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Thread: $14B Nuclear Project Targets TX, LA

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    Thumbs up $14B Nuclear Project Targets TX, LA

    Last updated: August 17, 2006 08:21am
    $14B Nuclear Project Targets TX, LA
    By Amy Wolff Sorter

    AMARILLO, TX-GE Nuclear Energy Inc. of Wilmington, NC has targeted Texas and Louisiana as sites for two new nuclear technologies and the facilities necessary to run them.

    The Advanced Boiling Water Reactor and the Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor will be built at various nuclear generating stations and sites in Texas and Louisiana at an estimated cost of $14 billion. Pending approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the units are scheduled to come online between 2014-2018.

    According to information released by marketing information service company Industrial Info Resources in Sugar Land, TX, the five proposed units will be constructed in Amarillo at two as yet undetermined sites; in Wadsworth, TX near the South Texas Nuclear Generating Station; with a fifth unit scheduled for placement in St. Francisville, LA.

    In a statement discussing the proposed developments, Industrial Info Resources indicates that a total of 6,500 megawatts of nuclear generation will take place once all units are on line, increasing nuclear capacity in the region by 72%.

    A spokesperson for Industrial Info Resources tells GlobeSt.com that Texas and Louisiana have been targeted as sites because of the area's need for electricity. He adds that the projects, as of now, are being spearheaded by reactor owners, which include the South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Co. a conglomeration of energy companies from central Texas, and Entergy Corp. of New Orleans.

    As construction for the projects becomes closer, general contractors and architects will be selected. A definite date for construction launch was not available.


    http://www.globest.com/news/678_678/other/148299-1.html

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    Here's an article from todays Amarillo paper:

    Board sets rules for nuclear plant



    By Karen Smith Welch
    karen.welch@amarillo.com
    Publication Date: 08/17/06

    The Amarillo Economic Development Corp. on Wednesday gave Amarillo Power - or any other "qualified applicant" - a big to-do list before it will consider pouring funds into the company's $6 billion nuclear power plant proposal.

    Representatives of Amarillo Power and other companies involved in the plan to build a two-unit, 2,700-megawatt nuclear reactor here said they're pleased to get the conditional support, adding the checklist mirrors requirements they must meet anyway to obtain federal licensing.

    AEDC board members pledged no funds to Amarillo Power, instead voting 4-1 to approve a non-exclusive commitment to any company that completes the site evaluation and environmental studies necessary to apply for an early site permit or construction/operating license from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Once those conditions are met, the AEDC might consider providing up to $50 million in incentives and assistance in seeking state funding for infrastructure or tax abatements from local taxing authorities.

    Board member Rick Crawford voted against the AEDC support memorandum due to concerns about the plan.

    "There are a number of unanswered questions, starting with, 'Do we have enough water?' and maybe ending with, 'Is there any plan to transmit the power out of this region if it's produced?'"

    Crawford said he didn't see the point of endorsing the idea of a nuclear power plant at this stage in the process.

    "It's a meaningless document," he said. "It didn't say anything. Those questions have got to be answered, and I don't see that we're forwarding the development of a plant by voting on a noncommittal commitment."

    The City Commission still must put its stamp of approval on the memorandum. Commissioners are expected to vote on the matter Tuesday, AEDC President and Chief Executive Officer Buzz David said.

    Developer George Chapman, who formed Amarillo Power, and a Bechtel Corp. official called the conditional endorsement the show of public support they need to pursue the licensing application.

    "It's just knowing that you've got the political and community support, as much as anything," said John Polcyn, vice president of Bechtel Power, which would be involved in helping Amarillo Power through the NRC licensing process. "I think it will do."

    The memorandum adopted by the AEDC board is designed to lay out terms for future support, David said.

    "This is the beginning of a conversation and a process, not the end," he said.

    Board member Bob Williams said much the same.

    "It is an action that we hope will begin a study that could result in future actions," he said. "It won't necessarily result in future actions.

    "Our financial involvement and future action or support, or lack thereof, would be years in the future, based on the amount of study that would have to occur before we got to that point."

    To be considered for incentives, Amarillo Power, or any other "qualified applicant," must prove it has the financial resources for construction and operation; complete environmental and other site evaluation analyses required for licensing; and secure an adequate water supply and infrastructure for the project.

