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AEHI Provides Business Update and Recap of Key Milestones Major Progress Achieved Towards Local Approval of Nuclear Reactor May 20, 2010

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, approval process, desalination, economic benefits, Elmore County, Energy policy, nuclear industry, nuclear jobs, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Payette County, public opinion.
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BOISE, Idaho, May 20, 2010 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) — Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB:AEHI) today provided a business update for the first quarter of 2010. Key operational highlights include:

— Payette County, Idaho Board of Commissioners unanimously approved changes to the county’s comprehensive plan to allow development of a nuclear power plant

— Elmore County, Idaho Planning and Zoning Commissioners officially approved a change to the county’s comprehensive plan paving way for final approval of AEHI’s proposed nuclear power plant by the County Board of Commissioners — Agreement with China National Nuclear Corporation (“CNNC”) to produce and market nuclear desalinization reactors internationally

— Agreement to work with Dalian Shipbuilding and Equipment Manufacturing Company, Ltd. (“DSIC EM”) to qualify and market various large-sized manufacturing components for use in the international energy industry

— Completed construction of company’s first Energy Neutral(TM) home designed and built specifically to be energy neutral but at a total cost that is both affordable and comparable to that of traditional building techniques

— As of March 31, 2010, AEHI had approximately $3.5 million of cash and no long-term debt

“We continue to make rapid progress on our plans to permit and construct a nuclear reactor in Idaho, through our Idaho Energy Complex (IEC) subsidiary,” said Don Gillispie, AEHI CEO. “Most recently, in May 2010, the Payette County, Idaho Board of Commissioners unanimously approved changes to the county’s comprehensive plan in order to allow development of a nuclear power plant at our site, and we expect final local approvals in 2010. Additionally, in April 2010, at our backup site in Elmore County, the Planning and Zoning Commissioners officially approved a change to the county’s comprehensive plan that paves the way for final approval of AEHI’s proposed nuclear power plant by the Board of Commissioners expected later this year. These two milestones illustrate the broad public acceptance and support for our projects.

“At the same time, we are making progress on a number of additional fronts. Most recently, we announced a major agreement earlier this week with CNNC to produce and market nuclear desalinization reactors internationally. We are already in discussion with several countries in need of clean, potable water as well as the ability to generate affordable and sustainable ‘green’ energy. Last month, we signed an agreement to work with DSIC EM to qualify and market various large-sized manufacturing components for use in the international energy industry.

“We also completed construction of the company’s first Energy Neutral home, a radical departure from traditional building techniques because it was designed and built specifically to be energy neutral yet at a total cost that is both affordable and comparable to that of traditional building. Our Energy Neutral model home is generating significant media attention as well as franchisee interest from both residential and commercial builders locally and around the nation. Our Energy Neutral business could quickly become a source of revenue and cash flow for us as we pursue our broader initiatives.

“Overall, we are extremely excited about the outlook for the business and believe the future for AEHI is brighter than ever. Although the domestic U.S. nuclear industry has been long dormant, our experience and early lead combine to create a powerful competitive advantage in this rapidly reemerging market that will enable us to exploit growth trends in coming years. Moreover, our unique positioning as a deregulated nuclear plant that can take full advantage of market pricing for energy means we have the ability to generate very attractive rates of return from this investment. The coming resurgence in the industry’s prospects is best evidenced by the additional loan guarantees and strong support for nuclear development by the current Administration in Washington. Moreover, we have a strong international foothold as evidenced by our partnerships in China and elsewhere. These strategic relationships provide further validation of our market leadership and help to establish a foundation for long-term growth,” concluded Gillispie.

About Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. (http://www.alternateenergyholdings.com/) — Alternate Energy Holdings develops and markets innovative clean energy sources. The company is the nation’s only independent nuclear power plant developer seeking to build new power plants in multiple non-nuclear states. Other projects include Energy Neutral, which removes energy demands from homes and businesses (http://www.energyneutralinc.com/), Colorado Energy Park (nuclear and solar generation), and International Reactors, which assists developing countries with nuclear reactors for power generation, production of potable water and other suitable applications. AEHI China, headquartered in Beijing, develops joint ventures to produce nuclear plant components and consults on nuclear power. AEHI Korea, Seoul, is encouraging Korea to export their APR 1400 reactor into the U.S. and achieve NRC design certification. “Safe Harbor” Statement: This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Sections 27A & 21E of the amended Securities and Exchange Acts of 1933-34, which are intended to be covered by the safe harbors created thereby. Although AEHI believes that the assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements contained herein are reasonable, there can be no assurance that these statements included in this press release will prove accurate. As a result, investors should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.

