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  1. The operational economies of scale regarding power output mentioned above by Dr Lyman are about power station size, not boiler size or reactor size. I’d posit that there’s a simple rule for coal-fired power stations:

    – Build each boiler-turbine-generator unit as large as you dare (constrained by the capability of the grid to handle a turbine trip or other unit-wide fault)

    – Then, build as many units of that size on a single site as you dare (constrained by the ability of the grid to handle a station-wide fault such as a power line failure, fuel supply disruption, switchyard fault etc. in addition to cooling requirements and fuel consumption.)

    So, if you want to get nuclear plants with economies of scale on par with coal, look at what size modern coal-fired plants in the West are and how they are constructed: 200-800 MWe per unit, 2-8 units at a station.

    (As an aside, I’m pretty sure that no coal-fired power station on the planet has to engineer their boiler-house to deal with an aircraft hitting it. Seems silly to require nuclear reactors to have to account for it!)

    1. @LancedDendrite
      … no coal-fired power station … has to engineer their boiler-house to deal with an aircraft hitting it. Seems silly to require nuclear reactors to have to account for it!…

      Consequences of an impact of a big Boeing on a coal-fired power station are minimal compared to a similar impact on a NPP!

      Such an impact on a NPP may generate (quite likely with the present NPP fleet; somewhat less with the new EPR) a Fukushima like disaster which imply a damage of a trillion if the NPP is not in the desert and winds are not towards the ocean.

  2. Rod, you really think putting these SMRs underground will have that negative of an impact on cost? That’s a little disheartening.

    Doesn’t putting them underground make them significantly more safe in terms of potential radiation release (and spread)?

    You don’t touch on the advantage of factory assembly vs field assembly much. Seeing as construction delay is a huge cost factor couldn’t SMRs be potentially cheaper? Wouldn’t the lowered capital requirements and financial risks be enough to make them appealing even if they were a bit more expensive then large LWRs to start with?

    1. George

      Please read again. I covered manufacturing vs custom assembly AND discussed how deep burial eliminates the manufacturing advantage by turning the project back to a site-specific construction effort with lots of digging and foundation building.

      1. Will it be essential for all of these designs to be places underground? There is encouragement but it is it a requirement? Isn’t the above ground AP1000 resistant to jet collision? Couldn’t above ground SMRs be as well?

      2. Rod,

        Just to be clear, you’re saying that placing the reactor underground will be more expensive than building a (3-5 ft. thick) shield building around containment? That’s really what the “hole” is replacing. I note that they quoted ~3 billion just to *repair* Crystal River’s shield dome.

        Your point about how they build skyscrapers upward vs. down into the ground does seem to be compelling. Per Jim’s comment below, I wonder if placing large berms around an SMR building might be the cheapest of all.

    2. Wouldn’t piling earth on top of the containment building provide all the protection from crashing aircraft that putting the reactor underground would do? It would be far less expensive than underground construction.

      1. Awww Come on! Were really going to entertain the concept that a terrorist that can order up a large jet plane is going to hit a small reactor over a stadium full of people during a big game? Imagine a plane hitting the seats opposite the TV cameras during the superbowl or a world’s series game.

        The “threat” of flying a jet liner into a SMR doesn’t exist except in the make believe world of those who want to order up the expensive damage control without the effort of hijacking a plane. Morally along the same evil-lying vector IMHO.

        1. So true. How many commercial airplanes are operable at the moment? How many LARGE nuclear reactors are there around the world? There have been exactly zero incidents of this nature in the past 50 years, so, what is the likelihood of a less effective collision with a smaller reactor?

          Until all large skyscrapers are built entirely underground (again, an entirely ridiculous idea), reactors needn’t be required to do so.

          1. Actually, there could be a way..
            In the midwest there are many missle sites that are not longer active. These missles were in a very, very, deep silo. Why not place the small nuclear reactor inside one of them? Or is this one of my ideas that people here like to ignore because I am brilliant?

            1. @BobinPgh

              Though missile silos are reasonably close in size to the underground containments proposed for SMRs they have a completely different desig requirement. Modification would be nearly impossible, and certainly at least as expensive as digging a new hole and starting over.

              Besides, the power market in the silo locations is pretty thin, so that location requires a lot of additional transmission.

      2. @Jim
        An benefit would also be that the NPP dome & vulnerable points (loading bay) is far less visible from the air (if designed smart).
        So there is more chance the attacking Boeing pilot misses it target.

    1. Daniel, you should also know that another, opposing report has been published by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) citing evidence that contradicts the UN report. Specifically, the UN report ignores the 15 year “pause” in any measurable warming and minimizes the fact that none of the models used to create their report predicted this pause despite the increase in CO2 emissions over that same time span. None.

      Nuclear power is so far superior in providing electricity and industrial process heat over any other method that we we don’t need to participate in or promote agendas of questionable purpose. Science is not based on “consensus” or the raising of hands to nebulous questions about the contribution of mankind to something as complex as global climate. That otherwise intelligent people find this tactic acceptable is a travesty to the scientific method.

      Those of us who promote nuclear power are rightly annoyed when the anti-nukes make false statements about nuclear power, its safety record, its efficiency, its potential to enhance the human condition and the environment at large. Let’s not ally ourselves with those who would pervert science and transparency of collected data in order to prove the superiority of our technology. In sports, that would be called “scoring cheap points”.

      Go to Climatedepot.com to read the report. Yes, a skeptic site. Big deal.

          1. Yes, I too was surprised when the NYT finally decided to report on some of the real physics involved in the scientific investigations of the phenomena that affect climate. But being the New York Times, they naturally had to spin the article into some sort of story about a desperate, nefarious campaign by a rogue professor at MIT. It’s not unlike their hit pieces on Indian Point.

          2. Brian this isnt that. It has nothing to do with that.

            Lindzen has been very irresponsible. While the severity of climate change is arguably in play the contribution of man made effects are not reasonably as small as he keeps putting forth.

            He was wrong, AGAIN, and hes still guessing on feedbacks he has no firm arguments for. AND he is putting forth policy recommendations based on these guesses.

            But getting up to speed:

            Examining the Recent Slow-Down in Global Warming ( http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/2013/09/examining-the-recent-slow-down-in-global-warming/ )

            Global ocean heat and salt content – NODC – NOAA ( http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/ )

            A engineer like you should be able to tell there has been and continues to be a huge energy transfer to the worlds oceans. Warming has continued. No matter the circulation pattern du jour. Also important newer areas of study are singeing out other concerns:

            Unprecedented Rate and Scale of Ocean Acidification Found in the Arctic

            Nowhere on Earth have we documented such large scale, rapid ocean acidification” according to lead researcher and ocean acidification project chief, U.S. Geological Survey oceanographer Lisa Robbins ( http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=3686&from=rss )

            Please inform me of any incorrect or unreasonably biased statements in the above post.

          3. And I know about the “singeing” thing. Should be signaling. So none of you SAs bring that up.

          4. Please inform me of any incorrect or unreasonably biased statements in the above post.

            Sure … I will be happy to oblige.

            Lindzen has been very irresponsible.

            Really? For being a scientist? For following up on a hypothesis? I’d say that he’d be irresponsible if he didn’t follow up. That’s what scientists do.

            Being a responsible scientist does not mean falling in line and goose stepping with the rest of the corp. When the policy and the politics dictate the science, that’s called lysenkoism. It stops being science.

            He was wrong, AGAIN, …

            Wrong? How?

            … and hes still guessing on feedbacks …

            Who isn’t guessing? I thought that was a large point made by the article.

            A engineer like you should be able to tell there has been and continues to be a huge energy transfer to the worlds oceans.

            I might work as an engineer, but I was trained as a scientist. The scientist in me asks, if the GHG forcing not only continues to rise, but accelerates, then shouldn’t the heat content of the oceans accelerate too — particularly in a period when average atmospheric temperates have remained stagnant? I see only a steady, continuing trend, and it’s irresponsible to attribute it to something simply because you find it convenient for your cause.

            If the “clouds’ effect on climate change is last bastion for dissenters,” then ocean heat content is the last bastion for the alarmists, who are desperate to keep their excuse for global social engineering projects alive in a time when the mercury in the thermometer is not going up. Seems to me like much ado over a temperature increase of only 0.06 degrees Celsius.

          5. 1. “Lindzen has been very irresponsible.”

            Dr Lindzen to Congress:

            “The evidence is that the increase in CO2 will lead to very little warming, and that the connection of this minimal warming (or even significant warming) to the purported catastrophes is also minimal. The arguments on which the catastrophic claims are made are extremely weak.” – November 17, 2010

            Completely unsupported by consensus scinece.

            2. “He was wrong, AGAIN,”

            Two of the reviewers were selected by Lindzen, and two others by the PNAS Board. All four reviewers were unanimous that while the subject matter of the paper was of sufficient general interest to warrant publication in PNAS, the paper was not of suitable quality, and its conclusions were not justified. Only one of the four reviewers felt that the procedures in the paper were adequately described. As a result, PNAS rejected the paper, which Lindzen and Choi subsequently got published in a rather obscure Korean journal, the Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Science. ( http://www.skepticalscience.com/lindzen-choi-2011-party-like-2009.html ) [links embedded in response]

            3. “and hes still guessing on feedbacks”

            “If I’m right, we’ll have saved money. If I’m wrong, we’ll know it in 50 years and can do something.” – Richard Lindzen – From the NYT article. That quote in itself is a fraud. We do not have 50 years for guesswork by any accepted standard.

            Additionally:

            IPCC model global warming projections have done much better than you think

            Global warming since 1990 has fallen within the range of IPCC climate model projections

            “global climate models generally simulate global temperatures that compare well with observations over climate timescales … The 1990–2012 data have been shown to be consistent with the [1990 IPCC report] projections, and not consistent with zero trend from 1990 … the trend in globally-averaged surface temperatures falls within the range of the previous IPCC projections.”

            ( http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2013/oct/01/ipcc-global-warming-projections-accurate )

            So both of you are wrong here and you specifically probably need to admit it Dr Mays. Right??

          6. Tucker – I fail to see how I am “wrong.”

            1. It is Dr. Lindzen’s professional opinion that the climate sensitivity to CO2 is far less than what the IPCC reports claim. He has his reasons for this, which are based on his understanding of atmospheric dynamics and how the Earth’s climate system works. He would be irresponsible if he were to lie about this, just to go along with what some politicians (including politicians pretending to be “scientists”) want. Again, that’s called lysenkoism.

            Disagree with him if you want. (However, given the sources that you chose to cite, I seriously doubt that you are qualified in the slightest bit to discuss, debate, or even consider any of his technical points.) But please don’t call the man irresponsible simply for giving his professional opinion.

            2. I take it that you don’t have much experience publishing papers. Yes, papers sometimes get rejected for many reasons. Big deal.

            PNAS is a strange beast. Inconsistent is the best word that I can think of to describe it. Often, you find some really good, high-quality stuff in there; however, other articles are pure crap — usually because they’ve been sponsored by a member of the NAS with an agenda to promote.

            The NAS is far more politicized than most people are willing to admit. Furthermore, several key alarmists have been orchestrating a campaign against Lindzen’s papers for some time now. The evidence bears this out. It is not normal for a paper to be held up in review and then published simultaneously with a hit paper refuting everything in it. That takes cooperation, and it’s not how the peer-review process is supposed to work.

            But if you want to talk about publication histories, are you aware of the trouble that John Cook — the owner of website that you used as a source — has had getting his papers published? His papers are as bad as his website — pure propaganda. But since the guy has only a minimal amount of scientific education (and none of it in climate science), I guess he’s not cut out to be anything more than a propagandist.

            3. “We do not have 50 years for guesswork by any accepted standard.”

            Says who? The first computer model estimates of climate sensitivity to CO2 were published 34 years ago, and for almost half of that time, the global atmospheric temperature has remained relatively stable. So, tell me, what are the feedbacks and what are their effects? If you’re so fricking smart, then you should be able to tell me, right?

            Stop quoting reporters and propagandists. Give me some real figures.

            Jeez … don’t you have any information that doesn’t come from a left-wing paper like The Guardian or the New York Times or a hyper-partisan blog run by a two-bit undergraduate physics major turned Evangelical Christian/Warmist? I want facts, not spin.

          7. So Lindzen just knows but cannot publish proof. I see it must be related to my lack of experience in scientific publications.

            “the global atmospheric temperature has remained relatively stable.”

            Yes if you take a previous peak as a “average” and totally ignore ocean warming.

            Can you support your “beliefs” with actual references. Particularity on timing and feedbacks?

            We have already passed the point of irreversible damage.

            Climate change ‘irreversible’, warn scientists ( http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/4358167/Climate-change-irreversible-warn-scientists.html )

            Irreversible climate change due to carbon dioxide emissions ( http://www.pnas.org/content/106/6/1704.full )

            So as these are top scientists how do we have “50 years” ??

            The request for correction was because you and dan seem to labor under the incorrect impression that modeling of warming is grossly inaccurate. That is false.

            But anyway Lindzen couldn’t even publish in PNAS and went to some foreign outfit. I suppose the Daily Mail and Maxim are also always available as “reputable sources” for the denial community in a bind.

            “Jeez … don’t you have any information that doesn’t come from a left-wing paper like The Guardian or the New York Times ”

            If you actually would have bothered to look at the article your elevated perceptions would have noted that quotes and graphs were pulled from relevant sources as well as links to specific explanations and examples.

            So that was kinda silly. Wasn’t it?

            It would be nice to see some sourcing from you that actually supports your beliefs that is not fringe and/or politically charged. Just a thought.

          8. So Lindzen just knows but cannot publish proof.

            Tucker – Well, I’m not so simpleminded as to think that anyone has published “proof” about anything. If everything has been proven by any rigorous standard, then why does the IPCC keep issuing reports? They should just quit now, since they’re done.

            Nevertheless, Lindzen has published his papers. Why don’t you attack the content of the papers instead of bleating on about their publication process?

            “the global atmospheric temperature has remained relatively stable.” Yes if you take a previous peak as a average and totally ignore ocean warming.

            What do you not understand about “atmospheric”? The atmosphere is not the ocean. I thought that this was taught in elementary school.

            Can you support your beliefs with actual references. Particularity on timing and feedbacks?

            The only thing that is certain is that a doubling of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere results in slightly more than a 1 degree Celsius increase in global surface temperature, if no feedbacks are considered. This is based on a pretty good understanding of the underlying physical phenomena involved, and nobody but crackpots claim otherwise. The difficult part, and the part that is being squabbled over, is the effect that the feedbacks have, and certain feedbacks, such as clouds, are very poorly understood, as your NYT article explains. Perhaps you should read it again.

            There, I’ve shown you my numbers, and I’ve asked you over and over for yours. Don’t just throw links to articles written by well-known alarmist ideologues like Susan Soloman. Her partisanship is well known, and her credibility vanished long ago. Provide me with some real numbers that mean something, and explain where they come from.

            The request for correction was because you and dan seem to labor under the incorrect impression that modeling of warming is grossly inaccurate. That is false.

            Look, even the WG1 report in the latest assessment by the IPCC admits that almost all of the models that they use have failed to predict the “recent warming hiatus.” Who is in denial here?

            I suppose the Daily Mail and Maxim are also always available as reputable sources for the denial community in a bind.

            The day that I use the Daily Mail or Maxim to support my arguments you can feel free to criticize me for what they write. Until then, you’re just desperately throwing up strawmen.

      1. Specifically, the UN report ignores the 15 year “pause” in any measurable warming

        Since the exact opposite of “ignores” was being trumpted two days before you commented, you must be either (a) incompetent or (b) trolling.

        and minimizes the fact that none of the models used to create their report predicted this pause despite the increase in CO2 emissions over that same time span. None.

        Because the atmospheric models can’t predict changes in ocean circulation.  Duh.  The results are measured after the fact, and show that total warming is accelerating.

        Nuclear power is so far superior in providing electricity and industrial process heat over any other method that we we don’t need to participate in or promote agendas of questionable purpose.

        It doesn’t have a “questionable purpose”.  The nuclear advocates’ purpose in noting it is to drive a wedge into the techno-phobic Left, to split off those with actual environmental concerns from the religious anti-nuclear ideologues and the re-primitivists.  The whole purpose is to get a majority pushing for the one solution we know will work.

        1. Because the atmospheric models can’t predict changes in ocean circulation.

          Actually, the modern computer models used to study climate these days are coupled atmosphere-ocean models. If they can’t “predict” changes in ocean circulation, then they and their results ain’t worth much.

          1. So according to you, until they have everything figured out, the whole effort has produced nothing worthwhile… implying that we can ignore it, right?

            Ignorance isn’t bliss.  Ignorance is having your fool’s paradise come to an end when you’re blindsided.

          2. Nah … just explaining how the models work these days. “So according to you,” that’s not important. Well, fine, if that works in your world, then go with it.

            Ignorance means being able to claim anything you want, plus an entitlement to get huffy when anybody corrects you.

            Please grow up.

          3. @Bryan : I share your concern that computer models that are incomplete have little predictive power.
            However the history of the planet also factually demonstrate the link between carbon level and temperature, including the possibility of quick climate change like the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum. And, since the luminosity of the sun increases with time, the carboniferous would have been much colder with a lower carbon level.

          4. Brian, just for my understanding, could you explain why the worlds major science academies agreed already in 2009 that the need for action on anthropogenic climate change is indisputable? I accept you are a brilliant guy, so I’m looking for a reason to trust you, which would however imply that I then regard the worlds major science academies as just so many fools and idiots, so I really need a good reason to trust you and I hope you can provide it?

            G8+5 joint statement on climate change here: (check out the signatories on the final page: all idiots?)
            http://www.nationalacademies.org/includes/G8+5energy-climate09.pdf

          5. Please grow up.

            You first, starting with turning all your straw men into horse bedding.

          6. Brian,

            All of us who work in engineering occupations such as atomic power for our day jobs, basically respect others who work in similar fields for their day jobs, and rightly get exasperated when armchair antinukes start spouting their misconceptions.

            Now, none of us here are really day-job experts on climate science. However, our professional experience should teach us to respect the input of such people. Anything that goes against a consensus of those who study the matter for their day job is an extraordinary claim which requires extraordinary proof.

            Shedding light on the apparent slowdown in global warming, is an interesting and lucid article here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/09/what-ocean-heating-reveals-about-global-warming/ . This is an accessible summary of recent research on the question. I commend it to you. It is admittedly combative towards “skeptical” arguments, but no more so than many of Rod’s articles against antinuclear twaddle.

            We are able to respect Rod’s professional expertise, and in my considered opinion we should to the same with the people at realclimate.org and IPCC.

          7. (Note to Rod: The comment submission appeared not to post my first attempt. If it actually did, if it did, apologies, and please delete this duplicate)

            Brian,

            All of us who work in engineering occupations such as atomic power for our day jobs, basically respect others who work in similar fields for their day jobs, and rightly get exasperated when armchair anti-nukes start spouting their misconceptions.

            Now, none of us here are really day-job experts on climate science. However, our professional experience should teach us to respect the input of such people. Anything that goes against a consensus of those who study the matter for their day job is an extraordinary claim which requires extraordinary proof.

            Shedding light on the apparent slowdown in global warming, is an interesting and lucid article here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/09/what-ocean-heating-reveals-about-global-warming/ . This is an accessible summary of recent research on the question. I commend it to you. It is admittedly combative towards “skeptical” arguments, but no more so than many of Rod’s articles against antinuclear twaddle.

            We are able to respect Rod’s professional expertise, and in my considered opinion we should to the same with the people at realclimate.org and IPCC.

          8. Brian, just for my understanding, could you explain why the worlds major science academies agreed already in 2009 that the need for action on anthropogenic climate change is indisputable?

            Joris – The US National Academy of Sciences also endorses the Linear No-Threshold (LNT) risk model for exposure to low doses of radiation (see BEIR VII). Unlike it’s endorsement of climate change — which is simply a rubber-stamp approval of work done by another organization, the IPCC — the NAS actually appointed its own committee to review the scientific literature, which tells me that their confidence in their findings on LNT should be somewhat stronger than their opinion on climate change.

            Nevertheless, this blog regularly criticizes the LNT model as being flawed — apparently with the approval of much, if not most, of its audience, based on the comments that it has collected. I guess people here think they get to pick-and-choose which “indisputable” things they want to believe from these major science academies.

            Me? Call me old fashioned, but personally, I’ll go with nullius in verba.

            For what it’s worth, I don’t object to taking action. On the contrary, I wholeheartedly advocate for a rapid expansion of nuclear power, which is the only source of energy that could realistically have a significant impact on carbon emissions. If only a significant fraction of the “climate change” alarmists would promote such practical solutions, we might get somewhere. But that’s not happening.

            That’s why these discussions are almost entirely academic, and that’s how I treat them.

            1. @Brian Mays

              For the record, I have the same interpretation of “consensus” science as practiced by politicized bodies like the NAS and the IPCC.

              However, the LNT assumption results in the application of regulations that assert that tiniest amount of energy deposited in a human body is hazardous enough to take expensive action to avoid the risk. Climate science is attempting to predict the long term effects of dumping 30 billion tons of extra long lived gas into the atmosphere every single year.

              I see no logical conflict with recognizing that the LNT is probably incorrect while climate science is pointing out a long term risk that should be addressed, sooner rather than later, even if the magnitude of the effect is not well understood.

              Logic suggests that more people who are demanding expensive responses to the risk of climate change should admit that nuclear fission is a better, potentially lower cost fossil fuel alternative with the known ability to produce far more abundant power than our existing fuel sources. I think we both agree on that point.

