you can win the court cases that will start when plans to build wind and solar farms are announced, and you know someone will file law suits?

    Please don’t answer with Clean Cola as there is no such thing currently.

    On a side note, when progress’ plans to build a peak demand power plant were shut down out in Weaverville why didn’t hey take the property (the old landfill) they leased from the county for a dollar a year and build a solar and wind farm?

    :-)

  26. Sundance

    PFKaP…Did you not read what TravelAsh has to say in regards to the economy?

  27. John

    The problem with nuclear power is that all of the various forces on it up until now have created a very high per kw/hr cost. Also, litigation on the individual projects will guarantee that a huge pile of concrete is all that exists in a decade. I like the concept, but there are significant wrinkles to work out still. France is doing a good job, but France is not the US.

    Spend the cost of one or two nuclear power plans on solar R & D and we can get off the 25% efficiency hurdle and solar will be cost effective and affordable for small and large alike. That is where a bunch of the stimulus money should have gone, not high speed rail from Los Angeles to Vegas.

  28. oops

    Glolady, is three mile island from where you got your glo? Sorry, couldn’t help it.

  29. Sundance

    “Glolady, is three mile island from where you got your glo? Sorry, couldn’t help it”

    hahahahaha!!!!

  30. nuvue

    I’m with John on his statement, except I like the idea of also developing rail and mass transit in the US. We have to get away from the “sprawl” idea and save what is left of wild USA. If we spend what two nuke plants cost on wind and solar we could have the power in two yrs instead of 15 yrs from now. No radioactive waste and many jobs in the building and maintenence. If we can drill baby drill off shore why can’t we put up about 200 wind turbines out there?

  31. I was nuked at the Three Mile Island Nuclear accident in Pennsylvania. Nine months later the idea for glow in the dark clothing was born. It took 7 years till the 1st pair of Glow Butts the original glow in the dark underwear was created. Then glo for it! Originals. Fashion shows in Miami and Manhattan in two of the Worlds Top Night Clubs.
    http://www.slide.com/r/EDj4NQkmzj85dfZD0OWvTC3hkdR_r4zT

    1994, I contacted the World Trade Center about a glow in the dark escape route system. A competitor installed a system that is one of the things credited with saving so many lives and the reason for Local Law 26 in NY City. International Law is considering it.

    How many buildings in the World are 7 stories or higher? It is a Billion Dollar Industry.

    Being a Social Entrepreneur, I see a way to use the profits to heal the disease and decay in Society using a business plan based on Milton S. Hershey who built the town of Hershey during the Depression.

    These are rechargeable energy that would replace electric, battery, and nuclear powered exit signs.

  32. Sundance

    “Being a Social Entrepreneur, I see a way to use the profits to heal the disease and decay in Society”

    But Glolady, can you really say you are practicing this due to the controversy at URTV? You have refused to do what is right and required by the bylaws which is Transparency to the public, you have turned your back and gone along with Pat Garlinghouse’ efforts to hide everything from the public and censure URTV members.

    Without all that going on there is no way you can say your healing anything…sorry to say that but its true.

  33. URTV_isn't_4_U

    Good call, Sundance.
    So now we understand why Glolady has some cognitive “issues.”

  34. John

    Nuvue – I agree on the mass transit thing too. However, not between CA and Vegas. There are many better places where many more people and businesses would benefit.

    You guys please don’t make this into a URTV thing. That horse is long dead. Start another thread if you want to keep beating it.

  35. wally

    The water issue is significant. The “drought” in Georgia last year was compounded by DOE required releases from the reservoir to enure the nuke facility down river had adequate water.

    Thus drinking water is secondary to power (albeit safety).

  36. Piffy!

    “TravelASh already gave you an answer for what you asked. ”

    Sundance in Mexico: no, he didnt. not even close. neither you nor travlha has addressed the issue of “conservation” in anything other than a dismissive tone.

    It’s funny to me how people want to pretend that Nuclear Power is “green” or sustainable.

    I suppose it is, if you ignore the amount of toxic waste it creates, as well as the amount of water it requires in a region where water is becoming more and more scarce. Talk about a massive blind spot.

    So many wish to hold desperately to the illusion that “Society” can continue on it’s current trajectory of “progress” without dealing with any consequences. Our current power consumption scheme is based on profit, not sustainability. We need to change that before we go adding more short-sighted schemes like nuclear to the picture.

    i agree with the above posters, that if there was as much money dumped into solar and even wind, nuclear would not be seen as a realistic option. But since the embedded powers that be stand to profit so greatly from yet another nuclear power plant are the ones who control the narrative, we have to deal with people like sundance COMPLETELY IGNORING the environmental reality of nuclear.

    PS-dont bring the swine flu back with you from Mexico, okay?

  37. Sundance

    Excuse me PFKaP did you not read at the beginning of the thread where I pointed out that more research was needed? I also pointed out to Gordon that some rectors in the very beginning were cooled by means other then water but the water method eventually gained favor and became the accepted method? Are you just one of those folks that selectively reads what you want?

    I also, stated and have done so quite a few times that conservation was needed but it would not be the end all to solve the worlds energy needs and that additional energy sources would be needed!

    If you look at global demand, developing countries will need more and more energy, global conservation will not solve the issue unless you are advocating that developing countries should remain in the dark ages wearing only lion cloths?

    PFKaP, are you advocating that only the current industrialized nations have the right to prosper? Your statements are advocating just that.