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US public support for nuclear at record high April 2, 2010

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in Energy policy, public opinion, reprocessing.
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American public support for nuclear just keeps increasing. According to the World Nuclear News, US public support for nuclear energy has reached a record high, with 74% of people saying they are in favour of nuclear energy.

Surveys have shown a significant change in the US public’s view of nuclear energy over past years. In 1983, a Bisconti poll showed 49 percent of Americans supported nuclear.

The latest poll found 80 percent of  men and 68 percent of women favor nuclear. It also showed 33 percent strongly favored nuclear, more than triple the number who strongly oppose it. Some 87 percent of those questioned said they believe “nuclear energy will play an important role in meeting the nation’s electricity needs in the years ahead.”

In addition, 70 percent of respondents agreed the USA should “definitely build more nuclear power plants in the future”, compared with 28 percent who disagreed. The poll also showed high support for the US government  encouraging investment and 72 percent of those questioned said they backed government loan guarantees.

In addition, 82 percent said existing US nuclear power plants are “safe and secure” and some 79 percent  also said they would support a US plan to recycle used nuclear fuel rods in order to generate more electricity and reduce the amount of waste.

“This unprecedented support for nuclear energy is being driven largely by people’s concerns for meeting future energy demand and environmental goals, but it coincides with statements by President Barack Obama and other national leaders who have voiced strong support for new nuclear power plants,” said Ann Bisconti, president of Bisconti Research. “The President’s State of the Union speech and his subsequent announcement of federal loan guarantees for new nuclear reactors in Georgia clearly has elevated the issues in people’s minds.”

Last week, by the Gallup polling organization published a public opinion poll that also found a record high support for use of nuclear energy in the USA.

MidAmerican energy revisits nuclear, this time in Iowa March 12, 2010

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in Energy policy, nuclear industry, Payette County, Warren Buffet.
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As many people know, Warren Buffet’s MidAmerican Energy proposed building a nuclear power plant in Payette County in 2007 and did some preliminary studies (they were considering a different site than we are in Payette). But the company announced in December 2007 that it wasn’t moving forward, saying the decision was “based on economic considerations and not on issues related to the suitability of the Idaho site.”

Apparently, MidAmerican has found some new sources of funding and is considering building a nuclear plant in Iowa. The state senate there has voted to allow MidAmerican to increase electric consumer rates to fund a three-year, $15 million feasibility study of what would be Iowa’s second nuclear plant, according to World Nuclear News. This will amount to a $4 per year increase in residential customers’ electricity bills, with a $15 increase for commercial customers and $1100 for industrial customers.

I certainly understand the need for this kind of study. In fact, we have spent around $10 million conducting similar studies in Owyhee, Elmore and Payette counties. What’s most noteworthy, however, is that no Idaho utility ratepayer has given us a dime – nor should they.

While our critics call us a “merchant power plant” (presumably merchant farmers, merchant computer chip makers and merchants in general are okay), we are a completely investor-funded operation. We will fund studies, applications and construction of our plant on the private market, without having to ask government bodies for rate increases. In the best tradition of private enterprise, it will be up to us to find a way to make it pencil out financially and recoup our investment in the free market.

Nuclear critics took Buffet’s 2007 withdrawal from Idaho as a sign that a nuclear plant cannot be profitable (although it is hard to imagine them applauding a profitable nuclear plant), but they were wrong then and they are more obviously wrong now. I know from experience that nuclear plants are very profitable, generating as much as $3 million a day in profit. While they have high initial capital costs, uranium is inexpensive and the plants last for decades. Warren Buffet must know this as well.

Developing a nuclear plant requires extensive study and we wish MidAmerican the best in their venture. We have charted a course, however, that will not require any utility payers to subsidize our costs, and that’s a good thing for Idaho.

Obama promises to boost nuclear power January 29, 2010

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in balanced approach, Barack Obama, economic benefits, Energy policy, Politics and nuclear, President Obama.
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President Obama appears to be warming to nuclear power in a big way. In his state of the union speech this week, he said “to create more of these clean energy jobs, we need more production, more efficiency, more incentives. And that means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country.”

Obama stated his support for nuclear power while campaigning, and several times since then. Today, however, his administration said it will press for $54 billion in new loan guarantees for new plants. Loan guarantees have proven the least costly form of energy assistance – so far, the government hasn’t had to pay any for nuclear plants – and give private investors some assurance. That’s needed in the face of excessive and unreasonable opposition to nuclear power, which drives up costs.

