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There are zero commercial reactors operating in Japan today.  On March 10, 2012, there were 54 licensed to operate, well over 10% percent of the global fleet.

But for the first time in 42 years, a country at the core of global reactor electricity is producing none of its own.

Worldwide, there are fewer than 400 operating reactors for the first time since Chernobyl, a quarter-century ago.

And France has replaced a vehemently pro-nuclear premier with the Socialist Francois Hollande, who will almost certainly build no new reactors.  For decades France has been the "poster child" of atomic power.  But Hollande is likely to follow the major shift in French national opinion away from nuclear power and toward the kind of green-powered transition now redefining German energy supply.

In the United States, a national grassroots movement to stop federal loan guarantees could end new nuclear construction altogether.  New official cost estimates of $9.5 to $12 billion per reactor put the technology off-scale for any meaningful competition with renewables and efficiency.

In India, more than 500 women have joined an on-going hunger strike against construction of reactors at Koodankulam.  And in China, more than 30 reactors hang in the balance of a full assessment of the true toll of the Fukushima disaster.  

But it seems to have no end.  Three melted cores still smolder.  New reports from US Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), confirm that at least one spent fuel pool suspended 100 feet in the air, bearing tons of hugely toxic rods, could crash to the ground with another strong earthquake---a virtual certainty by most calculations.

Those uncovered fuel rods contain radioactive cesium and other isotopes far beyond what was released at Chernobyl.  A fire could render vast stretches of Japan permanently uninhabitable (if they are not already).  The death toll could easily claim millions worldwide, including many of us here, where the cloud would come down within a week.

Japan's total shut-down cuts to the core of the historic industry.  The globe's primary reactor designers, General Electric and Westinghouse, are now primarily Japanese-owned.  Pressure vessels, steam generators and much more of the industry's vital hardware have long been manufactured in Japan.

But the archipelago's antinuclear movement also has deep roots.  In 1975-6, large, angry crowds I spoke to were already demanding the end of Fukushima and other reactor projects.  They warned that all Japanese reactors were vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis, and that disasters on par with what happened at Fukushima were essentially inevitable.  Now that it's happened, the public rage in what has been a traditionally conservative, authoritarian society is almost unfathomable.

Along the way, local governments did win the right (not enjoyed in the United States) to keep shut nearby reactors that were closed for repairs and refueling.  On Saturday, May 5, a deep-rooted, highly focussed grassroots movement shut the archipelago's last operating nuke.  It's bound and determined to keep them that way.

As summer air conditioning demand skyrockets, Japan's Prime Minister will try to prove that atomic power is essential.  But an efficiency-oriented public has dealt very well with cutbacks in supply since Fukushima.  Each potential re-start will have its own dynamic.  

Japan's stunning reality is that its gargantuan capital investment in more than 50 commercial reactors is now dead in the water…. and being irradiated by its own deadly fallout.  That can only drag the global industry closer to oblivion at a moment when the public's financial and political commitments to renewables and efficiency are deepening daily.  

Likewise the demise of Nikolas Sarkozy.  His allies at France's nuclear-commited utility, EDF, have been Europe's primary pushers of the "Peaceful Atom." Now his Socialist rival is running the country, backed by a constituency largely supportive of a green conversion to parallel the one in neighboring Germany.  

America's green activists also want atomic power ended.  In Vermont, New Jersey, New York, Florida, Ohio, Texas and elsewhere, escalating grassroots campaigns have put the future of 104 licensed reactors in doubt.  The confrontation may be most immediate at San Onofre, on the Pacific shore between Los Angeles and San Diego.  Faulty steam generator tubes have forced two reactors shut.  As in Japan, the industry loudly warns of shortages when summer hits.  It wants at least one reactor back by June.  But experts warn that San Onofre's design deficiencies threaten the public safety, as does its uninsured vulnerability to earthquakes and tsunamis.

The battle parallels the one over new construction.  Already plagued with faulty concrete and design-deficient rebar steel, two reactors at Georgia's Vogtle still await final agreement on federal loan guarantees granted by President Obama last year.  But Progress Energy's guess that its own double-reactor proposal for Florida's Levy County could cost a staggering $24 billion casts a long shadow over Vogtle, where tax/ratepayers are already being stuck with huge bills for a project that could be vastly underfunded.  A national petition drive has been fired up to stop the guarantees from going through.  

And while India's growing non-violent army of nuclear opponents vow to fast to the death, the global reactor industry awaits word from China on how many new reactors it thinks it will build.  The world will then watch with bated breath as the Middle Kingdom's own nascent anti-nuclear movement gathers strength in the inevitable race to shut the local reactor before it melts.

But for now, this weekend's message from Japan and France could not be more clear:  at nuclear power's historic core, the collapse has come.  Humankind is running ever-faster toward a green-powered Earth, desperate to win before the next Fukushima strikes.

Originally posted to harveywasserman on Sun May 06, 2012 at 10:43 PM PDT.

Also republished by Nuclear Free DK.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Illinois is using more natural gas... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, Roadbed Guy, NYFM, bryfry, ebohlman

    ...and the wind-supplied portion seems to be stuck at 2%. The two coal-fired plants here in Chicago are to be shut down, but where's the power going to come from?

    As for Germany, they're still buying power from French reactors for the time being. I'm not buying their "green" power claims.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Sun May 06, 2012 at 11:17:45 PM PDT

    •  "for the time being" being the operative phrase. (18+ / 0-)

      And for the time being, nobody who is a nuclear expert on the planet can tell us where the core of 3 reactors are.

      Nobody, although as recently as March 10, 2011 every single one of them would have told you that a nuclear plant can't completely fail.

      Nor can any tell you they know more than new inventions are needed to even get measurements of the actual situation inside the reactors; new inventions to move the spent fuel pools to a safer situation. Which absolutely no one foresaw since nuclear was completely figured out, and anyway, plants can't fail.

      As a result, well, we'll need a time-traveler to come tell us what the health- and death-statistics will be after a few decades.

      But we do know that a low-ball estimate of a quarter trillion dollars would be the immediate cost for covering the people damaged; that 80-100,000 will have lost their homes for their lifetime (and many their income); agriculture and fishing industries have been severely hit; the constant low-radiation doses added to by the minute -- and wide-spread lethal doses should the spent fuel in reactors #1-4 should collapse -- threaten children especially, and everyone in general. Even, we can see already, plants and birds which really have no opinion about nuclear power.

      And this is all going to compound for decades, and we've not even counted the costs of decommissioning nor of long term storage of the waste.

      For starters. From just one nuclear complex. Where these things can't possibly happen. But they do.

      Versus, people will have to use their electricity more sparingly if nukes shut down, until the ever-cheaper kinetic energy devices can be installed in their homes and grids.

      Now, which is these things is the wisest to fear again?


      The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

      by Jim P on Sun May 06, 2012 at 11:41:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  an excellent post...thanks, jim p... (14+ / 0-)

        and you're right....FOR THE TIME BEING japan & germany are burning more fossil fuels....but the faster they transition to solartopian green power, the less that will be, & the more money & planet they will save, not to mention human health...keep the faith!!

        •  I've just had it with the scams and distractions (4+ / 0-)

          of nukenits. The reality is the damned things can take out huge swathes of the real world instantly, and there simply is no engineer or planner on earth who is omniscient and omnipotent, able to foresee all and protect against all.

          There are, however, many in the industry who are hubristic, vain, delusional, and corrupt.

          This link, btw, is invaluable:

          The Betrayal of Mankind by the Radiation Protection Agencies listing the 39 scam arguments, starting with posts in January 2010, through the Exhibits posted through December 2010.

          Details each scam, for a sample from the middle of the list:

          SCAM NUMBER EIGHTEEN: Base estimates of health risks from chronic exposure to internal emitters upon instances of acute flashes of external exposure.
          And then a long section detailing instances where the scam has been used.

          Really, invaluable work.


          The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

          by Jim P on Mon May 07, 2012 at 01:03:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree, it's a scam (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            malenfant, Mcrab
            SCAM NUMBER EIGHTEEN: Base estimates of health risks from chronic exposure to internal emitters upon instances of acute flashes of external exposure.
            Numerous studies have demonstrated that chronic low-dose and low-dose-rate exposure to radiation (from both internal and external sources) results in significantly less risk of adverse health effects than a one-time, high-dose acute exposure.

            Thus, estimates of health risks that are based on the Life Span Study (LSS) of atomic bomb survivors overestimate the risk, unless the differences are properly compensated for.

            Read the BEIR VII report.

            •  Numerous other studies have indicated (5+ / 0-)

              the opposite.

              Common sense says if you ingest radioactive materials, and the source of those radioactive materials keeps adding more to the environment, thus increasing the chance more will be ingested that that's not likely to work out well.

              You are welcome to ingest irradiated tea and fish today, and some more tomorrow, and some more the day after that, and so on.... I'm sure you have every confidence that it'll not affect you adversely.

              And we know that the nuclear industry is prone to lies and delusion, as we can see from the fact that supporters have even touted that Fukushima failing is a proof that nuclear is safe!!!!

              By the way, do you know where the core material at #1, 2 & 3 are? If you do, PLEASE IMMEDIATELY TELL ALL THE NUCLEAR EXPERTS ON EARTH, BECAUSE NONE OF THEM KNOW.

              Or have you invented the robot which can get close enough to inspect the plants without failing, which I'm sure the industry had predicted would be necessary. Perhaps you've invented the devise which can remove the spent fuel safely, which also doesn't exist.

              Or, lacking all that (and you do) maybe you can tell us again how the radioactive waste problem has been solved. HaHaHaHaHaHa.


              The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

              by Jim P on Mon May 07, 2012 at 01:26:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Numerous references? (3+ / 3-)
                Recommended by:
                malenfant, Roadbed Guy, Mcrab
                Hidden by:
                indycam, HamdenRice, Russgirl

                Which references? Please share.

                Meanwhile, the studies that support my position can be found in the References section of the BEIR VII report.

                The truth is that you don't have any references, which is why you quickly skip on to the usual stupid anti-nuke talking points, like some mentally defective parrot with an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Nuclear Free DK doesn't need to invent robots; you've demonstrated that it already has more than it needs. Its inventions are limited to lies masquerading as so-called "facts."

                Since you are too ignorant to know, the "core material" from reactors 1, 2, and 3 are located in buildings 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Whether they are inside or outside of the reactor vessel is immaterial, since almost all of it — minus certain inert gasses and some volatile substances, such as iodine and cesium — is located within the containment.

                While I wait for you to get those references to me, I'll return to drinking my beer, which is "irradiated" (the proper word is radioactive) to the tune of about 185 pCi in each pint. And yes, I drink this "irradiated" stuff all the time, thank you very much.

                •  See, the reason why many have come to (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  PreciousLittle, Russgirl, blueness, Joieau

                  think that "bryfry" is ancient Etruscan or some other exotic language for "shameless" is exactly the thing you do waving the BEIR VII report, which concludes:

                  Among the reports conclusions are:

                  There is no safe level or threshold of ionizing radiation exposure.

                  Even exposure to background radiation causes some cancers. Additional exposures cause additional risks.

                  Radiation causes other health effects such as heart disease and stroke, and further study is needed to predict the doses that result in these non-cancer health effects.

                  It is possible that children born to parents that have been exposed to radiation could be affected by those exposures.

                  The "bystander effect" is an additional, newly recognized method by which radiation injures cells that were not directly hit but are in the vicinity of those that were. "Genomic instability" can be caused by exposure to low doses of radiation and according to the report "might contribute significantly to radiation cancer risk." These new mechanisms for radiation damage were not included in the risk estimates reported by the BEIR VII report, but were recommended for further study.

                  You do this all the time, cite a source in support, and then when a person goes to the source, it actually destroys your assertion. Shameless.

                  You always do that, like with your NRC link for 120-year dry cask life claim, which in the very next paragraph says the things are designed for 60 years. The 120 years comes from the NRC's expectation that they can last much longer and will be extended. But nobody has yet inspected a dry-cask from 1952 to see how they are faring. What you really have is not enough data and NRC's optimism.

