March-for-Environmental-Hope

Join the First Ever Climate-Environment-ProNuclear March – June 24-28

March for Environmental Hope! Program

FRIDAY, JUNE 24 :: SAN FRANCISCO

  • 3-3:45 pm: Rally at Pacific Gas & Electric and march to Ferry Building
  • 4:30 pm: Ferry to Vallejo
SATURDAY, JUNE 25 :: FAIRFIELD
  • 9:45-12 noon: March in Fairfield
  • 12-1:30 pm: Cookout
  • 2-5 pm: Lake Solano: canoe, swim, bird watch, fish, hike
SUNDAY, JUNE 26 :: Vacaville
  • 10 am – 12 noon: March through Vacaville.
  • 12-2 pm Community Cook-out at Andrews Park.
  • 2-5 pm: Lake Solano: canoe, swim, bird watch, fish, hike
MONDAY, JUNE 27 :: DAVIS
  • 10am – 12 noon: March through Davis
  • 12-2 pm: Community Luch and Dialogue
  • 2-5 pm: TBD (Legislative Meetings?)
TUESDAY, JUNE 28 :: SACRAMENTO
  • 8 – 10:30 am: March through downtown Sacramento and Rally for Environmental Hope at Lands Commission Mtg.

Collection on Germany’s Energy Problems

Germany’s Energiewende Finds the Sour Spot

http://thebreakthrough.org/index.php/programs/energy-and-climate//cost-of-german-solar-is-four-times-finnish-nuclear/

http://theresilientearth.com/?q=content%2Fgermanys-solar-failure

http://www.dw.com/en/how-far-along-is-germanys-nuclear-phase-out/a-18547065

Germany’s Wind Power Chaos to Leave them Freezing in the Dark

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/01/us-germany-nuclear-idUSKCN0SQ1G520151101

More than Das (cheating) Auto: how malware misleads millions, allows mega-pollution

http://www.dw.com/en/german-co2-emissions-targets-at-risk/a-18862708

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/high-costs-and-errors-of-german-transition-to-renewable-energy-a-920288-2.html

Energiewende and Caliwende – the Heavy Cost of Ideology

http://notrickszone.com/2016/03/04/german-medical-doctors-warn-hazards-of-wind-turbine-infrasound-are-very-real-worse-than-first-thought/#sthash.kILVYYtz.dpbs

Two cars, and a daily decision: an Ontario parable

http://www.powermag.com/germanys-energiewende-new-turning-point/

https://energy.stanford.edu/events/economic-challenges-and-chances-german-energy-transition

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Nuclear New Build

China, Korea & UK
Alternate title: Rising competition from China, Korea
and a new development model for British nuclear power
April 14th, 2016 Andrew Daniels

No other country in Europe is developing nuclear power with as much zeal as the UK. The goal is to abolish coal power by the mid 2020s. The ‘dash to gas’ is in the past, and future wind power development can only offer declining returns. Having explored and reached the limitations of gas and wind power, it is clear decarbonization can only be accomplished with nuclear power. Three consortia have developed plans for nuclear power plants on six different sites. Adhesion to construction schedules is the number one cause of serious cost overruns, so these projects will be considered successes or failures depending on the efficiency of the construction process.

Given the poor record of past British nuclear power development, this drive towards nuclear power is even more remarkable. The British nuclear industry had a particularly dismal record of poor performance with Magnoxes and AGRs. Using a poor development model during the 1960s until the 1980s, the UK built one uncompetitive gas-cooled plant after another. Each plant was built by a different consortium with a different design, and each used unique parts and required unique fuel elements. Construction delays were insufficient to cancel a project. The British tradition of ‘muddling through’ led to eventual completion, even if some plants were obsolete upon commencing operation. One plant took an astonishing twenty years to complete. The policy was framed as government support for British technology. Even as Whitehall pursued a ‘national champion’ policy, not enough investment was channeled into nuclear power to give this unique path, their nuclear sonderweg, a hope of success. Gas-cooled reactors were never able to build up a similar body of experience as did the water-cooled reactors. Operating loads were lower, maintenance costs higher, and construction times were consistently longer throughout their history.

At one point, France was pursuing the same gas-cooled reactor technology as the UK, but a decision was made to abandon it. The rationale was that French industry would be better served by aligning with global trends instead of bucking them. Adopting water-cooled reactors en masse facilitated the extensive nuclear roll-out pursued by France in the 1970s and 1980s. The structure for this expansion was a publicly funded development model with a single operator running every plant in the country. Rather than increase costs from a lack of competition, it facilitated skills transfer, uniformity and keeping costs down.

Eschewing the French dirigiste state-driven model, the new development model draws on private sector elements of the old model. New nuclear power plants in the UK will continue to be built via consortia, but this time they will use existing designs. Hinkley Point C will put its first reactor into operation in 2025, which will be the first in Britain since Sizewell B in 1995. This project will be a first for many things; it is the first British plant built with minority foreign participation (China General Nuclear (CGN) and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) are both minority investors.) Hinkley Point C will be the first in the world to receive a public subsidy as renewable power at the rate of £92.50 per MWh. This anticipates construction time of up to 10 years and the guaranteed price is indexed to any future rises in electricity prices. In the case that the plant is closed early, the company will receive compensation. This mitigates the risk of any forced premature closure without compensation for any reason, political or otherwise. Supporting nuclear power with this style of feed-in tariff is a first, though it may have started a trend. Now the two American states of Arizona and Utah are offering similar public support. The effect of this contract is monumental if it heralds a new era of public support for nuclear power, similar to the support for solar and wind. This project is tremendously important for Areva and the Evolutionary Power Reactor (EPR), as future sales of the EPR will be heavily influenced by the construction time at Hinkley Point C. This will be a chance for Areva to wipe the slate clean and move past the numerous construction delays at Flamanville and Olkiluoto. A success at Hinkley Point C 1 & 2 will pave the way for another pair of EPRs at Sizewell C.

The second project will develop two sites with ABWRs: Wylfa Newydd on the Isle of Anglesey and Oldbury-on-Severn. Hitachi claims these are more likely to be completed on time than EPRs, due to the ABWR construction record in Japan. The company prefers to reference the successful construction of ABWRs in Japan, rather than the Lungmen project in Taiwan. The Taiwanese plant has been delayed repeatedly due to political interference, greatly inflating costs.

Finally, the third group seeks to develop the AP1000. Manchester-based NuGeneration Limited is formed from a partnership between Toshiba (Westinghouse) and GDF Suez. Nugen plans three AP1000 at Moorside, and secured 200 hectares for the project in 2009. If construction goes ahead, it will employ 6,000 people. By that point, these will be the 17th, 18th and 19th AP1000s in operation. Westinghouse will provide the reactors but GDF Suez will run the plant. The commitment to invest will be made in 2018 and the first unit will begin operation in 2024.

All of these projects are being driven by reactor vendors keen to promote their designs. These are being pursued in the UK in the hope of winning future contracts in other countries. After seeking more uniformity and serialization, the UK is still embarking on multiple directions with numerous designs, partners, and operators. Perhaps this will not increase costs as much as in the past, as all of these designs will be supported by identical copies outside of the UK.

China also prioritized uniformity and domestic development, yet they currently use the reactor designs of France, Canada, Russia, and the USA as well as their own. The development of Chinese nuclear power was delayed in the past by canceling the water-cooled reactor program twice. First, Mao canceled it to focus funding on the development of nuclear weapons, then it was canceled a second time by the Gang of Four during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76) to focus on developing a molten salt reactor. After an all-out effort to develop a molten salt reactor failed, China finally devoted time and resources to develop their first water-cooled reactor at Qinshan-1.

