OT: Nuclear Energy

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On 4/30/2008 5:52 AM HeyBub spake thus:

A perfect illustration of one of my favorite anti-war protest signs:
"How did OUR oil get under YOUR sand?"
Couldn't have said it better myself.
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I didn't miss a thing. What you said attributed the lack of building of nukes to the failure of free enterprise and proposed that left in the govt hands, things would be peachy keen:
"In the OECD countries environmental impact rules mean that the approval process may take a decade or more. At the end of that approval may not even be granted. The life of a nuke plant may be at best 40 years after which there is a long and expensive decommissioning process. So we are looking at a 60 year or more committment that only a clear government nuclear power policy can provide and a government owned utility is capable of enduring. This is where all this mantra about privatizing everything and free enterprise has come back to haunt the US and the rich countries that bought into the US model. "
It's quite the opposite. The roadblocks to building nukes in this country has been created by the govt, not free enterprise. Who is gutless to act and stand up to the environmental extremists? Who allows endless legal challenges? Who rallies with the NIMBY folks for political purposes? The same politicians that won't allow offshore oil drilling around 90% of offshore USA, because of the same nonsense. If free enterprise doesn't work, how did the existing nukes get built relatively easy decades ago, prior to having MORE govt involvement?
The solution is to get rid of the roadblocks, and work with free enterprise, not surmise that free enterprise doesn;t work and the govt is the solution. BTW, how is the govt doing with their nuke sites? Last time I checked, places like Hanford Washington was one of the most highly polluted radioactive environmental sites, with massive groundwater contamination and it's still spreading.
Plus the 10 years application-approval process,
Yep and who controls that?
40 years

Oyster Creek here, the oldest commercial plant in the US is at that limit and unless the environmental extremists get there way, is about to get a 20 year extension.
and 10 years decomissioning. There is no

Again, who's responsible for that? Yucca mountain would have been open a long time ago had it not been for the usual toxic mix of govt and environmental extremists.
In that kind of time

Hmmm, if they are so unprofitable, why are there applications in the works for about 10 new ones right now?

Yeah, maybe they can manage that like they did Katrina, the war in Iraq or their infamous project to produce oil from shale that billions went into. Private industry is willing to accept the risks, which is why there are finally 10 or so applications for new plants.

Look, the national energy situation is getting more precarious every day, not only with regard to nukes, but also to just about every other aspect as well. Do you see this govt that is gonna be the saviour with nukes doing anything about any of the rest of it? Are we drilling in ANWR? Offshore? Building windmills? Anything that makes much of an impact? Yet, you see the govt as riding to rescue building and running nukes.

Yep, the true agenda emerges. How much oil did we get from the billions that went into govt the shale oil project? Answer: not one drop.
In hydrocarbon energy the primary

Says who? And who the hell cares what they prefer? They've been selling their oil for decades, suddenly this is a problem. Another totally bogus angle.
Even the

No, that's just another communist dream. But it's typical double speak nonsense. First you claim somehow the major oil companies can't compete with India, but then you want to confiscate their profits. Do you have any idea of how much of the price of a gallon of gas Exxon winds up with as profit? The govt already gets more per gallon in tax. They get tax on the gasoline intself and they get about half of what Exxon earns in profits too. But that ain;t good enough, is it? I'd like to see what a gallon of gas costs if the US govt ran the show. Last week it was reported the IRS spent $50 mil more to collect money owed than they recovered. That's real efficient.
And when you get going on oil, why stop there? The price of corn has tripled, why not nationalize that too? Must be the greedy farmers fault and free enterprise doesn;t work. Oh, wait, maybe the fact that the govt put in place subsidies to encourage diverting corn into ethanol, erected import tariffs, mandated the use of ethanol as fuel had something to do with it?

Funny how you see an economic activity as a battle.
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On Wed, 30 Apr 2008 06:45:14 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Western governments have a time horizon of till only the next election. In the US it has become so ridiculous that the first four year term is spent campainging to get relected for a second term. No real work can be done. Even in good times only a little real work gets started in the first year of the second term. He may get maybe a year or two to see it go somewhere. Then its time to wrap up loose ends in the final year to look good in the history books. GWB bet the house on a short war and lost. In a bad time like now the presidential primaries run a whole year on irrelevant issues like religion, abortion rights, gay marriages, flag burning. That strong government stand you seek against environmental extremists ain't going to happen. The US has fundamental problems with her public institutions and policy making mechanisms. I have said my piece. I am not a US citizen and don't pretend I can solve the problems of the world.
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PaPaPeng wrote: ...

