Author Archives: RickD Maltese

Carnival of Nuclear Energy Bloggers #322 – Special Edition – Nuclear Energy to the Rescue

Welcome to the 322nd Carnival of Nuclear Energy Bloggers who are a necessary group of pro-nuclear advocates who recognize the importance of a transition to a more dominant role for nuclear power in our energy mix.

There have been a lot of firsts lately that point in a positive direction for the future of the nuclear industry and therefore the planet. I have made it no secret that Energy Reality supports nuclear energy mainly because it provides the best and perhaps only solution to irreversible tipping points that are forever events.


EnergyRealityProject.com : 1 Post by Rick Maltese

Thanks to the Power of Pickering Nuclear Plant We Replaced Coal

    There are still a number of people who beloeve false things about Pickerng Power Plant. It has to do with reports of minor mishaps being blown out of proportion.

energyrealityproject.com/thanks-to-the-power-of-pickering-nuclear-plant-we-replaced-coal/


Yes Vermont Yankee: 1 post by Meredith Angwin

The New York Clean Energy Standard

    A quick description of attending the New York Public Service Commission meeting in which they voted for the historic Clean Energy Standard which supports both nuclear and renewable power. Links to other posts and to a video.

yesvy.blogspot.com/2016/08/the-new-york-clean-energy-standard.html


Forbes.com: 2 posts by James Conca

Climate Guru Tells California Governor Not To Close Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant

    On Thursday, Dr. James Hansen and the leading climate scientists in the world sent a letter to Governor Jerry Brown of California, about how nuclear energy was essential to fight global warming. The letter was prompted by a recent announcement by Pacific Gas & Electric Company to close its well-running, low-carbon, low-cost nuclear reactors at Diablo Canyon because of political pressure from the state of California and especially its Lt. Governor. New York addressed this issue just last week when it passed a true Clean Energy Standard that supports both renewables and nuclear. But, strangely, California doesn’t seem impressed by the threat of global warming.

www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2016/08/14/global-warming-and-nuclear-energy-jim-hansen-and-governor-brown/

Exelon Buys Fitzpatrick Nuclear Plant, Setting The Standard for US Carbon Goals

    With New York’s passing of a true Clean Energy Standard this week that supports both renewables and nuclear, Exelon Generation has agreed to assume ownership and operations of Entergy Corporation’s James A. FitzPatrick nuclear power plant in Scriba, New York. This will save 7 billion kWhs of carbon-free electricity a year, $500 million for the local economy, 600 high-paying direct jobs and over 1,500 indirect jobs. It should serve as a guide to other states, especially Illinois, that are facing similar conundrums of warped markets closing carbon-free nuclear plants and threatening each state’s carbon goals and local economies.

www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2016/08/11/exelon-buys-fitzpatrick-nuclear-plant-setting-the-standard-for-us-carbon-goals/


AtomicInsights.com: 1 entry by Rod Adams

New York’s environment progressed one step forward

    Rod Adam’s reports on the apparently successful rally by a coalition of pro-nuclear environmental groups with a special thanks to Environmental Progress rin by President Michael Shellenberger

atomicinsights.com/new-yorks-environment-progressed-one-step-forward/


EnvironmentalProgress.org: 1 entry by Michael Shellenberger

Climate Scientists urge Governor Jerry Brown to let Legislature, not PUC, decide Diablo Canyon’s Fate

    The situation has recently shown more promise for the future of the nuclear industry in the U.S. Michael Shellenberger reports about the steps that would prevent a seriously grave decision from taking place.

www.environmentalprogress.org/big-news/2016/8/11/climate-scientists-urge-gov-jerry-brown-to-let-legislature-not-puc-decide-diablo-canyons-fate


NeutronBytes.com: 1 entry by Dan Yurman

Utah Utility selects Idaho site for Nuscale SMR

    There is a positive news story that a new kind of nuclear plant has been given a green light for a location to a modern Small Modular Reactor. Now it’s a matter of waiting for approval from the NRC that takes 3 or 4 years.

