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Here are three articles about nuclear power you may find interesting.

Juergen Baetz, of the Associated Press  reports that  Germany Decides to Abandon Nuclear Power by 2022  This embedded link doesn't seem to work. Heres one that does.
http://abcnews.go.com/...

Germany's coalition government decided early Monday to shut down all of the country's nuclear power plants by 2022, a policy change prompted by Japan's nuclear disaster, the environment minister said.

Through March — before the seven reactors were taken offline — just under a quarter of Germany's electricity was produced by nuclear power, about the same share as in the U.S.
Energy from wind, solar and hydroelectric power currently produces about 17 percent of the country's electricity, but the government aims to boost its share to around 50 percent in the coming decades.

Many Germans have been vehemently opposed to nuclear power since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster sent radioactive fallout over the country. Tens of thousands repeatedly took to the street in the wake of Fukushima to urge the government to shut all reactors.


Yuriy Humber and Stuart Biggs write, in Bloomber News, that Fukushima Risks Chernobyl ‘Dead Zone’
http://www.bloomberg.com/...

Radioactive soil in pockets of areas near Japan’s crippled nuclear plant have reached the same level as Chernobyl, where a “dead zone” remains 25 years after the reactor in the former Soviet Union exploded.

Soil samples in areas outside the 20-kilometer (12 miles) exclusion zone around the Fukushima plant measured more than 1.48 million becquerels a square meter, the standard used for evacuating residents after the Chernobyl accident, Tomio Kawata, a fellow at the Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan, said in a research report published May 24 and given to the government.

Radiation from the plant has spread over 600 square kilometers (230 square miles), according to the report. The extent of contamination shows the government must move fast to avoid the same future for the area around Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Dai-Ichi plant as Chernobyl, scientists said.
...

Soil samples showed one site with radiation from Cesium-137 exceeding 5 million becquerels per square meter about 25 kilometers to the northwest of the Fukushima plant, according to Kawata’s study. Five more sites about 30 kilometers from Dai- Ichi showed radiation exceeding 1.48 million becquerels per square meter.

When asked to comment on the report today, Tokyo Electric spokesman Tetsuya Terasawa said the radiation levels are in line with those found after a nuclear bomb test, which disperses plutonium. He declined to comment further.

Sadly, we learn that in Belarus which was most affected by the Chernobyl explosion “about 23 percent of the country’s land was contaminated, according to a Belarus embassy website. About a fifth of the country’s agricultural land has been rendered unusable, which means some $700 million in losses each year.”

John M. Glionna and Kenji Hall, of the Los Angeles Times files this report from Tokyo

Japan Yields to Furious Parents, and Withdraws Laxer Radiation Levels For Children
http://www.latimes.com/...

The parents were furious: Why, they demanded, had Japanese officials raised the acceptable level of radiation exposure for schoolchildren near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant?


At a government-convened meeting here this month, parents demanded that authorities reinstate stricter radioactivity standards and begin stripping the top layer of soil off contaminated playgrounds. But officials stood their ground. ... Under the new guidelines, the government set the upper limit of safe radiation exposure for children at 20 millisieverts per year, from 1 millisievert previously.

On Friday, Japan's Education Ministry pulled an about-face, announcing plans to return exposure limits for children at school to 1 millisievert a year. Officials said they would also cover the cost of removing the surface soil from schoolyards where the limit is exceeded.

The government's initial raising of the exposure limit for schoolchildren prompted one key nuclear advisor to quit in protest. At times fighting back tears, Toshio Kosako, a professor at the University of Tokyo and an expert on radiation exposure, told reporters in late April that he was against what he considered inappropriate radiation limits.

Do you also get the impression that the political systems of other countries respond more quickly and objectively to changes in the external evironment?  We need to have Congressional reviews of safety issues in US nuclear reactors, and lessons learned from Japan.  We should support Representative Ed Markey who seems to be leading the way, in US Congressional Oversight.  

I am going to write Ed Markey asking him to explain his plans to us, so we better know how to support him in leading us towards the best, most scientific, and objective examination of these issues possible.

He is a Kossack who has posted many excellent articles here.  Don't you agree it's time to hear from him again, soon?

4:04 AM PT: I just wrote Ed Markey whose Kossack UID  here is Congressman Ed Markey alerting him to our support here for his efforts.  But, I forgot to link the article.  I've included here also, a link to his Congressional Website, and the update from his Website, on his recent Nuclear Safety efforts.


Dear Congressman Ed Markey,


Thank you for your much appreciated efforts to initiate congressional oversight hearings on nuclear safety issues, and lessons learned from the Fukushima accidents, before we license or relicense, any more nuclear reactors.


Please check out this most recent of many articles I've written supporting your efforts.


I've promised our Kossacks that I would ask you to write another diary here, updating us on your most recent efforts, and letting us know how we can assist you in leading America to safer, wiser, and more cost efficient sustainable, clean, and renewable energy options such as solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, conservastion, and efficiency improvements through technological advance.


Thank you for you excellent leadership.


Cheers,


The HoundDog from Daily Kos.


Here is Ed Markeys congressional website link


http://markey.house.gov/...

Congressman Ed Markey's Congressional Website


From Ed Markey's Website


Nuclear Plant Safety


The ongoing disaster in Japan highlights the fragility of nuclear power plants and the potential consequences associated with a radiological release caused by earthquake-related damage. Our nation must ensure its nuclear power plants can withstand a catastrophic event and abide by the absolute highest standards for safety.


