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  1. The UN has asked the world repeatedly to stop growing food for fuel. It is impacting the supply of human palatable nutrients in favor of lower grade crops while mortgaging the offer of arable land. A no win situation.

    Plus the prices of food are going to go up. For everyone.

    But hey, even the Navy and the Marines want bio fuels to power their big ships. They of all people should understand the military advantages of compact energy provided by nuclear power. Something is basically wrong in the US when the military, who know best, are duped with adopting inferior fuels.

    Senator McCain is not going to be happy about the increased financing of bio fuels. He is opposed to it.

    1. I don’t think the US military is duped by biofuels. I believe that they are just doing what their civilian masters in Congess and the White House have directed them too.

      History is full of cases where militaries have done stupid things to appease the politicians.

    2. …the military advantages of compact energy provided by nuclear power…

      An enemy only has to destroy a hundred NPP’s (nearby big cities) in such a way that a Chernobyl/Fukushima scenario unfolds. Not very difficult, one or a few rockets hitting at the right place is enough.
      That will cripple the USA long time.
      Not due to lack of electricity (that can be overcome in a year or so) but far worse, due to the high radiation levels in key cities!

      Compare that with the distributed electricity generation of Wind and Solar, combined with:
      – a stronger long distance (DC) redundant grid that transports wind/solar electricity between different places dependent where wind/solar is abundant/lacks
      – small plants that convert electricity into fuel (and smalle turbine stations for the situation there is no wind and solar).
      Almost impossible to bring down all that…

      So, I do not see the military advantage of nuclear.

      1. DC grid will be vulnerable too. I’m with your implication: Distributed SMRs near load is the way to go.

        1. @John
          … Distributed SMRs near load …
          That is better regarding electricity delivery security.

          But, near load implies near big cities.
          So a succesful attack on an SMR will turn those into ghost cities…
          And SMR’s will have less security, as you need to guard so many of those…

          1. So then solar and wind farms will have less security as you need to guard so many of them. Just a little C-4 on the towers in the middle of nowhere and you take out out the transmission lines. Poof, no power.

            And sorry but if a group has enough people and firepower to succesfully attack hundreds of SMRs to the point where they turn cities into ghost towns then why would they do so rather than just take over the whole country with an intact economy?

          2. You don’t even need C-4. Just a couple of shots to the nacelle from a .50 cal rifle would be enough to take out a multi-megawatt turbine. You wouldn’t even need to get close to the tower. One squad of marksmen would be enough to take out an entire industrial wind installation in no time.

            Solar plants are so fragile that a couple of artillery or mortar shells would be sufficient. In addition to destroying the panels or mirrors that were directly hit, the explosion would rain down debris taking out equipment in a much wider radius.

            If the plant is a thermal solar plant that uses therminol, one shot would be all it would take. The plant itself would take care of its own destruction.

          3. @Brian, @ddpalmer,
            Do not put up solar farms/plants.
            Make arrangements so that every citizen, factory, office puts PV panels on his roof.

            E.g. a guaranteed feed-in rate that is the same as the rate consumers pay + no (import) tax on PV panels.
            I estimate that would be more than enough.as Germany shows.
            And the grid becomes less critical too.

            In Germany ~2% of the roofs have PV panels delivering a peak capacity of ~33GW, which is 55% of the max. power they need.
            So with 50% of the roofs covered with the present 15-18% yield panels (while ~30% will come), those PV panels have a capacity of 13 times the max. consumption. Even with a load factor of 10% they alone then still produce enough.
            As wind, etc deliver also electricity, there will be so much that the electricity can be converted into natural gas and (car) fuel.

            We see that situation now already sometimes. When the wind blows and the sun shines, prices at the Amsterdam wholesale electricity market are near (<1cent/kWh) or even below zero.

          4. Curtis – I think that he’s saying that “electricity can be converted into natural gas.” Correct me if I’m wrong, but that is what he wrote, isn’t it?

            Yet another prize-winning example of succinct stupidity from our resident SuperTroll. You have to admit, the kid’s got talent.

          5. @Curtis
            … Solar & Wind will be “Too Cheap To Meter”? …
            That depends.
            Solar:
            Last 35 years cost price of electricity from PV panels came down with 7%/year. Predictions that to continue for >10-15 years.
            Cost price for solar on a roof in NL now: ~15cent/KWh.

            Btw. USA is more south => more output. But PV on the roof in US is ~30% more expensive, while labour costs in USA are ~30% less. Why??

            Wind:
            Here bigger (=more advanced=higher yield) is cheaper.
            Cost prices going down at a slower pace ~3%/year.
            Cost price for land based Wind turbines near the coast here now ~8cent/KWh.

            So ‘Too Cheap To Meter’ will take some decades.

            But the issue for NPP’s is, that Solar has almost no operating costs.
            So even 1cent/KWh brings operating profit.

            NPP’s make operating loss below ~3cent/KWh.
            That implies that NPP’s will only make an operating profit when it is dark and there is no wind (operating cost of wind <2cent/KWh, going down).

            So the load factor for NPP's in surroundings with many solar & wind will become <30%. Hence I do not see a positive business case for NPP's in a country with a lot of wind and solar. Especially as there is also (pumped) hydro, etc. to fill the gaps.
            But may be I overlook something?

          6. But may be I overlook something?

            Yes, your childish analysis assumes that all economics is based on operating costs. It’s like saying that if I don’t live in my new house for a month — say, because I’m on vacation — I don’t have any home expenses. No … I still have to pay my mortgage, even though I’m not using my house. Understand?

            But the issue for NPP’s is, that Solar has almost no operating costs. So even 1cent/KWh brings operating profit.

            No, it’s not bringing in a profit, because you still have to pay for the solar panels/plant/whatever. Solar has no fuel costs, but you are extremely deluded if you think that there are “almost no” operating costs. Those panels don’t clean or fix themselves, you know.

            Nuclear power plants have low marginal costs and large fixed costs, just like most “renewables,” including wind and solar. Thus, the spot price of electricity at any particular time is almost irrelevant. Whether the plant makes a profit or not depends on the average cost of electricity, since it is in the best interest of the plant owner (whether nuclear or wind or solar) to produce electricity whenever possible to cover the fixed costs, which don’t go away when the plant isn’t running.

            Under your scheme, the solar plant in a solar heavy market fares extremely poorly. It will be producing electricity when all of the other solar plants are producing electricity — which, given your pricing model, is when electricity earns the lowest price. Thus, they will not make much money — possibly even earning a penalty for dumping too much power — and they need money to cover the cost of the equipment.

            More realistically, however, such fluctuations in production will make a grid unstable, and the grid operator will force some of the solar operators to stop producing electricity. Note that this means that even when the sun is shining overhead, the solar plant will not be generating power. I suppose that your perverse mind will now claim — as many “renewable” advocates do — that the solar operator should be paid anyway for being available, but that just shows how utterly corrupt the mind of a renewable advocate is.

            Meanwhile, a nuclear plant will produce electricity reliably when the price is high or when it is low. As long as the average price comes out to be higher than the fixed and marginal costs, the plant will earn a profit and will not cause problems with the grid.

          7. @Brian,
            Nice post! Just few remarks:

            …Those panels don’t clean or fix themselves…
            Almost all solar capacity here is small scale on houses.
            They don’t brake (you get a guarantee), and cleaning is once a year by the house owner, a typical saturday afternoon activity.

            I wrote operating costs to be near zero.
            Depreciation and interest are not considered to belong to those.

            The issue is that it is better to continue delivering even if the price is only $1/MWh, when your operating costs are zero.
            But that is not the case with a NPP, so I assume the NPP will try to deliver less (regulate down) if the price is that low.

          8. They don’t brake (you get a guarantee), …

            I wasn’t talking about defects in the devices themselves, which I’m sure are covered by some kind of warranty. Are you saying that these magical panels never get struck by tree limbs, hail, and other objects that impact the exposed roof of a typical house?

            Are they guaranteed against this too? If so, then this is really just a vendor-provided form of insurance, which I can guarantee is built into the price. So yeah, if you can hide your maintenance costs in your capital costs, then perhaps you can fool yourself into thinking that your operating costs are zero.

            … cleaning is once a year by the house owner, a typical saturday afternoon activity.

            Well, if you don’t really care how much the device is actually generating, then I’m sure that the job of cleaning them does not require much. I’m sure that these panels also continue to generate power when covered in four inches of snow too (sarcasm). That the owner does not care indicates just how “Mickey Mouse” these devices are. The only reason that these things are even remotely economical is because of government handouts and mandates.

            Comparing rooftop solar to any real power plant is like comparing apples to oranges, however, and I have better things to do than discuss such nonsense. Get back to me if you want to talk about real, industrial electricity generation.

          9. @Brian
            … Get back to me if you want to talk about real, industrial electricity generation …
            Well, the biggest and richest industrial nation in Europe is converting a major share of its electricity generation towards these rooftop PV panels (now ~30GW)!
            Their lefties even consider it more ‘democratic’ (a little ridiculous in my eyes).

            Btw. The cleaning of the PV panels once a year is done only by a small proportion of house owners. If you live in a relative ‘clean’ neighborhood it makes little sense as it will hardly enhance production.

        2. @Bas : I don’t believe cleaning is done actually only once a year, there was much snow this winter in Germany and they didn’t stop producing, so there must have quite some cleaning.

          What happens if the owner fall from the rooftop whilst cleaning ? Do you know that the risk of falling for professionals with a daily training and knowing perfectly the security procedures still make rooftop jobs enter the list of the most dangerous ones ? The only reason why ordinary peoples don’t fall more frequently is that they almost never walk on rooftops.

          1. @jmdesp: Agree. I forgot snow cleaning (here in NL near the coast, we hardly have that problem)..

          2. Bas you have just highlighted one of the main issues of the Unreliable Zealots.

            Just because you live in a spot where The Sun Shines 20 Hours A Day 365 Days a year with out fail… the rest of the world lives in a reality where it snows, it’s dusty, it’s cloudy, it rains in very large amounts, where the wind does not blow for weeks on end, are Thousands of miles away from any form of Tidal or Geo Thermal.

            If a roof top solar panel works for you.. good on you. Put it up. It wont for me. I want reliable power that does not require me risking my life on a daily basis. That I don’t have to maintain. That I don’t have to worry about. I want to wake up to hot water and heat on cold days, and not have to shovel my roof first, then Hope that it’s a sunny day.

      2. An enemy only has to destroy a hundred NPP’s (nearby big cities) in such a way that a Chernobyl/Fukushima scenario unfolds.

        Let’s see, what would it take to do that?
        1.  Creating a Chernobyl scenario requires (a) replacing the water-moderated reactor with an RMBK, (b) removing the containment building, then (c) operating the reactor in a positive-reactivity coefficient regime such that the power surges to 100x spec and ruptures the coolant tubes from steam expansion.  Good luck getting to (a), since light-water reactors are the only thing the NRC will approve in the foreseeable future.  Further, it assumes that your terrorists have to go into the nuclear construction business first.

        2.  Creating a Fukushima scenario requires (a) wiping out the outside power feeds, then (b) taking out the backup diesel generators and (c) keeping assistance from arriving in time to re-supply cooling before the core goes dry.  With the new positioning of e.g. mobile diesel generators ready to be brought to plants after natural disasters, the likelihood of this is a fraction of the previous vanishingly-small probability.

        Not very difficult, one or a few rockets hitting at the right place is enough.

        You have a funny definition of “not very difficult”.  If such attacks were even possible, they would already be commonplace.  Hint, they’re not.  I’d much rather have terrorists trying to hit hard targets like NPPs than subways and stadiums, they’re going to waste their efforts and likely harm nobody.

        1. On the other hand, taking out Power lines can be done with a bow and arrow, some Piano wire and a treble fish hook. Lob it up over the neutrals, catch any one of the 3 phases. If you didn’t want to be around, then use a hobby rocket (like Estes or Centauri) with a timer in place of the bow and arrow.

          A commonplace cutting torch can knock over towers. Maybe even a good wrench.

          Damn I hate terrorists. They have it too easy. True so long as they pick soft targets over NPPs.

          1. ” If you didn’t want to be around, then use a hobby rocket (like Estes or Centauri)”

            Don’t use a Centauri rocket or engine. Those are collector’s items now and quite pricey. Centauri went out of business ages ago. 🙂

          2. On the other hand, taking out Power lines …
            Agree.
            But that delivers only a temporary electricity outage (few days or so).
            Not unusual in the US after a winterstorm, according to papers here.

            While changing a NPP into a Fukushima will depopulate the nearby cities for a long time; few hundred years or so… 10 times the 30yr half-life of CS137?

          3. @Wayne
            … What did Oyster Creek ever do to you that you have to hammer it? …
            Nothing.
            A terrorist may chose that as it is the easiest target if a terrorist wants to turn New York City (Manhattan) into a ghost town, as well as taking out its industrial areas such as the refinaries in/near Linden (a group may attack Indian point as well to be more secure).

            And Oyster Creek is quite old (from the rosy sixties). So the terrorist will assume that its concrete walls are less strong. Which enhances his chances on 100% succes…

            But may be you know better targets for terrorists to take out the economic centers of USA during a long time? NPP near silicon valley?

          4. A terrorist may chose that as it is the easiest target if a terrorist wants to turn New York City (Manhattan) into a ghost town …

            Make that a terrorist with very poor knowledge of US geography. We can only hope that terrorists are as poorly informed as poor Bas here. 😉

          5. At 137 km from New York, this is a bit difficult. It would be more easy for Oyster Creek to turn Philadelphia into a ghost town, as it’s only 80 km away.

            Anyway they are of course many dangerous chemical facilities which are a lot nearer from New York than Oyster Creek.

          6. … dangerous chemical facilities which are a lot nearer from New York than Oyster Creek…

            Yes, but those do not deliver the capability to turn New York City and/or Philadelphia into ghost towns for decades. Not even during a few months!

          7. Oyster Creek poses no threat to either NYC or Philadelphia because of geography and prevailing winds. The most likely downwind contamination would be over Barnegat Bay and the tips of Long Beach Island (my former summer home) and Island Beach to the north. To contaminate New York, you’d need sustained southerly winds with dispersal that would reach almost a hundred miles north. Philadelpha is to the west. There are onshore breezes that can carry inland a few miles, but that would only affect very sparsely populated regions of the Pine Barrens to the east of Forked River. Unless there were a very strong easterly wind it is almost impossible to imagine significant contamination reaching Philadelphia.

            It’s about time to get off this “beat up Oyster Creek” bromide. It’s getting very, very wearisome. Go troll some anti-nuclear sites for another favorite whipping boy. This one is pretty much debunked.

          8. While changing a NPP into a Fukushima

            In other words, doing the impossible.  You’ve admitted it’s impossible by utterly failing to provide a scenario by which it can occur anywhere else.

            will depopulate the nearby cities for a long time

            Neither Hiroshima nor Nagasaki were depopulated, and even Chernobyl has people returning to the area and suffering no apparent ill effects.

        2. @Engineer-poet
          With Chernobyl, I meant a NPP that expels a lot of its radio-active material.
          Fukushima showed that a ‘regular’ quake followed by a big wave of water is enough for that.

          When I wrote about an enemy, I meant a country = more sophisticated.
          But lets follow your assumption of smart terrorists.

          They would choose an old NPP, such as Oyster CreeK, which has the spent fuel pool high in the dome. And attack that with a loaded 200ton plane, preferable at the weak spot such as the (un)loading bay/doors.
          The spent fuel pool looses its water and the fuel rods start overheating fast.
          That creates an high level of radio-activity in/near the dome within hours, preventing effective human intervention.

          The plane fuel fire kills all cooling equipment in/near the dome, so the reactor wil gradually become overheated too. So after a day the reactor takes over, exhausting a Fukushima like radio-active plume.
          Except that the terrorists checked that the winds would not bring that plume to the ocean (as happened with Fukushima), but towards the cities…

          Assume the US public will depopulate those cities faster than the Japanes did.
          And the depopulation effects of the attack will last many decades…
          Further, it will effectively kill all other NPP’s in USA (check Japan’s reaction)…

          1. “Further, it will effectively kill all other NPP’s in USA (check Japan’s reaction)…”

            Sorry, I meant: it will stop all other NPP’s in USA

          2. There you go again, picking on poor Oyster Creek. You sure have it in for them. What did Oyster Creek ever do to you that you have to hammer it so? That plant has been operating since 1969 and has harmed absolutely no one in all that time, and still has generated hundreds of millions of Mw-Hrs of emissions-free electricity, which has saved countless lives from avoided pollution.

