retrosurf - May 25, 2017

> the agency decided the possibility of such a fire is so unlikely that it could not justify requiring plant owners to pay the estimated cost of $50 million per pool.

Pretty short-sighted for an agency regulating an industry that imposes multi-generation responsibilities (see SAFSTOR and ENTOMB).

>.. Congress has the authority to fix the problem.

No worries here: *this* Congress won't fix it.

WillieWard - May 25, 2017

The UCS(Union of Concerned Scientists) is a group of pseudo-scientists funded by faux-green organizations and the fossil fuel industry to attack carbon-free nuclear power through their anti-science (fearmongering) articles in order to promote intermittent renewable placebos backed up by coal and/or natural gas/fracking to keep lights on when wind is not blowing or sun is not shining because cost-effective batteries do not exist.
https://pbs.twimg...o16-.jpg

antialias_physorg - May 25, 2017

US nuclear regulators greatly underestimate potential for nuclear disaster

No? Really? Do tell.

But, hey...if it makes a buck who cares about people?

Solon - May 25, 2017

More Nuclear Scare Scam nonsense. Our ticket to an energy utopia shredded by the oil, coal and gas barons who really run the world, with the help of bribed and/or coerced politicians.

retrosurf - May 25, 2017

@WillieWard:

Most of your assertions are easily falsified by an examination of the Union of Concerned Scientists form 990, a public document filed with the IRS for the privilege of operating as a nonprofit.

The ones that are not easily falsifiable are your assertions about funding. UCS pays several large firms for fundraising from phone, internet and email, and personal solicitation, and itself receives no contributions larger than $15,000, so it's hard to follow the money through those firms. You can find their form 990 from this page:http://www.ucsusa...ing.html

How do you know the proportion of "pseudo scientists", "faux-green organizations" and "fossil fuel industry [sic]" in those contributors? Do you have a source? 69% of UCS funding is from membership, so you must have exceptional insight into who those contributors are to make such a statement.

WillieWard - May 25, 2017

"Greenpeace, Sierra, UCS, NIRS, Public Citizen, PIRG, NRDC, Clamshell and the countless local groups might have been populated with visible, vocal, impassioned volunteers, but at least some of the money supporting their "non-profit" efforts over a sustained 35-40 years period came directly from the establishment, a large portion of which gets its wealth and power from dealing in fossil fuels of one type or another."
https://atomicins...il-fuel/
UCS focus:
"Opposing nuclear power, while claiming to be neither pro- or anti-nuclear."
http://rationalwi...ientists
antinuclear = antiscience
antinuclear = pro-fossil fuels
"Are Fossil Fuel Interests Bankrolling The Anti-Nuclear Energy Movement?"
https://www.forbe...ovement/

retrosurf - May 25, 2017

@WillieWard

I read the articles. No evidence *whatever* in the first two articles.

In your last article, there is a single anecdote of a $200,000 contribution to another organization FORTY-SEVEN years ago (along with what is likely a demonstration of Betteridges Law) and a disavowal by the author himself:

"Scholars such as Rod Adams and Michael Shellenberger will say to follow the money. But this writer will give more credence to the organizations' deeply-held beliefs, which have merit but which also have flaws."

aksdad - May 25, 2017

As WillieWard says, the UCS is a political organization like Greenpeace, Sierra Club, etc. that anyone can join. The use of "Scientists" in the name means nothing. They don't produce science. They produce policy and wrap it in a veneer of scienciness to make it appear unassailable. Because it's science, right? And science is unquestionable truth. Except that what the UCS produces is neither.

For a balanced view of the hazards of nuclear fuel storage pools, see this analysis at the American Nuclear Society.

http://ansnuclear...SZ8.dpbs

Da Schneib - May 25, 2017

I'm usually neutral to positive on nuclear energy, but this is just stupid. This isn't a meltdown caused by some esoteric technical fault; it's simple negligence. Like not cutting the brush on your property before fire season.

