Environmental Conflict Goes Nuclear – a civil war erupts over CO2 reduction strategy

After yesterday’s announcement that Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant would close after a back room deal was forged between PG&E and environmental groups, a schism has developed

By Robert Bradley Jr. from Master Resource – reprinted by invitation

nuclear-wind-war

Finally, the energy literate on the Left understand that politically correct energies for electricity (wind and solar–not nuclear and hydro) are no recipe for anthropogenic greenhouse-gas mitigation.

They know that to the extent that the climate movement is more successful at closing nuclear plants than erecting wind farms and installing solar panels, the alleged problem of climate change is worsened. James Hansen led the charge, and now an organization and movement is mobilizing at this very late date to save a handful of running nuclear dinosaurs from extinction.

Are the climate alarmists bluffing about their cause? Because if they really believed, they would have embraced, before now, the one major emission-free source of central-station electricity: nuclear power. But even Joe Romm said ‘no’ to nuclear because it was too expensive, as if he cared about consumers, much less taxpayers. Something rang wrong.

Nuclear is the only non-fossil-fuel way to mass produce electricity to still have modern industrial life–and this was exactly what many deep ecologists and others evidently did not (and do not) want. Add some postmodernism–that we can have a renewables world if we all want andthink it (a ‘shared narrative’), what James Hansen likened to “almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.”

The New Challenge

Michael Shellenberger will have none of it.

His new organization, Environmental Progress, released a manifesto of fight yesterday, Why Diablo Canyon Will Live — And the Corrupt NRDC-PG&E-IBEW Proposal Will Fail. A subtitle might have been, “Crony environmentalism + crony capitalism = increased emissions.”

The piece below is emphatic, heartfelt, and strategically written as a ‘last chance’ with the anti-nuclear supertanker going in the opposite direction. Can a quarter-century of mainstream environmental opposition, with the end almost in sight, complete its mission? Probably so.

Having seen the ugly alliance between anti-energy environmentalists and crony business, I hope that Shellenberger and Environmental Progress can take the next step by questioning the whole global warming scare given the ecological goodness of carbon dioxide emissions and higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations–and the positives of a moderately warmer and wetter world. It will take courage for some to widen the environmental split, but a case for green fossil fuels is intellectually grounded.

Understanding government failure and private-side corruption in the quest to correct global ‘market failure’ is also part of a Come to Jesus moment for open-minded, real environmentalists.

Here is yesterday’s press release, which represents an eruption moment within modern environmentalism regarding energy policy. The statement below about the ‘back-room Diablo Canyon deal’ concerns anew agreement to close California’s last nuclear power plant.

Statement by Environmental Progress and Mothers for Nuclear (June 21, 2016)

The back-room Diablo Canyon deal — negotiated by corrupt institutions behaving unethically and perhaps illegally — will fail.

It will fail because it will would put our children and grandchildren at risk. It will be rejected by the people of California, policymakers and the courts because of the human suffering and environmental harm it would cause. It will fail because everyone now knows — and Sierra Club and NRDC have admitted — that closing nuclear plants will increase fossil fuels and carbon emissions.

It will fail because when people understand that the proposal is based on a big lie — that Diablo can be closed without increasing fossil fuel use, methane emissions and carbon emissions — they will reject it, and the leadership of the institutions who negotiated it. It will be rejected because the evidence is overwhelming that moving from nuclear to natural gas would increase:

  • Deaths from methane gas pipeline explosions, greater air pollution, and power outages affecting the sick and elderly.

  • Electricity rates for all Californians, especially the poor.

  • Global warming and ocean acidification from higher carbon emissions and methane emissions.

  • Unemployment and poverty state-wide by replacing high-paying in-state nuclear jobs with low-paying out-of-state fracking jobs.

The timing could not be better for efforts to save not just Diablo Canyon but nuclear plants around the United States and the world.

The proposal exposes the corruption of IBEW 1245 leadership and IBEW 1245’s failure to represent its members. IBEW 1245 lied to its workers when it claimed to be fighting to keep the plant open; has violated its moral duty to represent its workers interests; and may be in violation of state and federal laws.

The proposal, if enacted, would harm PG&E shareholders, ratepayers and workers. It would expose the company to more natural gas risk at a time that its executives are in a criminal trial over eight deaths caused by a natural gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno.

The proposal would increase electricity rates. And it will increase unemployment but destroying 1,500 good jobs, and sending those jobs to out of state natural gas fracking operations.

The proposal exposes the deep rot and hypocrisy within anti-nuclear groups NRDC and FOE. Organizations seeking to increase carbon emissions by moving from low-carbon energy to natural gas from fracking must be called what they are: anti-environmental organizations. By moving from nuclear to natural gas, these organizations are putting our children and grandchildren at risk of worsened global warming, ocean acidification and air pollution. They are acting on unscientific dogma as dangerous as that espoused by anti-vaxxers.

Already 100 people had signed up to attend our Friday 3:45 pm protest of NRDC and PG&E headquarters in San Francisco. We expect those numbers to increase significantly between now and then. On Saturday we will protest IBEW 1245 at its headquarters in Vacaville.

Already 100 people had signed up for our March for Environmental Hope! We expect those numbers to increase significantly. The March will go on.

The clarity provided by this corrupt deal allows us to focus on what matters: using the March as a strategic retreat to develop our political, legal and organizing strategy to achieve victory — not just for Diablo Canyon, but all nuclear plants threatened by anti-nuclear organizations, corrupt unions, craven policymakers and short-term corporate executives.

We will win because the moral arc of the universe bends toward justice. We will win because the Californian people will defend their children and grandchildren against the suffering and danger this proposal would create. We will win because we have five years to expose the truth, grow our movement and move the state and nation.

We will win because Californians, the American people and all humans love our children and grandchildren more than we believe superstitions and tolerate corruption. We will win because people who love and care deeply about nature will come to see the environmental disaster this proposal would create.

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177 thoughts on “Environmental Conflict Goes Nuclear – a civil war erupts over CO2 reduction strategy

    • It’s pure entertainment (if only it didn’t actually matter). Here’s a group supporting nuclear energy, for which there are many valid arguments, yet all of the arguments they use are invalid:
      – Health and safety issues in need to be balanced against alternative scenarios. Of course there are methane issues if you use methane, but they need to be balanced against uranium/thorium issues. [I’m not saying that uranium/thorium issues outweigh methane issues, just that the argument is invalid because they aren’t considered.].
      – Nat gas power tends to be cheaper than nuclear power. All sorts of arguments apply, so it’s not a clear-cut case, but it certainly isn’t valid to assume that use of nat gas instead of nuclear will push up electricity prices.
      – The use of nat gas has not been shown to lead to any measurable amount of global warming or ocean “acidification”, so this argument is invalid too.
      – The last argument (high-paying local jobs vs low-paying competition) is an equally invalid economic argument that contains the seeds of its own destruction: if the local economy can be supplied with lower-cost energy from elsewhere, then it will benefit. People often have difficulty with this one, but it’s a variation of Bastiat’s Window – the jobs you see, versus the jobs you don’t see.

      • @ Mike Jonas, 3;12 pm. I support nuclear power, ( If France can depend on it’s electrical supply there has got to be something right). And I agree with most if not all of your statement. The letter is just as much hype as we accuse the greens off whenever they bend the facts. I did give it the 5 stars only for the reason that it will expose the deal as a miserable back door, under the table, hypocritical piece of crap. Btw I grew up a block away from an experimental “reactor” in the 50’s and 60’s and nobody in the neighbor hood gave a r.at’a$$ about the facility, we always thought that nuclear power was the way to go until in the mid 60’s a huge supply of NG was found , it transformed western Europe and is just now, 60 years later, finally running out and with fracking , which has been drastically dialed back because of earthquakes and hundreds of year old brick houses fracking , sorry cracking, it was hoped to extend it for a lot longer. That extension will not happen now.

      • Mike, nat gas produces CO2 and there is a science based viewpoint which says yes, that does cause warming and ocean acidification. 50% as bad as coal is still bad.

      • In there is the same logical error made by Big Wind’s useful idiots: the presentation of costs IGNORING SUNK
        COSTS.

