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  1. Thank you. I have had these thoughts for years. The entire direction that environmentalism has taken seems to counter not only to common sense but to the basic precepts of protecting the environment.
    In the 60’s when I was station at San Diego, CA I visited Joshua Tree National Park. I still remember the Park ranger telling us to not venture off of the designated roads as the tire tracks damage would remain for 10 – 20m years. No we build multibillion dollar bird vaporizers that give us about 150 MWH of electricity a third of which comes from natural gas – in the name of environmentalism. Google Ivanpah and research all of the other environmental problems these plants are causing, a complete listing would overwhelm this blog. Even the ground is no longer environmentally safe.
    Obama has killed coal in the USA, but Soros will make billions after buying up the mines that went bankrupt and hauling it on ships to Asia to be burnt – without the US EPA restricting the emissions. And we keep on dumping CO2 into the atmosphere. But that is good CO2 cause it comes from Natural Gas. (sarc off) Add up all of the funds spent in all areas (research, grants, failed projects, subsidies, tax rebates, and even outright purchases hidden in government budgets by “greening” the government buildings, defense facilities etc. How many ZERO CO2 producing nuclear power plants could have been built. Instead CEOs are evaluating shutting down more NPPs. How is the USA going to reach Obama’s CO2 goals with only 90 or 80 Nuclear power plants? How many Solar panels or Wind turbines are needed to replace a NPP? Meanwhile, my electric bill goes up another 10% next year.

    1. @Rich

      Let’s suppose for a thought experiment that the effects that you describe are the ones intended by the financial supporters of the environmental movement. That MIGHT be the case if those supporters are savvy enough about human behavior to become extremely wealthy during a moderately short career.

      Who MIGHT be funding “Environmentalism” as it currently exists in the form of Greenpeace, Sierra Club, UCS and the Natural Resources Defense Council?

      1. It sure is not the Nuclear power industry. Our management supported “Cap-n-Trade” and so did all of the other nuke managers I ran into on business trips as it would mean more nuclear power. Or so they thought. But look at how Nuke plants are exempted from the EPA CO2 emissions rule, WHY?
        Also, why, if Soros is contributing millions to support more than 15 Environmental and “green” NGOs and contributes to the blockage of Keystone XL, is he buying a coal mine to haul coal to Asia? Is it so he can give more money to the green cause, because he believes in the green cause, to line his pockets, or cause more disruption (which he uses to make even more money)? I am sure HE knows what he is doing and will live long enough to make a million times more than you and me will in our lifetimes.

        1. P.S. George Soros was worth $9 Billion in March 2008 and now is worth over $28 Billion. How much of that was “Green?” however, Berkshire Hathaway “A” stock has not even doubled in that time period $128,000 to 215,000 in July.

        2. @Rich

          Soros is one player, but surely you can see that long term players in the natural gas supply chain, including the bankers that provide the loans, the sand miners that provide the fracking ingredient, the pipeline companies that transport the bulky vapor, the drilling service companies that provide and operate the rigs, and the governments that collect the fees have been winners in the market shift from coal and nuclear to natural gas.

          Do you think that there might possibly be a relationship between the financial strength of the antinuclear, anti-coal “environmental” groups and the success of natural gas, which is, in many measures, inferior to both coal and uranium?

          1. I know I would like to have a Dollar for every comment I put on a blog claiming that T Boone Pickens was only pushing Wind and investing in Wind Farms to increase the value of his gas reserves. The wind farms he proposed in Texas were right on top of his holdings. Most thought wind would make gas worthless.

            And, yes Gas has even affected the profitability of nuclear. RPS [Renewable Portfolio Standards] also affects what power is bought – utilities are not buying just the lowest cost power but also are forced to buy higher priced electricity (RPS). These reduce the need for Nuclear base load as you need to keep the cheapest spinning reserve on line for the unreliables – Gas turbines. More than half a dozen NPPs didn’t make the cut on the baseline auction for power among the various grids removing their guaranteed sales and putting them in the short term market. That pushes down their profitability and starts CEOs thinking about bailing. Like the problems in Ill.
            NPP outages are scheduled even before the upcoming outage has ended. Penalties are invoked if not complied with. Having every MWH sold means you can sell it for less. Not having every MWH sold means that it has to sell for more as you are selling less and still have the same expenses and have already bought the fuel and if you don’t use all of the fuel it goes in the spent fuel pool. There are only two good times of the year for the outage, and if you try and run till you run out of fuel you risk the chance of having the outage in the peak periods.

  2. @Rich, you said:

    “Obama has killed coal in the USA, but Soros will make billions after buying up the mines that went bankrupt and hauling it on ships to Asia to be burnt – without the US EPA restricting the emissions.”

    This is exactly why neither “cap-and-trade” nor EPA carbon emissions restrictions schemes will work; capping CO2/methane emissions is too late in the process. A carbon fee and dividend(or rebate) is the better market-driven process because it prices carbon right out of the ground or at the port-of-entry. So George would still have to pay his fees no matter how cheaply he acquires his US coal mines.

    And the port-of-entry fee will encourage other countries to institute a fee-and-dividend process as well; otherwise they are just shipping money to US citizens.

    And I don’t care whether you call it a tax or a fee. The proceeds won’t be a federal budget item, except for administrative costs; they go directly back to US households on a monthly schedule. Citizens will make the decisions regarding its allocation, not bureaucrats.

    See citizensclimatelobby.org for more info.

    1. FYI, the official line of Citizens’ Climate Lobby is renewables-worship.  Advocacy of nuclear power is barely tolerated.

      1. @ E-P
        That is not correct. Citizens’ Climate Lobby has no “official line” on energy sources. Their one official goal is implementation of carbon fee and dividend. That is all.

        Unofficially, of course, CCL is indeed populated by many renewable promoting anti-nuclear activists. As is to be expected. But barely tolerating nuclear power advocacy is not the same as complete intolerance, and there is no officially sanctioned energy source. As such CCL is the only climate-advocacy group in which I participate: Tax the carbon, rebate the proceeds, and let the market sort it out.

        1. I’m reporting what I see in the trenches.  Presentations come from above touting wind farms and PV panels, but when I speak up for nuclear power I’m told to keep quiet.

        2. From the CCL website….

          “Citizens’ Climate Lobby does not advocate for or against nuclear power generation. We understand the science that shows the low-carbon generating capacity of nuclear power, and we understand the objections that many people raise. Dr. Hansen, the world’s preeminent climate scientist and a member of our Advisory Board, supports nuclear energy as a way to help speed the transition from fossil fuels to a zero-emissions energy economy. Fourth Generation nuclear can theoretically reduce the amount of radioactive waste the world must deal with, but cost projections for the business model are uncertain”


      2. I just got a letter from the CCL, inviting me to a local event. It will be my first contact with the group. I suppose I’ll see what their reaction is to a nuclear advocate. Two interesting points:

        Their letter stated that they were inviting me because they liked a letter I wrote to the local paper concerning Germany’s energy policies. In the letter, I stated that Germany is indeed seeing high costs with limited emissions reductions, and that the reason was that their policy was promotion of renewables only, as opposed to placing a limit or tax on CO2 emissions, and letting the market decide how to respond. On the one hand, I was advocating policies like fee and dividend, which CCL loves, but on the other hand, I was criticizing a renewables only approach,

        The other thing of interest is that the event will feature a speaker, Dr. David Mattocks, who they say is a leader in “sustainable business practices”. The bio goes on to say that he has served as a “Senior Program Officer at the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation” and that he has managed over $48 million in contracts with the Ford and Rockefeller family foundations. I’m sure Rod will find that interesting.

