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BP Refinery Leaks Oil Into Lake Michigan

A BP oil refinery in Whiting, Indiana sprung a leak and spewed oil into Lake Michigan. There doesn’t seem to be an estimate of how much oil leaked, but it was enough to cover about 5000 square feet. This is almost certainly tar sands oil, which reacts differently in the water than conventional crude.

A malfunction at the BP refinery in Whiting forced a slug of crude oil into Lake Michigan on Monday, the company confirmed today.
It was not immediately clear how much oil spilled into the lake or how long the discharge continued. A spokesman for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management said the leak was plugged by 1 a.m. today.

The effect on Lake Michigan, the source of drinking water for 7 million people in Chicago and the suburbs, likely won’t be determined for several days. Emergency response crews from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Coast Guard are on the scene.

The malfunction apparently occurred at the refinery’s largest distillation unit, the centerpiece of a $4 billion overhaul that allowed BP to process more heavy Canadian oil from the tar sands region of Alberta. The unit, which Dean said has resumed normal operations, performs one of the first steps in the refining of crude oil into gasoline and other fuels.

This is the same refinery that got a federal permit to increase the amount of mercury and other pollutants it can release into Lake Michigan a couple years ago. It needed that because refining tar sands crude is far more polluting and laden with heavy metals.

Comments

  1. says

    The Republicans have said repeatedly and most vigorously that the industry is responsible enough to clean up its own messes. So we don’t have anything to worry about. Right?

  2. Francisco Bacopa says

    It’s time to deport BP. if corporations are people, they can be deported. I suppose they can even be executed. BP is generally loathed in the Houston area because of multiple plant explosions, and even though we didn’t get any of the oil washing up around here, most of the Deepwater Horizon crew was from around here.

    I invite everyone from the Great Lakes area to join the We Hate BP club.

  3. says

    Let’s hear again how alternative energy sources are nothing but a gummint boondoggle to enrich a bunch of TAKERZ while cheating the fossil fuel and nuke power plants outta their well deserved gummint, um, incentives (yeah, they’re NOT subsidies) and endangerifyin’ our MurKKKan way of life and, and,and JESUS!

  4. cry4turtles says

    You go fossil fuel! You are the way of the future! Maybe they’ll remove enough tar sand for the entire population to insert our heads.

  5. says

    Oh, and while we’re on the subject of Tar Sands Oil; shoud we start a pool to see who comes closest to guessing the date of the first Keystone Pipeline blowout?

  6. Chiroptera says

    It needed that because refining tar sands crude is far more polluting and laden with heavy metals.

    Actually, it needed to use better pollution control procedures. Or it needed to not refine tar sands oil. It definitely did not need permission to increase the amount of pollutants it may put into people’s drinking water.

  7. says

    YOURE ALL HYPOCRITES! DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW DAMAGING RENEWABLE POWER IS? THE SOLAR CELL ON MY CALCULATOR BROKE AND ALL THAT SUNLIGHT COMING OUT BLINDED ME AND MY WHOLE FAMILY!

  8. Gvlgeologist, FCD says

    I’m with Chiroptera here. The answer to refining a more polluting type of resource is simply to permit more pollution? What kind of a solution is that? I guess I’m naive, but I always thought that regulations on pollution were because there’s a safe or at least reasonable limit, to protect the environment (not to mention the humans who use the environment).

    If this is the kind of logic that politicians and regulators employ, I’m going to go out and buy a big sportscar, then petition the gov’t to raise the speed limit because, well, I’ve got a bigger engine.

  9. says

    BP spokesperson: It’s a scientific fact that fish and waterfowl swim faster in oily water.

    Next year at this time BP will be running commercials bragging about how proud they are for their “investments” in Northern Indiana.

  10. jimnorth says

    Oh, and while we’re on the subject of Tar Sands Oil; shoud we start a pool to see who comes closest to guessing the date of the first Keystone Pipeline blowout?

    Within 24 hours of turning on the spigot…

  11. erichoug says

    Look, I work in Oil and Gas, I am actually in Venezuela right now working with PDVSA Campo Boscan. So you can take all of this with a grain of salt but I’m not hiding anything. Also, I don’t like BP either. But,

    That said; do none of you drive a car or use any other form of transportation that uses an internal combustion engine, use plastics or rubber or any of the other hundreds of products that oil and gas provide? Your entire world is completely threaded through with petroleum products and you have no idea what the cost of ridding us of those products would be.

    As I’ve said, if you don’t want tar sands oil, it’s real simple, just reduce consumption worldwide by 20-40% and it won’t be worth it to extract or refine.

    Oh, and as far as “Alternative Energy” supplies, Please stop, you really, really, really don’t know what you’re talking about. The only realistic alternatives are coal and nuclear. Which one do you prefer to oil and gas?

  12. bmiller says

    I’m afraid erichoug is right…to a degree. Tar sands will be extracted. By someone. They are the basis of our civillization. You won’t support seven billion people on windmills and solar cells. Not yet, at least.

    So…give the regulations TEETH. Avoid regulatory capture. Certainly tax their profits.

    But oil…it makes the world go ’round.

  13. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    The only realistic alternatives are coal and nuclear. Which one do you prefer to oil and gas?

    Nuclear, obviously. I am relatively alone in that conclusion though, especially among the US left.

  14. Crudely Wrott says

    I’ll stand with you, EnlightenmentLiberal.

    There are numerous ways to extract energy from the nuclear reactions that are always taking place in certain isotopes. Some of them more environmentally friendly than others but all of them requiring a sea change in popular thinking about energy benefit versus extraction liabilities.

    What strikes me is that the entire universe shows us with grandiose display and little embarrassment how to make that little light shine. I mean, what could be more natural than tapping energetic particles and using them for, oh, I don’t know, energy?

  15. Crudely Wrott says

    A pregnant link to more of this sort of thing filtered through an essay written by I. Asimov which I first read most of a half-century ago.

  16. says

    “Oh, and as far as “Alternative Energy” supplies, Please stop, you really, really, really don’t know what you’re talking about. The only realistic alternatives are coal and nuclear. Which one do you prefer to oil and gas?”

    Fuck you, you lying sack of shit.

    You make a very nice living, I’m sure, by believing (or more likely, pretending to believe) that horseshit you love to spout whenever something like this happens,.

    Fuck you, fuck BP and fuck the nuclear power business.

    You know it all? Bullshit. You like to drop your turd in the punchbowl and walk away to accept your nice fat paycheck. Fuck you. Have I mentioned that I think that you ought to go fuck yourself? I hope I have, but just in case I wasn’t clear: fuck you, you lying sack of shit, scumbag fossil fuel and nuclear apologist.

    BTW, if you think I’m pissed, you’re right. You and the other fucking lying sacks of shit who dismiss anything other than the asinine circular logic of your industry as being the ONLY viable way to power the U.S. have had over a 100 fucking years to do something that might alleviate the damage that is done by your industry every day. You choose, instead, to lecture others from your lofty position of unassailable logic and superior knowledge while the despoilers that you work for continue to make profits for themselves and dump the cost of such externalities as the one in the OP on the consumers. Oh, what’s that you say, it’s just the price we pay to be free and be able to drive the gas guzzlers and have a 50,000BTU grill on every deck? Well, I don’t do those things but I do drink water that comes out of Lake Ontario which BP has pretty much guaranteed will be polluted by their spill in Lake Michigan.

    Save your fucking bullshit for an audience that’s credible enough to believe that BP–and everyone else in the fossil fuel/nuclear power business gives a flying fuck about anything but their profits.

    This:
    _____________________________________________________________
    September 11, 2012 at 9:54 am (UTC -4)

    Well I hate to just beat it to death but it’s been 11 days since Mr. Houg decided to slink away from this thread after making a number of unsupported/unsupportable assertions on the impracticality/non-viability of alternative means of electrical power generation v traditional (or, as I prefer to call it, “fucktheworld”) means of electrical power generation–on this thread:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2012/08/31/the-practical-path-to-clean-energy/#comments

    I, for one, intend to keep a copy of this for future “arguments”.
    _____________________________________________________

    Is from the last thread you were trying to peddle this bullshit on.

  17. says

    @15,16,17:

    All of the things you mention are things that the U.S. nuclear power industry won’t be doing. They like the model they have now. They get a guarantee from US that if they completely fuck us, they don’t have to pay for it. Repeal the Price-Anderson act and let the motherfuckers buy insurance on the open market. You will see just how “cheap” nuclear power really is.

    The entrenched powers in the energy business make a lot of noise about “sunk cost” in alternative energy but they surer than hell don’t want anyone to make them do business without the “no fault” policy.

    An honest discussion about the true cost of various forms of power generation is the LAST thing that the fossil fuel and nuclear power people want to have.

  18. Crudely Wrott says

    Dammit, democommie. I hear you mostly because you are so loud. Your volume (11!) makes me want to ask you this. Where shall we get our energy? What way is most benign? What way meets present demand?

    Are you sure that there is no way to fuel human invention and human custom? I only ask because I am not sure what you mean. I am not asking because I want an argument. In that I am a tad anachronistic; I don’t take venues such as this as arenas. Rather, classrooms.

    *btw-you usually are quite focused and oftentimes funny–please carry on–and your fractured spellings are illuminating and amusing so, again, please carry on*

  19. Crudely Wrott says

    Demo, I see from your #20 that you seem to be more concerned with the means of extracting nuclear power that the simple fact that nuclear power is a source that some folks promote.

    I share that concern given that entrenched entities that have some expertise in the production and distribution of energy are more concerned with profit than sensibility.

  20. dingojack says

    Firstly, ‘a slug of crude oil’? 15Kg doesn’t sound much to me. (just 3.23g per square metre).
    Or was it a gastropod or nudibranch-like life form, not seen before on Earth? (Etc. & etc.) :)

    Secondly, Crudely Wrott (#17), don’t make me have to explain the difference between fusion (the universe. or rather, stars) and fission (in nuclear reactors here on Earth).

    Thirdly I’m sure you nuclear fans would feel perfectly comfortable living next door to that nice nuclear plant operated (and maintained) by former oil companies (once they switch to nuclear power generation) – such as BP for example.

    Dingo
    ——–
    BTW The FoAW notes
    Total World Energy Production [of electricity] 2008
    [by source]

    Coal 41%
    Natural gas 21%
    Renewables 16%
    Nuclear 13%
    Oil 5%
    Other 3%
    Source: IEA/OECD

    [See also here for growth in renewables.]

  21. lorn says

    5000 square feet. As I understand it that represent a pretty small amount of any conventional oil. I fnow that it only takes a few drops to put a sheen on one square foot of water. A very conservative estimate might be 1 milliliter, I think it is significantly less than that but it is a nice round figure. Sooo … taking off his shoes to maximize computational ability … 5000 square feet at one square foot per ml works out to be 5000 ml or … wait for it … 5 liters. Slightly more than gallon-and-a-quarter. Doesn’t sound like much of a spill.

    Or, perhaps they compute a spill using some other measure.

  22. Crudely Wrott says

    Hey, Dingo.

    I do appreciate your comments and look forward to your daily contribution.

    With respect to fission vs fusion, point taken.

    It is, hopefully, only a matter of time that will make the difference between clean energy and dirty energy. Fusion is the cleaner of the two, why, it even fuels itself.There is always the question of cost but then what else is new?

    As any fuel no, there is nothing except imagined profit standing between the two.

    A power supply that has a long lifetime, that doesn’t entail digging up huge swaths of earth, that can replenish its own fuel supply and that doesn’t make people die for want of good air is one that should be given consideration.

    That said, I am as dumb as the next guy. What I have been doing is reducing my personal energy footprint.
    Saving roughly forty percent relative to my energy consumption twenty years ago.

    Coal, oil, nuke? No important difference except how the energy is used! Like keeping Las Vegas illuminated versus keeping Alabama and Mississippi all lit up. As if such a choice will actually exist come the day.

  23. lancifer says

    lorn,

    The spill is estimated at between 660 and 1650 gallons of oil. More than your back of the envelope guess, but still not much of a spill.

    The average oil tanker (not a “supertanker”) holds around 84 million gallons of crude oil so even if the spill is at the high end estimate it is pretty small potatoes. Natural seeps from the great lakes contribute far more each day than this small amount.

    So making a big deal over 1600 gallons is so much environmental pearl clutching.

  24. dingojack says

    Lance – 1650 Galleons is 6245.929 litres (or 6245929cc). if the crude has a depth of 1mm (0.1cm) it would cover an area of 62459290cm². If were circular that would have a radius of some 44.589m*.

