Member since: Fri Dec 19, 2003, 01:20 AM
Number of posts: 21,276
Number of posts: 21,276
Feds Again Delay San Onofre Nuke Restart Decision
By MICHAEL R. BLOOD Associated Press
LOS ANGELES May 20, 2013 (AP)
Federal regulators have indefinitely delayed a decision on the proposed restart of the shuttered San Onofre nuclear power plant in California, raising new questions Monday about whether the twin reactors will produce electricity again.
The seaside plant between San Diego and Los Angeles has been dark since January 2012, after a small radiation leak led to the discovery of unusual damage to hundreds of tubes that carry radioactive water.
Operator Southern California Edison wants permission to restart the Unit 2 reactor and run it at reduced power in hopes of stopping vibration and friction that was blamed for damaging tubing.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission delayed several earlier target dates for a ruling, with officials recently projecting a June announcement. But its website on Monday listed no date for a restart decision — only "to be determined."
Agency spokesman ...
Posted by kristopher | Tue May 21, 2013, 07:25 PM (0 replies)
Germany to Store Europe’s Energy
Power transition will result in domineering monopoly.
BY GARETH FRASER
Whether it’s storing money, gold, armaments or sustainable energy, 2013 has seen Europe’s largest country rapidly gobble up key assets, positioning it as continental chief operating officer.
Recently Germany’s government approved €150 million of new investment capital to maintain its Energy Transition policy, or Energiewende. The program is managed by the Ministries of Economics, Environment, Education and Research.
This phase of stimulus is dubbed “sustainable power grids” and comes as part of the government’s sixth stage of energy research. Once created, these power grids will act as smart distribution centers managing supply and demand. The research has established an “Internet of Energy,” which forecasts a 10 percent reduction in domestic utility costs and a 20 percent reduction for commercial businesses.
With memories of Chernobyl and Fukashima nuclear power plant catastrophes fresh in mind, the Energiewende goal is to draw down nuclear, along with gas, and transition to more sustainable, renewable energy.
“The policy has progressed well, and the increase of fluctuating renewable capacities is now causing the need for storage and smart grid expansion,” said Tobias Rothacher, senior manager of Renewable Energies at Germany Trade and Invest...
Posted by kristopher | Tue May 21, 2013, 06:29 PM (3 replies)
That says a lot about you right there. The science is overwhelming and the urgency can not be overstated, so if you think you are "looking at it objectively" you are deluding yourself in the worst way.
As far as brushing aside the past subsidies as "sunk costs" that is nothing but a bullshit excuse to avoid discussion of WHY we use subsidies at all. We Use Them To Help Establish Socially Desirable Technologies. Fossil fuels have received vast subsidies to enable them to serve our needs. Those aren't "sunk costs", they are the cost of doing business as a culture. We (our culture) benefited from that money so we helped those industries become established and self sufficient. Now it is time for our culture to buy a new system of energy - one that is carbon free. That means it is time to withdraw the help we've previously given to the FF companies. It doesn't matter that other companies are receiving write-offs that are similar, fossil fuels have large external costs that are not being captured in their pricing. This provides a valid rationale for a stringent approach to equalizing the playing field.
However, since you don't acknowledge the reality of the climate crisis we are facing, you don't see a transition to carbon free technologies as being "socially desirable". That, in turn, means you can't accept or acknowledge the values that bring coherence to my position.
That is the crux of your disagreement with others here; it has nothing to do with the definition of subsidies. Not to be disagreeable, but that is just something you are tying to play a weaselly word game with. You've shown you aren't interested in real discussion by ignoring the extremely comprehensive report I provided to you on nuclear. Apparently all you want to do is be contrarian.
That doesn't make your position valid.