        It could be that there are competing views within the organization, along with conflicted interests. They ostensibly favor a technology-neutral approach, and many of them truly believe in that, I’m sure. That said, based on what E-P is saying, and their choice of speaker, it also seems clear that the organization has many members(and interests) that are tied in with the renewables-promotion only approach.

        1. @Jim Hopf

          Though I do find the information you shared about the senior program officer at the Winthrop Rockefeller foundation interesting, I’d like to point out that my efforts to expose the Rockefeller — and other hydrocarbon interests — connection to the nuclear fear campaign is mostly about actions that happened several years before I was born up through the time when I graduated from college. It was a far different time and place, but it had long lasting effects.

          There is every reason to believe that many former antagonists to nuclear energy development will take a different path in the near future.

          1. Here is a link to the website of Citizens Climate Lobby. A quick perusal saw nothing about nuclear.


            I’m guessing that they haven’t had much exposure to nuclear information as environmental groups tend to try to ignore this option. Their literature often provides minimal information on nuclear energy. Perhaps all of the negative propaganda has scared them. This will be an excellent opportunity for Mr. Hopf to educate them on the merits of this option. I’ll bet it will be a very interesting talk.

  3. Thanks for the many insights communicated in this piece, and the balanced and respectful thinking you express here.

    I urge you to also cross-post this essay where it will draw ire and fire.

    The painful process of challenging the established institutional environmentalists, the innumeracy and illogic of their perspective, when weighed against the scope of the energy problem, and the actual dangers they create by celebrating ignorance, is endless and mostly thankless.

    However, there is a value in bringing this perspective and these insights before others – – some of whom may be ready to listen.

  4. Paul – – If you have the time and personal equilibrium to deal with what you will get – enjoy your ad hominem grits for breakfast – then go ahead and try and cross-post this at dailykos. I can pretty much guarantee ire and fire. However, at the same time, it would be likely that some people with minds capable of arithmetic and logic would observe and gain insight, and perhaps even courage.

    Speaking of courage, and as a bit of an aside, in Rod’s recent interview of the Rachel Pritzker (a philanthropist funder of, seemingly, institutional [thus, probably, anti-nuclear] environmental organizations), Ms. Pritzker indicated that some leaders in those organizations privately indicate to her that they recognize the benefit of nuclear energy as a climate change tool, but are concerned about the funders. Its reasonable to infer that they continue to lead advocacy of strategies that they know are not up to the task.

    If you assume a position of leadership in an environmental organization, and believe that climate changes poses the potential for disastrous consequences, and have come to conclude that nuclear must be part of the solution, it seems a matter of duty to (ostensibly) shared values, and a matter of personal integrity, to do what you were hired to do.

    That is, show leadership, and speak the truth as best you can.

  5. If you throw in transmission, the demand on land area only gets worse on a per mwh basis. Renewable projects must be sited where the resources are located, many times requiring specific transmission projects, and often operate at low capacity factors, placing more demand on transmission projects and mileage of transmission lines.

  6. Google “tortoise deaths Ivanpah”
    Research exactly what they do to the ground under these panels. What herbicides they use, etc. What can live there.
    Compare the depth and quality of the Environmental Impact Assessment for Ivanpah and any other Solar Farm with the EIA required for the typical CCTG power plant.
    Now compare the depth and quality of the EIA for any Wind Farm. Most are nonexistent and the Wind farms are built without them. A judge just stopped one because they did not even meet the EPA requirements! And the EPA does not care cause “its Green.” A Cell-phone tower receives a higher degree of review.

    1. @JohnGalt

      You realize, of course, that lower voltage transmission lines have higher parasitic losses and that using them is only a good idea when the loads are close to the power source. Many of the visionary schemes for electrical grids with a high penetration of unreliables depend on moving power long distances (hundreds to thousands of miles) from windy or sunny areas to places that are not so windy or sunny.

      1. @JohnGalt

        The USA only has three time zones out of 24. There is a major portion of every day where there is no sun shining on any part of the country. That issue is more significant during the cold winter months.

        Coastal locations are no guarantee of steady breezes. The best wind in the U.S. is in the plains states east of the Rockies. Gravity helps.

        Long transmission lines exist, but at “low voltage” as you suggest, line losses amount to about 5-10% for every 300 miles the current has to travel. That’s why transmission engineers like my Dad worked so hard to develop 500 and 725 KVA lines for long distance transport and why wheeling arrangements exist between neighboring utility companies.

      2. @JohnGalt

        Either you are being flippant, or you are betraying your ignorance of basic electric power system engineering principles.

        So, we have four time zones in the lower 48! Wow. Suppose we have a target of 20% of the country supplied by solar. Have you done any sums to determine what the transmission practicalities and costs would be to transport anything like 20% of the early evening power demand of an eastern timezone from the still-sunlit timezones a few thousand miles to the west? Remember, these would be new flows from solar, in addition to the trading that already goes on.

        If you have an engineers hat, put it on, go away and do some realistic sums. You will find them sobering and instructive.

        And as far as Vermont wind using existing local transmission is concerned, the Lowell Mountain project is a mere 63MW peak (a mere tenth of Vermont Yankee), and it had to be curtailed during some peak periods because the grid there simply isn’t up to it. See http://digital.vpr.net/post/power-use-peaked-gmp-ordered-cut-lowell-wind-output .

  7. The main issue with bird deaths is that raptors (like the Bald Eagle) are attracted to the wind turbines’ nacelles for aeries. If they fly in or out at the wrong time, they’re bludgeoned or chopped to death. Most smaller birds and bats don’t fly that high, and those that do are usually common. But the larger ones are often rare or endangered.

  8. The location for Ivanpah as selected for three primary reasons:

    1) The land is federally owned and managed by the BLM so the government ends up arguing with itself during environmental reviews. This created a situation during the license review process where the federal and state legal RPS mandates, as well as the “benefits” of solar generated electrical energy, were weighted more heavily then the downsides of a new installation that covers approximately 5.3 square miles in what was a pristine desert area .

    2) Existing natural gas pipeline infrastructure:

    Natural Gas
    Natural gas supply for ISEGS would connect to the Kern River Gas Transmission Company (KRGT) pipeline about 0.5 miles north of the Ivanpah 3 site.