    You’re right not a very substantial spill. Not good to drink though, I’m betting.

    Dingo
    ——–
    * If one centimetre deep (I’m guessing that coal-sand crude would be thicker and grainer?) the radius would be reduced to around 14.1m

  25. jo1storm says

    Lancifer wrote:


    “lorn,The spill is estimated at between 660 and 1650 gallons of oil. More than your back of the envelope guess, but still not much of a spill.The average oil tanker (not a “supertanker”) holds around 84 million gallons of crude oil so even if the spill is at the high end estimate it is pretty small potatoes. Natural seeps from the great lakes contribute far more each day than this small amount.So making a big deal over 1600 gallons is so much environmental pearl clutching.”

    On the other hand, even one of the biggest lakes in the world is still a lot smaller than an average sea. Or ocean. And that’s not even without comparing the amount of drinkable water in the world with the amount of sea water. Or just comparing how many people are influenced by an oil-spill at the sea and the one near water source for 7 million people.

    Also, WTF?! What to hell do you mean by pearl clutching? I’m sick of that damn attitude. At what point is catastrophe big enough that it stops being pearl clutching and becomes “Real cause for concern”? When one person get’s poisoned? When 10 people get poisoned? 100? When 1 person dies? When 10 people die? When 100 die? When?!

    It’s the same attitude that people taking care of stray petss get- “Why did you donate to build that animal shelter when there are so many hungry children in this town/this state/Africa/THE WHOLE WORLD?”.
    Just because there are some WORSE problems in the world, it doesn’t mean that a problem stops being a problem all of a sudden. That thinking is just… toxic.

  26. caseloweraz says

    Regarding the latest BP oil spill in Lake Michigan (I don’t know it’s the latest oil spill, or even the latest BP oil spill):

    It’s true, 660 to 1650 gallons is not much, as oil spills go. But still, it’s the spring migration season of waterfowl in the US. How many ducks can 660 gallons of oil befoul? (Rhetorical question)

    Surely it’s technically possible to build a refinery such that, even if oil spills inside the plant, it will be prevented from reaching the nearby body of water. So why hasn’t BP done so?

  27. dingojack says

    Lake Michigan has an estimated volume of 1180mi³ or 4918Km³. If 1650 galleons (6245.929 Litres) were spilt, that would be 1.270014×10^-12 of the total volume of water.
    But still not good to drink.
    Dingo
    ——–
    The oceans have a approximate volume of 1.3 billion cubic kilometres, a spill at the same scale would amount to some 4.361529×10^11 Galleons (US) of oil.
    As a comparison Deepwater Horizon lost 172000000 to 180800000 Galleons (US). into the Gulf of Mexico (6.6 x 10^17 Galleons (US)). This spill was more than 205.2 times larger, on a relative basis, reaching 2.60606×10^-10 of the Gulf’s volume. A spill of relatively the same size as the spill in Lake Michigan would amount to 838209.3 Galleons (US).or about 1.118 to 3.353 Exxon Valdez spills. (Incidentally that amount would keep the US going for 1 minute, 35.5 seconds)

  28. caseloweraz says

    Regarding nuclear (fission) power plants, some observations:

    I recall a discussion with my father. He asked me whether I’d be OK with a nuclear plant in our neighborhood. I said yes. Now I wish I could retract that answer — but only because I know something of the industry’s record of shoddy construction, negligent maintenance, and lack of safety planning. Part of the reason is that plants run by traditional power companies were treated like just another thermal plant, not something requiring special procedures. But a bigger part is the drive for maximum profit soonest, which is common to most industries.

    There is no technical reason why nuclear fission cannot be an adequately safe source of baseload power. In a nutshell, this hasn’t happened (yet) because after World War II the industry grabbed the first operational designs (PW- and BW-reactors) and ran with them, rather than developing prototypes of the numerous alternatives to explore which might be most inherently safe. This is all explained very well in The Demise of Nuclear Energy? by Morone and Woodhouse. (BTW, I asked one of the authors if there might be a new edition. The answer: extremely unlikely.)

    Clinton stopped work on the Advanced Fast Reactor in 1994, three years from the end of development, because of concerns about proliferation. That was one of the problems the AFR promised to alleviate. Breeder reactors are more expensive that conventional ones, which already cost more than fossil fuels on a per-kilowatt basis. But that is a short-sighted way to look at the problem. As someone here pointed out, a well-designed nuclear plant would run for 30 or 40 years without requiring millions of tons of stuff to be torn from hundreds of square miles of land or spewing massive amounts of toxic substances out the back end. Quite a few nuclear plants have done exactly that. Are they safe enough? No. But safer designs are available; they just have to be developed.

  29. voidhawk says

    #30

    I can’t believe you missed the opportunity to ask how many ducks the oil could befowl.

  30. caseloweraz says

    Current nuclear plants have the following problems:

    Rad-waste. Breeders could reduce the amount of waste needing to be stored by “burning” a large part of it.

    Proliferation. The AFR would use pyro-processing to recycle the plutonium right at the plant, no risky transport of potential bomb-making material required. Also it would make the plutonium essentially impractical to extract.

    Safety. The AFR promises to be inherently safe, in that its core cannot melt down as happened at Three Mile Island. But this, of course, has yet to be demonstrated. If you don’t build it, you cannot test it. The HTGR (high-temperature gas reactor) is also safer than conventional designs, as well as more efficient. Only one ever operated as a commercial plant in the U.S., at Fort St. Vrain in Colorado. But that was built badly; it was decommissioned and now runs on natural gas. But Britain has (or had) eight HTGRs, which ran with excellent records.

    Cooling. This is a sticky one. I think that by deploying arrays of small reactors, the need for cooling water might be eliminated. If not, it should be possible (though more expensive) to cool the reactors with closed-loop water systems.

  31. dingojack says

    Voidhawk (#33) – At a time, 20819* but they’d have to settle on that one area of Lake Michigan.
    :) Dingo
    ———–
    * assume each duck is 30cm x 10cm and the oil slick is 1650 US galleons and is 1 cm thick.

  32. caseloweraz says

    @voidhawk (#33):

    Shucks, everyone knows that. The answer is zero. Oil can never befowl a duck; it can only unbefowl it.

  33. says

    @21:

    In a nutshell, I don’t hate nuclear power, I hate the U.S. energy business. The energy conglomerates have a record of dishonest dealings that goes back to the days of whale oil. Nuclear power IS doable, but to make it safe requires an investment in infrastructure and new technology that is not even contemplated by the people who are making multiple billions doing business the way that they’ve done it since, forever.

    I was writing a longer response to your comment and it has now turned into a rambling screed with a lot of links. When it’s finished I’ll put it up on my blog (polrant.blogspot.com) so that it doesn’t use up space here. I welcome comments but I have to moderate them because several gunzloonz assholes that commented there never did anything but troll and I won’t put up with that shit. Serious comments are always welcome, especially if they have some sort of corroborating evidence to support their assertions.

    I

  34. patterson says

    @34

    There was a prototype IFR reactor in Idaho, operated from 1969 till 1994, and tested the passive safety mechanism successfully. GE Hitachi uses the same design for their proposed PRISM reactor.

    I wonder how many hydro damns or coal, gas, oil fired power plants would be built if their owners and operators had to pay for or buy insurance for the full costs of the environmental damage they cause.

    As far as living next to a reactor, I’d rather live near one than live near this.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/02/19/3309981/spill/

  35. Friendly says

    As someone who edits NRC documents for a living, I have to say this: While both nuclear accidents and nuclear waste are very bad for life forms and the environment, the industry and its regulators are *obsessed* with trying to make sure that (1) the former either doesn’t happen or causes minimal harm if it does and (2) the latter is stored as safely as utility companies can practically afford. The document I’m editing right now, for example, specifies (over the course of 200+ pages) approved methods for making sure that when waste is buried, it doesn’t contain any hot spots that will kill some poor schmoe who might drill through it for a well or something in some postapocalyptic Mad Max future in which the nature of the burial site is forgotten centuries hence.

  36. Friendly says

    And to follow up, nuclear is the only current technology I’m aware of (other than geothermal) that can generate energy both continuously and predictably *and* emits zero carbon. Until somebody invents or engineers a storage format that’s able to reliably and efficiently salt away the energy we can capture from the sun, the wind, and the tides, IMHO nuclear is the best option for powering the world without broiling it in its own CO2.

  37. matty1 says

    Surely it’s technically possible to build a refinery such that, even if oil spills inside the plant, it will be prevented from reaching the nearby body of water. So why hasn’t BP done so?

    It is certainly possible, indeed standard practice for oil stores in places like construction sites to have a bunded area into which any spill will flow. In fact as I recall the best practice is double bunding, you have the tank inside another tank on a concrete walled platform that is effectively a giant open topped tank. The total space any oil spill can go into is a lot bigger than the size of the original tank to increase your chances of stopping it before rain dilutes it down to a volume where it will overflow.

    I don’t know why this can’t be scaled up to refineries, I really don’t. Cost, maybe?

  38. freehand says

    The only acceptable way to store oil and coal is in the ground, unburned. Erighoug, I appreciate that your income comes from oil, but I suggest that the end of civliization and the possible extinction of the human species is a high price to pay for it. Yes, I drive an internal combustion engine to work, and I wish I didn’t. I am 63 in the midst of a global depression. I have long commute, a house to pay for, three years to retirement, and a sick wife to care for. When i had to buy a new car three years ago the only electrics available were $10,000 more than the Toyota I bought, and I couldn’t afford it. I am sick of people telling me that I share the guilt because I haven’t personally established hourly bus lines between distant towns in the west, or because I didn’t buy the non-existent electric cars when I began to understand the implications and processes of global warming. Many problems have to be fixed from the top. Even if i could bicycle 82 miles each way, until our (US) government changes policies, that oil will just be sold to my neighbor until it’s all burned up.
    .
    There are plenty of energy alternatives that work and are cost effective. Solar and wind would do the trick. Smart grids would distribute the loads, and there are numerous ways to save the excess energy locally for 24 hours or more – various chemical salts with convenient boiling temps, pumping water upstream and letting it run a generator, gyroscopic intertia, etc. One solar plant pulls old train cars uphill on a local track, then lets them run downhill at night to run a generator.
    .
    James Hansen IIRC said that we need nuclear to make a smooth and rapid transition. That may be. But new nuclear plants need to have passive safety features. We *will lose our power for prolonged periods, and we will .see more and more interruptions in production and delivery. Under those conditions, we or our children will be having a rough enough time – they won’t need to deal with their own Fukushima, also.
    .
    Oil and coal have probably killed us already. No reason we shouldn’t try to save our kids, however. But we can’t do that simply by a grass roots “recycling and learning to plant tomatoes” movement.
    .

  39. lancifer says

    jo 1storm,

    BP should, and is, being made to clean up the spill and prevent further spills. Making a big deal about this small leak is silly.

    Did you notice the part about them spending 4 billion dollars to overhaul the facility to refine tar sands oil? Do you suppose that they didn’t spend a large portion of that money on environmental protection systems and procedures as required by state and federal laws not to mention to prevent liabilities that would result from spilling oil in (as Ed points out) the source of drinking water for 7 million people?

    I live in Indiana and my wife and I regularly swim in the waters near this refinery at both the Indiana Dunes National Lake Shore and the Indiana Dunes State Park so I have a personal interest in preserving this beautiful area of Lake Michigan beach. I also drive a car and heat and electrify my home with fossil fuel based energy, so I realize that there are risks associated with the infrastructure that provides these energy sources.

    On the way to that beach I pass miles of landscape blighted by wind turbines that are producing energy that must be heavily subsidized to compete with the much cheaper coal fired electric plants. Even if you buy the “externality” argument that claims that these coal fired plants are also being subsidized, there is the indisputable fact that the land foot print per kilowatt of these towering monstrosities is many times that of the coal fired plants, not to mention the birds hacked to pieces by these hideous whirligigs.

    So the reality is that any form of energy is going to have some negative side effects. 660 to 1600 gallons of oil in Lake Michigan is pretty much pissing in the ocean in the grand scheme of things.

  40. lancifer says

    freehand,

    Oil and coal have probably killed us already.

    Oh Jumpin’ Jebus on a trampoline, are you out of your mind? Get a fucking grip.

    If you want to advocate for the benefits of nuclear energy I’m all ears, but please keep the BS, Chicken Little demagoguery out of the conversation.

    It completely undermines any rational point you might otherwise make.

  41. matty1 says

    Lancifer,

    If the wind turbines are killing birds in high enough numbers to have a population level effect they are poorly sited, simple as that. Either they are in a place where they are affecting a bird species that because of low numbers cannot take any additional mortality or they are located where there is an increased risk of bird strike (migration routes, mountain passes).

