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  1. “We need to review fundamentals, expand our power system production, and stop frittering away our children’s inheritance.”

    Could say this about most of the western world.

    In the UK people is dying due to lack of energy. Large paychecks goes to wind power system meanwhile they have destroyed the knowledge they had in the nuclear industry.

    In Germany somewhere around 300-800 thousand households can not afford to pay for electricity.

    The french is forcing their nuclear industry to pay for useless wind power, increasing the price of electricity.

    In Sweden the environment party wants to close down two nuclear reactors: Oskarshamn 1 (~490 MW) and Ringhals 1 (~890 MW). That will remove around 8-9 TWh of electrical production from the Swedish system.

    The truth is that the green moment hate energy and prosperity.

    1. @robjoh

      The truth is that the green movement hates energy and prosperity.

      No. The green movement hates it when other people have energy and prosperity. They like those for themselves and for their close friends and allies.

      There is a good reason why the greens have often been linked to the far left and the Communist Parties. Think geopolitically here. If the Soviets want to sell more oil and gas to Europe, what is their logical response to European nuclear power plants? What do you think they would do with regard to wind and solar power that does not pose a threat to their sales?

      1. The green movement hates it when other people have energy and prosperity. They like those for themselves and for their close friends and allies.

        I find, more and more, that this is the case with 99% of political “leaders”. The best thing the politicians could do for our industry is get out of the way of nuclear innovation and growth. If reducing regulations means the industry doesn’t get federal grants, I would gladly take that trade.

      2. True 🙂

        Reminds me of the former leader for the Swedish environment party that wanted to increase the taxes on airplanes but herself flow each weak to her boyfriend in Helsinki. So the poor should not be allowed to fly but she should be able to fly.

      3. Continuing along that line of thought, now I understand the Russian ‘push’ for selling nuclear power plants and fuel to the Middle Eastern countries: Russian oil and gas has no inroads there – so sell them nuclear power products. And they do the opposite for Europe: they have little/no oil and gas, so discourage nuclear power for them & sell them Russian oil and gas.

        1. And if you ask all the LFTR fans on this site what exactly happened to the pebble bed reactor development in Germany and South africa, you get blank stares. No russian discouragement required. The Manhattan project fanbois always want to reinvent stuff, instead of thoroughly investigating past experience.

          I mean look at energyfromthorium.com. They bought Rainer Moormann’s arguments against pebble fuels hook, line, and sinker. Moormann could be another gazprom shill, they’ll never know for sure.

          I always love the so-called harmony and enlightenment in the nuclear “community”.

          1. Oh, boy, we don’t know anything about the German and South African PBR experience. Sorry, you’re wrong.

            As to Germany, their initial experiment worked well, the AVR. The THTR had a pebble jam combined with a bunch of politicians who confused any reactor using graphite and Chernobyl, shutting it down quickly prior to it being allowed to prove it’s worth.

            South Africa had budget cuts, disallowing construction of their design and putting that corporation in liquidation.

            The Chinese have built and operate to this day, a PBR known as the HTR-10. They’re building a pair of followon PBRs that will generate 210 MWe.

            Since HTGRs are similar to pebble bed reactors, I’ll mention those. Britain had a HTGR known as Dragon which worked great. The US had Peach Bottom, a HTGR which worked good, and another HTGR at Fort St. Vrain, which didn’t. Japan currently operates their HTGR, the HTTR.

          2. So thats the extent of your “knowledge” of pebble bed reactors? I rest my case.

            IFR, PBR, LFTR, Traveling wave…whats the next big thing? Thats all that matters, the next big thing.

          3. “starvinglion” What happened to the pebble bed reactor is well documented. In addition the Chinese are still working on Pebble bed technology, so that story is not over. But ORNL and the University of California Berkley are working toward combining Molten Salt and Pebble Bed technologies. I must confess that I find your comment confusing. By the way I consider myself a Molten Saqlt Reactor fan. The LFTR is a type of MSRn that is preposed for breeding thorium.

