1. nuclear-powered launchers are fantasy. Never going to happen. Zis is not nuts, zis is super-nuts. iMlite, might I suggest Aviation Leak is a better source than the Daily Mail?
2. STS is dead, done and dusted in September 2010 or thereabouts. No chance of any refitting or refactoring; aerospace museums are already jostling for the opportunity to take one of the three remaining Orbiters (Endeavour, Atlantis and Discovery.) One's earmarked for the Smithsonian, of course.
3. The "Ares V - lite" vehicle was... Ares I. There's no way an Ares V could be used for routine ISS crew-rotation missions, so that either goes to SpaceX' Dragon capsule (who's launched, the Falcon-9, is being readied for it's first launch right now:
4. IMO, Ares V without I makes less sense than I without V. The only real justification for V (apart from willy-waving about having something competitive to Ariane 5 in lifting capacity) is for pushing large masses beyond LEO. Manned missions to the moon and Mars are often mentioned, because Dubya thought it would be a great soundbite and had a slim chance of making him the 21st century Kennedy. Alas, they completely omitted to provide the budget to do it with. Hence (partly) the horrible squeeze on unmanned probes. After MSL in 2011, there's nothing on the drawing-board until some vaguely hypothesised joint rovers project with ESA. (The latter's contrib is based on Exo-Mars, which began as an ambitious attempt to do a Mars rover in the MER class, then slipped, over-spent it's budget, slipped and slipped again. It smells doomed to me.)
5. Off-topic: as one commentard to others, you lot do know that some of your tax goes to the European Space Agency, ESA, right? That they're currently operating flagship-class orbiters at Mars and Venus, the recently launched Planck and Kepler space telescopes, and assorted other current missions?
No, I didn't think so.