              The move toward nuclear acceptance among environmentalists seems to be gaining momentum, even though there are some stubborn deniers who are trying to slow it down.

          9. Brian yes for safety.

            And actually many caution about using LNT and very low doses to predict cancers. BEIR VII even gives several suggestions of where more research is needed.

            In their words:

            “At doses of 100 mSv or less, statistical limitations
            make it difficult to evaluate cancer risk in humans.”

    2. Daniel,
      Our most prominent Dutch paper, NRC, published an article about this newest report.

      It stated a number of shortcomings such as the failure to predict that temperatures did not rise since ~2000 (and failure of the newest models to predict that in hindsight! Only speculations).
      Further that in the past there were periods with much higher temperatures (~year 1000).
      That those seem to be not detrimental.
      And that those were followed by a much colder period (~1600).
      And that the reasons behind those changes still are not understood either.

      It also stated benefits of the raised CO2 levels (more plants in desert like area’s, more rain), and a temperature rise of e.g. 3 degrees (more agriculture in Siberia / Canada, etc).
      Probably the earth can support more people if the temperature rises…

      It concluded that predicted raised sea levels may deliver some transfer of people from low islands (e.g. in the pacific) but that the benefits of the raised temperature may (more than) compensate…
      Especially for the Dutch as we then can export our great know how regarding dikes, etc.
      (we have an ongoing program for ~50years, that enhances our dikes to levels that go beyond the darkest predictions of the recent report)

      So now I don’t know what to think about the subject at all.
      Seems climate science is still in its infancy.

      Especially since some years ago my climbing friend got a generous sponsor offer for his trip to Greenland under the condition (!) that he would bring pictures that show detrimental effects of the warming up.

      1. This is interesting. It explains some of your arguments I think. I would have assumed a large European publication wouldn’t publish such assumptions when it comes to this.

        First off where has climate change involved a constant and stable change in temperature and rainfall?

        Studies have shown elevated carbon dioxide only stimulated plant growth when nitrogen, water and temperature were kept at normal levels.

        Some plants benefit from more CO2 but ones utilizing the C4 pathways (grasses, many monocots) generally do not. Native plants, animals and microbes have also evolved to a regional climate, so a rapid change means the most successful invasive species would likely be favored. Likewise native plants do not respond like crops to increased CO2. And even in crops under controlled conditions increasing CO2 generally decreases nutritional value.

        Insects and pathogens too for the most part increase substantially with temperature.

        Because of climate change and acidification we are expected to lose from 10 to 50 percent of all species. I cant imagine someone blowing it off as being not an issue of concern or even “beneficial.”

        I was kinda shocked to see you post this.

        1. You shouldn’t have been.  It’s been painfully obvious for weeks that he’s unencumbered by the thought process and just parrots a party line.

          1. I never got around to questioning Bas on his stance on climate science. I would have guessed the issue would have him concerned, judging from his extreme concern over even the tiniest, most fancifull risks associated with nuclear power.

            But no. Bas Gresnigt is predictable. His understanding of radiation and risk is mirrored in his understanding of GHG forcing and risk. i.e. it is completely irrational, limping along on personal ideology only, unencumbered by any specific understanding of the subject matter. It has a logic all of it’s own.

        2. @John Tucker
          …crops under controlled conditions increasing CO2 generally decreases nutritional value…

          That was a hot issue in the sixties, when artificial enhancing CO2 levels in Green houses was introduced. So university studies.
          No such sign!
          Now the argument is more that those plants are healthier (they become less often sick), so their value for nutrition is also healthier.

          Furthermore almost all plants (incl. trees) use the same mechanism as crops. So they grow also faster, which implies enhanced levels of absorption C from the CO2.

          1. Believe me Ive looked at those Bas. My conclusions are in line with consensus science.

          2. @Bas

            Furthermore almost all plants (incl. trees) use the same mechanism as crops. So they grow also faster, which implies enhanced levels of absorption C from the CO2.

            If your statement is true, then the enhanced CO2 levels will also encourage the growth of weeds that harm crop yield and invasive species that damage natural habitats.

            The point is that dumping 30 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year is a short-sighted, large-scale experiment using the only Earth and environment that we have. We are not sure of all of the unintended consequences. Since nuclear fission is an available, reliable, safe alternative that can slow the dumping rate, we should use more of it.

      2. Bas, I have a tip for you. Perhaps you should read the IPCC report yourself, rather than trust a (scientifically challenged) journalist.

        The IPCC report is clear. It lays out the case for anthropogenic global warming in meticulous detail. The evidence is deemed undisputable by all major science academies. We are not talking about impending climate disruption anymore, but full-blown climate breakdown. The aggregate consequences of this will be disastrous for humanity and the planet. And as a rabid anti-nuclear activist, you are responsible for this problem.

        I guess that is why your mind seems attracted by the notion that climate science might still be ‘in it’s infancy’. I guess it would be difficult for you to maintain your anti-nuclear crusade if you took the IPCC assessment seriously. Hence, you don’t. Makes sense.

    3. Daniel,
      Last week the full IPCC report was published.

      And according to our prominent Dutch paper (NRC) of this weekend, it shows that the earlier published summary has discrepancies compared with the full report.

      Though less flagrant as with the 2006 Chernobyl forum report. That shows e.g. no mention of numbers of victims by the authors in the full report, while the summary states a ridiculous low number ‘out of the blue’.

      Some examples the paper states:.
      Sea level rise: While the main reports says no acceleration shown (par. 3.7.4), the summary says that it is likely that the speed of sea level rise since 1900 continued to grow (=acceleration!)…
      It states that ‘speed of sea level rise is (with small variations) constant since 1920’.

      The main report concludes that there is no (rising) trend in flooding. And that the enhanced frequency of extreme rain and heat waves are much dependent on the (changing) definition of ‘extreme’.

      IPCC considers periods of 15years. The trend between 1998 and 2012 is a 0.05degreeC/per decade temperature rise. Only the summary fails to recognize that this value is not significant at all. If they had taken the 2000-2012 period than temperature rise would have been zero.

      The summary states that it is ‘extremely likely’ (>95% chance) that human influence is the dominant cause of global warming since the middle of last century. This suggests 60years of rise.
      The main report shows that global air temperature went down between 1940 and 1970, and that it stopped rising after 2000.

      —–
      So while the summary is not ‘fraudulent’ as the 2006 Chernobyl report, the whole thing also shows that truth becomes more difficult the moment a report is intended to influence policy makers.
      This also confirms my impression that climate science is in its infancy.

  3. In the end they will both end up being as bad or worse for the environment and human health than any single pro fossil fuel industry group. You can already see it from the road we are on. They lack perspective and any real plan to deal with warming, pollution and acidification.

    “Concerned Scientists” – what a joke.

    Butterflies, love and renew-ah-new-ah-new-ah-new-ah-bles wheeeeeeee…….

  4. I really wonder what you think of the current development of supercritical CO2 turbines that could be a perfect match for SMRs :
    http://theenergycollective.com/dan-yurman/84762/supercritical-co2-turbine-being-developed-smrs
    The potential 48% efficiency of course makes them extremly interesting.

    Interesting by the way how much 3D printing lowers the barrier to entry to trying to compete in this field :
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1876426552/supercritical-co2-turbine-generator

    1. Given the extremely high densities and pressures in sCO2 turbines, I doubt that parts made by additive processes could ever be made strong enough to serve.  Then there’s the porosity.  I think drop-forging is a better prospect.

      1. The hype for 3D printing is way overboard. The expectation seems to be that “shape” is the overwhelming attribute required, forgetting arrays of “strength” attributes are also required for any component in any type of machine.

    2. I said “trying to compete”, I’m far from convinced that guy is going anywhere with his efforts and I don’t believe you could go beyond the early testing stage with 3D printed components. But it’s still useful for testing new concepts much quicker. The key to making the first airplanes fly was to make the trial and error process as fast as possible.

      But after further review, I realize that this two efforts are actually very small scale, and that’s it’s been quite a few years since sCO2 is being talked about, without much progress. It’s probably telling about the maturity of the field and probability of success in the short term that we don’t see the major energy companies more invested into it.

    1. How so? – because some anonymous poster says so in a vague reference with no supporting argument? Or just because its recently referenced on a nuclear fear blog posing as a legitimate news site with no real or honorable scientific basis?

      Yea. Ok. Thanks.

      1. Re: “Or just because its recently referenced on a nuclear fear blog posing as a legitimate news site with no real or honorable scientific basis?”

        One of the most egregious is http://www.nuclearpowerdaily.com/ . NOTHING good to say about ANYTHING nuclear, yet it struts itself as a “news daily” cited as a fair “accurate” source for schools. This rag ought be corrected out of town. If only the nuclear crowd had a stand-up media champion!

        James Greenidge
        Queens NY

  5. Reading about the Galena, Alaska proposal for installing an S4 reactor, I must come, perhaps naively, to the conclusion that the Nuclear regulators are doing their best to at least delay, if not outright outlaw, the advancement of nuclear energy projects. Such a remote location would seem ideal for testing such small scale plants, and if the people of Alaska were happy with the proposal, then it should have been allowed to proceed.
    Toshiba 4S reactor for Galena Alaska
    http://seekerblog.com/2008/09/19/toshiba-4s-reactor-for-galena-alaska/
    NewsMiner: Why Nuclear Energy is on Hold for Alaska
    http://nuclearstreet.com/nuclear_power_industry_news/b/nuclear_power_news/archive/2011/01/24/newsminer_3a00_-why-nuclear-energy-is-on-hold-for-alaska-012403.aspx#.UkhZT656x-5
    Energy security being so important to the continued well being of the USA, I’d say rather than using their military might to support corrupt regimes around the world in order to ensure a supply of fossil fuels, the USA should establish a Nuclear Corp of Engineers to oversee the construction, operation and maintenance of the most appropriate nuclear plants for each individual situation. A distributed generation system would also be more robust in case of natural or man-made disruptive events, and could reduce the need for some of the costly and potentially fragile large scale transmission grids.
    The costs of new nuclear installations, from what I see, is quite competitive, except for with natural gas, but natural gas, unless shown to be from abiotic generation, and thus a renewable, long-term, relatively clean source, should not become overly relied upon.

    1. The chinese and russians will be selling their SMRs thru Wallmart well before the NRC gets around to approving a single US design.

  6. Rod,
    … Aircraft Impact rule should be discarded … every other component of our national infrastructure is more vulnerable to attack by jet airplanes …
    The issue is not vulnerability, but the consequences of a successful NPP attack.
    Those are higher (big exclusion zone, raised levels of stillbirth, Down, cancer after 20years, ~a trillion$ damage) than any other easy target.

    A terrorist group can cripple USA by successful attacking one or more of the NPPP’s with the right winds. Such terrorist would outstrip Bin Laden by far. Hence eternal fame! That in itself makes it very attractive for a smart terrorist.

    …not possible to allow the public … access to all of the details since the bad guys are part of “the public.”
    That implies that there are security holes, which may become visible for experts. And that know how than can be transferred to a terrorist group.

    SMR’s
    I cannot detect why SMR (e.g. 100MWe) would be more secure than big plants.
    Especially since you write about reduced (also security) staff.

    What if a nightly SMR operator (or other staff) decides to revenge to this hostile society, takes security controls out and blows the plant?
    (e.g. after his wife went away, which he perceives as that society took her away)

    Chance may not be high, but with the much higher number of SMR’s (10 times more?) chances rise…

    1. It’s safe to say that no one in their right mind would attack a NPP to increase the number of stillbirths in the population. You keep saying it, but it ‘s an absolutely dumb contention. For one thing, it won’t work, and for another, it isn’t frightening, or demonstrably terrifying like crashing a plane into a skyscraper. It’s just silly.

      1. @John Chatelle
        That is right. They will fly a Jumbo into it on order to creates damage.

        I describe the consequences.and state those as they are more terrible (to me), than a person of sixty years old getting cancer because of the enhanced radiation after such an accident 20years earlier. Especially since the heredity risks are far greater (xx times more per mSv compared to cancer risks).

        1. 4+ billion years ago Life chose Potassium as a necessary nutrient despite the multiple ionizing radiation levels of Potassium as compared to today.

          If, as you contend, multiples of normal background radiation is damaging, then why would selective processes settle on such a damaging metal as a necessary nutrient? Why wouldn’t nerve transmission use the electronegativity differences between Sodium and Calcium and avoid Potassium altogether?

          What if you have it absolutely backwards and there are more stillbirths, Downs syndrome births, and cancers because background radiation is in decline and the genetic structures and processes of life evolved with the expectation of higher background levels of radiation?

          Background radiation levels were higher when the processes and structures of life came into being. Why do you suppose things are so different now?

          1. @John Chatelle
            Background radiation levels were higher when ..life came into being…
            Why do you suppose things are so different now?..

            As building elements of humans and animals didn’t change, I assume the effects of radiation didn’t change. .

            Mankind grew while ~20% of all births ended in a dead mother and/or stillbirth, ~50% of all children died, average age was <30years, etc.
            At those times children with Down, etc. simply were left behind, or excluded.

            Yes. it was highly selective.
            But a risk that my seed has to experience similar selective processes, simply because we took radiation risks associated with NPP's not serious enough (=spent not enough money for precautions), is unacceptable.

            Especially since there are also viable roads to other solutions that countries like Denmark and Germany follow. A number of countries already generate all their electricity only via renewable.
            .

            "…What if … more stillbirths, Downs … cancers because background radiation is in decline …life evolved with the expectation of higher background levels of radiation? …
            Thanks to a.o. the atmospheric A-bomb tests, background radiation is higher then we know from the recent past.

            After Chernobyl in 1986, some districts in S-Germany got fall-out (rain) and other adjacent districts not. All those districts had since 1980 accurate administration of all issues regarding birth, etc. So this offered the unique research opportunity that the whole population could be researched.
            It showed (with p’s<0.001) that the districts with fall-out (raised radiation level of only 0.5mSv/year), got a rise of ~15% more stillbirth and ~ 30% more Down and other malformations after Chernobyl, compared to the period before and compared to districts without fall-out (which got no rise). That translates to ~30% more stillbirth and ~ 60% Down, etc. per mSv/year!

            Similar results were found by other research (Finland, etc).
            Note that these countries with good research communities were excluded by the IAEA controlled 2006 Chernobyl forum.

            Almost all results from Lab. research show; more radiation = more mutations. And almost all those mutations make things worse.

            You may want to use enhanced radiation for selective breeding.
            But for that we have far better methods, successful used with animals, which cause much less sadness (Hitler's scientists made a start).

            … Life chose Potassium…
            We simply do not know how these processes went. Probably other options (if those existed?) were worse.

            1. @Bas

              A number of countries already generate all their electricity only via renewable.

              Please name at least ONE country that is truly using “renewable” energy for even 80% of its electricity needs. Netting imports and exports does not count, since the accounting would then include a lot of fossil during hours when the wind and sun are not available.

          2. @Rod : They are several countries using Hydroelectricity to that level, including Norway. It not counting hydroelectricity, then none fits the bill.

            But it’s just another hypocrisy of pro-renewable, they *love* hydro to bump up the stats, but then they don’t even mention it as soon as the talk is about what we should install.

          3. @Rod
            Countries with all (>99%) electicity by renewable: Iceland, Bhutan, Mozambique, Lesotho, Burundi, Nepal.
            As an example, check Tokelau: http://www.zeitnews.org/applied-sciences/energy/tokelau-first-country-achieve-100-renewable-solar-power

            Countries with >80%: Brazil, Columbia, Costa Rica, Paraquay, Tajikistan, Zambia, Congo, Ethiopia, Georgia (in Europe), Kyrgyzstan, Mozambique, Malawi, Albania, Angola, Belize.
            (figures of 2008)

            This article tries to explain why there are so many distorted views about the Energiewende: http://cleantechnica.com/2013/06/26/100-renewable-energy-and-beyond/
            It also lists a few German counties that produce >200% of consumption via renewable and the grow potential for wind on land.

            This cooperation shows a little about why major utilities try to undermine the Energiewende: http://sev.ee/library/success-stories/ews-schonau-success-story/

            In the good semi-corruption tradition, Spain’s utilities recently succeeded. Via new government taxes they will capture the renewable market.
            They hired a lot of influential (old) politicians against great salaries!

            It is somewhat similar to the US Health insurance companies that hire many politicians of congress (seems even Hillary Clinton). So they can continue earning huge profits at the expense of the citizen. US pays >16% of GDP to health care, highest other countries pay <12% while the av. Life expectancy in those other countries is longer! E.g. US 78.5 year, France 81.5, Switzerland 82.3, Cuba 79.1 year (UN figures 2009/2010).

          4. @Bas

            “As building elements of humans and animals didn’t change, I assume the effects of radiation didn’t change.”

            And you display your ignorance again. He didn’t claim the effects of radiation changed, he stated the fact that the level of radiation was higher and thus early life on the planet flourished even with these higher levels. Levels you claim should have caused crippling levels of stillbirths, cancers and other effects.

            Sorry Bas, but reality and the fact that life even exists on the planet defeats your claims of the effects of even doubling background radiation rates.

          5. @Bas: In the list of countries that you cited :
            – For the vast majority, hydroelectricity is the *only* renewable energy they have
            – Only four produce a significant amount of non-hydro, but for 3, Brazil, Costa Rica, Island, hydro is still a lot larger and there’s only *one* left where non-hydro “renewable” production level compares to hydro, Belize.
            — Brazil, produces about 10 times more energy from hydro than other renewable, so whilst the amount is big in absolute, it’s still negligible in front of hydro in the country
            — For Costa Rica, hydroelectricity is only 5 time bigger than non-hydro, and for Island it’s 3 time bigger, but the renewable energy that complements hydro is for both much more dependable than wind and solar, since it’s almost only geothermal, another energy source where the production is stable and predictable.
            – The last one left is Belize, with 316 MWh/y for hydro, and 200 MWh/y for non-hydro, But unfortunately even at that small scale, the non-hydro is not wind and solar, but biomass in the form of bagasse, therefore a agricultural product that depends on fertilizers. What happens to Belize without imported chemical fertilizers ? Is it still able to produce enough Bagasse for it’s large Bagasse plant ? I doubt it. And that’s why I put renewable between quotes above.

          6. You can check directly the numbers I gave here, with newer than 2008 data :
            http://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/IEDIndex3.cfm?tid=2&pid=2&aid=12

            I also forgot Tokelau. It’s just an Island, but yes it’s 100% solar with batteries. However Tokelau does not have any industry, and is unable to produce anything that it consumes except for fish. So the trick here is that the Island is under life support from external imports for any manufactured product it needs, not compensated by any export it does, which means that it’s local energy consumption can appear artificially low with regard to what is truly needed to support the lifestyle the inhabitants have.

          7. @ddpalmer
            I would be nice if you would read the rest of my post before writing a reaction based on the first sentence only.

          8. @jmdesp
            Good work! Thanks for the link, it makes live easier!

            Of course it is most hydro as solar and wind are still in their infancy.
            E.g.
            Wind turbines are often 2MW while 20MW would bring lower cost-price.
            Construction of the rotor blades / wings should be such that the wings twist more near the wing tips and that twist should be so much that it prevents that the turbine rotates too fast.
            Now it is done by changing the setting at the axis which is far less optimal and may fail.

            The growing market also creates economy-of-scale, so lower prices.

            Btw. I now remember that bigger island in the S-Atlantic that also has 100% renewable using wind, pumped storage, solar:
            http://www.abb.com/cawp/seitp202/2445a8fea944fac8c125789b00507caa.aspx

            1. @Bas

              Of course it is most hydro as solar and wind are still in their infancy.

              Humans have known that there was usable energy available from the wind and sun ever since humans became aware of their environment. We have been capturing that energy and using it for transportation and industrial purposes for thousands of years.

              Technically aware people who could perform rough calculations and observe their environment also recognized that the sun and the wind were inherently weak and unreliable power sources. They recognized that using the wind for transportation often resulted in days of no movement, risk of being stranded at sea, and enormous sails requiring impressed crews of dozens to hundreds of people to capture enough wind to move at an even moderate speed. They recognized that using the sun to dry skins, make straw, or evaporate sea water for salt required many days, large collection areas and a lot of patience.

              It is not surprising that humans learned how to use more concentrated, reliable power sources like wood, coal, oil and gas. Smart humans left dependence on the wind and sun as soon as they found something moderately better. The natural next step in that evolution is to use the far more energy dense and emission free power stored inside uranium and thorium.

          9. @Bas;

            …solar and wind are still in their infancy.
            Sure. And always will be.

            Your Island example has 11,000 residents, and no foundry, No Electric Arc furnaces, no bauxite Hall processes to worry about, no industrial processes. So mild, so nice, so pastoral. Life can be all sunshine and breezes. All you’ve got to do is *believe*. We know better. Your scheme is aiming for no competitive challenges to the oil, gas and ancillary services mega-financial juggernauts.

            I’m sure wind and solar will both have a product life cycle, but the product life cycle will not be governed by their market competitors, they will be governed by the presence or lack of subsidies and bizarre mandates. Whatever the product life cycle maximum revenues will be, we all have to know that the max will be reached due to the costly government intervention alone; The maximum revenues will never lead the subsidies and poor to rich financial interventions, and only follow closely behind them. Whenever such interventions go away, the wind and solar installations will very quickly be turned into junk, much of which will be left in place, windmills on bald once pristine ridgelines and solar installations on once virgin deserts.

