Brewing An Empire: Rohan Marley On Building His Sustainable Coffee Brand | 08/29/2014
Rohan Marley, one of the son’s of the late Bob Marley and a former football player, isn’t shy about promoting his entrepreneurial efforts to FORBES. In 2009, he launched his own coffee brand, Marley Coffee, that sources from Jamaica and Ethiopia, and in 2012, he started an eco-friendly electronics company, The House of Marley.
Recently, Marley Coffee has attracted some media attention due to high increases in volume up from $1.8 million in 2012 to $6 million in 2013 and with projections for $10 million this year. They’re also boasting a partnership with Mother Parkers that’s aligned them to be the first brand name coffee in a recyclable, single-serve capsule and a deal with Bevyz to start distributing cold brew coffee.
I spoke with founder Rohan Marley and CEO Brent Toevs to find out why and how they’ve been able to enter these new markets and get their product to stand out among the competition. Is it truly just about a name?
Kerry Flynn: What was your mission when you first started out, and have you stuck with that?
Rohan Marley: To create opportunities for the community and do something as an entrepreneur that creates a sustainable movement of something that can outlast a generation. We started Marley Coffee from a farm perspective and ever since we’ve been doing things in a sustainable way and organically.
Brent Toevs: When I saw Marley Coffee and met with Ro to listen to his vision, having worked with many of the large brands that are out there in the coffee and beverage sector, I really thought this was a brand that could make a difference. Instead of worrying about this year’s crops, we’re going to worry about it 10 years now, 20 years from now.
Flynn: If you wanted to prioritize sustainability, why offer single-serve k-cups?
Toevs: To change the game, you have to be in the game. We chose to get into the single-serve business with a company that had a real strategy for change. Not a blueprint for 2020. Mother Parkers told us within 2 years we will have your brand with the first recyclable k-cups.
Flynn: But when it came to partnering with this company, how could you trust them? What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs looking to partner up?
Toevs: Do your research. Decide who are you as a company and what your goals are. Every company has to generate revenues and be profitable. There’s an easy path, a hard path, and a lot of paths in between. Pick your partners based on how you can stay true to yourself. And if we wanted to walk away, we could have, but we were committed to what they were doing and vice versa.
Marley: For all the people we work with, we develop the relationship over time. Many people have visited our office, but Mother Parkers took the time to visit Jamaica, our farm. They’re a 100-year-old company, and we’re just starting out. We’re connecting our legacy and their legacy. That’s what we saw with each other — the trust level and being emotionally connected.
Flynn: I saw that you moved your headquarters from California to Denver. Why Colorado?
Toevs: We knew we needed a base in North America. We had a few people working remotely, but for efficiency, there’s nothing like sitting in the same room and brainstorming and talking. We looked at South Florida (Ro’s family is based there), NYC (Ro’s residence), and southern California (the market where we moved more product than anywhere else). Then we looked at Denver. It’s the whole center of organic and sustainability. People here live and breathe that. We started taking market factors into consideration: quality of life, cost of living. Denver is a main hub for a couple of airlines, so we could get anywhere direct, and with all the universities, there’s so much talent. The consumer is here and the business community here has thrown their support in this company.
Flynn: You’ve aligned yourself with a lot of sponsors in Denver. How do you choose who to work with?
Toevs: As a small brand you have to be really careful. We’re not a big brand, yet. We have to go to partners and work out terms that economically make sense for the marketing that you’re going to get out, and you also have to be able to leverage that relationship into dollars. Whether it’s access to their corporate partners or their fan base or do things that are way out of the box that introduce our product. With the name Marley, so many people approach us. Ro, how many people do you talk to?
Marley: I think if it wasn’t for Brent, I’d be talking all day. It has to be at least 50 a day. I get so many emails. Everyone wants to do business. Everyone wants to open up a coffee shop.
Toevs: All of those people that speak to Ro, they believe they’ll be good for the brand. What we’ve learned is how to say no. You can never burn a bridge. Everybody that we’ve said no to, we still listen to. They think, “Oh they’ve listened to us, and we’ve had ideas, and we might be able to come back to it.” People are offering you up great deals. You have to respectfully say no, and stay focused. What is your core business and champion that.