      4. While on a trip back in 1985 or 6 I was seated next to a plant manager at the new Saturn plant. One tidbit that floored me was that GM had arrangements with Indiana to buy the old army depot north of Louisville KY and south of Cincinnati OH along the OH river for peanuts, get a good tax break, and all the rest of the benefits. I think it is now called the River Ridge Commercial Area, which is still empty. Then, right before this “secret” deal was to take place, PSI halted work on Marble Hill. Marble Hill would have been operational well before the Saturn plant was complete. And it was within a few miles from I64, I65, I71 and abutted the Ohio River for barge traffic! With NO source of cheap, plentiful electricity for their new “Robotic” power hungry manufacturing plant they went to there second choice. Electricity (energy – power)is either the first or second highest cost of manufacturing.

        It was the environmentalists, whom had cultivated fear of loss of jobs, TMI accidents, etc. into all of the unions in southern IN and western KY that got Marble Hill shut down, NOT lack of funds or resources. Unit one was just weeks (NOT months) away from loading fuel! All of those high paying jobs went to TN and the cheap TVA electricity.

        1. I was previously unfamiliar with the partial construction of Marble Hill. In looking up a little about it, I came across the following which seems relevant to Rod’s recent posts about Russia.

          In what was to become a public relations nightmare for PSI, construction on the plant was shut down on three different occasions during the summer of 1979. PSI’s chairman, Hugh Barker, in an act of desperation in an employee magazine titled Watts Cookin claimed, “One is forced to ask what’s really behind the anti-nuclear movement? Who is fanning the flames of fear and irrational emotion?”

          Asking the question, Barker then attempted to answer his question. “Two British experts on Soviet propaganda accuse the Soviet Union of funding and manipulating anti-nuclear movements in the west…the radicals among the anti-nuclear forces, by whatever name, clearly have as their goal, the transformation of our democratic, free society.”

          From this article: http://wikimapia.org/1361663/Marble-Hill-Nuclear-Power-Plant-Abandoned#

          1. @Joel Riddle

            I’m a cynic. There was a lot of talk about transforming our “democratic, free society” but what I think the Soviets really wanted was more money and power. Hampering our nuclear energy developments, imposing a perception that energy should be “conserved” instead of beneficially applied, and encouraging us to offshore our manufacturing were all things that enhanced their ability to accumulate wealth and power.

            In my crackpot hours, I review my notes about the specific sequence of events at Chernobyl and wonder how the heck anyone could have allowed so many sequential steps in the wrong direction unless someone had a plan.

          2. Rod, whether it was to “transform our democratic, free society” or simply to gain added wealth and power, I was simply suggesting that there could be some value for your Smoking Gun research to see if you could get in touch with Hugh Barker and/or track down some more information about the alleged Soviet propaganda.

          3. Nice to hear, Rod.

            I look forward to getting my first subscriber newsletter in the near future.

      1. I cant think of a historical example of their conservation philosophy. I can think of plenty of the opposite examples and where scarcity drags a society in the other direction.

        1. @John Tucker

          Perhaps this might be a good place to begin.

          http://www.iea.org/publications/insights/ee_improvements.pdf

          Individual, sectoral, national, and international benefits are many in terms of broader access to energy, improved quality of life, enhanced competitiveness, job creation, reduction in public energy expenditures, reduced emissions, enhancement to global security and development goals, and more …

          1. Except where its been a major policy directive like in Germany GG emissions have increased. Costs are too high and electricity is becoming a luxury item.

            Its a good approach on an individual basis of course. But as a real means of generating clean energy, its a total dud.

          2. This is from energy efficiency, not energy conservation. They are two different things. Conservation is doing less with less, energy efficiency is doing the same or more with less, which leads to increases in the general welfare and the pocketbook.