            I find it pretty funny that you’re looking to Spain as a good example for leading the way. Your cited article had a Greek island following the Spanish island’s lead. I guess they don’t have any Electric Arc Furnaces, foundries, smelters, or any industrial processes there either. I’m sure they all can just enjoy their Mediterranean climate, sunshine and breezes, and pastoral lifestyle, just like their Spanish brethren. Ahhhh, I think i’ll tilt my beach chair back a notch, and put in the earbuds and listen to some of my favorite tunes… “Just give me the warm power of the sun….” For me, as a boomer, I was also influenced by Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock”. I think the line “Gotta get back to the garden” is a bit of an anthem to many of us, to the worlds detriment.

          10. “Of course it is most hydro as solar and wind are still in their infancy.”

            They are not. PV is just about as good as it’s ever going to get. PV prices have dipped to their utlimate lows due to several factors which will never return:

            1. The willingness of the Chinese government to subsidise PV production for more than 50% is over. (They are stopping this dumping subsidy now, under pressure from US and EU. Massive PV manufacturers debts have meanwhile gone bad and are being restructured, credit for new investments in PV production in China will be far more expensive. Result: PV prices will rise.)

            2. The willingness of Chinese workers to accept 10x less salary than the workers in the (developed) countries that Chinese PV systems are exported to. (Chinese workers are not satisfied with this, Chinese salaries are rising 15% per year, cheap labour for PV production will dissappear. Result: PV prices will rise)

            3. The availability of cheap coal to power the extremely energy intensive Chinese PV factories. (Chinese PV systems are really just large chunks of embodied Chinese coal, shipped abroad for buyers who like to pretend its “clean”. The Chinese are trying to move away from coal, and coal prices which have seen historic lows are going to start rising as high-quality reserves are getting scarcer and China has now become a net-importer of coal. Electricity prices in China will increase. Result: PV prices will increase.)

            So today, objective analysts rightly predict that solar PV prices will not reach the completely artificial lows that were reached in recent years. Prices will go up, or remain flat at best. That means the pipedream of PV ‘too cheap to meter’ has been exposed as the nonsense it always was.

            So your argument that solar is ‘still in it infancy’ is simply bunkum. It just shows that you are unable to look critically at what drives the solar PV market. Nothing else.

          11. @Bas, sorry but I did read your whole screed before responding. And nothing in the rest of your drivel addresses the issues I asked you about.

            So why don’t you stop tap dancing and answer the questions?

            Why did you build a strawman rather than responding to what John actually wrote?

            How did life evolve and thrive with radiation levels more than double current levels? There is no data showing that stillbirths during the billion years of evoluition were higher than today. The stats about infant mortality and maternal death in childbirth are from less than a few thousand years ago and were higher because of the lack of basic medical knowledge, not because of higher radiation levels. That is especially true since even 100,000 years ago the background levels were well less tha 1% greater than today. But thanks for continuing to show your less tha kindergarten level understanding of radiation and radioactivity.

          12. @ddpalmer

            How did life … thrive with radiation levels more than double current levels?
            By fast multiplication, so premature death of ~80-90% could be compensated.
            Just as many animals do. Life was misery at those times.

            Btw.
            Can you give me a link that shows that >2x higher radiation levels at that time?
            Thanks.

            …no data showing that stillbirths during the billion years of evolution were higher than today…
            Once stillbirth was quite common.
            Read medical history, or your family tree back to the 1600’s.
            Even in the eighties stillbirth rates still went down. Check the graphs in this research: http://www.helmholtz-muenchen.de/ibb/homepage/hagen.scherb/CongenMalfStillb_0.pdf

          13. So obviously you know as much about evolution and biology as you do about radiation and radioactivity. Please provide some basis for a claim of 80-90% premature death rate in ALL of nature to support your claim.

            Why do you need a link? With just rudimentary knowledge of radioactivity you can easily calculate how much more U235, U238, Th232 and K40 (the major contributors to natural background) there would have been at any time in the past. Your inability to do so speaks volumes.

            “Read medical history, or your family tree back to the 1600′s.”

            RFLMAO!!!

            Really? I mean you really said the 1600’s?

            Just how moronic are you? Wait don’t answer that we have all seen enough to answer it by ourselves.

            I am not talking about 400 years ago, troll. As should be obvious to anyone I am talking about the 4 billion year history of the planet. Now maybe you can point me to a medical history text or a family tree back to 2,000,000,000BC.

          14. @ddpalmer
            …calculate how much more U235, U238, Th232 and K40 (the major contributors to natural background) there would have been at any time in the past…
            Sorry but that is far too simple for an estimation of the background radiation billions of years ago.

            E.g. if that radiates deep in the ground, the level at the surface (where we live) will be near zero. Your remark implies that we should stop Uranium mining as that enhances background radiation bringing the stuff to the surface.
            Important part of background radiation come from the universe.

          15. @Bas, still insisting on showing your ignorance of reality.

            Why do you think background radiation levels in Colorado are higher than in Miami? By your claim it can’t be because of all the uranium and thorium in the Rocky Mountains, so what is the reason? I anxiously await your elucidating scientific explanation.

            And no an important part of background radiation does not come from the universe (well ignoring the fact that the Earth is part of the universe). Estimated annual averages in the US are 0.28 mSv from the soil, 0.39 mSv from internal material, 2 mSv from radon and 0.27 mSv from cosmic. That is slightly more than 9% from the universe.

            Here is a source for background radiation levels since the Earth was formed. I provide it for others who may be interested, as I am fairly sure you can’t understand it and will dismiss it anyway.

            http://www.irpa.net/irpa9/cdrom/VOL.2/V2_69.PDF

            You will notice that it clearly finds levels more than twice the current levels.

          16. @Bas
            E.g. if that radiates deep in the ground, …
            Bas, forget about that. a few billions of years ago organisms dealt fine with Potassium 40 from Within their own bodies of which there was about 4 to 6 times as much as today. Potassium still accounts for most radiation from the human body, despite all the atomic testing in the 50’s and 60’s, of which, I’m sure without looking it up, accounts for less than 1% of the radiation expressed from within the body.

            Let me know when radiation expressed from the human body even begins to approach the 4 times current radiation that we’ve evolved to handle, and most probably can use in somatic genome sustainability.

            It can clearly be proven, even by gedanken experiment that the optimum amount of ionizing radiation is not zero. Bas, You need to have more faith in life’s selective processes, and understand the gradual and stocastic benefits life gets from minor stresses.

        2. @Rod
          ..Smart humans left dependence on the wind and sun … natural next step …. is to use the far more energy dense and emission free power stored inside uranium and thorium.
          Better, less hazards and cheaper, would be to use the energy in hydrogen (fusion)!

          For now, smarter humans realize that it is more beneficial (and cheaper compared to nuclear) to return to solar and wind, using new / improved utilization methods. Especially since those methods promise continued significant cost price decreases for the next decade.

          @John C
          … solar installations on once virgin deserts …
          That unnecessary is done when countries do not follow the principles of the Energiewende.
          PV-panels on the roofs of citizens deliver enough production, especially with the near future panels that produce ~2x more electricity out of the same amount of sun shine.

          … funny that you’re looking to Spain as a good example for leading the way.
          Spain is a bad example as that installed laws that favor the major utilities. Now a citizen that puts PV-panels on his roof is obliged to connect to the grid in such a way that even production he uses for himself is taxed!

          I included the island as an example. All new things start small. In ~10years Denmark may be >80% renewable (they go faster than Germany), etc.

          …the product life cycle … will be governed by the presence or lack of subsidies and bizarre mandates … Whenever such interventions go away, the wind and solar installations will very quickly be turned into junk …
          Spain, Portugal, a.o. stopped with all subsidies already. Considering ongoing cost-price decreases other countries will follow. In Spain ‘PV on the roof’ production is seriously taxed (~$78/MWh), even if the consumer uses it only for himself.

          Btw.
          Your remark is a little ridiculous as nuclear is clearly the most subsidized method of electricity generation.

          @Joris
          Suggest you read more about the driving factors behind the ongoing PV revolution. It’s not Chinese production; US research investment gives you better clue’s.
          Remember that only few believed that the law of Moore could continue for 50years!

          May be also stuff about how primitive the present 2-8MW wind turbines still are.

          1. I do read about PV. A lot. It’s my job to do so. From what I read, most are focussing on reducing ‘soft-costs’. You know: the salaries of the pesky PV installers. They’re always asking for costly things such as better protection when working on roofs or with high-power electronics. And they’re always asking for decent wages, above the minimum.

            Yes, Green jobs are a real headache when it comes to delivering cost-effective solar power. That’s why several parties are looking into fully automated PV factories, and even robotic solar PV installation. You see, solar energy was never about jobs. Its all about creating shareholder value in the solar PV supply chain. The “Green jobs” mantra is just for show. What PV advocates want is poor-paying jobs that allow the realization of ever lower ‘soft costs’. Green jobs be damned.

            Technologywise, eventually it’s possible that PV panels will reach $0,5/W. Complete systems could reach $1/W. That still doesn’t compete with coal. So its doesn’t do anything to stop climate disruption. Period.

          2. Concerning wind, an upward price trend has already been identified for a number of years. Nobody is seriously considering significant decreases in onshore wind costs. Quite the contrary: because of the huge numbers of wind farms needed to make a dent in fossil burning, siting will be increasingly difficult, so onshore wind will remain on an upward trajectory in all regions that already have wind parks built on good locations.

            For offshore wind, a cost decrease of up to 40% is envisaged. Since offshore wind is about 150% to 250% more expensive than onshore wind, it’s perhaps not a stretch to think that this 40% will be realised. Of course: to reach this, reducing the salaries of the people with the Green Jobs will be a focal point. And of course: there will be need to limit health and safety requirements as much as possible.

            Even then, if a 40% cost reduction for offshore wind is reached (which is certainly not guaranteed), wind still does not compete with coal. So it doesn’t do anything to stop climate disruption. Period.

          3. @Bas

            Your remark is a little ridiculous as nuclear is clearly the most subsidized method of electricity generation.

            Please provide support for that absurd statement. If memory serves me correctly, you live next door to a nation that thought nuclear generators were producing so much excess profit that they should be paying a special “windfall profits” tax amounting to hundreds of millions of euros.

            http://www.expatica.com/nl/news/dutch-news/Belgian-firm-appeals-nuclear-tax_51075.html

          4. @Joris
            Apparently you read only present market developments.
            Suggest that you read more about the fundamentals.
            For PV those are highly intertwined with (computer, etc) chip developments.
            Resulting in: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2011/03/16/smaller-cheaper-faster-does-moores-law-apply-to-solar-cells/

            Concerning wind, an upward price trend has already been identified for a number of year…
            Check the German feed-in tariffs. They go down and down. Also for wind.
            Suggest again you read more about the fundamentals if you want to predict price developments.

            Btw.
            PV systems of $1/W imply a cost price of ~$80/MWh (lower at lower latitudes).
            New nuclear has a cost price of >$120/MWh (while even not gen. 4). Check e.g. Hinckley Point C.

            1. @Bas

              For PV those are highly intertwined with (computer, etc) chip developments.

              Problem with that analogy is that chip development thrives by densely packing transistors. Solar energy hitting earth is diffuse and requires large areas as collectors. Improved transistor density does not improve collection efficiency.

          5. @Rod
            That Belgium tax is a minimal (still to low) insurance premium that all NPP’s should pay. I share the Greenpeace estimation that ~150million per NPP would cover the (insurance) risk costs better.

            Utilities have freed themselves by law from liability for the consequences of waste and disasters. Law reduce those liabilities to almost nothing, compared to the damage that can occur, and the period radio-active waste has to be cared for.

            So citizens and Government subsidize NPP’s by ~150million/a during the lifetime of a NPP. Assume 50years that adds up to ~7.5billion per NPP, or ~7,000billion for all US NPP’s.

            By comparison, the hundreds of billions of (especial US) government money spent for the development of NPP’s is relative small. Think about the many (partly university) research institutes, etc. (recently some money for SMR).

            Still that seems to me far more than the money governments spent to the development of better wind turbines (the reason that a Danish company is now leading).
            While it is clear that yield per $ put in PV-panel research, surpasses that put in nuclear research with many factors.

            Furthermore it is clear that subsidies on PV and Wind on land are vanishing already. German Feed-in-Tariffs (FiT) are now below 10cnt/KWh going down. Portugal stopped all, Spain even taxed solar).
            It is a temporary phenomenon to develop the market.

            While new nuclear, in addition to the subsidies already mentioned, require long term (>30year) guaranteed prices that are at least 100% higher than the expected FiT of PV-panels / wind prices during its operation period.

            Btw.
            The disaster part of the risk tax should be lower for the new EPR and AP1000 as those are safer.

          6. @Bas : We have offered over and over explanations about those points, you keep repeating exactly the same talking points as if you read nothing.

            The Belgium tax is *not* an insurance premium, it has *nothing* to do with that. It’s a tax on the nuclear profitability rent, and making it higher would imply that nuclear is even more profitable, so the production even cheaper, that the already low price the Belgium government currently estimates. If it were an insurance premium, the government would have to justify how nuclear is more dangerous than all the Seveso classified chemical plants in Belgium, how it’s more dangerous than the pollution of fossils plants, and this would be very difficult. Why does Greenpeace only demand that nuclear pay such a tax, and does not require fossil plants to pay an equivalent tax to compensate the many death they cause every year through pollution ?

            Now about the solar FIT’s in Germany, a more interesting subject. The FIT is not yet below 10c, it will only reach this level for installation above 1MW from October. In August the latest month for which numbers are available, the installation below 40kWp, which are by far the most numerous (9600 out of a total of 10100) still had a tariff above 14c.

            The moore law does not apply to solar *systems*. The performance of the panels have seen almost no progress, only their production cost. But as it becomes lower, the other costs are more and more important, including the inverter costs, the installation cost, and the raw material costs, aluminum, copper, nickel. They set a minimum price below which the system can not go.

            In Germany since last year installation above 10MW have to sell at market price. Not a single one has been installed since then. In France, large installation would be paid below 10c; Not a single one has been at this tarif, only some after a negotiated tender at a cost that appears to be between 15 and 16c.

            I expect we’ll see very few above 1MW installation after October, 1st. However I’m already very surprised by the current installation level for August, it seems obvious to me that many of these installations must be below the profitability threshold. So maybe we’ll still see some above 1MW installations, I’m personally convinced they’re losing money at this price, so that it can’t go on very long. The volume of installation is on a trend that strongly goes down, we are below 300kW for august, when it was 970 and 610 kW in September and August last year.

          7. @Rod
            … chip development thrives by densely packing transistors… Improved transistor density does not improve collection efficiency.

            Advanced solar cell need similar nanometer details as advanced chips. So need similar technology, hence machines can be “copied”, etc.
            That will allow to (automatically) produce cells with the nanometer details that are necessary for multi-layer (3+) cells that can produce panels that deliver 600W/m2 (=~10KWh/m2 per year in sunny areas).
            Triple layered cells delivering ~400W/m2 are already produced at lab scale.

            Furthermore similar development of cost prices and productivity.

            This technology facilitate also thin film developments, which are now at ~300W/m2 level in the lab. Their vision is that you buy a role and simply glue the sheet on the wall/roof.

            Chip developments are also important for another major cost component of solar: The converter (converts DC into AC). Compared to e.g. the complexity of a small TV, those are still very expensive. (near) Single chip converters will change that totally.

          8. Rod
            Sorry.
            I again made a conversion mistake (should start using a calculator and check)

            The 600W/m2 panel will produce 100 times more;
            1MWh/year in areas with high radiation.

          9. Advanced solar cell need similar nanometer details as advanced chips.

            One of the things about you that really irritates, Bas, is that you just take whatever nonsense pops into your mind and assert it as fact.  Like that.

          10. Rod,
            Are you inventing new units? What is a “1MWh/year”?
            I meant one Mega Watt hour / year per square meter, which is:
            1,000 KWh/year per square meter.
            .
            With 10c per KWh that implies a yield of $100/year per square meter.

            1. @Bas

              I think you need to go back to your calculator. At noon on a clear day, the solar energy hitting a square meter on the earth’s surface is 1000 watts. There are 8760 hours per year, but average solar fluence is only 25% of the peak power on a cloudless day when you take the angles generated by the earth’s rotation into account. Therefore, the MAX solar fluence on a square meter of the earth’s surface during the course of a year is 2190 kilowatt-hours.

              However, the very best commercial PV panels available are only 18% efficient, so that means that their MAX production is less than 400 kilowatt-hours per year for a panel designed to track the sun. It drops below that for the kind of flat panel, stationary, roof-top devices that you advocate.

          11. @Bas, except as you say in your own post the 400W/m2 PV cells only exist at lab scale implying the magical 600W/m2 PV cells are currently just a dream. So your $100 per year per square meter is actually less than $65 per year per square meter.

          12. @jmdesp

            …The Belgium tax is *not* an insurance premium ..
            The transfer of (the cost of) NPP’s liability towards government in Belgium (also in NL, etc) was granted because utilities otherwise could not make a profit (insurance premium too high) / take the risk.
            It is quite logical that part of that costs transfer was undone by government, as those NPP’s now make good profit. Unfortunately my Dutch government is less smart than the Belgians (probably due to ‘small’ corruption, called lobbying, as politicians are in the board of the NPP/utility).

            … over and over explanations about those points …
            Thank you for those explanations.

            Alas, those showed the subsidies NPP’s get.
            Regarding disasters, US NPP’s have a fund of ~30billion. While that is far better than in NL, it may only cover some percent of the costs of a disaster. The rest to be paid by…
            Regarding long term storage; that responsibility (and costs) is also transferred to government. Again NPP’s pay only a fraction of the expected real costs.
            The stories that the waste will be used as fuel or reduced such that its radio-activity is vanished within some hundreds of years, are going on already half a century. Considering the lack of progress and (worse) the failures (Kalkar, Monju, etc) to make a small step towards those dreams, realization of that is now farther away than ever.

            German FiT: “…The FIT is not yet below 10c…
            Present FiT’s 9.9c for bigger solar installations. For on-shore wind ~9c.
            Installation rates are at planned level of 3GW/a for Solar (=250MW/month) and 2GW/a for wind.
            2011 and 2012 saw ~2times higher installation rates but that the grid could not handle, as grid adaptation did not go faster. So they adapted installation rates.

            Installation rates continue as planned, despite fast decreasing FiT’s for solar.
            Big: 2011 : 22c , 2012 : 13c , now 10c
            Rooftop: 2011 : 29c , 2012 : 19c , now 14c
            (all per KWh). Predictions are that the decrease continues until 2020…

            In Germany installing large scale solar costs are 50-90cent/Watt. So they still make some profit. As Americans, Germans won’t invest in loss taking enterprises.

            … performance of the panels have seen almost no progress …
            In 2002 10% yield was fine.
            Few years ago 16%. And 18% was very nice.
            Now you can buy >20%. Still single layer cell’s.
            But double layer that enhances performance further will come.

            I thought that 20% would need double layer, but clearly was too pessimistic (also wrongly thought that etching via radiation by UV light, would limit smallest details of chips to 30nanometer; didn’t see the fluid lens technology and under estimated industry’s capabilities regarding deep UV light).

          13. @Rod,
            In an earlier post I wrote that existing PV-panels now have ~200W/m2.

            Please read my post (October 4, 2013 at 5:22 AM) more accurately.
            I described that future PV-panels will be ~600W/m2 (~60% yield). Those deliver 1,000KWh/a per square meter.*)
            Btw. The theoretic max. seems to be ~70%.
            In the lab yields of 47% have been reached.

            …the very best commercial PV panels available are only 18% …
            E.g. in US buy X-series PV-panels from Sunpower (http://us.sunpowercorp.com/homes/_ Those have 21.5% yield and after 25years they have still >87% of original yield. All guaranteed!
            I assume they will last >50years in a normal environment as they have no moving parts.

            *)
            For those you need nanometer accuracy as the layers have to be very thin, so light will pass the layers until it reaches the layer that can convert it to electricity.
            Each layer has it own small range of photons (photons with at least X and less than Y energy) that it can absorb via ‘collision’ against electrons. Those are then launched ‘out-of-the atom’ into free moving. And those deliver the electricity.
            This is a simplified version about what is going on, sorry that I cannot write it down more clear.

          14. LOL!

            @Bas, Thanks for further proof of your ignorance.

            “Each layer has it own small range of photons (photons with at least X and less than Y energy) that it can absorb via ‘collision’ against electrons. Those are then launched ‘out-of-the atom’ into free moving. And those deliver the electricity.”

            It is known as the photoelectric effect and is one of the three was photons interact with matter. You know photons, like gamma rays and X-rays? The proper name for the effect and its explaination is standard knowledge for amyone dealing with radiation. Meaning many, if not most, of the commenters here could write a short paper on the topic. And your inability to properly indentify it just shows how deficient your knowledge of radiation and its interactions you are.

            Your theoretical limit of 70% is thrilling. Of course fusion theoretically can produce large amounts of power but despite decades of research and billions of dollars, humans have yet to make it economical. So talking about 60% efficient panels that don’t exist is laughable, and even the 40% panels that are at ‘lab scale’ could be decades away from being usable, not to mention at what cost for the precision manufacturing required. So you $100 per year per square meter is down to $33 per year per square meter, even before we take into account the facts that Rod aquainted you with of the actual solar energy per meter available for collection.

          15. @ddpalmer
            … 40% … at ‘lab scale’ could be decades away from being usable …
            Dutch solar cars that won the world solar race from North to South Australia were covered by thin triple-junction GaAs cells; yield >40%…
            With greater production volumes, prices will come down faster than with the present ‘standard’ solar modules.

