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Representative Ed Markey, D-MA, called on Congress to reject President Obama's request for $36 billion in loan guarentees for the US nuclear industry in an oversight hearing last week.    

Markey also said Congress should reject the $36 billion in loan guarantees for more nuclear construction President Obama has asked for in this year's budget, calling them just as "toxic" as the billions in bailouts the government provided banks amid the economic crisis.

If a catastrophic event took place in the U.S. like Japan is experiencing, Markey said, "industry would be okay, but the taxpayer would end up picking up the tab."


http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/...

Given new information that make a shambles of some of our basic assumptions about the safety and cost of nuclear accidents at the Fukashima, Japan site, I believe we should have more analyses, discussion, and full congressional hearings before we commit our nation to another 50 year cycle of producing nuclear wastes, for which we have no currently acceptable method of containment and storage.  

Energy Secretary Steven Chu told Congress that federal regulators are watching the events in Japan very closely and will learn from the crisis and boost safety measures at current and proposed U.S. nuclear reactors if warranted.

"You can be sure with the [Nuclear Regulatory Commission] leading this ... we will be looking very carefully and gathering information from any other lessons we've learned."

The events unfolding in Japan, however, are not immediately impacting the President's energy policy and plans to expand U.S. dependence on nuclear or the $36 billion Obama has requested in new loan guarantees for nuclear construction.

Chu told the panel there has been no changes in budget priorities regarding nuclear construction in the wake of the disaster in Japan.

What?  Really?  "No changes in budget priorities regarding nuclear construction in the wake of the disaster, in Japan?

The knowledge that we have similar spent fuel rod ponds at every reactor site in the United States does not give us cause for pause?

A typical nuclear spent fuel rod pond contains between 20 to 50 million curies of Cesium 137, according to Robert Alvarez, Senior Scholar, at the Institute For Policy Studies.  For comparsion, the 1987 Chernobyl accident released 6 million curies of Cesium 137, which is 40% of it's reactor core.  The cooling ponds have more because they are often the accumulation of 20 to 30 years of old rods.  The are less radioactive per rod, but there are many more rods than in a reactor.

A 1997 report for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) by Brookhaven National Laboratory also found that a severe pool fire could render about 188 square miles uninhabitable, cause as many as 28,000 cancer fatalities, and cost $59 billion in damage. A single spent fuel pond holds more cesium-137 than was deposited by all atmospheric nuclear weapons tests in the Northern Hemisphere combined. Earthquakes and acts of malice are considered to be the primary events that can cause a major loss of pool water.

In 2003, my colleagues and I published a study that indicated if a spent fuel pool were drained in the United States, a major release of cesium-137 from a pool fire could render an area uninhabitable greater than created by the Chernobyl accident.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

So am I wrong to presumme that we have this risk at every single US operating reactor?  The largest conceivable dirty bombs possible, in place, waiting for a accident, or terrorist attack. Say a Cessna loaded with C4, or fuel.  Or a rocket, drone, missle from an foriegn intelligence unit from a boat in the ocean?  Lybian, for example?

And, Steven Chu has no idea, or questions that would cause a change in our priorities for our nation's energy strategy, or national security?  Dr. Chu was supposed to be one of the better of Obama's cabinet picks?  

Well I'm sorry Dr. Chu, many of the rest of us do.  

I propose the Democrats offer a new deal to the GOP: that we agree to zero out this massive nuclear industry subsidy until after further study, in exchange for agreements not to cut Social Secuirty, Medicare, and Medicaid in this budget compromise, being worked out behind closed doors.

What happened to both Partys' promise of transparency?    

Fortunately, I've heard rumors that the GOP is already demanding that we reduce this $36 billion nuclear give away to $18 billion.  

It is not right to try to sneak policy and 50 years commitments of our energy infrastructure, without discussion into the footnotes of the "Grand Budget Compromise,"  that will be announced in a few weeks.  Of course, the agreement is that we will not be able to change anything, and most of us here will be so outraged at the secret cuts to social programs that we will not have time to dig into the footnotes.  

So, prudent Democrats should have proactive outrage now.  I'm ready to go on the record now, to say that "I am shocked, truly shocked, that our leaders would play politics with budget and public safety decisions of this magnitude!"  

As a society, we are being asked to make huge cuts to social programs because of this dire budget  "crisis."  

Cut Social Security, Medicare, Mediciad, funding for the health bill, close libraries, lay off teacher, firefighters, and even cut the miniscule investments into the research and development of clean, renewable energy alternatives.

This is not right.  

Traditional Democrats need to rise up and say, "not without a line-by-line comparision to every major item in the defense budget, and unwise slush subsidies for Exelon, and the nuclear power industry, which has been a very large contributor to President Obama election campaign.  

Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of Japan at this time of suffering, distress, and danger.  We need to learn from this tragedy and be more analytic, and disciplined in our own energy, public safety and budget choices.

At the very least, our democratic form of government should allow the public to participate in decisions of this magnitude.  Given that our leaders have waited until the very last moment, and still have not even brought it up, except for the outstanding statemen, Representative Ed Markey, we should delay these discussions about nuclear energy safety, and the relative objective pros-and-cons, of the components of our energy production technologies and strategies, until the next budget cycle.

We should be launch Manhatten style projects into accelerating our transition to safer, cleaner, and renewable source of energy, not creating more dangerous and expensive nuclear waste.

   

Originally posted to HoundDog on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 09:07 PM PDT.

Also republished by Nuclear Free DK and Community Spotlight.

Poll

Should Democrats remove our request for $36 billion for the nuclear industry in return for no cuts to Social Security, and Medicare?

78%67 votes
16%14 votes
1%1 votes
3%3 votes

| 85 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

    •  ... (13+ / 0-)

      http://www.chron.com/...

      Japan's disaster chills plan for Texas nuclear

      The ongoing nuclear disaster in Japan may signal the death knell for the long-planned addition of two nuclear reactors at the South Texas Project.

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

      by indycam on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 09:12:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yeah, let's build COAL plants instead! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW, Roadbed Guy

        And natural gas!  It must be OK, after all it has NATURAL in the name, and all of us emit GAS after we eat baked beans!

        What's a little 0.5 degree Celsius of additional global warming anyway?  The difference between +3.5 C and +4 C can't be that bad, can it?

        Did I hear someone say "fracking"?  Come on now, we're on a site for grownups, you don't have to use euphemisms, you can use the real 4-letter word!

        Sheesh!

        •  That's a false choice. (15+ / 0-)

          Wind and solar can easily supply Texas with all the electricity that it needs.

          Texas has great wind resources and in terms of solar... well, 300+ days of sunshine ain't exactly shabby....

          "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

          by Lawrence on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 02:22:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  A recent Scientific American outlines how we can (8+ / 0-)

            meet the world's  entire electrical generation needs with renewable alternatives by 2030.

            Coal and oil burning must cease, and natural gas, although cleaners is not the best stopgap.

            I have to drive me son to an appointment, but, when I return I'll retrieve the link to the Scientific American article from my comment archives.

            The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

            by HoundDog on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 04:46:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks. (9+ / 0-)

              I've read that and am fully aware that we can switch to 100% renewables.  :)

              "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

              by Lawrence on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 05:05:59 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  The thing about Scientific American (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek

              is that they often publish provocative articles that aren't really meant to be taken all that literally.

              One topic that might resonate with you is their ongoing series suggesting that radiation is actually good for you . . . . .

              •  If this is the article (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                G2geek

                I read last year, it had to assume some technological breakthroughs to avoid some material availability limits to its plan (rare earths for magnets, something like the same problem for various solar technologies).

                But if we somehow overcame those, we could produce, for example, 70 times the current world production of wind turbines and replace fossil fuels with them by about 2035. That assumes a capacity factor of .27 and turbines in the 2 to 5 MW range (max rating). Easy to write that sentence, but a 70-fold increase overnight might be a bit harder. And that's without storage systems. I've posted these numbers in a number of places around here in the last couple of weeks, and nobody remarked on any possible difficulties in getting it done.

                Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

                by billmosby on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 05:45:37 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Sure, you look at (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  billmosby, rebel ga

                  information like this - "Rough Values of Various Processes (watts)" and see that the amount of sunlight falling on the USA is 1000-fold higher than the amount of electricity we use it's tempting to think "gee, what could be easier than capturing 0.1% of the sunlight, we'd be golden . . . ."

                  But both sunlight and wind suffer from the same downfall - just where are you going put the damn things, they have a huge footprint.

                  •  For wind, (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    G2geek

                    the number of turbines implies about 2 or 3 percent of the land area. Which sounds pretty small, but then you have to start deducting places like Alaska, Canada, and Siberia where the demand is, shall we say, somewhat lower than elsewhere. By the time you deduct the "BY' part of "NIMBY", you find that they are tolerable only if you put them out of sight of everybody. Ok, that's something of an exaggeration....

                    But people also don't like power lines, and turbines in the hinterlands implies a lot of new power lines.

                    At this point I don't particularly care, nukes, no nukes, solar, whatever; if people would just decide and get on with it.

                    Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

                    by billmosby on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 06:41:01 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Better than covering 100% of our land mass with (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      billmosby, rebel ga, mint julep

                      radioactive fallout.  

                      We're going to have to do the best we can, but there is a lot of exciting news.  

                      New High Voltage Direct Current long-line transmission line, are six time as efficient as older line.

                      We need to upgrade our nation's electric grid, to a smart gird,  another stimulus to green jobs.

                      Conservation, and efficiency improvements are underway in virtually all usuage.

                      I missed you earlier work, bilmosby.  If you link it to me I'll be glad to look at it.

                      We have vast areas of desert, and even space on oceans for collectors.

                      Cheers.

                      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

                      by HoundDog on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 07:58:43 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I never put the numbers up, (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        HoundDog

                        they're still sitting in a spreadsheet. But they used the wind energy industry's figures from 2010. If I have time to I'll put up the links, but my life's too busy for me to really be doing as much as I have been doing lately as it is...

                        Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

                        by billmosby on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 08:16:16 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Here's a bit of documentation (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        HoundDog

                        of the numbers, I posted elsewhere just now.

                        Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

                        by billmosby on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 11:45:30 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

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

                          Do you know how to use the new excel software to make  these fancy colorful plots, and graphics, from the underlying spreadsheets?