                  And obviously, the cores are somewhere near reactors #1,2,3, either at the bottom or underneath and leaking to the sides, but the issue, as you surely know, is where exactly are they? BECAUSE HOW WILL YOU GATHER THE MATERIALS TO DECOMMISSION THE PLANT IF YOU CAN'T TELL WHERE THEY ARE??

                  Do you know how close the corium is to the water table. Nope. Nobody in Japan knows and your response is insipid.

                  In fact, all you say is usually a misrepresentation, a lie, a lie, a lie, or insipid. Or a lie.

                  Japan Times Apr, 2012:
                  The utility said the radiation level in the reactor 2 containment vessel is too high for robots, endoscopes and other devices to function properly.

                  Spokesman Junichi Matsumoto said it will be necessary to develop devices resistant to high radiation.

                  They don't exist now. That means they have to be ... oh, darn, what's the English word for when a new technological device has to be brought into existence when there isn't one now. Rented? No. Lended? Nah.

                  Oh. INVENTED!!!!

                  Denki Shimbum Apr 27 2012
                  US firm EnergySolutions ready to advance into reactor decommissioning business in Japan
                  In connection with the decommissioning of Fukushima I units 1-4, EnergySolutions aims to handle the planning of the entire decommissioning process, including cost calculation, and win orders for multiple projects, including the treatment and volume reduction of radioactive waste and the extraction and storage of spent fuel and fuel debris (damaged fuel).

                  Concerning the extraction of fuel debris, which is considered the most challenging process, "There is no technology which may be directly applied," said Morant. He added, however, that knowledge concerning the extraction of damaged fuel, which was obtained through the use of research reactors, and remote underwater cutting technology, as used for the Zion nuclear power station in the United States, may be applied to some extent.

                  Meaning, but you really can't figure it out can you? Shall I tell you? You can call a friend if you want help. No. I'll tell you. The technology needs to be INVENTED!!!!

                  Everything you've said -- that you ever say on the topic -- is a character attack, a misrepresentation, stupid, or a bald-faced lie.

                  And nobody is surprised.

                  btw, anyone know the Etruscan for "lying fool?" Since your cred is at less than zero, maybe you need a new screen name, eh?

                  As to research which shows that a radioactive particle lodged in, say, a lung, is different that getting a sudden and brief exposure to the skin, and different from an average of the entire area of that lung ... shit, your employers don't let you use google in your cubicle? I just by golly bet you could find the studies if you really really tried.

                  PS: ingestion of radioactive particles is ADDITIVE, not subtractive, or substitutive. If your beer has x-amount, and then you eat something with y-amount, and then you breathe something with z-amount, the total going into your body is x+y+z. As the BEIR VII makes clear, a bigger total dose is a bigger risk. So when you drink a beer at Fukushima, say, that's a different thing than drinking it in Brazil.

                  Even if you close your eyes.


                  The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

                  by Jim P on Mon May 07, 2012 at 04:52:14 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Don't take him seriously (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Russgirl, translatorpro, blueness, Joieau

                    He posts all the lies, delusions and insults of Nnadir without the boring chemistry notes.

                    Take a look at his profile.  He proudly proclaims that his only point in being around here is to be a self described "asshole."  I'm guessing he's 14 and posting from the rumpus room in the basement.

                  •  How stupid is this comment? (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    malenfant, Roadbed Guy, Mcrab

                    Let me count the ways:

                    1. Since you are obviously incapable of providing any references to your "numerous other studies," you think that you've stumbled upon the perfect "gotcha" moment by quoting BEIR VII.

                      Here's a clue for the clueless: I have never stated anything that contradicts BEIR VII. In fact, current radiological protection standards are entirely compatible with BEIR VII. So if the conclusions of BEIR VII are your main talking apoint, then you're actually supporting the current standards that are in place. Duh.

                    2. On the concept of thresholds:
                      There is no safe level or threshold of ionizing radiation exposure.
                      There is no safe level or threshold of driving. Most automobile accidents occur within five miles of home. We don't outlaw cars, do we? Similarly, we don't ban X-rays or medical radiation treatments.
                    3. On background radiation:
                      Even exposure to background radiation causes some cancers. Additional exposures cause additional risks.
                      Obviously. Exposure to UV rays from the sun counts as background radiation exposure, and the connection between sun exposure and melanoma is well-established and well-known. The largest source of background ionizing radiation around the world is from exposure to radon, a naturally occurring gas.

                      If you are worried about additional exposures causing additional risks, then I suggest that you not move to Denver, you not fly, and that you not weatherize or insulate your basement. In fact, I suggest that you check that your house and every building that you enter is properly ventilated and does not contain too much granite (a source for internal exposure to alpha emitters).

                    4. Uncertainties, ad nauseam:
                      Radiation causes other health effects such as heart disease and stroke, and further study is needed to predict the doses that result in these non-cancer health effects. ... It is possible that children born to parents that have been exposed to radiation could be affected by those exposures. ... The "bystander effect" ... "Genomic instability" ... were recommended for further study.
                      Notice the weasel words indicating a lack of knowledge. There's nothing to hang your hat on there.
                    5. You obviously understand nothing about dry casks or how they are licensed.
                    6. You obviously haven't been taking your medications lately. Please do so immediately, if not for yourself, then for the sake of others.
                    7. Has it ever occurred to you that the reason why engineers might have to develop new technology to use in the cleanup of the Fukushima accident is because such accidents are so damn rare? That in itself speaks well of the excellent safety record of nuclear power worldwide.
                    8. You can provide those references any time now. We're waiting. I mean, it shouldn't be a problem should it, because according to you these "other studies" you ambiguously refer to are so "numerous."

                  •  good for you, jim. thanks for your diligence and (0+ / 0-)

                    your accuracy.  keep up!

                •  Good grief (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  translatorpro

                  You're like Nnadir's contempt, illogic and insults without the boring irrelevant chemistry notes.

                  And you proudly point out on your profile page that you're only around to be a self described "asshole."  Bryfry or brainfried?

          •  right you are...shut em down!!! (0+ / 0-)
    •  and Germany is also using more soft brown coal. (6+ / 0-)

      The worst kind of coal in terms of climate impact.

      Because the idiots who came up with their nuclear moratorium went about it back-asswards.

      If they wanted to shut down nuclear in Germany, the way to do it is to build enough renewables to enable phasing out the nuclear plants one at a time.  

      NOT by just shutting down the reactors first, and then using more coal to make up the difference (not to mention buying nuclear electricity from France, heh that's funny).  

      As for France, now that they have a socialist government in place, we'll see what happens.  

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Mon May 07, 2012 at 12:03:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  france won't build more nukes...and this idea that (6+ / 0-)

        shutting them burns more fossil is a refusal to push for the green transition that much faster...

        it's never a choice of nukes v. fossil, it's always nuke/fossil vs. green.

        •  non-sequitur alert! (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Smoh, erush1345, Deep Texan, JeffW, malenfant

          You're conflating two or more unrelated things.

          This is very simple, really:

          The Greens in Germany could have passed legislation allocating funds to construct as much renewable energy as it took to replace a given number of nuclear plants, and directing the utilities to shut down those nuclear plants when the replacement renewables came online.  

          They didn't do that.

          Instead they went about it back-asswards, with the results we presently observe.  For which they deserve lumps of coal in their stockings, but that's kinda' risky because they'd probably burn them.  

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Mon May 07, 2012 at 02:56:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your idea on how politics works in Germany (7+ / 0-)

            is just wrong.

            The Greens in Germany could have passed legislation allocating funds to construct as much renewable energy as it took to replace a given number of nuclear plants, and directing the utilities to shut down those nuclear plants when the replacement renewables came online.  

            They didn't do that.

            Huh? They cannot pass legislation on their own, just as little as the Democrats in Congress can, and they are in the opposition now - and have been since 2005. The government is a coalition of Merkel's conservative CDU and the business-friendly, "neo-liberal" FDP, so that alone makes it pretty astounding that they reversed their OWN pro-nuclear energy policy, i.e. extending the operating time of nuclear power plants 6 months BEFORE Fukushima. Their abrupt return to the original Renewable Energy Sources Act of 2000 was due to PUBLIC PRESSURE, and nothing else. A recent survey showed that a whopping 90% of the German populace does not want nuclear energy. So they are all idiots??? (I'll take those kinds of idiots any day over the religious right and current Republican party in the US, thank you very much.)

            In addition, the federal government doesn't dictate who builds what kind of plants where, but that is completely a matter up to the Länder (states), and the state governments may or may not mirror the federal government make-up. In fact, Merkel's coalition did rather poorly in the most recent state election (yesterday, in Schleswig-Holstein). The federal government only provides the policy guidelines, but the power over the grid and what goes into it is not decided by the federal government.

            „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

            by translatorpro on Mon May 07, 2012 at 04:26:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  then it would seem necessary to.... (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              erush1345, JeffW, malenfant, Roadbed Guy

              ...craft the policy in a manner that dovetails with state policies, and elect appropriate individuals in the states.

              This isn't hard:

              Federal:  Legislation to shut down nuclear plants to coincide with the development of renewable energy sources.  For every unit-size of renewables that matches a unit-size of nuclear, we will shut down that unit-size of nuclear.   (Meaning: if you want to shut down an 800-MW reactor, you do it to coincide with the turn-up of 800 MW of wind or solar or geothermal.)

              State:  Legislation to build so-and-so-many megawatts of renewables.  Once this installation is complete, the federal provision will be triggered to shut down such-and-such matching capacity of nuclear.  

              There are plenty of ways to do that.  And if the voters are 90% anti-nuclear they can vote for the candidates who can accomplish it.  

              But there is really no excuse for "shut down X before turning up Y."  All that demonstrates is ignorance of engineering and of the economic realities that, absent a direct mandate to build renewables, or some form of real socialism with teeth and with scientists & engineers in charge, the net result will only be increased consumption of fossil fuels.  

              "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

              by G2geek on Mon May 07, 2012 at 05:34:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Germany is doing just fine on their energy policy (6+ / 0-)

                without your advice. It's your information that is wrong, or your interpretation of it, not Germany's politics. How arrogant. Read the sources I cite instead of spouting bs about how another country should do what you recommend. You might learn something of value. I'm no fan of Merkel's government, but your belief that you know better what's right for Germany is pretty breathtaking.  

                „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

                by translatorpro on Mon May 07, 2012 at 05:53:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Nukes in the USA supply only 9% of electricity. (0+ / 0-)

                Tepco admitted they could supply all of Japan's needs W/O NUKES!

                So let's shut them down NOW - and not hide the true monetary, environmental and human costs for a change.

                We can start by weatherizing where we live.
                Move FORWARD - not down the radioactive rabbit hole - from there.

                It is the political will tied to the unlimited taxpayer $$$ that keeps these poison plants going.
                NO MORE.

                •  No, it's 19% (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Mcrab, SpeedyGonzales, Roadbed Guy

                  You're off by a factor of two! Can't you ever get anything right?!

                  I guess that's what happens when you just make stuff up.

                  Statistics for 2011:

                  Coal - 42%

                  Natural gas - 25%

                  Nuclear - 19%

                  Hydroelectric - 8%

                  Wind - 3%

                  Solar - <1% (pathetic)

                  Can you make a pledge for no more stupidity? No more inaccurate information?

                  •  "Guess" again Bryfy. Time for change is here. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    translatorpro, Just Bob

                    You are right though - it is NOT 9% - or 20% of "just" the USA -- the entire WORLD is dumping nukes each and every year.  

                    Now, please go assist your pro nuke coworkers in cleaning up your mess, eh?
                    ---
                    In 2009, nuclear power plants generated 2,558 TWh of electricity, about 2 percent less than the
                    previous year.

                    The industry’s lobby organization the World Nuclear Association headlined “another
                    drop in nuclear generation”—the fourth year in a row.

                    The role of nuclear power is declining steadily
                    and now accounts for about
                    .......13 percent of the world’s
                    electricity generation and
                    ........5.5 percent of the
                    commercial primary energy.

                    ...With extremely long lead times of 10 years and more, it will be practically impossible to maintain, let
                    alone increase, the number of operating nuclear power plants over the next 20 years.

                    ...As previously noted, there was no growth in nuclear electricity generation in 2009.