neutronbytes.com/2016/08/12/utah-utility-selects-idaho-site-for-nuscale-smr/

Thanks to the Power of Pickering Nuclear Plant We Replaced Coal

Pickering Nuclear plant went from a non-event to pre-event condition back in 2014. The not so “Clean Air Alliance” is trying to close down a perfectly good zero carbon energy source. The Ontario Clean Air Alliance (OCAA) would like to take credit for shutting down coal and now they think they can shut down Nuclear plants. Coal dominated a very large portion of Ontario’s energy mix for many years. The abundance of power was daunting. Nanticoke Coal plant at one time Generated 4000 MW of power. It was the largest coal plant in North America. In 1981 it consumed 35,000 tonnes of coal per day. In 2007 it emitted 17,887,649 tonnes of CO2. Thankfully Ontario’s abundant Nuclear Power and Hydro allowed it to replace all the coal plants (bigger than average) by 2014. Pickering and Ontario’s other nuclear plants are in the habit of reporting such non-events, in effect, practicing for reports of actual incidents with updates – should there ever be a serious incident.

The OCAA thinks the Pickering Plant poses a threat letting irrational fear win over. They support a foolish and potentially disruptive solution to go all renewable. New York State just made an important decision to keep it’s Nuclear Plants alive. How else can the States reach their emission content goals? Why should Ontario be any different. Try replacing 14% if Ontario’s power with renewable energy. It would be terribly expensive and wasteful.

These OCAA people resemble over 200 other green lobby and special interest groups who can’t even look at their shadow without fear.

The worse thing is that their ignorance of science is revealed by the fact that adapting their policies in a time of climate crisis can actually bring on the tipping point even faster.

They also claim they will close down natural gas which is laughable… no coal, no nuclear and now no natural gas. The renewables certainly cannot match that abundant supply of nuclear which runs at about 60% of Ontario’s energy.

What does OCAA claim as the saviour?

Apparently Quebec who has never offered to give Ontario any of their so-called abundant hydro power is supposed to have enough to share with Ontario when in fact they have shortages in winter as it is. The 1998 ice storm cause the worst blackout in Quebec’s history. That was due to lengthy power lines collapse from the weight of the ice caused by the ice storm. The same kind of expensive powerlines would be needed for transmission to Ontario. This hypothetical situation is not sustainable. See Steve Aplin article from 2011.

The hydropower-from-Quebec fantasy resurfaces in Ontario gas-industry propaganda

Steve Aplin:

“Unlike hydropower though, nuclear involves land use that is, by comparison, barely noticeable. For example, Ontario’s 18 nuclear reactors occupy a total of 23.4 square kilometers (Darlington occupies 480 hectares, or 4.8 square km; Bruce occupies 9.3 square km; and Pickering, also 9.3.) Their total installed capacity is 12,530 megawatts. So the Ontario nuclear land-use footprint works out to 0.186 hectares—about a fifth of an average size city block—per installed megawatt…”

“Quebec’s hydropower land use footprint is 177.8 hectares per megawatt (30,230 km2 is 3,023,000 hectares; divide that by 17,000 megawatts).”

“For every patch of land Ontario nuclear power requires, Quebec hydropower needs 952 times that. This, among other reasons, is why Parizeau favoured nuclear power.”

“I mention this because, every now and again, somebody floats the cockamamie idea that Ontario should start importing clean hydropower from Quebec. Some advocates of this fantasy are self-styled environmentalists who haven’t done their homework and crunched the easy numbers like I have done above. Because of an unexamined and comically off-base anti-nukery, they think that the Darlington nucelar station should be shut down and that its 25 billion annual kilowatt-hours of electrical energy output should come instead from the Belgium-sized man-made lake in northern Quebec.”

“Nor do they appear to have considered what it would take, engineering-wise, for the Quebec electric utility, Hydro Quebec, to wheel 25 billion annual kWh of energy into Ontario from that lake. Quebec already wheels huge amounts of that energy out-of-province: to the U.S. northeast. American customers are served with Quebec hydropower on long term contracts; that was why Quebec built the transmission lines to the U.S. in the first place. What about those customers?”

