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THIS JOURNAL WILL "TELL IT LIKE IT IS" REGARDING DIFFERENT FORMS OF ENERGY AND THEIR GLOBAL IMPLICATIONS/PROBLEMS

JAPAN WANTS TO SIGN IAEA PROPOSED NUCLEAR DISASTER LIABILITY TREATY

3 Nov 2013

USA DEPT. OF ENERGY SEC. ERNEST MONIZ GOES TO TOKYO AND APPROVES

On 2 Nov 2013, in Tokyo U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said: “Japan would receive international help with the clean-up at the Fukushima atomic station once it joins an existing treaty that defines liability for accidents at nuclear plants, The treaty known as :The Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage, assigns accident liability to plant operators (TEPCO-The people that own and operate the Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) rather than equipment and technology vendorsAs one gets into the real work, then these liability conventions become quite important…Certainly (Japanese)Prime Minster Abe and Minster Motegi both emphasize that the importance of moving on this in 2014 is to a large extent driven by their openness and their desire to get as much international help as they can…. Such help will be easier to secure once Japan ratifies the treaty … U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trade Minister Toshimitsu Motegi , and other officials showed eagerness during meetings for expertise from abroad to decommission the Fukushima NPP. Liability would rest with TEPCO as the plant’s operator is known… this has global significance, and we all have a direct interest in seeing that the next steps are taken well, efficiently and safely.”

THE IAEA PROPOSED NUCLEAR LIABILITY TREATY – SAY WHAT?.

US DOE Secretary Moniz was in Japan to discuss cooperation with Japan with plans to ratify the The Convention on “Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage Treaty”. His visit coincided with calls for a larger government role in the response to the 12 Mar 2011 triple meltdown + at the Fukushima Dai No1 Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) the site of the the worst nuclear tragedy ever; and certainly since Chernobyl, in the Ukraine (formerly Russia).  TEPCO in recent months has reported large leaks of highly radioactive fluids into the Pacific Ocean. The treaty includes setting up a fund for victims of nuclear accidents and a standard for compensation claims   NOW THEN: The Compensation for Nuclear Damage treaty was adopted in 1997 under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and had 16 signatories as of 24 Jun 2013,

RADIOACTIVE WATER TREATMENT IS (STILL) THE IMMEDIATE PROBLEM

TRITIUM REMOVAL is among the contaminants found in hundreds of thousands of tons of water stored in more than 1,000 tanks at the Dai No.1 site. Those levels are rising at a rate of 400 tons a day as groundwater seeping into basements mixes with cooling water that has been in contact with highly radioactive melted reactor cores. Sec. Moniz said that other companies that could assist TEPCO are builders that have worked at U.S. nuclear sites, and have specialists in cleaning groundwater and controlling its flow without identifying particular businesses. Well… Except for California-based Kurion Inc., that owns technology for removing the radioactive isotope tritium from contaminated water… FOR CESIUM REMOVAL TEPCO has had treatment systems in place for removing the radioactive cesium since shortly after the March 2011 tragedy at the plant, and is currently testing a filter to remove the radioactive element strontium.  Moniz added that the proposed liability pact has so far not been needed by foreign companies because there’s been little direct engagement between such businesses and TEPCO, although some U.S. entities have helped the utility in a consultant role.

LINKS ALREADY EXIST BETWEEN JAPAN AND USA NUCLEAR WASTE PROCESSING CORPORATIONS.

A scientist at the Savanna River National Laboratory under the USA-DOE said they already helping Japan’s International Research Institute for Nuclear decommissioning by providing proposals from international entities seeking participation in the Dai No.1 plant’s decommissioning and cleanup..TEPCO said 1 Nov.2013 that it is also holding talks with The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a USA DOE research center, about getting help with groundwater management, removing fuel debris and other areas, the utility said in a statement.  TEPCO engineers have also visited the site of the Hanford Engineer Works weapons lab in Washington State, where the USA DOE has spent more than $16 billion since 1989 on cleanups, to evaluate whether methods used there could be applied at Fukushima. Sec. Moniz said: “With openness, I would say the eagerness, expressed by the (Japanese)Prime Minister and by a variety of other government officials to have international help, we see our laboratories certainly continuing to contribute and we see our companies being enabled to come in as well.”

Thanks to Bloomberg, and RT

OUR TAKE.

We must remember that the IAEA is a Vienna-based energy Barons Corp (with a 2,300 employee Secretariat) founded to protect the financial interests of the world’s Energy Industry. Let us also remember that USA DOE Sec. Moniz made a trip to the IAEA (Vienna) to address the IAEA annual report on 3 Jul 2013 ostensibly to assuage their concerns about the coal Industry (now on life support world-wide).  It occurs to us that behind the scenes a more important initiative was afoot: How to protect the Uranium NPP’s Industry now, and in the future against financial Liability. One more thing to remember: The General Director of the IAEA since 2009 until today is Mr. Yukiya Amano, a former V.P. of TEPCO.  Nuff’ said!

JAPAN NEEDS HELP WITH FUKUSHIMA

But if it is money they want to help their NPP Industry, and its victims, and to protect them against financial liability, now and in the future, they are asking the wrong country.  Evidently Sec. Moniz has not heard about the budget impasse in the USA Congress, and the talks about sequestration. Linking Japanese authorities (be it TEPCO, or the Central government) to appropriate technical consultants in the nuclear remediation field here in the USA, or anywhere in the world, is already in progress, and done privately (as it should be).  Honestly, Sec. Moniz seems totally detached from the financial realities facing the USA, yet, he offers all sorts of assistance he cannot deliver. Just to think that the Dai No. 1 cleanup and decommissioning is expected to take 40 years (I think 60 Years or longer) Unless they screw things up. Talk is Cheap!

HOW IN THE WORLD CAN WE EXPECT THE IAEA PROPOSED SHARED FINANCIAL LIABILITY TO BE IMPLEMENTED?  Naturally, the Japanese government asks:  “and all we need to do is sign to get the world to assist us financially, technically, and otherwise?” Wish it were so but it is “Pie in the Sky”.

FOOLISH PLAN TO REMOVE SOME 1,500 “SPENT FUEL RODS” NOW.  Sec. Moniz said:It appears that spent nuclear fuel will begin to be removed from Unit 4 as scheduled in mid-November The spent-fuel removal at DAI No.1 Unit 4,is considered by nuclear experts to be the toughest and most dangerous operation for TEPCO; one wrong move could result in horrific quantities of radiation being released into the atmosphere or cause an explosion many times worse than the original tragedy. PROBLEM IS: Reactor 4 “Spent-Fuel Pool” contains 10 times more Cesium-137 than Chernobyl did. Scientists have warned that another nuclear tragedy of such magnitude could be the beginning of an ultimate catastrophe for the planet.  This plan seems like too dangerous an operation, and apparently intended to make it seem like that decommissioning has begun.  These spent fuel rods are trasuranic extremely dangerous radioactive material the removal of which, if just once (out of 1,500 times), is done incorrectly, or an accident occurs due to unforeseen circumstances, could precipitate an uncontrollably nuclear chain reaction of unchartered proportions that would render the rest of the NPP facility unapproachable for decades. Just to relocate the fuel rods, but where?.   They do not even know where yet in their ever more crowded environs.  THEY MUST BE KIDDING!-I CERTAINLY HOPE SO!– JAPAN NEEDS TO GET REAL!

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

 


November 3, 2013 at 11:28 PM Comments (0)

EPA SCHEDULES 11 PUBLIC MEETINGS ON COAL-FIRED UTILITIES NEXT 2 MONTHS

18 Oct 2013

READ ALL ABOUT IT! The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  has scheduled eleven (11) public listening sessions across the USA to solicit ideas and input from the public and stakeholders about the best Clean Air Act approaches to reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants. Each session will begin with brief introductory remarks followed by EPA listening to public input about reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants.  All public listening sessions are planned between 23 Oct 2013, and 8 Nov 2013.  That, is a “short-fuse” for such ambitious plans!. Please note that EPA is proposing to set separate standards for natural gas(Nat Gas)-fired utilities and coal-fired units. For now, we are talking about: Coal-burners

The Clean Air Act gives both EPA and states a role in reducing air pollution from power plants that are already in operation.  The law directs EPA to establish guidelines, which states use to design their own programs to reduce emissions.  Before proposing guidelines, EPA must consider how power plants with a variety of different configurations would be able to reduce carbon pollution in a cost-effective way.  It is hoped/anticipated that the feedback from these 11 public-listening sessions will play an important role in helping EPA develop smart, cost-effective guidelines that reflect the latest and best information available.  The agency will seek additional public input during the notice and comment period once it issues a proposal by June 2014.

