Nuclear Energy
Can We Talk?

US Nuclear Energy Foundation
“Evangelizing Nuclear Advocacy by Bringing Science to Citizens”
A Non-Profit 501(C)(3) Nevada Foundation
PO Box 2867, Sparks, NV 89432 (775) 224-2089 / Email:


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US Nuclear Energy Foundation
“A Viable Alternative-Think About It”
A Non-Profit 501 (C)(3) Nevada Foundation
PO Box 2867, Sparks, NV 89432 (775) 224-2089 / Email:



Nevada Governor Gibbons, Senate & Assembly delegation

The State sponsored Public Town Meetings

Public testimony concerning the state budget

Reno City Hall Chamber                 02/13/10

Ladies & Gentlemen:

Having attended this meeting of public testimony we would appreciate the opportunity to present our position concerning the state budget as an educational outreach. Here is something to ponder . . . “No business operation can misjudge its operating budget excessively without immoral deception.” Our citizens and the largest single sector of our economy, “small business” eventually face NO when they overreach their level of credibility. We have to teach our governments to live within these same economic moral truths.

One of the most significant statements made and resounded worldwide for decades has been . . . Energy is the driver of all economies in any society worldwide, no one can change that. Economic issues directly related to energy are the key drivers of peace or conflicts in world societies. Not "enough" is said, discussed or spearheaded about the importance of this statement yet its effect is a challenge to every country in the world. This statement is not something to be pondered passively but pondered excessively and today development of "clean energy" is the topic of most countries throughout the world.

Nevada has been purchasing up to 60% its energy out of state for over 30 years, only recently changing that factor. How can we be energy competitive? Illinois, the Presidents home state has the largest single number of nuclear plants in the country at 11. The world’s perception of Green Energy renewable sources is widely sold as the clean energy of the future. What this entire industry fails to reveal is that under its best operating circumstances it averages three times the cost of today’s base load energy sources. No matter how it is painted in cap and trade, rebates, stimulus tax credits, it remains three times higher than today’s energy prices. Do not set this fact aside.

We point this out because as your records will indicate one gentleman spent his three minutes of testimony recommending that the Nevada legislature do something for jobs and the economy with solar, wind and geothermal energy systems. They only produce power 19 and 28% of the time respectively. He also mentioned German solar technology . . . in a 2007 in depth story in Forbes Magazine the end run came out that their best efforts were trying to reach a sellable cost of 22 cents per Kilowatt Hour. Coal, nuclear and natural gas sell at 7 cents per KW. For all the educators present at the meeting, this is 5th grade arithmetic.

We took our presentation “A Primer on Nuclear Energy” to Ely Nevada September, 21 2009. Their city and county officials are in the process of discussions concerning the establishment of such a nuclear energy facility. We would like to encourage and Nevada government and representative officials to support and encourage Ely’s efforts toward nuclear energy technology. Our entire state stands to “learn and benefit” from such an endeavor.

The uncontrolled costs of energy over many years have contributed to the loss of many U.S. manufacturing businesses with their competiveness in a cost critical growing worldwide economy. The costs for power for manufacturing can run anywhere from 7% to 30% of their operating costs. If the government doesn't provide "stable" costs for manufacturing energy our industries cannot compete in a world economy. We saw the beginning of these effects during the 80s oil embargo period.

Before our financial, mortgage, jobs meltdown we were talking about energy independence, its importance, how do we get there, how do we reduce our costs of fossil fuels. The cap and trade policies will do nothing but “fuel” additional costs to our energy bottom line. Simple arithmetic proves that most so called renewable energies are NOT “yet” cost competitive. Coal, the most cost effective will lose this designation when it is forced to undergo full carbon capture. This will leave NUCLEAR as the most cost effective 97% continual output capacity fully clean energy source for the future.

