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lewis_whokeyser 68 posts  |  Last Activity: 14 hours ago Member since: Oct 6, 1999
  • A Japanese government think tank, the Institute of Energy Economics Japan, said a 25 percent target for nuclear power would be the most advantageous from an economical point of view, compared to zero percent, 15 percent and 30 percent hypothetical scenarios that were studied.

    The study envisioned the economic impact of nuclear power options through 2030.

    The report, "Toward Choosing Energy Mix," was released in the same week that the government said Japan's trade deficit hit a record high in 2014, largely due to increased dependence on imported fossil fuels.

    “Adverse impacts on the economy will be remarkable,” in test cases with Japan's nuclear stations providing zero or 15 percent of the country's power generation, the institute said. The government, meanwhile, reported that the country's trade deficit ballooned to a record $109 billion in 2014, an 11.4 percent jump over 2013.

    “Even if nine nuclear power plants restart, the electricity generated by nuclear power for FY2015 is still less than one sixth of its FY2010 level, raising the average power generation cost by about JPY3,000MWh compared to FY2010,” the report said. “Relative to 2010, total spending on fossil fuel imports increases by JPY1.9 trillion ($16.1 billion), of which the LNG (liquid natural gas) imports of 14.5 Mt will account for about JPY1.6 trillion ($13.6 billion),” according to the IEEJ.

    In addition, carbon dioxide emissions under that scenario increases by 45 Mt-CO2. The self-sufficiency rate drops by 8 percentage points.

    Household spending on energy in 2014 rose to more than JPY300,000 ($2547.13), the study showed.

    Household expenses on energy were expected to fall in 2015, due to lower international energy prices, the study said.

  • German Court Says It Will Make Nuclear Phase Out Decision This Year
    Germany's highest constitutional court will make a decision this year on claims by Vattenfall, RWE and E.ON that the government's accelerated schedule or a nuclear power phase out violates their property rights, which has caused them billions of dollars in damages, a spokesman for the court said Tuesday.

    The power companies also say they will also be on the hook for contractual obligations for electricity supply that they cannot meet due to the forced closures. In addition, they will incur higher costs for decommissioning plants as a result of the government's accelerated timetable for power plant shut-downs, which was instigated as a reaction to the nuclear power plant disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Station in Japan.

    The court will not make a monetary award, but it will decide whether or not the government's actions were legal or not, and this will have a direct impact on future monetary awards that will be decided elsewhere.

    Utility companies are also seeking compensation for the three-month shut down that was ordered immediately following the March 2011 events in Japan and for a nuclear fuel tax, Reuters reported.

  • Low oil prices and a better appreciation of the financial risks combine to push back the completion date of the ambitious program to build 16 nuclear reactors by at least eight years

    delaysThe astonishing plans of the world’s number one oil producer to build 16 1000 MW nuclear power plants at three coastal sites have hit a hold point, and it is one that could last for as long as eight years. The head of the government agency that is in charge of the effort said January 19 that it has revised its energy outlook with a new completion date of 2040. Previously, the government said it would finish all 16 reactors by 2032.

    Hashim Yamani, head of the energy agency responsible for the project, did not cite a single specific reason for the delay. He would only say that the government has “revised its outlook . . . to focus on 2040 as a major milestone” for completion of the effort, an eight year delay.

    It was widely understood that the Saudi government was interested in building the reactors to insure its long term energy supply and to reduce the use of fossil fuel on domestic energy production releasing it for export. This amounts to just under 3 million barrels of oil a day or about 25% of its total production of 11.7 million barrels per day.

  • lewis_whokeyser by lewis_whokeyser Jan 26, 2015 2:34 PM Flag

    More funding sought for uranium cleanup at Ohio site

    The State of Ohio congressional delegation has asked the Department of Energy to continue to fully fund the cleanup of the Piketon, OH, cold war era gaseous diffusion uranium enrichment plant. More than $200 million a year is needed to keep workers on the job. About 1,800 people are employed at the decontamination and decommissioning project.

    Both U.S. Senators signed the letter as did 11 of the state’s 15 members of Congress. Pike County Commissioner Blaine Beekman told the Columbus Dispatch on January 24 he appreciates the proactive support of the state’s elected officials in Washington.