Last week, Obama issued an executive order to reduce national greenhouse gas emissions 28 percent by 2020. The only way to do that and keep our economy healthy is with an all-of-the-above approach embracing conservation, renewables, clean fossil and nuclear.

Obama appears to be backing up his words with specific financial proposals and that is most welcome. Another $54 billion would greatly assist utilities and private investors companies, such as ours, move forward on our plans to keep clean, reliable, secure nuclear energy a vital part of America’s infrastructure.

Promising signs from Korea September 23, 2009

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, Colorado, Energy policy, Korean reactors, nuclear industry, reactor types.
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I am currently travelling in Colorado but I wanted to update followers on some initiatives we have going. Alternate Energy Holdings Inc. is nearing a deal to bring the first Korean advanced reactor to the US for the Idaho nuclear project. This is an excellent design based on Combustion Engineering and Westinghouse designs first developed in the US. Also, the Koreans are some of best reactor operators in the world. This reactor will allow AEHI to produce the lowest cost power of any proposed US power plant including combined cycle gas, wind, solar, geothermal and clean coal. It will also stimulate investment money from Korea into our Idaho nuclear project.  The MOU will be publicly announced in the near future.

Expanding opportunities August 6, 2009

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, Elmore County, Energy policy, nuclear industry, Politics and nuclear.
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Anyone who knows me, knows I am not a complacent person. While our application in Elmore County remains in play as much as ever, it has been a year and we have no clear commitment from the county. Our duty to our stockholders, to our principles and to the people of Idaho requires us to move forward with consideration of other sites.

NEWS RELEASE

For 9:15 am

August 6, 2009

AEHI’s Idaho Nuclear Plant Offered Multiple Sites

Boise, Idaho, August 6, 2009 – Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. (OTC: AEHI.PK): AEHI is pleased  to announce several Idaho counties and the state have recently offered lands for AEHI’s nuclear plant following delays in local approval at the current site in Elmore County.

AEHI CEO and president Don Gillispie said, “It is certainly exciting to have so many in Idaho recognize the tremendous benefits of a next generation, environmentally friendly nuclear plant including high paying jobs, great tax revenue; and abundant, low cost, clean power in a region that is critically short on base load energy options. Elmore County’s delay has created a friendly competition for our plant. We are now looking at two additional sites outside of the current county that may actually receive local approval before the existing site.”

AEHI’s site engineering contractor is completing their assessments so we can move forward in a timely manner on these new nuclear plant locations.

Also, the company has also been in contact with several non-nuclear utilities who are considering nuclear plants instead of continuing to invest in the rising cost of carbon plants going forward and need nuclear experienced partners.

“This is likely to be an increasing trend as primarily fossil based utilities realize nuclear is the only viable option for clean base load power today. While nuclear prices are affordable and stable, fossil-fuel prices continue to rise dramatically and fewer carbon base load plants negatively impacts reliability for their customers,” says Gillispie.

About Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. (www.alternateenergyholdings.com)

Alternate Energy Holdings develops and markets innovative clean energy sources.  Current projects include the Idaho Energy Complex (an advanced nuclear plant and bio-fuel generation facility), Energy Neutral which removes energy demands from homes and businesses (www.energyneutralinc.com), Colorado Energy Park (nuclear and solar generating plants) and International Reactors, Inc., which assists developing countries with nuclear reactors for power generation, production of potable water and other suitable applications.

This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Sections 27A & 21E of the amended Securities and Exchange Acts of 1933-34, which are intended to be covered by the safe harbors created thereby.  Although AEHI believes that the assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements contained herein are reasonable, there can be no assurance that these statements included in this press release will prove accurate.

US Investor Relations:

208-939-9311

invest@aehipower.com

Opinion roundup July 17, 2009

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, Agriculture, economic benefits, Elmore County, Energy policy, environmentalists, Mountain Home News, renewable energy, Snake River Alliance, Water policy, Wind energy.
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While our rezone application moves through the process at Elmore County, I thought I would post some letters to the editor and columns that have appeared lately.

Idaho Statesman, July 16, 2009
Enough delays: Approve Elmore County plant

During an Elmore County commissioners’ meeting, supporters of the nuclear power plant outnumbered opponents 5-to-1 and 1,600 petition signatures were submitted in support. Yet, after a year of hearings, the answer from commissioners was the comprehensive plan is outdated and go back to square one. Those opposing are few: a discounted far-left environmental group and a handful of Hammett farmers who support nuclear power but want it constructed in a different location. From the hearings I have attended, radio debates I’ve listened to, and discussions with both farmers and Hammett residents, their responses are loud and clear: the majority of Idahoans are in favor of the power plant and they recognize that this is our big chance to attract large companies who bring stable jobs but need more than what Idaho Power can provide them with. It’s what Idaho has been looking for and it’s what Idaho desperately needs to lead the Northwest and the United States in clean power. My plea to the commissioners is to please stop stalling by appeasing a few and start representing the majority voice. Let us help ourselves to have a brighter future by approving this power plant.