Flynn: So what roles and responsibility do each of you have? Where does Rohan fit into running the company?
Toevs: Ro is the visionary of the company. Everything comes from Ro in terms of what are our ethics and who do we want to be, what’s our sustainability message and where do the products fit. And for Anh Tran, he’s the president of the company. He answers, “What do we want to be when we grow up?” It’s all about hiring the right people and hiring people who are smarter than you. We have phenomenal support staff here that support that grocery side of the business. And we have great distribution partners. It’s all about you knowing where you want to get and in the end you know how many people are going to be needed. You almost have that fictitious organizational chart. As you start growing you just start plugging in those positions.
Flynn: What’s next for Marley Coffee?
Toevs: We want to lead that sustainability movement. Every coffee brand is trying to say that. Every brand is taking the easy road… If we can get that entry barrier lowered by staying independent and teaming up with equipment manufacturers, we can really make an impact.
Flynn: Let’s take a step back. What about the coffee itself? What makes Marley Coffee so good?
Toevs: Sometimes we forget about that. There’s a lot of great coffees out there. What I’ve always told our sales people, and I guarantee this to Ro, if people go in and do a blind taste test you’re going to win 9 out of 10 times. It holds true. If you look at singleservecoffee.com, our coffees got rated 98, 99, 100. We’re proud of that. A lot of athletes love the brand. Rohan played for the University of Miami and his teammates were Ray Lewis and “The Rock.” I don’t know if Lewis has any other clothes besides a Marley Coffee t-shirt right now.
Flynn: Do you think a lot of that success is from Ro himself and the name?
Toevs: With Ro being our ambassador, it’s a real nice advantage, but even with brands that I’ve worked with, it’s all about the relationships you create. It doesn’t have to be a celebrity. It can be a distributor for the town that you’re working with. We have some independent retailers up in the Toronto market. These guys took chances on our brand. We keep paying that back as much as we can. It’s about developing great relationships that are going to be win-win.
Flynn: Rohan, what would you say your biggest success has been so far with this business?
Marley: Meeting Brent and Ahn and the partnership we’ve developed with Mother Parkers. Seeing the passion with how they live and meeting the families. The team that we’ve created has been so successful. Without the team, without the people who really believe in who they are as human beings, you can’t succeed.
Intel Redefines The High-End PC, But Takes A Step Backward In The Process | 08/29/2014
Intel just refreshed their flagship desktop PC platform, with a new family of processors based on the company’s Haswell-E microarchitecture and its companion X99 chipset. There have already been a couple of short articles posted here at Forbes covering the technology, but if you want a more extensive, in-depth look at the processors, chipset, motherboards, and memory for the platform, including a broad range of benchmarks and power-related data, I’ve published one here.
The top of the line part in Intel’s new line-up is the Core i7-5960X. But before I quickly cover its specifications, I want to reflect back on Intel’s previous high-end offerings. It was way back in 2011 when Intel introduced Sandy Bridge-E and the X79 Express chipset. Since then the platform has received only marginal updates and performance improvements. Processors based on the more power-efficient Ivy Bridge-E microarchitecture were eventually released just about a year ago, but their performance was nearly identical to its predecessor; only power efficiency was improved. Ivy Bridge-E chips also dropped right into the same X79 Express-based motherboards, which lacked native USB 3.0 support and had only a few SATA III ports. Intel had no competition at the high-end, so relative to everything else Sandy Bridge-E and Ivy Bridge-E—or more specifically the Core i7-3960X and i7-4960X—were super-fast, but the performance deltas separating the fastest processor you could buy in 2011 versus what you could buy yesterday was negligible. The platform as a whole was also getting a bit long in the tooth.
The Haswell-E based Core i7-5960X and the X99 chipset promised much more. The processor would feature 8-cores (16 threads) leveraging Intel’s latest desktop microarchitecture and be outfitted with a bleeding-edge quad-channel DDR4 memory controller. The chipset would propel Intel’s enthusiast platform to the forefront of PC technology as well, and offer support for things like the latest M.2 solid state storage devices and more extreme graphics configurations. The combined goodness of the Core i7-5960X and an X99-based motherboard had the potential to outperform every other desktop PC platform in virtually every category, from raw performance, to power consumption, to I/O throughput and connectivity. But Intel made one misstep along the way in my opinion. The Core i7-5960X default frequencies are nowhere near as high as the Core i7-4960X it’s replacing.
