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Member since: Fri Dec 19, 2003, 02:20 AM
Number of posts: 29,798

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Why are threads about the consequences of the spread of nuclear ENERGY being locked?

Since when have the external or non-monitized costs of energy not been an acceptable topic for Environment and Energy?

There are 4 primary problems associated with the idea of using nuclear energy to address climate change:

Events associated with proliferation concerns - such as potential or actual wars to prevent the acquisition of nuclear weapons under the guise of "civilian" nuclear power - are legitimate topics for discussion.

How Obama shares at Intrade are tracking stock market

Not familiar with Intrade? Go here: http://www.intrade.com/v4/home/

As stock market fares, so will Obama
By Allan Roth (CBS)

(MoneyWatch) Will President Barack Obama win another term? If he does, it will have little to do with health care or televised debates. The only thing that matters in his re-election is largely outside of his control, and that is how the stock market performs between now and November. Here's why.


Referring to the robust market for trading in American politics, Carl Wolfenden, exchange operations manager at Intrade, noted that though the company also makes markets to speculate on European politics, such trading isn't nearly as active. Trading in American politics is likely more active because "in America, politics is a blood sport," he said.

As you might imagine, the U.S. presidential election is the most frequently traded instrument. As of this writing, Obama shares were trading at $5.59 a share. That means a share purchased for $5.59 can be cashed in for $10 after an Obama victory or end up as a worthless security if he loses. Put another way, the $5.59 price translates to the market believing Obama has a 55.9 percent chance of winning.

It appears that, on average, every 1 percent change in stock prices translates to a 1.14 percent change in Obama's prospects of a November victory. In case you think the relationship between U.S. stocks and Obama's chances are random, statistically the odds that this relationship is real are well over 99.999999999 percent.

More at: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505123_162-57468124/as-stock-market-fares-so-will-obama/?tag=re1.channel

U.S. Air Force Gets Solar Power from SolarCity, Continues Clean Energy Push

U.S. Air Force Gets Solar Power from SolarCity, Continues Clean Energy Push

When the Department of Defense privatized military housing back in the 1990′s, little did it know that those homes would become the platform for the largest residential solar project in American history. Well, they did.

Last November, the solar installer SolarCity announced that it would build about $1 billion in solar projects for military housing under a project it calls SolarStrong, and now the company is following up with a new round of solar installations for the U.S. Air Force in partnership with the global company Lend Lease.

The Solar Powered Force of the Future
It’s no secret that Republican leaders in Congress have tried to monkey-wrench DoD’s efforts to transition to solar power and other forms of renewable energy that are cleaner, safer, and more reliable than fossil fuels. However, DoD has been finding ways to work around those obstacles.

The Navy is forging ahead with a $62-million biofuel research and development project under the force of a 1950′s-era law, and DoD has just announced a $420-million public-private partnership to build commercial-scale biorefineries for aviation biofuel and biodiesel.

The Army has topped them all with...


Rep. Dennis Kucinich: If You Lived Downwind From This Power Plant, Would You Be Concerned?

Kucinich takes on the system allowing continued operation of Toledo's deteriorating Davis-Besse Nuclear Plant, which has a history of near catastrophic failure.

If You Lived Downwind From This Power Plant, Would You Be Concerned?
Rep. Dennis Kucinich

If an airline pilot failed an annual exam, and the Federal Aviation Administration simply lowered its standards to allow that pilot to continue to fly, would you board the flight? If a surgeon failed a licensing exam, and the medical board simply lowered its standards and allowed the surgeon to continue to practice, would you look for another doctor?


A year ago, The Associated Press conducted an in-depth analysis of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's treatment of age-related deterioration at nuclear power plants. The AP concluded that the NRC "work(ed) closely with the nuclear power industry to keep the nation's reactors operating within safety standards by repeatedly weakening those standards, or simply failing to enforce them."

The AP examined "tens of thousands of pages of government and industry studies... along with test results, inspection reports and regulatory policy statements...over four decades." Those records "show a recurring pattern: Reactor parts or systems fall out of compliance with the rules. Studies are conducted by the industry and government, and all agree that existing standards are 'unnecessarily conservative.' Regulations are loosened, and the reactors are back in compliance."

Several nuclear engineers and former regulators "call the approach 'sharpening the pencil' or 'pencil engineering' -- the fudging of calculations and assumptions to yield answers that enable plants with deteriorating conditions to remain in compliance."