            BTW, Oyster Creek has no “dome”. It is a Mark 1 containment system.

          3. Wayne – It’s the websites he reads and parrots. Do you really think that Bas comes up with all of this nonsense himself?

          4. In regard to terrorists. What would happen to a nuclear plant in the event of a terrorist attack would of course depend on a number of things like the nature of the plant and the nature of the attack, but one thing is for sure. This is not a question of opinion but of physics. You can’t just say this will happen or that would happen or that will happen without some kind of rational argument that included things like numbers, equations and facts from credible sources. Anything less is not rational discourse. It is just fear mongering.

            It’s like if someone told you that a large storm would destroy all the wind turbines in an area at the same time. If someone told you something like that you would rightfully demand evidence. That evidence would need to include things like the specs of the wind turbines in question and the weather condition they would likely be subjected to. What I don’t understand is why do you think it ok to make statements about nuclear reactors without evidence while at the same time I’m sure you demand evidence for many other things in life.

          5. @EZ
            … not a question of opinion but of physics …
            It is an educated guess, based on 9/11, Fukushima and basic calcs.

            Fukushima demonstrated that:
            – its enough to stop all cooling for a few days
            – early radio-active contamination of the place prevents installing replacement cooling. A leaking spent fuel pool, high up in the building showed to be a big help as it contaminates the place fast (before the end of the plane fuel fire).
            – damaged (cooling) pipes is also a good help to delay replacement
            – a relative soft impact (shock and water wave) is already enough (however, US NPP’s are better protected).

            Some basic impact, energy and plane fuel fire calculations delivered that a 100ton plane flying at 600km/hr (with filled fuel tanks) would be enough, especially against old NPP’s.
            To be sure a terrorist may take a 200ton plane,

            … large storm would destroy all wind turbines in an area …
            Even if that storm destroy the grid also, that would deliver only an electricity outage for some months. A minor.

            If a smart group attacks a number of NPP’s near the major cities & industrial centers, that results in ghost cities and ghost industrial centers for many decades due to the radio-active contamination.
            That would cripple the US, as it will bring down its GDP substantially (50%?) for many years.

          6. If a smart group attacks a number of NPP’s near the major cities & industrial centers, that results in ghost cities and ghost industrial centers for many decades due to the radio-active contamination.

            First they wouldn’t be that smart if they tried to attack a number of hardened nuclear plants at the same time. That is a recipe for ending up dead.

            Second this isn’t some James Bond or Bruce Wilis Hollywood stunt movie where the hero survives explosions, gunshots and fights to only end of saving the day at the last minute. This is a matter of concern where security issues that involve life and death topics are under constant discussion. Millions of dollars of security measures are in place at every plant including a depth of security measures approach, with new measures being added yearly by people who have itchy trigger fingers.

            Yes there have been Greenpeacers who have gotten inside the outer fence of a nuclear power plant in France but not the US. But have you ever wonder why Greenpeace doesn’t try to pull that type of stunt at a US based commerical nuclear power plant?

            It is because the odds are high that it will be more painful, either legally or physically, to attempt those types of stunts in the US. It is a federal crime to attempt to break through the security system of a nuclear power plant. So hard time in a federal jail awaits anyone who tries that type of stunt here in the US as the nuns are now finding out due to their antics in Tennessee. And many judges are losing sympathy for people pulling these types of stunts.

            If that parachute event had happened here in the US, plant security people would have been fired at best for an embarassing event or persecuted at worst for completely failing at their job and endangering the public. So security managers are motived to make sure nuclear power plants are secure.

            Additionally, the parchutist could have been shot, either by the on-ground security forces or by the jets that would have been scrambled once it was learned something had violated the airspace around the power plant. And personally I don’t think the majority of the US public wouldn’t even blink an eye if that happened. Instead the public would have wondered more about how the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and other govenment agencies failed by letting a plane to get within the airspace of a US nuclear power plant.

            http://www.nrc.gov/security/faq-security-assess-nuc-pwr-plants.html

            And as was pointed out during the event, a parchutist couldn’t have carried sufficient explosives to cause any significant damage to the facility. So it was a big stunt for campaign donations from beginning to end but appears to have not worked 100% according to plan. Even some Greenpeacers were unhappy as they may lose some airspace they used for skydiving because the French authorities were forced to review their security measures and put more public access restrictions in place.

            And as far as a hijacked plane scenario, if people haven’t got that point that the the plane they are traveling on may be shot down before it can cause havoc then they haven’t been paying attention. The rules have changed for handling hijack situations now that we know hijackers could also be sucide bombers.

            And the fuel fire you envision would not be sufficient to permanently damage the plant equipment. A nuclear power plant is the not the same design methodology as the Twin Towers. Yes there would be damage but that is why back-up systems are designed and implemented.

            So leave the Hollywood doom and gloom or end-of-the-world nuclear fantasies on the big screen since they have little to do with real life.

          7. With Chernobyl, I meant a NPP that expels a lot of its radio-active material.
            Fukushima showed that a ‘regular’ quake followed by a big wave of water is enough for that.

            No it’s not.  It takes one incident to take down the off-site power, another event to take out the diesel generators, and continued interference to prevent help from arriving from off site… help which has been beefed up due to the Fukushima incident itself.

            The scenario is impossible with Gen III+ designs like the AP-1000.  They are passively safe.

            When I wrote about an enemy, I meant a country = more sophisticated.

            A country is subject to military (even nuclear) retaliation.  The only way to carry out such an attack and survive is to do it as a false-flag operation, which means posing as (or even training and designing plans for) actual terrorists.  We’re back to the first scenario.

            They would choose an old NPP, such as Oyster CreeK, which has the spent fuel pool high in the dome. And attack that with a loaded 200ton plane, preferable at the weak spot such as the (un)loading bay/doors.

            Since I am also an aviator, I can tell you several ways that your scenario is utter nonsense.
            1.  The spent-fuel pool is built out of concrete.  It’s a very hard target, and airplanes are mushy.  The airframe of an F-4 Phantom was rammed at a speed of hundreds of MPH into a concrete slab of the construction used for reactor contaiment buildings; the slab was unscathed.
            2.  Hitting a very tiny target at a steep angle with a heavy airplane is nearly impossible, and also impossible to train for… even if it wasn’t inside a building which obscured the desired point of impact.
            But most importantly,
            3.  There won’t be any more hijacked airliners.  The cockpit doors have been reinforced, and the passengers will either kill the hijackers or die in the attempt.  If it comes to that, the flight crew will take the aircraft down themselves.

            The spent fuel pool looses its water and the fuel rods start overheating fast.
            That creates an high level of radio-activity in/near the dome within hours, preventing effective human intervention.

            One of the obvious improvements is to add plumbing so that e.g. fire trucks can hook up to connections outside the reactor building and pump water into the SFP; this is so obvious, I’m certain it has been done.  The same fire trucks which put out the fuel fire would be immediately able to switch to this task.  Connections to flood the containment are another obvious improvement.  That’s assuming that all the coolant pumps had been disabled, which is exceedingly unlikely; a missile aimed at the SFP isn’t going to be directed at equipment on the sides and below the reactor.

            Maybe the control room or other buildings would take some damage from debris, and maybe some people would get hurt.  But nuclear reactors are very, very hard (and small) targets, and all such an attack could accomplish is to disable the reactor and cause some casualties on-site.  It might not even do that; a near-miss is as good as a mile.

            Assume the US public will depopulate those cities faster than the Japanes did.

            We can assume that the US public will no more depopulate NYC than they did Harrisburg, PA.

            In short, you’re talking nonsense that only the ignorant can take seriously.  I know that there are a LOT of ignorant people out there, but facts have a way of decreasing their numbers.

          8. @Engineer-Poet
            …improvements is to add plumbing so that e.g. fire trucks can hook up to connections outside the reactor building and pump water into the SFP…
            That is a good idea! Not implemented in the old NPP’s designs.
            May be some improvement.

            Anyway that did not operate with Fukushima, while there were notes in the paper here that they had such plumbing.
            And it won’t help if the spent fuel pool is badly damaged due to such a plane crash, so water flows out with big amounts. Or if the tubes are damaged.

            But it can create a good chance that the reactor delivers a much smaller radio-active cloud if it is implemented well. You need to install a full redundant system with ~4 connections at different sides of the reactor building. As you can expect that at least one of those cooling systems will be damaged in such a way that it cannot operate.

            Btw. Taking into account the safety culture here, I estimate that that is not installed in our only NPP in NL (Borssele).
            That NPP is in a polder with dikes that break 1:10000 years (official figure once in 5000years). Then the NPP is 6meter below the water level.
            During >30years that implied that the emergency cooling would not operate as the air in-/outlets of the emergency pumps were ~4meter below sea level (electricity stops anyway).. Even now we don’t know for sure whether it will work, so the EU recommended raising the dikes, which is not done.

      3. Bax, your flights of fancy reach new heights. Brilliant. Keep it up and I won’t skip your posts anymore. Promised.

        1. @Bas
          Yes, but those do not deliver the capability to turn New York City and/or Philadelphia into ghost towns for decades. Not even during a few months!

          It is all fake pretense and stretches of a wild imagination that NPP failures could possibly be as bad as the worst Chemical, dam, or natural disasters. Fortunately for me I’m entertained by your wild fits of fancy in pursuit of your weak energy dreams. 20,000 people died in the Tsunami that wrecked Fukushima. The reactor damages were an economic subset of the flood damage and of far less consequence. I do not count the added damages of the FUD to be a consequence of the reactor damages, and nor should you or anyone. It’s incomprehensible, without a fit of fantasy that Fukushima or even the Chernobyl disaster would compare in magnitude to the Bhopal disaster or our own Johnstown flood. Both killed thousands.

          1. @John
            We talk about financial cost & insurance of NPP disaster.
            Your idea about the sense of radiation fear is not relevant.

            Compared to the Japanese, US authorities & public will react similar or more careful to radio-active fall-out of a smoking NPP…
            So it will result in a huge exclusion zone (~30x100mile?) bigger compared to that of Chernobyl. An exclusion zone that will continue for decades to come.

            Note:
            – Authorities have good grounds due to study results and other authorities. E.g. the UN related alimentary body lowered the max. radiation levels in food by a factor 10 last year (now the limits are such that a person gets <1mSv/year in total).

            – big parts of Japanese public refuse to return to areas cleared by government
            – there are protests because Japanese government refuse to evacuate children in areas with mildly raised radiation.

            – Fukushima exclusion zone is small (~30x30km?) because ~97% of its radio-activity went towards the ocean thanks to the prevailing winds.

  2. In this video, Obama pushes for land intensive technologies (solar, wind and bio fuels) to protect God’s creation, namely our mountain caps, forests and waterways.

    Clinton said to rely on basic arithmetic once. The more wind, solar, bio fuels the less forests, mountain caps and waterways.

    I am smarter than a fifth grader ?

  3. Within a decade, the next President’s hand will be forced “…to preserve God’s creation for future generations…” because it’s predicted by then, that oil prices will double, by no other than the IMF.

    Metaphorical ‘mob rule’ will force the next president to keep the lights on, and anybody with even a basic understanding of energy supply and demand, knows only nuclear power can do the job.

    We might even be able to hang on to our cars: “Remember when we used to have a car…” – http://prismsuk.blogspot.co.uk/

  4. The segment did include a small clip from James Balog’s “Chasing Ice” documentary. I just recently viewed this documentary and was very impressed by the time-lapse visual footage of glaciers melting and receding. As James Balog puts it, “glaciers are proverbial canary in the coal mine of global warming”. Putting aside all the computer models and data, the story of climate change can be visualized far easier with his evidence.

    This is a great documentary to be paired with Pandora’s Promise, highly recommended.

    The need to clean our air is urgent but in doing so we may be doing it in vain. Nonetheless, better late than never.

  5. Wind and solar do not return enough energy for the energy investment to allow for continuing the lifestyle which we have become accustom. Biofuels offer an order of magnitude less energy based on energy investment than wind and solar. I have actively farmed and I continue to own farmland which produces corn and bean. I have academic credentials in botany and microbiology my doctoral work was in plant physiology. The moral implications of using food crops for energy is one concern. Starvation is the alternative for the very poor. The other concern is that we are all poorer because the net energy return from biofuels is nearly zero and our food costs are greater.

    In graduate school I took a concentration of courses on the biological effects of radiation. I have continued to follow developments in the field radiation biology. We now know that radiation hormesis is a proven fact. Additional radiation stimulates our immune systems to protect us from diseased and cancers. We can tolerate a one time dose of 100 mSv with out an increase in incidents of cancer. Wade Allison provides evidence that a chronic dose of 100 mSv/ month or 1200 mSv/ year will not result in an increase in cancer. He suggest that our regulators have set the radiation limit 1000 X too low for chrionic radiation and 100X to low for a one time dose. Everyone in Fukushima prefecture should be allow to return to their homes. The levels of chronic radiation has from the start been in the benficial range. They will likely experience a reduced incidence of cancer and other diseases resulting in longer lives. We now know that surviving the A-bomb victims are living longer than their countrymen not exposed to radiation from the bomb.

    1. I have seen Galen Winsor eat uranium on video tape and listened to him tell of swimming in spent fuel pool water and drinking a glass a day of spent fuel pool water. Contrary to reports that Galen died of leukemia he actually died of complications from Parkinson’s. So even though I am not from Missouri (the show me state) I have seen evidence that LNT is wrong and that even ingesting small amounts of radioactive material will not kill you. I m not saying everyone should run out and do the things this guy did (strike a metallic piece of uranium or plutonium like a flint, ingest radioactive material, etc…) but it seems to me this guy would have died pretty quickly if radiation exposure is so deadly.

    2. @John
      …evidence that a chronic dose of 100 mSv/ month or 1200 mSv/ year will not result in an increase in cancer…

      Your problem is that:
      – there are many high quality studies (e.g. based on Chernobyl) that show that even a factor 100 lower level delivers harm (especially to people that have high cell division rates, such as unborn, babies, children); and
      – the expert radiation scientist that advice government, know those studies.

      Worse; as many nuclear scientist apparently do not (whish to) know those studies, they make themselves suspicious (not trustworthy; liars?) in the eyes of those expert radiation scientist.

      That causes that these radiation scientist do not want to start a new NPPP with that type of people involved. As they cannot believe their statements, e.g. regarding reliability.
      Especially since those statements clearly were false in the past.
      Why believing those folks now, while they show that they do not know the studies that prove the harm of radiation and even play it down.
      And it is not possible to build an NPP without involving those nuclear folks…..

      The situation resembles those with:
      – asbestos before the ban came; that industry and experts had similar stories (a threshold below which no harm);
      – tobacco before restrictions came. Industry experts claimed a long time that just one cigarette a day would not harm…

      To me it seems that you shoot yourself, if you continue to follow the same path as the asbestos & tobacco folks did.

      1. Wow. Has.

        Both the WHO and the UN SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE have published findings that refute your claims on Chernobyl. Are you in the Caldicott camp that claims a conspiracy? Is the UN and WHO these shifty nuclear power/tobacco executives that real “scientists” do not want to work with?

        1. @Sean
          Authorities ignore those WHO – UNSCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE findings. E.g. check the actions of the Japanese authorities regarding Fukushima, etc.

          In the cold war studies were published calculating the number of death due to atmospheric testing, to be millions.
          As the atomic powers wanted to continue atmospheric testing, they had an interest to prevent that WHO would support those opponents.

          These atomic powers financed the WHO for ~90% at that time.
          So the 1959 agreement between WHO and the IAEA (whose task it is to promote peaceful nuclear) regarding radiation, was made.

          As far as I know; after that agreement the WHO never made any statement regarding radiation that was not supported by the IAEA.

          Of course, Japanese authorities do follow UN related bodies regarding radiation that are not bound through the 1959 agreement.
          Such as the new radiation guidelines of the Codex Alimentarius Commission that are ~10 times more strict than the US guidelines.

  6. No need for velvet gloves here. They made up their minds as evident in the teaser video and this is a disaster. Like watching a slow motion train wreak.

    Beyond the food issues with biofuels and the new found lust for wood chips/pellets the simple fact that farming is not a carbon neutral endeavor needs to stated. It is a carbon sink with significant lag times and pathways that deposit carbon long term.

    Obama and his “environmentalists” know this, they also know the renewables scam is a cover for promoting natural gas. Thats where this is going.

    I imagine they’ll string the nuclear industry along too with crumbs, or at least the people and companies that control it.