            … 60% efficient panels that don’t exist is laughable …
            Not long ago many thought the 20% panels you can now buy for your roof, to be impossible. There is no real barrier. It is just accurate “chip” manufacturing using the right materials.
            4 layers or junctions may be enough for the 60%, especially with additional technologies (light trapping, etc).

          16. @Bas, your the one that claimed the 40% panels only existed at lab scale. Now your claiming they exist well past lab scale. So which of your claims is a lie? And your claim about prices coming down is an assumption, that like most of your comments you can’t back up.

            Sorry, fool. What some people may have thought was once impossible is irrelevant. If there is no real barrier then why don’t they exist, at least at ‘lab scale’? I mean if someone could make panels almost 3 times as efficient as the current ones the world would beat a path to their door.

            Trying to have a discussion with you is like playing Whack-a-mole. You just spew out loads of crap even if it contradicts earlier claims you made and hope some of it sticks.

          17. @ddpalmer
            … claimed the 40% panels only existed at lab … claim about prices coming down..
            Sorry. As often, I under-estimated development speed.
            These ‘electronic’ devices show fast decreasing prices once production volumes are increasing (main reason; automated production is relative easy and they use only small amounts of material).

            Check predictions of Citgroup: http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/citigroup-how-solar-module-prices-could-fall-to-25cwatt-41384 Analysts of other important banks have similar predictions: Investment for rooftop installation ~$1/Watt at 2020, implying ~6cent/kWh.

            If … no real barrier then why …if someone could make panels almost 3 times as efficient as the current ones the world would beat a path to their door…
            No real barrier = no physical barier. But it takes time and investment to develop.
            Compare with oLED TV’s. We know already ~20years that those would have superior image quality. Still it took many years and big investment to develop (first small screens for phones, then bigger, etc). Now a 55 inch oLED TV’s cost $9K, but that will come down too with ~>20% year.

          18. @Bas, Sorry dud but you have a badly warped sense of how science, technology and manufacturing work and interrelate. You also like to ignore what you yourself have said.

            You are right, they knew for a long time that oLED would give a better picture quality. What they didn’t know was whether oLED screens could be produce economically. Just like they don’t know if 40% panels can be produced economically and if 60% panels can be produced at all.

            You have a serious brain block that I have seen in many wind and solar supporters that seems to believe that with enough research anything can be produced economically. Sorry but that just isn’t true. And pointing to examples where research worked out and led to inexpensive technology is a false argument. How many research projects never work out? You know the ones we never hear about. Or even the very few failures we do hear about. There is no physical barrier to fusion, heck every star in the universe uses it every minute of every day. Yet with all the research money spent so far it still isn’t economical. 30 years ago the researchers said fusion would be viable in 10 or 20 years. Now 30 years later they are still saying that it will be viable in 10 or 20 years.

          19. “PV systems of $1/W imply a cost price of ~$80/MWh (lower at lower latitudes).
            New nuclear has a cost price of >$120/MWh (while even not gen. 4).”

            PV systems require backup, storage and additional transmission. Your $80/Mwh ignores all that, which means you are comparing solar apples with nuclear oranges.

            The cost of nuclear electricity is less than $50/MWh. Your $120/MWh is a dumb cherry pick. Any nation that diligently pursues the creation of a domestic nuclear fleet will achieve <$50/MWh. France PROVES THIS, as do other serious nuclear nations, as has been told to you one-thousand times. You ignore this because you are either mentally challenged, or a liar and a fraud. Take your pick.

          20. @ddpalmer

            What they didn’t know was whether oLED screens could be produce economically…
            So you think that companies, such as LG and Samsung, were gambling with investments of $ billions during many years?
            I doubt whether a US company can do that kind of gamble (while US boards are more risk prepared than others), but that is for sure not the Japanese & Korean mentality.

            …Just like they don’t know if 40% panels can be produced economically and if 60% panels can be produced at all..
            Between the experts in the field, there is no doubt that they can be produced cheap. The only doubt is that 1 or 2 layer PV-panels may become so cheap (<2c/KWh) that it may take a long time before it becomes economical to produce an automated factory for that.

          21. @Joris
            … cost of nuclear electricity is less than $50/MWh…
            Only by using old, unsafe NPP’s. Those are invisibly highly subsidized by government and citizens as those have to pay once disaster happens.

            If you calculate an insurance premium for these enhanced risks you end at the rates EDF asks for Hinckley Point C (>$120/MWh).

            E.g. Borssele, cannot stand an attack by a Boeing (only a light sport plane at cruise speed as the European stress test discussion showed).
            Borssele even has ~50% chance to become a Fukushima like disaster once the dikes brake (happens once in 5000years) as it then ends 6 meters below sea level and it is never tested for that situation.

            Borssele ran even 35years while the air inlets of the emergency generators were far below sea level, so then it was sure a melt down would occur in case of dike brake (then all normal electricity will stop).

          22. Bas, you’re totally obsessed with something going wrong with anything nuclear despite all growing proof and evidence confirming that the worst effect would be local, not Doomsday. No joke, I really believe it’s a personal vendetta for you. A normal person can’t live in constant rabid fear like that!

          23. @Mitch
            The issue is that in the past nuclear people often showed to be wrong.

            E.g. regarding Borssele is was promised that a melt down would occur less than once in 100K years and a melt down with consequences (such as Fukushima) for environment once in a million years.
            Now it shows to be roughly a factor ~100 wrong.

            1. @Bas

              There have been exaggerated statements from all industries over time. The fact remains that the consequences of nuclear accidents have been low in comparison to those of its competitors in the business of producing reliable power. Power production has risks, but dense energy sources allow designers to surround the power source with a sufficient number of protective layers to minimize the external impact of unexpected events or accidents.

              Here is a comprehensive list of the worst nuclear accidents in history.

              http://www.power-technology.com/features/feature-world-worst-nuclear-power-disasters-chernobyl/

              Just think about the length of a list of accidents with similar impacts over the past 60 years for coal, oil or natural gas.

          24. Re: Rod: “Just think about the length of a list of accidents with similar impacts over the past 60 years for coal, oil or natural gas.”

            Succinctly put! From a purely statistical and logical and real-life incident event result basis, nuclear power is a slam-dunk for anyone concerned of public safety and property damage and environmental consequence, both in and out of accident circumstances. That greens and anti-nukers so willfully and passionately diss and shrug off this incontestable bedrock fact and reality, and give far more accident-prone and deadly and environmentally disruptive and despoiling energy generation a pass tells me that their beef — if they are preferably using intellect over emotion — is more ideological (name their poison!) than technical or rational. Sadly, it’s the terror of the “IF” that is reality to them.

            James Greenidge
            Queens NY

            1. @James Greenidge

              …tells me that their beef — if they are preferably using intellect over emotion — is more ideological (name their poison!) than technical or rational.

              I remain convinced that the real beef is economic, not ideological, for the key decision makers. There are many people that are interested in maintaining the hydrocarbon era. There are others that want that era end, but refer to use a low marginal cost, highly unreliable energy flow like the wind or the sun – as long as they can obtain their large capital equipment with substantial taxpayer assistance. Nuclear energy’s reality as a near zero emission technology that is also reliable is an existential threat to unreliables. It raises an important question about the required subsidies – what is the societal value of wind and solar power that justifies the direct payments?

          25. “So you think that companies, such as LG and Samsung, were gambling with investments of $ billions during many years?”

            Yes they were gambling, it is what techology companies do every hour of every day. But, no it wasn’t with investments of $ billions. That is just another BS number you pulled out of your a$$.

            “Between the experts in the field, there is no doubt that they can be produced cheap”

            Then as I said before, they would be producing them. The fact that they aren’t is proof that they don’t know if or how to do so.

          26. @Rod
            Thanks for the link with the nice overview!
            The text demonstrates the problem I have with nuclear.

            E.g. Chernobyl: “The radiation was released in to the atmosphere over much of Europe causing the death of 31 people …

            While the Scherb etal study (that I linked here often) proofs that Chernobyl caused in the first 5 years after the disaster hundreds of extra stillbirth’s in Bavaria alone… (and Bavaria is ~thousand miles from Chernobyl)

            How can I (and policy makers) then trust nuclear folks?

            A correct statement would have been:”….causing a number of death. There is discussion about the actual number. Estimations vary between 31(IAEA) and 6million (some independent scientists).”.

            etc.

            1. @Bas

              Why do you ignore the thousands of other studies that disagree with your ideological position?

              Do you really have such little faith in the honesty of the researchers that find evidence that conflicts with your assumptions?

          27. Bas
            October 8, 2013 at 6:18 PM
            @Rod
            How can I (and policy makers) then trust nuclear folks?

            You sure don’t have a problem trusting fossil via giving a pass to millions of PROVEN fossil fuel illnesses or else you’d logically be on their even backs more. If the Red Cross and other internationally respected health and biomed institutes don’t have a problem with Fukushima findings, what special superior cherry-picked knowledge do you have that’s keeping you so uptight?

          28. Why do you ignore the thousands of other studies that disagree with your ideological position?

            Rod – Bas has the worst case of confirmation bias that I’ve ever seen.

            Almost as often as he has linked to that stupid study, I have pointed out the flaws in it and how it is not taken seriously by the scientific community, but he’s not here to learn anything. When anyone provides him with new information, he responds only when he thinks that he can twist it to conform to his world view. Otherwise, he ignores it.

          29. @ddpalmer

            If … no real barrier then why don’t they exist, at least at ‘lab scale’?

            Long term predictions in fields such as chips, LCD, OLED, PV-cells, etc. are based on the laws of physics. Physicists research which the physical hurdles (PhD studies, etc). That does not imply that it is easy or fast to implement!

            In the sixties physicists predicted chips with details of ~100nm (wave-length uv light). That generated the famous law of Moore.
            It took ~40years and many billions to reach that situation!
            (now ~20nm becomes common)

          30. @Rod
            …Why do you ignore the thousands of other studies that disagree …
            The few hundred Chernobyl studies that show no harm, have flaws:

            – All are so unsensitive that they cannot detect the LNT predicted Chernobyl caused levels of cancer (check PNAS for the needed cohort size)! So conclusions that nothing is found are meaningless.
            Especially since most cancers due to Chernobyl still have to occur (same delayed occurrence as lung cancer due to smoking, or low level asbestos)!

            Agree it is difficult to develop / find sensitive enough measurement:
            Most of W-Europe got a Cs fallout of av. ~0.3mSv/a. So population get extra ~10mSv during next ~100years. 10mSv creates ~0.1% extra premature death (~60% due to cancers).
            You may reason that it can be neglected. But with the ~200million population it generates 20,000 premature death in W-Europe! And that doesn’t take the worse heredity effects (Down, stillbirth, etc) into consideration.

            And that only for another form of electricity generation, which can also be realized (and now even cheaper) using renewable.

            – Some reports are political motivated. Intended to find nothing in order to support government policy. In those countries results contrary to government policy turn you into an outlaw.

            Even the 2006 IAEA/WHO Chernobyl forum report shows signs of that. The summary states conclusions that are not supported by the report itself. The initial press release was even further off reality… Not very strange, as it seems the conference was intended to deliver the conlusion that help to Ukraine can be minimized.

            … little faith in the honesty of the researchers that find evidence that conflicts with your assumptions?..
            There are hundreds of studies that do find harm (as predicted)!
            And as explained above; finding nothing does not imply there is nothing.

            The problem is often that the policy makers (e.g. IAEA/WHO) translate wrongly, that there is nothing. You know how reliable politicians are.

            The whole situation resembles that regarding the tobacco & asbestos industries. They also came with many research results showing no harm with low level. They also stated that there was a threshold below which no harm.

            The recent Austrian ban on the import of any nuclear generated electricity is also motivated by the 2006 IAEA/WHO Chernobyl forum report (especially the press release and summary). The Austrians have many informal connections towards the east (Ungary, Ukraine, etc).
            _____________
            @Mitch
            …don’t have a problem trusting fossil …
            As explained before, I prefer renewable and fusion for electricity generation.

            Btw.
            Here fossil power plants do hardly contribute to illness. Those were the old days, when regulations were less strict. Neither does heating here, as that is all gas.

            Cars are the big, big polluters causing premature death (cancers, etc) as shown by many studies. So I prefer to raise the tax on car fuel towards €10 per liter (~$40/gallon).
            It will save many lifes, as:
            – cars will drive more slow (=less micro particles and less serious accidents);
            – people will use the (electric) bike more (far healthier than sitting in a car, etc)
            Btw. The Bosch system allows gears, and facilitate use in hilly environments.

            … If the Red Cross …. don’t have a problem with Fukushima findings…
            Amazing, as the health damage of Fukushima still has to come.
            Can you show that? Especially regarding the Red Cross?
            _______________
            @Brian
            … has linked to that stupid study, I have pointed out the flaws in it …

            If you found real flaws you can make a nice scientific publication!
            As to my knowledge nobody succeeded in finding those.

            Can you show them?

          31. Rod,

            The New York Academy of Science (http://www.nyas.org/) shows an overview with many studies that show the damage (health harm) of Chernobyl.

            Thus showing the IAEA/WHO statements are nonsense.

            1. @Bas

              Please be a little more specific – the link you provided leads to the home page of the NYAS. It is an organization with far reaching interests; finding the “overview of many studies” is like finding a needle in a haystack.

              On another note, the NYAS is not exactly neutral with regard to nuclear energy. It has been known to employ editors that make unilateral decisions to publish such poor science as Yablokov’s “Chernobyl Consequences”, a book that it later tried to distance itself from.

              There are numerous articles on Atomic Insights related to the NYAS and its gullible decision to print that book. Here are a couple:

              https://atomicinsights.com/why-is-the-new-york-academy-of-sciences-allowing-its-name-to-be-used-in-an-anti-science-fud-campaign/

              https://atomicinsights.com/devastating-review-of-yablokovs-chernobyl-consequences-of-the-catastrophe-for-people-and-the-environment/

              I personally think that the Russian oil and gas interests on the board of the organization (notably Len Blavatnik) have some influence in its decision making process.

          32. @Bas

            “That does not imply that it is easy or fast to implement!”

            It also does not imply that it is economically viable.

            I will again bring up the example of nuclear fusion power plants. They are based on the laws of physics. Yet with 50+ years and tens of billions of dollars, it still isn’t economically viable and the best estimates are that MAYBE in 20 or 30 years they will have it worked out.

            So you want to give up on everything else and make present day decisons based on a technology that may take ~40 years to be available? What do we do while waiting for them to be available? Just cut back on our industrialized society until 2060 or so, the same industrial society that will be required to do the research that MAY lead to the new technology?

          33. @ddpalmer

            .. fusion power plants …. with 50+ years and tens of billions of dollars … best estimates are that MAYBE in 20 or 30 years they will have it worked out…

            I saw a study that concluded it would take at least a century.
            To my knowledge no expert study ever concluded a simple time schedule for fusion. Always many important conditions, such as money.
            The whole fusion program is delayed for decades due to lack of that!

            With the present slow progress (little money), I think that your estimation is rather optimistic. My estimation is that we first need a much bigger ITER 2 (compared to the one we are building in France).

            So we should raise the car fuel tax to €10/liter and put a substantial part into fusion research. Other parts into:
            – PV research (towards 60% panels and may be breaking the 70% barrier for a price of ~1c/KWh),
            – Education (brings more wealth);
            – lower general taxes.
            May be also some in Wind. But that will deliver less than solar. A 25MW turbine with utilization of 40% may deliver only ~50% cheaper electricity (4c/KWh).

            Furthermore take all research money off fission, as that delivered only marginal improvements during the last 50years, no perspectives for better, and fission is a transitional technology.

          34. As to my knowledge nobody succeeded in finding those. Can you show them?

            Bas – We’ve been over and over this, again and again — for example here.

            The problem is your “knowledge.” Your knowledge is appallingly poor, and by now, you have only yourself to blame. As soon as someone tries to explain something to you — such as reasons why you are wrong — you go away and pretend that you’ve never heard them.

            Frankly, considering how many times you’ve been taken behind the woodshed here, I can’t understand why you keep posting your nonsense on this blog. Have you ever been diagnosed as a masochist or as suffering from masochistic tendencies?

            At this point, the only utility from your efforts is to serve as a foil for the pro-nuclear comments here. You provide a splendid example of just how intellectually and morally bankrupt the anti-nuclear point of view is. If I had to invent someone like you, I couldn’t have done a better job. Thank you.

          35. Rod,
            As this thread becomes awkward long, I intent to post the response at the end of this blog (if I used the words blog and thread wrong, correct me; but I think you understand).
            Furthermore, as I run out of time now, I intend to do it tomorrow.

          36. @Brian
            None of your critics at the nuclear cafe site concerned the study itself!
            It concerned only secondary points (stated below), not relevant for the study method or the results.
            So you could not find a flaw in the study.
            Not strange as apparently nobody could.

            Your points; with my comments:

            – Why did others not refer to this study?
            Others did. Chernobyl forum not, as that excluded all West European studies…
            Not clear why BEIR VII report missed it (they missed more publications).

            – Not all literature references showed similar results…
            As good scientists the authors included research with other, different results in their discussion.

            – The entire purpose of this paper was to address criticism of an earlier paper…
            Not relevant regarding the truth of the results of their study, neither the methods.
            Wild accusation. The authors did not state that. It is normal that authors also address criticism on earlier studies/publications (if relevant).

            – Results should be consistent with the vast amount of additional scientific data that has been published in the literature…
            Not relevant for the truth of their results, neither their unique method.
            Besides there is controversy about that ‘vast amount’ as there is also a vast amount that shows damage roughly in line with their results.

          37. Bas – Since you are determined to remain so stubbornly stupid. Let me go through this for the n-th time. Here are some of the flaws in the paper:

            1. It’s an ecological study and thus suffers from the weaknesses of all ecological studies. Please google “ecological fallacy” to learn more about what I mean.

            2. In addition to these weaknesses, the doses of exposed groups were estimated using “rather crude” (the authors’ words) methods, which calls into question the validity of any relative risk coefficients by dose determined by the study, including the figures that you keep parroting over and over.

            3. The authors don’t even try to correct for any confounding factors. They even admit, at the end of their paper, the possibility of confounders that could have produced the results that they claimed to observe.

            4. The paper is an obvious outlier. Its results contradict the vast amount of scientific literature on this topic. Even the authors admit that their results do not agree with the studies surveyed in the two literature reviews cited in the paper. It also does not agree with a study of congenital malformations in Bavaria, most exposed region considered by the authors, which was conducted by the Federal Office for Radiation Protection and which concluded that there was “no evidence that radiation from Chernobyl caused an increase in the birth prevalence of major congenital malformations.”

            5. The paper provides no mechanism to explain its results. The dose rates considered are far too small to produce the response claimed by the authors according to current knowledge and scientific understanding of the biological effects of exposure to radiation. This strongly suggests that (giving the authors the benefit of the doubt and assuming that no academic fraud was involved) the results have arisen from a statistical fluke. It is not up to the rest of the world to prove that some mysterious mechanism does not exist; rather, it is the responsibility of the authors to provide a convincing explanation of how their results are possible. Without that, their study can and should be ignored as mildly interesting, but utterly irrelevant, and that’s what BEIR VII did.

            These considerations lead any rational person to conclude that these authors went searching for statistical anomalies in otherwise random data. After applying their “rather crude” methods and beating the data into submission, they arrived at some sort of marginal result and declared victory. That doesn’t mean that they found anything real, however.

            … there is also a vast amount that shows damage roughly in line with their results.

            Oh, really? Where is it? Is this more lies or more stupidity?

          38. 5 days ago someone said “Btw. The theoretic max. seems to be ~70%.
            In the lab yields of 47% have been reached.” Now someone is talking about breaking the 70% barrier. First if they have only reached 47% then there is no such thing as a 70% barrier. Second what research in the past 5 days has changed the theoretical max.?

            Just how much did you pay for those tap dancing lessons? Because it seems to have been a waste of time and money.

            Everything you say about fusion power research could be applied to PV panel research.

            And what proof do you have that slow progress is because of lack of money? Isn’t it possible that the progress is slow because it will never be economical?

          39. @Brian
            Please find my response below at the bottom of this blog.
            (for me, this thread become too long for a continued interaction)

          40. @dddpalmer
            Solar: “… theoretic max. seems to be ~70% … breaking the 70% barrier…”.
            Sorry, I should have been more specific. That theoretical max. is calculated for GaAs cells.
            The Dutch team that just won the N-S Australia, ~1800mile, race for cars only driven by solar (av. speed ~60mph) uses those GaAs cells.
            But other materials are possible as well as advanced techniques such as light guiding/tunneling and trapping.

            … say about fusion power research could be applied to PV panel research…
            Some big differences: speed of progress; money invested in research; economic viability.

            …proof … slow progress is because of lack of money?…
            The next phase, Iter, was delayed for many years because no funding.

            fusion …will never be economical?..
            That I do not know.
            My hope is that it will result in electricity for <$1/MWh (so costing ~100times less than NPP's).
            We need to leave the old steam turbine / dynamo combination behind in order to reach those levels.

            Signs are that PV panels will produce for ~$10/MWh within 50years. So will fusion become economical, cost-price must be below $0.5/MWh as the fusion plant has the extra costs for transmission while PV will produce at consumers site.

  7. In the 40 years of nuclear power. For the life of me I cant remember a single terror attack for the purpose of release or absconding with radioactive materials.

    As a matter of fact I cant think of a terror group in history that has ever moved beyond manufacture of the most simple chemical weapons.

    There have been two types of incidents so far with respect to nuclear power that I know of.

