…US Navy’s Survival – When US Nuclear Industry Dies…
The nuclear power industry in the United States is dying.
If not in the near term because of rigged bidding by RTO/ISOs, then because of expiring operating licenses. (All existing nuclear power plants must close when their operating licenses expire. The first will be shut down in the 2030s, about 15 years from now, and every other existing nuclear power plant will be shut down before the end of this century.)
Barring a miracle, the anti-nuclear activists have won the war against nuclear power.
While this is a tragedy harming all Americans, we must be realistic and face the facts.
But what will happen to our nuclear Navy?
Can it survive while the nuclear utility industry collapses?
A recent USNI article reported:
“The Navy’s ability to maintain and manufacture aircraft carrier and submarine propulsion systems is at risk.”
The US Navy has 101 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines. More are planned.
But where will the expertise, new reactors, and equipment come from? And who will supply the spares and fuel for refueling?
There are around 18 universities and colleges offering a BS degree in nuclear engineering. Of the107,000 BS engineering degrees issued in 2015, only around 500 were in nuclear engineering.
Who will spend $30 to $50 thousand dollars each year for four years to get a BS degree in nuclear engineering if there are no jobs available?
The USNI article mentioned the Navy only has one contractor making reactor plant heavy-components and only a handful of companies that make flow control, valves, and pumps.
Meanwhile, Russia and China are aggressively expanding their nuclear programs, including building nuclear reactors in other countries.
Last year, Russia had orders for or was in the process of constructing 33 new nuclear power plants around the world, plus 4 within Russia. Russia is also developing and building fast breeder reactors.
China is rapidly becoming the second most important user and builder of nuclear power plants. It has a copycat version of the Westinghouse AP1000 designated the CAP 1400, with ambitious plans to build these units in China and also export them.
China currently has 44 nuclear power plants in operation and another 13 under construction. It has plans to have around 150 nuclear reactors in operation by 2050.
Against this backdrop, the United States nuclear industry is withering on the vine, which endangers the Navy’s ability to build and maintain its fleet of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines.
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Note about “competitive markets”:
The media refers to the bidding in the RTO/ISO controlled areas as “competitive markets”, which is a misnomer because the bidding is rigged in favor of wind and solar, and even for natural gas.
The so-called “competitive market”, managed by RTO/ISOs, covers two-thirds of the United States, while the other third is covered by regulated markets.
It’s in the rigged, so-called “competitive markets” that nuclear power is coming under attack.
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