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How is it that the US taxpayer is paying for research and development (R&D) for French State owned AREVA, Japanese Toshiba and Hitachi, and Nuclear Utilties via a US DOE contract given to the utility industry’s research arm, the EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute)? Can’t they pay for their own research and development? How is it that companies that make the nuclear fuel, make the casks, and own and/or operate nuclear utilities are paid by the US Department of Energy to study dry cask storage of high burnup spent nuclear fuel? It turns out that EPRI was contracted by the US government to do dry storage research in 1984, as well, placing in question at least some, and perhaps all of the research into dry cask storage.[1] And, it seems that the purpose for creating the EPRI, in 1973, was “to manage a broad public-private collaborative research program on behalf of the electric utility industry.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_Power_Research_Institute
EPRI is currently part of the consortium of contractors paid to operate the Idaho National Lab (IDL), too! [2] The utility companies are paid to run a US National Lab! It’s already bad enough, and a terrible waste of money, that public labs are run by private contractors, but this is outrageous. At the dawn of the nuclear age, the private sector was allegedly hired, because the government lacked the expertise. That was over 70 years ago.

In a review of Franz Neumann’s “Behemoth: The Structure and Function of National Socialism 1933-1944“, C. Wright Mills said that “Powerful corporations demand guarantees and subsidies from the state” [3]

The EPRI itself states that “almost all SNF being loaded in the U.S. is now high burnup. Since high burnup SNF has different mechanical properties than lower burnup SNF, industry needs additional data on high burnup SNF under typical conditions.” In other words, they don’t know much about high burn up fuel and are not certain that they can store it safely, and keep making it anyway!

They elaborate in two footnotes: “The project is often called ‘the High Burnup Dry Storage Research Project; (HDRP) throughout this Test Plan. The EPRI team includes AREVA Federal Services, Transnuclear, Dominion Virginia Power, AREVA Fuels, and Westinghouse Fuels. A potential additional team member responsible for high burnup rod shipment will be identified in the future.http://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/03/f8/HBUDry%20StrgeCaskRDfinalDemoTestPlanRev9.PDF Westinghouse is Toshiba. Transnuclear is Areva.

They state right up front that the purpose is to “provide confirmatory data for model validation and potential improvement, provide input to future SNF dry storage cask design, support license renewals and new licenses for Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installations (ISFSIs), and support transportation licensing for high burnup SNF.http://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/03/f8/HBUDry%20StrgeCaskRDfinalDemoTestPlanRev9.PDF The confirmatory data is supposed to be “to evaluate whether data from smaller‐scale, accelerated test experiments are indicative of the actual state of the high burnup fuel and the storage systems in commercial use.” Do they want to improve the model to find what they want to find? They also want to support license renewals, transport, etc. It is in their vested interest to find that everything is ok. We haven’t read this document, except several pages, but it is a brazen and dangerous conflict of interest for the US DOE to hire them. The US DOE is paid for by taxes. It’s time that people understood. This isn’t free money. It’s coming from hard-working Americans and making a mockery of them. That’s why so many hate the Federal government and taxes.

And, AREVA has been under investigation for YEARS, in France, after having lost billions (of taxpayer money) in what has become known as the “Uramin scandal.” http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/UraMin The French Nuclear industry is subsidized already by the French taxpayer. Must it also be subsidized by the American taxpayer? Toshiba and Hitachi are also being subsidized by the Japanese government via the Fukushima clean-up: “Toshiba and Hitachi are, in effect, being paid to clean up their own nuclear mess. That’s right, these companies have now made money from Fukushima twice, first from building and maintaining reactors, and then again for cleaning up after those reactors failed. What an interesting business model.http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/four-things-you-should-know-about-the-fukushi/blog/44098/ Currently Fukushima clean-up costs are mostly paid by the Japanese government. The Economist, Feb. 7, 2015, Asia edition, in “Fukushima Dai-ichi, Mission impossible, An industrial clean-up without precedent“, cites a figure as high as 50 trillion yen (approx. $ 427 billion), for the cost. Areva was also at Fukushima, having provided MOX fuel, for one of the reactors, and then an apparently failed water clean-up solution.

The US approved spent nuclear fuel casks: BNG Fuel Solutions Corp. (now Energy Solutions), Transnuclear, Inc. (French State owned AREVA) Holtec International (private but apparently owned by Krishna Singh), NAC International (sold in 2013 by USEC to Hitz Holdings U.S.A. Inc., a subsidiary of Hitachi Zosen Corporation). http://www.nrc.gov/waste/spent-fuel-storage/designs.html Hence, the US taxpayer is also paying research and development for “EnergySolutions”, owned and run by former Goldman Sachs investment bankers, and whose water purification system at Fukushima has mostly failed for years, although they are still there.