        Gas is NOT cheaper than [nuclear] if you have already built the reactor! Greens claim wind* is cheaper than new coal. But there’s already coal plants built, with grids to them.

        * after subsidies, preferential feed-in, carbon “pricing” and ignoring the cost of building 100 different grids to reach them

      • So maybe this movement is really an attempt to derail support from legitimate opposition to closing nuclear plants or not building new ones, thus ensuring that the anti-nuclear stance is more likely to prevail?

  1. I see a great profit in popcorn futures.
    Watching two groups of environmentalists rip into each other should be very entertaining.
    How long I wonder before each group claims the other is a front paid for by coal/gas companies?

    • Yes, this could be a major case of crony-cronyism. where everyone is a front for a front for something else. For example, the entire EPA could simply be the cronies of wind-farm people, who are actually investing heavily in drilling rights for natural gas.

      FYI: I have just plowed under 3 sections of soy-beans, I’ll carry-over the loss until after the election year dust settles. If the weather cooperates the low-till popcorn we planted yesterday should be ready for harvest by October 4th. Bring your butter!

  2. Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.” Matthew 12:25.

    As the Union fought to preserve itself against the l1es of the pro-slavery states promoting their selfish interests, so too, true environmentalism, i.e., genuine conservationism based on facts, is now fighting for its life in the United States of America.

    Truth will win.

    • And the main fact, the bedrock foundation, upon which true conservationism will build its City on a Hill (i.e., Truth-based policy) is………. (snare drum riff — tadatadatadatadatadatadata……) ***!***

      CO2 UP. WARMING STOPPED.

      Ta — daaaaah!

      #(:))

      ***.***.***.***.

      and….

      GO, NUCLEAR POWER!

      • Kinda neat, huh? “Ta — da!” (as in — here is the wonderful result!) is the flip side of “data” . Data is the key! #(:))

    • There were no lies. The southern states had every right to leave if they wanted to.
      The north was also pursuing it’s economic self interests as well.
      They were making a lot of money by forcing the south to sell cotton to them at below world market prices and requiring the south to buy northern made machine goods instead of cheaper European ones.

      • 1. The l1e was that the Civil War was, at bottom, about “states rights.” The truth was: it was, ultimately, about slave labor.

        2. That there were New York and other northern business people eager to see King Cotton survive is irrelevant. Slavery was still wrong and so was seceding to protect it.

        3. That they had a “right” to secede did not make it morally right or wise. They were cutting the branch off which they sat on — within a year, European powers would have taken over the South and the remaining Union probably would have eventually succumbed to an invasion as well.

        4. Cotton price was set by the market — the South, using slave labor was able to undercut the market, much as China does, today.

        5. As to “requiring” the South to buy northern made machine goods, this may be true (I do not know what regs. did that, so can’t verify), but it did NOT excuse, much less justify, breaking up the Union.

      • Dear Mark,

        Please accept a hand held out to you from this northern woman. I accept that you and I, on this issue, will just have to agree to disagree. And that’s fine. We agree on just about everything else! Lol, that we are STILL this deeply divided over this issue certainly verifies one thing: God is the reason that the United States of America is.

        And God is all that today keeps the U.S. (as codified in the Constitution) from disappearing from the face of the earth. The forces of anti-liberty and anti-truth will win, unless God intervenes. I think (and pray!) God will! Soon!!!

        Though the cause of ev1l prosper,
        Yet ‘tis truth alone is strong;
        Truth forever on the scaffold,
        Wrong forever on the throne,
        Yet that scaffold sways the future,
        And, behind the dim unknown,
        Standeth God within the shadow
        Keeping watch above His own.

        James R. Lowell

        With admiration for your wide command of the facts and your resolute, eloquent, defense of them here on WUWT,

        Your Ally for Science Truth,

        Janice

      • Civil war? Don’t you mean The War Between The States?

        There was nothing civil about (best southern accent) The War Of Yankee Agression!

        /snark;

        (Do we really need to relitigate a lousy war for all sides? Slavery was rampant outside the USA pre 1776. It gradually died out everywhere without a stupid war. Both sides had valid complaints, some States Rights, some not. Both sides had vested interests for which thousands died, while shouting unrelated slogans. IMHO, best just leave it in the grave of history…)

      • 1) Have to agree to disagree about which was chicken and which was egg.
        2) Doing the right thing for the wrong reason is still wrong.
        England managed to end slavery without going to war. There were many other solutions available.
        3) That you believe something to be true doesn’t make it true.
        4) Regardless of who was undercutting who, the south had a right to sell their produce to the buyer of their choice.

      • Well, Mark. I will just put my hand quietly back down at my side. Maybe, in a few more years, you can stand to shake the hand of a northerner… . Glad we are allies on WUWT, anyway. Janice

      • Janice,

        An example of forcing the South to buy more expensive Northern manufactured goods:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tariff_of_Abominations

        The Union invaded the South. Southerners defended their homes. Lincoln was a tyrant who trashed the Constitution.

        Slavery would have been abolished in the South in the next generation anyway, as it was even in Brazil in 1889. General Longstreet said that the South should have freed the slaves, then seceded.

        The CSA would not have been dominated by Britain and France. It probably would have expanded into Mexico and the Caribbean.

      • Janice, I have no problems with Northerners, or anyone else because of their geographic location.
        I don’t care for people who attempt to re-write history to make their side virtuous and the other side evil.

      • I was in North Bergen,NJ on business, got out of my car on JFK Blvd., when I heard someone in a Hispanic voice say, ” Look! A real Yankee! ” and of course the Indies on the other side of the street were turning their necks to see. And along with a few other assorted nationalities. And as an aside, I never met anybody there that said they left home and came to foreign country. They left a foreign country and came home.
        In reality, so few of either northerners or southerners exist.

      • Dear Mr. W.,

        Thank you for letting me know where I stand with you. Your candor was appreciated.

        Your ally for science truth,

        Janice

      • Most Northerners were just as prejudiced as the average Southerner. The way some Union soldiers humiliated black Southern women was appalling.

        Even War Democrats in the North didn’t want to end slavery, and Copperheads wanted the Midwestern states to follow the CSA out of the Union, to get rid of those Damned Yankee Abolitionists in New England and the moneyed interests in New York and Philadelphia.

        Of course Lincoln threw them in dungeons without due process, shut down their papers and jailed their editors and publishers. The South had a freer press.

      • After reading some of the comments I have one thing to say,( Sadly) if anyone thinks slavery is dead you are wrong. From the sex trade to actual slavery that still exists in many countries including the USA, the EU and elsewhere. ( it just takes forms that people shut their eyes to)

      • What we need here is a subjunc TV (google it) so we can see what would have happened under all the scenarios proposed with hindsight.

      • Read the trilogy by Shelby Foote “Civil War Volumes 1-3”. In it, Foote states that politicians promising to vote against secession lied and were actually for secession. The global elite of their day are no different than our crooked politicians.

    • ‘deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed’

      When the governed withdraw their consent, they don’t have to have a reason. If they give a reason, it doesn’t matter whether you agree or not. The idea that the Civil War was about slavery didn’t arise until AFTER the war was over. As if in desperation to justify the killing of 620,000 people.

      • Simon,

        Even among Republicans, there were few Abolitionists. The GOP was founded to stop the spread of slavery into the territories, not to abolish it.

        Surely some Union officers, especially from New England, were Abolitionists, but most officers and enlisted fought to preserve the Union, not to end slavery. Northern Democrats in particular wanted slavery to continue, so as not to allow Southern black freedmen to compete with Irish and German immigrants for jobs. That’s why Irish New Yorkers burned black churches and orphanages in the 1863 Draft Riots.

        To “Westerners” (ie, Midwesterners), free navigation on the Mississippi was also important.

      • On December 20th South Carolina convention passes ordinance of secession thus seceding from the Union. The Declaration of Secession for South Carolina states, “We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.”
        http://www.civil-war.net/pages/timeline.asp

        Dude…..

      • Grant,

        The reasons that the slave-owning planters gave for seceding are not the same reasons why the non-slave-owning vast majority fought and died defending their homelands.

        Other states adopted the same boiler plate.

        As we said in Nam, “don’t mean nothin'”.