Global Fossil Fuel Subsidies Topped $620 Billion in 2011
February 27, 2013
Earth Policy Institute By Emily E. Adams
The energy game is rigged in favor of fossil fuels because we omit the environmental and health costs of burning coal, oil and natural gas from their prices. Subsidies manipulate the game even further. According to conservative estimates from the Global Subsidies Initiative and the International Energy Agency (IEA), governments around the world spent more than $620 billion to subsidize fossil fuel energy in 2011: some $100 billion for production and $523 billion for consumption. This was 20 percent higher than in 2010, largely because of higher world oil prices....
Of the $523 billion that supported consumption, $285 billion went to oil, $104 billion to natural gas and $3 billion to coal; an additional $131 billion was divided among the three energy sources specifically for electricity use. Through these subsidies, governments cut the prices people paid for fossil energy by nearly a quarter—encouraging waste and hindering efforts to stabilize climate. ...
Posted by kristopher | Tue May 21, 2013, 03:51 PM (0 replies)
The fossil fuel industry has a network of think tanks that put out propaganda, and they've organized a rather passive internet presence that presents a shallow image of grassroots activism against renewables.
The post people are poking fun of in this thread is a good example of the nature of that effort.
The nuclear industry sees its last opportunity to become the mainstay of global energy being obstructed by the growth of the renewable sector.
In 2003 the Bush's White House Chief of Staff started coordinating with the nuclear industry to organize their workforce along the same lines the military uses for crisis response. The idea was to protect the nuclear industry from bad publicity when negative events occurred and to that end they created teams of industry scientists and public relations personnel who were tasked with responding to any bad publicity with 'facts' that were favorable to the industry.
I use the military designation for these teams and call them Crisis Action Teams. A CAT has all the normal tools of a world class PR organization at its disposal. But in addition it has access to one thing no other group I've seen has - a dedicated network of working professionals who (again modeled on the military) have been inculcated with the philosophy that they are "ambassadors" for the nuclear industry. Through their professional organizations and employers they are charged with going out into all venues of information exchange and representing their industry to a public being led astray by "greenies".
Of course, that is their right - just as it is the right of the fossil fuel industry to promote the interests of their members. But just as we see with the fossil fuel industry, the nuclear industry has problems finding the ethical line separates what is acceptable participation in public debate from can best be termed deceptive propaganda.
In the case of the fossil fuel industry it is largely a top down problem; something we see exemplified by the Koch brothers machinations and the output of groups like the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute.
This is where the nuclear industry is most different from the fossil fuel industry - their ethical lapse resides in the unsupervised and tacitly encouraged behavior of the legion of 'ambassadors' they've sent created and unleashed. Originally envisioned as a tool functioning to maintain a sense of reality during crisis' such as Fukushima, this cadre of nuclear evangelicals has morphed into a global presence that dogs the comments sections of newspapers and online publishers of anything positive about renewable energy. They exploit the product of the fossil fuel think tanks in a way that must warm the hears of the members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (in case you don't know ALEC is on a mission to roll back public policy support for renewables at the state level across the country).
DU is a great example of this effort in action. I see virtually no activism against renewables here that I would attribute to the fossil fuel industry. But the efforts of the nuclear industry are unceasing for they (correctly) view renewable energy deployment as an existential threat from a fundamentally incompatible energy system.
Posted by kristopher | Mon May 20, 2013, 04:52 PM (0 replies)
Troubled Tsuruga reactor could force utilities to shoulder enormous financial burdens
The utility companies that hold major stakes in Japan Atomic Power Co. could be forced to shoulder enormous financial burdens if JAPC were to collapse due to the possible shutdown and decommissioning of the No. 2 reactor at its Tsuruga Nuclear Power Plant in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture.
A panel of experts appointed by the Nuclear Regulation Authority concluded on May 15 that the No. 2 reactor at the Tsuruga nuclear power station in western Japan is located right above an active fault that could undermine its safety, increasing the likelihood the unit would be shut down permanently. The power companies, major shareholders of JAPC, have already decided to extend support to JAPC until April next year, but there are no viable plans yet to restore its finances.
