The Politics of Nuclear Power

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Dezember 1990



Several individuals noted the potentially important civilian uses of atomic energy shortly after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. That year J. Robert Oppenheimer told a national radio audience that "in the near future" it would be possible to generate profitable electric power from "controlled nuclear chain reaction units" (reactors). It was suggested that, after fIfteen to twenty-five years of development, mature nuclear technology could provide virtually inexhaustible, cheap energy given the abundance of nuclear fuel. Admiral Lewis Strauss, the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, stated that atomic power would generate electricity "too cheap to meter" (A statement that, according to Brookhaven National Laboratories' physicist Herbert Kouts, immediately "caused consternation among his technical advisors" [Kouts, 1983: 3)). For a brief period it was thought that airplanes would fly using atomic power, and homes would install small nuclear reactors for heat and hot water. 1950s and early 1960s a small number of prototype nuclear In the reactors came on line in the United States. The first power plant protoype reactor began operation in Shippingport, Pennsylvania in 1957. It was followed by the Dresden 1 unit near Chicago in 1959, the Yankee plant in Rowe, Massachusetts (1960), and the Indian Point (New York) and Big Rock Point (Michigan) plants in 1%2. These five plants had a combined 800 megawatts (800 MW), or less than one generating capacity ofless than percent of the total American electricity generating capacity in 1962.


1. Introduction.- Technological Factors: Discoveries, Uncertainties, and Limits on Safety Strategies.- Discoveries and Uncertainties.- Limits on Safety Strategies.- Economic Factors: Shifting Electricity Demand and Financing Problems.- Shifting Electricity Demand.- Financing Problems.- Managerial Factors.- Political Attitudes.- Differences in Scientific and Broader Public Attitudes.- The Decline in Public Support for Nuclear Power.- Summary and Outline of the Book.-
2. Shoreham's Beginnings.- The Early Development of Nuclear Power.- Early Federal Support for Nuclear Power.- Developmental Problems.- Liabilities from Nuclear Accidents.- Economic Problems.- The Surge in Orders.- The Decision to Build Shoreham.- Basic Design of the Plant.- Key Early Decisions.- LILCO's Selection of a Reactor and Containment System.- The Decision to Use Stone and Webster as Construction Manager and Architect/Engineer.- The Decision to Increase Shoreham's Generating Capacity.- Summary.- Appendix to Chapter 2.-
3. The early Politics of Shoreham.- The Contrasting Reactions to Shoreham and Lloyd Harbor.- The Purpose of AEC/NRC Hearings.- The Licensing Process.- Shoreham's Hearings.- Two Views of the Hearings.- Appendix to Chapter 3.-
4. Shoreham's Contruction.- The Review of Construction.- Oversight by LILCO's Board of Directors and Others.- LILCO's Management of the Regulatory System.- New Piping Standards.- Pipe Break Outside Containment.- The Pressure Suppression Issue.- The Size of the Reactor Building.- LILCO's Relations with the NRC.- The Failure of Engineering to Support Construction.- The Decision to Suspend Engineering.- The Dispersion of the Stone and Webster Site Team.- The Effects of the Engineering Lag: Two Examples.- Metal Embedments.- Field-Generated Engineering Changes.- LILCO's Relationship with Stone and Webster.- Labor Productivity.- The Failure of the Diesel Generators.- Disallowance of Costs.- Appendix to Chapter 4.-
5. The Emergency Planning Controversy.- The Strengthening of Planning Requirements.- The County's Split with LILCO.- Early Cooperation.- The County's Withdrawal from Planning.- The Marburger Panel.- The Issue of Plant Safety.- Radiation Risk.- The Likelihood of Major Radiation Release.- Panel's Conclusions Regarding Low-Level Radiation.- Panel's Conclusions Regarding LILCO's Ability to Manage the Plant Safely.- Panel's Conclusions Regarding Construction Quality.- The Issue of Shoreham's Economic Value.- The Issue of State Intervention in Emergency Planning.- Impact of the Fact-Finding Panel.- LILCO's Tax Maneuver and Cohalan's Switch.- The Federal Test of Emergency Planning.- The Federal Response to State and Local Opposition.- Appendix to Chapter 5.-
6. Takeover, Settlement, or Shoreham?.- The Establishment of the Long Island Power Authority.- Takeover or Negotiated Settlement?.- Negotiations.- The Settlement.- Projected Costs of the Settlement and Alternatives.- Appendix to Chapter 6.-
7. The Politics of Settling Shoreham.- The Reactions to the Settlement.- LILCO's Progress in Licensing Shoreham.- Legislative Action on the Settlement.- The RICO Suit.- The Initial Verdict and Attempts to Settle the Suit.- Judge Weinstein's Dismissal of the RICO Case.- The Revised Shoreham Settlement.- The Federal Government's Opposition to the Settlement.- The Administration's Opposition to the Settlement.- The Congressional Reaction to the Settlement.- The Economic Evaluation of the Settlement.- Planning Horizon and Financing.- Planning Horizon.- Financing.- Reliability.- Maintenance, Oil, and Other Costs.- Operating and Maintenance Cost.- Future Price of Oil.- Cost of Settlement's Conservation Programs.- Book Life of Investments and Decommissioning.- The Revised Comparison of the Settlement and Shoreham.- The Denouement at Shoreham.- Conclusion.- Appendix to Chapter 7.-
8. Conclusion.- LILCO'S Problems and Changes.- LILCO Managed Its Way into Much of the Crisis.- Electricity Demand Softened as Shoreham Neared Completion.- LlLCO's High Electricity Rates Damaged Its Credibility.- The Movement to Eliminate LILCO.- LILCO's Organizational Performance Improved in the Mid-1980s.- State and Local Opposition.- Policy, Personal Stakes, and Decision Momentum.- References.- Appendix: Chronology of Significant Events in the Shoreham Project.
EAN: 9780792310358
ISBN: 0792310357
Untertitel: A History of the Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant. 1991. Auflage. Book. Sprache: Englisch.
Verlag: Springer
Erscheinungsdatum: Dezember 1990
Seitenanzahl: 282 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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