KEVIN F. AMAR, Meridian

Mountain Home News, July 15, 2009
If you want growth, nuclear power plant is viable option

Dear editor:
As I sit here on Saturday morning, June 20, 2009, I look outside my window and see Idaho’s energy future. At least the future that many near-sighted folks want us to put all our faith and trust. It is completely still with nary a whisper of wind to turn even the most efficient wind turbine and so overcast that solar power couldn’t power up an LED bulb.

Naive, I am not. I know this is not the norm for Elmore County; but to set so much reliance on wind, water and solar cannot be our standard for the future of energy for the Pacific Northwest, Western United States, or even the United States as a whole

We cannot afford any more coal powered plants — that is a given. We must invest in other means of powering our society with the electrical demands we have established. Whether for our homes, computers, cell phones, mobile phones, or even the increased future of hybrid or solely electric vehicles — we need electricity! That fact will not go away lest we make the conscious decision to revert back to the 1800s. We can do that, but mind you, it will make it very difficult to continue advances (or even sustain our current abilities) in medicine or just how we live from day to day. If we minimize production, whatever electricity we might have given to us would go first to the established leadership of our county, second to the military, third to health care and finally to Joe Average — come to think of it, it reminds me of how things were divided in Stalinist Russia.

I have heard the discussions before the P&Z, the County Commissioners, read the articles, blogs and opinions in the Mountain Home News and watched the DVD. I’ve listened to the arguments, pro and con, that take place throughout the county and I must say that the controversy over a rezone application has this whole county stymied.

I have seen how people outside of Elmore County have been brought in and have gotten deep into our business. Were they invited — yes, however; when the final decision is made, are they going to be living here to deal with the first-hand consequences of that decision? NO, they won’t!

I have lived in several areas around the United States and around the world. I have lived in areas of extreme prosperity and in utter poverty — and as a personal preference, I chose the comforts of prosperity. I heard it said at one meeting that, “…electricity is overrated.” We, in these United States, are accustomed to many hi-tech devices that we may not know how they work, it just suits our cause when and because they work. I’m not an expert, but I think it requires electricity to take such things as X-rays for proper dental work, broken bone manipulation or detailed neurological procedures. I seem to remember that farmers need electricity to run the water pumps for their irrigation lines in order to get to the point of harvest of hay, corn, wheat or potatoes. I know it is very time consuming to milk dairy cattle by hand and when you have upwards of 5,000 or 6,000 head of cattle that require two milkings per day it can be a VERY time consuming job, unless a dairy has the financial resources to employ hundreds of workers and we wish to pay $10 or more for a gallon of milk.

Since the time I arrived in Idaho in 1997, my power bill has tripled. When I arrived, I too asked the question of why isn’t wind or solar energy being harnessed. The standard response was hydro power is so cheap and plentiful.

So in 12 years, we’ve experienced drought, population growth, economic downturn and a serious lack to decisively invest into new sources of power. We are now so far behind the power curve it’s pitiful. To have known it would come to this level of disparity was unthinkable. No one could have known, but we did have the knowledge and resources available during the good years that could have made these tough times a bit more bearable, had we prepared.

I know the issues of rezone, water use, nuclear power, availability of suitable farm land all have their supporters and opponents to some degree, but the desired advancement throughout time has been this: we seek to make better, to use more efficiently, to build in a margin of safety wherever possible.

If we seek to “do it right,” I believe the co-existence of these issues is entirely possible, plausible and suitable for Elmore County.

Fears, yes, they exist because the human factor exists. But if we become so captivated by those fears that we become frozen in place rather than being motivated to exercise caution and seek safety at every turn to make it better, we can go forward with an expectation of success for everyone.

Of all the nuclear power facilities in the world — have all been failures? Have all been shut down because of fears of Chernobyl or Three Mile Island? Have we not learned from the mistakes that were made of improper design? Has not the Nuclear Regulatory Commission been involved to inspect and certify plants for the public’s safety?