    1. Anti nuclear groups : bomb and physical damage to facilities and attacks on personnel. (no history of of damage to reactors in use themselves).

    2. State sponsored large scale attacks designed to halt the advancement of nuclear technology by adversaries. (usually limited and timed when attacking reactors).

    Intense radioactive materials have also been easily obtainable through the agricultural, mining and health industry for decades with no history of use in terror so far.

    I dont understand the fixation on terror and nuclear power.

    1. I concur, Tucker. It floors me as to the depths of hypocrisy anti-nuclears have, being so stretched out over nightmares that _might_ happen if pushed with reactors while millions in _reality-world_ are afflicted by constant fossil effects that they wouldn’t tolerate were they nuclear caused. To hear those as Bas constantly gush their anti-nuclear rants and vaporware research without a stitch of past evidence that their Doomsdays are even feasible while they willfully overlook the live living wrecks of a fossil economy boggles me. Bas and ilk need to take a _reality_ stroll through hospital respiratory and burn patient wards — and note there are none for radiation anywhere in the world — not even Fukushima. If anything, the nuclear-denying actions of Bas and his ilk are every day murdering people deprived of cheap energy and potable water. Then they’re too green self-righteous to ever think about that.

    2. @John T
      Assume you also couldn’t think of 2 planes that would bring the WTC towers down…

      Real disasters occur because the responsible persons couldn’t or didn’t imagine that such a thing would happen.

      That occurred with Chernobyl as well as Fukushima…
      Now the issue is what will cause next disaster…

      1. Again Bas

        The Real World effects of the two Worst Case Scenarios for Nuclear have done much less damage to the populations surrounding them than on going Every Day effects of Fossil Fuel use.

        What should the bigger worry be? Having to go out 30 or 40 years to MAYBE get a weee tiny bit of an increase in the chance of something bad happening that can never be conclusively tied to any specific source.

        or

        Clear and defined medical issues occurring in populations every day that can be directly linked to a source (ie Fly Ash Causing respiratory issues)

        1. @Curtis
          Both created an exclusion zone, which alone implies a damage >100billion if happened in USA. And further damages ~500billion each (most still has to come).

          Regarding Chernobyl; Even Ukraine government does not agree with the ridiculous conclusions of the Chernobyl forum. Being now 27years ago, most cancers still have to come. Estimation of the death range from ~4,000 (IAEA/WHO) to ~4million (independent scientists). For Fukushima similar controversy.

          Producing same electricity with gas or modern coal plants would cause far less death.
          The recent report written by a nuclear enthusiast is biased on numerous places.

          But coal and gas is not the direction, electricity with wind and solar PV-panels causes no pollution (except once in order to produce).

          Fly Ash Causing respiratory issues
          Apart from nature the cause of these issues is car traffic (burned car fuel and dust from tires) and heating (unless gas is used). This is also shown by the fact that those issues occur far often in busy city centers.

          Here no coal plant gets a license if it would exhaust ashes, etc.

          1. Of course the government of Ukraine doesn’t agree with the report. They get compensation from Russia and help from the rest of the world because of the situation. If teh situation isn’t as bad as they claim they lose their gravy train.

            And I still like your pulling of numbers out of thin air. Meanwhile the actual numbers of people dying earlier due to the use of fossil fuels and the non-availability of clean power sources continue to grow daily.

          2. @ddpalmer
            Ukraine government always downplayed the harm.
            The accident and their slow reaction to it, was their responsibility.

            When you look around you can even find Ukraine scientists whose research showed real harm by Chernobyl, that were degraded / loss job.

          3. Ukraine government always downplayed the harm.

            Why would they do that? As Curtis points out, Ukraine and Belarus have received a substantial amount of foreign aid to help with the consequences of Chernobyl, and the amount of aid received naturally depends on the perception of how bad the consequences are.

            If anything, the governments of Ukraine and Belarus have a strong incentive to exaggerate and overstate the harm caused by the accident. What could they possibly gain by underplaying it?

          4. @Brian

            Because Chernobyl is their responsibility.
            And Ukraine government need support of the population (not very stable).

            Russian aid is minimal, only to prevent new radio-active contamination as that may also contaminate Russia.
            Remember Russia and Ukraine have major issues with each other (a.o. the level of the gas-price).

            after the initial whole thing is The play it down b
            The aid from Russia is

          5. There was no seperate Ukranian government at the time of the accident, so how can it be their responsibility? And how could a government that didn’t exist have ANY reaction much less a slow reaction?

            And I bet I can find Ukranian scientists who believe in creationism. What is your point?

          6. @ddpalmer

            … no seperate Ukranian government at the time of the accident…
            In USA Georgia government took responsibilities for the new Vogtle NPP (governor even spreading lies, to defend construction).

            At that time (1986) the Ukraine republic was part of the USSR: Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
            Those republics were far more independent than the states in USA.
            That was also the reason the USSR could fall apart so easy.

          7. @Bas

            Yes, there was no seperate Ukranian government in 1986. And no those republics were not far more independent than states in the USA. The republics were figureheads for the central government in Moscow and wouldn’t make any major decision without Moscow’s approval.

            Really Bas, you can’t just make stuff up and hope no one calls you on it. That might work with a bunch of pot smoking greenies but it won’t fly at a site where most of the readers are well versed in science and reality and where they have no problem finding and understanding information on topics on which they may not be well versed.

          8. @ddpalmer
            Suggest you read something about the way USSR became history.
            Then you may realize how more ‘democratic’ (for the top) the old USSR really was, and how more powerful the republics were compared to the states in USA.

            Heads of quite important republics simply choose to leave the Union. And that was it. Seemed to be constitutional.

            I doubt whether a state (e.g. Texas) can simply leave the United States.
            I remember a rather bloody civil war when some tried…

            The bigger autonomy of the soviet republics compared to US states, was also a necessity as these republics contain tribes, totally different from Moscow, and they do not speak Russia, quite different languages, etc.

            Small Chechnya shows what would happen when Moscow did not respect the rights and will of those republics (and Chechnya even was not a republic in the USSR but just a region in Russia).

            So yes Ukraine government was fully responsible for Chernobyl, while the actual operation was coordinated by Moscow.

          9. In USA Georgia government took responsibilities for the new Vogtle NPP …

            Bas – First of all, the Vogtle plant is not “new.” It became operational over 25 years ago. There are two new units under construction, but the entire plant is under the regulatory authority of the US Federal Government.

            The only lies are the ones that you’re telling.

        2. I doubt whether a state (e.g. Texas) can simply leave the United States. I remember a rather bloody civil war when some tried …

          Bas – And I can remember when, in 1956, a state tried to leave, not the Soviet Union itself, but simply Soviet control. As I recall, the result was not exactly bloodless.

          I suggest that you read more history.

          1. @Brian

            Ungary had no power at all in the USSR.
            It was not a republic in the USSR, but a war booty. An occupied territory, for which millions of USSR soldiers died in WW2.

            So the situation was that an occupied territory, part of USSR’s defense line against the west, may want to become part of the west (via independence).
            Of course USSR could not allow that.
            Amazing that they hesitated to interfere.

          2. @Brian
            ..Vogtle … is under the regulatory authority of the US Federal Government…
            Georgia’s government obliged Georgia rate payers to pay for the investment in the new NPP, so the utility has no risk and always earns nice money (this resembles a ‘communist’ situation and is not allowed in the EU). Otherwise no new NPP.

            Georgia’s governor is actively defending the building of that new NPP towards the public (even using lies).

            Who do you think that the public will consider to be responsible, once the new NPP turns into disaster??

            1. @Bas

              Utilities are not supposed to be a risk investment. In places like Georgia, they operate a service with a regulatory compact. The customers agree to pay prices high enough to allow the provider to pay for required infrastructure and a modest profit. The company agrees to build the necessary expertise in engineering, planning and operations to provide reliable service at a fair price.

              This system works well and enables economies to grow with confidence that electricity will be available. It is one of the reasons that Cal Abel has reported several times that numerous industrial companies from Japan and Germany are seriously considering relocating to Georgia.

          3. Bas
            October 6, 2013 at 3:24 PM

            Georgia’s governor is actively defending the building of that new NPP towards the public (even using lies).

            Show that serious allegation in print or else you’re just gibberishly ranting again.

            Don’t anti-nuclears ever give fantasies a rest?

          4. Don’t anti-nuclears ever give fantasies a rest?

            What else do they have?  Even Gwyneth Cravens, Stuart Brand and Patrick Moore have firmly rejected them.

          5. @Mitch
            Below one lie, but you can easily find more lies from Georgia’s Gov. Deal defending the new NPP (e.g. regarding the German energy situation).

            Governor:”Groups opposed to building two additional reactors at the generating site in Waynesboro have caused it to go nearly $1 billion over its budget so far”.

            Georgia Power Co. executives:”The reasons for the cost overruns are different..”.

            http://jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2013-07-16/story/governor-blames-nuclear-opponents-suits-1-billion-delays-plant-vogtle#ixzz2h2AMmRub

            Rod spent a blog on a rebar issue that contributed greatly to the cost overruns: https://atomicinsights.com/is-levy-county-nuclear-plant-too-expensive-to-compete-with-natural-gas/
            Caused by a subcontractor who probably tried to make extra profit (installing less, or less strong rebar, saving steel and labor costs).
            Not strange, taking into account the example of this “Berlusconi like” governor.

            1. @Bas

              Please reread the blog post that you cited. The rebar controversy had NOTHING to do with trying to make extra profit, but with the inability of the regulator to understand that concrete standards had evolved to improve safety in the ten or so years since the obsolete standard was included in the design certification application. The end result after about a year worth of reviewing and additional communication was that the regulator agreed that the concrete and rebar had been correctly installed and did not need to be modified.

              At least 5 months of the costly delay at Vogtle was directly caused by Greg Jaczko’s actions as the Chairman of the NRC. He refused to put the final approval of the AP1000 design certification application and the related Vogtle COL on the Commission agenda for five months after the staff action had been completed and the technical staff had recommended approval.

              https://atomicinsights.com/nrc-may-finally-issue-its-first-col-ever-today/

          6. @Rod
            Thank you explaining the utility situation in Georgia. It explains also some of the behavior of their governor.

            In the EU this ‘socialistic’ model is mostly abandoned. One of the reasons; the almost inevitable mingle with politicians, which interfere with installing good regulations that encourage cheap and reliable electricity. Only the south with their higher corruption levels often kept the old structures (e.g. France’s EDF).

            So in NL we can choose from about 10 competing utilities. One that delivers only nuclear electricity, another only ‘green’, etc.

            Only transport (the grid) stayed a state owned monopoly in NL (Tennet). And of course that monopoly spilled billions of our money, buying part of the German grid quite cheap and then finding out they had to adapt it for new wind and solar generating capacities.

            Your remark that this would deliver less security has proven to be fantasy here.
            If anything, delivery reliability improved further (here and in Germany)!
            And that delivery reliability was already ~10times better than in USA.

            So Cal Abels reports that “industrial companies from Japan and Germany are seriously considering relocating to Georgia” are nonsense as far as it concerns companies moving away from Germany because of electricity reasons. Even price cannot be an issue of you compare those (Georgia’s business rates seem to be higher than those big business pay in Germany).
            But the significant lower labor costs in Georgia may be a factor. Especially since those are often bigger part of the cost-price.

          7. @Rod
            The rebar controversy had NOTHING to do with trying to make extra profit, but with the inability of the regulator to understand that concrete standards had evolved to improve safety
            You do not remember accurate.
            There were two issues:
            1 – rebar (meaning the steal).
            2 – unleveled surface.

            1. Inspectors: “the manner in which pieces of rebar are connected to increase strength differs from design specifications”
            The issue here was that the basement became less strong due to this.
            In case of a quake or an accident (as one in Japan showed) that strength is important.
            That issue is solved in the end by using a 25% stronger concrete.

            Little doubt that the departure was easier / faster (=cheaper) then the specs.

            2. The unleveled surface concerned the ‘mudmat’.
            1 inch ‘unleveling’ allowed, 4 inch implemented. Nowadays it is relative easy to work within 1 inch (a laser beam that turns around delivers an accurate reference level everywhere).

            So this is really sloppy work (=cheap)!

            It was solved by allowing to pour more concrete, compensating that unleveled surface, for the basemat.

            Little doubt contractors tried to deliver against lower costs violating the specs.
            (a.o.: http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/business/2012-10-23/nrc-approves-plan-resolve-plant-vogtle-rebar-concrete-issues)

            Delay</i
            The delay was for important part because of negotiations. The utility first proposed that the less strong rebar would be accepted. I assume that the political power of the governor played also a role in the compromises that were agreed in the end.

      2. Before 9/11 I would have assumed that we would never have a policy of submission in mid air hijackings especially after intelligence confirmed the possibility of this kind of situation. I would have also assumed a large city with several airports would have some idea as to how to proceed more safely in such a situation.

        Nut moving on – Chernobyl is not an option in possible situations in the US.

        Even a unhardened NPP is a substantial and compact structure. I dont see why a terrorist would waste a good airplane on a situation that may or may not result in a substantial release of radiation.

        Even so remembering Chernobyl as well as Fukushima you’d be hard pressed to find 150 radiation casualties directly related to Chernobyl even today. None with Fukushima. When you have occupied stadiums and high rises it would not make sense for a terrorist to hijack a airplane (if it were even still possible with passenger resistance today) and target a NPP .

        Then of course Fukushima also taught us significant contamination isnt a neat circle around the plant and is not a instantaneous event.

        Then there are all those easy unguarded targets that wouldn’t involve such self sacrifice – like LNG and oil shipments and pipelines.

        And like I said after 40 or fifty years we haven’t and still dont see any of this.

        I still dont see the reasoning for the terror fixation with NPPs.

        1. It’s right that the failure of the Japanese to successfully handle the situation at Fukushima daiichi after the tsunami was in many ways just as bad as the failure of Americans to prevent 9/11 and relied on many factors nobody could have had assumed. It’s just that the consequence were a lot smaller.
          The monetary consequences of the overreaction to it might end up very similar however.

        2. @John T
          …Chernobyl as well as Fukushima you’d be hard pressed to find 150 radiation casualties directly related to Chernobyl …” (bold by me)

          As radiation does not generate a specific cancer (just as smoking), it cannot be showed that a specific cancer is due to enhanced radiation or to normal background radiation or other causes.
          That does not mean that those cancers caused by enhanced radiation, do not exist.

          Excessive cancers (more cancer than ‘normal’) in a population can be shown, and have been shown regarding Chernobyl (delivering >100K death).
          Similar to the way the relation between lung cancer and smoking is shown.

          One has to use, in the scientific community general accepted, statistical methods.
          Only lunatics, such as Wade Allison, do not accept those.

          1. Excessive cancers (more cancer than ‘normal’) in a population can be shown, and have been shown regarding Chernobyl (delivering >100K death).

            Bas – Actual data indicate that the mortality rates of the Chernobyl workers (standardized by age and sex) are not higher, but lower than the one for the population of Russia. See Ivanov VK, Tsyb AF, Ivanov S, and Pokrovsky V. Medical Radiological Consequences of the Chernobyl Catastrophe in Russia. NAUKA, St. Petersburg, 2004.

            Only lunatics or idiots continue to make unfounded claims in face of accepted, statistical evidence.

          2. “Only lunatics or idiots continue to make unfounded claims in face of accepted, statistical evidence.”

            Ah, so that explains why Bas keeps repeating his nonsense…

    3. That is because you are asking the wrong question. You should ask yourself why are they against nuclear energy. The simple answer is that the antinuclear folks often is very anti human and industry. They do not want industrial production and wealth as they see that as the bane of earth. Nuclear power stops the whole idea about, peak oil, peak copper and so on. The energy density in Thorium or Uranium clearly shows that we can give everyone on this planet a good life without harming the planet. That idea would destroy peoples religious idea about how evil man are.

      1. @robjoh
        … antinuclear folks … do not want industrial production and wealth …
        I like industrial production as that creates wealth.
        I am convinced we should use as much robots as possible as that liberate us from dull factory work, so we can do the interesting work. Also convinced we should outsource to e.g. India if that is cheaper.
        It should be done as economic as possible as that benefits all.

        But primarily I like health and then wealth.
        As I find health to be a greater wealth, than having more money.
        I am active as I want health for me and my seed.
        Still it is a pity that first class flying became beyond my reach.

        1. @Bas

          I am convinced we should use as much robots as possible as that liberate us from dull factory work, so we can do the interesting work. Also convinced we should outsource to e.g. India if that is cheaper.

          That is an incredibly elitist sentiment. Have you ever done “dull factory work”? How did it compare to being unemployed and wondering how you were going to buy shoes, health insurance, pay rent, save for college for your children, or even to put the next meal on the table?

          I’ve actually done factory work. From 1996-1999, I was the general manager for a small factory that made a variety of injection molded plastic products. It was a small enough place so that I learned to operate the machines and could serve as an overtime operator if needed. Because I could operate the machines, when I wandered the floor to see how things were going, I provided head breaks if needed. I chatted with the operators as I watched how they were counting, stacking and finishing their parts. I got to know the people I hired, understood how they made ends meet, and did the very best I could to sell more products so that we would have more work to do.

          We produced products that people wanted to buy. They exchanged money for those products; we used that money to buy more raw material, pay the workers, pay the power bills, pay the rent, pay the taxes, pay the owner and hopefully have some left over to invest in improvements and new product development.

          Our two most highly compensated “employees” at the time were the two feeds that we had from the local power company, and that was in a place where electricity prices were less than 1/4 of the prices that you apparently think are okay in NL and Germany. There is no way on earth that we could have continued to compete against much lower wage factories in China and Southeast Asia if we had had to pay even twice what we were paying. Increased energy costs would have put 15-25 good people out of work, many to return to the unemployed poverty that they endured before they came to my factory office door looking for work.

          1. Rod,
            As a student I worked at assembly lines in different factories. Later I managed a small bakery machine factory as interim during a year.

            I know unemployment is terrible. But I have also seen how terrible poor people in those low wage countries are. That is far worse than unemployment in EU (unemployment benefits) or even US (food stamps). So I grant those poor in the low wage countries the work, if that implies a cheaper product.

            If you keep that work here, then the buyers subsidize your workers involuntary via the unnecessary high price they pay.
            It would be far better if that subsidy is spent to retrain those workers. As that may end a wasteful situation.

            1. @Bas

              We were competitive because we could take advantage of location, speed of service and lower transportation costs (which is a huge energy savings, by the way). There was no involuntary subsidization of my workers.

              My point was that those beneficial jobs would have been destroyed by accepting artificially inflated energy costs to enable your favored unreliables to gain a foothold in a market adequately supplied by coal and nuclear. Unfortunately, the owner of the particular nuclear plant that used to provide part of my power when operating a factory on the west coast of Florida made a series of boneheaded errors and destroyed the economic viability of the plant.

              I suspect that power prices have either risen or will soon rise to pay for the additional natural gas that has been used as the replacement power. Fortunately, the utilities are smart enough to realize that wind and solar energy are merely expensive and unreliable boutique power sources.

            2. @Bas

              It would be far better if that subsidy is spent to retrain those workers.

              With all due respect to the wonderful people that used to work for me in the factory, many of them were operating near the limits of their intellectual capability. They liked working with their hands and were pretty reliable about producing accurate counts of the parts they produced, but most would have been totally baffled by computers and any math skills beyond addition and subtraction.

              Production factory work suited them.

          2. @Rod
            …many of them were operating near the limits of their intellectual capability…most would have been totally baffled by computers…
            We agree on that.

            I meant education/training for another job in another (preferable growing) field at about the same level, e.g. installation of PV-panels, wind turbines, care or service industry, etc.

            In NL we do something (unemployed people can get tests to find hidden abilities, their strong/weak points, etc), but in the Scandinavian countries governments do more. As far as I can see rather successful (despite inevitable failures).

            The (international) competitive field is changing all the time, and we have to adapt if we want to stay one of the happiest (& richest) countries in the world.

            …those beneficial jobs would have been destroyed by accepting artificially inflated energy costs to enable your favored unreliables to gain a foothold in a market adequately supplied by coal and nuclear….
            Two issues regarding this:
            1. I do not think those supply adequately.
            Thought we both agreed that coal and gas have their disadvantages (CO2).

            Regarding nuclear my problem is the radiation that it creates, which affects my seed and (less important) my health. Furthermore it puts a burden on thousands of generations after me which have to take care of the waste.

            2. As e.g. Germany shows, renewable create far more jobs than nuclear for the less educated under us.

            1. @Bas

              As e.g. Germany shows, renewable create far more jobs than nuclear for the less educated under us.

              Direct job growth for nuclear energy professionals are a minor part of the job growth that results from cheap, abundant, reliable energy.

              We may agree on a few things, but we are in complete disagreement about the health effects of radiation. For the past 35 years, a large portion of my friends have been people whose radiation doses are above average. Not only does the overwhelming majority of science agree with me, but the anecdotal evidence of personally knowing large numbers of nukes — and watching their families grow — tells me that radiation exposure at low levels is not a health risk.

              I’ve known quite a few people who died from cancer; none of them were involved in nuclear energy. I’ve also known a few women who have had miscarriages, none of them were nukes. I realize that anecdotes are not science, but when it matches with the science I’ve studied, the stories reinforce my assumptions.