  • Reply to

    OT: Oil Drops, US Moves to Cut Supply

    by lewis_whokeyser Jan 26, 2015 9:05 AM
    lewis_whokeyser lewis_whokeyser Jan 26, 2015 12:27 PM Flag

    I always wonder if President Obama is a true believer in Global Warming because he worries about the environment or if he supports it because it increases the size and scope of government and the power of politicians over people's lives. The mainstream media claims he is very intelligent and yet he seems to have many blind spots and an inability to learn from (or even recognize) his mistakes. Clearly, he lives in a bubble, surrounded by yes-men whose job it is to stroke his ego and tell him how great his ideas have been for America. Is this how an intelligent man would run a country?

    Oh well, too much politics...

  • lewis_whokeyser by lewis_whokeyser Jan 26, 2015 9:05 AM Flag

    To say that the action in crude oil has been ugly is an understatement. Since the middle of June, the price is down by almost 58%. The trajectory of the slide in oil prices is quite amazing, and in many ways, a carbon copy of the move we saw in 2008, which sent prices to $32.48 per barrel. However, in 2008, prices dropped from a much higher level, $147 per barrel, and the circumstances were different. The fall in 2008 was the result of a global economic meltdown, while this time the slide is coming from a glut in supplies and dominant producers who continue to sell in order to maintain and even gain market share.

    Rather than celebrate lower gas prices, President Obama has again threatened to veto the XL Pipeline and this weekend quietly moved to place 12 million acres of Alaskan land off limits to drilling. This comes in spite of the fact that the President took CREDIT for low energy prices in his State of the Union Address.

  • Reply to

    Centrus / Battelle Extend ACP Agreement

    by lewis_whokeyser Jan 25, 2015 9:26 AM
    lewis_whokeyser lewis_whokeyser Jan 25, 2015 4:02 PM Flag

    So it did, and the stock dropped 5% Friday. The link I clicked had a time stamp but no date stamp. I guess this was a case of "buy the rumor, sell the news."

    Nevertheless, I maintain that it is good news for the company and pushes the doomsday clock now back to September.

  • lewis_whokeyser by lewis_whokeyser Jan 25, 2015 9:26 AM Flag

    Centrus Energy announces that UT-Battelle has exercised its option to extend the American Centrifuge Technology Demonstration and Operations Agreement by six months from March 31 to September 30, 2015 (LEU) : The ACTDO Agreement is a firm fixed-price contract. The agreement provided two options to extend the contract for six months, each at a price of $41.7 million for each option period. The total price of the contract including options is approximately $117 million.

    Pursuant to the FY2015 omnibus appropriations bill, DOE is currently examining long-range options for meeting the government's need for enriched uranium to support national security. DOE is expected to report its findings to Congress later this year. Centrus remains committed to working closely with DOE and Congress to maintain and deploy this technology to serve national security and energy security needs.

    Possible bad news for shorts come Monday!

  • Iran's parliament has started to draft a law that would allow the country's nuclear scientists to intensify their uranium enrichment, a step that could complicate ongoing talks with world powers.

    The move, announced Saturday by parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, comes after U.S. lawmakers said they were planning legislation that could place new sanctions on Iran.

    The negotiations between Iran and the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- plus Germany, face a June 30 deadline for a final deal.

    But with two deadlines already missed last year both sides have admitted big differences remain on the hard detail of what a comprehensive agreement would look like.

    Hossein Naghavi Hosseini, committee spokesman in Tehran, told the ISNA news agency that draft legislation was underway.

    "This bill will allow the government to continue enrichment, using new generation centrifuges," he said, referring to more modern machines that would speed up production.

    "The parliament's nuclear committee is working on the technical issues and details of this draft," he added.

    A key stumbling block in any final deal is thought to be the amount of uranium Iran would be allowed to enrich and the number and type of centrifuges Tehran can retain.

  • Announcements this week show Japan and China headed in opposite directions in terms of nuclear power, the former announcing that five aging reactors would close, the later announcing that there would be five new nuclear power plant construction projects begun in 2015.