    It is true of course that nothing is without negatives but the impact of wind turbines on birds is something we have studied for years, there are ways to reduce it through location, increased visibility of blades, control of when the turbines are active etc. Is it perfect, no, but I do believe having worked with the wind industry from the environmental side that they do at least as much about this issue as oil companies do about spills and probably more.

    I’m also not convinced by your statement about the footprint, the ground area of a turbine is relatively small and the blades are normally high enough that many activities, such as agriculture, can continue underneath.

  42. jo1storm says

    jo 1storm,
    BP should, and is, being made to clean up the spill and prevent further spills. Making a big deal about this small leak is silly.

    And why is it silly? How big a leak has to be for it not to be silly, according to you?

    Did you notice the part about them spending 4 billion dollars to overhaul the facility to refine tar sands oil? Do you suppose that they didn’t spend a large portion of that money on environmental protection systems and procedures as required by state and federal laws not to mention to prevent liabilities that would result from spilling oil in (as Ed points out) the source of drinking water for 7 million people?

    Well, I think that it is quite obvious that they didn’t spend enough, because: a) they (authorities/government) had to actually relax safety standards to let them run at all and b) the thing that all that money spent on environmental protection was supposed to prevent had actually happened, so c)they obviously didn’t care enough about liabilities enough to prevent them.

    I live in Indiana and my wife and I regularly swim in the waters near this refinery at both the Indiana Dunes National Lake Shore and the Indiana Dunes State Park so I have a personal interest in preserving this beautiful area of Lake Michigan beach. I also drive a car and heat and electrify my home with fossil fuel based energy, so I realize that there are risks associated with the infrastructure that provides these energy sources.

    Good for you. And what if sh*t happens and refinery craps all over your beautiful beach? You’d go without swimming for a while. Boohoo, you’ll suffer so much because of it. So much for personal interest. Also, “Just because the things are that way now, they must not change, ever!” argument. Or possibly “Good enough for me, no improvement needed.” argument. We all realize there are risks associated with the infrastructure that provides “these energy sources” (oil). That’s why people try to make a switch to less risky energy sources. Except that for you, crapping oil all over environment is acceptable risk.

    On the way to that beach I pass miles of landscape blighted by wind turbines that are producing energy that must be heavily subsidized to compete with the much cheaper coal fired electric plants.

    Argument from beauty? I don’t like the look of it, therefore it’s bad and should be banned!

    Even if you buy the “externality” argument that claims that these coal fired plants are also being subsidized, there is the indisputable fact that the land foot print per kilowatt of these towering monstrosities is many times that of the coal fired plants, not to mention the birds hacked to pieces by these hideous whirligigs.

    “Far away from eyes, far away from heart”? I don’t see bad things, therefore they don’t happen? Also, citation very much needed.


    So the reality is that any form of energy is going to have some negative side effects.

    Therefore, it is our duty to choose form of energy production with as few negative side effects as possible.

    660 to 1600 gallons of oil in Lake Michigan is pretty much pissing in the ocean in the grand scheme of things.

    In the grand scheme of things, a single human life of 80 years is not even a blink on planet Earth’s timescale. In the grand scheme of things, me and you are just single humans among more than 7 billion. In the grand scheme of things, that shooter that killed 22 people in mall didn’t do anything important or noteworthy. In the long run, we’re all dead.

  43. Christoph Burschka says

    I’m surprised Pat Robertson has yet to blame this on Michigan’s anti-marriage law being found unconstitutional.

  44. dingojack says

    Look, cut the Chicken Little act and show us the data.
    From what I could find an amount that is in the order of 1 x10^-9 mL/L* is well below any LD50.
    Dingo
    ——-
    * Assuming 100% solubility.

  45. says

    @48:

    Who are you talking to?

    @jo1storm:

    I don’t know if you’re aware of Lancifurious hobby, AGW denial. Anything that shakes that belief is as dangerous to him as was heresy to the medieval bishops.

    Your concerns about BP are not in the least alarmist. They’ve spent millions on PR in an attempt to make people think that they give the slightest fuck about making things right in the Gulf and adjacent lands.

    This comment:

    “BP should, and is, being made to clean up the spill and prevent further spills. Making a big deal about this small leak is silly.”

    is simply bullshit. BP is doing everything in their power to avoid paying the full cost of the clean-up and the loss of habitat.for wildlife and the effects on commercial fisheries.

    This link:

    http://dailybail.com/home/report-gulf-oil-spill-was-much-worse-than-bp-admitted.html

    is but one of many that sheds some light on the perfidy of those money grubbing fucks at BP.

    Last I heard BP was still resisting paying for a lot of things that are directly related to their blowout.

    “On the way to that beach I pass miles of landscape blighted by wind turbines”

    You wanna see some landscape that’s blighted, knucklehead?

    start here:

    http://villageofjoy.com/chernobyl-today-a-creepy-story-told-in-pictures/

    Of course that was the Soviet Union, nothing like that could EVER happen in the bestest country in the whole Fucking WORLD!

  46. dingojack says

    Demo – jo1storm, our resident chicken little.
    Listen jo1storm, you wanted to know how much oil is too much? The quick answer is – there is no quick answer (it’s a cocktail of 200+ chemicals that vary from type to type, and even, from batch to batch). But environmental scientists (who do this kind of research for a living) have figured out how to know how dangerous something is: they evaluate experiments and accident data and figure out the minimum safe exposure level.
    That also do a risk assessments calculating the harm level and the time the harm will persist.
    For example, suppose a release of 1650 galleons of the following around Lake Michigan:
    Distilled water: Harm none to minimal, will last for perhaps minutes at most
    Methane: unless ignited harm slight, will last minutes at most Half-life in atmosphere 14 yrs
    Carbon Dioxide: Moderate asphyxiation hazard, harm will last for an hour or so. Half-life in atmosphere 117 yrs
    Glacial sulphuric acid: Harm very high, will last an hour at most.
    Hydrocyanic acid: harm severe, will last hours at most
    Oil: Harm low, will last weeks or months
    Metallic mercury: Harm low initially; high once in the food chain, harm will persist for decades or centuries.
    So which would you say is most harmful? How would that risk compare to a 1650 galleon oil spill?

    Dingo

  47. patterson says

    @49

    Of course that was the Soviet Union, nothing like that could EVER happen in the bestest country in the whole Fucking WORLD!

    The Chernobyl reactor accident couldn’t happen because there are no Chernobyl style RBMK reactors in the US. And all the RBMK reactors in Eastern Europe have been updated to make another Chernobyl type accident “virtually impossible” according to the German nuclear safety agency. Another thing, I was surprised to learn, is that two reactors at Chernobyl were modified and kept working until 2000. Nuclear agencies have learned a lot from Chernobyl, mostly in terms of international cooperation, monitoring and regulations, just as following the Three Mile Island accident, reactor design and safety regulations were modified to prevent a recurrence. That’s not to say another nuclear accident couldn’t happen, just that the odds of an uncontainable accident like Chernobyl are very low, after all Three Mile Island was the worst nuclear accident in America’s history despite the reactors design flaws all the radiation was contained and no one was injured.

  48. says

    @50:

    So, you’re saying that it’s okay for BP to allow shit like this to happen?

    @51:

    Fukushima.

    Sorry, but I don’t share your confidence in the NRC and its corporate partners, the nuke operators, commitment to safety.

    There was a tritium leak, into the groundwater near one of the three reactors within 10 miles of where I live, that went undetected and then, once it was detected could not be traced to its source. That was a few years ago. AFAIA, there hasn’t been any update in a while.

    Fort Calhoun Station near Omaha, NE shut down in April 2011 for re-fueling. While in cold shutdown mode, the plant experienced an electrical fire that disable coolant pumps for the spent fuel storage area. Shortly after that event torrential rains resulted in flooding along the Missouri River to the point that the entire plant was surrounded by water several feet deep (plenty of images of the event, here: http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=photos+of+fort+calhoun+station+surrounded+by+flood+waters&id=4EC45D40871B1EA5B2CCD8BD13C7CBFEEBFD8BDB&FORM=IQFRBA#view=detail&id=93D52EA3BE692995EDCC467AB6FBB2D5EE660FDA&selectedIndex=18). After the flooding the NRC sent in inspectors and found that the plant had a number of serious deficiencies in some of its systems. I think the plant went back on line about a month ago, nearly three years after it shut down. I doubt that OPPD (the plant’s owner, Omaha Public Power District) will be braggin’ about how much it cost to put the plant back online but I’m guessing LOTSA $M dollahs.

    As I said in an earlier comment, I don’t distrust nuclear power, just the folks who run the plants for profit.

  49. jo1storm says

    Dingojack, why do you call me name of cartoon character? I not even once mentioned aliens :). Btw, I asked lancifer how big a leak has to be according to him.

    I didn’t ask for a scientific estimate. I asked for his personal opinion.

    I’ve really no idea how much damage mercury and… other heavy metal laden, tar_sands-filled crude oil can do to the environment. And I really can’t presume, amateur as I am, since even professionals and experts in the field are still determining the effects. To quote original article.

    The effect on Lake Michigan, the source of drinking water for 7 million people in Chicago and the suburbs, likely won’t be determined for several days.

    But, on the other hand, I’m not the one acting as if everything is great, everything is fine, nothing to see here when that crude oil comes into contact with important water system, despite that water system not being a place for it. So, in short, what is your problem with me?

  50. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Nuclear kills less people per watt-hour than coal, gas, hydro-dams, solar, and wind. Look it up. Even if you count Chernobyl. We don’t need further “safety features”. The safety features of a modern plant is enough. What else do you need besides being the safest option out there?

    Further, let’s look at some of the big accidents. Chernobyl was a research reactor which happened to also produce power. It had a positive temperature coefficient of reactivity. We have never in the west made a commercial fission plant that dangerous. If you don’t know what this means, stop assuming that all nuclear power plants are alike, and do some research.

    Fukushima has killed about 0 people from radiation poisoning. Far more people died in the earthquake and tsunami than from radiation poisoning. More died from the radiation evacuation than would have died from radiation poisoning. More people died from heat stroke in the summer because of lack of electricity because they shut off the rest of their nuclear reactors than died from radiation poisoning. The land around the area is safe to inhabit now. Radiation dose rates of “5 times background rates!” is still safe – see: Denver. (Although I might not eat food grown in the area because of bioaccumulation and similar things.) And this was with a 40(?) year old reactor. We have much safer reactors now. We could consider this a worst case scenario, and it’s not that bad. Want to gues how many thousands die from the regular operation of a coal plant from the airborne particulates? More people die in the US in a single month from airborne pollution from coal plants than have ever died from radiation poisioning from commercial fission power plants.

    Arguably, nuclear is less polluting by watt-hour than colal, gas, hydr-dams, solar, and wind. If you take into account the mining, manufacturing, and maintenance, it adds up.

    Solar does not shine in the night, and often enough entire contintents are windless for weeks. Geographic distribution will not solve the intermittency problem of solar and wind. Scalable electricity storage solutions are not there yet. At best, solar and wind represent 30% of a real solution. They are an optional addition to nuclear, not a replacement.

    Let’s look at some of those purported storage solutions.

    “freehand: Smart grids”. This is a magic buzz word that means different things to different people. The short of it is that many industrial processes cannot simply be turned off and respond to the “smart grid” asks. Remember household consumption of electricity is a rather small portion of the grid (IIRC 20%). For example, my uncle works in a glass manufacturing plant. It uses the float glass method. The plant is several gigantic furnaces that melt the glass constituents, and float the glass over molten tin (to make a flat surface), and they pull the glass out over the molten tin and let it solidify. He was talking to me about it, and how they’re about to rebuild one of the furnaces. It will take 2 months to turn on the rebuilt furnance. 2 months. It takes that long to safely heat the thing up. Heating it up faster will break it. This is not something that you can just turn off because there’s been no wind this week. Turning it off means they’re out of operation for months at a time, and quickly turning it off also risks severe damage to the furnace. … This is just one industry. There are many more.

    “freehand: Pumped storage – e.g. gravitational potential energy in water via moving water.” This is one of the few technologies that almost scales. It is often used, but only for a few hours of storage, not for the days of storage that we would need to make solar and wind practical. See:
    http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2011/11/pump-up-the-storage/

    “freehand: Gravitational potential energy of train cars.” Here, poster freehand is just throwing shit at the wall to see what sticks. He is pulling shit out ofh is ass. This is laughably stupid. It’s inferior in every way to pumped storage. Why not start talking about powering the country via hamsters in wheels spinning turbines.