            And, ultimately, through the Jevons Paradox, energy efficiency allows us all to do more with more and live in a better, happier, richer, more equitable society.

            http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jevons_paradox

      2. Engineer:
        Read the blog you referred to. WOW

        Reading your initial post on that blog reminded me of my uncle who lived in southern Indiana or Illinois (forget now). When the oil companies came through he sold of his oil rights but kept his gas rights. Well, they found oil under his property and put a well on his property. when he saw them working on a gas flare, he demanded that they collect it and provide him with the gas. They ran it through a large tank which collected the oil in the bottom half and the gas on top. He then used this relative clean gas to run a combination gas/oil furnace. Had to use that as the gas was not always there and sometimes was not at a high enough pressure to do any thing with, thus the need for the capability to switch over. Never paid for heating his house after that. Surprised that more don’t do that.

    2. “In Sweden the environment party wants to close down two nuclear reactors: Oskarshamn 1 (~490 MW) and Ringhals 1 (~890 MW). That will remove around 8-9 TWh of electrical production from the Swedish system.”

      That would in fact ruin the whole interconnected Nordic power system. Finland is even now constantly in need of 1-2GW as OL3 has not been started as originally planned.

      1. “That would in fact ruin the whole interconnected Nordic power system. Finland is even now constantly in need of 1-2GW as OL3 has not been started as originally planned.”

        Actually it would not, the slack would be taken care of from Danish and German coal power. Swedish nuclear had some rough years after the decision from the pronuclear right to allow 10 reactors in Sweden. That sparked the start of major maintenance and upgrade projects which did mean that the Swedish nuclear fleet could not deliver as much as demanded. Danish coal power was more or less running 24/7 at that time.

  2. How much power do we need?
    Enough to meet demand!
    Not the current demand of a collapsing rust bucket service economy.
    The demand of a growing meg-lev train, hydrogen highway, electric arc (making our own steel) and so on economy, looking 40 years down the road not 20, is how we should be thinking.
    Our spinning reserve percentage is also too low.
    When you think of it that way, we can’t build the plants fast enough!

    1. Yeah right. Aluminum smelters in iceland demand that electricity is free otherwise they will leave. You are competing against free. What good is speed of delivery?

  3. I also posted this on the thread relating to Russian oil exports:

    While the Russian government pursues nuclear technology exports, the Russian government owned media push alarmist stories about Fukushima.

  4. Specific types of Inertial Confinement fusion are very good for generating load following fill-in power for renewable energy.

    ICF fusion is capable of producing a fusion burst of 100 Gigajoules of energy within about 10 nanoseconds (instantaneous power of 1 exawatt). Very few power generating systems are capable of safely producing fill in power from ultra-clean nuclear fusion on demand and at less cost.

    No pure fusion experiment in the last 60 years has produced more fusion energy out than the energy required to operate the fusion experiment. Sadly, after dozens of confinement strategies and 100s of experiments and 10s of thousands of shots and trials – only negative results as regards producing net energy.

    The situation is different when nuclear fission is permitted to initially create the conditions for fusion. Nuclear fission can be reliably initiated and produces enormous amounts of energy which can be harnessed to heat plasmas to fusion conditions. Since 1951 and the Ivy George and then the much larger Ivy Mike nuclear tests, DOE scientists at LLL and LASL have been able to reliably produce fusion with release of net energy (more energy out of the fusion device by about 100,000X than the chemical energy in the high explosives used to initiate the thermonuclear fission-fusion reaction).

    It is not necessary to wait 50 years for pure fusion power plants to reach cost effective commercial implementations. Impure Fission Ignited Fusion can produce commercially useful amounts of power from fusion today.
    http://www.ralphmoir.com/pacer/

  5. The Bear has a long history.

    When you first let the bear out of its cage, it will snuggle up to you.

    You feed the bear. The Bear is big. The bear wants more.

    You feed the Bear, The Bear is big. The bear wants more.

    The bear takes your arm.

    You feed the Bear. You want to keep your other arm. The Bear is hungry.

    Hunger overtakes the Bear and lights out for you,…..forever.

    I hope those countries know what they are doing or it may be lights out for them.