We’ve all heard of the “MHz Myth” by now, but all things being equal, higher frequencies will result in better performance. The Core i7-5960X has 8-cores and connects to DDR4 memory at a maximum official clock of 2133MHz. The previous-gen Core i7-4960X has 6-cores and connects to DDR3 memory at a maximum official clock of 1600MHz. The number of available PCI Express lanes, and L1 and L2 cache sizes are similar per core, but the Core i7-5960X has more cache overall, including 5MB of additional L3 (20MB vs. 15MB). The kicker is that the Core i7-5960X has a base clock speed of only 3.0GHz and a maximum turbo clock of 3.5GHz; the Core i7-4960X’s base and turbo clocks are 3.6GHz and 4.0GHz, respectively, or roughly 17.5% – 20% higher.
With multi-threaded workloads, Haswell-E and the Core i7-5960X’s additional cores have no problem dealing with those kinds of clock speed deficits, as the benchmarks in my article show. But the majority of users won’t always be running applications with multi-threaded workloads. Fast single-thread performance is typically what improves the user experience during more common computing tasks, as Intel is quick to point out when talking about the performance of its low-power processors. And it is in this regard that Haswell-E isn’t quite as attractive as the previous generation. The Cinebench benchmark illustrates this point quite well. In Cinebench’s multi-threaded benchmark, the Core i7-5960X puts up a score of 14.28, whereas the Core i7-4960X can only manage 11.2. In the single-threaded portion of the benchmark, however, the Core i7-5960X scores only 1.55 to the Core i7-4960X’s 1.62. Factor in a much more affordable Core i7-4790K and the comparison looks worse. The $339 Core i7-4790K scores 1.96 to the $1000 Core i7-5960X’s 1.55. And there are another scenarios that will show similar results.
Despite my nit-pick, the Core i7-5960X is still a supremely impressive processor. Though its single-thread performance isn’t the highest out there, the Core i7-5960X is still very fast, and it can’t be matched by any other desktop processor with multi-threaded workloads. It’s just that shelling out top dollar for a top of the line enthusiast platform used to mean getting the best of everything across the board, bar none, and that’s no longer the case—at least with the initial batch of Haswell-E processors. Perhaps as Intel turns the dials and tweaks its manufacturing process over time, future Haswell-E-based processors will ship with higher default frequencies. Until that happens, we’ll just have to settle for a new king of the hill, with a slightly tarnished crown.
6 Millionaire Celebrities Who Have Landlords | 08/29/2014
Stars, they’re just like us! In a world of insane, high-priced luxury real estate, many celebrities decide to go the rental route. Whether it’s for the long-term, or just during transitions – like divorce, a bi-coastal move, a lengthy vacation, a renovation project – and more, celebs are signing leases from coast-to-coast. Although they have to answer to a landlord here and there, the luxury rentals celebs are nestling in are worth every penny. From lavish beach homes to high-rise penthouses, these properties’ monthly rents can go up to $40,000 a month! Let’s take a peek inside the fabulous rentals of some of the biggest stars.
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Ever since he was deemed the ‘world’s worst neighbor’ by anyone who’s ever lived next to him, Justin Bieber has been living the life of a renter. He sold his Calabasas mansion to Khloe Kardashian and booked it to Atlanta for a couple months. The lure of the West Coast got ahold of him again, and he was back in no time, this time shacking up in two rented Beverly Hills condos. When the neighbors there had enough, he moved on…again. Now, Bieber is renting a $29,500 a-month Hollywood Hills mansion with its own nightclub, indoor gym, home theater and three bars.
See more images of Justin Bieber’s Hollywood Hills rental here
The jet setting hotel heiress can never stay in one place for too long, which is why she likes to sign short-term leases. This summer, Paris signed on the dotted line for a $65,000 a-month Malibu beach rental, where she shacked up for the entire month of July. She threw an A-list 4th of July party and soaked up the sun, until August, when she was on the run again!
