1. Note: Moved by moderator from a different thread.

    From Jeff Walther 2017/01/20 at 3:28 am

    Hmph. Near the end the article the author asserts that on an average day Germany gets a third of its electricity from renewables. It’s been a couple of years but the last time I checked the EIA annual numbers it was about 3.5% from hydro, 4% solar, 7% wind and 9% wood burning plus or minus a point here or there for working from memory. Point is the annual numbers are less than 25% or one fourth, nowhere close to one third, although I have heard Deutsche representatives cherry pick time periods and claim 30+ percent.

    That kind of error really steams me because it is not a matter of opinion. I’m posting in part in case I’ve overlooked something and would like to be corrected.

    Take the wood burning out and Germany doesn’t even hit 16%.

    The point is, even when someone gets sort of favorable to nuclear power the narrative is still full of lies from the renewable propaganda machine, i.e. the other arm of the fossil fuel strategy (the first arm being to deny that CO2 is a concern and this arm being to make sure any “solution” is ineffective and leads to just as much ff burned).

    1. @Jeff Walther

      Here is a link to an informative site that provides timely data about Germany’s energy mix. https://www.energy-charts.de/energy_pie.htm

      For 2016 cumulative production the numbers for “renewables” in the electricity sector are

      Biomass (mostly wood) – 9%
      Wind – 14.2%
      Solar – 6.9%
      Hydro – 3.8%

      Total renewables – 33.9% – just a bit more than 1/3

      The key issues that I have with that number are 1) As you noted, it includes a big chunk of wood burning that is at least as polluting in the short term as burning lignite. 2) The total annual production percentages smooth out an incredible amount of hour by hour variation in wind and solar.

      The same site that provides the annual pie chart has the capability of displaying stacked charts for each week that can illustrate the contributions from selected sources on a continuous basis. The first three weeks of 2017 should illustrate my point about the variability of wind and solar, including off-shore wind. The charts show very clearly how adding capacity simply exaggerates the problem of feast or famine when trying to capture uncontrollable forces to provide power.


      Germany wind and solar wk 2 2017

      Germany wind solar wk 3 2017

      1. These (seasonal) dips in wind+solar production is the reason they:

        – increase interconnection capacities with other countries.
        E.g. Interconnection capacity with NL will be doubled in the autumn.*)

        – develop Power-to-Gas (H2 and NG). Their authority (dena) expect that the price will be so low and the process so well managed, that they can start with full-scale roll-out in 2025 (they then still have sufficient spare time as it won’t be needed until ~2035).
        They target to have pilots with a capacity of 1GW total in 2022.
        *) Such interconnection facilitates export of cheap Dutch Off-shore wind, and import of cheap German power.
        Dutch offshore will be many GW as it’s expected to be competitive in ~2025 (~3cnt/KWh) with 10-12MW wind turbines in the North Sea.

        1. In December (week 50), against an average load of ~60 GW, German coal share was over half, 53%, gas was 12%, and biomass 9%, for 3/4 supply from combustion sources. A couple GW from the Netherlands or even from PtG won’t significantly change anything for Europe’s largest electricity consumer. Meanwhile, German CO2 emissions are increasing the last few years.

          1. Mark,
            They are at ~33% renewable. So you can expect that type of weeks. Especially in winter.

            PtG full roll-out is planned for after 2025, when renewable share is ~50%. Though PtG capacity will stay much lower than GtP as PtG will produce only when the market price is low (overproduction), so during e.g. 30% of the time.
            While GtP will be needed during <10% of the time.

            Note that it makes hardly any difference for the climate whether the H2 gas produced by PtG is injected in the gas grid*) or stored and then burned in gas turbines to generate electricity. If storage implies losses, than injecting in the gas grid is better for the climate.
            *) Max. share of H2 is 5%.

      2. Thank you for the updated figures, Rod. Has Germany really increased their wind and solar production by ~75% in the last three to five years? I thought new construction had been tapering off. I know the numbers I posted were accurate at one time. I went to some effort to look them up, back when.