EPRI is getting paid, by the US government, to do its members’ research and development. So, it’s false to say that it is funded by the utility industry. It is founded and controlled by the utility industry. Thus, some of the monies would be from ratepayers, and some from taxpayers: “EPRI is a nonprofit organization funded by the electric utility industry, founded and headquartered in Palo Alto, California… Created as an independent, nonprofit organization designed to manage a broad public-private collaborative research program on behalf of the electric utility industry,” (Emphasis our own) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_Power_Research_Institute

EPRI was founded in 1973, apparently in response to mounting public resistance to rate increases and new nuclear power plants, and to find ways to decrease costs. It’s first budget was $50 million of ratepayers’ money. [4] The current Chairman of the Board for EPRI is the CEO of Exelon utilities. Exelon owns and/or operates 23 nuclear reactors in the US, and was a major campaign donor for President Obama. The EPRI Board has representatives from EDF (Electricity of France) Areva’s French State owned nuclear twin; Duke Energy, which owns and/or operates many nuclear power stations, Southern, which is building new nuclear reactors at Vogtle and which got a 6,5 million $ loan guarantee from the US DOE. There are many other utilities represented on the board. EPRI used to have a TEPCO member and Entergy. Wonder why they don’t have TEPCO on the board anymore?[5]
High Burnup Dry Storage Cask Research and Development Project: Final Test Plan  Contract No.: DE-NE-0000593, February 27, 2014 , High Burnup Dry Storage Cask Research and Development Project, Final Test Plan , Prepared by: the Electric Power Research Institute, REVISION LOG Rev. Date Affected Pages Revision Description, February 27, 2014  Final Test Plan
High Burnup Dry Storage Cask Research and Development Project: Final Test Plan Contract No.: DE-NE-0000593, February 27, 2014, High Burnup Dry Storage Cask Research and Development Project, Final Test Plan , Prepared by: the Electric Power Research Institute, REVISION LOG Rev. Date Affected Pages Revision Description, February 27, 2014 Final Test Plan” Emphasis added. Full text at and cited earlier in post as: http://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/03/f8/HBUDry%20StrgeCaskRDfinalDemoTestPlanRev9.PDF

Holtec can also benefit from the EPRI research and development, if they wish to. However, Holtec-Singh’s preferred method appears to be just telling the US NRC that things should be less strict. And, the NRC is following in lock-step if no one objects: Holtec wants to classify corroded fuel rods as non-damaged, since no one is supposed to store damaged fuel rods, they want to wish it away, with the complicity of the NRC’s nuclear brown-nosers. Holtec also wants two or three other “exemptions”, which are literally issues of critical importance, which warrant proper examination. The NRC will supposedly re-examine the topic if they get enough complaints: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/02/05/2015-02310/list-of-approved-spent-fuel-storage-casks-holtec-international-hi-storm-100-cask-system-certificate Damaged fuel is a reality that the NRC and Holtec want to wish away: Damaged fuel rods are now stuck in a Holtec Cask in Arkansas. As such, the cask can’t be moved! http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1428/ML14286A037.pdf But, it’s ok to store damaged fuel rods, says the NRC, because Holtec assures them it is, or that’s how it reads to us: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/12/31/2014-30718/independent-spent-fuel-storage-installation-entergy-operations-inc-arkansas-nuclear-one-units-1-and

The kicker, of course, is that the US and Japanese governments will most likely do another bail out for nuclear companies when the next accident occurs in the US or Japan due to their new suicide pact called the “Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage”, which, on the US end, uses the Price-Anderson, which is supposed to be paid, after the accident, by the utilities, and additional insurance, which is supposed to be paid, after the accident, by the service providers as a group. Unless you are very young you know that this will translate into bankruptcies and bail-outs, and fall on the backs of the taxpayer. For Price-Anderson it may fall on the backs of the ratepayer. And, it encourages the selling of defective nuclear equipment (fuel rods, etc.), because the culprit cannot be held fully accountable. There are, of course, other members of this suicide pact who will pay less, because they have less nuclear power. We wait to see if India will be foolish enough to join, which will make Japan, the US, and to a lesser degree Romania, Argentina, and eventually Morocco and the UAE liable for a defective Russian built nuclear power station, as well as the rest.