Our world is constantly changing. I enjoy the rural lifestyle of Elmore County and even get fed up with traffic surges that happen twice daily throughout the workweek. But change required stoplights to be installed, road maintenance and improvements to be accomplished; all because we are growing county and that is already a fact of life.

If we want to keep our status quo, then we need to limit our household growths to 1 or 2 children, mandated by law (I think that idea was called Zero Population Growth — back in the ’70s and ’80s; it didn’t work) — reminds me of current day China. Mountain Home has about doubled in size since the 1990s and will probably continue to grow as time goes on. This doesn’t even include the rest of southwestern Idaho, which has seen a marked growth since the mid-1990s.

Change is inevitable and with change comes new requirements. Satisfaction of those requirements must be met and for an economy that means taxes, or housing, or jobs, or transportation, or construction or a myriad of things to meet those requirements.

So what do we do? We have a company that wishes to come into Elmore County (it really didn’t matter to this company where they came in as was evidenced by the Owyhee County course of events and to know that they were invited) to take a piece of land that is not prime and to establish an enterprise on that land.

If it was prime farmland, people would be scrambling at every opportunity to obtain and farm the land. It is land that does have farmable soil and relatively good position to highway and rail support. But the slope of the landscape causes high water drainage and proximity to the Snake River, which funnels the air and causes high evaporation of the remaining moisture content greatly decreases the viable use of this parcel of land for great farming purposes.

This company proposes to level the land, build a viable enterprise, boost the economy and improve the infrastructure of Elmore County. Would they be so determined in their efforts to complete this venture unless they were serious? Fact or fiction?

If you don’t want to promote growth, provide jobs and make improvements to Elmore County, then takes these objectives out of your plans, otherwise; make the plans coincide properly with these objectives, allow the rezone, and move forward.

Roy D. Newer II

Mountain Home News, July 15, 2009
Nuclear power plnt would be a boon to local economy

Dear editor:
This past spring, I spent quite a bit of time doing community organizing work in Elmore County on the rezone for Alternate Energy Holdings Inc.’s proposed power plant. This included visiting Elmore County towns for petition signatures and showing people how they could get involved in the effort to bring well-paying jobs and clean industry to Elmore County.

It was hard work and exciting, but I wasn’t emotionally prepared for the poverty I would see going door-to-door in Glenns Ferry and Hammett. In homes, food lines, businesses and on the street, I came across hardworking people very worried about their futures and how they would keep a roof over their heads. Many were seasonal agricultural workers.

Economic development is a social justice issue. Many times, influential people who run the established order want to keep things the way they are. That’s not necessarily a bad thing especially if, like Elmore County farmers, they work hard, employ people and produce a needed product like food.

However, if the established order also includes keeping people in poverty, there is something very, very wrong with that. One way to address it is through government programs. But for people to be truly economically self-sufficient, they need family-wage jobs with benefits. A power plant with 500 direct jobs, 1,500 spin-off jobs and average wages of $80,000 is one way to do it.

There is great need: according to Census Bureau data, poverty rates in the Glenns Ferry and Hammett ZIP codes are between 17 and 21 percent, well above the 12 percent state average (http://tinyurl.com/nra2jg). Of course, there are other ways to provide these jobs and if anyone else genuinely wants to provide family-wage jobs with a new industry, I urge them to submit their plans.

Also, the industries that create these family-wage jobs are taxed at much higher industrial and commercial rates. Those taxes pay for school, fire, police, parks, libraries, planning, administration, roads and lowering the taxes of everyone else. Currently, agricultural taxes simply don’t provide this level of local government funding. A power plant should also go above and beyond tax obligations and construct public buildings, establish scholarships and run a foundation for the privilege of being in a community.

It’s sad to hear people say, “The nuclear plant won’t hire Elmore people,” as though Elmore residents can’t work in a security-conscious, technically-oriented setting. I think Elmore residents are among the best qualified for nuclear plant jobs, because many are veterans or used to work at Mountain Home Air Force Base. A nuclear plant has many military aspects, including extreme security consciousness; a highly trained, armed security force; and strong safety culture.

Most jobs at a nuclear plant don’t require a college degree and some don’t require high levels of training: foodservice, janitors, landscaping and materials handling. Other jobs need training ranging from certification to advanced college degrees: mechanics, security officers, technicians, office workers, pipefitters, attorneys, managers, electricians or nuclear physicists. We believe Elmore residents already qualify for the vast majority of these jobs. We hope bright Elmore County youths will be able to return home and work at our plant or spin-off industries. In addition, the plentiful power from a nuclear plant will attract other industry.