Pencil engineering is exactly ...


Hole in reactor head was located in area not subject to regular inspections. It was found by chance when, during regular inspection, the advanced state of deterioration around the control rod resulted in it moving when it was bumped by an inspector dismantling some test equipment. After peeling off all of the mechanical apparatus on the top of the reactor head associated with the operation of the control rod they found this football sized hole that was within 3/8 inch of fully penetrating the reactor head.

All NRC file photos can be seen here:

Full story and related articles
Union of Concerned Scientists
Davis Besse - Reactor with a hole in its head

Scapegoating Davis Besse by NRC

Retrospective on Davis Besse

Nuclear Regulatory Commission accounts


Bathtub curve


Unexpectedly Good News Regarding Energy Trends

Ralph Cavanagh’s Blog - Natural Resources Defense Council

Unexpectedly Good News Regarding Energy Trends

Posted July 12, 2012 in Solving Global Warming


1. Although the U.S. economy has almost tripled in size over the past forty years, oil use is up by only about one percent. Just since 2007, we’ve cut oil consumption by over 12 percent; that year will almost certainly rank as the all-time peak, given prospects for sustained progress in fuel economy and the continuing emergence of other alternatives to oil. Those who complain that the United States has made no progress in reducing its oil dependence are entirely wrong.

2. Looking ahead, higher fuel economy standards already adopted for cars and light trucks will be saving the equivalent of more than two million barrels of oil a day by 2025 -- that’s more than one-tenth of total U.S. oil use today, comparable to what we import from Saudi Arabia and Venezuela combined.

3. Since 2000, U.S. electricity use has grown more slowly than the population for the first sustained period since the industry was launched a century ago by Thomas Edison and Samuel Insull, who helped create the nation’s electrical infrastructure. In just the past decade, our use of coal to generate electricity has declined significantly – by the annual equivalent of more than sixty giant 500 Megawatt power plants, which represents about ten percent of total U.S. coal-fired generation capacity. The principal replacement sources have been natural gas and wind power (the latter of which boosted its production 20-fold in just a decade), yielding a giant national and international dividend in avoided emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, mercury and carbon dioxide.

4. When you adjust for economic growth and inflation, the United States has cut its energy needs by more than 50% since 1973 and the trend shows no signs of slowing. If you treat this 40-year reduction as the equivalent of new energy supply, the resulting resource is now almost four times larger than the expansion of output from all other energy sources combined over that same period (including oil, natural gas, nuclear power, biofuels, wind and solar).



GOES-13 Satellite Movie of the Derecho (the storm that left 3 million without power around DC)

News release:
NASA satellites examine powerful summer derecho

As a powerful summertime derecho moved from Illinois to the Mid-Atlantic states on June 29, expanding and bringing destruction with it, NASA and other satellites provided a look at various factors involved in the event, its progression and its aftermath.

According to NOAA's Storm Prediction Center web site, a derecho (pronounced "deh-REY-cho" is a widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms. Damage from a derecho is usually in one direction along a relatively straight track. By definition an event is classified a derecho if the wind damage swath extends more than 240 miles (about 400 kilometers) and includes wind gusts of at least 58 mph (93 km/h) or greater along most of its length.

These storms are most common in the United States during the late spring and summer, with more than three quarters occurring between April and August. They either extend from the upper Mississippi Valley southeast into the Ohio Valley, or from the southern Plains northeast into the mid-Mississippi Valley....

More text at: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-07/nsfc-nse070512.php

Video page:

What is both old and new at the same time?

It was supposed to demonstrate that the new generation of nuclear power can do what the nuclear industry has never done in the past - complete a project on time and on budget. But Finland's French built plant, already 5 years past its completion deadline and billions of dollars over budget, stumbles yet again.

Finland's TVO says nuclear reactor not ready in 2014
July 16, 2012

Finnish electricity company TVO revealed on Monday a new delay in the operation of an EPR nuclear reactor being built by Areva and Siemens which is already five years late. TVO said that the reactor being built in southwestern Finland known as Olkiluoto 3 would not be ready to produce electricity normally in 2014 as previously expected and that a new timetable had not been set, blaming its partners for the delay.

"The plant unit's installation works and plant automation system engineering under the responsibility of the supplier have not progressed according to the supplier's schedules," the Finnish company said in a statement.

