Monday, July 23, 2012

Nuclear Power Team - Meet the Players

Meet the Players

Missouri Governor, Jay Nixon,  on the left and University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe on the right.

These are two key players on the Nuclear Power Team headed up by two of the best super coaches of all-time Ameren Missouri and Westinghouse Electric.

The reason Coach Ameren and Coach Wes like these two players is that they are fighters. Missouri President Tim Wolfe is fighting to save the University's nuclear science program and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon wants to see a secure economic future for the State. And Ameren and Westinghouse are always pleased as punch when they can post a profitable year on their financial books.

The prize in all this recent Small Modular Reactors (SMR) blitz isn't the Lombardi Trophy but instead a sizable $452 million funding from the Department of Energy. Oh, wait the DOE is a governmental organization, so I guess that YOU the taxpayers are the ones making this all possible. Nice, WE give Ameren-Westinghouse our money so they, a private company can return a dividend to their investors.

And Ameren has also filed revised tariff sheets, that's fancy-speak for 'rate increase', with the Missouri Public Service Commission. They want to beef up their service revenues by about $376 million, which trickles down to about a 14% per month increase for residential consumers.

They did the same thing last year and while Ameren didn't received all of what they asked for from the Missouri Public Service Commission they did get enough to post a nice profit and dividend for their shareholders. Mission accomplished.

So why do I care? Because in all of this I heard zero, zip, zilch in the way of discussions about what we plan to do with our existing and our future piles of spent nuclear waste. Doesn't seem to be a concern of Governor Nixon or UM President Wolfe or for that matter even Ameren or Westinghouse. And first and foremost the Department of Energy whose job it is to properly store in a permanent fashion spent fuel continues to Run Silent on this subject.

The Elephant in the Room continues to graze and grow fat. If someone doesn't take control and stop him, he will one day just explode from this over-consumption. And my friends when that day happens it will not be a pretty sight.

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