In the last few weeks, Rep. Markey has written to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) asking for more information on the impact of Japan’s earthquake on its nuclear facilities and implications for America’s domestic nuclear industry. Rep. Markey also urged Pres. Obama to consider specific policies here in the US to ensure increased nuclear safety.


Thu Jun 02, 2011 at  5:22 PM PT: In the previous version of this diary, I used too many quotations from the LA Times, thereby unintentionally, breaking the Daily Kos "Fair Use" guidelnes and potentially infringing on the copyrights of the LA Times.


I've editted that section down, in this version.  


I apologize to the LA Times and Daily Kos community, for this transgression.  


Originally posted to HoundDog on Mon May 30, 2011 at 02:59 AM PDT.

Also republished by Nuclear Free DK.

Poll

Do you support Congressional Hearings into the safety of US nuclear power plants, and lessons learned from the tragic Fukushima nuclear accidents?

91%71 votes
3%3 votes
1%1 votes
3%3 votes

| 78 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

    •  So We Are Going to Have This (7+ / 0-)

      My parents live next to this:

      The Gibson Generating Station is a coal-burning power plant located in Gibson County, Indiana, United States. It is close to the Wabash River, just opposite Mount Carmel, Illinois. With a 2009 aggregate capacity among its five units of 3,750 megawatts, it is the largest power plant run by Duke Energy, the third-largest coal power plant in the world, and the ninth-largest electrical plant in the United States, and with the closure of Nanticoke Generating Station in 2014, will become the largest coal power plant in North America by generated power.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Mon May 30, 2011 at 03:28:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No coal is not an acceptable substitute webranding (23+ / 0-)

        as I know you know, due to unacceptable carbon, SO2, NO2, and other emissions.

        Most of our streams and river here in New England, are close to being so aciditic that traditional stream, pond, river, and lake ecosystems are close to collapse.

        We must not build any more coal plants.

        We need more agressive investment in solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, conservation, and technological efficiency.

        It is possible, however, now sadly, few politicians from either part are taking this seriously enough.

        We need to support Ed Markey and those that due, to be much, much more proactive, and pushy in this regard.

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

        by HoundDog on Mon May 30, 2011 at 03:37:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I Am With This (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HoundDog, Edger
          We need more agressive investment in solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, conservation, and technological efficiency.

          I am totally with you there. But IMHO we've waited too long. Even if we said tomorrow we'd have 50% renewable energy, we'd have to lean on coal. We've just waited too long.

          When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

          by webranding on Mon May 30, 2011 at 03:45:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  CONSERVATION: The ugly cousin (6+ / 0-)
          We need more agressive investment in solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, conservation, and technological efficiency.

          All too often arguments for "solutions" to our future energy needs assume continuing support of the world's current profligate consumption of energy resources.  No real solution is possible without massive reductions in per capita  energy consumption.  

          The notion that we must severely curtail our lifestyle in order to come into balance with the natural world's ability to support our energy needs is so repugnant to so many people that it rarely gets more than a passing mention.  Rather the focus quickly shifts to how we can continue to provide ever increasing amounts of power to the still growing human population.  Sorry, it just can't be done.  Not without continuing the reckless and idiotic policies we are now living with.

          Ultimately, fewer people and less energy is what's required to sustain our world, not a steady march toward more and more energy production from non renewable or dangerous energy sources.

          "If you do not read the paper, you are uninformed. If you do read the paper, you are misinformed."--Mark Twain.

          by ovals49 on Mon May 30, 2011 at 04:38:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Best Comment I have seen in months (6+ / 0-)

            Thank you for so clearly making the point that continuing the current energy consumption patterns and just switching to green energy is not a realistic path to sustainability.

            So many here have argued back and forth about the need for nukes because we have waited too long to switch to sustainable green energy sources.  I have been very frustrated with good meaning folks here who are convinced that even though they know nukes are a very dangerous technology that we should avoid, they are willing to support nukes to drop carbon emissions as the lesser of two evils.

            The point they all are missing is that the thing we have little choice on, if we are to deal with climate change, is a drastic reduction in per capita energy consumption especially in the fat and happy places like the US.  And this does not mean that we have to sacrifice our standard of living to do that.  Many industrialized countries with quite high standards of living utilize way less energy per capita than the fat and lazy folks in the US.

            Over the past decade my partner and I have slowly addressed our disgusting wasteful patterns of energy use to the point that our energy consumption is a small fraction of what it was.  Just think if everyone in the US did similar things how that would change the energy picture.  We live almost the same lives as before, with some very minor changes.

            So lets re-frame the discussion from do we need to take the big risks with nukes or not to a discussion on how we can both individually and as a society change our energy use patterns.

          •  uh huh (0+ / 0-)

            How do you enforce conservation: raise energy prices

            Who can afford not to conserve at all: rich people

            Who can afford to buy all new windows, a more efficient car, or relocate to somewhere with public transportation: upper middle class people

            Who are the only people who end up having to severely curtail their "lifestyle": lower middle-class and poor people.

      •  If Republicans get to decide, then yes. (10+ / 0-)

        We'll either have nukes or coal, oil, natural gas.  They will continue to defund every alternative energy initiative that Dems can get through, and to block as many as they can out of hand.

        They will continue to play the zero sum game of swapping one fossil fuel for another, simply to continue to pour billions in profits into corporate sponsor hands, while destroying mountains and polluting the air and water.

      •  Up to "we the people" to change it - like Germany. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HoundDog, Lawrence

        WE CAN DO THIS.  