  7. Well, all I can say is, those who voted for this bum should be having a serious case of buyer’s remorse. Trashing Yucca Mountain, appointing lousy dopes like Jaczko, Moniz, et al., how many more slaps in the face will we be getting from this idiot?

    1. This is way down the list of reasons he should be impeached, but still a solid one.

      1. I voted for him twice. There were not that many other options to say the least. (not saying Id do it again knowing what I know.) I wont defend the unethical or incompetent things he has done. Disappointment is a understatement.

      2. Impeaching Obama for *not addressing* climate change? We are all frustrated that fossil has divided and conquered US energy sector. NG wins by default as the game was rigged. Their scientists seem convinced it buys the world time to accept Nuclear.
        Gotta say the whole “impeach Obama” syndicate does little to set you apart from conspiracy theorists. Do you think other politicans and business leaders might share some of the burdon?

  8. Re” “…There are a large number of nuclear scientists and engineers in Illinois, President Obama’s adopted home state. It is the home of Argonne National Laboratory, the place that proved that self-sustaining fission works … I hope that at least a few of those nuclear experts have some kind of access to the President and will choose to deliver the reminder.”

    Be nice if all employed and researching at all these national labs made a collective mash note to the White House and the Hill about the reality of the situation. It IS their careers, right? Or they as fearful of getting audited?

    Re: “I imagine they’ll string the nuclear industry along too with crumbs, or at least the people and companies that control it.”

    Yes, token pie crumbs from nuke’s wafer-thin pie slice of their great energy “mix”.

    I dunno. For the first time I really fully ruefully admit U.S. nuclear’s irretrievably lost. Public’s going to be nuke-spooked more than ever by the tacit omission of nukes in the Prez’s address — and forget congresspeople openly hawking for nuclear. So stupid and avoidable! Just stalled and hemmed and hawwed on the PR Ad-PSA front and let the antis run rough-shod over them utterly and totally unchallenged. I look forward to progressive nuke news from Asia — and yes, keep all ’em fancy ritzy FUD-fighting-shy awards-filled conventions rollin’, nuclear professional organizations! Great Job!!

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

    1. There’s a precedent about how far the threat against the Argonne lab to not do something like that can go :
      http://blog.nonick.org/2008/07/al-gore-killed-clean-energy.html
      “Word then came down from DOE headquarters to us at Argonne that if anyone so much as used a sheet of copier paper to write a letter to Congress or the media supporting IFR, that person would be criminally prosecuted for misappropriation of government property and other charges related to illegal lobbying activity.”

      1. Man, that’s chilling and a half! No wonder Salon mag is so anti-nuke smug that nat labs won’t get out of “green energy” line. Wish every member of Congress got email regarding this! Oh, just saw Doc Kaku on TV here glibly espousing the “falsehoods” of Pandora on (“progressive”) Channel One here in NYC. Why extremely successful Kaku and Helen and Arnie aren’t called out in public for superbowl nuke debate by pro-nuke sponsors/community ever bewilders me! Anyway, I’m all ears for advanced nuclear developments in Asia!

        James Greenidge
        Queens NY

  9. Obama is also supposed to set carbon limits on thermal plants to reduce coal dependance and indirectly promoting gas.

    But that can also play in favor of nuclear. Gas won’t be able to absorb all of the coal firing plants closure. The reliable base load required will create an opportunity for nuclear.

    Anyway. When I think that people actually get paid to come up with such lame energy strategies, I wonder. This ‘scientists must find the food that farmers will grow’ to make carbon free fuels approach has to be the stupidest vision ever.

    1. Obama was in Berlin.
      So chance is that he had some CO2 & nuclear discussion with Angela Merkl (the German leader). She probably told him about the succes of the German transition towards renewable.

      Using that:
      – they are years ahead of their long term (50years) scenario (solar + wind capacity is now more than Germany’s max. electricity consumption)
      – the transition delivers a boost to German economy (far less unemployment, only economy in the EU with sound growth rates, etc)
      – the total (long term) costs are estimated to be the same with the two scenario’s; either the transition or continue with the old technologies.

      And the German arguments to close all NPP’s:
      – studies after Chernobyl showing that an extra 1mSv/year already creates ~50% rise in birth defects (stillbirth, Down, congenital malformations, intelligence dip, etc).
      – the unsolved waste issue (in the UK that will cost the tax-payer >$100billion for now. For the future?)

      I think he had little arguments against…

      1. Well no real study shows any effect from an extra 1mSv/year. And there is no unresolved waste issue. There is an unresolved political and backbone issued.

        1. Spot on ddpalmer, there is certainly a lack of political will regarding the ‘waste’ issue

      2. Here he goes again people. The flaws in your arguments have already been brought to your attention, so why repeat them? A successful transition? Think again. In response to an urgent plea by the government and the federal grid agency, even older power plants had to be reactivated in the wake of the premature closure of 8 nuclear power plants. This was to stabilise the grid. Der Spiegel tells us that in February 2012, large parts of Germany were on the verge of a blackout, indeed Hamburg would have experienced this had several factories not been ordered shut down. This ‘success’ as you put it, has lead many heavyweight industries to consider leaving Germany, due in large part to the costs of importing energy and to voltage fluctuations which have occured with alarming frequency.

        An unsolvable waste issue? So-called nuclear waste is a valuable source of clean fuel and rare earth materials that are otherwise tough to find in the earths crust. Only a fool would consider it ‘waste’.

        Back to school with you.

        1. Too bad you have to keep showing the flaws in Bas’ circular myths. I think each comment should have its own link, such that we only have to link the answer to Bas’ recurring myth expression rather than type it up again and again. But then, maybe I’m just too lazy.

          I just like to add that there is a lot of political pressure due to Germany’s rich deposits of Lignite, and the fact that there will be so much wealth concentrated leveraged by the heavy use of Russian gas. Those power brokers fear NPPs, they obviously don’t fear Wind and solar whatsoever.

          1. @John
            …there is … political pressure due to Germany’s rich deposits of Lignite, and … wealth concentrated leveraged by the heavy use of Russian gas …

            Even if you compare 2010 to 2012 there is some decrease in gas+coal/lignite burned in Germany for electricity. Despite the closure 8 NPP’s in 2011.
            And that downward trend goes on.

            Read my other post in this thread (below) about this, as that contains more figures (from CIA factbook & Wikipedia).

          2. I’m just saying that coal and gas producers/salesmen aren’t at all worried about the increase in wind and solar. They *love* the shuttering of Nuclear plants. They realize they can eventually sell more product under the current foolish energy policy than they would otherwise.

            The world economy is headed for a “correction”, due to the world-wide financial dope dream that printing money will avoid required corrections, namely the corrections required for corrupt banking & financial systems of which the soft energy policies are another symptom.

            1. @John Chatelle

              I’m just saying that coal and gas producers/salesmen aren’t at all worried about the increase in wind and solar. They *love* the shuttering of Nuclear plants.

              Agreed. I often wonder why I get accused of “conspiracy theory” talk when I point out that business people, especially those in the marketing departments of companies in historically competitive industries, often take active means to increase sales. They are trained to emphasize any deficiencies they can find in their competitors. Since fossil fuel marketers know that slowing nuclear down increases their own sales, and since they are well aware of the people and organizations who specialize in slowing or stopping nuclear, why is the notion that they have encouraged and supported those people so hard to accept?

          3. By what measure is Germany’s importation of Nuclear Energy from France and Czech Republic a victory for renewables? In fact Germany has many qualified engineers selling Nuclear Energy patents abroad…. Bass is thoroughly brainwahed with misinfo.

          4. @John
            …They realize they can eventually sell more product under the current foolish energy policy than they would otherwise…

            If they look at the figures of last years and the transition scenario, they see the downward trend (since ~1990) will go on to near zero (regarding their share of electricity production)…
            That is also the reason that some of them try to delay the transition.
            As figures deliver little arguments they use fear & uncertainty.
            Read Bloomberg & Der Spiegel (English version).

            Germany’s responsible minister (Altmaier) now tries to slow down a few years. As:
            – generation by renewable runs some years in front of the scenario
            – adaptation of the grid, upgrade storage, and conversion to fuel is not going faster than the scenario (while wind and especially solar is years ahead of the scenario due to the sinking cost prices). So managing reliable supply becomes more difficult.

            Seeing the huge (emotional) reactions those rational proposals create, I believe there is no chance at all that the transition stops.
            Most want to speed up, and reset the intermediate goals such that they have ~100% renewable in 2055.

          5. @David
            By what measure is Germany’s importation of Nuclear Energy from France and Czech Republic a victory for renewables?

            Germany was net exporter of electricity in the last ~7 years.
            Even in 2011 when they closed ~9% of their production (8 NPP’s).

            This interesting article and discussion exhibits also one of the reasons big energy businesses do not favor the transition.

            Note that Germany also imports a lot from Denmark that generates ~30% of its electricity by wind (no nuclear in Denmark).

          6. Germany was net exporter of electricity in the last ~7 years. Even in 2011 when they closed ~9% of their production (8 NPP’s).

            Bas – That’s not surprising, since Germany burns a lot of coal, which it imports from as far away as South Africa. It gets almost half of its electricity from coal, over 43%. Meanwhile, Germany’s claims of being a net exporter of electricity are based on a mere 2.7% of its entire production.

            David has a point. Germany imports almost as much electricity (93% as much) as it gets from wind and solar combined.

            By the way, Germany should not be so proud of its electricity exports. They have been dumping so much unneeded wind power to Czechia and Poland that the Czechs and Poles have threatened to install transformers to keep the unneeded power out and to keep their grids stable.

            Note that Germany also imports a lot from Denmark that generates ~30% of its electricity by wind (no nuclear in Denmark).

            Before you start fooling yourself with the feel-good notion that Germany’s imports are coming from all of this “clean” Danish wind energy, I should point out a few cold, hard facts.

            First of all, electricity from wind accounts for less than 20% of the electricity that Denmark produces. You should get your facts straight so that you don’t look like a complete idiot.

            Next, even if every single kilowatt-hour of electricity produced by all of the turbines in Denmark were to be sent to Germany, it would account for only 16% of the total amount of electricity that Germany imports. However, almost no Danish wind energy actually goes to Germany.

            It is true that Denmark exports much of its wind energy. In fact, while wind accounts for almost 20% of Denmark’s electricity production, it actually accounts for less than 10% of Denmark’s electricity consumption, because they export so much of it.

            This electricity is usually exported (dumped really) to Norway and Sweden when the turbines are producing too much unneeded power. It is not unusual for this wind-generated electricity to be sold at a negative price, and Norway and Sweden are only able to take it because they have ample supplies of hydroelectric power, which can be throttled down to compensate.

            Thus, rather than replacing German coal power or French nuclear power, the Danish wind turbines are actually replacing Norwegian or Swedish hydroelectric power, another “renewable” energy resource, only this one is fairly reliable.

            Meanwhile, Germany imports nuclear power from France, while it keeps its own nuclear power plants shut down; it decries carbon emissions, while it continues to burn coal like there’s no tomorrow; and it pisses off its neighbors by dumping worthless, unreliable “renewable” energy on them whenever the wind blows too much. Only a German could take arrogance and hypocrisy to this level.

            And only a fool would believe that a plan such as this is a good idea.

            (Figures taken from IEA statistics for 2009)

          7. @Brian
            … a few cold, hard facts … electricity from wind … less than 20% of the electricity that Denmark produces … less than 10% of Denmark’s electricity consumption…
            Old figures. I wrote ~30% of production.
            Wikipedia states ~35% of supply and ~30% of consumption in 2012: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_Denmark
            Note:
            – the figures are in the table halfway the page. Text in that page is not adapted to the 2012 situation.
            – Denmark plans to raise electricity produced by wind power to 50%.

            …almost no Danish wind energy actually goes to Germany…
            Denmark, France and the Czech Republic are stated as the main sources of import in The Wallstreet Journal (April 2, 2013).
            Agree that those imports may not be substantial as Germany is a net exporter.

            …Danish wind turbines are actually replacing Norwegian or Swedish hydroelectric power …
            Companies in those countries earn money by buying at low price, store it in their lakes and sell at high price. Check e.g. Statkraft.

            Btw. NL and Germany both have plans for more (bigger) power lines to Norway in order to enhance their use of Norway’s pumped storage capacity.

            … Meanwhile, Germany imports nuclear power from France …
            Yes and it exports to France too (this spring that export saved France from a power outage when their nuclear capacity was low and a cold wave struck).
            I fail to see what is wrong with trading.

          8. Old figures.

            Bas – No … reliable figures. I cited figures that I trust, which come from a credible source. You’re citing Wikipedia, for goodness sake! And if that isn’t bad enough, the reference that Wikipedia gives for the numbers you are using goes to a dead link.

            Denmark, France and the Czech Republic are stated as the main sources of import … Agree that those imports may not be substantial as Germany is a net exporter.

            Being a “net exporter” has nothing to do with it. Germany’s gross imports and exports are each over three times as large as its net exports. Thus, there’s a lot of power flowing over the border, with just a small net difference.

            Nuclear-heavy France is even a larger net exporter of electricity than Germany.

            In spite of having a population that is 20% smaller than Germany and a GDP that is 26% smaller than Germany, France exports (net) more than twice the amount of electricity that Germany does.

          9. Brian wrote:
            “Bas – No … reliable figures. I cited figures that I trust, which come from a credible source. You’re citing Wikipedia,”

            Brian, perhaps you can sort something out for me. The similar Wiki article, “Renewable Energy in Germany” states that in 2011 germany produced 123 TWHr of electricity out of a total supply of 603TWH.

            Yet, if one goes to the listed reference for those figures (I can never remember how to make links work here, but it’s cite (1) in the wiki article, Der Spiegel, “Crossing the 20 Percent Mark. Green Energy Use Jumps in Germany”) that source article states that total electricity supply in Germany for 2011 was 275 TWHr (billion KWH) and that all renewables supplied 57.3 TWHr of that.

            These numbers are in conflict by 100%. What’s more amazing, is that the Wiki article uses the Der Spiegel article as a reference, and then quotes completely different numbers.

            I’ve hunted around trying to figure out where the truth lies, but haven’t been able to sort it out.

            How much electricity does Germany really produce, and how much of that comes from renewables? I like to figure those numbers whenever these discussions are relevant, because I like to divide the renewable generation numbers by 8 TWHr, and then multiply that number by $4 – $7 billion. Then compare the result to how much was spent on “renewable” generation. In general, the amount spent on renewable generation is always 2 – 5 times more than the result of the calculation above.

            So you can see where the factor of two discrepancy makes a big difference in the result.

            How much electricity is Germany really getting from unreliables? 60 TWHr/year or 120 TWHr/year. Or some other completely different number?

          10. Thank you, jmdesp. That clarifies things considerably — after a bit of translation. So, Germany is actually only generating 74 TWHr/Yr of electricity from wind and solar. A level of production which could easily be replaced with nine or ten nuclear reactors at a total cost, being liberal, of $70 billion.

            Additionally, the reactors would last for 60 – 100 years instead of 20 – 30 years, not requiring that all the money be spent again in a generation.

            How much has Germany spent on wind and solar so far?

            Even if the biomass is added into that figure, it’s still only 110 TWHr, or about four more reactors. Fourteen reactors would cost, what, about $98 billion as a liberal estimate.

            I’ve read figures that Germany has spent over $100 billion on just their solar installations. But I’m not clear at all on the amounts they’ve spent so far.

        2. @ddpalmer,
          Josh stated that I showed enough links that support my statement.

          @Josh, @ddpalmer,
          The issue is that the advisors of your president do not see some wild statements or examples as a real proof. They follow sound scientific evidence.

          The longer nuclear folks deny that evidence, the more they loose credibility…
          And these advisors do not trust potential dangerous NPP’s in the hands of folks that have lost credibility.
          You follow the same (loosing) path, the asbestos and tobacco community did…
          Those did also state that there was a threshold below which no harm…

          @Josh
          Bloomberg and Der Spiegel (probably induced by big companies, that are loosing a lot through the transition) generate a lot of unfunded doubt and fear in their english versions. Some examples:
          – big shortage of electricity:
          Never occurred.
          – transition (and closing NPP’s) only possible thanks to the NPP’s of France: Germany stayed an electricity exporting nation, even in 2011 (8 NPP’s closed).
          – grid outages:
          The German grid is more reliable than that in parts of the US (thanks to its management).
          – expensive, it would make Germany/Germans poor:
          Germany/Germans is/are getting richer and richer compared to the other EU countries. Especially since the transition took steam (2011,2012, 2013).
          – transition would loose all support of the (poor)Germans:
          Recent polls show ~90% support for the transition. Is there any subject in USA that has such overwhelming support from its citizens?