        1. Jeff,
          Many English publications stated that the Germans decreased expansion speed of renewable. Those were right and wrong.

          Right: In recent years renewable expansion went faster than scheduled*). That implies increased costs (higher Energiewende levy), which implies that the costs no longer would stay insignificant.
          But all German govt promised that the costs would stay insignificant. Hence the new Energiewende law (EEG2017) has more controls to keep the expansion speed within target.

          Wrong: The new EEG law contains increased (onshore) wind targets (now 2.8GW/a, was 2.5GW/a. So a slight increase of the speed.
          Solar target, 2.5GW/a, stays the same. As installation rate was significantly below that 2.5GW/a in past 12months, the Feed-in-Tariffs are increased this January (according to the rules).
          We can expect another increase in next quarter as this increase may not be enough to reach an expansion speed of >2.2GW/a (these mechanisms are automatic and published so everybody can estimate what will happen).

          Offshore wind is better under control as that is auctioned. Expansion of offshore will continue in line with the EEG2014.
          *) Solar installation speed went out of control in 2010-2012; 7GW/a.
          While that is nice, it caused an unforeseen significant increase of the Energiewende levy (~2-3cnt/KWh, as solar was expensive in those years). So govt doesn’t want that again.

  2. “It’s time that Californians became true leaders in the effort to preserve and improve our shared environment.”

    Pruitt has expressed a desire to challenge California’s pollution standards, including vehicle emissions. He also plans to deregulate fracking controls and restraints. California has led the nation in emission standards, with the blessing of most Californians. We also, overwhelmingly, rejected through our vote Trump and his climate change denying oil industry insiders and lobbyists that he has stacked the deck with. You are in for rude awakening, Rod, if you expect this cartel of oil industry insiders to give NE a boost.

    1. I can’t help but wonder if Californians, of whom I have been since 1981, would vote the same if they were given the unvarnished facts about each form of energy production and what that translates to their monthly budget? Californians pay among the highest cost per gallon, with the state government adding more taxes at every opportunity, and that hurts the lower income population more, relatively, than their better-off neighbors.

      If you believe Congress ought to have a say in what policies, regulations and standards are and be able to hold them accountable for the results, then you ought to be in favor of an EPA administrator who understands the legal limitations of the Agency and doesn’t skirt around Congressional oversight. Pruitt doesn’t “deny” whether global warming exists – he acknowledges there is debate over the extent of mankind’s contribution to the effect and whether it will be a net positive or negative. He is not alone in that stance, as many credible scientists hold the same perspective. Are they all shills for Big Oil?

      The EPA itself has investigated fracking for evidence of ground water contamination and found that, other than where errors were made in casing the drill hole or other operator errors, fracking did not threaten ground water quality. Is the EPA wrong in their final assessment?

      To my knowledge, there has not been a public debate between equally credentialed scientists on both sides of the issue of CAGW caused by CO2 emmissions. Since 1988 we have been told “the science is settled”. Even Einstein wouldn’t have been so bold as to make that proclamation of his theory of relativity when he made it. Is climate science not equally as complex, chaotic and the variables unknown as relativity?

      Rod knows I am a promoter of NE even though I am involved in the solar and battery back up field. I am just not deluded into thinking it can replace base-load power from reliable 24/7, on-demand sources.

  3. “The point is, even when someone gets sort of favorable to nuclear power the narrative is still full of lies from the renewable propaganda machine, i.e. the other arm of the fossil fuel strategy”

    This strategy is based on the knowledge that renewables require NG cogeneration of course. But the strategy also is employed with the fossil fuel industry realizing that every NPP that closes provides the industry with a large energy glut that will be filled by NG. Its absurd to think that energy and environmental leaders, that are joined at the hip with the fossil fuel industry, are going to embrace NE. Gratuitous insult removed by moderator

  4. CA can have their own more restrictive emissions standards. They have for years in regards to auto emissions.
    The present EPA regulations are no friend of operating nuclear plants. They exclude operating nuclear plants. Thus it could only get better but certainly can get no worse. I expect the effort to reward operating plants will continue at the state level not the federal.
    CA made a nonsensical choice on Diablo. The closing date is out there a ways so the effort should be to undo the deal based on achieving CA emissions goals. Same as would be needed if Hillary had won.