        We have no choice if we want a habitable, healthy planet, after all.

        "There is in the nature of government an impatience of control that disposes those invested with power ...to look with an evil eye upon all external attempts to restrain or direct its operations.

        This has its origin in the love of power.

        Representatives of the people are not superior to the people themselves."

        - Alexander Hamilton - 1787.

  •  This is good news. (22+ / 0-)

    But, tbh., this is not really a step forward, as it merely is a return to the plan of the former Red-Green coalition that already had decided that Germany would get out of nuclear power production by that point.  At the end of last year, the current conservative govt. had extended the running times of Germany's nuclear power plants and have now basically been forced to scratch that law.

    The one difference would be that Germany basically immediately shut down its 7 oldest nuclear reactors after the Fukushima incident.  This occurred without any problems for the German grid, despite the previous claims of the nuclear industry that it would cause massive problems.

    The real challenge now will be to ramp up renewables in Germany to the extent that they will be replacing both nuclear and coal power over the next decade.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Mon May 30, 2011 at 03:14:35 AM PDT

    •  My impression, Lawrence, is that about every other (17+ / 0-)

      advanced industrial economy in the world, except for the US, is pulling all the stop to acclerate their transition to sustainable renewable energy sources.

      Our Democratic proposal for the 2012 budget apparently contains a $36 billion subsidy to restart the US nuclear industry, and an additional $35 billion in tax loopholes over the next five or so years has not been closed.

      Do we need a Noble Prize in economics to predict which economies will be growing and in the lead in 2020, 2030, 2040 and beyond.

      The only sustainable competitive advantage is the ability to learn faster than your competitors.

      We are establishing a proven track record that we've lost our edge in this record.

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

      by HoundDog on Mon May 30, 2011 at 03:20:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In Europe the dam has indeed broken in regards to (11+ / 0-)

        the large-scale implementation of renewables.  It was a tough fight to get to this point, though, and there still is massive resistance to it from big energy and the nuke and fossil fuel industries.

        One thing that is playing a large role is that there is a far greater awareness of the issue of global warming in Europe than there is in the U.S. and many of the peoples of Europe are very forceful in their demands for renewables being implemented, even if it initially does drive up energy prices.

        The democracies here in Europe are also generally more modern and responsive to the will of the people, thus allowing the will of the people to be a stronger determinant than in the U.S.

        Germans elected the red-green coalition of Gerhard Schröder into power from 1998 to 2006, for example, and that govt. installed the infamous German feed-in-tariff law for renewables, which has had a huge, positive impact on renewables implementation throughout both Europe and the world.  If this had not happened, then both Germany and Europe would not be nearly as far ahead as they now are.

        The U.S. mostly missed its chance to be a renewables front runner when it allowed Bush to be selected over Gore in 2000.  The Obama Administration has taken some significant steps in the right direction(CAFE standards raised, large-scale stimulus funding for renewables tech, executive orders to green federal fleet and military, etc.), yet the U.S. is now so far behind that it will be impossible to get a massive push in the right direction while people are still blinkered enough to vote climate-denial neanderthals into power in Congress.

        "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

        by Lawrence on Mon May 30, 2011 at 03:50:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Speakig of economies growing: "China Widens Lead.. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tinfoil Hat, Joieau, HoundDog, Russgirl

        ...Over US in Renewable Energy Ranking." By their continued monetary support of the oil and nuclear energy resources, our politicians are turning over the renewable energy markets--and the jobs created in the renewable energy industry--to China and other nations.  

        Yet another Giant Leap Backward by our elected "reps".

      •  Germany has made (4+ / 0-)

        the correct decision. I hope they pull it off in spite of IEA and ICC [International Chamber of Commerce] political pressure to force them to stay nuclear or leave the EU.

        The European states are all basically the size of single states in the U.S., and we have 50 of them. They cannot reasonably afford at any time to surrender large swaths of their land and populations to the nuclear beast that cannot be contained.

        We cannot reasonably afford such huge "sacrifice zones" either, but Americans are an unruly bunch. Millions of us could march on D.C. and statehouses and be completely ignored (or get ourselves declared Enemies of the State and find we can no longer travel or hold good jobs or associate/speak freely).

        Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

        by Joieau on Mon May 30, 2011 at 08:41:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Up to us... to change the narrative.... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joieau, Lawrence

          despite the many twists and turns along the way.

          We need a bright light to shine on the halls of Congress - for alternate energy - and for people.

          •    America was supposed to be a free country, not a corporative state.

          •  That this is true is tragic. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Russgirl, Lawrence, evergreen2

            But it's honest, which is not what anybody will ever get from the nukes. That's something. We must decide to change things in our own lives, that eventually "trickles up" in a way that "trickle down" doesn't. The players are all heavily invested in corrupting state and federal political machinery, which is unfortunately very easy to do. They make laws against us erecting wind turbines or water turbines or solar panels, hell even clothes lines. All to keep us suitably dependent and cut off all avenues to independence.

            There's Big Bucks involved. Individuals and families must thumb our noses at their criminal machinations, learn how to take care of ourselves. If we do not, we will doom the future for everyone, and have no one to blame but ourselves.

            Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

            by Joieau on Mon May 30, 2011 at 10:50:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Now that the conservatives went back to the plan (9+ / 0-)

      it will be impossible to back off from it again, unless german political culture drastically changes sometime between now and 2022. They can't say "aww it was just a dumb plan from the red-green coalition, and unrealistic" because they now gave the plan even more legitimacy. So that means we will be getting out of nuclear power with almost 100% certainy, which is very nice.