                          The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

                          by HoundDog on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:13:17 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Sure, been doing it for about 25 years, lol (0+ / 0-)

                            with the older versions, that is. Actually with the help of a little driver code I used to use Excel running on an original Mac to control a nuclear waste drum gamma-ray scanner. The small labs had to build their own stuff when it came to software back in the late 80s, and Argonne-West couldn't afford to buy what Los Alamos was supplying then. Fun in the old days...

                            I'm having more fun using JavaScript for graphics these days. I'm starting a blog called Useable Physics which will feature interactive graphs and calculation widgets so you can make use of some of the concepts and equations describing the way various things work. I don't know if I mentioned that to you before, I wrote somebody about it today. I had a prototype page working on my server on my Mac, and getting it to run on Hostmonster has taken a tweak or two. It uses a few free JavaScript things I got from various places on the web for math typesetting, svg based graphics, etc. It'll be my hobby in retirement. There are a lot of sites out there that do some of that, but most of them won't do the whole job I'm hoping that my site will. It's built using WordPress with links and iframes that use my JavaScript-bearing pages. Fun.

                            Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

                            by billmosby on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:50:19 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  I would like to see your numbers (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      billmosby

                      is this in a diary? I'm a wind guy and could double check them for you.

                      Questions:
                      Why 70-fold? World wide or US only? Actually, doesn't much matter, wind provides both the US and the world with about 2% of its electricity. Thus, would "only" need to increase installed capacity by 50-fold or a little less than 6 doubling cycles. At current growth rates (~30%) a doubling cycle is about 3 years.

                      As far as rare earths are concerned, that's a business/mining issue, not a rarity issue:
                      200 kg of neodymium per MW of wind
                      25% capacity factor
                      20 year design life
                      works out to 43.8 GWh
                      so you need less than 5 kg per GWh

                      Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                      by jam on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 09:27:09 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  70 times the current (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        jam

                        generator capacity production rate. Not 70 times the total generation capacity already installed. I can get you the links I started from:

                        For fossil energy as a fraction of total energy used (assumed that the numbers from 2005 were still good as of 2010, as far as fossil/total is concerned, from:
                        Energy resources and consumption

                        Renewable energy as fraction of total energy, 2010; also gives wind as providing 26% of renewable energy. Also gives projected energy vs time, from:

                        Here.

                        Wind turbine rated capacity production in 2009, 38,000 MW

                        from:  this.

                        I used the rated capacity produced in 2009, 38 GW, and the required total fossil fuel replacement energy for 2035, 1.86x10^13 watt-years, to find the number of 5 MW turbines needed in 2035, and that told me the number of turbines of that size needed to be produced per year from now till then. Taking into account a capacity factor of .24 (I think I may have said .27 in a recent comment somewhere, my bad).

                        So we'd need to produce 70x38x10^9x.24x24 = 1.5x10^13 more watt years of capacity (70 times current production of capacity x capacity factor x 24 years) to replace fossil fuel totally in that year. That's a rough check of my spreadsheet calculations, which came up with 1.86x10^13 watt years.

                        Hope that helps.

                        Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

                        by billmosby on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 11:41:01 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  couple of comments (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          billmosby

                          First, you are using total energy which includes a lot of applications other than electricity (e.g. transportation, heating).

                          Second, it isn't clear at first glance where your sources are using thermal energy or electrical energy. From your Wikipedia link:

                          In 2005, global electricity consumption averaged 2 TW. The energy rate used to generate 2 TW of electricity is approximately 5 TW, as the efficiency of a typical existing power plant is around 38%

                          1.86x10^13 is 18.6 TW years as opposed to 2 TW years.

                          Of course, this only replaces the electrical energy (i.e. coal) but that's a pretty good start. Let somebody else deal with the liquid fuels ;)

                          Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                          by jam on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 02:15:59 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  and I'm off to dinner with the twins (0+ / 0-)

                            Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                            by jam on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 02:16:36 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I was considering (0+ / 0-)

                            replacing fossil fuels. That's where the larger number came from, although I should go check it. I considered that because so much electricity comes from coal. I'll go back and check.

                            thanks!

                            Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

                            by billmosby on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 03:43:26 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  My energy consumption (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            jam

                            figure was all energy, projected to 2035. Fossil fuels from that reference are about 85% of the total energy consumption. I think that figure considers inputs into electrical generation so it doesn't count electrical energy itself. I suppose taking care of the electrical energy is a worthy goal, but I think that sooner rather than later we have to get rid of more fossil energy than that to make the required progress against global warming. Wind turbines and electrical energy storage would be preferable than biofuels for that in my estimation. Food is expensive enough already.

                            Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

                            by billmosby on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 05:22:38 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

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

                            but wind turbines will have a hard time replacing many applications of fossil fuels. Electrification of the the transportation infrastructure is a matter of national security, in my opinion.

                            Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                            by jam on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 03:24:40 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  They Found A Place For The Nuclear Power Plants! (0+ / 0-)

                    Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

                    by rebel ga on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 08:16:26 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  storage is a major issue. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  billmosby

                  Molten salt storage works for solar, and pumped water storage works for wind, but these require more land area and other infrastructure.

                  Ooooh.  I just thought of something.  Can't discuss in public until I check around to see if there's something patentable.  Hmm....

                  •  At this point I'd almost (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    rebel ga

                    be willing to go with interruptible power if that would help, lol..

                    Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

                    by billmosby on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 07:04:45 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  G2geek, did you see Jamess diary yesterday (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mint julep, mahakali overdrive

                    about the new solar plants, that concentrate the collecters, and if I understand it correctly, continue to produce electriciy at night.

                    Also, Jerome Paris' last diary, indicates the the variation patterns of solar and wind production allign much better with people's use patterns than many critics realize.

                    Yes, break through's in storage will be greatly helpful.

                    And, we need a Manhatten Style project for shift to renewable, safer alternatives as fast as we can.

                    Otherwise, we might have painful "non-voluntary" rationing.

                    Given the escalation of the dis-economic of nuclear power, as we realize ever greater sucurity costs, and risk of dirty bombs, one option I think you will find the American public will not accept is to increase or exposure to greater levels of radioactive wastes when when have no politically, economic, and scientifically viable approved of long-term storage.

                    Good luck with your patent.

                    Cheers

                    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

                    by HoundDog on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 08:14:30 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  ??? WHAT? (4+ / 0-)

                This is nearly a troll, it most assuredly is not part of Scientific Americans history, goals or practice to publish articles that are not meant to be taken seriously.

                That, sir, is bs. A huge steaming pile of bs.

                Would that I had a digital hoe so it could turned under, and it could feed a good soil.

                Scientific American has writen, and will write, many good articles that are deeply part and parcel of the serious discussion we must have about moving QUICKLY to renewables.

                For your information, and to contribute to the serious discussion about mothballing nuclear, ending subsidies to oil and carbon fuels:

                Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy, such as using wind turbines to make electricity, wind mills for mechanical power, wind pumps for pumping water or drainage, or sails to propel ships.

                At the end of 2009, worldwide nameplate capacity of wind-powered generators was 159.2 gigawatts (GW).[1] (By June 2010 the capacity had risen to 175 GW.[2]) Energy production was 340 TWh, which is about 2% of worldwide electricity usage;[1][3] and has doubled in the past three years. Several countries have achieved relatively high levels of wind power penetration, such as 20% of stationary electricity production in Denmark, 14% in Ireland[4] and Portugal, 11% in Spain, and 8% in Germany in 2009.[5] As of May 2009, 80 countries around the world are using wind power on a commercial basis.[3]


                http://en.wikipedia.org/...
                http://img64.imageshack.us/...
                I have added, in my way, the above data to wikipedia's earlier graphic, which can be found at the first url.
                Wind is now 3% of world generated power, growing at a fantastic clip. With the added funding garnered from ENDING all subsidies to nuclear and carbon based power generation, it will begin doubling very quickly.

                Scientific American, unlike the comedy channel and foxnws is a respected authority.

                •  We can get it done (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  HoundDog, evergreen2

                  by 2035 if we ramp up the production of wind turbines by a factor of 70 tomorrow. If we rely on a steady doubling it takes about 10 years longer than that, according to the first version of my calculations. It takes a little more than 6 doublings to get to a factor of 70, and if I remember correctly (and more or less agreeing with your graph) each doubling is about 3 years so that gives you maybe 20 years to get to that factor of 70. And then you are just getting started as far as the cumulative total is concerned.

                  Even with fantastic growth rates it's still going to take quite a while for renewables to take over.

                  Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

                  by billmosby on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 06:48:26 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  These growth rates are being done in the face of (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    HoundDog, mint julep, evergreen2

                    a massive pro-nuclear campaign, anti-global warming campaign, an astro-turfed anti wind generation campaign, a massive campaign for oil and coal, and with no real governmental involvement.

                    A concerted campaign, with the same kinds of money that other energy systems have been getting, plus the majority of all stimulus monies, would drive this to well within the Scientific American Articles projection.

                    It could be beaten with real effort.

                    We need real effort.

                    •  Doubling every 3 years is real effort. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      HoundDog

                      I think the wind nimbys are going to be a much worse impediment to building out this system than any other factor.

                      Doesn't really matter at this point though, we're already about at some global warming tipping point or other, judging from all the "melting much faster than we thought" articles I have seen in the last few years.

                      Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

                      by billmosby on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 08:13:20 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I appreciate your calculation billmosby. We need (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        billmosby, mint julep

                        try as hard as we can.  

                        And, if we fall short, people will suffer.

                        On, NPR a few days ago, Ed Markey reminded us that a few decades ago, when every one used typewriters, critics suggested that it would take much longer than it did for computer based word processing to displace type writers.   But, secondary breakthroughs, occurred and we made this transistion faster than anyone thought possible.

                        Once we realize we are going to have to do this, And get a motivated and knowledgable political leadership things will accelerate quickly along a number of directions.

                        Smart HVDC transmission lines also, significantly reduce transmission losses, and statisticaly start to cancel out downtime consequences of regional wind variation.

                        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

                        by HoundDog on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 08:23:48 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  doubling 3% produces (0+ / 0-)

                    100% in short order
                    3, 6, 12, 24, 48, 96%

                    if its every five years these five steps take 25 years, if its every 2 it takes 10 years.

                    re your comment:

                    If we rely on a steady doubling it takes about 10 years longer than that,

                    as we already produce 3% of total generated power through wind.