See more images of Paris Hilton’s Malibu rental here
Khloe, Kourtney and the entire family became renters in the world-famous Hamptons this summer, while they filmed their reality TV show “Khloe and Kourtney Take The Hamptons.” During their time there, they ‘took’ a lease on a $14 million waterfront mansion, where they spent gorgeous summer nights enjoying the peace and quiet of the 3 acre, 5 bedroom, 6.5 bathroom property.
See more images of the Kardashian’s Hampton’s rental here
Speaking of Kardashians, Bruce Jenner, the family patriarch, became a renter in Malibu earlier this year. He and wife Kris Jenner very publicly decided to live apart, and Bruce booked it as fast as he could to the shores of Malibu, where he took up rented residence in a $14,500 a-month bachelor pad. The 4-bedroom, 3 bathroom, 4,400 square foot beachfront home is Bruce’s place to get some R&R away from the madness that comes along with ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians.’
See more images of Bruce Jenner’s Malibu rental here
Jennifer Aniston may not be a perma-renter, but she knows how to work her way around a lease when she needs to. The well-tressed ‘Friend’ bought a massive $21 million dollar mansion in Bel Air in January 2012, but quickly decided it needed a major overhaul. While the contractors and construction crews moved in, Jen and longtime fiance, Justin Theroux, rented a very Zen-inspired Beverly Hills mansion with a very un-Zen $40,000 a-month price tag. They shacked up there for at least a year, while they waited out the final touches on their Bel Air dream home.
See more images of Jennifer Aniston’s rental here
RiRi is the ultimate celebrity renter! The world-famous pop diva has rented at least four high-priced properties in her short time in the spotlight. According to reports, she’s currently shacking up in two bi-coastal rentals. The first is a penthouse in New York City, where she’s paying $39,000 a month for swanky Chinatown pad. Back on the West Coast, she left a stalker-riddled estate and moved into a massive rental atop the Hollywood Hills, where she has the views and privacy she needs. When she’s just in vacation mode, Rihanna goes the rental route as well. This past winter, she took up residence in the most expensive home in Aspen to celebrate her 26th birthday, instagramming the luxe vacation along the way. Back in her home
town island of Barbados, Rihanna rented a massive $20 million dollar oceanfront villa with her family. It’s good to be Rihanna!
See more images of Rihanna’s Aspen rental here
R.R. Donnelley & Sons (RRD) Passes Through 6% Yield Mark | 08/29/2014
Looking at the universe of stocks we cover at Dividend Channel, in trading on Friday, shares of R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. (NASD: RRD) were yielding above the 6% mark based on its quarterly dividend (annualized to $1.04), with the stock changing hands as low as $17.29 on the day. Dividends are particularly important for investors to consider, because historically speaking dividends have provided a considerable share of the stock market’s total return. To illustrate, suppose for example you purchased shares of the iShares Russell 3000 ETF (IWV) back on 5/31/2000 — you would have paid $78.27 per share. Fast forward to 5/31/2012 and each share was worth $77.79 on that date, a loss of $0.48 or 0.6% decrease over twelve years. But now consider that you collected a whopping $10.77 per share in dividends over the same period, increasing your return to 13.15%. Even with dividends reinvested, that only amounts to an average annual total return of about 1.0%; so by comparison collecting a yield above 6% would appear considerably attractive if that yield is sustainable. R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. (NASD: RRD) is a member of the Russell 3000, giving it special status as one of the largest 3000 companies on the U.S. stock markets.
In general, dividend amounts are not always predictable and tend to follow the ups and downs of profitability at each company. In the case of R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co., looking at the history chart for RRD below can help in judging whether the most recent dividend is likely to continue, and in turn whether it is a reasonable expectation to expect a 6% annual yield.
Click here to find out which 9 other dividend stocks just recently went on sale, at DividendChannel.com »
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According to the ETF Finder at ETFChannel.com, RRD makes up 2.41% of the Guggenheim S&P Global Dividend Opportunities Index ETF (AMEX: LVL) which is trading lower by about 0.2% on the day Friday.
DH Shares Cross 4% Yield Mark | 08/29/2014
In trading on Friday, shares of DH Corp (Toronto: DH) were yielding above the 4% mark based on its quarterly dividend (annualized to $1.28), with the stock changing hands as low as $31.90 on the day. Dividends are particularly important for investors to consider, because historically speaking dividends have provided a considerable share of the stock market’s total return.
