11 Comments

  1. I’m getting a page not found for the link to “natural gas industry‚Äôs infrastructure vulnerabilities contributed to a number of serious, fatal fires during Hurricane Sandy”

  2. Hi Rod. Just want to make sure I read this right.
    “While natural gas may produce just 50% of the emissions of coal, and while it may be the cleanest burning fossil fuel it produces at least 30-50 times as much CO2 per unit of electricity produced AND it has other emissions of concern that are not produced by atomic fission.”

    The 30 – 50 times as much CO2 per unit energy compared to coal plants? That is a shocking amount.

    And we know the escaping methane is a worse form of green house gas than CO2 which has no regulation (or very little). That’s why we have no reliable information about how much actually reaches the atmosphere.

    But completely agree. Marketing nuclear energy plays a big part of the success of nuclear.

    1. Rick – I have revised the wording to remove the potential for confusion. The 30-50 times as much comparison is to nuclear, not to coal. Is is a life cycle comparison, not at the plant itself.

        1. Steve and Rod, there are the periodic Emergency Diesel Generator tests that could probably technically be counted during operation, but yes, it is relatively close to zero.

  3. Rick- The University of Texas is conducting a study to quantify the fugitive methane losses in the gas fields. Nine major gas companies are participating in the study, including Anadarko, Chevron and XTO. The study is set to conclude early next year.
    http://www.utexas.edu/news/2012/10/10/university-of-texas-at-austin-study-measures-methane-emissions-released-from-natural-gas-production/

    I have done some calculations on the greenhouse warming potential of natural gas leaks. If as little as 4% of it leaks out during extraction and delivery, natural gas becomes almost as bad as coal in terms of its greenhouse potential. And with gas prices so cheap, are the producers really motivated to go find and fix every leak in the system? They might compare the cost of repair to the benefit of saving a little gas and conclude that it really isn’t worth it to fix the small leaks.

  4. Natural gas is not a clean fuel.

    The Gas Industry really has already almost won this and has its people in place. Like Senator Harry Reid.

    “During the 2010 cycle, Madeleine Pickens gave $16,800 to the Reid Victory Fund and another $12,000 to the Nevada state Democratic Party. The Madeleine N Pickens Trust gave $50,000 to Patriot Majority, a super PAC targeting Reid’s Republican opponent, Sharron Angle, and Clean Energy Fuels Corp., a natural gas company partially owned by T. Boone and Madeleine, gave another $175,000, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.” ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/13/natural-gas-bill-harry-reid-t-boone-pickens_n_1340066.html ) .

    Understanding the Citizens United Case is critial to how this works. Its not the simplestic “corporations are people” truism bouncing around the echo chamber either.

    Even if you hate TV, watch Frontline’s – Big Sky, Big Money ( http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/big-sky-big-money/ ). That and Reids NG PAC supporters are a smoking cannon. And Im a hardcore Democrat.

  5. Rod, one part of the new Tom Hanks movie, Cloud Atlas, is about commercial nuclear power. If anyone hasn’t seen Cloud Atlas, the following is a major SPOILER!

    ****************

    What looks like an anti-nuclear segment in the movie turns out to be an oil company conspiracy against commercial nuclear power. Cloud Atlas is a pretty good movie, by the way.!

    Marcel F. Williams

  6. Present nuclear plants are getting older, using technology developed in the earliest days of the nuclear power era. They provide reliable, affordable power, and so far the US NRC has not been as stupidly reactionary as the Merkel government in Germany or the Japanese government.

    Natural gas plants are more scalable and more quickly built than currently licensed nuclear power plants. If you want to compete with natural gas and coal, you have to go modular, with advanced technology.

    1. @ Alice,

      Nuclear plants can last 100 years. We have not reached the 7th inning stretch yet for most of the plants.

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