          3. @Rod,

            Bas shares an ideology with many pseudo-greens, namely that the sustainability of a society is defined by how effective that society eliminates industry by applying onerous environmental regulations and raising energy taxes. Such pseudo-greens celebrate whenever an aluminium smelter or phospate factory is finally closed down (as happened in my country in recent years) due to such energy and regulations costs finally pushing them over the edge. In their belief system, such industries are labelled ‘dinosaurs’ that have no place in a ‘sustainable society’. By ratcheting environmental regulations and energy taxes indefinitely, they hope to destroy all heavy industry and prevent new heavy industry to develop.

            What these pseudo-greens flatly ignore is that closing a well regulated and efficient factory in The Netherlands simply means that another factory in a foreign country – with no environmental regulations and no energy taxes, let alone social investment – will simply take over the production, thereby worsening the aggregate sustainability of the world economy. An aluminum smelter that closes in The Netherlands simply means more production in an unmitigated smelter in China or elsewhere.

            Also, I think it’s humorous that Bas is now championing automation, robotization and outsourcing (to non-environmentally regulated developing countries). It shows that his claims of ‘more green jobs’ are mere hypocrisy. He doesn’t care about green jobs at all. What he cares about is destroying nuclear power at all costs, being driven by his stubbornly misguided understanding of that technology.

            1. @Joris van Dorp

              He doesn’t care about green jobs at all. What he cares about is destroying nuclear power at all costs, being driven by his stubbornly misguided understanding of that technology.

              I’m pretty sure that Bas is working for the oil and gas companies. His comments could come directly from the works of people who earned their paychecks from foundations led by Laurence Rockefeller and/or John D. Rockefeller, III.

          4. “I’m pretty sure that Bas is working for the oil and gas companies. His comments could come directly from the works of people who earned their paychecks from foundations led by Laurence Rockefeller and/or John D. Rockefeller, III.”

            It could be, but some years ago, he told me that he tragically lost his daughter to a freak cancer. Ever since he told me that, I believe that his crusade against nuclear is genuine. I think he genuinely believes that his daughter might well be alive today if nuclear power did not exist today. I also believe that he believes that any and all methods are legitimate in that crusade, namely: misrepresentation, cherry picking, repeating of mistakes after having been corrected, etc.

            P.S. If this post is not appropriate, feel free to delete. Also, if Bas objects to this post, feel free to delete.

            1. @Joris van Dorp

              Perhaps Bas will explain why he blames nuclear energy for his daughter’s illness.

              As I have mentioned several times, I have a number of friends and colleagues who have died of cancer. None of the people I know who died from cancer were exposed to anything other than background radiation, even though a large portion of my contact list has had occupational exposure.

          5. @Rod & Joris
            My oldest daughter died of cancer, caused by negligence after a serious frontal rowing collision between her skiff and a coxed four. Primarily because three inadequate physicians after each other did not really listen to her story and set wrong diagnoses.

            It is an example of the bad medical care in NL, compared to all countries around us, as shown by research. While our specialists are extremely high paid (even better than in the USA), their performance is inferior compared to Belgium, Germany/Austria, UK, and of course Switzerland (that has superior medical care; people there live longest). E.g. in NL more infections, more complications after ‘standard’ operations than any country around us (I do not know of comparisons with USA).

            You can read the story at: http://www.sannesfotos.net
            (google translate does a good job).

            Btw.
            I work in the ICT, not in any energy business. Only in my youth, I spend some months in a big coal fired power plant (looking at static electricity).

            1. @Bas

              I am sorry for your loss, but I am still at a loss to understand why that event turned you against the use of nuclear energy. I read through the tragic story; the involvement of radiation was at levels many times higher than those that would be received by the public in the unlikely event of a nuclear power plant accident.

          6. Re: Joris van Dorp “…It could be, but some years ago, he told me that he tragically lost his daughter to a freak cancer. Ever since he told me that, I believe that his crusade against nuclear is genuine. I think he genuinely believes that his daughter might well be alive today if nuclear power did not exist today.”

            A very cogent point that also takes in Hiroshima victim guilt and nuclear war fears! What about those who lose loved ones to medicines and household chemicals and car race accidents or a baseball bean in the head? Do we ban those or deprive others of cheap proven safe energy just to avenge the dead and assuage their survivors? Grief’s best first remedy is getting a grip. When you pit reason and fact against passionate emotions and wild speculation and charlatan-fed FUD, rationality usually loses to implacable fear and fantasies. That fear so blatantly and hypocritically denies and shrugs the reality and proven history of nuclear energy’s sterling safety record and nil mortality score even in worst accidents vs the horrific record of others shows the dismal perception wall pro-nukers are up against in enlightening the public and gaining their acceptance. Gates’ mega-assets can turn this nuke PR ed issue around in a month if only he’d Rod’s wiles and resolve. Pity and frustrating!

            James Greenidge
            Queens NY

        2. @Bas
          You sounds like the leaders of the Swedish environment party, no energy, cars or luxury items for the working class (like TV, fridge, washing machine). The green elite themselves has no problems driving big V8s, flying every weekend to meet their loved ones or taking a cab everywhere on the taxpayers expense (instead of using public transport).

          Wealth for a few that is the melody of the green elite. A healthy life for the good people on top, what does it matter if the working class and the poor is suffering.

          I also like health, but not only for me but for the rest of the world. To achieve health for everyone we need wealth. Now if you are going to achieve wealth, you need energy. Especially if you are going to gain wealth through production increases by using industrial robots (like we in Sweden has done the last 30 years).

          1. @robjoh
            I want health, luxury and luxury for everybody (including the folks in poor countries such as Bangladesh) and also for the generations after me.

            Either your perception of Swedish environment party is distorted, or those folks are indeed far off.

          2. @Bas
            “Either your perception of Swedish environment party is distorted, or those folks are indeed far off.”

            Far off? No they are openly arguing for higher energy prices, more taxes on everything, closing fully working energy plants and on the same time they have shown themselves to enjoy the forbidden fruits of energy.

          3. @robjoh
            Far off? … higher energy prices …

            By “far off”, I meant people not connected to society, hence not supported by substantial portion of people in society. Such as the “independent” , not grid connected etc. communities that once existed.
            They found that making a simple basic living is really hard work without the complexities of modern society, so almost all vanished.

            Concerning their proposals:
            Higher energy prices imply people try to save (look at statistics of Germany). That is a good thing for nature and next generations.

            That energy tax implies also that taxes on other items (e.g. food) can be lowered, or more spend to education (the major source of our wealth).

            So in NL (and Germany and Denmark and …) we have very substantial energy taxes.

          4. “That energy tax implies also that taxes on other items (e.g. food) can be lowered, or more spend to education (the major source of our wealth).”

            Wrong. German energy taxes (which are still exploding) are used to fund wind farms and solar panels, as well as the required additional transmission and power quality equipment for those technologies. This money is lost to society. Suggesting these taxes are spent on education is a blatant lie perpetrated by the pseudo-greens. Don’t fall for it.

          5. @Bas
            The environment party has also openly argued against the tax cuts that the right wing coalition has performed. The solution of the environment party to everything is, low productivity, how that can be seen as pro human or pro nature is a question I have asked myself several times.

  8. It is really odd to see Obama lecture the GOP on Obamacare and point them to the fact that it is the law of the land having passed Congress and the Senate hurdles a while back.

    Does Yucca ring a bell ?

    1. Daniel – Heh … no kidding.

      Anyone who has been following politics as long as I have might remember Reagan’s struggle to promote the idea of a line-item veto for the President.

      Poor Reagan … he simply didn’t have the genius of Obama. Who needs a line-item veto when you can just pick and choose which laws you want to uphold and enforce?

      Why rely on action, when you can rely on laziness, inaction, and delegation of authority to do the work for you? Doing something might interfere with your time on the golf course.

  9. Lyman’s characterization of reducing safety requirements is misleading. Due to their small size and other fundamental features, these reactors are far safer than larger designs, with a much smaller release probability, and (more important) a much smaller maximum potential release. The potential release is probably far less than the ratio of core power would suggest, since not only are the isotope inventories smaller, but the inventory release fractions are also smaller since the material doesn’t get nearly as hot, even in a complete loss of coolant (full meltdown) scenario.

    Thus, even if some (other) requirements were scaled back, the overall safety level of the SMR would still be equal to or greater than that of a large reactor. But neither Lyman or (probably) NRC is willing to “give any credit” for the SMR’s inherent benefits. They will happily swallow all the safety benefits (increases) w/o offering any cost savings (i.e., reductions in other requirements) in trade. The result will be SMRs that, yes, are far safer, but won’t be able to help reduce overall human health risks (by replacing fossil fuels) since they will be priced out of the market.

    This is something SMR makers need to push hard on. The goal must be an overall safety level equal to that achieved by current operating reactors (which are more than safe enough). Given the inherent safety advantages of SMRs, other requirements (especially the least cost effective ones) should be scaled back, in order to improve SMR economics. With respect to EPZs, and requirements in general, NRC simply must account for the much smaller potential source term (a few percent of Fukushima, at most).

    As for security, in addition to the points I make above, I think consideration should be given for SMRs on sites with existing, large reactors. I view security as more of a site operation, as opposed to an independent operation for each reactor. A cluster of SMRs on a large plant site will be protected by overall site security, which seals the outer border of the whole site. Further, if anything happens at any one reactor, the overall site security will be close enough to respond quite quickly. Personally, I don’t see much need at all for additional security personnel for SMRs added to an existing large reactor site. My personal view is also that this is where most SMRs will (or should) be built in the future. Do we really need more sites?

    Of course, finally, one has to ask why equal levels of security are not required for the numerous other facilities that have equally (or more) severe potential consequences, such as LNG terminals, chemical plants, large dams, tall buildings, or any large gathering. Compared to these targets, the puny potential release from an SMR borders on the comical.

    1. @Jim
      What are these other fundamental features?

      Regarding chance on disaster. History shows that it is ~1:6000 reactor years.
      With the present fleet roughly once in 30years.

      With 100MW SMR’s you get 10times more reactors than the present 1GW machines.
      If chance on disaster is the same as the 1GW reactor, that implies one disaster every 3 years… So big chance new disaster occurs while the problems of the previous one are not solved yet.
      I am convinced that nuclear will then be banned, even by the atomic powers!

      The public will find that totally unacceptable (e.g. smaller exclusion zones everywhere). Especially since the bigger rate of disaster will allow far more research (a.o. to the heredity effects of extra radiation).

      What are these other fundamental features??

      1. That doesn’t follow logically you know. You dont get more apple pies by increasing the number of oranges. Also an abundance of apples doesn’t make an apple pie happen, more so when the recipe changes over time.

      2. The frequency of nuclear power accidents decreases over time. Fukushima showed the final lesson that passive cooling features are valuable, and therefore, already such features are included in nuclear new builds. For example: China will only build reactors with passive features, EPR and AP1000, and SMR’s all have passive features that would rule-out or sharply mitigate worst-case accidents involving station blackout.

        So your assumption that nuclear accident frequency is a fixed value is simple nonsense. By propagating this nonsense you are exposing your own ignorance only.

        Nuclear power will be banned only when base irrationality and brutish ideology triumph over science and logic. It would be a Pyrrhic victory for anti-nuclear activists, since without science and logic hell on earth will prevail.

        1. Well put. People seem to think that getting something wrong wont have dire consequences. That its ok to be unreasonable if they believe it achieves a particular goal.

          1. I actually know a few pseudo-greens who have told me directly that they believe that misrepresentation – if not outright lies – about nuclear power are a useful and legitimate tool to rid the world of nuclear energy “because the public won’t understand why nuclear needs to be eliminated if we stick to the dry facts only.”

            Similarly, some pseudo-greens have told me that sustainable development ‘does not rely on science and logic only’. According to them, a ‘sustainable society’ is governed significantly on the basis of ‘the feelings of the public about sustainability’ and not ‘only’ (?) on what science and logic has to say about what is sustainable and what is not.

            This way of looking at it was explained to me by my opponents during a debate I had some years ago, apparently as a debating tool to reduce the force of my arguments, since I tended to support my arguments with science and logic.

          2. Joris – Don’t call them “pseudo-greens.” You can call them “pseudo-environmentalists” if you want, which has some logic to it. But if they want to call themselves “The Greens,” then call them the Greens.

            During the Cold War, the West didn’t call the commies the “pseudo-Reds.” No, they were “The Reds.” They chose the color, the world accepted that, and Red came to be associated with the gross human-rights abuses of the Soviet Union.

            Similarly, the pseudo-environmentalists have chosen their color, so let them have it. It’s their brand, and if they choose to $#!T all over it, then by all means, let them own it. As these sociopaths reveal just how crazy and downright misanthropic they are, Green will take on the same bad connotation in general public perception that Red did.

            Finally, keep in mind that — as every American knows — Green is the color of money. The color that they chose is a subtle reminder of the real motivation of their leadership.

          3. Calling them green just doesn’t feel right Brian. It doesn’t fit. Its about like calling you a radical climate change alarmist.

            Besides green is too nice a color to associate with them. Its a dilemma.

          4. Yeah, well, I’m bothered by the way that the US Republican Party today is associated with the color “red,” and the US Democratic Party is associated with “blue.” The first presidential election that I can remember watching on television was in 1984, and the TV networks all used blue for the states that Reagan (the Republican) won and red for the state (and district) that Mondale (the Democrat) won. Sometime after that, the colors got switched, and I’ve been confused ever since.

            The Democratic Party is far more sympathetic to Marxist ideas, so shouldn’t they be associated with red? Or at least pink (considering some of their positions on social issues)? 😉 Meanwhile, blue is the natural color for Republicans. Has anyone ever seen a group of Young Republicans without their ever-present navy blue blazers?

            So, see, colors don’t really mean anything, and they certainly don’t mean what you think they should mean much of the time.

        2. My statement “the present fleet roughly once in 30years” already contains the assumption that the chance for disaster is significant lower compared to the past. Just calculate.

      3. Bas may be right about one thing. Due to the public’s inumeracy, their prejudice against nuclear/radiation, and the way the press will make a huge issue out of any release regardless of its magnitude, the *political* price of accidents may not be reduced much by reducing the source term (i.e., the actual consequences). And as we all know, given the lack of real impacts, the political cost is actually the main impact. Why exclusion zones, and a small number of people merely being asked to move, is so much worse than global warming and hundreds of thousands of annual deaths is beyoned me, but alas….

        Thus, it may be the frequency that primarily matters (although economic costs of a meltdown would surely decrease with a decreasing source term, and impacted area). So, perhaps one should set the performance goal to keep the frequency of significant release the same (vs. today’s reactors), assuming a factor of 5 increase in the number of reactors (~180 MW SMRs vs. ~1000 MW large reactors). Thus, I’d be willing to accept a goal of a factor of 5 reduction in overall severe release frequency. That would result in an SMR severe accident rate of once every several decades, if not more, with a release that is only a few percent of Fukushima.

        Even if we did that, many other (relatively cost-ineffective) requirements could be relaxed or eliminated and the goal would still be met, given the much lower accident frequency inherent in these small reactors. The fact that operators and responders have a MUCH longer time period to restore cooling is but one reason for the reduced probability. PRA analyses by B&W already estimate a core damage frequency that is more than 1000 times less than that of current large reactors.

        Rod, are you privy to any analysis results concerning the maximum possible source term from an mPower module versus that of a typical large reactor? Or what the maximum amount of land area would be that would have annual dose rates over 2,000 mrem/yr, in the case of the maximum possible release? I think you mentioned calculations seeking to justify a reduced EPZ.

        1. Jim,
          …maximum amount of land area would be that would have annual dose rates over 2,000 mrem/yr…
          We have about same estimation regarding the political effects of nuclear disasters.

          Japanese government now tries resettlement in areas where the radiation is ~100times less (20mSv/yr). Especially young people refuse (while they loose substantial financial benefits if they refuse).

          Quite rightful if you consider the damaging heredity effects of that radiation as shown after Chernobyl!

          So I think that you should consider those levels for the size of the exclusion zone.

          Btw.
          Joris, the numbers you stated regarding the natural radiation levels in Kerala/Ramsak/etc. are way beyond those that people in the concerned areas get (~6mSv/a).

  10. Both Westinghouse and General Electric attempted the simplification, smaller, modularization route decades ago. Both came up with about a 600-700 MWe design, Westinghouse with the AP600, GE with the SBWR. Both later argued independently that the size wasn’t economical, so they started uprating. Westinghouse eventually settled on 1150-1200 MWe, GE went on towards 1550-1600 MWe.

    That bit of history is not encouraging for any small modular reactor development.

    On the other hand, NuScale first looked at a higher power rating, single unit, operating on natural circulation. It didn’t have the right economies of scale, it was a bit lost in the middle, with not enough power for economy of scale, and not enough modularity for series production economies. So NuScale settled on a bank of many much smaller units. They appear to be having considerable support.

    Rod may be on to something here. There may be no middle ground. It’s either a massively big approach like AP1000 and ESBWR, or a full modular approach, with teeny tiny reactors.

    From a development perspective, teeny tiny reactors are much easier. You can actually build a full scale prototype and convince your investors it works. Not so easy with 1600 MWe units. You could only build a 20 MWe unit and hope it scales without kinks in the cable.

    I think that Rod’s point about the industrial base needed to get series production economies started, is a serious one. It’s similar to the problems many startup car companies are facing. They first need to build an expensive assembly line and in the beginning, producing only a few hundred cars with that line will result in prohibitive assembly line costs per car. Deep pockets are what’s needed, till you get some serious production going. It seems to work with electric cars – Elon Musk backing Tesla Motors in producing the model S – but it appears to not work so well for Bill Gates’ Terra Power.

    1. I suspect that nuclear power can only really achieve it’s potential within a National Project paradigm, where it is the government that orders and owns NPP’s within the context of a transparent permanent development plan.

      Anti-nuclear activists like to howl and jeer at so-called ‘nuclear subsidies’, but the fact is that intermittent renewables will also require a National Project paradigm, but for a different reason: Intermittent renewables require a permanent National Project because they are hopelessly (!) uneconomic, especially at increasing penetrations.

      Nuclear requires a National Project paradigm only in order to realize available economies of scale and to create an investment environment with sharply reduced regulatory and political risk.

      1. @Joris van Dorp

        Nuclear requires a National Project paradigm only in order to realize available economies of scale and to create an investment environment with sharply reduced regulatory and political risk.

        You may be right, but I believe that smaller, simpler nuclear reactors offer the opportunity to achieve scale economies without the need for a national project, at least in a nation as large and as wealthy as the United States.

        1. My reading-between-the-lines of the economics of nuclear power suggests very little role of technology. Small modular or giant monsters, makes less of a difference than the business and regulatory environment.

          As you are well aware, in nuclear’s growth period, various different PWR and BWRs were being built for a cost much below coal plants of the day, in fact many were less than half the cost of coal plants of the time (I like to compare to coal plants of that time to avoid discussion issues with different inflation indices). Since then there have been many economical and technical improvements in such BWRs and PWRs, yet they cost more than twice as much as a coal plant (even though the coal plant of today is also much more expensive with so much pollution abatement equipment needed today that was not needed in the 1950’s, 60s.).

  11. Hydro-power is the only “renewable” source worth pursuing and expanding. Solar and wind rely completely on environmental conditions that present themselves in areas far from electricity demand and thus require large transmission investment. The success of solar and wind is also predicated on a reasonable grid-scale energy storage scheme, which to this date does not exist, and there are no realistic breakthroughs in sight.
    The only wind technology that has half a chance at being useful is the INVELOX design:

    http://sheerwind.com/technology/how-does-it-work

    In the meantime, hydro and nuclear are the only large scale energy options that are environmentally friendly, period. Regardless of so called emissions statistics, energy density is also a requirement for a truly environmentally friendly power source, using that metric solar and wind don’t even come close! Urban sprawl has already caused enough damage to the environment, we don’t need to add energy sprawl to our growing list of concerns…

    1. I’d add geothermal and biomass to that list.

      Quite a bit of waste biomass that isn’t managed very well today, could be used for bioplastics and bio fertilizer.

      Geothermal isn’t a huge source of energy on a global scale, but may become important for mankind’s survival. It would be especially useful to manage buildup of geothermal heat in certain areas to avoid super-eruptions that would devastate our planet. If you can do this while generating some electricity or process heat, that’s great.

      Oddly enough, the anti-nukes like Bas are usually opposed to hydro-electric dams, except the ones that don’t generate a lot of reliable energy. However, these anti-nukes will use the very large hydro-electric dams that they hate to claim that “renewable” energy like wind and solar is good. Kind of like saying, Bill Gates and I, combined, have a lot of money. Therefore I am doing well.

    2. That Invelox thing is an awful looking contraption. Hopefully it gets blown to bits before they sell any of them.

      1. I wouldn’t worry about them selling any.  Replacing a few thin blades covering a disc of large area to capture a very small flow of energy (power ~ ρv³) with a large static structure covering the same area is a money-loser.

  12. This debate is going on I see many days after the essay by Rod was posted. I think that’s a good thing. I have a few opinions that may be at variance with Rod, but from a common pro atomic energy perspective.

    I think the economy of scale thing is not necessarily the best way to discuss this, or at least in terms of a conclusion of whether larger reactors are, or are not, as economic as SMRs.

    I can say now “no one knows”. There are many many mitigating factors. Lets at least put them out there:
    1. On a per MW basis of installed capacity, which one will be cheaper? If it’s more expensive to build 1200MWs of atomic power, do 12 100MW units turn out to be a cheaper way to go than one 1200MW unit of the current Gen III variety?

    I don’t know. Does anyone, really? Can one compare Chinese costs to N. American costs? Perhaps it will be cheaper in the US to build SMRs vs Gen III reactors than it would be in China where the costs may be equal. We don’t know, but we will.