          …nuclear waste is a valuable source of clean fuel..
          That was stated in the sixties, 50years ago when breeders would do…
          But since then there is no real perspective anymore (?yet?).

          Even within UK government there is big doubt regarding the Sellafield waste Discussions whether PRISM could do the job or generate even more costs.
          Tax-payers in UK are faced with the first cost (~$100billion).

          German tax-payers already spended >10billion for the Gorleben permanent storage (600m below, in stable salt). And now that stable salt shows to leak towards the surface, so all the stuff has to be removed within ~100years. Costs: ?100?billion.

          So I think no president’s advisor will follow your point of view…

          1. So now the media (the same media that provided the great, factual, unbiased, non hysterical coverage of Fukushima) is in on the conspiracy making up lies at the behest of the rich and powerful German NPP owners??? REALLY???

          2. @Sean
            I did not write that these two media put up lies.
            In general they do not. Sure not at the behest of German NPP owners, as
            NPP’s are finished in Germany and industry has accepted that.

            These two media only try to slow/halt the transition towards renewable, by publishing all signs that something may go wrong with the transition.

            E.g. recently they cited the boss of Siemens telling that Germany needs more power plants in order to avoid outages, and it was dangerous for the reliability of electricity supply that government didn’t do that.
            Forgetting that:
            – Siemens sold his solar division a few years ago.
            – Until that time Siemens was not critical regarding the transition.
            But now the Siemens boss puts that up, as his factories can only produce traditional power plants… He wants more orders/business.

            Other papers interpreted the Siemens message correct and ignored it…

          3. @bas
            If they look at the figures of last years and the transition scenario, they see the downward trend (since ~1990) will go on to near zero (regarding their share of electricity production)…
            Holy smokes! Did Gerhard Schroder ever make a bad career choice!

            BTW: Is it seen as morally reprehensible to use “public service” as an investment strategy in the lowlands? It’s what Taleb calls the “Tony Blair syndrome”, having gone on to a fat’n cushy Goldman Sachs paycheck after serving as Prime Minister of Britain…

      3. If there is one thing that the US will learn from Germany its that a Full Scale move to renewable makes the Coal and natural Gas Industry very very happy.

        1. @Curtis
          Just study the two media I posted about above (‘Der Spiegel’ and ‘Bloomberg’) and you see many warnings by bosses of German electricity companies. Warnings that things go wrong, the transition should be stopped, etc.

          That implies these companies feel unhappy about the transition.
          The logical reason; they are loosing position & turnover to:
          – new small 100% renewable electricity companies; and
          – house-owners, that generate their own (PV panels) and supply to the grid.
          That also implies that the turnover of Coal and Gas becomes less.

          A more factual view:
          In 2010 the 8 NPP’s closed in 2011 delivered ~9% of Germany’s electricity.
          In 2010 – 2012 the share of renewable rose from ~17% to ~23%.
          So in 2012 they still missed ~3% to compensate for the 8 NPP’s closed in 2011.
          This year renewable will rise more than this ~3%.
          And next years renewable will continue to rise…

          So coal and gas have good reasons to be unhappy.

          1. @Curtis: correction to the factual view:

            2010 – 2012 the electricity production in Germany fell ~6%.
            So the electricity amount produced by coal and gas was in 2012 already ~3% lower than in 2010.

            As Germany replaced many inefficient coal plants by high efficient, flexible coal plants (that use fluidized bed technology),
            the amount of coal and gas used for electricity generation in 2012 sank even substantial more. And will sink further in 2013, etc.

          2. @Bas
            I have two very interesting websites that show how impossible “die Energiewende” is.
            The first one : http://www.deutsche-dachboerse.de/faqs/38/65-deutsche-solarstromerzeugung-aktuell which meters the production of renewable energies in Germany
            The second one : http://www.rte-france.com/fr/developpement-durable/eco2mix/production-d-electricite-par-filiere which shows the different sources of electricity in France.
            I’ve chosen 3 days as case studies using data for those websites :
            -1 January :
            Wind produced about 40% of the German electricity.
            Nuclear somewhere between 75 and 80% of French electricity.
            -15 January
            Wind AND solar together produced less than 6% (and a miserable 2-3% at night) of German power whereas in France nuclear was still over 65% despite the cold wave.
            -15 March
            Wind and solar production (combined) swung between 1.5 and 23%.
            In France although the consumption was high due to an unexpected cold wave (and the use of electrical heating) AND the rather low production of the reactor at the time (50GW) nuclear was still above 65%

            Aside : In France we pay about 16 cents per kWh compare to more than 28 cents in Germany end aside.

            My point (and I assume the point of many on this blog) is that although solar and wind CAN produce a lot of energy we just can’t rely on them when power is needed at most. Nuclear is the only way to produce large amounts of electricity in a reliable way. You just can’t deny those facts.

            By the way I’d like to thank Rod whose blog opened my eyes on the impossible use of unreliables.

          3. @CG
            …solar and wind … can’t rely on them when power is needed …
            Correct. But the statement shows a distorted view regarding the transition to renewable, suggesting the Germans are kind of mad.
            This gives a nice overview of their transition: http://energytransition.de/

            … Nuclear is the only way to produce … in a reliable way…
            There are numerous countries without nuclear that have reliable electricity supply. E.g. Denmark (where renewable deliver also big share).

          4. Well your link shows that a significant amount of hydro-power is needed to be able to store the excess renewable energy and although other grid-level energy storing solutions are evoked none of those have ever been implemented on a large scale . I’ve nothing against those technologies but their development take quite of a lot of time compare to the readily available nuclear energy.
            The following graph http://energytransition.de/files/GET_2A15_Renewables_need_flexible_backup_not_baseload.jpg that I found on your link shows that “conventional” sources of electricity will still be much needed to back up renewables.
            It’s true that Denmark uses significant amount of wind power. But on the other hand they use a lot of coal. What I meant by saying that it was the only to produce electricity in a reliable way is that it is the only way to produce power reliably AND emission free AND at a moderate cost and that it is likely to remain so for quite a long time : http://energinet.dk/Flash/Forside/index.html

          5. @John Chatelle
            Well since EDF uses load following with the nuke reactors (and some hydro to manage the evening peak) nuclear “destroys” gas consumption. The goal of EDF ,as it is a (partly) public company, is to produce electricity as cheap as possible so they’ll always favor nuclear against gas. The only situation where gas and coal are used is during the winter peak but gas never produces more than 6-7% even during that time. During the summer coal and gas plants are always quasi-nonexistent.

          6. @Chatelle : Both France and Germany would preferably use the cheapest fuel, and because of that we have seen in the last year and half a large level of gas destruction in both countries.
            When you get a look at the level of gas in the recent weeks of the Fraunhofer report http://www.ise.fraunhofer.de/en/downloads-englisch/pdf-files-englisch/news/electricity-production-from-solar-and-wind-in-germany-in-2013.pdf , it’s very low compared to both lignite and hard coal (around page 150). In the last few weeks in June, it has generated 2 to 3 times less power than PV.

            The difference however is, as RTE says in it’s latest report,
            here : http://www.rte-france.com/fr/actualites-dossiers/a-la-une/bilan-previsionnel-de-l-equilibre-offre-demande-d-electricite-en-france-les-marges-de-surete-se-reduisent-a-partir-de-2016-1
            that France only has 6.8 GW of coal and 5GW of oil, they have been built in the mid-70 for the most recent of them, so they will very soon have to close because of EU regulation, leaving only 1,3 GW of oil and 2.9 GW of coal at the latest in end 2015.

            So we can be sure that after end 2015, almost none of the French power will be generated from carbon heavy sources anymore. It could have happened already this year if the carbon market wasn’t broken (so could happen earlier if that market is resurrected)

    1. @Daniel
      … Secretary Kerry is in India with Moniz pushing renewables….

      Why should he do that, as US has practical no position regarding renewabes?

      Denmark is the leading country for wind (with >8MW turbines);
      China the leading country for solar (USA & EU even have ~40% import barriers for Chinese PV panels, isolating themselves from the world market).

  10. Last Thursday:

    Toomey, Barrasso, Pryor Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Repeal Renewable Fuel Standard Thursday, Jun 20

    “The biofuel use requirements have a negative effect on our economy,” said Senator Toomey. “Not only does the mandate likely harm our car engines, it drives up farmers’ and ranchers’ costs and causes increased prices in almost everything we buy in the grocery store. Current rules require refiners to blend increasing amounts of biofuels — especially corn ethanol into the nation’s gasoline supply. The result is that corn prices have shot up and this is troubling for Pennsylvania livestock farmers who devote about half their operating costs to feed. I have heard firsthand from many constituents just how damaging this policy has been. And it is particularly harmful to lower-income families who spend a greater percentage of their paycheck on groceries.

    EPA’s rejection of petitions from Arkansas, North Carolina, New Mexico, Georgia, Texas, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Utah, and Wyoming to suspend the RFS after last year’s droughts suggests the agency will never find cause to suspend the RFS.

    The RFS has contributed to higher transportation fuel prices for American motorists. Since early January, the spot prices for Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) have increased more than 1000 percent or tenfold. ( http://www.toomey.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1072 )

    That RIN thing is new to me and sounds like a total scam.

    I also wonder if we are going to see a water use “Concern” piece over biofuels from our fair and balanced friends at the UCS?

    1. I also wonder if we are going to see a water use “Concern” piece over biofuels from our fair and balanced friends at the UCS?

      One would think so, since they are professional concern trolls, after all. But sadly, they’re concern trolls on a mission. I fully expect them to “stay on target” and continue to “do their masters’ bidding.”

  11. The help the nuclear industry needs from government is to reduce regulatory mandated delays and costs. Taking bad regulation off of the books costs nothing, requires no new appropriations, and is rapid in it’s effect.

    In the USA, you will not build new nuclear without a license, and thus far in 37 years NRC issues about one new license to build a nuclear reactor per decade. This rate of licensing will not permit sustaining of the US commercial nuclear fleet.

    Since the beginning of 2013, four US nuclear reactors have been lost with NRC delays figuring prominently in the plant closures.

    The help that is needed from government is to reform the way we regulate nuclear energy.

    1. The Japanese regulator had that helpful attitude regarding bad regulations.

      So NPP’s could withstand all eathquakes (read on their WEB-site before 2011)…

      1. The NPP withstood the earthquake it was the tsunami and station blackout that was the problem.

  12. We’re like drunks. We’ve got to hit bottom before we begin our recovery. I hope Obama’s speech tomorrow, _is_ bottom, and from here the American people catch on that if you try to “sustain”, you’ll only lose. I cringe whenever I hear the word “sustain”, used in conjunction with energy. I’m absolutely non-religeous, but whenever I hear it, I’m reminded of LUKE 17:33:
    “Whosoever shall seek to save his life, shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose it, shall preserve it.” (Rheims-Douay)

    Obama isn’t going to push forward; He is going to pander to those who financed his campaigns in 2008 and 2012.

    This speech is going to be so terrible, it simply has to be our national “hitting bottom”. It will be so terrible, it’ll flow like a tragic comedy, or maybe like watching the sad clown at the circus.

  13. Today, Obama will set the first-ever carbon dioxide emission limits on new and existing power plants. For that, he needs no approval from Congress.

    Slice it dice it anyway you want, this will create upward pressure on gas prices and can only be good for nuclear plants.

    1. Yea its a start – one I thought we already had done to be honest. Time.com has a piece out today and they list the major points :

      Additional actions to be announced today:

      Up to $8 billion in loan guarantees to be made available for advanced fossil fuel—including carbon capture—and energy efficiency projects.
      Fast-track permits for renewable energy projects on public lands.
      Toughened efficiency standards for appliances and federal buildings.
      New fuel economy standards for heavy-duty vehicles.
      New strategies for climate adaptation.
      An end to U.S. government support for public financing of most new coal-fired power plants overseas.

      ( http://science.time.com/2013/06/25/obama-moves-to-regulate-carbon-emissions-but-that-may-not-be-enough-for-greens/ )

      They talk about a two year window in it in which Obama failed to get cap and trade but seeing what a mess in Europe that is now Im kinda glad he did.

      The say “environmentalists” will applaud some of it but the public lands use for renewables concerned me very much.

      We should be at a point now we are capping coal use frankly. Not investing in unproven and disproved technology.

      Fox is out in far right field now running a story pushing coal. I wish the conservatives out in the real world were a lot more like the ones here.

      1. …U.S. government support for public financing of most new coal-fired power plants overseas…
        I’m puzzled.
        Can somebody explain why US government spends tax money to help other countries to build power plants? Subsidy only for poor countries?

  14. Well, the embargo is over. President Obama has released his new “climate action plan.” Interested in what the President has in store for nuclear power? Well, the plan says that “we will continue to drive American leadership in … nuclear … technology” (I left out all of the other stuff about natural gas and “clean coal”). However, the largest section in his plan that is devoted entirely to nuclear is the following:

    Nuclear Power. The United States will continue to promote the safe and secure use of nuclear power worldwide through a variety of bilateral and multilateral engagements. For example, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission advises international partners on safety and regulatory best practices, and the Department of Energy works with international partners on research and development, nuclear waste and storage, training, regulations, quality control, and comprehensive fuel leasing options. Going forward, we will expand these efforts to promote nuclear energy generation consistent with maximizing safety and nonproliferation goals.

    That’s right folks. We’re going to be the World Leader, not by exporting our nuclear reactors, not even by exporting our nuclear technology, but by exporting our regulations!

    Yes, following in the footsteps of the great Herbert Hoover — another president who is famous for driving America deeper into financial woes and higher unemployment — Obama is making promises. But whereas Hoover promised “a chicken in every pot,” our current President is promising a Jaczko in every nuclear regulatory agency. I guess each president has his own style and priorities. 😉

    You can’t make this stuff up! The only way this could be any funnier or more ridiculous is if he were to put the IRS in charge of these “efforts.” (Although I guess I shouldn’t say any more in case one of his staffers or the NSA is reading this — we don’t want to give them any ideas.)

    I hate to say that I told you so, but this is just too good of an opportunity to resist.

    1. @Brian,
      …not by exporting our nuclear technology, but by exporting our regulations!…

      I think your NRC did an excellent job preventing a real accident.
      The two disasters may have been prevented if the Japanese and Ukraïns had those regulations. So export that is a good thing for all of us.

      E.g. In NL we have a lousy NRC that does nothing at all.
      It allowed clearly dangerous situations to continue ~30year!

      So I would welcome your regulatory help!

      1. I think your NRC did an excellent job preventing a real accident.

        What real accident? Do you mean the Three Mile Island accident in 1979?

        I guess you don’t know what actually happened. The NRC guy was the clown telling everyone (incorrectly) that the unit was going to explode because of hydrogen buildup. The industry expert knew better. It turns out that the NRC guy had used the wrong formula (or wrong units, I forget which) for calculating the threat that the hydrogen posed. He was completely wrong, and if cooler heads had not prevailed, he could have been responsible for turning the situation into a real mess.

        In the TMI accident, the NRC was incompetent, the operators were incompetent (if they had simply done nothing, the meltdown would not have happened), the politicians and public officials were completely incompetent — causing undue fear and panic, which resulted in frightened people tying up the phone lines so that the engineers on site could not get in touch with the engineers who designed and built the plant.

        The reasons why TMI was not a “real accident” were the robustness of the design and the over-engineering that went into it. The NRC was pretty much a spectator. The real NRC incompetence was yet to come, however, in the regulation madness that followed, the legacy of which we are still living with today in the US.

        1. Accident management is a different job that require total different capabilities.
          Not strange that NRC people had no grip.

          NRC people have to make regulations that prevent accidents.
          And that they do apparently well, since the TMI accident!

          Even checking whether the utility follow those regulations, require a different mentality.
          So if the NRC has organized itself well,
          they have separate folks (with different mentality) that do the checking.

          I think we urgently need those NRC regulations and checking!

          1. Btw. The Finnish regulator also seems to be rather well, especially regarding control.

            So another good solution for The Netherlands may be;
            have the US (NRC) regulations, with execution monitored by the Finnish regulator.

          2. INPO (an industry group) has done far more and been far more effective than the NRC at preventing another Three Mile Island accident in the US.

            It takes more than just regulations to ensure safety. One can pass regulations and more regulations until the cows come home and yet not achieve a single measurable improvement in safety.