    “freehand: Rotational kinetic energy, e.g. flywheels.” Again, flywheels have some industrial use, but it’s not going to scale. See:
    http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2011/09/got-storage-how-hard-can-it-be/

    “freehand: Heating salts.” This is one I cannot rip apart appropriately offhand. Sorry, it’s hard to respond off the top of my head to an obvious gish gallop. The other ones are bad, and I bet this one is similarly bad.

    I didn’t see some of the other almost-practical technologies, which also shows ignorance. Potentially interesting options are sodium-sulphur batteries, and a few very new chemical batteries based on high temperature liquid metals. Even then, none of these have been shown to work at plausible money-costs.

  51. lancifer says

    jo 1 storm,

    I don’t think any release of petroleum into Lake Michigan, or any other body of water, is “acceptable”. But I’m not willing to condemn the entire fossil fuel industry, and its vast benefit to humanity, based on a spill that may be on the order of a few large home aquariums.

  52. lancifer says

    EnlightenmentLiberal,

    There exist several fission reactor designs with passive safety systems, manageable waste products and nearly limitless fuel sources.

    It is only fear, ignorance and political (mostly from the left) bias that prevents the widespread implementation of this clean and abundant energy source.

    One of the only possible positives of the current irrational carbon-phobia is the possibility that nuclear power will again be seen as a viable option.

  53. says

    Enlightementlibertaritroll:

    “Nuclear kills less people per watt-hour than coal, gas, hydro-dams, solar, and wind. Look it up.”

    Um, no, YOU look it up, and provide a citation or six.

    Fuklushima happened, what, two or three YEARS ago? No radiation deaths? do you mean of an immediate nature?

    How about nuclear, coal and gas kill less than hydro, solar and wind? How does that one wind up? I’m not blaming just the idiots who run nuke plants. Exxon, BP, Duke Energy and the rest of them are culpable as well.

    “Even if you count Chernobyl. We don’t need further “safety features”.

    So, TMI and other events are fine with you? BP’s criminal negligence is fine with you?

    “The safety features of a modern plant is enough. What else do you need besides being the safest option out there? ”

    Are we talking “modern plants” like Vermont Yankee, San Onofre 2 & 3, Crystal River 3, Zion and Oyster Creek? Cuz they’re all shut down, in the process of being shut down or on the bubble.

    “The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s monitoring of aging components in nuclear power plants is “not focused or coordinated,” raising concern that the some safety risks may go undiscovered, according to a watchdog report.

    The Oct. 28 report from Stephen Dingbaum, the NRC’s assistant inspector general for audits, comes as some nuclear power plants seek extensions on their operating licenses beyond 40 years.

    “Despite concerns of component aging in nuclear power plants that are growing older, the agency does not routinely collect and monitor instances of active component failures due to aging,” Dingbaum wrote.

    The NRC “cannot be fully assured that it is effectively overseeing licensees’ management of aging active components,” Dingbaum said in the report.” (source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-29/monitoring-of-aging-u-s-nuclear-plant-parts-unfocused.html)

    He works there and he basically says that your idea is nonsense. Yeah, his bosses disagree with him, not a surprise since they’re likely former or future energy company employees.

    Your two “citations” are for stuff that comes from Tom Murphy. I’ve seen industry shills like you use his name before.

    They were full of shit and so are you.

    Thanks for playing. I hope that your check from whichever “grassroots” org you work for clears the bank.

    “:There exist several fission reactor designs with passive safety systems, manageable waste products and nearly limitless fuel sources.”

    Name them, fuckface.

  54. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Is Green Peace reliable enough for you?
    http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/nuclear-reaction/deaths-and-energy-technologies/blog/34275/
    They don’t include photovoltaic, which is a shame. I particularly enjoy their double-standards with regard to wind vs nuclear.

    Do you want me to just google and start bombing you with links? That seems counterproductive. You can verify this yourself quite easily.

    I’m sorry. It is indisputably factual that nuclear is by far the safest form of electricity generation we have by watt-hour according to the history of the last 100 years. Nuclear power generation has killed less people than all other forms of power generation, including solar and wind. Even if you include the worst estimates of Chernobyl.

    Once we accept this, we can move on, but I’d rather not go too far without establishing some basic facts.

  55. dingojack says

    jo1storm – clearly, you’re much younger than I am. :D
    It’s an old, old story going back (some say) 2500 years. Depending on the version, the ‘moral’ is “don’t believe everything you hear”.
    In this case, you’re looking at the harm and panicking, without looking at the level, probability or duration of that harm. Step back, take a risk assessment (and breathe).

    Demo (#52) – Try re-reading (this time wear your glasses). @@

    Dingo

  56. dingojack says

    My dear Oil-compant-shill –
    “Arguably, nuclear is less polluting by watt-hour than colal, gas, hydr-dams, solar, and wind. If you take into account the mining, manufacturing, and maintenance, it adds up. ”
    Aren’t reactors those big buildings encased in a thick layer of concrete? And where does that concrete come from pray tell? Is it magically *zapped* into existence (and in place)? Funny how you try to use the whole production and lifetime chain to claim levels of pollution, deaths and so on for all the types you don’t like, but suddenly ignore these factors for the ones you do like. Hmmm.

    “Solar does not shine in the night, and often enough entire contintents are windless for weeks. Geographic distribution will not solve the intermittency problem of solar and wind. Scalable electricity storage solutions are not there yet. At best, solar and wind represent 30% of a real solution. They are an optional addition to nuclear, not a replacement. ”

    Nope the sun, clearly, travels through the underworld at night (rather than simply shine somewhere else on the globe). Oh that’s right “Geographic distribution will not solve the intermittency problem”, and why is that? Because you think that it is so, that’s why. @@
    Really, windless for weeks are they?* Like when exactly?
    (BTW No probs down here. The Roaring Forties are called that for a reason you know).
    Dingo
    ——–
    * Granted it wouldn’t work in the doldrums, but then on the hand countries in these regions, such as Indonesia, could use other sources of power (in Indonesia’s case Geothermal).

  57. colnago80 says

    Relative to the Fukushima reactors, they came through the earthquake itself in fine shape. What did them in was the fact that the diesel backup units which are required to enable a safe shutdown of the nuclear reactors were shorted out by a tidal surge which occurred because the design of the plants had only assumed a maximum of a 15 foot surge while the actual surge was 30 feet. This was explained in a post on Sean Carrol’s (the astrophysicist) blog several years ago. Had the barriers been designed for a 30 foot surge, the plants would sustained no significant damage and would have been reopened a long time ago. Don’t blame it on the engineers who designed the plants; they did their job, blame it on the 15 foot tidal surge assumption, probably made by some asshole in the management to save money.

  58. says

    “Is Green Peace reliable enough for you?”

    I went over there, expecting to find out that they had just accepted a bazilliondollah grant from some Kochsucker brothers’ institute or other. Why else would they be saying that nuclear power is safe? So, I skimmed the report and now I’m wondering, did you forget to put an “/s” after that question or do you actually think that the report somehow vindicates your idiocy? Regardless, your referenced report clearly indicates that the number of deaths attributed to nuclear and fossil fuel power generation is far greater than the number attributed to wind power, which is pretty much what I said, here:

    “How about nuclear, coal and gas kill less than hydro, solar and wind? How does that one wind up? I’m not blaming just the idiots who run nuke plants. Exxon, BP, Duke Energy and the rest of them are culpable as well.

    Oh, I’m sorry, you didn’t get that it was a rhetorical question.

    “Do you want me to just google and start bombing you with links? That seems counterproductive. You can verify this yourself quite easily.”

    You’re the one whose coming in with assertions and nothing to justify them, not me, pal. Put up all the links you like (no more than two at a time or your comment will go into moderation–one of Ed’s rules). If they are by “energy experts” like Tom Murphy they will be held in as high regard (again, this is rhetorical or maybe it’s sarcastic, sometimes the line is blurred between the two).

    “I’m sorry. It is indisputably factual that nuclear is by far the safest form of electricity generation we have by watt-hour according to the history of the last 100 years.”

    I’m sorry but you’re completely full of shit. Telling us that something is so does not, regrettably for you, make it so. There is no doubt power generated in coal burning plants has cost a lot of human lives and unconscionable environmental damage. Almost all of the deaths from mining and processing are the result of poor management, outdated technologies and callous disregard by mine owners/operators for the health and welfare of their labor force. Ditto for environmental damage. Oil, more of the same. Nuclear power, thanks at least in part to the visible, horrific results of the U.S. dropping a pair of nuclear weapons on Japan in 1945 has always been the beneficiary of much more stringent regulation by the NRC (and predecessor organizations) than fossil fuel industries have to contend with–and they still try to cheat on the rules.

    It is noted that you chose not to reply to most of the questions I posed in the previous comment. When you have answers. furnish them.

    dingojack @ 60:

    Mea culpa, I meant it to be @51, in reply to the comment by ‘Patterson”. We regret the error (We = me and Buddy the Wonderdog).

  59. jo1storm says

    dingojack wrote o1storm – clearly, you’re much younger than I am. :D
    It’s an old, old story going back (some say) 2500 years. Depending on the version, the ‘moral’ is “don’t believe everything you hear”.
    In this case, you’re looking at the harm and panicking, without looking at the level, probability or duration of that harm. Step back, take a risk assessment (and breathe).

    Nah, I’m just messing with you (that’s what you get for assuming too much about the people from reading things on the internet, where there’s no way to reliably show emotion). I’ve heard about that story, although the only version I’ve ever read is the abridged one, in which fox’s family sue chicken little, goose and pig for murder of fox, emotional damage etc and those 3 counter sue, so they spend time on court for ever after.

    Anyway, I have no idea what made you think I’m panicking. I actually tried to go for very subdued reaction of slight condemnation, since there’s very little data about the incident right now. Unlike “full on defending oil industry” of lancifer :D

  60. caseloweraz says

    Enlightenment_liberal, you come across like a nuclear apologist. Taking your comment at face value, one would believe nuclear was the safest thing since sliced bread — or maybe even safer.

    What’s your criterion — deaths caused by lack of access to electricity? If so, it’s a bogus criterion.

    Is it deaths due to falls from wind towers? How many are there, versus deaths of electric linemen?

    No; the criterion has to be harm (including potential harm) caused by the method of power production: soot from coal plants, radiation from nuke plants, earthquakes from geothermal, sunspills from solar plants, or “infrasound” from wind turbines.

    Also, you’re too dismissive of thermal storage in molten salts.

    And like Dingojack, I’d love to see your evidence for “often enough entire contintents (sic) are windless for weeks.”

  61. caseloweraz says

    @matty1:

    I see I should have made the second question in my #30 rhetorical as well.

    You wrote: I don’t know why this can’t be scaled up to refineries, I really don’t. Cost, maybe?

    That surely would be the reason BP gave, if anyone asked them. You might think they had put a reasonable share of the $4B spent at the Indiana refinery into such safety measures. And it’s true that they might have in this case; I don’t know. But I’ve read up on their history, and this is not the way their management thinks. They routinely defer maintenance and figure that they can fix any breakdown. If “fix” means paying off the families of workers killed and avoiding the worst fines through litigation, the record shows they’re right.

    For reference, see e.g. Poisoned Legacy by Mike Magner or Run to Failure by Abrahm Lustgarten.

  62. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @democommie
    So, I see you can’t read a simple study.

    @caseloweraz
    If you define the word “apologist” as defender, then yes, I am a nuclear apologist.

    Taking your comment at face value, one would believe nuclear was the safest thing since sliced bread — or maybe even safer.

    Because it is.

    No; the criterion has to be harm (including potential harm) caused by the method of power production: soot from coal plants, radiation from nuke plants, earthquakes from geothermal, sunspills from solar plants, or “infrasound” from wind turbines.

    Sure, and at Fukushima we saw the worst case scenario. The worst case scenario is that more people died from the evacuation than would have died from radiation poisoning had they not moved at all. We need to lift people out of poverty, and we need to stop CO2 release, and nuclear is the only thing that can do that with the currently available and proven tech.

    Also, you’re too dismissive of thermal storage in molten salts.

    I’d love to be proven wrong. Do you have any link to analysis of thermal storage scaled to grid scale, to GW scale?

  63. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Because you asked so nicely.

    Fuklushima happened, what, two or three YEARS ago? No radiation deaths? do you mean of an immediate nature?

    LNT is bullshit. No one outside the plant is going to die from radiation poisoning related stuff. Even people who went inside the plant to clean up will have a barely higher than average cancer rate.

