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Jan-04-2013 22:04printcomments

Reactor Reax Top Stories - Utilities Nationwide Could Share Financial Pain of Idled Nuclear Plant

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(WASHINGTON DC) - States, Enviros Accuse NRC of Rushing Waste Storage Study, Law 360, January 3, 2013. "Two dozen environmental groups and the states of New York and Vermont on Wednesday accused the Nuclear Regulatory Commission of giving short shrift to a court-ordered study of radioactive waste storage at shuttered energy stations, an analysis that likely must be finished before licensing of new reactors can resume."

Utilities nationwide could share the financial pain of the idled Crystal River nuclear plant, Tampa Bay Times, December 30, 2012. "The crippled Crystal River nuclear plant is now America's headache. The bill to fix it and pay for replacement power may top $5 billion. The problem? The company that insures all 104 U.S. nuclear power plants has just $3.6 billion on hand to pay for claims. Broken nuclear plants in California, Texas and Michigan will vie for some of that money. But Crystal River alone represents such a financial threat that the insurance company, Nuclear Electric Insurance Ltd., may demand that its member utilities pony up more money."

A breath of stale air from GOP, Los Angeles Times, (editorial), December 26, 2012. "GOP lawmakers who bemoan corporate welfare or the picking of winners and losers by the government seldom mention the billions of dollars in special tax deductions and credits awarded to oil and gas companies yearly, nor the fact that the nation's nuclear power industry would not exist if not for government loan guarantees that shifted the risks of construction onto taxpayers."

Indian Point Nuclear Threat Needs Senate Review, Engineers Contend, Huffington Post, December 20, 2012. "Paul Blanch, a retired nuclear engineer and former employee at the Indian Point nuclear power facility in Buchanan, N.Y., and Lawrence Criscione, a risk engineer at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission headquarters in Maryland, suggest in the co-authored letter that the Indian Point plant is threatened by unsecured underground gas lines, and that an upstream dam presents heightened risk at the Oconee Nuclear Station in South Carolina. The engineers suggest that while the nuclear reactors themselves are well-protected, the gas lines and upstream dam are vulnerable to sabotage, engineering failures or damages from natural phenomena like earthquakes. Failures arising from such events could threaten the plants themselves, the engineers argue. The men also suggest that federal officials have been aware of these issues for some time, and that a combination of bureaucratic inertia and official secrecy have prevented the public from adequately assessing the true size and scope of any potential threat."

Costs drove PFS move to terminate US spent fuel storage license: exec, Platts, January 2, 2013. "Private Fuel Storage's December request that the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission terminate its license for an away-from-reactor spent fuel storage facility in Utah that might never be built centered on economics, according to Robert Palmberg, chairman of the PFS board. It was costing the utility consortium hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to maintain a license for a project that has remained dormant since NRC licensed the facility in 2006, he said in an interview Wednesday."

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