A clear policy choice remained on whether to prioritize indigenous development or assimilate foreign technology in order to develop indigenous technology later. Though it was decided to pursue indigenous technology and use as few reactor designs as possible, other considerations would subvert this policy. It was diplomatically advantageous to buy CANDU reactors to reduce isolation after Tiananmen Square sanctions. AP1000s were selected as China’s official Gen III reactor. Yet a decision to build two EPRs was also taken. After the deal with Areva, the president of CNNC, deputy president of CGN and the president of China Triumph Industrial Engineering Co were accused of taking bribes. These three groups selected the EPR in a closed process with no international tender competition. Russian VVER-1000s were also built, possibly due to the availability of soft loans.

Ostensibly, China has exported one plant to Pakistan, but this order did not establish them as a reactor exporter. Their lone export order to Pakistan failed to establish them as a competitor, Chashma was badly built by the time it was completed in 2000. Rather than showcase Chinese capabilies, it illustrated a lack of capacity. It was difficult for it to be a copy of Qinshan-1 as intended, when most of Qinshan-I was unable to be supported by Chinese suppliers. The pressure vessel came from Mitsubishi, coolant pumps from West Germany, turbines from Sweden and the control system from Areva. Chashma was built using Chinese parts suppliers who had never supplied a nuclear power plant before. The project was delayed, and there were errors in construction. When internal sensors were damaged, they rattled around inside the core, unknown to the plant operators. Westinghouse assessed the plant and said the designers did not understand the effect of coolant flow on the core and components.

That was twenty years ago, and since then CGN and CNNC have completed many reactors that perform very well. The Chinese adaptation of Westinghouse designs in the CPR-1000 are completed on time, and have excellent operating load. Their domestic performance is an effective advertisement for export orders. This is the strongest bull market for nuclear power in Chinese history, as the latest FiveYear Plan (2016-2020) includes many new reactors. There are 42 planned reactors and 170 proposed reactors, in addition to the 22 under construction. Current policy is to not build any new wind turbines or coal mines, yet existing coal mines have the capacity to produce an additional 2 billion tonnes over the current annual production of 4 billion tonnes. This means falling coal prices will increase competition for nuclear power even in the absence of any new coal mines. On the other hand, construction costs will be assisted by falling steel prices. Massive overcapacity in steel, aluminum, glass, paper, and other heavy industries will push down prices as companies compete to avoid being driven out of business. Chinese workers used to strike for higher wages, now they strike over unpaid wages. Current plans to curtail production will cause 500,000 job losses in the steel sector and 1.3 million job losses in coal. The eventual job losses and company closures in the steel industry will likely be followed by similar contraction among other heavy industries. The collapse of the steel industry could start an avalanche, magnified in impact as numerous loans go bad. Since private debt has soared from 120% of GDP in 2008 to 240% of GDP in 2015, any companies that collapse or default on debt payments will have a domino effect throughout the economy. CGN and CNNC will perform well in these turbulent times, and will continue to find easy access to financing. They will be a calm port in the storm as they grow in a contracting economy.

In many ways, China is simply hoping to follow the path of South Korea. China’s entry into the international export market truly begins with an order from Argentina for the Hualong One reactor. Hwever, no Hualong One is in operation and only one is currently under construction which began in 2015. China sweetened the deal by offering financing for 85% of the $15b project. It seems reasonable to anticipate CGN and CNNC to continue to easily find financing for foreign construction projects.

The strongest competition for future export orders will come from Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP), owned by the Seoul government via the holding company Korean Electric Power Co. Known as KEPCO, it should not be confused with Kansai Power Co. (also KEPCO), who also operate nuclear power plants. The first APR-1400 at Barakah is 90% complete and on track to be completed in May 2017. Barakah-2 is 60% complete. In addition, one APR-1400 is already operational at Shin-Kori-1, although its construction took seven years. It was delayed due to poor quality cabling associated with a falsification scandal. The on-time completion of Barakah-1 will be a persuasive advertisement for future new sales. KHNP is not only selling reactors, but also South Korean management capable of keeping projects on schedule. The value of this is appreciated by the UAE, who has contracted 50 KHNP employees to work at Barakah and asked for Korean assistance in setting up their training program at the Institute of Applied Technology in Abu Dhabi. Korean reactors continue to become cheaper. They are bucking the trend toward ever higher costs, as each reactor achieves a lower cost per MWh than its predecessor. Falling costs and a long history of completing plants on-time makes KHNP a strong competitor for future export orders, selling not only a reliable design but a reliable schedule.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. We are seeing new development models, yet they draw on many elements of the old. New British development will use international designs, but still will not establish real uniformity throughout the British nuclear industry. China and Korea are driving state-owned businesses to try to conquer new export markets. That being said, their reputation in sticking to the schedule in domestic construction by Chinese and Korean companies addresses the most important factor in cost control for nuclear power. This makes them powerful competitors, at a time when nuclear power is expanding to new markets.

 
Andrew-Daniels
Andrew Daniels is the author of After Fukushima: What We Now Know, a history of the fear reactions towards nuclear power and radiation. This book will be available in the summer of 2016 on amazon.com. A historian with three degrees, a Hon. B.A. in History and Japanese Studies, B. Ed, and a M.Is, he is polyglot, fluent in English, French and Japanese plus a smattering of German, Italian and Swedish.
www.afterfukushima.com
@After_Fukushima
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Are Electric Cars Clean?

January 14, 2016
By Philip Ord, B.S.
President, Americans for Nuclear Energy

To the average eco-conscious consumer, electric cars are very enticing. All you have to do is mention Tesla, and people’s eyes brighten with enthusiasm. An ever-growing range of 200+ miles on a single charge, with zero exhaust exiting a tailpipe. To many, the company’s CEO, Elon Musk, is the real-life technology genius Tony Stark from Iron Man. With all due respect, Musk’s team has produced a truly excellent electric car, and they just seem to be getting better. Electric vehicles are now competitive with combustion vehicles, at least for the wealthy. Tesla’s new SUV, the Model X, will cost you $80,000.

Strolling around my hometown of Denver, Colorado, I saw a Tesla sedan with a vanity plate that read “ZEROGAS.” Indeed, no gasoline was powering said vehicle, but as any physicist can tell you, there is no free lunch. Colorado produces filthy electricity. Sixty percent is produced with coal-fired power plants, which is the most carbon-intensive process on the face of the earth. A quarter of our electricity comes from cleaner, still carbon-intensive, natural gas. This is what runs a Tesla in the city of Denver. Zero gas, yes. Zero carbon pollution, absolutely not.

But here is the difference between as Tesla and a combustion vehicle, efficiency. Electric cars can put more of its battery-stored energy to propulsion than a combustion car can from its gasoline-stored energy. This simply has to do with the physics of how work is done in an electric motor versus an internal combustion engine. But this efficiency does not matter if you burn coal to charge a battery. A 2013 Slate article explained that a Tesla in West Virginia (96% coal-produced electricity) emits about as much carbon as an ordinary Honda Civic does with gas.1 A rule-of-thumb when in comes to electric cars, they are as clean as the electric grid in which they are plugged.

Washington State receives about ninety percent of its electricity from carbon-neutral sources, a large majority from hydroelectric dams.2 Here, an electric vehicle is worth the investment, if you want to decrease your carbon intensity. Knowing the Pacific Northwest, most people, my sister included, consider themselves “eco-friendly.” Let’s remember that most states are not this clean. The breakdown of electricity by source in the United States is as follows: coal (39%), gas (27%), nuclear (19%), hydroelectric (6%), wind (4.4%), biomass (1.7%), oil (1%), geothermal (0.4%), solar (0.4%)3 We still heavily rely on fossil fuels, which is making climate change an ever-growing danger.