      • I get that many soldiers fought to defend their states, and I’m sure that many Northerners fought who had no problem with slavery, just as many fought in Vietnam even though they didn’t give a rip about the domino theory. Many fight just because they are called to. But most southerners supported the institution of slavery and subsequently the policies of Jim Crow.
        I took issue with Gamecock’s assertion that the Civil War was later justified by slavery. It’s patently false and I’m stunned that people are still willing to entertain the thought.

    • You should read about the “Civil” war. You might be surprised by where the “selfish” interests lay.

      For example, read about “Reconstruction.”

      Since there was no real American civil war (read about the Roman civil wars to really see what a civil war looks like), and since “reconstruction” was a euphemism for ‘looting”, you might learn a thing or two.

      Note where most of the battles took place.

      If you want to draw an analogy to the environmentalism of today, the skeptics are playing the role of the Confederate states. The central govt, controlled, by Eastern business interests (no change there), wants to crush the conservatives.

      • Correct. The American “Civil War” was not a civil war. The South did not want to replace the regime in Washington. It wanted to be a separate nation. In a civil war, factions fight over which one gets to rule the nation, as for example in the various civil wars in the British Isles.

      • Thanks, guys. I had never thought of it that way. The War of Northern Aggression, or the War for Southern Independence makes more sense. Civil war doesn’t apply.

        Shelby Foote said that a Union officer was talking to a Confederate soldier who appeared to be of modest means, and surely didn’t own slaves. “Why are you fighting?”

        “Because you are down here.”

      • Gamecock,

        Yup. That’s right. My Southern kinfolk still call it the War of Northern Aggression.

        “Race” relations, 1865-1964, probably would have been less horrible in an independent South, without the baleful legacy of Reconstruction and the Klan reaction. Full citizenship for black Southerners might even have taken less time without federal invasion and intervention.

      • Was going to post the South Carolina Gamecock image, but its code appeared too daunting to risk.

    • All of you shut up and read this.
      https://www.amazon.com/Co-Aytch-Confederate-Memoir-Civil/dp/144952883X

      I have made many a pilgrimage to the hollowed grounds there our predecessors North and South fell.
      STOP this.
      Unless you have read the dairies and letters of the soldiers you have no clue as to why they fought.

      Company H is the memoirs of a one time confederate soldier
      Our North and South, “all quiet on the western front”
      Don’t be disrespectful by substituting your reasons for the Civil War into the mouths of the soldiers who fought it

      michael

      • Michael,

        Ancestors and relatives of mine on both sides of my family fought on both sides. I know why they fought.

        Besides which, what makes you imagine that we haven’t read the copious literature on the war, to include diaries?

      • You shut up. I own, and have read:

        “Days of Defiance” Dr. Maury Klein

        “The Civil War, a Narrative” Volumes 1-3, Shelby Foote

        “Reconstruction” Dr. Eric Foner

        Beauregard didn’t attack Fort Sumter over the feelings of Company H.

      • many have not.
        As a young man with my Dad I did the “walk” at Gettysburg,
        What are your thoughts on the book I recommended? Do you agree?

        I have see no view points cited from the soldiers North or South who served,

        In the end it does not matter it was decided at Appomattox court house in 1865.

        And Yes, I am a Yankee.

        But.. as General Scott said, if the fate of the Republic rested on one battle one throw of the dice, let that Man be Lee sir.

        There is a USS Chancellorsville Named after said battle. It is the only instance in the world were a “Rebel” Victory is celebrated.

        Look at the names of our military posts,, Fort Hood, Fort Bragg?

        lets all all Chill

        michael

      • Michael,

        It’s a good collection, but there are many such. Historians marvel that it seems every Union soldier and at least 40% of the less literate Southerners must have kept diaries. Or at least written letters home. There is nothing like this wealth of material in any prior war.

        Today many anti-Confederate activists want us to rename the military bases honoring CSA generals, so called during the world wars to try to unite the sections. Before WWII, few places across the South celebrated July 4.

        I’m a Westerner, descended about equally from Southerners and Northerners. For different reasons than in 1860, of course, I favor secession now. Even one of my Southern lineages was pro-Union. My newlywed Oregon Trail immigrant great-great-grandmother made gloves for a despondent drunk young Captain Grant at Ft. Vancouver in the terrible winter of 1852. She and her husband were North Carolinians by way of Missouri. Her husband’s father was an Army surgeon who died of cholera on the Trail in 1847 and is buried on the Little Blue River in what is now Nebraska. Her daughter married a Maine Yankee whose brother died in a CSA prison camp. Their son married the daughter of a TN slave-holding family who was one of those tough babies cited by Faulkner of 1864 in TN and MS who survived the brutal Yankee occupation.

        On my dad’s side were Ohio War Democrats (and some Copperheads, including a great-great uncle named for Clement Vallandigham) who served in the Union army, and also the CSA general who had to surrender Ft. Henry to Grant.

        I know why they fought.

      • Gamecock June 22, 2016 at 4:53 pm
        You shut up. I own, and have read:

        What off Bruce Catton civil war trilogy, probably one of the best works
        or
        lee’s lieutenants Douglas Southall Freeman

        Myself I lost count back in the 1970s after I passed the hundred mark.

        Or was that WW1.
        I was talking to as many of those Vets as I could find, (damn I did not record them.. to young)

        Anyway read Primary Sources then form your own opinions,
        I’m not telling you what to think, just make sure that the view points and reasons why people went to war are told by them and not left to someone else’s interpretation.

        Joseph Wheeler put the war behind him the rest of us should to.

        michael

    • The Civil War was fought over slavery. The deep chasm had been building for 50 years over the subject. It’s shameful that some Southerners still defend it’s corrupt, hypocritical, and immoral culture. Even after they were defeated on the battlefield, did they repent? No they doubled down for the next hundred years until, shamefully, there federal government had to send armed men to escort a little black girl to school, and allow a woman to sit where she wanted on a damn bus. . Really, go peddle that crap somewhere else.

      • On January 29th Georgia’s Declaration of Secession is approved stating, “For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery. They have endeavored to weaken our security, to disturb our domestic peace and tranquility, and persistently refused to comply with their express constitutional obligations to us in reference to that property, and by the use of their power in the Federal Government have striven to deprive us of an equal enjoyment of the common Territories of the Republic.”

        The Declaration of Secession for Mississippi states, “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery – the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth.”

        In the Texas Declaration of Secession it states, “In all the non-slaveholding States, in violation of that good faith and comity which should exist between entirely distinct nations, the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party, now strong enough in numbers to control the affairs of each of those States, based upon an unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of equality of all men, irrespective of race or color – a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States.”

  3. “By moving from nuclear to natural gas, these organizations are putting our children and grandchildren at risk of worsened global warming, ocean acidification and air pollution. They are acting on unscientific dogma as dangerous as that espoused by anti-vaxxers.”
    Yes. Because the unscientific dogma of “global warming” and “ocean acidification” is so much better.

    • Three Mile Island doesn’t even compare to Chernobyl or Fukushima. I ought to know- my father worked there at the time- oddly enough, as a chief electrician working for IBEW.

    • The risk assessment was completed LONG ago and the answer was clearly: nuclear power is very low risk.

      1. 3 Mile Island — no harm.
      2. Chernobyl — reckless construction/production practices not done in U.S.
      3. Fukushima — no harm from radiation (the harm was the same as would have happened had the plant been making cheese… or sushi) See: http://www.cfact.org/2013/10/12/physicist-there-was-no-fukushima-nuclear-disaster/

      For a decades-long, readily replicable, experiment proving nuclear power works and the risk is far exceeded by the benefit, see France.

      • You read my mind. How long has France been operating all those (identical design) nuke reactors? 40 years or so? And … how many “incidents” have they had? None that I can recall …

      • EXCEPT when something really bad happens and then it makes large areas uninhabitable for a couple hundred years or so!

        California and Japan are both big time earthquake/tsunami places on this planet with Indonesia being even worse danger.

      • The area made uninhabitable by Fukishima is the reactor core.
        Outside that, life goes on as normal.
        The damage done by Chernybol was orders of magnitude less than predicted.
        Wildlife still live in the areas surrounding the plant with no ill affects.
        Regardless, to condemn western and modern plants based on Chernobyl is to demonstrate a willful level ignorance that is truly Olympian in magnitude.