    Therefore, only new feeder lines were needed instead of an entire new pipeline system.

    3) Proximity of SCE 115kV transmissions lines also played a part in the decision where to site Ivanpah.


    However, there were several issues that seem to have been overridden by the approving authorities, which are noted at the back of the various environmental reviews:

    The EPA recommended to BLM to first use previously disturbed land or contaminated land, however the Ivanpah site was not moved. I did not spend time researching if the BLM provided an explanation on why they chose to not follow the EPA recommendation but I suspect it would involve a regurgitation of the 3 primary reasons stated above for maintaining Ivanpah where it is now located.

    Additionally the State of California had a list of significant environmental issues concerning Ivanpah including impacts to biological resources; transmission upgrades that would require an additional 36 miles of 220kV lines through environmentally sensitive land; and concern about land usage since additional solar facilities are currently under review for installation in the same general area.

    However, as with the federal reviews, the State of California decided the “benefits” of solar generated electricity outweighed the concerns of installing an industrial facility on pristine desert.


    http://www.energy.ca.gov/2010publications/CEC-800-2010-004/CEC-800-2010-004-CMF.PDF FYI – This file is approximately 620pgs and is a 10MB file, so consider download times.

    If the proposed facility were strictly an natural gas facility with no solar, the license probably would have been denied. Additionally, under the current state and federal legal requirements that dictate solar and wind as the only approved “green” sources of electrical generation, a nuclear facility would not have been approved despite the fact that the nuclear facility would also have been able to use air cooled technology.

    Bottom line is that the overriding logic used to approve Ivanpah was the legal framework that pushes solar and wind. This is an indicator of the true goals of the environmental groups. They are in a “Damn the Torpedoes” mode when it comes to wind and solar. The environmental NGO’s are giving up biological diversity for their favored sources of electrical generation. This is despite the fact that other methods of generation exist that lower the CO2 impact to the environment while not creating a possible situation of permanent loss of biological diversity.

    1. Using the word pristine to cover the entire affected area of Ivanpah will be debated. No doubt about that.

      However, when the construction of the project was suspended for a time to redo the biological assessment because of more tortoises were discovered then the license permitted, the use of “pristine” can apply to their habitat area following standard enviro speak. That would be that area now partially covered by the Ivanpah facility.


      And again you are rationalizing. Your comments are exactly the point of the original article as well as my own. Enviro NGO’s rationalize away the local environmental issues when the discussion revolves around wind and solar but will jump up and down, scream, wave banners, and file lawsuits when other generation sources are proposed.

      1. “Using the word pristine to cover the entire affected area of Ivanpah will be debated. No doubt about that”

        “Debated” is the wrong word. “Refuted” is more apropos.

        I have explored extensively in the Mojave, and other than specifically designated zones of preservation, the Mojave is far from “pristine”.

        And btw (Rod, inre to article cited, below), desert tortoises are nomadic. 23 tortoises, unaccounted for, are not necessarily victims just by virtue of their disappearence. Your quoted passage does not do the actual article, or the truth, justice. I hope that any interested readers will click on your link, and read the entire article.

        Also, 13 bird deaths in a month is hardly earth shattering. In a month’s time, I see far more bird, squirrel, and cottontail carcasses in a one mile stretch of road in any given direction from my place of residence. Yet, the squirrel, bird, and cottontail population in my area is robust and thriving. So, are we to close the roads?

        Sometimes it seems as though the demonization of renewables here is based on somewhat contrived or exagerated premises. What blows my mind about that is that I really think you can make your case without resorting to such tactics. And when you do resort to such tactics, you place yourself in the same position of distrust that any large industrial advocacy group has placed themself by virtue of their disingenuous PR practices.

        Tehachapi is right on the edge of the Mojave. I live here. I grew up in southern Cal, and have a special love for the desert. I don’t want to see it destroyed, or its flora and fauna rendered extinct. But to portray these solar or wind projects as being placed on undisturbed and pristine desert environments is simply disingenuous.

        1. @poa

          Sometimes it seems as though the demonization of renewables here is based on somewhat contrived or exagerated premises.

          Questioning the rosy marketing mantras and pointing out that unreliables have their warts is not equivalent to demonization. Questioning 30% of cost tax credits, accelerated depreciation, free loan guarantees AND renewable portfolio standards (quotas) that are granted to unreliables is not equivalent to erecting layers upon layers of barriers to entry that have significant slowed nuclear plant development and raised costs to uncompetitive levels.

          Tagging the politically correct energy sources like wind and solar with a more accurate brand of unreliable vice “renewable” is simply a way to point out the fact that the word “renewable” is just a warm and fuzzy sounding brand name whose meaning changes depending on what the speaker wants to do.

          If supporters/marketers want to claim that “renewables” are bigger than nuclear, they include large hydroelectric dams and power plants at paper factories that have been burning wood waste for decades. If they want tax credits, they only include wind and solar – unless they need the farmers and loggers as political allies and then they’ll include biomass.

        2. Rod, you just offered a far better argument for your cause than you did by arguing with dubious sourcing about the impact on tortoise populations. Thats what I meant when I said you really don’t need to offer weak arguments when you have strong ones.

    2. @JohnG
      Have you found the data on the number of tortoises killed by Ivanpah yet? Found any data on how many are living there now?

      1. @JohnGalt

        Sounds like you are engaging in some selective reading. I decided to help you with your homework assignment.



        There are numbers, however, that the Google-backed, $2.2 billion developer, BrightSource, does not like to brag about. That includes the high price of the electricity Ivanpah sells to the grid and the several score desert tortoises that have been its victims, despite over $50 million spent to relocate the animals. Add to that a $1.6 billion-dollar federal loan guarantee for BrightSource, plus the priceless loan of publicly owned land for the project.
        (Emphasis added. Reminder: score = 20)


        Bird deaths continue at a large solar plant nearing completion in the Mojave Desert, and biologists are unable to account for the whereabouts of 23 of the federally Threatened desert tortoises displaced by the project. That’s according to a monthly report filed by project owner BrightSource Energy with the California Energy Commission (CEC)

      2. Then I assume that you did not read the articles (note plural) about the number (in the hundreds if you include eggs and juveniles) that had to be relocated at great expense (because of the chemicals that would be sprayed on the soil) And the fact that there are none there now because of the soil treatment, changes to the ground cover, lack of food, etc. But since there was a dirt road there at one time, through this 3,500 acer site, it is okay in your opinion to destroy that and all of the flora/fauna that has lived there for the last 100, 1000, 10,000 years because we get Green Power. And several (many?) NPPs are still paying independent auditors for collecting/counting the number of birds, performing a necropsy on each and paying a fine for those killed by impacting the cooling towers. It was over $100,000 annually at the last NPPI worked at and it was on a site less than 1/10th the area of Ivanpah and produced more than 10 times the power – continually!

