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Comments by Meredith Angwin Subscribe

On The Prisoner's Dilemma and New Types of Nuclear Energy Reactors

N Nadir

Thank you for this excellent comment with great links.  May I use it as a guest post at my home blog, Yes Vermont Yankee? http://yesvy.blogspot.com/

July 29, 2013    View Comment    

On Hurricane Sandy and Nuclear Plants in the Mainstream Media

Mik

I am not going to write a long note refuting your Many Capital Letters email.  Your fact-checking on Fukushima is about the same as your fact-checking on my work history.  In other words, dead wrong.  

I have never worked for GE.  As a matter of fact, I have never worked for GE, Westinghouse, B&W, or Combustion Engineering (the big reactor suppliers, back when America built big equipment).  I worked for the Electric Power Research Institute. I was a project manager first in the renewable group, then in the nuclear group. My speciality is water chemistry and corrosion-resistant materials.  I also had private contracts with utilities after I left EPRI and set up my own consulting company.   

Perhaps, from your perspective, all big companies are alike. Interchangeable. Maybe I "might as well have" worked for GE.   I don't share that view.

November 10, 2012    View Comment    

On Carbon Dioxide and Nuclear Energy: The Great Divide and How to Cross It

You seem to have run out of arguments, except personal attacks on my wisdom and assertions about what Admiral Rickover did and said in his later years.  You've even brought in Hitler, which is always the last phase of desperation in an internet argument.

If you live in a world where military bases are run by renewables, you sure as heck live in a different world than I do.

July 15, 2012    View Comment    

On Carbon Dioxide and Nuclear Energy: The Great Divide and How to Cross It

Two comments.  

1)  Admiral Rickover was attacked and vilified all his life, and he was also a very difficult person to be around.  Near the end of his life, he made one negative statement about his life's work. The statement was made in the context of the difficult things we are forced to do in order to prevent war.  It is regularly trotted out by anti-nuclear activists as his final word on nuclear energy.  Rickover was the force behind the research and development that gave us all this huge gift--working, reliable nuclear power.  Please read the book "The Rickover Effect" or at least read the Wikipedia article on Rickover. They both put this often-quoted statement in context.

2) I am in favor of advanced reactor development, especially the LFTR, as you would know if you read my regular blog. You seem to think that supporting the operation of existing reactors and supporting reactor research are incompatible.  They are not.

July 14, 2012    View Comment    

On Carbon Dioxide and Nuclear Energy: The Great Divide and How to Cross It

It's true!  I am a mother and I was a project manager at EPRI!   I hadn't realized how motherhood had prepared me for that job. ;-)

July 14, 2012    View Comment    

On Carbon Dioxide and Nuclear Energy: The Great Divide and How to Cross It

Oh please!  Move on to the second law. OTEC is a tiny step above throwing ice cubes out of the back of a ship to provide motive power. That was disproved by Sadi Carnot, as I recall. T2 minus T1 over T2.  The efficiency equation based on the second law. Think about it.

I was in the renewable group at EPRI before joining the nuclear group. In the renewable group, we decided not to invest in OTEC because it simply was not going to work.  EPRI had a great concern to invest in renewables that would work.  We wanted to build good projects.  Also, frankly, we felt  people might think EPRI was playing some kind of game to sabotage renewables if we invested in technologies that were doomed from the start. We didn't invest in OTEC.

However, in deference to your concern with nuclear power and fondness for a system that won't work...how about we keeping using nuclear power ONLY until those OTEC plants come on-line?  Works for me...

July 14, 2012    View Comment    

On Carbon Dioxide and Nuclear Energy: The Great Divide and How to Cross It

AggieEngineer

Thank you!  This is a very very helpful way to look at the situation.  

I remember thermodynamics in college.  On the first day, the professor said something like "Remember. Every time you strike a match, you are contributing to the heat death of the universe." Well, THAT gave me something to think about!  However, like most people who work with chemistry, physics or engineering, I eventually adapted thermodynamics into my world view and came to terms with it.  

The "dismal science" isn't economics. It's thermodynamics.