      "We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn

      by Mudderway on Mon May 30, 2011 at 03:44:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed. (9+ / 0-)

        Nuclear power is pretty much dead in Germany... and even throughout most of Europe as well.

        Even France is increasingly moving towards renewables.

        "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

        by Lawrence on Mon May 30, 2011 at 03:51:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  not that i dont belive it (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HoundDog, vets74

          but do you have any link for frances move away from nuclear
          because as far as i know 80% of france energy production is nuclear and all i heard was sarco saying we wont give it up.

          •  Oh, they're not going to rapidly give up on it, (11+ / 0-)

            but since the price of installed solar is dropping 10 to 20% per year in Europe right now and both onshore and offshore wind are becoming more efficient and competetive, they'll soon have little interest in building new nuclear and will also have the ability to start replacing nukes with renewables.

            I wrote a diary last year about them even becoming involved in North African solar:

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

            You should read through the comments... the pro-nuke crowd sure jumped me for writing that diary.  :D

            Here's another interesting read from 2008:

            http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/...

            Bear in mind that this is taking place with a conservative govt. in charge.  When they get a more progressive govt. in place, the implementation of renewables will likely increase alot.

             

            "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

            by Lawrence on Mon May 30, 2011 at 04:19:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  thank you for the infos (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Lawrence, Joieau, HoundDog

              and lets hope the new gov in france wont be even more to the right then the actuall

              •  France is never moving away from nuclear, (0+ / 0-)

                don't be idealistic. First the price of solar hasn't move or budged an INCH since they instituted their expensive feedin tariff a few years ago. 55 cents EURO is paid to any producer. Thus there are limits to how much the French public will put up with this. The tariff is already going bye-bye in Spain after the scandals and bankruptcies there.

                That France has any solar and wind is because of their being forced to via-european wide statutes that mandate some wind and solar specifically.

                I expect wind, not solar, to increase in France somewhat as it's way cheaper than solar and produces some real KWhrs as opposed to solar. Solar isn't even 1%, it's basically statistically irrelevant.

                France is building one new large 1750MW EPR in Flamanville and is due to start another in 2012 in Penly. Both are at existing nuclear plant facilities. Public support for nuclear remains strong.

                Secondly, 18% of the power is exported to countries like Italy, Spain, the UK, and Germany to help maintain their grids.

                France has a low carbon footprint because of their nuclear.

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

                by davidwalters on Tue May 31, 2011 at 09:01:18 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  I wish it was the US instead of Germany (7+ / 0-)

    Shutting down its nuclear power plants. Nuclear power will never be a safe source of energy due to Mother Nature and the human factor. Some may argue that Chernobyl and Fukushima are only two incidents where things have gone spectacularly wrong, but it's not worth the environmental damage and health hazards even so. And it's only a matter of time before we have our own nuclear disaster, with our aging nuclear power plants and not nearly enough regulations and oversight focused on them.

    Unfortunately, US politicians and the American public are - for the most part - short term thinkers. It WILL take a US Chernobyl/Fukushima for us to realize nuclear power is too dangerous. I just feel terribly sad for the future damage to the environment and to the lives of the people affected.

  •  I Don't Think Most Folks Get (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Russgirl

    we have some oil in southern Illinois. I can take you to many places, in the middle of a corn field, where we have oil. Would it be that hard to put in a windmill?

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Mon May 30, 2011 at 03:57:28 AM PDT

    •  may i ask what do you (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dance you monster, HoundDog, Russgirl

      mean with

      what this type of mentality leads to

      are you saying dreaming of a better sustainable world
      is the reason for the much higher co2
      output the west plus china has.
      •  The type of mentality is (0+ / 0-)

        "oh gee, we don't need nuclear power - we'll develop clean renewables . . . . ."

        The last time we we fed that line was a generation ago, and what happened?  Well, coal more than tripled from 1980 to 2008, increasing from under 6 TWh to over 12 TWh . . . .

        And "renewables" barely stumbled ahead, increasing from ~ 2 TWh to 4 (and much of that was unsustainable shit like converting the Brazilian rain forest to ethanol production and China's 3 Gorges Dam).

        And yet we're told - "don't worry, be happy - things will be different this time . . . .).  Yeah right.

        •  it is not we would dont need the nuclear energy (4+ / 0-)

          we just cant afford it here in germany (if anything goes boom)
          not like the usa we cant just move to another area and leave the contaminated area alone for some 1000 years , the usa has the luxury of allmost unlimited space we dont have that luxury. is coal killing the planet yes and another reason to get renewables going as fats as possible.
          but nuclear has the potential to make regions unliveable for generations and i guess our politicans will try to avoid the
          task too ask the france or poland for asyl for such a devastated region andf the millions who had to move away.

        •  Unless... (6+ / 0-)

          ...you are accusing HoundDog of personally contributing to the ramping up of coal in the 1980s, I think you owe him an apology for your original comment.  Pointing out that nuclear is a lousy solution does not necessarily entail contributing to corporations' decisions to exploit other lousy solutions.

          Your attitude that if things didn't get solved correctly one time that it necessarily follows that they can never get solved correctly is (a) fallacious, and (b) an argument for doing nothing but wait for the end.

          •  I simply made a comment (0+ / 0-)

            comparing and contrasting two extant diaries here at DailyKos - I suppose I should have just STFU and kept my mouth shut - I realize that one has to tread very carefully when debunking the anti-nuke hysteria around here.  But whatever.