      3. Egads, Rod, I just read your first link on alleged tortoise deaths.

        Are you kidding? This kind of vaque non-specific account, quoting un-named sources, and giving no actual numbers, qualifies as “information”? If this kind of vaque fluff piece, offered by a biased source, was offered here against NE, it, and they, would get laughed and insulted off the site. You cite two sources in your post, and neither source cites mortality figures, or provides evidence of actual confirmed tortoise deaths. I am not denying such deaths have occurred. I am simply stating disappointment in your “evidence”. One expects better from a site that prides itself in science.

        1. @poa

          You’re correct about my sources. I’m not happy about using them, but my effort to find the monthly reports that BrightSource is required to file has not yet been successful. My searches on “Ivanpah monthly reports” for example came up with a couple filed in 2013. When I tried deconstructing the URL to a folder structure, or summary web page listing more reports, it didn’t work.

          I’ll find them and do some analysis, but I couldn’t let JohnGalt’s flippant comment about not having read of any problems stand without some sort of response.

        1. @poa

          I was looking for something providing current information, not projections and findings from 2011. Part of the problem with getting good information on this topic can be found in the below quote from the article to which you linked, especially if you read between the lines.

          The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will have the final say on Ivanpah–and declined to comment while its review is under way–but given the political and economic capital on the line, few observers expect the jump in tortoise numbers within the construction site to derail the project, though expensive delays or changes are possible. “Even at the absolutely maximum number of tortoises we’d expect to find, there is room to relocate tortoises elsewhere at a density that is not outrageous,” says Amy Fesnock, a chief wildlife biologist for the Bureau of Land Management in California.

          BrightSource had also deftly neutralized opposition to the Ivanpah project from big environmental groups, which have so far been measured in their response to the higher tortoise estimates. Despite reservations, the Sierra Club decided not to challenge the licensing of Ivanpah. And the Center for Biological Diversity, a Tucson, Ariz. group known for its aggressive litigation on behalf of wildlife, dropped its opposition last year after BrightSource agreed to preserve desert tortoise habitats elsewhere.

          My read is that there is not going to be a lot of openness from the government that invested a lot of political capital and economic capital into the project (Ivanpah’s ITC was bigger than the entire 6 year program for SMRs) or from the groups that withdrew their objections.

      4. Rod, I’m not arguing the politics. By now, I’m sure, you know what I think about our politicians and their obscene subservience to special interest groups and the almighty dollar. And its getting worse, not better, as the Citizens United decision so perfectly demonstrates.

        But topics such as the desert tortoise, and the effects projects such as Ivanpah have on them, are missing too many parts of the puzzle for us to actually form intelligent conclusions. For example, was the site chosen for Ivanpah previously open to motorcycle or off road vehicle access?? Equestrian use? Or was such traffic banned by regulation? If not banned, were there any studies done on how that traffic was impacting the tortoise population? I know from experience that it is the rare piece of the Mojave that is not scarred by off road recreational vehicle traffic. This would be particularly true of the Ivanpah site, due to its relative proximity to a large urban desert oasis. So, isn’t it possible that the figures might give us suprising results if we compared the Ivanpah effect to the off road vehicle effect on the tortouse population? We really have no way of knowing, do we?

        So, any conclusions we advance pro or con of the Ivanpah facility, in regards to the tortoise population, is little more than blind speculation. Even from the scientists, for if no studies were done prior to Ivanpah about vehicle or equestrian traffic’s impact, there is no baseline by which to judge impact overall.

        When I was child in the San Fernando Valley, there was a desert tortoise that someone had cut a knotch in a corner of its shell. From my earliest memories, to when I was in my teens, that tortoise would periodically show up in our yard. And the same could be said for our neighbors. The tortoise was known, for years, by a huge section of Woodland Hills. I knew hardly a kid in my elementary school that had not one time or the other came in contact with that tortoise. I have fond memories of laying on my stomach on our front lawn, face to face with the animal, watching as he munched on pieces of lettuce that I would place between us. It is a memory shared with who knows how many kids in that neighborhood. Point being, that tortoise covered sizable distances, apparently thrived during long periods of absence, and had adapted quite well to an urban environment.

        One wonders, if the population at the Ivanpah site was so much more robust than originally thought, does that same phenomena play out across the Mojave? I hope so. Neat critters.

      5. “Please delete all my comments from this site”

        Should this be the case, and commenters such as Galt are routinely insulted or selectively targeted for censure, and ran off the site, it doesn’t inhance this site. Actually, it damages the site.

        I hope Galt reconsiders his request, and Rod gives him time to do so before complying with the request.

      6. Hmmmmm…….

        Eeny meeny, miny moe….

        Less than 300 dead birds…annually..or…….

        “Filtering screens trapped and killed more than 2 million fish, weighing 65 tons, in 2009 alone.”


        Yes, I realize animal mortality must be weighed against facility energy output, but my gawd, 2 MILLION? And thats just San Onofre. Diablo is not included in that figure, despite having a virtually identical system of water intake and discharge.

        It seems faux environmentalism, in regards to flora and fauna, is not just a luxury of the so called “renewable” crowd, eh?

        1. Yes that is the one downside that has been learned about discharging to the oceans.

          We have learned that sewage discharges from cruise ships are not good for the environment. We have a floating plastic island. We have also learned that we can over fish the ocean. From those lessons and many others we are adapting how we interact with our ocean environment with the goal of mitigating the damage we humans are causing.

          Two comments

          1) This again is not a nuclear power plant specific problem as your article indicates. There are 15-20 facilities on the California coast line that use once through cooling.


          However there is a solution to that problem and that is reconfiguring the plants to remove the once through cooling systems. Very expensive yes, but doable.

          Lesson learned. Mitigation techniques are being implemented. Once through facilities on either coast will probably not be approved in the future. Instead cooling towers and other heat transfer technology that reduce water requirements will probably be implemented.

          A few thousand birds dying at the Ivanpah facility however are going to be more difficult to reduce since they are dying due to the very subsystems that are required to generate electricity i,e, the mirrors. Those subsystems can’t be changed without changing the very method used to turn sunlight into electricity.

          R&D into sonic noises to keep birds away apparently is being propose despite concerns in other industries that the same type of technology might be part of the problem for undersea life. Rotating the mirrors during migratory periods – which will reduce the power generation output – is another method that appears will be tested.

          However it isn’t the environmental issues that are going to keep other solar projects on the sidelines. It is the uncertainty of the tax credits. With no tax credits to offset the initial cost, investors are sitting on the sidelines thereby preventing other planned large scale industrial solar sites from going forward. Which just goes to the point about how many more decades are we – the taxpayers – going to be asked to fund wind and solar projects.


          No perfect solutions but in my viewpoint it will be much more difficult for wind and solar to mitigate their overall environmental damage then conventional power plants.

        2. 2 million fish and 65 tons comes out to about 1oz per fish. In other words this is another bogus complaint in which critics choose the most alarming and deceitful metric.

