FERC says no more nuke or coal plants needed

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Since this is a perennial favorite topic here--"Where we gonna git our energy from?"--I thought it apropos to post this news flash:
http://bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid 602099&sid=ajl3fRv9AdDI
The lede:
The U.S. may never need to build new nuclear or coal-fired power plants because renewable energy and improved efficiency can meet future power demand, the head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said.
To all those red-meat, gotta-build-more-nukes-and-greenhouse-gas-spewing-coal-plants types here (we know who you are), keep in mind: this isn't some granola-eating, tree-hugging enviro-meddler[1] talking, but the head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Talk amongst yourselves.
[1] That phrase courtesy of the big enviro-meddler (and monkey-wrencher) hisself, Ed Abbey.
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Much worse than that. Wellinghoff, a Democrat, was appointed chairman by President Barack Obama last month. He has served on the commission since 2006.
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On 4/22/2009 1:49 PM Kurt Ullman spake thus:

I was going to mention that, to kind of quarantine that particular objection.
OK, so he's been on the commission since 2006, meaning he was appointed by ... um, George W. Bush, right?
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That particular commission no more than three may belong to the same party. He was appointed by GWB but since the Senate has to confirm, the Dem members of the Senate are usually given wide latitude to "suggest" commissioners. This is not a "pure" appointment.
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Kurt Ullman wrote:

It's worse. Wellinghoff is a tree-hugger from the time before trees. His bio says he's been involved in consumer and conservation law for more than 30 years.
"Chairman Wellinghoff's priorities at FERC include opening wholesale electric markets to renewable resources, providing a platform for participation of demand response and other distributed resources in wholesale electric markets including energy efficiency and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and promoting greater efficiency in our nation's energy infrastructure..."
No priority for hardening the grid. No priority for meeting energy demand.
Oh well...
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wrote:

the "improved efficiency" is everybody forced into public transportation,reducing their lifestyle,doing less.
Electric cars require far more electric power than conservation will free up.(assuming you can afford to buy a new electric car...)
IMO,we need more nuke plants,but don't need any more coal-fired plants.
And we need domestic oil drilling,production and refining,to power all the current petro autos and trucks.
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Tee hee.
Fortunately, electric cars don't make much sense even to the environmental wackos.
There are a lot of hybrids out there. It's only a matter of time before they start having "interesting" accidents in which it become patently obvious that larger battery packs present their own unique hazards.

We "need" both. A coal plant can be built in one or two years after approval. A nuke likely would take 7 to 10 years after initial approval.
If nukes continue to be built the older (and dirtier) coal plants (especially those in "high rent" areas) will be shut down by their operators. This might cause some system stability problems (more large scale cascading blackouts) but ...

The free market is quite good at maintaining the flow of oil to where its needed. When oil went to $150 a year or so ago, the free market gave the producers a HARD slap. Now oil is trading around $50.
If the government wants to drill for domestic then it can decide to sell its production below market prices. It's a dumb thing to do but that's the government for you.
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A nuke doesn't need to take 7-10 years, that's just how they do it. Each is a completely different design. A "one size fit all", mass produced nuke plant. As long as the earth under it doesn't have a fault, and cooling water is there. May need a few tweaks for this place or that. But to design each plant as unique will not help much. Remember, "too cheap to meter"?
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John Gilmer wrote: ...

Major plant components have always been manufactured offsite -- it would be pretty difficult to conceive of building a pressure vessel or steam generator anywhere except in a facility equipped to do so.
OTOH, it would be inconceivable to think you could build a containment building and somehow ship it to be erected on site.
The historic time delays were _not_ owing to either construction nor design; there were virtually all caused by a combination of changing licensing requirements _during_ construction and/or obstructionist intervention raising every red herring known to man and inventing new ones when those failed.
...

...
There are already standardized designs and license-issues reviewed on file w/ the NRC from the vendors (and have been for a number of years now). The current licensing process is _supposed_ to take 4-5 years max--whether that will be met is soon to be tested. There were last I checked 27 iirc new applications for operating licenses for new units filed w/ the NRC to be processed over the next 8-10 years. Almost all of these are for either additional units on sites with existing reactors or previously selected and approved sites where reactors were not built or completed in the previous anti-nuclear hysteria.
Whether the C-sequestration people have any intent to actually accomplish something will be clearly demonstrated in their response to these as hearings proceed. If they are yet again lined up in opposition w/ the obvious others who will undoubtedly still be, they will show unequivocally they're only obstructionists at heart.
The statement of the subject line is simply ludicrous but is simple to make if one is not actually in charge of _doing_ anything other than making paper and rules for others to try to live under.
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It doesn't take 7-10 years to design and build a custom nuke plant. The majority of that time is spent on BS environmental impact studies and other legal roadblocks. You're right - a standardized reactor design and a single series of reviews could reduce that to a couple of years.
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wrote:

Maybe. How can you standardize the review process for the sites themselves, unless the sites are all identical in every pertinent way?
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote: ...

There are only so many critters and water/dams/rivers are pretty much the same as well in large part. Meeting any site-specific _PERTINENT_ issues is also pretty trivial exercise if it isn't glommed onto as a roadblock as it has generally been.
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We need to tell the greenie tree huggers to shut the FERC up.
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Sounds like you're an expert. Do you think the Shoreham nuclear plant should've been allowed to operate?
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

Sure. Why not?
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Tell me what you know about the Shoreham nuclear plant.
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

Not much. I know it never produced any commercial power.
The governor of New York, perhaps yielding to vociferous agitators (exercised by the recent Three Mile Island silliness), refused to sign off on any emergency evacuation plan. Without such a state-approved plan, the NRC would not certify the plant for operation.
Long Island residents were charged a three percent additional fee on their utility bills for thirty years to pay for decommissioning.
Bottom line: LI residents not only did not get cheaper power, they had to pay more for the power they were getting. Because power is so expensive on Long Island, few things glow in the dark there.
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Long Island residents correctly thought it was inadvisable to put a nuke on a peninsula where it would be impossible to evacuate resident in the event of a catastrophic situation.
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Gee, you might to tell the Florida Keys to all leave home. The evacuation routes from there are MUCH worse than Long Island. I realize that one is hurricane and the other is nuke plant, but swift evacuation is swift evacuation.
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

Nah, it was just an irrational fear of neutrons. After all, what could possibly go wrong?
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