“Nevada’s Best Jobs Potential Succumbs to Politics”

Senator Harry Reid cheated Nevada out of Yucca Mountain: No other political move could have been more destructive to the REPOSITORY, Nevada economy and technology commerce potential than Nevada’s political opposition to the Yucca Mountain Project. The largest single U.S. public works project ever, estimated at possibly 100 billion dollars. After I toured the facility my “claim” was, “the most scientifically analyzed rock on the planet”. The DOE, NEI, Yucca Mountain Project Office and ALL of the other groups paraded VIPs and the industry choirs through the tour instead of “Joe Citizen” If THEY had paraded us through Yucca Mountain, 5,000 or 10,000 regular “Joes” the PUBLIC would have changed Nevada’s political opposition! When a person like Senator Harry Reid “calls Yucca Mountain Junk Science” It is no longer political it is personal to the science and engineering community. Therefore, someone needs to respect "tell it like it is"! It seems incomprehensible that Senator Harry Reid was able to convince the Nevada gaming community that the Yucca Mountain facility would turn Nevada tourism into a disaster. In reality this situation would have been the complete opposite. France today is nearly 80% nuclear power. Areva is the primary French nuclear company, they have re-processing facilities in operation and they receive up to 350 inquiries annually for tour groups to visit their nuclear and reprocessing facilities.

If the citizens of Nevada had had the opportunity to learn the facts concerning Yucca Mountain and not having been misguided by the politics Nevada citizens would've had the opportunity to see the Yucca Mountain program as science and engineering as opposed to political injustice.

It is our prediction that nuclear energy development in the U. S. will become a major campaign platform issue in the 2012 election process. Energy is the single most important entity needed to provide cost competitive manufacturing, technology job advancement and offer potential cost reductions to operating the manufacturing industry. The so called “infrastructure” jobs that the administration talks about, roads, bridges, construction, etc. create “temporary” jobs and simply “move money” amongst ourselves. We need to re-vitalize our small business structure to SELL and compete to a WORLD economy. Company profits from U. S. sales to foreign customers will re-generate our economy. We must convert our “talking economy” to a “production economy”.

All of our government entities are talking about JOBS! Jobs aren’t the answer . . . it is MANUFACTURING!  We don't "build" things anymore . . . we "talk" about things and it's hard to expand an industry of "talk" without having a real product to sell to a world market. America needs to recapture the manufacturing of industrial "products" . . . and diversity. We have to re-invent manufacturing in America with science, educated labor and low cost energy to build American . . . sell foreign. Without redeveloping a foreign market we are simply moving money between ourselves. A foreign market returns profits from a world economy not strictly our economy.

State and local governments have a vast supply of craftsman, educated trained and capable people in its retirement ranks. With a sincere effort at organization and implementation of retirees as a part-time workforce more creative resolutions to the states financial woes could be proposed than imaginable.

As senators and assemblyman representing Nevada citizens you should be surrounding yourselves with the best specialists in the field were capable of being able to creatively implement suggestions projects and changes toward the betterment of our states financial stewardship. It is apparent with the multitude of economic issues facing the state of Nevada that some serious consideration needs to be approached by our representatives by thinking out of the box in ways that are innovative to normal procedures.

Below are snippets from Dr. Ted Rockwell’s White Paper “Nuclear Energy Facts”

Dr Rockwell is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, worked on the Manhattan Project atomic bomb program, was Technical Director for Admiral Rickover’s program to build the nuclear Navy and President Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace program to build the world’s first commercial atomic power station and founding officer of the engineering firm, MPR Associates, Inc.

There is already a demand for additional fresh water, and this need will increase progressively as more and more people try to increase their standard of living. Large amounts of energy will be required to desalinate seawater—there’s no shortage of water. To get the water to where it is needed is also just a matter of energy. (25% of the cost of water in Las Vegas is just for “moving” it).

We don’t hear brisk public arguments for and against nuclear. The subject is simply not discussed publicly any more, and it should be. This report examines alternative energy sources and assesses whether they are, in fact, worthy competitors to nuclear. And then it discusses some of the concerns that have been expressed about the nuclear option.

C. Key facts about American LWR commercial nuclear power plants

1. Nukes have up to 50 years of operation in various cultures and are now the only proven choice beyond fossils.

2. 264 PWRs and 92 BWRs worldwide have virtually unblemished reliability and safety records.

