California electric rates are getting ridiculous

Page 5 of 9  
BobR wrote:

Change the politics, then.
And, of course, it doesn't take anything near the complexity of Yucca Mountain for spent fuel storage.
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Now your are talking about the impossible!

No it doesn't but it does take the one thing that seems to be impossible to get and that is commitment to do something.
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On 12/4/2008 2:00 PM dpb spake thus:

You're at least partially correct that the problem is political rather than technical, except that the technical objections to nuclear waste storage are also formidable.
Regarding Nevada as you mentioned, it should be pointed out that not only Nevada, but also Utah have both maintained very strong opposition to high-level nuclear waste storage policy at the federal level. I know about this: in college I won a cash award for a paper I wrote on the subject. I used to subscribe to both the Utah and Nevada state newsletters from the agencies in those states set up specifically to fight the waste repositories from going there. So it wasn't just one senator's personal vendetta. And I hardly need to point out that these are both conservative states, hardly bastions of antinuclear activity or havens for tree-huggers. (Interesting to note that Utah also vigorously opposed the MX missile--remember that?--on account of the Mormon Church's *moral* opposition to siting a weapon of mass destruction in the state.)
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

Cash prize or no, the point is it is policy and that policy was made by the processes of government. I'm not saying it necessarily was the best decision, but it was the decision reached and NV did not prevail in the debate. So far, they've been unable to win a change in that decision and for the better good of the whole it's time to move forward.
The technical issues can't be resolved until there is a stable political framework within which to operate to solve them. As noted earlier, a misguided (1) former president tossed over a billion dollars of private investment in a reprocessing facility about 20 years ago and nobody in the national political spectrum has had the backbone since to pay more than lip service to any truly coherent and realizable energy policy.
Time is coming, however, when it will no longer be able to be pushed aside and ignored as it has been and (imo) when the generation shortage reaches the crises stage there will be a massive change in public attitude and all these apparently insurmountable issues of such importance will be swept aside almost overnight in the rush.
(1) Despite (or perhaps because of the military side of it) his training in the nuclear Navy, this former president was never able to separate and understand the difference between commercial and military nuclear power. Hence despite his well-intentioned but naive efforts he succeeded in neither accomplishing nonproliferation (witness N Korea and Iran) and in hastening and sealing the current stagnation of the US commercial nuclear industry, thereby hastening the use of significant quantities of natural gas for electrical power generation, surely one of the most extreme examples of shortsighted use of a resource ever.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I'm paying about 13 here in TX.
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Pete C. wrote:

Here in S. Texas is 10.7. I am not complaining but having such a diversity doesn't make much sense to me...
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Chris wrote:

Look to your rate commission and be glad it isn't even worse.
Here E KS is as much as 60% lower than W owing to bias in the makeup of the rate commission in the populated areas vis a vis the agricultural/less populated.
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dpb wrote:

is a non-profit membership based coop and I try to keep consumption low. It gets obviously more expensive if I use more...
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Chris wrote:

It still may (and probably does at least indirectly).
We're on REC as well and the KS commission knuckled under a number of years ago and allowed the investor utilities to "cherry pick" individual loads from co-op territories w/ no compensation but didn't return the favor of allowing the co-ops to retain service to expanding residential areas they had historically served when they were too diffuse for the utilities to serve until they did grow.
Since co-ops typically have far fewer customer loads/mile and less concentrated industrial loads that would make more a higher revenue stream per mile than the investor utilities, the distribution costs for the co-ops is higher. Consequently their rates are generally forced to be higher to cover those costs.
The KS commission exacerbated the problem by allowing the taking of what few more concentrated loads away with the added insult of it being our lines still serving the loads.
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David Nebenzahl wrote: ...

Yes and no on the "anti" movement. What it did do in conjunction w/ the ill-informed popular press and an even more sadly informed former president was to change the political climate. The actual final straw was, of course, the TMI incident which was totally mischaracterized in every report outside the technical community itself.
The economics were only so bad in that time frame owing to the ability of the obstructionists to stretch out the licensing and construction process to such extremes as they did(1) and the excessively high interest rates of the time so that the financing until the unit could become a revenue-generator became intolerable. That was a combination of effects part of which can certainly be attributed to the movement.
The waste issue is not resolved for political reasons far more than for technical ones. The former president of whom we just spake edict'ed no reprocessing licensing to go forward in the US and began the storage option instead fiasco which led to the current Yucca Mountain debacle which the Senator from NV has used as a populist campaign crutch for almost 30 years now.
(1) The problems are far too complex to delve into in depth in this type of a forum, but the NRC bears a fair responsibility as well in its insatiable demands for every possible new gizmo or rule to be retrofit to every existing plant that kept design criteria in a constant state of flux. And, of course, as I noted upthread, there were mistakes made by the utilities and architect-engineer firms that exacerbated the problems by not being as careful as should have been in crossing every i and dotting ever t. Then, of course, the protestors used every one of these details, no matter how trivial, as a club to the fullest extent they could manage.
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dpb wrote:

Because it isn't reliably tied to the grid.
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

## Agree about the NRC, but it's the COURTS that drive up the cost.

## There is no "ongoing problem of radioactive waste disposal." Never was.

Because the same people (generally) who oppose nuclear power also oppose oil, coal, slavery, and all other forms of energy utilization.
Buncha Luddites, you ask me.
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not surprised, everything about california is rediculous..
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Erma1ina wrote: ...

..
SMUD was, regrettably, a _VERY_ poor nuclear operating utility--the problems there were really very little related to the power plant per se but to poor (primarily inexperienced w/ nuclear generation vis a vis fossil so they didn't control the interaction w/ the NRC and follow the regulatory requirements to the tee. That led to the extremely high costs in having to try to meet those after the fact which is far more difficult and costly than doing so originally). I was, in fact, working in the commercial nuclear division of the particular reactor vendor during construction and went through plant startup and first year or so of operation so know the plant pretty well and knew SMUD well also.
I'd have to refresh my memory on the actual shutdown decision politics, but as I recall it was a plebiscite organized by the various activist groups of the time that made the final determination rather than a Utility District decision.
IMO of the time, if they would have brought in an experienced operating contractor to oversee the plant day-to-day operation early on rather than trying to operate it inhouse it would be a positive impact economically to the state and an additional 850 MWe on the grid today.
SMUD, btw, wasn't terribly unique to several other relatively small and first-time-nuclear utilities. They and others tended to think of them as simply generation units w/ a nuclear boiler instead of coil or oil which they were used to operating. Consequently, they generally would name an experienced fossil manager as head of the nuclear project and that would start the problems of not building the correct nuclear management and operation mindset of even more precise attention to detail. Many of the "performance issues" in these cases really had very little at all to do with other than paper audit trails on welds or similar QA/QC processes. The problem would be, when a failure to document was found, it could be months down the road after a zillion more welds had been completed or thousands of yards of concrete poured or whatever and to have to go back and qualify the oversight was terribly expensive.
Experienced nuclear utilities (often w/ ex-nuclear Navy-trained folks who had already been thru the drill w/ Rickover) managed to avoid many those mistakes; or at least minimized them.
If I were in the area, I'd have no qualms of a restart of Rancho Seco from the plant safety aspect at all. It is, of course, out of the question at this point as the plant wasn't maintained w/ the idea of a restart.
Re: quake-prone CA and nukes --
If there were a serious quake, in containment would be an ideal place to be to ride it out.
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>
> Regarding the general issue the nuclear power in
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Hmmm.
Tell me: Do you have ANY objective documentation to support your various SPECULATIONS????
I lived in the area at the time and your "recollections/fantasies" do not jibe with mine or with ANY of the public documents -- the link to one of which was provided below -- regarding Rancho Seco.
Pity that REALITY does not support ideologically-driven bias. LOL.
dpb wrote:

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Erma1ina wrote:

Which would you care for?
The only thing I'm not certain of specifically is the referendum as I already mentioned--the shutdown was after I had moved from the vendor to a consulting firm and had mostly transitioned to working with fossil utilities rather than nuclear.
The rest I know from having worked for the reactor vendor w/ the utility including design and startup physics testing.
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dpb wrote:

And I did mathematical modelling of reactors and particle detectors. SO WHAT?
Provide links to objective materials that support you silly opinions.
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Erma1ina wrote:

And, by the way, I DOUBT that you, "dpb" have any more technical or scientific expertise than a clerk.
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Erma1ina have you mathematically modeled the effect on our lungs from breathing in toxic fossil fuel particulates because we fail to leverage clean and plentiful nuclear power?
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scorpster wrote:

No.
But I may to model the effect of "idiots attempting to change the subject when out of their depths in a debate"
On the other hand, that is, as they say, "intuitively obvious". LOL.
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