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kristopher

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

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Potential Cost Of A Nuclear Accident? So High It’s A Secret! (5.8 Trillion Euros)

Potential Cost Of A Nuclear Accident? So High It’s A Secret!
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13, 2013 AT 5:37PM

Catastrophic nuclear accidents, like Chernobyl in 1986 or Fukushima No. 1 in 2011, are very rare, we’re incessantly told, and their probability of occurring infinitesimal. But when they do occur, they get costly. So costly that the French government, when it came up with cost estimates, kept them secret.

...

It evaluated a range of disaster scenarios that might occur at the Dampierre plant. In the best-case scenario, costs came to €760 billion—more than a third of France’s GDP. At the other end of the spectrum: €5.8 trillion! Over three times France’s GDP. A devastating amount. So large that France could not possibly deal with it.

...


“One trillion, that’s what Fukushima will ultimately cost,” Repussard said.

Part of the €5.8 trillion would be the “astronomical social costs due to the high number of victims,” the report stated. The region contaminated by cesium 137 would cover much of France and Switzerland, all of Belgium and the Netherlands, and a big part of Germany—an area with 90 million people (map). The costs incurred by farmers, employees, and companies, the environmental damage and healthcare expenses would amount to €4.4 trillion.

“Those are social costs, but the victims may not necessarily be compensated,” the report stated ominously—because there would be no entity in France that could disburse those kinds of amounts.

...


http://www.testosteronepit.com/home/2013/3/13/potential-cost-of-a-nuclear-accident-so-high-its-a-secret.html

100 Percent Renewable Energy And Beyond

100 Percent Renewable Energy And Beyond
Posted June 27, 2013

While many countries still discuss whether or not a 100% renewable energy system – or “just” a 100% renewable electricity supply – is even theoretically possible, Germans seem no longer bothered by such unscientific doubts. To make matters “worse,” some of them (including myself) are even convinced that a transition to a 100% renewable energy system can and should be accomplished within only a few decades’ time.

Some people might find this different perception of the problems we face to overcome the energy crisis of the 21st century so puzzling that they would rather choose to believe that the Germans have simply gone mad. Luckily, nothing could be further from the truth, and I’ve got a few nice examples that might explain the German mindset.

Think Big In Small Pieces

The German push towards a renewable future is often portrayed through the tunnel vision of the author’s worldview and the common themes of the political debates in her or his home country. Quite often, this kind of quality journalism turns a “minimum price law based on technology costs – in combination with guaranteed market access for all investors”(Feed in Tariff) into “generous, (tax-funded) subsidies”. Another popular myth among so called “professional journalists” is that what is happening in Germany is due to on some kind of “big government” program. Obviously, this domestic narrative-driven reporting is not very interested in looking at important details that could explain the big picture.

One of the most important details being missed by most of those common limited observations is the fact that the renewable energy success of the last decade was mainly driven by some pioneering regions, counties, and municipalities. Those local communities moved forward with conviction, while many others have remained dormant willingly or hindered by state governments that blocked investments by passing arbitrary anti-renewable regulations in favor of conventional power companies.

Luckily, some state elections and the spread of knowledge about the positive effects of renewable energy deployment for local economies have removed a lot of the brake blocks of the past. So, what can be accomplished within a decade if local initiatives get the opportunity to shape their energy future without obstruction?


Germany Top 3 Renewable Counties

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More at http://theenergycollective.com/thomas-gerke/242311/100-renewable-energy-and-beyond

Southern Co Downgrade: not enough renewables, too much coal, risky nuclear

Southern Company Slips to Sell - Analyst Blog
By Zacks.com, June 21, 2013, 12:10:01 PM EDT


On Jun 20, Zacks Investment Research downgraded electric utility firm, Southern Company ( SO ), to a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Why the Downgrade?

Southern Company witnessed sharp downward estimate revisions after reporting weak first-quarter 2013 results. On Apr 24, 2013, Southern Company reported first-quarter 2013 earnings per share (excluding certain one-time charges) of 49 cents, below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 51 cents. The weaker-than-expected results could be attributed to spiraling expenses.

Moreover, Southern Company's total operating expense for the first quarter of 2013 stood at $3,572.0 million, approximately 25.9% higher than the prior-year level.

Additionally, Southern Company's heavy reliance on coal-generated energy supply and a lack of meaningful contribution from renewable energy is a matter of concern. In the current age of growing emphasis on 'environment friendly or green' energy, the company may be forced to divert cash flow to ensure regulatory compliance, which can adversely impact profitability.

We also remain skeptical regarding Southern Company's $14 billion investment for the construction of two new reactors at the company's existing nuclear site in Vogtle, Georgia. With a fair chance of cost overruns and likely modifications - to fully address the safety risks exposed by the meltdown at Japan's Fukushima plant last year following a devastating earthquake and tsunami - the project cost could easily end up around $20 billion. This will substantially increase Southern Company's leverage and deteriorate its credit metrics.