                •  Sure, I'll go with that (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  billmosby

                  which means we should also give serious consideration to this idea:

                  Nietzsche's Toxicology

                  If dioxin and ionizing radiation cause cancer, then it stands to reason that less exposure to them should improve public health. If mercury, lead and PCBs impair intellectual development, then less should be more. But a growing body of data suggests that environmental contaminants may not always be poisonous--they may actually be good for you at low levels.

                  Called hormesis, this phenomenon appears to be primarily an adaptive response to stress, says toxicologist Edward J. Calabrese of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The stress triggers cellular repair and maintenance systems. A modest amount of overcompensation then produces the low-dose effect, which is often beneficial.

                  For example, the prevailing theory is that any increase in radiation exposure increases the risk of cancer. But biologist Ronald Mitchel of Atomic Energy of Canada has shown that a single low dose of ionizing radiation stimulates DNA repair, delaying the onset of cancer in mice . . .

                  •  We evolved in radiation, (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Roadbed Guy

                    and some if not most environmental radiation sources are actually quite a bit lower in strength now than they were a couple of billion years ago. It wouldn't surprise me at all that the mechanisms of gene repair, which must have been around for about that long, didn't have an actual need for some stimulus to keep in good shape. Other living components and systems seem to work that way. Kind of rubs the conventional wisdom the wrong way, I know....

                    Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

                    by billmosby on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 07:30:54 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Yes, that's all true (0+ / 0-)

                      if you to PubMed  and search for "radiation hormesis" you can come up with some pretty convincing information on that topic.  

                      In any event, life can definitely tolerate (Bugs in The Reactor) and even exploit (Chernobyl Fungus Feeds On Radiation) radiation . . .

                      •  Wow, descending into Anne Coulterville. (3+ / 0-)

                        Actually making the argument that we need nuclear accidents because..... uncontrolled release of radiation is a DNA repair system.

                        This is pretty desperate stuff.

                        •  I was responding to the post (0+ / 0-)

                          that said the Scientific American only published stuff that totally had to be taken seriously . . .. . and they take radiation hormesis seriously (btw, did you actually read the peer-reviewed science on this topic at PubMed?).

                          Just saying, one walks a rather fine line to claim that a Scientific American article on renewable energy is 100% gospel truth because it's such a reputable journal, and then in the next breath dis another article of theirs as smacking of Anne Coulterism.  

                        •  From reading the links, (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          jam, Roadbed Guy

                          I didn't see any advocacy of nuclear accidents.

                          Does Anne Coulter believe in evolution?

                          Do you?

                          Do you believe that this was a radiation-free world before humans invented nuclear technology?

                          Take a nap; it always helped my twins recover from their tantrums, it might help you.

                          Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

                          by billmosby on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 08:08:57 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  You and I need to start a new dKos group (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            billmosby

                            "Fathers of twins for a sane energy policy"

                            Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                            by jam on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 09:06:54 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Heh... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            jam

                            Does that mean you have twins?

                            I tend to try to be pretty fact-based when I mull things over. And for a long while that meant advocating for something called the Integral Fast Reactor, since I worked about 50 yards from the prototype for about 20 years and knew a lot about it.

                            So what I might find sane could well scare a lot of people, lol. But I still have a lot of facts about it, and a lot of that came from day to day experience around that particular technology and from a lot of reading about its history and listening to the tales of my co-workers.

                            I'm retired now, but am also working on a blog I will call "Usable Physics". I might put some energy related stuff in there, but it will be geared more towards helping people understand and use physics and the math that goes with it (including some JavaScript based interactive graphs and calculation tables). Kind of an offshoot of my experiences of the last couple of years tutoring math and physics online at the high school level. That will probably take a lot of my time for some while yet. It's live right now but there's nothing in it, I'm working on moving a prototype page into the WordScript blog I set up for it and it's not quite working yet. I had done a lot of debugging on a server I had set up on my Mac using the MAMP system, and the file structure for the live one is just different enough that I'm still finding an error or two. Plus the page that is half working is just a jumble, the text doesn't go with the graphics, etc.

                            Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

                            by billmosby on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 09:21:18 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

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

                            boy and girl.

                            I've read many of your comments and find you to be rational and level-headed unlike some people on both sides of this argument. When the two sides come to the table each thinking the others are murderers, it's hard to find common ground...

                            Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                            by jam on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 10:06:43 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Identicals here.. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            jam

                            Guys, 29 years old now. Raised in the wilds of Idaho, then now live in Southern California (Irvine area, basically). Both engineers.

                            Thanks for the compliment- as I get older I have less energy available for assholiness, lol.

                            Also dealing with Jr high school students as an online tutor has taught me a lot about remaining calm....

                            Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

                            by billmosby on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 10:17:31 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Advocating for nuclear power == advocating for (0+ / 0-)

                            nuclear accidents.

                            And I must in fairness also argue that advocating for Wind Generation towers == advocating for Wind Generation Accidents. So I'd like to point to this picture:


                            Kamisu Wind Farm 300 km from earthquake epicenter by Wind Power Ibaraki

                            Picture above from Huffpo, as are the comments below: found here:
                            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...
                            Mr. Ueda confirms that most Japanese wind turbines are fully operational. Indeed, he says that electric companies have asked wind farm owners to step up operations as much as possible in order to make up for shortages in the eastern part of the country:

                             

                             Eurus Energy Japan says that 174.9MW with eight wind farms (64% of their total capacity with 11 wind farms in eastern part of Japan) are in operation now. The residual three wind farms (Kamaishi 42.9MW, Takinekoshirai 46MW, Satomi 10.02MW) are stopped due to the grid failure caused by the earthquake and Tsunami. Satomi is to re-start operations in a few days. Kamaishi is notorious for tsunami disaster, but this wind farm is safe because it is locate in the mountains about 900m high from sea level.

                            The largest wind farm operator in Japan, Eurus Energy with about 22% of all wind turbines in Japan, is a subsidiary of Tokyo Electric Company (TEPCO) which operates the Fukushima nuclear facility. Right now, it is likely the company is very happy about its diversified portfolio:

                            While shares in the Tokyo stock market have fallen during the crisis, the stock price of Japan Wind Development Co. Ltd. has risen from 31,500 yen on 11 March to 47,800 yen on 16 March.

                            An amazing fifty percent increase, while the rest of the market tanked.

                            We are NOT going to be building any nuclear reactors. And we are going to make the people who own nuclear reactors be responsible for ALL costs of accidents and clean up and storage of spent fuel. A bond to cover all costs, and an insurance company willing and able to cover all expenses including disasters like Fukushima, with NO cost to the public, will a necessary precondition. No BAILOUTS for NUKES! (anymore)

                  •  The counter evidence to this hormesis theory (0+ / 0-)

                    with regard to radiaction is abundent, from Hiroshima surviviers.  The people around Chernobyl, has shown consistent elevated rates of cancer and mutation.

                    Public health officials also have lots of data from other parts of the full life cycle of uranium productions.

                    Out west, one group of people build their homes out of the uranium tilings, the women that did the radium watches, accidents, and contamination from the nuclear weapans industry, which is even more extensive than the nuclear power industry.  

                    The health effects seems to be very well understood.  

                    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

                    by HoundDog on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 08:29:06 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Good point, workingforprogress. Scientific (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  rebel ga, mahakali overdrive

                  American is a highly respected peer reviewed journel.  

                  The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

                  by HoundDog on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 08:16:07 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  But, it's not just Scientific American, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                rebel ga

                Roadguy, many other authors and scientists have produced better energy transition plans that avoid coal, and new nuclear plants.

                And, outline the incredible potential for wind, several kinds of solar, geothermal, tidal, and biofuels to replace more dangerous, expensive options such a nuclear, coal, and oil.

                Check out diaries here by jamess, Jerome Paris, and many others.

                And, just as a reality check, look at our own history.  The free market has not initiated a single new nuclear plant in the US, in 37 years despite, liability caps, subsidies, taking the waste problems, offbook, and having no charge for the national secuirty risks.

                Now, the nuclear industry is asking American taxpayers to guarentee the profitability for people who invest in these nukes before they will even consider it.

                So, who you going to believe?  

                The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

                by HoundDog on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 07:53:32 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Prof. Sovacool published a brilliant article (0+ / 0-)

                talking about the false dichotomy between selecting coal and nuclear. That talking point is getting very played out, and has already been dismantled by numerous sources. I don't believe that anyone who is advocating against nuclear power is advocating for coal. At all. If there was an "Anti-Coal DK," I would personally be a member.

                Aside from alternative energy sources, the other giant issue is radically increased energy efficiency AND energy consumption reduction. These are often cited as the three tiers of moving away from our current energy paradigm. NOT having to choose between a rock and a hard place, which is again, truly played out and misframes the debate.

          •  sure, let's use all the solar and wind we can.... (0+ / 0-)

            ... build.  I helped design @ 300 MW of wind and I know the field well.  And nothing deploys quite as quickly as rooftop solar: no major project financing, no EIRs, it's easily financed by homeowners, etc. etc.

            But we can't avoid the fact that there are places in the US where solar & wind resources are insufficient, and in any case we still need baseload capacity to shore them up in most parts.  

            The question is, what to use for the fraction that isn't conservation, efficiency, or renewables?  That's where nuclear comes in.  

            •  Well, distributed wind and solar already has (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              moira, rebel ga

              a baseload of up to 50%.

              There's plenty of pumped hydro storage to be had, you just have to build it.  Storage, in general, is already available, it's just a matter of cost at this time.

              And by the time we ramp up to anything even close to 50% renewables, that storage will be much cheaper and more widely available due to economies of scale and technological advancements.

              "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

              by Lawrence on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 07:13:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks Lawrence. My understanding is that (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Lawrence

                the breakthrough in smart grids and much higher efficiency of long-line transmission, means that solar, wind, tidal, etc, can acheive higher percentages of base load capacity.

                Biofuels, and if necessary, some natural gas may be necessary stop gaps, for certain periods of time.

                We may already to avoid much disruption from global warming, and are going to have to make much greater changes, that are going to be comfortable.

                But, other nations, may face bigger problems.  Like China, which, BTW, I read, stopped production of 18 new nuclear power plants.

