The Game Changer: HuffPost Embraces Nuclear Power

Susquehanna steam electric nuclear power station

Susquehanna steam electric nuclear power station

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Huffpost has published a very supportive post, about New York State embracing nuclear power as an equal player in the low carbon energy game.

The Game Changer: New York’s Clean Energy Standard and Nuclear Energy

For years, I’ve said that when it comes to the challenge of fighting climate change, we will need every tool available to reduce carbon pollution and create opportunities for new clean energy technology.

Yet, despite a world that demands more carbon-free energy – not less – public policies have left some of the tools in the toolbox. Until now.

In August, with the help of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s leadership, the New York State PSC took unprecedented action in passing a Clean Energy Standard that, in addition to ensuring ample opportunity for more wind, solar, and energy efficiency, recognizes the important role of existing carbon-free nuclear power. This is a game-changer: never before has nuclear received economic credit for its environmental benefits.

New York State is now the first government to include nuclear in its clean energy policy, providing a mechanism that will help keep New York’s nuclear energy plants open. In the wake of an energy market that did not previously adequately value this power, the state faced the very real prospect of having these plants shut down.

Last month’s news represents a meaningful step in the fight against climate change that will impact our energy policy outlook for decades to come. This is a worthwhile cause that Governor Cuomo should be acknowledged for undertaking, not only for the sake of cleaner air, but for establishing a common sense and fair policy of recognition for nuclear that ensures that nuclear power remains a vital component of our clean energy strategy for years to come.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carol-browner/the-game-changer-new-york_b_11802988.html

Whatever your position on global warming, this development is bad news for Renewables. Who in their right mind will lend money to finance new renewable installations, when nuclear power now offers the same access to carbon subsidies, without the uncertainty?

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246 thoughts on “The Game Changer: HuffPost Embraces Nuclear Power

  1. That freaking silly. There is no risk on solar PV. Costs and production are totally known.

    Not so with nuclear.

    • Both solar and wind power are too intermittent to exist totally by themselves. They must have a ‘regular’ (meaning coal, gas or nuclear fired) power plant ‘hot & spinning’ as standby backup for when the wind suddenly stops blowing or clouds cover the sun (or night arrives). These ‘standby’ backup plants use a lot of energy keeping the turbines spinning, ready for immediate switching, without producing ANY output power. It takes several HOURS to start a regular power plant & the utility can’t wait to start one until they are ‘needed’, because that would leave the grid down for those hours required to start the standby plant.

      • The wind never suddenly stops blowing – it predictably falls off.

        You can absolutely fire up your gas plant in line with the drop (better still use grid storage/pumped storage to pick up till gas plant online: drastically reduces need for spinning reserve)

        Check out this – shows UK gas plant going up/down in line with wind strength
        http://gridwatch.templar.co.uk/

      • …”The wind never suddenly stops blowing – it predictably falls off.” ??

        …Just the other day, I was thinking to myself…Griff’s comments could not possibly get any dumber….
        …Silly me !

      • I’m afraid Griff that you are very mistaken. Neither Solar nor wind make a reliable source of power for the grid this is why Germany is having serious issues now that they have been shutting down their coal and nuclear plants. The wind and solar plants they have just can’t support the power grid.

        The same thing is happening in the UK which is why subsidies for solar and wind are on the way out the door there.

      • >>shows UK gas plant going up/down in line with wind strength…
        >>but not going off and on

        Semantics. You still need one power system to provide unreliable power, and another working at less than optimum efficiency to back it up. (ie: the gas system is not working on a combined energy-heat cycle, where it is most efficient).

        And since wind power is very expensive to construct, and the gas is working below optimum, you end up paying four times as much for the infrastructure. And then you save precious little CO2, as the gas system is spewing it, the diesel-powered UK Strategic Reserve is spewing even more, and the wind system spews gigatonnes of it during the construction phase. All in all, the whole charade is unicorn economics and looking-glass science, from fantasist lobbyists.

        R

      • ‘The wind never suddenly stops blowing – it predictably falls off.’

        Griff with his daily Grift.
        He couldn’t possibly sound more like a used car salesman.

      • How can you say “fire up your gas plant in line with the drop” and keep a straight face? Just the fact that you need gas to back up the unreliable renewable should end your argument in its tracks. Dead. RIP.

        Conversely the gas plant doesn’t need wind back up.

        See what I did there?

      • Marcus, Mark – here’s the track of UK power demand and source of supply which met it.

        Look at the column showing what type of power was supplied: see how as wind drops, gas picks up (and vice versa)
        http://gridwatch.templar.co.uk/

        A note on the predictability of wind power (prediction has improved since this article)

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/9508765/UK-wind-power-predictable-enough-to-keep-lights-on-says-think-tank-IPPR.html

      • Griff, Griff, Griff. How many times are you going to keep repeating that lie.
        The only reason why Germany’s grid is stable is because they buy electricity from France’s nuclear plants whenever your magic windmills fail to produce enough power.
        Sheesh, it’s almost as if you are being paid to make a fool of yourself.

      • LamontT on September 1, 2016 at 8:14 am

        Neither Solar nor wind make a reliable source of power for the grid this is why Germany is having serious issues now that they have been shutting down their coal and nuclear plants.

        From Germany: lol lol lol.

        1991: 64% fossile, 30% nuke, 6% renew
        2015: 57% fossile, 14% nuke, 29% renew

        Imagine just one moment Germany yearly needing 600 TWh but nevertheless shutting down fossile and nuke.

        Do we really live on the same planet, LamonT?

      • MarkW on September 2, 2016 at 6:43 am

        Griff, Griff, Griff. How many times are you going to keep repeating that lie.
        The only reason why Germany’s grid is stable is because they buy electricity from France’s nuclear plants whenever your magic windmills fail to produce enough power.

        I guess rather MarkW should stop repeating such lies.

        https://www.energy-charts.de/exchange.htm

        MarkW simply knows nothing about Germany’s energy sector.

      • Binned again:

        There is always an amazing thing about pie charts. They tell a person absolutely nothing.
        The more complex the pie chart, the less information it actually contains.

        From: the European Commission
        For 2014;

        The energy balance allows to see the relative importance of the different fuels in their contribution to the economy. The energy balance is also the starting point for the construction of various indicators as well as analyses of energy efficiency. Eurostat’s energy balance has a format identical to that of the commodity balance but expressed in an energy unit.”

        Germany in 2014 produced in Ktoe: 30% of their energy through renewables.
        Germany in 2014 used, in Ktoe: 11.3% of their energy from renewables.

        Germany in 2014 produced in Ktoe: 20.1% of their energy through nuclear.
        Germany in 2014 used, in Ktoe: 8% of their energy from nuclear.

        United Kingdom in 2014 produced in Ktoe: 9% of their energy through renewables.
        United Kingdom in 2014 used, in Ktoe: 6.4% of their energy from renewables.

        United Kingdom in 2014 produced in Ktoe: 15.3% of their energy through nuclear.
        United Kingdom in 2014 used, in Ktoe: 8.7% of their energy from nuclear.

        Once again the old game is used. Energy produced is a combination of nameplate, (potential energy generation), actual energy production without energy used factors; especially energy exported and energy imported.

        In the electrical grid quagmire of Europe, though various machinations, it is possible for various countries to claim more renewable energy than actually produced and used.

        It is rather amazing that the zealots somehow always manage to state electrical generation in absurdly glowing terms; without the gritty details of actual use.

    • Yes, and the low cost leader of solar PV includes recycling in its pricing. Practically all industry costs quoted on solar are inflated averages with assorted zombie companies included. Nuclear costs a lot just to sit as waste in on-site storage in lieu of a long term repository. Rate payers and their supposed regulators have been hoodwinked for years on nuclear cost promises, first in construction cost overruns and then in dead weight, waste storage and decommissioning costs. Solar PV will win with economies of scale if policymakers would ever get out of the way of lowest bidder market forces…..and ban rooftop solar.

      • It has been opponents of nuclear power that were the strongest supporters of the decision to stop construction of the Yucca Mountain long term repository. Many of the construction cost overruns were from paying interest at a time of high interest rates during construction delays caused by nuclear power opponents.

      • They can build those mega-Solar farms in your backyard. NIMBY.

        I prefer my electricity the old-fashioned way, from a reliable base-load generated, interconnected grid that won’t cost me 3x per Kwh just so I can feel good about meaningless CO2 emissions.

        Renewable PV grid power is just another tax and rate payer subsidized crony capitalist get-rich scheme that relies on the Gruber principle.

      • Senate Majority leader Harry Reid used his position to kill Yucca Mtn Repository.

        Why?

        Likely because His hand was in billionaire, renewable investor Tom Steyer’s wallet doing his bidding to make US nuclear power plant expansions or life extensions uneconomical or not feasible as onsite storage of spent fuel filled up.

      • I love the way that supporters of solar declare that it doesn’t matter how much money each solar cell looses because they are going to make it back on volume.

        PS, everyone of the costs that you mention are the direct result of environmental nutcases using regulations to increase the cost of nuclear.

      • How funny, “if policymakers would ever get out of the way”! In the way of what? Subsidizing the energy cost of solar so that they can exist in the first place? That’s like saying, I wish this damn bridge would get out of the way so that I could see the canyon below me.

        The nuclear waste issue would be a non-issue if it weren’t for the anti-nuclear crowd creating hurdles to safe and simple solutions. One simple way to dispose of it would be to put it down deep wells within closed geologic basins.

      • Furthermore, fast breeder technology will be commercially available in 20 years and the “problem” becomes energy for future generations.

      • Reprocess it. Most of the stuff remaining after reprocessing is low enough in radioactivity that it isn’t worth worrying about, or has half lives in the months to years range.

      • … Solar PV will win with economies of scale …

        That is not a given. There is such a thing as diseconomies of scale. In any case, most of the economies of scale for solar pv are captured by relatively small installations.

      • There is only so much land that is prime for solar. Those being places as close to the equator as you can get with few clouds on a year round basis.
        Those places take up may 0.5 to 1.0 percent of the earth’s surface.
        Once those places are fully covered, you are going to have to use areas that are less than optimal for your solar installations.

        There are no economies of scale for solar, the economies work the other way.
        Not to mention that the places that are best for solar are places where few people live. As a result easily 10 to 20 percent of whatever power you do get will be lost in transmission.

      • Nuclear power has been solid inexpensive energy producer for decades.

        Claims that nuclear power has somehow hoodwinked consumer, tax payers, regulators, bureaucrats are absolute fabrications. All of the truth and reality of fairy dust.

        Recycling costs are overstated? Most recycling companies are dangerously close to bankruptcy from dealing with consumer wastes that are more expensive to recycle than to bury. Many of the recycling centers survive through taxpayer surcharges.

        Then there are the truly absurd claims of “economies of scale”!
        • Just what is an economy of scale for solar cells?
        • Their manufacture in China? There goes another bankrupt manufacturer!
        • Their shipping from China? More storage trailers to dispose of, but no economy of scale!
        • Perhaps Resourceguy and stock mean the installation costs? How do the magic wand wavers of eco-loon land manage to obtain economies of scale during manual installation? Less bolts, nuts and screws?
        • Or is it during the regular maintenances keeping those solar cells clean? Going to leave them to weather in; how much does that drop efficiency?
        • Then there is, how many square miles of land will solar cells consume? Shading out plants and wildlife, restricting use to solar cell shade formations…

        Oh Yeah, economies of scale… Silliness and stupidity from mass eco-hysteria.