          Fish thousands or millions of eggs. The vast majority of those offspring die long before maturity. 65tons of fry is inconsequential compared to the supply.

        3. Additional information can be found here. Note that this information is aimed at young students in “4-8th grades,” so it might be remedial for some here, new for others.


          “Most [fish] eggs do not survive to maturity even under the best conditions.”

          “Most fish do not survive to become adults.”

          “Environmentalists” like to focus on fish kills because it provides huge numbers that make their claims look more impressive to the uninformed. They conveniently ignore the fact that the vast majority of these “killed” fish are really larva and fry that would not have survived anyway.

          Sometimes they take it to the extreme — for example, the complaints lodged against the North Anna Nuclear Power Generating Station in my back yard. These “environmentalists” complain about the plant’s effect on striped bass fishing, which is ridiculous for two reasons. (1) Lake Anna is a completely artificial lake that was built expressly to provide cooling for the power plant. Before 1972, Lake Anna was the North Anna River. (2) Even today, striped bass cannot survive in Lake Anna, because they cannot naturally reproduce in this lake. There would be no striped bass in this lake if the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries did not stock it with more than 200,000 fingerlings every year.

        4. Under natural conditions, a certain percentage die. It is disingenuous to figure the ADDITIONAL deaths into that percentage. One must ADD the water intake fish kill amount to the natural condition count.

          It is actually quite enlightening seeing such a concern for the environment of the desert tortoise, and the birds, while the same people, such as Brian, tread water furiously trying to downplay the effect these once through systems have on the immediate marine environment.

          Rod, yes the math is simple. What I was looking for was a credible source reporting a “no big deal” take on NPP fish kills.

          Note that the effect on the flora, notably kelp beds, is not addressed in the above “oh what the hell they’re just fish” comments.

          You are fond of using the term “usual suspects”. Funny, who offers the most dismissive rebuttal, above?

          Credibility means something, when considering a rebuttal. Grasslands, ho hum….

          Then theres the “lake defense” that Brian offers. Could there be a more obvious strawman argument?

          You guys were doing pretty good, kinda. Bill’s post was sympathetic, offered solutions, and was not overly dismissive. You confined yourself to the math. Somewhat diversionary, but hardly a long winded excuse. But Jeff is entirely dismissive, calling the fish kill concern “bogus”, which flies in the face of reality, and is patently dishonest. Then theres Brian. Ouch, with friends like….

          I guess, considering the flavor of the rebuttals, we can consider them “concern trolling”, eh?

          Or are we going to work towards more amiable and constructive engagements?

          Fish matter. Tortoises matter. Birds matter. The truth matters.

        5. Indian point….

          “For the larger fish, the study found about two billion fish per year were trapped against the screens and killed. But according to the NRC study the 1981 death toll for small fish had been 3.3 trillion per year. But with the advent of new screens, “the total number of identified fish entrained has decreased at a rate of 187 billion fish per year since 1984,” and leveled off at an annual toll of 300 billion baby fish”


          Note the “larger fish” number. Assuming these are fish that survived infancy, the “they’re just fry that wouldn’t have survived anyway” argument becomes somewhat dubious. And how does one measure the effect of the thermal plume on the fishery? Considering that the plume completely bridges the width of the river, what does it do to migratory patterns? Flora?

          You can pick a tortoise up and move it. You can’t move a fishery.

        6. Lets get the numbers down to simple terms…..hypothetically…

          There is a perfect pristine creek in Plumpfill, Ohio. It has a population of Red Finned Plumpfill Smelt. During spawning season, each female lays thirty two eggs. On an average, out of the thirty two, six survive past infancy to grow to adulthood. Well, along comes farmboy Billie Bob, whom covets these smelt for his aquarium. He likes to collect the eggs, to watch the fish hatch and grow. So, one spawning season, he removes from the creek 16 of the thirty two eggs from each female……

          Get my drift? I hope so, because this site is ‘sposed to have scientific minds engaging us dummies out here in the real world, that are trying to sort through the crap masquerading as truth that is used to sell agendas.

        7. And how does one measure the effect of the thermal plume on the fishery?

          In the case of Lake Anna, the “hot side” of the lake (as the power plant’s “Waste Heat Treatment Facility” is often called) makes for excellent year-round fishing, but only for the local landowners. It’s not open to the general public.

        8. poa – Rod has already had to school you on basic math. I suppose that I need to teach you basic English.

          “Most” does not mean “all”
          “Vast majority” does not mean “all”

          Nobody has claimed that no adult fish are captured and killed by the intakes at these plants. Please leave your strawmen at home. Thank you.

        9. The warm side of Lake Anna is also popular among local water skiers.

          I’ve heard that as well, but I’ve always been partial to Smith Mountain Lake. I remember going water skiing there as a kid (pretty much all the water skiing I ever did).

        10. Well, judging from the comments, except perhaps Bill’s, we can assume that this great concern for fauna and environment, expressed by some here, is nothing more than a charade. Its ok if nuke plants are destroying wildlife, but not ok if solar facilities are doing it. Two billion “large fish” in a year is nothing, (from a single NPP), but 23 missing turtles, and 3500 dead birds is a disaster.


        11. we can assume that this great concern for fauna and environment, expressed by some here, is nothing more than a charade.

          Because this artificial lake, teeming with game fish (and obviously very hospitable to their food supply), is obviously something that anyone concerned with the environment must get the vapors over?

          Its ok if nuke plants are destroying wildlife

          Yes, obviously the folks hauling in their catch in Lake Anna are just heartbroken over the destroyed wildlife.

          but not ok if solar facilities are doing it.

          The solar “facility” is anything but facile.  It has destroyed prime tortoise habitat without accomplishing anything remotely approaching the claims made for it, at staggering expense.  For the price of 1 average kW of Ivanpah, you can get about 3 kW of AP1000s and you won’t have the cost or air emissions of natural-gas co-firing.  Nor will you have air-popped birds.

          Why don’t you stop lying about the objections, stop lying about hazards, stop… oh, who am I kidding?  You’d have nothing to say.


          Hypocrisy is ill-becoming of anyone save a troll.

        12. Lake, EP?

          Funny, I don’t remember bringing up a man made lake in order to demonstrate NPPs once through cooling systems affect on NATURAL marine environments.

          Must be a reason you and your brother in animosity wanna deflect the debate. Rod ain’t exactly “gifted” by your presence, if in fact his mission is to cut through the FUD. All you guys do is piss off anyone and everyone that disagrees with you. I understand, I guess, your contribution, EP, because your scientific knowledge seems extensive. But Brian? He’s destructive to the mission here. A shame.

          1. @poa

            I have no interest in getting into a discussion of minutia in relation to the effects of power plant cooling systems on ocean environments.

            It is interesting to me, however, to note that there was little or no public discussion about once through cooling systems in use in all fossil fuel heated steam plants up until the early 1970s. After the passage of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) they were directed at nuclear plants like the one at Calvert Cliffs on the Chesapeake Bay.