                At a soceity level the real whole systems, full life-cycle, costs are just so great, it turns out that even if you have to put redundent back of capacity into your system of alternatives, they can still best the true costs of nuclear.

                The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

                by HoundDog on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 08:41:13 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I don't know if it could go past 50% virtual (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  HoundDog, jam

                  baseload.  Everything I've ever read indicated that 50% virtual baseload was the maximum without storage, and only possible if the distributed grid covered a pretty large area.  With storage, however, it could of course provide 100% baseload.

                  But we're so far away from even 20 to 30%, that storage isn't even close to being an issue yet.

                  Germany is at 20% renewables now, and they haven't had any problems with storage yet.

                  "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

                  by Lawrence on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 09:29:27 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  baseload of 50%? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                G2geek

                um, no... unless you mean instantaneous baseload once in awhile. There are no major grid systems that are getting 50% of their baseload from wind/solar.

                Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                by jam on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 09:08:58 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  A distributed system over a large area can get (0+ / 0-)

                  a virtual baseload of 50% from distributed wind and solar.

                  When the wind does not blow in one place, it blows in another, when it is night time and there is no sun, the wind blows, etc., etc.

                  It just has to be distributed over a large enough region.

                  "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

                  by Lawrence on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 09:24:18 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  ah, "can" versus "already has" (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    G2geek

                    Nice theory. Not in practice anywhere. And the data I've seen out of Australia's wind farms disagrees with the theory that the "wind is always blowing somewhere".

                    Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                    by jam on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 09:30:19 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  wind and solar, not just wind. ;) (0+ / 0-)

                      "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

                      by Lawrence on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 09:32:30 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  but solar (0+ / 0-)

                        has to grow by a factor of 1000 just to make a 10% contribution.

                        Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                        by jam on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 09:40:13 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  It is pretty easy to scale up solar. (0+ / 0-)

                          Germany has proven that.  And they don't exactly have great solar resources.

                          "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

                          by Lawrence on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 09:44:19 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Rooftop solar ought to be in the building code. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Lawrence

                            Mandatory for all areas that have more than XYZ level of solar resource.  

                            If that means that developers can't make the "great rooms" quite so "great" and can't throw in "free" jacuzzis and bathtubs big enough to soak the whole family at once, and stainless steel appliances that make kitchens look like mortuaries, and wall-sized color TVs "if you act now!", well, tough.  

                            And the next step is making it mandatory not only in new construction but any time any house is bought or sold with bank financing or a house of over 3000 square feet ground floor area changes hands under any conditions.  (The buyer should be able to have it done rather than the seller, since the buyer is going to live with it and has an incentive to have the best possible job done rather than just a bare minimum.)

                            However that still does not relieve us of the need for nuclear in the mix.  

                          •  I totally agree with this. (0+ / 0-)

                            If all house, warehouse roofs, barn roofs, mall roofs, supermarket roofs, office building, parking garage roofs were solar and we add wind to the mix, plus efficiency, then we'd be 100% renewable, though.

                            At the very minimum, solar water heating needs to be mandatory.  Those systems actually pay for themselves within 4 to 10 years, depending on the area.  

                            "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

                            by Lawrence on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 03:13:51 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  so, do I have to cut down my trees? (0+ / 0-)

                            I don't have any solar access at my house unless I cut down several 100 year old oaks and pines. If solar water heating is mandatory does it actually have to work? Or can I just buy the panels and put them in my basement since they won't produce any hot water?

                            Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                            by jam on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 04:56:28 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That would be a case where it does not make sense, (0+ / 0-)

                            as those trees provide cooling.

                            But let's be honest here - virtually none of the new construction in the U.S. takes place in shaded areas.

                            "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

                            by Lawrence on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 05:08:25 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  it's on its way... (0+ / 0-)

                          I have clients in the solar industry and I can count the growth of the industry by the number of new telephones I install for them each month.  Suffice to say that business has been good lately.  

                          We could get a 50% decrease in energy consumption via conservation & efficiency, with relatively little "sacrifice."  (For example right now I want ice cream, but I'm not going to jump in the truck to go get it; I suppose you could call that "sacrifice" compared to spoiled-consumerism.)

                          We can meet 30% of demand using renewables.  That leaves 60% of 50%, or a total of 30% of present demand, that has to come from "somewhere."  

                          The best "somewhere" is fission, and as it presently provides 20% of current demand in the US, scaling it up to provide 30% is hardly a big deal.  

                          I'd say you can live with an increase in nuclear by 10% of present demand, if that's the price of avoiding a climate catastrophe.  

                          •  my point was (0+ / 0-)

                            that PV currently provides around 0.01% of electricity consumed in the US. even at a fantastic 30% growth rate it takes 15 years to get to 1% and another 9 years after that to get to 10%. What industry has sustained 30% growth rates for 26 years?

                            Even at 50% growth rate it would take 17 years to get to 10%.

                            Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                            by jam on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 05:01:53 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

        •  rather (5+ / 0-)

          let's direct that $36B to loan guarantees for renewable energies, which is currently much more than what they currently receive or have ever received.  Let's not even talk about how much $$$ coal/gas/petro receive every year.
          When all you've got is false equivalencies and straw men, you know that you've got a losing argument.
          Sheesh!

          •  Umm, not really . . . (0+ / 0-)
            The impact of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds on the U.S. economy has been hotly debated in Washington. Was it money well spent?

            As part of the package, the government set aside more than $70 billion for renewable energy and energy efficiency programs.

            But what's $34 billion between friends . . . . ???

            link

            •  thanks (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              HoundDog

              for bringing that to my attnetion, and that is an important commitment for the Feds to make.  I would still like to see that $36B in loan guarantees directed to R&D in renewable energy sources rather than to nuclear energy, b/c until we have an actual plan for what to do with the millions of gallons of toxic waste generated by nuclear energy every year (which is currently just sitting in cooling ponds or piled 7 stacks deep in rusting yellow painted barrels in parking lots under the sun, ie., Oak Ridge, TN) it is not a "clean" (or renewable) energy source.

            •  Two different sets of numbers.. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              HoundDog

              I am not sure what you are correcting, brasilaaron says take the money set aside for nukes, 36 Billion, and provide it as loan guarantees to wind generation etc., and goes on to say that is larger than wind has received before, are you saying that some portion of the 70 billion 'set aside' has been delivered to wind generation? And are you saying that that is larger than 36 billion?

              While I am happy that money is 'set aside' - delivered is different, just ask high speed rail riders in Florida.

              I would love also to have a breakdown of what is in the 70 billion, which programs, what tech.

              •  As I discussed elsewhere in this (0+ / 0-)

                thread, the actual amount that has been "set aside" for nukes is $0.

                So as long as $1 has been set aside for renewable energy, that's more than was spent for the program that this diary was about.

                But in all fairness, much of the $70 billion likely did not go to renewable energy per se since it was divvied up into quite a few categories . . ..

                Energy Efficiency

                •Building Materials
                •Commercial Efficiency
                •Industrial Efficiency
                •Lighting
                •Residential Efficiency
                Energy Infrastructure & Storage

                •Energy Storage
                •Smart Grid/Grid Reliability
                •Transmission & Distribution
                Fossil Energy

                •Coal-Based Power Generation & Pollution Control Equipment

                Hydrogen & Fuel Cells

                •Hydrogen & Fuel Cells
                Nuclear Energy

                •Nuclear Energy
                Renewable Energy

                •Biomass/Biofuels
                •Geothermal
                •Hydropower
                •Solar
                •Wave/Tidal/OTEC
                •Wind
                State & Local Government

                •Appliance Efficiency Programs
                •Energy Efficiency Programs
                •Energy Infrastructure Programs
                •Regulatory Commissions
                •Renewable Energy Communities
                Transportation

                •Batteries
                •Vehicles and Infrastructure

                In any event, we're 25 years (and untold billions of $$s) behind what China's doing . . .. .

                On March 3, 1986, four of China’s top weapons scientists—each a veteran of the missile and space programs—sent a private letter to Deng Xiaoping, the leader of the country. Their letter was a warning: Decades of relentless focus on militarization had crippled the country’s civilian scientific establishment; China must join the world’s xin jishu geming, the “new technological revolution,” they said, or it would be left behind. They called for an élite project devoted to technology ranging from biotech to space research. Deng agreed, and scribbled on the letter, “Action must be taken on this now.” This was China’s “Sputnik moment,” and the project was code-named the 863 Program, for the year and month of its birth.

                In the years that followed, the government pumped billions of dollars into labs and universities and enterprises, on projects ranging from cloning to underwater robots. Then, in 2001, Chinese officials abruptly expanded one program in particular: energy technology.

                Read more http://www.newyorker.com/...

        •  How is your reply to my comment justified ? (0+ / 0-)

          Did you accidentally reply to my comment ?

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

          by indycam on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 08:48:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  $18 billion Is Still Too Much HoundDog! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HoundDog

      America does not need any more new nuclear power plants!

      We All Love You Pres, But What Are You Thinking, Concerning This Issue?

      It's not so much terrorists as you mention HoundDog, that we have to worry about, one can be sure these facilities are well guarded.

      It's the age of the existing ones that are problematic.
      I heard the Indian Point one in NY needs to be shut down!
      There are plenty more like that, that should just be shut down and removed. Especially if they're as poorly built as the ones in Japan,

      Yes there should be much discussion about what exactly the money will be used for.
      I wouldn't just give it to the Nuclear Power Industry to do what they want with it!

      $36 billion is too much money to just give to industry without a guarantee of how it is going to be spent.

      The money would be better used to create jobs in safe renewable energy, like solar and wind power! This is our future, and it will take forever as it is to clean up the Nuclear Legacy, we have already inherited!

      Also as you say HoundDog, the money would be better spent helping starving Americans (jobs, decent housing, schools, Veterans Services,Teachers, Fireman, Opening Closed Firehouses, Drug Education, and the list is so long)!

      I remind republicans of that catch phrase they love so much;
      Don't spend my Grandchildren's inheritance!
      Well, The Earth Is All Our Grandchildren's Inheritance!

      We don't need any new nuclear power plants in the US, what we need is for all the old ones, to be removed and others to be upgraded to higher standards of safety, if they are kept at all.

      I would agree to $36 billion, if it was guaranteed to be spent removing old nuclear power plants.