    2. Lets the say the costs are equal or near-equal.
    a. The SMR has the advantage of likely quicker builds (a savings right there) and the ability to add incrementally 100 to 300 MWs “as needed”.
    b. The SMR has the advantage of distributive generation, maybe the placement of 100MW ‘batteries’ at transmission and distribution sub stations, thus eliminating the need to *any* additional transmission costs. This also insures a “local hiring” distribution of construction workers who otherwise might have to move into trailers for the during in the larger and remoter heavy reactor builds.

    3. Let’s say point 2 above falls in favor of the larger utility scale reactors. SMRs point a. and b. still hold.

    It then goes to the ‘customer’, or the large utilities to determine *their needs*. They still might want the larger reactors precisely because it gives them a huge honkin’ concentration of generation in one easily controllable location.

    I see both scenarios playing out with no one form of reactor tech having the absolute advantage.

    David Walters

    1. To your point of construction cost: I currently work in the chemical industry and modular designs have tremendous cost advantages when compared to field erected designs. In some of the more extreme cases, Alberta and the Australian Outback, costs can be reduced by up to 60%. Construction schedules are also very short as well. A typical field erected plant can is scheduled for 42-48 months ARO. A modular plant is in the low 30’s.

      1. Mike, yes, the modular thing is the natural, dovetailing with, standardized reactor models that all Gen III reactors are now designed with, though each ‘module’ of an AP1000 is very large. There are a total of 234 modules to an AP1000.

        David

  13. Every time I read a editorial against SMR’s, they mention cost. How do they know what the costs are if a commercial unit hasn’t been built?

    1. This is typical of anti-nuke influence whose general methodology is “we’ve never built one so we dont know how much it will cost, therefore we should never build one…”. Seriously this is how they attack all Gen III and Gen IV new builds (which is slowly falling by the wayside thanks in large part to the Chinese who are massively building Gen IIIs (AP1000s and EPRs) and a Gen IV (their version of a TRISIO fueled passively cooled reactor, now going commerical).

      David

  14. The arguments in favor of nuclear presented here are typical technical / engineer-driven claims that ignore the market. Like it or not, wind and solar are growing at an enormous rate.

    Moving forward, the key factor determining the economic viability of a power plant will be the ability to shut down quickly and cheaply when the wind blows or the sun shines.

    The market is reaching a tipping point. Baseline power will suddenly lose its viability, as it already has in Germany, where negative wholesale electricity prices are normal.

    https://www.epexspot.com/en/market-data/intraday/chart/intraday-chart/2013-10-07/DE

    Shorter construction times are a good feature, but not good enough to keep up with renewable source that can be installed in weeks.

    1. The arguments in favor of nuclear presented here are typical technical / engineer-driven claims that ignore the market.

      Production tax credits, renewable portfolio standards and must-take provisions don’t just ignore the market, they shred it.  You would never have negative prices on the grid without massive anti-market intervention; the RE generators would curtail their own output to keep prices in positive territory, if the economics allowed them to be built at all.

      Like it or not, wind and solar are growing at an enormous rate.

      This growth would turn to rapid shrinkage if the generators were paid the actual value of what they produce, and were made to pay for all the services they consume (such as spinning reserve, reactive power and the like).

      Moving forward, the key factor determining the economic viability of a power plant will be the ability to shut down quickly and cheaply when the wind blows or the sun shines.

      Made necessary only by interference in both the market and technical operation of the grid.  Of course, that ability comes mostly from combustion systems, which means carbon emissions.  You cannot get to an emissions-free electric grid if you are forced to rely on them.  France and Ontario are close to zero-emission already, and they’ve done it with nuclear power, not unreliables.  This should tell you something.

      1. Another point: Ontario also suffers from negative wholesale prices from time to time, and the government pays nuclear operators not to produce electricity.

        1. Canadian energy blogger Steve Aplin has been on top of that for a while (emphasis added):

          without wind there would be a better correlation between supply and demand giving a more stable and reasonable market price and the GA [Global Adjustment—EP] would be a lot smaller. Remember, surplus electricity is exported at the market price and the GA is not paid by the importing jurisdiction, a subsidy from Ontario consumers!

          Most, if not all, the present 1,700 MW or so of wind is under pre-2009 rules and has priority on the grid. It cannot be dispatched off for economic reasons and there are no financial incentives for wind generators to do so. It can only be dispatched off for grid reliability reasons so SBG, after maximizing exports, results in water being spilled at the baseload hydro stations like Niagara Falls and power being reduced, or even units shutdown, at the Bruce B nuclear station. This makes no environmental, economic or technical sense.

    2. I wonder how long wind and solar would last if they were hammered on and defamed as much as nuclear is without killing near as much.

      Re: “The market is reaching a tipping point. Baseline power will suddenly lose its viability, as it already has in Germany, where negative wholesale electricity prices are normal.”

      This is a quizzical. When electric vehicle battery tech finally fully maturates, that baseline is going to/have to soar with an explosion of electric vehicles if pols and greens are all that sincere of electricity replacing anything fossil driven. Unless they don’t REALLY believe in global warming or a high-powered civilization having the cleanest air and environment possible without mowing down and despoiling whole landscapes and shorelines only to assuage fear.

      I tell you, the hypocritical animus toward nuclear energy is a thing to behold!

      James Greenidge
      Queens NY

  15. >You would never have negative prices on the grid without massive anti-market intervention

    That’s not correct. The real reason prices go negative is the variability of the source and the extremely low (or zero) marginal cost of production. It has nothing to do with subsidies.

    Low marginal costs are not somehow “anti-market”, and neither is selling at a loss. The media business often has zero costs at the margin, and the chip business has very low marginal costs and it is common to sell at a loss to gain market share and get rid of old stock.

    An interesting example of negative pricing in the energy business is garbage burning. Northern Europe burns household garbage to generate energy. this has led to garbage shortages. Holland and England export garbage now, and Norway is considering importing garbage from New York.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/30/world/europe/oslo-copes-with-shortage-of-garbage-it-turns-into-energy.html?_r=0

    1. The real reason prices go negative is the variability of the source and the extremely low (or zero) marginal cost of production. It has nothing to do with subsidies.

      I thought Bas was the most clueless poster here, but now I see it’s a contest.

      Let me spell it out simply:  without the subsidy, like a fixed FIT or PTC, producers would shut down capacity before grid prices hit zero.  If not for the subsidy, below-zero prices would make ALL producers pay to put power on the grid.  They simply would not do that, even if their marginal cost was zero; they would throttle their output in order to make some money rather than none.

      On the technical end, RE (especially wind) is very easy to curtail, while nuclear is very hard.  Regulations which force the acceptance of wind and solar power while curtailing nuclear actually work against the reliability of the grid, because the dumped RE could be brought back on-line much faster than most other sources.  Instead, combustion plants must be kept idling to track the variations in wind and solar output.  This increases both fuel costs and emissions.

      It is economically and environmentally insane to do this.  It only makes sense as an attack on nuclear power.

      Low marginal costs are not somehow “anti-market”, and neither is selling at a loss.

      The RE producers aren’t selling at a loss.  They’re being subsidized, while their nuclear competition does not receive credit for the carbon-free power they produce.  Again, this is environmentally insane.

      An interesting example of negative pricing in the energy business is garbage burning.

      Now you’re getting into the pricing of garbage disposal, which is a highly regulated (and thus distorted) market.  I’ll let someone else educate you on that issue, but I’ll just say that your example doesn’t prove what you think it does.

      And last, use the “reply” link on the comment when replying to someone, not the box at the bottom of the page.  That’s what it’s for.

      1. Actually those bids are coming from conventional sources, which is why the German utilities are going broke. Wind energy is easy enough to shut down (and restart), solar isn’t.

        Wind farms shut down a lot. They bid the prices down to zero and then shut down. In some cases they get paid to shut down, but not in all cases. China and Texas are two areas where this happens a lot, but the situation is improving thanks to grid improvements. In Ontario as mentioned above conventional power plants get paid to shut down as well.

        By the way your hectoring tone does not intimidate me. You should try all caps, I’m terrified of them.

        1. those bids are coming from conventional sources

          Of course.  Sources receiving a fixed FIT don’t need to bid; they get paid the same whether their power is needed or not.  The solution is to abolish the FIT.

          Wind energy is easy enough to shut down (and restart), solar isn’t.

          You can turn PV off and on as quickly as flipping a switch, because it has no moving parts or heating/cooling rate limits; you have no idea what you’re talking about.  Or perhaps I should say that you BS as readily as Bas, though more literately in English.

          Wind farms shut down a lot. They bid the prices down to zero and then shut down.

          Why would they shut down at zero?  A farm receiving a 2.2¢/kWh subsidy would get more money at -0.5¢/kWh and 100% output than it would at 0¢/kWh and 50% output.  Meanwhile, fossil-fired generators get paid to provide the spinning reserve.  It is insane any way you look at it.

          By the way your hectoring tone does not intimidate me.

          Neither do facts and figures, which makes me suspect that you’re just another paid troll astroturfing from behind a personality-management system.  The billions being made in the coal and gas industries are enough to pay for a lot of unconventional PR, though I suppose there are anti-nuclear ideologues who’ll work for the fossil industry for free.

      1. @ddpalmer
        Thanks.
        The whole correspondence clarifies at least a little why Rockwell wrote such a letter, that a decent scientific organization drops it into the waste basket.

    1. @Rod
      At http://www.nyas.org/ type Chernobyl in the search field (upper right). The first link is the book. You can download all chapters separately as PDF (free).

      The Rockwell letter in your first link is malicious regarding some of its citations from the book. Decent scientific organizations drop such a letter after detecting that.

      E.g. Rockwell: …report itself is a direct repudiation of the scientific method. For example, starting with page 2, it states: “ Some experts believe that any conclusions about radiation-based disease require a correlation between an illness and the received dose of radioactivity. We believe this is an impossibility.”

      Indeed that creates impression of repudiation of scientific methods. However Rockwell did not show the start of the first sentence in his citation, worse he replaced the s with a S suggesting that “Some experts ..” is the start of the sentence.
      Further he stopped halfway the second sentence and inserted a dot after “…impossibility”, suggesting the original sentence ended there.
      A correct citation delivers a total different impression!

      The paragraph starts with:
      “Why are the assessments of experts so different?
      There are several reasons, including that some experts believe that any conclusions about….”.
      The second sentence goes on with “…impossibility because …”

      Using distorted citations in order to make your point, is not done in the scientific community. So the New York Academy of Science dropped the letter (no offer to Rockwell to show his critic on their site).

      .
      The fact that Rockwell found it necessary to create this misinformation, indicates that the book itself is not bad from a scientific point of view.

      That is also supported by the fact that the New York Academy of Sciences, do consider it to be valid scientific information (stated on their site).
      Of course critic on the book is possible and NYAS shows that on the same page (Jargin, Balanov).
      ____________

      The book itself is an overview of mainly East-European research reports.

      The introduction chapter, from which above citation, contains an interesting statement which explains (partially) why so little good research and so many distorted views:
      The authorities officially forbade doctors from connecting diseases with radiation and all data were classified for the first 3 years.
      As doctors do not take the risk to get accused of ignoring the ban, registration of perceived radiation related diseases will often be less than reality in the first X years after Chernobyl.

      The Foreword by Prof. Dr. Biol. Dimitro M. Grodzinsky, Chairman Ukrainian National Commission on Radiation Protection, shows some of the controversy; both parties (pro-nuclear vs other scientists) accuse the other of not supporting objective scientific approaches.

      I think that part of the controversy is caused by words. E.g.
      IAEA/WHO write about deaths
      direct related to Chernobyl. The word ‘direct’ exclude any low level radiation induced cancer. Compare smoking; there is virtual no cancer direct related to smoking.
      While other write about cancers due to Chernobyl, which includes far more. Just as important part of smokers get cancers after >20years due to their smoking, which we know due to statistics.

      IAEA/WHO write about ‘no significant increase’ of death, etc. But what is significant. 20% more? Then indeed there is no significant increase. And the raised levels of stillbirth in Bavarian as proofed by Scherb etal are also not significant (that is ~15% increase at 0.5mSv/a).
      Others look at the numbers. A 1% increase in a population of 100million is 1million death, which is to be considered significant.

      1. Bas – The “Chernobyl book” that was once published by the NYAS, has been soundly criticized within the epidemiological and radiation protection community (for example see the highly critical reviews in Radiation Protection Dosimetry, Environmental Health Perspectives, and Radiation and Environmental Biophysics). Only notorious crackpots like Helen Caldicott or stupid Internet trolls refer to it as something other than an outstanding example of junk science.

        And the raised levels of stillbirth in Bavarian as proofed by Scherb etal are also not significant (that is ~15% increase at 0.5mSv/a).

        No … flawed studies are irrelevant, not significant. You still haven’t responded to my latest repetition of my criticisms of this piece-of-crap paper. You just keep repeating the same old BS. Lather, rinse, repeat.

        Your comments have demonstrated that you’re not competent to understand, much less defend, this study, (it’s no wonder you don’t respond to my criticisms) so please stop citing it. Thank you.

        Others look at the numbers. A 1% increase in a population of 100million is 1million death, which is to be considered significant.

        First, you have to provide reasonable evidence of “1 million death [sic].” Something that is pure fiction should not be considered significant.

      2. @Bas

        Rockwell’s citation is not malicious. It accurately reflects the intent of Yablokov’s work of slanted pseudo-science. All Rockwell did was to eliminate fudging words at the beginning and end of a couple of sentences to extract the real meaning in the middle.

        For another stinging review of Yablokov’s work from someone who has never been accused of any bias in favor of nuclear energy, please see George Monbiot’s post titled “Evidence Meltdown.”

        http://www.monbiot.com/2011/04/04/evidence-meltdown/

        Here is a quote from that post:

        Its [Chernobyl Consequences] publication seems to have arisen from a confusion about whether the Annals was a book publisher or a scientific journal. The academy has given me this statement: “In no sense did Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences or the New York Academy of Sciences commission this work; nor by its publication do we intend to independently validate the claims made in the translation or in the original publications cited in the work. The translated volume has not been peer-reviewed by the New York Academy of Sciences, or by anyone else.”

  16. @Brian
    So you found some new (most circumstantial) arguments against the evidence that even 0.5mSv/a extra radiation, causes serious heredity effects such as stillbirth, Down, etc.

    Let’s check your points (thanks for numbering):
    1. “ecological fallacy”
    There was a specified critic on an earlier study. In the study report you find that handled sufficiently.
    Your critic here is unspecified / vague. Are you going to follow Wade Allison, not recognizing any study that uses general accepted statistical methods to proof something?

    2. “rather crude radio-active dose estimations”
    As you write, they were aware! Hence made conservative estimates.
    You do not indicate where those would be wrong. Anyway even some changes will not change the results much as the significance of the result is so big.

    3. “no correction for any confounding factors”
    The design and situation is such that there can hardly been any. Besides, as posted here earlier, they checked for a number of possible confounding factors (income, medical care, etc.) which delivered nothing.

    The study compares:
    – spatial: 10 radiation contaminated districts with 10 ‘clean’ districts; and
    – temporal: in all districts the changes in congenital malformations (stillbirth, Down, etc).
    This allowed them to use statistical analyses that corrects / excludes the confounding factors.
    If e.g. education differences between districts explains part (=spatial), then it cannot explain the jump upwards after Chernobyl in only the contaminated districts.

    4. “it is an outlier”, “earlier study no evidence”
    4.1 “earlier study no evidence”
    The 2003 Bavarian study refers to the German version of that 1995 study. Not strange as both are from the same institute in Neuherberg, a suburb of Munich!
    That 1995 study did not use advanced statistical methods. You can study those advanced methods as it is published: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/env.958/abstract
    In addition, the north south separation in the 1995 study is rough.

    4.2 “it is an outlier”
    Some results showing harmful effects of low level radiation (<5mSv):

    – Increased cancer chance of ~2.7% per mSv in children (based on 10 year lag period. LSS showed that a longer period will deliver substantial more cancers). Younger children more risk (P<0.001):
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=mathews+ct+australia

    – Cleft lip increases in former East-Germany after Chernobyl: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10474264

    – Increased Down syndrome levels across Europe after Chernobyl:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22162022

    – This study shows how far reaching the low level Chernobyl radiation can be:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23947741
    This is in line with genetic damage found in people living in high background radiation area's (~6mSv/a) such as Ramsak, Iran. El here showed links to those studies.

    5.1 “no mechanism to explain its results”
    Many mechanisms regarding the damaging effects of radiation are published.
    But until now those are only speculations as we do not know well how it works.
    Neither at DNA/RNA level, neither at protein levels, neither at cell levels, neither at inter-cell levels, neither the interaction between those levels.
    My estimation; understanding will grow with the growing computer power (~1000 times bigger CPU and storage power needed).

    5.2 “dose rates too small to produce the response”
    It is widely known from medical studies that the fast cell division in the uterus causes such defects with similar very low doses. Hence no medical radiation. With lower levels of cell divisions the sensitivity for radiation decreases as again shown in the Australian study linked above.

    5.3 “..results have arisen from a statistical fluke…”
    The high levels off statistical significance (p<0.001) and the many different results that show that consistently, makes this impossible.

    5.4 “…authors should provide an explanation for their results…”
    As explained under 5.1 only speculations possible.
    In general, if a study finds a result it is nice if authors can explain. But many big discoveries were made due to publications that showed results that the authors could not explain.
    Your 'should' is nice, not a requirement at all.

    5.5 “their study should be ignored what BEIR VII did“
    It is far more likely that the authors of the relevant chapter never saw the study, as they missed more European studies (not strange if you look into their list).

    5.6 “more research showing damage roughly in line … Oh, really? Where is it?”
    Check the links at 4.2 (above).
    Far more at the New York Academy of Science (http://www.nyas.org/ Type Chernobyl in the search field (upper right). The first link is a book. You can download all chapters separately as PDF (free).
    It is not a pure science book. It contains stories and also less relevant info as well as some emotional statements. That does not change the quality of the good science that it also shows.

    1. So you found some new (most circumstantial) arguments against the evidence that even 0.5mSv/a extra radiation, causes serious heredity effects such as stillbirth, Down, etc.

      Bas – No, I didn’t. These are the same things that I’ve been telling you for months now. You’re just too lazy to read my comments and too stubborn to learn anything from them.

      Are you going to follow Wade Allison, not recognizing any study that uses general accepted statistical methods to proof something?

      Are you going to learn finally why epidemiology considers ecological studies to be the weakest type of evidence?

      As you write, they were aware! Hence made conservative estimates.

      Where is your evidence that their estimates are conservative? All the authors have stated is that model that they used is “crude.” If it greatly underestimates the dose, then they get results that give far too high risk factors for small doses of radiation. A comparison of their conclusions to the rest of the scientific literature strongly suggest that this is the case.

      Anyway even some changes will not change the results much as the significance of the result is so big.

      An incorrect result that is highly statistically significant is still wrong. How can you be so stupid as to not understand that?!

      “no correction for any confounding factors” – The design and situation is such that there can hardly been any.

      Wow! That statement is so stupid that I just had to repeat it to admire just how stupid it is. You really don’t know anything about epidemiology, do you?

      Besides, as posted here earlier, they checked for a number of possible confounding factors (income, medical care, etc.) which delivered nothing.

      They didn’t check anything. They claim to have adjusted their regression models for Germany by “population density, physician density, and income.” These adjustments were made at the district level, which once again brings up the inherent weaknesses in the ecological approach. Furthermore, no adjustments were made for data from other countries.

      This allowed them to use statistical analyses that corrects / excludes the confounding factors.

      Sorry to repeat myself, but you really don’t know anything about epidemiology, do you?

      “earlier study no evidence” – In addition, the north south separation in the 1995 study is rough.

      All ecological studies are “rough.” So the results you keep repeating over and over are so “rock solid” that they vanish when larger population groups are compared? So I can compare one district to another and find a “signficiant” result, but if I compare a group of districts to another group of districts (with similar differences in average exposure) I don’t find anything?! Is that what you’re saying?

      Don’t you realize how silly you sound?

      “it is an outlier” – Some results showing harmful effects of low level radiation (<5mSv): – Increased cancer chance of ~2.7% per mSv in children (based on 10 year lag period.

      So you’re just making up numbers now?

      While this reference is far superior to your ecological studies of the fallout from Chernobyl, because it’s a cohort study, these studies of exposure to radiation from medical procedures suffer, in general, from two limitations:

      1. Kids that are completely well don’t get CT scans. If the doctor orders a CT scan, then obviously something is wrong. Ordering multiple CT scans is usually reserved for very sick kids. Kids with potential medical problems are at higher risk of getting cancer.

      2. There is no individual monitoring of dose. Thus, these analyses are usually based on the number of scans, with a guess at the average dose per scan, but the dose can vary considerably based on what the scan is trying to find and when the scan was done (dose from CT scans has decreased with time as better equipment and better procedures have been developed). So the cohort is analyzed in groups based on the number of scans, which introduces some of the same weaknesses that limit ecological studies.

      There’s no doubt that there is a correlation between the number of CT scans and the risk of getting cancer. How much of that risk is due to radiation from the CT scans is not at all clear, however.

      By the way, the authors estimate that even one CT scan results in 4.5 mSv on average. That’s just a hairline away from being out of your “<5mSv” range.

      – Cleft lip increases in former East-Germany after Chernobyl

      So was the significant increase reported in 1983 also caused by Chernobyl?

      – Increased Down syndrome levels across Europe after Chernobyl – This study shows how far reaching the low level Chernobyl radiation can be

      For crying out loud … don’t you have any Chernobyl papers that were not written by H. Scherb and his colleagues?!