      • Solar PV will win with economies of scale if policymakers would ever get out of the way of lowest bidder market forces…..and ban rooftop solar.

        So, which is it? Deregulate and remove subsidies and let the market decide? Or (as your “ban rooftop solar” comment suggests), a crony capitalist market that is “some for me, but none for thee”?

      • Eh? Ban roof top solar? The only place it makes sense. All that “waste” sitting in pools at plants is very valuable fuel. If we recycle anything, it should be that spent fuel.

      • Griff, I know that you are paid to make a fool of yourself, but sheesh, do you have to be so good at it?
        Above, you demand that roof top be banned, now you are citing roof top as the salvation of solar?
        Secondly, are those rooftops in the prime locations that I mentioned previously? If not, then your point does not address my argument.

    • To put it simply, wind and solar power are the least green power sources on the planet. Both use quantities of rare elements that are energy intensive to mine and purify. In addition, both use construction materials that are also energy intensive and/or unrecyclable and the lifetimes of these systems are shorter than claimed. As of a couple of years ago there were 14,000 dead wind turbines in the US alone. Furthermore, these systems require constant maintenance, mostly cleaning—the blades of wind turbines, 100s of feet long, have to be cleaned regularly or they lose efficiency. Both systems require an extensive infrastructURE as the power is generated in a distributed form and must be brought together and routed to where it is needed. Finally, the sun sets, the wind dies, and clouds form, which renders both systems unreliable and often operating at 25% of their rated capacity or less. There is no inexpensive means of storing energy for use at night.

      The bottomline is that these systems really only work well for the end user, such that a farm wind turbine or solar PV will lower the farm’s demand for energy from the grid.

      YOU CANNOT BUILD A RELIABLE ENERGY SUPPLY FROM UNRELIABLE ENERGY SOURCES.

      The powers that be, the Administration, globalists, and the UN, know that these two systems, even solar thermal do not work for supporting a healthy civilization. That is the point: they want to lower our standard of living and de-industrialize the Western world, as industry cannot function without reliable energy.

      • YOU CANNOT BUILD A RELIABLE ENERGY SUPPLY FROM UNRELIABLE ENERGY SOURCES.

        I do believe that if someone was given a vast array of solar and wind generators but not allowed any other power they could not make a new turbine or solar panel to replace ones that eventually failed. However if someone was given a good supply of crude oil they could use it to get more. So which is sustainable?

      • Not without a sufficient energy storage. While possible in principle, it has eluded us so far.

        Eric, thank you for noticing this one. I don’t read HuffPo.

      • Wow! The Copper Mountain solar created 6 WHOLE JOBS!!!

        Created about 350 construction jobs and six full-time positions

        Plant construction was completed in 2010, so the construction jobs was a blip – and probably lots of out-of-state workers.

      • That’s not the first time “YOU CANNOT BUILD A RELIABLE ENERGY SUPPLY FROM UNRELIABLE ENERGY SOURCES” has been said here. Which is saddening, because it is obviously untrue. Engineers build reliable (enough) systems out of unreliable components all the time. Communication systems use error-correcting codes. The basic Internet protocols are designed to provide a reliable (continental- then) planetary-scale communication and computation system out of individually less reliable computers and communication links. The idea of cloud computing is to provide a continuing service in the presence of failing components. Buildings are supposed to be designed so that taking out one support won’t bring down the whole building. An important reason for using two-phase materials is to *expect* cracking in one phase but use the other phase to prevent the cracks from spreading. Individual farms can fail, but that doesn’t take out the entire food supply system. In business, nearly every business fails, most of them quite quickly, but the *system* keeps going. In energy, coal mines run out, oil wells run out, gas fields are exhausted so don’t kid yourself that those things are intrinsically reliable; the *system* is reliable despite being built out of unreliable pieces because the system just depends on *enough* pieces being available. Heck, even *chairs* aren’t 100% reliable, they’re just easy to replace. (Except the driver’s seat for my van. Apparently 1994 Japanese vans are antiquities and such spares as exist are in museums or private collections.)

        Whether you can build an *affordable* energy supply out of wind, wave, and sun without doing terrible things to the environment is another matter.

      • Richard A. O’Keefe
        September 2, 2016 at 12:18 am

        That’s not the first time “YOU CANNOT BUILD A RELIABLE ENERGY SUPPLY FROM UNRELIABLE ENERGY SOURCES” has been said here. Which is saddening, because it is obviously untrue. Engineers build reliable (enough) systems out of unreliable components all the time. Communication systems use error-correcting codes. The basic Internet protocols are designed to provide ………

        You say it is obviously untrue and then change the subject to anything but BUILDING A RELIABLE ENERGY SUPPLY which is what was being discussed.

        Did you think no-one would notice?

        SteveT

      • “Engineers build reliable (enough) systems out of unreliable components all the time. ”

        Airplanes can fly, therefore unreliable power won’t bring down a power grid.
        Engineers can build error correction codes into data streams, therefore the unexpected loss of power from a windmill won’t harm the power grid.

        Sheesh, what is it about supporters of wind and solar and their inability to understand basic physics and engineering.

      • Confidence in reliability:
        It is also important to note that corporate investors have not been at all keen to build major new plant where the electricity supply is erratic. The classic case is the fear of the aluminium in a potline freezing from molten state and having to be jack hammered out.
        Globally, engineers appraising sites for new investment in industries like resources processing place a high weight on low cost and high reliability of electricity supply. I have not seen any recent investor like this accepting a dominance of renewables as an accepted mix, but there could be some examples.
        But, why take such a big investment risk? Simply go for nuclear, well proven over decades.
        Geoff

    • The risk with solar is that one of these days politicians will come to their senses and stop subsidizing them. Then your investment becomes totally unsupportable.
      Nuclear is a known technology that works and has been for some 60 years.

    • Decommissioning costs: A blind spot in the nuclear power debate
      In nuclear policy, too little thought is given to the considerable costs of storing radioactive waste on site
      By Christina Simeone | August 30, 2016

      In the interim, nuclear reactor Licensees have been forced to make significant capital investments to expand their ability to store spent fuel on site at power plants. Licensees sued the federal government for financial damages caused by the government’s failure to accept nuclear waste for disposal, and the Licensees won.

      The federal government is therefore using taxpayer money to pay back the Licensee’s costs of interim waste storage. As of 2015, more than $5 billion of taxpayer dollars were paid to reactor Licensees. The total cost of damages is estimated to range from $29 billion to $50 billion if the government begins to accept waste in 10 years. If this date slides, government liabilities increase by $500 million per year.

      So today, all 100 operating nuclear power reactors are storing waste on site in wet and/or dry storage. When a full plant retires, the entire site cannot be decommissioned, because a portion of the site must continue to store waste.

      See Utility Dive for the full text

      • Come to my propaganda site where I tell even more and bigger lies.
        Utilities have always paid a tax to pay for long term storage.
        The fact that the government has refused to build the long term storage is not the fault of the utilities.

      • Disposal costs have already been paid by nuclear operators. The federal government is liable because it has failed to live up to its responsibility to open the proven Yucca Mtn storage facility and accept the waste. It’s eco-lunatics like you that are generating the cost and defrauding ratepayers, operators, and taxpayers. Nothing new, I know.

      • Uh, working where I do I happen to know – without a doubt – that your claim about not considering decommissioning and storage of spent fuel is false. The problem was and is government interference and malfeasance. A deal was struck with the nuclear plant operators and the government that the operators would pay the government as well as cover the costs of spent fuel storage. In return the government would provide a safe and secure long term spent fuel storage solution. As we all know, the government failed to live up to their side of the bargain. As the government attorneys know all too well. So now the government is faced with having to reimburse the nuclear plant operators all fees paid over the years. Had Yucca been accepting spent fuel for – oh, the last 20 years or so – we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

        Plant decommissioning costs have always been figured into nuclear power plant cost projections. What cannot be anticipated is shifting government interference. A proposal to build a third reactor at Calvert Cliffs was abandoned because of the inability to judge just which way the government would jump next.

      • In my FLONUP proposal (Floating Nuc.PowerStations) the ultimate decommissioning is the Marianas Trench … pull all the plugs and let it drop.
        All the uneducated Greenos will claim: “ENV’TL DISASTER IN THE DEEPS” However, from my experience as a qualified Nuclear Fallout Analyst — a rusty science! — 10 m. (meters, not miles!) in salt water mitigates the irradiation by 50% +/-. Besides which, the bottom of the Marianas Trench is far closer the THE MAJOR source of radiation … Earth’s core & mantle.
        And any local marine life at that depth will be well adapted to enhanced radiation, 50% advance of which locally will be reduced every 10m. (metres, for Dr. Strangelove!)
        And fish don’t have votes …. (will I regret this comment?)

      • Ross King says: “”THE MAJOR source of radiation … Earth’s core & mantle.”
        ..
        I guess that explains why the lava flows coming from the Hawaiian volcanoes are radioactive !!!!!

      • Prob’ly at some level ….
        Where else does background radioactivity come from? I don’t think it’s Fairy-Rings?

    • That freaking silly. There is no risk on solar PV. Costs and production are totally known.
      Not so with nuclear.

      Why does some nutter always get in the first reply?
      No risk with solar – except that the 25 year lifetime that all the PV solar economics are based on turns out to be 2-3 years. Except if you are a bird living near Ivanpah (ok not pv but still solar). Or someone who has to pay for electricity. Or someone investing in covering their roof with PV not knowing when the government will change the subsidy structure. Or an investor. Etc…
      /sarc

    • I have no clue why you think the costs of solar are widely known. Solar is unreliable and intermittant and therefore requires constant backup, which is virtually always provided by fossil fuel plants. Amazing why anyone can actually convince themselves that the costs of nuclear power are unknown, when the costs of building same are public knowledge and most of the nuclear plants in operation have been producing power for more than 30 years. Costs are exceedingly well known and vary from site to site, just as solar power costs vary from site to site, and more so, due to differences in cloud cover, natural irradiance, the costs of backup power. Apparently there are folks out there who, for one reason or another, think that wind and solar are equivalent power generators to reliable types. Unreliable types of power generation requires that two parallel power generating system exist, an extremely wasteful and costly proposition, especially in this case, where the only backup power producer costs that are reduced by their power being ignored at the expense of renewables (often the case) is a reduction in fuel costs. But those fuel costs only represent a small portion of the costs of maintaining a reliable power plany in operation. In the case of nuclear, it would be virtually impossible to reduce their fuel costs more than an insignficant amount, the plant simply cannot ramp up and down quickly and thus saving fuel (which is a tiny portion of the costs of running a nuclear plant) is absurd. What happens is what is hapening in the Midwest , where wind and solar are accepted in preference to nuclear, rendering the nuclear plant only a partial producer, and leading to an almost linear increase in the costs of the power that they sell. Reneable enthusaiasts are generally grid-ignorant and have weird ideas of the costs of nuclear power. Nuclear plants also have been contributing a small amount of the costs of each kWhr for disposal and shutdown costs. There will be no additional costs when a nuclear plant reaches the end of its lifespan, which is many times longer than that of solar and wind. And new design molten salt reactors will radicaly change everything, since they want nuclear wastes as fuel, so there will be no heavy expenses of nuclear wastes disposal, nor any need for long term containment. Nuclear plants that operate as designed (as baseload power plants) produce the cheapest power, period. ALL of their costs are known, excepting that future costs with respect to nuclear waste “disposal” will be grossly overestimated, which will reduce their power production costs even further.
      And with repsect to nuclear, the new designs about to go commerical will vastly reduce even the low nuclear power costs of today : they will cost less than half as much to build, will seldom fail to meet build
      costs, and will have essentially zero fuel costs, regardless of the type of fuel they consume. They also will require very little oversight as they are inherently safe. No renewable power type can hope to compete with these totally reliable (and load following) molten salt nuclear power plants , no matter which comparisons
      are made. Renewables are primitive and doomed. They have no future on the grid. The rest of the world seems to know this, so why are Americans so clueless?