In general, dividend amounts are not always predictable and tend to follow the ups and downs of profitability at each company. In the case of DH Corp, looking at the history chart for DH below can help in judging whether the most recent dividend is likely to continue, and in turn whether it is a reasonable expectation to expect a 4% annual yield.
Click here to find out which 9 other Canadian dividend stocks just recently went ”on sale” and crossed into new yield territory, at CanadaStockChannel.com »
The chart below shows the one year performance of DH shares, versus its 200 day moving average:
Looking at the chart above, DH’s low point in its 52 week range is $24.83 per share, with $33.83 as the 52 week high point — that compares with a last trade of $32.52.
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Addison's William Bradley Brings A Taste Of France To La Jolla With Bijou French Bistro | 08/29/2014
Having collected accolades and awards with his haute cuisine at Addison, the Grand Del Mar resort’s premier dining venue, Executive Chef William Bradley and his team have launched a more casual bistro concept with Bijou French Bistro in La Jolla. The Grand Del Mar’s owner, Doug Manchester, also owns the new restaurant, which opened in June on the prosperous town’s main drag, a short drive from the extravagant Mediterranean-style golf resort north of San Diego.
As culinary director of Bijou French Bistro, Bradley drew on his experiences in France and his collection of historical cookbooks to design a menu of classic bistro favorites, such as Pâté de Campagne, Oeufs Mayonnaise inspired by Paris’ Le Comptoir du Relais, Steak Tartare, Steak Frites, and a remarkably rich and complex Coq au Vin that takes six days to prepare.
Bradley tapped Shaun Gethin, his sous chef at Addison, to take over as chef de cuisine. While the menu is resolutely classic, much time and effort was invested in getting the preparations and flavors just right, so you can make a virtual culinary journey to the streets of Paris and the French countryside. Before joining Addison in 2012, Gethin had stints at the Michelin-starred Gary Danko in San Francisco and Alex, at the Wynn Las Vegas.
Gethin shares Bradley’s passion for fresh, seasonal ingredients that are sourced locally. At Addison, Southern California’s only Five-Star/Five Diamond restaurant, Bradley has a bit more freedom to get creative with his contemporary approach to French cuisine infused with Californian nuances. “What we do is very seasonal cooking,” he explains in Addison’s gleaming kitchen. “We really wait until we see the product before we implement any ideas.” In the fall, menus transition from spotlighting vine-ripened tomatoes and melons to pumpkin and black truffles.
Addison is named for the famed 1920s-era architect Addison Mizner, whose work inspired the architecture and design of the Grand Del Mar. The vast restaurant is set apart from the main resort in a grand, sprawling Mediterranean-style building with carved stone columns, arches, floor-to-ceiling windows, marble flooring, Venetian-plastered walls in hues of gold and burgundy, and four limestone fireplaces.
This summer’s tasting menu includes grilled octopus with charred tomatillos, chilled white corn velouté with bacon croquettes, coffee-roasted duck, and Kobe beef short ribs. Asian influences were also evident with Kumamoto oysters and sake-cured Hamachi with lime, uni, and Asian greens. Desserts offer a modern twist on French classics such as tarte au chocolat and vanilla pot de crème. Each course can be paired with one of Addison’s 3,500 wine selections, which include rarities from Slovenia and Switzerland that are highlighted on the tasting menus.
“I’ve come to a point in my career where I understand my repertoire of cooking,” explains Bradley. “I focus on cooking to our strengths: simplicity and flavor. We don’t focus on what’s current—trends have a beginning and an end. The main goal is you get a meal and dishes that you’ve never had.”
Read more about the art & craft of luxury at Atelier.
Reasons For Optimism | 08/29/2014
When the market nears Dow Theory inflection points, investors often find their hopes warring with their fears. We give hope the edge and advise subscribers to remain mostly invested; our buy lists hold more than 94% in stocks.