“None of the Ontario advocates of Quebec hydropower appears to have ever taken the matter up with… Hydro Quebec. I’m sure the utility might have interesting things to say.”

“No serious person believes Ontario will ever import such massive amounts of electric power from Quebec. So why the sudden spate of media articles taking it up?”

“Well, it’s all about money. Specifically, the money that can be made by the fossil fuel industry if Darlington, which is slated for refurbishment beginning in less than a year, is not refurbished.”

“The main cheerleader for Quebec-hydropower-to-Ontario is the Ontario Clean Air Alliance, a gas-industry lobby group. The OCAA’s aim is to replace Ontario zero-carbon nuclear plants with carbon-heavy gas-fired plants. Given that the current concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the global atmosphere is just about 400 parts per million (see Item A1, above), you’d wonder why an organization allegedly advocating for clean air would want to add to those 400 ppm.”

“The OCAA knows full well that the Quebec-hydropower-to-Ontario fantasy is just that—a fantasy. The OCAA is not actually advocating for Quebec hydropower to Ontario. What it really wants is business for its gas-industry clients. And those clients will get plenty of business if Darlington does not get refurbished. So it is striving mightily, with the cooperation of a mainstream media that today finds ad revenue increasingly scarce and gas-industry ad revenue increasingly valuable, to get us Ontarians to actually believe this Quebec-hydropower-to-Ontario nonsense. That way, they hope, we will be more amenable to letting Darlington, an enormously valuable clean-energy centre—and revenue generator for the people of this province—go idle. Yesterday the OCAA wanted us to believe that windmills and solar panels could do it. Today it’s Quebec hydropower. Tomorrow, who knows. Maybe a perpetual motion machine.”

“Jacques Parizeau got to see an example of nuclear’s vastly superior land-use footprint, right in his own province, and under his watch as PQ finance minister. During that tenure, Hydro Quebec built and commissioned Gentilly 2, a 635-MW CANDU 6 reactor. It was, until its premature shut-down in late 2012 (by another PQ government, sans Parizeau), Hydro Quebec’s biggest single generator.”

“The premature shutdown of G2 was undertaken by, as I said, a Parizeau-less PQ government. Parizeau disagreed with much of that government’s policies. I wonder if he disagreed with the G2 decision also.”


In a response letter to an article published in the Toronto Star by one of many antinuclear groups in Canada the President and CEO of Ontario Power Generation said this

“Re Too much trust in old nuclear plants, May 30”

“I read with interest the Ontario Clean Air Alliance (OCAA) opinion piece about Pickering Nuclear. The only ‘fact’ in the article that I was able to verify is that ‘Stairway to Heaven’ was released by Led Zeppelin in 1971.”

“The six nuclear units at Pickering were built to very robust standards and are operating safely, to the highest performance standards. The electricity from the six operating units provides about 13 per cent of Ontario’s annual demand, is free of greenhouse gas emissions and comes at a cost lower than almost all other sources of energy. Continued operations will save Ontario customers $600 million and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by eight million tonnes over the 2020-to-2024 period.”

“Both Pickering and Darlington nuclear stations enjoy strong community support, and a recent survey indicated 85 per cent of those polled supported the continued operations of the Pickering station.”

“Ontario relies on nuclear power to provide 60 per cent of its electricity generation. The plants at Darlington, Pickering and Bruce have excellent performance and safety records. Nuclear is Ontario’s best option for cost-effective, GHG emissions-free, reliable, base-load generation and have been a critical resource in ensuring clean air for Ontarians. We look forward to our nuclear fleet continuing to be part of the solution in the battle against climate change.”

Jeffrey Lyash, president and CEO Ontario Power Generation, Toronto”


On the same page is a comment by Don MacKinnon:

“Monday’s anti-Pickering Nuclear Station Extension editorial diatribe by the Ontario Clean Air Alliance (OCAA) is typical of their ‘dreamweaver’-like campaigns — heavy with the spectre of environmental disaster and fast and loose with the facts.”

