Apple could help Westinghouse in completing new nuclear plants

“A Friday report from NHK, Japan’s public broadcasting company, announced that Apple might join Foxconn in a coordinated bid for a majority stake in Toshiba, the world’s second largest supplier of flash memory chips,” Rod Adams writes for Forbes. “If the move results in a successful investment bid, it could have a major positive impact on electricity customers in Georgia and South Carolina. It might also help fund a recovery path out of a fraught attempt by the U.S. nuclear energy enterprise to restore its atrophied capability to build large, reliable, emission-free nuclear plants in the United States.”

“Several years ago Toshiba, as Westinghouse’s large, profitable and then stable parent company, provided substantial guarantees in the case of cost overruns for both the Vogtle and Summer projects,” Adams writes. “Each of those projects, one in Georgia and one in South Carolina involves the construction of two of Westinghouse’s flagship AP1000 nuclear power plants. According to recent document filings, the total amount of Toshiba’s guarantees is about $4 billion.”

“A few billion more dollars in capital reserves for Toshiba from an Apple/Foxconn investment would not solve all of the difficult challenges that still face the people who are working hard to find a way to complete Vogtle and Summer,” Adams writes. “A better capitalized parent company, however, could turn an impossible situation into one that is merely difficult.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The ancillary ripples these sort of mega deals can create is interesting.

Apple may bid for big stake in Toshiba – April 17, 2017



        1. Somehow, I can’t see the comic elements to it. That’s strange, as, more often than not, I’ve been the one to point out sarcasm on these forums to those who fail to notice it.

          Somewhat reassuring is the indication that I’m not alone (judging by the star rating of the post, none of them mine). Perhaps the comic qualities of the post are regional and appeal to a specific sense of humour…

      1. Connection:

        * Apple + Foxconn might invest in Toshiba
        * Toshiba is involved in the development in new nuclear power plants intended to supply power to customers in Georgia and South Carolina
        * Apple’s software usage agreement specifically precludes use in the operation of nuclear facilities

        Result: Humor

  2. Any potential acquisition of Toshiba would have to address the nuclear power plant liability of $4B and any other liabilities that the company might have.

    I am a firm believer that nuclear power has a continued role in the coming decades as an anchor (~20% to 30%) for a U.S. power grid that involves increasing contributions from solar, wind, water, and wave renewables. That said, we need to be very smart about the new nuclear power plants in terms of their design, location, and operation. We also have to come to grips with the reality that the nuclear waste needs to go somewhere safe. Storing it on-site in swimming pools at the various nuclear facilities is ridiculous after having had decades to solve this issue.

    1. There is no safe place to store the shit- nothing man made will be sealed long enough for the contaminated stuff to decay and the costs of storage destroy any financial argument for Nuclear Power.

      There are plenty of good ways to store Renewables for use as Baseload power. Water and Electricity can be used to produce eGas that can be burned just like Natural Gas. Sun and Water or Wind and Water can be used to store clean energy for when the sun does not shine or when the wind is not blowing. It also overcomes the transmission loss problem of distant energy supply.

      1. Lying greenie hacks go home. Nuclear “waste” is 99% recyclable. Energy storage for the massive current needs is total fantasy land. Nuclear is the only clean, on-demand option. The problem is not nuclear energy, it’s the Sierra Club and GreenPeace liars and eco-terrorists.

        1. Nuclear is not clean. You might want to go to Fukushima or Chernobyl or the Hanford, Rocky Flats and Savannah River Plant sites to see how clean playing with radiation is.
          When the plant is end of life the reactor is a no go for longer than human recorded history and we have yet to build anything that robust.

          Generations yet unborn will be paying cleanup costs for your clean Nuclear power. And as to the fuel rods, they are not being recycled in the US- they are being stored in water tanks.

          When the Feds were looking for a long term storage plan, not one county in the entire United States was willing to take the waste- even encased in glass deep underground.

          You can believe all the Nuke Industry Bullshit you want, it does not change the fact that no practical means has been developed to handle the waste long term, that the plants are horribly expensive and pose a real security problem.

          Then they are not carbon neutral. The process of mining, refining, and handling of the fuel is energy intensive and the massive amounts of Concrete used for containment are huge emitters of carbon and also require massive energy input.

          The only plants under construction in the US are massively over budget and the costs are what is sinking Toshiba. There are much better ways to produce baseload power.

