Posts Tagged nuclear power

Nukes Delayed

The New York Times reports that half the $17.5B Congress authorized  in loan guarantees back in 2005 has gone unclaimed. Yet Obama is going to add $36B more in guarantees to the budget next year. “Even supporters of the technology doubt that new projects will surface any time soon to replace those that have been all but abandoned.” However:

Mr. Wilmshurst [VP Electric Power Research Institute] said the continued depressed price of natural gas had clouded the economics of new reactors, and he predicted that construction activity would “go quiet” for two to five years. His group has shifted its efforts to helping figure out how existing plants can extend their licenses to 80 years from the current limit of 60.

Just what we need, even older and more fragile plants, NOT!

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A Culture of Complicity at Work in Fukushima

The old boys network comes though time after time, and did so at the nuclear plant at Fukushima. The plant has had serious problems since 2000, “including cracks in the shrouds that cover reactor cores,” says The New York Times. But regulators, politicians, and company executives colluded in keeping the lid on:

Investigators may take months or years to decide to what extent safety problems or weak regulation contributed to the disaster at Daiichi, the worst of its kind since Chernobyl. But as troubles at the plant and fears over radiation continue to rattle the nation, the Japanese are increasingly raising the possibility that a culture of complicity made the plant especially vulnerable to the natural disaster that struck the country on March 11.

Do we have any reason to think that things are different in the good old USofA. I think not. “Best practices” is a B-school aspirational concept, and is used to sell books and other merchandise, but it’s not used to actually operate nuclear power plants, or deep sea oil drilling rigs. In those worlds the Best Practice is to set up a PR smoke screen.

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Dr. Helen Caldicott on Nuclear Fallout

Fukushima is worse than Chernobyl. Radioactivity concentrates in food. We’ve got to get over our hubris; our arrogance threatens our way of life. Video lasts 10 minutes.

Wikipedia entry on Caldicott, Australian anti-nuclear activist.

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Teach-in: Shut Down Indian Point Nuclear Plant NOW

Saturday, 30 April, 4 – 8 PM, Judson Memorial Church Assembly Hall, 55 Washington Square South, New York City.

The teach-in will feature 3 speakers: Chris Williams of Pace University and author of”Ecology & Socialism”, Tim Judson President of the Citizens’ Awareness Network and Marilyn Elie-Co-founder of the Westchester Citizens’ Awareness Network. The speakers will go into the specifics of the Indian Point Nuclear Plant, it’s power production and N.Y’s useage, the Fukushima disaster and it’s potential parallels at Indian Point, and a broader context of the political and economic use of nuclear power. We will discuss strategy to shut it down.

Organized by Shut Down Indian Point Now!

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Severity of Fukushima on Par with Chernobyl

Will it break the scale? The New York Times reports:

But at a separate news conference, an official from the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, said that the radiation release from Fukushima could, in time, surpass levels seen in 1986.

“The radiation leak has not stopped completely, and our concern is that it could eventually exceed Chernobyl,” said Junichi Matsumoto, a nuclear executive for the company.

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Radioactivity may leak for months in Fukushima

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano says that if the current situation continues for a long time, with accumulation of more radioactive substances, there will be “a huge impact on the ocean.”

From a summary of the current state of the disaster in The New York Times, 04/04/2011. A special issue of Nature is devoted to the disaster.

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Ten reasons why new nuclear was a mistake

Plus One (1) makes Eleven (11)! Count ’em!

Alexis Rowell tell us why in this post at Transition Culture. Here’s the list:

  1. Nuclear power is too expensive
  2. New nuclear power stations won’t be ready in time
  3. Nuclear does not and will not safeguard our energy security
  4. Nuclear power is not green
  5. Nuclear power will do little to reduce our carbon emissions
  6. Nuclear power stations are inefficient
  7. Plane crashes are a risk to nuclear power stations
  8. Nuclear power kills
  9. It’s a myth that renewables cannot provide baseload
  10. Global expansion could lead to new nuclear security risks
  11. And we still have no idea what to do with nuclear waste

Here’s what we need to do:

  1. Energy efficiency
  2. Renewables (and possibly Combined Heat & Power in urban areas if we can find enough non-fossil fuels to run it)
  3. Tradable Energy Quotas (TEQs)

Read the full post to find out more.

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Thanks for your attention, your most precious resource . . . and ours.

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