Is this related? https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/02/06/areva-bush-energy-sec-spencer-abraham-cashed-in/ https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/why-was-holtec-debarred-as-tva-contractor/

The only funny part is that the research-experimentation is being done at the North Anna Nuclear Generating Station.
North Anna Nuclear NGS http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_House http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Anna_Nuclear_Generating_Station
Chickens risk coming home to roost. You can be certain that the NRC is nearby as well. Congress is nearby. It suggests they are on some strange drugs. Or, is it just the power trip? Why even bother to chase people off the White House lawn?

[Update note: If you look in the document, they have it set up where none of the experimentation takes place near DC until summer of 2017, when Obama and Moniz will be conveniently gone. Nonetheless, Congress is still there and the rest of the DOE and NRC, which seem clearly composed of psychopaths and their not so bright hangers-on. Perhaps, as well, those who know that America’s Fukushima is right around the corner, so maybe they think nothing matters anymore. Obama and Moniz have no place to run and hide from the nuclear dangers, except perhaps Moniz to his family homeland of the Azores Islands. Even South Africa and South America have nuclear reactors, so if Obama goes to Kenya or Moniz goes to his wife’s birthplace of Brazil, they can still be impacted. Moniz’ wife’s family is originally from Japan, hardly a nuclear free zone! Moniz looks old, even for his age. It’s a no-brainer which direction he goes when he dies. It will make anything else look cool. Straight to hell, boys, straight to hell.]

Unfortunately, whether in daily nuclear operations, or in the event of accident, it rains radiation on the just and unjust alike. Nuclear energy is nuclear war everyday. One day it will be too late. 2015 is the year to stop the nuclear industry, before it stops you!

[1] “In 1984, the Virginia Electric and Power Company (previously VEPCO, referred to now as Dominion Virginia Power) initiated a research program to provide additional SNF storage at its Surry station using dry storage technologies. DOE and EPRI signed cooperative agreements with VEPCO to demonstrate dry storage technologies at a federal site; selection and shipping of SNF to the federal site for storage; and the design, licensing, and initial operation of an ISFSI at the Surry station. The cooperative agreement program called for more than one cask design to be demonstrated at the Surry ISFSI and at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), (at that time, the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory). The cask designs tested at INL included the CASTOR V/21, Westinghouse MC-10, and the TN-24P metal storage casks. EPRI published the results of the testing of these cask designs at INL in several EPRI reports [EPRI 1986; 1987a; 1987b].http://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/03/f8/HBUDry%20StrgeCaskRDfinalDemoTestPlanRev9.PDF
Even though the 1986 and 1987 studies were paid for by the US taxpayer, EPRI appears to claim copyright to them, which is wrong.

Oak Ridge, at the time operated by Martin Marietta, made a 70 page summary document, which may include other research, along with this (We haven’t had time to look): http://web.ornl.gov/info/reports/1988/3445602891495.pdf
[2] https://inlportal.inl.gov/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=1555&mode=2&featurestory=DA_622060
[3] C. Wright Mills also noted that:”The cartels and the political authority have been welded together in such a way that private hands perform such crucial politico-economic tasks as the allocation of raw materials.” See: “Book Review of Franz Neumann’s Behemoth: The Structure and Function of National Socialism 1933-1944“, by C.Wright Mills, in “Power, Politics & People: The Collected Essays of C.Wright Mills“, ed. Irving Louis Horowitz, NY: Oxford, 1967, pp. 170-178. Originally published in Partisan Review, September, October 1942. Copyright, 1942, by Partisan Review. http://www.wbenjamin.org/Behemoth.html
[4] See: “The Sun betrayed: a report on the corporate seizure of U.S. solar energy development” by Ray Reece. South End Press, Boston, 1979. (p. 36-37; p. 146). This book appears to be the most important work written about the EPRI. It also explains how EPRI favored solar and wind power which was “amenable to centralized operation and control” (p. 146). By now, that concern comes through clearly even in Reuters news – the utilities fear losing centralized monopoly control. And, that is clearly one reason they favor nuclear. Nuclear is the epitome of centralized control – except of course the nuclear waste, which they are increasingly trying to dustbin and bury.
[5] http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Electric_Power_Research_Institute http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exelon See Opensecrets.org for Exelon funding. The web site failed to work when we were looking for EPRI funding. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vogtle_Electric_Generating_Plant
To find current EPRI Board members search for EPRI Board in Google. It’s not easy to find directly on the site.