Best of all, agriculture can continue as it always has, although wages for ag jobs may rise in a competitive job market. Our nuclear plant would occupy just 200 acres. As is common with nuclear plants, the land around ours will continue to be farmed and create a security buffer. Interestingly, the American Farm Bureau calls for increased use of nuclear power (http://tinyurl.com/kokgnq).

Environmental groups normally align themselves with social justice causes. But in this case, some are working alongside a few Hammett-area farmers to, in effect, keep struggling people from accessing better-paid jobs and opportunity. In this clash of principles, the struggling families of Elmore County have been on the losing side.

The environmental groups might say “We’re not against family-wage jobs, but a nuclear plant isn’t the way to do it.” To which I respond: If you cared to ask the struggling families of Elmore County what they think and want, you might not be so eager to tell them no.

Martin Johncox,

Boise

(Editor’s note: Johncox handles public relations for AEHI).

"Commission praised for patience during nuke hearing" April 29, 2009

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, Agriculture, approval process, economic benefits, Elmore County, Energy policy, Mountain Home News, Politics and nuclear, rural nuclear, Snake River Alliance, Water policy.
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The Mountain Home News was kind enough to publish this letter today. It pretty much speaks for itself.

Commission praised for patience during nuke hearing

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dear editor:

We applaud the patience of the Elmore County Commission in dealing with a very controversial issue at last week’s hearing. Throughout the over four hours of testimony from both sides, the commissioners heard and saw plenty of information.

In our view, the hundreds of supporters who showed up to support jobs, clean low-cost energy, agriculture and economic growth carried the day. Testimony on our behalf was passionate, including former planning and zoning commissioners who supported our application. Farmers, large landowners, the local farm bureau, shopkeepers and average citizens all told the commission that Elmore County needs stable jobs and that rezoning our land would serve the best interests of Elmore County. We have also submitted 1,600 Idaho signatures in support of the rezone, half of them from Elmore County residents.

We know some 500 people showed up at various stages of the four-hour meeting to support us. We handed out 475 green “AEHI supporter” stickers to people and we counted about 400 of those stickers over the course of the evening (people showed up shortly after 4 p.m. to our table and were coming until after 7 p.m.). There were also many supporters who had to stand in the back and behind the boundary wall who requested stickers, but we had run out. By contrast, we counted fewer than 100 people wearing stickers opposing us throughout the entire evening. Also, fewer than 10 percent of the AEHI supporters spoke. In contrast, over a third of the opposition spoke, but many were from the same organization. Their organizations were given 10 minutes of speaking time, and then in violation of the rules individual members of the organization also spoke giving the misleading appearance of an equal number for and against.

We expect people to oppose us, but the opposition sometimes resorted to strange arguments. I’m sure some of you have been in the position where you tell someone something, they give you a blank stare and act as though they didn’t hear a word you just said. That’s how we often felt at last week’s public hearing on our rezone.

Opponents largely ignored information presented by AEHI staff and our supporters. We showed pictures of nuclear plants with farm fields and grazing cows just a stone’s throw from reactor buildings, to prove that nuclear plants are very compatible with surrounding ag land uses. We repeated that our plant would occupy just 200 of the 1,300 acres in the rezone, with most of the rest of the land devoted to farming. We made it clear our site won’t have any of those large cooling towers. We stated we’ve already spent $8 million and put 100 Idahoans to work on our effort. We made it clear that many acres of good land could be farmed but aren’t due to the high cost of water. We specified nuclear plants emit no smoke, dust, noise or odors and do not generate large amounts of traffic in operation. We made it clear we’d use a low-water design for our plant and rely on existing water rights, not impinging on existing water holders in any way. We made it clear jobs would start soon after the rezone and Conditional Use Permit approval and ramp up to several thousand during the construction phase.

We also clarified that most jobs at our plant won’t require a college degree, just specialized training that we can provide.

In response, people made some amazing claims, suggesting we could put a dump or tire-burning plant on the site. Another gentleman worried about terrorists using advanced radar weaponry to induce earthquakes to destroy reactors and cities. They insisted our plant would destroy their rural setting, even when the reality of nuclear plants shows they are good neighbors and take up little room. Some kept referring to the land as “their farmland” and that they wanted to farm it, so it should be kept as-is for their benefit (whatever happened to private property rights? And why has the land been sold several times as recently as 2007, but no one from Elmore County purchased it?). They also said farmland is disappearing; having grown up on a farm myself, this is a strong appeal to make. However, according to the USDA’s 2007 Census of Agriculture, “nearly 300,000 new farms have begun operation since the last census in 2002.” Elmore County farm statistics, obtained from the county extension office, show farms in the county also increased between 2002 and 2007, from 364 to 381. While Idaho agriculture is robust, we know farmland figures could increase substantially if our power plant is built, as many acres cannot be irrigated due to lack of low-cost power for irrigation pumps.