THE EPA SCHEDULED SESSIONS ARE:

NEW YORK NY, 23 OCT 2013

ATLANTA GA, 23 OCT 2013

DENVER CO, 30 OCT 2013

LENEXA KS, 4 NOV 2013

BOSTON MA, 4 NOV 2013

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, 5 NOV 2013

WASHINGTON, DC, 7 NOV 2013

DALLAS, TX, 7 NOV 2013

SEATTLE, WA, 7 NOV 2013

PHILADELPHIA PA, 8 NOV 2013

CHICAGO IL, 8 NOV 2013

For more specific information, and Points of Contact(POCs) See  http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards/public-listening-sessions#main-content

OUR TAKE:

GOOD TO SEE THE EPA IS STILL ALIVE, Well…maybe. It is one agency Republican conservatives would like to do away with, or at least hamstring into impotency.  King Coal-fired electrical and industrial facilities need to be exposed as the USA’s worst air polluters.  Americans everywhere know this, and want coal replaced by Nat Gas (or green energy) wherever, and as soon as possible.  The fact that EPA has scheduled 11 Public and Stakeholders meetings over the next two months is evidence EPA priorities are well-placed.

WHAT WILL THE 11 MEETINGS BE LIKE?  Probably very much like the USA Congress recently.  On one side we should have the now well informed American citizens pointing their finger at the most notorious offenders in their respective region.(One suspects the EPA will value such information and public outrage in their assessment and deliberations)  On the other side of the divide, the Coal-fired power-plant owners (Stakeholders/shareholders), and the Operators of such Utilities will claim : Carbon ? Who? Not we!  Our coal DOES NOT STINK.  It is of the finest quality anthracite, and besides, coal created air pollution is not worse now than in the last 100 years (Americans are not fooled).  AH!, but it is much worse because of the recent proliferation of coal-fired Utilities in recent years, not the least of which is caused by the universal rejection of Nuclear Power-Plants (NPPs)by a now well informed public about nuclear waste.

BURNING OF COAL FOR ENERGY GENERATION MAKES NO SENSE NOW.  A recent Gallup poll makes that issue crystal clear See http://energymaters.com/?p=1185 and yet; here in San Antonio, Texas, our two (2) coal-burner plants at Calaveras (Skulls) lake (Spruce I, and II), together generate about 1,240 Mw, and consume about one train-load of coal daily/each.  That coal is brought from Gillette Co., WY. Transported about 1,500 miles in trains owned /maintained / financed by our “CPS Energy” public-owned Utility.  THE RUB IS: About 50 miles south of San Antonio, TX   lies the “Eagle-Ford Oil and Gas” huge development/enterprise looking for ways to sell their Nat-gas, and CPS-Energy won’t even look their way.  It would be relatively inexpensive/quick to convert such plants to Nat-gas and CPS-Energy knows it, BUT…

CPS ENERGY (A PUBLIC-OWNED CORP.) FEELS COMPELLED TO BURN ONLY COAL.   They somehow, feel compelled to buy coal from Ex-V.P. Cheney’s empire. Perhaps they have a sweetheart deal, and claim they are waiting for the EPA to mandate a change.  That is a hell of a cop-out, specially when San Antonio now has more than 60 days per year of air pollution alerts created by ozone and many other carcinogens. Honestly, the news media just says:“Just stay inside if you do not have to go outside”. There is no doubt in my mind that San Antonio Citizens are paying a much higher price than their monthly utility bill in terms of health maintenance costs, ill health, and shorter life spans. We need to remember that we could cut our carbon emissions, and other pollution at least in half by burning only Nat Gas for power generation.  How quickly we forget that in 1984 San Antonio, TX used Nat Gas only.

PLIGHT OF THE MANY OFFERS LITTLE CONSOLATION. It is of little consolation to realize that San Antonio is not alone in its air pollution plight, and that the same problem is being experienced big-time all over the USA, and in many other countries such as Mexico, and China. Still we must all do what we can to slow down global warming, and to keep from suffocating. Have you noticed in the world news, how many citizens are now wearing face masks to ward-off air pollution. IT IS TRULY SAD!- Perhaps bitching loudly to the EPA, now that we are given a chance, may give rise to greater awareness about the need to do something about the problem NOW! If you reside in one of the cities listed above, and are a concerned citizen, PLEASE ATTEND AND PARTICIPATE!

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)


October 18, 2013 at 11:43 PM Comments (0)

US SEC OF ENERGY E. MONIZ “INTERPRETS” THE WHITE HOUSE ENERGY PLAN (NOT REALLY)

31 Aug 2013

US Dept of Energy (DOE) Secretary  Ernest Moniz argues that President Obama’s plan to combat climate change is not, as critics allege, a “war on coal,” . In a speech at Columbia University in New York (about 26 Aug 2013). Moniz said: “This action has been applauded by many as the most significant step the president can take to reduce carbon emissions…This directive has also been derided by some as an action  have potentially a place in the low-carbon world.” …Pres. Obama has described his energy policy as “all of the above,” meaning a variety of energy sources, both conventional and unconventional, will be used….All of the above’ means we will invest in the technology, research, development and demonstration so that all of our energy sources can be enabled as marketplace competitors in a low-carbon energy world…The administration has said it would revamp an $8 billion federal loan-guarantee program to help companies reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. Pres. Obama is seeking government investment in technology to make fossil fuels, including coal, burn cleaner, he said. The new plan expands eligibility for federal loans to proposals that reduce emissions from oil and gas drilling, and for energy-efficiency efforts such as capturing waste heat from large industrial facilities to make electricity. Clean-coal projects also remain eligible for aid” (CLEAN COAL ?)

REGARDING ENERGY DIVERSITY Sec. Moniz said: “In Pres. Obama’s first presidential term, carbon pollution fell as a depressed economy led Americans to drive less, and low Nat Gas prices prompted utilities to shutter carbon-heavy coal plants, and burn gas for electricity…This year, coal use and Carbon emissions are up and forecast to grow in the years ahead, jeopardizing Pres. Obama’s 2009 pledge to cut greenhouse gases 17% by 2020…I am not here to debate what’s not debatable, (referring to the scientific consensus around climate change), We will focus on doing all that we can with current administrative authorities.”

FRACKING AND THE NAT GAS BOOM.  Moniz noted that: “the U.S. Nat Gas boom has played a major role in reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. That boom in gas production has been enabled by hydraulic fracturing, a drilling technique that has been blamed for water pollution. .if you look at each of the issues with fracking, well completions, surface water management, methane emissions, they are manageable in the sense that one knows what one has to do…They’re not always managed so that’s where it is absolutely essential to have the best practices all the time.

Thanks to Bloomberg for their quotations.

OUR COMMENTS:

In June 2013, The White House outlined policies to lower U.S. pollution blamed for global warming, including limits on emissions from new and existing coal-fired power plants. The announcement drew fire from coal producers and lawmakers from coal-producing states (“It’s always the hit dog that yelps!”). The U.S. had been on a path to reaching Pres. Obama’s goal, with emissions last year down more than 12 % from the peak in 2007, the steepest drop since the oil crisis of the late 1970s since 2006.  These remarks to a Columbia University by Sec Moniz, seem to outline his speech at the IAEA in Vienna, earlier this year. See: US DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY SECRETARY MONIZ SHOWS HIS TRUE COLORS IN VIENNA @ http://energymaters.com/?p=1238

We are sorry to say that Moniz always tells audiences what most of us already know, and have known for some time. There is nothing new in his remarks;  Indeed, we find his remarks trivial, sometimes contradictory, and frequently incoherent in their context. What do you think?  Regrettably, Sec. Moniz shows no inclination toward real cooperation with The White House, or to have a vision for our energy future;  However, at his pay level, one must :”Either lead, follow, or get out of the way”; Fortunately, Moniz is inclined to do the later, and that is good because our USA energy industry is rapidly becoming the envy of the world without his help.  We must now look to the EPA to protect our environment, and to attempt to keep the fossil, and nuclear energy industries in check as best can.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)


August 31, 2013 at 12:48 AM Comments (0)

FUKUSHIMA HAS AN EMERGENCY WITH TOXIC WASTE- WATER SEEPING INTO SEA

7 Aug 2013

In Tokyo, Shinji Kinjo, head of Japan’s Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) (SUPPOSED NUCLEAR WATCH-DOG) said to Reuters on Monday 5 Aug 2013, that highly radioactive water continues seeping into the Pacific Ocean from Japan’s crippled Fukushima Dai-No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) and creating an “emergency” that Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) is struggling to contain.  Mr. Kinjo said: “This contaminated groundwater has breached an underground barrier, is rising toward the surface, and is exceeding legal limits of radioactive discharge, countermeasures planned by TEPCO are only a temporary solution”. He he added with an obvious sense of preoccupation that:   “TEPCO’s sense of crisis is weak …This is why you (SAY WHO ?) can’t just leave it up to TEPCO alone to grapple with the ongoing disaster…Right now, we have an emergency ! YES!- A CONTINUING NUCLEAR EMERGENCY WITH GLOBAL CONSEQUENCES, AND THE Japanese government does not give a SH-T!  SHAME ON THEM! 