    So, TMI and other events are fine with you?

    No on died in TMI. No radation was released into the surrounding environment. Looks fine to me.

    BP’s criminal negligence is fine with you?

    What does this have to do with nuclear? I’m defending nuclear here. Let’s not get off topic.

    Are we talking “modern plants” like Vermont Yankee, San Onofre 2 & 3, Crystal River 3, Zion and Oyster Creek? Cuz they’re all shut down, in the process of being shut down or on the bubble.

    Fukushima is one of the oldest plants in operation. In the worst case scenario, more people died from the evacuation than would have died from radiation related stuff had they stayed in place. I would be fine with Fukushima style plants, although thankfully we have better.

    [You quote some studies showing the risks are understated]
    That applies to every power source. That’s why I’m not looking at risk analysis. I’m looking at the past 50 years of operation. Just a handful of people have ever died from commercial western nuke plants. More people die in a month from coal ash particulates, or from coal mining accidents. Per watt-hour, more people die from solar and wind, again such as mining accidents, manufacturing accidents, installation accidents, etc.

    Your two “citations” are for stuff that comes from Tom Murphy. I’ve seen industry shills like you use his name before.

    I fail to see how he’s a shill. He’s not even on my side. He says nuclear won’t work either (he’s ignorant, and wrong). I don’t care if you think he’s a shill. He’s posting high school accessible math to make his point. Argue with the point, not the man. Don’t ad hominem.

    nearly limitless fuel sources.”

    Name them, fuckface.

    At least for this: granite is the most common constituent of the continental crust. It is cost and energy effective to mine literal granite rock for the uranium and thorium content. A cubic meter of granite by its uranium and thorium content has more energy than the same cubic meter of coal. We’ll never run out.

    Nuclear power, thanks at least in part to the visible, horrific results of the U.S. dropping a pair of nuclear weapons on Japan in 1945 has always been the beneficiary of much more stringent regulation by the NRC (and predecessor organizations) than fossil fuel industries have to contend with–and they still try to cheat on the rules.

    What the hell do deaths from nuclear weapons have to do with deaths from nuclear power? Does that mean I get to attribute every single death from a plane or tank to oil and gas? This is a brazen non-sequitur. If you want to argue the proliferation game, then we can do that, but don’t dishonestly include deaths from nuclear bombs in with deaths from fission power plants. Otherwise I could attribute deaths from conventional war to your solar because your solar would make possible the economic engine to wage war.

  64. Michael Heath says

    Foreign Policy reports:

    The energy transformation, known as “Energiewende”, [which is partly about reducing German consumption of nuclear energy] was meant to give Germany an energy sector that would be cleaner and more competitive, fueling an export-driven economy and helping to slash greenhouse-gas emissions. On that count, the policy has floundered: German emissions are rising, not falling, because the country is burning increasing amounts of dirty coal.

    […]

    Washington has no formal or comprehensive energy or climate policy, but the United States’ natural gas bonanza has led to cheaper power prices and falling greenhouse-gas emissions in recent years.

    […]

    By some measures, Germany’s green energy push has actually been quite successful. It has more solar power capacity installed than any other country, and the third-most wind power capacity in the world, even though it’s not a particularly sunny or windy country. Renewable energy so far this year has provided more than one-quarter of Germany’s electricity, compared with about 13 percent for the United States, and is the only source of power with year-on-year growth. Champions of Energiewende also point to the hundreds of thousands of jobs they say that the renewable-energy push has created, contrasting Germany’s healthy growth and employment record since the financial crisis with blighted neighbors.

    From my perspecttive Germany shouldn’t have raced to eradicate nuclear energy, and should transition from coal consumption to natural gas if they can’t handle the transition via nuclear, wind, or solar. We all need to stop emitting CO2 from coal, that’s a no-brainer with no credible rebuttal I’ve encountered but instead idiotic, dishonest, and cowardly).

    For those who oppose nuclear energy, there are valid concerns and credible threats. But those costs pale in comparison to threat of AGW, where reducing CO2 from coal is must if we actually care about the wellbeing of future human beings.

  65. caseloweraz says

    Just to be clear, I don’t mean “defender” when I say “apologist.” If you’ve read this thread, you know that I defend nuclear power. I understand its potential to be a major component of a future power strategy. However, I also acknowledge the nuclear industry’s mistakes, which an apologist would not do.

    Those mistakes include a multitude of incidents. Many are simple carelessness, like the use of a candle to inspect wiring at Brown’s Ferry or the reversal of engineering blueprints at Diablo Canyon. Placing critical backup generators in the basement at Fukushima can be seen as the same sort of mistake; or, arguably, it is a more serious mistake that results from the failure of imagination — like running both the primary and backup control wiring through the same tunnel at Brown’s Ferry.

    Then there is what might be viewed as malfeasance. Back in the 1960s there was a spate of cases where x-ray photographs of piping welds were faked. Some plants don’t have adequate plans for reactor accidents, and management has sometimes been slow to notify local authorities of problems. Both these things happened at Three Mile Island, as I recall. (Also you’re wrong about no radioactivity being released at TMI; the release was minimal, but it did occur.)

    Numerous releases of radioactivity have gone on for months or years unreported. In other cases, mechanical failures were undiscovered or covered up until a major release was prevented only by luck. Example: Davis-Besse.

    March 2002: Workers at Davis-Besse nuclear power plant in Oak Harbor, Ohio are replacing a cracked CRDM (control rod drive mechanism) nozzle when they discover a “football-sized” hole eaten 6 inches into the steel outer shell of the reactor vessel head. Only a 3/16th-inch shell of stainless steel is left to hold back 87,000 U.S. gallons of radioactive water at 2,000 psi. The cracked CRDM nozzle leaked borated water (weak acid) onto the reactor head over a period of nearly six years, gradually eroding the steel.

    On 22 April 2005, the NRC proposes a $5 million fine against FirstEnergy, the operator of Davis-Besse, for failure to clean the reactor vessel in 2000. (This fine is levied in June 2005.) System engineer Andrew Siemaszko is banned from working in the industry for five years because of his falsification of reactor vessel cleaning logs in May 2000.

    And that was not the end of problems at Davis-Besse:

    15 March 2010: After the Davis-Besse NPP in Ohio is shut down for refueling on February 28, a routine inspection finds problems similar to those that nearly caused a serious incident in 2002. At least 16 critical parts are cracked or flawed, allowing acidic cooling water to leak onto and corrode the steel containment vessel.

    Nor are its corrosion problems unique:

    1 May 2009: Corrosion caused a 1.5″ hole in a cooling-system pipe at the Indian Point NPP in Buchanan, New York. The leak, discovered Feb. 16, allowed 100,000 gallons of water to escape onto the floor of the building housing reactor #2. This water poses no threat to the environment,since it is cleaner than tap water and never comes into direct contact with radioactivity. Officials stated that the reactor could still have been safely shut down by a backup cooling system.

    However, the corrosion raises concerns about other pipes in the reactor systems of the aging plant, which began operating in August 1973 and is now in its [37th] year of operation. The plant’s owner, Entergy Corporation, and the NRC are studying the matter.

    Indian Point also leaked water with tritium from its spent fuel pool in 2005.

    So let’s promote nuclear power. But let’s not pretend its problems are negligible.

  66. caseloweraz says

    On the subject of storing solar energy in molten salts, How Stuff Works has a layman-level article. It describes molten-salt storage at Spain’s Andasol solar thermal plant. Here’s the critical part:

    The field of solar collectors at Andasol 1 is big enough to collect almost twice as much sunlight as the plant needs to operate during sunny times. The extra heated oil is sent to a heat exchanger running between giant vats of molten salt. One vat holds relatively cool molten salt (about 500 degrees F or 260 degrees C). That salt is pumped into the heat exchanger, where it picks up heat from the oil. The now hotter molten salt (752 degrees F or 400 degrees C) flows into the second vat, where it waits until the sun dips behind a cloud.

    When the power plant needs the stored heat, the hotter molten salt is pumped back through the heat exchanger. There, it transfers its heat to the oil that will generate steam. The hotter oil travels to the power center, and the now-cooler molten salt flows back into the cooler tank. The process then starts all over.

    The article mentions batteries. Progress being made in batteries for electric cars will also benefit storage of energy from solar photovoltaic plants.

  67. says

    @68&69:

    Your comments are a waste of time for anyone who wants to read for comprehension, there’s nothing there to comprehend. Just the typical litany of “anecdotal evidence”.

    This:

    “Sure, and at Fukushima we saw the worst case scenario. The worst case scenario is that more people died from the evacuation than would have died from radiation poisoning had they not moved at all.”

    is one of the most inane statements I’ve ever read (and I’ve read thousands of them) by one of you Nuketriot sockpuppets. In essence, you’re declaring, as a FACT, that if the Japanese who were evacuated from the area had just stayed put they would have been fine. The sheer, breathtaking stupidity of those two sentences is enough to peg the “Burnin’Stoopitometer” and short out any safety devfces that are built into it.

    It’s like you’re an Olympic platform diver and you’ve just executed, from the 10M level, a perfect triple backward somersault with eight twists and finished in the pike position–into the concrete bottom of an empty pool.

    If you have your own blog, you should consider putting up a sign that says, “Content and citation free since Xxx, xx, xxxx”

    Ed really has very few hard and fast rules here. One of them is that putting more than two links in a comment will result in it being held in moderation until he gets around to looking at it to make sure it’s not some offer of Nigerian $M or offers for penis pumps and other items of that sort that are on the list of most Teabaggists “Must haves”. He also does not allow any personal threats (calling someone a fucking asshole and hoping that they die of a lingering, painful and costly to treat disease is NOT a threat, btw) but that’s about it.

    If he, for instance, did not allow towering cascades of horseshit, you would be jerking off by yourself instead of being here trying to jerk others around. I love that about Ed, he is pretty much an absolutist on the matter of free speech. Unfortunately for industryapologist lying-sacks-of-shit like YOU, it’s okay with Ed if we tell you to go fuck yourself in whatever sortaway we feel like doing so.

    @ Michael Heath:

    “For those who oppose nuclear energy, there are valid concerns and credible threats.”

    This is absolutely correct. The problem isn’t my lack of understanding about how competently managed energy generating plants can use almost any fuel that’s available and do it with a much higher degree of efficiency and safety. The problem is that current U.S, energy policy and regulation, coupled with incompetent management and fiscal shortsightedness of those who stand to make enormous short term profit from that set of “worst practice” business strategies where the only genuine parameter is profit*.

    I (and many other people) KNOW that safe operation of nuclear power plants is possible, as is careful study of the impact proposed siting will have on the plant, its neighbors and the larger area surrounding it, plant designs running to triple or greater redundancy of safety systems and perhaps most importantly prudent long term financial planning. VT Yankee, a power plant operated by Entergy, which also operates the Fitzpatrick nuke in Oswego (Town of Scriba is actual site) has not set aside enough money for decommissioning the plant; here’s a link:

    http://vtdigger.org/2013/10/28/state-officials-say-entergy-must-set-aside-120-million-vermont-yankee-site-restoration/

    The other two nukes in my area are separate reactors Nine Mile 1 & Nine Mile 2 at Nine Mile Point, northeast of Oswego about halfway between Oswego Harbor and Mexico Bay; they also have a problem with their decommissioning funds (among others)m, another link:

    http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2009/06/nrc_nine_mile_nukes_owner_must.html

    Those two links are just a couple of the many, many items in the news over the last five years or so about financial chicanery and abuse of the public trust by nuclear power companies.

    I trust the energy business people LESS than I would a crackhead on the pipe.

    Nukes don’t fuck up the planet; greedy, irresponsible, perpetual fratboys who think lying, cheating and stealing are sacraments and WHO run the energy business fuck up the planet.

    * False profit at that since it involves, as you have pointed out on previous threads, the accounting legerdemain of keeping things like spills(most recently the BP spill that is the subject of the OP), leaks (Exxon Valdez, among many), market speculation (ENRON, PG&E for two) and other externalities off of their quarterly P&L statements and WHEN they have to pay fines and other costs they simply pass it along to the ratepayer/customer, the money that was PAID OUT as a result of those practices not being confiscated or even considered in the cost accounting.

  68. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @democommie

    I don’t feel like writing a long response to someone who’s apparent method of discourse is:
    – name calling,
    – inability to read links or willful dishonesty about such links (Green Peace link),
    – conflates anecdote with evidence,

    I have provided evidence that conventional nuclear is safer than solar and wind. You called me a shill, and attempted to refute my rigorous examination of the actual history of the power sources with biased anecdotes. Yes, people in the industry take short cuts. Everyone in every industry does, and when we look at the actual safety of these systems in operation for the last 50 years, the results are very, very clear.

