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20 Comments

  1. If the nuclear industry scores less than 1/10 the fatalities per TWh as wind farms, it should be preferred on the basis of public safety, no?

  2. Not surprisingly, I see Romm removed your comment. Its pretty typical of his MO.

    1. My comments are still awaiting moderation.  Perhaps I should re-post them here, just in case.

      1. http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/06/17/2158951/pandoras-promise-nuclear-powers-trek-from-too-cheap-to-meter-to-too-costly-to-matter-much/#comment-948371

        Please, can I have some of it?

        I’m serious. I’ll take up to 20 kg of strontium-90, if you put it in a lead shield with inner and outer stainless-steel jackets. Sr-90 emits 460 watts of power per kilogram (mostly as gammas, which degrade to heat in the shielding). 20 kg would heat my house’s DHW for the rest of my life, provide a fair amount of space heat in the winter, and might even work to run a small steam engine for enough electricity to keep my refrigerator and freezer going for the next 3 decades.

        Russia has used Sr-90 as a heat source for powering remote equipment. If you want people to take personal responsibility for this stuff, I’m willing to do my share and then some.

      2. http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/06/17/2158951/pandoras-promise-nuclear-powers-trek-from-too-cheap-to-meter-to-too-costly-to-matter-much/#comment-948401

        A lot of uranium is coming from solution mining and recovery from phosphate processing.

        To put your female relatives near a uranium mine, you’d have to travel to someplace like Cigar Lake. Canada isn’t known for lax environmental standards, and neither is Australia. The biggest producers are countries like Kazakhstan. Would you tell the Kazakhs what they are and are not allowed to do? Isn’t that imperialism?

      3. http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/06/17/2158951/pandoras-promise-nuclear-powers-trek-from-too-cheap-to-meter-to-too-costly-to-matter-much/#comment-948431

        How long do you think our civilization is going to remain civilized?

        Much longer if we get the problems of energy shortages and climate change off the table. Anything else is just planning for a collapse, with consequent population crash and massive ecological destruction as people eat and burn anything they can get their hands on to stay alive.

        Do you think Homeland Security is up to the task?

        If we close the borders and deport our illegal and terror-simp populations, we wouldn’t need DHS; local police would do. Nuclear plants are very hard targets anyway, and we’d be better off if the bomb-throwers attacked them than buses, concert halls, schools or even power lines.

      4. http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/06/17/2158951/pandoras-promise-nuclear-powers-trek-from-too-cheap-to-meter-to-too-costly-to-matter-much/#comment-948881

        To get 80 percent of its electricity from nuclear, as France does, the USA would need to build several hundred more nuclear power plants — more than currently exist in the whole world! — something that no nation on Earth has ever considered doing, let alone attempted.

        Do think the United States is not capable of an effort proportional to the size of its economy, given that France has already done the same?

        If we’re going to make such a transition, we should plan for electricity to replace a lot of other loads. For instance, at least 50% of light-duty vehicle mileage should be electric, perhaps 70% of over-the-road trucking on Interstates (overhead wire power has been demonstrated), most space heat and DHW, and other things too. The USA uses about 450 GW average, which we could probably boost to 750 GW, or about 700 AP-1000 reactors. We’d make up the cost with savings on petroleum and health damage from air pollution, and they’d be a lot cheaper if we set up to build 700 of them.

        “Renewable subsidies have caused German solar power glut … Low German wholesale prices make it attractive for exports …

        In other words, German consumers pay for power they do not get to enjoy. This works until the German consumer runs out of money, which poor households are doing already. An increasing number are disconnected because they cannot pay their subsidy-padded bills, so they get NO electricity for months at a time.

        … The unsubsidized solar growth should drive wholesale power prices further down.”

        You just said that solar was subsidized. What is it?

      5. http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/06/17/2158951/pandoras-promise-nuclear-powers-trek-from-too-cheap-to-meter-to-too-costly-to-matter-much/#comment-948991

        If you wish to make a substantive argument, please say specifically which nuclear regulatory “costs and delays” are “unnecessary”,

        The NRC requirement that nuclear-rated components have each production step individually and exhaustively documented.

        , and why

        Because there is no indication that this improves the product in any way.  Standard commercial-grade valves and such do not have an appreciably higher failure rate.  All it does is drive cost through the roof, and inhibit the adoption of better production methods until they have been “certified”.

        We do not require such documentation for critical airframe parts in airliners, where a failure would kill all aboard within a minute.  A failure in a nuclear power plant might result in a cleanup in the containment building.  As we’ve seen at Fukushima Dai’ichi, even multiple massive failures killed nobody; 3 people who were assigned to walk through water in the basements without proper protective gear got the equivalent of a bad sunburn.  All have recovered.  If you look at the reality versus the FUD, it’s painfully obvious that the FUD is hysterically overblown even in the worst case.

  3. Hey, if someone does not agree with you just delete their comment, right? I hate people who play those games they have no credibility or character in my book.