BOTH, TEPCO, AND THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT HAVE ACTED IRRESPONSIBLY, ON THIS TRAGEDY SINCE ITS BEGINNING.  TEPCO has been globally condemned for its failure to harden their NPP’s against  the massive Mar. 2011 tsunami and earthquake that devastated its Dai No. 1 NPP in Fukushima; additionally , lambasted for its untimely/inept response to the reactor meltdowns, and worse: for covering –up the extent of the tragedy, and its ramifications.  Every repair, plan, and other actions taken to date has seemed like an effort to “look good”, rather than a long-range well planned effort to prevent the continuing large dumping of highly radioactive contaminated waste water into the sea.  Following the meltdowns, the Japanese government allowed TEPCO to dump tens of thousands of metric tons of contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean in an emergency move.  It was not immediately clear how much more of a threat the contaminated groundwater could pose.  PROBLEM IS: the toxic water dumping is huge, and THE EMERGENCY CONTINUES WITH NO END IN SIGHT.

THE WORLD, AND JAPAN’S FISHERY INDUSTRY CONDEMN, THE TOXIC WATER  RELEASE; specially after TEPCO has often promised it would not dump radioactive water without the consent of local townships.  Mitsuo Uematsu at the University of Tokyo, said:”Until we know the exact density and volume of the water that’s flowing out, I honestly can’t speculate on the impact on the sea. We should also check what the levels are like in the sea water (YES, BUT WHO IS “WE”);  If  it’s only inside the port, and it’s not flowing out into the sea, it may not spread as widely as some fear.” TEPCO told Reuters, it is taking various measures to prevent contaminated water from leaking into the bay near the plant.  A company spokesman said TEPCO deeply apologized to residents in Fukushima prefecture, the surrounding region, and the public at large, for causing inconveniences, worries and trouble.

THE PROBLEM  IS, WATER GOES WHERE IT WANTS TO GO.  TEPCO pumps out some 400 metric tons a day of groundwater flowing from the hills above the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the basements of the destroyed buildings, which mixes with highly irradiated water that is used to cool the reactors to a stable condition below its boiling point (100 degrees Celsius).  Water just goes under, over, or around any obstacles in its path to lower ground. TEPCO is trying to prevent groundwater from reaching the plant by building a “bypass”, but recent spikes of radioactive elements in sea water has prompted TEPCO to finally admit that toxic water is reaching the sea.  In a typical half-measure way to prevent further leaks into the bay, and the Pacific Ocean, plant workers created an underground  barrier by injecting chemicals to harden the ground along the shoreline of the No.1 reactor building; however, that barrier is only effective to a depth of approximately two (2) meters below the surface.  By breaching the barrier, the water can seep through the shallow areas of earth, and into the nearby sea.  A break in the ground hardened barrier would accelerate the outflow, similarly to a break in a dam.  Masashi Goto, a retired Toshiba Corp nuclear engineer who worked on several TEPCO plants, said: “If you build a wall, of course the water is going to accumulate there. And there is no other way for the water to go but up or sideways and eventually lead to the ocean (COMMON SENSE TELLS US SO)…So now, the question is how long do we have?” It has been estimated that contaminated water could rise to the ground’s surface within three (3) weeks, TEPCO official said on 5 Aug 2013 the company plans to start pumping out a further 100 metric tons of groundwater a day by the end of the week.  Mr. Kinjo of the The NRA concluded the obvious: …new measures are needed to stop the water from flowing into the sea that way,” The NRC task force overseeing the measures at the Fukushima Dai No.1, NPP met on 2 Aug 2013, concluded that a cumulative 20 to 40 trillion  becquerels of radioactive tritium had probably leaked into the sea since the tragic triple meltdown 12 Mar 2011.  TEPCO said this was within legal limits. Tritium is far less harmful than cesium and strontium, which have also been released from the plant. TEPCO is scheduled to test strontium levels next (THIS HAS NOT BEEN DONE YET ? COME-ON !) the admission on the long-term tritium leaks, as well as renewed criticism from the NRA, show the decaying state of the now $11 billion cleanup, and TEPCO’s failure to date to fix a fundamental problem: How to prevent water, tainted with radioactive elements like cesium, from flowing into the Pacific ocean.

OUR VIEW AND COMMENTS

THE FUKUSHIMA Dai No.1  NPP TRIPLE – MELTDOWN TRAGEDY CONTINUES. Twenty eight months after the events of 12 Mar 2011, It continues to unfold like a Kabuki Play.  Its protagonists are different, but the plot is the same, while the faceless assistants in dark-clothing,  and musicians play-on.  There is very little that is a new development in today’s story from the posts referenced below, and dating back to soon after the events. Missing in the news now, are any further efforts at filtering the cooling water and re-circulating it to minimize the quantity of toxic water produced.  An ominous, but anticipated development, is the continuing downward movement of the molten uranium masses (or mess ?) which now has reached the water table thus enabling long-life transuranic elements to migrate to more distant parts of the Province, and no one knows where.  It is disheartening to see the apathy in high Central government circles.  It seems all they want to do is to “re-start” their 50 (or so) idled NPPs.

JAPANESE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT DUMB, OR GREEDY ?  It is difficult to gage whether Japan’s Central government officials are ignorant, or plain greedy; Perhaps both.  One thing is certain, about 80% of the Japanese people have vociferously expressed a distinct desire to abolish or shut down NPPs.  In another perplexing note, the Central government has allowed a French shipment of MOX (Mixed Oxide) nuclear spent fuel containing about 9% Plutonium shipped from France, apparently with the intension of using it in Japanese NPPs.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO TRANSURANIC WASTE-WATER IN THE FUKUSHIMA BAY ?.  It seems likely that since transuranic elements are very heavy, the toxic water will deposit them in the Fukushima bay.  There they will lie in wait for centuries(if necessary) for another tsunami to deposit them back on shore.  The victims of the 2011 tsunami recall the heavy stench of the bay water when the tsunami washed its bottom mud into the land well ahead of the main waves. On the mean time, all bottom feeding fish in Fukushima bay will certainly carry radioactivity up the food chain. Like it or not, such an event will be both stinky and highly radioactive, and is not a matter of “If”, but “when”.

IT IS STILL ALL ABOUT COOLING THE MELTED NPPs, AND THEIR SPENT-FUEL REPOSITORIES.  At least that is the way Mr. Shinji Kinjo, head of Japan’s Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) sees it:  as an “emergency”.  PROBLEM IS: the situation has continued to get worse by the day, and there remain at least 10 more years of “cooling it”.  What is needed is immediate governmental, and TEPCOs willingness to make permanent (not temporary) improvements in their cooling technology and geological/seismological studies to see where the radioactive plume is going now in land air and sea for the sake of its people, flora, and fauna.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

RELATED PAST ARTICLES – A FEW OTHERS ON THIS THEME EXIST – JUST SCROLL  BACK, AND CLICK AT BOTTOM LEFT OF EVERY PAGE.

http://energymaters.com/?page_id=16  18 Jun 2011 – PRODUCTION AND TREATMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WATER STILL MAJOR WORRY AT FUKUSHIMA

http://energymaters.com/?page_id=36  24 Jun 2011 – NOT MUCH HAS CHANGED AT FUKUSHIMA DAI NO. 1 – SITUATION STILL CRITICAL

http://energymaters.com/?page_id=61 -28 Jun 2011- VERY GRADUAL IMPROVEMENT ON THE CRITICAL FUKUSHIMA DAI NO.1 SITUATION

http://energymaters.com/?p=843 18 May 2012- JAPANESE NUCLEAR NEWS BLACKOUT CONTINUES TO HURT JAPAN’S IMAGE

http://energymaters.com/?p=876     16 Jun 2012 – IN JAPAN, THE POWER OF DEMOCRACY TO BE TESTED IN Oi NUKES RE-START

P.S.  The loss of RSS (Real Sindicated Subscription) has motivated me to ask all our readers to “Pass the word” about this Blog.  There are very few now that “Tell it like it is” and extremely few in “mainstream media”.  We do so WITH A REAL SENSE OF RESPONSIBILTY TO OUR MANY READERS, AND DO NOT SOLICIT OR ACCEPT EMOLUMENTS (WE ARE NOT BEHOLDING TO ANYONE). We now solicit your comments, but please write on point, and avoid commercialization or spam.  This publication is intended for intelligent, caring people all over the world.


