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End-user Industries

Nuclear: Set Back by Disaster, but Still Set for Revival

nuclear plantsBecause of events in Japan, the nuclear renaissance has suffered setbacks on implementation of some projects, but the movement as a whole is alive and poised for growth in many areas, according to Daniel Magnarelli, manager of Construction & Commissioning, Areva Inc. Areva builds a fourth of the world’s reactors and Magnarelli says the company has not stopped construction, which is a good sign for those industries that supply to nuclear.

Peabody CEO: Greater Use of Coal Can Achieve U.S. Energy, Economic and Environmental Goals

Rawhide_shovel_200pxBig Coal went to the lion’s den last week and asserted that increased use of coal-fired power generation will help the U.S. achieve its critical energy, economic and environmental goals.

Gregory H. Boyce, chairman and chief executive at Peabody Energy Corporation (St. Louis, MO), gave the keynote address July 18 at the summer meeting of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) (Washington, DC). State utility regulators play a large role in determining utility company capital spending programs, choice of fuels, deployment of advanced technologies and other important matters that have an immediate impact on fuel suppliers like Peabody.

Canada’s Oil & Gas Industry: The Rise of the Oil Sands

oil sandsCanada as a source of crude has many advantages for United States industry. The countries are close geographically and like the U.S., Canada has a stable democracy with a good human rights record. Also, people in the U.S. have a favorable opinion about doing business with the Canadians—be it oil or otherwise. For example, a recent Harris poll released by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) found that people in the United States felt the U.S. should get more of its oil imports from Canada, and the U.S. government should support the use of oil from Canada’s oil sands.


Nuclear Slowdown Result of Natural Gas Costs, Not Events in Japan

HerronNatural gas prices will have more of an effect on the fate of the U.S. nuclear renaissance than the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, according to a recent article for Industrial Info Resources by John Egan. Egan based his article on what a panel of experts had to say at a recent Web conference.

As one of those experts put it: “I don’t believe the nuclear renaissance is dead, but with natural gas costing $4 to $4.50 per million British thermal units, it is difficult to justify investing in a new-build nuclear plant.” Those remarks were made by John Herron (pictured), the president, chief executive and chief nuclear officer at Entergy Nuclear, a unit of Entergy Corporation, New Orleans, LA. Other speakers at the May 19 Web conference were Bill Borchardt, executive director of operations for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and Jim Hunter, utility director for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

Wireless Networking in the Process Industry

In January VDC Research Group (Natick, MA) published a study entitled “2010 Industrial Networking Infrastructure Products Global Market Requirements and Opportunities Analysis,” which took a look at the key trends expected to shape the 2011 industrial networking solutions market and made predictions of the rate at which the market would expand. While the study covered both wired and wireless networks, this article will concentrate on the wireless area.

In that area, the study predicted that, “[a]fter years of unfulfilled hype and hope, the market for wireless networking solutions will experience material increase in purchase orders, shipments and revenues.” Factors contributing to the increase included “the development of standards, improved technology and security (such as ISA 100 and wireless HART, mesh networking and WPA2, respectively).”

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