      • emsnews: You are confusing the effects of an atomic bomb blast like what was done by Little Boy in Japan in WWII with a nuclear power plant. The scenario you describe is SO far-fetched and the risk of it happening so low that it is easily outweighed by the benefit of nuclear power.

      • Fukushima survived the earthquake just fine thank you.
        Had the back up generator not been in the basement and completely unprotected from water, the tsunami would have been likewise a non-event.

        This has been explained to you multiple times, yet you prefer to keep pushing these lies.

        Why?

      • Yes, France is an excellent example. Unfortunately for France their government has decided to abandon nuclear power and be as stupid as everyone else.

      • Janice Moore June 22, 2016 at 8:44 am
        MarkW June 22, 2016 at 9:16 am
        emsnews June 22, 2016 at 9:08 am

        Lets not fight. All of us have differing views on the threat levels of nuclear power.

        Mark you are correct about the back up power supply in the basement, but that is also emsnews point Murphy will always lend a helping hand in a way we never expect.
        We will always overlook, under-estimate or dismiss things.
        The real question is what are we willing to live with as dangers go. All of you are right. That also is the problem. We can have hundreds of small accidents at non-nuclear plants vs one large one at a Nuclear one.
        They will tend to balance out.

        emsnews life isn’t safe, none of use get out alive… smile.

        Mark, Janice so far we have dodged a bullet, but some day some where we will have that real bad accident. You play dice long enough you roll snake eyes. Accept it. It does not mean we walk away from a technology, we just learn from our mistakes, and do better next time.

        Please all keep an open mind and remember that not all of us look at threat levels and risks the same way. Myself I can and tend to be quite ruthless. Advancement comes with a cost turn neither away from it nor dismiss it
        And again keep in mind we are all on the same side. don’t be harsh with one another.

        michael

      • Just to make a few points.
        A nuclear reactor cannot explode like a nuclear bomb. It’s not a ‘low probability’ It’s a total impossibility.
        The ‘China Syndrome’ is a movie, not science.
        Nuclear power actually removes more radioactive material from the environment than it puts back into it.
        Even Chernobyl, which is the worst possible accident its possible to have, with an out of control reactor open to the environment still critical with no containment, only resulted in 70 deaths and around 3000 (preventable) thyroid cancers.
        Ukraine and Belarus cancer rates are below those elsewhere in the world
        More people are killed every year by wind turbines, than nuclear power, and nuclear power generates about 100 times more than the windmills.
        There was no ‘disaster’ at Fukushima. No one has died or will die as a result of the minor radiation releases there.
        Nuclear power is expensive because of politics and bureaucracy, not because of engineering.

      • Couple comments:

        Chernobyl was the result of a reckless test…a test, in fact, that other plant refused to conduct due to it’s inherent danger.

        The issue with Fukushima was the diesel storage tanks getting washed away, not the generators being improperly situated.

        Regarding Murphy, yes, he pops up, but that’s what vigilant engineering is all about. Probabilistic Risk Assessment is employed, at great cost, to a variety of factors related to modern reactors. And yes, Seismic is one area where PRA is required. It takes into account the specifics of the site, including soil type, building fragilities, and frequency response. Deterministic assessments aren’t possible, so the PRA approach is used.

        Post Fukushima, the industry started considering stacked events (e.g. tsunami + earthquake), as that is what occurred. Untold quantities of time and money have been spent reanalyzing and reviewing any area that might have a potential weakness…and even more time and money has been spent engineering and installing modifications to address these potential weaknesses. And yes, new failure mechanisms do crop up. But the defense in depth strategy has worked, continues to work, and ultimately has been shown to be a superb approach to the management of risk for these amazingly engineered plants.

        Just my $0.02.

        rip

      • Tell that to Merkel. German nuclear industry is shuttered. Japan is up and running again.

      • Mike, there is no evidence that the accidents we have seen to date are the worst we will ever see. New designs are even safer than past designs.
        The belief that someday there is going to be a nuclear accident that will kill thousands or more, is nothing more than fear mongering nonsense.

      • Make that:
        There is no evidence that the accidents that we have seen to date are NOT the worst we will ever see.

      • MarkW wrote: “Fukushima survived the earthquake just fine thank you.
        Had the back up generator not been in the basement and completely unprotected from water, the tsunami would have been likewise a non-event.”

        That would seem to be a rather obvious flaw in the design. I wonder why they didn’t see it? I guess they have seen the problem now.

      • Leo – what else was the Fukushima meltdown than a partial china syndrome event?

        And look at Chernobyl – a reactor fire is a devastating event.

        A lot of hype about nuclear dangers, but the definite effect of a nuclear accident is that you lose access for a century to an area fifty or a hundred mile radius around the affected plant.

        In crowded UK, that’d be an impact we couldn’t live with.

        I assume no one would miss that much of California?

      • emsnews – Read “Flyboys: A True Story of Courage” by James Bradley. It was written after the 50 year secrecy act of WWII expired. People still live in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

        Spoiler alert : The only reason WWII ended when it did was because the USA promised not to hang the emperor god and his staff. The only reason some generals and staff officers were hung was because of ritual canablism.

        You also might read “Unbroken”.

      • Leo – what else was the Fukushima meltdown than a partial china syndrome event?

        And look at Chernobyl – a reactor fire is a devastating event.

        A lot of hype about nuclear dangers, but the definite effect of a nuclear accident is that you lose access for a century to an area fifty or a hundred mile radius around the affected plant.

        In crowded UK, that’d be an impact we couldn’t live with.

        I assume no one would miss that much of California?

        Griff,

        You need to educate yourself. No western reactor runs with an uncontained graphite core. The fire that happened there cannot happen with any western commercial design. Period. Full Stop. End of Discussion. 3 Mile Island/Fukushima are pretty much the worst case scenarios for any western reactor (and even they’re not possible for Gen III+/IV designs).

        Western designs have containment, so even if/when they do melt down they remain contained. That does NOT contaminate an area “30 to 50 miles in diameter.” Fun Fact: Only one of the reactors at TMI melted down. The other remains in operation today. That’s a mighty small exclusion zone…

        Fukushima’s problem is the water seepage. That’s not a reactor design or fundamental nuclear power problem. That’s a case of idiotic siting.

  4. It seems they are at a point where each action must be taken to it’s logical but absurd conclusion before impacts are understood and just how unstable the how of cards really is. I hope they find at the end of their journey their just desert.

  5. Cut California from the national power grid so they won’t be troubled by having to accept any of that Nuclear power from elsewhere and they can depend on their own pure renewable energy.

  6. The NRDC and FOE clearly have other interests than global warming. They do seem to be Arcadian Socialists, and will oppose anything that allows for industrial society, which really that they want most of the population to be “reduced”.

  7. “We will win because the moral arc of the universe bends toward justice.” What a sweet thought! Unfortunately, not true. First, the universe has no “moral arc” but is amoral in the deepest sense of the word. The only morality at issue here is human, and human beings are ruled by original sin. Why else do we lock our cars when we go shopping? Why else must we have all these damned passwords on our computers and email programs? Because we know that human beings are born sinful and are not to be trusted. That is why we need laws, and people to enforce those laws. Our biggest problem–for example–with the IRS is that it has suddenly been shown to be untrustworthy: to be on a particular side in a political sense, and to use its huge powers against that side’s political opponents. A major part of the IRS issue is that the party it favors holds the executive branch of government, hence also the law enforcement branch.

    If “we” win in this nuclear battle, it will be because a few humans have begun to see things in light of the facts and not the propaganda from the Left. The facts are that the Left’s battle against CO2 has always been based on falsehood and deliberate concealment of the truth. If enough people can see that, then the nuclear plants may possibly be saved.

    • Sometimes I wonder if in fact the nature of Evolution, which is not to promote survival of the fittest, but to remove from the gene pool those too dysfunctional to breed, is in fact in the process of ensuring the death of large sections of the human race, because in the end they are too stupid to live, and maybe we should just accept this, and shoot them in the back of the head out of a sense of compassion.

