Archive for the ‘Renaissance Power Ranking’ Category

NUCLEAR TOWNHALL YEAR-END U.S. RENAISSANCE POWER RANKING

Monday, December 20th, 2010

December 20, 2010
Nuclear Townhall
 
 

Based on continued informal soundings from our growing repository of industry, Wall Street and political sources along with more objective calibrations of key factors such as financing, balance sheet, NRC license status, design certification, market support and electricity demand, engineering procurement and construction contracts, politics, and public acceptance – not necessarily in that order – the Nuclear Townhall Year-End U.S. Renaissance Power Ranking Top 10 tallies its year-end standings, which remain largely unchanged.
 
The U.S. Renaissance flagship — Southern Nuclear’s Vogtle Plant Units 3 and 4 – continues to hold its frontrunner status.  The “Hare” – the South Texas Project – moves up a notch to the #2 position on the strength of its last-person-standing in the government nuclear loan guarantee sweepstakes.  South Texas swaps positions from our October Power Ranking with the “Turtle” – low flying South Carolina Electric and Gas’s V.C. Summer II and III.  Just coincidentally, the Townhall’s “Top Three” mirrors the list of new plant candidates cited by U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko in a early December Bloomberg interview.
 
Westinghouse’s AP1000 – holds at #4 on the strength of continued soundings emanating as well from the NRC.
 
A soon-to-be unveiled Westinghouse SMR – according to informed sources – debuts on the joint small reactor marquee trio, albeit still facing government funding issues, holding the #6 slot along with incumbents B&W mPower and NuScale.  Out for the moment is the suddenly quiet Hyperion.
 
Calvert Cliffs III, with EDF moving to meet foreign ownership issues, clings to the #10 slot.
 
U.S.’s American Centrifuge Project heads the “Best of the Rest” and bears watching.
 
Drum roll…
 
1.     Southern Vogtle III & IV
 
Flagship U.S. project.  Loan guarantees in place. Solid and steady.  Shovels in the ground.
 
2.     South Texas Project
 
Loan guarantee pushing forward in the absence of the Calvert Cliffs option.  Shakes up EPC team.  Merchant plant but proven technology. Low natural gas prices and no carbon pricing remain issues along with lowered load growth.
 
3.     South Carolina Electric & Gas V.C. Summer II & III
 
Strategy of flying under the radar is poised to pay off.  Has avoided being number one in the NRC licensing queue and constructive engagement with DOE on the loan guarantee process.  Small utility aiming to play major leagues. Good political support.  Lowered load growth.
 
4.     Westinghouse AP1000
 
No news is good news.  2011 license approval in the cards.
 
5.     TVA Watts Bar II, Bellafonte I
 
Tangible commitments made to Bellafonte I development.
 
6.     Small Modular Reactors:  B&W mPower; NuScale SMR; Westinghouse
 
With large reactors softening, SMRs continue to be rack-up attention.  Customer challenges, DOE funding concerns persist.
 
7.     URENCO USA Enrichment Plant
 
Progressing under the radar.  Kick-started in June and headed toward 5.7 million SWU capacity. First new U.S. enrichment capacity in 30 years

8.     AREVA Eagle Rock Enrichment Plant
 
Loan guarantee in place; proven centrifuge technology. Deep pockets. Strong state support.
 

9.     Dominion Energy North Anna III
 
Rate-based.  Rock solid credentials. Very competitive EPC contract.  Uncertified technology.

10.  UniStar Calvert Cliffs III
 
The French Flagship?  Down but not out.  Foreign ownership complicating teed-up loan guarantees but EDF to the rescue .  Low natural gas prices and no carbon pricing remain issues along with lowered load growth.
 
BEST OF THE REST:  USEC American Centrifuge; Duke Energy Lee Station; Illuminant Comanche Peak; Progress Sharon Harris; GE-Hitachi Laser Enrichment
 
 

 

U.S. RENAISSANCE POWER RANKING: SUMMER, SOUTH TEXAS ROCKET

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Based on continued informal soundings from our industry, Wall Street and government sources along with more objective calibrations of key factors such as financing; balance sheet; NRC license status; design certification; market support and electricity demand; engineering procurement and construction contracts; and politics and public acceptance – not necessarily in that order – the Nuclear Townhall’s U.S. Renaissance Power Ranking Top 10 – first unveiled in September – makes its October debut on the heels of the Constellation Calvert Cliffs developments.
 
Still leading the list to no one’s surprise is Southern Nuclear’s Vogtle Plant Units 3 and 4.  Playing the turtle, low flying South Carolina Electric & Gas V.C. Summer II & III rocks into the #2 position with the South Texas Project moving up into the #3 slot given the impasse over chief loan guarantee competitor Calvert Cliffs. 
 
A new entrant – Westinghouse AP1000 – joins the gang at #4 on the strength of some public NRC utterances.  Calvert Cliffs III, with EDF to the rescue, clings to the #10 slot (down from #5).  Up by big reactor default are a bevy of SMR initiatives.
 
No Change:
 
Southern Vogtle
 
Up:
 
V.C. Summer
South Texas Project
Westinghouse
SMRs
 
Down:
 
Urenco USA
TVA
Eagle Rock
Dominion
Calvert Cliffs
 
Out:
 
Duke Lee Station
 
Drum roll…
 
1.     Southern Vogtle III & IV (Previous Ranking #1)
 
Flagship U.S. project.  Loan guarantees in place. Solid and steady.  Shovels in the ground.
 