    1. Jim,

      It seems like you’re referring to the Clean Power Plan, as opposed to EPA regulations overall. And although NRC, not EPA, regulates nuclear safety, EPA is involved in setting dose limits.

      The CPP does absolutely nothing to help *existing* nuclear plants, but it actually gives new nuclear (as well as uprates) the same treatment/benefits that renewables get. It is telling that, even with the CPP, few if any new nuclear plants would be built. We’ve let costs get so high that even renewables are significantly less expensive than nuclear, almost everywhere, on a raw per kW-hr basis (i.e., ignoring intermittency limitations). That is, even with equal treatment, the renewables + gas combination would handily beat new nuclear.

      Also, the CPP doesn’t do much in general. All it really did was “ratify” (i.e., require) what projections said was most likely to happen anyway, absent policy. That is, the most likely scenario is that the CPP will not have (“will not have had”??) any impact at all. Thus, the only function of the CPP would have been do disallow backsliding (i.e., shifting back to coal) if natural gas costs increase. Under that scenario, the CPP would have indirectly benefitted nuclear by keeping gas costs higher.

      Also, the arcane details of the plan, which would have actually incentivized the replacement of nuclear with gas under some circumstances were truly indefensible.

      Anyway, many other EPA regulations do affect the cost of fossil generation, which in turn would hurt or help nuclear. Tightening air pollution regulations (aside from the CPP) are the main reason why coal plants are closing today, given cheap gas. And speaking of that cheap gas, the main reason fracked gas is so cheap is blanket exemption from both the Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water Acts, granted under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (i.e., under the Bush administration, with fossil man Dick Cheney being a key player). That regulatory relief is primarily responsible for the decline in US natural gas costs, and the resulting struggles of US nuclear. Tightening fracking regulations would probable be one of the most important things you could do to help nuclear, while loosening them (even further) would make them even worse. And EPA is in charge of that….

  5. Along these same lines it seems that Michigan has no desire to assist Palisades whereas efforts are already in motion in Ohio, PA and CT to assist.
    Entergy seems particularly disinterested in even lifting a finger to keep their plants open.

    1. That’s because Entergy is focused on leaving merchant power behind and focusing on ROI in the South. None of the plants in the North were profitable except IPEC and everyone in the Fleet knew this. The surprise is, there was wide belief that IPEC could survive and the others would go, but they went for the home run. No one will save Palisades because it’s small, and DC Cook is the bread winner in that area of the grid. I feel for the Northern guys, it’s a raw deal, especially since Palisades really turned their performance around.

      1. My *feelings* about this are that whereas Entergy may want to exit the nuclear merchant power business, what gives them the right to destroy these precious, expensive, existing, national clean energy assets, just because it’s in their (short term) business interests to do so? It’s like if someone bought the Golden Gate Bridge and then announced that they were going to tear it apart for scrap metal, and that they have the “right” to do so because they bought the bridge.

        I wonder if there could ever be a such thing as a contract where you can own a facility, but don’t have the right to destroy it (only to sell it, for whatever you could get).

        Also, I wonder if we should ask the Trump administration to nationalize and seize these plants owned be Entergy, or any other short term thinkers. With Trump, you never know…. These long term assets are too precious to just let go of. I’d also love to see the look on Cuomo’s face if Trump had the Feds seize and operate Indian Point.

        I understand the point that if the public (and govt.) values these assets, then policies and the market should be changed to reflect that, bet still, even though that hasn’t happened yet (despite progress in some states), we shouldn’t just let these things happen.

        1. Nationalize private assets? Now theres a third world idea. You’re right, Trump might even be treasonous enough to do such a thing.

    2. Even Entergy admits what you won’t…


      “Although Gov. Cuomo insists that the state won’t have to turn to natural gas to supply New York City, there is a good chance that shale gas from the Marcellus might be called upon anyway”

      “In fact, Entergy disputed Gov. Cuomo’s influence, citing cheap natural gas as a significant factor in its decision to shut down the plant.”