“The Pickering Nuclear Station is licensed and its operations, including emergency preparedness, are overseen by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), an independent regulator. The CNSC has 70 years of experience and is highly regarded internationally.”

“Additionally, the Pickering Nuclear Station, owned by Ontario Power Generation (OPG), a provincial Crown corporation, routinely provides information and consults with local communities about the plant’s operations.”

“When the province approved OPG’s plan to pursue the continued operation of Pickering beyond 2020 to 2024, it noted that final approval would be required from the CNSC. Pickering would continue to employ over 4,500 people in Durham region and 8 million tonnes of greenhouse gases would be avoided. Yes, extending the operation of the Pickering Station is about clean air.”

“The OCAA claims that cheap, low-carbon electricity imports from Quebec offer a superior option, but those claims have been disproven by a number of highly credible analyses, including Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator. Billions of dollars would need to be invested to build and improve the transmission interties and transmission lines in Ontario and Quebec. Ontario currently exports low-carbon nuclear power to help Quebec meet its winter peak and refill its reservoirs. Even if Quebec could supply, large-scale electricity imports would mean tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars flowing out of Ontario.”

“The only real alternative to base-load 24/7 nuclear in Ontario is fossil fuel generation, and we believe the OCAA knows that. Less nuclear generation in Ontario would mean dramatic increases in greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution at a time when the entire world is transitioning to a lower carbon environment.”

Don MacKinnon, President of the Power Workers’ Union, Toronto”

I believe the OCAA has ulterior motives as both Steve Aplin and Don MacKinnon suggested. When you look at other Clean-Air NGOs such as the Clean Air Task Force they have a logical rational point of view when it comes to nuclear energy. Look at New York’s recent decision to go with keeping the Nuclear Plants in their state alive. All that emission-free energy is just too valuable to pass up.

Additional Reading on the subject:
http://www.environmentalprogress.org/big-news/2016/8/11/climate-scientists-urge-gov-jerry-brown-to-let-legislature-not-puc-decide-diablo-canyons-fate

Carnival #315 with reports from March for Environmental Hope



Forbes.com: 2 posts by James Conca

Pro-Nuclear March In San Francisco To Protest Closing Of Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant

    On June 24th, a coalition of environmental groups will march from San Francisco to Sacramento to protest the potential closing of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant which will wipe out most of the progress in clean energy made by the state with wind and solar power. In 2015, all wind energy in California only produced 12 billion kWhs. The two Diablo Canyon nuclear reactors produce 17 billion kWhs every year, and will for the next 20 years if not prematurely closed for political reasons. Unfortunately, PG&E announced today they will close the plant in 2025, devastating the local economy and putting 1,500 people out of work.

www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2016/06/21/pro-nuclear-march-from-san-francisco-to-sacramento-on-june-24th/

World-Wide Risk From Radiation Very Small

    The Health Physics Society, the scientific society that includes radiation protection scientists, recently put out a revised position statement on Radiation Risk In Perspective. In it, they advise against estimating health risks to people from exposures to ionizing radiation that are anywhere near natural background levels because statistical uncertainties at these low levels are great. In other words, any health effects resulting from radiation levels below 10,000 mrem/yr (100 mSv/yr) are in the noise. It’s why the thousands of cancers and deaths predicted for Chernobyl and Fukushima never appeared, although the fear certainly did.

www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2016/06/24/radiation-poses-little-risk-to-the-world/


ANS Nuclear Cafe: Nick Thompson

Nuclear Energy Today: A Tale of Two Cities

    An overview of the current state of the industry from my perspective, and at the end has a “call to arms” for ANS members, and Young Members in particular, to start actively advocating for solutions.

ansnuclearcafe.org/2016/06/21/nuclear-energy-today-a-tale-of-two-cities/


Yes Vermont Yankee: Meredith Angwin

Diablo Canyon and What To Do About It

    PG&E announced a plan to close Diablo Canyon by 2025, and will not ask the NRC for a license renewal. Well, much can be done before 2025. In this post, Meredith Angwin provides a link for signing a pro-nuclear petition, and another link for donating to the people who are organizing the pro-Diablo march in California. It’s time to take action! With these links, everyone can take action, whether or not they live in California.