Most surprisingly, several opponents said the jobs won’t materialize because the plant won’t be built — then proceeded to argue against the rezone so the plant could not be built!

The Snake River Alliance is a master of these both-sides-of-the-fence arguments. On one hand, the SRA says our reactor can’t be built for a mountain of reasons — but if they really believe that, why are they spending their time opposing us? Their preoccupation with our project is unintended but welcome testimony that we are fully capable of building this plant and have an excellent shot at success, even given the current financial markets.

For someone to build a commercial nuclear plant in Idaho on their watch would pretty much verify the SRA has lost relevance and is out of touch with modern environmental thinking, even more so than the successful Areva and Idaho National Laboratory expansions demonstrate.

So, this really is about jobs: theirs (about 10) versus ours (about 5,000, with salaries much higher). It’s also stunning the Snake River Alliance would say it’s concerned about jobs and agriculture in Elmore County, when it has advocated the closure of Mountain Home Air Force Base and supported restricting water supplies to farmers to protect the Bruneau Snail. I am frankly surprised at their alliance with the Hammett-area farmers. I guess the saying “My enemy’s enemy is my friend” holds, even uniting former enemies who haven’t considered the consequences. What will these farmers do when the newly empowered SRA resumes advocacy of cutting their water rights to protect a snail or return farmland to its original “pristine condition”?

Despite all the misinformation, the people who made the loudest statement last week were our hundreds of supporters. Sadly, the SRA and opposition websites (which don’t allow comment) discount and mock the people who are eager and willing to get to work building and running a reactor.

Our opponents concern themselves with obstructing and stopping, not building and creating. No matter how this is resolved, we have made a very clear statement that Elmore County’s (and Idaho’s) baseload energy supply and economic development are pressing issues – and neither the Snake River Alliance nor their supporters have any plan to address them.

For more information on the rezone and our intentions, please go to www.alternateenergholdings.com or www.cleanidahoenergy.wordpress.com.

Don Gillispie

President and CEO of Alternate Energy Holdings Inc.

Another great newspaper analysis April 2, 2009

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, economic benefits, Elmore County, Energy policy, rural nuclear.
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Nuclear plants are being proposed in many different states and countries, so it’s hard to keep up with the latest news. Every now and then, however, a newspaper editorial or story comes my way and I just have to pass it on.

This one, from the Selma, Ala., Times-Journal, makes many good observations about Alabama Power Co.’s purchase of 5,600 acres in Dallas County for a nuclear plant. Southern Nuclear Operating Co., a sister company to Alabama Power, Mississippi Power Co. and other subsidiaries under the Southern Company umbrella, is one of 21 utility companies last year that filed for permission to build one of 34 power plants nationwide.

“Plenty of employment and benefits come with construction of power plants, according to Wylie [Pat Wylie, director for corporate communications for Alabama Power], who calls the relation between the communities and Alabama Power ‘almost symbiotic,’ meaning as the area served by the company grows, that’s a benefit to the company and the communities. The power company works closely with economic and political leaders in Dallas County and elsewhere to help bring in growth or encourage other industries to locate within those areas.”

This is very true. Nuclear power plants have a vested interest in the social and economic well-being of their surrounding towns and cities. We look forward to proposed plant having a similar relationship with Elmore County and all of Idaho.

We're looking for qualified people for our nuclear plant March 26, 2009

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, approval process, economic benefits, Elmore County, Energy policy, environmentalists, rural nuclear, Snake River Alliance.
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Below is a news release we sent last week regarding our taking resumes and letters of interest from people about jobs. Jennie sums things up pretty well, so I won’t say any more.

Elmore nuclear plant company to accept resumes April 22
Approval of the project will require thousands of trained workers of all skills

March 16, 2009
For more information, contact: Jennie Ransom, AEHI spokeswoman 208-939-9311
Martin Johncox, 208-658-9100

Alternate Energy Holdings Inc., the Eagle company developing a nuclear power plant in Elmore County, will be accepting resumes and letters of interest from people on April 22 in front of Mountain Home Junior High School beginning at 5 p.m.

“I get ten letters a week, unsolicited, for people who want to work for our company,” said company spokeswoman Jennie Ransom. “When the time comes to build this plant, we are going to need to call on thousands of skilled local people, so I figured we might as well start collecting resumes.”