      • There is one big unknown when it comes to the cost of nuclear.
        Who knows how much the next stupid and unneeded regulation passed by the eco-nuts and their bureaucratic fellow travelers will cost.

    • stock: “There is no risk on solar PV. “

      Not for bien pensant middle class Western “Liberals”.

      But for the less fortunate members of the World’s population who have to pay for their virtue signalling, the price can be very high indeed.

      The Dirty Side of a “Green” Industry

      As people worldwide increasingly feel the heat of climate change, many are applauding the skyrocketing growth of China’s fledgling solar-cell industry. Solar power and other “green” technologies, by providing electricity from renewable energy sources like the sun and wind, create hope for a world free of coal-burning pollution and natural resource depletion. A recent Washington Post article, however, has revealed that China’s booming solar industry is not as green as one might expect. Many of the solar panels that now adorn European and American rooftops have left behind a legacy of toxic pollution in Chinese villages and farmlands.

      The Post article describes how Luoyang Zhonggui, a major Chinese polysilicon manufacturer, is dumping toxic factory waste directly on to the lands of neighboring villages, killing crops and poisoning residents. Other polysilicon factories in the country have similar problems, either because they have not installed effective pollution control equipment or they are not operating these systems to full capacity. Polysilicon is a key component of the sunlight-capturing wafers used in solar photovoltaic (PV) cells.

      http://www.worldwatch.org/node/5650

      But hey, who cares when you’re “Saving the World™”, right?

    • Solar companies without subsidies suffer high economic losses and company failure. I would not buy stock in one. Also, as regards “risk” consider the chemistry of a solar panel, where those chemicals come from, and their relative abundance. Ignoring silica, you have rare elements including cadmium, tellurium, copper, indium, gallium, and selenium, all toxic. You not only have to mine them, which means greater physical effects for rarer elements, but consider the fun of disposing of old solar cells. They are hazardous waste by definition. Following the BRAC process – Defense Base Closure and Realignment – following the “peace dividend” when the USSR finally collapsed, every branch of the armed services in the US has been entangled in clean-up of hazardous materials and the heavy metal issues are some of the most durable problems. Some of the materials of concern include copper and cadmium contamination.

    • No risk? Ever hear of a hailstorm? You are always one hailstorm from being out of business. In winter it is called snow. Now you get to pump hot water onto the panels to keep that clear. The output also degrades over time. You need a good supply of water to keep them clean from bird poop and dust, and good access to clean them. To produce they require silver, which must be available.

      • Over time, dust clouds the panels and greatly reduces their output. As a result they have to be cleaned regurally. Let’s not mention what a poorly timed flock of birds can do to those panels. Yuck.

    • There is no risk on solar PV. Costs and production are totally known. …

      …To be way higher (costs) than even the most overreacted nuclear reactor…

      ..as for production, it’s known… to be absolutely dire, especially at midnight.

  2. great,

    nuclear is SO much better than solar from an Nature perspective imo

    compact land usage high energy BASE load avail 24/7 vs expansive land usage, medium energy base load avail 12/7 …provided it is not raining on cloudy

    thorium nuclear plants would be even better but…..

  3. Are you really sure that is the Huffington Post? If so, somone is about to be forced out for violating the standards of the green blob, as all greens in good standing hate nuclear. Utter heresy!

  4. It was written by Carol Browner, “former Environmental Protection Agency administrator and former director of the White House Office on Energy and Climate Change Policy.”

    It’s interesting that there are no comments under the story that was published more than 16 hours ago.

  5. Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    The high priests of the Global Warming faith embracing Nuclear!

    Sound the death knell for unreliable energy – wind/solar – as a fanciful baseload alternative to fossil fuels!

    What a truly catastrophic disaster – environmentally, socially and economically the feel-good ‘Green’ energy experiment has been.

    Sigh.

  6. “New York State is now the first government to include nuclear in its clean energy policy”

    I think the UK was first…

    • You mean where UK has scheduled half of their nuclear power plants to close by 2025?

      Or where UK was going to have a Chinese contractor build old technology nuclear power plants for outrageous prices, using loans from China?

      Which is it griffy?

      • The plants closing are at the end of their useful life Theo…

        You missed UK climate policy includes plans for new nuclear reactors at up to 7 sites to replace them.

      • Nuclear plants have very long useful lives griffy.

        All it takes are the necessary approvals, some refitting and upgrades and most nuclear plants are easily good for sixty years. Most ‘early’ reactors are into their second twenty year approval cycle.

        “• License renewal: 81 of today’s 99 operating reactors have received 20-year license renewals to operate for a total of 60 years, and 17 other reactors have applied for or announced intentions to renew their licenses for another 20 years.
        • Nuclear power uprates: More than 7,300 megawatts of power uprates have been approved by the NRC since 1977. That is the equivalent of adding seven reactors to the electric grid.

        Given that the ‘new’ plants that are supposed to be heading construction are ‘on hold’ and zero progress has been made for starting construction on any of the others.

        Then there are the nuclear plants due to close… Fortunately, the bad news regarding UK’s contracts for new construction might be offset by approving the old nuclear sites for longer lifespans.

        “…Hinkley B in Somerset and Hunterston B in Ayrshire, which were due to close in 2016, would be the first that could undergo a periodic safety review to remain open…”

        There, you might have learned something griffy child. Though you do not exhibit much reading comprehension in your comments; still one can hope.

  7. …Wait, what ?? Sanity from New York State AND the Huffington Post ?? ….Did Hell freeze over ? It really is worse then they thought !! LOL

  8. Why isn’t there more effort to Thorium. Thorium is more abundant in nature than uranium. Thorium fuels can breed fissile uranium-233 to be used in various kinds of nuclear reactors. Molten salt reactors are well suited to thorium fuel, as normal fuel fabrication is avoided.

    • More abundant, yes, but less concentrated … that is, it’s easier to get a bunch of uranium for fuel, in general, than it is to get a similar amount of thorium.
      Thorium has been used in various reactors over the years, including in the US, but these designs didn’t work out for one reason or another. Eventually, it will be used again, but there is no rush.

    • There is no need for an alternate fissionable fuel for nuclear plants. There is plenty of uranium around, at very reasonable prices considering that the cost of the raw uranium is a tiny fraction of the overall cost of the electricity produced. It would still be economic to extract U from seawater to use in existing powerplants. MSR Thorium, OTOH, requires the development of an entirely new technology for handling the material. There is ONE thorium fuel design that could be used in existing reactors, but no one wants to have to go thru the hassle of getting it approved, when U is approved and ubituitous.

      The last thing that nuclear needs is more research and development activities that spend a lot of money and end up with nothing but an expensive site to decommission. The greens will use that against nuclear forever.

    • Separately; if it was so easy then everyone would be doing it, thorium and molten coolant. Kind’a like fusion.

      • Actually it has been done. Back in the 60s. Thorium doesn’t make good breeders so the government didn’the pursue it. Thorium is abundant and easy to refine. It is actually a byproduct of rare earth mining… as a waste product. The government has disposed of over 3000 metric tons in Nevada.

      • You missed the tense of my comment, PAST IMPERFECT. I am quite familiar with the history of nuclear power.

    • Because in the US the DoD wanted reactors that could be used to produce H-bomb elements. Th reactors are pretty useless for nuclear arms races.

    • There are several Thorium research projects underway, notably in china and Norway (which is also UK financed).

      But they don’t expect to deliver a first ‘commercial’ design before the early 2030s.

  9. They can store the waste at Cuomo’s house.
    They won’t frack because the idiots think plant food is destroying the planet but now they will have bury the muc waste or put it who knows where to manufacture another “crisis” down the road.

  10. We should not be applauding this trojan horse. They still are pushing renewables, and they still want to kill fossil fuels.

    • France demonstrated you can run an economy on nuclear power, which is an improvement on wasting money on useless renewables, at least from an engineering POV. I agree the political situation is still completely nuts.

      • Yes, and I understand that their solution to waste storage is to reprocess. The US ban on reprocessing is a story unto itself – not sure why someone hasn’t written a book on the topic, maybe too depressing…

      • What France did with nuclear is a red herring. Completely different situation. Don’t get me wrong; a ramping up of nuclear to some degree wouldn’t be a bad idea, just not at the expense of fossil fuels. Nuclear needs to be sold for the right reasons, not based on lies.

  11. I absolutely love how this CO2 nonsense has driven the conversation to supporting Nuclear Power, the power Green Peace was founded upon to fight. The nitwits created a crisis without a solution. Wind and Solar aren’t solutions. You can either use nuclear or carbon, those are the only two real alternatives. Go ahead, convert every coal burning power plant into nuclear, you have my 100% support. Now that is a real solution.

  12. Some have speculated that the entire “global warming” theme was conjured up to gain public acceptance of nuclear power, before the idea wa usurped by the red/greens.

    • It was, in a sense. Margaret Thatcher hyped it up during her battles with the Miners Unions in the UK. The UK nuclear plants were the thing that kept the UK from going dark during the strikes, and Thatcher wanted to get out from under the thumb of the unions. Unfortunately, it got a bit out of hand, because the left realized that it could be used to control all of society.

  13. It seems, watching from the sidelines over lo’ these many years from the 1950s to now, that a large part of the cost and time to build nuclear power plants is now due to a regulatory quagmire that adds decades to the process and thus orders of magnitude to the final cost. Thanks, once again, to the radical environmental movement and an uncritical, fear mongering media.

    I am sure there is someone here in the WUWT blogosphere that can comment with numbers contrasting the times and adjusted costs to build the various generations of nuclear power plants. It would be an interesting article. I have a feeling that the graphed curve of the cost of increasing stupid will be highly correlated with AlG0re’s waistline.

  14. The pro and anti nuclear greens are analagous to the Sunnis and Shiites in the great green Caliphate they are fighting for. Expect some anti-nuclear bombs to go off from the other greens any moment…

  15. There is still the issue of the DOE’s failure to provide a repository for high level radioactive waste, as mandated by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982. As of 2012, a ‘Blue Ribbon’ commission set up by Obama had formed three subcommittees: Reactor and Fuel Cycle Technology, Transportation and Storage, and Disposal, which had merely produced a ‘comprehensive recommendation for disposal strategies’.

      • Never closed because it has not yet opened. The courts have ruled that Obama must follow environmental laws too and continue to fund the licensing process. The NRC has resumed their review.

        My signature is all over scientific reviews of the project to determine if the site should move forward when Clinton was POTUS.

