1. I don’t understand how anyone can entertain the idea of mothballing a perfectly good reactor and then switching to an inferior energy source. Isn’t there an old business maxim ‘it’s always more expensive to get a new customer then to maintain the current one.’ Isn’t it obvious that it would be cheaper to maintain the same power source then go through the effort of building an entirely new one, one that would require a supply line and make use of a volatile fuel?

    1. As becomes increasingly apparent with the “environmentalists”, their ideology trumps reality. They have no answer for, as Rod clearly explains, the Second Law of Thermodynamics nor do they care about the effect on consumers’ pocket books. As a group, they have taken a reasonable and common-sense approach to resource stewardship and turned it into a quasi-religion, complete with heretics and heresies.
      Worse yet, they enjoy the fruits of others’ labor that provides them the free time and conveniences that they would preferably deny 2 billion other humans who don’t have the luxury of that “free time”. Disgusting.

      1. @DocForesight – I think you missed my point. I am not talking about ideology here, but about simple greed. The natural gas industry has far more cash on hand to purchase friends than the “nuclear industry”, which really does not currently exist as a separate and focused economic force. The gas industry also has participants who have decades worth of first hand experience of the results of the law of supply and demand and also efforts to influence both supply (by discouraging its too rapid growth) and demand (by using advertising slogans like “Powered by Clean Natural Gas” or “American. Abundant. Available.” to encourage people to buy their product).
        The nuclear industry is far too often led by accountants who can only count costs on existing systems or by engineers who assume that “everyone” acts based on logic. At the student conference that I attended I had the chance to ask a nuclear industry executive how he thought that the fossil fuel focused competition would react to the nuclear “renaissance” that he had just described during his dinner speech. He looked puzzled and said something like “I guess they will just have to step aside as the superior technology takes over.” (I have the quote recorded, but I cannot find it right now.)
        That demonstrates a real misunderstanding of the way that the world of business and finance works.

  2. Rod, please send your analysis of Riverkeeper’s claims as a letter to the editor at the NY Times if you have not already done so. You will have to make it shorter so it can get published.

  3. The anti-nuclear groups often attack “old” reactors and claim their “use before date” has expired, so they want something “new”. They remind of children who always want a new toy even though they’ve got so many old toys. Building something new makes them “feel good”, especially now that they were part of the decision making…

  4. New York City has managed to effectively ban natural gas development in it’s watershed (you’ve got to use vegetable oil for hydraulic fluid if you want to operate heavy machinery in the watershed, etc.) but the rest of us in upstate New York are highly concerned that natural gas development is going to ruin our landscape and contaminate our water.

  5. Word is that the letter writer is no longer president of Riverkeeper, and that not all were in agreement with his way of doing things. To me the real argument about energy replacement goes way beyond any of what I see being discussed here, comments included. Long know, well established technologies have been available but suppressed since at least Tesla. More to the “Point”, this nuclear facility is an antique. It relies on an archaic cooling system which kills billions of fish and their larvae, disrupts natural vegetation growth, promotes invasive species growth, and contaminates the water with radioactive waste (strontium 90 for starters). Forget the power plant; we’re talking about a river that’s been pissed and puked on with abandon (e.g., GE’s PCB’s) in the last century, after millennia without disturbance. Anyone who bucks that trend gets my vote.Riverkeeper may gave some glamor donor
    s, but they run pretty lean from what I’ve seen. Anyone They accept volunteers.

    1. Alex M – I keep myself pretty well informed about real technologies that have been developed enough to reliably produce power. I do not know of any that have been suppressed, though I know of several that have failed under various conditions within laboratory or commercial experiments. Tesla did his work well before self sustaining chain reactions involving heavy metal fission had ever been developed. He is a romantic figure but those of us who have studied power production respect what he accomplished, not what he dreamed about as he was fading in old age.
      The “ancient” plant that you dismiss provides 30% of the electricity to the city of New York. It provides that power day and night, rain or sun, and produces no gases that pollute the air. The only environmental effect that it has is a bit of heating in a large body of flowing water and some amount of impact on organisms that probably would not have reached maturity anyway. There are dozens of other facilities along the river that use it for cooling in the same way that Indian Point does. One fossil fuel plant is only 5 miles down stream from Indian Point and it has been given permission to install the same kind of intake screens that Entergy has proposed installing on its two units. http://thisweekinnuclear.com/?p=1162 The discrepancy in treatment indicates that the rules have been slanted against nuclear by people who want the plant shutdown. I strongly suspect the political pressure is coming from people who want to sell an additional 385 million cubic feet of natural gas every single day that Indian Point is not running. At current prices, that is a market worth about $2.5 MILLION per DAY and worth fighting over.
      I firmly believe that if you are fighting the plant out of a sincere belief in the ideas that you published here, you are being played for a dupe by the people who have strong financial motives for seeing the plant shutdown. I hope you reconsider your opposition; if not, I hope you lose your battle.

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