                    The 2,558 TWh of nuclear energy produced corresponded to about 13 percent of the world’s commercial electricity.
                    http://www.worldwatch.org/...

                  •  BTY - you deserve a donut, but I then realized (0+ / 0-)

                    that your rude behavior was just your M.O.

                    The consequences of failure happening NOW in Japan (and most leaking rust bucket nukes) ... is just NOT ACCEPTABLE to our long term survival rate.
                    Fact.

          •  ? (8+ / 0-)

            Germany properly ordered the shut-down of GE BWRs identical to the plants at Daiichi because they have been proven drastically unsafe in accident scenarios. Not the least because they keep their spent fuel in glorified swimming pools 100' in the air.

            ALL of these plants need to be shut down immediately, worldwide. Bad design, bad engineering, vulnerability to meltdown and "assured" containment breach in that event. I know it might be a little uncomfortable until alternatives are brought on line, but conservation can make up for a good deal of it. Humans managed to survive for 200,000 years (approx) without air conditioning. Believe it or not, people used to live through summers without it. They can do so again if need be.

            •  I agree with regard to BWR's. n/t (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rja, Joieau

              Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

              by JeffW on Mon May 07, 2012 at 09:08:50 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  We know that PWRs (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cany, Russgirl, Calamity Jean

                also melt and explode, so they need to be phased out as well, but that can be offset over a period of time depending on real evaluation of conditions and threats at each individual facility. Except for the ones with already pre-breached containments, like Crystal River and Davis-Besse (plus honest inspections of all others). Every single one of those must be shut down and never restarted. Certainly we shouldn't be building any new ones of any design, the technology has amply proven itself way too dangerous. Fortunately, we can't afford them, so right now it's just boatloads of cash making the usual rounds for 'new' nukes that are never going to actually be built. Cash flow - the name of the nuclear game.

                There must also be regulatory requirement to force nukes to immediately begin transferring ALL their 5+ year old spent fuel to dry casks. They don't do this now because the dry casks are so expensive, but that's not a good reason to leave it laying about in glorified swimming pools for 20-30 years.

                If forced to actually spend some money on doing what they should have been required to do all along, nuclear utilities would quickly get out of the business and move on to something more lucrative for them and much safer for us. I'm fine with that, and Haliburton, KBR and the others could make lots of money decommissioning them.

                •  Um, you only need to immerse spent... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Calamity Jean

                  ...fuel for 5 years, to let it cool. The big thing is we need a secure place for the dry casks after they are loaded, rather than have them remaining in place on power company property. And it should not be a place that renders them inaccessible, like Yucca Mountain, so you can't spot problems and act.

                  Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

                  by JeffW on Mon May 07, 2012 at 10:14:03 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Inaccessible? (0+ / 0-)

                    Huh? Spent nuclear fuel loaded into Yucca Mountain must be accessible by law. From the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982:

                    DISPOSAL OF SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL

                    SEC. 122. Notwithstanding any other provision of this subtitle, any repository constructed on a site approved under this subtitle shall be designed and constructed to permit the retrieval of any spent nuclear fuel placed in such repository, during an appropriate period of operation of the facility, for any reason pertaining to the public health and safety, or the environment, or for the purpose of permitting the recovery of the economically valuable contents of such spent fuel. The Secretary shall specify the appropriate period of retrievability with respect to any repository at the time of design of such repository, and such aspect of such repository shall be subject to approval or disapproval by the Commission as part of the construction authorization process under subsections (b) through (d) of section 114.

                    This "period of operation" is expected to extend to about a century after the last fuel has been loaded into the repository. This time period is used for monitoring to ensure that everything goes as planned in the license application.
                  •  That's what I said. (3+ / 0-)

                    They only need to 'cool' for 1 year before they can be transferred to dry cask filled with inert gas, but NRC requires 5 years. But because casking is such an expensive operation that would cut into the "Cash Cow" aspect of these rustbucket old nukes (plus many facilities aren't licensed to store the casks on-site), they mostly leave it sitting in the pool or transfer to a common pool for decades.

                    It doesn't matter how long spent fuel has been sitting in a pool, it is still deadly radioactive for AT LEAST 10,000 years. Some "hope" the current casks will last a hundred years before leaking. But it's not like much work has or is being done to design better and require utilities to actually do the work. It would cost too much.

                    •  Cheap fuel (6+ / 0-)

                      That's what I don't get about the reasoning of the nukes only crowd.  Their basic point is that the fuel is cheap and energy dense.

                      But try to get them to project the discount to present value cost of storing and monitoring that fuel for a few hundred years and you never get an answer -- other than that future technology will make spent fuel useful in home nuclear "fission man" food processors, or something like that.

                      •  Meh. I'm waiting for my (5+ / 0-)

                        Mister Fusion coffemaker. Fission is SO last century!!! §;o)

                        •  I'm actually pretty sure I remember Nnadir (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          translatorpro, Joieau

                          writing that he wouldn't mind having a dry cask containing spent fuel in his yard snuggling up to his house to provide additional heating.

                          •  Not surprised. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            HamdenRice, translatorpro

                            There's a nice repository in South Carolina that would no doubt pay him well to live in the guard shack. I think that's an excellent job for him.

                          •  Well, you job as "Health Physicist" must be going (3+ / 1-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bryfry, Mcrab, SpeedyGonzales
                            Hidden by:
                            HamdenRice

                            badly since it would appear that you don't know the half-lives of any nuclides in nuclear fuel.

                            Joy Busey, clown, gets every half-life in the nuclide table wrong.

                            Not one, not two, every, single one

                            Since you hate nuclear science from a position of total and complete ignorance, we can assume that your abilities as a human resources co-ordinator would easily match your (obviously fraudulent) credentials as a "health physicist."

                            Fortunately you and your stupid friend have never held positions of responsibility and thus would have no idea about the half-lives of any important nuclide, which goes without saying.

                            I have never met a rote anti-nuke who knows his or her ass from a hole in the ground.

                          •  It's like the old commercial (0+ / 0-)

                            "I'm not a health physicist, but I play one on DailyKos."

                            But, NNadir, you forget ... she's a (self-published) author on the subject. ;-)

                            Quid novi ex Africa

                            by bryfry on Tue May 08, 2012 at 11:30:16 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Aw, did I hit (0+ / 0-)

                            ums widdie feewings hard? Poor baby...

                          •  Oh, I wouldn't put it that way, exactly. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bryfry

                            I'm something called "a grown up."

                            And, as a "grown up" I can hardly cheer (like a clown) for killing people.

                            Did you know you, um, "health physicist" that 3.3 million people die each year from air pollution?

                            Another thing I know, um, "health physicist" who knows no physics, is where the Home Page of the Journal of the Health Physics Society is?

                            Um you don't?

                            Let me help you, here it is:  Journal of the Health Physics Society.

                            One may also find at the website of the Society many position papers on nuclear power and other news related to radiation science.

                            As a piece of sad news, there was a fine obituary of the great scientist Bernard L. Cohen, who fought a stupid anti-nuke in the 1980's called Ernest Sternglass.

                            Unsurprisingly this obituary has not been read by the anti-nuke society, since in general anti-nukes are ignorant of the contents of scientific journals.

                            I may write a diary about Dr. Cohen.  I hadn't realized he'd died.

                            One can search the "authors" index there.    I searched "Busey" and unsurprisingly, there were zero hits.

                            Most moral cripples fail to understand my generalized hatred of ignorance.

                            Not surprisingly, being intellectual cripples as well as moral cripples, they are unable to grasp what my sig line means, although it is powerfully true.

                          •  Heh. Ignorance indeed. n/t (0+ / 0-)
                          •  You bet, clown. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bryfry

                            Ignorance indeed.

                          •  The designation "clown" (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            HamdenRice

                            is not the insult you believe it to be, as I have indeed been a professional clown for 25 years before I stopped performing regularly. Since I am the one who got to design and make the costuming, maintain the props, build the puppets and staging and direct the shows, I refused to juggle. Won't eat fire either. Daughter and grandsons do that stuff, so I don't have to.

                            Never claimed to belong to the "health physics society" either, which you'd know if you'd been paying attention. That's an industry insider/DOE construct, a.k.a. irrelevant. Unless some industry consortium of greedheads want to do some wool-pulling over ostensible regulatory proposals need more acronyms than just NEI to attach to some bullshit scheme or other. The usual type of corporate/governmental circle jerk. Meh.

                            You like to think you're being clever but you're not. Quite the contrary - when you and your #1 Fan bry-guy start in on this crap you both end up looking like way bigger fools than me. Which just goes to show that some of the classic characterizations and skits are still as funny now as they were when Tutankhamen's fool was his most treasured friend and advisor.

                            I left the nuclear industry exactly 1 month after I entered it more than 33 years ago. Both entry and exit accomplished very much on purpose and for a very specific regulatory-related purpose. That was more than a year before your heroes murdered my brother while trying to murder my husband. Who both had considerably more experience in the industry than I did. That's really not something y'all should be proud of in a place like this, but there's no accounting for some folks' oversized egos.

                            You lost your masks before you got past the step-off pad. Are fooling exactly no one.

                          •  Well, we agree on something. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bryfry, Mcrab

                            You're a clown.

                            The word "clown" means what it means to me, and I'm not about to change that meaning because an anti-intellectual anti-science type wishes to substitute a new definition for the one that I apply when I say you are a clown

                            I don't give a rat's ass how you define clown, just as the world physics community doesn't give a rat's ass that you have announced that the half-life of Pu-239 is 480,000 years.

                            Joy the clown's half-life of Pu-239: 480,000 years.

                            Brookhaven National Laboratory's Half Life for Pu-239: 24,110 years.

                            I have made it clear repeatedly that I belive that every member of "Nuclear free DKos" is scientifically, morally and intellectually incompetent.

                            In the time since this afternoon that you've been cheering for Fukushima - cheering gleefully about a 9.0 earthquake and a 15 meter tsunami that killed 20,000 - zero from radiation - more than 2,000 people died from air pollution.

                            Now you wish to tell me about the circus?

                            Well, I think I've made it very clear that I'm not interested.

                            I don't like circuses, because I'm serious.

                            Unlike the intellectually bereft members of "Nuclear Free DKos" I give a rat's ass about the future, and with the concentration of dangerous fossil fuel waste now approaching 400 ppm, it's dire.

                            Do you know what dire means?

                            Ignorance, fear, and superstition have always damaged the futures they've created. That was true during the black plague; it was true during the various acts of genocide that have taken place; and it true now.

                            To be sure, I personally hold clowns - a type of clown I despise - responsible for the deaths that will take place from air pollution tomorrow.

                            By the way:  Of course you're not a member of the Health Physics Society.  Membership is reserved for, um, "health physicists."

                            Every single word you write shows that you neither know nor care about health, nor do you know or care about physics.   Therefore you are definitely not a member of the Health Physics Society.

                            In fact, you clearly hate physics, which is why you mangle it so badly.

                            Thanks - I think - for the rare bit of honesty.

                            Have a nice day tomorrow, and try not to think at all - as is par for the course - about the roughly 9,000 people, nearly half under the age of 5 who will die tomorrow from air pollution.

                          •  HR for gratuitous insult (0+ / 0-)

                            You seem unable to discuss the issues without using insults, like the word, "clown."

                          •  Can't you read? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            NNadir

                            This person was a professional clown for 25 years. See her comment above.

                            But I guess any excuse for HR abuse works for some people.

                            Quid novi ex Africa

                            by bryfry on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:12:51 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Um, no in fact, he can't. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bryfry

                            The bloviator in question has made it very clear on thousands of occassions that he, um, can't read.

                            You know I checked the search tool here, searching my name as it was used in posts in the last three months, and found I was mentioned 107 in comments here, and, um 14 come from this sick puppy.

                            This is why anonymity on websites is a good thing, since some of these losers can actually go postal.

                            Just saying...

                            Probably the guy's relatively harmless, poorly read, poorly educated surely, but harmless.

                            (One hopes anyway.)

                            It's pretty funny though that he's defending the clown who says (very often) that she is, in fact, a professional clown.

