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The Myths and Truths
of Nuclear Energy
Dan R. Keuter
Vice President, Nuclear Business Development
Entergy Nuclear
ANS Northeast Section Conference
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
March 30, 2006
Entergy does not have
a crystal ball
But we do know
 World needs more energy
 Finite supply of oil and gas
 Stricter environmental regulations
 America needs energy security/diversity
Future Of Nuclear And Hydrogen Is Promising
What is Needed to Build New
Nuclear Plants?
10CFR52
• ESP
• Design Cert
• COL
• ITAAC
National
Energy
Policy
Regulatory
National Energy Policy
• NP-2010
• Construction Incentives
• Environmental Policy
• Yucca Mtn / Price Anderson
Administration
& Congress
Certainty
NRC
Reactor
Vendors
Safe /
Economical
Designs
DOE
Nuclear
Renaissance
Mitigating:
Energy
Companies
Gov / Industry
Consortium
•
•
•
•
First-of-Kind Cost
High Capital Costs
Reg / Political Risk
Earnings Dilution
Adequate
Plant
Financials
Plant Economics
ALWR
• AP-1000
• ESBWR
• EPR
Risk
Mitigation &
Financing
First New
Plants
Validation
• Design
• Construction
• Reg Process
• Operation
• Financials
•
•
•
•
•
Gas Price
Mkt. Price
Environmental Value
Transmission
Financing
Myth: Nuclear energy is too costly
Truth: Nuclear Is competitive with other generation
12.0
2003 cents per kilowatt-hour
10.0
Nuclear 1.72
Coal 1.80
Gas 5.77
Oil 5.53
8.0
6.0
4.0
2.0
0.0
Nuclear is the lowest of all (except hydro)
Nuclear Energy Institute
Myth: Nuclear energy is not
reliable
Truth: U.S. nuclear energy plants are very reliable
90.5%
Capacity Factor (%)
95
90
85
80
75
70
65
60
55
50
1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004
Increases in capacity factor at 103 plants in the last 15 years
is equal to building 26 new 1,000-MW plants
Nuclear Energy Institute
Myth: Nuclear energy is
government subsidized
Truth: Nuclear power is among the least subsidized
Federal research funding by fuel
2005 Energy Policy Tax Incentives
700
Clean cars $1.3B
600
Clean coal $2.9B
500
Efficiency $1.3B
400
300
Oil/Gas $2.7B
200
Renewables $3.2B
100
0
Nuclear
Fossil
10 year avg.
General Atomics Corp.
Energy
Efficiency
5 year avg.
Solar &
Renewables
FY02 Approps.
Fusion
Nuclear $1.6B
Elect infra $1.5B
U.S. DOE
Nuclear is the only energy source that pays its full costs
Federal regulatory (NRC), environmental impact (waste and decommissioning)
Myth: Nuclear energy is not safe
Truth: Nuclear energy is as safe or safer than any
other form of energy available
No member of the public has ever been killed or injured in 40 years of
nuclear energy in the U.S.
5
4.5
4.3
4.7
4.7
4.2
4.2
4
4
4
U.S. Manufacturing
3.5
OSHA Accident Rates
3
2.5
Accidents per 200,000
worker-hours
2
1.5
1.1
1
0.5
0.9
0.8
0.6
0.77
0.64
0
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, NEI
0.8
'92
'94
U.S. Finance, Insurance,
Real Estate
0.7
0.46
0.45
0.29
0.34
'96
'97
'98
'99
0.7
U.S. Nuclear
0.26
'00
It’s safer to work in a nuclear plant than in an office
Myth: A Chernobyl here would kill
thousands of Americans
Truth: Chernobyl-type accident could not happen in
the U.S.
 Chernobyl design would not be permitted in U.S.
