We should ask our safety analysts to do a PRA
on LNG shipments.
Then we'd have a basis for evaluating nuclear
I think it would make a good paper for a CNS annual
What do you think?
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, October 20, 2003 1:52
Subject: [cdn-nucl-l] LNG comeback
"abundant cheap natural gas from Canadian and U.S. wells
conspired to force
the plant's closing just two years later, and LNG went
into a long
.....as in fact did construction of new
nukes : both appear to be set for a
Of course we only
hear about terrorist threats to nuke plants.
One of these LNG ships
contains as much potential (chemical) energy as a
bomb...."A single boat load of LNG, gently heated to
convert it back into
its original gaseous state, is enough to meet the daily
energy needs of 10
million typical U.S. homes."
Will regulations require them to be
constructed with containment domes
having four-foot thick, steel-reinforced
Will there be Greenpeace mock-attacks testing LNG ship &
terminal security ?
(I wouldn't bet my money on it ).
AT 7:10 AM EDT Monday, Oct. 20, 2003
U.S. opening the taps
on energy alternatives
By BARRIE McKENNA
From Monday's Globe and Mail
Cove Point, MD. - When the Norman Lady sailed past the historic
lighthouse and the towering red-clay cliffs of the Chesapeake
Bay shore in
July, local residents sat in lawn chairs to watch the
Surrounded by a flotilla of U.S. Coast Guard vessels, the
Norwegian tanker, with five bulging humps protruding from its
up to a massive offshore cement pier.
container ships routinely ply these waters to and from the port
Baltimore. But this ship -- and its cargo -- were special. The
Lady's arrival from Trinidad marked the first delivery of
liquefied natural gas, or LNG, to the Cove Point terminal in
23 years. The
plant and its docks were mothballed in 1980.
making an improbable comeback as the fuel of the future in the
States, now hopelessly hooked on cheap and clean-burning natural
LNG isn't the only energy source making a surprise return in
Thanks to post-9/11 angst and a sympathetic White House, the U.S.
is preparing to spur renewed development of unconventional or
energy options, including ethanol, nuclear, coal-bed methane and
As early as this week, U.S. Congressional negotiators are
finishing work on the first overhaul of energy policy in more
than a decade.
The legislation is the culmination of 2 ˝ years of heated
debate over how to
deal with the country's emerging energy problems,
reserves of oil and natural gas at home, heavy
dependence on Middle East
suppliers and insatiable demand.
Point, the largest of four LNG import terminals in the United States,
opened in 1978 amid a brief flurry of interest sparked by the Middle
oil embargo and generous government tax breaks. The technology offered
tantalizing prospect of getting trapped gas from one part of the world
hungry markets anywhere else on the planet.
transportation costs, a limited number of liquefaction
plants and abundant
cheap natural gas from Canadian and U.S. wells conspired
to force the
plant's closing just two years later, and LNG went into a
That all changed last year, when Dominion
Resources Inc. of Richmond, Va. --
one of the original investors in Cove
Point -- bought back the plant because
it sensed a protracted natural gas
supply crunch. The company has spent
$180-million to expand and modernize
"We jumped all over Cove Point when we had an opportunity to
buy it back,"
said Gary Sypolt, president of Dominion's transmission
business. "We saw the
need for LNG to come into the United
Even with new natural gas expected to come on stream from
Delta and Alaska over the next 10 to 15 years, Dominion
is predicting a
widening spread between supply and demand for years to
"We see that gap growing in the future and we see LNG as the
supplement to close that gap," Mr. Sypolt said.
single boat load of LNG, gently heated to convert it back into its
gaseous state, is enough to meet the daily energy needs of 10
typical U.S. homes.
A recent spike in prices, brought on by short
supplies and strong demand,
especially newly built gas fired power plants,
has made the business viable
again. That, combined with modern vessels,
better technology and possible
new sources of LNG from Norway, Nigeria and
Russia, has vastly improved the
Dominion officials said
the plant is profitable at roughly $3.50 (U.S.) per
million British thermal
units, or Btus, roughly $2 below the prevailing
docking station, which can handle two LNG tankers at once, sits
kilometres from the shoreline. Three giant telescoping arms siphon
liquid, chilled to minus-127 C, from the arriving vessels. The LNG is
pumped through an underwater pipeline to four giant storage tanks,
like giant thermos bottles on the shore (a fifth is under
Dominion is studying the viability of a sixth). Once
heated, the gas is
pumped into a network of pipelines that feeds much of
the U.S. Northeast,
including cities such as Washington, Philadelphia,
Pittsburgh and New York.
"New York City gas is the highest priced in
the United States and we're
right there," pointed out Dan Donovan, a
LNG accounted for just 1 per cent of the nearly 20
trillion cubic feet of
gas consumed in the United States last year. The
reopening of Cove Point is
expected to help boost that to 2 per cent this
year. And energy experts
predict that a market share of 5 per cent by 2005
and up to 10 per cent by
2020 is possible, even as consumption grows
"While it's not quite the silver bullet that some of the hype
LNG will take on a growing and more important role in
meeting future gas
supply needs," said Steve Fleishman, an energy industry
analyst at Merrill
Lynch in New York.
By contrast, Canadian gas
fills 16 per cent of U.S. consumption.
"We certainly hope that Canada
will be able to supply at the same level as
now, if not more," said Robert
Ebel, a former top U.S. energy official who
now heads the energy program at
the Center for Strategic and International
Studies in Washington.
fewer than 25 proposed LNG terminal projects are on the table in
America, from Harpswell, Me., to Baja, Mexico. But few analysts
of them to get built.
At full capacity, Cove Point alone
can pump out a billion cubic feet of gas
a day, or 2 per cent of U.S.
consumption. The other existing U.S. import
terminals are in Boston, Elba
Island, Ga., and Lake Charles, La.
"We think we have a jump on that
market because we have an existing
facility," Mr. Sypolt said. "And we
expect to expand. We think that gives us
a lead on many of these other
The energy bill now being hammered out in Congress doesn't
offer any direct
subsidies for LNG. But it would offer incentives to
increase consumption of
natural gas, including tax breaks for expanded
The natural gas industry estimates that it
will need to spend $150-billion
over the next 20 years to expand its
network of pipelines.
The legislation would offer billions of dollars
in loan guarantees to build
a long-proposed pipeline to bring trapped
Alaskan gas to the lower 48
The legislation would also throw
billions of dollars to develop viable
hydrogen powered cars, spur
investment in new nuclear plants and develop
But some critics worry that Congress is poised to
squander large amounts of
taxpayer money, without making an appreciable
dent in the worsening
supply-demand balance. Jerry Taylor, director of
natural resource studies at
the Washington-based Cato Institute, said
Congress's record of using energy
policy to shape the market has been a
The fate of a controversial synthetic fuel tax credit,
which costs the U.S.
Treasury $1-billion a year, remains in doubt. Critics
have complained that
companies are pocketing the credit for making only
minor changes to the
chemical composition of coal, without actually
producing cleaner coal -- the
credit's original intent.
investment doesn't make sense, all the incentives in the world won't
it worthy," Mr. Taylor said. "We've had this experience with
nuclear fusion and God knows how many other politically
over the past 30 years."