Skip to main content
Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
 
No. of Recommendations: 1
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a9V3...

"President Barack Obama will reverse a U.S. plan to ship nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain in Nevada and will devise a new solution, an Energy Department spokeswoman said today in an e-mail.

Obama and Energy Secretary Steven Chu “have been emphatic that nuclear waste storage at Yucca Mountain is not an option, period,” said department spokeswoman Stephanie Mueller “The president’s budget clearly reflects that commitment.”

Obama’s budget plan is being released today. "


Guess this is the beginning of the end of nuclear power in the US.

IT's going to get interesting.

Likely the alternative he proposes is a commission to 'study' the issue for the next 30 years.


t.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 3
Telegraph: Likely the alternative he proposes is a commission to 'study' the issue for the next 30 years.

Dunno, Telegraph. Don't ya think it is more likely he will designate a new waste disposal site on a certain ranch in Crawford, TX?
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
"Dunno, Telegraph. Don't ya think it is more likely he will designate a new waste disposal site on a certain ranch in Crawford, TX?"

what type of idiotic post by someone suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrom do the folks on this board have to put up with?

Take it to the lib's bashing board, please...they all seem to suffer from BDS...and PDS......

Obama will 'study the issue' to death, and meanwhile require that nuke plants get rid of the wastes they have as they are 'hazardous' and there will be no where to move them to, ergo, he will force them to shut down over the next 10 years.

He is anti nuke, if you didn't realize it.

Actually, he is anti-energy unless it is magic energy bullets.The only reason he is 'green jobs' is that he will get a 100% vote from those who do the 'green jobs' and get the subsdies and grants for green job research. by killing nukes and oil, he kills the republican vote.

It's all politics and power grab to him. They heck with the USA.




t.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 4
telegraph: "Dunno, Telegraph. Don't ya think it is more likely he will designate a new waste disposal site on a certain ranch in Crawford, TX?"

what type of idiotic post by someone suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrom do the folks on this board have to put up with?


LOL! No sense of humor whatsoever. :-)
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 2
Thanks for the post, Telegraph. I think the decision not to use Yucca Mtn (at least not under this adminstation) was anticipated. Yucca Mtn. is politically toxic in Nevada and Harry Reid opposes it. That alone is enough to kill it for now.

However, I would note that Obama has Argonne National Labs in his home district. Chu seems to be a scientist with solid credentials. And Obama seems willing to listen to good ideas.

I suspect they will take a close look at nuclear fuel reprocessing (and maybe even breeder reactors), both concepts studied and promoted at Argonne.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
"
However, I would note that Obama has Argonne National Labs in his home district. Chu seems to be a scientist with solid credentials. And Obama seems willing to listen to good ideas.

I suspect they will take a close look at nuclear fuel reprocessing (and maybe even breeder reactors), both concepts studied and promoted at Argonne."

Unfortunately, Obama has demonstrated already that his political actions are all motivated toward a dem power grab.

He owes the Sierra Club and eco-whacks big time, and they are anti-nuke.

He didn't mention nuclear power once in any of his recent speeches. Not a peep.

Which means, that nukes will be allowed to 'run their course' but he won't be in there promoting them, or allowing his people to promote them. He won't stop efforts to shut them down either.


IT's not a good situation.

t.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 3
Unfortunately, Obama has demonstrated already that his political actions are all motivated toward a dem power grab.

He owes the Sierra Club and eco-whacks big time, and they are anti-nuke.

He didn't mention nuclear power once in any of his recent speeches. Not a peep.

Which means, that nukes will be allowed to 'run their course' but he won't be in there promoting them, or allowing his people to promote them. He won't stop efforts to shut them down either.


IT's not a good situation.

t.




t.,

Did you just make all that up?

To the best of my knowledge he hasn't mentioned Geothermal either, but a pragmatic approach is to do "everything" that will add to the energy mix. He has made it clear that energy is a high priority item.

Tim <loves getting the cons-whacks wound up> 443
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
"He didn't mention nuclear power once in any of his recent speeches."

But he selected a research scientist from Lawrence Livermore Labs as his Energy Secretary. That is one of the national nuclear labs. I think you know where his interests lie.

And by the way, in the Feb 23 issue of C&EN, both Savannah River and Argonne National Labs have ads for chemists. I have not seen one of their ads in years. So looks like the end of a long dry spell in nuclear energy research.

And I think you can read those tealeaves as well as I can. Secretary of Energy has been telling his labs to expect some work from the Obama administration.

Recall that Carter built an energy lab in Golden Colorado (which did passive solar and solar heating research), which Reagan promptly shut down. These things come and go. The pendulum swings.