            Excessive regulation caries its own safety risks. When one becomes more concerned with following a stupid little rule than thinking about what actually is safe, then safety suffers. Unfortunately, the NRC wanders off into that territory alarmingly often. It is not difficult to find a situation in which a change or action that would make a plant or design more safe is expressly forbidden by the NRC because of some stupid rules.

            I’m not denying that having an independent regulator is a good idea. On the contrary, it is very important. Sadly, however, the NRC is hardly independent these days. The Commission originally was intended and established to be non-partisan and outside of the fickle realm of politics. Obama has managed to achieve the feat of finally making the NRC political, and that will be a sad part of his legacy. What is worse is that he now wants the rest of the world to follow suit.

          3. Hi Bas,

            What websites advocate the political imposition of NRC regulations for non-domestic (US) nuclear regulatory environments? Are there any? When did they start? When did you first see this? –Thanks!

          4. @John
            What websites advocate the political imposition of NRC regulations for non-domestic (US) nuclear regulatory environments? …“.

            I advocate that you export those regulations, incl. control, to The Netherlands as we have such a lousy regulator.
            Never checked for WEB sites regarding that subject.
            May be I should start one, if they do not exist.

    2. That’s right folks. We’re going to be the World Leader, not by exporting our nuclear reactors, not even by exporting our nuclear technology, but by exporting our regulations!

      So what do you think would be the public response of a re-direction of funds away from competitive and popular alternatives (renewables), and towards an expansion of nuclear power (with 3 plants closing down, two of them early, industry wavering on Fukushima response, and four new plants facing delays and rising costs)?

      Your loathsome politics (and faulty comparisons) doesn’t seem to tell us much of anything about the climate speech and what it means for energy investment in the US. Exelon sees an opportunity here for it’s low carbon and climate policy strategy (according to Bloomberg).

      No wonder why you can’t see an opportunity here (when it is staring you directly in the face). I think Obama had you in mind with these fine words in his speech:

      Nobody has a monopoly on what is a very hard problem, but I don’t have much patience for anyone who denies that this challenge is real. We don’t have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society. Sticking your head in the sand might make you feel safer, but it’s not going to protect you from the coming storm. And ultimately, we will be judged as a people, and as a society, and as a country on where we go from here …

      Understand this is not just a job for politicians. So I’m going to need all of you to educate your classmates, your colleagues, your parents, your friends. Tell them what’s at stake. Speak up at town halls, church groups, PTA meetings. Push back on misinformation. Speak up for the facts. Broaden the circle of those who are willing to stand up for our future.

      Convince those in power to reduce our carbon pollution. Push your own communities to adopt smarter practices. Invest. Divest. Remind folks there’s no contradiction between a sound environment and strong economic growth. And remind everyone who represents you at every level of government that sheltering future generations against the ravages of climate change is a prerequisite for your vote. Make yourself heard on this issue.

      You can throw political barbs and arrows (a futile effort if you don’t mind my saying, and a pretty big distraction), or can get busy and craft some solutions (regardless of who’s holding setting the tone of the debate). If you want to build more nuclear plants, the choice seems pretty clear to me (and what you should be educating people about on the site about. You seem content enough to complain (and speak trite nonsense about those burdensome regulations). Don’t Republicans and nuclear advocates get tired of blaming everything on “burdensome regulations.” I certainly am.

      1. So what do you think would be the public response of a re-direction of funds away from competitive and popular alternatives (renewables), and towards an expansion of nuclear power (with 3 plants closing down, two of them early, industry wavering on Fukushima response, and four new plants facing delays and rising costs)?

        EL – Oh my goodness?! Less than 3% of the reactors are shutting down! The sky is falling! This certainly marks “The End” of the industry.

        On the other hand, at least nuclear companies aren’t going bankrupt like some “competitive and popular alternatives” after receiving government loan guarantees. Some politically well-connected ones even managed to score as much as half a billion dollars in guarantees before quickly going belly up.

        Apparently, you are arguing that the public is so stupid that they’re ready to accept yet more of the same. Well, perhaps you’re right on that point. Nevertheless, although stupidity might get a president reelected, it’s hardly a good basis for sound public policy.

        Your loathsome politics …

        I must have hit a nerve. Good.

        Exelon sees an opportunity here for it’s low carbon and climate policy strategy (according to Bloomberg).

        Of course it does! If I owned a boatload of old nuclear reactors that have already been paid for, I’d be all for a policy that hurts my competitors and drives up the price of electricity too. I’d be stupid if I weren’t.

        Exelon is not interested in building any new nuclear reactors of any type. Their generation portfolio is probably too nuclear-heavy for financial risk management already, which is why I’m sure they don’t mind the government butting in and artificially helping them with that problem. To put it bluntly, Exelon’s officers are nothing more than a bunch of opportunists.

        Well, perhaps I’m out of touch or just crazy, but I’m more interested in what is in the best interest of the country and the world, not what is in best interest of a bunch of wealthy opportunists. I’m intrigued, however, about how often you jump to the defense of crony capitalism, EL.

        1. On the other hand, at least nuclear companies aren’t going bankrupt like some “competitive and popular alternatives” … I’m intrigued, however, about how often you jump to the defense of crony capitalism

          Huh … did Darrell Issa finally find something? You might want to tell him, I think he could use some help. You’re watching too much Fox News and Drudge.

          1. Nah … CNN. It’s a shame that Solyndra’s technology wasn’t as good as its lawyers and lobbyists.

            Geez, EL, is that the best you’ve got?

          2. Geez, EL, is that the best you’ve got?

            It’s plenty. The fifth is there to protect against abuse of power (government authority in a legal procedure). Issa ran a fishing expedition (and nothing more). We don’t have due process in this country? If Issa has something, he should produce it. So far. Nada.

    3. @Brian
      According to your post Obama said: “…we will expand these efforts to promote nuclear energy generation …
      That is quite a promise.
      I don’t see why you are so unhappy. What else could he do?

      Promise more subsidy to nuclear, while US Government has such a deficit?

      You cannot expect that he tells that nuclear is the only real solution for less CO2 regarding electricity production. Thus he would shoot himself in the foot.
      To much supporters for other solutions….

      1. Bas, the only supporters for ‘other solutions’ give their support for either of two reasons:

        1. They are already invested in the subsidy system after having sunk their savings into a subsidized windmill or solar panel installation.

        2. They believe the nonsense that wind and solar is ‘free’.

        Concerning the first group: this is typically the situation in Germany. Once a household has sunk it’s savings into solar panels, they automatically become supporters of the ‘other solutions’, if only because they are protecting the 25 years of subsidy payments they are receiving from their fellow countrymen. Interestingly, in the Netherlands this situation is being pushed openly by influential solar advocates for that very reason. They are saying: “look at Germany, in Germany, the support for solar panels is generated by enticing people to install subsidised panels, which causes them to be ‘tied’ to the subsidy system, making them in to life-long supporters.” So the strategy is apparently: once you solidify the subsidy system into the society at a large enough scale, people won’t vote against it anymore. In my opinion, this is a subterfuge and a rip-off. See the nonsense, selective reporting and convoluted logic reported here (this official document is meant to ‘inform’ parties responsible for crafting the new Dutch long-term energy policy):

        http://www.energieakkoordser.nl/doen/nieuws/~/media/Files/energieakkoord/20130417/SER-Lessons-learnt-from-neighbouring-countries.ashx

        The experiences in Germany, Denmark and the United Kingdom all share that ownership by different groups in the society generated political consensus. At the seminar, it was concluded that also in the Netherlands, building this pubic support would be a crucial factor for stability of policy over the timeframe of several governments. Creating ownership of consumers, farmers and local companies in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects is a very effective way to ensure visibility of the transition and support in society. [creating ownership as in: subsidising ownership!]

        In Germany, ownership of renewable energy by the people is a pivotal element in the continuity of the Germany energy policy over the last decade. When the German feed-in system of renewable energy started [“started?” it will continue for 25 years!], it was largely individuals and farmers who started to invest – not the utilities. This means that at present around 50% of the renewable power capacity is in the hands of either private people or farmers. [because only they get the subsidy!] This ownership by different groups in the society broad and continuing public support forced political parties to change their positions toward energy and climate policy.

        (emphasis mine)

        2. Many people believe the lies that a 100% solar and wind energy system would be 100% free, because ‘the sun shines for free and the wind blows for free’. There are a lot of such people. All these people are anti-nuclear because of it. Of course, once these people realize that nothing is free, and that in fact a 100% solar/wind energy system would be extremely expensive and hard on the environment to boot, this group will switch sides again. This is already happening in Germany. Via facebook, I have found many German’s who have gotten completely sick of the hype in Germany, and they are fighting it tooth and nail now (going much farther than I do in may cases). The ‘energiewende’ resistance movement in Germany to counter the massive waste of money and environment is growing exponentially. I think they will win this fight eventually. I think it will happen within a few years. Of course, the damage has already been done to a large degree, but that is the price of ignorance.

        1. Even in the first category, a quick change of heart is not that uncommon.
          Frequently those people have been sold an unlikely rate of return on investment, and they’re quickly not very happy to see their actual profitability being much less than expected.
          So if next there’s an unexpected expense, lie a solar inverter that breaks *much* earlier than expected and ends up being a lot more expensive to replace than they imagined, they sometimes surprisingly change camp.
          Being sold overhyped promises about solar power is what makes such a turn of event much more likely.

        2. @Joris,
          How you know Germans have these 2 reasons to support the transition?
          I saw a German poll that stated many reasons (radio-active fallout, waste, etc), but do not remember I saw these two.

          1. Your first reason (citizens invested in renewable) is against logic.
          Roughly 5% of housholds have invested in renewable (last figure I saw; ~1.6% of roof-tops have solar).
          So the other 95% pay a lot to those 5% and are happy to pay as ~90% supports the transition.

          Furthermore;
          – Those who invest get the feed-in rate, that rules at the moment of investment, guaranteed by law. So nuclear is not relevant for their investment return.
          Btw. the fast expansion of renewable is a far bigger threat as that provoked discussions to lower the guaranteed rates for existing owners (in order to avoid that the burden of old, high feed-in rates becomes substantial).

          – Now the German feed-in rates for PV panels are much lower than the Dutch:
          Netherlands the same rate we pay; ~22cent/KWh (until 5KWh).
          Germany ~16cent/kWh until 10kWh, ~11cent for big solar.

          But in NL less solar as those rules are very unreliable here. Every few years, a new coalition in government. So not sure whether feed-in rule is stopped next year. Especially since utilities lobby against it (undermines their position).

          2. I didnot see statements that solar and wind are 100% free.
          Everybody that invest in solar know the cost and that the converter must be renewed after ~12 years, etc. That is also the reason you get guarantees regarding production volume after 12/25years, etc. Similar for wind.

          If there are such statements, I think almost no German is foolish enough to believe those.

  15. …”regulatory best practices…” Just what would those be? How to strangle to death an entire industry with regulations? How to slow-walk an approval process so much that a plant operator throws in the towel and shuts down? Licensing a nuclear plant an average of one every decade or longer? Asking follow-up questions on a license renewal that include requiring an analysis of coastal impacts by a facility located over 700 miles from the nearest coast? If those are the “best practices” this crumbbum is talking about, I say stuff it.

  16. Here at Georgetown, I unveiled my strategy for a secure energy future. And thanks to the ingenuity of our businesses, we’re starting to produce much more of our own energy. We’re building the first nuclear power plants in more than three decades — in Georgia and South Carolina. For the first time in 18 years, America is poised to produce more of our own oil than we buy from other nations. And today, we produce more natural gas than anybody else. So we’re producing energy. And these advances have grown our economy, they’ve created new jobs, they can’t be shipped overseas — and, by the way, they’ve also helped drive our carbon pollution to its lowest levels in nearly 20 years. Since 2006, no country on Earth has reduced its total carbon pollution by as much as the United States of America. ( http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-25/-we-need-to-act-transcript-of-obama-s-climate-change-speech.html )

    The passage where nuclear power was mentioned.

    The speech got some of the regulars riled up. It was a underwhelming teleprompter reading to me.

    1. Yes, that was obviously a teleprompter glitch. There were some words left out. It should have read, “In spite of the best efforts of my administration, we’re building the first nuclear power plants in more than three decades — in Georgia and South Carolina — but there is still hope. We’ve made progress in Wisconsin, California, and Florida, and we’ve successfully managed to stall the licensing process for nuclear power plants. So it’s a good start. But the reason we’re all here in the heat today is because we know we’ve got more to do.”

      1. @ Brian

        From this video where Moniz appears, he states that the completion on time and on budget of the 4 nuclear plants (AP1000) will decide the future of nuclear in the country.

        If utilities and the market see that those suckers can be built on time and on budget, then the renaissance is on. Not before. It sort of makes sense in a way.

        Moniz states repeatedly that he is pro nuclear.

        Listen at 6:07 of this video:

        http://www.plattsenergyweektv.com/news/article/264526/293/Energy-Secretary-Ernest-Moniz-Interview-Part-2

        1. Either he is lying, or someone has provided him with a minder to make sure that all his actions are actually anti-nuclear. I see no other explanation for how he ended up with his chief of staff.

          1. The administration seems to be pro on the front end, but anti where it counts. They have no qualms about presenting a large number for loan guarantees on the front end for example, yet charged a prohibitively expensive fee to ensure there’d be no takers. We see not only appointments that are solidly anti nuclear, but action too. I think the NRC (McFarlane) and Moniz and their sizable staff personnel will work hard behind the scenes to ensure deadlines are missed, and the on time and on budget measures will fall far enough short to keep nuclear energy in place.

    2. And im sick of the the keystone XL stuff, everyone cheering Obama for not building it. – people are so thick. Canada has been the largest exporter of oil to the US since 2006. The Enbridge pipeline has two routes it can take to crushing Ok and other places and one of many pipelines from there to Texas was just reopened after expansion.

      Oil sands oil is here now.

      The oil sands resource in Canada’s Alberta province are providing Americans with 400,000 barrels per day of crude oil. ( http://www.aopl.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=665 )

      Athabasca and Waupisoo carry crude from the production centers around Fort McMurray in northern Alberta to the storage and pipeline hub in Hardily, connecting to Enbridge’s main export pipeline that runs into the United States. ( http://ca.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idCABRE95M0IZ20130625 )

      The 500-mile (805-kilometer) Seaway pipeline resumed full service after shutting Jan. 2 to complete the final connections necessary to boost the line’s capacity by 250,000 barrels from 150,000, Enterprise Products Partners LP (EPD) and Enbridge Inc. (ENB) said on Jan. 11. ( http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-14/oil-in-n-y-fluctuates-on-seaway-euro.html )

      API map ( http://www.pipeline101.com/overview/products-pl.html )

      Its basically already been built. They were even expanding it while you played with that big black pipeline balloon outside the White House.

      1. @John Tucker.

        Can you please tell us when we are going to be seeing any benefits from this influx of oilsands bitumen?

        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-01/cheaper-canadian-oil-not-reflected-in-midwest-pump-prices.html

        Refineries have seen profits on gasoline go from $5 bbl to “$40, or $50, or even $60 a barrel.” Crude is being sold at a discount (on domestic contracts that are in oversupply). And refinery exports are among the highest we have seen in three decades, and rising fast (here and here).

        I’m all for oil refinery and a few construction jobs, but if Canada wishes to export the stuff, why not build some refineries and a sea port in their own country? Oh yea, that’s right, their own citizens oppose such a project. It’s almost as if Canada thinks time may be running out, and wants to get as much of the stuff out of the ground as fast as they can (while there is an oil man on Parliament Hill). I don’t see the benefits to US consumers (which you seem to be saying is apparent in your post). US consumers are getting bled at the pump, and we’re also being asked to stomach a leaky pipeline spanning zone to zone (from oilmen looking for a handout and with nowhere else to turn). If I understand you right, you support Hansen’s position on nuclear energy, but disagree with him on oil sands.

  17. Repeat after me. Deregulate the atom. Deregulate the atom…
    Educate them. Scold them for not investigating and learning the truth. Tell them to see Pandora’s Promise. Yell out “nuclear is zero carbon”
    Explain to them that an all-of-the-above approach is irresponsible and shortsighted. Drive them bananas with examples where radiation is natural.

    1. @Rick
      … Deregulate the atom. Deregulate the atom…
      Yes!
      And take away the Price-Anderson Act as that grants huge subsidies (~10cent/kWh) to NPP’s, by limiting the liability of NPP’s to ridiculous low amounts.
      That acts shifts the main burden of NPP accidents and long term waste storage to the tax-payer!

      1. “That acts shifts the main burden of … long term waste storage to the tax-payer!”