        Yucca Mountain is massive overkill. Nuke plants are demonstrating on a daily basis safe dry cask storage.

  16. There must be some way of making nuclear power more unreliable and intermittent, so that it can properly be called renewable and worthy of subsidies.

    • We closed the poorly manged nuke plants 20 years ago. Then utilities that were good at managing nuke plants started buying up the poorly run ones. I think that is the case in NY.

  17. What more needs to be said ? ONLY Trump will stop this madness and save the world from the One World Order of elitists….and personally…I don’t like him…but he has my vote…from an American living in Canada !

  18. I look at this as not an embrace of nuclear, but rather a realization that “renewables” will not be enough for the foreseeable future. So they are supporting keeping existing plants going. If anyone were to actually propose a new plant, I think their tune would change.

  19. It’s hard to cheer for another industry being thrown into the crony capitalism pot. I’ll cheer when the regulatory burden is adjusted to a reasonable level and nuclear can compete without handouts. I totally agree nuclear power is by far the most promising solution to reduced emissions, but qualifying for subsidies (like the fringe power sources of solar and wind) is not my idea of the solution. Nuclear has always made more sense, but has been choked by red tape to near death in the USA. Site selection issues haven’t done the industry any favors either – I’m looking at you Fukushima. If it’s likely to have a catastrophic natural event cause irreparable harm, then that site isn’t a good one. Otherwise, if we’d let the modernization and development of better nuclear power sources flourish, it would be a very good thing for us all. Forget about the CO2 foolishness – the dramatic reductions in all emissions that nuclear power provides is good for everyone, including the adherents to the religion of global warming.

    • Jim where did you get the idea that electricity was a free market. We would just love to have the same markup as a cup of coffee at a gas station.

      When I had a big house it would cost $1/day/person to cool the house on the hottest summer day. Less that 25 cents for a long hot shower.

      Electric utilities are heavily regulated. So Jim, do you want to take a stab at predicting the future cost of natural gas 60 years into the future? One hint, natural gas is only cheap when supply exceeds demand. What will happen when too many nukes and coal plants are retired?

      • I want the least cost sources to flourish, and if they have the added benefit of providing clean energy, what’s not to like? Deregulating the electric industry is unlikely, but if the cost to produce energy is low, the rates will track. Free markets are a great thing in almost every case where there aren’t giant capital costs as barriers to entry for competition. Like the billions that have to be spent attempting to comply with the labyrinthine regulatory hurdles placed before the nuclear power industry. The energy industry is likely to always be a hybrid of truly free market principles, but it is still a slave to the costs of doing business, if we want clean, abundant and cost effective energy, nuclear is a clear choice – except for the regulatory costs.

  20. Renewables can NEVER power the world – there is not enough of it.

    Even Prof David MacKay, who was an uber-greeny science advisor to the UK government, concluded that there was not enough landspace in the UK (including shallow and deepwater regions) to power the nation.

    Renewable Energy Without Hot Air (free pdf booklet)
    https://www.withouthotair.com

    People seem to forget that powering the electric grid is the least of our problems. In the UK the grid represents just 25% of total fossil and nuclear fuel energy consumed, with transport and heating being the other big users. To power all of the UK energy requirements, we would require something like 30 times the renewable plants that we already have.**

    And that is not including storage for calm cloudy days, and for the winter. Prof Mackay rather skirted over the storage problem, discussing it as an afterthought, but suggesting we would need to turn every Scottish valley into a pumped storage system to balance the energy books. But this energy storage system also needs a renewable energy source. And if we add the plants required to charge the storage system, we will need about 100 times the renewable energy infrastructure already in place. And since that infrastructure took some 10 years or more to put in place, we might become renewable self-sufficient in a millennia. Yes, by the year 3016, we will be able to ‘reliably’ produce as much renewable energy as we are producing now with fossil fuels.

    Ralph

    ** Based on the UK having 14% renewables, net power production from wind and solar. Not including hydro, biogas and woodchip, which are either non-renewable or non-scaleable in the UK. Hydro is not renewable because it destroys habitats and promotes methane production from its lakes, so they say. And there is limited availability in the UK. Tidal is pretty useless, as it switches off four times a day, requiring a lot of pumped storage backup. And it is even more useless during neap tides, when production falls by 2/3. Woodchip depends on us destroying all of the USA’s forests, which is not sustainable not politically acceptable.

    • After all of that land has been taken over by renewable (wind/solar), will there be any room left over actual Britains?

      • Well not really. It could just about be done, but it would be like living in factory, but the killer is, the intermittency. David Mackay showed that the energy density wasn’t there, I followed on from that to show that intermittency multiplied te problem tenfold. It is in a practical sense impossible to have an all renewable grid, and the costs start to spiral when you get over about 15%.

        http://www.templar.co.uk/downloads/Renewable%20Energy%20Limitations.pdf

    • MacKay was a brilliant pioneer, but technology has improved and changed since he first wrote his book…

      (on another note – UK tidal lagoons situated around the coast list would produce 24 hour power, as high tide times vay: it does fluctuate with spring tide cycle, but would be absolutely reliable and predictable. current proposals would supply 85 of all UK electricity)

      • Griff, please stop pretending that the laws of PHYSICS which David Mackay based his calculations on, have changed.

        Energy density and intermittency, as my paper explains, are fundamental properties of renewable sources that no amount of technological development can eradicate from those energy sources.

        You may – in the case of intermittency – add extra technological storage to ameliorate the effect, but you cannot get rid of intermittency, and David Mackay showed that even 100% efficient windmills and solar panels were hopelessly impractical.

        I have told you these facts many times in the past, and yet you persist in lies and misdirection. How much are you paid to do this?

      • UK will be powered by offshore wind and grid-scale storage. 100 percent renewable, 100 percent reliable, safe, and cost-effective. 50 MW wind turbines with storm-tolerant flexible blades are in the works.

        Power from the ocean currents also will be far in excess of anything UK ever could need. 100 percent reliable, no storage needed, and cost-effective in a few years.

      • Griff: “current proposals would supply 85 of all UK electricity)”

        And be utterly catastrophic for coastal wildlife of every variety.

        But you lot couldn’t care less about how much environmental destruction your crackpot obeisance to the CAGW religion causes, right?

        You really are truly evil if you can truly countenance such a measure.

      • Sure.

        Build wind turbines upside down and stick them in the ocean. Sand is so wonderful for bearings and turbine surfaces.

        How are you going to prevent the turbines from mincing sea life into sea mush?

        How do you plan to keep sea life from growing on the whole tidal system? Barnacles are fun to scrape off.

        Perhaps if you remove enough energy from the oceans, you can stop the tides?

        Tides are not twenty four hours of water movement. High and low tides experience periods of relative calm, so there may be twelve to sixteen hours of water movement.

        Carpet the land and shallow sea with wind turbines, fill the tidal areas with tidal machines; all at high initial costs, high maintenance costs, terrible reliability, terrible consistency and terrible quality.

        Wouldn’t you just love to join some like minded people, buy a small island and then fill the island and local seas with all of the junk you want?

        We’ll be happy to sell you new bearings and turbines, mined, smelted, refined and produced where the electricity grid is stable, consistent, reliable! They’ll cost more than sand and sea shells, though. No troll utopia this side of the mirror!

  21. I guess it woud be too much to expect the low IQ folks at HuffPost to know about the future of nuclear, which is clearly molten salt nuclear, a technology so advanced that that only the feeblest of green minds
    would find objection plausible. Current light watwer reactors are clearly better than renewables, on any comparative basis. But molten salt reactors are just a clealry superior to any of the tradtitional water reactors operating today. Nor are they on the distant horizon – their technology is actually quite old, but only rendered practical until now by advances in metallurgy , etc Totally safe, costing less than half as much to build as current reactors, can be built rapidly in factories and transported to a site, which doesn’t require anywhere near as much preparation, fuel costs are insignificant and will never run dry, can quickly ramp power up and down, allowing them to be used as non-baseload plants, eliminating any need for pumped storage or much fossil fuel midrange plants. They have it all, so much so that I would even predict that
    the feeblest of Green minds can comprehend their advantages and superiority over environmentally obscene wind mills and solar panels. Renewable power sucks. There is no reason for the continued existence of these ultra-primitive means of producing inferior power.

      • How about one working for three years? Best part: they could shut it off for the weekend. Try doing that with a PWR or BWR with solid fuel assemblies.

      • You mean like the current fleet of LWR George?

        Arthur is an idiot who likes to repeat the something read on the internet. For example, ‘Totally safe, costing less than half as much to build as current reactors,….’

        There will still be fission products that are hazardous. Mitigating that hazard results in a risk that is very, very small. The criteria is safe, not totally safe.

        As far as cost go, steam plants are expensive.

      • Actually, your stupidity is showing, Kit. Who said anything about requiring a steam plant? Because the cores are already molten you can keep the core at significantly higher temperatures than a solid fuel assembly and use He as the working fluid in the turbines at higher temp. Just to help you out, higher temp means higher efficiency. And since we’re using He there’s no steam plant. Further, since we don’t use water to cool the core we don’t have to worry about dealing with the high pressures associated with using it meaning a much lighter containment vessel. Lighter means less material. Less material means cheaper.

        I won’t get into burnup improvements. It sounds like you have lots of reading to do on the technology anyway.

  22. Only a true, dedicated Envirowhaco would exclude Nuclear power from the mix of energy sources needed to prevent Global Warming, Human Induced Climate Change, or whatever they call it this year. There is no other way to switch to electrical powered vehicles without using Nuclear power. More people die from the exhaust emissions of automobiles, annually, than the sum total of all deaths from the radiation released from all nuclear power plants from the first NPP to date.

    • Ummmmm…got a link for that? Don’t get me wrong. I fully back nuclear, however I’m kinda dorky in the way I like to see facts…” More people die from the exhaust emissions of automobiles, annually, than the sum total of all deaths from the radiation released from all nuclear power plants from the first NPP to date.”

      • Look at the EPA CPP plan. Their LNT model says exactly that in their thousands of lives saved per year “estimate.”

    • Nobody has been hurt let alone killed by radiation from US designed commercial nuclear power plant. Fence line exposure is in the range of 2 to 4 magnitudes below average background radiation.

      I also think that current levels of air pollution in the US are below the threshold of harm.

      I have not seen recent number but IIRC about 200 die from carbon monoxide poisoning due to faulty exhaust systems.

      • Retired Kit P
        ….
        July 24, 1964, Charlestown, Rhode Island, United Nuclear Corporation.

        One dead.

      • So untrue about nobody was ever hurt by US nuclear plants. California’s Rancho Seco nuclear plant caused more cancer cases and deaths while it operated, then the rate of cancer dropped to normal after it was shut down.

      • Roger, from the abstract, the only comparison was the same area before and after the plant shut down. But aren’t cancer rates (age adjusted) going down over time generally? A study of the vicinity of Rancho Seco v. the rest of the state might actually demonstrate something.

      • Tom, the body of the report shows the cancer rates were compared vs the state, and many other counties.

        The cancer rates dropped initially near Rancho Seco after the shutdown, then leveled off to state-wide averages.

        I’m hoping for a similar study in Japan now that 5-1/2 years elapsed since all reactors were shut down. Huge population and many reactors there would provide statistically significant data.