August 7, 2013 at 1:03 AM Comments (2)

US DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY SECRETARY MONIZ SHOWS HIS TRUE COLORS IN VIENNA

2 JULY 2013

US ENERGY SECRETARY MONIZ ATTENDED THE IAEA ANNUAL MEETING IN VIENNA.  On 30 Jun 2013 Moniz was interviewed by Reuters. He went to attend the annual conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency-IAEA; Secretary Moniz said: “Obama expects fossil fuels, and coal specifically, to remain a significant contributor for some time…The way the U.S. administration is looking at it is: what does it take for us to do to make coal part of a low carbon future…this would include higher efficiency plants and new ways of utilizing coal…It is all about having, in fact, coal as part of that future…I don’t believe it is a ‘war on coal’.” Moniz acknowledged there could be winners and losers, but that economic models belie “the statement that there are huge economic impacts from controlling greenhouse gases…Quite the contrary. We expect that this is going to be positive for the economy” THERE IS NO DOUBT IN OUR MIND THAT MONIZ WENT TO VIENNA TO ASSUAGE THE ENERGY BARONS THERE ASSEMBLED THAT THEY HAVE A FRIEND IN THE USA – MEANING HIMSELF! (Yes, the one with the Ben Franklin coiffure).

SECRETARY MONIZ SAID HE WAS OPTIMISTIC… that the United States would meet its goal to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to about 17 % below 2005 levels by 2020. “We’re pretty close to the track right now. We’re halfway there…An $8 billion loan guarantee program for projects to develop new technologies that help cut emissions of fossil fuels would include Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology as one of a number of options…It will also include some advanced technologies for using coal very different from today’s technologies that will enable much less expensive carbon capture in future”.  CCS is a relatively new, expensive and unproven technology that captures carbon dioxide and buries it. (YEAH!  SWEEPING IT UNDER THE CARPET, PROBLEM IS, EVERYONE INVOLVED IN PAST ATTEMPTS HAS SAID: NOT IN MY BACKYARD – NIMBY!)

Thanks to Reuters for their excellent quotes, even if they missed the real Vienna story.

SECRETARY MONIZ ALSO ADDRESSED THE IAEA ANNUAL MEETING.  On 1 July 2013, Sec. Moniz made official remarks to the IAEA as posted in the DOE news organ:  http://energy.gov/articles/statement-iaea-international-conference-nuclear-security .  Of course he would have to say something about “nuclear security”, after all, that is the IAEA Trump card now that their real purpose has been exposed: To promote the interests of global Energy industries (both nuclear, and fossil fuels). We find it perplexing and irritating that Moniz who is willing to speak in Vienna Austria, has been unwilling to inform the people of the USA what his agenda and plans are.  All his statements to date indicate he sees himself as a “remover of obstacles” to the energy industry (a rubber stamp, if you will).  That is not what the USA/world needs at this critical time in global history.

THE WHITE HOUSE CLIMATE WARMING REPORT/PLAN OPPOSED. Naturally, the long-awaited White House plan drew criticism from the coal industry, which would be hard hit by carbon limits, and from Republicans, who accused the Democratic president of advancing policies that harm the economy, and kill jobs.  Senator Joe Manchin, (D -W.V), the No. 2 U.S. coal mining state after Wyoming, said the last week of June 2013, that Obama had “declared a war on coal,”  The coal industry said the rules threatened its viability. But…

GALLUP POLLS IN THE USA SHOW: UP WITH GREEN, DOWN WITH COAL Please read http://energymaters.com/?p=1185.  Environmentalists have largely cheered the White house proposals, though many said the moves did not go far enough, or had sufficient authority for implementation.  Comprehensive as the White house Energy Assessment/proposals are, they have no mechanism for implementation.  Problem is, that speaking in management terms: “That which is everyone’s responsibility, is no one’s responsibility”.  We believe what is needed is for Pres. Obama to convene the Cabinet Secretaries, DOE, DOI, and the Environmental Protection agency to draft a joint plan of action to combat global warming.  Talking about it won’t do! And working separately would fail because their Departmental responsibilities /functions sometimes overlap; Hence the need for cooperation and streamlining of their joint effort. Past Cabinet chiefs Salazar (DOI) and Chu (DOE) had already found the need for collaboration. For now, they are all “flying their own kite”.

PRES OBAMA PUT HIS PRESTIGE ON THE LINE last week to revive his stalled climate change agenda, promising new rules to cut carbon emissions from U.S. power plants, and other domestic actions including support for renewable energy Obama said he had directed the Environmental Protection Agency to craft new emissions rules for thousands of power plants, the bulk of which burn coal and which account for roughly one-third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. With Congress unlikely to pass climate legislation, Obama said his administration would set rules using executive powers.  So sad that our congress won’t sh-t, or get off the pot!  Even on timely crucial issues.

OUR TAKE…THE US DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (DOE) STINKS UNDER MONIZ.  Ernest Moniz, who has been unwilling to concede a press conference (other than to his own Department PR news branch), considered it necessary to travel to Vienna, Austria to assuage the Board of Governors of the IAEA (at their annual conference), not to worry, because they have a friend in the USA – No doubt himself, according to his remarks.  Let me refresh your mind about the IAEA. It exists to further the worldwide interests of the fossil and nuclear energy industry.  It is located in Vienna Austria with its 2,300 employee “Secretariat”.  COUNTRIES WITH EXISTING MEMBERS ON THE IAEA BOARD OF GOVERNORS ARE:  Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Cuba, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Jordan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Niger, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sweden, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and the United Republic of Tanzania.  WE ARE NOT PRIVILEGED TO KNOW THE GOVERNORS’ NAMES; however, THEY ARE WORLD-CLASS ENERGY BARONS – ONE AND ALL!  Please read: http://energymaters.com/?p=925  

PRES. OBAMA DID NOT CHOOSE WISELY WHEN NOMINATING MONIZ.  Perhaps he did so in an attempt at Congressional “Sausage making”.  Moniz shows no inclination to follow Pres. Obama’s lead in regard to energy.  Pres. Obama has now appointed two (2) “ducies” (Chu, Moniz) in a row to the post of  Energy Secretary; Both professors, Doctors, and accountable or responsible to no one. With all due respect Mr. President, your political acumen in both selections is sorely lacking.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

We tell it like it is!


July 2, 2013 at 9:09 PM Comments (0)

FRANCE SENDS ITS “MIXED OXIDE (MOX)” HOT NUCLEAR WASTE TO JAPAN

21 Apr 2013

AREVA- S.A. said on 18 Apr 2013 that it has engaged two (2) British ships to transport Mixed Oxide (MOX) hot nuclear waste to Japan.  The MOX shipment will go round the Cape of Good Hope (So Africa – long regarded by sailors as the world’s most treacherous waters), to the SW Pacific Ocean, and on to Japan’s Takahama Nuclear Power Plant (NPP).  Looks like AREVA S.A. (little Sister to Electricite de France – EDF),  gets to do its “dirty-work” to protect the reputation of the French State-Owned Corporation with 58 NPPs– games politicians play!

“AREVA- S.A.”  IS A FRENCH BASED WORLD-CLASS CORPORATION, headquartered in Paris, France. It is essentially a NPP, and nuclear fuel purveyor.  In a broader sense, it represents the political will of France to colonize the world by meeting their energy needs, and imposing their technology and logistical support for many years.  Japan had similar ambitions until the dream blew up at Fukushima, Dai No.1 NPP about two years ago.  On 28 Jan 2010, AREVA S.A. announced a major re-organization of its nuclear and renewable operations.  Its activities are now divided into four (4) Business Groups:

     1. Mining-Front End: combines operations related to uranium exploration and mining, uranium conversion,  enrichment, and the design, and fabrication of uranium fuel for nuclear reactors.

  1. Reactors and Services: designs and builds NPPs, naval propulsion reactors, research reactors, and manufactures/sells related  equipment.
  2. Back End: manages all operations in the back-end of the nuclear cycle, from used nuclear fuel recycling, to the dismantling and value development of nuclear facilities.
  3. Renewable Energies: Including  four (4) renewable energies: wind energy, bio-energy, solar power, and  hydrogen/ energy storage.

For a comprehensive article about France’s nuclear politics/national policy, etc. read:  http://energymaters.com/?m=20120104

FRANCE SUFFERED A MOX PROCESSING PLANT FIRE OF UNTOLD CONSEQUENCES NEAR NIMES on 12 Sep 2011.  For a good description of “MOX Processing” see:  http://energymaters.com/?m=20110912.  Evidently, their “lesson learned” was: Don’t! – Ship it elsewhere.

Recall the French hot-nuclear waste shipments by rail to Germany?  See: http://energymaters.com/?m=201111 dated 26 Nov 2011.  Germany finally said: Halt! -Verboten and won’t have any more of it. 

THIS TIME THE MOX SHIPMENT IS BOUND FOR JAPAN BY SEA to Kansai Electric Power Co. -“Takahama” NPP)west of Tokyo).   AREVA- S.A.  said in a statement on 18 Apr 2013,  that the HMS Pacific Heron and the HMS Pacific Egret (both of British Nuclear Shipping Co. PNTL) had left the port of Cherbourg (in Northern France) loaded with highly radioactive MOX  nuclear fuel, and plans to reach Japanese waters after 15 Jun 2013.