The European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) is the name for a new generation of nuclear technology, yet to be put into production.

TVO said that it was waiting ...

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2012-07-finland-tvo-nuclear-reactor-ready.html#jCp

"deliberative polling" - Does it have a place in democracy?

The broader implications of this might be of interest to some. It is a wonderful tool for deep exploration of public beliefs and values, but is it a method for actually crafting good decisions?

Japan's energy future too important to be left to experimental polling method

Once upon a time, in ancient Athens, state policy was decided not by elected representatives, but by a great assembly of all eligible citizens. Five hundred of these citizens were also chosen by lot for the Bouletai, or council, which spent time deliberating the issues facing Athens and drawing up bills for the assembly's consideration.

In the modern world, a small-scale version of this selection by lot and the group deliberation that was such an important part of Athenian democracy is being resurrected by U.S. academics in the form of deliberative polls.

In a deliberative poll, respondents are chosen at random to answer questions on relevant issues, just as in a regular opinion poll. Unlike a regular poll, however, the process doesn't stop there. Respondents are invited to a weekend event where they are given detailed information about the issues at hand, hold discussions with experts and politicians, and debate various points of view. At the end of the weekend, the respondents are asked the same survey questions again.

Deliberative polls have been attracting attention in Japan as well. Specifically, deliberative polling is set to be used to help choose between one of three options presented by the government for Japan's energy future -- a weighty issue in the wake of last year's meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

Though the government is aiming to make...


“They effectively betrayed the nation’s right to be safe from nuclear accidents...."

Fukushima and the Nuclear Pushers
The conclusion of a report of a Japanese parliamentary panel issued last week that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster was rooted in government-industry “collusion” and thus was “man-made” is mirrored throughout the world. The “regulatory capture” cited by the panel is the pattern among nuclear agencies right up to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

“The Fukushima nuclear power plant accident was the result of collusion between the government, the regulators and Tepco [Tokyo Electric Power Company, the owner of the six Fukushima plants] and the lack of governance by said parties,” said the 641-page report of The Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission released on July 5.


In fact, the nuclear regulatory situation in Japan is the rule globally.

In the United States, for example, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and its predecessor agency, the Atomic Energy Commission, never denied a construction or operating license for a nuclear power plant anywhere, anytime. The NRC has been busy in recent times not only giving the go-ahead to new nuclear power plant construction in the U.S. but extending the operating licenses of most of the 104 existing plants from 40 to 60 years—although they were only designed to run for 40 years. That’s because radioactivity embrittles their metal components and degrades other parts after 40 years making the plants unsafe to operate. And the NRC is now considering extending their licenses for 80 years.

Moreover, the NRC’s chairman...


The OP can't count things like this

Utility regulators asleep at the switch

There is a reason for all of the bluster in North Carolina over the ouster of Bill Johnson as CEO of newly combined Duke Energy and Progress Energy. The regulators are embarrassed for failing to do their job and properly examine the deal. In North Carolina, utility regulators did not even ask about the shuttered Crystal River nuclear power plant. In Florida, they asked but failed to move aggressively and had even less authority to review the merger. If regulators didn't see this coming, they have only themselves to blame.

Former Duke CEO James Rogers replaced Johnson, the former Progress Energy CEO, as head of the combined company. Rogers told the North Carolina Utilities Commission on Tuesday that the board of directors forced Johnson's resignation hours after the merger closed due to "an accumulation of concerns and observations" that began surfacing earlier this year. Among the major issues: the extent of problems at the troubled Crystal River nuclear plant. The facility was shut down in 2009 for repairs, but it remains shuttered after Progress Energy's failed attempt to repair it without hiring an outside firm.

Yet in the days leading up to the merger's completion July 2, the North Carolina commission refused to examine the Crystal River issue despite requests from watchdog groups. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, who launched his own investigation last week, claimed, "We need to get the bottom of this to make sure we protect consumers." It seems a little late for the cavalry .

For months, Progress Energy customers have been begging the Florida Public Service Commission to take a harder look at the botched repair job in Crystal River and whether it should just be shut down. (The PSC will hear a status report next month.) The PSC also has been unwilling to re-examine its approval of an advanced nuclear fee paid by 1.6 million Florida customers for a proposed Levy County nuclear plant that has more than quadrupled in cost since it was first announced six years ago.

Also absent: the Republican-led Florida Legislature...

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