    "The AEDC didn't ask for anything that the NRC doesn't have in its requirements," Chapman said. "And we're going to meet all those requirements."

    Chapman said Crawford's questions should be answered in the process.

    "He has an opinion, and it's his own opinion, and I respect that," Chapman said. "All those things will be answered to the NRC."

    The AEDC limited nuclear power projects it will consider to the Amarillo Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Potter, Randall, Carson and Armstrong counties.

    Chapman said the geographical limitation shouldn't be a problem.

    "We hope, right now, that it will be in one of those four counties," he said, declining to specify sites being considered.

    Any site offered up during the site permit and licensing process must be approved by the NRC.

    An offer of AEDC funding this early in the game would amount to venture capital not guaranteed to secure permanent jobs, David said. But if it comes to fruition, the plant could employ 500 to 1,000 skilled, high-wage workers.

    "We are looking at trying to incentivize full-time, permanent primary jobs, not construction jobs, not the licensing process and so forth," he said.

    The $50 million figure "is probably less than 1 percent of the total development cost of a project of this magnitude," David said. "I think we wanted to communicate to anyone who saw this that, if this is right for our region - meaning the community is in support of it - we wanted to send a message that we would be willing to step up and provide a level of support."

    Though it opens the door to competition, the AEDC memorandum states that the first project with a completed application will get AEDC attention first.

    Polcyn said he knows of no competitors for an Amarillo project and, if one appears, it probably could not "accelerate past where we are" in the licensing process.

    - Globe-News reporters Jim McBride and Kevin Welch contributed to this report.

    New plant status

    These are the power companies, their proposed plants, locations and estimated date for submission of an application for a construction/operating license:


    Amarillo Power, after fourth quarter 2007;

    Dominion, North Anna Plant, Virginia, Nov. 2007;

    Tennessee Valley Authority, Bellefonte, Ala., Oct. 2007;

    Entergy, River Bend, La., 2008;

    Southern Company, Vogtle, Ga., March 2008;

    Progress Energy, Harris, N.C., Oct. 2007;

    South Carolina Electric & Gas, South Carolina, Oct. 2007;

    Duke, William States Lee, South Carolina, Oct. 2007;

    Constellation, Calvert Cliffs, Maryland, fourth quarter 2007;

    South Texas Project, STP, Texas, late 2007.
    Source: Nuclear Energy Institute

    Qualifications

    Any company seeking funding from the Amarillo Economic Development Corp. for a proposed nuclear power plant project here must demonstrate the following:


    That it is a financially viable entity capable of developing and securing funding for the facility and its operation;

    That it owns or controls a suitable site, including site evaluation documentation necessary to obtain an early site permit or construction/operating license from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission;

    That the project has adequate roads, utilities and other infrastructure to support it;

    That it has an agreement for installation and life-of-the-project use of a NRC-certified reactor design;

    That it owns or controls an adequate water supply for plant construction and operation;

    That it has transmission capability for all power produced;

    That it has engaged a qualified engineer/operator for design, construction and operation;

    That it is commercially viable, including producing a sales and marketing plan.
    Source: Amarillo Economic Development Corp.

    http://www.amarillo.com/stories/0817..._5359857.shtml

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    Finally, some expansion in the area of nuclear energy.

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    Man, Amarillo is gonna be a terorist target... you got Pantex and now a nuclear plant.

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    All Purpose Moderator warlock55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by St-T
    Man, Amarillo is gonna be a terorist target... you got Pantex and now a nuclear plant.
    Terrorism is the new Communism. If this had happened in 1980, someone would've said, "Man, Amarillo is gonna be a Soviet target..."

    Doesn't the whole "Red Scare" thing seem kind of silly now?
    Consumers are not [the same as] citizens, and when a system pretends that they are, peculiar and even perverse things happen to decision making and democracy... - Benjamin Barber

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    High-Rise Member VectorWega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by warlock55
    Terrorism is the new Communism. If this had happened in 1980, someone would've said, "Man, Amarillo is gonna be a Soviet target..."