            There were few, if any, other discharges or environmental impacts from the nuclear plants – in stark contrast to the massive discharges of combustion waste gases from fossil fuel plants. The “thermal pollution” issue, became a hook on which to hang lengthy Environmental Impact Statement requirements for each issued plant license. NEPA did not really affect fossil fuel plant construction schedules because they are not federally licensed facilities. NEPA EIS requirements apply to federal agencies that are taking a major federal action — like licensing a nuclear power plant — and do not apply to other types of construction decisions.

            It would require a complex decision matrix to determine if once through cooling is inherently more damaging to the overall environment than wet or dry cooling towers. They all have impacts; some impact fry, some impact local microclimates, some require more energy input, some have a massive visual impact in sensitive areas.

            There are ways to mitigate entrainment through the use of appropriately designed screens and canal systems that reduce the water velocity at the suction and provide cooling area for the discharge. For example, have you ever seen an overhead shot of Turkey Point in South Florida? It has an enormous canal network that resembles a radiator with the plant being a little spot in one corner of the site. Those canals, by the way, are some of the most productive crocodile habit in North America.

            Turkey Point showing cooling canals

        13. I don’t remember bringing up a man made lake in order to demonstrate NPPs once through cooling systems affect on NATURAL marine environments.

          That’s because if a once-through cooling system operating in a semi-closed system like an artificial lake leaves it with a thriving ecosystem full of fish, you have to deliberately ignore that example in order to claim that Diablo Canyon is some threat to fish in the Pacific.

          You claim DC kills 65 tons of marine wildlife per year.  DC’s cooling water flow is on the order of 20 million tons per day, around 7 billion tons per year.  The California current runs at 0.4-0.8 m/s, has a typical width somewhat less than 100 km, and runs around 100 m deep.  Guesstimating 0.6 m/s * 80 km * 80 m * 1 ton/m³, the California current carries on the order of 3.8 million tons of water per SECOND.  You are making a brouhaha over 65 tons per year, out of 3.8 million tons per second.

          If I thought you were serious I’d have to call you insane, but I know you’re just trolling.  Either way, Rod should not let you play here anymore.

  9. There are a number of comments here that appear inclined to trivialize many of the environmental impacts, both on Southwest Deserts and Vermont ridgetops. Rather than addressing them specifically, let me comment on them as a class.

    I first became interested in this subject about a year ago as I was reading comments by Basin and Desert Range Watch (www.basinandrangewatch.org) as they related to a wind project in Nevada. That led to a more in depth review of their work and others. As for them, I suggest if you are a skeptic that you review their website where they express concerns about some 20-25 projects in the desert SW – read the details of their concerns. Read as well concerns expressed by local Sierra Club members referenced in the article, especially the article by Sierra Club member Silliman in endnote 33. These are not the musings of naïve individuals cherry picking issues, there are dedicated, quite sincere, and knowledgeable – and they are concerned that public policies backed by Big E environmental groups are running like a juggernaut over environmentally sensitive areas. As you read further, you get an additional sense that many serious environmentalists know it, struggle with it, but have resigned themselves to it because they believe fighting climate change demands that course of action. This internal struggle was the point of the article.

    One finds a similar set of issues in Vermont – see especially endnotes 16 and 17, plus the interview with nationally recognized ecologist Susan Morse an endnote 14.

    As for transmission, it is a well-known reality that renewable projects typically have a transmission penalty because they cannot be sited near transmission grids, they must be sited where the resources are located, often meaning the need for dedicated transmission lines operating below full capacity because of the intermittency of the resource. Then there is, of course, the massive build out of a national grid required by the commitment to renewables in order to assure linkages between remote areas to take advantage of the “fact” that “the wind is always blowing someplace.” One can find the numbers in the NREL Report of 2012 and similar reports in Europe to support Germany’s Energiewende – -billions of dollars and hundreds of miles of lines.

    The point – this is a very serious subject and it deserves serious discussion.

  10. I hate to say it, but this piece misses the key point that: ’emphasis on so-called “green” renewable resources’ is not true environmentalism.

    Environmentalism does not “need to be rethought”. The people wrongly claiming to be environmentalists for prestige, $,or whatever, need to be exposed to average folks, as the writer does indeed recount in examples.

    I myself have never met a wind/solar ‘farm’ advocate who was a true environmentalist. And, the old Sierra Club motto: “Atoms not dams” had it right, until they saw more membership/donor $ in anti-nukism…


    …and many more wise scientists, etc.

    This is a valuable article, and the harsh light of truth needs to be projected on exploitive groups that mislead average citizens to support un-environmental actions & policies. The destructive Calif. wind ‘farm’ and desert solar examples highlight the tragedy of environmental & resource our descendants will face.

    The unscrupulous shuttering of San Onofre will stand, until reversed, as evidence of incompetent Calif. regulation, legislation and executive fumbling. Now, our ISO has asked our remaining nuclear plant to delay refuelling so it can supply clean electricity during record heat and record drought.

    Thus is the absurdity of individuals & groups claiming an environmental mantel, while avoiding environmental facts, science and plain common sense. California has, like Germany, become an example of faux-environmental hubris and, like Germany, an example of what not to do. Add in groups like NRDC, UCS, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, FoE… and it will be an intriguing flurry of contrived excuses when their environmental disservice shines clearly in the public eye.

    Can’t wait.

    1. I thought, from the onset of this thread, that the title should have utilized the label “pseudo-environmentalists”, considering the premise the piece was advancing.

      Thanks to Dr. Cannara for adding substance to that thought.

  11. @Paul, @Dr. A & @ Bill R – Thank you for so eloquently expressing what I see as the true “E”nvironmental problem.

    Bill Rodgers hit the nail on the head with his above comment about the BLM and the fact that the government ends up arguing with themselves over issues associated with Ivanpah. This was by design and his comment reminded me of the history of the Boulder dam – The government did the same thing then! They placed the entire impact area under control of ther equivelent of what is the BLM today, thus Boulder Dam was built with no state requirements whatsoever. Research how and when the Salton Sea appeared. [Hint an accident caused by the building of the Bolder Dam. Another revised history story.] Look at where all of the solar farms are being built. Look at the big fight last year over the farmers grazing rights when H Reid’s son wanted that property for another solar boondoggle and make even more “Green” money and “green” [foreign] jobs.
    Those that live in CA or have managed projects in CA know that the Cal/EPA requirements are worse than the federal EPA requirements, which makes me think that siting on BLM property is definitely on purpose. All of this definitely reinforces the often repeated statement of the “end justifies the means.”

    1. “Research how and when the Salton Sea appeared. [Hint an accident caused by the building of the Bolder Dam. Another revised history story.]”

      Your assertion interested me, so I did a quick google. Here is one of the results….