      • Sowell said:
        “re cancers at Rancho Seco”
        “Long term local cancer reductions following nuclear plant shutdown”

        That’s a provocative title but read the abstract of the study and you find this:

        “Many factors can result in lower cancer incidence over two decades, but elimination of radioactive isotopes should be addressed in future reports as one of these potential factors.”

        It’s in plain English but let me translate that in simpler language – this study does not claim lower cancer incidence due to elimination of radioactive isotopes that is why it should be addressed in future reports.
        Why would the authors say that? Because a lot more studies contradict their data.

        “The largest and most comprehensive study of cancer mortality near nuclear power plants—by the National Cancer Institute—found no evidence of increased risk of death from a wide range of cancers, and no adverse impact of nuclear energy facilities on public health. The National Cancer Institute study was published in March 1991 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. NCI scientists studied more than 900,000 cancer deaths using county mortality records collected from 1950 to 1984.”

        http://biz570.com/education-healthcare/healthcare/local-experts-question-credibility-of-power-plant-study-1.1486491

      • Another wild story about a minor correlation automatically being some sort of proved fact. Just apply a lot of statistics till some p factor manifests and voila!

        Horrendous quality research. Right on par with the Fukushima locality research claiming increased cancers from math and data no one else can replicate.

      • Dr Strange, about that 1991 cancer and radiation study: I wrote on this very topic as “US NRC Stops Study of Cancer Risks near Reactors”

        http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2015/09/us-nrc-stops-study-of-cancer-risks-near.html

        “Among the 1991 study’s many problems, according to scientists who were designing the new probe:

        •”It tracked mortality rates based on where people died, rather than where they lived before getting cancer. That makes it hard to determine true lifetime exposure.

        • “It tracked deaths, rather than total cancer cases. That may downplay the full health impact of living near a reactor, since many cancer patients survive.

        • “It used countywide data to reach conclusions – a blunt instrument that may again downplay the impact on those living closest to a reactor. Residents in La Habra and San Clemente live in the same county – but few would argue that they had the same exposure to San Onofre. (Note, San Clemente is only a few miles from SONGS, while La Habra is approximately 40 miles away.)

        “To remedy all that, the NRC asked the NAS (National Academy of Science) to evaluate cancer diagnosis rates, not just cancer deaths; and to explore how to divide the areas around nuclear facilities into geographical units smaller than counties. The NAS made no bones about the effort being difficult and time-consuming, but said it could be done.”

        Odd, isn’t it, that the nuclear industry simply does not want the data to be collected, analyzed, and published. Why would they do that, if there is nothing to hide?

        Also, see my answer to Tom Halla above. The cancer rates went down only in the county that had the Rancho Seco nuclear power plant, not in the rest of California.

      • “Odd, isn’t it, that the nuclear industry simply does not want the data to be collected, analyzed, and published. Why would they do that, if there is nothing to hide?”

        Roger, I really think you need to get your tin foil hat checked over.

      • Tsk tsk, tsk tsk,
        I hope that you know that 100,000 years is no more than a number pulled out of the air, like Schellnhuber’s 2 degrees of global warming.
        Two things. First, current spent fuel decays naturally at a rate that makes its total radioactivity about the same as the uranium ore from which it was made after mining. Miners have safe control of mine levels; safe control in a custom repository should be easier. The time it takes for spent fuel to decay to ore levels varies with both ore grade and spent fuel management, including its burn history and subsequent dilution like glassification or Synroc, but is more like a few hundred years that 100,000 years.
        Second, there is enormous energy left in the spent fuel of today. The technology to extract more future energy is well known. There is virtually no chance that such an energy resource will sit untouched for such a vast time. It will be safely put to use inside the 21st century.
        People seem to miss the social point that the nuclear industry, from the start, attracted some of the best scientific minds around. Contrast this with the frequent observations that climate science has been attracting the dregs. As a consequence, nuclear planning is thoroughly researched, options and variations pretty well sorted. There is no sign of vthe stupidity that unleashed renewables on society before they were adequately mapped as to engineering performance and economic viability.
        Geoff

    • Coal Ash Is More Radioactive Than Nuclear Waste

      By burning away all the pesky carbon and other impurities, coal power plants produce heaps of radiation

      http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/coal-ash-is-more-radioactive-than-nuclear-waste/

      It is interesting playing with geiger counters and seeing what makes them tick. Most people are astonished to be shown that the hottest thing in the average environment is themselves, specifically their thyroid gland.

      Even hotter are ashtrays, and the hottest thing of all is fire grates, especially in coke burners such as Rayburns. They are well above the level that would be tolerated in the environment of any nuclear plant.

  23. Oh. And please folks. Don’t trust or back HuffPuke. They are in it for one thing; profits. They will say and go which ever way the bucks go!

  24. Floating Nuclear Power Plants (FLONUPs) are the answer. 3 weeks after Fukushima disaster, I (ret’d Prof.Civil Engineer & MBA, with a lot of experience in the Elec.Power field) scripted a paper (still available) and have spent a lot of money promoting the idea. The Russians, having got there first (a barge with a Nuc.Reactor on top) beat me in the Patent process, but my solution marries Mulberry Harbour reinforced-concrete caisson design with marine nuclear technology. A massively thick, multi-cellular structure, in each isolated cell of which is installed an off-the-shelf, submarine-style, reactor. The KEY is to ensure a geometric criterion whereby all reactors are positioned wholly below water level, so that any rogue reactor can nigh-instantly be flooded with coolant. Chernobyl and Fukushima, had they been FLONUPS, would *never* have been the disasters they were (lack of coolant made them run-away).
    If and when Anthony Watts agrees to publishing my previous submission to WUWT, I’ll gladly publish my Proposal. A FLONUP (and an incrementally aggregated FLONUP-Fleet) can be located in deep water, ‘n’ km. offshore (where n > any NIMBY objection).
    FLONUPs are a made-in-Heaven solution: out of sight, out of mind, earthquake and tsunami proof, ALARP criteria minimized, proven technology and — with appropriate security measures — as defensible as a land-based plant.
    I have trawled extensively all and any likely sources of interest, including governments, relevant ministries, power-plant vendors, consultants, GWPF, Lord Lawson, etc., and never got one reply. I can only assume that Fukushima scared everyone off Nuc.Power FOREVER.
    Meantime, MIT has come up with a proposal (did it get copy of mine?) and the Chinese are reportedly building a sort of FLONUP to power their man-made islands in waters they claim.
    Duh! Had the Brits and Canadian authorities got behind the idea at the time, we would be World-leaders in production-line FLONUP manufacture (say, 300-500 MW per caisson), which would have had economies of scale far outweighing the one-off, Hinckley-style behemoths (which, economically-speaking, are as digestible as a buffalo inside a boa-constrictor).
    A Hinckley would take 10-12 years to commission, by which time the same end-result could have been coming on-stream from Year 2 thro’ 10 @ about 300 MW incremental additions rolling-down the slip-ways.

    • You can’t get a patent for a design that has been in use since 1954. It’s just a nuclear submarine reactor put in a barge to produce electricity instead of propulsion. They could have done it in 1954 if the military wanted to. By the way, you don’t have to put it in a barge. A nuclear plant beside the sea like Fukushima can have a reactor below sea level. A short tunnel connecting it to the sea can flood the reactor with seawater in case of emergency power outage to prevent a meltdown. Fukushima had a bad design since the emergency power generators are in the basement below sea level and not even water tight. The tsunami flooded the basement and disabled the emergency generators that supposed to cool the reactor. Hence the meltdown.

      Chernobyl disaster was due to human error. Inexperienced operators were conducting a test in the power plant. They removed the safety moderators of the reactor. Totally idiotic and catastrophic. Then reactor overheating and explosion. Better design needs automatic safety features that cannot be overridden by human stupidity.

      • Even with all those mistakes, had the reactor been inside a containment vessel, the explosion could have been contained.

      • You say: “A nuclear plant beside the sea like Fukushima can have a reactor below sea level. A short tunnel connecting it to the sea can flood the reactor with seawater in case of emergency ….”
        You conveniently forget *direct* earthquake risk — to which a FLONUP wd not be exposed.
        Thank you! …. You conveniently prove my point that an offshore FLONUP is superior as to disaster management, given an equal propensity for “human stupidity” among operating staff. The capacity for nigh-instant isolation & immersion of a rogue reactor in its cell trumps all land-based proposals, as in: “Pull the plug in Cell 6 …. it’s running out of control and going ‘hot’ on us!” Compare that outcome with Chernobyl or Fukushima!

      • Thank you, Mark, for yr point.
        My FLONUP wd have each reactor within its own containment cell, with 1.2m. +/- thick explosion-proof wall/hull and roof (top access panels being heavy steel sliding gates).
        So an attractive feature of the FLONUP’s cellular structure/flotation-hull doubles for explosion-containment.
        Someone is bound to say soon: “What about terrorist attack?”, but I submit that is indistinguishable (in the aggregates) on a comparative analysis between FLONUP and land-based..

      • “You conveniently forget *direct* earthquake risk — to which a FLONUP wd not be exposed”

        And you conveniently do not know that earthquakes occur under the sea and the resulting tsunami will throw your nuclear barge on land. Hopefully if the radiation doesn’t leak out, it will just smash houses in the coast and kill people. No big deal

      • Strangelove … your picky comments are getting tiresome.
        With modern-day technolgy, deep-ocean platforms are anchored against all conceivable events, including hurricanes. A FLONUP fleet of Units will commence with the placement of Mother-FLONUP, incorporate docking, transfers, security, Residential & Catrering facilities, Communications HQ, Workshops, Fleet Control, etc. Successive satellite units, added annually{?} will be located in a circular array spaced @ say 6 km, hexagonal clearance … these will be ‘servers’ to Mother FLONUP. Advantage will be taken for cross-anchoraging so as to provide considerabe ‘redundancy’ in overall anchorage and additional stability in extreme events.
        If you,
        strangelove, had read more closely, the essence of its distance offshore is based on:
        a) being out of sight & mind oif NIMBYists.
        b) being in sufficiently deep water that it is beyond the classical tsunami shoaling. A tsubani wave will pass under it with barely a ripple, as evidence by large ships outside the shoaling zone.
        So your visualization of my concrete barges being thrown up on the foreshore is farcical. It would be
        emgineered-oui’ as a primary Civoil Engineering criterion in terms of location and anchorage.
        A further advantage of a FLONUP I’ll adduce here is that the caisson can be recycled to adopt new packaged marine-propulsion units. The caisoons used for Mulberry Harbour can still be seen 70 years on, and their design life was in months, not decades. I envision 2 or 3 re-fits with M&E eqpt. over the hull’s lifespans.

      • Strangelove asserts:
        “And you conveniently do not know that earthquakes occur under the sea and the resulting tsunami will throw your nuclear barge on land. Hopefully if the radiation doesn’t leak out, it will just smash houses in the coast and kill people. No big deal”

        I quote from one of many web-sources, just in case you might be open-minded enough to get educated:
        “https://earthweb.ess.washington.edu/tsunami/general/physics/transform.html”

        “As a tsunami leaves the deep water of the open ocean and travels into the shallower water near the coast, it transforms. If you read the “How do tsunamis differ from other water waves?” section, you discovered that a tsunami travels at a speed that is related to the water depth – hence, as the water depth decreases, the tsunami slows. The tsunami’s energy flux, which is dependent on both its wave speed and wave height, remains nearly constant. Consequently, as the tsunami’s speed diminishes as it travels into shallower water, its height grows. Because of this shoaling effect, a tsunami, imperceptible at sea, [I REPEAT, IMPERCEPTIBLE AT SEA, STRANGELOVE!!!] may grow to be several meters or more in height near the coast. When it finally reaches the coast, a tsunami may appear as a rapidly rising or falling tide, a series of breaking waves, or even a bore.