  6. “Entergy seems particularly disinterested in even lifting a finger to keep their plants open. Strange.”

    Why is it strange? When Pruitt gets through gutting the body of regulations that rein in the fossil fuel industry, particularly as it applies to fracking, the extraction of natural gas will become much cheaper, equating to massively increased profits. Why keep nuclear plants open when an incoming administration is handing the fossil fuel industry a bonanza?? Consider the following, and the billions upon billions of dollars of additional profits it will put in the coffers of the fossil fuel industry. Its just plain good business to shut down those NPPs, particularly now that climate change and global warming is just a left wing greenie plot, a hoax, and a chinese conspiracy. Why do we need expensive clean energy when fossil fuel energy is no longer dirty or harmful? You wanna sell clean energy??? Well, you might need a buyer that thinks we need clean energy. And this incoming administration simply doesn’t care, and ain’t gonna care. You show this oil soaked crew of oil industry insiders how NE can inflate their offshore accounts, and you’ll get some action. But until then, watch the NPPs close, as Perry and Pruitt’s handlers skip and whistle all the way to the bank.

    *New York – Indian Point Energy Center (scheduled for closing April 2020 and April 2021)[7] and FitzPatrick

    *Massachusetts – Pilgrim (scheduled for closing in 2019)
    Vermont – Vermont Yankee (scheduled for decommission beginning in 2015)[8]

    *Michigan – Palisades Nuclear Station (scheduled for closing in Fall 2018)[9]

    1. Pruitt is the EPA

      In case you have forgotten:
      The present EPA regulations are no friend of operating nuclear plants. They exclude operating nuclear plants.

      Exclude means zero i.e. don’t count.

      1. Jim….I don’t understand your point. The relevant future actions Pruitt will undertake don’t have to directly address NE. His actions regarding the deregulation of the fossil fuel industry are apt to have a profound negative effect on the NE sector.

        1. @poa

          I’ll bite. Can you provide ANY examples of changes Pruitt can make that will make oil & gas extraction more profitable than they are today?

          1. I’m not an oil man. Neither are you. I have access to a prominent local oil man that undoubtedly can shed some light on it. If he’s in town, I will ask him about it. If not, I will after he gets in town.

            But until then, are you of the mind that regulations do not add cost to the energy product, whether it be NG or NE? If thats your argument, then the last few years of moaning and groaning about the prohibitive costs added by stringent regulation of NPPs seems a bit odd.

            Lets say Pruitt eases the restrictions on chemical waste products that result from fracking, making those waste products easier to dispose of. Or allows fracking in areas once deemed too close to acquivers or residential neighborhoods, opening up aread far less rural, and closer to the industry infrastructure. Is it your contention that this will not lower extraction costs??

            Or, Rod, are you arguing that stringent regulation only places monetary stress on the nuclear energy industry, and not the fossil fuel industry?

            The twists and turns in logic, that you are willing to employ in your quest to put lipstick on a pig, is truly amazing to behold. I never thought I would see it from you.

            1. @poa

              It’s a matter of degree. Sure, there are regulations that add some cost to oil & gas. The amount is relatively small in comparison to nuclear. There aren’t many under the discre on of the EPA. EPA has only a limited area of impact on nuclear but the cost of the regulations in that area are almost incalculable.

              I may not be an oil man, but I can read and also know several people in responsible positions in the business.

          2. “It’s a matter of degree. Sure, there are regulations that add some cost to oil & gas. The amount is relatively small in comparison to nuclear.”

            Actually, I would wager that the great majority of EPA regulations are regulating the fossil fuel industry in its various capacities.

            Your and Jim’s assertion that the EPA really does not have much to do with NE regulation actually underscores my point. If this incoming administration was fond of clean energy, why would they put an oil man, tried and true, a climate change skeptic, a man who repeatedly has sued the EPA, in charge of the EPA??? If they are interested in what you have to offer, their narrative, and their cabinet staffing, doesn’t even vaguely imply it.