                            And, of course, you and I agree that the clown is a clown and actually find ourselves agreeing - at least in the denotative sense - that the clown is a clown, although I'm sure that our connative reasons for agreeing on the point of whether the clown is a clown are, um, shall we say, different?

                            But I'm going to have a lot of fun with the clown who is a clown and her list of radioelements and their half-lives.

                            I really, really, really wonder where on earth she got that.

                            It's a classic, especially since she spelled out words like "millions."

                            The best part is that it's a comment and not a diary, so she can't go back and edit it.

                            I'm collecting "Nuclear Free DKos" incredible comments.   They're great.   One could have a field day with them.   Maybe I'll post them over on Charles's website.

                            But the clown who is a clown, hers is the best ever, especially with "We all die in the end - nobody gets outta here alive."

                            Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't the clown who is a clown just spend a little more than three decades having a conniption about the billions and billions of deaths from Three Mile Island?

                            By the way, I pulled some fun papers from "Health Physics" and may choose to write a diary about some of these too.

                            I also saw that my teacher - even though I never met him - Bernard L. Cohen died.   He was 87.   He was just one of those rare guys, so clearheaded that he could make you change directions pi radians.

                            I got your note by the way.   Maybe you got mine back.  No sweat.   When you have time...

                            I have a cool paper from this month's Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research that I'd like to share with you some time, although it's kind of chemist stuff, but it's a problem that's been on my mind for sometime now, the thermodyanmics of gas phased mixtures.   I'd like to hear you "ramble" about it.    It's a wild case, especially for someone who grew up with Dalton's law of partial pressures.   I've been messing around with these cubics in my slow and plodding and primitive way.   It's wild.

                          •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            NNadir

                            I saw that Cohen passed away last March. His work lives on.

                            I know that he took a lot of flak for his radon-related ecologic studies, but his work served to convince me that epidemiologists are simply bad at math. His speculations of a hormetic effect from radiation in his studies was on shaky ground, I admit, but what the epidemiologists fail to understand is that a linear dose response can be tested with rather crude study designs. It's just the way that the math works out, and it doesn't require very sophisticated mathematical analysis to realize this.

                            I could almost forgive them for this being over their heads — after all, not everyone can be good at math — but then these same epidemiologists turn around and use this linear model to "predict" 4000, 5000, 9000, etc., "excess of cancer and leukemia deaths due to radiation from the Chernobyl accident." (For example, see Cardis et al., Estimated long term health effects of the Chernobyl accident One decade after Chernobyl—Summing up the Consequences of the Accident, Proc. EU/IAEA/WHO Conf., Vienna, April, 1996, pp. 241-71.) That is simply unforgivable.

                            Thank goodness that nuclear physics is not as intellectually sloppy as epidemiology.

                            Quid novi ex Africa

                            by bryfry on Thu May 10, 2012 at 05:00:42 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well, I don't know about hormesis, but one of... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bryfry

                            ...my chief concern about nuclear energy is related, that being that all life on earth evolved in the presence of radioactivity and that it has always been present.

                            You may recall I wrote a diary that touched on it a little less than a year ago:

                            How Radioactive is the ocean.

                            One might suspect that our anti-nuke friends Harvey, the clown and the clown's obsessive friend - were they able to read, which apparently they can't - might have stopped swimming, but one never knows, does one?

                            Seriously I have always thought that life may depend on radioactivity in subtle but little appreciated ways, and I think the case is pretty clear that for the biosphere in general, diversity might well indeed have been involved with it.

                            One sees those curves for actinide recycling wherein the total planetary radioactivity falls below the activity of uranium ores

                            after a about a thousand years because of fission work, and one is inclined to wonder.

                            An interesting sidelight to our adventures here is that our good friends in "Nuclear Free DKos" not only hate the science that we know they

                            know nothing about, nuclear science, but they also almost uniformly hate another science they know nothing about, genetic science.

                            We have a fine writer on genetic technology here, MEM and she has adventures much like ours.

                            The clown in particular, and her little uneducated friend have been spectacular on this point.   The uneducated friend of hers once announced that he was an expert on genetics as a result of having walked through a field.

                            Seriously.    I kid you not.

                          •  I'm a follower of her (MEM's) diaries. n/t (0+ / 0-)

                            Quid novi ex Africa

                            by bryfry on Thu May 10, 2012 at 01:33:29 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                •  don't forget the mess at san onofre!!! (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Russgirl
            •  right you are, joieau, as usual. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Russgirl
      •  Your information isn't complete by a long shot. (8+ / 0-)

        How much more lignite are they burning? The number went from 23% to 25% from 2010 to 2011. 2%. The trend may be a very slight increase right now, but the overall tendency, as you will see in the second source below, is that emissions are FALLING, despite the doomsayers' predictions.

        http://www.dailykos.com/...

        According to the latest figures [Jan 2012], we [Germany] had the following distribution of gross power generation in 2010: Lignite 23%, nuclear 22%, bituminous coal 19%, renewable energy 16%, natural gas 14% and Other for the remainder.
        In 2011 the figures are as follows: Lignite 25%, renewable 20%, bituminous coal 19%, nuclear 18%, natural gas 14% and other.
        The usage of lignite rose slightly, as nuclear energy dropped by 4% after 8 reactors were shut down in March. Bituminous coal and natural gas stayed the same. Yet it also shows that what was lost in nuclear was made up for with renewable, so the construction of new coal powered plants won’t be necessary. What we need more is grid integration and a continuation of renewable. The German government plans to increase the percentage of renewable to 35% by the year 2020. We believe, however, that we can increase the share to 47% renewable energy sources by 2020.
        And in other news dated 11 April 2012:

        http://www.renewablesinternational.net/...

        Lower carbon emissions in 2011
        Last week, it was reported that emissions for the EU trading system fell by 2.6% in 2011, mainly due to the weak downturn. But the real news was in Germany. Not only did the German economy keep growing strongly, but the country also managed to shut down 40 percent of its nuclear capacity without increasing carbon emissions.
        Thirdly, from an article last week : http://www.renewablesinternational.net/...

        German wholesale power gets cheaper

        Last year, when the German government resolved to shut down 40 percent of its nuclear capacity, critics warned that the move would simply make Germany an importer of conventional power from adjacent countries, but ironically it seems that the opposite is happening. Most cross-border power purchases are made based on price, not because of a power shortage at home, and with German power companies increasingly desperate to get rid of conventional power, prices are only going to become lower. As a result, German exports of power may actually increase considerably over the year.
        And to ward off accusations of cherry-picking information, I offer you the following from a  pro-nuclear power source, the "World Nuclear News" (wnn), this article from April 13 of this year:
        http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/...
        Germany escapes carbon emissions rise
        Official figures from the Federal Environment Agency were released yesterday, showing total greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors of 917 million tonnes for 2011, down by 20 million tonnes (2.2%) on the year before and about equal to 2009's low when manufacturing was hit by the financial crisis.
        You may be a smart guy, but no one can know everything, and I think a lot of the misinformation on Germany's energy policy I see around here is that too much opinion is based on too little knowledge of the facts, cultural, political and social influences that make up an entire country of ca. 83 m people. Plus you cannot help but view the situation through your own cultural lens, which may not give you a true picture.
        You say:
        If they wanted to shut down nuclear in Germany, the way to do it is to build enough renewables to enable phasing out the nuclear plants one at a time.  
        Why don't you apply to become an advisor to Merkel's government? I'm sure they would love to have you on board since their own experts are incompetent idjits, in your opinion. ;-)

        „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

        by translatorpro on Mon May 07, 2012 at 02:37:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  sure, I'll happily advise them. (5+ / 0-)

          I've worked on the design engineering & business planning for about 300 MW of utility-scale wind, so I could even help them design new wind farms.  Though something tells me that Germany has all the engineers they need and then some.  

          Question is, how do you get a 2% increase in lignite (dirty coal) at the same time as a 2.2% decrease in GHG emissions?   (Note, I am not conflating the two similar numbers: clearly the increase in coal consumption, from 23% to 25% of total energy mix, doesn't add up to a change of 2% of GHG either way.)  

          The increase of 4% in renewables isn't sufficient to cover the decrease of nuclear plus the increase of coal as an offset for GHG outputs.  Something isn't adding up.  

          Meanwhile I gotta' question.  What is Germany going to do for baseload power?  

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Mon May 07, 2012 at 03:08:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Out-of-the-box thinking on baseload (7+ / 0-)

            according to Georg Bonsiepe, a member of the German Green Party and on the staff of the Green Party's energy expert, Member of Parliament Hans-Josef Fell. He participated in a liveblog here on DK in January 2012:
            http://www.dailykos.com/...

            No one needs (11+ / 0-)
            base load power plants anymore. The base load requirements must be covered, that’s obvious. But the concept of base load power plants is completely outdated. What is needed in the future is back-up capacity for solar and wind. Coal-powered plants are much too expensive to serve that purpose. The cost of capital is way too high and can’t be paid off in view of the diminishing full load hour output.
            Back-up capacity, which will be used only when there is no wind or sunshine, will consist of a variety of options, such as biomass, which is already at 6 GW output and can easily be increased to 20 GW output, . Pumped storage hydropower stations are another possibility, as are gas turbines with renewable gas.

            by Georg Bonsiepe on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 08:16:22 PM CET

            As to your question re the emissions, here's the original press release from the Bundesumweltamt (German Environmental Agency) referred to in the sources above:
            Emissions Trading: CO2 emissions fall in 2011 despite strong economy
            Nuclear phase-out has apparently been compensated for
            At 450 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, 1,640 power generation and industrial facilities required to participate in emissions trading in Germany emitted approximately one percent less climate-damaging CO2 in 2011 than in 2010. Despite a very strong economy and nuclear phase-out, the reduction of CO2 emissions has continued since 2008. According to preliminary calculations, CO2 emissions were especially reduced in the energy sector compared to 2010. In this sector, emission reductions are between two percent in large combustion facilities and six percent in smaller combustion facilities.
            Read the whole thing for more details at:
            http://www.umweltbundesamt.de/...

            I'll send you a personal invitation to participate in the next liveblog with Georg, so start writing down questions you want to ask him. In fact, you might want to put some of the sources I cite on your reading list, to "round out" your information on German energy policy, which is quite flawed, to say the least.

            „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

            by translatorpro on Mon May 07, 2012 at 03:54:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  pumped hydro is one of the best options. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              native, translatorpro, JeffW, rja

              It's firm & dispatchable power, which means it can be varied instantly to meet demand.  

              Wind + hydro is an unbeatable combination by whatever method, whether pumped hydro or some combination of wind and conventional hydro.  If wind turbines can be colocated with pumped hydro, it may also be more efficient to use wind power to directly operate mechanical pumps, thereby saving the loss at the conversion step from wind to electricity before the conversion to kinetic energy of pumping.  

              Utility-scale solar thermal with molten salt heat storage, converting heat to steam to drive conventional turbines, is another good one.

              There's another that's referred to as "gravitational storage" that basically consists of a deep vertical shaft that serves as the equivalent of a huge hydraulic cylinder, with a large mass that serves as a piston, and a fluid (typically water) that's pumped into the unit to raise the piston.  When the piston is allowed to fall, it forces the water in the column through a turbine to produce power.  Think of it as a giant mechanical capacitor that can be used in conjunction with wind or photovoltaic input.   At present this is at the planning stage only, and hasn't been built.  But it's all straightforward Newtonian physics so there's no good reason it shouldn't work.

              Biomass is interesting but has stockpiling issues and isn't exactly firm & dispatchable power, though it could probably be teamed up with any of a number of other storage systems to keep some kind of reserve online.

              And last but not least, the control systems for all of this need to be on private voice & data communication networks that are physically secure and physically separated from the internet, otherwise sooner or later they will become a target for a cyberattack.  

              Hydrogen is also a useful storage medium although the surface area of the storage container is an issue, and embrittlement of storage media is an issue.  

              All forms of energy conversion have entropic losses per the 2nd law of thermodynamics, but those losses can be minimized with efficient design, and the residual losses are more tolerable than CO2 in the atmosphere.

              Re. Georg, thanks & looking forward to it.  Actually if you announce it in a diary a day ahead here, with a reasonably descriptive title, you'll attract a lot of people with interest in energy policy.