What is the largest source of low-carbon electricity in the country? Nuclear power, producing a whopping fifth of our electricity. Often, people are shocked to hear this. In fact, the United States leads the world in quantity of electricity produced by nuclear fission.4 Believe it or not, this makes us the producer of the most low-carbon electricity on the planet. Unfortunately, our nuclear fleet is getting old, and many are facing decommissioning.5 If too many close, we risk being unable to meet carbon cuts, mandated by the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. This will also make our electric vehicles even more dirty. Many will place hopes on wind and solar power to fix our grid, but based upon cost and reliability of these sources, don’t hold your breath.6

We can have clean electric cars, we can have a clean electric grid. How will we do this? We need a nuclear energy renaissance. Aging nuclear plants need to be updated and retrofitted. New nuclear plants must be built. Money needs to be set aside for next-generation nuclear technology. Scientifically illiterate environmental groups will push back, claiming terrible danger. Ignore this idea, this does not reflect the reality of nuclear power,7 In fact, nuclear power arguably clocks in as the safest form of electricity production. Per unit energy (kilowatt-hour) produced, nuclear energy has claimed the lowest number of lives.8

There is still another problem surrounding transportation. The vast majority of vehicles in existence today use combustion for propulsion. It will take a huge amount of time to phase all these things out. More than likely, combustible liquid fuels will always be utilized. Hydrocarbons still remain a safe, efficient, and affordable way to move people by road, air, and sea. What if I told you that you can make hydrocarbons without fossil crude oil? A Canadian company called Carbon Engineering is testing a prototype that pulls carbon dioxide out of the air and into a solution.9 With enough energy (perhaps from nuclear fission), you can combine the carbon dioxide with hydrogen from water to create high-purity, carbon-neutral fuel. The only byproduct would be oxygen gas put back in the atmosphere. This process is called reverse combustion.

Are electric cars clean? Yes, only if they are paired with a clean electric grid. With the promise of cheap, plentiful and carbon-free power from nuclear reactors, we can decarbonize electric and combustion vehicles. Essentially, all of transportation and electricity could be possible without the release of greenhouse gas. Exploiting the thermodynamic efficiency of electric motors will of course be the next big step in transport, but the gap can be bridged until we get there. Those who are electric vehicle enthusiasts, demand research in development in nuclear power. Demand research and development of carbon neutral fuels. Demand that people like Elon Musk are being honest about emission profiles. You must take all factors into account to remain consistent to an ecologically-friendly lifestyle.

Sources

[1] www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2013/09/how_green_is_a_tesla_electric_cars_environmental_impact_depends_on_where.html

[2]
energy.gov/maps/renewable-energy-production-state

[3]
www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=427&t=3

[4]
www.world-nuclear.org/info/current-and-future-generation/nuclear-power-in-the-world-today/

[5]
thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/259199-nuclear-power-plants-warn-of-closure-crisis

[6]
www.theenergycollective.com/rodadams/306636/limitations-unreliable-energy-sources-aka-renewables

[7]
www.washingtonpost.com/national/nuclear-power-is-safest-way-to-make-electricity-according-to-2007-study/2011/03/22/AFQUbyQC_story.html

[8]
www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2012/06/10/energys-deathprint-a-price-always-paid/#2715e4857a0b643b020749d2

[9] www.technologyreview.com/news/542226/test-facility-begins-capturing-carbon-from-air/

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Ocean Acidification: An Immediate Threat or Why all the Hubub About Climate Change?

By Christopher C. Bergan

The whole world is talking about Climate Change. Anthropological Global Warming. Global Disruption. This is planet wide terra-forming with Green House Gasses (GHG) as the primary modus operandi, and it seems that a few billion people weren’t expecting this challenge to our collective survival. 195 of 196 nations were charter members of the UN Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which was first proposed at the Rio Conference in 1992 and entered into force in March of 1996. That’s a lot of delegates! And after years of being confronted with melting glaciers, expanding deserts, extended droughts, record flooding, and record hurricanes; these delegates have finally agreed that steps need to be taken to mitigate any human-induced factors which might have created this climate change. This is a first step. The other important step was to agree to continue to meet and reassess every five years. It is my belief that the greatest danger of climate change is not the warming or the rising seas, but the changing chemistry of those seas. This effect is a lowering of P/H levels which acidifies the oceans. By the end of this century most life may be extinct in the oceans, which will mean greatly lowered oxygen levels for humans and other creatures as well as the possibility of a runaway greenhouse effect. This all centers on tiny plankton. But first allow me to backtrack a bit.

History of CO² knowledge.

Many reading this will have already heard of the Swede, Svante Arrhenius. In 1896 he was finishing up some complicated equations to explain how CO² might have affected the ice ages and glaciers. He then turned to a colleague, Arvid Högbom, to get some assistance on natural CO² cycles from volcanoes and oceans. Then Dr. Arrhenius decided to include factory emissions (mostly coal at that time) – and things got interesting. He calculated that within three thousand years mankind could raise the planet’s temperature by as much as 6°C! OK, not quite a compelling problem. Dr. Arrhenius eventually wrote a book which was published in 1908. Upon revisiting his calculations he looked at continued coal emissions, and calculated that mankind now would cause significant global warming in less than a millenia. Other scientists glanced at this work, did some independent calculations of their own, and had quite different outcomes. In short, Dr. Arrhenius’ work was labeled as flawed and was soon ignored by the majority of the science literate. In 1938 an English engineer, Guy Stewart Callendar, began to champion the idea of global warming. But since he was an amateur meteorologist, the minimal factors which were accounted for in his papers left room for doubts by many professionals. In the 1950’s and 1960’s some better work was done by Kaplan, Suess, & Revelle which paved the way for the acceptance of Arrhenius’ work. Then C. David Keeling began tracking CO² levels and published his Keeling Curve Chart. A detailed account of this history is found here. About the time Herr Hitler succeeded Gen. von Hindenberg as German Chancellor, a graduate student in Chicago was starting his master’s thesis on the quantum aspects of the infrared absorption spectrum of CO². In later years, when Dr. Alvin Weinberg was Director at ORNL, he continued to have an interest in the work being done on the implications heat absorption by CO². After being “ousted” from ORNL in 1973, Weinberg wrote a paper on the energy economy which included possible global warming scenarios – which were now anticipated to be only a century away. These concerns were presented to Congress in 1975 – and politely ignored. In 1981 a ten page article in Science Magazine titled Climate impact of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide introduced a new name into this tale, Dr. James Hansen of NASA. In 1988 Dr. Hansen testified before congress and the hubub about climate change finally began to be taken seriously by the general public.

What does plankton have to do with climate change?

The oceans are 99% of the known livable space on the earth. In spite of the fact that human beings are mostly excluded from that living space, there are several thousand known plants & animals that do live in the oceans. So I’d like to repeat that phrase: The oceans are 99% of the known livable space on the earth! That fact is important. There are now about 5,000 species of plankton in the world. One of the 3 types of plankton is Phytoplankton (theses include both fresh water or oceanic organisms), which absorbs sunlight and carbon dioxide. Abundant yet tiny, phytoplankton forms the bottom of the water-based food chain. Phytoplankton (mostly single celled plants) does three things;
  1. Phytoplankton are sometimes eaten by small animals and baleen whales, forming the base of the oceanic food chain. Nearly half the human population lives within 60 miles of the ocean and is a part of that food chain. The seas also provides the biggest source of wild or domestic protein in the world.
  2. Phytoplankton absorbs CO² and sequesters it in their tiny shells which eventually fall to the bottom of the ocean – should they not get eaten first. By total mass, nearly half of all life in the oceans are comprised of these tiny plankton!
  3. As these bits of plankton take in CO² for nourishment, they also give off oxygen. In fact, it has been estimated that up to 80% of the earth’s oxygen is produced by phytoplankton! Breathe deeply as you consider this fact.

What happens when plankton becomes scarce? Or extinct?