    China Fast ReactorJapan remains embroiled in the psychological and political fallout from the earthquake and tsunami event that devastated the six-reactor Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in early March of 2011.
    In response, its 50 nuclear rectors were shuttered temporarily, while the country revamped safety measures and sorted through its political priorities.
    This week, media reports in Japan indicate that five of the 50 will remain shut permanently.
    The country's popular Prime Minister Shinzo Abe believes a return to nuclear power would benefit Japan's economy, but local governments have been slow to approve of switching the nuclear plants back on.
    Media reported that the five plants scheduled for decommissioning were victims of old age. But they are also indicative of Japan's reluctance to push its luck with a full-scale return to nuclear power, which would include extending the lifespan of older plants.
    On official announcement has yet to be made, but media reports say KEPCO's Mihama Units 1 and 2 and Japan Atomic Power''s Tsuruga Unit 1 in the Fukui Prefecture; Chugoku Electric's Shimane Unit 1 in the Shimane Prefecture and Kyushu Electric's Genkai Unit 1 in the Saga Prefecture will remain closed for decommissioning.
    In a start contrast, China believes that nuclear power is key to reducing its carbon footprint, which contributes to global climate change. As a result, China now has more nuclear power plants under construction than it does in operation – 26 compared to 22, Deputy Secretary General of the Chinese Nuclear Society Shen Lixin said in Beijing this week on Thursday.
    China expects to triple its nuclear power capacity by 2020, Bloomberg reported.

  • lewis_whokeyser by lewis_whokeyser Jan 21, 2015 11:55 AM Flag

    FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank's Executive Board has proposed a program that would see the ECB buy 50 billion euros (38.50 billion pounds) in bonds per month starting in March, a euro zone source said on Wednesday.

    Reuters could not confirm reports from other media about the duration of the proposed program. The Wall Street Journal said it would last at least one year. News agency Bloomberg said the purchases would run to the end of 2016.

    The duration is significant but also contested, because Germany wants to contain the scale of bond-buying.

    A program starting in March and running for a year would amount to a total volume of some 600 billion euros, based on a purchase rate of 50 billion euros per month. If a similar plan ran until the end of 2016, it would surpass 1 trillion euros.

    Too bad they're not using a portion of that to build nuke plants. They could solve their financial problems, their energy shortage, and their dependence on Russia and Iran all-at-once! Oh well, the stock market seems to like it...

  • lewis_whokeyser by lewis_whokeyser Jan 19, 2015 10:50 AM Flag

    In 2013, NASA decided to take time out from creating spectacularly useless climate models, and reactivated their Near-Earth Object Wide-field Survey Explorer programme. The result is moderately terrifying – 8 previously unknown near Earth asteroids with catastrophic impact potential have been discovered, along with a host of smaller bodies which have the potential to wipe out a city.

    According to The Register;

    In December 2013, NASA re-activated the Near-Earth Object Wide-field Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) and in the twelve months since the project discovered three new comets and 40 previously-unknown near-earth objects, eight of which have Earth-bonking potential.

    The JPL website contains more information about the discoveries of various space survey projects;

    “WISE was launched into a low-Earth orbit in December 2009, and surveyed the full sky in four infrared wavelength bands (3.4, 4.6, 12 and 22 µm) with a 40 cm (16 in) diameter infrared telescope until the frozen hydrogen cooling the telescope was depleted in September 2010. Throughout this time, NEOWISE searched the WISE data for moving objects. Starting in October 2010, the mission was renamed NEOWISE, and the survey continued for an additional four months using the two shortest wavelength detectors. The spacecraft was placed into hibernation in February 2011, after completing its search of the inner solar system.

    Recently, NEOWISE has been brought out of hibernation to learn more about the population of near-Earth objects and comets that could pose an impact hazard to the Earth. A three-year survey in the 3.4 and 4.6 µm infrared bands began in December 2013 in which NEOWISE will rapidly characterize near-Earth objects (NEOs) and obtain accurate measurements of their diameters and albedos (how much light an object reflects). NEOWISE is equally sensitive to both light-colored asteroids and the optically dark objects that are difficult for ground-based observers to discover and characterize.