              I'm not interested in being mean & ornery with him about whatever criticisms I might have (or think I have) about policy to date.  I'm much more interested in finding out what he & they have in mind going forward, particularly with regard to phasing out coal and building a reliable renewables-based grid.  

              To be really clear about this:  A few hundred more Fukushimas could hardly do the kind of damage to the ecosystems that we've already done with a century and a half of fossil fuels.  Coal is planetary enemy #1 and there is no time for fiddling while coal burns.  

              "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

              by G2geek on Mon May 07, 2012 at 06:03:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Germany is looking at all options for storage, (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Joieau, rja, PreciousLittle

                believe me, the German people are very thorough, and will leave no stone unturned in this matter. One thing that irritates me so much about the nonsense people post about Germany based on information gleaned from a newspaper article or two leaves out very basic, essential information about the whole picture - including how careful, precise and methodical the Germans are in their approach to EVERYTHING. It can be criticized, sure, but in some things those traits are indispensable and/or a huge advantage. The German people do not make policy - or anything else - in a half-baked way, and the people criticizing their energy policy totally miss this aspect. I think everyone agrees that Mercedes and BMW make fantastically engineered cars, and that Siemens makes excellent, high-quality products. How can you (generic) not get that the approach to energy efficiency will follow the same pattern?
                It's just logical.

                In any event, I will talk to Georg about the next liveblog. He said he only got to say about 1/3 of what he wanted to the last time, so there's lots more good information coming. Looking forward to you participating.

                „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

                by translatorpro on Mon May 07, 2012 at 08:15:40 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  TP, very generous invitation on your part! n/t (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Joieau, translatorpro
                •  And (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Roadbed Guy

                  they had a fantastically engineered, expertly maintained, and well-operated fleet of nuclear plants as well.

                  I don't think that anyone is questioning the engineering prowess of the Germans. It's their strategic thinking that is somewhat suspect, and in this realm, Germany's record is not so good.

                  Let's not forget that this is the country that, in the span of less than three decades, decided to invade Russia, not once, but twice! Well, we all see how that went. Jesus, you'd think they would have learned a thing or two from Napoleon a century earlier.

                  The Germans have a well-earned reputation of getting carried away emotionally and doubling-down on a bad idea. It is my opinion that the recent nuclear phase-out is yet another one of those times.

                  •  What are you equating with what? (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    translatorpro, Joieau

                    Bry you wrote:

                    The Germans have a well-earned reputation of getting carried away emotionally and doubling-down on a bad idea. It is my opinion that the recent nuclear phase-out is yet another one of those times.
                    Your comments about Germany are xenophobic, or worse. What is the preceding event, in German history, that you are equating with the recent phase-out of nuclear power? Is it the invasion of Russia, or is it something else?
                    •  Ridiculous, but that's his modus operandi: (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Joieau

                      Trying to sow seeds of doubt as to the sanity/rationality of the German people, and thus make people doubt the wisdom of their energy policy - very transparent, and ludicrous at this point, i.e. almost 70 years/3 generations after the end of WWII. He's a snake, and I've been a target of his contempt (yaay me! I'm quite proud of that :)) often enough that I see through his little games, and completely ignore him, never respond to his goading or jibes anymore. He's so not worth the energy (pun intended).

                      PS. Thanks for your encouragement. I'll also try to remember to send you an announcement of the next German Green Party liveblog, if you are interested.

                      „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

                      by translatorpro on Tue May 08, 2012 at 06:57:01 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  Wow. "G2G: A few hundred more"???? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Joieau

                WTF are you smoking?  Delusion much?

      •  You're not accounting for carbon credits (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        translatorpro, NYFM, Deep Texan, native, Joieau
        If they wanted to shut down nuclear in Germany, the way to do it is to build enough renewables to enable phasing out the nuclear plants one at a time.
        You're assuming that each country that phases out a nuclear power plant needs to replace it with renewables in that same country to be carbon neutral.

        The point of carbon trading is that it uses a market mechanism to require countries like Germany or Japan to replace that power somewhere on the planet  and it doesn't have to be renewables -- it could, eg, be newer, safer nuclear plants.

        Both Germany and Japan are purchasing carbon credits to offset the net increase if any in carbon emissions caused by taking their nuclear plants offline.

        •  You keep saying this (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JeffW
          Both Germany and Japan are purchasing carbon credits to offset the net increase if any in carbon emissions caused by taking their nuclear plants offline.
          But it's simply not true.  In fact, Japanese utilities are stopping to buy carbon credits to offset pre-Fukushima emissions, much less not buying them to offset the MASSIVE increase in emissions post-Fukushima:

          link

          •  Factually incorrect (6+ / 0-)

            Japan did not stop buying carbon credits.  Please stop repeating that misinformation.

            Drill down to the original sources, and the story is Tepco wrote a business plan that says for some time in the future it hasn't budgeted for the purchase of carbon credits.  Even the article you link to says Tepco to stop buying... not Tepco stopped buying.

            This is really an accounting gimmick on Tepco's part because it can't account for its clean up and other costs and carbon credit purchases, but this has no effect on the treaty commitments of the sovereign nation of Japan to meet its Kyoto targets which it is doing.

            •  They haven't stopped yet (maybe), but will after (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JeffW

              their treaty agreement ends in 2013.

              Since TEPCO began buying carbon credits in fiscal 2007, it bought 41.7 million tonnes of credits, representing about 40% of its annual CO2 emissions, during the four years up to fiscal 2010, spending 6.8 billion yen. However, the company failed to achieve the target of reducing CO2 emissions to 0.304 kg per kW hour or lower during the three consecutive years beginning 2008. TEPCO had planned to buy emission credits worth about 10 billion yen in fiscal 2011, but it has not confirmed whether it has bought any since the Mar 2011 disaster.

              The quantity of CO2 emissions in the country has increased since last year’s earthquake, because most of Japan’s NPPs, which helped in mitigating CO2 emissions, have been placed offline following the Mar 2011 disaster and routine inspections. This has resulted in increased dependence on thermal power plants, causing higher CO2 emissions.

              Why do you think that is? Maybe just maybe because they haven't?
              •  That's quite a glaring double standard... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Joieau, HamdenRice, translatorpro

                Don't you pro-nukers despise the kind of speculative "scare-mongering" you just resorted to in your foregoing comment? RBG, you said:

                They [Japan] haven't stopped [buying carbon credits] yet (maybe), but will after their treaty agreement ends in 2013.
                Now, don't get me wrong. Normally, I would compliment somebody for having the foresight whereby one envisions a future worst case scenario and one then suggests counter-measures to mitigate the situation before the worst comes to pass.

                However, you pro-nukers won't tolerate this commonsense practice when it's coming from critics of the nuclear industry. So, evidently, this is something that you guys permit when you're talking about the hazards of fossil fuel, but NOT when others are talking about the hazards of nuclear power. I guess it's different when you guys do it, just like so much else.

                •  An importance nuance is that it matters not (0+ / 0-)

                  one whit whether they buy the allowances or not.

                  They are utterlessly worthless towards their alleged goal of reducing emmissions.

                  •  There's no nuance to your scare-mongering. n/t (0+ / 0-)
                    •  I'm not scaremongering (0+ / 0-)

                      just reporting pre-Fukushima facts.

                      And if the carbon offsets had no effect then, really, what's the chance that they are now when there's not even any confirmation that the companies involved are even going through the charade any more?

                  •  So here's your chance to explain (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Joieau

                    why so many leading environmentalists, environmental NGOs, governments, inter-governmental organizations and the Obama administration are wrong about carbon credits and why they don't work.

                    Please be specific.  Because the reality based community spent a lot of time creating the system and say they system works.

                    We also have the example of a similar system reducing other emissions in the US that caused acid rain.

                    Again, just don't say your gut tells you that carbon trading doesn't work.

                    Provide some empirical data that carbon offsets don't work.

                    •  Sure, why don't they work? (0+ / 0-)

                      Well, for one, the scheme simply does not work:

                      Since TEPCO began buying carbon credits in fiscal 2007, it bought 41.7 million tonnes of credits, representing about 40% of its annual CO2 emissions, during the four years up to fiscal 2010, spending 6.8 billion yen. However, the company failed to achieve the target of reducing CO2 emissions to 0.304 kg per kW hour or lower during the three consecutive years beginning 2008
                      link

                      Note that that was BEFORE Fukushima, and the credits were largely a scam:

                      Unfortunately for Japan, and the climate, most of its CDM offsets come from non-additional Chinese hydropower projects (China is the largest offsets seller to Japan). This means that many of the offsets that Japan plans to use to meet its emissions reductions targets are just hot air. For instance, the CDM executive board recently rejected two non-additional emissions-cutting projects in China that were originally counted in the 95.8 million tonnes purchased by Japan.
                      link

                      So imagine that if legitimate credits couldn't be purchased in a down economy, how could they possibly be purchased in a recoverying economy during a time frame when global emissions are leaping ahead?

                      Bottom line - the increased emissions from the Fukushima aftermath are not being offset anywheres!! (if they are, I'm still waiting for a link!!).  In fact, Japan has pretty much officially given up on the entire charade:

                      Japan govt bought no U.N. carbon credits in 2011/12  

                      Quite frankly, I don't really blame them based on the fact that almost the entire carbon trading system if fraudulent: Carbon trading fraud accounts for 90% of all market activity in Europe

                      Here's another analysis Carbon emissions trading system 'seriously flawed' presciently presented a couple years before this happened:  Global Carbon Emissions Rose by Record Volume Last Year

                      In other words there is copious and undisputable "real world" evidence that the whole scheme is completely and utterly ineffective.

                      •  You're demonstrating you don't understand carbon (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Joieau

                        credits.

                        Just to give you an egregious example:

                        Since TEPCO began buying carbon credits in fiscal 2007, it bought 41.7 million tonnes of credits, representing about 40% of its annual CO2 emissions, during the four years up to fiscal 2010, spending 6.8 billion yen. However, the company failed to achieve the target of reducing CO2 emissions to 0.304 kg per kW hour or lower during the three consecutive years beginning 2008
                        This demonstrates a complete lack of understanding.  The point of Japan buying carbon credits isn't to "achieve the target of reducing CO2 emissions" in Japan.  

                        The point of Japan buying carbon credits is precisely because they couldn't meet their CO2 emissions targets in Japan and bought credits to meet them through reductions elsewhere.

                        If you can't "get" this, you can't "get" the system.

                        International carbon credits were not intended to help buyers achieve targets in their own countries.

                        They are intended to force buyers to achieve the global target when they can't achieve the targets in their own countries.

                        You've got cause and effect exactly backwards.

                        So the fact that Japan has consistently found it more difficult than Germany to reduce emissions in Japan has forced Japan to pump billions of yen/dollars into offsetting projects in places where it is much cheaper to achieve reductions in global carbon emissions -- windfarms in Bulgaria, LED street lighting in India, even the development of newer nuclear power plants.

                        And because a central UN data center checks on, and classifies, and certifies, the carbon reduction claims of the project, we have a high degree of certainty that for every extra ton of carbon emitted in Japan, and for which Japan bought carbon credits, a ton somewhere was prevented from being emitted.

                        More evidence you basically don't understand the system at all:

                        Japan govt bought no U.N. carbon credits in 2011/12

                        That's an article about the government of Japan not buying carbon credits.  That's because the obligation to buy carbon credits is distributed between government, power plants and industry.

                        You continue to misquote and misconstrue the very articles you link to.  The government of Japan didn't need to buy credits because it had already bought 97% of the carbon credits it had been scheduled to buy for 2011-2012.  But as you conveniently left out, the article also says:

                        Big manufacturers in Japan, such as regional power companies and steelmakers, are also major buyers of Kyoto emissions offsets from abroad as each industrial sector has a self-pledged target for reducing emissions over the five-year period.

                        Many power generators are under growing pressure to buy more Kyoto emissions offsets, although a fall in prices recently failed to inspire buying in the sector amid uncertainty over government policy, traders said.

