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On What a Waste – Vermont Yankee is in Beautiful Condition

@Bas Gresnigt

I believe that Entergy management decided to close a plant that was not meeting its profit requirements based on historical numbers.

Other enterprise models, like an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), or a cooperative business, have a different profit requirement. Entrepreneurial management might take a different look through the numbers, visit the area, and recognize the potential for both cost reductions and revenue increases that would change the P&L statement.

Businesses buy and sell assets all of the time and new owners can often make a go out of something that has not worked out for others.

Rod Adams, Publisher, Atomic Insights

April 2, 2014    View Comment    

On What a Waste – Vermont Yankee is in Beautiful Condition

@Bas

It is quite unbecoming to be so disrespectful of your ancestors as to ignore all of their knowledge and accomplishments.

Do you really believe that human beings first started noticing that the sun provides energy to the earth "in the sixties?" Are you so dismissive of technological history that you believe it began in your time?

Solar energy collection had a massive head start on the controlled fission chain reaction. Humans have known about the energy from the sun since the very first one figured out that it was warmer and lighter when it was out than when it was not. People have been using that energy for industrial purposes since they started tanning hides and cultivating more food than they needed to feed themselves.

However, the really studious and observant humans that gravitated to the sciences also recognized the numerous technical disadvantages of a power source that regularly -- and irregularly -- disappears, leaving the collection systems idle or worse. As soon as they discovered fire, they began gravitating to more capable and controllable power systems.

Sure, there are talented engineers who love the challenge of trying to make more efficient collection systems, just like there are talented engineers who love improving systems for capturing the wind for racing sailboats. Both are interesting hobbies that have little or nothing to do with providing sustaining or abundant, reliable energy for billions of people.

Rod Adams, Publisher, Atomic Insights

April 2, 2014    View Comment    

On What a Waste – Vermont Yankee is in Beautiful Condition

It is amusing how activists who repeatedly called Entergy a liar during the past several years are now quoting the company's offered reason for shutting down the plant.

I've worked as a financial analyst. When a large organization says they are making a decision because a complex activity is "unprofitable," it behooves people to look hard at all of the numbers in order to gain understanding. What are all of the costs associated with operating a nuclear power plant in the state of Vermont? Who controlls those costs? What are the revenue opportunities? Are there any restrictions on sales activities? Can the plant expand and spread costs over a large number of units? Are there any imminent repairs required? Are there any new costs being added by changing regulations? Why?

Until very recently, Entergy was selling electricity from VY to the state of Vermont for 4.1 cents per kilowatt hour. It was a profitable activity at the time. A couple of years ago, when that legacy contract expired, Entergy offered a long term contract at 6 cents per kilowatt hour with revenue sharing if wholesale prices exceeded that level. That offer was rejected.

Rod Adams, Publisher, Atomic Insights

March 30, 2014    View Comment    

On Oil Limits and the Economy: One Story, Not Two

@Bill Hannahan

Your comment almost sounds like eugenics.

There is a big difference between the population of a creature like deer and that of the human species. Deer don't have the ability to make plans for the future or to recognize what is happening around them and adapt before they are forced to do so,

Humans, on the other hand, can each plan, make choices, and adjust before having to wait for what you call "natural mechanisms." Take a good look at the population trends in areas where there are plenty of resources, low childhood mortality, and plenty of education.

I'm not worried about "overpopulation" because human society has feedback mechanisms that do not require any kind forced selection process. We can each make up our mind and make choices that allow our population to achieve a relatively stable level. We also have the ability and the energy resources required to provide for whatever level seems desirable.

 

March 24, 2014    View Comment    

On Healthy Doses of Radiation

@Bas

Being "chairman or director" of an organization that sounds impressive has little to do with scientific credentials.

If you want to know something about M. I. Balonov's scientific credentials, you might want to see what he has published and take a good look at the variety of collaborators on his many publications - 48 of which are listed at the link below.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Balonov%20MI%5BAuthor%5D&cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=8244716

March 23, 2014    View Comment    

On Oil Limits and the Economy: One Story, Not Two

@Bill

I'd say you were half right. It is an energy problem. We have an abundant source of materials with such a high energy density that they can enable all of the world's current and predicted population to live lives with as much access to energy as modern day Americans for hundreds to thousands of years. Amazingly enough, those materials - uranium and thorium - release their incredible energy density without releasing any CO2.