            'Cuz I think this remains an important issue worth speaking up about because things are not being solved correctly this time (as I point out just below - the USA is embarking on a huge fossil fuel binge right now that will ensure it's massive expansion over the next generation).

            As far as Germany goes - how are they phasing out nuclear?  Well, for one thing: Berlin - The German government agreed on Wednesday to extend coal mining subsidies until the year 2018,  

            Subsidizing coal! - just how crazy is that?

            •  Not hysteria. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dirtfarmer, Russgirl, translatorpro

              At least not so far in this diary or comment thread.  Just a reasoned reaction to what we are witnessing.

              That said, I was just about to respond where I agree wholeheartedly with your comment just below.  My beef was when you targeted the diarist and not those who actually are creating the problems and preventing wise solutions.

              •  OK, I really don't see how I "targeted" this (0+ / 0-)

                diarist (unless you consider bringing up a dissenting point of view, "targeting").

                Just to me if somebody offers copious praise for Germany's phase out of nuclear power - in interests of fair and full disclosure, shouldn't it be mentioned that this is being accomplished BY SUBSIDIZING COAL?

                •  You are spinning.... or you just don't understand (8+ / 0-)

                  what you are talking about here.

                  Germany's subsidization of coal has been going on for a long time and has virtually nothing to do with subsidizing coal power.  It is instead designed to make German coal cost-competetive with foreign coal.

                  The coal would have been burned no matter what... those subsidies merely ensure that more German coal is used than would be used if there were no subsidies.  The subsidies were designed to prevent an immediate, total collapse of the German coal mining industry when faced with cheap foreign coal.

                  And the susidies are being reduced and phased out over the years, jfyi.

                  "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

                  by Lawrence on Mon May 30, 2011 at 05:42:11 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Roadbed ALWAYS compares (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Lawrence

                    "losing Nukes to fearful coal".   Always.

                    That's just his mantra...

                    The rest of us moved past that fear mongering tactic a while back.  Now, we are exploring positive solutions and change to the existing structure.

                    Germany and Europe are well ahead of us - and will continue to be until we in the USA choose to change things.

                    The horror STILL unfolding in Japan - changed the corporate/congressional "status quo"... forever.

                  •  Mr. Roadbed Guy always turns (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Russgirl, Lawrence, evergreen2

                    up in diaries praising Germany's efforts to move away from fossil and nuclear power, using the same tired arguments
                    http://www.dailykos.com/...
                    He and a few other pro-nuke guys did their damnedest to denigrate Germany's achievements in renewable energy in a diary a month ago or so, but this guy debunked one of the most persistent critics:
                    http://www.dailykos.com/...
                    It was a pretty interesting discussion in general, you might want to read the whole thing, diary (very well-written by citisven, a German expat living in the US) and the comments thread, if you haven't already.

                    A proud supporting member of Native American Netroots

                    by translatorpro on Mon May 30, 2011 at 10:53:34 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  ^^ (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      translatorpro, evergreen2

                      Poor Citisven... too bad his diary was polluted like that.

                      One big problem with the human condition seems to be that many people don't keep up with advances in technologies and shifts in paradigm, and thus act and advocate based on outdated paradigms while the world passes them by.

                      It's too bad that the pro-nukers often seem to be so rabidly anti-renewables... I experienced something similar in a diary that I wrote last year:

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

                      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

                      by Lawrence on Mon May 30, 2011 at 01:10:12 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

    •  It's not an either or, unless you're Republican. (7+ / 0-)

      They're the only ones who believe everything has to be either nuclear or fossil fuel, with no funding for alternatives.

      Solar and wind projects should be our new 'race to the moon', with every penny of subsidies stripped from big oil and set to creating solar and wind plants, hiring workers, and converting every public building in the country over.

      •  Maybe that's the way things "should be" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dance you monster

        but for whatever reason, they are not.

        The Obama administration is overseeing the continued expansion (yes EXPANSION - not even the slightest inclination to PHASE OUT coal).

        And what about natural gas - surely you're aware of the massive efforts to increase that?  Through fracken which is TWICE AS BAD FOR GLOBAL WARMING AS COAL (and coal is really bad!!)

        And the Bakken Oil Boom usually goes under the radar at this site for some reason - but it has the US production of crude oil on the upswing (for the first time in 40 years, really).

        The bottom line is that the nuclear phase out is nothing but a huge smokescreen for a massive expansion by the fossil fuel industry.  Fukushima is a major godsend for them . . .

      •  Need jobs? Get alternate energy! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lawrence, Terranova0

        WIN - WIN!

        For people and the environment... AND THE US BUDGET!

        Now... to help decision makers with the right choice, eh?

    •  All we need now is a discussion of the third... (5+ / 0-)

      alternative:  "Going all the Way with Renewable Energy"...

      A discussion that wouldn't automatically dismiss alternative energy because of obstacles.  Yes--as with any massive undertaking, there are many obstacles.  There are also so many potential benefits, that addressing overcoming the obstacles is a worthwhile effort, IMHO.  As the linked article states, while practical issues re: implementation of widespread alternative energy do remain to be solved...

      "Political will (is) seen as main green power obstacle..."

      While our politicians seem to only have the will to cut as much as possible out of the budget--meanwhile, China Widens Lead Over U.S. in Renewable Energy Ranking.  

      If the US were to step up and push to overcome the obstacles and expand renewable energy, we could do two things:  1. Decrease dependence on carbon based energy and nuclear energy and 2. Provide much needed jobs in the new renewable energy industry--maybe even exporting the technology, instead of handing over that market to China & other nations.