It is known among scientists that nearly 40% of the plankton around the world has disappeared in the past 50 years. In fact, Professor Jean-Pierre Gattuso believes that arctic plankton could be completely extinct before 2030! These aren’t random hypotheses – the process is being documented now! Whether passively or specifically, some people are defiant when confronted with the urgent context of this situation. They believe that taking back democracy from the super rich will save our preferred climate – as if Dr. Lovelocke’s conception of Gaia (Mother Nature if you prefer) cares how we distribute and use her resources. It matters not how morally those natural resources are used; if they are used too quickly the planet cannot keep pace with these induced changes and there are penalties. The penalties for dumping GHG into the environment include terra-forming the planet so that glaciers melt and increasing water acidity changes habitats so that many become less hospitable to life. We need to admit that this is a global chemical & energy problem! Yes there are societal implications, both for humans as well as mammals, insects, & fish (they seem to have a type of society too). But terra-forming the earth (or Geo-Engineering) is real science, & Ocean Acidification (in my opinion) is the biggest problem associated with anthropological climate change! Here’s how I see it:
  1. The oceans absorb CO² & heat.
  2. This process is exacerbated by excess CO² absorbing infrared wavelengths.
  3. Plankton use that carbon to make billions of tiny shells each month.
  4. Plankton makes a lot of oxygen. More than land-based plants actually!
  5. Some plankton are eaten as the base of the food chain.
  6. Tons of uneaten plankton fall to the ocean floor – providing natural CO² sequestration
  7. Some minute amounts of CO² are not made into plankton shells, but instead become carbonic acid.
  8. Carbonic acid interrupts the life cycle of plankton by dissolving shells – no circle of aquatic life!
  9. Activies #1-6 slow and eventually stop occurring in increasingly acidic oceans.
  10. Goodbye oxygen for fish & mammals. Goodbye ocean food chain.

Hello global starvation and extinctions! Hello runaway greenhouse effect – Venus gets a twin!

Not to worry though; Gaia will likely create another intelligent being after Homo “Deluded” Sapien disappears. Just a shame we might take a few thousand other creatures with us into extinction. The earth will continue to spin and orbit – in the next billion years there will likely be several intelligent new species similar to chimps, dolphins, ants, cats, dogs, and such. Perhaps the dominant species of the next great era will be more similar to a grasshopper or octopus rather than the ape? I insert one question at this point for social activists who have been so busy as of late:  How could “taking back democracy” actually impact activities #7-10 as listed above?  How are populations of fish schools coupled with the distribution of wealth within capitalistic land-based societies? Does the voting record of union members change how CO² absorbs in three distinct spectrums? Global Chemistry is a hard science best solved by those trained in STEM education. We laypeople need to listen and learn about scientific convention, not fight against those that best understand how to mitigate Global Climate Change.  [end personal rant]

No need to take my word for all this.

I would suggest watching a talk entitled Acidification, Climate & Energy by Dr. Alex Cannara. This was given in June of 2015 at the TEAC7 conference. He has other talks online as well. Then there’s also an excellent documentary called Racing Extinction by Oscar winner Louie Psihoyos. This is an excellent overview the many of the problems which all inhabitants of the earth are facing. While I didn’t personally care for the “Save the Whales” mentality which bookends this documentary (Sorry, but I am also a hardcore fan of Star Trek TOS and just didn’t appreciate that aspect of the fourth movie – at the time), I do recognize that this over-fishing issue is a point to which the general public can relate. The core of the greater issue is found in the middle third of the Racing Extinction film: Ocean Acidification. To summarize yet again; currently several species of plankton are already under duress and numbers have begun to dwindle. I would ask what good is saving whales, dolphins, turtles, tuna, lobster, or seahorses in the 21st century if all sea life will be extinct in the 23rd century? Kelp and jellyfish excluded. It is this issue of ocean acidification which excess CO² exacerbates. So please, watch that middle portion of the Racing Extinction documentary a second time. Then perhaps watch a Ted Talk or use the internet to find recent information directly from researchers.

Context: the long view is equally important.

Can we avert this mass extinction scenario? Is it too late to avoid even some of these effects? We all should think carefully about this in the coming months, then act decisively in accordance with good science and engineering precepts – not fantasies based on feel-good ideas. I will say here that neither journalism nor political science are actual sciences. Valid scientists interact with dozens or even hundreds of fellow experts to build a solid story from their research. Less trustworthy scientists often rely on a very few cohorts (or on themselves alone!) to support a position. So let’s find actual experts & learn the basic science of climate change. Then find qualified engineers & architects that can build what science experts tell us are the best solutions. Yes there are short term societal concerns to keep us busy, but the hubub of daily concerns won’t matter much if we have no descendants to remember us. We must make the time in this century to return the earth to it’s proper, natural climate cycle. If our global village procrastinates even a few decades, our wealth of information and many achievements may disappear from the face of the earth in the coming centuries with only the distant artificial satellites of Pioneer & Voyager to mark our temporary learning curve.  

Perhaps the greatest commitment to come out of the recent COP21 is the agreement to meet again. Cop22 is in 5 years & COP23 in 10 years. We absolutely have to get it right by then – or else!

RECOMMENDED READING & WATCHING

This is how the ocean makes Earth livable

Racing Extinction Documentary panel @ UCTV

Phytoplankton fading global seas

Meeting the Renewable Energy Challenge: James Hansen Lecture

Nature decline ocean phytoplankton global warming boris worm

What is ocean acidification?

Arnold Schwarzenegger Climate campaigns need focus right now not 2050?

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How would advanced aliens size up our reluctance to use nuclear energy?

Guest Post from Robert Rudolph Hasspacher

If aliens came down to earth tomorrow, and we told them how we are having an environmental crisis because we need to find new sources of energy besides fossil fuels, the first thing they would say to us is:

“What about nuclear energy, we’ve already seen you have the technology from the neutrinos you emit. Why not scale it up?”

And then the Sierra Club and Peabody Coal would step forward and say with ignorant sincerity, “NO! It’s too expensive, and it produces waste, and it could release radioactivity, and other countries could make bombs from our waste!”

The aliens would say back, “You mean to tell me that your species is intelligent enough to have gotten materials to within billionths of a degree of absolute zero, put 5 spacecraft beyond the orbit of Pluto, have genetically manufactured crop species to increase food yield, understand quantum mechanics to the point of being on the verge of creating quantum computing, have a worldwide aviation system with 1.2 billion passengers a year that is the safest form of transportation available, and yet you can’t engineer a nuclear reactor that produces negligible amounts of waste, has no risk of releasing appreciable amounts of radiation, is cheaper than blowing up mountains for coal, and avoids the improbable risk that someone makes a bomb from it? That is elementary by comparison! You came up with technology that could do that 50 years ago! Damn it, your planet is TEEMING with nuclear material, you could be in a golden age of energy abundance without carbon!”

And TEA would say back “yeah but enough people are uneducated enough to be fooled by fossil interests into thinking that an obvious solution like atomic energy is a danger to humanity.”

Sunset_over_the_base_of_the_Eiffel,_Paris_2007

COP21 and what is missing from the table

Have you noticed the number of interested parties that offer no real solutions? Obama falls short. Justin Trudeau falls short. The climate marches are preaching renewables and conservation as their proposed solutions. There are no real solutions discussed. People should not imagine that by simply following politics and voting for what they think is the best party that it will make a difference. Following the science is far more important.

We need to look at what solutions are being proposed and seriously evaluate our best strategies. How many people understand that the biggest problem is coal? Yes energy from coal is cheap and abundant. The western world has depended on coal. Also keep in mind that Ontario would never have been able to replace coal without their nuclear plants replacing that reliable energy we all need to run our cities. Right now the overwhelming majority of the active groups who will show up at the COP21 and try to make their voices heard are short on solutions.

The way we view nuclear is also problematic. We need to stop letting people get away with saying “where do we store the waste?” and “nuclear is too expensive” and “what about Fukushima?” those myths have been proven wrong. We have a number of countries engaged in bringing forth nuclear reactors that will be able to re-use so-called nuclear waste. As for Fukushima, nobody died or will even get sick from the radiation released by the Fukushima accident. As for the the expense of building nuclear plants. It is related to the idea of perceived danger. As soon as the public understands through a little education what makes nuclear expensive we will see the costs come down. The nuclear industry is punished when it should be rewarded. What a backwards world. Getting the NRC and EPA to accept the Hormesis model rather than the “Linear No Threshold” model will also help lower prices since that would allow designs to be built without the above-and-beyond safety requirements being imposed.