            And why put an oil man in charge of the DOE?? Could it be for the OPPOSITE reasons than what you are hoping for? Could he be a ringer, placed there to hold you guys down? You are the enemy of further sustained use of fossil fuels at the levels of consumption we find ourselves currently needing. There is an altruism that you attribute to these people that is unearned by their very actions, statements, and proposed policies. They simply do not want environmental issues to stand in the way of profits, so their strategy is to deny that the environmental issues exist. How do you sell NE as a clean energy source while your government falsely claims that; number one, there is no real crisis demanding clean energy, and two, that they are now producing clean energy with coal and fossil fuels? Whats NEs selling point? The public’s perception regarding the scripted deadly nature of the radiation boogie man?
            The unresolved waste storage issue?? The current extreme cost of constructing or maintaining NPPs? You have nothing going for you that equates to effective marketing. The oil guys hold all the cards, and they are now THE GOVERNMENT.

            If you guys really wanted NE to recieve a boost, supporting this Trump machine, then, and now, is self destructive. Whats worse, its bad for our country, our security, and our environment. You will see.

          3. Rod,

            Are you’re saying that fossil regulations now are already so loose that no further cost reductions could be realized? Despite the right’s clamoring about how oppressive they are? I find the point interesting, but for now I’m inclined to agree with poa.

            You correctly point out that nuclear regulations are orders of magnitude more onerous, in terms of dollars spent per unit of benefit, or any other measure. That’s what makes it so offensive that the right (GOP/Trump) is complaining about FOSSIL regulations, and promising to reduce FOSSIL regulations, as opposed to nuclear regulations. That is, they are saying with a straight face that they want to make an already spectacularly unlevel playing field even more unlevel.

            How can that be anything but bad for nuclear? The promise to do nothing at all about global warming is bad enough (i.e., no financial credit for not emitting CO2 anywhere on the horizon, at the federal level, anyway). Global warming, and anticipation of GW policies, was and still is the primary reason nuclear is being considered (whether it’s building new reactors or making efforts to keep existing ones open).

            As poa says, how can putting the captains of the fossil industry in charge (cabinet posts, etc..) be anything but bad for nuclear? They being nuclear’s main competitor. This is something you yourself have been talking about for years. I could be surprised but I see little reason to believe that those guys will ever give nuclear any real break.

            The only ray of hope is that Exxon itself (and Tillerson) have been saying that a carbon tax would be the best way to address global warming, if one wanted to do so. A Nixon goes to China moment?? Trump and Tillerson, et all, surprising everyone with a carbon tax proposal? A global warming policy that actually treats nuclear the same as renewables?

            As for (real?) reasons they would do that, it would help gas vs. coal, and the truth is that the oil/gas industry wields more influence with Trump than the coal industry does, despite all the rhetoric. It would also happen to help nuclear as well, far more than any “global warming policies” that have been passed so far (i.e., subsidies and mandates for renewables only).

  7. Why is the nuclear community so stunned and dazed by what seems a mass rejection of nuclear here in the nation of its birthplace? I’m not in Trump’s defense (because Hillary was on the same road here) on the easier PR and “safer” and familiar allure of clean coal technology, but nuclear power was never in the cards for their agenda because nuclear simply failed to sell itself to the public or even attempted to shed its Darth Vader image. It’s really not much more complicated than that. If you can make people buy $$ bottled water over tap water which is virtually the same then nuclear could’ve easily sold its health benefits over the lower cost of gas. Nuclear didn’t even try. Nuclear’s whole plight can be answered in a mirror and nothing nefarious the fossils might’ve done.