        To repeat myself for the ‘n’ th. time (just for yr benefit, Strangelove) , the FLONUP FLEET will be located in water of a sufficient depth where it will be unaffected by an approaching ‘front’.

  25. @tsk tsk

    “It sounds like you have lots of reading to do on the technology anyway.”

    Are you going to pay me? I am retired now but for 40 years I was paid for such activities. There is an infinite amount of BS out there, I do not have to read it. My real reactor is more interesting than your paper reactor.

    If engineers are not being paid to build something it is a good bet that it is not a better idea. Many idea are studied at colleges because college professors think they are good teaching devices.

    “ since we don’t use water”

    Who is we? Does that mean that tsk tsk works on a real reactor that is not water cooled? Which one?

    Since almost all new commercial reactors are LWR that ‘we’ worked on, it is a good assumption that they are better. In this case, ‘we’ means I worked on them with other people. And ‘we’ got paid.

  26. “July 24, 1964, Charlestown, Rhode Island, United Nuclear Corporation.
    One dead.”

    Which US designed commercial nuclear power plant was in Charlestown, Rhode Island?

    Not on this list. Nuclear and radiation accidents
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_accidents_and_disasters_by_death_toll#Nuclear_and_radiation_accidents

    This link describes the event in RI:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wood_River_Junction,_Rhode_Island
    “On 23 July 1964, a fatal criticality accident occurred[2] at the Wood River Junction nuclear facility. This facility was designed to recover highly enriched uranium in scrap material from fuel element production. ”

    Criticality accidents are a hazard at fuel manufacturing facilities. I have done integrated safety analysis at fuel manufacturing facilities.

    Commercial LWR use low enriched uranium. So my original comments stands.

  27. @tsk tsk

    “Gonna keep those dry casks sitting there for 100,000 years, Kit? Good plan.”

    Why not? It is a good plan.

    Spent nuclear fuel is no longer a radiological hazard after 300 year

  28. Professor David Mackay FRS, author of Sustainable Energy without the hot air, was Green oriented and interested in CO2 reduction but he was also devoutly devoted to making sure that the sums were right.

    Having been the Chief Scientist at the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change, in this final video he let lots of cats out of lots of bags in final interview in April 2016 in an interview with Mark Lynas. It is well worth spending a few minutes listening the revelations he made finally.

    A amazingly the interview still is on the Guardian website.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/03/idea-of-renewables-powering-uk-is-an-appalling-delusion-david-mackay

    but also on youtube

    David Mackay’s called powering the UK with Renewables was an appalling delusion. The statements in this final video, can be summarised:

    “whatever combination of renewable energy is installed it will always fall far short of actual consumption in the UK” min 8+
    “power the UK with renewable energy is an appalling delusion” min 9.10+
    “intermittency is a real problem” min 9.50+
    “batteries are not scalable” min 11.05
    “if you can get through the winter, there is no point in adding expensive intermittent Renewables particularly wind and solar” min 14 – 15
    “DECC always knew that solar was worthless in the UK” min 16+
    “society needs reliability in its electrical system” min 18 +
    “CCS is crucial” min 19: the author would disagree with this but as far as David Mackay was concerned it would allow the continued use of fossil fuels

    “delusion about the ease of CO2 reduction and the error of not taking account of the simple mathematics” min 21

    Very sadly died David Mackay just 11 days later

    This article follows up some of his comments and assess the comparative cost effectiveness of Renewables in the UK.

    https://edmhdotme.wordpress.com/comparative-effectiveness-of-renewable-energy-in-the-uk/

    It confirms the egregious waste incurred by following Green energy policies

  29. Apologies for poor proofing earlier

    Professor David Mackay FRS, author of Sustainable Energy without the hot air, was Green oriented and interested in CO2 reduction but he was also devoutly devoted to making sure that the sums were right.

    Having been the Chief Scientist at the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change, in April 2016 he let lots of cats out of lots of bags in a final interview with Mark Lynas. It is well worth spending a few minutes listening the final revelations he made.
    Amazingly the interview still is on the Guardian website.
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/03/idea-of-renewables-powering-uk-is-an-appalling-delusion-david-mackay

    but also on youtube

    David Mackay’s called the thought of powering the UK with Renewables “an appalling delusion”. The key statements in this final video, can be summarised:
    “whatever combination of renewable energy is installed it will always fall far short of actual consumption in the UK” min 8+
    “power the UK with renewable energy is an appalling delusion” min 9.10+
    “ pay attention to mathematics, the laws of physics, the realities of engineering” min 9.40
    “intermittency is a real problem” min 9.50
    “haven’t done the numbers to achieve proposed solutions” min 10.10
    “winter” min 10.30
    “batteries are not scalable” min 11.05
    “if you can get through the winter, there is no point in adding expensive intermittent Renewables particularly wind and solar” min 14 – 15
    “DECC always knew that solar was worthless in the UK” min 16+
    “society needs reliability in its electrical system” min 18 +
    “CCS is crucial” min 19: the author would disagree with this but as far as David Mackay was concerned it would allow the continued use of fossil fuels
    “delusion about the ease of CO2 reduction and the error of not taking account of the simple mathematics” min 21
    Very sadly David Mackay died just 11 days later

    This further recent article follows up some of his comments and assess the comparative cost effectiveness of Renewables in the UK.
    https://edmhdotme.wordpress.com/comparative-effectiveness-of-renewable-energy-in-the-uk/

    It confirms the egregious waste incurred by following Green energy policies.

    • Meanwhile, the US has several states with low power prices, stable grids, and substantial percentages of wind power on their grids. Iowa has 31 percent wind power, and ten other states each have more than 10 percent.

      One would think that the nay-sayers would shut up and begin to wonder just who lied to them, saying things like “wind power won’t work.” Of course it works, and it is also safe, reliable, and economic.

      The proof is in the actual grid operation, every minute of every day for decade after decade.

      • Iowa and these other states are connected to the national grid. So the claim that because they are stable at 10% therefore the nation could be stable at 10% is nonsense.

      • You boast of Iowa’s 31% wind power, presumably the highest in the world, and silent on France’s 75% nuclear power. By the way, France is the world’s largest net exporter of electricity due to its very low cost of generation. And you expect us to believe your ‘unbiased’ opinion

      • Yet wind only accounts for roughly 6% of the total MISO mix well below the 10% and guess where Iowa geta it power when those turbines aren’t spinning fast enough. I wonder how well wind will replace the capacity of Clinton and Quad cities nuclear plants in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

  30. Meanwhile, in a state (Nebraska) that still has its sanity, Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) announces official closing date for Fort Calhoun nuclear plant: Oct. 24, (2016).

    The nuclear plant has been losing vast sums of money, trying desperately but unable to compete in a market that has wind power and natural gas power. Nebraska regulators understand that shutting down the nuclear plant reduces everyone’s electricity bills.

    Shame on New York.

    http://www.omaha.com/money/oppd-announces-official-closing-date-for-fort-calhoun-nuclear-plant/article_b8cf2e6f-ce65-56fb-9a0b-cb7ad80f8ce4.html

    There is another dark side to propping up failing nuclear plants: New York has just denied work to thousands who labor to decommission nuclear plants.

    By the way, that decommissioning industry will boom in the next 20 years as more than 50 reactors are shut down forever in the US.

    Finally, nuclear cheerleaders should watch nervously as the newly-subsidized New York nuclear plant creaks and rusts and falls apart. When several hundred million dollar capital investments are required just to keep it running, will the New York legislature pay for that, too? When shutdowns occur more often and last longer and longer, so the up-time is no longer 90 percent but falls to 80, and then 70 percent, will New York legislature be as keen to keep that unsafe, uneconomic, unreliable plant still running?

    It’s already happened in France, where nuclear plant downtimes are soaring and reliability is declining.

    Meanwhile, the installed base of US Wind Power recently passed a milestone of 75 GW. (you could look it up).

    • Imagine that. Having trouble competing with a source of power that’s subsidized and that consumers are required to buy at the expense of yours.
      Sheesh, how many times do you have to be corrected on this point before you admit that you are just telling lies?

      • MarkW, care to name a power generation type that is NOT subsidized in the US? Hint: Nuclear, coal, hydroelectric, geothermal, solar, and wind all have subsidies of one form or another.

        Nuclear power is the most heavily subsidized of all.

        Consumers enjoy lower power rates where wind power is the greatest on the grid, in the Great Plains region of the US.

  31. From my August 2014 blog post, “French Nuclear Reactors Too Old – Cannot Cut It”

    “An excellent article from EurActive.com, dated 8/18/2014, showing the weakness of aging nuclear power plants not just in France, but other countries in Europe. As the nuclear plants grow older, their time off-line for maintenance and inspection increases.

    http://www.euractiv.com/sections/energy/cost-caring-europes-elderly-nuclear-plants-307805

    Yet another reason nuclear plants do not last 60 years, as some advocates claim. Still another reason nuclear plants have higher costs per kWh produced: their output falls off as they age, and capital costs and fixed operating costs must be spread out over fewer and fewer kWh sold. From the EurActiv article:

    ” EDF’s (French electric utility) average load factor for its French nuclear fleet [was] 73 percent in 2013, which is also down from its highest level of 77.6 percent in 2005, the company’s 2013 results show.” (load factor is the ratio of the actual output to the nameplate capacity)

    The nuclear plants also become less and less reliable as they age, requiring 100 percent backup ready and running to take over the load when the plants are shut down. Sound familiar? This is the constant whining from the nuclear advocates about “unreliable” wind and solar power. Yet, with a nuclear plant, the grid experiences approximately 1000 MW of power loss instantly when the nuke stops.

    At the present, (August of 2014), 50 percent of the nuclear plants in Belgium are off-line for maintenance. The power must be provided from other plants – essentially 100 percent backup for those plants.”

    • Yes -EDF is going to be responsible for a 50 billion Euro programme to update French nuclear reactors ‘Le Grand Carenage’. Which is why it has to get the Hinkley Point contract, so it has the financial resource to carry this out.

    • You complain about nuclear’s 73% load factor and happy about wind’s 28% and solar’s 20% capacity factors. You complain that nuclear plants do not last 60 years and happy that the longest lasting wind farm lasted 33 years despite the fact that wind turbines for electric generation have been around for over 100 years. Yeah sure you’re not biased

      • Dr Strange, where do you get 28 percent for wind capacity factor? It’s about 43 percent in the US mid-West region. Solar is approximately 26 percent in Southern California.

        I am biased toward wherever the data (but it must be valid data, not manipulated) lead me.

        If nuclear power could be produced at 2 cents per kWh, in a plant that cost $1000 per kW to build, and not harm people or kill them in meltdowns and other radiation releases, I would be the first to champion such a power plant.

        Oh wait, that describes a natural gas CCGT, combined cycle gas turbine plant.