IanPerkins - May 26, 2017

re Willie Ward and "anti-nuclear = anti-science" -
I wouldn't say I'm anti-nuclear, but I am extremely wary of nuclear fission, be it for bombs or energy. It's dirty and dangerous. Full stop. You can't change that, only try to mitigate it and hope for the best. (Though I grant there's an up-side to it too.)
But before Willie labels me anti-science, he may like to know that nuclear fusion, if we can ever get it to work as an energy source, would be simply marvellous in my opinion. A complete game-changer for humanity.

WillieWard - May 26, 2017

In science, facts should be stronger than fear.
Fukushima and Three Mile Island resulted in zero deaths from radiation exposure. Nuclear power is the safest per unit of energy produced, fewer fatalities and less ecological impacts than so-called renewables even including Chernobyl with projected deaths never confirmed in practice.
Most of UCS articles are notably written in a scaremongering style, not scientific.

greenonions1 - May 26, 2017

In science, facts should be stronger than fear.
But you have to know how to tell a fact from a lie. One example - in this thread - Willie asserts that wind farms kill whales - https://phys.org/...arm.html (march 21st.) An assertion supported by an article in the Sun - http://tabloid-wa...rts.html The claim about whales being killed is actually the musings of one individual - who is a volunteer with the Coast Guard Rescue service. I was wondering about the need to spread disinformation about things like renewable energy - and came across this article - https://cleantech...vermont/ It seems there is quite a war going on in our world concerning renewable energy - and people like Willie needing to spread disinformation.....

WillieWard - May 26, 2017

It is an incontestable fact that intermittent renewables are invading untouched natural habitats, slaughtering and exiling native wildlife.
"High-Tech Scarecrow Chases Birds (And Their Poop) From Wind Turbines"
http://www.vocati...urbines/
"You Can't Have Offshore Wind Power Without Oil"
https://www.forbe...troleum/
http://dailycalle...-of-oil/
Birds-choppers are neither ecologically friendly neither fossil-free.

greenonions1 - May 26, 2017

It is an incontestable fact that intermittent renewables are invading untouched natural habitats, slaughtering and exiling native wildlife.
Interesting response right? Yes - renewable energy has an environmental cost. So does your cell phone, your car, and every other source of energy we use. So it is a balancing act - weighing the costs against the benefits. https://cleantech...-deaths/
Notice Willie does not address the issue regarding spreading disinformation - like using the the Sun tabloid rag - as a source for asserting that wind turbines kill whales.

WillieWard - May 26, 2017

Yes - renewable energy has an environmental cost.
a huge environmental cost for almost nothing in terms of CO2 reduction.
"researchers at the University of St. Andrews have found that the noise made by offshore wind farms can interfere with a whale's sonar, and can in tragic cases see them driven onto beaches where they often die,"
http://www.cfact....-whales/
"Noise generated from the construction of wind farms can damage the hearing of animals like sea turtles, sharks and a number of migratory whales, as well as possibly displace marine mammals from their original habitat."
http://oregonwave...animals/

greenonions1 - May 26, 2017

Willie - your need to lie - and push pseudoscience is staggering. The authors of that study disavowed the article you quote -

Prof Boyd wished to correct a report in this paper this week that said there was a proven link between offshore wind farms and strandings of the mammals.
From - https://www.media...e/178295

michaelbix - May 26, 2017

News FLASH? One such (publicly un-revealed) hazard event was a multiple-day loss of power in Plymouth, MA during the January 2015 blizzard. Because Yankee Pilgrim was without external power it shut down and switched to emergency diesel generators - which were *inadequate for the job.* Fearing another malfunction in its switchyard & to reduce load, Pilgrim's operators (as acknowledged by the NRC) chose NOT TO COOL their spent fuel-rod pool.

A similar choice was forced upon Fukushima Daiichi when an electrical circuit shorted after the tsunami, and it raised international concern... how much do the fuel rods heat up when left uncooled? Yet Pilgrim did not acknowledge the problem, and refused to release data on the rising temperatures during the 5 1/2 days of electrical outage.