 Positive power coefficient
 No containment structure
 Fewer than 50 died at the time of the accident and all were onsite plant and emergency workers
 About 4,000 thyroid cancers are expected to occur but few
deaths
 Thyroid cancer is one of most curable with survival rate of 99%
 No evidence of increase in leukemia or other cancers
Chernobyl death toll has been greatly overstated
Myth: As nuclear plants age,
they become more risky
Truth: Safety and reliability of nuclear plants have
improved over time
NRC Significant Events, annual industry average per plant
1
0.8
0.9
0.77
0.6
0.45
0.4
0.4
0.25
0.26
0.21
0.2
0.17
0.08
0.1
0.04
0.03
98
99
0.02
0.05
0.04
0.02
0
88
89
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
2000 2001 2002 2003
NRC reportable events are virtually zero
NRC Information Digest
Myth: Nuclear energy plants
cause cancer
Truth: There is no increased risk of cancer for
people living near nuclear energy plants
Nuclear plant workers have LOWER mortality than Americans
overall
 35% lower for all cancers
 66% lower for all non-cancer deaths
Americans receive more radiation from natural sources than from
nuclear energy plants
 Average resident gets 360 millirem a year from natural sources
 Average nuclear energy plant worker receives 160 millirem a year
 The limit at plant fence is 5 millirem a year
Nuclear Energy Institute
“(There is) no general increased risk of death from cancer for people
living in 197 U.S. counties containing or closely adjacent to 62 nuclear
energy facilities.”
National Cancer Institute Report,
in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 1991
Myth: Nuclear energy plants are
terrorist targets
Truth: Not attractive targets due to defense in depth,
trained security and strong, reinforced structures
Nuclear energy plants have the highest security in American industry
• Well-armed, trained security forces
• New, strong physical security barriers, post 9-11
• Continuous link to Department of Homeland Security
• Threat Information & Assessment
• Established response procedures and contingency plans
“[Nuclear power plants] are probably our best-defended targets. There is
more security around nuclear power plants than anything else we’ve got.
Its infrastructure, especially against these kinds of terrorist threats, is
extremely good.”
John Hamre, President – Center for Strategic & International Studies
Other industrial facilities are far more susceptible to attacks
Myth: New nuclear is
too expensive
Truth: MIT shows nuclear energy is very competitive
New Nuclear (LWR, $/MWH)
- Reduce Construction Cost, $2,000 to $1500/KW
- Reduce Construction Time, 5 to 4 Years
- Reduce O&M plus Fuel, $15 to 13/MWH
- Reduce Cost of Capital, 15% to 12% equity
- Increase Capacity Factor (90%)
Carbon Tax Effect ($/MWH)
Pulverized Coal
CCGT (Low Gas $3.77/MCF)
CCGT (Moderate Gas $4.42/MCF)
CCGT (High Gas $6.72/MCF)
$0/tn
42
38
41
56
$50/tn
54
43
47
61
-12
-2
-2
-9
-2
$67
55
53
51
42
40
$100/tn
66
48
52
67
$200/tn
90
59
62
77
Future of Nuclear Energy, MIT
Nuclear is competitive with no carbon restrictions,
and very competitive with carbon restrictions
Myth: Nobody wants a new nuclear plant
– and no new plants are being built
Truth: 24 plants are under construction, 113 more
are planned worldwide
Country
# Under
Construction
# Planned or
Proposed
Country
# Under
Construction
# Planned or
Proposed
Argentina
1
Japan
2
12
Brazil
1
N. Korea
1
1
Bulgaria
1
S. Korea
8
1
Canada
1
4
Pakistan
China
4
27
Romania
1
3
Czech Republic
2
Russia
4
9
Egypt
1
Slovakia
2
Finland
1
So. Africa
1
France
1
Turkey
3
24
Ukraine
1
2
USA
4
Vietnam
1
Total
India
9
Indonesia
Iran
1
Israel
1
2
24
113
Nuclear energy is thriving around the world
World Nuclear Association, world-nuclear.org
Myth: Nuclear energy is bad
for public health
Truth: Nuclear energy plants are improving the
quality of life
today
Health
effects from fossil emissions







Health effect
Mortality
Respiratory Hospitalizations
Asthma ER visits
Chronic Bronchitis
Asthma attacks
Lost work days
Minor restricted activity
Study
HEI, Pope
4 pooled
Schwartz
Pooled
Whittemore
Ostro
Ostro
Cases/Yr
30,100
20,100
7,160
18,600
603,000
5,130,000
26,300,000
Abt Associates, Clean Air Task Force, October 2000.