        Never mind.

      • “If nuclear power could be produced at 2 cents per kWh and not harm people or kill them in meltdowns and other radiation releases, I would be the first to champion such a power plant.”

        Nuclear is cheaper than wind and solar

        Nuclear is 3x safer than wind and 11x safer than solar
        Deaths per Twh: solar = 0.44, wind = 0.15, nuclear = 0.04
        http://www.nextbigfuture.com/2011/03/deaths-per-twh-by-energy-source.html

        So why are you not championing nuclear? It must be that bias thing

      • Cost does not enter into it. The green blob environmentalists have been resolutely anti-nuclear power since the 1970’s. It is a matter of preserving the coalition, not intellectual rigor.

      • Dr Strange, if nuclear is so much cheaper, then why are nuclear plants in the US shutting down, citing unable to compete economically? Why did New York state need to subsidize its nuclear plant or plants?

        Your statistics on costs and capacity factors are far out of date. New wind projects in mid-America obtain 4.3 cents per kWh generated, of which 2 cents is from a Purchase Power Agreement and 2.3 cents is via tax credits on their federal income tax. And owners are building those plants at those prices as fast as they can obtain the permits.

        See my blog for details, or look on any unbiased renewable energy site.

        Re nuclear, why did UK have to guarantee the owners of its proposed Hinkley Point C plant 15 cents per kWh, or 19 cents depending on which week one looks at this? That plant is to have the latest and greatest technology, built in an era where banks are literally giving away money, and inflation is close to zero.

        If I am a utility, would I want to pay 2 cents for wind power, or 19 cents for nuclear? Knowing that the nuclear power will escalate 2 or 3 percent per year for 30 years? Even using CCGT as backup for wind power, that is a no-brainer.

    • Roger Sowell
      September 2, 2016 at 5:49 am
      ………………….
      The nuclear plants also become less and less reliable as they age, requiring 100 percent backup ready and running to take over the load when the plants are shut down. Sound familiar? This is the constant whining from the nuclear advocates about “unreliable” wind and solar power. Yet, with a nuclear plant, the grid experiences approximately 1000 MW of power loss instantly when the nuke stops.

      At the present, (August of 2014), 50 percent of the nuclear plants in Belgium are off-line for maintenance. The power must be provided from other plants – essentially 100 percent backup for those plants.”

      You are being disingenuous Roger and I think you know it, We are talking planned maintenance in many instances and fairly rare outages in others compared to “unreliable wind” appearing and disappearing on whims potentially several times a day.

      SteveT

      • Not at all disingenuous. US reactors have serious unplanned outages approximately every three weeks, per NRC serious incident reports. Minor shutdowns occur even more often.

        Even France, that paragon of nuclear power (in the cheerleaders’ estimation, not mine) had but 78 percent utilization of its nuclear fleet in 2015, the last year for which data is available. That’s more that’s more than 75 days per year, or about 6 days per month if they ran at full bore on the days they actually run.

        And wind is not unreliable, in fact, wind owners place the wind turbines in areas with the most consistent wind. Wind is also more and more predictable, with prediction algorithms improving every year.

        You could look it up.

  32. Roger Sowell,
    You might get read here if you briefly described your anti-nuclear motivation.
    Many of us have put into print why we question the fundamental GHG hypothesis.
    You stick out like dogs’ bollocks here as an avid collector of references to harm nuclear.
    Why?
    Geoff

    • For Geoff Sherrington at September 3, 2016 at 8:28 am

      “Roger Sowell,
      You might get read here if you briefly described your anti-nuclear motivation.
      Many of us have put into print why we question the fundamental GHG hypothesis.
      You stick out like dogs’ bollocks here as an avid collector of references to harm nuclear.
      Why?
      Geoff”

      Good question. I’ll try to give a good answer.

      I was excited many years ago when I took my first university-level class in nuclear chemistry and engineering. I had read about the almost unlimited potential of the power of the atom, and that atom-splitting would soon provide the entire world with electricity too cheap to meter. Sounds great! I’m entirely on board with bringing cheap and abundant electricity to everyone everywhere, for all the benefits that has. Lighting, heating, air conditioning, food freezing and refrigeration, performing hard work by machines and allowing people to do more intellectual or leisure activities, better transportation, the list is long here.

      But I was only 18, a freshman in university. The course covered what was known in 1972: fission by uranium, by thorium, and fusion. There were boiling water reactors and pressurized water reactors, molten salt reactors, and a few others. We actually had a fusion prototype reactor of Tokamak design at the university. It was a grand machine, and my class had the guided tour.

      Then I graduated, moved into the industrial world and my career in chemical engineering, and the 1979 Three Mile Island meltdown happened. I read all I could find about that, and it was chilling to a chemical engineer. I watched with growing dismay as plant after plant required delays and modifications to give them at least a chance of avoiding a meltdown due to bad design like Three Mile Island had. What was worse, the nuclear designers and spokespeople had lied, assuring the public for decades that they knew what they were doing, and atomic power was safe in their nuclear plants. The evidence showed exactly the opposite. Who you going to believe, them or your lying eyes?

      Then I saw the unfolding construction fiasco at South Texas Nuclear Plant, only about 70 miles from my home in Houston, Texas. The plant is on the Gulf of Mexico near Baytown. A contractor with zero experience building nuclear plants, Brown and Root, was awarded the contract. That contract award was politically motivated, as Brown and Root was headquartered in Houston. BR had major civil construction experience at that time in ports, bridges, buildings, and such but no nuclear plants. It was a complete fiasco. The plant’s owners fired BR and replaced them with an experienced nuclear contractor, EBASCO.

      The South Texas plant was finished many years late (13 years start-to-finish) and almost 6 times the original cost estimate. It cost $5.5 billion and was estimated at $0.97 billion. To my dismay, this became typical of nuclear power plant projects. What further aggravated was the large increase in electricity prices that building nuclear plants created. That was exactly the opposite of what was supposed to happen, there was no such thing as too cheap to meter power from a nuclear plant.

      To make matters even worse, the nuclear plants in those days ran only about half-capacity, which anyone can verify by looking on appropriate web sites. I can’t post graphics here, but a chart of nuclear plant capacity factors for US plants from 1980 to present is at this link. Source is Nuclear Energy Institute.

      http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2016/04/us-power-generation-capacity-factors.html

      Low capacity factors meant the money to build the plants was essentially wasted. Customers were paying far too much for power they were not receiving.

      A bit later, I had a guided tour of the Perry Nuclear Plant on the shore of Lake Erie, just east of Cleveland, Ohio. An engineering society was invited to see the plant just before the initial fuel was installed. We saw everything from top to bottom, with detailed explanations by the engineering manager. Another economic fiasco, costing $6 billion for a single-reactor plant in 1987. In today’s dollars, that would be approximately $25 to 30 billion for a 1,230 MWe plant. A complete fiasco.

      As I said above, I’m a big proponent of electricity that is as cheap as possible and available to everyone, but that must be safe, reliable, and not environmentally damaging.

      Then Chernobyl exploded. So much for safe and environmentally not damaging. It irks me that only the nuclear power industry can get away with “The Solution to Pollution is Dilution,” but none of the other industries can dare do that. Others must prevent releases or capture their pollutants for proper disposal, no matter what the cost. Even the Chernobyl radiation cloud was pronounced Safe, No Danger, it is all diluted to safe levels before anyone was harmed.

      Then Fukushima melted down in three reactors, (that’s five if anyone is counting), and containment buildings exploded. The causes there were simple inconceivable design decisions. Tsunami walls designed for the average tsunami height, not the largest known. Generators placed in basements and subject to flooding.

      Then there is the secrecy, information hiding, and flat-out lying by the nuclear industry.

      I pulled together almost everything I know about nuclear plants and commercial power generation and began writing my 30 articles for The Truth About Nuclear Power on my blog. That series now has more than 22,000 views and has received very positive comments.

      It also dismays me to see so many people disregard all the screwups, near meltdowns, radiation releases, of existing nuclear plants and say that future designs will be cheaper, safer, and more efficient.

      I know quite a bit about process design and operations, having spent a working lifetime in that field. The optimism on future nuclear plants is badly misplaced. I wrote about this in TANP series. The plants run at low temperature compared to typical fossil-fuel power plants, so they must circulate much more steam to produce the same power output. That is a thermodynamics issue and cannot ever be overcome.

      More steam circulating requires larger pipes and equipment, an increase in cost. Nuclear plant designers know this, and have created ever-larger plants to attempt to achieve economy of scale. Except they don’t. As SONGS demonstrated only too clearly, there is a limit at around 550 MWe for a steam generator in a nuclear plant. Even the French know this, and install 4 steam generators at 400 MWe each in their EPR that produces 1600 MWe.

      To me, nuclear plants have had their day and sunset is near. World-wide, the technology captured approximately 10 percent of all electricity produced. Most of that market was by replacing oil-fired generation after the 1970s oil price shocks. Nuclear proved right off that it could not replace coal power, and certainly not natural gas power. One must stop and ponder that reality, if nuclear power was really so great, so cheap, so safe, then why did it only replace oil-fired generation and sits at 10 percent of world generating capacity? Clearly, nuclear is not the way to go.

      The current crop of nuclear plant builds is even worse, if that is possible. The EPRs in Finland and France are way over budget and years behind schedule; yet those are supposed to be the best available technology in the entire world. The proposed EPR twin-reactor plant at UK Hinkley Point C is advertised as approximately $9000 per kWe, and if it ever gets built will be at least 20 percent more. The power from the plant is heavily subsidized.

      Then there are the subsidies. Nuclear proponents almost never, ever mention the subsidies, so I make a point of doing so. Nuclear plants are just about the most heavily subsidized of any industry one can name. Plant owners have almost zero incentive to operate safely, because the government limits their liability to a few hundred million dollars, then graciously picks up the cost for any additional costs.

      One more thing, and that is the cancers and other illnesses brought on by nuclear power plants. I wrote on this above, citing the Mangano and Dr. Sherman study after California’s Ranch Seco plant shut down. Nuclear plants are killing people, creating needless instances of horrible cancers in children especially.

      For all those reasons, I am opposed to nuclear power for commercial electricity generation. I would write more, but any interested readers are invited to read my blog posts on Truth About Nuclear Power. Everything there is factual and documented.

      • Good post.

        I follow nuke electricity production in Europe since 1980, and agree to all your remarks, even to that last one concerning cancer around the plants.

        In Germany, the rate is growing since longer time, but nothing could ever be really demonstrated.
        I suspect tritium, generated all the time during fission processes, and so volatile that it even bypasses steel at high temperatures.

        You mentioned the EPR’s in Finland, France and GB (don’t forget the 2 in China). All you write is correct.

        Let me add that like many PWR’s in France and Japan actually using 25% MOX (Pu239 + depleted U238), EPR will work with 100% of it.

        Use and long-range storage of MOX fuel are by far more dangerous as it is actually with traditional U235+U238 fuel. Pu239 is dangerous, as everybody knows.

        Last not least, nuke industry claims the use of plutonium would be useful since it reduces proliferation!

        That’s ridiculous, as today stealing used nuke fuel containing Pu is 1000% more probable than that of stealing it weapon-grade: terrorists no longer need to use weapons.

      • “moved into the industrial world and my career in chemical engineering”

        How many people did your industry kill before they adopted process safety standard? Millions!