        Would that be where the power plants have to pay a tax to the government for every KW produced so the government can promise to build a long term storage facility then renege on that promise?

        1. It’s not a tax, it’s a fee. It’s a payment for future services to be rendered.

          The owners of the power plants have paid, but thus far, the US government has reneged on its promises. This is the kind of “leadership” that our wonderful president wants to share with the rest of the world. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

      2. And take away the Price-Anderson Act … That acts shifts the main burden of NPP accidents and long term waste storage to the tax-payer!

        Bas – If you’re too frigging stupid to know the difference between the Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act of 1957 and the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, can you please take your stupidity somewhere else?

        Your comments are breathtakingly devoid of any intelligence whatsoever! It’s like you’re in some sort of bizarre contest to exhibit the greatest number of mistakes and the maximum amount of stupidity with the fewest number of words.

        Congratulations! You’re winning!

        1. Well put Brian. I am growing tired of this Bas character’s trolling. He even tried to insult my intelligence by giving me a link to an IPPNW paper. As far as I know he had already been trounced at Depleted Cranium before bringing his stupidity here. Give it up Supertroll, and Rod could you perhaps consider at least a temporary ban? I wouldn’t normally make such a request as I welcome varying points of view, but I think Bas is taking this thing a little too far.

        2. @Brian
          Thank you for informing me better regarding the more complex legal situation in the USA!

          1. It’s not all that complicated. The NWPA was designed specifically for dealing with the issue on used fuel on a national basis. Fuding was procured by establishing a millage on electricity generated by nuclear means. There were no taxpayer-funded “subsidies” involved. The effort was, at it’s base, privately funded, but managed by the DoE. That was what the law provided.

            Likewise the P-A Act, which was written to cover accident liability. It established the legal framework wherein PRIVATE insurance would be established to form a liability pool, funded by facility owners. No taxpayer funds (i.e., “subsidies”) are involved.

            BTW, you probably didn’t know it, but claimants may opt out of the P-A no-fault coverage. If you think you have been injured by an accident, you can refuse payments from the P-A liability pool, and file your own claims in court. That is exactly the process that injured parties follow for other industrial accidents, where there is no P-A parallel. If you lose your property and/or are injured because of a dam failure, for example (which has happened any number of times in this country and elsewhere), you take your chances with whatever legal means you have available to have yourself “made whole” by administrative or legal remedies. For punitive damages, you have to prove willful negligance, which is a higher standard than force majeure and acts of misadventure causation.

      3. @Bas,

        Stop the anti-nuclear lies:

        Price-Anderson Act:

        The Price-Anderson Act provides no-fault insurance to benefit the public in the event of a nuclear power plant accident the Nuclear Regulatory Commission deems to be an “extraordinary nuclear occurrence.”

        The costs of this insurance, like many costs of nuclear generated electricity, are borne by the industry, unlike the corresponding costs of some other power sources. Costs from hydropower mishaps, such as dam failure and resultant flooding, for example, are borne directly by the public. The 1977 failure of the Teton Dam in Idaho caused $500 million in property damage, but the only compensation provided to those affected was about $200 million in low-cost government loans

        The public has paid nothing under the Price-Anderson framework, while insurance pools have paid roughly $200 million in claims, and the nuclear power industry has paid $21 million to the federal government in indemnity fees

        http://www.nei.org/resourcesandstats/Documentlibrary/Safety-and-Security/factsheet/priceandersonact

        1. @Bill,
          Agree.

          But, what if the damage is ~$500billion?
          Fukushima showed that that can easily happen, especially if the prevailing winds do not go towards the ocean.

          1. The P-A law allows for Congress to raise the liability limit if needed. And given the current political climate towards nuclear energy in this country my guess is that if such were to happen the scumbags in Washington would be falling all over themselves to “stick it to” those “eeeeeevilllll corporations”. That will buy them a few more votes from the wacko fringe.

            But the tone of your question seems to imply that you think there should be unlimited liability coverage. If so, let me ask, are you old enough to have an insurance policy of your own, perhaps a major medical policy, automobile, or even a government-sponsored policy? If so, do you know how insurance works? There is no such thing as unlimited liability. There are always limits, no matter what, simply because there is not an unlimited supply of money (no matter how many times Obama and the Demrats say there is). But the nuclear industry has done a heckuva lot more than other industries, which basically leave the public holding the bag if they have accidents. And, don’t kid yourself into thinking that those can’t exceed $500 billion. I can think of any number of scenarios where non-nuclear accidents can easily exceed that. Maybe you should go after those industries, which have a proven track record of deaths and injuries.

          2. @Wayne
            Not unlimited liability.

            But as the two accidents showed hundreds of billion damage despite very lucky circumstances (wind blowing to the ocean, unpopulated area), I think a limit of at least a thousand billion is necessary.

        2. Spreading lies is what Bas does. I first saw his lies in the comment section of a Dutch newspaper website. He was lying about the safety status of our single Dutch NPP. He was lying about the mandate and expertise of our Dutch nuclear regulator. He was lying about the consequences of a flood in the area of where the NPP is. And so on. I ended up discussing all these things at length with Bas on my facebook page (friends-only). But he apparently ignores evidence, or forgets it. He rinses and repeats his lies endlessly. I can clearly see this happening here, on Rod’s site, right now.

          I finally had to warn him that I would not allow him to repeat lies that had already been soundly debunked on my page, because it became clear Bas was waging a war of attrition: seeking to repeat lies more often than I found time to debunk them (again, and again, and again.). Of course, he didn’t heed my warning, so I started deleting offending messages from my facebook page as I promised. After that, he stopped fouling up my facebook with his lies, thankfully. But now, he is doing the same on Rod’s page. I guess as long as there are people here who are willing to repeatedly address his lies, again, and again, and again, there is no problem.

          But when the experts here have all gotten fed-up with Bas (which is bound to happen before Bas himself gets fed up, I’ll wager), and too many of Bas’s lies remain on this website without an adequate reply, then the risk is that casual readers of this website may start believing Bas is onto something. My solution to this on my facebook page was to simply delete Bas’s posts whenever they were no more than repetitions of already debunked lies. I wonder what Rod’s solution will be when the time comes?

          1. “Spreading lies is what Bas does.

            because it became clear Bas was waging a war of attrition: seeking to repeat lies more often than I found time to debunk them”

            Do you think he just does this for some twisted internal reason, or do you think he’s being paid. It seems like there are an awful lot of these tireless repeaters on every website. It’s hard to imagine that they’re simply people with time on their hands, when they always appear and they never run out of time or energy to repost their debunked lies, and they never accept any new input, but just repeat a script of lies over and over and over again.

            These really do seem like paid folks reposting a script of lies, the same script for all of them, but I can imagine that rather than paid folks, it’s just pathetic individuals who have all fallen for the same set of anti-nuclear websites, and have no lives of their own, so they have time to spread lies continuously.

            I almost pity them if it is the latter. What a pathetic waste of your life Bas, to spend your precious time on Earth endlessly repeating unfounded nonsense with no hope of ever better educating yourself, because you are an idiot.

  18. Belgium now, Japan in a few weeks :

    Belgium’s Doel 3 & Tihange 2 Plants Return to Service
    Belgium’s Doel 3 (1,006 MWe PWR) and Tihange 2 (1,008 MWe PWR) plants are both operating at full power after being restarted earlier this month, according to the country’s Federal Agency for Nuclear Control. The two plants, operated by GDF Suez‘s Belgian subsidiary Electrabel, were removed from commercial service in 2012, due to issues related to flaws in reactor pressure vessels. Electrabel restarted Doel 3 on June 3, and Tihange 2 was returned to service on June 7.

    1. Probably the restarts in Japan will not be for a few months yet, although the formal applications go in to the Japanese regulators quite soon.

      1. @ Joffan,

        Some say it will take 4 to 6 months from July 8 to restart some reactors.

        The utilities say that 30 days will be sufficient from July 8 as they have spent the last 2 years on upgrading their plants (2 billion dollars worth already)

        The smart money goes like this: If Abe wins the next election in July, you can bet that in August at least 2 reactors will get the green light.

  19. Robert Bryce occasionally says nice things about nuclear. Or more accurately, when he mentions nuclear, he favors it. However, mostly he seems to push natural gas. Regardless of his position, I got a dark chuckle from this sentence of his:

    “What’s troubling about the Obama administration’s approach to carbon-dioxide issues, however, isn’t the presence of politics. It’s the absence of math.”

  20. IEA recommends ending price advantage of fossil fuels (subsidies that are “six times higher than renewables”), and allowing generation technologies that can stand on their own achieve better and quicker access to global markets (particularly in emerging economies).

    Clean Energy to Beat Gas in Power Mix by 2016, IEA Says

    Renewable energy may supply more electricity than nuclear reactors or natural gas by 2016, spurred by declining costs and growing demand in emerging markets, the International Energy Agency said …

    The findings are another indication that renewables increasingly are rivaling fossil fuels on price without subsidy as the cost of wind and solar technologies declines. The report suggests ways that governments can do more to reduce the pollution blamed for global warming.

    “Renewable power sources are increasingly standing on their own merits versus new fossil-fuel generation,” IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven said in New York today. “Many renewables no longer require high economic incentives.”

    Emerging markets will be the largest drivers of the growth for renewables in the next few years, with China accounting for 40 percent, or about 310 gigawatts of new capacity. About 58 percent of total renewable generation in 2018 will come in nations outside the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development, up from 54 percent in 2012, the IEA said.

    Perhaps our President is onto something. At least he’s not going it alone anymore with conventional thinking and legacy approaches, and expensive and backwards looking funding programs to go along with them.

    IEA press release on report here.

    1. @El,
      May be that after his visit to Angela Merkl (a PhD physicist), the president tries to push the USA so that it at least follows the next wave (lead by Germany).
      .

      1. Angela Merkl (a PhD physicist), …

        Merkel is a chemist by training. Her graduate work was in physical chemistry, which is not the same thing as physics.

        1. Brian, Angela Merkel’s education is somewhere in the middle.

          According to Wikipedia Merkel is a physical chemist

          Physical chemistry is the study of macroscopic, atomic, subatomic, and particulate phenomena in chemical systems in terms of laws and concepts of physics. It applies the principles, practices and concepts of physics such as motion, energy, force, time, thermodynamics, quantum chemistry, statistical mechanics and dynamics, equilibrium (copied from Wikipedia)

          1. Bas – I know what a physical chemist is. If I did not, I would not have pointed out that Merkel’s educational background was in chemistry, not physics. Not everyone relies on Wikipedia or Greenpeace for all of their information, or don’t you know?

  21. I dont even know what “stand on its own” means anymore. All deployed technology requires extensive regulation and support form a heavily subsidized financial system and regulated and subsidized infrastructure. Cant we let the unregulated free market as the basis of all goodness fantasy go.

    1. Bob,

      You don’t actually see Galen swim in the SFP just speak about it. However, the video does show him eat uranium and “contaminate” the studio above the EPA’s limits for plutonium.

  22. says he will propose legislation requiring “electric utilities to reduce emissions and significantly improve air quality.” Specifically, he promises to “work with Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, consumer and environmental groups, and industry to develop legislation that will establish mandatory reduction targets for emissions of four main pollutants: sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury, and carbon dioxide.” ( http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=BushPromiseMandatoryEmissionCuts )

    Obama 2013 ? WRONG Bush 2000.

    Environmental sites are praising Obama while CO2 and Coal use is on the increase. Nothing has been done.

    The EIA projects that U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from energy will likely rise 1.3 percent in 2013 and 0.4 percent in 2014. (Note that this excludes emissions of methane, another potent greenhouse-gas that can leak from natural-gas infrastructure, though no one’s sure how much is actually seeping out.) ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/05/28/coal-is-making-a-comeback-in-2013/ )

    AP Interview: Moniz sees coal’s ‘significant role’

    Moniz said he was sympathetic to that point of view, saying a key part of the president’s strategy is to push technical innovations such as carbon storage. “We have an aggressive technology department program that will lower the cost of doing that,” he said.

    He cited a study by the U.S. Geological Survey showing that the United States has the potential to store about 3 trillion tons of carbon dioxide in geologic basins throughout the country. ( http://news.yahoo.com/ap-interview-moniz-sees-coals-significant-role-201052527.html )

    NO one is pushing CO2 storage anymore.

      1. Gas is out of the market in Germany, but also in most of Europe, and what’s more if the relative price between coal and gas came back to where it was 3 years ago, this would change nothing.
        Only a very high carbon tax could change things, but mostly for the most inefficient coal units with regard to the most efficients gas ones.

        Gas has always been significantly more expensive than coal in Europe, and used for peak demand. Even with the unreliability of solar and wind, given the amount that has been added in the last years, and the fact that demand didn’t rise, once you remove from the demand the amount they generate, there’s almost all the time enough coal and nuclear capacity to supply the rest. One of the use of gas was the ability to start faster, but the recent coal units in Germany are fast enough that even this brings it no market.

        So more than 90% of the time, there’s no need for the capacity brought by gas. We’re even in the situation in France in the last few weeks that there’s from time to time no need for the capacity brought by nuclear.

  23. Well at the risk of irritating some and perhaps even getting a scolding from Brian I am wondering if any of you are following the record heat thing out west. Yes yes yes I know this is weather and a isolated incident and the east has been running a bit on the cool side, I am thinking more about increased extremes and extreme events anyway these days when it comes to climate change.

    Beyond the GW considerations and arguments also, from perspectives of environmental hazard and energy issues and use its a noteworthy event I believe:

    California’s Death Valley has a forecast of 129 for Sunday. That’s not far from the world record for the hottest day of 134 logged in 1913.

    The National Weather Service forecast highs of 118 in Phoenix and 117 in Las Vegas on Sunday. ( http://kdvr.com/2013/06/28/world-record-heat-possible-for-death-valley-118-forecast-in-phoenix/ )

    1. Well a bit late to the party but here it goes…

      “Logged in 1913”

      It is amazing to me that in these hottest of days we are still working at beating some very old records…. Just sayin.

      I was deeply shocked at the death of the firefighters, and I am praying for their families. I feel those who refuse to allow controlled burns are directly to blame for their deaths.

      It was very pleasant in Ohio this year. Mild temperatures and beautiful days. Light rains and mild winds made for very nice times flying RC planes. So yes EL, merely weather.

      Ah the weather report. You know, if I spoke in public as much about Jesus as Climate Change believers speak about CO2 I might end up in jail. Well depending on which country it was… It has become the global religion. Full of believers in false promises, (a renewable world) and full of people fleecing the flock with high dollar scams. (Wind and Solar). Full of people who live off the fear they produce. (you will get sick from infinitesimal amounts of radiation) Blas and El I am looking at you. Finally a secular religion that business people can literally buy into. Makes me wonder why Shell and Exon Mobil spent so much time making sure that the definition of renewable did NOT include nuclear. (you can find the video on this site).

      All this makes those TV Evangelists of the 80’s look pretty tame. I kinda wonder what type of scandal will bring down these new Elmer Gantry Blas I have a wikipedia link for you!! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elmer_Gantry

      I lived through the blizzard of 78′ Kinda extreme temps those days too.

      Look folks, please don’t beat us up for pointing out nice weather if you are going to point our weather that is not even record beating. I am slightly persuaded about climate change being influenced by rising CO2 levels, and I agree that Nuclear power is the answer to those concerns. I also know that if regulated properly, it will provide vast amounts of CHEAP emission free power for the world. (Read lost market shares for other types of power).

      I am not excited about the renewable costs. I have calculated them carefully when trying to buy them. I have not seen a huge change in the numbers since I last did the exercise. I have lived with 28 cents / kwh and it is hard to do anything at those prices. I have also slept in houses where the main light was one 12 volt bulb hanging from the ceiling and wired to THE battery in the house that was connected to a small solar panel for recharging. Expensive power means poor people. I have taught a class when drought brought rolling blackouts from the Hydro plant in the area that could not keep up with demand due to low water levels and for which there was no other backup.

      Pouring the large subsidies that are building wind and solar into purchasing Small Nuclear power plants would help those poor people. But, even better, using reasonable measurements and open markets will allow an investor to sell the power to those people at much less than 28 cents / KWH and make a tidy profit. Using reasonable levels of regulation for radiation will reduce that Trillion dollar bill that Blas wants to stick nuclear accidents with.

      Happy 4th of July folks!

      1. @David
        … Full of people who live off the fear they produce. (you will get sick from infinitesimal amounts of radiation) Blas and El I am looking at you. …
        My income has nothing to do with nuclear, so I do not live off the fear of others.
        I work in the ICT. Know how regarding 100% availability (using redundant configurations, chance calculations), etc.

