Yesterday, I took part in an Atomic Show podcast on Nuclear Wrap Up, 2012. The participants were
Rod Adams (the show organizer) and blogger at Atomic Insights
Gwyneth Cravens, author of Power to Save the World
William Davis of Atomic Power Review and ANS Nuclear Cafe
Ben Heard of Decarbonize SA, and author of Zero Carbon Options: Seeking an Economic Mix for an Environmental Outcome, calling in from Australia
We discussed the sweep of nuclear energy, including Jaczko's resignation, the new builds in the United States, Vermont Yankee winning in court, progress toward nuclear energy in Australia, and the election of the pro-nuclear party in Japan. The conversation was wide-ranging and fun.
137th Carnival of Nuclear Energy Bloggers is also up at Hiroshima Syndrome. Great nuclear blogposts, collected for your reading pleasure.
My Own Overview of 2012
My viewpoint tends to be very New England based, and heaven knows there was enough going on.
- Vermont Yankee won its lawsuit in Federal Court, mostly on the basis that the State was trying to pre-empt the federal regulation of nuclear safety.
- The two major Vermont utilities merged. Green Mountain Power is owned by Gaz Metro of Quebec, and Green Mountain Power now owns Central Vermont Public Service.
- The State of Vermont issued a rapidly-written Comprehensive Energy Plan. This plan says Vermont will be 90% renewable power for everything (including heating and transportation) by 2050.
- Vermont Yankee also needs a Certificate of Public Good from the Vermont Public Service Board, and the Public Service Board opened a new docket. The old docket contained material about nuclear safety (a federally pre-empted subject). Many people spoke in favor of Vermont Yankee at the two public hearings on the new docket.
Howard Shaffer and I were awarded Presidents' Citations by the American Nuclear Society in June. We are deeply grateful to the American Nuclear Society for this honor.
Looking Forward to 2013
- The State and Vermont Yankee both appealed various parts of the ruling to the circuit court of appeals in New York. The oral arguments will be presented Monday, January 14 in New York City.
- In my opinion, the merged utilities are putting too high a reliance on short-term contracts, and assuming the price of natural gas will not go up rapidly. (Of course, the merged utilities ARE part of Gaz Metro...) I wrote a December op-ed about that expresses my opinions on over-reliance on natural gas.
- The Comprehensive Energy Plan is running into trouble, as town after town objects to wind turbines and utilities and Vermont senators call for a wind moratorium.
- In the Certificate of Public Good, one of the chief opponents of Vermont Yankee decided to file in Vermont Supreme Court for the plant to be shut down, thereby attempting an end-run around the Public Service Board hearings. I don't think this tactic will work, but it is something that will work or not-work in 2013.
A week from today, I will begin leading my course Engineering Adventures with Nevil Shute. I didn't know this when I planned the course, but there's an international organization, the Nevil Shute society, and they plan to make videos of the course. A woman from Boston will drive up to attend the course and make the videos.
(No pressure there, Meredith!)
Looking back at my own year...220 blog posts (plus op-eds and ANS blog posts) are just too many. My New Year's resolution is to cut back some, especially since I have some paid writing lined up. I have neglected my little company, Carnot Communications, but Carnot seems to be reviving itself without much effort on my part. I am grateful.
I also plan to write some longer things such as white papers and ebooks. That's the plan, anyhow. My commitment is unwavering: to Vermont Yankee, nuclear energy, and a reasonable energy policy. However, I have no desire to write even more blog posts next year.
I wish all my readers a happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous New Year!