                        So while the government of Japan has almost fully "funded" already its failure to meet Kyoto emission standards (or 97% funded) by buying carbon credits, TEPCO is still on the hook and under pressure to buy more credits because of the decision to shut down the nuclear reactors.  If TEPCO can't afford to do so, depending on domestic Japanese law, the government of Japan may have to step in and buy those credits for TEPCO.

                        You also demonstrate that you completely don't understand the difference between carbon credits, which countries like Japan have to purchase because they don't meet their goals and which reduce CO2 emissions elsewhere, and carbon permits which are permits to emit CO2 in the home country -- such a fundamental lack of understanding that it means you basically don't understand emissions regulation at all.  Here's the article you erroneously linked to:

                        http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

                        The system of trading carbon emissions at the heart of the ambitious low-carbon plan announced by the government last week is seriously flawed and close to becoming irrelevant, according to researchers behind a new analysis.

                        So-called "hot air" carbon credits – those which do not result in any actual emissions cuts – could be so numerous that companies covered by the EU Emissions Trading Scheme would not have to make any cuts to their own emissions until 2015, ...

                        Can you see how the "hot air" credits in Britain, which are permits to allow British companies to emit CO2 and "do not result in any actual emissions cuts" are completely different from carbon credits which represent decreases in emissions, mostly in developing countries, which countries buy when they can't meet their emissions targets?

                        If not then I'm not sure you're yet able to engage in meaningful informed debate.

                        To put it another way, you may have heard that a shorthand for the carbon trading system is "cap and trade."

                        The Guardian article you cited is about a problem in the British market for "cap" permits. (This problem was basically caused by the recession and a decrease in demand for the right to emit carbon.)

                        I've been writing about the international "trade" in emissions reductions -- the trade part of the "cap and trade" which is a completely different kind of credit in  the system.

                        I would suggest that rather than continuing to have a gut reaction against cap and trade and looking for random verbiage that you think might support your position, you spend some time trying to understand how the system actually works, and then think about what your informed opinion is.

                        •  None of that addresses the simple question (0+ / 0-)

                          that I've been asking, which is "post-Fukushima, how much if any of the massive increase in fossil fuel use in Japan has been offset by reductions elsewhere"? as you claim has happened.

                          Until you provide a link for that, I'll have to assume that the answer is zero (since Japan couldn't even meet it's Kyoto treaty obligations before that).

                          •  You still simply don't understand. Consider coffee (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Joieau

                            Let's say that we were talking about "fair trade coffee" from Africa (which I think is a good idea).

                            It's impossible for me as a consumer to go to Kenya or Uganda and inspect every farm for fair practices in hiring employees, use of pesticides, the take of middle men, etc.

                            So the fair trade coffee system relies on local monitors to do that.  International inspectors go there to make sure that the local inspection system works well and accurately.

                            If I run a small coffee house in Seattle that only buys fair trade coffee from Africa, I have to rely on this system.  

                            What you're asking is, show me the specific farm in the Uganda or the Kenya highlands where the coffee is grown and give me the name of the farmer.

                            By the time the coffee arrives in sacks in Seattle, it's a commodity -- a mix of fair trade coffee from hundreds of farms in several countries.

                            The system for certifying carbon reduction projects is like that.  Japanese TEPCO officials rely on the United Nations registry to make sure the projects reduce carbon.

                            You cited one example of a Chinese project that was rejected -- and you cited it as an example of why the system doesn't work.

                            In fact it was an example of why the system worked -- namely that after TEPCO bought emission reductions credits, it was determined that the project was pre-existing and didn't qualify.  TEPCO has to buy other credits and hopefully will get its money back.

                            The system obviously works.

                            That's how we know tons of carbon are taken out by the credits which are a financial commodity -- not because TEPCO went to every wind farm in Bulgaria, every solar panel in Botswana, every township house put on the grid in South Africa.

                            As for your preposterous claim that the system is full fraud, based on a Telegraph article, you realize (I hope) that the Telegraph doesn't believe in global warming at all, so of course to them, carbon credits are all fraudulent; but even that article only pointed to some tax cheating, not to actual fraud in the system working.  If you're going to cite the Telegraph are you going to stand by these articles in that paper as well?:

                            Wind farms can cause climate change, finds new study

                            Wind farms can cause climate change, according to new research, that shows for the first time the new technology is already pushing up temperatures.

                            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/...

                            Is the global warming scare the greatest delusion in history?

                            The scare over man-made global warming is not only the scientific scandal of our generation, but a suicidal flight from reality.

                            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/...

                            Climate scientists are losing the public debate on global warming

                            Green campaigners and climate scientists are losing the public debate over global warming, one of the movement's leading proponents has admitted.

                            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/...

                            Himalayan glaciers growing despite global warming
                            Glaciers in parts of the greater Himalayas are growing despite the worldwide trend of ice melting due to warmer temperatures, a study has found.

                            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/...

                          •  About those block quotes (0+ / 0-)

                            the first one was the subject of a diary right here at DailyKos on the consensus was that the information was on the up and up.

                            The second one is a bit bizarre, probably why it was in the "opinion" section.

                            The third one, sadly enough, is true - climate scientists * are * losing the debate.  Which isn't really their fault, they can't compete with Big Oil (et al)'s tens of million dollar propaganda machine, but still, they are losing.

                            And finally, isn't the fourth quote exactly why they opted to call it "climate change" not "warming"?

                        •  In a way, this issue seems to be completely (0+ / 0-)

                          unresolvable based on information currently available on the internet.

                          For example, indications are (but no firm data) that TEPCO has stopped buying offsets and so has the Japanese government (which you seem to indicate will/should step in and pick up the slack).  

                          Thus, we'll just have to wait until the data for carbon emissions for the year 2011 are out to see if somehow Japan's massively increased carbon emissions were offset elsewhere (which you claim happened) or whether they were not (which I am almost certain is the case).  It seems like it takes until late fall for this data to come up for the previous year.  But I will not forget, I'll be going through it eagerly - especially looking at your (unattributed!!) countries like India and Bulgaria to see a huge plummet in their emissions . . . .

                          •  Also keep in mind the time lag (0+ / 0-)

                            As I said in my original comment, this will be a rigorous test of the system -- I didn't say I could predict the future and that I know that the end result will be carbon neutral.

                            But I am reasonably certain that the system works, the monitoring and certification system are honest, and that Japan as a collective entity -- both the government and TEPCO -- have to buy emission offsets or violate the treaty.  And I don't think that Japan, which after all hosted Kyoto and has a lot invested politically in it, is going to violate the treaty.  If they're not going to violate the treaty, they they are going to buy offsets.

                            What I don't understand about the opposition to this system among pro-nuke posters is, the system is likely to encourage the construction of newer, state of the art, safer nuclear plants, in places where such plants are politically palatable, as part of the emissions reduction trading system.

                            Can anyone explain why from the pro nuke position, that's such a horrible thing????

                          •  My opposition is simply because it does not work (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bryfry

                            carbon emissions haven't slowed at all.

                            What is the saying "the proof is in the pudding" or something like that . . .. ?

                    •  Oh, I think that there are plenty of reasons (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      SpeedyGonzales, Roadbed Guy, Mcrab

                      to oppose carbon credits on moral grounds, especially when this is the result:

                      KICUCULA, Uganda – According to the company's proposal to join a United Nations clean-air program, the settlers living in this area left in a peaceful and voluntary manner.

                      ... According to a report released by the aid group Oxfam on Wednesday, more than 20,000 people say they were evicted from their homes here in recent years to make way for a tree plantation run by a British forestry company, emblematic of a global scramble for arable land. ...

                      The case twists around an emerging multibillion-dollar market trading carbon-credits under the Kyoto Protocol, which contains mechanisms for outsourcing environmental protection to developing nations.

                      The company involved, New Forests Company, grows forests in African countries with the purpose of selling credits from the carbon-dioxide its trees soak up to polluters abroad. Its investors include the World Bank, through its private investment arm, and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, HSBC.

                      What a wonderful program!! I'm sure the Germans must be proud that they are reducing their carbon emissions with this accounting trick, rather than letting their nuclear plants — which have an impeccable safety record and zero carbon emissions, by the way — continue to run.

                      What are the lives of 20,000 lowly Ugandans compared to the warm, smug feeling of satisfaction enjoyed by "Green" extremists? Way to go Germany!

                      We've already outsourced the majority of manufacturing to China, so why not outsource the environmental suffering to Africa? After all we've got a multibillion-dollar market to support here, along with the naivete of those claiming that Germany is somehow "reducing" its carbon footprint.

                      Quid novi ex Africa

                      by bryfry on Tue May 08, 2012 at 08:56:47 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Nukes never displaced anyone, Chernobyl,Fukushima (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Russgirl, Joieau, translatorpro

                        At this point most DKers just point and laugh at your comments.  The fact that one project in Uganda displaced people has no bearing on the larger issue.

                        Moreover this is borderline insane:

                        so why not outsource the environmental suffering to Africa?
                        So reforestation, putting poor people who had to inhale burning wood and cow dung on the electrical grid, financing hydro electric projects in Lesotho, sponsoring low cost solar panels in villages too far to link to the grid, expanding solar powered wireless communications on crop prices, providing LED lighting in India, all these things are "outsourcing suffering"?

                        That's idiotic.  No other word for it.

                        The carbon trading system is enabling Africa to avoid making the mistakes the West made and China is making, just as coming late to telecommunications enabled them to jump straight to cheap digital wireless without having to go through decades of copper landlines.

                        Posts of these like yours are automatically self discrediting.

                      •  Yes, carbon credits do seem to involve (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        bryfry

                        accounting tricks more often than one might like to think.

                        Here's a similar story from the other side of the planet (there's no people harmed really, just an illustration of how the whole thing is based on fantasy more than reality).

      •  ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW, Joieau

        http://www.cbc.ca/...

        Merkel's government ordered the country's seven oldest reactors, built before 1980, shut down four days after the Fukushima incident. The plants, which will now remain offline, accounted for about 40 per cent of the country's nuclear power capacity.
        Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2010 had pushed through measures to extend the lifespan of the country's 17 reactors with the last one scheduled to go offline in 2036, but she reversed her policy in the wake of the disaster.
        So they shut down the 7 oldest and left 10 on ?

        "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

        by indycam on Mon May 07, 2012 at 08:49:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You may want to read my detailed post (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joieau, PreciousLittle

      about the latest CO2 figures coming from Germany in the last few weeks before passing judgment.

      „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

      by translatorpro on Mon May 07, 2012 at 02:39:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  as for Germany (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      translatorpro

      There's conflicting information on that subject. You may not like this source, but please consider the primary source.

      http://cleantechnica.com/...

      Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

      by Just Bob on Tue May 08, 2012 at 12:08:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good riddance. Cannot wait to see San Onofre shut (11+ / 0-)

    down. My MIL lives approx 10 miles away. I am no longer buying what they are selling after Fukushima.

    if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

    by mrsgoo on Sun May 06, 2012 at 11:29:26 PM PDT

  •  The nuclear shutdowns are carbon neutral (4+ / 0-)

    At least on paper they are, and this could be an interesting test of the only economic regulatory system the world's governments have put in place to deal with carbon emissions.

    So far, both Germany and Japan are complying with the Kyoto Protocols and the emerging system of carbon credit trading.

    While it is true that their shutting down nuclear plants and turning to gas and coal has caused them to increase their carbon emissions locally, under the system they subscribe to they have had to purchase, on a ton-by-ton basis exactly offsetting carbon credits.

    That means that for every increase in carbon emissions in Germany and Japan, there has to be an exactly offsetting decrease in carbon emissions somewhere else on the planet.

    This also means that shutting down the aging nuclear plants means rapid adoption of newer carbon decreasing technology elsewhere.

    In fact, if you're pro-nuke, this may mean financing for  rapid construction of newer nuclear plants elsewhere.

    This will be the most important test of whether carbon trading works -- the actual measurement of the decreases in emissions elsewhere and how they were achieved.

    Interestingly, here on DK, virtually everyone on both sides of the nuke debates thinks carbon trading is a "scam" or doesn't work -- but no one presents empirical evidence of even a convincing explanation of why.

    Well, now we'll have that empirical evidence.