3. American commercial nukes have > 90% availability vs. 20-40% for wind or solar. No radiation deaths.

4. Virtually no effluents from plants to pollute the environment. “Waste” is contained, for future recycle.

5. Nuclear fission produces millions of times more energy from a pound of fuel than chemical combustion.

6. Nuclear power is potentially renewable. There’s enough fuel and “fertile material” to last for many millennia.

7. Some European nukes are now facing large “unearned profits fees” for being so reliably profitable.

8. Peer-reviewed article in Science documents that American nukes cannot create a radiological catastrophe.

9. Yet NRC requires mass evacuation procedures, involving large numbers of people and organizations.

10. Government officials state: Predicting deaths from low-dose radiation is scientifically indefensible.

11. Yet radiation protection practice claims: There’s no safe radiation level; that one gamma ray can kill you.

12. Presuming new safety problems, EPR nukes have 4-5 times more steel and concrete than AP-1000s.

13. Possibility of contribution to proliferation of nuclear weapons material remains, but has not materialized.


D. Key facts about wind-energy for the American electric power grid1

1. No mining required for fuel. No polluting effluents from operation.

2. Cannot supply power on demand. Electricity that is not dispatchable is hard to sell, and harder to store.

3. Wind-farms are shut down > 60% of the time, sometimes for long, unpredictable periods, over wide area.

4. Windmills kill huge numbers of birds and bats, some of which are on the endangered list.

5. There is growing alarm that mosquito-borne diseases will increase as bat and bird killing continues.

1 “<” = less than; “>” = more than; MW = megawatts = 1,000 kilowatts

6. Fossil plants backing wind-farms are showing increased degradation from unaccustomed power swings.

7. Local and federal concern that wind-farms’ slowing airspeed may detrimentally change weather patterns.2

8. Power generation varies as cube of wind speed; doubling wind speed creates an eight-fold power surge.

9. Windmills’ inherently erratic speeds must accommodate to grid’s need for tight control of frequency.

10. Below minimum wind speed, and above a design maximum, a windmill cannot produce any electricity.

11. Transmission system has to handle peak load that seldom comes. Peak capacity paid for, not used.

12. Wind towers are huge structures, small output. 2000-3000 towers + spinning backup = 1 nuke.

13. The massive wind-farms in California produce only a tiny fraction of the state’s electrical needs.

14. Towers require space around, with access roads, no large trees, > 300 sq mi = 1 nuke (< 1 sq mi.)

15. 2 MW windmills are 30-story structures with 500 tons of concrete base blasted 40 feet into bedrock.

16. Windmills’ annoying vibrations and flickering light patterns cause traffic accidents, medical problems.

17. Several hundred politically active anti-wind organizations formed in America; more in Europe, like anti-nuke orgs

18. Federal subsidies for wind-power total $23 per megawatt hour, vs. $1.59 for nuclear.

19. These tax-payer subsidies could buy nuclear electricity directly at market cost, with money left over.

20. Laws force some utilities to buy from “renewable sources;” utilities can profit from just the subsidies.

21. Windmills have reportedly caused 651 accidents, 61 deaths, from blade and ice-throw, fires, etc.


E. Key facts about solar-energy for the American electric power grid

1. No mining required for fuel. No polluting effluents from operation

2. Cannot supply power on demand. Electricity that is not dispatchable is hard to sell, and harder to store.

3. Solar systems are shut down > 60% of the time, sometimes for long, unpredictable periods.

4. Photovoltaic (PV) systems use highly toxic materials. Must be treated like radwaste, but forever.

5. PV panels on all US south-facing roofs could generate only few % of electrical output from one nuke.

6. Solar-thermal systems prone to fire, requiring evacuation and potential public health problems.

7. Large solar systems still very expensive and experimental. Exotic PV elements can’t be synthesized.

8. Shade trees may interfere with solar. Solar systems in desert have significant transmission losses.

9. Solar panels lose up to 30%, if millions of square feet of panels are not washed every few days.

10. Transmission system has to handle peak load that seldom comes. Peak capacity paid for, but not used.

11. Federal subsidies for solar power total $24 per megawatt hour, vs. $1.59 for nuclear.

12. These tax-payer subsidies could buy nuclear electricity directly at market cost with money left over.

13. Laws force some utilities to buy from “renewable sources;” utilities can profit from just the subsidies.

14. 90% of world’s direct solar electricity is from one facility, 355 MW peak, 77 MW average, (10% of one nuke)

Dr. Rockwell’s complete report is available on our website at a couple screens down on the home page and is also published and updated on his website at:

The link is on the top right column above his photo, “The Latest Version of the Nuclear Facts Report”.

We hope with all sincerity that our Nevada Governor and legislators will accept and process comments and recommendations such as these to heart in their deliberations during Nevada's budget negotiations.

Thank you for the time allowing us to offer some suggestions in the area of energy alternatives conservative business principles etc.

Gary J. Duarte, Director

US Nuclear Energy Foundation





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