    Related, I gave a summary of the relative harms of Fukushima. I pointed out that the evacuation killed more than what the radiation would have killed without an evacuation. Again, you name call, react with disbelief, and strawman my position. I never said that it was safe around Fukushima in the immediate aftermath. I do not understand your dishonesty or ignorance. I never said that no one would have died from radiation without an evacuation. The only way you can get there logically is if you assume that evacuations do not kill people, which is simply wrong.
    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/other/fukushima-evacuation-has-killed-more-earthquake-tsunami-survey-says-f8C11120007

    A survey by popular Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun said Monday that deaths relating to this displacement – around 1,600 – have surpassed the number killed in the region in the original disaster.

    I have provided evidence and argument that solar and wind cannot make it as large suppliers of the grid (+30% approx) because of the intermittency problems. I don’t think this was addressed.

    Overall, this has been a very pathetic conversation. Take your head out of your ass.

  69. says

    Dear Enlightenment LiberaL:

    Oh, I’m sorry, honey, did I hurt your feelings? Tough shit, fuckbag, eat it.

    Let’s deal with your bullet points, first:

    – name calling,

    Suck it, asswipe, act like a fucking douchebag here, you’ll prolly get called a fucking douchebag.

    – inability to read links or willful dishonesty about such links (Green Peace link),

    I read the link you fucking moron, it doesn’t support your “thesis”

    – conflates anecdote with evidence,

    That’s fucking rich. You’re the fella who’s saying all sorts of shit without relying on anything like evidence.

    This:

    “I have provided evidence that conventional nuclear is safer than solar and wind. You called me a shill, and attempted to refute my rigorous examination of the actual history of the power sources with biased anecdotes. Yes, people in the industry take short cuts. Everyone in every industry does, and when we look at the actual safety of these systems in operation for the last 50 years, the results are very, very clear. ”

    Is a fucking lie and you’re a fucking liar. You have NOT provided evidence of anything except your confirmation bias–rigorous examination, my ass. People in every industry take shortcuts? Is that more of your “evidence”, dipshit? I don’t know about “every industry”, but I do know that the nuclear industry’s mistakes tend to linger for thousands of years– that’s not an anecdote, you idiot, it’s just an inconvenient, hard scientific fact.

    Is this the survey that you’re talking about?

    http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20140312p2a00m0na006000c.html

    If it is, wtf is your point? That people died in greater numbers after having their lives turned upside down by, as the Japanese refer to it, “The triple disaster” of an earthquake, a tsunami and the resultant failure of Fukushima’s Daichi reactors’ safety systems? And you think that they would have been BETTER ODD “sheltering in place” in their homes in Fukushima?

    Have you looked at any aerial photos of the plant and its environs, jackass? You can see a whole shitload of them, here:

    http://cryptome.org/eyeball/daiichi-npp/daiichi-photos.htm

    Do you know that the largest %age, by far, of people who died were elderly? Do you know how the Japanese feel about family and home? It’s always been somewhat important to them. When a lot of the older generation are uprooted in ANY society they tend to not adjust to the stress very well; it appears that the Fukushima disaster was particularly hard on those of the older generation. Of course, they could have stayed behind and they might not have gotten cancer before they died but if their children and grand children stayed it’s clear that they would be taking a great risk–at least the Japan Ministry of Health seemed to feel that way.

    This headline:

    “Residents allowed to return to town near Fukushima plant” is from Japan Today (dated April 1,2014) speaks about the still dangerously high levels of radiation in areas around the plant and ongoing cleanup which has now cost about $30B according to their calculations/governmental information.

    Yes, there’s a link and I’m not putting it in because of the two links limit. You can find it, you’re a genius.

    The Japanese government, who I suspect knows a whole fuckvualot more about the situation than you do says that the level or radioactivity is still too high for most people to return to their homes in the exclusion zones. Give ‘em a call and tell ‘em that they’re full of shit, that nuclear power is the safest thing since sliced bread–they may beg to differ.

    You’re an arrogant putz and you’ve done nothing on this thread but prove what a fucking moron you are. Whoever’s cutting you a check is throwing the money away. And if you’re doing this on your own dime, you’re a masochist.

    You are correct about one thing, it has been a pathetic conversation and that, asshole, is all on you.

    Go try to impress somebody else.

  70. lancifer says

    EnlightenmentLiberal,

    You now know why I don’t bother discussing anything with democommie.

    While I don’t agree with you about the dangers of CO2 there are other negatives to coal use, namely the amount of coal ash and other by products of coal burning. Also, while coal has a much higher energy density than wind or solar it is orders of magnitude behind the energy density of nuclear fission.

    Ironically many of the same people that now attack fossil fuel use had previously demonized and destroyed the nuclear energy industry.

  71. says

    “You now know why I don’t bother discussing anything with democommie.”

    Actually, I’ve never discussed anything you, knucklehead. I don’t have discussions about climate change with AGW denialists. I let other people waste their time trying to educate you about such matters, contenting myself with insulting you as my insulting you has about the same end result as their attempts to educated you–no change in your delusional thinking–but it’s a LOT more fun.

    “While I don’t agree with you about the dangers of CO2 there are other negatives to coal use,”

    And now you know why other people (misguided people who think that Lancifurious might benefit from being educated with a presentation of the FACTS of climate change) feel the need to waste their time while I don’t.

    “Ironically many of the same people that now attack fossil fuel use had previously demonized and destroyed the nuclear energy industry”

    Demonstrably untrue. Last time I checked there were still about 100 nuclear power plants operating in the U.S. and hundreds more worldwide.

    When the people who RUN nuclear plants stop lying to the public about, well, everything that they lie about–and it’s a long list of “things” and relying on the indignorance of “scientists” like Lancifurious. well, then maybe we COULD have a serious discussion about the true cost of using nuclear plants to generate electricity.

    The fossil fuel business has a horrible safety record and makes many $B’s a year by cutting corners, lying to regulators and fucking their customers whenever possible.

    Lancifurious and Englightenment Liberal; you should just get your own blog and EXPOSE the filthy liberal plot to cripple MurKKKa by making the country return to an energy policy based on wood burning stoves. I’m sure that you’ll have fun playing Frogger or whatever while you’re waiting for folks to come and join your “discussion”.

  72. lancifer says

    democommie,

    Demonstrably untrue. Last time I checked there were still about 100 nuclear power plants operating in the U.S. and hundreds more worldwide.

    Not that I expect that you will actually absorb a fact and admit you were wrong, but no Nuclear power plant has been built in the US since 1977. Do you suppose that is because energy demand has not increased in the last 40 years?

  73. colnago80 says

    Re Sir Lancelot @ #78

    How does the claimt that no Nuclear power plants have been built in the US since 1977 in any way, shape, form, or regard conflict with democommie’s claim that there are a hundred such plants currently operating here? Inquiring minds want to know.

  74. caseloweraz says

    Wikipedia:

    There has been no ground-breaking on new nuclear plants in the United States since 1974. Up until 2013, there had also been no ground-breaking on new nuclear reactors at existing power plants since 1977. Then in 2012, the NRC approved construction of four new reactors at existing nuclear plants. Construction of the Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station Units 2 and 3 began on March 9, 2013. A few days later, on March 12, construction began on the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant Units 3 and 4. In addition, TVA’s new reactor at the Watts Bar Nuclear Generating Station is at an advanced stage, after construction was resumed after being halted in 1988.[5]

  75. says

    “Not that I expect that you will actually absorb a fact and admit you were wrong,”

    sez Lancifurious, totally ignoring that the FACT of no nuclear power plants being built in the U.S. since the late 70’s is due to the invisible hand of the markets far more than the protests.

    You certainly don’t need to take my word for it, but you might want to take this guy’s word for it:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2012/03/29/exelons-nuclear-guy-no-new-nukes/

    The NRC wants to help, they’ve revamped the rules (1992) and apparently the WH is willing, as well. Then again, the NEWEST plant out there, Seabrook Station in NH just had an unexpected trip this afternoon:

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/new-hampshire/2014/04/01/unexpected-reactor-shutdown-nuclear-plant/os37dw0bu32alniUVXmxcK/story.html

    Whoopsie!

    But, it’s all good, that’s prolly the first one that they’ve ever had…

    Apparently not.

    “The plant had the fewest number of safety violations in the Northeast from 2000 to 2012 among facilities with only one reactor, according to a report by the federal Government Accountability Office.”

    YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!! Go Team Nuke.

    Oh, wait, there’s a little more:

    “The GAO reported that the plant, which is owned by NextEra Energy, had three higher-level violations and 85 lower-level violations over the 12 years. Seabrook was granted a 40-year license to operate in 1990.”

    So what, every business prolly has 7 or 8 violations–on average–every year. Then again, not EVERY company makes mistakes that might adversely affect around 4 million people up to 50 miles away from their plant.

  76. lancifer says

    Colnago 80,

    How does the claimt (sic) that no Nuclear power plants have been built in the US since 1977 in any way, shape, form, or regard conflict with democommie’s claim that there are a hundred such plants currently operating here?

    There are 6,997 operational power plants in the United States. Stating that 100 are nuclear was democommies weak response to my statement that the nuclear industry had been “destroyed” in the US.

    Having ZERO nuclear plants built in the last 40 years demonstrates the fact that nuclear energy is effectively dead in the US. The few proposed or started are on existing nuclear plant sites.

  77. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @lancifer

    You now know why I don’t bother discussing anything with democommie.

    Indeed.

    While I don’t agree with you about the dangers of CO2 there are other negatives to coal use, namely the amount of coal ash and other by products of coal burning. Also, while coal has a much higher energy density than wind or solar it is orders of magnitude behind the energy density of nuclear fission.

    Energy density is a fun metric to mention as a parlor trick or a random trivia. What is important is the cost of the power plant and obtaining the fuel, which I admit is related to the energy density, but the energy density doesn’t tell the whole story.

    You are also right that there are many reasons to still favor nuclear even if you’re a climate change denier, such as: Better safety. Better for the environment. We can avoid peak oil (whenever it happens, which seems to be at most a century or so away at best). National security via energy security. Economically and physically feasible as opposed to solar and wind.

    @democommie

    The fossil fuel business has a horrible safety record and makes many $B’s a year by cutting corners, lying to regulators and fucking their customers whenever possible.

    I thought we were talking about nuclear power. Or are you saying that all nuclear power players are also fossil fuel players? I am dubious of that fact, but I have not looked into it.

    Regardless, you’re going to attack the technology because of the business practices of some associated companies? That is fucking stupid. Furthermore, you think any other industry is better? You think that solar and wind manufacturers are magically better when it comes to safety? Oh that’s right – you’re still under the mistaken apprehension that nuclear is more dangerous than solar and wind. You are making pretend. You are doing make-believe. In the real world, nuclear is safer, as demonstrated by the numbers, including as demonstrated by the worst case scenarios happening and not being that bad.

    You also reference how the Japanese government says it’s not safe to return. That’s because of asshats like you who refuse to listen to the scientists. It is safe to return now, but the radical environmentalists have demonized radiation and all things nuclear so that we can no longer have a reasonable conversation.

    Let’s look at the realtime data.
    http://atmc.jp/
    Skimming this, the worst at te moment seems to be .87 micro Sv/hr, or about 7.6 mSv / year. There are no confirmed health risks at or below 100 mSv / year, although maybe we want to play it safer and go with 20 mSv / year. Keep in mind that the background radiation rate for people living in Denver is about 12 mSv / year, and people living in Denver do not have higher rates of cancer than other people in the US. It seems that Fukushima is already below Denver’s level, at least at this particular moment of this particular day, according to the real-time sensors.

    I have no doubt that there are areas which higher much higher radiation rates. However, even those areas have quite small dose rates comparatively speaking to what we know are safe levels.

    As I said, I still would be careful of bioaccumulation, so drinking water and produce from the land are suspect, but living there seems to not be a problem. Almost all of the area seems quite safe to inhabit now. Unless you think Denver is scary.

  78. says

    “There are 6,997 operational power plants in the United States. Stating that 100 are nuclear was democommies weak response to my statement that the nuclear industry had been “destroyed” in the US.”

    I’d just say that you’re full of shit, based on the obvious fact that 100 operating nukes, employing many thousands of people is not evidence of an industry that has been destroyed. But, these guys say it a lot better:

    http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Country-Profiles/Countries-T-Z/USA–Nuclear-Power/

    “I thought we were talking about nuclear power. Or are you saying that all nuclear power players are also fossil fuel players? I am dubious of that fact, but I have not looked into it.”