      I remember Three Mile Island! It was very Scary!
      We never did get any real answers either about what happened or how it affected us!
      If NJ is 200 miles away from it I would be surprised. I tried to google the distance. But not all that computer literate, so I'm guessing.

      I'm against all nuclear power, especially in the form of power plants!
      Being of sound mind, they seriously frighten me!

      Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

      by rebel ga on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 08:10:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't favor giving even $18 billion in susidies (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rebel ga

        to the nuclear industry, rebel ga,  I just said, at least, the GOP is reported to have already arm twisted it down to that level

        If we are going to give subsidies to energy and electric production is should all be for clean, green, and safer, and renewable alternatives.

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 08:46:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I Know You Don't HoundDog. Did I Sound Like I Did? (0+ / 0-)

          The word nuclear power triggers my mind into that Hell No! attitude so I don't think I accused you of thinking that. I was agreeing with you!

          Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

          by rebel ga on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 01:22:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I call for that, too! (8+ / 0-)

    It's a major chunk of what the Republicans are demanding.  Not guaranteeing an industry that won't insure itself sounds like both free market economics and a way to save a bunch of money all at once.  Not to mention avoiding a world of trouble.  Seems like these big nuclear events come around twice per generation or so.  That's an awful lot for the world to absorb.

    exmearden: Grab every minute of joy you can. 8/30/09

    by Land of Enchantment on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 09:17:44 PM PDT

    •  I agree Land of Enchantment. I heard (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ivote2004

      recently, that in the event of such catastrophic releases, the reactor operators liability is limited to a few hundred million dollars.  And, the Price-Anderson Act limits total industry liability to a fraction of what is expectable.

      This cost are not included in all those cute Exxon, graphic comparing the economic unit costs of various forms of alternative energy production.

      in the diary, because I was having such Java script errors, and crazy D4 anomolies, I lost several big pieces of this one.  

      Sorry to about the links, being in seperate stringers rather in the classy orange invisible links we've come to expect.  I tried about a dozent

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 09:25:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Its limited but also requries payment from all (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HoundDog

        reactors.

        The current limit is $112 million per reactor.  In the case of a disaster, this would equal a payout from the industry of $12 billion.

        If money above and beyond this is required, it has to go to congress to determine where funds will come from, but there is the possibility to charge reactor operators more.

        $12 billion would not cover a catastrophic accident such as those mentioned in the diary.

        The payout for TMI was $70 million.

        •  Are you saying the Price-Anderson liability (0+ / 0-)

          limit is higher than $1.5 billion?   I thought total industry liability was capped at that level?

          You should write a diary about this raoul78.  Thanks for the info.

          The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by HoundDog on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 08:49:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've often thought about it (0+ / 0-)

            maybe once the situation with Japan dies down I finally will, but it would take a lot of further research I think.  

            The following is from either wikipedia or the NRC fact sheet on insurance.

            First of all, each plant does have in fact private insurance through American Nuclear Insurers, for $375 million.  

            In the case of an accident that requires a larger payout than this, each plant must contribute (even if it wasn't their fault) $112 million, for a total of around $12.5 billion.

            For damages exceeding this (from wikipedia):

            Any claims above the $12.6 billion would be covered by a Congressional mandate to retroactively increase nuclear utility liability or would be covered by the federal government.
    •  an awful lot of what? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, Roadbed Guy

      Like maybe all the CO2 from burning fossil fuels?

      Oh, but that can't be so bad, all of us emit CO2 from both ends!, and methane from at least one end!

      Good Grief!, this anti-nuclear bullshit really is the left's equivalent of creationism!

      •  You're wrong G2geek. Please try to advance you (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lzachary, melo, churchylafemme

        argument by responding the challenges with data, and analysis, a not name calling.

        Here you're behaving like a troll.

        Show us you are worthy of your geek moniker, with science, rather than apeing around.

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 04:49:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, but do you see how (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek

          frustrating it is to have to counter lies and mis-information day after day from the anti-nukers?

          For example, the title of your diary is a blatant lie - there is no $36 billion giveaway to the nuclear industry like it implies.  The program involved has been designed to cost $0 to the taxpayer . . .. .

          •  Ed Markey says it's a loan-guarentee Roadbed Guy (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Roadbed Guy

            which means the US Federal government, i.e. tax-payers are on the hook if these loans fail.

            If your frustrastion is anywhere near what we have to do to counter the lies, and misinformation, day, after day, from the nuclear and oil industry lobbyists, then I feel for you.

            You don't have to convince me that there plenty of non-scientific people out their, and others who are not even trying to act in the best interest of the common good.

            But, I'll also, be the first to admit that these are incredibly complicated issues.  As long as folks appear to act in good faith, I"ll engage in mutual learning.

            My Dad used to tell me not to get down, during hard times, because, when there is continuous churn, the cream rises to the top.

            The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

            by HoundDog on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 08:56:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, that contingency has been taken care (0+ / 0-)

              of - as I posted elsewhere - oh what the heck I'll do it again:

              Constellation announced Saturday after news reports surfaced that it could not accept a $7.5 billion conditional federal loan guarantee because the Obama administration had insisted on too great a "down payment" in the form of a credit subsidy charge the developers would have to pay to the federal government to obtain the guarantee. The charge is an insurance premium intended to protect taxpayers against losses if the project could not be completed, or if its power costs were too high to compete and the owners defaulted on the loans.

              (snip)

              Constellation released its Oct. 8 letter to Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman yesterday, protesting a "shockingly high" figure for the credit subsidy of 11.6 percent of the guaranteed loan amount, or about $880 million, set at one point this summer. "Such a sum would clearly destroy the project's economics

              So, basically a 11.6% fee was added to get the taxpayers off the hook in the event of a default (I imagine some pretty high priced fiduciary types looked at the situation and figured out there was a 11.6% chance of default, hence the size of the deal-breaking fee).

              The bottom line is that I think we're probably in agreement that the federal government should not be giving out these loan guarantees - however, I don't see how it does anyone any good to be misrepresenting the basic facts of what is going on . . .

              •  Thanks for the new information. I do not (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Roadbed Guy

                want to misrepresent any facts.  

                And I greatly appreciate this quotation you provide.

                But, it seems to make points I was tryng to make.  

                I might have to study it to better understand what you getting out.

                What I read from you is actually the most encouraging thing I've heard.

                I was worried that the investors had none of their own assets on the line.  Which I think is bad economics.

                This is how I beleive it should be done.  I do not favor any additional subsidies for nuclear power.

                But, if they cost us nothing, why did we not put a $trillion into such guarentee?

                Why is the GOP fighting like crazy to get them down to $18 billion?

                The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

                by HoundDog on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 10:45:00 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The investors largely DO have their (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  HoundDog

                  own assets on the line (and that's why no new nuclear plants have been built in the USA the past 30+ years!).

                  But like many point out - even with government loan guarantees (or maybe because of goverment loan guarantees) - the economics do not work out.  I'm fine with that, I don't think it's a legitimate role of the government to be subsidizing energy.

                  Having said that, nuclear really suffers from having to have their "subsidy" (whether it really is that or not) upfront.  Unlike coal & petroleum - which can hide their true costs in the ether - for example, studies suggest that more than 500,000 Americans die each year from cardiopulmonary disease linked to breathing fine particle air pollution  - it's pretty much guaranteed these come from coal and maybe diesel.   So - conservatively assuming that each premature death incurs a cost of $20,000 - there's a $10 billion subsidy to coal right there.   They should pay!!

                  And then maybe nuclear would be economically viable on it's own . . . ..  (as would solar & wind, which I am wildly in favor of - but as I've pointed out elsewhere, it's just not reality to expect them to substitute for coal, gas, or nuclear in our lifetimes).

                  •  This is a most excellent (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Roadbed Guy

                    I agree we should have taxes on oil and coal, to reflect their true costs.  

                    Health costs, cleaning cost, the probabalistic cost of being geopolitically dependent in the middle east, etc.

                    So, we should start with that $10 billion right there.

                    One of my friends wrote his MIT PhD thesis 30 years ago, proposing we add a $1/barrel, oil import tax to represent the non-included externality, and then have the law escalate and additional $1/barrel every year after until we were energy independent.

                    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

                    by HoundDog on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 11:39:06 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Here's another take on the situation (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  HoundDog
                  While Constellation’s vice chairman and chief operating officer, Mike Wallace, lauded the DOE Loan Guarantee Program Office’s professionalism and clear presentation of what was required to mitigate risk for the taxpayer, he said the company had not been apprised of the credit subsidy cost.

                  “As our application went through preliminary credit review during the [summer], we were surprised to be presented with a shockingly high estimate of the credit subsidy cost that we and our partners would have to pay the U.S. Treasury in order to obtain the loan guarantee: 11.6%, or about $880 million,” he wrote. “Such a sum would clearly destroy the project’s economics (or the economics of any nuclear project for that matter), and was dramatically out of line with both our own and independent assessments of what the figures should reasonably be.”

                  link

                  Any number of these blurbs can be pulled up on Google - and they're all quite clear that the companies would actually be paying the US Treasury for these loan guarantess - and thus the flow of money would  be in the opposite direction as everyone is assuming.

                •  I forgot to comment on this . . . (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  HoundDog
                  But, if they cost us nothing, why did we not put a $trillion into such guarentee?

                  Why is the GOP fighting like crazy to get them down to $18 billion?

                  Probably simply because the GOP is batshit crazy . . . .  for example the US Patent Office also (usually!) costs the US Taxpayer nothing, yet the GOP has tried, and is trying, to cut  its budget.

                  Which is kinda strange 'cuz I suspect that the likes of the Koch brothers totally depend on patents to make their wealth . . ..

      •  G2geek is descending into trolldom (0+ / 0-)

        Please pull up now, argue facts, before you start getting your trash taken out.

        •  oh puh-leeze. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          billmosby, Roadbed Guy

          I've made rational arguements until I'm blue in the face and my fingers are numb from typing.  

          And I've actually done the work: design engineering for about 300 MW of wind, including site prep issues, spreadsheets, etc. etc.  I also walk my talk about conservation (numbers on request).  

          However time and again rational arguements fail to persuade in the face of rampant fear-mongering.  

          Bottom line is that the comparison with creationism is valid: most of the anti-nuclearism out there comes down to an emotional reaction and fails on the facts.  