  8. I think that within the scientific community there is a pretty clear idea that even though building new nuclear capacity is a waste of money, keeping already built capacity running as long as possible would be a good idea (taking into account post Japan risk assessment). But scientific insights don’t always translate to the policy arena where emotion aspects are equally (?) relevant.

    I think that the more interesting point is that nuclear is pretty irrelevant on a global scale.

    • I just love it when idiots proclaim that only those scientists that they agree with are part of the scientific community.

    • Such unpleasantness. Have I ever called you names? Try to remember you’re a grown-up. Mr. W.

      But sure: the part of the scientific community I am part of, for the most part, shares that sentiment.

      • When you time and time again say idiotic things, expect to be called on it.
        I’ve never met an actual scientist who believes as you do regarding nuclear power.
        The only scientists I’ve ever met who believe as you do on global warming are paid to do so.

    • Why would the scientific community have any idea about the commercial value of new nuclear power generation capacity?

      • As MarkW so eloquently pointed out above, I’m referring mostly to my scientific community. We do a lot of forecasting and scenario work. For example, the Shell and BP energy forecasts discussed on this site every now and then are made by colleagues of mine. You need to have a pretty good idea of the economic profile of various generation methods to be able to run even a basic general equilibrium model or something like that. But its pretty obvious and generally accepted (by the nuclear industry themselves also) that nuclear is too expensive. Just consider the simple fact that that not a single nuclear powerplant is or has been operated without pretty significant state subsidies.

        But to be honest, doing the science thing mostly just means that you know how to find the relevant information :) For your viewing pleasure: http://thebulletin.org/nuclear-fuel-cycle-cost-calculator

        Cheers,
        Ben

      • Nice to see you admit that you consider your close comrades to be “the scientific community”.

      • Benben,

        I don’t get on here enuf to see you when you are actually here and pasting. I’m still waiting for that specific exponent that describes how the (problematic) meat consumption is changing the world.

        I know your “meat” comment was a while ago, and I am now off topic, but it ties directly to what Mark is saying … ” that you are generally full of crap”. For example, the ongoing product design of “package plant” power generation includes the work/efforts those that are within the scientific community, and they have a pretty clear goal (or maybe you think that they’re only in it for the money, knowing that it is an ultimate waste of other peoples money?).

        [… and Mark, if “generally full of crap” is an inaccurate paraphrase, I’m sorry]

    • Benny, Benny, do try to keep up. It takes a “special” kind of scientist to claim that nuclear power is irrelevant on a global scale. Why, here’s something we like to call data. Looks pretty relevant to me, but then again I’ve understood inequalities since the third grade.

  9. Both Japan and California are two places where there should be no nuclear power plants on the coastal areas for identical reasons!!! Anything along the San Andreas is insane. The people living there are in denial too and my on my mother’s side lived there since the Gold Rush and I had to fix my parent’s home in Santa Barbara after an earthquake there, not too many years ago.

    • And your parents’ house was built to the standards of a U.S. nuclear power plant…

      That said, good for you to fix your parents’ home! :)

    • Wow, the lies come fast and thick with this one.
      The second reactor at Fukushima survived both the earthquake and tsunami.
      Had they put a water tight door on the generator room in Fukushima, none of us would have ever heard the name.

  10. Obama and the lefties support Nuclear Power in Iran and oppose it at home. Iran is flush with oil and by far their cheapest form of energy, and have no need for nuclear. The insane logic of the left is setting the foundation for WWIII, which is certain to be nuclear.

    • Excellent point regarding Iran. I just bought a new Irony Meter and you’ve broken it already with that observation! *sigh* Back to eBay for another one.

      Not sure about a nuclear* WWIII. The arms merchants can’t make any money off a 1-day war and will certainly do all they can to make sure the only country that starts a war by using nukes gets nuked at the start by everyone else.

      *Translation: nuculer, in case Jimmy Carter reads this.

      • Did you know that Jimmah was a US Navy Nuclear Engineer before he went home to be a peanut farmer?

        Couldn’t tell it from his reaction to 3 Mile Island.

      • M Simon

        I hear it is a tough course. To me the hardest part of that job would be that most of the positions are subsurface. I think I’d go stir crazy after a couple of weeks in a sub. Of course the other jobs are on carriers, so it goes from one extreme to another.

        Carter’s major at the academy was naval nuclear engineering, I hadn’t heard that he never got through Rickover’s OJT certification. It would explain why he went home after his academy commitment was over though. I learn something new here every day.

  11. As said yesterday, Diablo Canyon is more complicated than on the surface. 40 year life/license ends 2025. PGE has to consider costs of license extension legal battles plus costs of maintenance, refurbishment for the extension. The plant will have been full amortized by 2025, so buying an additional 10-15 years is a de novo investment decision of costs versus returns.
    The interesting question is what will replace this baseload? It won’t be intermittent wind and solar. And it won’t be energy storage. Even the proposed Eagle Crest pumped storage project using abandoned open pit iron ore mines does not have the replacement capacity. My guess is eventually CCGT cause fast and inexpensive, as California comes to its senses about the reality of electricity grids. Just need a couple of good major intermittency caused blackouts, continued failure of Ivanpah, and continued rise in base electricity rates.

    • I think it will be more nuclear/gas/hydro from Arizona. The Arizona power suppliers are going to make even more of a financial killing off of stupid California thanks to their brain dead politicians. They can get what ever price the want almost.

      • Stephen, You have a point but let us not forget that when it traverses state lines the feds want to control.

      • All you need is one person who even heard the term electricity, to come within spiting distance of a state line, and the feds will claim authority over it.

    • Or the replacement decision could be wind/solar and CA could go down that path for another 8 years and then face the imminent shutdown of Diablo Canyon with no credible replacment and then scramble to build whatever can be done quickly. I assume CA will continue to appease the greenies until it is absolutely clear that it won’t work, so they will likely end up with the wind/solar solution plus an equivalent amount of fossil fuel “reserve” generating capacity to fill in the gaps. Double the capital cost while still burning fuel and producing CO2. But they will feel good about it.

      • “Or the replacement decision could be wind/solar and CA could go down that path for another 8 years”

        What do the Alarmists have against the poor ole birds? They ought to be forced to tour these bird-chopping, bird-frying facilites and observe the carnage.

    • The marginal case supports a simultaneous victory for both environmental and industrial businesses. The former can claim the shutdown of a nuclear “doomsday” device to facilitate a profitable donation cycle. While the latter can reduce the financial risk accrued with regulatory excess and aging capital equipment.

    • I would not write off new nuclear at all.
      When people say it is too expensive, they forget that there are 2 main sets of cost books, those from China/Korea with little cost of green appeasement and the USA costs which are artificially inflated by green pollution.
      It is complicated to state this, but I think that a new build in California, a mimic of a Chinese build, would be entirely competitive with the major gas designs and nearly an order of magnitude cheaper for delivered reliable electricity than large wind or large solar. If gas gets a preference because it can respond faster to the intermittency of renewables, that lead will be of no consequence when renewables start to be phased out, as will happen in a few short years.
      I keep reminding people that resources companies doing alumina refining or aluminium smelting have great difficulty with the concept of electricity from so-called renewables, but tend to like nuclear and hydro. In Australia, we used to have bauxite/alumina processing of world scale but it is steadily moving offshore because we have no nuclear or new hydro (for political reasons). These politics can send a country near bankrupt, or reliant on playthings like tourism.
      Some country has to be host for these energy intensive metals industries, or it is goodbye to aviation, that sort of outcome. That country or place could justifiably be California if its citizens started to listen to true experts instead of the current crop of whinging greens, including those ‘policy makers’ who have never been close enough to a reactor to know much of wisdom about the industry.
      Geoff

      • Watts Bar – how long and how much?

        The most practical design for US is the ABW design, which Westinghouse and Hitachi have proposed for a UK site at Wylfa… take a google for details on cost/time to construct

      • Geoff Sherrington:

        You and I have made the same point regarding aluminum. In 2014 the world produced 53 metric tons of aluminum while consuming 690 TWh (690,000 Gigawatt Hours) of electricity doing so. 58% of that, or 400 TWh came from coal generating plants. In the same year the entire world produced less than 300 TWh of electricity from renewable sources (wind, solar, geothermal, biomass). In other words, all the “green” power in the world couldn’t replace just the coal used to make aluminum in 2014. Take away aluminum and we are back in the very early 20th century without, as you note, the commercial aviation industry.

