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The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee late on the night of January 27 snuck in a provision to President Obama's economic stimulus package that would allow as much as $50 BILLION of your dollars to be used as loan guarantees for construction of new nuclear reactors. This would be on top of the $18.5 Billion in taxpayer dollars already authorized by Congress during the Bush administration.

These loan guarantees would mean more nuclear reactors and more radioactive waste piling up in communities across our country. They would also mean less money for safer, cheaper and cleaner energy alternatives like solar and wind power.

The provision is vaguely worded. It would authorize $50 Billion in new loan guarantees for "eligible technologies." These technologies include nuclear, "clean coal," renewable energy sources and electric transmission. But the stimulus package is intended to create new jobs and economic activity over the next two years. Moreover, the reality is neither nuclear power nor "clean coal" is ready to produce any jobs within the next two years. And that begs the point as to whether either should garner any taxpayer support at all....

The Department of Energy apparently would have to decide how to allocate this $50 Billion. If it all went to safe, cost-effective renewable energy sources, that would be one thing. Unfortunately, the provision's backers, like Sens. Robert Bennett (R-UT) and Thomas Carper (D-DE), are clear that their intent is that it would go for new nuclear reactor construction. Yet the Congressional Budget Office predicts a 50% default rate by nuclear utilities using this program! This is simply a nuclear bailout waiting to happen, and we can't afford it.

But it's not too late. You can help stop this nonsense. Environmental groups including NIRS, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Friends of the Earth and many others are now organizing to get this provision out of the stimulus package. The full Senate will vote on the stimulus package the week of February 2. We urge everyone to call your Senators now (Senate Switchboard: 202-224-3121) and tell them to stop all loan guarantees for new nuclear reactors. AND, we encourage you to send an  an e-mail to your Senators by clicking here.

Thanks for all you do,

Michael Mariotte

Executive Director

Nuclear Information and Resource Service

nirsnet@nirs.org

www.nirs.org

Originally posted to nirsnet on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 12:06 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I wonder what will be left to 'protect' (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane

    if the banks continue to meltdown.

    I'll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there's evidence of any thinking going on inside it.~Terry Pratchett

    by LaFeminista on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 12:08:37 PM PST

    •  The contact numbers are useful (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Plan9, bryfry

      but the loan guarantees should not have such a low limit. $50 billion, when it is mobilizing private money as in this case, is nothing.

      I urge everyone to ring their Senators and persuade them to double or triple the size of the proposed available loan guarantees. When combined with the guarantee qualification process, it's clear to rational folk that this infrastructure stimulus will be privately rather than publicly funded.

      This is not a sig-line.

      by Joffan on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 06:50:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  contact numbers (0+ / 0-)

        Actually, since the money will come from the US Treasury through the Federal Financing Bank, these projects would NOT be privately funded....Dept of Energy regulations, in fact, prohibit funding from anywhere except the Federal Financing Bank for those utilities seeking the maximum guarantee (80% of total project cost), on the grounds that the projects are too large and risky for private capital.....And indeed the Congressional Budget Office predicts a 50% default rate on this program.

        This is a pre-emptive bailout of the nuclear power industry, not an economic stimulus....

  •  Great idea! (11+ / 0-)

    Someone needs to get cracking on building high-efficiency power generation capacity.  Nuclear power is GREEN, if you hadn't noticed.

    The "waste" is a resource.  

    No one in America has ever died because of nuclear power.  Contrast that to coal.  Then come back and try to scare me.

    •  Are you nuts? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skywriter, Earth Ling

      Highly toxic, radioactive waste that is piling up at reactors around the country because we have no plan to deal with it is a "resource"?  Huh?

      •  You are sadly misinformed. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jxg, Plan9, G2geek, Joffan, bryfry

        And yes, the so-called "waste" is a precious resource.  It can be reprocessed.

        •  reprocessing (3+ / 0-)

          Yes, reprocessing worked so well at West Valley NY that 35 years later we're still cleaning up the mess it left behind--for billions of dollars...

          And works so well in France that they still need to find a permanent high-level waste dump, even while radiation releases have at times been so high along the Normandy coast that beaches have been closed during the summer...