yesvy.blogspot.com/2016/06/diablo-canyon-and-what-to-do-about-it.html

Northwest Clean Energy Blog: Meredith Angwin

Shameless in Seattle

    In this post, John Dobken describes a Seattle City Council resolution aimed at restricting the use of nuclear energy for the city. It’s a hands-on post, mostly direct from the council meeting. It includes the Seattle council members speaking scornfully of people in Central Washington (where the plant is located), and the sound of people snickering when a nuclear supporter spoke to the council. Watch the video clips of the pro-nuclear statement and admire the speaker! We must all support clean air nuclear energy–at every opportunity to do so!

northwestcleanenergy.com/2016/05/31/shameless-in-seattle/


Forbes.com by Rod Adams

Breaking! NRDC Announces PG&E has agreed to kill Diablo Canyon


Atomic Insights: Rod Adams

Hopeful Days for Environmental Progress in California

    Rod is in touch with David Walters directly from the march.

atomicinsights.com/hopeful-days-environmental-progress-california/

Backroom Diablo Destruction Deal Will Fail/

    Rod Adams presents an account of why the proposal to shut down California’s Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant will fail.

atomicinsights.com/backroom-diablo-destruction-deal-will-fail/


ANS NUCLEAR CAFE: Will Davis

PG&E Will Halt Diablo Canyon License Renewal

    In this opinion piece at ANS Nuclear Cafe, Will Davis points out how ratepayers will be on the hook for everything that happens relative to replacing Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, including community impact mitigation.

ansnuclearcafe.org/2016/06/22/diablo-canyon-pge-cancels-license-renewal/#sthash.9ByifkZQ.dpbs


Nuke Power Talk: Gail Marcus

    At Nuke Power Talk, Gail Marcus reports on the appointment of Margaret Chu to NRC’s ACRS. With Margaret’s appointment, there will be 2 woman on the ACRS for the first time. Gail identifies the very limited history of women on the ACRS and the now-disbanded ACNW.


nukepowertalk.blogspot.com/2016/06/women-at-acrs.html


Next Big Future: Brian Wang

Third Generation Laser Enrichment

    Third Generation Laser Uranium Enrichment Technology is likely over 5 times more energy efficient and more compact than the best centrifuges

    New laser-based uranium enrichment technology may provide a hard-to-detect pathway to nuclear weapons production according to a forthcoming paper (25 pages) Ryan Snyder, a physicist with Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security.

    Research on the relevant laser systems for laser enrichment is also currently ongoing in the United States, Russia, India, China and Iran.

nextbigfuture.com/2016/06/third-generation-laser-uranium.html


Salute to the American Nuclear Society (ANS)

This is a well deserved salute to the ANS

    “ANS has made, and continues to make, important contributions to the use of nuclear science and technology, and consequently to the larger society beyond ANS. It achieves this through its many products and services, including meetings, publications, standards, outreach, honors and awards, scholarships, teachers workshops, Organization Members, and representation in Washington, D.C.”

    “ANS continues to be a professional organization of scientists, engineers, and other professionals devoted to the peaceful applications of nuclear science and technology. Its 11,000 members, from over 40 countries, come from diverse technical disciplines ranging from physics and nuclear safety to operations and power, and from across the full spectrum of the national and international enterprise, including government, academia, research laboratories, and private industry. Making it all succeed are a Board of Directors, 20 standing committees, 19 professional divisions, one technical group and two working groups, 32 local sections, over 35 student sections, liaison agreements with over 30 non-U.S. nuclear societies, and a headquarters staff of about 50 people.”

www.ans.org/about/history/

Environmentalists Announce Climate March to Protest Nuclear Plant Closures

13 US NUCLEAR PLANTS AT RISK OF CLOSURE PRODUCE 3 TIMES MORE ELECTRICITY THAN ALL U.S. SOLAR IN 2015

With 13 nuclear plants at risk of closing and taking the United States backwards on climate change, a coalition of environmental groups is announcing a historic pro-nuclear protest march from San Francisco to Sacramento, June 24 – 28.