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

    1. The distrust of the nuclear industry, (and all large corporate entities), and the fear of radiation, runs so deep in our populace that telling them the truth is still digested as a lie. Telling them that radiation is not the dangerous monster they’ve been taught to believe it is only reads like the tobacco industry’s infamous denials and obsfucations. Politicians that soundly endorse NE are seen as dishonest industry shills. There is a reason that plants are shutting down, and the political will to keep them open is lacking. It is not only the fossil fuel interests seeking greater profits, but it is the uneducated public’s fear of radiation, which is undoubtedly the great majority of us. For instance, if one ran for office here in Cal, running on a strong platform endorsing NE, they would lose. Period. Hence when a politician voices endorsement on the national stage, they are usually quite tepid endorsements, because politicians are afraid to raise their voices in support. Note Rod’s inability to cite any robust or strong policy advocations proposed by this administration. Conjecture, and pointing at some feeble mumblings is really the only argument he offers on behalf of this administration as it applies to NE. But there has been robust advocations for the oil industry by this administration, loud, and a strong component of their campaign rhetoric. Sometimes, a fact really is a fact, no matter how much our wishes oppose it. That the fact is that the fear of radiation has been nurtured in our society for over half a century. And another fact is that the fossil fuel industry is now in a position to exploit that fear at a level that is unprecedented in our history, as our environmental and energy governmental leaders are now the very people that benefit from that fear. We just put the fossil fuel industry in office.

      1. @poa

        If the public distrusts large corporate entities, what make you so sure they cannot be taught the truth about the petroleum industry’s string pulling behind the campaign to spread fear of nuclear energy?

        1. Because they see both entities as untrustworthy, and in collusion with their pursuits of profits trumping the truth. You aren’t going to alleviate that fear when great swaths of territory are still deemed uninhabitable years after an accident. Hard to convince people that declaring these areas as being deadly is just a fossil fuel conspiracy. I am suprised that the industry isn’t strongly working, (through advocation), towards a policy of rebuilding and repopulating the immediate areas around the Fukushima complex. Nothing speaks louder than example. Showing a thriving, healthy, and growing population in such an area would be a very strong selling point, and would go far to alleviate the ingrained fear we have been taught to harbor. Instead, we see deteriorating wasteland, and are led to believe that going there is suicidal. You can’t sell that as a fossil fuel conspiracy. And soon, Trump is going to reconnect nuclear weaponry to nuclear energy in the minds of the public, as he ressurrects the Iran debate, and works to dismantle the successful and desirable arms deal. He has to connect the two to justify further saber rattling, military spending, and perhaps even war. Iran wants NE, therefore it wants the bomb. How can Perry separate the two when our President is loudly orating about the supposed “proliferation” occurring in Iran, based upon their pursuit of NE? You gonna sell that as a fossil fuel industry conspiracy?

          1. @poa

            But there are efforts being made — finally and admittedly after too much delay — to restore the infrastructure so that people can go back and rebuild their lives, homes and communities. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/03/05/national/government-to-spur-work-to-fully-reopen-fukushimas-disaster-hit-jr-joban-line/#.WIO34LYrL1s

            It will take a long time, not because of the radioactivity, but because of the imposed fear of the radioactivity.

            I disagree strongly with some of the rhetoric I have heard from Trump about Iran, but he is not the one who rattled swords, imposed harsh sanctions and taught the world to fear Iran’s nuclear [energy] capability.

            There is an element of fossil fuel competition — which some people seem to love to label as “conspiracy” — in this situation.

            Iran has a bountiful endowment of oil and natural gas. It consumes a fairly large fraction of its production domestically in power plants. Unlike Saudi Arabia or the UAE, Iran has a large population (80 million or so). Many of them are well educated and used to living an adequately powered lifestyle.

            When Iran announced that it wanted to build a significant number of nuclear power plants, it was also announcing to its neighbors and competitors in the world oil market that it would eventually be able to increase its exports of oil and natural gas as it slowed that domestic consumption by replacing the power with electricity produced by fissioning uranium instead of burning petroleum.

            In case you haven’t paid much attention to the world’s oil and gas markets for the past several decades, it is quite possible to pull far more oil and gas out of the ground (for quite a while) than the market needs or wants. There is competition over markets and fierce negotiations over production limits among oil exporting nations.

            It is disruptive to those agreements for a strong nation like Iran (whose resources rival those of Saudi Arabia) to be able to make supportable claims of being willing to flood the market and drive prices to a level that is unprofitable for places where getting oil and gas out of the ground or from undersea locations requires more expensive efforts.