          And it's so expensive in France that the value the French have placed on the reprocessed fuel is 0....

          For more on the spectacular failures of the French nuclear program, see Nuclear Power in France: Beyond the Myth.

          yeah, great idea.....

          •  Objective scientific sources for your claims, pls (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joffan, willb48, bryfry, Mcrab

            The ultimate residue after spent fuel in France has gone through the reactors multiple times is very tiny.  It has been bonded with glass, which immobilizes the radioactive material for thousands of years, and it all fits in special storage chambers under the floors of three rooms the size of basketball courts.

            NIRS is neither objective nor scientific.  It is a fearmongering organization that distorts everything and therefore cannot be trusted.

            The IPCC predicts average global temperatures to rise enough by 2050 to put 20-30% of all species at risk for extinction.

            by Plan9 on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 04:58:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  . (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Plan9, Joffan, bryfry

            What a crock.  I have heard of beaches in New Jersey being closed due to medical waste washing ashore, and beaches closed due to e. coli dangers.

            I have heard of beaches in France and Alaska and California being flooded with dangerous crude oil.

            If you have the slightest evidence of a single beach closed by nuclear power DANGEROUS EMISSIONS, please explain.  And no, the H-Bomb tests in the Pacific do not count.  Those explosions generated not a single watt of useful electrical power.

            The evidence-based community awaits your hysterical response.  

            Ok, that was a bit of an ad-hominem attack.  I apologise for that, but not for my disdain for your ignorant comment.

            •  I'm not sure you can ad-hom an organization; (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Plan9

              it's not a person.

              Even though a representative is acting on its behalf, I'd think ad hominem is not possible, provided your remarks are attacks on the organization and not on the personal qualities of the representative.

              YMMV.

              The use of "you" for a variety of purposes in English (singular/plural/general/...) adds to the confusion, of course.

              This is not a sig-line.

              by Joffan on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 06:59:43 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  you might want to talk to Dr. Steve Wing (5+ / 0-)

      You might want to talk to (or at least read up on his work) Dr. Steve Wing at the University of North Carolina, whose studies prove pretty conclusively that people did die at Three Mile Island...

      And even if you don't want to believe him, there are literally thousands of Native Americans and others who have died of cancers from uranium mining, which is just as nasty as coal mining....

      There is nothing "green" about nuclear power except for the color of the money the utilities want to take from the ratepayers.....

      •  Three Mile Island (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Plan9, G2geek, Joffan, bryfry

        A complete canard.

        I am well aware of the dangers of uranium mining.  The dangers were misunderstood or ignored.  We can safely assume that many, many millions of people have died prematurely because of coal-burning, with its attendant pollution.

        Nuclear power is the only feasible alternative to coal-fired plants.  Like it or not.

      •  hardly as many as coal (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jxg, Plan9, Uncle Cosmo, Joffan, bryfry, Jon Says

        (Speaking here as someone who worked on design engineering for 300 MW of utility-scale wind farms.)

        20,000 to 30,000 deaths per year from coal.

        Now tell me with a straight face that even 1% of that number die every year from anything to do with the nuclear fuel cycle.   Fact is they don't.  

        No sane person disagrees with the idea of maximizing renewables on the grid.  The question is what to use as a reliable backup for the intermittency of renewables.  The choices are fossil fuels and nuclear.  

        If you want to kill the planet, keep ranting against nuclear.  Sounds like creationism to me.  

      •  Wing has not proved anything (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joffan, bryfry, Mcrab

        Over a dozen major studies prove Wing wrong.

        Hatch-Susser Study (Columbia University)

        Largely in response to citizens' concerns, the Three Mile Island Public Health Fund asked Maureen C. Hatch of the Division of Epidemiology, Columbia University School of Public Health, New York City, and three associates - Jan Beyea, Jeri Nieves and Mervyn Susser - to study the pattern of accident releases to determine if they had any correlation with cancer incidence around TMI.

        The Hatch-Susser team designed and carried out an elaborate study that was based on mathematical modeling of where the TMI-2 releases traveled and thousands of records of patients from 19 hospitals in the TMI area.