But I think the indicators are there. This administration will take a close look at reprocessing nuclear fuel.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a9V3...

Obama and Energy Secretary Steven Chu "have been emphatic that nuclear waste storage at Yucca Mountain is not an option, period," said department spokeswoman Stephanie Mueller "The president’s budget clearly reflects that commitment."

------------------------------------------------------------------------

If Steven Chu has been so emphatic about Yucca Mountain being unacceptable, then why hasn't he pulled the license application from the NRC? Last year, the DOE submitted the license application for NRC review, after many years of research and development. You can read all about it here:

http://www.nrc.gov/waste/hlw-disposal/yucca-lic-app.html
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The AP has a longer article than Bloomberg:
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gytJPJlVId...

Obama's budget to be announced Thursday will eliminate virtually all funding for the Yucca project with the exception of money needed for license applications submitted last year to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

"The Yucca Mountain program will be scaled back to those costs necessary to answer inquiries from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission while the administration devises a new strategy toward nuclear-waste disposal," the Energy Department will say as part of the budget document, said the sources, who asked not to be identified because the document had not been made public.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who has fought the Yucca dump for years, said Obama's decision to cut funding "represents our most significant victory to date in our battle to protect Nevada from becoming the country's toxic wasteland."

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Here is what Steven Chu recently said about Yucca:

http://www.lvrj.com/news/39837517.html

WASHINGTON -- Energy Secretary Steven Chu told a group of state officials Wednesday he favors moving toward licensing a nuclear waste repository in Nevada, although whether it would ever be built is another thing altogether.

Nuclear waste was one of the topics on the agenda when Chu met with state public service leaders at an annual conference of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.

Regarding the Yucca Mountain Project, "it sounds like what he said was positive in that (the Department of Energy) wants the process to continue. It made our guys happy," said Rob Thormeyer, the association's communications director.

But several people who were at the 20-minute session said Chu stressed that President Barack Obama doesn't want the Yucca repository, "and I work for the president."

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Let's be clear about this. The Yucca Mountain project is a political football. The scientists working on it think they have a workable solution, which is why they submitted the license application. The politicians are going to kill it for political reasons. Nothing more.

By law, the federal government has responsibility to develop a permanent repository. They are 20 years behind in having a workable solution. It looks like they are going to be several more years behind. Whatever. The plants will still be able to build dry cask storage for their spent fuel.

If the Obama administration decides to go down the road to reprocessing, that would be fine by me. The spent fuel still has a lot of valuable unused uranium and fissile plutonium in it. It would be unfortunate to simply bury that stuff in the ground when it could be used to generate more electricity. However, there is still the issue of the fission products and trans-uranics, which cannot be recycled. This is only 5% of the current volume, but something needs to be done. Fortunately for the Obama administration, they can simply kick the can down the road and continue to study the issue to death. Unfortunately for the American people, this may hamper the expansion of nuclear power in the US. Like it or not, the coal will keep on burning.

- Pete
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
"Like it or not, the coal will keep on burning."

But they also plan to enact carbon caps. That will make that coal expensive to burn and will cause some older plants to shutdown.

So we are headed toward the German solution: wind, wave, solar, geothermal to supplement the hydro and nuclear we already have. After that we pray that conservation closes the gap.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
The proposed carbon cap, depending on how it is enacted, has a strong potential to gut United States industry. Why you might ask?

#1) any carbon cap will have the effect of driving up the cost of energy, in all forms (assuming a free market exists).

#2) other countries, without a carbon cap, will have lower energy costs, relative to the U.S.

#3) off-shore manufacturing, particularly in countries with low wages and no carbon cap will, will be able to further under cut American manufacturing

If you read the budget projections, Obama is assuming the carbon cap will bring in (to the U.S.) $80 billion per year in 2011 and there after... That will, in effect, be a tax on power. And the Obama administration has indicated that some of that money will be returned to lower income individuals, to off-set the costs that they face.... It looks like a redistribution of wealth, coupled with self inflicted wounds to indsutry.

Danbobtx
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 2
"He has made it clear that energy is a high priority item."

the only thing he made clear today is he will impose carbon taxes because he needs the money to fund his other social agenda programs.

He has no real interest in energy , other than it gives him talking points.

He is clueless on the impact of energy on the economy.


t.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
"Recall that Carter built an energy lab in Golden Colorado (which did passive solar and solar heating research), which Reagan promptly shut down. These things come and go. The pendulum swings."

Actually, the NREL is still alive..barely.....

http://www.nrel.gov/

It almost got whacked, but still going...

t.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
"
But they also plan to enact carbon caps. That will make that coal expensive to burn and will cause some older plants to shutdown."