I urge everyone to look at the energy sources and be honest in comparing their relative ability to solve how to replace coal. Obama modestly supports nuclear energy but has not added it to his COP21 strategy. Why not? Justin Trudeau will be doing the same. Can anybody explain why?

I know most people will give the usual responses about the so-called expense and danger of nuclear power. Please consider that Germany is adding coal plants because they were also under the influence of the renewable movement.

We have grown up with abundant energy and find it hard to understand that the emerging Eastern countries are not going to stop using coal because we tell them to. They are where we were at 70 years ago. Coal is still the cheapest. We need to figure out how to make nuclear power cheaper than coal. I believe that is totally possible with a focus on changing how people just need to educate themselves about radiation and the unfortunate truth that renewable energy will be impossible to meet the world’s energy demands.

So yes, we need to reduce carbon dioxide, but more than that, eliminate CO2 emissions. We need to be honest about the real outcomes of the very few nuclear accidents that have happened. Also come to terms that much of our misinformation comes from funded sources that are paid for by nuclear power’s competition. Also as James Hansen said recently. Let’s be honest about the harm being done by fossil fuel sources for energy. When it comes to climate change and ocean acidification “greed” is not good.

Screenshot-2015-10-26-18.03.10

Educating a New Nuclear Workforce

by Beth Kelly

Today in the United States, nuclear power plants generate close to one-fifth of the nation’s electricity and constitute a majority of our non-greenhouse gas-emitting electrical production. It is by far the largest source of low-carbon electricity in the country. Yet, despite analyses urging a more substantial role for nuclear power in light of looming climate change, the U.S. nuclear industry is not projected to grow in the decades ahead. But a nuclear renaissance is possible if we want it, and the first step is educating a new wave of nuclear workers on the vast potential of this type of energy generation.

Nuclear Science Week, which took place this year from Oct. 19 – 23, is a recurring, yearly proceeding that focuses on championing the innovations that can be found by exploring nuclear science. Events are held throughout the United States, as well as in other countries worldwide such as Canada and the United Arab Emirates. Many of these celebrations are hosted by universities and high schools, with the intent of drumming up support for nuclear science courses as well as careers in the field.

Close to half of the nuclear workforce will be eligible for retirement within the next 10 years. And as the “boomer” generation departs, finding applicants with the right set of skills to step in and replace them is a challenge. As a part of its broader educational goals, NSW exposes students to the broad range of opportunities that exist for nuclear engineers. At a time when the industry stands at a crossroads, partnerships with educational programs are crucial to its continued success.

The Department of Energy currently projects that the U.S. electrical demand will rise by 28% by 2040. In order to maintain nuclear power’s current share of electricity generation, we will need to build one new reactor every year, starting next year – or 20-25 new units by 2040. Worsening effects of global warming may further impact this number, provided we continue to drive more focus on shifting away from coal- and oil-burning facilities. Certainly we need to support new and upcoming projects that can start us on the path towards a more sustainable energy future, and nuclear power is the only emission-free electricity source that can grow to help us meet this demand.

Most projections show that renewables – excluding input from nuclear – won’t be able to ramp up sufficiently in the coming decades to meet the planet’s energy needs. A failure to increase our reliance on low-carbon sources of power will lead to additional energy-related CO2 emissions released by burning fossil fuels. Currently there are five new nuclear power facilities being built within the United States and over 60 under construction in other parts of the world. When we combine this new generating capacity with the widely graying workforce, there are plenty of opportunities for newcomers to contribute to the industry.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for nuclear engineers is expected to increase 9 percent from 2012 to 2022, and the average annual pay in 2012 was $104,270, higher than the $86,200 median earned by all engineers. This occupation requires a bachelor’s degree, but the related profession of nuclear technician typically only requires an associate’s degree. These technicians made an average of $69,060 per year as compared to technicians in “life, physical, and social science,” who took home $41,130 on average. In 2011 it was estimated that, in order to survive the aging boomer upheaval, the nuclear industry would have to replace nearly 25,000 skilled workers.

The advantages of nuclear energy are manifold. We have enough fuel for hundreds of years even without implementing any improvements to the current nuclear infrastructure. Unlike solar panels and wind turbines, nuclear reactors aren’t dependent on weather conditions and can reliably deliver electrical output steadily throughout the day. According to experts at Direct Energy, global emissions of carbon increased from 6,750 million metric tons in 2000 to 8,749 million metric tons in 2008. It’s clear that we need all the help we can get from every green energy source, including nuclear, to mitigate this problem for future generations. It’s important, especially considering the immediacy of the Paris COP21 conference, to regard the future of nuclear energy as one that closely aligns with the future of our energy needs.

Beyond acting in their own economic self-interest, fresh talent that engages with nuclear energy will be doing their part to help the planet by enabling the growth of various burgeoning national nuclear programs. Now is the time to revitalize the future of nuclear power, but it is only possible with the help and persistence of new recruits.

(note the image is a screen capture of a Gordon McDowell video taken of students from Calvin College presenting during the Thorium Energy Alliance conference June 3 and 4th/2015)

Energy Reality FB Group (March 2015) Discussion

   Rick Maltese  March 1, 2015

There was a debate recently on a thorium linkedIn group that the author felt there should not be inaccurate science statements made by pronuclear supporters to win people over to the pronuclear side.

The author wanted to point out how the number of deaths caused from coal plants is often exaggerated. The author also suggested the UN’s numbers were way too inflated.

This had a ring to it that reminded me of those who feel that climate change is high among the reasons to promote the use of nuclear power. Here is where the difficulty begins. Do we advocate the use of nuclear energy by telling people it will fix global warming or should that be low on our long list of reasons?

So a couple of the touchy issues that keeps surfacing

1) Are molten salt reactors proliferation safe. Most MSR and LFTR advocates say they are. More proliferation safe than LWRs and other 4th Gen reactors. The degree of safety varies and a proper position to take on this IMHO is that like Climate Change the topic should be avoided because it is not very different that discussing which type of commercial jet is more likely to crash.

2) Challenging pronuclear advocates publicly about whether nuclear can solve global warming is also a bad idea. It should be avoided as a topic altogether in public spaces.

3) That MSRs or SMRs are the only new types of reactors worth supporting. This is also a counter-productive topic. All reactors being built now are at least Gen III and they are still very much worth supporting. The renewal of Gen II reactors is also worth supporting. The record speaks for itself.

Jumping on the environmental bandwagon may not be the best choice for the nuclear industry. The…
NEIMAGAZINE.COM
Comments
Scott Medwid

Scott Medwid Ocean acidification is ties to coal, oil, gas and bio fuel combustion. Ice is melting at alarming rates at the North and South poles and mountain glaciers and snow pack are in decline in to many locations. The bottom line argument for keeping and extending the existing Gen 2 fleet is that they produce fossil fuel free electricity and they have been paid for (for the most part right?). Gen 3+ reactors are approved and are being deployed. New designs must couple electrical generation with desalinization of sea water into a agriculturally suitable byproduct of the new reactors. Generation 4 reactors will be supported if they can provide fossil fuel free electricity and process heat for clean water.

Virgil Fenn

Virgil Fenn I’m with you almost all the way there, Rick. My quibble is with #2.
People that are already convinced that climate change and increasing CO2 levels are good prospects in that we have the best solution for the problem they want to fix. Plus, they alrea
dy have a sense of urgency. The fear of radiation is the last hurdle to overcome.
For climate change deniers, we should not bother to engage with them on that issue. Other people are already working to convince them and our time is better spent on the fear of all radiation mythology and the attending regulatory nightmare.
Actually, after re-reading your #2, i may have misunderstood.
Either way, i promise to do better. No more drinking and posting for me.