Many pundits preach caution because of unrest overseas, the threat of higher interest rates, or a perception that stocks have become expensive. While we at the Forecasts acknowledge that situations change quickly and some caution is always advisable, we’ve shrugged off the doomsayers and advise that you do as well, for at least three reasons:
• The S&P 500 Index topped 2,000 for the first time earlier this week, and both the Dow Industrials and Transports are within 1% of taking out their own all-time highs (17,138.20 and 8,468.54, respectively), which would reconfirm the Dow Theory’s bullish trend.
• Consumers became more confident in August, with the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index hitting its highest point since 2007 and the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index’s late-August reading reversing a decline from early in the month, ending up 1% above July levels.
• Nonfarm payrolls have expanded in each of the last 46 months, adding 8.7 million jobs during that period. Strength in the labor market is cited as a major reason for the rise in consumer confidence.
Does higher consumer confidence always translate into stock-market gains? Not at all. But stocks have an easier time rising when individual Americans – who own about one-fourth of the U.S. market – feel good about the future.
The Forecasts has been warning for months that a correction is not only possible, but inevitable. We’ve also advised readers to treat such a decline as a buying opportunity, a stance reflected in our mostly invested posture.
On Aug. 7, the Dow Industrials closed down 4.5% from the all-time high reached July 16, in our view a significant correction. This correction, coupled with a concurrent move by the Dow Transports, established significant lows (16,368.27 for the Industrials and 7,992.08 for the Transports). If at least one of the averages fails to edge above its all-time high, then both fall below those August lows, the Dow Theory would turn bearish.
We are making no rank changes today. On Wednesday, we upgraded Gilead Sciences ($108; GILD) to a Long-Term Buy.
Friday feature: Seeking a strong second half
With the latest earnings season essentially complete, investors are shifting their gaze to the second half of 2014. Profit estimates have held up fairly well so far. The consensus projects 8% higher per-share profits for the S&P 500 Index in the September quarter, compared to the 11% growth anticipated on July 1. December-quarter estimates have remained roughly flat, projecting 12% growth.
The following recommended stocks are expected to grow per-share profits more than 10% in each of the final two quarters of the year. Analyst revisions are also favorable, given that these stocks earn Quadrix Earnings Estimates scores above 80. Lastly, the stocks seem reasonably priced, reflected by Value scores exceeding 60.
• Ameriprise Financial ($126; AMP)
• EMC ($30; EMC)
• Foot Locker ($56; FL)
• Jones Lang LaSalle ($133; JLL)
• Lear ($101; LEA)
Upside Hotline: August 29, 2014 | 08/29/2014
Notable development: Spurred by a boom in shale oil production, the volume of petroleum products moved by rail continues to increase — good news for Upside’s railcar plays, including tank car makers Greenbrier ($71; GBX), Trinity Industries ($48; TRN), and lessor GATX ($66; GMT). Through Aug. 23, 508,403 carloads of oil and petroleum products were transported by rail this year in the U.S., up 10.5%, according to the Association of American Railroads. In Canada, petroleum-related traffic increased 11.1% to 247,682 cars. An estimated one out of every eight barrels of oil produced in the U.S. hails from the burgeoning Bakken shale region of North Dakota. About 60% to 70% of the more than 1 million barrels per day of oil produced in the state is moved by rail, according to the North Dakota Pipeline Authority. GATX, Greenbrier, and Trinity are rated Best Buy.
Friday feature: The trend in free cash flow has been one of our favorite tools for isolating attractive growers. Free cash flow equals cash provided by operations minus capital spending and dividends. Below are five stocks with strong trends in free cash flow. All five have increased trailing 12-month free cash flow by at least 55% over the past year. In addition, the stocks have Quadrix Overall scores of at least 90.
• Diodes ($25; DIOD)
• Korn Ferry Int’l ($30; KFY)
• ON Semiconductor ($10; ONNN)
• PTC ($39; PTC)
• Syntel ($89; SYNT)
Confidence -- What Does It Mean For Nuclear Waste? | 08/29/2014
Can we be confident that we can handle our nuclear waste in America? On Tuesday, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said – yes. The NRC made a small but incredibly important decision about nuclear waste that could finally get nuclear energy moving forward again.
In response to a 2012 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals, the NRC approved a generic environmental impact statement that clears the way for storing spent nuclear fuel for a hundred years or more (NRC Ruling). New nuclear power plants can now be built without waiting for a final nuclear waste repository to be built.