        First, they had to consider whether the releases were accurately known.  Despite variations in the estimate of what was released, Hatch-Susser found that "in every instance, the level of exposure was deemed to be very low" - an average of approximately 10 millirems and a projected maximum dose of 100 millirems.

        In the September 1990 issue of the American Journal of Public Health, the Hatch-Susser team reported that "the prior expectation based on estimated releases and conventional radiobiology - that no excess cancer would be found - was confirmed in most if not all respects."

        National Cancer Institute Study

        At the request of U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, chair of the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, the National Cancer Institute conducted a study of cancer mortality rates around 52 nuclear power plants, including TMI, and nine U.S. Department of Energy facilities.  The NCI study compared the counties containing nuclear facilities with control counties in the same region.
        Released in September 1990, the NCI study "concludes that the survey has produced no evidence that an excess occurrence of cancer has resulted from living near nuclear facilities."  At Senator Kennedy's request, the study looked closely at TMI and the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, Plymouth, Mass.

        Pennsylvania Department of Health Studies

        The Pennsylvania Department of Health maintained a registry of close to 35,000 persons who lived within five miles of TMI during the TMI-2 accident.  This "close-in" data base was augmented by other statistical records available to the department.

        The Department of Health found:

           * Through 1993, there was no significant rise in cancer incidence rates among the residents in the TMI registry.
           * Seven cases of congenital hypothyroidism in Lancaster County, outside the 10-mile radius of TMI, "were not related to the TMI nuclear accident." (1981)
           * No significant differences were found in infant mortality rates within the 10-mile radius of TMI.  There was a significant incidence of low birth weights in babies of mothers who were pregnant during the accident and who took excessive medication to counter stress.  A five-year follow-up showed that the children had regained normal weight. (1984)

        Results from Other Studies

        The following is a brief listing of other independent studies, most conducted by state and federal agencies, following the TMI-2 accident.

        Population Exposure and Health Impact of the Accident at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Station, 1973 - The study was conducted by experts known as the Ad Hoc Population Dose Assessment Group from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  Its conclusion was that there were no immediate health effects, and that latent or long-term effects, if any, would be minimal.

        Report of the President's Commission on the Accident at Three Mile Island, 1979 - The study was done by a commission appointed by President Jimmy Carter and chaired by John G. Kemeny, then President of Dartmouth College.  Its conclusion on health effects was that there would be no detectable cancers or genetically related instances of ill-health from the accident.  The report said the most important health effect of the accident was mental stress experienced by the general population and the workers.

        Three Mile Island: A Report to the Commissioners and to the Public, 1980 - The report, commissioned by the NRC, was done by a Washington, D.C., law firm, Rogovin, Stern & Huge.  It concluded that health effects on the population as a whole, if they existed at all, would be nonmeasurable and nondetectable.

        Report to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission from the Staff Panel on the Commission's Determination of an Extraordinary Nuclear Occurrence, 1980 - The report was published by the NRC and based on work by representatives of the NRC, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the former Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources and U.S. Department of Energy.  It confirmed the population dose estimates of the Ad Hoc Population Dose Assessment Group, the report of the President's Commission and the report commissioned by Metropolitan Edison.

        Investigations of Reported Plant and Animal Health Effects in the Three Mile Island Area, 1980 - The report was published by the NRC and based on the findings of investigators of the NRC, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Argonne National Laboratory.  It concluded that "it appears that none of the reported plant and animal health effects (reviewed in the report) can be directly attributed to the operation of or the accident" at TMI.

        Follow-up Studies on Biological and Health Effects Resulting from the Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant Accident of March 28, 1979 - This study was done by the Committee on Federal Research into the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation and published by the National Institute of Health.  The committee's TMI Follow-up Research Subcommittee was made up of representatives from the National Institutes of Health; Food and Drug Administration; Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Administration; Communicable Disease Center; Environmental Protection Agency; Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Department of Energy, and Department of Defense.  The study concluded that the accident would produce no detectable health effects.

        Report of the Governor's Commission on Three Mile Island, 1980 - The report was done by a commission established by Gov. Richard Thornburgh.  It agreed with the findings of the President's Commission that accident health effects would be negligible and found that the mental stress from the accident would be transient for the general population.