        … you will get sick from infinitesimal amounts of radiation …
        I wrote here that accurate studies, based on Chernobyl fall-out, showed a ~60% higher chance on still birth, congenital malformations, Down syndrome, etc. per 1mSv/year enhanced radiation.
        Cannot remember that I wrote that you get sick from those low amounts.

        But research shows that an amounts of ~5mSv/year extra, deliver you a ~1% enhanced chance on cancer after >20years if you are an adult.
        This has nothing to do with fear.
        In many cities traffic deliver far worse chances to end your live earlier due to the toxic exhaust with micro particles. But people can choose to take that risk as living in a city center is often more exciting. And with fallout people have no choice.

        …renewable costs. I have calculated them carefully…
        You should compare the real costs. Compensate for visible and invisible subsidies.
        Then nuclear shows to be about the most expensive option.

        1. Blas,

          I have compared the real costs. Give me Nuclear. 1.8 cents / kwh all in. Educate people correctly about fallout – they will choose it over coal, or super expensive electricity.

          You see, you might be able to handle ICT but you have a religious bias against Nuclear power. Me, I don’t have any bias, I have several hundred hours of reading, listening, running spreadsheet calculations and watching both sides of a debate. I sure did not choose Nuclear power because it is popular. I did not choose it because I thought my granddaughter would be harmed by it.

          I choose it because it is the healthiest, most abundant, and least expensive energy we can produce. Wind turbines demand a large amount of rare earth metals which have their own pollution problems.
          http://e360.yale.edu/feature/boom_in_mining_rare_earths_poses_mounting_toxic_risks/2614/

          We could burn the Thorium for power, but I bet you would not like that at all. Your knee jerk reaction is an Elmer Gantry one. You have to beat the drum.

          1. @David

            …Give me Nuclear. 1.8 cents / kwh all in…
            If that would be true the Kewaunee NPP would not have been closed premature by its operator. Wholesales prices in the area are ~3 cent / kwh.
            So even without depreciation and interest, nuclear could not compete.

            New NPP’s, even the one under construction in France, have a cost price of ~10cent / kwh. Despite the huge subsidies…

            So it is not strange that even France resets its targets towards a lower share of nuclear (50%) and higher share of renewable.

        2. Blas,

          “… you will get sick from infinitesimal amounts of radiation …”
          I wrote here that accurate studies, based on Chernobyl fall-out, showed a ~60% higher chance on still birth, congenital malformations, Down syndrome, etc. per 1mSv/year enhanced radiation.
          Cannot remember that I wrote that you get sick from those low amounts.”

          What in the world do you actually mean then??? Are you saying that still birth, congenital malformations and Down Syndrome are NOT sickness?

          You remind me of a guy who (in a totally different context) when asked to leave an area he was responsible for kept saying “I don’t refuse to leave” but would never leave. When I finally (after 2 years of working with this man) asked what he meant by “I don’t refuse” what he meant what that if every other person around all kicked him out at the same time he would go. But just because a person who was in authority was telling him he needed to go that was NOT something he needed to pay attention to. I did not want to call the police to get rid of him and when the last people left – he finally left too….

          So YES, Mr Gantry, you are claiming that we (Humans) can get sick from infinitesimal amounts of radiation. Keep those hazel nuts away from pregnant woman folks!

        3. Yawn, Wash, rinse, repeat….

          Kewaunee was killed by wind subsidies. When you drive the price of electricity below zero no one can compete but those who have a government subsidy that pays even though the electricity is not needed. Wind was installed as a potential over capacity. It would not have mattered in Kewaunee was at a 1 cent or even a 1/2 cent cost. No one can complete when the competition can sell below zero.

          Kewaunee was also killed by having to pay a per reactor fee that did not take into account it’s size. 4 million per reactor is expensive when the reactor is smaller.

          On the one hand you are arguing that Nuclear does not pay it’s way and then on the other you piddle over the difference in price between the normal NPP at 1.8 and Kewaunee at 3. By the way, even at 3 cents, you are below most coal plants.

          You are quoting a price for a new NPP in France at 10 cents /kwh. This is the cost needed to pay the capital cost of ANY new power plant. When I was doing research for a biofuel power plant this was the cost of power we needed to pay back the loan.

          You see, you keep quoting political actions rather than recommendations for the best way to power the world. Why is France targeting 50% Nuclear? Looks like a reaction to the 24/7 the sky is glowing from Fukushima reports for the last 3 years.

          http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NP-Growing_support_for_nuclear_France-2406137.html

          You claim people will be scared and thus abandoned Nuclear power. So you stoke the fears with false scientific reports.

          You know, I am beginning to understand why many have abandoned talking with you.

          1. Apparently the other PP’s in the region could compete, but Kewaunee not.

            So NPP’s are not competitive in an environment in which no baseload is needed, as part of the time wind & solar deliver all electricity needed.
            Probably because they are less suited for load following.

            Even the closure of San Onofre NPP’s (SONGS) may be related to the load following problem that NPP’s have.

            They installed improved steam generators as replacements in both units.
            I assume, equipped with pipes that have thinner walls as that contributes to improved load following capabilities. Those thinner pipes went into vibration creating the leakage after a few years, delivering chance on more (severe and sudden) leakages.
            As repair may not have solved the vibration, the only real solution would have been to install copies of the original steam generators (~$1bln?).

            Note that the better load following capacity (better than a gas plant) is one of the reasons Germans are installing Fluidized bed coal Power Plants.
            Fluidized bed burns with significant lower temperatures. So the steam generating pipes at the fireplace can be thinner. Hence transfer of changes in heat generation goes faster.

            …Why is France targeting 50% Nuclear? You claim people will be scared…
            France’s government lowers the share of nuclear because renewable are more economic in the long run.
            I did not claim that people will be scared.
            France’s nuclear share is ~75% and that doesnot provoke substantial problems with the French public.

    1. I do not know if it is me, but Roderick seems to be saying nukular …. Just like W …

      1. Yes, Danny says nukular. However, I like what he’s doing at Westinghouse. I’ve had lunch with him and he’s very transparent and open, which I appreciate. I also like that Danny wants to be more aggressive and not apologize for our technology. I’m sure some of you have seen our new commercial. It’s not perfect, but a step in the right direction.

        1. Cory,

          I found Danny very good on that segment show. He has the brass of a US CEO.

          All the best to him.

    1. it would be front page international news. Jheeez. All those “cats kill more birds” and the like stories fake environmentalists have been floating. A cat wouldn’t have killed this bird in flight nor do they kill endangered eagles and condors.

      Likely wind turbines are killing a lot more bats then thought too as recent evidence suggests they can fly a good distance after being injured before they die.

  24. I enjoyed the debate gents. I’m wondering if any of you ever take it to the Natural gas proponents boards. Where are they? I have seen some insightgful threads here on atomic insights but like Bas, the NG proponents got pummelled. Where can i find a robust debate online between Nuclear Energy vs. natural Gas advocates? Thank you.

    1. @David
      Think that you have more chance to find debates between:
      renewable natural gas; and/or
      renewable (fluidized bed) coal.

      In almost all parts of Europe nuclear is finished, Due to:

      Economics; new NPP’s cannot compete in the future.
      Building a new NPP takes ~10years. Cost-price ~$100/MWh, Midlife at ~2040.
      Around that time cost-price of solar ~$20/MWh, Wind ~$50/MWh.
      The storage issue will be solved by:
      – enhanced pumped storage capacities (cost ~$40/MWh?)
      – conversion into fuel/gas and reverse
      – enhanced grid. If there is no wind at N-Europe, Spain has wind. And reverse.

      So now even EDF (France major utility) requires long term guarantees regarding the electricity price before it is willing to invest. A substantial subsidy in addition to the huge liability subsidies.

      Political; Chernobyl & Fukushima. Low level radio-active fallout in Europe contributed too.
      Angela Merkel is illustrative.
      She is the right wing in Germany (~ republicans in USA).
      After first successes, she agreed to delay the premature closure of NPP’s by ~10years in the fall of 2010 (no new NPP’s).
      Immediately her popularity fell below zero.

      ~half year later Fukushima came as a gift for her, as it delivered her the opportunity to reverse. She declared herself champion of the transition, ordered closure of 8 NPP’s (~the max. the grid could handle safe according to experts), agreed with utilities a tight schedule for the closure of the rest and secured that in a law.
      She regained her popularity, so now re-election (sept. this year) is a non-issue.

      1. 100% nonsense, but hey, I’d rather get back to work than debunk what’s already been proved as bunk. Everyone will recognize that the electricity motor fuel is *comical* nonsense. The rest is just nonsense, proved wrong here on this site, and in apparently elsewhere too.

        Bas, what are you up to today? You’re wasting your time here. There are too many engineers.

  25. “U.S. President Barack Obama pledged $7 billion Sunday to help combat frequent power blackouts in sub-Saharan Africa.”

    Im kinda really irritated that he would promise so much non emergency aid when we are in a recession and in such need of new subsidized clean capacity.

    Something also tells me his “clean and efficient power generation” plans for Africa will be neither.

    1. Better adjectives would probably be unreliable and expensive rather than clean and efficient. The goal may better be described as “payoff cronies” rather than “combat frequent power blackouts in sub-Saharan Africa”. I wonder if he’s still using the “Keynesian excuse” for the public money grab to distribute cash to cronies.

      You can bet the results will be rife with unexpected consequences, comical spin from the Administration, and sad loss of resources and opportunity. Even as they see it coming, their arrogance will prevent them from stealing every dime.

  26. http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2013/07/knucklehead-obama-warns-africans-if-they-get-air-conditioning-the-planet-will-boil-over-video/

    Barack Hussein Obama in Johannesburg, South Africa:

    “Ultimately, if you think about all the youth that everybody has mentioned here in Africa, if everybody is raising living standards to the point where everybody has got a car and everybody has got air conditioning, and everybody has got a big house, well, the planet will boil over — unless we find new ways of producing energy.”

    There is enough thorium and uranium in Earth’s crust to provide low cost, pollution free energy to a population of 12 billion people at the level of consumption of the average American for tens of thousands of years into the future without exacerbating anthropogenic global warming.

    But does Obama mention this? Does he?

    Wind doesn’t work on windless days or when wind velocity is too high. Solar doesn’t work at night or on cloudy days or when the sun is low in the sky in winter. If wind were so great, then we would still be transporting merchandise across the ocean using sailing ships. If solar were so great, then we would still be baking mud bricks in the sun as the ancient Sumerians did.

    It isn’t wealth redistribution from rich to poor countries that we need, but what Obama suggests because after all, “it isn’t fair we got here first”. It is making poor countries rich WITH nuclear energy. Don’t drag down the wealthy man who produces because it isn’t fair that there are poor people. Rather, lift the poor man up to stand on his own two feet and become rich! And can this be done? YES! Via nuclear energy. Cheap. Clean. Safer that coal, oil and gas. More reliable than solar and wind. That old saying is still true: green power, black death. Let’s make Africans, Indians, Indonesians, etc., as wealthy and prosperous as the rest of us in Europe and North America!

    1. This is a terrific program and announcement.

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-30/obama-announces-plan-to-boost-power-in-sub-saharan-africa.html

      It builds on the public/private partnership model that has worked so well in malaria and HIV/AIDs prevention and education. $7 billion for public financing, and matched with $9 billion in private funds. It’s goal is to address energy poverty in sub-saharan countries with positive trends in good governance (encouraging better and more consistent development of energy infrastructure and expanding education for youth and economic opportunities).

      I’m not sure what you don’t like about it. What does spending on a non-existent thorium reactor program have to do with anything, or introducing technologies that are very capital intensive (in very poor countries) and requiring advanced research and education programs, consistent international agreements, stable rule making and oversight, advanced waste management plans (or sub-contracts), etc. Unless I am wrong, I don’t think Ethiopia has the heavy manufacturing supply chains to build reactor components in their country. Hence a nuclear option involves significant (near total) reliance on international finance, technology, and global manufacturing capacity. Technologies that scale quickly, are easy to finance, require less rulemaking and international rules and cooperation seem like a better way to go to me (and involve far less “wealth redistribution” as you put it or international technology sharing, government and institution oversight and requirements, and will likely expand local manufacturing capacity rather than sub-contract it elsewhere).

      World Bank is also taking a similar approach. For powering a few lights in a community, minimizing back up generators at a health care center, run a water pump, or a battery bank to charge local telecommunications equipment and home computers for personal use, seems like a no brainer to me.

      1. @ EL,

        “Unless I am wrong, I don’t think Ethiopia has the heavy manufacturing supply chains to build reactor components in their country. Hence a nuclear option involves significant (near total) reliance on international finance, technology, and global manufacturing capacity. ”

        Well, Ethiopia has very little manufacturing of any type. Providing reliable electricity is much more important than “technologies that scale quickly” by which you mean wind solar and diesel. Or do you mean stopping up the nile?

        I have been around these small projects and frankly support them and at times help to channel funds and build them, but I also understand their vast limitations. They create a demand they cannot supply, and they cannot supply the kind of demand that is really necessary to lift people from poverty. Supplying people with information – like cell phones and data links – will allow them to envy more the people they see online.

        Real economic progress needs large amounts of power, reliable power, 24/7 365 power. Check out NuScale. Here we have a 45MWe light water reactor that can be purchased one at a time, and the training for running that reactor can be had by a high school graduate who goes through intense schooling for several months (US Nuke Navy program). The cost of these has been calculated at 4000 dollars / KW or about 180,000 dollars per unit. The amount of money you are describing could purchase 88 of these units which would generate about 4 GW of power. These can be load following so that no other power source would be needed, and they would then provide this 4 GW of power at about the cost of a US NPP – 1.8 Cents / KWh. Which is very close to the cost of electricity from a dam.

        This program that could help power urban areas and with investment in rural infrastructure could power rural areas as well. But you need a lot smaller grid with this design than with a massive dam. This would double the power output of Ethopia and would give hundreds of locals a very good technical education. Better yet, it would bring up the country to a place where it’s people would have a bit better energy to population ratio. Currently at 93 million and only 4 GW of power there is a bitter lack of power per person. Ohio has 29 GW for a population of 11 million or so.

        For a real kicker, NuScale could build a factory in Ethiopia and bring in both export dollars and a very diverse power grid. They would NOT need to build a dam that will be taking precious water from the Nile. I have been in countries like this, and their people are pretty smart when given the training.

        “In May, Ethiopia started to divert Nile waters to make way for the $4.2 billion dam which, when it is finished, will have the capacity to produce 6,000 megawatts of electricity.“ http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/in-ethiopia-a-massive-nile-river-dam-project-inspires-comparison-with-the-story-of-hoover-dam/2013/07/02/a892917e-e32e-11e2-bffd-37a36ddab820_story.html

        1. Ok I missed the installed capacity for Ethiopia. (mis-read the total KWh used as installed capacity and just now rechecked the site). Installed capacity is only 1.18 GW, even MORE painful! No wonder they are wanting to build a dam. I wish our precious money was going to build them non-invasive NPPs instead that they could continue to manufacture.

          I don’t like the soft bigotry of low expectations.

        2. ” Here we have a 45MWe light water reactor that can be purchased one at a time, and the training for running that reactor can be had by a high school graduate who goes through intense schooling for several months (US Nuke Navy program). The cost of these has been calculated at 4000 dollars / KW or about 180,000 dollars per unit.”

          Heh. My house will be paid off soon. If this Nuscale pans out, I could buy one, sell power to my neighbors, and save money on the ridiculous Austin electric rates, being driven by the City Councils idiotic devotion to unreliables.

          Then again, I suspect that there are additional costs to get that $180,000 unit sited and connected. 🙂

          How long are those meant to last between refueling

        3. David wrote: “Providing reliable electricity is much more important than “technologies that scale quickly” by which you mean wind solar and diesel. Or do you mean stopping up the nile?”

          Renewable biogas sounds like a fine option for many rural areas, lower investment risk with shorter amortization periods when subsidized, and with extra benefits in agricultural applications and uses (which makes up 45% of the GDP in the country).

          Ethiopia is spending equivalent of 15% of GDP on Renaissance Dam with a large share of financing coming from China (who I am sure has other interests in the region). They’ve managed to piss off most of their neighbors in the process (in particular Egypt, who has threatened to sabotage the facility). We’ll see if they can make the financing work (and not end up indebted to foreign stakeholders with global bond yields set to jump off a cliff in the coming years). This hasn’t always worked out too well for developing economies, with high debt loads, and not a lot of economic diversification. They seem to be counting on selling electricity to their neighbors (Egypt and Sudan) for stable growth and revenues. This doesn’t look particularly promising or reliable at the moment (so the risks are high with this approach).