As noted earlier, its the way we in non-autocratic governments do things--we _like_ them messy.
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PaPaPeng wrote:

To some, those ARE important, even transcendent, issues.

Sigh. You're right. Just today the Secretary of the Interior published a proposed rule change to allow carrying concealed handguns in national parks. There will be a 60-day public comment period.
Towards the end of the regulation, we find:
"We are required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by Departmental guidelines in 516 DM 6, (49 FR 21438) to assess the impact of any Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment, health, and safety. We are currently working to determine the appropriate level of NEPA assessment and documentation that will be require for promulgation of this regulation."
(Full rule at: http://www.npca.org/media_center/pdf/Federal_register_notice042908.pdf )
In my view, it's pretty sad when an agency has to have a decision on handguns dictated, in part, by environmental concerns.

But wrongful policy can be corrected. The existing prohibition on handguns in national parks was installed in 1983. Today, 48 states (out of 51 including D.C.) now have concealed handgun permit laws and most have been implemented since 1983*. It's about time the Interior Department caught up.
Soon, if someone needs killin' we won't have to chase them out of the park first.
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* All of the "shall issue" laws have been passed since about 1987. "Shall
issue" means that if the applicant passes the statutory requirements (able
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Yep, that's a good example of how screwed up the govt is. PaPa can't grasp the inherrent conflict in his position. On the one hand, he says the way to build nukes is take them over and have the govt build and run them.. Then he turns around and says the govt will never stand up against environmental extremists who block everything.

I don't know where the count of 48 came from, but from a practical standpoint, in many of those states, the laws on the circumstances and justification allowing you to get a concealed carry permit are so tough, that it's impossible for the average citizen to do so.
I'm eagerly awaiting the upcoming Supreme Court decision on the DC handgun ban. It looks like they will rule it unconstitutional because it is overly restrictive.


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Who says that allowing handgun carriage in National Parks will "significantly affect the quality...etc." ?? that standard was not considered before the prohibition was enacted.
NOT allowing it certainly negatively affects human safety and health.

Buncha leftists.
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PaPaPeng wrote: ...

See my earlier posting to Bonnie on the current state of the NRC docket--clearly refutes that statement.
...

That is a nationalized utility policy; that isn't the economic system of the US. "Should" is a subjective judgment--I disagree.
In the US the NRC is the final arbiter on licensing, so that portion is government regulator.
Policy in the US on any field is made by a combination of all players -- it's ugly, takes time, isn't always very efficient, but it's the way we do things.
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Funny you should mention:
"W" had a Press Conference a few hours ago in which he suggested the nukes were part of the solution to the high price of oil.
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: : : > Why though, is there no talk of building nuclear power plants. : : Funny you should mention: : : "W" had a Press Conference a few hours ago in which he suggested the nukes : were part of the solution to the high price of oil.
I hate to say it but he irritates me so much, that my brain shuts off when I hear him speak. I did hear a bit of it...he was being incredibly rude to some reporter. I heard him saying something about Anwar. If what you say he said...I obviously agree. First time in nearly eight years.
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bonnie wrote: ...

Probably well deserved...
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understand that if we built wind turbine farms from north to south across the windiest empty areas of the middle of the country, we'd produce enough clean energy to replace all of our oil AND coal AND nuclear use.
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environmental types going ape sh** over all the birds that will get into the blades. Not to mention property values any where near the big expanse of the wind farms.
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and on the private lands the owners would get money. As for property values, the proposed sites are open country, so I'm not sure if that's much of an issue. As for the birds, I'm not sure which migratory patterns would be affected, and I think that has yet to be studied. I'd at least think they could get started in the areas not affected by migration.
Oh, yes, and the cost per KWH if I recall, was projected at 3 to 4 cents. Very competitive.
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Abe wrote:

Well, that depends on whether it's _your_ land or not and whether that "open" land is next door... :(
There's a large scale wind farm just up the road about 40 miles in what is, indeed, one of those "windiest [so-called] empty areas in the middle of the country." It is late technology and went on line in mid-2001. I got curious earlier this year and looked at the EIA data for their generation. In the time period since mid-2001 thru mid-2007, their average monthly capacity factor has been only 40%. The maximum monthly capacity has been just about 60%. In those 72 months of operation, there have been 12 months for which the capacity factor has been less than 30%. This is in one of the areas (W KS, Gray County) with the highest annual average wind speed data in the US. And, these are _monthly_ average factors, not weekly, daily, hourly, or instantaneous which would show respectively far higher fluctuations as the averaging periods became shorter. And, since electrical power must be generated at the instant it is consumed, this variability in generation is a significant issue.
The simple conclusion that can be draw from the above is that on average it would take 2.5X the installed capacity to have the output power the utility invested in on average and up to 5X that capacity for some 15-18% of the time. Of course, on shorter intervals, those factors also go up.
So, the problem is, even if they build significant wind capacity, there is still the need for _RELIABLE_ spinning reserve for nearly as much capacity as they build in order to have that capacity when the wind doesn't blow. That is an expensive proposition no matter how one intends to accomplish it.
Again, it can play a role in reducing some peaking capacity and providing some baseload generation, but it simply isn't sufficiently reliable energy source to eliminate as much conventional generation as the advocates would like to imagine.
> ...As for the birds, I'm not sure which migratory

Well, this area you're speaking of is the middle of the largest duck/geese migration pathways in the US as well as whooping crane and a zillion other species. What the impact has been at Gray County I've not researched so I don't have actual data.

I don't believe that is a realistic installed cost. There's about an 8 cent premium here.
The data for the above figures can be obtained by accessing site-specific generation data reported to the EIA at www.eia.gov. I can provide direct link to any who really care, I just didn't bookmark it in the spreadsheet, unfortunately.
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dpb wrote:

60% is curious. For a column of air passing the the swept area of a wind generator rotor you can easily calculate the energy contained. With just a bit more effort the maximum portion of that energy that can be extracted can be calculated and it's 59%. IF what the EIA is giving as 'capacity factor' is the fraction of the available energy that is extracted then 60% and 40% look pretty good. Could this be the case?
Boden
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Boden wrote: ...

EIA doesn't define capacity factor.
Capacity factor is the actual energy produced by a generation unit over a period of time compared to the design/nameplate rating. If, for example, you have a 100 MWe plant and it runs at 80 MWe output, over that time period the capacity factor is 80%.
The EIA database contains the total generated MW of the generating facility. I used that and the installed capacity to compute the capacity factor.
The rotor efficiency, etc., is all factored into the nameplate generation rating. The Gray County facility is 170 660kW Vestas for an installed capacity of 112.2 MWe. That's the divisor, the numerator is the total reported generation for each month from the EIA database. So, for example, in April, 2006, total generation was 42.817 MWh and the capacity factor for the month is then 42,817/(112.2*30*24) = 53.1% By comparison, in August of that year total generation was only 19,491 MWh leading to a CF = 19,491/(31*24*112.2) = 23.4%.
The other telling story is that the average for all years in April is 47% while in August is only 28.2% clearly indicative of the spring winds are much more prevalent than mid-summer.
So, it's a good thought, but it isn't the explanation. The explanation is that the wind doesn't blow regularly even on the High Plains.
It would be most interesting to have more discrete data so one could actually look at the daily results but they are not available publicly and I've not pursued a direct request to Aquila.
The basic information on the facility is available at http://www.fplenergy.com/portfolio/contents/gray_county.shtml
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dpb wrote: ...

And the link to the databases (EIA 906/920 databases by year) is
http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/page/eia906_920.html
if anyone cares to check my work... :)
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Abe wrote:

[Giggle]
A wind turbine costs about $1000 per kw.
California's peak demand is about 50 Gigawatts.
To meet the peak demand of just California, we'd need 50 Gw * 1000 mw/gw * 1000 kw/mw * $1000/kw = $5 trillion in construction costs (about half the current national debt). Then there's the land, infrastructure (roads, communications, etc.), and transmission costs. Say another trillion or so. Give or take.
'Course some of that investment would be recouped in lower fuel prices and the $1000/kw price might be reduced if the government bought the turbines in, you know, bulk lots or something.
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50*1000P000*1000P,000,000*$1000=$50,000,000,000. so about 5 times the national debt Thats assuming the the wind is blowing at all 17000 wind turbines at the right time ;)

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