Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

The massive tax-payer funding for security of nuclear reactors – and this will be just as bad for Small Nuclear Reactors

This article us well worth reading in its full version. Due to problems with WordPress, (the free provider of this site), itis harder to publish this in a ‘viewable size

Nuclear Security Represents $4 Billion Annual Subsidy In US, Trillion For Fleet For Full Lifecycle

This equates to a roughly $4 billion annual subsidy to the US nuclear industry, in addition to the $1.6 billion in permanent tax breaks in the US federal tax code.

Clean Technica, By Michael Barnard 30 Mar 21,The nuclear industry requires, but doesn’t pay much of the price of, several overlapping layers of security on its international and national supply chains, generation sites, and waste management. It’s spread across a hard to fathom number of budget lines, and there doesn’t appear to have been any attempt to consolidate the costs prior to this article. This was covered recently in a CleanTech Talk with Paul Werbos, formerly with the US National Science Foundation, and he agreed that the costs were large and mostly under the radar.[1]

Per reactor annual costs appear to be in the range of $50 million USD per year, with half or less of that paid by the nuclear operator. This equates to a roughly $4 billion annual subsidy to the US nuclear industry, in addition to the $1.6 billion in permanent tax breaks in the US federal tax code.

For this analysis, the expenditures are broken into international fuel and components supply chain security, national/state/municipal security, and finally generation site security.

This will be put in context of costs across the 135 US nuclear reactors that include 94 in operation, 2 in construction, and 39 no longer operating.[2] Nuclear power plants take an average of 10 years to be constructed, operate for 40 years, and are currently taking 100 years to decommission.[3] While these are US costs, they should be reasonably easy to extend to other countries with nuclear generation.

International Costs

There are international security costs for nuclear supply, waste, and materials chains, coordinated through the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA). The US provides the majority of the IAEA’s annual budget, about $200 million USD.[4] That turns into roughly $1.5 million per reactor per year, or about $220 million for the full lifecycle of each reactor.

The Department of Defense (DOD) undoubtedly spends part of its $637 billion annual peacetime base budget on security for the global nuclear supply chain.[5] Bernie Sanders’ campaign estimated that $81 billion of DOD’s annual budget was effectively oil and gas security forces globally, with a strong concentration in the Middle East.[6] The nuclear war ships and armaments of the us military share supply chains with civilian nuclear reactor fuel and many components. ………….

US international expenditures on security total $1.1 billion annually, or about $8 million per reactor per year, or about $1.2 billion over the full lifecycle of the reactor.

National, State, & Municipal Security

Nuclear energy is the only form of energy with its own regulatory agency in most countries, and with specific call outs in budgets of other agencies. ……….

adds up to about $1.5 billion more per year for security provisions for nuclear power generation in the US. That money is not recovered from operators, but should be considered a complete subsidy for nuclear generation in addition to the nuclear tax code permanent tax breaks of $1.6 billion annually.

Over the 135 reactors in operation, that turns into a per reactor cost borne by US taxpayers of $11.3 million, and a full 150-year lifecycle cost of about $1.7 billion………….

Nuclear Generation Site Security

Only now do we get to the specific site’s annual costs. The budgets are even less transparent for individual reactors. There are aggregated numbers, but not individual budgets as the companies running them are private and not required to disclose that level of detail………..

There are three levels of security for any nuclear reactor site, and the security is shared across the reactors at the site.[22]

“The large outer perimeter, called the “owner-controlled area,” is far enough from the reactor that only minimal security is needed. Other than signs, the security measures in place for the owner-controlled area are not always visible to the public. The “protected area” is fenced and protected by sophisticated security systems and armed security officers. The innermost circle is called the “vital area.” It contains the reactor and associated safety systems, the control room, the used fuel pool, and the main security alarm stations. Access to the vital area is limited and protected by locked and alarmed security doors.”

Then there are the cybersecurity measures on top of that.

AEA best practices staffing guidelines suggest 20% of staff at nuclear generation facilities are security staff.[23] Plants have 500–1000 staff.[24] For an average facility then, there might be 750 staff and 150 security staff. ……..

Given that the site pays for 90% of NRC licensing costs and its site security, nuclear operators are paying roughly $24 million of the annual $53 million in security costs. The rest, roughly $30 million, can be considered uncounted subsidies of nuclear generation per reactor. That amounts to a $4 billion dollar indirect annual nuclear subsidy in addition to the $1.6 billion in direct tax breaks for the nuclear industry……..