          Where are all the deaths?  Where are all the 3d world dictators who have built atomic bombs from their civilian nuclear programs?  Where are all the big scary things that come anywhere close to the damage that has been done and will be done by fossil fuels?  

          And where's the drive to shut down all the coal plants, that collectively kill anywhere from 17,000 - 25,000 Americans every single year?

          •  I think what they're trying to say (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Roadbed Guy

            is something along the lines of "your kind isn't wanted around here". I put up lots of facts all the time, and not all pro nuclear either lately. Crickets is the usual response. Write an emotional diatribe if you want to be appreciated, just make sure it fits the current "thinking".

            Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

            by billmosby on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 07:35:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I hope you don't feel that way here billmosby (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              billmosby, jam

              I have responded to your comments respectully.

              And although nuclear power, is not my field of expertise, I spent about 2 decades, as a Research Associate, and instructor, in quantative methods, at MIT.   And, also founded a consulting firm, offering advanced computer simulation models for multinational companies.

              I'm also a scientific humanists

              So, I didn't even respond to G2geeks taunts about anti-nuclear folks being "creationist."   I was sort of embarrassed for him, as a fellow geek/nurd, I would expect better.  But, everyone has bad days.

              It's been a tough week, for the pro-nuclear advocates, and lobbyists.

              If we can get the folks who are truly interested in better achieving the common good for our nation and the world, we will be doing good service for mankind.

              The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

              by HoundDog on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 09:05:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not really, (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jam, HoundDog

                but there is a lot more heat than light around here most of the time. It took me about a year of skin growth but I handle it pretty well now, lol.

                Advocacy based on scant knowledge is the norm for humans. I think the ratio of teacher pay to lawyer pay provides ample evidence for that bald assertion....

                It's all I can do to keep my own advocacy back to where it's somewhat even with my fact base.

                Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

                by billmosby on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 09:25:02 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thanks billmosby. I appreciate your many (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  billmosby

                  excellent contributions to this diary, and to my own learning.

                  My psychiatrist told me once I had like a 8 inch think rhinocerous hide.  And, that was before joining DKOS.

                  I used to do a lot of dairies, but stopped because it just was too stressful.

                  I just got fired up a few days ago that the nuclear industry lobbyists were tryng to hijack our normal political process, but getting Obama to sneak these loan guarentee into the budget.

                  One thing I learned from our comment converations is that this loan guarentee require certain deposits by the recipients, and they have found these to be too expensive and refused to accept them.

                  I am looking forward to reading more about this.

                  Maybe you could write a diary on this?

                  The more accurate "big-picture" understanding we can co-develop of these complex issues the better for all of us.

                  I am not calling for shutting any existing reactors down, until we have this global warming.

                  Cheers

                  :-)

                  The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

                  by HoundDog on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 10:34:58 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Please, your "arguments" are insulting (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HoundDog

            But it reflects more on you than science.

            Where are all the 3d world dictators who have built atomic bombs from their civilian nuclear programs

            http://maps.google.ca/...

            http://maps.google.ca/...

            http://maps.google.ca/...

            http://maps.google.ca/...

            And pardon me for saying:
            http://maps.google.ca/...

            Similarly, pardon me for saying:
            http://maps.google.ca/...

            Missing Uranium (and other radioactives) needed President Obama to make it an issue, we have had no report on how much of that missing has been recovered, and we have no credible reports about China for example.

            On deaths:
            http://www.greenpeace.org/...
            Links to this report:
            http://www.greenpeace.org/...

            Our report involved 52 respected scientists and includes information never before published in English. It challenges the UN International Atomic Energy Agency Chernobyl Forum report, which predicted 4,000 additional deaths attributable to the accident as a gross simplification of the real breadth of human suffering.

            The new data, based on Belarus national cancer statistics, predicts approximately 270,000 cancers and 93,000 fatal cancer cases caused by Chernobyl. The report also concludes that on the basis of demographic data, during the last 15 years, 60,000 people have additionally died in Russia because of the Chernobyl accident, and estimates of the total death toll for the Ukraine and Belarus could reach another 140,000.

            The comparison to creationism is as said before a troll comment, and your 'rebuttal' doesn't really address the suggestion that you stop moving toward becoming a troll.

            And the drive to close both coal & nuclear is strong with one. If you have not seen a drive to end carbon generation here at DKos, then you are 'new' and need to get some reading in. If you mean "this thread" - there is also little about the need to increase the number of women in engineering here either, but its a thread about learning the lesson of Japan, Three mile Island and Chernobyl and ending nuke power for ever.

            •  And, as I've heard mentioned only twice now... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              HoundDog, workingforprogress

              ... in this current case:  These accidents cause the abandonment of farmlands, too.  So if one of those reactors sitting on a California fault goes, the cancers aren't the only thing to think about.  It's big swaths of the nation's agricultural production having to be abandoned due to radioactive contamination.

              exmearden: Grab every minute of joy you can. 8/30/09

              by Land of Enchantment on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 08:36:57 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Does anyone remember that blog last year that (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                workingforprogress

                asserted that Isreal obtained the weapons grade uranium and plutonium for its nuclear weapons programs, by buying an abadoned old weapons production warehouse, and retreived it from the plumbing pipes, storage ponds, and contamination from beneath the manufacturing plants.

                The national and global security concerns about weapons proliferation, and terrorism, are apparantly causing Woolsey and others affiliated with the CIA to pull back from their previous gugn-ho support.

                I intend to document this within a few days with links to credible sources.

                But, my 20 year old son is visiting, and I want to spend time with him today and maybe tomorrow.

                Thanks for reminding me of these angle.

                The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

                by HoundDog on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 09:11:01 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That's a new one... (0+ / 0-)

                  From what I learned during my working life as a nuclear material safeguards measurement engineer, I think if anything like that happened it wouldn't have been in the U.S. Those kinds of facilities were in the middle of national laboratory sites and as far as I know none of them were ever abandoned without being cleaned up, and certainly never sold to anyone. Perhaps one of the commercial waste sites that went belly up might have been, though. And those would not be part of the nuclear material production or storage systems.

                  Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

                  by billmosby on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 11:19:13 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Well, they really need liability waivers. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      workingforprogress

      The government possesses the ability to completely (or partially) waive liability for a given technology, but has historically been unwilling to do it for nuclear.

      Understandably, private insurers are convinced they'll be wiped out if they write a policy and have to pay out.

      •  Do we need them? Really? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HoundDog, workingforprogress

        Maybe we just need less hazardous forms of energy.  Just heard on the TV:  "Not all the farmland in the area will have to be abandoned."  That because the radioactive particles won't have settled out evenly, so thorough testing will find some that's still OK to use.  For decades, at minimum.

        exmearden: Grab every minute of joy you can. 8/30/09

        by Land of Enchantment on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 08:34:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What about the Price-Anderson Act MGross? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          workingforprogress

          It originally limited total industry liability to $750 million, in the event of an accident.  The industry was unwilling to make these investment otherwise.  I've been under the impression that it has been expanded to $1.5 billion, but, I'd appreciate someone who know, helping me find a link.

          Last night on TV, physist Michio Kaku, said a 1987 NRC study estimated that an accident at Indian Point reactor would cause several hundred billion in damage-- in 1980 dollars.  

          Any such disastor costs are going to be absorbed by the tax-payers or victims, and not even remotely accurate approximate estimates of this are included as "expected values" (amounts times probability) in these cute little comparable cost of energy source graphics Exxon like to push.  

          The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by HoundDog on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 09:16:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's a group insurance scheme. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            workingforprogress

            All it does is establish an industry-funded insurance scheme coupled with some government backing.  They (collectively) still have to pay the extent of all damages, nothing is waived.

            I'm not actually advocating waivers (I know, my original post was confusing) just saying that economically, that's what they need.  Group insurance just spreads the hurt around.

            Instituting liability waivers is a form of cost-shifting that obscures the true economic cost of nuclear power, ergo, I'm opposed to it.

  •  Yahbut the Deficit!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, Karl Rover

    current leadership is indecisive and dam them for not consulting us!!!!!!!

      Dammit you went and posted this before I could make a supersekrit GE and Westinghouse stock buy. Somebody's got to harden all these spent fuel pools, it's ain't libarians and skool teechers!

    "Responsible people leave neither loaded guns nor paranoid, eliminationist ideologies laying around for the mentally ill to play with".....Driftglass

    by KenBee on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 09:27:27 PM PDT

    •  Yes, the German's have decided to place all (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KenBee

      spend fuel rods older than five years in concrete, which would greatly diminish chances of accidental of malicious release.  

      I believe the five year criteria is that they are still to hot, and requires circulating cooling water to prevent the zirconium cladding to catch fire.

      But, it's pretty late Kenbee.  If you use the options market you could probably still get your buys in ahead of most.

      :-)

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 09:45:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dr. Palee is on David Letterma, now Saying that a (5+ / 0-)

    1980 study of an accident at the Indian Point reactor suggested several hundred billion of damage, in 1980 prices.

    David Letterman, has been going on about Indian Point being on two faults.  

    His money quote, is the "the only meltdown, now is the credibility of the nuclear industry."

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 09:28:44 PM PDT

  •  Can we leave R&D funding for Thorium? (6+ / 0-)

    How about this for a real policy trade?  I'm not willing to give up on one of the 4 fundamental forces as a method for powering a civilization.  It's a tool, and we need to be adept at using it.

    The Thorium reactor cycle cannot melt down for fundamental reasons and it eats plutonium.  You feed it old nuclear weapons, nuclear waste, depleted uranium and thorium, and it produces C02 free energy at 1/10 the radiation of a typical nuclear plant.

    Existing reactor sites can be reused - the land is already contaminated - and the reactor eats the spent fuel.

    This technology is real, and it needs to be funded.  So it there is to be a moritorium, the spent fuel has to go somewhere.  Let's at least do something useful for the species.

    •  I'm sure you could do a great diary on that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HoundDog, Calamity Jean, Lawrence

      I'll definitely read it.

      Touch Social Security and your political career is DOA. We won't ever forget, and you will never get elected to anything again.

      by Karl Rover on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 09:45:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with Karl, Norm. I don't know (5+ / 0-)

        enough about Thorium to comment.  But, would you not agree that the better political budgeting process for you is to zero out this $36 billion in loan guarentees, and then give you and other a full year to argue that we turn this into research and development money for thorium.

