samizdat, Dan Yurman asks whether TVA can handle construction of a third reactor?
The development of a third nuclear reactor by 2020 at a TVA site, albeit a 180 MW SMR, is potentially headed for a squeeze play between two of its larger brethren. TVA’s board is already on record saying it wants just one reactor under construction at a time. The current construction project is the completion of Watts Bar 2, a 1,200 MW unit located in Spring City, Tenn. It is $2 billion over budget and won't be completed until 2015, three years late. Once it is finished, TVA’s next project is completion of the 1,200 MW Bellefonte unit located just across the Tennessee border near Scottsboro, Ala.
The problem for the SMR developer, Babcock & Wilcox, is that its agreement with TVA to cost share the licensing and construction of a 180 MW SMR seems to stand independent of the board policy. It is unclear whether this project is affected by the TVA board policy or if it is so small that it flies under the radar. At $5,000/Kw, the $0.9 billion project isn’t “small” by most definitions of capital construction
1. Atomic Insights - Rod Adams reports that the Australian Broadcasting System recently aired a documentary titled "I Can Change Your Mind About … Climate". It was an interesting premise, a committed climate change activist was paired against an avowed climate change skeptic. Both were allowed to pick 7 people that they wanted to visit to help convince the other to change their mind. The ABC would film the encounters and pick up the bill for the world wide travel involved.
Anna Rose is the young founder and chairman of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. Nick Minchin recently retired from an Australian political career that culminated with 18 years as a Conservative Party leader in the Australian senate.
Throughout the entire program, neither one acknowledge that nuclear energy is an emission free alternative to fossil fuels that is as economically efficient and as reliable as coal.
2. Canadian Energy Issues - Innovation, water, and energy: semi-conductors cannot
A recent PBS show on technological advances gives the impression that smarter tech design will make water easier to manage. An example is the Slingshot, a water purification/sterilization device that boils water, touted as an answer to Africa's potable water shortage. This gives the impression that the energy to boil the water is of secondary importance in the purification system. As Steve Aplin of Canadian Energy Issues points out, it’s not. Africa has a potable water problem because it lacks cheap, widely available electricity. Without ubiquitous electricity, the Slingshot will have little impact in Africa.