      •  The "Going all the Way with Renewable Energy" (0+ / 0-)

        is a wonderful idea - but the reality is that it just isn't happening.  Not even close.

        And China's lead in renewable energy is mostly window dressing - if anyone has charged full steam ahead lately wrt to fossil fuel use, it's them (all told, we really have done * that * badly  - it's just that we've been mostly treading water when a rapid change in direction was urgently needed 20 year (or more !) ago.

        But disturbingly, over the past 12 months, the US used 2.5% more coal.  Is that the direction that we should be going?  If the trend continues (and Obama seems deadset on making sure it can), that's really bad news.  Plus that doesn't even address the resurgence in oil & NG.

        Do you (anyone? Bueller?) happen to know when the magical ability of renewables to replace fossil fuels is finally going to kick in?  Because all the data I've been able to find seems to indicate "never" . . .  (National Geographic and Scientific American articles, notwithstanding - they seem to have forgotten about political realities, but I think we both agree on how problematic that is!)

        •  USA currently uses 20% Nukes - (0+ / 0-)

          WE DON't WANT EVEN MORE - EVER!  

          We can't store the waste or de-commission w/o MORE taxpayer monies today.

          We can change that by simply putting in a real energy conservation program - w/o Nukes, Coal, Gas, etc.

          When we conserve and tighten up our homes/businesses - we can also add alt. energy.

          GE already gets it and is changing with the times - when will you RdBed get past your own "magical thinking"?

          •  And when will you show me even one (0+ / 0-)

            iota of evidence that your efforts are doing anything but promoting the expansion of the fossil fuel industry?

            Which is killing the planet - quite literally

            A 150 percent increase in ocean acidity would be undetectable to the average human, but certain marine organisms including mollusks, crustaceans, reef-forming corals and some species of algae and phytoplankton are particularly vulnerable to small changes in pH. These species, known as "marine calcifiers," all create skeletons or shells out of calcium carbonate. The essential building block for this process is the carbonate ion, but when combined with hydrogen ions released by carbonic acid, it is rendered useless for shell-building organisms. The concentration of carbonate ions is expected to decline by half during this century due to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide levels (Orr et. al., 2005).

            Marine calcifiers face a second challenge: their calcium carbonate shells dissolve in environments that are too acidic. In fact, some deep, cold ocean waters are naturally too acidic for marine calcifiers to survive, meaning that these organisms only exist above a certain depth known as the "saturation horizon." With ocean acidification, the saturation horizon is expected to shift closer to the surface by 50 to 200 meters relative to its position during the 1800s (Doney, 2006). The Southern and Arctic oceans, which are colder and therefore naturally more acidic, may become entirely inhospitable for organisms with shells made from aragonite--one of the weaker mineral forms of calcium carbonate--by the end of this century (EUR-OCEANS, 2007).

            link

            You know, a century sounds like a long time - you and me both will be dead - so who gives a fuck, right?    

  •  Considering European companies often (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, ebohlman, Terranova0

    buy electricity from one another I have to wonder to what degree this simply results in nuclear plants being outsourced  to other countries in europe

    "I smoke. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your fuckin' mouth." --- Bill Hicks

    by voroki on Mon May 30, 2011 at 04:24:18 AM PDT

  •  GERMANY Has a Plan, We Do Not (6+ / 0-)

    Germany will succeed with their green energy goal; we will not-- because we don't have the level of committment to make it happen that is required.

    what we're doing (as always) is letting the speculators and the oil companies bend us over and screw us royally.... and the buffoons in congress allow this to happen.

    $5 per gallon of gas looks possible this summer--

    http://www.nypost.com/...

    "I don't feel the change yet". Velma Hart

    by Superpole on Mon May 30, 2011 at 04:38:10 AM PDT

  •  You're getting better. No fearmongering ! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gerald 1969

    Indeed there will be a "Dead Zone" related to this Fukushima catastrophe. But we knew that as soon as we heard that the tsunami had ripped through FNPP.

    How big is the zone ? That's another problem.

    The much bigger problem, which you keep missing, is that cesium-137 is just about designed to accumulate in rain water run-off areas. These should be Mini Dead Zones.

    We're involved modeling some of this. There's no SPEEDI for run-off contamination. Just getting a working database with spacial mapping queries has been a challenge.

    The place where you do see lying is with management, where different organizations all claim to be working on a solution and nobody is putting code to disk. That's been stamped out with targeted reassignments. There's plenty of window seats over there for anybody who wants to ignore the cesium-137-in-run-off problem.

    Also, why the constant complaining with no planning content that "renewables" -- such as solar, wind, and geothermal -- are the only acceptable energy sources ? You've got to be smart enough to access power company and regulatory information to find out what is in the pipeline. Dealing with what is actually happening with actual billions of dollars invested can't be imponderable.

    But these Fukushima diaries keep doing the ignorance routine.

    Jerome, you're not. So far not 1/1,000th.

    America has roughly 4,000-million megawatts/hour generating capacity. We all know that this investment is not your idea of Heaven.

    So, what and where and how are the power companies going to implement sensible plans that deal with the next decade of energy-demand growth ???

    Instead of endless whining, do some work.

    What ? Where ? How ?

    Do a diary with physical planning in it. You also might get a short education about how hard it is to do large-scale power generation on a budget. Also, what it is and how the grid works.

    Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

    by vets74 on Mon May 30, 2011 at 05:18:35 AM PDT

    •  so there would be desert tech (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lawrence, Russgirl

      hughe paneuropean investment as example
      we have developed a alternative power gird to transport
      the power over large distances and are calculating the cost to implement it in the existing paneuropean power grid.
      large distance and hot suny places the usa has plenty of it.
      we europeans have to go to the sahara to start the project.
      but we are doing it at the moment.
      at the moment the price tag is about 5 billion euros as far as i remember plus reinvesting in a newer power gird infrasturucture.

      •  Got at least an engineering spec on this ??? (0+ / 0-)

        And some idea on how daytime energy production in the Sahara is going to move those distances ?

        And why EU is going to put itself at risk of political instability in Africa ?

        Take a deep breathe.

        Consider the problem of building the "UNOCAL pipeline" for natural gas across western Afghanistan. Hell, that's easy compared to runnig something like this. Other than maybe you like conquering the areas involved and human-cleansing the locals......

        This is a dream, not a plan.

        Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

        by vets74 on Mon May 30, 2011 at 06:02:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  guess that why germany build its pipeline (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vets74

          from russia through  the north sea to germany
          and yes there are allready testinstalations for those distances
          you could read the wiki link i posted. short version you loose 10 to 15 % of the energy

          And why EU is going to put itself at risk of political instability in Africa ?

          maybe because we dont have a sahara but who knows
          what the future brings, after seeing france pulling the UK and the USA into a war with old oil buddy ghadafi i cant tell if the new EU takes more the USA aproach to energy security.
        •  The engineering specs are out there and easy to (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dirtfarmer, Tinfoil Hat, Russgirl

          find.  It's not like Desertec is not easily found via teh google.

          The distances from the northern Sahara to southern Europe are not really all that far and are easily bridged with High Voltage Direct Current transmission lines.

          In terms of political stability in North Africa, Desertec can actually be quite helpful, as it can provide lots of jobs to fledgeling democracies like Tunisia and modernizing countries like Morocco.  In fact, the democratiziation process in Tunisia has kicked Desertec into high gear there.  I'm sure Europeans would rather be sending money to those countries instead of sending it to backwards oil  monarchies like Saudi Arabia.

          Comparing trans-mediterranean HVDC lines from North African mediterranean zone countries like Morocco and Tunisia to a gas pipeline through the drastically different Central Asian Republic of Afghanistan is just plain silly.  

          Desertec is a serious and sensible plan, not a dream.

          "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

          by Lawrence on Mon May 30, 2011 at 06:16:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Wiki page doesn't have it. (0+ / 0-)

            Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

            by vets74 on Mon May 30, 2011 at 07:07:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Try the source, then. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dirtfarmer, gerald 1969, Russgirl

              http://www.desertec.org/...

              There are alot of major German companies involved... they would not be involved if it was not feasable.

              "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

              by Lawrence on Mon May 30, 2011 at 07:19:12 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Based on interns and volunteer workers ??? (0+ / 0-)

                Building a tunnel under SoB ???

                Etc.

                It's a try. Maybe not a fit with today's investment and political structures.

                Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

                by vets74 on Mon May 30, 2011 at 08:55:32 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It is simply not happening as the key (0+ / 0-)

                  are not 'engineering specs' but money...way too much, and, the rights of the North AFricans to control their own energy destiny.

                  Not one of you NGO-like shills has EVER discussed this with North Africans. I have, most notably with the Algerian opposition groups AND the main gov't party, the FLN, neither of which wants ANY of this.

                  They don't want an excuse for Europe to have an energy security issue of what is ALGERIAN solar energy production (they are considering going nuclear in any event and have started the first plans). They don't want Europe to have any excuse to "intervene" if the solar energy is threatened. It's called IMPERIALISM and they want nothing of it.

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

                  by davidwalters on Tue May 31, 2011 at 09:09:59 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  oh and btw (5+ / 0-)

          those solar thermal power plant are not only daytime because you can store the molten salt over days without loosing the heat aka the energy collected from the sun  and use it when needed .
          you really should read the wiki link ( and not just the contrversy about the projects)
          the output of energy will be shared between the african countrys involved and europe
          NA gets 60% of production for waterproduction from sea water for example and europe 40% so no reason to sabotage the project from the locals.

          •  There's an example of the molten salt (0+ / 0-)

            system at ASU. It's been working for years.

            But I don't see a spec that commits to a published plan.

            If it works, I'm all for it apart from security considerations. How tough are these systems ? Can critical facilties be protected ? Those are real problems, not to be wished away for reason of green-wishery.

            Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

            by vets74 on Mon May 30, 2011 at 07:13:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  but you do remeber what BP has done to the gulf (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              vets74, Russgirl

              heaven forbid there would be some molten salt leaking into the DESERT.
              i guess  it would make some nice glassculptures.
              we talk about mirrors and smal pipes mostly and protected from whom al kaida.
              you really like to saddle the horse from the back.
              btw how does saudia arabia protect its oil production
              in the end they do it right now
               

              •  Protecting long-distance transmission lines (0+ / 0-)

                is similar to protecting long-distance oil or natural gas pipelines.

                And the production site would be one helluva problem to protect if a war came along.

                But you knew that.

                Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

                by vets74 on Mon May 30, 2011 at 08:51:52 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Right - don't forget the cost in veterans lives (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vets74

          for those same pipelines...

          Not to mention innocent civilians who just happen to live there!

        •  You ought to ask the Algerians and others (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vets74

          about using their countries as energy neo-colonies for the European Union. Just what they want, more European's in their country!