  6. We used to eat butter instead of margarine. We stopped because of a war, so that our fighting men could have it instead. After the war, we forgot what butter was.

    We used to save for a rainy day. Now we buy insurance we hope we’ll never need and charge everything else. When it gets too expensive we demand someone else pay for it.

    We used to drive amazing enormous vehicles. We stopped because they got too expensive when the oil got harder to get. Now we think back in awe about how “foolish” we were to be so prosperous.

    Now they want us to give up electricity. I have no doubt they’ll succeed. After all, they got us to give up a lot before now. When we go back to beating rugs with a stick and drying laundry on a clothesline we’ll just get used to it and wonder how our parents could have been so wasteful.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MD4wFq0NX1E is the reality of “simple living.” One thing that stands out to me, being in the broadband ISP business, is a line early in the video:

    “Power companies want a profit. They get it in the city, where people are all scrunched up together, but the farms are left out in the dark.”

    History doesn’t repeat, but it does rhyme. -Mark Twain

    1. An interesting cultural difference here: “…and drying laundry on a clothesline we’ll just get used to it and wonder how our parents could have been so wasteful.”
      In the US clotheslines seem to be a symbol of poverty, while in Europe they’re just an ordinary household item, used without thoughts of deprivation or hardship.

  7. http://www.pbmr.com/contenthtml/files/File/Chronoloy.pdf

    1985/1986: German Government orders ABB and Siemens to co-operate on pebble bed
    technology. The company HTR (Hochtemperatur Reaktoren) is established with 50/50
    shareholding between ABB and Siemens. All German pebble bed IP (intellectual property)
    vests in HTR.
    · 1986: THTR commissioned, starts generation of electrical power into German grid. The
    Chernobyl disaster strikes in Russia, and the green movements in Germany demand
    closure of all nuclear power stations in Germany.

    · 1989: After only 3 years of operation, THTR is shut down. AVR also shut down. Siemens
    Modul research development abandoned. End of development work on pebble bed
    reactors in Germany.

  8. Leaked draft report suggests more support for NPPs coming from the IPCC(?) :

    U.N. Says Lag in Confronting Climate Woes Will Be Costly

    While the spread of technologies like solar power and wind farms might give the impression of progress, the report said, such developments are being overtaken by rising emissions from fossil fuels over the past decade, especially in fast-growing countries like China. And one of the most important sources of low-carbon energy, nuclear power, is actually declining over time as a percentage of the global energy mix, the report said. ( http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/17/science/earth/un-says-lag-in-confronting-climate-woes-will-be-costly.html?_r=0 )

    To be honest ive grown kinda tired of what I see as the ham handedness the UN and IPCC has been guilty of in approaching things like “renewables” and biofuels. They have seemed to me to not understand carbon footprints, ecological impacts and real world scenarios while over endorsing “renewables” that do not have a proven track record. Hopefully I am wrong here or they will rise to the occasion.

    1. Hopefully I am wrong here or they will rise to the occasion.

      They won’t as long as they keep employing activists from Greenpeace to help them write their reports.

        1. Al Gore:

          “I do believe that it may be possible for scientists and researchers to develop a better and more inherently safer and cheaper form of nuclear reactor, which may yet play a significant role in resolving this crisis,” he told the call. But he added: “It is not available now.”

          He said he thought such nuclear developments were still 10 or 15 years away. “Unless there are breakthroughs I think the role of nuclear power is likely to be limited to near the level of contribution it is now,” he said. ( http://www.theguardian.com/world/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/jan/15/geo-al-gore-engineering-climate-disaster-instant-solutio?commentpage=1 )

          Perhaps Al if your administration wouldn’t have shuttered research on things like the Integral Fast Reactor we’d be further along. Regardless current nuclear technology is the safest means of generating baseload electricity.

          That pretty much is the last straw that has broke the camel’s back for me and the populist environmental left. Al Gore used climate change to profit. When the reality of the matter wasn’t where he wanted to go he kicked the science to the curb.