        Impact of TMI Nuclear Accident Upon Pregnancy Outcome, Congenital Hypothyroidism and Mortality, 1981 - The study was done by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.  It concluded that pregnant women exposed to accident releases showed no measurable differences for prematurity, congenital abnormalities, neonatal deaths or any other factors examined.  The "TMI Mother-Child Registry" established for the study continues to be monitored by the PA Health Department.  Reports are issued at five-year intervals.  The Health Department also found no increase in infant hypothyroidism as a result of exposure from radioactive iodine.  Seven cases of congenital hypothyroidism in Lancaster County outside the 10 mile radius of the investigation also were found to be unrelated to the accident.  The finding was supported by an independent Hypothyroidism Investigation Committee organized by the Health Department.

        Cancer Mortality and Morbidity around TMI, 1985 - The study was done by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and is being followed up by the Department.  It found no increased cancer risks to residences near TMI.

        Assessment of Off-Site Radiation Doses from the Three Mile Island Unit 2 Accident, 1979 - The report, commissioned by Metropolitan Edison, was done by Pickard, Lowe and Garrick, Inc., a Washington, D.C. consulting firm.  Its findings on doses from the accident were generally consistent with those studies that concluded that radiation releases from the accident were too small to cause detectable health effects.

        "Thousands of Native Americans"--this is a complete myth. Less than 3% of the uranium miners during the uranium boom in the Southwest were hard-rock miners.  So that means even a smaller percentage were uranium miners.  It's true that uranium miners, whether Native Americans who took a pick and shovel to uranium deposits on reservations because the pay was high, or miners who came from the coal fields and started working in the big mines, got lung cancer at a greater rate than non-miners.  This was because on the Colorado plateau if you go underground you are going to be exposed to radon.  Fifty years ago the mines were not ventilated and the miners were smokers, and radon and tobacco smoke combine to become a carcinogen. (There is radon in tobacco smoke too.) But the number of Native Americans was very small, according to epidemiological studies by the National Cancer Institute and other objective sources.  When the mines were ventilated, due to mine regulations being put in place and enforced, the cancer rate dropped to background rate.

        So to claim that nuclear power is dangerous because of something that happened 50 years ago is the same as claiming that driving a car is dangerous today because many people died because they did not have airbags and seat-belts back in the day.

        Nuclear power provides over 70% of low carbon energy and does not spew toxic waste into the environment that kills 24,000 people a year from fine particulates.  That would be coal, which of course NIRS supports because a campaign against nuclear power is a campaign in favor of coal, the only other large-scale baseload electricity supplier.

        The IPCC predicts average global temperatures to rise enough by 2050 to put 20-30% of all species at risk for extinction.

        by Plan9 on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 06:24:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Why? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Plan9, Joffan, Mcrab

        Dr. Wing hasn't published any research on the nuclear industry or Three Mile Island in 12 years. He has published only one study on Three Mile Island. He's hardly a premier expert on this topic.

        I would suggest that a better group to talk to are at the University of Pittsburgh, who unlike Dr. Wing and his colleagues, have continued to publish new studies and new research on this incident.

        Their results? No statistically significant health effects have been observed.

        More LIES from NIRS.

        An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
        -- H. L. Mencken

        by bryfry on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 07:31:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Waste is a resource? (0+ / 0-)

      care to explain that willb48?

      History: The lesson is you must not despair. If you are right, and you persist, things will change.--Howard Zinn

      by skywriter on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 02:51:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Care to google it? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Plan9, Joffan, bryfry

        The so-called waste can be re-processed.  All the uranium mined so far can be, without further mining, a source of nuclear energy for centuries.

        There is this thing called a "Breeder Reactor" - oh, sorry.  Maybe knowlege of such stuff requires taking high school physics.  I kind of kept up by reading "Scientific American" after dropping out of college to get a real job.

        Plutonium.  Hmmm.  Sounds interesting.  Thorium reactors coming online in Finland, whose electrical power generation capacity will dwarf all the wind farms in northern Europe?  Who knew?  