Andrew M Dodson

Andrew M Dodson Climate change is just that, AN Argument! Let’s not base our policy on arguments, but established consensus. Fossil fuels are polluting and we must transition. There’s plenty of evidence, but I would hope that it goes without saying!

Jason Correia

Jason Correia Every other no-emission to low emission (natural gas) energy source is touting itself as a climate change mitigation measure. Every other high emission source (oil, coal) is pretending that climate change doesn’t exist and is actively trying to thwart any measures to curb or tax their emissions.

Which camp does nuclear want to ally itself with?

Jason Correia

Jason Correia I skimmed through that article, Rick, and I’m quite frustrated that this author sees things with a very different lens than I do.

I see this in very simple marketing 101 terms. You want to sell a product then you need to find or create the demand. Ele
ctricity (the end product) is already in demand. Emission free energy has a demand for cleaner air, climate change mitigation, and emission standards. Lastly, you need to meet the demand for the image conscience, in other words people need to feel good about buying your product because your brand has prestige, quality, cool factor – they understand what your product is and *want* it. Apple has mastered this last type of demand of course.

Nuclear can meet the first 2 demands at a reasonable cost if given the chance but needs to lobby to make it more cost efficient. But let’s not kid ourselves, as far as image conscience demand goes – nuclear sucks. And what’s even worse, is guys like Steve Kidd just don’t understand how important this is.

Change the phrase from “climate change” to “conscience change” instead and everything makes a lot more sense relevant to nuclear, no matter what your opinion is about CC science.

I give the Thorium community huge kudos for creating buzz and excitement about their ‘new’ nuclear technology. Suddenly everyone is interested and excited about thorium. Nuclear’s challenge is now to transfer that same enthusiasm to conventional nuclear and get some environmental groups to have a change of heart so in turn, we get more decision makers on nuclear’s side.

I’ll go out on a little limb here and say there is NO RISK to promoting nuclear as a climate change mitigation.

The author states ” There is a significant risk in nuclear hitching itself to this type of view, as it may eventually be found to be unproven and in that case the nuclear industry, along with the renewables sector, will be discredited.”

First, that’s a load of bullcrap. If new nuclear plants get built no one is going to say “oh geez, the Earth isn’t as warm as we thought it was going to be, what a horrible mistake is was to built all these nuclear reactors that supply electricity at the cheapest price possible.” Just the rising population and increased demand for energy alone will keep all potential regrets at bay. No one is going to feel like they were ‘sold a bill of goods’ on account of nuclear touting itself as a climate change mitigation measure.

By the way, notice I use the word ‘mitigation’ instead of solution. As far as we know, there is no ‘solution’, there are only attempts to stave off what might be the inevitable.

It’s only the expensive renewables that will only be at most risk because they carry shorter lifespans and require the most intensive cost maintenance. An AP1000 could easily last 100 years.

Nuclear needs to recreate its brand image and the rest can fall into place. If the nuclear industry and it’s proponents want to be stupid, ignore this at your peril. Because in the end, it doesn’t matter if the climate science is right or wrong, what matters is how nuclear makes the best of itself within this perceived crisis.

Gijs Zwartsenberg

Gijs Zwartsenberg Rick, your post raises some essential issues that I face probably every time I’m working on my website.
I think each deserves separate discussion, and there’s also a couple of other touchy issues that need to be discussed.
However, in my view it is es
sential to come to what is called ‘a narrative’ – and that is something that is almost impossible to create by just going through the arguments.
So please keep in mind, the following reactions ‘only’ concern the arguments here, arguments that may or may not become part of a narrative – the narrative itself is not yet in sight.
#1: As there’s a multitude of configurations to choose from, it’s better to say that MSR’s CAN be made proliferation safe.
#2: I agree with Virgil Fenn here. Leave the climate debate to the climate debaters. On my website I try to avoid the subject.
Not because I’m a climate sceptic, but I think the issue just adds to the confusion.
There are many, many more arguments to ban ‘fossil’ and especially coal – such as mercury pollution of soil and ocean.
#3: From a physics standpoint, I think it’s safe to say that present day reactors, and especially the new ones are worth supporting.
However, that message is much more difficult to convey to the not-yet-converted than it is to seek support for MSR’s.
MSR’s have a chance to break out of the ‘anti-nuke’ paradigm.
Once you get them interested in MSR’s, people may finally start looking at their previously held beliefs about ‘nuclear’.
That will probably feel ‘unjust’ to those working in the present nuclear field, but it may also be a sound case of ‘realpolitik’.

Martin Kral

Martin Kral There is no other energy as clean, safe , dense, reliable, plentiful, etc. as nuclear power. I stay focused on the additional benefits it has for humanity over and above fossil and renewable. There is no need to discount any energy platform. Have any of you had a CT scan lately? Add the by-products of nuclear and fossil and the discussion is a no brainer for me. What are the by-products of renewable?

Martin Kral

Martin Kral Oh wait, I forgot! Thorium is the by-product of renewable manufacturing material mining.

Ruth Sponsler

Ruth Sponsler Why would climate change be such a bad argument for nuclear if the renewable sources that generate much less energy are claiming to be the ones to solve the problem?

To me, this is like hiding one of NE’s truly best assets.


Instead, I think it’s time to discuss issues like “nuclear equality,” which is getting governmental and societal entities to treat a kilowatt of nuclear electricity the same as a kW of wind or solar for carbon-free portfolio standards.

Martin Kral

Martin Kral Nuclear is based on Physics and Chemistry. Hard to dispute that science. The source of a kilowatt are not equal and never will be.

Gijs Zwartsenberg

Gijs Zwartsenberg Ruth Sponsler, I don’t think climate change is a bad argument for nuclear, the point is that the climate change debate is highly politicized. To link MSR’s to that debate may hurt their case. I think the specs of MSR’s are so convincing that MSR’s can make friends even without the climate argument.

Ruth Sponsler

Ruth Sponsler Martin Kral – I realize that the science behind NE is better. Yet it is being treated as a sub-equal among emissions-free energy sources.

All I’m saying is that the politicos should give it the respect it deserves….

Ruth Sponsler

Ruth Sponsler I like Virgil Fenn’s argument here!

Gijs Zwartsenberg

Gijs Zwartsenberg I agree, Virgil is pretty sharp, even after having a drink or two wink emoticon Leaves the search for a narrative open though – see my first response to Rick Maltese

Martin Kral

Martin Kral I agree about the fear of radiation and that is why I am focused on nuclear medicine.
From my next article:
“Production of medical radioisotopes has become the most important sector of the nuclear industry, accounting for more than 50% of annual radi
oisotopes production worldwide. Today more than 160 radioisotopes of 80 chemical elements are produced for use in diagnosis and therapy of cancer, as well as cardiology, hematology, urology, nephrology, and other specialties. The global radioisotope market was valued at $4.8 billion in 2012, with medical radioisotopes accounting for about 80% of this, and is poised to reach about $8 billion by 2017. To preserve the lives of many people, we actually need advance nuclear reactors in more markets because of the short life cycle of the medical radioisotopes and of course, the need for electricity and clean water.”
www.kralspaces.wordpress.com

Virgil Fenn

Virgil Fenn Jason, we”re the ones with the solution that actually works. We should recruit from both (all) sides.

Alex Cannara

Alex Cannara Rick, I thought this was a “reality” discussion group — no?

Are you actually saying that coal deaths in mines are false? Are you actually saying coal emissions illnesses in the 10s of thousands in US alone are false? Are you saying that China’s adm
itting to losing hundreds of thousands of lives and >3% of GDP on health problems caused by coal emissions, etc. are false? Are you suggesting that ocean acidification and isotopic measurements of C emissions don’t trace back to coal?

What, on earth are you trying to do here, simply because a guy or two, who deny global warming (and don’t bother to study science) ,were upset by critiques of coal use?