    •  If you read the other posts, (5+ / 0-)

      and there aren't all that many of them, you would see that Germany did not increase their CO2 emssions, but absolutely the opposite is true: I provide plenty of sources confirming that Germany has reduced CO2 emissions in spite of shutting down 8 nuclear power plants.

      „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

      by translatorpro on Mon May 07, 2012 at 04:31:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes I know (4+ / 0-)

        I'll check your diaries.  But my understanding is that Germany was already well under its Kyoto targets so it had some "slack" to take the nukes off line without buying as many carbon credits as the nuclear plants saved.

        Japan is not in the same position and Tepco has hinted that it can't in the long term buy enough credits to offset taking all of its nuclear plants offline -- but then Tepco can't unilaterally break the treaty undertakings of Japan.  I think the Tepco signal about carbon credits was more about accounting tricks than anything.

        •  Yes, thank you. But I meant comments above, (7+ / 0-)

          in this diary. Sorry, I'm not a diary writer, but comment consistently about German energy policy backed by loads of sources because  of the utter nonsense that I see here about it so much of the time.

          You are right, Germany has beaten the Kyoto targets consistently for years, however the pro-nukes always use the argument that Germany pushed for the baseline year of 1991 (or thereabouts) because East Germany was so polluted at the time, and cleaning up the former GDR supposedly gave them a huge advantage in improving their numbers. I never researched that, but considering it is now 20 years on, that argument is patently ridiculous, but they still bring it up. That's one of the reasons I rarely mention the Kyoto targets in the same breath with Germany, because of the same ol', same ol' crap that this brings up.

          With Japan, you are right, too, that that is an entirely different kettle of fish, but I don't follow their energy policy as I do Germany's because I've lived and worked in Germany for years and get really disgusted by the lies and fact-bending "information" I see here on that country. So I work on correcting the misinformation esp. in regard to energy policy, as in this thread.

          „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

          by translatorpro on Mon May 07, 2012 at 05:04:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Emissions from electricity greneration (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bryfry

        in Germany are up thanks increased fossil fuel use due to the braindead decision to shut down nuclear powerplants.
        However, emissions in other areas went down more than electricity went up, so the total is slightly down.

        •  Don't forget (0+ / 0-)

          The old oil-burning plant in Austria that the Germany had pulled out of mothballs last winter to meet their electricity needs when the weather turned cold. Yeah, it's part of Germany's "cold reserve," which we can expect to become a regular feature each winter going forward in Germany's energy portfolio.

        •  Wrong. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HamdenRice
          Less greenhouse gases with less nuclear energy
          Overall emissions in Germany drop by some 2 per cent over previous year

          Greenhouse gas emissions levels dropped in Germany in 2011 once again, as current calculations by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) prove. Emissions of carbon dioxide and methane in particular continued to decline. The greater use of renewable energies has had a positive effect on the emissions development trend. In contrast, the level of fluorinated gases, or so-called F-gases, remained largely constant, with an increase in nitrous oxide, in part due to the greater use of fertilizers. Some 917 million tonnes of greenhouse gases were emitted to the atmosphere in 2011. “The decline in emissions shows that Germany is serious about its commitments. The goals of the Kyoto Protocol can be reached even if nuclear energy phase-out is accelerated, a fact which has often been cast into doubt“, explains UBA President Jochen Flasbarth. Additional measures are necessary, however, to reach the climate goals. For one, the number of CO2 allowances should be reduced by toughening Europe’s climate protection target and moving forward on remediating the energy supply in building stock. To clarify the figures: the current data reflect absolute emission volumes. The Federal Environment Agency mandate does not allow for making statistical adjustments to account for factors such as the influence of temperature or the state of the economy.

          http://www.umweltbundesamt.de/...

          And before you cast more stones, I suggest you check the numbers for emissions on a per capita basis:
          http://www.ucsusa.org/...

          Now tell us again how badly Germany/the EU is doing when compared to the US? And the US never even signed the Kyoto Treaty, I wonder why that is?

          „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

          by translatorpro on Tue May 08, 2012 at 02:56:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Where is SG wrong? (0+ / 0-)

            SpeedyGonzales wrote:

            Emissions from electricity greneration in Germany are up thanks increased fossil fuel use due to the braindead decision to shut down nuclear powerplants.
            This is supported by your reference, which says:
            CO2 emissions declined by 2.4 per cent compared to 2010. This significant decrease owes largely to lower demand for heating energy as a result of milder weather. ... emissions from electricity production rose only slightly
            So emissions from electricity production did rise in 2011, as stated above. This is despite the fact that electricity production in Germany dropped by 2.5% in 2011 and electricity exports from Germany decreased.

            Keep in mind, however, that I wouldn't give these numbers too much credit, since they're not based on actual figures.

            The current emissions figures for Germany derive from a system of model extrapolations and trend predictions based on the detailed calculations for 2010 which were published in January.
            Even the models predict that emissions from electricity production rose. We'll see what the real figures are when the finally come in.
            And before you cast more stones, I suggest you check the numbers for emissions on a per capita basis:
            Those numbers are from 2008 (three years before the recent phaseout), not 2011, but if you want to go with that, I note that per capita emissions from Germany are 55% higher than its neighbor France, which relies heavily on nuclear energy. And that's before Germany made the foolish move of shutting down its nuclear plants.

            Heck of a job Germany!

            Quid novi ex Africa

            by bryfry on Tue May 08, 2012 at 04:29:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  In reality the nuclear shutdowns are FAR (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      erush1345, SpeedyGonzales

      from carbon neutral:

      Fossil Fuel Imports, Use Soar as Japan's Nuclear Fleet Sits Idle

      That's the thing about reality, it tends to bite you on the ass if you're stuck in some bizarre theoretical world about how things "should" work . . .

      •  And your empirical proof (4+ / 0-)

        that these emissions have not been offset by reductions elsewhere?

        You seem to be writing from "gut instinct" or "faith," but I don't see you actually proving that carbon offsets don't, uh, offset carbon.

        •  You're really tossing up some softballs today (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          erush1345

          Shouldn't the proof be on you, since you are so confident that this has happened, to specify where these reductions have taken place?

          Especially with global carbon output racing ahead massively:

          Carbon Emissions Show Biggest Jump Ever Recorded

          Just where are these mythical reductions you speak of taking place?  I am incredibly curious about that!!!

          •  Carbon emission increases are from non-signatories (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Deep Texan, Joieau, PreciousLittle

            but you knew that because we've been through this before.

            •  No, I don't know that (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              erush1345

              all I know is that you keep saying things w/o providing any links.

              But there has to be some irony in all of this someplace:

              Unfortunately for Japan, and the climate, most of its CDM offsets come from non-additional Chinese hydropower projects (China is the largest offsets seller to Japan). This means that many of the offsets that Japan plans to use to meet its emissions reductions targets are just hot air. For instance, the CDM executive board recently rejected two non-additional emissions-cutting projects in China that were originally counted in the 95.8 million tonnes purchased by Japan.
              link

              heh hehe heheh eh meh - so Japan is buying offsets from China - the country with the most massive carbon increase ever?  And you're using that to make the point that Japan's carbon emissions are being offset elsewhere?  

              funny, funny stuff!!!

              •  Then I guess you don't understand emissions (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Joieau, PreciousLittle, Russgirl

                China is a very large emitter of CO2.  It also has one of the biggest programs for the development of solar power, hydro electric and new nuclear power.

                You don't seem to realize that whatever their baseline CO2 emissions are, the more they reduce them, and replace them with low or no carbon producing energy, the less CO2 globally is produced.

                Obviously the places that are the dirtiest are the easiest to clean up.  That's the whole point of an auction for carbon credits -- it allocates money for reducing emissions in the most efficient possible manner.  

                Would you rather than China not reduce emissions?  Is that your point?

                That's like looking at the crime reductions in NYC in the 1990s and saying hahaha -- NY had high crime and so what they cut that crime rate by 90%!!!

                You simply aren't making sense or are being deliberately obtuse.

          •  ie NET carbon emission increases nt (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Deep Texan, PreciousLittle, Russgirl
  •  Yeah, my employer once cut their power use (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy, bryfry, Russgirl

    They sent their manufacturing operations to Taiwan & China.

    That sure cut down on the pollution they generated in the US.

    •  Yes, heh hehe hhe, that's largely how (0+ / 0-)

      the vaunted German emission cuts also took place . . .  shut down all the massively inefficient East German industry and viola, problem solved!  

      •  Bullshit. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Russgirl

        „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

        by translatorpro on Mon May 07, 2012 at 05:56:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Really?? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          erush1345

          Then you really ought to go fix Wikipedia (anyone can do it, you know!)

          Base year

          The choice of the 1990 main base year remains in Kyoto, as it does in the original Framework Convention. The desire to move to historical emissions was rejected on the basis that good data was not available prior to 1990. The 1990 base year also favoured several powerful interests including the UK, Germany and Russia (Liverman, 2008, p. 12).[25] This is because the UK and Germany had high CO2 emissions in 1990.

          In the UK following 1990, emissions had declined because of a switch from coal to gas ("Dash for Gas"), which has lower emissions than coal. This was due to the UK's privatization of coal mining and its switch to natural gas supported by North sea reserves. Germany benefitted from the 1990 base year because of its reunification between West and East Germany. East Germany's emissions fell dramatically following the collapse of East German industry after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Germany could therefore take credit for the resultant decline in emissions.

          •  That was more than 20 years ago, and isn't (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joieau, PreciousLittle, Russgirl

            relevant to now. You keep bringing up the same ol' crap from two decades ago every time this subject comes up. I know that you have a personal grudge against Germany and waste no chance to trash that country, no matter for what reason. If you bothered to open your mind a bit and try really hard to read the sources to the comments I posted in various places in this diary, you might learn that Germany is not the big bad boogeyman you like to think it is, whatever your beef is.

            I would suggest the US - and I think President Obama realizes it - could benefit from some of the environmental policies that Germany has had in place for years. After all, our native country is the world's biggest polluter and emitter of GHG (or at least has been until recently, China is in first place now, I believe) so I think it would be an excellent idea for you to clean up your own backyard instead of throwing stones from a glass house.  I happen to like living in Germany, where my standard of living is quite a bit higher than it would be in the US, the streets, water and air are clean, and I have decent healthcare and enjoy other benefits, even if the taxes would fell an ox. I can sleep at night knowing that no matter how poor a person is, they have options that are not available - to our shame - in my native country.  

            „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

            by translatorpro on Mon May 07, 2012 at 07:44:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  OK, lets talk about recent times (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              translatorpro, SpeedyGonzales

              looks like you got lucky:

              However, emissions from the electricity sector increased by 2-6% during 2011, the agency said, while Germany's energy situation was supported by a mild winter that reduced demand for heating by around 9% with significant drops in demand for gas and heating oil for this purpose.
              link

              just saying, luck doesn't always last forever . . .

              •  It has nothing to do with luck, RG. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Joieau, PreciousLittle

                It has everything to do with a strong commitment to clean energy and protecting the environment for future generations. Thank you for at least trying to be a little more open-minded than you have demonstrated in the past.

                „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

                by translatorpro on Mon May 07, 2012 at 08:19:23 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, your country was lucking because (0+ / 0-)

                  apparently you had a warm winter that more than offset the increased emissions from the generation of electricity.

                  The point being, it is pure insanity from a global climate change perspective to shut down perfectly safe, well run nuclear power plants in favor of increased fossil fuel use.

                  Even if that fossil fuel use is * partially * compensated for herculean efforts (efforts, btw, that really are not possible by any other country in today's economy - even though, as I point out below, even the USA is doing OK by Germany's standards in that respect).

                  •  Is "lucking" a word, ugh I think not. (0+ / 0-)
                  •  I am an AMERICAN citizen, RG. How often do I have (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Joieau, Russgirl, PreciousLittle

                    to mention this? Jeebus. And remember, Europe had a record cold spell this past winter, actually, when Germany exported a bunch of energy to help keep nuclear-powered France's citizens from freezing to death?

                    http://www.dailykos.com/...

                    The German Spiegel Online Magazine is reporting that France - with its 59 nuclear reactors - is currently having to import up to 7 GW of electricity a day, with 3 GW of that coming from a Germany that just switched off half of its nuke plants.