    Then you weren’t paying attention, shit-for-brains.

    Let’s see, back in comment 58 on 3/28:

    “How about nuclear, coal and gas kill less than hydro, solar and wind? How does that one wind up? I’m not blaming just the idiots who run nuke plants. Exxon, BP, Duke Energy and the rest of them are culpable as well.”

    I’m pretty definite that does not indicate that I think that nukes are owned by the fossil fuel guys (hard to tell who owns them with the consolidations that have gone on). So, nice try at moving the goalposts, asshole.

    “Regardless, you’re going to attack the technology because of the business practices of some associated companies?”

    When those associate companies are the ones utilizing the technology, lying about its dangers and lying about the extent of the damage that they’ve been responsible for? Fucking A, pal, I sure do attack the technology THAT they’re using.”

    “That is fucking stupid. Furthermore, you think any other industry is better? You think that solar and wind manufacturers are magically better when it comes to safety?”

    You keep yammering on about Solar and wind manufacturers being as or more dangerous than nuclear power. If every fucking windmill in the U.S. stopped working tomorrow it would cause exactly what? Do they melt down? Do they spew radioactivity out of their cores? Do Solar arrays blow up?

    Your a fucking jerkoff and obviously delusional.

    Try reading the report from the Japanese Diet, re: Fukushima. They do not share your sanguine assessment of the radiation situation.

    There’s also the matter of a $30B and climbing bill for clean-up and decontamination. Who do you suppose should pay for that? It surer than fuck won’t all be coming out of TEPCO’s pockets, they don’t have the money:

    https://ca.news.yahoo.com/japanese-government-bear-more-fukushima-cleanup-costs-tepco-054801075–finance.html?.tsrc=rawnews

    WTF, what do I expect, really, from someone who replies to a comment by caseloweraz:

    “Taking your comment at face value, one would believe nuclear was the safest thing since sliced bread — or maybe even safer.”

    By blithely asserting:

    “Because it is.”

    If you truly believe this, you’re a fucking moron. I’m inclined, though, to believe that you’re either being paid by somebody or you just like being a fucking troll.

    You can keep pilin’ on the bullshit, son, but it’s never gonna be anything but bullshit, and you’ll always be a fucking liar.

    I’m serious about suggesting that you and Lancifuriious start your very own AGW denying, nukelovers blog. Or are you NOT an AGW denialist–that could cause a serious split before you two even go on your honeymoon. Lancie is very definitely a AGW denialist, so maybe you need to rethink ordering that blogging partners’ desk.

  79. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @democommie
    Pithy replies:

    There has not been new nuclear construction in the US since 1974. Nuclear in the US is dying, arguably dead. Sorry if it’s not as dead as you would like, but clearly it has lost.

    I understand you want to lump nuclear and fossil fuels into the same bucket. I’m objecting to that. Knock it off. I’m defending nuclear, not fossil fuels.

    The companies have not lied about the extent of risk of nuclear. Instead, people like you have lied about the extent of nuclear, which causes the outrageous cleanup fees that you have cited. For example, there are beaches in common use which are far more radioactive (probably) than the cleanup sites you cite.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guarapari

    It [Guarapari] is a well-known tourist destination, known for its curving white sand beaches backed by commercial development.

    Guarapari has an extremely high level of background radiation, some 175 mSv per year[.]

    Pespective is needed, not pseudoscience fearmongering.

    Yes wind and solar do not have big accidents. However, they still kill people. People still die from the airborn pollution released, from work accidents, from mining, and so on. I don’t care if it’s a single big accident vs a bunch of small accidents. I’m going to go by the numbers, not by what makes a good newspaper story. Again, all you have is fearmongering instead of an impassionate analysis of the facts.

    Note that I have taken lancifer to task already for being a climate change denier. Please do not strawman – please do not blatantly lie in order to pretend to have refuted my position. Furthermore, this particular strawman is basically a non-sequitur, an ad hominem, because my position on whether climate change is real (it is) is unrelated to many of the technical merits of nuclear.

    I have looked at the possible options, and nuclear is the only option to maintain our western standard of living and to combat climate change. I am such a staunch defender of nuclear because I do believe that climate change is a problem.

  80. says

    “There has not been new nuclear construction in the US since 1974. Nuclear in the US is dying, arguably dead. Sorry if it’s not as dead as you would like, but clearly it has lost. ”

    Relly? Well, okay, then why do lying motherfuckers like you keep pushing for it? Dishonest pieces of shit like you say that it’s PROVEN TO BE safer than sliced bread and that it’s just crazy anti-nukers that KILLED it? Do you not see how fucking stupid that premise is? If all it took to shut down the nukes were people like me they WOULD be out of business.

    You’re a lying sack of shit and a fucking tool.

  81. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @democommie

    Well, okay, then why do lying motherfuckers like you keep pushing for it?

    Generally, in a discussion over public policy, the debate is not over what is going to happen. Instead, the debate is over what we want to happen. In a public policy debate, generally both sides are allowed a little fiat power. In other words, both sides are allowed to postulate some hypothetical degree of influence, e.g. “Wouldn’t it be nice if we did ?”. I fail to see how it’s dishonest to simultaneously state that 1- nuclear in the US is dying, and 2- I would like to see it make a comeback.

    Dishonest pieces of shit like you say that it’s PROVEN TO BE safer than sliced bread and that it’s just crazy anti-nukers that KILLED it?

    I have no doubt that more people have choked to death on sliced bread than have died from radiation related illnesses from commercial power plants.

    Do you not see how fucking stupid that premise is?

    I fail to see how it’s stupid to rationally conclude that many of the problems of nuclear power are overblown. I fail to see how it’s stupid to rationally conclude that many of the purported money costs of nuclear power and the money costs of cleanup are vastly inflated over realistic values because of fearmongering people like yourself who think that all of the people of Denver should evacuate because the background radiation rate is 8 times higher than the normal background rate of Japan. Similarly, cleanup costs are vastly inflated when we’re spending millions cleaning up contaminated soil which is less radiative than a banana. We really need to put this in perspective.

    If all it took to shut down the nukes were people like me they WOULD be out of business.

    Thankfully, dishonest lying crazy science-denying rabid-anti-nuclear fucks like yourself are in the minority, and thankfully sane people like me have been making effective resistance.

    You’re a lying sack of shit and a fucking tool.

    I fail to see how I’ve been dishonest. I’ve cited sources, or relied upon common knowledge. If you could point out where you think I’ve been dishonest, we can try to have a conversation around it.

  82. says

    Endarkled douchebag:

    Here’s the thing, darling, you’ve commented on this thread–a lot–and been completely full of shit, generally. Your “citations” and “common knowledge” are both pretty pathetic.

    But what really singles you out as a fucking troll is that you’ve been busy here and have, as near as I can tell, left exactly one comment on the thirty or more posts that have gone up since this one.

    You’re busted asshole.

  83. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    What? I have to comment equally on threads instead of the ones which interest me? That’s stupid. I am no shill… unless they’re paying me a lot of money to develop a credible backstory by being active on FTB for many months, maybe a year. I’d have to check. Regardless, stupid.

    Your “citations” and “common knowledge” are both pretty pathetic.

    Got anything besides crybaby whining? It’s not my fault that reality has a bias against your position. I’m the one taking time to research facts, from all sides, sift through the evidence, identify possible biases, and sort truth from fiction.

    You on the other hand have done about zero of that as far as I can tell, and instead have been spoon-fed this tree hugging hippy bullshit that nuclear is dangerous and wind and solar are gravy.

    When even Green Peace publishes a paper supporting my position on the track record of deaths from nuclear, it’s time to start reconsidering your position. Sliced bread kills more people than nuclear power. Srsly.

  84. dingojack says

    “Yes wind and solar do not have big accidents. However, they still kill people. People still die from the airborn pollution released, from work accidents, from mining, and so on. I don’t care if it’s a single big accident vs a bunch of small accidents. I’m going to go by the numbers, not by what makes a good newspaper story. Again, all you have is fearmongering instead of an impassionate analysis of the facts. ”

    Did you ever discover where all the concrete that makes up the shell of reactors comes from? Or is it still ‘majiked’ into position?

    Dingo

  85. says

    “What? I have to comment equally on threads instead of the ones which interest me?”

    No, troll, you don’t.

    It actually doesn’t make it impossible to know that you’re a troll, even if you do occasionally comment in another thread. It just makes it easier.

    Comments like this one:

    “When even Green Peace publishes a paper supporting my position on the track record of deaths from nuclear, it’s time to start reconsidering your position. Sliced bread kills more people than nuclear power. Srsly.”

    make me wonder if you’re even reading the shit that you’re linking to.

    This:

    “So the recipe for cooking up false conclusions about nuclear safety is as easy as this:

    1) Take your data from one single institute in all publications (there is a lot of referring in circles but finally it all ends up with the Paul Scherer Institute);

    2) Ensure sure you find a methodology that allows you to exclude the worst nuclear disaster in the history from your statistics (such as talking about OECD only); and

    3) Use double standards in comparing technologies (theoretical modeling for nuclear versus historical record for other technologies).

    While if plotted properly, you will find out that nuclear energy probably still presents the largest risk to lives of the known energy technologies.”

    comes from, wait for it….:

    http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/nuclear-reaction/deaths-and-energy-technologies/blog/34275/

    Or maybe you actually KNEW that and just figured that commenters at this blog were as incurious as the dolts who you usually hang with.

    You seem to think that I and others here are oblivious to the destruction done to the environment and the cost, in lives ruined and lost, of fossil fuel and other technologies used to produce electrical power. We’re not, dumbfuck.

    The arguments about whether conventional v alternate technologies should be used to produce electricity has been going on for years and there is more data out there than anyone could hope to read through–if that was all the reading they did–for quite a few years. “Sunk cost” has been a big favorite of the anti-alternate energy crowd for the last several years–I’m a bit surprised that you haven’t used that one (that it’s bullshit, not withstanding). In any case, the current ongoing cleanup of the Fukushima–and they will NEVER manage to find or contain the stuff that went into the water table–stands at $30B+– a cost that will be borne by the Japanese government (hello, Mr. Taxpayer) or the company’s customers. The people who created the disaster have not been prosecuted (and likely won’t be) TEPCO has demonstrated that they are either incapable of, or unconcerned about, taking the necessary steps to safeguard the public. TEPCO is not the only company in the energy business with a record of deceit, obfuscation and collusion-they’re likely not the worst, either.

    Yet you still choose to portray nuclear fueled electrical power generation as being safer than sliced bread. I can’t whether you’re a pathological liar or just a fucking moron, I’ll settle on your being both.

    That alternative power generation is expensive to build and maintain is undeniable. But when most alternative power plants stop working or even suffer serious damage, the impact on the environment does not cost billions to remediate–a fact that you conveniently ignore.

    You have chosen (a deliberate action) to ignore data that doesn’t support your position, that’s what shills/trolls do. You have moved the goal posts more times than Zsa Zsa’s been married–troll hallmarks, both of those.

    You “argue” in bad faith. Fuck off, troll.

  86. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @dingojack
    What about the concrete? Have I anywhere said that nuclear kills exactly 0 people? No. Have I said anywhere that nuclear power releases 0 CO2? No. What’s your point?

    @democommie
    How the hell can you read the Green Peace article to say that nuclear is dangerous?
    Quoting the article:

    So the more proper illustration comparing health and death impacts of energy sources – that is if we skip accidents such as Chernobyl and only talk about standard operation – would rather look like this (grey and black squares representing the range): [insert pictorial representation that shows that wind, solar, and nuclear are comparable in deaths per watt-hour.]

    What the hell is wrong with your reading comprehension? Are you looking at the first graph only? Did you even bother to read the axes and see what units its in? Did you do your integration to determine total deaths per watt-hour? Otherwise what the hell are you talking about? Again, don’t tell me that you’re looking only at the first graph and only at Chernobyl, because that is flagrantly dishonest. You cannot look at just one accident while ignoring the rest of the history. That is cherry picking dishonesty.

    You “argue” in bad faith. Fuck off, troll.

    WTF. Come back to me when you can learn how to read.

  87. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Wait, even worse, that’s not a frequency distribution graph. It’s a cumulative frequency distribution graph. You can’t even eyeball the area under the curves to get deaths per watt-hour as I wrongly alluded to earlier.