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

          by davidwalters on Tue May 31, 2011 at 09:06:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  sorry desrtec (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vets74, Lawrence, jamess, Russgirl

      and here is a google translated link to the wikipage about the project.
      http://translate.google.de/...
      if i understand it right they could produce 10 GW by 2020

      •  They're basing this on a power line (0+ / 0-)

        over the Straits of Gibraltar.

        Sure thing, kiddo.

        After I see Morocco implement a solar power program for itself, I'll go through the spec's.

        Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

        by vets74 on Mon May 30, 2011 at 06:08:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  ääähhh no (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vets74, pateTX, Russgirl, Terranova0, kurious

          the power line over the Straits of Gibraltar is for wind parks
          in the ocean. i mean kiddo if you are lucky with the way it is dont change anything.
          but please dont stand in the way when other people feel the urgency to do something, to have a world worth to be handed over to our children.

          •  Hi, kudos for defending your (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Russgirl, gerald 1969

            statements to Mr. pro-nuclearpower-at-all costs-vets74 so effectively. Just a small correction: You mean "...if you are HAPPY with the way it is...". Common German error: Glücklich sein = happy, Glück haben = lucky. I only mention this not to criticize but to make sure what you are trying to say is understood correctly. Nichts für ungut!

            A proud supporting member of Native American Netroots

            by translatorpro on Mon May 30, 2011 at 11:18:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You mean you are happy then that (0+ / 0-)

              Fukushima had an accident, yes?

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

              by davidwalters on Tue May 31, 2011 at 09:10:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Are you responding to the right comment? (0+ / 0-)

                The two above me are discussing other energy issues in the exchange, not Fukushima, and I'm not talking about myself in any case, but correcting the comment above mine. I have no idea why you infer that it means "happy that Fukushima had an accident" when there is nothing to support your statement. It's best if you go back and read the whole thread, if you want really want to understand what the exchange is about. It's as if you are looking at a small cut-out of a photo and trying to interpret it without being able to see the whole picture. That's a good way for misunderstandings and disagreements to arise.

                A proud supporting member of Native American Netroots

                by translatorpro on Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 04:10:58 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  That power line already transfers energy... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gerald 1969, jamess, Russgirl, kurious

          but currently from Spain to Morocco, which is pretty silly considering that Morocco has incredible renewables resources and far less energy consumption than Spain.

          Transferring electricity from Morocco to Spain via a HVDC line would be easy.

          And Morocco does have a solar program, btw:

          http://www.newsweek.com/...

          http://www.alternative-energy-news.info/...

          They also already have their first solar power plant up and running:

          http://www.youtube.com/...

          "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

          by Lawrence on Mon May 30, 2011 at 06:39:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  There's also the additional piece by BentLiberal (6+ / 0-)

    which posted a little while ago, here.

    Thanks for keeping us on top of this news, HoundDog.

  •  My guess, FWIW (5+ / 0-)

    There will never be another nuclear plant built, with the possible exception of Russia and China.  Here, $36 billion in insurance guarantees isn't going to cut it.  Not with a $100-200 billion exposure in Fukushima.  And even the GOP won't nationalize the nuclear industry.  Which is what it will take.

    It's dead, Jim.  It's joined the choir eternal.  

    •  true (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Russgirl, evergreen2

      the question is how many old plants have to have unexpected mailfunctions with unforseen consequences  before we start to cut the power companys profits form those old plants and invest in a new sustainable startegy.

      •  Untrue...not just China and Russia (0+ / 0-)

        but India, Vietnam, Jordan, Korea, UAE, Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia, Epypt, Finland, France, Czech republic, Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, Belyrus, S. Africa and other countries have active plans for nuclear builds or are developing the safety and regulatory infrastructure for it. You need to get out more and see what's really happening out there. Nuclear in Europe, and right now only in Germany and Swtizerland, is on the ropes. Everywhere else it's being considered.

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

        by davidwalters on Tue May 31, 2011 at 09:13:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The World is passing us by (5+ / 0-)

    And its our political system that is to blame.

    •  yes true (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HoundDog, Russgirl

      but you live in a country where your voice can be heard ( at least in theory)
      imagine the hardship of the billlions that are not so lucky.
      what happened to america, we do it because it is HARD to do and not easy to do.
      oh right, he was shot in the head but when did this atitude die.

  •  Republished and question for you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, kurious

    You should be able to republish these, HoundDog? If not, let me know and I will double-check your admin status on NFDK. I really feel like all of your diaries have been well worth reposting and wasn't sure if you knew how to do this yourself. If you're an Editor, you can queue them. If you're an Admin (and I'm pretty sure you are, but if not, p/m me and I'll fix it) then you can republish yourself in the queue.

    Well done as always!

    •  Thanks mahakaly overdrive (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mahakali overdrive, evergreen2

      I didn't realize this was a good thing to do.  Usually, finishing these diary for me, is like running a marathon, where they turn out to take twice as long, and I fall across the finish line 4 hours late.  

      I'm just waking up now in the afternoon, to come back and look at this.  I still haven't figured out why I can't get the same exact link code to work, when it works the other half of the time.

      So usually by the time I get something published I've staid up all night.  

      I'll put this on the list for the future.  Thanks for helping me here and in the past.

      Should I put this at JNI as well?

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

      by HoundDog on Mon May 30, 2011 at 10:48:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't just support hearings (0+ / 0-)

    I'm for shutting them all down ASAP.

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