“If we lose all 13 of the nuclear plants at risk of premature closure we will wipe out three times more clean power than all of our solar provided in 2015,” said the March’s Lead Organizer, Eric G. Meyer. “If you care about renewables, clean energy and climate change, you should support keeping nuclear plants open.”

In Illinois, a coalition of anti-nuclear groups including by Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC), Sierra Club, and NRDC blocked legislation that would have saved two of the state’s nuclear plants, Clinton and Quad Cities.

ELPC has said it wants to replace the nuclear plants with natural gas, and gradually wind and solar. “Everybody looks with excitement when a new natural gas plant is built,” ELPC head, Howard Learner recently told a journalist when explaining why he supports closing Clinton and Quad, an extraordinary statement coming from a self-professed environmental activist.

“Anti-nuclear groups should be forgiven for their advocacy because they believe nuclear energy is something it’s not, and can’t see it for what it is,” said Alan Medsker of Environmental Progress, Illinois, “but we cannot allow them to shut down Quad and Clinton. It’s time for Sierra Club, the Citizens Utility Board, and Environmental Defense Fund to break from ELPC. There’s still time to pass legislation that would invest not only in renewables but also protect our largest source of clean energy.”

If Clinton and Quad close, 1,500 workers will lose their jobs and carbon emissions will increase the equivalent of adding two million cars. The proposed subsidy for distressed nuclear plants is less than half the cost the wind production tax credit.

Nuclear plants around the country are closing prematurely because they areexcluded from the various federal subsidies and state mandates for solar and wind. If nuclear were included in state Renewable Portfolio Standards, or received a fraction of the subsidy for wind or solar, nuclear plants would be economical.

“The evidence is clear: nuclear is far more effective at replacing fossil fuels and reducing pollution and carbon emissions than solar and wind. To exclude it from any clean energy standard in the face of irreversible climate devastation is simply unethical,” said Meyer.

“It’s a mathematical certainty that closing nuclear plants results in more fossil fuel burning and emissions,” says Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Robert Stone, whose award-winning film “Pandora’s Promise” documents the conversion of many environmentalists from anti-nuclear to pro-nuclear. “California’s reputation as a leader in the fight against climate change is at stake if Diablo Canyon is shut down.”

“It’s vitally important for any of us that care about the environment — progressives or conservatives — to share that message with Governor Jerry Brown,” said Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb. “People fear nuclear power largely because they associate it with nuclear weapons, but the two don’t equate. Nuclear power is not only an important part of the answer to climate change. It has outstanding public health benefits as well, greatly reducing air pollution.”

The March will occur in the run-up to a Tuesday, June 28, California Lands Commission meeting, where Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and two other members could deny a critical permit to Diablo Canyon, California’s biggest source of clean energy.

March coalition members includes Mothers for Nuclear, Thorium Energy Alliance, Environmental Progress, Pandora’s Promise, and Energy for Humanity — all are organizations independent of energy companies and interests.

“We can’t let irrational fears put our children at risk,” said Mothers for Nuclear co-founder, Heather Matteson, an environmental activist who was once anti-nuclear but changed her mind and now works as a reactor operator and procedure writer at Diablo Canyon.

The 13 nuclear plants at high risk of premature closure produce three times more electrical power than the US produces from solar. Diablo Canyon produces 11 times more power than the world’s largest solar farm, Solar Star, will produce.

Rather than simply replacing fossil fuel use, as nuclear plants do, plants like Solar Star increase the demand for natural gas when the sun is not shining which is on average more than 75 percent of the time.

Eric G. Meyer, 28, quit his job as a nurses union organizer and drove to San Francisco from Minnesota last month to be the Lead Organizer of the March. “My heart breaks every time they announce a nuclear plant closure,” said Meyer. “We’re going to fight hard to save every last one of those 13 plants. This is going to be remembered as the summer that we saved our largest source of clean energy.”