  4. His argument of a negative learning curve is ridiculous. In 1920, a Model T cost $260, which is today’s dollar would be ~$3000. Because of increasing complexity and regulations, the prices of cars have gone up. However, the quality, safety, and reliability of cars have also increased dramatically over the years. Does this mean that there is a negative learning curve in the car industry? No.

    He even goes back to the “too cheap to meter” phrase, which his own link states that the phrase was referring to fusion, not fission.

  5. I don’t know why these bums continue to hammer the nuclear industry today about the “too cheap to meter” bit. It was said only one time and Lewis Strauss was said to have been referencing the nascent fusion program at the time. Others have suggested me may have been alluding to a bulk pricing system wherein the basic service is delivered at a flat use use, with no need to measure individual use. There are many services offered in that manner. My telephone company charges me a flat rate, whether I make a hundred calls or none per month. My cable service charges nothing other than a flat rate for basic service, it matters not if I watch for one hour or hundreds, there is no metering for basic channels. Strauss may have been envisioning a time where electricity might be offered in such a way. The fact that it isn’t is no reflection, good or bad, on the nuclear business.

  6. Joe Romm, the lead thinker at Climate Progress, has once again exposed the fact that he is not terribly serious about fighting climate change.

    Rod – Eh … It’s Joe Romm and the Center for American Progress. You might as well be asking EL what he thinks about fighting climate change.

    By the way, you forgot to put thinker in irony quotes. Joe rants; he doesn’t think, as years of blogging have demonstrated.

  7. Actually Rod once again you need to update your shtick. I get really tired of so called pronukers handing points based on nonsense to the lying opposition.

    Nuke plants while more expensive in the US/Europe than they need be, are still cheaper than any other alternative on a LCOE basis. They are much cheaper than any alternative by far elsewhere.

    VC SUmmer now somewhere around 30% complete costs in today at around $4.5B a GW. Its owner SCANA certified under oath to its regulator that its LCOE at its regulator certified discount rate was 7.5 cents a kwh, the same as gas.

    Gas at the time was $3/Mcf – it’s now $4 and according to Forbes due to rise rapidly to its cost at $8. SCANA is by the way a gas utility.

    If built by the much more efficient TVA with its low cost of capital that would come in 4 cents a kwh same as the public owned Columbia Generating Station and the cheapest cost of electricity available in the US. Note that the same plants almost 90% complete in China cost half as much – a similar cost to Candu’s and ABWR’s built in the last 20 years.

    Today’s business interests would rather spend a small amount of capital on gas plant and collect a lucrative gratuity on future fuel sales paid for by the taxpayer, than a large amount of capital and no gratuities on nukes. They pay a lot of graft to our corrupt politicians and media to keep that scam going. If they had to guarantee their prices for the next sixty years like nukes in effect do, not a gas plant would ever be built.

    Romm likes to block posts that point out his inaccuracies some so blatant that qualify as outright lies.

    1. @Seth

      Please refrain from insulting me by implying that I am a “so-called” nuclear advocate. There are few people in the world who are more certain about nuclear fission technologies than I am. However, I’ve been working in the “industry” long enough to know that there are many habits that need to be broken. One of the worst is a common inability to consistently make cost-aware, risk-informed decisions.

      SCANA is a well-run company that is doing a good job on VC Summer. That’s one of the reasons I bought their stock several years ago and continue to add to my holdings. Unfortunately, many others in the business have a lot left to learn.

    2. “Romm likes to block posts that point out his inaccuracies some so blatant that qualify as outright lies.”

      I never posted any opinion that wasn’t fully referenced there. My posts never see the light of day anymore on that page. I dont even bother going there except to check up now and then. Pity, I liked the people there and most of the time Romn seems ok.

      Insulting people here doesn’t add any validity to your argument. There is a problem with honesty and scientific integrity in the environmental green affiliated movement. We have seen example after example after example of that.

      Also:

      Cost analysis is encumbered by highly variable and varied market forces. Future projections that don’t involve a range are likely useless at best – IMHO.

      Also relating to cost and the reality of its consideration:

      Natural gas and coal capacity are each much larger than nuclear capacity (see capacity figure at left). However, for cost and technical reasons, nuclear power plants are generally utilized more intensively than coal or natural gas units. In 2011, the nuclear share of electricity generating capacity was 9%, while nuclear’s share of national power output was 19%. The comparable values for coal and natural gas were 28% capacity to 42% generation for coal, and 41% capacity to 25% generation for natural gas. ( http://www.eia.gov/energy_in_brief/article/nuclear_industry.cfm )

  8. But this film must be shown in a public area. Who would actually PAY MONEY to go see a documentary? Who would actually take a date to see a movie like that? It seems that to take a date to see Pandoras Promise will be the last date you ever have when word gets around about what kind of movies you take your dates on.

    1. BobinPgh – But you’re fanatically against having children. Doesn’t that mean that such mating rituals are superfluous, at the very least, or even a threat to the environment by your reckoning?

      Perhaps you should be endorsing Pandora’s Promise as the ultimate date move.

    2. Actually documentaries are pretty safe date fare. Unless they are about intense psychological issues, STDs and/or sex crimes.

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