          I have no respect left for the man.

  9. The demise of Marbel Hill NPP has not been totally characterized correctly in this thread. And at that time the anti nukes definitely got the most press. So unless someone had access to actual plant problems it never really got to common knowledge levels. It suffered from the same fate as Zimmer NPP in Moscow, OH. Basically MH U1 was over 50% complete, Zimmer was 97% complete. The simple version is, in the post TMI increased regulatory environment (more actual inspections) it was found Zimmer basically had no document-able Primary System weld QA program. MH same thing but with the concrete. NRC had no choice… do it all over. Zimmer cut the pipes and installed a boiler. MH was abandoned. Neither of those plants felt they had the money to do it over. These problems were discovered because of post-TMI increased over sight. The lessons to be learned are you better believe in QA requirements and don’t look at them simply as a nuisance. The other lesson is when you have an explosion in construction activity (dozens of ’80s NPPs), both your Construction Management and labor pools can suffer from expertise dilution leading to these types of problems, so beware. Today’s quiz is “Who snuck in under the wire? And are they problem children today?

  10. When we go back to beating rugs with a stick and drying laundry on a clothesline we’ll just get used to it and wonder how our parents could have been so wasteful.

    Eric – Can we go back to having easy access to indentured servants, slaves, and laundry women too? At the very least, can we go back to a society in which the woman belonged in the house and spent most of her time in the kitchen?

    Those rugs won’t beat themselves, you know. Neither will the laundry wash and hang itself. And frankly, for the cost of a relatively small amount of energy, people have managed to find much more productive things to do their time than beating rugs or hanging laundry.

    I have no respect left for the man.

    John – Does anyone take Al Gore seriously these days? The guy has been an embarrassment for his own cause.

    1. You probably saw this but in case you didn’t:

      France struggles to cut down on nuclear power

      She says the 20 reactors closed in the “transition” could be replaced by renewable energy, which she says would maintain French energy independence and be both “stable and secure”. ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25674581 )

      Yes, just look at the raging German model of success. Thank god Hollande is about as popular now as pay toilets during a diarrhea outbreak.

      The political greens threw the facts and science of energy production, climate change and acidification out as soon as they became inconvenient. Poor James Hansen dropped off the map as soon as he commented realistically on “renewables.” Now they simply ignore the science, and largely the environment too for that matter.

      You fell more into the extreme skeptic category previously Brian. Not so much denial as doubt at some stated consequences and hostility towards some of the more extreme mitigation plans. I am wandering if you have warmed to recent possibly more “extreme” predictions of climate science? Its actually become less publicly accepted in the last few months due to the moderate to cool winter in most of the US.

      1. I ask because I think the discussion is likely to become much more intense and a lot less partisan.

        If You See Something, Say Something By MICHAEL E. MANN ( http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/19/opinion/sunday/if-you-see-something-say-something.html )

        For example, should we go full-bore on nuclear power? Invest in and deploy renewable energy — wind, solar and geothermal — on a huge scale? Price carbon emissions through cap-and-trade legislation or by imposing a carbon tax? Until the public fully understands the danger of our present trajectory, those debates are likely to continue to founder.

        1. I think the discussion is likely to become much more intense and a lot less partisan.

          John – A lot less partisan? Because of an op-ed by Michael Mann?!!

          You’re pulling my leg, right? 🙂

          Next to Al Gore, this guy is the poster child for how partisan these issues have become. Yes, I saw his article in my wife’s copy of the NYT this morning, but it’s just the same old same old.

          This guy, a scientist of mediocre quality (to be kind), owes his current position — in fact, his entire career — to partisan politics. He’s the guy who published the convenient (flawed) paper at just the right time to be snapped up by the IPCC TAR, which catapulted him into the limelight, and he is still defending that flawed work to this day — including in the op-ed you mention — even though it was pretty much thoroughly discredited by an independent review by professional statisticians over seven years ago.

