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  1. It is past time to start talking up the European problems which will be our problems if we follow the Greens any further.  Reports on factory closures, children wearing winter coats indoors in school, and anything else would help to open some eyes.

  2. One such natural gas hub feeding about half of New England’s electricity can be found in a town in Connecticut.

      1. Isn’t it past time in this country where we tried a pilot plant of one of those new reactor technologies? I’ve got nothing against old light water technology, but it’s time to innovate. The plants I used to work at used 1960s technology. We’ve made improvements in technology since then. Newer plants could load swing, have less waste, higher thermal efficiency, hopefully cost less to construct, etc. They could compliment the “renewables” and give the public essentially zero greenhouse gases.

        The country spends copious quantities of cash on the security of the United States. It seems like a safe secure energy source would be an extremely worthwhile investment.

        I’m pretty sure I’m preaching to the choir on this one, bit I don’t see why the folks in charge don’t see it that way.

      2. Other than NuScale, the new ideas are limited to computer simulations and artist conceptions. The current cost of innovation in nuclear power is prohibitively high. In contrast, look at what the low cost of innovation in computers and aviation (the early years at least) accomplished.

        In retrospect, the money spent by DoE propping up Vogtle would have been better spent accelerating the NuScale licensing/prototype construction process.

      3. (bah, forgot to switch to FireFox compatibility and comment got eaten.)

        the money spent by DoE propping up Vogtle would have been better spent accelerating the NuScale licensing/prototype construction process.

        Had Congress appropriated the money, we could have done both.  We probably should have; all our eggs should not be in one basket, neither AP1000 nor NuScale.

        Speaking of NuScale, I note that the swimming-pool reactor design being contemplated by China to replace coal-fired district heat is supposed to be around 400 MW(t).  This is some 2.5 times the output of a NuScale.  A single NuScale could probably supply district heat for tens of thousands of homes as well as commercial buildings, low-temperature process heat such as drying, etc.

  3. Of course the “new” sources, natural gas and renewables, can, together, make up for closed coal and nuclear sources.

    In the same way that Jeff Bezos and my neighbour can, together, start new companies to make up for the retail stores closed.

    Well, at least replacing coal fired generation with natural gas is an improvement. Glass half full.

    1. Until the price of gas goes back through the roof. Then it will still be a win for the air, but big punch in the nose for the consumer. And possibly a death sentence for some consumers.

  4. The local Fossil power station has completed converting one of their furnaces from coal to NG. There is now a plume of H2O coming from the stack, going straight up to about 2,000 feet where it creates its own cloud. Even on the coldest days of winter I never so the slightest trace of any emmissions comming from the stack. So, if H2O is 20 times worse of a GHG than CO2, how much effect does this new cloud have on climate change?

    1. Since the thermodynamic efficiency of a natural gas powered steam cycle is the same or greater than a coal powered steam cycle, there should be no difference or perhaps a reduction of rejected steam on a per MWe basis since more of the energy is going into the grid than the atmosphere.

    2. Probably a temperature-reducing one.  The low-lying cloud reflects solar radiation, and being low and about as warm as the ground it radiates well to space.  The excess H2O precipitates out within days.

      1. There is a hypothesis that as the earth passes through varying intensities of the galactic cosmic ray field and variation in the solar wind act to shield/unshield the earth from cosmic rays. There is a book, “The Chilling Stars” that discusses this. An experiment called CLOUD was performed at CERN’s LHC to take advantage of the high energy protons produced there to see the impact on cloud formation. The experiment concluded cosmic rays can alter cloud formation (as in a cloud chamber) but the effect is too small. Nother book, “The Neglected Sun” discusses the solar wind effect. Interestingly, solar activity has been very low over the past few years (allowing increased cosmic ray fluence) just as global temperature rise has entered a hiatus.

    3. I believe it was methane CH4 that was much worse than Carbon Dioxide CO2. I’ve only heard of water vapor H2O causing trouble if it freezes on roads, etc.

      1. My understanding is that, while H2O is a greenhouse gas, any amount generated by human activities pales in comparison to the amount evaporated from the oceans.

      1. No, still have once through – plant is next to river and at least as old as me if not older. Only see the cloud, which is definitely coming out of the stacks, is usually only visible when it is colder than about 20 degrees F. The plant was not dumping steam into the stack before they converted.
        Been to long since I used chemistry, however, Google Answers claims that when “1 cubic meter of methane gas at STP burns, it produces 0.668 pounds of water (three significant figures).
        http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/267323.html