Alex Cannara

Alex Cannara On your Qs 2 & 3, why isn’t it clear that nuclear power would have eliminated the bulk of climate/ocean issues by about 2000. if subsequent administrations/congresses hadn’t fumbled JFK’s start?http://tinyurl.com/6xgpkfa
It should not be “avoided” at
all. Avoiding it plays into the hands of the folks unknowing or hiding from, the causes of our environmental problems — the ones we’re wasting time vacillating on and leaving to our descendants.

And, of course all regulated nuclear power is desired ASAP. Why is that even a question? Why is proliferation re Thorium a question?

The humungous length of the blog exchange you mention is evidence enough of the absurdity of the deniers’ positions — their only tactic is to repeatedly avoid facts and repeat the same fluff over & over to buy time and waste others’. This group should be able to handle that quickly. If it can’t, then the name of the group needs changing.

Rick Maltese

Rick Maltese I was just presenting the discussion not drawing conclusions.

Jason Correia

Jason Correia I agree with Alex.

Avoiding the climate change issue is exactly what the fossil companies are trying to do and nuclear is and should be different.


The green movement has already mis-categorized nuclear in their acronym “CONG” (coal, oil, nuclear, gas). Nuclear is in a class all by itself. Another marketing 101 lesson is to promote all of your differentiators to your clients so they will understand why your product is better than others.

There are 3 types of businesses: New, Better, or Different. New is the rarest form, and nuclear certainly still retains some of the New factor. To be all 3 is very rare and nuclear is all 3. If nuclear industry/community doesn’t understand and appreciate itself for just how awesomely new, better, and different it is, then it’s selling itself short.

Eric Hanson

Eric Hanson A few points.
A) Since no one has ever made an atomic bomb from spent fuel from a power reactor, I don’t see the proliferation issue as being that compelling.
See More

Robert Steinhaus

Robert Steinhaus As nuclear advocates, we should make available the best and most accurate information we have regarding proliferation vulnerabilities so as to place in the hands of decision makers and the public the information they need to ensure planet-wide nuclear safety. If we fail to do this, and actively suppress the best information we have so as to further our nuclear agenda, we deserve criticism.
————-
Thorium MSR Protactinium separation proliferation vulnerability

The versatility of the Thorium Fuel Cycle implemented in MSRs and advantages of Thorium chemistry over Plutonium PUREX chemistry makes new Gen-IV Thorium MSRs less proliferation safe than existing Gen-III LWRs.

Thorium fuel has risks. Stephen F. Ashley, Geoffrey T. Parks, William J. Nuttall, Colin Boxall &Robin W. Grimeshttp://home.comcast.net/~aer…/Ashley_Thorium_has_risks.pdf

Jason Correia

Jason Correia Eric– The point is not to convince the Amory Lovins types out of their philosophical bent, the point is to not be excluded from the emission target formulas that regulators are designing.

If your product’s relevancy is regulated away from the marketplace, it doesn’t matter who you convince.
See More

Alex Cannara

Alex Cannara Jason is exactly right. I and another PhD confronted Lovins after his very polished slideware talk at NCSE in DC. He has no idea of reality, even when it was pointed out that his mashing up of gobs of wind/solar leaves what he said was 4% of unpredictable, unmet demand. He didn’t seem to get that professional utility power is delivered at 0.9999 or better reliability.

But that’s to be expected, since he never got an engineering or physics degree and dropped out of Oxford at least, while pretending to be an “Oxford Don” on his resumes. (a don there is a tutor). What he is doing, 4/7, is promoting contract sales for his rocky Mountain Institute.

Our descendants’ needs won’t be served by such, just as they won’t be served by climate deniers who may or may not advertize support for nuclear power, yet avoid science themselves. The future of those coming after us depends on respect for reality and science, not business opportunity.

Alex Cannara

Alex Cannara Now to Robert’s: “Gen-IV Thorium MSRs less proliferation safe than existing Gen-III LWRs.”

You should know that’s false, Robert. If not, explain why you don’t and thus mislead others here.


I’ll repeat the clues you’ve already been given: a) the IAEA defines “self-protective” U233 as containing ~2.4% U232; b) U233 bombs are exceedingly expensive to try to build as our own failures to do so document; c) if your beloved fusion (for which I was blessed with 2 degrees) ever comes, it provides an efficient, direct method for making U233 “self protective” (did you miss Ralph Moir’s talk last TEAC?); and d) the addition of a few kg of U232 precursors, like Pa231 or Th230, makes plenty of U232 with <2% extra reactivity (fissile) demand.

Of course, more practically, a Pa233 or U233 thief would have to find a way to drain many kg of 700+C salt from a LFTR, with a 1:30 proportion of those targets in the salt, to get a critical mass in the end. You or someone must do so without dying and causing a noticeable power drop to reactor operators, radiation alarming, etc., etc. Perhaps you’d like to volunteer on the 1st operational one, Robert — if successful you could shout “I told you fusion was safer”!
;]
Yes, we have a hard task, with anti-nukes all around, climate deniers offering dubious nuke support, and eternally repetitive claims about U233 bombs from fusion boosters.

I suggest all of us remember this group’s name, especially its middle word.

Rick Maltese

Rick Maltese I’ve asked for a new thread above on this topic of proliferation

Alex Cannara

Alex Cannara And to Eric: “Since no one has ever made an atomic bomb from spent fuel from a power reactor, I don’t see the proliferation issue as being that compelling.” — Chernobyl’s RBMK reactors were designed to do both. It all depends on designing a reactor to allow arbitrary removal/insertion of U238 for breeding in the right amount of time to Pu239.

Alex Cannara

Alex Cannara To your generalization about environmentalists and “low power”, “poverty”… that’s blather from the combustion industry — you know, the same folks that succeeded in supporting anti-nuke ‘environmentalists’ for decades because they knew nukes would put emitting power out of business, much as Seaborg predicted coal interests would react on the 2nd page of his letter to JFK: http://tinyurl.com/6xgpkfa

Alex Cannara

Alex Cannara It’s remarkable fortunate that Kirk Sorenson’s rescue of ORNL docs uncovered that report. And less than 20 years after, our combustion folks were happily supporting naive enviro groups with lies about nuclear (pic).

Alex Cannara's photo.
Alex Cannara

Alex Cannara Which spread even more successfully to Australia (pic). So again, anyone claiming support of nuclear now and denial of the realities of 1.8 trillion tons of CO2 emissions on land/sea/air warming, plus acidification and imminent extinctions in oceans, is not one to rely on to give trusted scientific/environmental advocacy to nuclear power today. I’m just sayin’, we need no Lovins conjugates. We’re into reality, eh?

Alex Cannara's photo.
Mark Pawelek

Mark Pawelek W.r.t. the number of deaths caused by coal-fired energy. Just quote the WHO and medical journals for air pollution fatalities. Their estimate is 7m p.a. with most of those due to pollution from renewables – mainly wood and dung burnt in the home for cooking and warmth. The RE boosters hated it when I reiterated WHO’s figures for fatalities due to RE air pollution.

Mark Pawelek

Mark Pawelek You’ve phrased point 3 as a binary Yes/No. How about “I prefer to see intrinsically safe advanced reactors such as MSRs – I’ll still support Gen III+ PWRs and BWRs”

Alex Cannara

Alex Cannara Eric, this provides some explanation…

Eric Hanson

Eric Hanson Nevertheless, the Kidd article that started this thread makes some good points. Many of these people will never give any more than half hearted support for nuclear, regardless of their feeling on CO2.

Gijs Zwartsenberg

Gijs Zwartsenberg Eric Hanson, thanks for posting thedecarbonesesa.com article. I did read it and I totally agree with the author on his central topic:
pro-nuclear needs a narrative. Pro-nuclear needs to change from bein a position to being a movement.
And I think there is the potential for this movement to start happening.