Read more: http://www.nasdaq.com/article/southern-company-slips-to-sell-analyst-blog-cm254953#ixzz2XRbmrG4k

IEA: Clean energy to overtake gas by 2016

IEA: Clean energy to overtake gas by 2016
Rapid growth of sector puts it in line to make up 25 per cent of global electricity production in five years' time

By Will Nichols 26 Jun 2013

Clean energy will overtake gas in the global electricity mix by 2016, making it the world's second largest power source behind coal, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has predicted.

Renewables growth continues to "beat expectations" and by 2018 it will make up a quarter of the global power mix, the Paris-based organisation predicts in its second annual Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report (MTRMR).

The agency said that global renewable generation in 2012 stood at 4,860TWh, greater than the total estimated electricity consumption of China, and grew at around eight per cent over the year.

The IEA now expects the growth in renewable power capacity to continue, increasing by 40 per cent over the next five years.

Hydroelectricity will account for the bulk of the growth in renewables capacity, although the IEA said the global share of wind, solar, bioenergy and geothermal power will also double from four per cent in 2011 to eight per cent in 2018. Just five years ago, the share of renewable energy excluding hydropower stood at just two per cent...



http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2277313/iea-clean-energy-to-overtake-gas-by-2016

French Nuclear Disaster Scenario Was So Bad The Government Kept It Secret

French Nuclear Disaster Scenario Was So Bad The Government Kept It Secret


Catastrophic nuclear accidents, like Chernobyl in 1986 or Fukushima No. 1 in 2011, are, we’re incessantly told, very rare, and their probability of occurring infinitesimal.

But when they do occur, they get costly. So costly that the French government, when it came up with cost estimates for an accident in France, kept them secret.

But now the report was leaked to the French magazine, Le Journal de Dimanche. Turns out, the upper end of the cost spectrum of an accident at the nuclear power plant at Dampierre, in the Department of Loiret in north-central France, amounted to over three times the country’s GDP.

Hence, the need to keep it secret. The study was done in 2007 by the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), a government agency under joint authority of the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Environment, Industry, Research, and Health.With over 1,700 employees, it’s France’s “public service expert in nuclear and radiation risks.” This isn’t some overambitious, publicity-hungry think tank.

It evaluated a range of disaster scenarios that might occur at the Dampierre plant. In the best-case scenario, costs came to €760 billion—more than a third of France’s GDP...




Read more: http://www.testosteronepit.com/home/2013/3/13/potential-cost-of-a-nuclear-accident-so-high-its-a-secret.html

America's Nuclear Power Plants Are Money Pits

America's Nuclear Power Plants Are Money Pits

By Ben Richmond

Just like a pet alligator that’s grown too big to flush, America’s maturing nuclear power plants are a lot more work and danger than we thought, according to Mark Cooper's piece in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Cooper says if we had known this from the beginning, we probably shouldn’t have bothered to build the damn things in the first place.

The senior research fellow for economic analysis at the Center for Energy and the Environment at Vermont Law School, Cooper wrote that one-sixth of nuclear reactors that have been active in the United States have been retired early. The plants were built in the 1970s with the promise of providing steady, inexpensive power with minimal up-keep, a notion that Cooper says, has been exposed "as a myth."

Cooper points to plant closings in California and Florida as representatives of a pattern. Utility companies are ill-equipped both in knowledge and funding to deal with the problems that emerge from an aging power plant.

In Florida, Process Energy’s attempt to replace steam generators at the Crystal River nuclear facility resulted in a cracked concrete containment wall. In Southern California, radioactive steam revealed that the new tubes in the San Onofre nuclear plant were wearing down much faster that expected. In both locations, the cost of the problems overran everyone’s expectations and lead to the plant's closure.

Cooper says that utility companies looking to untested solutions to big problems just lead to plants becoming money pits that ultimately have to be closed....


Read more: http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/americas-nuclear-power-plants-are-money-pits

The Breakthrough Institute – Why The Hot Air?

The Breakthrough Institute – Why The Hot Air?
June 17, 2013

I’ve recently stumbled upon a number of articles by the Breakthrough Institute (BTI) that aimed at discrediting renewable energy on the one hand and on the other preaching about nuclear energy as the solution for the global energy crisis of the 21st century. With their hearts and minds pre-set on pushing their narrative, that some kind of a nuclear salvation is being held back by leftish environmentalists (sinister!), the so called German “Energiewende” (Energy Transition) has apparently become a regular target of the Breakthrough Institute staff’s publications.


Public displays of ignorance and misrepresentation of facts are neither new nor rare when commentators try to discredit the feasibility of a shift to a renewable energy supply. This most regulary includes unscientific pandering to conventional wisdom. In the case of the Breakthrough Institute’s recent articles on Germany and solar energy, all of the above are certainly the case.
The Straw Men Army

As I mentioned at the top, I am writing this because I’ve recently stumbled upon a couple of Breakthrough Institute articles — I wasn’t too familiar with the “Breakthrough Institute” before that. In the middle of May, the Breakthrough Institute (BTI) published an article comparing the alleged costs of what its analysts call “the German solar program” and the costs of a Finnish nuclear project currently under construction and which is plagued by cost overruns. A couple of weeks later, Michael Shellenberger (BTI President) & Ted Nordhaus (BTI Chairman) published an article defending the previous article against unspecified criticism and making a couple of incredibly silly claims in the process.