WE CONTINUE TO BELIEVE THAT: THOSE WHO INSIST ON CREATING NUCLEAR WASTE (FRANCE STILL DOES! – BIG TIME) SHOULD FEEL A RESPONSIBILITY TO DEAL WITH THEIR OWN MESS, RATHER THAN SHIPPING IT ELSEWHERE

PROBLEM IS: MOX CONTAINS ABOUT 6% – 10% PLUTONIUM, and it is perceived as a national security threat, so “special precautions” will be taken taken during transportation (go figure what those will be). The shipment is certain to be controversial in Japan, where public opposition to nuclear power, and reactor restarts, remains strong two (2) years after the Fukushima tragedy which prompted the shutdown of all Japan’s 50 nuclear reactors until there were none left operating by May 2012, thus leaving the country without atomic power for the first time since 1970; As a result, Japan has had to import fossil fuels to run power stations, pushing it into a record trade deficit; But…

ALAS ! “BACK TO THE FUTURE” IN JAPANESE POLITICS. In 2013, the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party of Japan, returned to power and has said it will “reassess the previous government’s decision to abandon atomic power”.  For now, only two (2) NPPs at Kansai Electric’s Ohi plant (near Takahama) are the only ones operating in Japan, naturally…

JAPAN’S BUSINESS LOBBY WAS SUPPORTIVE OF OF THE RE-START DECISION. Last 16 Jun 2012, Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of Keidanren’s said: “We welcome this decision, which was based on the government’s efforts to ensure safety and the understanding of local authorities toward restarts. The restart of nuclear power plants will contribute to the stable supply of electricity and help control the risk of rising prices. We hope other nuclear plants will restart as well, premised on the assurance of safety and understanding of local communities.” Perhaps the re-processing and or use of MOX in their reactors was the real intention for the Ohi-NPP re-start.

BAD DECISION! – For the people of Japan.  Any reactor using MOX as fuel incurs the risk that in a catastrophic “blowup” (such as the one that occurred in Fukushima), Plutonium in granular or powder form will become airborne, become a true people killer, and remain so for millennia. See:  http://energymaters.com/?p=876 , But then, Kansai considers its Ohi NPP indispensable – see: http://energymaters.com/?p=552The rub is that the Ohi NPP has not even instituted the Fukushima safety improvements!  Japanese Nuclear Industry, and its powerful Business Lobby are heartless, and in our opinion, very penny-wise, and pound foolish.

WHY DO BRITISH SHIPS TRANSPORT THE FRENCH MOX NUCLEAR WASTE?  Because that is one of their businesses.  Pacific Nuclear Transport Limited (PNTL) is controlled by International Nuclear Services (INS), a United Kingdom company involved in the management and transportation of nuclear fuels, and based in Rinsley, UK.  It is a wholly owned subsidiary of the UKGovernment.  Oh!- what a tangled web we weave: When first we practise to deceive!” now if  one of their transport ships loaded with nuclear waste, were stranded on your shores, “who you going to call?- Ghostbusters!”  Seriously, who are you going to file legal suit against, and where? Remember the British Petroleum (BP) humongous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico some 3 years ago?  Well…it is still being litigated while all the protagonists point fingers at one another.  SEE! It’s madness with a method, contrived by very skillful merchants of death, in a very litigious country still controlled by the Uranium and Oil Cartel Lobby.  Notice that after having been denied approval by Parliament on the building of eight (8) NPPs in the UK, they have returned to the PR charge again- big-time! We have no choice but to build NPPs (They all say that!). Like hell they don’t!  But they just want to keep on doing what is highly profitable for a very few, and to hell with humanity.

GREAT BRITAIN ALSO HAD A BAD MOX EXPERIENCE AT SELLAFIELD on the NW English coast (Border with Ireland), and decided to close the facility on Aug 2011.  Yeah!  The British NDA was managing that too.  It is evident that MOX fuel reprocessing is both dangerous, and a “nasty” job whose time (technically speaking) may not be here yet.  Both France and GB tried, and failed. Now it will be up to Japan, and they are a four-time looser.  Ref: http://energymaters.com/?m=20110807

THIS IS AN IMPORTANT STORY BECAUSE IT DEMONSTRATES THAT THE ACHILLES HEEL OF THE URANIUM NUKE INDUSTRY IS STILL: HOW TO DISPOSE OF ALL THE PERSISTENT POISONS(Transuranics) THEY PRODUCE.  IF THEY KNEW HOW, THEY WOULD.

REMEMBER: We “Tell it like it is” and connect the points; that is why we keep this journal.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

#12-2013

 


April 22, 2013 at 9:11 AM Comments (4)

GALLUP POLL – UP WITH GREEN ENERGY & DOWN WITH COAL

 02 April 2013

ENERGY PREFERENCES ACCORDING TO A NEW GALLUP POLL: Solar power is America’s preferred renewable (Green Energy) despite the USA’s new-found abundance of fossil fuels (thanks to the so-called “Shale Fracking”), and yet, Americans still overwhelmingly support more development of renewable (green) energy.

IN GENERAL – AMERICANS POLLED BY GALLUP PREFER:

More Solar power———————————————-75%

More Wind-Power——————————————71%

Increased Oil Production————————————-46%

Increased Nuclear (Uranium) Production————–37%

Increased Coal Production ——————————-33%

PREFERENCE BY PARTY AFFILLIATION- Democrats

Increased Solar Power————————————-90%

Increased Nat-gas Production/use———————–59%

PREFERENCE BY PARTY AFFILLIATION- Independents

Increased Solar Power————————————–75%

Increased Nat-Gas Production—————————–62%

PREFERENCE BY PARTY AFFILLIATION – Republicans

Increased Solar Power—————————————68%

Increased Nat-gas Production/use————————-66%

REGIONAL DIFFERENCES NOTED People living in the South, tend to support more fossil fuels such as oil and coal, than those living in other regions of the country. Nevertheless, more investment in solar was the top priority overall, regardless of where respondents lived, “America’s overall, and across political and socioeconomic groups, generally are most likely to call for more emphasis on solar and wind power … But alternative energy sources are still in their infancy in terms of technology and affordability; So, they have a long way to go before achieving more significant contributions to USA domestic energy production”.

 SHALE “FRACKING” STILL A WILD CARD WORLWIDE. Yes, it produces huge quantities of Nat-gas (which is about 50% cleaner burning than coal, and at present, potentially cheaper than most energy sources), So almost 60% of Democrats support greater gas development, along with 62% of Independents, and almost 80% of Republicans.  Hydraulic fracturing (hence – “Fracking”), coupled with horizontal drilling, have allowed oil/gas developers to tap into previously inaccessible stores of shale oil and gas;  However, controversy over the environmental impacts of fracking, and the continued use of these fossil fuels could present a serious roadblock for further development. Problem is, oil/gas developers are never willing to reveal the fluid, sand and other “proprietary” chemicals/compounds/techniques they pump into the ground. To exacerbate the problem to global dimensions, many other nations, with diverse shale characteristics, are beginning to say:  YEAH! We can do that too!  BUT…What is  “that”? and, what impact will that have on the world’s greatest commodities: Clean air &Drinking water? TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE; THERE IS CURRENTLY NO APPLICABLE REGULATIONS (IN THE USA) OTHER THAN THOSE SELF-IMPOSED BY OIL/GAS DEVELOPERS.

CONTINUED BURNING OF COAL FOR ENERGY GENERATION MAKES NO SENSE NOW.  This Gallup poll makes that issue crystal clear; and yet; here in San Antonio, Texas, our two (2) coal-burner plants at Calaveras (Skulls) lake (Spruce I, and II), together generate about 1,240 Mw, and consume about one train-load of coal daily/each.  That coal is brought from Gillette Co., WY. Transported about 1,500 miles in trains owned /maintained / financed by our “CPS Energy” public-owned Utility.  THE RUB IS: About 50 miles south of San Antonio, TX   is the “Eagle-Ford Oil and Gas” huge find/enterprise looking for ways to sell their Nat-gas, and CPS-Energy won’t even look their way.  It would be relatively inexpensive/quick to convert such plants to Nat-gas and CPS-Energy knows it, BUT…They somehow, feel compelled to buy coal from Ex-V.P. Cheney’s empire. I smell a rat! – Perhaps five (all members of the CPS Board). But then read about Florida’s woes where power- politics are evidently worse. Please read our previous article:
FLORIDA EXPRESSES DEEP DISATISFACTION WITH ITS ENERGY MOGULS

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

P.S.  Some of you may not yet have heard that GOOGLE READER and their Real Simple Syndication (RSS) will cease to exist next 01 July 2013.  We felt very proud of posting up to four (4) out of 23 articles on that READER.  It would be presumptuous to think that its elimination had anything to do with suppressing our voice on their forum; however no real reason was given.  Same thing happened to this Blog when the San Antonio Express –News (a Hearst Newspaper decided to end our forum (On “Free-Press day” and in our face!), just as it reached 40,000 reads/month.  Then also, no reason was provided.  We understand Google is doing exceedingly well (Billionaire CEO etc.). To think that most of that enterprise rides on the backs of literary giants, the information writers who did the lion’s share of the Google data base without salary.  Google CEO may be in need of Texan wisdom: “There ain’t a horse that can’t be rode, or a rider that can’t be throwed”. His day of judgment is coming in the public eye. In my eyes he is already a “Vendido” (sellout).