        But aside from insufficient quantity, the intermittent nature of renewable power is very poorly suited for continuous manufacturing processes which need steady power over long periods — for example some float glass plants have run continuously for years. Anything that requires a lot of heat becomes wasteful when stopped and restarted.

  12. Using nuclear energy will put our children and grandchildren at risk.
    Burning fossil fuel will put our children and grandchildren at risk.
    Not using nuclear energy will put our children and grandchildren at risk.
    Not burning fossil fuel will put our children and grandchildren at risk.

    The only thing that will prevent putting our children and grandchildren at risk is not having them.

    On a side note, this was easily predictable and I see more civil wars popping up as realities are recognized by some, while others remain in fantasy Green land (CO2 fertilization, extreme weather, SLR, economic hardship, model observation divergence, CO2 sequestration, China emission etc etc.)

    Politics are being pushed while realities are proving the futility of the movement, however there is still a lot of inertia in the movement that is maintaining the momentum.

    • Using nuclear energy will not put our children and grandchildren at risk.
      Burning fossil fuel will not put our children and grandchildren at risk.

      Otherwise you are 100% there

    • What truly puts our children and grandchildren at risk is the borrowing of billions if not trillions of dollars which they will have to pay back. This money is being borrowed to line people’s pockets and bribe others to allow this to happen.

      This is sure to lead to civil unrest if not insurrection or open warfare – that is the risk to our progeny.

      SteveT

  13. From the irony department: My energy news feed this morning had the closing announcement just above the article on possible blackouts in California due to the heat wave. And this is with Diablo Canyon running at full power.

    • Imagine how much worse it would be if everyone was driving electric cars and charging them while they are at work.

  14. During the past week, there were two more announcements.

    The board of directors for the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) confirmed that it will close the Ft. Calhoun (479 MWe) nuclear plant by the end of 2016.

    Exelon has formerly notified the New York Public Service Commission that it will begin actions to close Nine-Mile Point Unit 1 (640 MWe), Unit 2 (1,205 MWe) and Ginna (597 MWe) if the commission doesn’t approve a proposal originating from the Department of Public Service that involves a Zero-Emission Credit requirement for all electricity retailers before the end of September.

    That brings the potential loss of clean electricity production announced in the past three weeks to 73 billion kilowatt-hours/year. How many windmills are needed to generate that much power 24/7/365? Hint the number is in the Millions.

    • The current state-of-the-art “green” technology also has a low efficiency land-use rate. The millions of windmills are first-order causes of mass environmental disruption before and during their operation.

  15. This affair may not matter anyway. Businesses/industries that require significant amounts of electricity will avoid doing business in California and anywhere else these same kinds of situations arise.

    Electricity demand drops.

  16. I worked for the company that did the startup Diablo. The major problem with Diablo is that is built on the San Andreas fault line that is the catastrophe waiting to happen. Major tremor and something hits the fan.

    • David,
      You worked for the company that did the startup? I worked as part of the PG&E staff during Diablo Canyon startup on both units. It was PG&E plant staff that did the startup. The only other folks that worked on the startup were some Westinghouse advisers and some teams running extra instrumentation.

      There was an interesting situation with nuclear plant construction. First, contract companies such as Bechtel hired thousands of workers for the initial construction. Except for major facilities problems such as a wall specified in a wrong location, everything was built to match the blueprints, even sometimes hooking instrumentation up backwards and such. Once that was inspected, access to the plant was secured and only workers that passed FBI checks were allowed in. Those folks, under the management of PG&E Construction Department, then went through corrected the blueprint errors – each requiring Commission approval – and made things work. Once that phase was done, the plant staff then took over, inspecting and testing everything again. The result of this sequence was quite a number of statements by workers from the initial major construction that they saw things installed wrong and that the plant was an accident waiting to happen. They were honest but wrong.

      As for the San Andreas issue. Diablo Canyon was originally designed with overkill protection from maximum projected earthquakes from that fault. The earthquake squabble was about the Hosgri Fault which is much smaller but closer to the plant. Though engineering studies showed the original construction was quite adequate for any Hosgri earthquake, the NRC gave in to political pressure and required a substantial upgrade to earthquake protection. That added another couple years and another billion dollars or so to complete.

      • I worked at Cataract Engineering and I know we had technicians on site the installed and calibrated instrumentation.

      • Gary,

        As you may know, for the past several decades, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has loaded a pre-selected team on a plane and sent them to the latest large earthquake event. Not with bottled water and blankets, but with cameras and notebooks to examine damage to electric power and similar facilities struck by the quake.

        From what I have read, findings are mostly NA DA! Even for installations not specifically designed for quakes, the damage to such facilities is generally very minor. Where there is some impact such as for switchyards, EPRI makes findings and recommendations for upgrades to the power industry.

        The notion that nukes are under-designed for the ‘worst possible’ quake is a fantasy of the anti-everythings.

      • ‘even sometimes hooking instrumentation up backwards and such.’

        Gary, this is standard construction practice. The installation techs just wire them up, not trying to get polarity correct. It is far cheaper to get the plant operating people, instrument techs, and electricians to get the polarity right, than trying to follow in detail from origin to instrument, or DC drive, or whatever.

      • The man who owned Cataract had over 350 techs in the US doing startups on coal and nuke plants. Temperature, pressure and flow are regulated with instrumentation that controls the high and low set points to maintain the systems and subsystems of the plant.

    • If you worked for the company that did the startup for Diablo, you would have known already that if a major tremor hits, the only thing that happens is the power plant shuts down, automatically.

    • David,
      What hits the fan?
      Do you imagine that the design engineers are incapable of making plant that will cope with earthquakes?
      There is no documented history, AFAIK, of earthquakes causing substantial damage to nuclear installations.
      Earthquakes have happened in laces that defy geological theory or explanation. You should not deduce from that that there is no safe place to site a nuclear plant.
      Tokyo city engineers were afraid to go high multi level before about 1990, because of its history of earthquakes. They did much research into earthquake hardened high rise and now the skyline resembles any other huge city. There is confidence in the engineering. This goes beyond thought bubbles.
      Geoff

  17. Among other things, I thought climate change was focused on breathing new life into nuclear. Then Fukushima happened.
    CAGW knows there is no way to supply the world with energy from wind and solar.

    • The Fukushima disaster was the emotional response encouraged by the press, environmental lobbies, “green” industries, and sympathetic political interests. However, it was not the absolute disaster they predicted, and it could have been easily mitigated through proper design. A little oversight from highly competent, experienced people — both civilian and military — would have gone a long way.

      • n.n June 22, 2016 at 10:29 am
        A little oversight from highly competent, experienced people — both civilian and military — would have gone a long way.

        perhaps n.n but myself I would also include a group of janitors in the “what can go wrong” assessment team. They think differently.

        michael

      • There was no Fukushima disaster, unless you mean the forced evacuation of thousands of people for no good reason.

      • It was a PR disaster because those with an agenda took control of the narrative from the start and they never permitted the truth to see the light of day.

      • IIRC the Japanese had something like 3,000 people killed because they were using mass transit at the time of the earthquake and tsunami. They had 0 people killed by radiation.

        Which of these is frequently talked about as a disaster that we must avoid.

      • Too bad some people don’t live down wind. Everybody in the family dies. That doesn’t make the stats. Oh they don’t die right away. And then it’s not my fault they have poor health.

        How many do you know? I could know a bunch out in Caryle , PA ( but then most of them have already died, so who cares, they aren’t complaining) or just over the county line in Nevada. Find any 4 or 5 leaf clovers in your yard? Radiation treatment sure gives you that warm fuzzy feeling, doesn’t it?

      • Rish,

        I grew up downwind from the Pu-producing reactors at Hanford. There the accidents were almost the least of the worries. Intentional releases into air and the Columbia polluted the landscape far and wide, to include the strontium instead of calcium in the milk I drank. Their waste heat raised the temperature of the second largest river on the continent by a degree or more.

        Made my dad an opponent of nuclear power, but not myself. Today’s power reactors are a world apart.