    Those nuclear power plants you are talking about are not receiving government monies…its private investments via corporate coffers and monies received from their customers. More then likely since these companies must answer to share holders they will bring energy methods online that are proven and profitable.

    By the way, I also asked on this very thread how come Progress Energy did not turn the old landfill out in Woodfin or Weaverville into a solar and wind farm when there plans for a peak demand coal fired power plant where shut down…didn’t I? They were only paying the county a dollar a year to lease the property.

    Don’t talk to me or others in a condescending tone on this thread since you want to behave like a juvenile child incapable of reading entire threads.

    As for the Swine flu, get your facts straight before stating that. Wrong coast line on your part. I am on the west coast and there have been ZERO cases here in the state of Jalisco. I went somewhere entirely different then Cancun so I would not have to put up with people such as yourself and more then likely will be staying here.

    I also don’t think I am ignoring the environmental reality when I have stated that more research and development is needed on nuclear power, but that we also need a bridge in the short term to bring other alternative renewable sources online. Do you advocate “Drill baby drill” from that so called joke of a Governor in Alaska?

    If you truly want to see a person who lives in a fantasy world, I suggest you go look in a mirror.

  38. Sundance

    “The water issue is significant. The “drought” in Georgia last year was compounded by DOE required releases from the reservoir to enure the nuke facility down river had adequate water.

    Thus drinking water is secondary to power (albeit safety)”

    That’s not entirely true Wally. They were required to release certain amounts of water down stream to meet other communities needs as well as wildlife that would be threatened by to much salt water coming into marshes in Florida.

  39. Piffy!

    “Don’t talk to me or others in a condescending tone on this thread since you want to behave like a juvenile child incapable of reading entire threads. ”

    No irony there. nope.

    Nuclear power is not a sustainable option.

  40. Piffy!

    “As for the Swine flu, get your facts straight before stating that. Wrong coast line on your part. I am on the west coast and there have been ZERO cases here in the state of Jalisco. I went somewhere entirely different then Cancun so I would not have to put up with people such as yourself and more then likely will be staying here.”

    Don’t talk to me or others in a condescending tone on this thread since you want to behave like a juvenile child incapable of reading entire threads. ”

    I just love it when someone contradicts him/her self so immediately.

  41. We need to consider the possibility of earthquakes near and under Nuclear power plants. What happens then?

    There was a release of radiation to kill thousands of flies in the attic of our home that was 3 miles from the reactors. A film crew for the TV show Real People came and filmed them.

    That was my first experience with cover ups. I deal with facts and physical proof. The truth does not lie.

  42. Sundance

    “That was my first experience with cover ups. I deal with facts and physical proof. The truth does not lie.”

    Yeah…I know all about your truth…not meaning to be mean but fictional comes to mind.

  43. Sundance

    “I just love it when someone contradicts him/her self so immediately.”

    Not being contradictory, you are assuming facts in regards to Swine flu in regards to me, thus making an ass out of yourself…its simple.

  44. Sundance

    and by the way PFKaP…you still failed to recognize the fact that you selectively read the responses on the thread to fit your agenda.

  45. travelah

    Pfffft, I haven’t offered my thoughts on conservation yet, not to mention in any particular tone. One thing is very clear though. Nobody is going to conserve their way to prosperity in a growing economy. Energy sources need to be developed to meet growing demand and that is a plain economic fact. Nuclear is a long term low cost option regardless of the opinions of those opposed.

  46. Piffy!

    T-ha:

    **”Energy sources need to be developed to meet growing demand and that is a plain economic fact. “**

    “Demand” does not trump the finite resources of the Planet.

    **”Nuclear is a long term low cost option regardless of the opinions of those opposed. “**

    “low-cost” by some very limited standards that dont take into account long-term environmental degradation, human health, dwindling water supplies, etc etc.

    Sundance: are you related to entop?

  47. Piffy!

    “Pfffft, I haven’t offered my thoughts on conservation yet, not to mention in any particular tone.”

    T-ha: Re-read the post you are referring to and notice i am quoting Sundance. I was not referring to you at all. Guilty conscience much?

  48. Sundance

    “T-ha: Re-read the post you are referring to and notice i am quoting Sundance. I was not referring to you at all. Guilty conscience much?”

    You mean the part that you selectively read rather then the whole statement or for that matter what was stated throughout the entire thread, or do you have selective amnesia as well?

    and your above statement of trying to quote me is not even me its, TravelAsh..LMAO…perhaps you need to make a trip to the eye doctor?

    I am still waiting for you to answer the question regarding you selectively reading which only demonstrates a childish behavior on your part.

  49. travelah

    Pfffftic, here is your quote …

    “Sundance in Mexico: no, he didnt. not even close. neither you nor travlha has addressed the issue of “conservation” in anything other than a dismissive tone.”

    I don’t think your reading skills are very good.

  50. travelah

    ““Demand” does not trump the finite resources of the Planet.”

    Energy is not a finite resource. The fuel used to convert to another form of energy can be finite. Demand is a reality and it is most probable that those driving the demand are not going to settle for ragtag demands.

    ““low-cost” by some very limited standards that dont take into account long-term environmental degradation, human health, dwindling water supplies, etc etc.”

    There doesn’t seem to be any evidence of long term environmental degradation, any substantive issues of human health and I have yet to see the nuclear facility that has sucked it’s water source dry. Quite to the contrary, if the Algorish nincombpoops are correct, we have more and more water available by the day. Of course they don’t know why or even if it’s true but that doesn’t matter.

    Nuclear solves a LOT of energy problems and creates far fewer problems.

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