Fortunately, many RSS data aggregators are in the wings, some already have as many as 3M subscribers. We have looked real hard for real “servants of the people” and decided to use “mozillaFOXFIRE” As our RSS aggregator and READER.  Please subscribe to FOXFIRE, it is an excellent Browser, plenty of add-ons, and IT IS FREE !  You know I tell it like it is! – Just check it out.

 


April 2, 2013 at 12:14 AM Comments (8)

FLORIDA EXPRESSES DEEP DISATISFACTION WITH ITS ENERGY MOGULS

15 Mar 2013

GREEN PARTY OF FLORIDA MAKES ITS ANNUAL REPORT. On 12 Mar 2013, the second anniversary of the Fukushima tragic triple meltdown, the Green Party of Florida, USA expresses condolences to Japanese victims of this ongoing disaster, and solidarity with the people of Japan who have mobilized a growing popular movement against Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) in Japan. The explosions and triple-meltdowns at Fukushima, have released massive quantities of deadly radiation into the air, land, and sea; worse yet, the negative health effects of the Fukushima disaster are global, and the long-life transuranic radioactive isotopes that have been released continue to leak into the soil, air and water, and will continue to cause sickness and premature death for many generations yet unborn.

“PERMANENT CLOSURE” OF THE CRYSTAL RIVER NPP” The Green Party of Florida (GPFL) welcomes Duke Energy’s permanent closure of the “Crystal River” Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) which is damaged, and would have required an investment of several billion dollars to repair/upgrade.  Not cost-effective for an aging reactor scheduled for decommissioning in 2016.  Jennifer Sullivan, co-chair of the GPFL said: “Crystal River” NPP already presents a massive long-term radioactive waste problem, and there is currently no plan for safely disposing of the hundreds of tons of highly radioactive fuel rods that are stored there…Why should Florida utility ratepayers be forced to subsidize a ridiculously expensive nuclear power plant in Levy County, which will put the entire Nature Coast at risk?” GPFL further, calls on Duke Energy and Florida Power & Light to cancel all new nuclear projects in Florida and return Cost Recovery funds to customers.

GPFL CALLS ON ITS STATE GOVERNANCE FOR HELP AGAINS ENERGY BARONS. GPFL called on USA Florida Gov. Scott, and its State Legislature to become better informed about the risks and real costs of nuclear power and fossil fuels, and to lead Florida in a bold 21st Century Clean (green) Energy Initiative that invests in: conservation & efficiency, solar, and other green renewable energy.  Michael Canney, GPFL spokesperson said: “As we mark the 2nd anniversary of the still-unfolding Fukushima nuclear disaster, the grave risks of operating these aging nuclear power plants beyond their original life span should be reconsidered… GPFL has always opposed the NRC’s rubber stamping of 20-year license extensions and ‘upgrades’ for aging nuclear power plants in the USA, so that big utilities can avoid decommissioning and continue generating profits…This practice is a dangerous form of nuclear “Russian Roulette” that will unnecessarily put public health and safety at risk, when there are safer and much more economical alternatives available. Decommissioning Crystal River is the right thing to do.”

PROBLEM IS: DUKE ENERGY PLANS TWO NEW NPPs in rural “Levy County” with funds collected in advance from their utility customers. If the current $24 Billion cost estimates are accurate, these NPPs will be the most expensive ever built; worse yet, consume millions of gallons of water every day, and put at risk the precious aquifer and freshwater springs of the Nature Coast.  Rather than wait for a ruling by the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board on a pending legal challenge to the project, which is focused on protection of the local and regional water resources from the negative impacts of the “Levy County NPP”.  Duke Energy should immediately announce its cancellation of the boondoggle, and refund the money the company has already charged its customers under the ill-conceived “Nuclear Cost Recovery” law, which GPFL, and others have called a “license to steal.”

NAT-GAS IS A TEMPORARY SOLUTION AT BEST.  Duke Energy’s plan to replace aging NPPs, and coal-fired base load generation facilities, with Nat-gas generators on the premise that Nat-gas is only about half as carbon producing as coal for plant generation, may make sense from a business perspective, but burning more fossil fuels is at best only a temporary solution.  What is urgently needed is a commitment by our elected officials, and the Merchant utilities to move beyond the dead-end fossil fuel energy economy to an energy policy that promotes conservation, efficiency and clean, sustainable energy technologies, instead of wasting billions on NPP expansion.  Further, Florida should invest in a bold new green energy initiative because it would create thousands of “green energy” jobs.

ENERGY CONSERVATION AND EFFICIENCY ARE SEEN AS NECESSARY.  GPFL views Instituting statewide efficiency and conservation measures an immediate priority because “energy we don’t use” alone, could avoid the need for another large base load plant, Steve Showen, GPFL Co-chair said: “When all the costs and risks are taken into consideration, nuclear power is a bad investment, and a dead-end technology. It should not be subsidized at the expense of investing in energy efficiency, and cleaner and safer sustainable energy technologies, that will reduce dangerous wastes and toxic emissions…With alternative technologies becoming now as cheap as fossil fuel systems, even Nat-gas, the door is open to a new world of safe, clean and secure energy production. The USA is falling behind in the global manufacture, sales and installation of these systems, held hostage by our domestic fossil fuel and nuclear industries.”

A BETTER GRID IS NEEDED.  GPFL strongly believes the “Sunshine State (Florida)” has a golden opportunity to lead the way in deploying currently available, clean and sustainable technologies, and incorporating them into a more modern/efficient grid. Investing in locally produced energy, and allowing smaller independent producers to sell energy to a smart grid, would make our state’s energy grid more resilient to extreme natural or man-made disasters.

GPFL CALLS UPON ITS STATE GOVERNMENT FOR GREEN ENERGY Gov. Scott, the Florida legislature and the Public Service Commission should support a bold and innovative 21st Century Clean Energy Initiative that prioritizes conservation and efficiency, and invests in wind, solar and other clean renewables. Citizens need and deserve an energy policy that is based on the best interests of Floridians, rather than the financial interests of private energy companies that have only profit at heart, with no real concern for public safety.

Thanks to Green Party:  http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=596 , 11 mar 2013

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

OUR VIEW AND COMMENTARY

FLORIDA’S ENERGY CONCERNS CLEARLY ARTICULATE THOSE OF THE USA AT LARGE.  Americans everywhere sense the urgent need to embark on an ambitious transition to renewable energy sources in all modalities, and to unshackle ourselves from the energy Barons of the past.  The world can no longer endure/tolerate the continued “business as usual” attitude of the USA’s fossil-fuel, and Uranium NPP’s.  The reasons are plain: We cannot tolerate/condone being the world’s biggest producer of greenhouse gasses (you thought it was China HUH! ), as well as the world’s largest producer of transuranic nuclear waste produced by the Merchant NPP fleet (and others) of over 100 NPP’s.  Problem is, the Coal, Oil, and Uranium Industry clearly put profit above all other considerations, and even public/global safety (now and in the years to come). Such disregard for the global environment is highly unbecoming of the USA, and would bring shame on our citizenry if the mainstream news media did not “hush” all such news.  Such is the corruptive  effect of such huge capital upon mainstream media that, like a black hole in space it first distorts, and then swallows forever any light upon the truth. Even so, Florida is unlike any other USA State.

FLORIDA’S GRAVE CONCERNS ARISE FROM ITS NATURAL VULNERABILITIES:  Being a peninsula with thousands of miles of low-lying coastal areas susceptible to extreme natural events such as:  rising sea-level, being located in the frequent path of hurricanes (and consequential high tides, and beach erosion), earthquake prone zones, with its inland terrain susceptible to “sink-holes” caused by weakening calcium carbonate (caliche) in its sub-soil, and many miles of roads that are susceptible to extreme weather events such as the many miles long bridge to Key Largo.  To all of this add a burgeoning population of “imported” wildlife such as several species of reptiles and dangerous snakes (poisonous and constrictive).  One wonders why anyone would like to live there, but they do, and by the millions seeking Florida’s sunny weather, and tranquil retirement communities.  Unfortunately, not all that glitters is gold! That is why the Spanish Conqistadores did not remain there.

FLORIDA’S FIVE (5) NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS

Progress Energy’s “Crystal River Plant, Unit 3” – 2,609 Mw – licensed until 2016 (80 miles n Location: Crystal River, FL (80 miles N of Tampa, FL)
Operator: Florida Power & Light Corp.
Operating License: Issued – 12/03/1976
License Expires: 12/03/2016–  scheduled for “permanent closure” in 2013. – whatever that means !  Please see http://energymaters.com/?p=559 regarding decommissioning of NPPs.