          Geothermal is about as likely as nuclear in Ethiopia (I would say moreso). And Wind and Solar are making a good showing. I say stick with what works, and can be done with relative skill and ease, low financial risk, and does little long term harm to local livelihoods and stable and reliable economic prospects for new opportunities, jobs, and sustainable economic growth (not connected to very rapid shifts in global finance or uncertain new technologies and manufacturing capabilities). Nuclear is a non-starter in Ethiopia, Sudan, or other developing regions of Africa.

        4. @David

          You are missing a few zeros. 45 MWe x $4,000 / kwe = $180 million, not $180 thousand.

          Also, the $4,000 per kwe estimate for NuScale was based on a 12 unit installation with quite a bit of share infrastructure and shared overhead costs.

          For a 6-unit installation, the estimate was $4,400 per kwe. For a single unit installation, the cost would be much higher.

          Remember how the unit costs scale if you choose to conveniently purchase a single, packaged egg compared to purchasing a dozen eggs in a standard package from your local supermarket.

          1. Thank you, Rod. I even double checked that 45 MWe X $4000/KWe figure and still got it wrong, because I was sure that $180,000 didn’t sound right. Sigh. I did it in my head, so at least it’s not a failure to be able to read a calculator, but I once was better.

            Mrs. Lowrance never gave any partial credit in math class, but that was a few decades back.

          2. Thanks Rod,

            I was using a spreadsheet to do this and I thought there was a problem but I was in too much of a hurry. Yes, 180 million per unit would be right.

      2. Unless I am wrong, I don’t think Ethiopia has the heavy manufacturing supply chains to build automobile components in their country. Hence an automotive option involves significant (near total) reliance on international finance, technology, and global manufacturing capacity.

        Thus, in my infinite wisdom, I believe that Ethiopia should stick to camels and donkeys for its transportation needs. These options are safe, domestic, and not dependent on any foreign supply chain — although, I should point out that Ethiopia should use only Ethiopian camels and donkeys. Foreign animals should be avoided so as not to become dependent on another country’s breeding stock. 😉

        1. We can then label it “sustainable” and adopt their methods to some degree for here. We can have a temporary “donkey subsidy” or some sort of Feed in Tariff to push things along in the “right” direction. I like the idea that you can only drive in the passing lane of the New York State Thruway if you’re driving a team of donkeys. Maybe we could also help things along if there were some sort of buy back program; You could stock up on draft animals if you trade in some operable transportation machinery.

          The downside is it would certainly exacerbate atmospheric Methane issues, but being pro-sustainability, thats the only downside I can think of….

        2. @Brian Mays

          That’s about correct (minus your disdain and ridicule of local practices).

          For tens of thousands of pastoralists, agro-pastoralists, farmers, and traders living in diverse agro-ecological regions of Ethiopia … the camel trade is important to many local livelihoods. Cross border trade with Sudan is brisk, uniting communities and families along ancient trade routes connecting Horn and Gulf States, and generates $3 – 4 million (USD) per month in local revenues. Veterinary services, camel husbandry curriculums in local agricultural universities, abattoirs, and more figure in this local business and economy.

          If you wish to deliver power and energy services to these folks, perhaps you should take some time to get to know more about potential clients, development partners, and consumers (rather than just project your own values and Western norms on others)? Mostly likely, I doubt they will look very favorably on your apparent disdain for their lifestyle, and mocking attitude towards vital and important local and customary practices and economies?

          If this is your sales pitch, I’m not too impressed.

          1. That’s about correct …

            EL – No, it’s not! I guess you didn’t notice that I was mocking you.

            For your information, Ethiopians have, in fact, manufactured their own cars from imported parts.

            … perhaps you should take some time to get to know more about potential clients, development partners, and consumers (rather than just project your own values and Western norms on others)?

            I should? I should?!

            You are the one who didn’t know that Ethiopians had their own domestic car company. You are the one with the Western condescending attitude who is insisting that Ethiopians are nothing but a bunch of happy camel humpers who are too backwards or stupid to even try to make use of modern technology.

            When I sarcastically suggested that Ethiopians shouldn’t even be allowed to purchase automobiles, much less manufacture them, you enthusiastically agreed! It’s hard to get more smug than that.

            Believe it or not, given a choice, almost all people in the Third World would prefer to move to our “Western norms” or at least our Western lifestyle and technology. Sadly, it’s people like you and your “environmentalist” friends — caught up in the unkillable myth of the Noble Savage (only now it’s the “Noble Third Worlder”) — who are standing in the way. It is you who are saying that they don’t even deserve a choice. You know what’s best, and you think it’s camels and donkeys.

          2. Brian Mays: “For your information, Ethiopians have, in fact, manufactured their own cars from imported parts.”

            I guess you aren’t aware that Holland Car (a joint venture of Dutch and Chinese to assemble cars in Ethiopia) went bust this year. I’m not sure exactly what you are saying in this instance … that by the strength of this example Ethiopians should throw caution to the wind, thousands of years of history and tradition, sustainable local economies and livelihoods, wise debt policies and stable job development opportunities, and gamble on a highly technical venture that is the most capital intensive of available options and even the most growth oriented, diversified, and economically powerful of world powers considers challenging and risky to manage in a domestic context (much less on an international stage)?

            Nobody would like to see long-term growth and sustainable economic opportunities in such regions as me (regardless if they involve camels or automobiles). I thought my simplified approach to low risk public and private investments (that are sustainable over the long run because they aren’t heavily dependent on global capital and international flows) are a very good way to bring about these kinds of choices and opportunities. I even feel pretty strongly that the Holland Car example, like many of a similar sort in developing economies, most likely bears this out.

            If you feel differently, by all means make your case. And if your main argument is that everyone else aspires to be “Western” just like us, and to “Western norms” in lifestyle and technology, I’m not sure you are making your strongest case. In fact, you seem to be making one that has pride and cultural superiority at its foundation. I don’t really follow your argument. Who’s trying to limit anybody’s choices. I thought I was making a case for strong and sensible development, one attentive to local norms and local objectives and household needs, where the benefits of sustainable and low risk alternatives can be relatively easily achieved and realized. Hopefully, over time, adding to income security, job development, local choices, stable government reforms, and expansion of economic opportunity. At least more than a failed venture, Holland Car, appears to have offered.

          3. EL – Yeah, Holland Car went bankrupt. That’s why I used the past tense.

            So did General Motors. What’s your point?

            Apparently, you claim that solar power is part of your “low risk” approach for Ethiopia. Perhaps your research on solar is not as extensive as your research on Ethiopian car companies, but how did you miss that Solyndra and a bunch of other US solar firms have gone bankrupt too. How is Holland Car any worse than your “low risk” solution?

            Perhaps you mean that Ethiopia should have a very rich government (funded by massive debt) that is run by politicians who are beholden to auto unions. Well then, yes, I agree that would most certainly mean that Holland Car would still be producing cars, as GM is doing today. But I don’t really see what this has to do with nuclear power in Ethiopia.

          4. “how did you miss that Solyndra and a bunch of other US solar firms have gone bankrupt too.”

            Huh?

            Solar industry is doing quite well in this country. Costs are down, residential market is up 35% from same quarter last year, utility installations have doubled, 13.2% employment increase from 2011, etc. Perhaps you need to look elsewhere from the blowhards in Congress and Fox News for your talking points on energy and business investment in the US.

            Oh yea … I forgot. You’re also watching CNN.

            If you’d like to stop your troll like blather about camels, evil environmentalists, and superior “Western norms”, and say something of relevance about nuclear power in developing regions of the world, I would find that a welcome respite and change. Perhaps others too?

          5. @EL
            Nobody would like to see long-term growth and sustainable economic opportunities in such regions as me (regardless if they involve camels or automobiles).

            Oops! Little Freudian slip squeaks out. Truth is, I’d like to see, and many others would too, a strong move toward deep organic economic advancement for all people. I’d like to see simultaneous increases in population, screw the Malthusian, flat earth, “sustain” concepts. Such concepts *are* in union with those that would maintain an unfair but enriching status quo despite the great harm to humanity and the planet.

          6. @John Chatelle.

            No slip. Malthus tells us far more about social attitudes about the poor and calvinist prudishness in industrial era Britain than about economics and world history. He was wrong about most things, and typically appeals to folks looking for easy and uncomplicated answers (even though he counseled against generalization and simple reductions in his own work). There are plenty of resources for today’s population, and then some. The problem is not scarcity but distribution.

            Nobody teaches Malthus as a contemporary theorist. He’s exclusively taught in intro courses as an historical figure, important to the development of the dismal science, but no less a product of his times. Not sure why you read my comment in this light. There’s nothing that radical about sustainability (unless you live in Kansas). And I don’t see why sustainability can’t be seen as a pro-growth concept (in some of the ways that you suggest). Where we might disagree is on the utility and benefit that comes from boom and bust cycles, the extremes of the capitalist business cycle, utopian fantasies about endless consumption and growth (bound by no limits), and large disparities between rich and poor. In this sense, I’m adamantly NOT a Malthusian, who often equated poverty with a natural condition (or at a minimum, a basic condition of capital), and spoke on the unethical foundation of social justice and welfare programs. Leading one theorist and reformer to describe him as a reactionary, an apologist for the elite, and as someone who attempted to “exonerate capitalism and to prove the inevitability of privation and misery for the working class under any social system”.

            So no. I’m not a Malthusian. I might even say I’m not even close!

          7. @EL

            Thanks. It’s good we’re not following 18th century perspectives. I’d have preferred you used the inverse logic and stated “Anyone would like to see long-term growth and sustainable economic opportunities in such regions as me”, but alas, you said what you said. You’re right though, we’ve seen much history since Malthus.

            The greatest fear I have for the well being of anyone is that perspectives and restrictions be limited from outside political forces against the range of options for individuals. Such limiting is the greatest cause of low human actualization, outright human suffering and death.

            I worry when I see it implied that there are correct courses of action to be “encouraged” from outside political forces. The concepts of “sustainability” are clearly imposed concepts that will, if successful, limit human choices. You pointed out the error of the Ethiopian car company, that it went bankrupt, that it was allowed to fail, and you see such attempts and failures as destructive. I don’t. I believe such failures are very organic, and systems that allow such attempts and failures, that are numerous and small enough not to jeopardize whole systems will in the long run excel in increasing wealth for the population. Ethiopians certainly should monitor other cultures, learn from them, and decide for themselves what is useful for them. I would also see Solandra as an organic failure if the investors had risk, as Taleb calls “skin in the game”, and didn’t have the option to bail, leaving the American taxpayer holding the notes.

            Pretty clearly, individuals of any population will see properties of various energy choices of differing value. One property many individuals will see as valuable is power density.

            Ethiopia has coal. It may be that many Ethiopians may decide to pursue coal as a high density electrical generation fuel, or for steelmaking or other purposes. Personally, I’d like to see Small Modular Reactors as another potential option for them, and not denied them. I’d hope they’d see it as a better option, but it may be that for them Coal wins.

            I really believe we need to beat weak force combustion as a power source, and I believe only strong force fission can do it. It is possible that I’m wrong, as I’m sure you are about “sustainable” combustion, wind, and solar. That is why I believe we absolutely need to develop our entry into the strong force and offer it as the “higher than combustion power density option” and then let all options sort it out in the marketplace.

          8. @John
            Three questions:
            1. “…“higher than combustion power density option” …
            I fail to see what the advantage is of that ‘high power density’.
            Especially in a country that has so much space.
            But may be you can explain?

            2. “…Small Modular Reactors …. option for them…
            How do you prevent stealing U235/Pu (government with nuclear ambtions)? Especially as they will need many of those.

            3. In view of their renewable (solar, wind, etc) developments, they will need PP’s that can regulate their output power up and down (towards near zero) fast.
            The small modular reactor designs I saw had a primary and secondary cool circuit. The secundary generating steam that powers the turbine.

            Fuidized bed coal plants have only one cool circuit that use thin steel pipes.
            With less coolant and steel to be heated/cooled off, those are inherently more flexible.

            So how can the small modular reactor come near the flexibility of those coal plants?

          9. @Bas

            Hi Bas;

            With world populations exceeding 7 Billion we need to be very efficient in providing everyone on the planet the option to living an actualizing life. (think Maslow). Without efficiency, in ever increasing measure, and without the use of our most ubiquitous energy resources, it would be very difficult if not impossible for everyone to have that option.

            1) Fission’s extreme potential power density allows human populations to *do more with less*. A complex array of “sustainable” (buzzword for low power density options) energy systems tied together with complex arrays generating, transmission, monitoring, and loading methods is precisely the set of options we should use if we want to *do less with more*.

            2) The hypothesis that U233, U235, or PU239 can all not be secured is a null hypothesis, clearly. It is tautologically premise based, so can not be proved wrong. You take it as gospel.

            It reminds me of an old Transactional Analysis “game” in Dr Harris’ old book “I’m OK You’re OK”, called “Yes But”, where no solution will ever be admitted sufficient. Clearly to reach a sufficient solution in preventing the shunting of fissionable material to illicit purpose, a system could use non-redundant safeguards, *anded* together until security is sufficient.

            3) I see you’ve reached some engineering conclusions drawn from San Onofre. You’re a better engineer than me, especially because I’m just a lowly grunt at the grindstone worker. So it goes.

            I’d prefer the method of baseload with load following not be dumped in favor of some amorphous, pipe dream future. We know baseload with load following works. Voltage drops across a grid is an excellent feedback mechanism, and is proven. We shouldn’t dump it.

            That being said, we can experiment with unreliables backed up with fluidized coal. If we go headlong into it, while blocking other proven methods, the failure can be severe, and ruinous to many innocent lives. It’s the “my way only” method that is dangerous, it’s pretentious to maintain that other methods are dangerous. If political systems didn’t pick favorites, then the “everything needs to be part of the mix” idea wouldn’t at all be dangerous IMHO.

            FWIW: I’m done with this thread.

          10. If you’d like to stop your troll like blather …

            EL – Do you really want a survey of this blog’s readers about which one of us is the troll?

            Perhaps Rod could arrange such a survey. I’d be very willing to participate. How about you?

            No, your words reek of desperation. Frankly, whenever someone has to resort to attacking someone personally by naming a media outlet (whether it be Fox or MSNBC or whatever), I consider that they have devolved into troll status.

            Thanks for throwing in the towel and admitting that you are FOS.

          11. EL – Do you really want a survey of this blog’s readers about which one of us is the troll?

            Perhaps Rod could arrange such a survey. I’d be very willing to participate. How about you?

            No, your words reek of desperation. Frankly, whenever someone has to resort to attacking someone personally by naming a media outlet (whether it be Fox or MSNBC or whatever), I consider that they have devolved into troll status.

            Thanks for throwing in the towel and admitting that you are FOS.

            Is there anything in this whole blathering comment related to energy issues (or nuclear in particular). Maybe you can be so kind to point it out?

            I’m sure there are many contributors here hanging on your every word and eager to hear your latest snipe and character attack (we all know it adds so much to the quality to the discussion on the site and makes it so informative and rewarding to be here).

          12. @Brian,

            People start to attack others personally as a last resort.

            They feel hurt and become emotional, as:
            – they feel that they have little rational answer / arguments against the others position; and
            – they don’t want to accept the arguments / position of the other person.
            Because that implies the recognition that their long standing / strong conviction is wrong.

            That may hurt peoples self-esteem deeply, which may elicit the strong wish to remove the other person because that offers the possibility to be no longer confronted with the truth.

            E.g. Galileo could just escape being killed by the Inquisition, thanks to his high status and his willingness to adapt.

    1. @Helen

      Interesting question. Perhaps it can be best explained by recognizing the uncertainty embodied in this quote from the paper abstract:

      “We evaluated whether chromosome damage, specifically translocations, which are a potentially intermediate biomarker for cancer risk, was increased after exposure to diagnostic X-rays, with particular interest in the ionizing radiation dose–response below the level of approximately 50 mGy.”

      If you carefully read the paper, you will find that radiation exposure reliably causes “translocations”, but you will also find that the relationship between those detectable changes in chromosomes and disease is tenuous at best.

      It is not terribly different from being able to detect that a fair skinned person has received a small amount of exposure to the sun. A detectable darkening or reddening of skin every once in a while does not mean that the person is fated to contract skin cancer.

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