        I work in the industry with the best safety record and Roger works in the one with the worst. It is understandable that Roger is afraid.

        I read the report on Deep Water. The major recommendation was learn from the nuclear industry and the navy.

      • Roger,
        That’s a verbose nothingness.
        You could write similarly about many large engineering projects.
        Yet you single out nuclear.
        Why?

  33. Like real estate, the three most important factors are producing power are location, location, location. NY is not Iowa, nor is it Califonia. This especially true for wind and solar.

    My qualifications for discussing NY is having lived and worked at nuke plants there. Susquehanna Steam Electric Station (SSES) pictured at the top is just south of NY state. I was a Senior Reactor Operator (SRO) certified who supervised reactor testing during startup of unit 1. It has been making 1200+ MWe of electricity on cold winter nights since 1982.

    The plant was built to replace an oil fired power plant. This lowered rates for customers.

    Nuke plants benefit greatly from economy of scale. If you look at the picture above of that is 2600 MWe of generating capacity. The security force is the same size as a 600 MWe nuke plant.

    The important economic question for location, location, location is what will happen if you have to replace nuke generating capacity with fossil fuels. If you close one 600 MWe nuke after 40 years not much will happen. If you close a lot of nuke plants, the delivered cost of fossil fuels will go up, and up.

    If the fossil fuels are imported from other states, that in turn drains money from the local economy. Close nuke plants do not pay taxes. Another drain. Nuke workers who leave the state, do not pay taxes. Another drain.

    Decision makers in NY have to consider lots of factors. I have no data but I suspect that wind and solar in NY are not very economical. It sounds like the decision is to keep nuke plants in NY running until there is a better choice.

    • For Retired Kit P, re nuclear power not subsidized in the US.

      Absolutely false.

      “Price-Anderson Act Gives Too Much Protection to Nuclear Plants”
      see http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-truth-about-nuclear-power-part-25.html

      “US Nuclear Plants are Heavily Subsidized
      and http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-truth-about-nuclear-power-part-13.html

      Here is a list of just some of the subsidies for nuclear plants:
      1) huge loan guarantees from government, approximately $8.3 billion for the Vogtle plant alone.
      2) government legal relief from radiation liability, under the Price-Anderson Act,
      3) regulation that no lawsuits during construction will be allowed (with a minor exception),
      4) regulation to raise electricity prices during construction to avoid interest costs on construction loans; South Carolina has already increased rates to pay for nuclear construction, now seeks another increase.
      and
      5) operating regulations that are routinely relaxed to allow plants to not spend money to comply.
      6) new plants receive 2.3 cents per kWh produced for the first 10 years of operation

  34. “Yet another reason nuclear plants do not last 60 years, as some advocates claim.”

    This like Roger telling me that I will not live to be 70 because I am not 70 yet.

    The US is leading the world in making plants last more than 40 years. We are now last making them last 80 years. The capacity factor of US plants is not falling off.

  35. “Dr Strange, if nuclear is so much cheaper, then why are nuclear plants in the US shutting down, citing unable to compete economically?”

    Roger is employing a typical anti-nuke tactic. Ask a question and then ignore the answer. Then claim there too many unanswered questions.

    The economic justification for closing a power plant has to be provided to state public utility commissions. A few small units have shut down near the end of the deign life.

    • For Retired Kit P, re “a few small units have shut down near the end of the deign life”

      Really? Have you actually looked up the data on reactor operating life in the US?
      Here’s the data from NRC as of today’s access.

      Reactor Name State Years Operated

      Three Mile Island 2 PA 0.93 (it melted down and was not allowed to run afterward)
      Pathfinder SD 1.19
      Shoreham NY 2.99
      Saxton PA 5.00
      GE Valecitos CA 6.27
      Fermi 1 MI 6.32
      Peach Bottom 1 PA 7.76
      Indian Point-1 NY 12.12
      N.S. Savannah VA 12.47
      Fort St. Vrain CO 12.71
      Humboldt Bay 3 CA 13.21
      Rancho Seco 1 CA 14.65
      Trojan OR 16.88
      Dresden 1 IL 18.49
      La Crosse WI 19.01
      Zion 2 IL 24.02
      Zion 1 IL 24.68
      Maine Yankee ME 24.73
      San Onofre 1 CA 25.38
      Millstone 1 CT 27.59
      Yankee-Rowe MA 27.77
      San Onofre 2 CA 29
      Haddam Neck CT 29.33
      San Onofre 3 CA 30
      Big Rock Point MI 34.72
      Fort Calhoun NE 43 (announced closure October, 2016)

      Really, Retired Kit P, are you just uniformed, or have you been lied to your entire career? The facts are entirely against you.

      • Roger is the one telling lies. Again the tactic is to make a long list without analysing the reason.

        Roger made a statement about nuke plants not being economical in the current market. From his incomplete list we have:

        Fort Calhoun ran for 43 years and was a PWR rated at 476 MWe

        Not on the list:

        Vermont Yankee ran for 42 years and was a BWR rated at 620 MWe
        Kewaunee ran for 39 years and was a PWR rated at 556 MWe

        These three example certainly qualify as few and small in the current economic market. My statement is accurate.

        Since Roger suggested that I was uninformed let me explain the absurdity of his list.

        N.S. Savannah – NS stands for nuclear ship. It was a merchant cargo ship not a stationary power plant.

        Valecitos – AEC License #1 was the first BWR test reactor. It was a pilot plant. Other small prototype or experimental reactors (60 MWe) included Shippingport, Fermi – 1, Pathfinder, Saxton, Peach Bottom 1, Humboldt Bay, and La Crosse.

        Rancho Seco and Shoreham are examples of political closures.

        One of the learning curves in the nuclear industry had to do with materials. Much of this learning curve before my time in the industry. Here is a partial list of plants that were closed because of steam generator issues. This not an area of my expertise.

        Trojan OR
        Zion 2 IL
        Zion 1 IL

        Steam generator replacement has become a standard procedure for extending the life of PWR. There examples of botched jobs resulting in plant closure are SONG 2&3, and Crystal River.

        The Peaceful use of nuclear power went from a concept to commercial power plants in 10 years. Some of the original commercial plants are gone but the rest are performing very well. Society can depend on nuclear to meet our needs.

        Wind and solar concepts has been around just as long. So far it 100% failure. There are no wind and solar plants operating beyond design life. Society can count on wind and solar talking about a future promise.

  36. “So untrue about nobody was ever hurt by US nuclear plants. California’s Rancho Seco nuclear plant caused more cancer cases and deaths while it operated, then the rate of cancer dropped to normal after it was shut down.”

    No one was hurt by radiation at Rancho Seco. I was a radiation worker at Rancho Seco for three years before it closed. Among other responsibilities was the Waste Gas and Radwaste Systems. I know what was released.

    To be hurt by radiation, you have to be exposed to it. Something that is easy to measure. There are lots of bogus studies that ignore science.

    • Roger also wrote,

      “It tracked mortality rates based on where people died, rather than where they lived before getting cancer.”

      Very few people lived near the plant and some of those worked at the plant. It was built in an rural part of Sacramento County. Roger’s Bogus study did not track where people lived.

      Infant mortality rates also went down after the pant closure. I think was because of improves in welfare provided prenatal care provided by the state.

      • BS, as usual. The study clearly states the population was the county.

        The data showed that the nuclear plant created cancers in the local population that was not created in areas far from the plant.

  37. “US reactors have serious unplanned outages approximately every three weeks, per NRC serious incident reports. ”

    “You could look it up.”

    They are called ‘Event Reports’.
    http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/event-status/

    I did look it up. Roger argument is circular. For him everything is a ‘serious incident’ at a nuclear power plant.

    Recently, a main transformer had a fire. Since it occurred at a nuke, the event was reported to the NRC. If there was a fire in the main transformer at a coal, hydro, gas, wind, or solar it would have not been reported to the NRC.

    The wind and solar industries do not report ‘serious incident reports’. Since roof solar panels set people’s homes on fire maybe there should be a reporting agency.

    I am surprised that the government has not thought of that. A report every time a wind turbine or solar panel stops and starts making power, there would be a report and a fee charged for the government to review it. `

    The irony here is that there is a data base showing nuke plants exceed design and safety expectations. Nuclear power is a failure because not every plant will run forever.

    Wind and solar do not even have to work. Roger touts how much get build while ignoring failure.

    • More BS, as usual. My every three weeks data is per NRC documents, for non-routine events that result in a NRC investigation team dispatched to the site, known as SIT in NRC parlance. An SIT is a special inspection team, for incidents that have a 10-fold increase in risk of reactor core damage.

      An AIT, for augmented inspection team, is for incidents that have a 100-fold increase in risk of damage to the reactor core.

      All of these are documented in Part 16 of my Truth About Nuclear Power articles, showing 89 documented incidents over a six-year period, each event resulting in either an SIT or AIT investigation.

      http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-truth-about-nuclear-power-part-16.html

      Don’t believe the rose-colored view that Retired Kit P advances. The undisputed data from NRC shows 89 serious events in just 6 years. And, those do not include the Three Mile Island meltdown, and all the fiascos at Rancho Seco.

      • ‘rose-colored view’

        If that means not fear mongering about irrational fear of radiation, then I am guilty. Keeping an open mind, I open Roger’s blog and then went to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) report on 2015. I was retired that year so I would not be getting information about events in the industry on a daily basis.

        USC reported 10 ‘near misses’ to core meltdown in 2015. Of course none of them were remotely a ‘near miss’. The author the report, David Lochburn know this too but his writing style is different now that he works for UCS.

        Think of it this way. If you disable your smoke detector or it fails to work, that is not a near miss for a fire. If an augmented inspection team came to your house they would be looking at not just the smoke detector but other things that affect your risk of fire. How do you store flammables, is your wiring up to code, and so forth. They also looking for problems that could affect lots of people.

        At a nuke plant, there is redundancy and defence in depth. We expect things to fail and go undetected for a period of time. If the accident would occur during that period, other redundant features would protect the public and workers.

        As we saw in Japan and TMI, core damage does not result people being hurt. There may be an expensive cleanup.

    • Hey, Retired Kit P,

      How do you respond to the reactor with head bolts that were not sufficiently tightened, and were only discovered after startup and radioactive water came flooding out of the head? Was that just a smoke detector that was disabled?

      I could give example after example, but clearly you have been brainwashed, or a bit irradiated in areas that matter to you cognitive processes.

  38. @Roger

    “in the local population”

    What local population? Roger is an idiot. Sacramento County is big and has a large population but not around the nuke plant.

    Second how do you cause cancer by not exposing people to radiation.

    I was exposed to radiation because I worked at the plant. My children were not exposed from the power plant but did get normal background radiation and dental x-rays.

  39. Strangelove says above:
    “If nuclear power could be produced at 2 cents per kWh and not harm people or kill them in meltdowns and other radiation releases, I would be the first to champion such a power plant.”
    If you use my FLONUPS — Floating NucPlants — (see above), any rogue marine-propulsion unit will nigh-instantly be isolated below water-line and flooded. Melt-down will be obviated, as will radiation releases.
    Remember that the design is intrinsically tsunami-proof if moored in suffficiently deep water, and commensurately earthquake-proof.
    Strangelove …. Welcome to the team of Supporters!

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