                    „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

                    by translatorpro on Mon May 07, 2012 at 08:34:26 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Hmmm, I thought you were in Germany? (0+ / 0-)

                      If you opt to live there, isn't that essentially "your country"?

                      Or do you get to pick and choose, depending on the point you wish to make?  (geez, I crack myself up sometimes since it's so obviously the latter  . . .. . ).

                      In any event, I think we're talking about different winters.

                      It will be interesting to see if the trends seen for the winter of 2011 (that I referenced) are reflected for the winter of 2012 (which I think you were referring to) when the data comes out.

          •  PS. That same Wikipedia article also says: (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joieau, PreciousLittle, Russgirl

            http://en.wikipedia.org/...

            Top ten emitters
            What follows is a ranking of the world's top ten emitters of GHGs for 2005 (MNP, 2007).[56] The first figure is the country's or region's emissions as a percentage of the global total. The second figure is the country's/region's per-capita emissions, in units of tons of GHG per-capita:
            China1 – 17%, 5.8
            United States3 – 16%, 24.1
            European Union-273 – 11%, 10.6
            Indonesia2 – 6%, 12.9
            India – 5%, 2.1
            Russia3 – 5%, 14.9
            Brazil – 4%, 10.0
            Japan3 – 3%, 10.6
            Canada3 – 2%, 23.2
            Mexico – 2%, 6.4
            Look at those per capita numbers, dude. Then tell me again how horrible Germany/Europe is in working to change things for the better.

            „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

            by translatorpro on Mon May 07, 2012 at 07:49:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oooohhhhh, you know how to play with statistics! (0+ / 0-)

              Very nice, let's carry on and - as you request - focus on more recent times.

              For example from the year 2000 onwards (to mitigate my egregious mention of "shutting down inefficient East German industry).

              from these stats the USA has reduced per capita emissions by 2.5 metric tons of CO2 per capita per year while Germany has only reduced theirs by 0.5 metric tons.

              So, we're 5 times better than you.  Who'd have ever thunk it?

  •  Population control!!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    billmosby

    We really must come to grips with the 7 BILLION people on this planet. This is the driving force behind ALL of mankinds problems from energy, food, trash disposal and even war.

    No, I am not advocating abortions or murder. Just prudent use of birth control and advocating smaller families. I had just one child who is well adjusted and a great joy. I just wish others would recognize the need. I worry about the world he is inheritting.

    •  "Population control through nuclear pollution" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joieau

      "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

      by indycam on Mon May 07, 2012 at 08:41:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, (3+ / 0-)

        when the #4 SFP collapses and burns, the entire reservation will have to be abandoned - including reactors 5 & 6 and their SFPs as well as the common SFP with more than 11,000 assemblies, there will be some considerable culling of the herds. Particularly north of the equator in first world nations like the US, Canada, Europe and Asia. Most or all of Japan, Korea, Taiwan and goodly portions of the Philippines and China would (properly) have to be evacuated. They won't do that, of course, so the populations to be sacrificed have already been written off as expendable.

        So not to worry. That little problem has already been planned and implemented. It just gets to play out over the next 1-3 decades.

        Deal is, it's not the populous third world where families earn maybe $150 a year and most don't even have electricity who will suffer the most 'attrition' due to The Grand Nuking of Earth. Then again, they live and die pretty much the way people have been doing it for thousands of years. Which means their non-consumption of electricity - from any source - makes then NOT part of the problem with electricity, eh?

        •  So how are your Fukushima-irradiated (0+ / 0-)

          vegetables doing these days in North Carolina?

          In any event, I trust that they are at high enough elevations to at least still exist.

          Unlike the situation in Florida, which will be entirely underwater in the next 200 years due to carbon dioxide-mediated global warming . . . (which, btw, I'm highly in favor of, it just seems unseemly that somebody who cares much more about people than I do - such as yourself - would see eye to eye with me on this!).

          •  It is literally impossible (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Russgirl, PreciousLittle

            for nuclear to have any impact on global warming. There isn't enough money in the entire world to build the 20 plants a week or so that would be needed to replace coal plants plus any growth that might happen to happen somewhere, within 50 years. Heck all your favorite "Newer! Better! Cheaper!" Gen-IVs are still in the planning stages, couldn't possibly be deployed in any real capacity before next century.

            Y'all are just trying hard to hang on to the ~11-20% capacity (in already big-nuclear countries) as the plants age and/or get shut down for melting and exploding or blowing steam tubes or cracked containments or... rust. That's not going to happen either as nuclear nations turn instead to renewables.

            It is clear that if the water's going to rise, it'll rise. Rather than spend what little money any nation's got left to further enrich the parasitic nuclear industry to maybe possibly hope to build a handful of plants somewhere in the world maybe someday, that money would be better spent tapping kinetic resources and moving infrastructure and people uphill. Or we can just wait and let people figure it out for themselves, most people are bright enough to go uphill when the water rises. Heck, even the .1% won't be able to stay the flood at their beach mansions, no matter how many poor people they think they can stack up to form dikes. Besides, what good is a beach mansion without a beach?

            Or they could just walk away when Fuku #4 goes down, let the entire reservation (plus the 4 damaged plants at Daini) go ahead and spew everything they've got. Then we'll never have to worry about rising water or new nukes, or even those horrifying wind and solar spills. Because there won't be anybody left in 15 years or so...

            •  That's very interesting!! (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bryfry, Mcrab

              Specifically this:

              It is literally impossible for nuclear to have any impact on global warming
              Shutting down Japan's nukes has the same impact on carbon emissions as the ENTIRE OUTPUT OF ALBERTA's TARSANDS.

              And I've been told over and over at this site that that clusterfuck comprise a GAME OVER scenario wrt global climate change.

              Sometimes I wonder if people have any capacity at all to think things true since BOTH THINGS obviously cannot  be true at the same time . ..

          •  Oh, and my vegetables (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Roadbed Guy, Russgirl, PreciousLittle

            are edible this year, spring crops doing fine in beds I allowed to fallow last year so the weeds (I've got some impressive weeds) and grass would absorb as much cesium and strontium as possible. Turned them over the winter and removed said weeds and their extensive roots, threw them down the mountain drain path where I put last spring's green leafies (contaminated with iodine-plus) and 2011's leaf fall.

            Early turning allowed early spring rains to do their thing - I have excellent drainage, thanks. All beds and terraces in production are reading no higher than background now, though the drainage pathways are still reading high. Someday I might plant horseradish to clean 'em out, but eventually it'll all cycle out and end up at the bottom of the mountain. This is a far, far more sheltered spot than anywhere in the flatlands near Charlotte or Raleigh, where initial RadNet readings were so high EPA took 'em off-line (and didn't put 'em back). Of course, I figure that happened when their local nukes took the opportunity to dump their waste gas storage tanks.

            All I got was Fuku fallout, don't have any nukes upwind for 150 miles. USDA did change my growing zone this year to account for the fact that we haven't had "last freeze" on May 10 (previous zone) for more than 40 years. The 2-year old peach that volunteered from the compost bin is loaded big time. Hope that makes up for the grapes, lost the entire crop because it flowered 6 weeks early and THEN it froze. You'll have this...

    •  I was watching Fareed Zakaria's (0+ / 0-)

      most recent show in which he advocated for people to start having 4 or 5 kids again to fix Social Security. Or maybe it was one of the people he had on, I can't quite remember.

      Moderation in most things.

      by billmosby on Mon May 07, 2012 at 02:04:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ugh (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        billmosby

        Just one set of Baby Boomers is more than I can stomach.

        No thanks.

        •  It occurred to me the other day (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bryfry

          that the baby boom itself, the cause of so many problems, was the result of families having 4 or 5 children each. I oughta know, I was born in '49.

          Moderation in most things.

          by billmosby on Mon May 07, 2012 at 04:14:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, keep in mind (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            billmosby

            that the number of children per family is only part of the equation. The Baby Boom generation came along at the same time that medicine was making great strides in reducing (and sometimes eliminating) the diseases that used to kill many children before they had a chance to become adults. Polio is probably the most famous example, but it's hardly the only one.

            •  A number of my ancestors had so many (0+ / 0-)

              kids that they ran out of names and started calling them by their birth months. That was in the 18th and 19th centuries. I don't have all that much information on their survival rates, though.

              Moderation in most things.

              by billmosby on Tue May 08, 2012 at 10:14:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Occasionally (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                billmosby

                I visit the old cemetery that contains some of my relatives and some of my ancestors. One of the branches on my family tree still holds family reunions near there every year.

                The oldest graves date from (probably) the early nineteenth century — when the area was first settled — but they are unmarked, the makeshift tombstones having worn away long ago. The only evidence to mark their existence is the depressions in the ground formed when the pine coffins finally decayed away and collapsed. Most of the "newer" graves are from about 100 years ago, and its amazing to notice how many children were laid to rest in that little plot of land. It really is a collection of the very old and the very young.

                Quid novi ex Africa

                by bryfry on Tue May 08, 2012 at 10:46:50 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  So, you can't "stomach" yourself bry. Knew it. n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  Thank You - N/T (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PreciousLittle, Joieau

    "Upward, not Northward" - Flatland, by EA Abbott

    by linkage on Mon May 07, 2012 at 09:32:43 PM PDT

  •  Harvey, of course, is wrong. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy

    The French SP at worse is "considering" reducing nuclear to "50%" from it's current 79%. That's over 30 years. They will be building more nuclear plants beyond the 2 under construction now in France.

    There are far more countries considering building or expanding nulcear energy than those considering phasing it out. Even some countries, like Belgium and Switzerland, are giving themselves decades of wiggle room to reconsider.

    German natural gas is hear to stay. It's a huge investment in dozens of gas turbines. They are using fossil to phase out nuclear. This is ass-backward. The gas will be used until it runs out. They've increased use of soft coal. This is called a bridge technology. Bridges last hundreds of years. Dumb.

    Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

    by davidwalters on Tue May 08, 2012 at 07:35:01 AM PDT

  •  Oh, look...the 'death' of nuclear... (0+ / 0-)

    Preparations for the construction of two new light water reactors at Shin Ulchin have been marked by a visit to the site by South Korea's president Lee Myung-bak.
    Shin Ulchin grounbreaking (Cheong Wa Dae)_380
    Celebrations at Shin Ulchin (Image: Cheong Wa Dae)

    Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) held a groundbreaking ceremony attended by over 700 workers and local residents and to celebrate the start of work on the two Korean-designed APR-1400 pressurised water reactors.

    South Korea has worked hard to develop an independent nuclear industry since its first three commercial units were built as turnkey projects by Westinghouse and AECL in the late 1970s and early 1980s. From those beginnings, through an extended technology transfer program with Westinghouse forerunner Combustion Engineering, came the development of the OPR 1000 and then the Advanced Pressurised Reactor-1400 (APR-1400). The Shin Ulchin units are the second pair of APR 1400s to be built - two are already under construction at Shin Kori – but will be the first to be virtually free of intellectual property content from Westinghouse.

    President Lee described the construction of Shin Ulchin 1 and 2 as a "huge milestone" for South Korea's engineers, saying that the country had "achieved the dream of independent nuclear technology."

    Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

    by davidwalters on Tue May 08, 2012 at 08:28:48 AM PDT

    •  Facts here...nukes make no financial sense! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joieau

      USA has - 104 reactors
      Capacity (NWe)- 100 683
      Average Age (years) - 30
      Under Construction (Reactors) - 1
      Share of Electricity - 20%
      Share of Commercial Primary Energy - 9%

      ...Past experience shows that simply having an order for a reactor, or even having a nuclear plant at an advanced stage of construction, is no guarantee for grid connection and power supply.

      French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) statistics on “cancelled orders” through 2002 indicate 253 cancelled orders in 31 countries, many of them at an advanced construction stage. (See also Figure 4.)

      The United States alone accounts for 138 of these cancellations.20

      Many U.S. utilities suffered grave financial harm because of reactor-building projects....

      Carol Browner, director of the Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy, stated in December 2010 that,

      “Ultimately, the government continuing to provide loan guarantees is probably not going to be a
      practical solution.”
      86

      http://www.worldwatch.org/...
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