          1. Lie after lie. Nuclear energy deniers are among the most destructive people on the planet, you have the blood of millions killed by coal on your hands. For those interested in reality I recommend: Physics for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines by Richard A. Muller, a U.C. Berkeley scientist and believer in manmade global warming who recognizes nuclear energy as the only viable alternative to fossil fuels.

  3. The World’s most expensive way to boil water (Nuclear Power) is as dead from a business standpoint as Princess Di.

    To our Libertarian/Republican friends who value the free market above all: the Government indemnifies Nuke Plants in America because nobody will write and insurance policy for the next Chernobyl or Fukushima. That’s right, private enterprise gets the profit and the public gets to carry all the risk- corporate welfare or Crony Capitalism.

    With no subsidies applied it is now cheaper to produce electricity by renewables than by any fossil fuel or Nuclear. Even in Deep Red Texas you can now opt to power your house with 100% renewable energy- it is not just for Granolas anymore.

    Why would anyone want to wade into that (Nuclear Power) fiscal and moral black hole? Shut them down and ban all new construction.

      1. From that same Wikipedia article:
        “Typically pricing of electricity from various energy sources may not include all external costs – that is, the costs indirectly borne by society as a whole as a consequence of using that energy source. These may include enabling costs, environmental impacts, usage lifespans, energy storage, recycling costs, or beyond-insurance accident effects….

        “Calculations do not include externalities such as health damage by coal plants, nor the effect of CO2 emissions on the climate change, ocean acidification and eutrophication, ocean current shifts. Decommissioning costs of nuclear plants are usually not included (The USA is an exception, because the cost of decommissioning is included in the price of electricity, per the Nuclear Waste Policy Act), is therefore not full cost accounting.”

      2. Re:anaknipedro

        I said without subsidy- subsidies can be tax subsidies, sale of resources at below market rates or any number of other means. The Fossil Fuels biz has been a corporate Welfare Queen for longer than anyone reading it has been alive.

        There are no significant downrange costs to wind or solar, unlike fossil fuels and Nuclear. You can believe all you want, but the math is on the side of renewables.

        Further, decentralized power generation can – with a smart grid- add resilience to the nation’s power system and can also minimize transmission loss. Google, Apple, FedEx and may others have seen the advantages of renewables – both to the environment and to the bottom line.

        I am in the planning stages for a house that will be a vacation home now and my primary residence in retirement. There will be Rooftop Solar and battery backup despite being grid tied. Most days, 60-80% of the normal load will be from the Sun and on some days all of it. At night, the grid will supply the power, but backup will enable off grid capability for a significant period.

        Nuclear Power is DoA. If you think it is safe, we will put the long term waste storage in your community- right on your street as nobody else wants the stuff.

    1. Until the nuclear waste issue is solved, there should be no place for nuclear power in our energy mix. The effectiveness and decentralized nature of renewables makes nuclear power a 20th century artifact that we should retire as soon as possible. It’s cheaper, safer and better for the planet to build solar, wind, hydro and other renewables than a technology that leaves behind waste that will be deadly for hundreds of thousands of years.

      1. And pass strong laws to force Wall St. investors, not electricity users, to pay for decommissioning. And also imprison those who said that safe nuke plants would produce nearly free electricity which was simply a PR lie to convince silly Americans to support them.

    2. Yes, Wall St.’s private enterprise has so little confidence in civilian nuke plants that they will not catastrophic failure with attendant human deaths that it refused from the very beginning to sell its owners insurance. Only after big gub’mnt gave its ownders a Socialist bailout by way of indemnification did Wall St. finance them. This does indeed show that Wall St. investors accept any profits but passed on that portion of the risk onto taxpayers.

      Civilian nukes also help to legitimize military nukes, so this is one reason why states and the Feds. were willing to nurter their development by underwiting their risk.

      1. The plants are overly expensive, nobody will insure them, they are prime targets for terrorists, nobody wants the waste and we do not need them for baseload power.

        When all costs- full lifecycle and indemnification are included it is the world’s most expensive and polluting way to boil water to turn a turbine. The only argument they had was the need for a stable baseload instead of variable output from renewables. Germany and other countries have shown the way even as Republicans have dug their heels in trying to save Coal and Nuclear. Germany is the cloudiest nation in Europe and is doing just fine without Nukes and using Solar and Wind.

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