        I feel the same way about all the clean, renewable, energy alternatives.

        In fact, I would turn the entire $36 billion for R & D for alternative energy forms.  We need an Appolo program here.

        If you can meet my safety, costs, and terrorism concerns about radioactie waste, I'd be happy to see you get a chunk of that.  

        But, you don't even  have a chance, if they give it to the bankers and corporate CEOs.  They are profit maximizers.  There going to fund off-the-shelf standard stuff, that has the greatest chance of profitability.

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 11:22:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not calling for us to give up anything but (6+ / 0-)

      secrecy, and false urgency.

      My call was to hold a year of congressional hearings during which Thorium reactor R&D folks can make their case.  

      But, to the best of my knowledge this $36 billion is allocated for the existing nuclear power technologies.  

      I believe your best chance is to join me for a call for a year of intense discussion and debate before we guarentee investor profitability for another round of reactors based on existing approved of technologies.

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 09:48:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I would agree that we should steer all nuke (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      billmosby, wader, HoundDog

      development and policy toward:
      1. Finally coming up with a consensus on safe storage.
      2. Focus R/D on 4th gen.
      Then we could use up our old weapons, etc, and after that, mine no more uranium.

      •  I'd go farther, But, I appreciate you (0+ / 0-)

        putting positive ideas on the table for us to think about that move us in the right direction.  

        I think is we can keep focusing on our goals, the reality of what we have now, and what investments, or influence we can cultivate for the future, we may be able to improve things somewhat.

        Probably, not as much as we would hope.

        But, I appreciate everyone who displays a constructive, can-do, positive attitude, and is willing to put specific suggestions on the table for moving foeward.

        Thanks David54.

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 09:22:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  And the cost of a (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roadbed Guy, Norm in Chicago, wader

      1 gigawatt thorium plant is about $250 million as opposed to $1.5 billion at least for a comparable nuke plant.  Thorium is ubiquitous.  I honestly do not understand why more R&D dollars aren't being invested in this technology.  The Norwegians, Indians and Chinese are ahead of us in this area.

      " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

      by gchaucer2 on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 03:11:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's more fun to chase illusions . . . . (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Norm in Chicago, wader

        like this diarist's oft-stated fantasy that all of the USA's energy needs can be met through solar and wind . . .

        Yeah, in theory maybe.

        But I recall reading with interest (and I apologize, I can't recall his/her name right now) a series of diaries of how hard one DK diarist had to fight to get a windfarm built in/near Michigan - and that's only worth 1/3 of a nuclear plant or so.

        The chances of replicating that thousands of times in anyone who's reading this lifetime is for all intents and purposes zero.

        •  theory can become practice (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          churchylafemme, wader, HoundDog

          that one windfarm represents the possibility, public pressure is needed to remove the (perversely crafted) obstacles to making it real.

          help make it easier, don't use the difficulty as excuse to roll over. fatalism is not our friend here...

          why? just kos..... *just cause*

          by melo on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 05:48:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's a bit of an uphill battle . . . (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wader

            since it seems like the first go-round hasn't been a rousing success as far as siting is concerned and the gruntlement of the local residents is concerned:

            http://www.nytimes.com/...

            VINALHAVEN, Me. — Like nearly all of the residents on this island in Penobscot Bay, Art Lindgren and his wife, Cheryl, celebrated the arrival of three giant wind turbines late last year. That was before they were turned on.

            Residents living less than a mile from the $15 million wind facility in Vinalhaven, Me., say the industrial whoosh-and-whoop of the 123-foot blades is making life unbearable.

            “In the first 10 minutes, our jaws dropped to the ground,” Mr. Lindgren said. “Nobody in the area could believe it. They were so loud.”

            Now, the Lindgrens, along with a dozen or so neighbors living less than a mile from the $15 million wind facility here, say the industrial whoosh-and-whoop of the 123-foot blades is making life in this otherwise tranquil corner of the island unbearable.

            They are among a small but growing number of families and homeowners across the country who say they have learned the hard way that wind power — a clean alternative to electricity from fossil fuels — is not without emissions of its own.

            Lawsuits and complaints about turbine noise, vibrations and subsequent lost property value have cropped up in Illinois, Texas, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Massachusetts, among other states.

            OTOH, if you want to put them away from people - e.g., in the pristine wilderness, there's going to be an entirely different set of people up in arms . . .

            •  You criticize my fanciful illusions Roadbed Guy (0+ / 0-)

              when all I've done is cite others.

              But, if we look at reality and the freemarket we see it has spoken loudly.  Not a single new nuclear plant has been initiated in 37 years, in the US.

              Meanwhile we've seen significant consistent growth in numerous forms of alternative renewable.

              So, whose have fantasies?  Are you seriously suggesting you believe the US, or any other country, is going to meet our expanding energy needs, and need to quickly reduce coal, oil, and other CO2 with significant expansion of nuclear, after these incidents in Fukashima Japan.

              And the intelligence, and national security communities, becoming much more alarmed about the links between civilian and milittary nuclear proliferation, as well as terrorism?

              Really?  Could you please write out your expectations here?  

              Or, are you just crying in your beer and complaining about how stupid everyone but you seems to be?

              Your said, you don't thing alternatives can do it, and oil, and coal shouldn't do it.  Do you really believe given your understanding of the current, and emerging politics, you are going to get tremendous numbers of new nuclear plant through the public licensing process?  In which locations?

              Did you hear that last night David Letterman was going nuts last night, saying he wants the Indian Point reactor taken down.  He was drawing pictures of how close it is to where he and millions of others lives, making fun of the fact it is on two fault lines, and suggesting that we hire local NY city gangs to "take it out."

              Do you understand what the public perception is now?

              Tell me honestly how many new nuclear plants you believe you can get licensed in the next 20 to 30 years, in the US?

              I don't beleive it will be many, nor should it.  So we have to work our best to move as fast as we can in our best viable directions.

              Regardless, of how we might feel about, it appears to me the the markets, the public, the intelligence communities, and increasing numbers of analysis are rejecting the nuclear electricity options, all for different reasons.  

              But, does it require some incredible leap of faith, not support by evidence that we're about to suddenly build hundreds of new plants in new sites around the country?

              NIMBY

              The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

              by HoundDog on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 09:38:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  From CNN today (0+ / 0-)

                Coal mining to expand on public lands in Wyoming

                This follows Obama's EPA approving 42 of 48 MTR coal mining permits.

                Bottom line, renewable energy is increasing rapidly in terms of percentage of existing capacity (because the baseline is so small) but in terms of absolute capacity, coal is expanding just as quickly (although NG may mute that somewhat going forward).

                And where are new nuclear plants going to be built - well, you are no doubt not in this country, we're too much a bunch of diehard dumbasses (having David Letterman determine energy policy is a great illustration of that).   They will continue to be built in Asia (Vietnam, China, and India, for example).

    •  If you mean liquid fluoride thorium (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader

      reactors with continuous recycle chemistry, you might want to consider this pdf, page 23:

      In the case of the molten-salt U-233 breeder reactor, it was proposed to have continual chemical processing of a stream of liquid fuel. Such an arrangement also offers a way to completely bypass the U-232 contamination problem because 27-day half-life Pa- 233 could be separated out before it decays into U-233.

      U-232 contamination of the U-233 is what is said to make this kind of reactor fuel cycle proliferation resistant, because U-232 decays into Thallium-208 which emits lots of high-energy gamma rays. So recycle chemistry that lends itself to easily removing the U-233 precursor from the U-232 could be easily used to make clean U-233 which is just as good as Pu-239 for weapons and even easier to handle.

      Nothing nuclear is simple or perfect, and this technology isn't either.

      My favorite reactor type has the same characteristics as this one, but it has its share of problems, too.

      Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

      by billmosby on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 05:53:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What happen if terrorists, or some idiot like (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        billmosby

        Gadaffi  has his agents blow up the core, and/or waste as a dirty bomb in the downtown area of some city.

        Consider the political situation in Pakestan, where about half of the intelligence, military, and police officers may be more loyal to the Muslim "extremists.  

        We really want to limit their accept to any radioactive material.

        But, we will not get away with the colonialist attitude that we can use it, but they can not.

        Iran and some other middle eastern governments do not accept that Isreal should be able to have nuclear weapons, but they can not.

        Even though we don't beleive them, they say their civilian nuclear power plants are just for people use.

        But, I just saw former CIA director Woolsey, saying we have to start to significant pull back on our support for civilian nuclear technology transer and education to nuclear engineers in these countries.  

        Because, we really can not build up their civilian nuclear reactor infrastructure, engineers, and training, without building up their capacity for nuclear weapons, or terrorism.  

        Please remember, when we say "terrorism" in that context we might be talking about the professional intelligence services of Iran, Pakestan, former Soviet KGB agents, going roque etc.

        If we solve a lot of the other problems new generations of nuclear technologies may be able to participate in the distant future, like after 2050, if we solve the global secuirty issues.

        But, for the immediate next 20 years, I think hoping this approach is going to save us is a pipedream.

        If anyone wants to write out a plan for exaclty how they seeing it happen, with yearly expansions for nuclear capacity, in terms of how many plants, where, take a shot at it.  

        But, in the meantime, I'm going to focus on renewable alternatives that have the potential to be stream lined, and ramped up much faster, than the theoretical ideas proposed about getting another nuclear plant lisenced in our lifetimes.  

        Good luck with that.

        But, I hope most folks concentrate on options that have some political viability.

        Let's move as fast as we can in the right directions, and learning, and double-loop learning, along the way as we di it.

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 09:54:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for the tip billmosby. That means a lot (0+ / 0-)

          coming from you.  I've learned a lot in our conversations.

          Thanks for pushing our discssions to higher levels.

          The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by HoundDog on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 10:25:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  May I Republish This to Nuclear Free DK? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ivote2004, HoundDog, churchylafemme

    Great post, do I have your permission to re-publish it to Nuclear Free DK?

    Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support single-payer health care,unions, and WikiLeaks.

    by Justina on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 10:06:23 PM PDT

  •  I should have made it clearer in the title and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    keikekaze, churchylafemme

    poll, that this $36 billion is a subsidy in the form of loan guarentee's for investors that will step up and fund the construction of new nuclear power plants.