Reactor Type: Pressurized Boiling Water Reactor (PBWR)
Licensed MW: 2,609
Reactor Vendor/Type: Babcock & Wilcox Lowered Loop
Containment Type: Dry, Ambient Pressure

FLORIDA POWER AND LIGHT – TURKEY- POINT, UNIT 3 (41 years since built)

Location: Homestead, FL (25 miles S. of Miami, FL).
Operator: Florida Power & Light Co.
Operating License: Issued – 07/19/1972
Renewed License: Issued – 06/06/2002
License Expires: 07/19/2032 Reactor Type: Pressurized Boiling Water Reactor (PBWR)
Licensed MW: 2,300
Reactor Vendor/Type: Westinghouse Three-Loop
Containment Type: Dry, Ambient Pressure

FLORIDA POWER AND LIGHT – TURKEY- POINT, UNIT 4 (40 years since built).

Location: Homestead, FL (25 miles S of Miami, FL)

Operating License: Issued – 04/10/1973
Renewed License: Issued – 06/06/2002
License Expires: 04/10/2033
Reactor Type: Pressurized Boiling Water Reactor (PBWR)
Licensed MW: 2,300
Reactor Vendor/Type: Westinghouse Three-Loop
Containment Type: Dry, Ambient Pressure

Additionally, there are two (2) NPPs in nearby Georgia (about 186 miles from Palm Coast):  Edwin I. Hatch Unit 1 & Unit 2….  Data herein provided by the USA- NRC @ http://www.nrc.gov

FLORIDA’S POWER-POLITICS STINK TO HIGH HEAVEN.  In the USA, we all know about Florida’s presidential election antics, illegalities, voter-rights denials, missing vote boxes, and vote count foot-dragging; Unfortunately, power-politics are deeply rooted in big money such as as that generated by the Uranium Nuclear Industry, and coal cartel.  Florida is a prime example of that.  Heretofore the Merchant nuclear industry in Florida has managed to buy political favor.  Politicians call it “lobbying”, but we all know it is “Payola”- plain and simple. Defined as politicians accepting payment to support, or oppose legislation, for private gain.

A LICENCE TO STEAL In Florida the political power-play has reached a level that legally allows NPP owners to steal on a daily basis from all Florida power users without recourse.  The ill-conceived “Nuclear Cost Recovery” law which GPFL and others, have rightly called a license to steal.  Put plainly, they charge all Floridians in advance for the construction of NPPs (such as the “Levy County NPP”), even though they know will never be built.  How do NPP planners/owners know ? …Well simply because the USA- NRC has enacted a new rule called The “Waste Confidence” rule.  USA-NRC Dr. Allison M. Mc Farlane began her appointment by tackling the thorny issue of “Nuclear Waste Disposal” by the USA Nuclear fleet of about 104 Commercial NPPs.  On 09 Sep 2012, Dr. Mc Farlane said: “Resolving this issue successfully is a commission priority…Waste (disposal) confidence plays a core role in many major licensing actions.”

“WASTE CONFIDENCE”- DEFINED: According to the NRC, “Waste Confidence” is a generic term implying that spent nuclear fuel can be safely stored for decades beyond the licensed operating life of a reactor; without significant environmental effects”. In the past that rule has enabled the NRC to license, or renew licenses without examining the effects of extended waste storage at individual sites; However, the Appeals Court said, the NRC should have considered the potential environmental impact in the event a permanent disposal site for used fuel is never built, and it cited deficiencies in the NRC’s consideration of leaks and fires involving spent fuel pools.  See: http://energymaters.com/?p=941 .

NO REAL PLAN TO BUILD Now then, surely Florida NPP developers know they have no chance in hell of meeting the Waste Confidence rule, but they go on charging their customers for  “Nuclear Cost Recovery” just because they can, and because they are accruing Billions to be spent on “planning, licenses, and preliminary design (in reality Billions spent greasing political and other officials palms, and for useless studies awarded to their friends and usual cohorts to legitimize the expenses) with current $24 Billion cost estimates.  Since NPP Proponents will surely fail to satisfy the USA NRC- Waste Confidence rule, somewhere down the road (probably before ground breaking), they will decide to cancel the project and forfeit all Nuclear Cost Recovery funds collected on the basis that they have been spent on Licensing, preliminary design, studies, etc.

SIMILAR PLOY OCCURRED IN SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS a few years ago. In my home town of San Antonio, Texas we stopped such a movement by “biting the bullet” and cutting our losses at $450 millions used on a “time and Materials” contract THAT WAS INTERPRETED AS A BLANK CHECK.  How sweet it is! Guilty people were coming out of the woodwork at City, County, and State level, but even then no-one went to jail.  Impunity begets corruption and public distrust that eventually surfaces at all socio-economic levels.  It is a societal cancer.  Floridians should stand up to these bullies, and make their dissatisfaction known.  Tell them you know their game, and won’t stand for it!

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)


March 15, 2013 at 11:51 PM Comments (7)

SAUDI ARABIA OUTLINES ITS 20 YEAR “RENEWABLE ENERGY- MIX” PLANS

23 FEB 2013

SAUDI ARABIA OUTLINES ITS 20 YEAR “ENERGY- MIX” PLANS. “King Abdullah City” for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KA-CARE) has unveiled a white paper detailing a new energy-mix plan which relies heavily on Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants, solar PV (Photo-Voltaic cell), wind farms, geothermal facilities, and waste-to-energy plants.  The plans are a part of Saudi Arabia’s program to generate 54,000 Mw of new renewable energy capacity by 2032, which could make Saudi Arabia one of the largest green-energy producers in the world BY 2032.  According to KA-CARE, Saudi Arabia will for now, continue to generate the majority of its power from oil and Nat gas, with a further 17,600 Mw of nuclear energy.  KA-CARE seeks an energy mix such that existing Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs), geothermal, and waste-to-energy plants to to provide a “base-load night-time supply of power”, while solar (with energy storage) will contribute heavily to the daytime – supplemented by gas and oil.

SAUDI  SOLAR AND WIND AVAILABILITY ARE HIGHLY RATED. According to Ernst & Young’s Renewable Energy “Country Attractiveness Indices (CAI)”, Saudi Arabia has good wind energy potential, with some 4.9 hours of full-load wind per day on average – one of the highest in the Middle-East and North-Africa (MENA) region. The strikingly high solar radiation of around 2,550 kWh/m2/year promises very high energy yields for both CSP Plants and PV-cell farms.  PLUS the availability of large stretches of empty desert to locate solar arrays.  Saudi Arabia’s government announcement of its ambitious $109 billion plan, will likely be attractive to venture capital, energy merchants, and solar technology providers.

SAUDI ARABIA’S PLAN FOR A RENEWABLE ENERGY-MIX BY 2032 INCLUDES:

  1. 35,000 Mw of CSP with energy storage capability.
  2. 16,000 Mw of PV Solar-cell
  3. 9,000  Mw from Wind Power (turbines)
  4. 3,000 Mw “Waste-to-energy” thermal
  5. 1,000 Mw Geo-thermal power

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFPs) WILL BE ISSUED SOON.  The initial round of contract solicitations will be issued in the first half of 2013, focusing on CSP Plant technologies.  Such technology will get the “lion-share” of contracts monies to generate 35,000 Mw from CSP Plants.  The first three (3) rounds of contracts are now expected to be awarded before 2015, with a view to creating more than 7,000 Mw of new capacity, the majority of which will come from solar power.  The three (3) contracts awards for solar alone, could account for more than $10 billion (£6.5 billion) of investment  Under the new plans, the vast majority of new green-energy capacity will be solar.

ENERGY MERCHANTS WILL BID TO SELL THE ENERGY.  Energy Developers will be invited to bid on “power purchase contracts” and the “Saudi government’s Sustainable Energy Procurement Company (SEPC)” will buy the electricity generated.  Bidders will be invited from around the world; but the contract award process will aim to encourage the creation of local production and jobs. The spokesman said the first awards will offer a bonus to bidders with local sourcing arrangements, while rounds after 2015 will include a requirement for local production and employment.

RENEWABLE-ENERGY PURCHASE BY COMPETITIVE BIDDING IS PLANNED. Energy (KA-Care), the Government’s alternative energy arm, announced its plans to launch a major renewable energy auction.

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ENERGYMATERS.COM – VIEWS AND COMMENTARY

SAUDI ARABIA WANTS TO IMPOSE THE “GOLDEN-RULE”.  To many, the “Golden Rule” means: “He who has the gold, makes the rules” – While we are happy to see Saudi Arabia reveal such an ambitious plan for the procurement of renewable, green-energy (The three (3) contracts awards for solar alone, could account for more than $10 billion (£6.5 billion), the 20 year plan leaves little doubt Saudi Arabia wants full control of the operations; however, the devil is in the details.