Ransom and other AEHI volunteers will staff a table to accept resumes and letters of interest. People who submit a resume will be encouraged to attend the Elmore County Commission meeting in the adjacent junior high school auditorium and show their support for the proposal to construct a large advanced nuclear reactor in Elmore County.

“The commission needs to hear from Elmore County residents and Idahoans in general that our plant should be a priority for economic development,” Ransom said. “The Treasure Valley has had to turn away major employers because of lack of energy. The plant would directly put people to work and allow other industries to come.”

The company plans to hire locally and from Idaho as much as possible. Idaho State University can supply many employees trained in nuclear technology, while the large number of ex-military in Elmore County would be ideal for security and operations jobs. Other Idahoans are skilled in management, construction, maintenance and office work, Ransom said.

“These are stable, family-wage jobs that cannot be sent overseas,” Ransom said, pointing to recent news coverage showing Idaho is the third most-stressed state economically. “The average wage in the nuclear industry is $80,000 a year and these jobs provide a great sense of accomplishment.”

Ransom said the company is interested in letters of interest and resumes from people in the following jobs:

Administration – human resources, secretaries, admin assistants, clerks, managers
Attorneys
Auxiliary operator
Boilermakers, pipefitters, plumbers
Buyers
Chemists andchemistry technicians
Construction workers
Electricians
Engineers – nuclear, civil, mechanical, electrical, industrial
Engineering technicians
Environmental compliance professionals
Facilities maintenance personnel – mechanics, instrumentation, HVAC, diesel, electrical.
Food service workers
Information tech specialists
Janitors
Laboratory technicians
Landscapers
Parts specialists
Radiation technicians
Reactor Operator
Receptionists
Security personnel – ex-military and Guard
Warehouse staff

The nuclear industry is very selective, however. Plant workers need high security clearances and must pass background checks and psychological tests. Ransom said the high number of former and current military personnel in Elmore County make it an ideal place for finding prospective employees.

AEHI’s 2007 economic study found the plant would grow employment in Elmore and Owyhee counties by 25 percent and generate 4,230 jobs statewide during construction, including a total annual payroll impact of $839 million – nearly 2 percent of the payroll in Idaho. It would also generate 1,004 annual jobs statewide during operation (estimated 60 years or more) with an annual statewide payroll impact of $57 million. It would also pay average annual wages of $80,000 to plant employees (267 percent of Idaho average) and pay would be $33,536 (112 percent of Idaho average) in industries indirectly affected (2006 dollars). Total annual labor income impacts in Owyhee and Elmore counties during operation would be $52.3 million.

Ransom said she was shocked at a Jan. 9 news release by an opposition group warning that one of the drawbacks of the plant would be “thousands of construction workers.”

“There might already be hundreds, if not thousands, of construction workers in Elmore County, and the only difference is that they’re unemployed and looking for jobs,” Ransom said. “Until our opponents come up with a plan to put people to work, it sounds elitist and out-of-touch for them to complain about construction workers getting jobs in Elmore County or anywhere else. The lack of jobs and tax revenue is already straining county services.”

Unemployment in the Elmore County has reached 7 percent, which is high for a place with a normally robust economy. Loss of jobs thousands of jobs at Micron, the closing of a potato processing plant, a poor Christmas season and fewer car sales are behind much of the unemployment. On March 7, the Idaho Statesman reported the Idaho jobless rate is at a 21-year high of nearly 7 percent, with some 53,000 unemployed; the state is expecting a 12 percent drop in tax revenue. Economists say joblessness will continue to rise nationally for the rest of the year and into early 2010, with the unemployment rate reaching 9 to 10 percent before it turns around.

Ransom said it could be a few years before large numbers of jobs commence at the AEHI plant, as AEHI must first obtain approval. Delays caused by the opposition, if any, will extend the construction start time.

However, even with no new plants under construction, the nuclear industry is already putting people to work. According to the Nuclear Energy Institute, “nuclear energy is one of the few bright spots in the US economy – expanding rather than contracting.” An NEI report says the prospect of new plant construction in has already stimulated considerable investment and job creation among companies that supply the nuclear industry: “Over the last several years, the nuclear industry has invested over $4 billion in new nuclear plant development, and plans to invest approximately $8 billion in the next several years to be in a position to start construction in 2011-2012.”

In the course of this, NEI said, “private investment in new nuclear power plants has created an estimated 14,000-15,000 jobs.” The number of new jobs “will expand dramatically after 2011 when the first wave of these new nuclear projects starts construction.”