  • Reply to

    OT: Iran Building Missiles in Syria

    by lewis_whokeyser Jan 14, 2015 9:49 AM
    lewis_whokeyser lewis_whokeyser Jan 14, 2015 4:35 PM Flag

    E;sewhere...
    The Chinese Communist Party is purging its security apparatus, arresting one of the country’s top “spy chiefs”. China is in the midst of a life and death struggle among the men at the top. It would be as if president Obama were arresting the leadership of US intelligence and intelligence agencies and all his political rivals.

    Ma [Jian] the executive deputy minister of the omnipotent Ministry of State Security and who sources say was in charge of the mainland’s massive counter-espionage operations, is believed to be close to Founder chief executive Li You who allegedly financed hugely profitable securities trades carried out by one of Ma’s relatives. …

    Ma’s removal makes him the highest-ranking national security official to be investigated since the downfall of Zhou Yongkang, the country’s former security tsar, and signals a likely wave of high-level changes at the key intelligence agency.

    Confirmation of Ma’s detention, first rumoured on Friday in a report by the US-based Mingjing News website which specialises in Chinese political intrigue, is sure to cause a stir in the international intelligence community where he is well-known.

    According to sources, Ma is also closely linked to Ling Jihua , the one-time chief of staff to former president Hu Jintao who retired in 2013. Ling was detained last month.

    Reuters says Xi Jinping has gone to the mattresses. “Security has been stepped up for Xi, his top graft buster, Wang Qishan, and Gen. Liu Yuan, who blew the whistle on rampant corruption in the military, two sources with ties to the leadership in Beijing said. Liu, one of Xi’s closest confidantes, has received death threats for exposing senior officers who were selling promotions to top posts, the sources said.”

    So far Xi has survived and should he succeed we will be witnessing, according to sources who spoke to Reuters, the emergence of the first dominant figure in Chinese politics since Deng Xiaoping.

  • Reply to

    OT: Iran Building Missiles in Syria

    by lewis_whokeyser Jan 14, 2015 9:49 AM
    lewis_whokeyser lewis_whokeyser Jan 14, 2015 3:35 PM Flag

    The Castro brothers were in desperate straits in Cuba since Venezuela could no longer support them with oil subsidies. The Communist regime would almost certainly have collapsed but President Obama stepped in and saved them (without bothering to notify Congress). Why would we want to keep a Communist regime around to brutalize its population? Only Obama knows. The President has gone rogue. He is the anti-Reagan.

    In the Mideast a common belief is that America has switched sides in the War on Terror. We threw our allies under the bus and abandoned all we had fought for. Now we are allowing Isis to sink deeper and deeper roots

  • Reply to

    OT: EPA Punts Major Emissions Rule

    by lewis_whokeyser Jan 8, 2015 12:47 PM
    lewis_whokeyser lewis_whokeyser Jan 14, 2015 11:45 AM Flag

    It seems the Obama EPA just can't help itself from issuing more regulations:
    Obama administration officials this morning announced a plan under which the oil and gas industry would have to cut methane emissions by 40 to 45 percent below 2012 levels by 2025. U.S. EPA will issue new regulations this summer under the Clean Air Act, and a final rule would be in place in 2016.

    This would mark the first time that methane, a potent greenhouse gas that has a global warming potential 86 times that of carbon dioxide on a 20-year time scale, would be regulated under the Clean Air Act.

    The oil and gas industry is the second-largest industrial emitter of methane in the United States, following landfills, contributing 30 percent of the nation's emissions. Emissions from the industry are likely to grow by 25 percent by 2025, and the new regulations would avoid wastage of 180 billion cubic feet of methane, which is the primary component of natural gas, in 2025, Dan Utech, special assistant to the president for energy and climate change, said this morning in a press call.

    "I think we are outlining today a comprehensive set of steps that will have benefits for the climate, for the economy and for public health," Utech said.

    In fact it will depress the economy, kill jobs, and further raise the cost of energy. i think these guys are more of a threat than ISIS! (IMHO)

  • lewis_whokeyser by lewis_whokeyser Jan 14, 2015 9:49 AM Flag

    Iranian military leaders admitted this week to building and operating missile-manufacturing plants in Syria, where it was also revealed that Tehran is helping to build a secret nuclear facility.