    Doesn't the whole "Red Scare" thing seem kind of silly now?
    Two of the largest superpowers in the world not only had opposing philosophies but also armed themselves to the teeth with nuclear weapons...was that just "silly"?

    Is it also just "silly" that there are religious fundamentalist in the world that want to whipe all "non-believers" and may soon have their hands on nuclear weapons? Hmmm, yeah, I guess terrorism is silly. Oklahoma City - silly. 9/11 - Silly. Bali - Silly. Moscow theater seige - Silly. Madrid attacks - silly. Mumbai train attacks - silly. London Bombings - silly. The fact that our borders are wide open to potential terrorists - silly. I guess it's a silly world, and given the current state of the world, it should only get sillier.

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    High-Rise Member VectorWega's Avatar
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    BTW, I like the idea of Nuclear energy. It's too bad that we haven't proven capable to store all of it without it polluting the environment (and potential to pollute the water supply).

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    Quote Originally Posted by VectorWega
    BTW, I like the idea of Nuclear energy. It's too bad that we haven't proven capable to store all of it without it polluting the environment (and potential to pollute the water supply).
    Western democracies actually HAVE proven capable of generating huge amounts of nuclear energy without polluting for 5 decades. The technology for safe nonpolluting nuclear power generation is well understood. Is there a particular example of a polluting nuclear power plant that you had in mind?

    Of course responsible people must choose to build them correctly. You couldn't pay me enough to live next to a nuclear power plant in North Korea, Iran, China, or former Soviet territory. But then again, nuclear plant accidents are the least of people's risks in those places.

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    I like the idea, but here's an editorial from todays Amarillo paper:


    Column - Joseph J. Mangano: New nuke plants hazardous to Amarillo's health



    Publication Date: 08/18/06

    NEW YORK - The Amarillo Power Company is considering building two new nuclear reactors in the city. The company joins other utilities jockeying to be the first to order a new U.S. reactor since 1978.

    New nukes in Amarillo would benefit the community by providing electricity and jobs. But they also would pose health risks to local citizens.

    Since the first nuclear reactors were built more than 50 years ago, the specter of a meltdown from mechanical failure has worried many. The concern became a reality in 1979 at Three Mile Island, and an even worse reality in 1986 at Chernobyl, where thousands suffered from acute radiation sickness and cancer after ingesting deadly particles and gases. The human health toll of Chernobyl will take years to fully understand.

    The 9/11 terrorist attacks added a new threat of a reactor meltdown. Even if a reactor was running with no mechanical breakdowns, an act of sabotage could produce a catastrophe, with casualties far greater than those at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Fast-moving radioactivity from a meltdown would prevent Amarillo from being evacuated safely.

    But another Chernobyl or 9/11 attack isn't necessary for reactors to harm local citizens. Every day, reactors routinely release into the air more than 100 radioactive chemicals, only created when nuclear weapons explode or when reactors operate. Humans ingest them through breathing and the food chain. After entering human bodies, they attack cells and cause cancer. Strontium-90 seeks out bone and teeth. Iodine-131 attaches to the thyroid gland. Cesium-137 disperses throughout the soft tissues. These chemicals are especially toxic to infants and children.

    One only can speculate what would happen to the health of local citizens exposed to radiation from new reactors in Amarillo. But it is possible to examine what has happened in communities that now have nukes. One such area is Matagorda County, the site of the two South Texas Project reactors. Since the late 1980s, when the reactors began operating, the county's cancer death rate has moved from 11 percent below to 14 percent above the national rate. Two additional nuclear reactors also are being considered in Matagorda.

    Potter County, with a growing population of 120,000, already is at risk for health problems. The county's poverty rate is well above the Texas standard. The local percentage of adults who are college educated is low, and the unemployment rate is high. These statistics suggest that many local residents may not have access to needed medical services.

    Perhaps the best way of judging a community's health is to look at its young people. Potter County fares poorly compared to the rest of the state in all measures of infant and child health, in the most recent period (1995-2002), including:

    Infant death rate for whites, 72 percent greater.

    Infant death rate for blacks, 90 percent greater.

    Rate of low weight births, 26 percent greater.

    Miscarriage rate, 35 percent greater.

    Cancer death rate for children and adolescents, 34 percent greater.