In the case of ordinary bankruptcies, shareholders' losses are limited to the amounts of their investments. But of all the power companies that buy electricity from JAPC, four -- Kansai Electric Power Co., Chubu Electric Power Co., Hokuriku Electric Power Co., and Tohoku Electric Power Co. -- guarantee JAPC's debts totaling about 100 billion yen. Therefore, if JAPC cannot repay its debts, the four power companies will be forced to shoulder them.
Furthermore, JAPC puts aside money for future costs to reprocess spent nuclear fuel and decommission its nuclear reactors, but if the company goes bankrupt, the accumulated funds will certainly run short. A senior government official said, "There is a possibility that the power companies will have to shoulder a total of 500 to 700 billion yen." That would further upset the power companies that have already incurred heavy losses due to higher fuel costs as a result of the shutdown of their nuclear reactors.
For this reason, "The private sector alone cannot handle the costs," said a senior power company official...
Posted by kristopher | Mon May 20, 2013, 09:53 AM (2 replies)
Read the PDFs at the end of this blurb from DOE. There is a map included. You might also want to do a search on "atlantic wind connection".
Posted by kristopher | Sat May 18, 2013, 08:51 PM (0 replies)
Ministers urged to clarify nuclear cost overruns
The Government has been urged to clarify who will bear the risk of any cost overruns in building new nuclear plants, after ministers appeared to suggest the burden could fall on consumers.
"Instead of taking four to five years to build, EDF were telling us that it was going to take nine to 10 years to build," Centrica chief Sam Laidlaw said this week. Photo: Alamy
By Emily Gosden6:59PM BST 17 May 2013
In a memo to the energy select committee, released on Friday, ministers also admit that delays or cost overruns at EDF’s proposed £14bn nuclear plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset could jeopardise the chances of any other new UK nuclear plants being built.
The memo said that in “most cases” power plant developers were “best able to manage construction risk”, but in some cases “variation” was needed to “ensure that a range of low-carbon technologies can come forward at a reasonable cost and in a manner that reflects distinguishable differences in risk profile”.
Tim Yeo, head of the committee, has written to energy minister Michael Fallon “in confusion” and asking, in effect, whether EDF’s proposed £14bn plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset is one such case.
The issue is contentious because EDF has seen massive cost overruns and delays at a new nuclear project in France. Centrica, which pulled out of the Hinkley Point project in February, said this week that the costs had “rocketed hugely” and that the timescale for building the plant had doubled.
The Government memo said: “The progress of ...
Considering EDF's record on being unable to build a project even close to their predicted budget, you can't help but wonder if the threat of having to eat cost overruns is related to this news:
EDF delays Hinkley funding ‘until at least September’
17 May 2013 | By Vern Pitt
Exclusive: £10bn nuclear plant project six months behind revised schedule with half of jobs on site now at risk
Posted by kristopher | Sat May 18, 2013, 12:38 AM (0 replies)
Do you know anyone who directs their retirement investments? If you do, it couldn't hurt to pass this along to them.
The Economic Case for Divesting from Fossil Fuels
By Garvin Jabusch, Green Alpha Advisors
May 15, 2013
Page 1 of 3
Securities of fossil fuels firms, as an economic sector, may soon be on the decline.
Predictions as to when oil and gas will become a smaller part of the investment society makes into its total energy mix, in favor of renewables such as solar, wind and ocean energies, vary, ranging from 2060 on the long side (this prediction from oil industry powerhouse Shell) to 2030 or even sooner on the shorter side (as reported by Bloomberg). But so far, markets appear to be mispricing the risk this presents to fossil fuels companies, and their share prices for now remain high. In our opinion, it’s not too soon to consider divesting from fossil fuels while one might still recover significant value.
Coal, oil, and natural gas, though, are the main sources of energy that have gotten civilization this far (at least since the late 1700s, or the entire industrial revolution), so why are many expecting them to so quickly diminish in importance?