This is indeed a very good thing.
Nuclear power plants in the United States have safely stored spent nuclear fuel for decades in spent fuel pools of water and, later, in concrete dry casks. There has never been a problem.
But the centerpiece of our nuclear waste program has always been the idea of a deep geologic repository as the final resting place for nuclear waste.
Therefore, when the Yucca Mountain deep geologic repository project was essentially canned in 2009 (killed for similar political reasons it was born from), it was a blow to the country’s confidence in our ability to handle our spent nuclear fuel. We had never thought about storing this stuff forever.
Specifically, the 2012 Court struck down what’s called the NRC Waste Confidence Decision, which stated:
- “reasonable assurance exists that sufficient geologic repository capacity will be available for disposal of…spent nuclear fuel when necessary”, and
- “reasonable assurance exists that…spent fuel can be stored safely without significant environmental impacts…in spent fuel pools and…dry cask storage systems.”
As a result of this court ruling, the NRC decided to stop all nuclear licensing activities (CLI-12-016) while it developed a Waste Confidence Generic Environmental Impact Statement that would address these issues, even the possibility that a permanent geologic repository might never be built. This generic EIS would not have to be redone over and over for every site or every license.
The GEIS examined land use, air and water quality, historic and cultural resources over three timeframes: 60 years (short-term), 100 years after the short-term scenario (long-term) and indefinitely. It also analyzed spent fuel pool leaks and fires.
So Tuesday’s approval by the NRC of this new rule on the environmental effects of long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel was enormously important. It restores the confidence that was called into question and let’s new nuclear builds and activities to go forward, once the final rule becomes effective, 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.
The waste confidence issue is not just a touchy-feely notion. It has practical and economic ramifications. If the NRC, the agency that regulates the commercial nuclear industry, does not feel confident that the industry can take care of its waste, then they will not issue any new licenses to build any new nuclear power plants, disposal sites or any other nuclear facilities, and will not extend licenses for existing power plants.
But the game-changer of this ruling is it recognizes storing spent fuel for long periods in dry casks is incredibly safe and cheap. Dry casks completely contain all radiation. They effortlessly manage the heat. And they prevent nuclear fission (see figure). The casks resist earthquakes, projectiles, tornadoes, floods, temperature extremes and any other event we can think of, including tsunamis (NRC Casks).
Cooling in the casks is passive, and the heat coming off of a loaded spent fuel cask is less than that given off by the average home-heating system. The heat and radioactivity simply decrease over time without the need of fans or pumps, or any action on our part. The only operational cost is the constant monitoring we carry out on the casks.
China Behind 13 Weeks Of Investor Inflows To Asia | 08/29/2014
So maybe China is’t that bad after all.
Portfolio money into China is leading a 13 week trend of foreign capital piling into emerging Asia funds in the last week of August, fund tracking firm EPFR Global said on Friday.
China, and the planned linking of its Shanghai exchange with Hong Kong’s, remains a key driver of recent flows into Asia ex-Japan equity funds, EPFR said in a press release today. A week after posting their biggest inflow on record, Hong Kong equity funds took in another $167 million while China equity funds posted inflows for the seventh time in the past eight weeks.
Over the last five days, the iShares MSCI Hong Kong (EWH) exchange traded fund is actually down 2.58%, while the iShares FTSE China (FXI) ETF is down a little over 1%. Over the last three months, or roughly 12 weeks, EWH is up 3.06% and FXI has gained 10.4%. China’s mainland shares have beat the benchmark MSCI Emerging Markets Index, but those companies listed in Hong Kong have underperformed.
“We have been slowly building our China position and now have a neutral to modest overweight,” said Marc Tommasi, head of global investment strategy at Manning & Napier in Rochester, NY. “The world is lining up good for emerging markets,” he said.
Meanwhile, flows for U.S. equity funds for the week were essentially neutral. But behind the headline number was an $5.6 billion outflow from actively managed funds tied to the payment of dividends – much of which is historically re-invested in coming weeks, EPFR Global said.
— The iShares MSCI Hong Kong ETF has traded sideways over the last three months, and despite inflows is underperforming the benchmark MSCI Emerging Markets Index and even mainland China equities.