            The prospects of a nuclear powered Iran were scary as hell for several major American allies, including both Saudi Arabia and Israel. Claiming to be afraid of a nuclear armed Iran, however, is a much better marketing slogan for countries that want American support for sanctions that immediately boost prices and profits while also slowing down the prospects of even more competition in the future.

          2. “…deemed uninhabitable…”

            Emphasis on the word “deemed”. Whereas the fact is that many if not most large cities in the world are actually less healthy places to live than the “uninhabitable zone” around Fukushima.

            The reason for the lack of trust, and the unwillingness to believe assertions of low risks and impacts (from low-level radiation, etc..) is a disconnect between the those words and the *actions* of the nuclear industry (as well as govt.), which totally suggest that radiation is extremely (unprecedentedly) dangerous. All of the industry’s actions, and most of its words, basically tell the people that radiation is extremely dangerous.

            I’m growing to assign more and more of the blame to the industry, as opposed to the govt. and the anti-nukes. At a minimum, they were not willing to fight back against all these ridiculous requirements. Also, it really appears that most of the people working in the industry are buying into these ridiculous premises (perhaps due to their indoctrination in “safety culture”, etc..).

            The main premise being that nuclear pollutants (e.g., Cs-137) are *qualitatively* worse than all other forms of pollution, such that *ever* releasing them is unacceptable. Whereas routine, mass-scale release of other pollutants from other sources such as coal is undesirable but OK. Never mind the statistics showing hundreds of thousands of ANNUAL deaths from coal pollution, and few if any from (even) Fukushima.

            All of the industry’s actions suggest that they accept that as truth. Other examples abound which basically involve extreme measures to prevent small exposures, or small chances of release. Huge containment domes, people walking around in moon suits all the time… Do coal plant workers wear isolation suits while wallowing around in the mercury and arsenic?

            A simpler example is agreeing to dose limits that are orders of magnitude lower than that required to have ANY public health impact, whereas (according to scientific consensus) fossil generation causes ~1000 deaths PER DAY (worldwide), in addition to global warming.

            The tragedy here is that they did all that in an effort to appease public fears of nuclear (and not because they really thought it was necessary). The real “consequence” they fear is public reaction, as opposed to actual harm. After Fukushima, and the astonishing reaction by the Japanese public, etc.., who can blame them?

            The tragedy is that these efforts have the exact opposite effect, and likely cause things like the Fukushima reaction. If you agree to a dose limit that is 10 times lower (in an attempt to “assuage” public fears), you’ve actually told the public that radiation is 10 times as dangerous. More generally, over-reactions, driven by fear, result in even greater fears of nuclear/radiation by the public because they assume that those reactions were necessary.

            As for the way out of this dilemma, hell, I can’t tell you, not for lack of trying. Pretty fatalistic these days.. If Trump an Co. (to everyone’s surprise) leads to a radical rethink in this regard, i.e., sane dose limits and regulations, he will have done nuclear the biggest favor any administration ever has; far more important than giving money (for R&D, or even subsidies, etc.) or any other kind of direct support.

          3. “I’m growing to assign more and more of the blame to the industry, as opposed to the govt. and the anti-nukes.”

            Be careful Jim. I’ve been saying that here for a coupla years now, and it hasn’t ingratiated me to most here. But hey, if ya wanna be called a leftist greenie troll, an idiot, and worse, carry on.

            1. @poa

              I’ve also been working hard to spread the word that we have met the enemy and often he is us.

              Large segments of what many call “the nuclear industry” have no real interest in making it an affordable, competitive, simply to understand energy source that holds great promise for improving the lot of common people – and wealthy people too.

              Many have conflicts of interest with segments of their corporations that are heavily invested in the production of competitive energy sources.

              Some enjoy jobs that require many layers of checking, second checking and tiered oversight. That redundancy keeps them and their friends employed.

              There is a growing group of people with some resources, however, who have a different view of nuclear energy. For them, it is not a sideline; it is a business worth focus and concentration. For others, it verges on a moral crusade to save the world. The tide is shifting. Not easy to discern, but stay tuned.

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