          Of course, as a fellow human being, I can’t blame him too much. If my entire career rested on one piece of crappy work, I’d probably defend it tooth and nail too. Although, I hope that I would have more integrity than that and could find the moral fortitude to just move on. Mann has never moved on.

          So are you saying that I am supposed to defend this person’s position simply because he writes, “should we go full-bore on nuclear power?” Notice that he doesn’t answer his own rhetorical question. This leads me to believe that his enthusiasm for nuclear power is merely lukewarm, at best. And that pretty much describes my attitude about the putative dangers of catastrophic “climate disruption.”

          1. No, I figured you could have changed your mind. I do all the time. I imagine you will too on this, eventually. Or I will.

            I dont get your hostility towards Mann. I dont see a major flaw in his work. I haven’t see a good argument stating so. Ill go back and look at it again.

            Regardless, I hate to tell you all this, but beyond individuals concerned about climate change and perhaps the space program regard for nuclear power outside your profession is generally at very best lukewarm. Of people that come here with no training whatsoever in the profession, how many are even moderately pro nuclear? Beyond hopefully a few recent conversions I am a bit lonely.

            That some are even bringing it up now, outside nuclear and scientific circles probably signifies a huge shift is occurring, considering how anti nuclear slanted the media environment has been. Id be ready to take advantage of anything and be able to discuss the specific benefits of my favorite technology in context.

            But back to climate chage, over the last few days Ive been going over the last few decades of anomaly charts again. There is a very visually profound warming trend. You’ll scoff at that no doubt but the reality of so many extremes coming out of a ENSO neutral phase should even raise your eyebrows. “Catastrophic” is already here and occurring in a few places as we speak. Its not a Hollywood mega disaster production (except perhaps in Hollywood now ironically), but I never expected that.

            Whistling past the graveyard is one thing, whistling in it, another.

          2. John – Personally, I favor a “big-tent” approach. I’m far less interested in your opinion about what the problem is as long as we can agree on the same solution. When it comes time to do something, we see the same path to take, and thus we can work together.

            If you’ve been paying attention, then you might have noticed that the vast majority of times when I have bothered even to discuss this topic have been when someone in the pro-nuclear camp has made the mistake (in my opinion) of trying to exclude people based on their opinion on this one highly controversial issue. These ideological purity tests don’t sit well with me. I don’t have to agree with everything you believe in order for us to agree on a common course of action.

            The problem with these arguments over “climate disruption” (or whatever is the mot du jour these days) is that they’re almost entirely nontechnical, and that is because very few people are actually equipped to deal with the technical aspects of what is essentially a highly complex topic in a scientific field that is still very much in its infancy.

            For example, You state that you “don’t see a major flaw in [Mann’s] work.” How familiar are you with his work? What was he trying to measure and how was he trying to measure it. Was his choice of temperature proxies appropriate? Was his choice of statistical method (principal components analysis) appropriate and did it introduce any bias into his results? What has the National Academy of Sciences said about the proxies that are used in this field (what is appropriate and not appropriate to use)? Has Dr. Mann’s more recent work managed to exclude the problematic proxies that have been criticized as serious flaws in his earlier studies?

            Unless you can answer these questions (and you won’t find these answers in a NYT op-ed), then of course you don’t see any major flaws in his work. This is a highly technical issue and it is almost never discussed on nuclear blogs such as this one for good reason.

            Thus, we stick to the nontechnical, and that is usually where I limit my comments, but even then a lot can be said. As a PR campaign, the “climate change” movement has been an utter disaster. We like to criticize nuclear power here for having failed to reach the public, but compared to the global warming cause, we’re doing quite well. They have managed to put together a small, solid group of hard-core fanatics, but they have failed to reach the majority of the public.