For Immediate Release:

Julia Pacetti, JMP Verdant Communications, (718) 399-0400
Eric Meyer, March for Environmental Hope!, (218) 384-1645
With Nuclear Plant Closures Increasing Emissions, Environmental Coalition Announces Historic Protest, June 24 – 28, SF – Sacramento

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

FRIDAY, JUNE 24 :: SAN FRANCISCO

12:00 Assemble Kaiser Lot. 22nd st. and Kaiser Plaza, Oakland
12:45 Rally at Sierra Club, 2101 Webster St. Oakland
1:36 Board Yellow BART 19th and Oakland to Greenpeace
2:10 Arrive at 16th St. and Mission. March. 4 miles North
2:30 Rally at Greenpeace, 1661 Mission St.
3:10 March to NRDC
3:45 Rally at NRDC 111 Sutter Street, San Francisco
4:15 March to PG&E, Embarcadero BART Station
4:31 Take Yellow BART Line to 19th St. and Oakland
5:00 Dinner
6:00 Leave for Lake Solano
8:00 Arrive at Solano, Set Up Tents
8:30 Campfire, Singalongs, S’Mores, and Stories

SATURDAY, JUNE 25 :: FAIRFIELD

7:30     Good Morning Yoga and Calisthenics with Matt Meyer
8:00      Breakfast in Camp (Day-Use Area)
9:45      Shuttle to 500 Solano College Rd. Fairfield, CA
10:30    Arrive and Prepare to March
10:45    March! 3.8 Miles Along I-80
12:00    Lunch at Allan Witt Park
12:30    Community Discussion — Theme: “Water is Life” 
2:00      Swim at Allan Witt Park!
4:30      Shuttle back to cars and Solano
5:15      Arrive at Camp Solano–  R&R
6:00      Dinner (Day-Use Area)
7:00      Capoeira Lesson with Rauli Partanen
8:00      Campfire, Singalongs, S’Mores, and Stories

SUNDAY, JUNE 26 :: VACAVILLE

7:00      Potential march time for our Long-Hikers (12.2 Miles)
7:30      Good Morning Yoga and Calisthenics with Matt
8:00      Breakfast
9:45      Shuttle marchers to 201 E Monte Vista Ave, Vacaville
10:15    Assemble
10:30    March! 2.8 miles (54 minutes)
11:30    Community Grill Out in Andrews Park
1:00     Speakers and Performances. Theme: “Creation Care”
2:30      Shuttle marchers to base camp
3:00      Arrive at Solano: R&R
4:00      Activities.  (Filming/Music/Climbing Trees)
6:00     Dinner at base camp
7:00     Show and Tell Activities
8:00     Campfire, Singalongs, S’mores, Stories.
9:00     Outdoor Movie Screening.

MONDAY, JUNE 27 :: DAVIS

7:30     Good Morning Yoga and Calisthenics with Matt
8:00     Breakfast
10:15   Shuttle marchers to 1525 Tulip Lane, Davis, CA 95618
10:45    Assemble March
11:00   March! (2.0 miles)
11:20  Rally by Solar Installation at 3817 Halcon Plaza
12:00  Lunch in the Park
1:00    Visit EXPLORIT Science Center
3:00    Shuttle Back to Camp
3:40    Arrive at Base Camp
4:00    Activities (Crafts/Music/Filming)
6:00    Dinner at base camp
8:00    Campfire, Singalongs, S’mores, Stories.

TUESDAY, JUNE 28 :: SACRAMENTO

6:30     Breakfast at Camp
7:15     Drive To Sacramento
Park Near Cesar Chavez Park or Sacramento Station
8:15     Meet at Cesar Chavez Park and Prepare for March.
8:30     March! around the Capitol and Ending at the Lands Commission meeting.
9:15     Rally at Lands Commission Meeting at Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza
10:00   Pack the room at the Lands Commission Meeting
11:00   (TBA)
12:00   End of March

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

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

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.

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…
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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.
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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).

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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.

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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? ;]