Republicans who claim that the Export-Import Bank doesn't do enough to help small businesses should legislate an increase in such support, not do away with the bank altogether, writes The New York Times editorial board. The bank is used as "a convenient scapegoat for Tea Party lawmakers who want to show their supporters that they are doing something to make the government smaller," the board writes.
Nuclear energy is "often undervalued in national and state energy policy discussions," despite preventing 573 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, said Mark Berkman, co-author of a recent Brattle Group report. The study also found that electricity prices to retail consumers could increase by as much as 6% per year without nuclear energy, which also provides $10 billion in annual federal tax revenue and $2.2 billion in state tax revenue per year.
A team put together by Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz is studying operations at the Savannah River Site's Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility to assess the cost of the program. Moniz called for the group to assess cost projections related to the project after receiving conflicting estimates that reached as high as $51 billion at current funding levels. The group, which is led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory Director Thom Mason, is expected to present its findings by Aug. 10.
China is responsible for 24 of the 62 nuclear reactors under construction around the world, according to data provided in the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2015. Russia and India rank second and third, with eight and six reactors under construction, respectively. The U.S. has five reactors being built, but it leads the world with 99 reactors in operation.
A memorandum of understanding and corresponding three-year action plan have been prepared by the West African Integrated Nuclear Power Group for seven governments to sign, indicating their support for a regional nuclear energy program. Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal are being presented with the MOU, which will go into effect as soon as four of the countries have signed it.
Electricite de France on Thursday agreed to buy at least 51% of Areva's nuclear reactor manufacturing unit in a deal that will allow Areva to retain a maximum of 25% of the unit. Under the agreement, which values the division at $3 billion, the two parties will attempt to find other investors to buy the remainder of the unit. "If we don't find other partners we could end up with 75%, but we think that after preliminary contacts we had and after potential partners have shown interest and Areva NP is a wonderful company ... we think we will reach a tripartite situation," said EDF CEO Jean-Bernard Levy.
Great presentations and speeches can be undone with a weak or dull ending, writes Michelle Mazur. "When you nail your speech, your audience becomes your advocates and wants to spread and talk about your message. The last words you utter on that stage should enable them to do that with ease," she writes.
The Savannah River Site Citizens Advisory Board on Tuesday voted to renew its position paper against the storage of used nuclear fuel at the site. The CAB's position, initially issued in July 2013, advocates for the reconsideration of a Yucca Mountain repository.
The protective shroud that has been in place since 2011 over the Unit 1 reactor building at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is being removed. The job will be completed in the next few months, and it is the first step toward removing the 392 used nuclear fuel assemblies in the building's storage pool, a process expected to begin five years from now.
The Senate's long-term highway spending bill that included reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank has contributed to delays necessitating a quick vote in the House of Representatives today on a three-month highway funding extension instead. "It's frustrating, but the only thing worse than a short-term extension would be to allow funding to run out, so it's the best we can do right now," said Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla. The Senate on Monday voted to add authorization for the Export-Import Bank to the highway bill.