            The polls tell the story. Support for nuclear power in the US has consistently remained in the positive end — i.e., more people favor using nuclear power than abandoning it — even after the Fukushima tsunami. Meanwhile, although the majority of the US public believes that global warming is happening and is caused by human activities, about two-thirds don’t think that it is a threat within their lifetime, and more people think that news reports about global warming are “exaggerated” than either “underestimated” or “correct” (the smallest group). (These claims are based on Gallup polls with the last two years.) It’s hard to get people motivated when they think that the claims are exaggerated and unlikely to ever affect them before they die.

            You want to bring more people concerned about climate change into the fold of nuclear power supporters? Then fine, so do I. I have nothing but praise for Pandora’s Promise. Just tell them to leave their ideological purity tests at home. Thanks.

            I prefer to be able to keep my informed opinions, which are not all that extreme by the way, and still find common ground.

          3. Well its not like I really mix things up that much. Ill talk to anyone Brian. And of course I don’t tie my support of discussing climate change and acidification as the sole defining reason for nuclear power exclusively although I do discus it frequently.

            I see the pronuclear polls many of you discuss and I think they are also a bit wishful thinking ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_opinion_on_nuclear_issues ) as polls flop all over the place. I feel about that topic as you probably do about using climate change as a litmus test. (I really dont think I do that).

            Im not a big supporter of all of Kuhn’s theories but here, for the Scientific Revolution that involves nuclear power to dominate, it has to be a arguably better alternative (in many respects) for a shift to a newer way of thinking to occur. Climate change and acidification can work also as a reentry point to many of those arguments that people may have incorrectly made thus far.

          4. I see the pronuclear polls many of you discuss and I think they are also a bit wishful thinking

            John – I’m not citing Bisconti Research, I’m citing Gallup as my source. If you are starting to dismiss Gallup, then you really are heading into the la-la land of confirmation bias. It’s probably the most trusted polling organization out there — far more trusted than Pew Research or, god forbid, what Wikipedia has to say on the matter.

            But anyway, my advice is to avoid hanging your hat on messages that boil down to “we’re all going to die!” That has been the central theme of the anti-nuclear movement for over 50 years now. It might scare some people into action in the short term, but human nature somehow stubbornly refuses to live perpetually in a constant state of fear, and that is one of the reasons why I have faith in humanity.

      2. @John : About that BBC article, it’s a good summary of what is a recent very powerful anti-nuclear attack here in France. To turn the situation on its head, and make what has historically been the strength of French nuclear, the use of only one model of nuclear reactor, into in ugly weakness, what if suddenly because of their high similarities we’d found ourself in a generic risk situation and they had all to be shut down to not be in jeopardy. This is quite a non-sense but unfortunately it’s supported by the nuclear security agency ASN, it seems it had initially that idea. I think ASN first thought of that as a good reason to build new reactors instead of relying too much on being able to extend the life of the existing one.
        But now it’s an anti-nuclear argument, “what if something horrible happens, and we have too shut them down”, “if at least we were not so dependent on them, this would be easier to do”, “Let’s shut down half of them so that it’s easier to shut down the other half”. It’s a bit depressing.

        1. It is depressing. Its certainly not about the environment, we can see that. It was always about pushing a philosophy, new business opportunities and most of all being anti nuclear – they will burn forests, pave habitats, string wire and spinning blades across the skies and oceans to pursue their fearful and wasteful visions.

  11. King Coal is energy (and power) in mining and use:

    Benevolent Protector: Vattenfall Overpowers Coal Critics – October 31, 2013

    In mid-October, the Lignite Committee in the state of Saxony gave its approval to the expansion plans in Nochten. In early 2014, the state government of Saxony will make the final decision on the issue. Meanwhile, on the Brandenburg side of the border, governor Woidke recently made an agreement with Vattenfall in which he explicitly came out in favor of the “Lausitz energy region.” There was no more talk of phasing out brown coal, as members of the state government had debated just a few years ago. ( http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/energy-giant-vattenfall-presses-on-with-coal-mine-expansion-plans-a-930828.html )