See Cape Cod Times for more info - as a Vermont based writer I could only get confirmation from the NRC but no details. (The public was completely uninformed.)

greenonions1 - May 26, 2017

a huge environmental cost for almost nothing in terms of CO2 reduction.
That's a lie - renewable energy is turning the tide - and C02 emissions are being cut around the world. But even if it was not a lie - it would beat the huge environmental costs of fossil fuels - that also produce massive levels of C02 emissions wouldn't it?
This is a notable slowdown in emission growth, compared to an average rate of 3.5% in the 2000s and 1.8% over the most recent decade
From - https://www.carbo...e-change

Osiris1 - May 27, 2017

The Union of Concerned Scientists have been a propaganda tool of the Communist Internationale forever. Usefool fools in charge of it have been spreading lies about nuclear power while their puppet masters in Beijing wax fat on new nuclear installations fueling their defense industries' single minded determination to forge a military powerhouse to take over from the decadent deluded west and its pet rich receivers of corporate welfare. When these Luddites succeed in their treason, the rate payers pay through the nose in high bills, and shortened lives because the replacement power is almost always high polluting coal or other petrofuels. In St Joseph county Michigan, the usual cause of death is bronchitis. People die choking agonizing deaths from chemical pollutions when they could have lived over 15-20 years longer of easy breathing life if they had kept nuclear power. Same in California where old folks eat cat food just to pay the electric bills.

rrrander - May 27, 2017

Fukushima was the result of a freak confluence of problems. Chernobyl was the result of incompetent communist design and human error. The War on Nuclear Power by fifth columnists working for radical environmentalists must be ended.

Eikka - May 27, 2017

in spent-nuclear-fuel cooling pools at reactor sites. The pools—water-filled basins that store and cool used radioactive fuel rods—are so densely packed with nuclear waste that a fire could release enough radioactive material


Well, would the pools be so full if the government didn't pull funding from Yucca Mountain where they could have put the spent fuel away?

The problem exists partially because every time someone proposes some way to deal with the nuclear waste issue, the greenies go "NOoooo!!"

Fukushima was the result of a freak confluence of problems.


And of a completely unnecessary design fault, as the company had built the whole thing several meters lower on the bank than its original designs, to save a bit of money.

greenonions1 - May 27, 2017

Well, would the pools be so full if the government didn't pull funding from Yucca Mountain
No they would not. I am a greenie Eikka - guilty as charged - I care about the earth. A couple of points. Notice how the Conservatives answer to a problem created by the lies of the nuclear industry - is immediately to demand tax money. The kind of lies - like electricity so cheap it will not need metering. Of course we have to deal with the waste problem - and I would support a long terms solution such as Yucca Mountain.
Second point - I want us to value science and truth. Look at Willie above - claiming that wind farms kill whales - despite absolutely no evidence for such a lie. We obviously need an honest debate about the environment and energy sources - and we need to forge smart policy - that protects our world - and gives us the affordable energy to run our society. cont.

greenonions1 - May 27, 2017

cont. We have to stop the lies. I was excited about the TransAtomic program. Turns out it was more lies. Here is an interesting quote from the new President of France

Nobody knows the total cost for nuclear energy. I was minister for industry and I could not tell you
From - http://renewecono...s-75521/ So the French (world leaders in nukes) - are now transitioning to renewables. Saudi Arabia and other countries - playing it safe - and investing heavily in both renewables and nukes. Perhaps that is the smart move. Maybe we will actually get the numbers - and know how much nukes do cost - including decommissioning - and waste disposal. Best solar coming in around 3 cents Kwh. https://www.bloom...han-wind Interesting times.

WillieWard - May 27, 2017

...and C02 emissions are being cut around the world...
Faux-greens' lies can be debunked in real-time.
https://www.elect...map.org/
https://www.energ...ower.htm
And Swiss Green Lunatics want to follow Germany Energiewende, a trillion-euro ecological disaster.
Switzerland's grid produces around 20gCO₂/kWh
Germany is over 500gCO₂/kWh on average.
http://www.enviro...-closure
http://www.enviro...-in-2016

greenonions1 - May 27, 2017

Faux-greens' lies can be debunked in real-time.
If you don't understand what you are talking about. Every 2 MW wind turbine curtails 1,800 tonnes of C02 per year. This is the reason that global C02 emissions are now leveling - as countries such as Britain are reducing their emissions - https://www.carbo...use-ends So Mr. illiterate - if you read the carbonbrief article I have just linked - you will see that my statement was technically accurate. At least I don't think that the Sun tabloid rag is a viable source of science news.