  •  this bailout has nothing to do with the stimulus (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Earth Ling

    Bailing out nuclear power companies is not a serious job creation or economic recovery strategy.  Senators' pet projects shouldn't be included in the stimulus, particularly not when we're talking about this much money.

  •  how is a loan guarantee spending? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Plan9, Joffan

    stimulas or otherwise.

    If the banks are not loaning money regardless of a guarantee or not what is the point.

  •  Fine with me (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G35Guy, jxg, Plan9, G2geek, norahc, Joffan, Mcrab

    anything is better than coal

    ---
    Fight the stupid! Boycott BREAKING diaries!

    by VelvetElvis on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 12:22:07 PM PST

    •  clean coal......okay fine. (0+ / 0-)
      •  clean coal does not exist (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joffan

        And the technology to make coal clean remains in the hazy, smoggy future somewhere.

        The IPCC predicts average global temperatures to rise enough by 2050 to put 20-30% of all species at risk for extinction.

        by Plan9 on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 06:26:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Fossil fuels are too valuable for power plants (0+ / 0-)

          Fossil fuels should be phased out for almost all stationary applications (where electricity or nuclear-generated heat can be used instead) and reserved for the application where they are most difficult to replace - transport.

          This means that in my view, coal should not be burned directly, but used only as Fischer-Tropsch feedstock to make hydrocarbon fuels for internal-combustion engines.  In such an application, the nastier components of coal would not be released into the atmosphere at all, but separated out at the chemical plants.

    •  False choice (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Earth Ling

      Nuclear is too risky and dangerous, with all this radioactive waste piling up and threatening communities.

      And nuclear is the most expensive option, dependent on taxpayer bailouts to survive, since the industry cant persuade banks to give it private financing because it's so financially risky.

      There are clean, safe, affordable alternatives, and we should be focused on those.

      •  better to release radioactive waste.... (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jxg, Plan9, Joffan, bryfry, Mcrab

        into the air, eh?

        That's what happens with coal.  More radionuclides released from the burning of coal than from the entire fuel cycle for the same amount of nuclear-generated electricity.  That includes uranium mining.  

        But with coal, those pesky radionuclides just to right into the atmosphere, so they don't accumulate in anyone's "back yard."  

        Right into the atmosphere along with the CO2 that's killing the planet.

        I'd rather keep my radioactive materials where I can see them.  Better yet recycle them into new fuel.  

        Anti-nuclearism: the left's version of creationism.

        •  Hi G2 - As you know, beating coal is not enough (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek

          Coal sucks, so there are ways that you can make nuclear compare somewhat favorably.

          However that's quite similar to the Republican who lamented that because Bush is not Hitler, Bush shouldn't go to jail.

          Bush sucks.  Hitler sucked.  Coal sucks.  Nuclear sucks.

          None of them are the answer.  Who cares how they rank relative to each other?  

          Wind, CSP with storage, electric cars acting as battery back ups and storage for the grid.

          Those are the tickets.  Everything else is madness.

          •  Hi EL; and about those batteries.... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Plan9, Joffan

            All batteries have a finite number of charge/discharge cycles.  I don't know that any research has been done on the effect on the life cycle of electric car batteries, of using electric cars to stabilize the grid in the absence of firm & dispatchable power sources.  

            This needs to be done before we commit the public to a strategy that may result in more rapid replacement cycles for those expensive battery packs.  

            Seems to me the best storage strategy I've seen so far (aside from wind/hydro, which was part of the project I worked on) is molten salt in conjunction with solar arrays in the desert.  

            Realistically, if we want to avoid the use of nuclear power entirely, we are going to have to reduce Earth's population to 1 - 2 billion humans, rather than the 3 - 4 billion that would otherwise be sustainable.  That means a couple of generations of a universal one-child-per-family policy, worldwide.  

            I'm all in favor of baby rationing for other reasons: overpopulation is catastrophic in plenty of ways, in addition to climate change.  

            But keep in mind: we can get down to zero population growth via voluntary means:  full legal, cultural, and educational equality for women worldwide, and unlimited access to contraception worldwide.  We can't get down to 1 - 2 billion humans in a couple of generations, on the basis of voluntary measures alone.  For that we would need a major commitment and a carrot-and-stick policy to back it up.  