PROBLEM IS: MERCHANT ENERGY PURVEYORS DO NOT WANT ANYONE TELLING THEM “HOW TO DO IT” After all, it is their venture capital, and what most view as “proprietary technology”; Then, there is the matter of follow-on procurement of “spare Parts and logistical support”.  In most such transactions, the Buyer (Saudi Arabia) has no control, unless there has been a substantial infusion of funds by the buyer in the design and technology development.  That can be a risky business for Saudi Arabia, because many contractors may bleed research and development (R&D) money, and never deliver as planned.  Remember the “Solyndra” Chip maker bankruptcy in the USA – c.2010 ? The USA lost its guaranteed loan of about $580m without legal recourse.  Attaching contractual obligations on RFPs to Energy Merchants such as:  “you must use indigenous workforce”, or “You must manufacture part of the equipment from Saudi sources”, will in many cases result in “NO-BID”, and No Joy! Saudi Procurement agencies have been through all this in military procurements, and Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) Development.  This is not very different, and will need to be negotiated as such.  Solar industry/power purveyors will want to know: Do you want to buy energy at competitive prices? , or do you wish to pay for solar technology R &D, and own all rights to the engineering data? A lot of mutual trust is involved in such negotiations. “Time and Materials” contract language should be avoided like the plague.  They constitute a blank check.

NEXT DOOR TO SAUDI ARABIA, IN THE UAE, THERE IS SHAM-1, 100 Mw HYBRID CSP PLANT.  See http://energymaters.com/?p=1133  for a good example of new CSP Plant development ideally suited to desert environment (with all its advantages and disadvantages). For comparative purposes, SHAM -1 required a 1.5 sq. Km site. Go figure the magnitude of this ambitious plan! …It plans 41,000 MW of solar energy -the equivalent of 410 SHAM 1’s. Please, do not misunderstand me, I would love to see these plans succeed, and wish Saudi Arabia the best!

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

P.S.  I was employed for many years at a USA Air Force Logistic Center which procured $4B/year using competitive procurement (my area of competence).


February 23, 2013 at 9:11 PM Comments (13)

IN INDIA, THE TAMIL- NADU STATE PLANS TO GENERATE 3,000 Mw OF SOLAR ENERGY

18 FEB 2013

IN INDIA, THE TAMIL NADU STATE PLANS TO GENERATE 3,000 MW OF SOLAR ENERGY over the next three (3) years.  On 16 Feb. 2013, Tamil Nadu Minister for Electricity, R.Viswanathan said: “The State government is committed to promoting renewable energy, especially solar energy, in a big way in the State…Given the rapid depletion of fossil fuels for generating thermal power, and the limitations of hydro power, it is imperative that the State and the country tap the vast potential of renewable energy sources”

AMBITIOUS SOLAR ENERGY PLANS BY TAMIL NADU STATE that include plans to generate 3,000 MW of solar power over the next three years. Tenders have already been called for generating 1,000 MW solar power, and the private investors have shown keen interest in the project, he said.

TAMIL NADU STATE CONCERNED WITH POWER SHORTAGES, notably, the current power shortage of 4,000 MW in the State.  Mr.Viswanathan said power generation was gradually increasing, thanks to the measures initiated by the Chief Minister. As new power projects are commissioned, the shortage will be bridged soon.  N.R.Sivapathy, Minister for “Education, Law, Youth Welfare and Sports”, Expressed confidence that the target of generating 3,000 MW of solar energy by 2015 would be achieved, and added the State government was extending various incentives for promoting solar energy. For the first time in the country, domestic solar installations are to be given efficiency based incentives; this, appealed to the students at the “VIRUMBHUVOM” contest.

TAMIL ENERGY DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (TEDA) Dir. & CEO, Mr. Sudeep Jain, said:  30 % of India’s renewable energy installations, and 40 % of wind energy installations were in Tamil Nadu. The State government has also introduced the concept of net metering. Such initiatives are likely to be adopted soon at the national level. As examples of current green- energy initiatives, he cited that the State government has decided all government buildings would have solar power installations, and existing buildings would also be converted to solar energy in a phased manner”.  Mayor, A. Jaya, added that the Corporation has taken steps to install solar roof- top installations at its office.

GREEN-ENERGY “VIRUMBHUVOM”- A state-level interschool competition.  Mr. Y.Kumanan and Mr. Jaganathan of ‘Rotary International” said oratorical and painting competitions were conducted in about 1045 schools across the State under the “Green Energy Virumbhuvom” campaign this year. The competitions were well received, and State level winners and runners-up were awarded electric scooters and solar water heaters.

EVEN NON-SOLAR INITIATIVES WERE PROMOTED.  Mr. P.Kumar, MP, appealed to the Electricity Minister to support a “waste-to-energy” project planned by the Tiruchi Corporation. He added that the “BHEL- Tiruchi”, has expressed willingness to take up the project as a joint venture.

Thanks to: The Hindu, Tiruchirapalli, 17 Feb 2013

ENERGYMATERS COMMENTARY

INDIA IS A MODERN HERO ONCE AGAIN.  We seldom stop to think about it, but when people unite to oppose any act of government, or other national interests against hopelessly overwhelming forces, by any and all means available to them, be that force, or “passive resistance” such as taught us by M.K. Gandhi.  This time the line of resistance was sparked at the proposed Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), in Tamil Nadu.  Even if that battle is won or lost, its historical significance is that it sparked an Anti-Nuke movement in India that has shaken the government, and is now yielding very positive results such as those in this posting.

A SIMILAR HEROIC BATTLE TOOK PLACE AT “THE ALAMO”. In my home town of San Antonio, Texas, USA.  in March of 1836, More than 200 defenders (Many had  Mexican surnames) died fighting the formidable forces of Mexico. They lost the battle, but won the war, because cries of “Remember the Alamo!” resonated throughout Texas, and the Mexican Army was defeated less than two(2) months later by the Texian Army, with only 9 dead.;  So, history made heroes out of the Alamo defenders. They were at the right place, at the right time, and they knew it.  Indeed history is replete with “Heroes” who saw that history required their sacrifice for the sake of their cause, and gave their all without regard for self  or even recognition. Now The Alamo receives more than a million visitors per year.

ONCE AGAIN TAMIL- NADU CARRIES THE “GREEN-ENERGY” FLAG.  This time they are doing what only a few are acknowledging as the “way of the future”.  It is easy to recognize that it is a true “grassroots movement”, but that just adds to their resolve and merit. We anticipate India will soon recognize its need to explore and implement any and all ways to produce green energy.  Actually, with its huge sunny land mass, but poor transmission lines (grid), India would probably be best served by many solar plants of 100Mw, or less.  Near cities where natural gas is also available, Hybrid Concentrated Solar Plants (ref: http://energymaters.com/?p=1133  This is emerging technology which promises electrical generation NIGHT AND DAY (important in urban areas), while maximizing its solar utilization. It bears looking into.  There are of course many other avenues for green-energy power generation, and each country owes it to its citizens to explore and develop them as soon as possible.

THE MAN THAT TOLD IT BEST IS “GREENPEACE INTL.( GREEN- ENERGY ACTIVIST GROUP for the UK), Doug Parr said: “This government’s (England) relentless focus on new nuclear has lost us years of investment in truly green energy and we now need a plan B to deliver a clean, safe energy system – one that doesn’t depend on deluded estimates of how much nuclear will get built. The longer the government chases its nuclear dream, the more the UK loses out on the jobs and economic benefits that viable, affordable green energy will bring”, and the same thing is true of India!

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

RELATED PREVIOUS POSTS:

INDIA’S SUPREME COURT RULES ON SAFETY OF KUDANKULAM NUCLEAR POWER PLANT @ http://energymaters.com/?p=1032

INDIAS NUCLEAR REGULATORY BOARD (THEIR NRC) NEEDS EMPOWERMENT @  http://energymaters.com/?p=918

INDIA AT A LOSS IN HOW BEST TO HANDLE PEOPLE’S REJECTION OF NUCLEAR PLANTS @ http://energymaters.com/?p=748 

INDIAN PRESS DISCLOSES EFFORTS TO BUY THE PEOPLE OF TIRUNELVELY @ http://energymaters.com/?p=739

INDIA RESORTS TO THE IAEA AND OTHERS TO ASSUAGE THEIR PEOPLE ABOUT NUKE SAFETY @ http://energymaters.com/?p=447

INDIA’S “JAITAPUR” NUCLEAR PLANT PLACED ON-HOLD DUE TO PUBLIC OPPOSITION @ http://energymaters.com/?p=432

INDIA – A NEW COLONY OF RUSSIA? ITS THIRST FOR ENERGY COULD MAKE IT SO – PART 1 @ http://energymaters.com/?p=376

INDIA- A NEW COLONY OF RUSSIA? ITS THIRST FOR ENERGY COULD MAKE IT SO – PART 2 @ http://energymaters.com/?p=426

IN INDIA, ANTI-NUKE DEMONSTRATIONS AGAINST A SIX NUKE “ENERGY PARK”  http://energymaters.com/?p=283


February 18, 2013 at 12:45 AM Comments (6)

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