Eikka - May 27, 2017

A couple of points. Notice how the Conservatives answer to a problem created by the lies of the nuclear industry - is immediately to demand tax money.


I don't know where you're coming from with that.

Yucca Mountain was already paid for and nearly completed with money taxed out of the nuclear industry specifically for the purpose, but then the government pulled the plug and defunded it, squandering most of the funds already collected for nuclear waste management and freezing the rest that remain.

Now there's the test borehole in Nevada, which also got anti-nuclear environmentalists picketing and protesting against it to the point where the local government halted construction because of political pressure.

The greenies are hellbent on doing everything they can so the problems of nuclear power are NOT solved in a reasonable manner, so they can keep shouting at how nuclear power has so many problems that it should not be used.

Eikka - May 27, 2017

Every 2 MW wind turbine curtails 1,800 tonnes of C02 per year. This is the reason that global C02 emissions are now leveling


No it isn't.

The real reason why global CO2 emissions are leveling is because countries are replacing coal with natural gas, thanks to unconventional gas extraction from shales. Methane produces 1/3rd the CO2 emissions in energy-per-energy comparison, and the reduction is even more when you count the considerably higher efficiency of the newer powerplants and co-generation.

1 MW of coal power belches out over 7,000 tons of CO2 a year, while conventional natural gas turbines do away with half the emissions, and the latest combined cycle gas plants do as low as one fifth the emissions.

Meanwhile 2 MW of wind power does not displace 1 MW of coal, but only around 1/4 MW thanks to the need for increased load following, which matches the 1,800 tons figure. It's completely disingenuous to give the credit to renewables like wind power.

(more..)

Eikka - May 27, 2017

See for example:

http://oilprice.c...oal.html


Two regions, the Reliability First Corporation, covering parts of the Northeast and Midwest, and the Southeastern Electric Reliability Council, covering most of the Southeastern United States and much of the Midwest accounted for 80% of the decline in US coal generation. In these regions, gas accounted for 53% of the decline in coal generation while reduced demand accounted for 40% of the decline. Wind accounted for about 6%.


Wind accounted for 6%

Six percent. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Eikka - May 27, 2017

as countries such as Britain are reducing their emissions


Did you even check the sources of the article you linked?

https://www.carbo...on-falls

Gas accounted for 38 per cent of the UK's electricity generation in the third quarter, eight per cent more than in the previous three months, and 12 per cent more than at the same point a year ago.

(...)

At the same time, renewables' share increased slightly from 17 per cent to 18 per cent.


So gas went up 8 points and renewables went up 1 points, while CO2 emissions went down 10 points. The vast majority of the reduction is in fact due to switching fuels and increasing energy efficiency (reducing demand) rather than the increase in renewables.

Nik_2213 - May 27, 2017

IIRC, staff at Fukushima frequented a restaurant at a nearby fishing village which had a grim 'memorial' stone with 'high water mark' from a historical tsunami. The mark stood well above their reactor complex sea-wall...

There's personal stupidity, there's institutional stupidity, and there's purblind system stupidity which prevents any-one saying, "Uh, look at this..."

greenonions1 - May 27, 2017

Eikka

Yucca Mountain was already paid for and nearly completed with money taxed out of the nuclear industry
Could you support that claim please? What I found with a quick google said that Yucca was paid for by a tax on electricity - placed on everyone's electricity bill - not targeted specifically at the nuclear industry. http://www.latime...ory.html That trust fund currently has $31 billion in it - and the final cost would of course be significantly more than that. A 2008 government report put the number at $96 billion.

greenonions1 - May 27, 2017

Did you even check the sources of the article you linked?
Yes I read the article. The transition to renewables is going to take a long time. Closing coal plants and switching to gas is a good transitional step. We are just reaching the point where solar is becoming the cheapest fuel source - https://qz.com/87...or-2017/ Renewable energy now meets 25% of British electricity demand - https://en.wikipe..._Kingdom As they phase out their coal fleet.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Grow up....