2.     South Carolina Electric & Gas V.C. Summer II & III  (Up from  #8)
 
Strategy of flying under the radar is poised to pay off.  Has avoided being number one in the NRC licensing que and in engagement with DOE on the loan guarantee process.  Small utility aiming to play major leagues. Good political support.  Lowered load growth.
 
3.     South Texas Project (Up from #6)
 
White House rushes loan guarantee forward in the face of Calvert Cliffs embarrassment.  Merchant plant but proven technology. Low natural gas prices and no carbon pricing remain issues along with lowered load growth.
 
4.     Westinghouse AP1000 (New, No Previous Ranking)
 
Influential NRC Commissioner Kristine Svinicki tells global nuclear forum that the AP 1000 design review is on track.  2011 license approval in the cards?
 
5.     TVA Watts Bar II, Bellafonte I  (Down from#3)
 
Tangible commitments made to Bellafonte I development.
 
6.     Small Modular Reactors:  B&W mPower; NuScale SMR, Hyperion HPM (Up from #10)
 
With large reactors cratering, they can’t help but move up.  Hyperion secures preliminary DOE site commitment.  Customer challenged.
 
7.     URENCO USA Enrichment Facility (Down from #2)
 
Not sexy but progressing.  Kick-started in June and headed toward 5.7 million SWU capacity. First new U.S. enrichment capacity in 30 years.
 
8.     AREVA Eagle Rock enrichment plant (Down from #7)
 
Loan guarantee in place; proven centrifuge technology. Deep pockets. Strong state support.
 
9.     Dominion Energy North Anna III (Down from #4)
 
Rate-based.  Rock solid credentials. Very competitive EPC contract.  Uncertified technology.
 
10.                        UniStar Calvert Cliffs III (down from #5)
 
The French Flagship?  Down but not out.  Loan guarantee complications but EDF to the rescue.  Low natural gas prices and no carbon pricing remain issues along with lowered load growth.
 
BEST OF THE REST:  Duke Energy Lee Station; Illuminant Comanche Peak; Progress Sharon Harris; AREVA-Northrop Grumman manufacturing; USEC American Centrifuge; GE-Hitachi Laser Enrichment
 
 

 

NUCLEAR TOWNHALL U.S. RENAISSANCE POWER RANKING TOP 10

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Based on informal soundings from our industry, Wall Street and government sources along with more objective calibrations of key factors such as financing; balance sheet; NRC license status; design certification; market support and electricity demand; engineering procurement and construction contracts; and politics and public acceptance – not necessarily in that order – the Renaissance Power Ranking has been culled into a competitive top ten.
 
Leading the list to no one’s surprise is Southern Nuclear’s Vogtle Plant units 3 and 4.  The accomplished but largely overshadowed URENCO USA enrichment facility, which went live in June, slides into the number two position with the equally unheralded Tennessee Valley Authority, which is hoping to complete construction on two units (Watts Bar Two and Bellafonte One) in the next ten years, filling the third slot in the Power Ranking.
 
In an eye-brow raising twist, Dominion Energy’s North Anna unit three (#4) outpaces the loan guarantee-challenged Calvert Cliffs and South Texas Project.
 
Rounding out the Top 10 are AREVA’s Eagle Rock enrichment plant, V.C. Summer units two and three, Duke Energy’s Lee project and the newest kid on the block – a dead heat between small modular reactor proponents Babcock & Wilcox’s mPower and upstart NuScale SMR.

1. Southern Vogtle III & IV
 
Loan guarantees in place. Solid and steady.  Shovels in the group
 
2. URENCO USA Enrichment Facility
 
Kick-started in June and headed toward 5.7 million SWU capacity. First new U.S. enrichment capacity in 30 years.
 
3. TVA Watts Bar II, Bellafonte I

The Rodney Dangerfield of the nuclear industry but thousands of boots on the ground and on-target.  $248 million earmarked for Bellafonte jumpstart
 
4. Dominion Energy North Anna III
 
Moving up fast.  Rate-based.  Rock solid credentials. Very competitive EPC contract.  Uncertified technology.
 
5. UniStar Calvert Cliffs III
 
Merchant plant but potentially deep pockets.  Loan guarantee complications.  Low natural gas prices and no carbon pricing are issue along with lowered load growth.
 
6. South Texas Project
 
Merchant plant but proven technology. See Calvert Cliffs issues.
 
7. AREVA Eagle Rock enrichment plant
 
Loan guarantee in place; proven centrifuge technology. Deep pockets. Strong state support.
 
8. South Carolina Electric & Gas V.C. Summer II & III

Wavering. Small utility aiming to play major leagues. Good political support.  Lowered load growth.

9. Duke Energy Lee Station
 
Blue chip utility. Load growth delayed. No carbon pricing.
               
10. Small Modular Reactors: B&W mPower; NuScale SMR
 
Feel the love.  David v. Goliath. Customer challenged.
 
BEST OF THE REST:  Illuminant Comanche Peak; Progress Shaeron Harris; AREVA-Northrop Grumman manufacturing; USEC American Centrifuge; GE-Hitachi Laser Enrichment