No one in the U.S. has ever been injured by nuclear energy
Myth: Nuclear energy emits
greenhouse gases
Truth: Nuclear emits near zero GHGs
Life Cycle CO2 Emissions Analyses
"Life-Cycle Assessment of Electricity Generation Systems and Applications for Climate Change Policy Analysis," Paul
J. Meier, University of Wisconsin-Madison, August, 2002.
Nuclear energy is on par with renewables
Myth: Renewables are better
than nuclear energy
Truth: Renewables are good. But nuclear energy is more
economical, dependable, and uses much less land
Land required for emissions-free generation of 1000 megawatts
Method
Requirement / Description
Photovoltaic
Wind
Biogas
Bio-oil
Biomass
100 km2 @ 10% efficiency
3,000 Wind Turbines @ 1 MW ea.
60,000,000 pigs or 800,000,000 chickens
6,200 km2 of sugar beets
7,400 km2 of potatoes
16,100 km2 of corn
272,000 km2 of wheat
24,000 km2 of rapseed
30,000 km2 of wood
40
40 - 70
??
2,400
2,800
6,200
104,000
9,000
12,000
Nuclear
<1 km2
1/3
Bioalcohol
Land Area (sq. miles)
We need to recognize the limits of renewables
Idaho National Laboratory
General Atomics Corporation
Myth: There is no solution
to nuclear waste
Truth: Deep geologic repository is a good solution
Yucca Mountain
• Technically sound
• 1,000’ below ground
• Repository in block of
solid rock
• 1,000’ above water table
• Remote location on Nevada
Test Range
It is better to have used nuclear fuel in one location
Nuclear Energy Institute
Myth: There are huge volumes
of nuclear waste
Truth: Used fuel is a small volume, easily managed
You could stack all used fuel from 40 years of operations on a football
field about 5 yards deep
~5 Yards Deep
Reprocessing would reduce
waste to one end zone
• Vastly decreased volume
48,000 Tons
• Converts long-lived isotopes into
short-lived ones (10,000 Years 
300 Years)
• Extends uranium fuel
• Other countries ARE reprocessing
Nuclear Energy Institute
2.4 Yards
Deep
U.S. should reprocess to reduce volume and to reclaim 96% of the fuel
that is unburned in our once-through fuel cycle
Myth: Americans don’t want
nuclear energy
Truth: 2 of every 3 Americans favor nuclear energy
80
(Percent who favor or oppose use of nuclear energy in U.S. Annual averages until 2004)
Favor
Oppose
61
62
49
52
49
50
50
51 51
54
52 54
46
42
67 70
70%
49
46
45 44 44
43
62
55
48 47
40
63
65
58
60
51
65
39
41
36 35 38
39
36
34
30
29
31
33
24%
29
26 24
20
Bisconti Research Inc.,
Nuclear Energy Institute
May-05
Oct-04
April-04
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
1990
1989
1988
1987
1986
1985
1984
1983
Support for nuclear energy is widespread and growing
Myth: People don’t want
nuclear plants in their backyards
Truth: Communities around existing nuclear plants
would like to have another one
Residents within 10
miles of each nuclear
plant:
“Do you favor or
oppose the use of
nuclear energy as
one of the ways to
provide electricity in
the United States?”
Oppose 16%
Not sure 1%
Favor 83%
Several states are offering $ millions in incentives to build new nuclear
energy plants adjacent to existing plants in their states
Bisconti Research Inc.,
Nuclear Energy Institute
Bisconti Research Inc., Nuclear Energy Institute
Myth: Environmentalists don’t
support nuclear energy
Truth: Leading environmentalists worldwide are
turning to nuclear energy
Nuclear energy is the only non-greenhouse gas-emitting power
source that can effectively replace fossil fuels and satisfy global
demand.
Patrick Moore, Founder Of Greenpeace,
Chair and Chief Scientist of Greenspirit
If we NIMBY anywhere and anytime, we should not expect the utility
industry to provide electricity to everyone, everywhere, all of the time. If we
believe that global warming is a real threat to our planet, then the very best
way to provide baseload electricity is through emission-free nuclear power.
Norris McDonald, President
African American Environmental Association
Nuclear energy is the only green solution. It may be too late.
James Lovelock, London geophysicist who developed
the Gaia Theory on which the Greenhouse Effect is based
Nuclear energy is the green solution
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