When power starts running short, utilities will be free to jack up the rates to whatever they like.

The regulators will be helpless...the can try to keep prices down and have massive rolling blackouts...or let it rise to kill consuption (and a few people int he process).

It will be interesting.

So far, all the wind/solar is 1% of total energy. If 30% of coal plants shut down, 1/3rd the country will go dark.

t.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
It will be interesting.

So far, all the wind/solar is 1% of total energy. If 30% of coal plants shut down, 1/3rd the country will go dark.

t.


Or they could just run those peaker Nat Gas plants full time?
<it is already happening in some places, the utility companies just pass on the fuel cost>.


Tim <who has a lot of Nat Gas exposure in his port> 443
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
tim443: Or they could just run those peaker Nat Gas plants full time?
<it is already happening in some places, the utility companies just pass on the fuel cost>.


Or, power producers with NG fueled peaker plants could be shifting to run them as base load power with NG spot prices < $4.50 mmcf. Those NG fueled plants operating on long-term purchase contracts, on the other hand, are in some cases paying 2X - 3X the spot price of NG.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
#3) off-shore manufacturing, particularly in countries with low wages and no carbon cap will, will be able to further under cut American manufacturing


We can prevent this from happening by using authority already written into the world trade agreements to apply tariffs to the goods from countries who are not cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 3
But they also plan to enact carbon caps. That will make that coal expensive to burn and will cause some older plants to shutdown.

So we are headed toward the German solution: wind, wave, solar, geothermal to supplement the hydro and nuclear we already have. After that we pray that conservation closes the gap.


As long as the administration isn't openly hostile to nuclear, a carbon cap is actually a hugely pro-nuclear move.

There are already numerous new nuclear plants in the works. If the US puts a serious cap/trade system into effect, then I would expect a whole lot more nuclear as a rational response.

I agree with your reading of the tea leaves about the administration bumping R&D money for reprocessing and other advancements to nuclear technology.

Just because Obama isn't waving the nuclear flag high in every speech doesn't mean he will squash one of the most practical ways to replace coal.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 2
Steven Chu's thoughts about nuclear power and waste management:

http://neinuclearnotes.blogspot.com/2008/12/legends-and-fact...

"Should fission-based nuclear power plants be made a bigger part of the energy-producing portfolio?

Absolutely. Right now about 20 percent of our power comes from nuclear; there have been no new nuclear plants built since the early '70s. The real rational fears against nuclear power are about the long-term waste problem and [nuclear] proliferation. The technology of separating [used fuel from still-viable fuel] and putting the good stuff back in to the reactor can also be used to make bomb material.

And then there's the waste problem: with future nuclear power plants, we've got to recycle the waste. Why? Because if you take all the waste we have now from our civilian and military nuclear operations, we'd fill up Yucca Mountain. ... So we need three or four Yucca Mountains. Well, we don't have three or four Yucca Mountains. The other thing is that storing the fuel at Yucca Mountain is supposed to be safe for 10,000 years. But the current best estimates - and these are really estimates, the Lab's in fact - is that the metal casings [containing the waste] will probably fail on a scale of 5,000 years, plus or minus 2. That's still a long time, and then after that the idea was that the very dense rock, very far away from the water table will contain it, so that by the time it finally leaks down to the water table and gets out the radioactivity will have mostly decayed.

Suppose instead that we can reduce the lifetime of the radioactive waste by a factor of 1,000. So it goes from a couple-hundred-thousand-year problem to a thousand-year problem. At a thousand years, even though that's still a long time, it's in the realm that we can monitor - we don't need Yucca Mountain."

Those thoughts expressed again during his confirmation hearings. Under Obama and Chu nuclear reprocessing will be pushed, first with some R&D, and then implementation.

My question: sure reprocessing makes it into a smaller volume that degrades faster but even that needs to be stored. If not Yucca, where?
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
My question: sure reprocessing makes it into a smaller volume that degrades faster but even that needs to be stored. If not Yucca, where?

Load the stuff on a whacking big rocket and shoot it into the sun.

Steve
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
"#1) any carbon cap will have the effect of driving up the cost of energy"

But so far the carbon cap in Europe has been almost toothless. So not necessarily a cause of higher cost. Eventually it might be, but often that takes years. Just as the original income tax was a millionaires tax.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
"sure reprocessing makes it into a smaller volume that degrades faster but even that needs to be stored. If not Yucca, where?"

One suspects that as better refining technology is developed, more and more of the radioactivity goes into the nuclear plants as fuel. Then effectively you keep recycling the radio active parts until they are no longer radio active. Finally you can store them not as nuclear waste, but as hazardous waste.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
My question: sure reprocessing makes it into a smaller volume that degrades faster but even that needs to be stored. If not Yucca, where?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here are a few things to consider, which may not be widely known.