Virgil Fenn

Virgil Fenn Rod Adams replied to the decarbonizesa dot com piece Eric Hanson posted above. It makes me reconsider my blame it on the fear of radiation”. I quote it verbatim here.
” Rod AdamsJuly 8, 2011 at 5:10 pm
Your analysis leaves open an important question wh
ose answer offers the key to pronuclear success – “Why?”
The mission of the antinuclear movement is clear enough, as you stated. It is a simple “NO”. However, pronuclear activists hand that opposition all of the moral strength that they need by accepting the premise that the basis for the “NO” is fear of radiation or fear of the bomb or fear of the possibility of a massively damaging accident that never seems to actually happen.
The real strength of the opposition to nuclear comes from the people who derive their wealth and power from the whole range of economic activities required to extract, refine, transport, distribute and consume the hydrocarbons that produce the emissions that you want to stop. Fossil fuel pushers have a fundamental reason for disliking clean, concentrated, abundant, affordable nuclear energy. They hold sway in a LOT of decision making bodies that can delay nuclear projects and add to their cost. They have influence in the media due to their continuous use of paid advertising campaigns sustained over many decades. They have influence in foundations that have been formed from fossil fuel derived wealth and they have influence in powerful unions like those associated with the railroads that derive most of their steady income from moving bulky fuels like oil and coal.
Your message of DecarboniseSA scares the heck out of the very rich and powerful people who are rich and powerful because THEY SELL CARBON!
The real way to defeat the “NO” to nuclear energy is to find people who benefit from “YES” to nuclear energy. The fuel suppliers have concentrated strength, but the majority of the world’s population does not supply fuel; they consume fuel and have to pay high prices, accept nasty pollution, and suffer through periods of supply constraints. Some of those consumers are major corporations in their own right and have a lot of sway – they just need to be told (over and over again) why fission is so much better than combustion.
Cheap fuel
No emissions
Reliable power plants
Responsive enough to power warships (so other ships are a piece of cake)
great jobs
Tremendous growth opportunities for future generations
Incredible record of public safety
Pointing out the means, motive and opportunities that the fossil fuel industry has had to kneecap nuclear technology (including many “inside jobs” at supposedly “nuclear” companies) helps to knock the antinuclear movement off of the moral high ground of being ideologically motivated.
It is a worthy battle, but never expect it to be easy.
Rod Adams
Publisher, Atomic Insights “

Eric Hanson

Eric Hanson Speaking of Rod Adams, this story from Atomic Insights is in the same vein of the Steven Kidd piece that started this thread. There is a segment of the green-left that think that CO2 emissions are inseparable from capitalism or at least they want people to belive that they are inseparable. Therefore, one must not just tackle CO2 emissions, one must dismantle capitalism. Naomi Kline is one of these people.

Nuclear energy presents these people with a huge problem. If capitalism can be separated from CO2 emissions, then there is no need to dismantle capitalism. These people view nuclear energy as a potential savior of capitalism, and that is the last thing they want. Therefore, they will always be against nuclear energy, regardless of its advantages. Some will be honest about why they oppose nuclear energy. Others will not be.

This is why much of the green-left still go on about how successful Germany’s “Energy Transition” is. It is only a success if your aim is to de-industrialize a nation, which is exactly what is happening in Germany and exactly what this portion of the green-left wants. Well paid industry jobs are leaving.

” Finally, I asked him why he thought nuclear power should be eliminated even after he told me that he agreed that nuclear power was good for the economy. His reply was simply that an additional goal of the antinuclear movement (as far as he was concerned) was in fact the reduction of economic activity, since according to him, the greatest cause of ecological damage was increased economic activity.
So in his mind, the fact that nuclear power was a boon for the economy was all the more reason to try to eliminate it. “

” He said that economic expansion was bad for people because it distracted from the true quality of life, which consists of community and social activities that are mostly threatened by improved prosperity, rather than improved by it.”

http://atomicinsights.com/conversation-with-an-anti…/

Alex Cannara

Alex Cannara Lot s of words and tagging, like “green-left”, whatever that is, Eric. The point made by Rod is simple — the form of capitalism we’ve allowed the fossil-fuel industry to enjoy is about as “left” as policy can be — subsidized, protected, inured from loss, forgiven for life-threatening outputs, allowed to endanger national security by facilitating wars that kill fellow citizens,and even allowed to derail legislative actions to provide better alternatives.

Using hackneyed phrasing, like there’s a “green-left that think that CO2 emissions are inseparable from capitalism” simply exposes the clay feet of fossil-fuel businesses that have for so long tried to hide from responsibility, as by paying for protesters ads at Shoreham ~30 years ago (pic reminder — 1986 solar, eh?!).

If any group has subverted capitalism, it’s been the combustion industry. And they’ll be held harmless, as the adults who care try to clean up for our descendants.

Alex Cannara's photo.
Mark Pawelek

Mark Pawelek @Eric – the green far left have some dodgy equations:

nuclear power == centralization == multinational capitalism

renewables == decentralization == local democracy

In the real world, there seems to be no basis for these beliefs. I think they “believe” this because this gives them a sense of political optimism. Even pessimists need to be optimistic about something!

Eric Hanson

Eric Hanson Dodgy indeed, not to mention stupid and dangerous.

Alex Cannara

Alex Cannara Mark, I ran into an anti-nuke last night, and indeed “distributed generation” is their mantra now. I guess a gas plant making up for a wind farm’s stillness is”distributed generation” too?

I’d ask any worried about “multinational capitalism” to write GE, who just bought Siemens’ wind stuff, and decide if windmills can no longer be their beloved? ;]

October 2015 Letter to Barack Obama

Dear President Barack Obama

Please consider that the steps to solve climate and ocean change needs to start with a genuine inquiry into energy. America used to be the leaders in nuclear energy. There has been a serious lack of effort to enable an affordable pathway to nuclear energy. The misconceptions cause too many people to not even begin to inquire about their assumptions. The so-called dangers are blown out of proportion causing entire countries to suffer economically for poor decisions. Germany, Italy and Japan come to mind. The best models I know of are France and Ontario, Canada who do not use coal at all.

Our future literally depends on making nuclear energy the primary source of power globally. America use to be the example for the rest of the world. It would be arrogant to think the rest of the developing world can learn from American policies that reflect a lack of energy knowledge.

I am a musician with a passion for the environment. I have learned to appreciate the role of energy in solving the world’s problems. After years of following scientific writings and sharing information with others I came to realize that most people (that includes all kinds of people) fail to understand the significance of 200 years of industrial production of carbon dioxide. It has been steadily accumulating faster than the environment can handle. Now at approximately 400 parts per million is certainly a big factor. The oceans warming and becoming more acidic is going to trigger mass extinction in your lifetime. Some say the mid 2030s.

It is no longer acceptable to view climate change as being about simply weather extremes. We are facing an evolutionary threat that requires mitigating the 1.5 trillion tons of backlog of CO2 that has been building for 200 years making the oceans more acidic and the atmosphere hotter.

We need to view Ocean Acidification and Climate Change as twin tragedies. Conservation and renewable energy will not be nearly enough to remediate the problem. Nuclear energy is our only hope for reducing coal plant usage. One proposed method to reducing acidification is to use nuclear plants to heat limestone to produce lime and add it to the oceans which would give the plankton, the pteropods, the diatoms and all life that depend on calcium and carbon to naturally sequester carbon and after dying fall to the ocean floor where the carbon belongs.

So you see our old vision of an atomic age with energy too cheap to meter might have been the correct path. Let’s begin the process by educating your staff about energy density. The environmentalists who now embrace nuclear energy as a solution understand this.

I can recommend several scientists who would be glad to conduct seminars to get people up to date.

Thanks Rick Maltese
647-379-9655

http://energyrealityproject.com (recommends a nuclear power dominated policy and limited use of renewable – and energy usage reduction)

Note: not the more popular climaterealityproject.com
(unfortunately they have misguided and destructive policies)