    An Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander stated in a recent interview that the country’s Supreme Leader ordered forces to build and operate missile plants in Syria, where Iran continues to fight on behalf of embattled leader Bashar al-Assad, according to regional media reports.

    IRGC Aerospace Commander Haji Zadeh touted Iran’s capabilities and bragged that Iran has gone from importing most of its military hardware to producing it domestically, as well as for regional partners such as Assad.

    “A country such as Syria which used to sell us arms, was later on to buy our missiles,” Zadeh was quoted as saying earlier this week by the Young Journalists Club. “Right now the missile manufacturing firms in Syria are built by Iran.”

    It has long been suspected that Iranian forces operating in Syria are providing weaponry to Assad’s forces. Zadeh’s remarks confirm that Tehran is committed to a long fight in Syria and hopes to turn the country into an Iranian proxy state.

    Iran’s military actions in Syria could constitute a gross violation of sanctions on the regime enacted by the United Nations and Western powers.

  • lewis_whokeyser lewis_whokeyser Jan 12, 2015 12:44 PM Flag

    Market cap has continued to decline, although it's off its lows.
    9 million shares outstanding at $4.84 a share gives it a market cap of $43 million.
    It's also got 8.4% of its shares shorted. Possibly it could get a nice pop on some good news.

  • lewis_whokeyser lewis_whokeyser Jan 12, 2015 12:36 PM Flag

    The UAE claims it is building nuke plants to preserve more of its oil for export. Solar is good if you live in the desert, but you need 24/7 baseload capability, something our current leader never learned.

    Exelon recently announced it may decommission several of its Illinois nuke plants if it doesn't get the same credits the government is providing for wind and solar.

    I agree oil is valuable for the petrochemical industry rather than just gasoline. As soon as there's a viable alternative it should be phased out for transportation. Ironically, SUV sales are booming this year. GM just announced it will build an electric car with a 200 mile range priced around $30,000.

  • U.S. and India talks stalled over nuclear liability law

    Although Indian PM Modi has put forward proposals to mitigate the toughest liability issues for U.S. firms, by themselves they are unlikely to open the market. U.S. diplomats who reviewed the ideas called them “vague” since U.S. firms still be sued for failures of components long after they were installed and operating at NPCIL facilities. In the U.S. plant operators are liable for losses from accident, not suppliers.

    The so-called insurance pool offered as a part of Modi’s ideas would only amount to $200-300 million which is insufficient in the event of a major nuclear accident. Opponents of Modi’s plan called it a a illegal side arrangement that would be a violation of the liability law.

    Also, critics of the insurance plan ramped up the visibility of their drive for an India only nuclear construction program built around an indigenous design of a 700 MW PHWR. The former head of India’s Atomic Energy Regulatory board, A. Gopalakrishnan, said that GE-Hitachi’s new 1500 MW ESBWR was an untried design which has not been built elsewhere. According to the Hindu newspaper, he is an outspoken opponent of any foreign nuclear technology being acquired by Indian.

    U.S. President Obama will travel to India this month for a state visit. He’d like to come home with a nuclear technology trade agreement with India, but right now prospects do not appear to be bright for that outcome.

  • UAE to complete all four of its reactors by 2020

    The United Arab Emirates will be getting 25% of its electricity from four new nuclear reactors starting in 2020, if all goes well. The units, being built by a South Korean consortium, are each rated to provide about 1400 MW of electrical power. The reactors are being built at Baraka, a remote coastal site on the Persian Gulf.

    CEO of the Emirates Nuclear Corp.,Mohammed Al Hammadi, told UAE English language media on 12/22/14 that the first unit will be complete in 2017 and the other three will each complete in sequence a year apart.

    The electrical power from the reactors will have three important uses. Desalinization plants will provide fresh water to the desert country. It will support the growth of a finished aluminum goods manufacturing industry exploiting the nation’s bauxite deposits, and it will power the country’s growing urban centers at Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

EPD
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