    Coal key to German power sector – 20/12/2013

    Coal is somewhat unlikely uncontested winner of the build-out in renewables, according to the report. Despite solar and wind generation breaking records this year, the share of coal and lignite is set to make up over 45% of total generation . YTD September, the output of coal plants increased by 5% YoY to 252 TWh (annualised) , while that of gas plants fell by 18% to just 39 TWh, less than generation from wind turbines and slightly more than that of solar. To fuel the demand for coal, imports have shot up to a record 51 million t, up 6.5% from last year. ( http://www.worldcoal.com/news/power/articles/Coal_key_to_German_power_sector_373.aspx#.Ut0_xqFOlTc )

    Why Germany’s Nuclear Phase Out is Leading to More Coal Burning – Today

    Between 2011 and 2015 Germany will open 10.7 GW of new coal fired power stations. This is more new coal coal capacity than was constructed in the entire two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall. ( http://theenergycollective.com/robertwilson190/328841/why-germanys-nuclear-phase-out-leading-more-coal-burning )

    Note how even a smaller percentage of their coal capacity is so ridiculously.. absurdly… comically…. higher than their wind, gas or solar power numbers.

    Rob’s twitter friend Craig Morris is playing on ignorance of Germany’s overbuilt power sector, bid schedules and utilization of existing plants to push renewables. Im beyond tired of the blatant dishonesty of the political greens.

    No one will raise a fuss when the renewable titans speak. So yes Brain I can understand how people would approach it cautiously in public.

  12. The wind and rain in Spain drives the greens insane.

    While im caffeinated and on a rampage here lets look at this as it keeps cropping up and it involves nuclear power.

    First off Im ecstatic that emissions for Spain dropped 23 percent. How did it happen ?

    In 2013 Spain had a unusually high amount of wind and rain. The Hydro also probably provided backup and leveling needed for wind.

    On the 53 percent jump in hydro 12 percent jump in wind and a 27 percent drop in coal use and a 34 percent drop in gas use they were indeed able to reduce emissions. (nuke dropped about 8 percent, demand dropped 2 percent. )

    Of course everyone is screaming success for wind. But that is a fluke of climatic conditions of that time. The highest percentage of clean energy production AND overall production in Spain came from nuclear power in 2013.

    Nuclear 56,378 GWh
    Wind 53,926 GWh
    Coal 39,792 GWh
    Hydro 34,205 GWh
    Combined cycle 25,409 GWh
    Solar photovoltaic 7,982 GWh.

    When you look at Electricity Installed Capacity (2011 numbers which have not changed all that much) the real workhorse for the year was clearly nuclear, and to some extent hydro as well:

    Nuclear 8%
    Hydro 13%
    Wind 22%
    Thermal 49%
    Solar tide and wave 4%
    (geotherm, bio and other make up the rest)

    So the clean energy miracle in 2013 Spain is as in every year, mostly Nuclear

    Ref:

    The Spanish Electricity System PRELIMINARY REPORT
    2013 ( http://www.ree.es/sites/default/files/downloadable/preliminary_report_2013.pdf )

    Electricity Installed Capacity by Type (Million Kilowatts) ( http://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/iedindex3.cfm?tid=2&pid=alltypes&aid=7&cid=SP,&syid=2011&eyid=2011&unit=MK )

    1. OOps:

      Should have used the national total column in the report for all of Spain so wind is 54,301 and coal is 42,384 GWh. Nuclear still on top. Also if you go down below those numbers the current installed percentages are right there too.

      Reading, its fundamental!

      So the all those articles claiming wind as the top producer are wrong!. Do a search its incredible the news sites that parroted that.

    2. Its worthwhile to note NPP stooped being built in Spain in the early 80’s.

      The shocking price of Spanish electricity

      Last year, some 1.4 million homes had their electricity cut off for non-payment.

      Spain’s electricity bills are among the highest in Europe, having risen 60 percent between 2006 and 2012 ( http://elpais.com/elpais/2014/01/01/inenglish/1388590410_230748.html )

      Where is EL to argue the joys of decentralized electricity production?

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