Da Schneib - May 27, 2017

Well, would the pools be so full if the government didn't pull funding from Yucca Mountain where they could have put the spent fuel away?

The problem exists partially because every time someone proposes some way to deal with the nuclear waste issue, the greenies go "NOoooo!!"
It isn't "the greenies," whoever they are. It's the NIMBYs. You might want to put a little research time on that.

nrauhauser - May 27, 2017

The unwillingness to deal with the hazard of overfull pools is a bit surprising after Fukushima. Even if it's a vanishingly rare chance of failure, since extracting the spent fuel is the end goal anyway, we should step it up and just finish the job, so the hazard is completely removed.

Old_C_Code - May 27, 2017

The reason the much safer Thorium fuel reactor was/is not used is because it's waste can't create weapons. Power generation is secondary, high grade weapons material is primary.

Da Schneib - May 27, 2017

The reason the much safer Thorium fuel reactor was/is not used is because it's waste can't create weapons. Power generation is secondary, high grade weapons material is primary.
So how come they leave it lying around in pools?

I mean, c'mon, just askin'.

WillieWard - May 27, 2017

Every 2 MW wind turbine curtails 1,800 tonnes of C02 per year. This is the reason that global C02 emissions are now leveling
The real reason why global CO2 emissions are leveling is because countries are replacing coal with natural gas, thanks to unconventional gas extraction from shales.
Faux-greens account natural gas/fracking as "renewable".
"the wind plants and the solar plants, are gas plants."
https://pbs.twimg...jQiw.jpg
https://pbs.twimg...4M-Y.jpg
https://pbs.twimg...ZJF8.jpg

TheGhostofOtto1923 - May 28, 2017

Yucca Mountain was already paid for and nearly completed with money taxed out of the nuclear industry specifically for the purpose
Yeah I've got an alternate theory on recent govt-funded earth boring megaprojects cancelled for mysterious reasons...

"The area has been arid desert for thousands of years. The [yucca mt] repository location is one of the few in the world where radioactive waste containers can be isolated from the environment by 1,000 feet of dry rock above them and yet be 1,000 feet above the water table"

"The Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) (also nicknamed the Desertron) was a particle accelerator complex under construction in the vicinity of Waxahachie, Texas."

-Both in dry, desert environments similar to mars. One started into the side of a mountain, one by lowering the equipt into a shaft.

Elon musk just bought his own borer for testing yes?

I think these and other mysteries may be R&D for the next exodus.

greenonions1 - May 28, 2017

Faux-greens account natural gas/fracking as "renewable".

I don't. 25% of British electricity was generated by renewables last year. That is wind/solar/wave/tidal/biofuels. The real reason that C02 emissions are leveling is that concerned people across the world are sounding the alarm about climate change - and as a world we are embarking on a transition to renewable energy. Recently cheap gas from fracking has been replacing a lot of coal. Gas is certainly better than coal in terms of emissions. Now that wind and solar are hitting the point of being cheaper than gas - we will see a whole different dynamic as we move forward.

WillieWard - May 28, 2017

...wind and solar are hitting the point of being cheaper...
If "wind/solar/wave/tidal" are so cheap so great, why is Greenpeace, and other environuts faux-greens, still using fossil fuels to generate electricity to power their vehicles? Because renewables(excluding hydro and geothermal (both with geographical limitations) and biomass (worse than coal in terms of CO2 emissions) ) are just intermittent placebos backed up by fossil fuels.
https://uploads.d...f818.jpg
http://wpmedia.ne...1808.jpg
http://www.herald...3461.jpg
http://www.greenp...ctic.jpg
http://www.greenp...espy.jpg
https://pbs.twimg...RStP.jpg

greenonions1 - May 28, 2017

If "wind/solar/wave/tidal" are so cheap so great, why is Greenpeace, and other environuts faux-greens, still using fossil fuels to generate electricity to power their vehicles?
Because ships - like planes/cars/trucks/buses etc. require a high energy density. You would have known that if you stopped reading tabloid rags - and actually paid attention to science. Electric cars and buses are selling very well - and as the cost of batteries continues to fall - they will become the vehicles of choice - due to cost savings. Engineers are developing electric planes - but that technology is still a ways off being practical. https://techcrunc...-planes/

gkam - May 28, 2017

That's pretty lame, Willi-kins.