      • What is proper design? Nuclear power is safe as long as it doesn’t involve people. Want to know what there are so many regulations? Well, let’s see if can save a couple of dollars if I don’t use heat treated steel bolts. I’ll come in under budget and get my bonus. Now there has to be a paper trail and chain of command of where the stupid bolt came from. The list is endless. There was a movie about a guy that was trying to move up. He was in the engineering department making cd players. When the final product came out, none of them worked. Upper management went around him, had it outsourced with none of the parameters. Nothing much is different in the nuclear field. If you ever ride the rails in the northeast you can see the steel towers that line the railway that supports the electrical cabling. Know what’s holding that up? I don’t know either.
        Do bad you aren’t volunteering to take your family and live just on the other side of the exclusion zone. I guess life expectancy isn’t all that great anyway.

  18. Greens are consequent. The ‘Greens’ like ‘green’. That is why they want to close all nuclear. The resulting extra output of CO2 will ‘green’ the world: plants and trees love the extra CO2 and will grow faster. Yeah, the world will be green! Thanks!

  19. In 100,000 molecules of air, 4000 are water molecules, 30 are CO2 molecules.
    4% of the 30 is man made, say one or two. And those one or two are the cause of all the hot air on this site.
    In addition there has not been an experimental verification of the photonic or collisional warming caused by these man made CO2 molecules.
    You should be ashamed.

    • I think it is well documented that the math and the ratios are well-understood by most who comment here. You should be ashamed of your condescending tone, and of your apparent lack of knowledge of relative humidity.

  20. This is not a fight which can be rationally settled because the issues are not rational. They represent fundamental differences of world view as to what the future should be like. At some point it will be realized that (1) argument is futile (2) the decisions are matters of life and death; then there will be no other alternative but submission or war.

    Yes, eventually there will be civil war over this issue. The environmentalists and their supporters are well organized within established authority along with others of an anti-industrial mindset. The costs of the policies will fall upon a much larger, disorganized mass consisting of the general population which will belatedly rebel against the consequences. The state will fight and the population will resist. The result will be repression and rebellion. Unless the population simply folds there will be war.

    The U.S. will essentially break up over the larger ramifications of these issues one way or another.

  21. “Nuclear is the only non-fossil-fuel way to mass produce electricity to still have modern industrial life…”

    [+emphasis]

    Hydro? Geo-thermal?

      • Not many countries have the geological possibilities to do that, but Iceland is 100% geo and hydro, even planning to export some spare to the UK by a long distance HVDC line. Norway is 99% hydro (1% is the use of waste gas from their steel industry)… Both countries have a lot of Alu and other metal melters which need lost of (cheap) electricity.

      • Iceland is unique due to the extensive volcanism there.
        Norway is unique because it posses lots of suitable mountain valleys with sufficient rainfall to fill the lakes once dams are built.
        Both are unique in that they have relatively small populations.

        Just because something is possible in Norway and Iceland is not evidence that it would be possible for the other 99.9% of humanity.

    • Steve, Greg –

      I’m all for nuclear but re hydro:
      Source: http://water.usgs.gov/edu/wuhy.html

      World distribution of hydropower
      Hydropower is the most important and widely-used renewable source of energy.
      Hydropower represents about 16% (International Energy Agency) of total electricity production.
      China is the largest producer of hydroelectricity, followed by Canada, Brazil, and the United States (Source: Energy Information Administration).
      Approximately two-thirds of the economically feasible potential remains to be developed. Untapped hydro resources are still abundant in Latin America, Central Africa, India and China.

      [+emphasis]
      Seems to me that the 16% is a fairly substantial protion of the whole and if the remaining potential sources were developed well… who knows? Not much point of “what iffing because the CAGW crowd remains unalterably against hydro anyway.
      Geo thermal is of course much more limited, but still significant in certain countries/areas.

      • If 2/3rds are available to be developed, that maxes out hydro at 24%, assuming world demand does not grow in the meantime.

  22. “Unemployment and poverty state-wide by replacing high-paying in-state nuclear jobs with low-paying out-of-state fracking jobs.”

    Fracking jobs are not low-paying. Anyhow, an important piece of the relevant information would probably be payroll $ divided by BTUs.

  23. I have long been in this fight. I write letters on energy that pull no punches and mail them to people. Here are three of them… if any turn of phrase inspires you or you know of anyone who might be interested, feel free to share these links — or incorporate my message into your own.

    This letter of mine has been in Donald Trump’s possession since May 2, 2016. In it you may discover why I considered Trump the only candidate worthy of such a message. In his pronouncement to pursue US energy self-sufficiency in general and consider nuclear an essential part of the mix, there is hope. The others offer nothing but more years of bad road and an obscenely stupid fixation on base load irredeemables (wind and solar). Trump is literally the only one with the courage to stand up to the tripe.

    In 2013 I reached out to Senator Inhofe to propose an energy path for Oklahoma and the country. Sadly I have not seen a glimmer from this outreach.

    Also in 2013 I reached out directly to Halliburton Corporate with a very specific idea that just might have laid groundwork for their secure long-term future. At the time their stock was climbing towards $70 and they probably thought they didn’t have a care in the world. Not so good now. Not a glimmer from this one either, I had high hopes for this one.

    Mentioned in these letters is Faulkner’s 2005 paper on Electric (HVDC) pipelines, and the two hour Thorium Remix 2011 video presentation (topic list with time indexes in the Trump letter).

    One letter I had sent to a billionaire who is deeply vested in natural gas elicited a personal reply thanking me for the idea but said “regrettably, I am not a candidate” [to pursue Thorium energy]. Nevertheless, I cherish his candor and the politeness to reply in kind.

    Nuclear is essential and presently endangered. Thorium and LFTR is a good path, and it may be that to save nuclear at this juncture we will need to double down and devote all our efforts to a single path.

  24. …We will win because Californians, the American people and all humans love our children and grandchildren more than we believe superstitions and tolerate corruption…

    Good luck with that. You will lose, because the American people, just like the British people are about to demonstrate, do what they are told to do by their authority figures.

    Have you got a film star? A top politician? No? Then tough. Because the other side have lots of them…

  25. Michael Shellenberger is a reasonable environmentalist. At a risk of oversimplifying his positions, he believes in AGW, but understands that concern about the environment is only sustained in advanced, energy producing economies; developing societies necessarily care more about today’s meal. He is no mindless tree hugger, and he has been regularly excoriated by those on the left for contending that development and environmentalism must coexist.

    Full Disclosure: I am an attorney for fossil fuel interests, and Mike is my cousin.

  26. The problem is not the those who pushed this deal are too corrupt, it’s that they are too pure.

    BTW, Chris Mooney in today’s WaPo says that renewables’ intermitency is no problem; new storage technologies, better conservation, and greater load-shifting made possible by wider use of said renewables will mean that there is no upper limit to the use of renewables at the 15% level–in fact even the 30% level is no limit.

    Anthony–maybe his column deserves a thread here.

    • Mooney is looney. Interms of the grid about 10 percent intermittent renewable penetration is about the upper limit except in unusual circumstances (like where flexible hydro is available). There is no grid storage solution on the horizion, so FF backup (with all its expense) will be necessary for decades. Load shifting is not possible with industry, and not practical residential. People cok dinner at dinnertime. They shower in the morning. Mooney is mouthing thoughtless platitudes that have the substance of unicorn farts.

  27. Nuclear power plants too costly? Read the opposite argument with numbers for investment and operating expenses of old power plants still running at capacity.