I don't believe human society will grow to an outrageous size due to that abundance, however. History tells me that population growth slows to mere replacement levels (or even a bit lower) in societies that are industrialized and urbanized with access to plenty of energy. Today, population is only growing rapidly in those places where subsistence farming is common. In subsistence agricultural areas, people have lots of babies because children can become assets rather quickly by putting them to work.

In more modern societies, raising children is an expensive, time consuming endeavor. It's worthwhile, mind you, but most people chose smaller rather than larger families.

My solution is fission and human ingenuity. 

March 23, 2014    View Comment    

On Healthy Doses of Radiation

@Paul O

The headline you quoted is misleading. Coal ash is far LESS radioactive that nuclear waste (aka used nuclear fuel). It is true that the fly ash emitted from a coal power plant carries more radiation into the environment, but that is only because the fuel rods, spent fuel pools and dry storage casks contain the radioactivity and do not release it into the environment.

In a coal plant, most of the fly ash is not contained; it gets released into the environment either through the smoke stack or in the lightly controlled slurry ponds.

March 20, 2014    View Comment    

On Healthy Doses of Radiation

@Bas

People who selectively believe documents and statements that support what they want to believe while ignoring every possible piece of evidence that contradicts their belief are generally said to be suffering from "confirmation bias" or self-delusion.

Please feel free to continue engaging in that practice, but keep your phobias to yourself. You wrote:

A week ago a documentary regarding the area around Chernobyl was on Dutch TV. Physicians told that now ~27 years thereafter ~90% of all children have chronic illness (one or more).  
Those are not considered in the stastistics of IAEA/WHO...

 So I suppose you are claiming a giant, worldwide conspiracy of silence and denial among all of the members of the responsible international bodies, while your favored documentarians and fantasy writers like Yablokov are persecuted and suppressed.

Get a life.

Rod Adams, Publisher, Atomic Insights

March 20, 2014    View Comment    

On Healthy Doses of Radiation

@Bobbi O

Dr. Lapp was a giant in his field.

By the way, though I am flattered by the honorific, my highest degree is an MS. I am not a Dr.

Rod Adams, Publisher, Atomic Insights

March 20, 2014    View Comment    

On Healthy Doses of Radiation

Yablokov's book is fiction partially based on incorrect interpretations of sensationalistic media pieces. It was not reviewed or selected by the NYAS; it was printed by their in-house press because an editor, who is no longer with the organization, decided to print it.

I've written a number of pieces and published other guest commentary about the sad affair on Atomic Insights. If you are interested in learning some of the history and finding out how the NYAS responded to the embarassment of having one of their longest serving and most distinguished members fighting to force it to recant, please visit http://atomicinsights.com/?s=yablokov

Rod Adams, Publisher, Atomic Insights

March 20, 2014    View Comment    

On Healthy Doses of Radiation

@Bas

As usual, your argumentative style is to post a comment longer than the original post and full of unsubstantiated assertions that are not worth responding to on a point by point basis. However, I will challenge your last statement:

So care for next generations imply that any extra radiation >0.1mSv/year should be avoided (~7,000 times less than pro-nuclear Rod suggest here to be safe). 
Unless people have no problem with the increased risk on serious birth defects, which doubles with 1mSv/year extra.


Do you thus advocate that we evacuate the Rocky Mountain states, tear down Grand Central Station, destroy the Capitol Building, and ground all aircraft? Your assertion, in a world where background radiation levels vary by several orders of magnitude and average somewhere around 2.4 mSv/year (closer to 6 mSv/year if medical exposures are included) is patently absurd.

By the way, you're darned right that I am pro-nuclear. It is far superior to unreliable energy sources and to continued abject dependence on burning coal, oil and natural gas for the power that enables humans to prosper.

Rod Adams, Publisher, Atomic Insights

March 20, 2014    View Comment    

On Wonder How the Next Generation Wants to Drive Sustainability? Check out These "Future Influencers" from Siemens

@Bas

You wrote:

Germany's decision in 2000 for the Energiewende with first priority nuclear out, did not lead to bigger share for fossil.


Not yet. That is because Germany is still getting about 100 TWhrs per year from its remaining large nuclear power plants. It is also because Germany has a shrinking, aging population.

Renewable growth is reaching a plateau. People are starting to understand the cost of attempting to continue its growth towards an ever larger share of energy production.

Thank you for the correction about when the actual decision was made, but the effort to start reversing course began in 2006; Merkel made her intentions clear during her campaign.

Rod Adams, Publisher, Atomic Insights

March 17, 2014    View Comment