You lost long ago.

WillieWard - May 28, 2017

...require a high energy density...
Ironically, wind/solar/batteries are ever cheaper thanks to cheap fossil fuels and semi-slave labor in China and other poor countries that have no strict environmental regulations.
When all processes are taken into account, intermittent renewables are neither clean nor fossil-free.

greenonions1 - May 28, 2017

Ironically, wind/solar/batteries are ever cheaper thanks to cheap fossil fuels and semi-slave labor in China and other poor countries that have no strict environmental regulations
You never heard of the giga factory huh Willie? Lithium sourced in the U.S. - and U.S. labor. We also make a lot of wind turbines, and solar panels here. There is probably some truth to your assertion that the cost of fossil fuels is one cost in the overall calculation for how much a solar panel, or a wind turbine costs. Of course - so is the cost of electricity - and that cost is being driven down by renewable energy - http://www.indepe...096.html
I keep telling you Willie - stop reading the tabloid rags - and learn some science.

WillieWard - May 28, 2017

You never heard of the giga factory
"Tesla Solar Roofs Are Very Expensive And Their Warranty Is Far From Infinite" - May 23, 2017
https://www.solar...nfinite/
"... the price of lithium has gone thru the roof since gigafactory started buying"
https://pbs.twimg...WEAp.jpg
"Study: Batteries For Wind And Solar Do 'More Harm Than Good' For Environment"
http://climatecha...ronment/
"As hundreds of thousands more of these batteries hit the market, the problems that come with lithium mining, battery lifecycles and recycling loom large."
http://www.thegua...owerwall

WillieWard - May 28, 2017

Of course - so is the cost of electricity - and that cost is being driven down by renewable energy - http://www.indepe...096.html
Ta'u is a tiny island with 600 residents, that still use fossil-powered vehicles, and nobody tell us about real costs of solar+batteries and maintenance.
Here's another wind/solar fiasco in small-scale (Germany is in large-scale):
"100% renewables fail. This small island of El Hierro has been attempting to power itself with wind, solar, and pumped hydro for 3 years, but the diesel back is still the mainstay electricity generators."
http://euanmearns...-update/
https://www.boe.e...013-9944
learn some science
REnewable is not Science, it is REligion, completely dishonest and divorced from reality.

greenonions1 - May 28, 2017

Tesla Solar Roofs Are Very Expensive And Their Warranty Is Far From Infinite
So what? You are so incapable of following an argument. You claimed that cheap wind and solar was dependent on cheap Chinese labor. I proved you wrong. Solar roofs are sold out into 2018 - so I guess the free market works. Oh right - you conservatives only like the free market when it agrees with your religion.
REnewable is not Science
No - renewables are renewables. Science is science. But the world has begun a transition to a very different energy mix. It is hard to figure out your motivation for lying, and screaming at the tide to stop coming in. The world will be much better off with cheap, clean, decentralized energy systems. Sorry you are stuck in the age of the dinosaurs.

Davy_Crockett - May 29, 2017

You don't mean to say that the spent fuel is stacked densely in open shelving racks in an above ground pool surrounded by an aluminum shed! Good grief. It's known they might self-ignite if exposed to air, and then don't bother running for an ABC fire extinguisher. If a pool were struck by a TOW missile....

Leaving them out to cool for 5 years is gut twisting enough. Force the NRC to require them in Casks!

This isn't just complacency vs. alarmism. Rate payers have paid for this to be done.

Font size

A

A

Select topic

Switch to?

ADD COMMENT

Sign in

Sign in

Sign out?

Yes