Bloomberg: Thousands Protest Merkel’s Nuclear Plans in German Capital
‘Sept. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Tens of thousands of protesters opposed to nuclear power marched through downtown Berlin to show their dissatisfaction with German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s plan to extend the running time of atomic reactors. About 100,000 people took part in the protest, which marched past the Federal Chancellery, where Merkel has her office, Christoph Bautz, a spokesman for the organizers, said in a telephone interview. Berlin police spokeswoman Claudia Frank said the number exceeded the 30,000 demonstrators expected by organizers. She declined to give a more precise estimate. Merkel’s governing coalition agreed on Sept. 5 to prolong the lifespan of German nuclear power plants by as much as 14 years in exchange for renewable-energy funding. Merkel’s Cabinet will consider the extension on Sept. 28. The agreement amounts to a repeal of a 2002 law that would force the closure of all nuclear plants by about 2022, a key plank in Merkel’s 2009 re-election campaign. Backing for the chancellor’s Christian Democratic Union and its CSU Bavarian ally slid 1 percentage point to 30 percent in a Forsa poll published Sept. 15, giving her coalition with the Free Democrats a combined 35 percent. That’s almost 14 points below the level at last September’s election.’

Focus Taiwan: Activists tout anti-nuclear policy, renewable energy at forum
‘Taipei, Sept. 18 (CNA) Nuclear power is not a good option for energy production, even as some advocate a "nuclear renaissance" to curb carbon emissions, anti-nuclear activists and scholars said at a forum Saturday. Speaking on the first of the two-day No Nuke Asia Forum, Lee Heonseok, a representative of South Korea's Energy Justice Action, said that due to concerns over climate change, countries around the world are promoting carbon emission reduction and renewable energy. Nuclear power, once seen as a threat to the environment, has resurfaced as a feasible option for some, including Japan and South Korea, because it does not generate high emission levels. According to Lee, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak announced in 2008 that the country would increase nuclear power's share of total energy production in Korea to 59 percent by 2030 even though that share has steadily declined since its peak of 58 percent in the 1980s to 35 percent today. Nuclear power, however, still presents a wide range of problems, argued Kao Cheng-yen, a professor of environmental engineering at National Taiwan University. Citing Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore, Kao said that the construction of a nuclear power plant was the most costly and time consuming of all power generating methods."The construction of (Taiwan's) Fourth Nuclear Power Plant has cost NT$273.7 billion (US$8.6 billion), " far exceeding the project's original budget of NT$169.7 billion, he said.’

San Francisco Examiner: MIT Study Funded by Nuclear Industry Fantasies says Nuclear Information Service
‘The Nuclear Information Resource Service (NIRS) points out conflicts of interests and blatant miscalculations in a recent recommendation made by the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The recommendations were made were that U.S. taxpayers should subsidize 7-10 new nuclear reactors sure to cost between 10 and 15 billion each to cost about one hundred billion dollars. The recommendation was made in a new report released called The Future of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle. The Executive Director for the NIRS released a statement that the MIT study acknowledges "generous financial support from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and from Idaho National Laboratory, the Nuclear Energy Institute, Areva, GEHitachi, Westinghouse, Energy Solutions, and Nuclear Assurance Corporation." According to a press release from the NIRS, the MIT recommendation is based on an estimated construction cost of $4,000/kilowatt, or about $4 billion for a 1,000 Megawatt reactor when real world estimates are ranging between $6,000- $9,000 Kwh—or 50% to more than 100% higher than MIT’s study.

Your Industry News: US new build plans delayed
‘Plans for new nuclear build in the USA have been delayed due to a lack of demand for electricity, according to the head of the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI). Nevertheless,TVA's forward planning sees it increasing its nuclear capacity over the next 20 years. Speaking in London at the Annual Symposium of the World Nuclear Association, NEI President and CEO Marvin Fertel told the meeting that the economic downturn, along with a decline in the price of natural gas, has caused forward power prices to fall to levels well below those previously predicted. The country now faces a similar situation to the past 15 years, during which time 320 GWe of gas-fired plant capacity was built, compared with a total of only 20 GWe of capacity from all other forms of generation. "Gas is going to be the dominant part of the new supply source," Fertel said. Although 13 combined construction and operating licence (COL) applications, representing 22 new nuclear reactors, are under active review by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Fertel said that the industry is not expecting construction to begin on so many reactors in the near future. If four to eight reactors would start up by 2020, this would be a "successful start" to new nuclear construction.’