Thank you for this insight into the thought processes of many people who describe themselves as environmentalists. 

Meredith

 

July 14, 2012    View Comment    

On Carbon Dioxide and Nuclear Energy: The Great Divide and How to Cross It

AggieEngineer

I have been accused of being too kind, too sweet.  I have two main defenses:

First: I can't help it.  The quote the yearbook writers chose for my picture when I graduated high school was: "Every human being is an opportunity for kindness."  So if I am too sweetie-pie, it's been going on a long time, and I can't change now! (I had a big-number high school reunion last month, which made me think about that yearbook for the first time in decades. Okay.  It was my 50th reunion. I am a grandmother, and I am not hiding my age.)

Second: Most Vermont Yankee opponents don't think I am sweet at all.  




July 14, 2012    View Comment    

On Carbon Dioxide and Nuclear Energy: The Great Divide and How to Cross It

Hello Rod

This was first published on my Yes Vermont Yankee site, and Kit P has written about half of the comments on that post.

 

I spent a lot of yesterday in an email correspondence with Bill McKibben. McKibben didn't actually claim to be misquoted and Tucker never actually said that McKibben was in favor of Vermont Yankee. Sigh.  Well, there's a note up there from McKibben and I hope all is resolved now. McKibben and I share a great regard for Gwyneth Cravens.  

So I have the note from McKibben on the blog post, not hidden in the comments, and I am hoping for the best.

July 13, 2012    View Comment    

On Law School Professor Explains Why the State Never Really Had a Case Against Vermont Yankee

Just a link to some posts on the utilities not wanting to pay back the ratepayers here.  AARP has sued and is keeping up the pressure.

http://blogs.burlingtonfreepress.com/politics/2012/03/26/the-power-strug...

http://vtdigger.org/2012/03/23/lawmakers-to-bring-back-windfall-return-a...

A quote from the latter post

Ratepayers floated millions of dollars to CVPS and Green Mountain Power in the early 2000s when the companies’ stocks sunk to junk bond status as a result of the high cost of power from the Hydro-Quebec project.

March 27, 2012    View Comment    

On Law School Professor Explains Why the State Never Really Had a Case Against Vermont Yankee

Vermont only gets 1/3 of its power from VY.  VY is located in a corner of the state, across the river from New Hampshire and very close to Massachusetts.  So it sells its power near-by, to neighboring states.  Vermont gets another 1/3 of its power from HydroQuebec.  IMHO, we haven't done a particularly bang-up job of negotiating with them. As a matter of fact, there's a big controversy right now about one of the distribution utilities had to be bailed out after a bad deal with HQ, the ratepayers bailed them out, with the proviso that the money had to be returned if the utility was sold.  It's being sold, and guess what?  It doesn't want to give the money back to the ratepayers.  I know you are deeply shocked. ;-)  Anyhow, the whole thing started with over-paying HydroQuebec.   And then we get about 8-10% of our power from in-state hydro, and the rest from the grid.  In other words, VY helps keep our power rates low, but doesn't fully determine them. VY makes about 70-80% of the power Vermont would need, but not all VY power goes to Vermont.

Okay.  I just said power rates were low and you said they were high.  We are both right!  Vermont power rates are the lowest in New England, but New England is the most expensive region.  So, compared to everyone else in the region (who are buying VY power and fossil power and Seabrook power etc)...we are actually doing well, cost-wise.

March 26, 2012    View Comment    

On If Vermont Yankee had an Accident Like Fukushima

John. You are right. Also, I don't like charred meat. I'm a chemist, and to me, the "char"  on meat looks like the "tar" in the bottom of a beaker of heated organic chemicals! A metric for  charred-meat, CGMU, could be the equivalent of Banana Equivalent Dose.  


Dr. Swartz was wrong about several nuclear engineering issues.  He said there was "uncontrolled fission" at Fukushima, but there wasn't.  There was fuel melting but not criticality, as I understand it. He also made some incorrect statements about control rods. I liked his information about safety and dose, but he was not knowledgable about power plant operations.

October 12, 2011    View Comment