Mostly because of recent innovation and renewables’ efficiency and cost gains. Our ‘next economy’ thesis and methods of portfolio construction assert that energy and material resources we need to host an indefinitely thriving economy exist in more than sufficient quantities (particularly energy), if we would only collect and use them in smart and efficient ways. The innovations required to put world economies on a long term sustainable path largely exist today. For example, the various forms of solar energy collection have become so efficient over the last 20 years that all of civilization’s energy requirements could presently be met by covering 0.3 percent of the earth’s land surface with solar panels and concentrated solar thermal systems. Our models insist that through promoting true sustainability solutions in materials and energy, we can indeed maintain a healthy, thriving biosphere, all while growing our economies and improving standards of living everywhere, for everyone.
This in mind, we put together 10 primary reasons why fossil fuels investments, in next economy terms and indeed in general economic terms, no longer appear to be the attractive source of risk-adjusted returns they have historically been....
Posted by kristopher | Fri May 17, 2013, 11:22 PM (0 replies)
This ‘Monumental Shift’ in the US Buildings Sector May Surprise You
“I don’t think people truly understand what just happened.”
STEPHEN LACEY: MAY 9, 2013
Conventional wisdom says that buildings are a sprawling, untamable black hole for energy. But a new analysis of federal data shows that the U.S. buildings sector has made enormous strides in efficiency over the last six years -- potentially eliminating the need to build any new power plants to support growth in the sector through 2030.
When sustainable architecture guru Edward Mazria looked at the EIA's latest Annual Energy Outlook, he noticed two surprising things: one, that 2030 projections for building energy consumption continue their steep decline; and two, that America plans to add over 60 billion square feet of new buildings by then. So even as a huge portfolio of new buildings is constructed in the next two decades, the energy needs in those buildings will be low enough to prevent the need for any new power plants to service them, concluded Mazria.
"There is no longer any need to build power plants to meet growth in the buildings sector," said Mazria. "This is a monumental shift."
In the EIA reference case outlined below (assuming no technological or policy changes), demand for new electricity capacity doesn't reach 2013 levels until about 2025. In the two other scenarios, assuming the building sector -- which accounts for 73 percent of electricity use -- makes either modest or strong improvements in efficiency, there is a wide range of potential to actually shut down plants.
Posted by kristopher | Fri May 17, 2013, 08:45 PM (2 replies)
Nuclear Headache: Task of Decommissioning Plants Is Herculean
By Gerald Traufetter
The dismantling of Germany's nuclear power plants will be one of the greatest tasks of the century as the country moves to phase out atomic energy. It will take at least until 2080 to complete the job. But what happens if energy utility companies who own the facilities go bust before the work is done?
What the representatives of the people would rather not talk about, though, is the decommissioning of Germany's nuclear power plants. They were once the cathedrals of industrial progress. But now their cooling towers and domes have become widely visible symbols of human folly.
According to the latest calculations by the German Environment Ministry, the operation and decommissioning of the country's reactors will produce 173,442 cubic meters (over 6.1 million cubic feet) of low to medium-level radioactive waste that has to be stored underground. On top of that, there are 107,430 cubic meters of radioactive detritus from government institutions.
It's a monumental task that the Germans won't complete until 2080 "at the earliest," says nuclear expert Michael Sailer from the Öko-Institut, a non-profit research and consulting association for sustainable technology in Berlin. "After all, these are conservative estimates without any leeway for setbacks."
No Smooth Sailing
But it doesn't look as if things will go smoothly. On the contrary, the phasing out of nuclear power is accompanied by the agonizing challenge of decommissioning existing reactors: Eight nuclear power plants that were rapidly taken offline at the behest of the German government in the wake of Japan's Fukushima disaster have to be dismantled concurrently, followed by an additional nine facilities by the end of 2022.
There is still no roadmap for the decommissioning...
Posted by kristopher | Thu May 16, 2013, 09:12 PM (3 replies)