      Your claims would garner more credibility if you could cite someone other than this one person? Modern science is based on the reproducibility of results. If what this person has found is so “rock solid,” then other researchers should be finding the same results.

      Otherwise, it is clear that this researcher is on a personal crusade to “prove” his predetermined conclusions. This is not difficult to do, since all one has to do is search through the massive amounts of data that is out there to find a couple of statistical flukes (and flukes, clusters, and “highly significant” results, even though they are meaningless, do exist in every data set that is large enough) and publish them when one finds them. “Advanced statistical methods” can help with this type of data mining. This is a type of one-person publication bias; the rest of the data, which don’t support your predetermined conclusions are ignored and never seen — except in other people’s work.

      “their study should be ignored what BEIR VII did” It is far more likely that the authors of the relevant chapter never saw the study, as they missed more European studies (not strange if you look into their list).

      No, that is very strange, considering that 5 of the 18 members (28%) of the BEIR VII committee were from European organizations. Are you trying to tell me that these people who work in Europe were not familiar with the European scientific literature?!

      If the BEIR VII Committee did not see the study, then it is because the study was published in an obscure journal that typically doesn’t carry quality work. If the authors were so convinced of their “rock-solid” results, then they could have brought their papers to the attention of the Committee. Why didn’t they? A relative risk coefficient of 1.6 per mSv/a, which you claim, would be an important, outstanding result if it really were “rock solid.”

      Far more at the New York Academy of Science … You can download all chapters separately as PDF (free).

      Of course it’s free; it isn’t worth anything! It’s pure crap. It’s an embarrassment to the NYAS.

      That does not change the quality of the good science that it also shows.

      There is no “good science” in that book. As I’ve already told you, it has been thoroughly trashed in reviews published in real scientific journals as “poorly substantiated information” (to quote the title of the review in Radiation and Environmental Biophysics). That’s a kind euphemism for “junk science” or “pure crap,” as I like to put it.

      That book has nothing to do with science. It is purely a piece of propaganda, written by a couple of cranks, that was commissioned by Greenpeace and a Norwegian environmental group. Even as propaganda, it’s second rate.

      Geez, Bas, you’re citing Greenpeace propaganda and you want us to take you seriously?

      1. Brian
        A first reaction below (additional will come; no-time now):

        cleft lip frequency
        The significant increase in cleft lip palates in babies born 9 months after Chernobyl in W-Berlin, as well as in former East-Germany, was ~10%. Consistently more in places with more Chernobyl fall-out (even while that was below 1mSv/a), far more than the slight increase in 1983.
        A similar ~10% increase was noted in Bavaria!
        Note that only few countries had accurate registration in the eighties.

        Chernobyl book
        I discussed the Chernobyl book at the New York Academy of Science (NYAS) site in a previous post above (https://atomicinsights.com/small-can-beautiful-despite-opposition-ucs/#comment-64465).
        More than a year after publication Rockwell found it necessary to include constructed malicious citations in order to show that the book was not viable science.
        I agree that not all articles and references in this ~350 page overview are, but many are based on (referenced) good science! So despite attacks NYAS still states that it is viable science.
        You make similar remarks as Rockwell without substantiating it, not showing any link. So please show.

        1. So despite attacks NYAS still states that it is viable science. …

          Bas – The NYAS does no such thing. They’ve stopped publication and have distanced themselves from this deeply embarrassing work. Even when they agreed to publish it, they enclosed a disclaimer stating that they did not endorse this work in any fashion. To try to recover from this farce, they have published a critical review of this work on their website (see below), with the hope that the reader will be able to figure out for himself just how bad this piece of crap is.

          You make similar remarks as Rockwell without substantiating it, not showing any link. So please show.

          I have asked you to read the reviews of this complete sham of a book. It is clear that you have not. Since you are familiar with the NYAS website, perhaps you could take the trouble to read the review that the NYAS has posted there (PDF). See also M. I. Balonov, 2012, J. Radiol. Prot., 32.

          Since you are too lazy, in general, to read any of the links that I provide for your personal edification, perhaps an exerpt will give you an idea of how the review went and will encourage you to actually read the reviews:

          “In the opinion of this reviewer, the authors unfortunately did not appropriately analyze the content of the Russian-language publications, for example, to separate them into those that contain scientific evidence and those based on hasty impressions and ignorant conclusions. Therefore, the main conclusions of Yablokov, Nesterenko, and Nesterenko are the odd mixture of facts (e.g., increased thyroid cancer in children in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine) and uncorroborated statements of mass mortality in emergency and recovery workers caused by radiation, abnormalities in newborns, etc. An inexperienced reader [that’s you, Bas] will have difficulty in separating these conclusions, and the present review is intended to assist him/her in doing so.”

          Bas – Please allow Balonov to assist you in understanding. The review concludes with

          “Intervention of incompetent people, although having academic titles, in this delicate process prevents adequate public information and decision making by authorities responsible for protecting the population.”

  17. @Brian
    I wrote:”So despite attacks NYAS still states that it is viable science.”

    Your reaction:”The NYAS does no such thing. They’ve stopped publication and have distanced themselves from this deeply embarrassing work…. ”

    So now I see at this NYAS page: http://www.nyas.org/Publications/Annals/Detail.aspx?cid=f3f3bd16-51ba-4d7b-a086-753f44b3bfc1 the book published.

    And read also at the end of this same NYAS page: “The Academy is committed to publishing content deemed scientifically valid by the general scientific community, from whom the Academy carefully monitors feedback.”

    So my statements are in line with those of NYAS.

    1. Bas – The NYAS no longer produces hard copies of the book. That means that it is “out of print,” and it also means that the NYAS no longer publishes this book. Providing a link to a PDF of an out-of-print book does not mean that the book is still being published.

      Try reading the actual book sometime, particularly the part that reads:

      Disclaimer: The publisher, the New York Academy of Sciences and editors cannot be held responsible for errors or any consequences arising from the use of information contained in this publication; the views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher, the New York Academy of Sciences and editors.

      Elsewhere in the cover pages you can find the following:

      The New York Academy of Sciences believes it has a responsibility to provide an open forum for discussion of scientific questions. The positions taken by the participants in the reported conferences are their own and not necessarily those of the Academy. The Academy has no intent to influence legislation by providing such forums.

      The NYAS has never endorsed this book. Why do you keep referring to it as the NYAS book? Why don’t you give credit to its real sponsors, Greenpeace and Bellona? They are the groups who commissioned this work of fiction.

      1. Brian

        The fact that NYAS evaluate the book as viable science,
        does not imply that it endorse it.
        Neither that it endorse any opposite position.

        In science opposing positions, both supported by valid research results, are not uncommon. A good scientific society stays neutral in those discussions, and restricts itself to publishing valid science, which NYAS does.

      2. Brian
        Sorry forgot your question: “Why do you keep referring to it as the NYAS book? ”

        Because it is prominently stated at the NYAS site.

      3. Brian
        … Why don’t you give credit to … groups who commissioned this work …
        Credits should be given to the thousands of scientific researches in the Slavic countries who had the courage to publish results (>10,000 publications most in Slavic languages) against the official line of their governments: ‘minimize damage’!
        I quote from the Preface of the NYAS book:
        “The Chernobyl Digest – scientific abstract collections – was published … with the participation of many Belorussian and Russian scientific institutes and includes several thousand annotated publications dating to 1990 …. IAEA/WHO “Chernobyl Forum” Report (2005), advertised by WHO and IAEA as “the fullest and objective review” of the consequences of the Chernobyl accident, mentions only 350 mainly English publications.”

        So what is the value of that IAEA/WHO report considering:
        – that it refers less than 3% of the relevant scientific reports, neglecting especially non-English publications. Scientific community is not restricted to English.
        – that it excluded all relevant scientific publications concerning the pollution in any area outside Ukraine, Russia, Belarus.

        Compare that to the NYAS book which:
        – does include ~1000 reports (IAEA 350).
        – apologize to colleagues whose reports are not mentioned (IAEA: “fullest review” while referring only ~350).

        With Greenpeace you suggest wrongly that it is written by some obsolete people.
        But the writers belong to the scientific top in their countries having excellent credentials. Such as the foreword by: Prof. Dr. Biol. Dimitro Grodzinsky
        * Chairman, Department of General Biology, Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences
        * Chairman, Ukrainian National Commission on Radiation Protection
        Others belong to the Russian Academy of Sciences, Belarus Institute of Radiation, etc.
        (not strange as those have such a status that those governments do not ‘dare’ to take them down, as that would cost a lot)
        For more info regarding the status, please read the Preface of the book (only ~3 pages).

        1. Still haven’t read any of the reviews to discover what real scientists think, eh? I can’t say I’m surprised. I might as well be arguing with a brick wall.

          1. Brian,

            I read the review of Balanov in the PDF link (will response).

            Sorry but I could not conclude any argument from your second Balonov link (2012 article), except:
            – the well-known different conclusions of IAEA/WHO/UNSCEAR.

            – that:”… this could lead quite unnecessarily to a panic reaction by the public…”.
            Note that this is in line with the old Russian tradition that the public shouldn’t know things that went wrong…

            Waiting for your links regarding other reviews (you indicated)?

          2. The review in Radiation Protection Dosimetry (PDF) is somewhat more sympathetic than the others, but it is still highly critical of the sources and how they are used in the report (emphasis mine):

            During the production of the reports from the Chernobyl Forum and Greenpeace, a vast body of previously unknown data began to emerge in the form of publications, reports, theses, etc. from Belarus, Ukraine and Russia, much of it in Slavic languages. Little of these data appears to have been incorporated into the international literature. The quality of these publications and whether they would sustain critical peer-review in the western scientific literature is unknown.

            I found this a very difficult read. Numerous facts and figures are given with a range of references but with little explanation and little critical evaluation. Apparently related tables, figures and statements, which refer to particular publications often disagree with one another.

            From the EHP review:

            … by discounting the widely accepted scientific method for associating cause and effect (while taking into account the uncertainties of dose assessment and measurement of impacts), the authors leave us with only with their assertion that the data in this volume “document the true scale of the consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe.”

          3. Brian
            The Mona Dreicer (EHP) review of the NYAS book.
            Your post of Oct.13, 2013 at 10:10 AM, states her criticism without her introductory remarks:

            … the distrust of the ability of epidemiologic methodologies to determine the existence of a statistical correlation between measured or calculated radiological dose and measured impacts … However, by discounting …
            The problem is that good estimations of the dose nor the health impact were often impossible. Primarily due to government rulings (secrecy, diagnoses that would relate to Chernobyl forbidden).

            So researches used less advanced methods, such as comparing villages with fall-out with other similar villages (same social, economic, education level) without fall-out. While that is far less than e.g. the Bavarian study, it still delivers highly probable evidence. Especially when that comparison is done with many quite different village pairs, and it delivers the same results each time.

            The IAEA/WHO simply concluded in those situations ‘no harm’ visible, which policy contributed to their unrealistic low estimations.
            _______

            The Monty Charles (PDF) review of the NYAS book.
            In line with your remark the quality of this review is better than the other two. They also note one of the show some of the motives of the authors.
            The serious under-estimation of the exccess premature deaths due to Chernobyl (factor ~100?).

        2. Bas – So what are these “~1000 reports”? Well, as Balonov explains:

          The list of cited references in the translation (Yablokov et al. 2009) indicates that the authors avoided the most respectable papers of Russian-language authors, which received serious international peer review and were published in respected journals. … Prof. Yablokov and his coauthors give extensive references to the media, commercial publications, websites of public organizations, or even unidentified ones, to justify their ideas. These are also the source for statistical data on demography, morbidity, etc., which is not considered seriously by the scientific community. Most of the references are conference proceedings, abstracts of theses, and brochures in Russian, all hitherto unknown to the world and hardly accessible even in the former Soviet Union, not to mention the rest of the world. Thus, independent verification or clarification of the data presented by the authors is virtually impossible.

          So these “~1000 reports” really are websites, news articles, and brochures, carefully avoiding the most respectable papers in the literature. See this is why you have to read the reviews.

          1. Brian
            I owe you still a review of the critics you linked.
            – Balanov (Poland): he gathered all negatives he could
            – Mona Dreicer: Tried to consider the book objectively
            – Monty Charles (UK): capable to overlook the controversy, good balanced critics

            Balanov
            He just did not go as far as Rockwell, which used malicious methods to undermine the book, but gathered all possible and impossible arguments against it he could find, without checking his statements! E.g:
            Balanov:”…Biased selection … author’s conclusions are predetermined by his belief in a totally negative effect of any dose of radiation, and he is not embarrassed with brutal contradiction of the selected works and his own conclusions to the century-long experience in radiobiology and radiation medicine.
            Apparently Balanov beliefs that the Chernobyl radiation may have beneficial effects and is frustrated that the author beliefs the opposite.
            His accusation regarding ‘biased selection’ applies far more for the IAEA/WHO report. That report excluded the better research done in W-Europe, even excluded most research in Ukraine, Belarus, Russia. It considered only 250 reports/references, while the book considers 1,000 (of the >10,000).
            So even if half of those 1,000 are good quality, than the book considers still two times more.

            Balanov:”…mortality from Chernobyl fallout of about one million …if such a mass death of people occurred, it would not have remained unnoticed … because it is not so much about the population of the three countries, than about the rest of Europe and even countries outside Europe”.
            That is 1 million extra death during 18 years. An extra 60,000 deaths/per year is an extreme small contribution to the decline in life expectancy during those years (~3 to 5 years less after Chernobyl in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine). That decline imply already ~100million death!
            So that 1 million is not noticeable, especially since statistics in those countries are not optimal.

            So Balanov’s review of the book should not be taken serious. Especially since the other two reviews are far higher quality.

            I’ll put the other two reviews below the posts in which you state them.

            Btw:
            I do not agree with that 1 million death before 2004. I think we end with that number, most death still have to come.
            As a.o. the LSS study regarding low level radiation showed, in line with smoking and low level asbestos, the harm of low levels shows after 20-60years. And Chernobyl is only 27years ago.
            Just do the LNT calculations with the 1% premature death (60% cancer rest other) per 100mSv dose and the extra stillbirth rate of ~0.2% of all birth’s per mSv/a (as proofed in Bavaria). Then you should also take into account the extra malformations (Spina Bifida, Down, heart, etc) of ~1% of all birth’s per mSv/a. All during the (~30year half-life) period of extra radiation.

          2. Bas, M.I. Balonov is Russian, born in Leningrad. He has never believed in a beneficial effect of radiations, he’s complaining that Yablokov rejects the dose-effect and claims there’s no correlation between illness and the received dose of radioactivity (page 2 of the report)

            The most damning text against Yablokov is the book itself, claiming we don’t need “standard errors”, “confidence intervals”, “case control,” strict scientific protocols, that we can not determine how much fallouts there was but then including a detailled map of the fallouts two pages later.

            About smoking, it has been determined that if you stop smoking, your cancer risk drops strongly after about 5 years, it’s the continuous smoking that harms you after 20 or more years. And for asbestos, the mineral fiber physically stays in your lung. Here after the immediate aftermath, all what was left for a very low level of contamination through food, but probably not much higher than the one all of western Europe experienced from the atmospheric nuclear testing in the 60s. In 1965, the population of Belgium was contaminated at an average level of 900 Bq of Cesium per person, and it was certainly very similar in Nederland, see here : http://www.laradioactivite.com/fr/site/images/Cs137_CorpsHumain.jpg (data from SCK-CEN http://www.sckcen.be/nl )

      4. Brian

        The NYAS no longer produces hard copies of the book….
        From the link you provided I read that hard copies are published by Wiley-Blackwell, February 2010.
        Looking at the price ($150) and the name, it seems to me a commercial publishing house.

        So why would NYAS then continue selling the hard copy…

    2. Bas
      October 12, 2013 at 12:41 PM
      – Cleft lip increases in former East-Germany after Chernobyl
      So was the significant increase reported in 1983 also caused by Chernobyl?

      As mentioned this blog before, if there was any “meat” in it for the New York Times to use against Indian Point, why haven’t they used all these medical mutant “facts” as ammo to smear with? I guess hanging their name on anything NYAS says is way too much dredging the bottom of the BS barrel even for the NYT!

      1. @Mitch
        Is the NYT so anti nuclear? Thought it was a rather ‘objective’ (as far as that is possible in this world) paper. Belonging to the best in US.

        What is/are the best (=most ‘objectief’) papers in US?

        Probably NYT simply doesn’t know the studies.
        I met an anti-nuclear journalist in NL, he only knew the (semi-)official reports… Amazed how little research they do.

      2. @Mitch, Brian,
        You asked about the 1983 peak in cleft lips in East-Germany.

        Some research and reading the article itself, delivered important info:
        Four years before the disaster, Sept. 1982 the Tchernobyl NPP had an (INES:5) accident, exhausting major amounts of radio-activity into the air.
        So the cleft lip peak in 1983 was to be expected.

        More accurately: Cleft lip originates in the first months of pregnancy. And indeed in Jan.87 resp. Feb.87, the frequency of cleft lip went up with 30% resp. 22% (Chernobyl fall-out reached East-Germany end of April 1986)!
        Northern parts of East-Germany got more fall-out from Chernobyl. Cleft lip frequency in those northern parts went up ~40%.

        Research in Turkey by its scientists regarding neural tube defects found similar: ~0.17% of all birth before, and ~0.69% (4x more!) in the 5 years after Chernobyl (1988, 1,24%; 1989, 1.0%; 1990, 0.56%). These results also support the results of the famous Bavarian study.

        Even Cuban scientists researching changes in the male/female birth ratio due to the economic depression, found damaging effects of the 1983 Chernobyl accident and of course the bigger 1986 disaster! Showing a smaller and bigger rise of that ratio thereafter (these heredity effects are in general detrimental).

        ____
        Most of these low level Chernobyl radiation caused defects, could not scientifically proofed in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus because those countries had no good registration systems, and the official ban to assign health damage to Chernobyl nuclear radiation. Although some effects were seen, and some (especially those concerning higher radiation levels) showed by their scientists through comparing similar areas (with and without fall-out), which the IAEA does not accept as it is a somewhat less solid method to proof (hence the Bavarian study used combined temporal and spacial comparisons).

        1. Bas – Grasping at straws? Geez … this just shows you’re getting desperate.

          So let me get this straight. Radioactive materials from this minor accident were capable of causing cleft lip (but strangely no “stillbirths, congenital malformations, down syndrome, etc. yadda yadda yadda”), but yet were still able to remain completely undetected by the Cold-War-era radiation monitoring network in Europe? That’s some extra-special magic radioactive material.

          No, a more reasonable explanation is that the number of cleft lips fluctuates from year to year for reasons that have nothing to do with radiation.

          1. Brian
            …undetected by the Cold-War-era radiation monitoring network…
            If you had checked the links before writing, you would have seen that those were even detected by the East-Germany (GDR) network!

            …cleft lip (but .. no stillbirth…)…
            Congenital malformations, such as cleft lip and neural tube defects, have shown to be more vulnerable for enhanced radiation levels. E.g. check: http://www.helmholtz-muenchen.de/ibb/homepage/hagen.scherb/CongenMalfStillb_0.pdf
            So researches tend to research those first.

            In addition, in e.g. east-Turkey there is good probability that a still-birth stays out of the register. But neural tube defects need intensive hospital treatment, hence far more accurate registration. So the Turkish scientists decided to research neural tube defects (spina bifida) and found an huge rise after Chernobyl!

            …a more reasonable explanation is that the number of cleft lips fluctuates from year to year for reasons that have nothing to do with radiation…
            That explanation for such congenital malformation defects is clearly excluded by the facts:
            – widely separated areas, even with different culture (East-Turkey), show the same increase after the disaster.
            – areas with no fall-out did show no increase at all!

            – even very similar districts in Bavaria, where one got ~0.5mSv/a and the other none, the districts with fall-out show a very significant (p<0.001) rise in proportion to the level of radiation. While adjoining similar districts that did not get fall-out show no rise at all.

            Read the Bavarian study; no flaws regarding methods & results seen. You only had some circumstantial or really vague critics.

        2. Checking the links, I found those do not work. Somehow the URL’s vanished in the uploading process. So below the URL’s from my post of 8:44 AM:

          – Cleft lips: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10474264

          – 1983 Chernobyl accident: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_von_Unf%C3%A4llen_in_kerntechnischen_Anlagen#1980.E2.80.931989

          – Turkey: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1059708/

          – Cuba: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3765590/figure/F3/

          Btw. the raise in Russia after the Chernobyl disaster is also interesting:
          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3765590/figure/F2/

  18. @Bas

    So you continue to claim somehow we KNOW that continued research in PV’s WILL produce these 60+% panels for an economical price within 50 years, despite proof that promising concepts with similar initial claims have never been economically produced. Optimism is fine but what is the world suppose to do while waiting for these advances to MAYBE materialize?

    What do the poor and energy starved people in the world do TODAY? Not 50 years from now but today. Because if they can’t survive for today, what happens 50 years from now is irrelevant. Should they burn more coal until these advances happen, further raising the CO2 level? Or should they look to a proven technology that can give them decently priced reliable power today?

  19. Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) may suit a country like Jordan more than the large ones we are seeking. Currently our largest thermal station is 600 MW. In retrospect; even if we had opted for the CANDU 6 (EC-6) it would have been the largest power plant in Jordan. Needless to say, I would favour designs such as the SVBR 100. It would be fair to say that FNR that are liquid metal cooled would make more sense for SMR development.

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