            Personally I'd be willing to go there in a ten-second minute.  But unless we do, we're going to need those additional energy sources.  

            •  Great points (0+ / 0-)

              I would love to bring the population back down to 1-2 billion.  What an Edenic planet this would be (assuming we got there via planning and not catastrophe).

              Agreed re: molten salts with CSP.  Pretty great stuff.  

              I'm hopeful (but recognize that hope is not a strategy) that battery technology will follow something like Moore's law and get better and better as we push for more and more battery backup.

              I'd love to know about the wind hydro project you worked on.  The only enthusiasm I ever find for that seems to be in places with long, deep, narrow fjords.  Do you see cost-effective options anywhere in the US?

              What do you think of the fact that even utilities  put the cost of energy efficiency at just $.01 per kw hour?  Whereas they claim (at the very, very cheapest) it costs $.03 per kw hour to run a coal plant.

              If this is true then why aren't we making a major push to cut our need for electricity in half through EEI?  

              I want to see models for each country and the planet that show how much energy demand we have and how much can be met by RE/EEI before I'd want to consider any more nuclear power - which takes FOREVER to bring online anyway.

              If the utility assumptions are true then check this out:

              Let's say that the grid in a given region has a generation capacity of 9,000MW.  For the money, you can either build a 1,000MW coal plant, increasing your system capacity to 10,000MW.  Or you invest in energy efficiency and reduce the capacity needed from 9,000MW to 6,000MW.  That means we can shut down a whopping 3,000MW of GHG-generating coal plants.

              Shutting down those coal plants would free up hundreds of millions of dollars annually to invest further in RE and EEI.  

              Isn't that just a total no-brainer?

          •  Renewables can't provide base-load power (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joffan, bryfry

            The two big, expandable providers of base-load power are coal and nuclear.  Take your pick.  If you do not choose nuclear, look in the mirror and say, "I am supporting coal-fired plants present and future."

            CSP is great, geothermal is great, electric cars are great. Wind is great.  We need every clean resource possible.

            But the only energy source that can provide lots of clean electricity from a very small environmental footprint and emitting about the same amount of carbon over life cycle as wind power is nuclear power.

            The IPCC predicts average global temperatures to rise enough by 2050 to put 20-30% of all species at risk for extinction.

            by Plan9 on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 06:29:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  And natural gas...don't forget (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Plan9, Joffan

              good old methane. Capacity of NG is going up and up in terms of Combined cycle gas turbines. Lot's of CO2 there...better than coal, for sure, but it SUCKS compared to nuclear.

              david

              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 Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 07:27:15 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  More directed to India....methinks. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joffan
  •  Before I join a cause (0+ / 0-)

    I like to read exactly what it is we are supposedly against

    •  ughh... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Plan9, bryfry, Mcrab
      # "piling up". The entire US fleet of nuclear reactors produces only 2,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel a year. That would fit in an office. Probably one cubicle in an office. Have you no sense of proportion? # The beaches in Normandy were closed to be French regulations...imposed by the anti-nuclear Parti Socialist when it was in power...regulated that any suspicion of radioactivy in the ocean, the beaches close. There was NO radioactivity, no contamination, no danger. This is scare mongering of the worse sort and is not based on fact. # The French highly value their reprocessed fuel...the value being the costs to reprocess and it's price to be reused. The value is the volume reduced. People argue that they don't like nuclear power because they don't like nuclear waste yet ONLY nuclear power can get rid of nuclear waste. The anti-nuclear crowd has no answer to this, they ingore the existing 70,000 US tons of spent nuclear fuel imagining it will go away if the close nuclear.

      The record is that nuclear is the safest form of energy in human history. Most of the casualties from nuclear energy results from Dept. of Defense WMD factories and storage of their waste. The mining contamination was done in the 1950s and early 1960s. Mining is safer now than it ever has been and so little ore has to be mined that it is statistically irreleveant reletive to mining for other ores and coal.

      The only choice is nuclear to replace coal.

      David

      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 Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 01:26:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  good - read then sign on n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  Nuclear bailout...now that's a good frame (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Earth Ling

    we should use repeatedley. This is a bailout of future disasters when nukes and "clean" coal plants never pan out and are economically unviable.