    Long-term health trends in Potter County are also not positive. In the 1980s, the county's cancer death rate was 3 percent above the state, but in the 1990s and 2000s, the rate has been 13 percent above Texas. The death rate from all causes since 1990 is 25 percent above the state, one of the highest of all 254 Texas counties.

    Operating new nuclear reactors in Amarillo may put an already-suffering population at even greater health risk. It would be prudent to instead expand wind, solar and hydrogen fuel power instead to satisfy energy needs while also protecting public health.

    Joseph J. Mangano is national coordinator of the Radiation and Public Health Project, a research group based in New York.


    Click here to return to story:
    http://www.amarillo.com/stories/0818..._5342963.shtml


    Here's the guys Biographical Info from the foundations website:

    Joseph Mangano

    Joseph J. Mangano, MPH, MBA, is Director, Secretay, and the National Coordinator of the Radiation and Public Health Project.

    Mr. Mangano is a public health administrator and researcher who has studied the connection between low-dose radiation exposure and subsequent risk of diseases such as cancer and damage to newborns.

    He has published numerous articles and letters in medical and other journals in addition to his book Low Level Radiation and Immune System Disorders: An Atomic Era Legacy. There he examines the connection between radiation exposure and current widespread health problems.

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    I have a few problems with this. First, maybe it's due to length limitations, but the guy doesn't provide many facts regarding the dangers of nuclear energy. He gives one statistic for the South Texas area, but that could just as easily be caused by something else. Also, referencing meltdowns and terrorism sounds more like a fear tactic from a politician than a critical analysis of nuclear power. Finally, he states the Amarillo area has high unemployment and lacks access to quality health care. Actually, Amarillo currently has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state and the city is the health care hub for the region (2 hospitals are regularly ranked as some of the best in the nation).

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    All Purpose Moderator warlock55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VectorWega
    Two of the largest superpowers in the world not only had opposing philosophies but also armed themselves to the teeth with nuclear weapons...was that just "silly"?

    Is it also just "silly" that there are religious fundamentalist in the world that want to whipe all "non-believers" and may soon have their hands on nuclear weapons? Hmmm, yeah, I guess terrorism is silly. Oklahoma City - silly. 9/11 - Silly. Bali - Silly. Moscow theater seige - Silly. Madrid attacks - silly. Mumbai train attacks - silly. London Bombings - silly. The fact that our borders are wide open to potential terrorists - silly. I guess it's a silly world, and given the current state of the world, it should only get sillier.
    Hehheh, I knew that'd get a rise out of somebody. My point was, back then, just like now, what people are most hysterically afraid is going to kill them, is much less likely to happen than the mundane causes of death that kill thousands every day, such as car accidents, heart disease, and cancer.

    Back to the topic; I wish we would place a much stronger emphasis on energey efficiency before we start building any power plants. There's got to be a way to leverage more private investment into energy efficiency.
    Consumers are not [the same as] citizens, and when a system pretends that they are, peculiar and even perverse things happen to decision making and democracy... - Benjamin Barber

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    High-Rise Member VectorWega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allfinite
    Western democracies actually HAVE proven capable of generating huge amounts of nuclear energy without polluting for 5 decades. The technology for safe nonpolluting nuclear power generation is well understood. Is there a particular example of a polluting nuclear power plant that you had in mind?

    I was thinking of the Hanford site in Washington that stores nuclear waste. However, that is waste from the creation of nuclear weapons, and perhaps there is no similiarity to that waste, and the waste produced by nuclear power plants.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VectorWega
    I was thinking of the Hanford site in Washington that stores nuclear waste. However, that is waste from the creation of nuclear weapons, and perhaps there is no similiarity to that waste, and the waste produced by nuclear power plants.
    There has never been a single problem resulting from waste generated by US commercial nuclear power plants. (Unless some container fell on someone). Nuclear waste is not some magical entity. It is better understood than many popular foods. Our understanding of its safe storage has been time tested to be true. The "problems" that Yucca Mountain was supposed to solve, were the security risk (which, as measured by decades of past experience, is essentially zero) and the loss of real estate by ever growing on-site storage.