1.
Many millions of years ago, in what is now the African country of Gabon, natural nuclear reactors operated by themselves, producing their own nuclear waste. Back then, the proportion of natural Uranium-235 was higher than it is today, such that the uranium ore could 'turn itself on', given the right conditions.

Here is a link to some information.
http://www.ocrwm.doe.gov/factsheets/doeymp0010.shtml

From the article:
What happened to the nuclear waste left at Oklo?

Once the natural reactors burned themselves out, the highly radioactive waste they generated was held in place deep under Oklo by the granite, sandstone, and clays surrounding the reactors’ areas. Plutonium has moved less than 10 feet from where it was formed almost two billion years ago.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

These radioactive wastes were identical to what is produced today by nuclear power reactors. The Oklo reactors may not have been as large, but they operated for hundreds of thousands of years, so they generated a significant amount of 'waste'. If Mother Nature can bury her nuclear waste in shallow sandstone deposits without any metal containers protecting it, or radiation monitors, or not even any Greenpeace protesters there making sure it was safe, I think the nuclear engineers today can come up with something even more effective.

2.
What kind of time frame are we talking about? There are a lot of numbers often quoted. The Yucca Mountain repository is designed for 10,000 years, with radiation standards in the vicinity going out to a million years.

The link below shows a graph of how the radioactive constituents will decay over time. This is for reprocessed fuel, so the plutonium and uranium have been separated. You can see it only takes about 1000 years for the radioactivity to decay to essentially the level of natural uranium ore. Uranium ore is only slightly radioactive, comparable to some kinds of granite.

http://www.world-nuclear.org/images/info/hlw.gif

The fission products are the smaller atoms left over from the splitting of the uranium atoms. The 'actinides' are heavy atoms such as americium and neptunium, which are created when neutrons are absorbed by heavy atoms such as uranium, but don't cause a fission. The actinides are generally safer than the fission products, because their radioactivity level is less. However, because of this, they take longer to decay. One of the actinides to be concerned with is americium-241. Most household smoke detectors have a small amount of americium-241 in them as part of their mechanism. (And here you thought you didn't have any nuclear waste in your house. Don't worry, it is completely harmless unless you break open the detector and eat the americium or something.)
----------------------------------------------------------------------

3.
Below is a link describing what Sweden is planning to do with its waste. I actually like this idea better than Yucca Mountain. Yucca Mountain would have worked, but something like this might give even more assurance.

http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2006/8/13/184016/739

From the link:
The technology is called KBS-3. Basically, the spent fuel bundles are put into iron capsules which are then put into big copper canisters. These copper canisters are then put into holes drilled in the floor of tunnels that are located 500 metres down in the bedrock. After that, the canisters are surrounded by bentonite clay. Bentonite clay swells when it comes into contact with water, stopping the penetration of the water. This is very important as water is what will move the radionuclides if a canister starts leaking. The clay also protects the canisters from corrosion. After the entire complex is loaded with the last of the 4500 nuclear waste canisters, it will be completely filled by bentonite clay. Then the door will be locked and the key thrown away. No surveillance or maintenance will be needed. Ever.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Corrosion is the main thing. If they can find a material to encase the waste in that will not corrode or otherwise fall apart over time, that would solve 90% of the problem.

- Pete
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
Then effectively you keep recycling the radio active parts until they are no longer radio active

Sort out everything economically usable, then store the rest inside the shield where it will catch some of the neutrons thus reducing the amount the main shield has to handle. Repeat until done. Even a little bit of energy gained from the wastes would cost only that needed tap it.

Personally, I'm looking strongly at geothermal. HTM (US geothermal) may not be paying dividends yet, but is now producing output. Same with several others. Best of all for the long term investor, it isn't being hyped!
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Personally, I'm looking strongly at geothermal. HTM (US geothermal) may not be paying dividends yet, but is now producing output. Same with several others. Best of all for the long term investor, it isn't being hyped!


Scheesch you got that right, I post an update on a Geothermal guy that is going into revenue in Q4 this year and not a single reply or rec. }};-O

Tim

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=27481054
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
Even a little bit of energy gained from the wastes would cost only that needed tap it.

'course, gotta wonder, take the leftovers after reprocessing and bury that in Yucca, and turn the mountain into an RTG?

A radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG, RITEG) is an electrical generator which obtains its power from radioactive decay. In such a device, the heat released by the decay of a suitable radioactive material is converted into electricity by the Seebeck effect using an array of thermocouples.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioisotope_thermoelectric_gen...

Steve
Print the post Back To Top