Archive: Business

TREND: Coal in a Hole

While pundits opine that the U.S. economy is in recovery, that doesn’t show up in the world of coal-fired electric power plants (perhaps lagging economic indicators). For proof, see these recent stories.

Social Media in the Workforce: Tweet, Tweet, Tweet, Tweedly-Deet

Social media have emerged as an important force in the workplace, both as new ways of doing business and as challenges to organization management. Among those challenges is defining acceptable employee behavior on and off the job.

Talking Smart Grid Talk

What is the smart grid all about? A new book—a dictionary—attempts to define and demystify the jargon and bafflegab surrounding the buzzing smart grid. It’s a somewhat flawed but worthwhile first attempt at unraveling the often bizarre and sometimes baloney-filled smart grid nomenclature.

Pushmepullyou: Disputes and Discussions on Grid Politics

While industry interests were trying to get on board the smart grid gravy train last fall in Washington, D.C., in rural West Virginia folks were dealing with the force of a political locomotive pushing a high-voltage interstate grid, with property owners opposed and labor in favor.

NRC Withholds “Waste Confidence” Finding, Citing Yucca Decision

In a series of ironies, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has voted to reject an early finding that the U.S. can adequately manage nuclear reactor spent fuel, in the wake of the Obama administration’s decision to pull the radioactive plug on Nevada’s Yucca Mountain. The vote by the majority Republicans on the commission effectively puts a temporary ban on new nuclear reactor construction in the U.S.

Today, Time Management Knows No Boundaries

It’s no longer a 9-to-5 world. Management gurus Peter Stark and Jane Flaherty offer advice on how to manage time in today’s multi-tasking environment.

The Natural Gas Glut and the Doctrine According to Hefner

Natural gas is back, says gas guru Bobby Hefner, and in a big way. New technologies, new discoveries, low prices, and new optimism characterize a natural gas industry that just three years ago was bemoaning its future and looking to foreign LNG imports as the industry’s salvation. Today, the gloom is gone, and the gas folks are clicking their gaseous heels in glee.

New Nuclear Plants Are on the Horizon

Most of the big utilities, with an eye to ensuring a good mix of future generation resources, have a new nuclear plant in development. Even though federal loan guarantees are slow to materialize and financing these multi-billion-dollar projects has become a bet-the-company investment, the NRC has more than 40 applications from generators that continue to believe in the future of nuclear power.

Benchmarking Nuclear Plant Operating Costs

In an exclusive agreement with the EUCG Nuclear Committee, POWER was provided access to some key, high-level performance and operational data from the group’s nuclear industry benchmarking database. All U.S., and many international, nuclear power plants are members of the committee and have contributed to its database for many years. This month we introduce you to the EUCG Nuclear Committee and share sample nuclear operating costs. Look for future reports on other key performance benchmarking metrics during 2010.

Chile Plans for Growth with "All the Options" Energy Mix

Chile was considered a world leader for reforming and liberalizing its power sector as early as the 1980s. However, 25 years later, Chile is at a crossroads in terms of developing future capacity. With an estimated GDP growth rate of 2% to 3% during the current global financial crisis, a highly competitive economy, an established democracy, and a stable macroeconomic environment, Chile is considered a premium destination for foreign investment.