Small Modular Reactors

There is nothing about small modular reactors (SMRs) which would indicate that they would have lower security costs than full sized reactors. They would have to be grouped in reactor sites, but with more SMRs per site, in order to spread the operational costs and the like across the reactors economically. They would still require full international, national, state and municipal overlapping layers of protection. They would still require high levels of site security. There is no evidence that decommissioning them will take less time.     https://cleantechnica.com/2021/03/29/nuclear-security-represents-4-billion-annual-subsidy-in-us-trillion-for-fleet-for-full-lifecycle/

March 30, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Turnbull picked to chair NSW zero emissions advisory board — RenewEconomy

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull picked to lead key NSW government clean energy advisory board. The post Turnbull picked to chair NSW zero emissions advisory board appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Turnbull picked to chair NSW zero emissions advisory board — RenewEconomy

March 30, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Biden announces massive offshore wind plan as pressure mounts on Morrison — RenewEconomy

Biden administration announced huge boost into offshore wind power as it extends climate ambition summit invitations to 40 world leaders, including Morrison. The post Biden announces massive offshore wind plan as pressure mounts on Morrison appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Biden announces massive offshore wind plan as pressure mounts on Morrison — RenewEconomy

March 30, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Video: Why don’t Coalition ministers visit wind and solar farms? — RenewEconomy

The Federal Coalition likes to boast that Australia leads the world in wind and solar. Curious then, that no ministers have attended an opening of these facilities. Must have been busy. The post Video: Why don’t Coalition ministers visit wind and solar farms? appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Video: Why don’t Coalition ministers visit wind and solar farms? — RenewEconomy

March 30, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Mexico sues US over proposed nuclear waste storage plans


New Mexico sues US over proposed nuclear waste storage plans, Sacramento Bee

BY SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN ASSOCIATED PRESSMARCH 29, 2021 ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. New Mexico sued the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Monday over concerns that the federal agency hasn’t done enough to vet plans for a multibillion-dollar facility to store spent nuclear fuel in the state, arguing that the project would endanger residents, the environment and the economy.

New Jersey-based Holtec International wants to build a complex in southeastern New Mexico where tons of spent fuel from commercial nuclear power plants around the nation could be stored until the federal government finds a permanent solution. State officials worry that New Mexico will become a permanent dumping ground for the radioactive material.

The complaint filed in federal court contends the commission overstepped its authority regarding Holtec’s plans and that granting a license to the company could result in “imminent and substantial endangerment” to New Mexico. The state cited the potential for surface and groundwater contamination, disruption of oil and gas development in one of the nation’s most productive basins and added strain on emergency response resources.

The state also raised concerns about a similar project planned just across the state line in West Texas.New Mexico has accused the commission of colluding with Holtec in “rubber-stamping” the proposal. The state argues that almost every interested party that has filed a challenge has been denied standing and an opportunity to meaningfully participate.The NRC’s mandate does not include policy setting or altering the public debate and emphatically cheerleading nuclear industry projects. Yet it is doing both to the detriment of New Mexico,” the complaint says……….

According to the U.S. Energy Department, nuclear reactors across the country produce more than 2,000 metric tons of radioactive waste a year, with most of it remaining on-site because there’s nowhere else to put it.
In all, there’s roughly 83,000 metric tons of spent fuel sitting at temporary storage sites in nearly three dozen states. The fuel is either enclosed in steel-lined concrete pools of water or in steel and concrete containers known as casks.

The first phase of the proposed New Mexico project calls for storing up to 8,680 metric tons of uranium, which would be packed into 500 canisters. Future expansion could make room for as many as 10,000 canisters of spent nuclear fuel over six decades.New Mexico’s complaint highlights a legal quandary for the federal government. Both license applications call for the Energy Department to take ownership of the spent fuel at a future date and contract with the developers of the facilities to store it until a permanent repository becomes available.

However, the Nuclear Waste Policy Act doesn’t allow the Energy Department to take ownership until a permanent repository is in place.”It is fundamentally unfair for our residents to bear the risks of open ended uncertainty,” New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas said in a statement……..The state first objected to federal regulators’ preliminary recommendation that a license be granted to Holtec in comments submitted to the commission last fall. Aside from New Mexico’s other concerns, state officials have said regulators failed to consider environmental justice concerns and have fallen short of other requirements spelled out by federal environmental laws.  https://www.sacbee.com/news/article250292530.html


March 30, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

March 29 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Biden’s Infrastructure Plan Is About To Put His Bipartisan Appeal To The Test” • With some wind in his sails from the massively popular Covid relief package, President Joe Biden’s next big legislative push is set to bring a far more challenging bipartisan test in the coming weeks. That next push is for […]

March 29 Energy News — geoharvey

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