    Concentrating Solar Power plants (CSP) were promoted by the Department of Energy (DOE) from the time the Dep’t was created under Pres. Carter. Several were built over the decades and none performed adequately. One burned up in 1986 and was rebuilt, enlarged, DOE arguing that the plants have to be big to take advantage of economy of scale.
    Following that logic, a 392 MW (name-plate) giant at Ivanpah in Mojave Desert was built on 13 km2 of land in Mojave Desert at a cost of 2.2 billion dollars.The designed-for Capacity Factor of 31 % indicates 120 MW to be the expected actual average output. That wattage was to justify those billions dollars investment, and it is the basis for this analysis.
    The 2200 M$ price per 120 MW represents 18 $/W investment. By way of comparison the Millstone nuclear reactor No. 2 in Connecticut, operating at 880 MW since 1975, cost 0.5 $/W; Ivanpah is thus 36 times more expensive (not adjusted for inflation).
    With about 1000 employees receiving salary and benefits at Ivanpah, the annual outlay for that alone is roughly 100 M$. Selling the annual 3.8 EJ at the projected 0.028 $/MJ yields 106 M$. Ouch – only 6 M$ left for other expenses, notably for natural gas whose burning produces some 8 % of the total output.
    For comparison again, the Millstone nuclear plant complex employs also about 1000, and its two reactors have been producing 1870 MW actual electrical output. Assuming the same salaries, benefits, and the electricity selling price, the operating expense is 15 times higher at Ivanpah.
    Note that the above two outlays are 35 and 15 times, not percent, higher and that this huge expense gap exists in an industry where a difference of just a few percent means the difference between success and bankruptcy. The magnitude of the gap hints also at the reason why the so-called “free” solar electricity is so expensive.
    As for the occupied land comparison, those 120 MW spread over 13 km2 represents 9.2 W/m2. In contrast, ground based nuclear plants produce some 2000 W/m2 thus utilizing the land area some 200 times more effectively. And they can be erected in any climate and in proximity to users.
    If the purpose of the CSPs is to cut CO2 emissions, that expectation is unrealistic. The construction, operating, maintaining and eventually dismantling this plant will at best match the amount of CO2 claimed to be saved in non-burning fossil-fuels for that relatively small amount of electricity. And producing intermittent electricity causes CO2 generation elsewhere.
    We must be either excessively rich or ignorant to be building power sources of the type that produce electricity we cannot afford.
    Is anyone accountable for approving this already-on-paper deficient project? And for the other CSP projects in existence, being built, or planned?
    So far, the analysis assumed the designed capacity factor. In contrast, the plant has averaged only 1/3rd of the plan to-date meaning that those above ratios are in fact three times worse, e.g. 45 times higher operating expense. This is unusually bad for any CSP although none of them performs to industry standard. The often heard excuse is that they are still “experimental” (for ½ century!!).

  28. Did you know that the 12 nuclear plants in Sweden, which supply 50% of their electricity, are all SHUT DOWN? That was a “legislative mandate”…FOR 2012!!!

    Suffice it to say, the immigrant (excuse me, foreign INVASION by VICIOUS INDIVIDUALS out of control) crisis has NOT as yet, led to the “civil rebellion” that it merits. However, I’m willing to BET that you add
    rotating BLACKOUTS to the mix, and suddenly the POWERS that be, will be at SEA. (Literally)

    • And so are 505 of German nuclear plants – 40% of them were closed overnight in 2011 after Fukushima. which disrupted the German grid not at all

      • Apart from the Europe-wide blackout a few years back, following a failure in the European wide distribution system which allows the importation of power to Germany now that it can no longer produce all the power it needs.

        SteveT

  29. Recent data reported by the American Nuclear Society indicate the median three year capacity factor for the USA nuclear fleet for the years 2013 through 2015 was 90.4% with the top and bottom quartiles pegging in at 92.8% and 87.2%, respectively. These very commendable figures indicate that the operating fleet (average age thirty-six (36) years and median age thirty-eight (38)) is ‘not getting older, it’s getting better.’

    Despite this, almost paradoxically, Exelon has just announced that the Quad Cities Generating Station (~2000 MWe, gross) will be closing despite an (O&M&F ?) production cost of less than $25 / MW-hr.

    Can’t see wind or solar competing with this, but there you have it.

    • Hasn’t Exelon had many problems with the wind power coming from Iowa? Haven’t looked at this situation for awhile.

      Also a grid supply contract they didn’t get?

  30. These are the same people who were wrong about nuclear power back when. Then they were wrong on renewables. And still they’re wrong on fossil fuels, CO2 and CAGW. Far past time to stop listening to their caterwauling. Energy literate? Hardly.

  31. Maybe i missed it above, but worth noting that Natural Gas powered electricity generates roughly (if I recall) 2/3rds of the CO2 per KW as a coal fired plant. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but relative to Nuclear this would theoretically increase global warming and ocean acidification as stated.

  32. So the scales have fallen from a few CAAGW’s eyes? I’m supposed to believe they now care about the lives of human beings lower down on the progressive scale of values than their own? I thought they wanted us shot, imprisoned, denied the right to research, publish, speak, or disagree in any way with their religious fanaticism, their faked 97% consensus. This lower life form says “f… you.”

  33. “The area made uninhabitable by Fukishima is the reactor core.”

    What area was that?

    MarkW gets the carefully crafted lie of the day award. Just for the record, repeating a lie is still lying.

    While evacuation was a prudent precaution, actual levels of contamination would have not made the area uninhabitable.

    “completely unprotected from water”

    The essential service water pumps (not generators) were adequately protected from a design basis tsunami, not a 1000 year event.

    Since core damage does mean anyone will be hurt radiation, it is a matter of balancing different economic losses. This not an engineering decision but an economic decision that societies make.

    “They will tend to balance out.”

    Really! I have known some ‘Mikes’ who are not stupid.

    There is an absolute safety criteria that all power projects must meet. Balancing out is not a criteria.

    “Deterministic assessments aren’t possible, so the PRA approach is used.”

    Again not true. PRAs were added many years after the original designs. Both tools are used at nuke plants to reduce risk.

    I will continue this critique later.

    • I think it’s safe to say that an operating reactor core is uninhabitable as is one that has melted down. You’re welcome to build your retirement home in one if you like.

      And the pumps required a source of power to run. Their grid tie was destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami. They were supposed to use on site diesel generators. Those flooded and were made inoperable. The site continued to run on its emergency batteries for about 8 hours (IIRC). Once they were exhausted the decay heat evaporated enough now unreplenished water to expose the rods to air and a meltdown into containment occurred.

      Power, from grid or backup generators, was available to run the Residual Heat Removal (RHR) system cooling pumps at eight of the eleven units, and despite some problems they achieved ‘cold shutdown’ within about four days. The other three, at Fukushima Daiichi, lost power at 3.42 pm, almost an hour after the quake, when the entire site was flooded by the 15-metre tsunami. This disabled 12 of 13 back-up generators on site and also the heat exchangers for dumping reactor waste heat and decay heat to the sea. The three units lost the ability to maintain proper reactor cooling and water circulation functions.

      http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/safety-and-security/safety-of-plants/fukushima-accident.aspx

      So yeah, it was the generators.

      • Tsk tsk I am thinking that you may not know what uninhabitable means. From your link:

        “The tsunami inundated about 560 sq km and resulted in a human death toll of about 19,000 and much damage to coastal ports and towns, with over a million buildings destroyed or partly collapsed.”

        So, yes parts of Japan became uninhabitable and people died as a result. It had nothing to do with reactor cores.

        For several years, I lived on a ship with two reactors. Thousands of sailors ‘inhibit’ nuclear ships.

        The first important distinction for arm chair engineers with 20/20 hindsight is that core damage does not cause loss of life. Exposure to rushing water does. Failure to evacuate for a worst case tsunami led to a terrible death toll.

        While radioactive is regrettable because of irrational fear, the actual level of radiation did not make the area uninhabitable.

  34. “within the scientific community”

    So Benben, when did scientist start building power plants?

    I have had to learn a lot of science to operate and design nuclear power plants.

    “the Shell and BP energy forecasts ”

    Which power companies do shell and BPO run? That would be none. Power companies have resource plans for their locations.

    “Just consider the simple fact that that not a single nuclear powerplant is or has been operated without pretty significant state subsidies.”

    Every nuke in the US says benben is lying.

    “But to be honest, doing the science thing mostly just means that you know how to find the relevant information…”

    A agree with benben. Of course, this means that he is either a liar or not a very good at science. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientist is not a relevant source of information on the economics of building a nuke plant.

    The point is that scientists are not very good at economics and shell and BP are not very good a forecasts.

  35. Jerry Brown’s Crony Windmill Industry has spread like a cancer and needs to be stopped NOW! The EU has proved that there is NO decrease in carbon only a increase in electric cost.

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