    •  Every nuclear plant (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Plan9, Joffan, Mcrab

      in the US is financially "viable". Production costs are under 2 cents a KW as opposed to 2.2 cents for coal. They are gold mines because the ones that have paid off their note rake in cash...which is why the Greens want to propose taxing them MORE.

      David

      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 Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 01:27:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  financially viable (0+ / 0-)

        If nuclear plants were financially viable, then there would be private money for them. But there is no private money at all for them, which is why they want taxpayer loan guarantees and money from the US Treasury through the Federal Financing Bank.

        Most projections are that electricity costs from new nukes will be on the order of 18-25 cents per kw/h--far higher than just about any other electricity source one can conceive of....

        •  There is private money (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joffan

          Warren Buffet tried to buy Constellation Energy, which wants to build a new nuclear plant and has nuclear plants.  But EDF (France) beat him out.  Why would Energie de France want to buy an American energy company and build a nuclear plant here?  Why would they want to invest their euros that way?  Could it be because they know nuclear power works very well and that EDF has made plenty of euros selling its power (80% nuclear and therefore low carbon) to other European countries.

          Private backers are behind small reactor startups in the US.  Maybe they know something NIRS does not know.

          Nuclear utilities have 34 reactor applications in the works.  Could they possibly be thinking that a profit is to be made?

          The IPCC predicts average global temperatures to rise enough by 2050 to put 20-30% of all species at risk for extinction.

          by Plan9 on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 06:35:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  private money (0+ / 0-)

            No, they think there is taxpayer money to tap....

            If it works, maybe they'll make some money. If it doesn't, well it's the taxpayers that pay, not the utilities....as long as taxpayers prop up the industry, it's a no-lose situation for the utilities....

            •  Sounds like a description of renewables $$ grab (0+ / 0-)

              Renewables entrepreneurs want us taxpayers to back what is actually a weak, diffuse form of energy production that cannot produce base-load.  And wind and solar have a far greater environmental footprint than nuclear power.  

              Nuclear plants have been shown to work very well--about 13,000 reactor years without incident. And they make a big profit because all the startup costs have been earned back. And in the US 104 reactors operate at an average of over 90% capacity.  Furthermore, the fuel for them is cheap.

              We need every clean energy resource.  Wind can meet peaking load and nuclear can meet base-load.  So these should certainly be subsidized because overall energy demand is increasing.  And if it is not met by adding nuclear and wind it will be met by burning more fossil fuels, which will kill more taxpayers.

              The IPCC predicts average global temperatures to rise enough by 2050 to put 20-30% of all species at risk for extinction.

              by Plan9 on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 10:25:39 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Are you high? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Plan9, Joffan, Mcrab

          Most projections are that electricity costs from new nukes will be on the order of 18-25 cents per kw/h--far higher than just about any other electricity source one can conceive of....

          Sorry, Michael, but the IEA disagrees with you.

          Electricity generating costs in selected regions

          (Thanks to Jerome a Paris for the graph.)

          Your claims would be funny if they weren't so pathetic.

          More LIES from NIRS.

          An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
          -- H. L. Mencken

          by bryfry on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 07:08:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  petition signed - thanks n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  $50 billion is not enough (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Plan9, Joffan, bryfry

    (we will have to see if in fact it is $50 billion, I have my doubts). We should be putting about $100 billion a year toward building nuclear plants, about 20 a year. We could then actually CHART which coal plants and when will close.

    David

    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 Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 01:29:03 PM PST

    •  New reactors online wd mean lower death rate (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joffan, bryfry

      As new reactors replace coal-fired plants, there would be fewer deaths from lung and heart disease caused by coal-fired plants.  Right now 2,000 people die prematurely every month from the toxic waste from burning coal.

      Of course anti-nuclear organizations don't care about that death toll or that they are enabling big coal by trying to stop nuclear power.  

      The IPCC predicts average global temperatures to rise enough by 2050 to put 20-30% of all species at risk for extinction.

      by Plan9 on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 06:37:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Who funds NIRS? (0+ / 0-)

      Someone should investigate them to check if they are being funded by fossil-fuel companies, or by Malthusian organizations...