      “In 1905, a diversion was engineered in the Colorado river, in Baja California, Mexico, a few miles South of Yuma, Arizona, for the purpose of conveying water to irrigate lands in the Imperial valley, in Imperial County, California, located to the Northwest. An unexpected flood caused the diversion to fail, and the Colorado river changed course, first flowing West and then North in the direction of the Salton depression. By the time the river was brought under control, in 1907, the water had filled the depression to the level of -195 ft, effectively creating the Salton Sea.”

      “Left on its own, the water in the sea would have eventually evaporated. This is because the region’s mean annual precipitation is only about 2.3 inches, while the mean annual evaporation is 70.8 inches. By the early 1920’s, the sea had reached a record low of -250 ft. However, in 1928, Congress acted to designate the lands within the Salton basin below -220 ft as storage for wastes and seepage water from irrigated lands in Imperial valley. Since then, the sea has been used mainly as a repository for agricultural wastewaters, with the water level rising gradually to its present -227 ft. The average depth of the sea is about 30 ft, and the maximum is 51 ft.”

        1. And perhaps you meant the Hoover Dam as having an effect, (the opposite effect from what you describe), as having an influence on the history.
          of the Salton Sea.

          “Intermittent flooding of the Imperial Valley by the Colorado river continued. Eventually it led to the construction of Hoover Dam in the 1930s and the flooding finally stopped. Salton Sea is now fed by the New, Whitewater, and Alamo rivers, as well as agricultural runoff, drainage systems, and creeks. The average annual inflow of 1.68 cubic km is enough to maintain a maximum depth of 52 feet and a total volume of about 9.3 cubic km”


        2. Look at this one also. And click on each of the links, like the one for the Alamo Canal – https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alamo_Canal You will notice some different dates in these (each of them from wiki) and some of the dates for your link. I had been told that the “diversion” was part of an early attempt for a feasibility study to determine a location for Boulder dam (later Hoover dam.) A story on Discovery or History channel claimed it happened while building the Diversion tunnels but that was to late as they did not start those tunnels that early. I can’t find that, But I can surmise that they would have needed to divert water to look at the river bed (and the documentary producers got confused – they are very good at that. The story was trying to reveal all of the bad things about Hover Dam. As for “unexpected flood” seems these articles indicate floods were almost expected each spring. As I said more revision of history, why else so many conflicting/different dates, from different sources. I would like to know the truth – All I can find is more and more confusion.

    2. “Look at the big fight last year over the farmers grazing rights when H Reid’s son wanted that property for another solar boondoggle and make even more “Green” money and “green” [foreign] jobs”

      Interesting. I can find one article making similiar assertions. However, of course, the “news” site is NEWSMAX. You have my undivided attention, however, and I would be interested to see if you can source your assertion with other news sites that do not share the indisputed bias that newsmax practoces in their presentation of “news”.

      Here is the site. Judge for yourself if it backs up your specific assertion.


      1. “Interesting. I can find one article making similiar assertions. However,….” There are many, pages of them with any search engine – on both sides.

        Try this one. Read the whole thing and think about it. Don’t think Johnathan Emrod likes Harry very much though.

        “The Director of BLM is none other than Senator Reid’s former senior policy adviser on land-use issues (2003 to 2011), Neil Kornze. ”
        “Harry Reid has a long history of involvement with the BLM, ”

        To many connections with Harry himself and the BLM to make me feel comfortable about claiming that all is aboveboard with Harry & Son. And, admittedly, both sides of the story about Bundy and the land have some missing, altered and disputable facts.

        1. I love it when someone debates with an open mind, and doesn’t dig in their heels arguing questionable data or facts. Thanks man. I imagine the truth is buried somewhere in the middle.

          As far as Bundy goes, whatever the truth about the Reids, he was a thief. He set himself apart from the thousands of cattleman that fulfill their responsibilty of actually paying for grazing rights, whether it be on BLM property, or privately owned property. Surely we don’t expect cattlemen to give their cattle away free, so why shouldn’t we expect them to pay to feed them? That whole thing was an embarrasment for the Tea Party. They made idiots of themselves.

  12. Come on, John, it’s a joke right ? I’m totally sure you realize anyone informed about the technology knows that *none* of what is described in this article is a game changer about using batteries for large scale energy storage.

    1. Huh??? Fledgling technologies have no place in your vision of our future, jmdesp? How then do technological advances occur? You believe that energy storage technology will not evolve? Or, does the evolution of this technology threaten to lessen the veracity of the label “unreliables”, which is such an inportant component of the NE marketing strategy.

      The term faux-environmentalist that Dr. Cannara proposes? Couldn’t that be applied as well to the NE advocate that regrets advancement in competing technologies? Shouldn’t we all, if truly environmentalists, be striving for the same thing?

      1. @poa

        Chemical storage batteries aren’t exactly “fledgling technology.” There are known asymptotic limits that cannot be overcome. We aren’t yet at those limits, but we’re getting pretty close after a couple hundred years of technological refinement.

        1. Yeah, and top fuel dragsters of the sixties had almost reached the fastest possible E.T.s and speeds that could be achieved in a quarter mile, according to the prevailing “wisdom” of the time. They are now doing that quarter mile in half the time. Perhaps not a perfect analogy, but you get my point.

          1. @poa

            Reducing time by a factor of 2 is not all that revolutionary.

            Moving from chemical energy to atomic energy offers the potential to improve fuel economy by a factor of 1-2 million in terms of fuel mass consumed/unit energy

      2. “Shouldn’t we all, if truly environmentalists, be striving for the same thing?”

        What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Batteries that could store huge amounts of energy would allow the utilization of electricity produced in off peak hours. This would enable the power from a nuke to be better utilized because the power produced in times of low need (less revenue) could be sold in times of more need (more revenue). It would be better to use the batteries with the nukes because you could actually plan for the power being available unlike hoping the wind will blow or the sun will shine.

        I’m quite sure these batteries would represent quite a capital investment and you will want to use them in a reliable fashion. You will want a steady cash flow to pay for them and make money.

        1. Of course. As battery technology evolves and becomes capable of enhancing the grid’s ability to supply the consumer with energy, it should be utilized with any and all sources of energy production. Thats a no brainer.

    1. That map is very misleading, as the metric is deaths per unit area, which means that densely populated areas would show up even if they weren’t more polluted. The yellow/red area stretching from the Netherlands to the heavy industry Rhine -Ruhr region and further up the Rhine river is mainly characterised by high population density.
      Besides, as bad as coal pollution is, the impact from traffic polution is higher because the polluters are closer to many lungs. So the picture would probably not change much even if all coal plants closed. This is not to say that coal is not bad, it is only not visible in this map.

  13. Roflmao!!! Succinct, and to the point, Rod. Bravo.

    (And, John, please reconsider. Do you really want EP and Brian to “win”?)