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    Comanche Peak nuclear power plant turns 20, uneventfully
    03:07 PM CDT on Sunday, August 15, 2010
    By ELIZABETH SOUDER / The Dallas Morning News
    esouder@dallasnews.com
    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont...n1.e452c1.html

    Twenty years ago, on the day the Comanche Peak nuclear power plant began making juice, some environmental activists fretted that if the plant ever ran at full power, it would create a meltdown.

    And some nuclear industry boosters said nuclear power could make electricity cheaper.

    As Energy Future Holdings' nuclear plant celebrates two decades of making electricity, there's never been a disaster, even as the plants run full-tilt. And electricity prices in Texas are higher than the national average.

    "You know, going back 20 years with the industry, there was a lot of fear at the time," said Rafael Flores, the company's chief nuclear officer. "We really don't take anything for granted."

    "I think we've been lucky," said Karen Hadden, executive director of the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development Coalition. She has been working to stop nuclear power production in Texas for decades.

    The history of Comanche Peak, in Somervell County southwest of Fort Worth, is a history of predictions that didn't come true.

    Now, EFH is proposing building two new reactors. It will take a few more decades to see whether company officials and anti-nuke activists have gotten any better at forecasting.

    When construction on Comanche Peak began in 1974, TU Electric (the former name of EFH) estimated that it would take five years to build and cost $779 million. It took 15 years and $9.1 billion.

    ...

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    Administrator tamtagon's Avatar
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    Seems like nuclear power plants in the Panhandle and South Plains would create an outstanding companion to the wind farms. Transporting the nuclear 'waste' to nearby existing & potential containment facilities would be less problematic and the steady flow of electricity would maximize the ongoing $7 billion construction of transmission lines to the I-35 Corridor population centers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tamtagon View Post
    Seems like nuclear power plants in the Panhandle and South Plains would create an outstanding companion to the wind farms. Transporting the nuclear 'waste' to nearby existing & potential containment facilities would be less problematic and the steady flow of electricity would maximize the ongoing $7 billion construction of transmission lines to the I-35 Corridor population centers.
    "existing containment facilities"??

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    Administrator tamtagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tucy View Post
    "existing containment facilities"??
    Andrews County, just on the other side of Midland-Odessa. Dallas Billionaire Harold Simmons owns Waste Control Specialists, the company operating the nuclear waste dump.

    http://www.tceq.texas.gov/permitting...cense_app.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by tamtagon View Post
    Andrews County, just on the other side of Midland-Odessa. Dallas Billionaire Harold Simmons owns Waste Control Specialists, the company operating the nuclear waste dump.

    http://www.tceq.texas.gov/permitting...cense_app.html
    I see. Low Level Radioactive Waste. I thought you were talking about spent fuel disposal.

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    Administrator tamtagon's Avatar
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    Where there's smoke there's fire.... Energy is a fantastic commodity to be exported from the Panhandle, and if a power plant is approved, the folks in Deaf Smith County might also agree to a small spent fuel disposal facility in the gigantic salt forms underground - only Yucca Mountain was (eventually) determined to be a better disposal site than Deaf Smith County. Unless the safety concerns of having the trash can so close to the generators is greater than the safety concerns of shipping radioactive material a thousand miles by train, the power plants should be built near the waste containment facilities. Start with natural gas and coal gasification powered generators, add nuclear after time.

    As long as the power plants are working safely, continue to build. The power lines can and should run to Denver, too. Build a strong bridge between the two power grids, too.

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    High-Rise Member eirin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tamtagon View Post
    As long as the power plants are working safely, continue to build. The power lines can and should run to Denver, too. Build a strong bridge between the two power grids, too.
    Like this? http://www.tresamigasllc.com/
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    Administrator tamtagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eirin View Post
    Absolutely! Clovis is just down the road from Hereford - get 'em hooked up. Electricity should be managed just like any of the other commodities from the region - vegetables, grains, cotton, cattle, electricity. T.Boone Pickens has been trying to find a way to make money from his Eastern Panhandle Ogallala water rights for years, and the answer is steam generators.

    The nuclear and natural gas power plants provide the steady baseline flow of electricity from the country to the cities, and wind farms all along the way feed into the transmission lines. As this export from the Panhandle grows, the trunk transmission line could even become viable for conversion to superconducting cables primary distribution points.

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