Reason I wrote this post.
So here’s a roundup of a few straw men, dubious connections, distortions, and stuff that’s plain and simply silly....


Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2013/06/17/the-breakthrough-institute-why-the-hot-air/#ABU468biCz85Axtk.99

Tussle Over Nuclear Plant Documents May Sink N.R.C. Appointment

Tussle Over Nuclear Plant Documents May Sink N.R.C. Appointment
By MATTHEW L. WALD
The botched repair job that doomed a California nuclear plant has created a political whirlpool that may be close to claiming another victim: the chairwoman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The issue is no longer the plant itself, San Onofre, which the majority owner, Southern California Edison, announced on June 7 it would permanently close. The problem now is that Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, who is chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and a longtime critic of nuclear power, has been seeking documents from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission about the work the utility did and how the commission oversaw that work.

The chairwoman of the commission, Allison M. Macfarlane, agreed during her confirmation hearing to a blanket request to provide documents. Opponents of nuclear power say that some of the San Onofre documents could raise safety issues about plants that are still running. Ms. Boxer’s office said they could also influence California regulators as they decide who should pay the nearly $1 billion cost of addressing the failed repair.

The Senate committee and the nuclear commission are locked in a dispute over the documents, and Dr. Macfarlane’s term ends on June 30. President Obama — who appointed her to fill out the term of the previous chairman, Gregory B. Jaczko, who resigned under pressure last year — has nominated Dr. Macfarlane for a full five-year term, but Ms. Boxer is refusing to have the committee vote on the nomination until the argument over the documents is settled.

The Senate has only...


http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/20/tussle-over-nuclear-plant-documents-may-sink-n-r-c-appointment/?_r=1&

Fukushima, Nuclear Power Plants And The Middle East: What Could Go Wrong?

By Vanessa O'Brien | June 21 2013 9:22 PM

TEL AVIV, Israel -- As Western democracies re-evaluate their dependence on nuclear energy in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima plant meltdown in 2011, the Middle East is forging ahead into the atomic age. According to projections from Nuclear Energy Insider, which supplies forecasts and analysis on the nuclear energy markets in the Middle East and North Africa, about $200 billion will be spent over the next 15 years in the two regions, where a total of 37 new reactors will be built.

That possibility alarms many inside and outside the region. Nuclear power plants require huge volumes of water -- a potential drain of the scarce resource in the largely arid region, which is also riddled with seismic fault lines. Added to that are concerns about the potential for using peaceful nuclear production as a cover for manufacturing nuclear arms and the kind of environmental damage that occurred in Japan when a tsunami led to significant contamination at the Fukushima nuclear plant, which still causes problems with food and water supplies in the surrounding environment. Fukushima was the worst such event -- a Level 7, the maximum, on the International Nuclear and Radiological scale -- since the meltdown at Russia’s Chernobyl plant in 1986. Only two of Japan’s 50 nuclear reactors are currently in operation.

But as evidence of the increasing focus on nuclear energy in the Middle East and adjacent countries, Turkey in May signed a joint declaration awarding a Japanese-French consortium exclusive negotiating rights for a new nuclear power plant in the country. And Jordan is following suit. This month, Jordan will decide which major company -- French-Japanese consortium Areva-MHI or Russian engineering firm Atomstroyexport -- will be awarded a contract for two 1,000-megawatt nuclear reactors.

<snip>

Numerous Middle Eastern countries have either announced plans to explore atomic energy or have signed nuclear cooperation agreements, including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Syria, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman. Though few in the West trust Iran, all of the countries have declared peaceful intentions for a civilian nuclear energy program, and -- aside from Iran -- cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA. All have different reasons for going nuclear...

http://www.ibtimes.com/fukushima-nuclear-power-plants-middle-east-what-could-go-wrong-1316621

The right-wing antirenewable crusade is on DU in full force

This is their latest go-to source for misinformation. It's set up and functions exactly like The Tobacco Institute, only in this case they are serving the right wing energy establishment.
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Tobacco_Institute


The Breakthrough Institute – Why The Hot Air?
June 17, 2013

I’ve recently stumbled upon a number of articles by the Breakthrough Institute (BTI) that aimed at discrediting renewable energy on the one hand and on the other preaching about nuclear energy as the solution for the global energy crisis of the 21st century. With their hearts and minds pre-set on pushing their narrative, that some kind of a nuclear salvation is being held back by leftish environmentalists (sinister!), the so called German “Energiewende” (Energy Transition) has apparently become a regular target of the Breakthrough Institute staff’s publications.


Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2013/06/17/the-breakthrough-institute-why-the-hot-air/#ABU468biCz85Axtk.99

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