  14. So in line with the points raised by Paul Lorenzini’s article and the thread of this discussion:

    RWE secures German consent for commissioning 1.6GW Dutch coal-fired Eemshaven power plant

    Greenpeace protested a 1.6GW coal plant that will serve 2 million German and Dutch homes

    Commissioning of the facility was delayed over environmental concerns about its development near nature reserves, including mud flats and islands off the Dutch and German North Sea coast


    Key takeaways:

    – Germany is swapping nuclear for coal,

    – Greenpeace attempted to block the coal plant due to its proximity near environmentally sensitive areas,

    – The Netherlands are going to rely on this plant due to a decline in natural gas resources.

    This article hits on all the points that many of us have been making.


  15. poa:

    “Well, judging from the comments, except perhaps Bill’s, we can assume that this great concern for fauna and environment, expressed by some here, is nothing more than a charade.”

    The point of the article, as I’m sure you realize, was that these concerns are being raised by self-identified environmentalists as they relate to organizations that are identified with environmentalism.

    1. Yes Paul, I do understand that. I was commenting on the pseudo concern some have expressed here in the comment section. Exactly what I was talking about when I said to Rod…….

      “Sometimes it seems as though the demonization of renewables here is based on somewhat contrived or exagerated premises.”

      Although substituting the word “values” for the word “premises” is perhaps even more apropos.

      Also, from a site that deals with science, I am astounded by the argument that somehow we should not ADD the amount of the intake fish kills to the natural mortality rate of the fishery. This “well, its just part of the natural mortality phenomena” argument is openly disingenuous, as any one offering this argument must surely know. The real bummer about catching someone in such blatantly dishonest practices of debate is that anything and everything they say becomes suspect. And the transparently diversionary shifting of the conversation from the natural environs of a seacoast to the unnatural environs of a man-made lake only serves to justify the distrust one should point in such a commenter’s direction. Sometimes I wonder if a few commenters here realize the damage they do to the credibility of this site. This is particularly disappointing when some here, who I do consider trustworthy, become silent or participate in absurd or disingenuous debating points.

      1. I am astounded by the argument that somehow we should not ADD the amount of the intake fish kills to the natural mortality rate of the fishery.

        It’s because you would be counting many, many fish twice in that simple addition. It’s blatantly dishonest. You can’t blame the power plant for disrupting the fish population by killing fish that would never have made it to breeding age anyway.

        [Aside: A “fishery” is a business of catching fish to be processed and sold. I think that you meant to say “fish habitat.”]

        The only pertinent question is what effect is it having on the fish population and the local ecosystem and whether this effect is significant? Are any of the populations of fish in danger of going extinct?

        Just counting and double-counting the number of fish killed by whatever method doesn’t answer this question — and that is the real sleight-of-hand diversion that is going on here.

  16. Actually, Rod, “fishery” is also defined as “a place where fish are caught”. Thats why you will hear fisherman talk about their “fishery” when they describe ocean locations they go to to harvest certain species. So please, leave the condescending BS to those here that rarely offer anything else.

    You are correct, we can’t simply add the intake kill to the natural mortality rate. However, we can assume that the overall mortality rate is increased substantially by the intake kill. As I tried to demonstrate with my “See spot run” post, above.

    So, if the question is how habitat is affected, where are the studies you should be citing saying there is no adverse affects on fish habitat, natural flora, and fish health and population? Instead of this “it ain’t no big thing” schpiel that seems to be the response here to the number of NPPs, and fossil fuel facilities, that are killing tens, (if not hundreds), of billions of fish annually.

    1. First of all, my name is not Rod.

      However, we can assume that the overall mortality rate is increased substantially by the intake kill.

      Why? We should “assume” nothing. It is the onus of the environmental groups (and you, if you choose to take up their cause) to prove that the mortality rate of fish has increased substantially. To be convincing, this increase should be expressed as a relative effect (e.g., 1% more, 10% more, 50% more, or whatever). Complaining about billions of “fish” (most of which are eggs, larvae, etc.) all over the world being killed — the vast majority of which would not have survived anyway — is thoroughly unconvincing.

  17. Oops, well, its getting kinda tough to tell the two of you apart, sometimes, Brian. Perhaps its just that, in this case, I’d prefer to be debating with Rod. Your since deleted idiocy about “grasslands” really convinced me that you will say anything, no matter how stupid.

    So, anyway. Its your contention that the intake kills have no effect on fish population. (Wouldn’t you rather go back to arguing your grassland idiocy?) Do a google or two, Brian. There is study after study, PDF after PDF, that you can download, addressing the effect once through cooling has on fish habitat and populations, including endangered species, such as the Atlantic Sturgeon.

    1. Considering that you would prefer to attack me and the host of this site rather than provide any further information to this discussion (other than a pathetic “google it” riposte), I’m curious to see whether your comment (and this one too) survives Rod’s new comment policy for very long.

      As I said before, the onus is on you to demonstrate a real problem. It was probably wise for you to throw in the towel like you did, although being so petty about it does you no favors.

        1. The fact that you view things in terms of “winners” and “losers” says everything about you. Happy? No … not really. I’m not like you.

  18. Some simple arithmetics on the fishkill question: Remember water has a high heat capacity of 4.19 kJ/(kg K), so heating water by one degree requires as much energy as lifting it up by 420 metres. If the cooling water is heated by 8 degrees centigrate, and the thermal efficiency is 33% the electricity generated would be enough to heat the same amount of water by 4 degrees, equivalent to lifting that water up 1700 metres.
    Not many hydro dams have more than 100 metres head, and such a dam would, for each kWh, require 17 times more water to pass through potentally fish-killing rotating machinery. Some renewables enthusiasts want tidal power stations. Here the usable water head is about 5m in the best locations with a tide of 15m. This means 340 times more water than the NPP. Same for micro-generation in small streams. Again, per kWh, the impact of an NPP is much smaller than many of the alternatives.

  19. @poa @Brian @Rod

    I know this is probably off-topic, but I was curious about the references to “grasslands idiocy” in some recent comments. Any chance the community could know what you’re talking about? I have a passing interest in the general subject of grasslands since I’ve recently taken up a side pursuit of grassland farming using sheep as the “harvesting” agents.

    Could it have anything to do with carbon sequestration, or am I way off-topic?

    1. William – It was an off-hand comment that I had made that “Las Vegas” means “The Meadows” in Spanish. It was named as such because, when the first non-Indians passed through the area (while trying to travel to Los Angeles from New Mexico in 1829), many parts of the valley were filled with arid grasslands that were fed by natural springs. That was the aboriginal state of that area.

      It was just some historical trivia that had nothing to do with carbon sequestration, but it was introduced in the context of desert turtles and solar power plants, so of course, it got blown out of proportion by some people.

      1. Actually Brian presented the argument that Las Vegas caused the “desertification” of the area it sits on. Prior to Las Vegas according to Brian, that particular area wasn’t actually a desert, it was, in fact, a grassland. The reasoning behind such a premise? Well, it had grass, and springwater.

    2. William – I think that you get the idea of why Rod chose to delete the comments that you were asking about. Some people just can’t let go.

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