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 10:08:50 PM PDT

  •  We should put 10 billion into small scale solar (7+ / 0-)

    on schools, hospitals, gov. buildings, airports, etc. Then start doing private residences. Create millions of jobs.

  •  I agree with Ed Markey on this. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog

    Uranium-based nuke plants are just downright insane.

    I would like to see a thorium test plant built, though, just to see if it really can "eat through" nuclear waste, like its proponents say it can.

    "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

    by Lawrence on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 02:26:08 AM PDT

    •  Alvin Weinberg, Director (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lawrence, wader, HoundDog

      of Oak Ridge National Lab built a thorium reactor in 1965.  Here is an excellent easy to understand overview of thorium plants.  Uranium is so Last Century . . . .

      The article indicates that the construction would be well over $250 million, but I've read elsewhere where a plant could be constructed close to that amount.

      " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

      by gchaucer2 on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 03:21:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HoundDog, wader

        Make no mistake, though... even if it is far cleaner than uranium-based nuclear, it will still be dirty to an extent, ie. it will still have to be mined and it will still produce some waste.

        But if it can help to eat through our stockpiles of nuclear waste, as claimed, then a test reactor needs to be built.

        "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

        by Lawrence on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 03:28:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Congress should also (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, Roadbed Guy, wader

    look at the Price Anderson Nuclear Industry Indemnity Act.  Right now, each plant must have the max enviro insurance, which is about a $375 million max.  They have to contribute about $112 million per plant into the indemnity fund which is currently funded at about $12.2 billion.  Any damages over that will most likely be picked up by the taxpayer.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 03:25:07 AM PDT

    •  How do other countries cover (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HoundDog

      the insurance issue?   The government picks up the entire tab maybe?  (damn socialists!!)

    •  Not "most likely" but "will be" picked up by us (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HoundDog

      and a major crisis, which the nuclear club knows it cannot deal with, is BY LAW set to paid for by us, the public.

      Nuclear Power is the Ultimate TOO BIG TO FAIL, and is designed BY LAW, as you point to, to be the biggest bailout of all time.

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

      It's just a matter of time. Unless we begin shutting them down now. We cannot afford this ghastly mistake.

      •  We need to find a way to get the (0+ / 0-)

        expectable real cost of this into the "real" per unit cost comparisions for the different electrical production optins.

        Gchaucer2, do you know anyone working on this.

        Because, when we look at these investments at a society level, we need to do them with the society costs, not these bogus, plant-owner balance sheet, profit-loss numberss.

        That's a mathematically, and methodology flaw and deception.

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 10:01:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  um... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roadbed Guy

        you do realize that the wikipedia link that you posted basically "proves" that nuclear power is by far the safest generation technology in wide use today?

        Comparing the historical safety record of civilian nuclear energy with other forms of electrical generation, Ball, Roberts, and Simpson, the IAEA, and the Paul Scherrer Institute found in separate studies that during the period from 1970 to 1992, there were just 39 on-the-job deaths of nuclear power plant workers worldwide, while during the same time period, there were 6,400 on-the-job deaths of coal power plant workers, 1,200 on-the-job deaths of natural gas power plant workers and members of the general public caused by natural gas power plants, and 4,000 deaths of members of the general public caused by hydroelectric power plants

        Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

        by jam on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 10:15:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The whole is issue is more or (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader

    less moot in any event, since the majority of these loan guarantees will not be used

    Constellation announced Saturday after news reports surfaced that it could not accept a $7.5 billion conditional federal loan guarantee because the Obama administration had insisted on too great a "down payment" in the form of a credit subsidy charge the developers would have to pay to the federal government to obtain the guarantee. The charge is an insurance premium intended to protect taxpayers against losses if the project could not be completed, or if its power costs were too high to compete and the owners defaulted on the loans.

    (snip)

    Constellation released its Oct. 8 letter to Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman yesterday, protesting a "shockingly high" figure for the credit subsidy of 11.6 percent of the guaranteed loan amount, or about $880 million, set at one point this summer. "Such a sum would clearly destroy the project's economics

    link

    Further, like I was saying above - these loan guarantees are set up such that there will be no cost to the taxpayer - thus how do you direct $0 (or if you could, why bother) to renewables as others have suggested.  It just doesnt' make any sense, except for symbolic reasons of spite.

    •  You are correct, but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HoundDog

      then just remove the $36B from the budget and make that part of the deficit reduction that the Teabaggers want.  A clear win-win.

      •  Yes, but the $36 billion - since (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wader

        it is not "real" money, it would not reduce the deficit at all if it were removed (and in any event, since it has not been spent, it hasn't contributed to the deficit regardless of the accounting methods used. . . . )

        •  Yeah, that's my point (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Roadbed Guy, wader

          Actually cutting the deficit would damage economic growth and hurt job creation, so eliminating unused funding from the budget is a win-win for "reducing spending" while not hurting jobs.

          •  OK, maybe I'm finally getting (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wader, HoundDog

            your point - it's simply an illusion to trick the teabaggers?

            Yeah, I suppose they're not too bright and just might fall for it . . ..

            •  Sounds like just a planning exercise (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              HoundDog

              "Actuals" are what matter, as you imply.

              But, with the Republicans, planning sets up our possibilities (or shuts some off), I suppose.

              "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

              by wader on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 08:12:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, Roadbed Guy, If the teabaggers will buy it (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wader

                it works.  

                Let's kill to birds with one stone.   I favor deficit cutting, but not at the cost of slashing social programs.

                I believe the budget should be balanced with defense spending reductions, and restoring taxation to Clinton era level, before we are tricked into agree to cut our own Great Society Program to shreds, which is what is the teabagger goal here.

                The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

                by HoundDog on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 10:12:53 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  It counts in the budget and if we can tell the GOP (0+ / 0-)

          we've met half of their demand for saving by taking it out, why not try?

          The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by HoundDog on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 10:10:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  But roadbed Guy you own quotation here appears (0+ / 0-)

      to devastate you own points.

      "Such a sum would clearly destroy the project's economics

      So investors are saying they will not invest in this nuclear projects because of the small upfront deposit they have to put at risk is too high --- this one tiny crack of free market calculated risk, "destroyed the project's enomics.

      Bingo!

      So, when you've been arguing that a these Federal Loan Guarentee will not cost the taxpayers anything because even with these guarentee, free market investors will not invest in nuclear power because they are unprofitable,  are you not simulteneously, saying no new nuclear power plants will be build in the US in  the forseable future.

      So then why don't you agree with my proposal -- let's take this money, you agree is not going to be use, and either take it out, in exchange for saving Social Secuirty from cuts, OR invest it in Manhantan type projets to accelerate alternative energies.

      Do I have a convert?  

      :-)

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 10:08:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But there is no money involved!!! (0+ / 0-)
        So then why don't you agree with my proposal -- let's take this money, you agree is not going to be use

        So if you take Zero Dollars and add it to Social Security, or whatever, what's the point beyond idiotic political posturing?

        This country has real problems to solve, I'd really like to think that our leaders are trying just a bit harder than this to solve them . . .

  •  I work in wind (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, Roadbed Guy

    and I love the technology and think that it makes a real contribution to the energy mix.

    However, I really hate it when people oversell it and make fundamental errors in engineering practice.

    Wind is not base load. It can make a contribution to capacity but a small one. We are MANY decades away (if ever) from a super-smart-transcontinental-HVDC grid that can take wind from anywhere in the US and provide power anywhere else.

    Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

    by jam on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 09:34:58 AM PDT

    •  We have been talking about the 20 to 30 year plan (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jam

      to meet all electrical needs without coal, and not expanding with nuclear.

      I'm not an expert on the base load isse, however I'm quoting many credible others report that the issues is more complicated and favorable than you portray.

      For example, did you see Jerome Paris excellent analysis on this a few days ago.

      There's some percentable of our and base load, and total need we can meet with these, that is higher than 50% in the one of the last articles I read.

      I'll try to research this more, but if you understand it well, why don't you write up a diary on it, and we can expand it to better collective understanding?  

      I think Jamess also discussed this two days ago.  

      Thanks for the feedback.  I admit I need to boolster the fact links here.  

       

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 10:18:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  big difference (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roadbed Guy, HoundDog

        between providing 20% of electrical energy requirements with wind/solar (easy) and consistently providing 50% of instantaneous electrical requirements (power) with wind/solar (incredibly hard).

        Take a look at this graph from BPA. I haven't analyzed this particular chunk of data but have done so for similar ones from this site in the past. In one data set I have they had a wind penetration of 13% meaning wind provided 13% of the required energy. However, it had penetrations ranging from 1.8% to 44% over individual 5-minute periods during the seven days of data.

        Fortunately, BPA has a huge hydro resource to firm that up so they can take a ton of wind on-board and not even flinch. Without hydro, where does that firming come from?

        I would be more inclined to put my money on geothermal and hydrokinetic (e.g. wave, tidal) in the renewable technologies rather than some fancy wind/solar firming scheme. So, in my humble opinion, if you are looking to get rid of coal without nuclear, then those are your choices.

        Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

        by jam on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 10:58:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Very interesting. This is exactly what I want to (0+ / 0-)

          learn more about.

          Thanks, I'll look up you previous work.

          We need much more specific data about different transition scenarious like this that we can gain consensus around.  

          At least, in the Democratic Party.

          The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by HoundDog on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 07:20:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Tap Water in Tokyo is now unfit for Children (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog

    The Japanese government says that Tap Water in the capital has radiation levels double the allowable level, and the release of radiation has not been slowed at all yet.

    The BIG news of the reactors till now, the 23rd, is that "the lights are now back on in the control room of reactor 3."

    Not "its covered" not "its cooled down" not "the smoke has stopped" not "the burning fuel is out" not "we have all trucks working," not "the back system works"

    It is still getting worse, and already it has reached the water sources for the largest city in the world, reached and contaminated. Presumabl;y that contamination is from days ago, and will be getting worse, for days and days to come.

    Nuclear is too great a risk. We must drive supporters of nuclear fuel from every office, including from inside our party, in our legislatures and in every energy organization in the world.

    It is time to stop arguing, and stop talking about theoretical safety, and drive them out of all offices of responsibility.

    The argument is over.

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