      •  The connections are not direct (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mcrab

        That is, you won't find a check from Exxon-Mobil to NIRS. Rather, non-profit activist groups such as NIRS and Greenpeace are largely funded by foundations, trusts, and other charitable organizations. In that way, it all seems rather innocent and even noble.

        Nevertheless, there is plenty of reason to be suspicious.

        Take the Pew Charitable Trusts, for example. I would be very surprised if none of the Pew Trusts' money finds its way into NIRS's operating budget. Not only were these trusts started with oil money, but their board of directors includes more than one former Chairman/CEO of Sunoco (the oil company), one of which was also a director of the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI).

        Now, it's easy to make the case (and I have done so many times on this site) that the actions and policies advocated by the RMI are highly beneficial to the natural gas industry (and hence, the oil industry -- Sonoco began life as The Peoples Natural Gas Company). Amory Lovins and the RMI have not be shy in putting forward natural gas as a "bridge" energy source, to be used until such time when renewables are able to take its place. (There is no word, however, on when that will happen.)

        It is not difficult to see how the work of NIRS also benefits the fossil-fuels industry, including natural gas. By attacking the main and most important alternative to fossil fuels for generating electricity, NIRS helps to entrench coal and natural gas in their comfortable and profitable share of the US's electricity market.

        Whether the folks at NIRS are smart or savvy enough to realize that this is what they are doing is irrelevant. They willingly serve their job as pawn, and these charitable trusts and foundations are an essential tool to fund these pawns and keep them in the game.

        An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
        -- H. L. Mencken

        by bryfry on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 02:03:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I like nuclear reactors (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Plan9, Joffan, bryfry

    Some of the modern models have a few novel fail-safe designs that increase safety and reduce exposure.

    Nuclear power, however is not a permanent solution. I can't imagine what 100-200 years of spent fuel looks like.

    One other thing, after spending 3 months in southern france in the shadow of a nuclear reactor. I can say that I was astounded at how clean the river water was. It felt like the entire country had been maintained like an amusement park. But in reality, it have had something to do with their strict environmental controls. Whatever the French are doing, it works quite well.

    I can only imagine how beautiful our own country could look if we began to reduce our use of carbon based fuels.

    •  like reactors (0+ / 0-)

      Actually, none of those new models are slated to be built in the U.S., and in fact they are decades away from reality...

      How clean the rivers in France are? How about the two rivers in France closed for several days this past summer because of a uranium spill at a nuclear fuel cycle facility?

      The safety and economic viability of the French nuclear program is a myth.....

      Agree we need to get off carbon as well, that's why we're working for a nuclear-free, carbon-free energy future. It CAN be done.

      •  A "few days"? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Plan9, Joffan, Mcrab

        Oh my god folks!! Those rivers in France are so polluted with "nuclear waste" that they were closed for a few days!!! The carnage and waste must have been tremendous. Oh ... the humanity!!

        Jesus, Michael, can you get any more pathetic?!

        Tell me ... are those rivers in France still "closed"? (How do you "close" a river anyway?) If not, please tell me: why not?

        The only "myths" I see here are the ones that Michael is shoveling.

        More LIES from NIRS. Well, they are professional liars, after all.

        An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
        -- H. L. Mencken

        by bryfry on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 07:22:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  the new models I am talking about have (0+ / 0-)

        been up and running in china and germany for a few years. Instead of fuel rods, they use fuel encased in ceramic billiard balls and use helium instead of water as a coolent.

    •  not much difference than the first (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Plan9, Joffan, bryfry

      50 years. It is NOT large in volume. The first 50 years of US commercial reactor operation for ALL plants amounts to 70k tons of Spent Nuclear Fuel or "waste" in people's opinion who don't know better. All this wouldn't fill up a Costco store. Probably a 100 years worth would fill it up all the way. I can live with that. This is probably 1/10000 the amount of 'waste' left over from the highly toxic chemicals used to make solar PV and solar arrays. Just a guess a though.

      david

      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 Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 03:32:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  thanks for this diary (0+ / 0-)

    I've been busy - just saw it.

    When will the gravy train for big nukes end?


    ````
    peace

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