  88. colnago80 says

    Re democommie @ #91

    Let’s be fair about this, the people who designed the Fukushima reactors are entirely innocent of blame for the disaster. The real culprits are the people who designed the dams to prevent a tsunami from shorting out the diesel backup systems required to safely shut down the reactors, which design assumed a worst case 15 foot tidal surge when a 30 foot tidal surge was what transpired. Had they designed for a 30 foot worst case tidal surge, the reactors would have been back on line a long time ago as they came through the earthquake itself in fine shape.

  89. dingojack says

    The point is, as mentioned earlier (and several times), that externalities are a big factor in one group (those regarded unfavourably) but are completely ignored in the other group (regarded favourably) == and why is that so exactly? Hmmmm?
    Dingo

  90. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Also, you can’t eyeball area under the graph because it’s a log-log plot. Hell, I’ve forgotten too much of my calc to do this off the top of my head. I’m bad.

    The more I look at that graph, the more confusing it becomes. The units are not per watt-hour. Instead, it’s per watt / hour. The hell does that even mean? I’ll have to check the link. Is that nameplate capacity or real averaged capacity? I don’t know what else it could mean. I bet Green Peace cheated and used a study that used nameplate capacity, making it dishonest in that way.

    Of course, Green Peace is taking a single incident, Chernobyl, and saying that’s indicative of all nuclear. Talk about dishonest. It’s cherry picking a single accident. That would be like me saying hydro is dangerous by focusing on a dam which burst and killed the most people, and then saying that is indicative of all hydro dams.

    Again, I used the Green Peace link for the last pictorial comparison, because that is actually useful for our purposes. Those first graphs, because of wonky units (watt / hour), log-log, and other issues, make the first two graphs basically useless for our discussion. What matters is deaths per watt-hour.

  91. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @dingojack
    Could you be more specific please. What comparisons am I making which are using double standards? As far as I know based on the studies I’ve seen, some linked, nuclear is by far safer than coal and gas. It’s comparatively safe to wind and solar. Again, going by deaths per watt-hour.

    For non-CO2 pollution (which is part of above), again nuclear easily wins against coal and gas. Remember that coal releases into the air more radioactivity than a nuke plant keeps contained per watt-hour. And because the radiation in nuke plants is contained, we’re golden. Newer designs or processing of old waste can get that waste down to 300 years until it’s comparable to uranium ore, which we could just shove back down into the ground where we found it. The uranium ore was already there, and the stuff after 300 years is no worse.

    For CO2, the story is again the same. Nuclear easily wins against coal and gas, and is comparable to wind and solar.

    Finally, solar and wind cannot provide reliable on-demand power, and that is why they are not contenders in this discussion. The above analysis was based on cost per average watt-hour, which is a useless metric. What we need to compare is per reliable watt-hour, and solar and wind utterly fail here. The storage technologies at scale within a reasonable price range simply do not exist yet.

  92. says

    “Let’s be fair about this, the people who designed the Fukushima reactors are entirely innocent of blame for the disaster. ”

    I think the Japanese investigators disagree with you:

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-07-05/fukushima-nuclear-disaster-was-man-made-investigation-rules

    It is a matter of conjecture (and not an issue that will likely be resolved anytime soon) whether the Daiichi reactor was damaged by the earthquake, prior to being flooded. Somewhere in the reading I’ve done is a statement to the effect that plant design included generators that were underground and consequently flooded immediately by the tsunami, thus not available to make power.

    This:

    http://www.japancrush.com/2013/stories/tepco-admits-fukushima-fuel-rods-damaged-prior-to-earthquake.html

    is exactly why I mistrust nuclear power companies.

    I have to open another comment to put in another link.

  93. says

    further to colnago80;

    This link:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/14/japan-fukushima-removal-idUSL4N0IZ0TR20131114

    is to an article from Reuters who reported on it last November. It appears, at least to me, that these people are completely untrustworthy.

    As for plant design. I don’t know how they assign design tasks, who has the final say on the whole design or any of that. I’m gonna guess that the ultimate authority in that situation is the plant’s owners and the regulators so I assign the blame to them.

  94. says

    I’m gonna put this in, one more time, dumbfuck:

    ““So the recipe for cooking up false conclusions about nuclear safety is as easy as this:

    1) Take your data from one single institute in all publications (there is a lot of referring in circles but finally it all ends up with the Paul Scherer Institute);

    2) Ensure sure you find a methodology that allows you to exclude the worst nuclear disaster in the history from your statistics (such as talking about OECD only); and

    3) Use double standards in comparing technologies (theoretical modeling for nuclear versus historical record for other technologies).

    While if plotted properly, you will find out that nuclear energy probably still presents the largest risk to lives of the known energy technologies.”

    comes from, wait for it….:

    http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/nuclear-reaction/deaths-and-energy-technologies/blog/34275/

    The above says that the author/s think that the case for nuclear power being “safe” is the result of cookin’ the books. They don’t AGREE with you, you fucking moron.

    I’m just glad we’re not in the same room, you arrogant fucking asshole.

  95. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Oh, I see now. Thanks.

    However …

    I was focusing on the numbers and graphs, and actually quantitative data. You know, the stuff we can pin down and argue about because it’s precise and meaningful.

    You’re focusing on the fluff, on the stuff that is decidedly not quantitative, that is impossible to argue over. That quote has no sources.

    It seems the worst they could do short of including Chernobyl was the last graph / pictorial, which shows nuclear is comparatively safe to wind and solar.

    Again, I see your quote, but it’s not born out by the numbers that they themselves cite. It’s kind of sad, really.

    But back to the major point: I don’t know what sources are going to set off your bullshit “shill-detector”. If you want, I can just start dumping reports here.

    It’s trivially true that nuclear is magnitudes safer than coal and gas.

    It’s also very probably true that more people have died choking on sliced bread in the last 60 years than have died from radiation poisoning from nuclear power plants – even including Chernobyl. Even assuming LNT – which is bullshit – we’re talking around 5000 deaths total from radiation poisoning from nuclear power. Do you think that in over 60 years, less people have died from choking on sliced bread the world over? Honestly, seems like a tossup to me. I’d be greatly surprised if it was less than 5000 people.

  96. colnago80 says

    Re democommie @ #98

    This issue was discussed by an astrophysicist on Sean Carroll’s blog a couple of years ago. As I understand it, the fuel rods were damaged due to overheating because the diesel backup units that are required to continue the production of electricity in order to shut down the reactors slowly were shorted out by the surge caused by the tsunami. I don’t have a link immediately handy and I don’t remember the fellow’s name; he is one of Carroll’s co-bloggers at his web site (the astrophysicist Carroll, not the biologist Carroll; there are several such co-bloggers, including Carroll’s wife). The implication of the blog post was that, if the diesel powered backup generators had not been shorted out, the nuclear reactors would have gone through their power down cycle and would have emerged virtually undamaged. Not being an expert on the construction and operation of nuclear power plants, I can’t make any judgement on the accuracy of the blog post in question.

  97. says

    “Oh, I see now. Thanks.

    However …

    I was focusing on the numbers and graphs, and actually quantitative data. You know, the stuff we can pin down and argue about because it’s precise and meaningful.”

    You’re not only a fucking liar, you’re a clumsy fucking liar.

    “You’re focusing on the fluff, on the stuff that is decidedly not quantitative, that is impossible to argue over. That quote has no sources.’

    You made the fact that the link was to Greenpeace a big deal. You have no rebuttal for their conclusion. You want ME to do YOUR fucking work.

    Go fuck yourself, you lying sack of shit.

  98. says

    @102:

    I googled it a bit, no luck in locating anything at Dr. Carrol’s blog.

    My point was not specifically about the mechanics of the damage that was done, but the fact that it was done something like 32 years ago and up until the time of their pending removal TEPCO had not informed anyone of the accident. If I’m wrong about that I’ll be happy to retract that assertion.

    TEPCO, like the people who run nuclear power plants everywhere (in my limited experience), have a consistently shitty record for both running safe plants and announcing “incidents” that compromise plant and public safety.

    In just one area, the siting of nuclear power plants, it’s been pretty well documented that nukes are put where the power companies want to put them, the public be damned.

    “Five fault lines are found near the Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 nuclear power plants.”

    is from here:

    http://www.tokyotimes.com/2011/Utilities-research-finds-14-fault-lines-near-Japan-s-nuclear-plants/

    Nuclear power generation is touted by its boosters as “cheap and safe”, it’s increasingly apparent that it is neither.

  99. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @democommie
    Seriously man. You are so dogmatic in your claim, but so hard to pin down because you never go into relevant statistics.

    You need to put this in perspective.

    How many people do you think have died from radiation poisoning from nuclear power plants in the history of mankind? Less than 10,000, easy. 7.8 × 10^16 Wh
    http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2013/ph240/bechstein1/
    Taken together, that’s 1.3 * 10^-13 deaths per Wh for radiation poisoning from nuclear power over the history of nuclear power. With about say 8 * 10^15 Wh nuclear power produced in a year (asspull estimate), we get to an average of 100 deaths per year from radiation poisoning from nuclear power averaged out over the whole history of nuclear.

    How many people die each year from sliced bread? From what I can tell online, maybe 3000 choking deaths per year (US only??), and about 2% is for bread, making for about 60 deaths per year from sliced bread.

    If you throw out Chernobyl, which was basically built to explode, then easily more people die per year from sliced bread than radiation from nuclear power plants. This is perspective.

    100 deaths per year worldwide. Why are we wasting so much time arguing when it’s such a small number? You have to so miserably misinformed – like democommie here – to lack this perspective.

    Can you agree with these numbers? Why is nuclear so bad? I’m going off the actual history of nuclear, including even Chernobyl here. If I can remove Chernobyl, the deaths easily go down to 20 per year averaged, or less. Why are we letting our irrational fear of nuclear stopping us from getting an electricity source which will
    – never run out (to the same extent that the sun will never run out),
    – produces very very little air pollution compared to coal and gas,
    – be the critical ingredient to ending climate change by drastically cutting CO2
    – improve our national security by removing the need to get oil
    – also thereby cutting down on foreign wars, foreign deaths,
    – thereby improving our safety and international relations,

    Again, the only thing standing in the way is the irrational fear of democommie and people like him who spend their time filing frivolous lawsuits jacking up construction times and construction costs, cleanup costs, and so on. It’s exactly as anti-scientific and fear-based as the anti-vaccer movement. Arguably this is the most important public policy decision we need to make in order to make the world a better place. Cheap, safe, non-polluting, war-free, dependable, secure electricity production is the first step in raising standards of living, world peace, and more.

  100. says

    @ dickwad (comment 107, for the impaired commenter @107);

    Tell ya what, fuckface. YOU take the time to do something besides pull numbers out of your ass and make shit up, then I’ll worry about “persepective”.

    “If you throw out Chernobyl, which was basically built to explode, then easily more people die per year from sliced bread than radiation from nuclear power plants. This is perspective.”

    No, you stupid motherfucker, it’s what’s called cherry picking the statistics. You also don’t want to add in Fukushima because of the earthquake and tsunami. You want everyone to ignore the enormous cost to mitigate the radiation levels in the Fukushima area? You assert that more people died BECAUSE they were evacuated than would have died had they remained in the affected area with no evidence beyond a survey in a Japanese newspaper saying that a number of people have died, since the evacuation took place.

    You keep pretending that I lump ALL energy producing technologies EXCEPT nuclear into one group–despite my having made it very clear, early on, that both nuclear and fossil fuel electric power production are neither cheap nor safe technologies. You could not possibly think that unless you’re more brain dead than Terry Schaivo. Why don’t you give Doc Frist a call and see if he do a remote diagnosis.

    You’re a fucking asshole and a troll.

    @dingojack:

    Can I make a deal with you for one or the other of us to come check on this lying fuckbag’s spew, every day or two?

  101. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    At worst 100 deaths per year from radiation poisoning from nuclear power, amortized over the history of nuclear power, including Chernobyl. Do you dispute this? Ballparking about 40 people per year who choke to death on sliced bread. Do you dispute this?

    You’re the asshole because you are utterly unreachable. You will throw out any and every piece of evidence that I can possibly find. You have a preconceived conclusion which is unshakeable. Your conclusions are not rationally based, and you are not behaving rationally.

  102. colnago80 says

    Re democommie @ #108

    Contrast what happened at Fukushima with what happened at the North Anna nuclear power plant in West Central Virginia. A couple of years ago, there was a 5.8 earthquake on a fault that is not too far from those plants. They when through a shutdown procedure via the diesel backup units and were inspected. They were back in operation about a month later. I was in my basement in Falls Church working on a bicycle and was nearly knocked to the floor by the quake which shook the whole house.

    It should be pointed out that, due to the subsurface in the Eastern US being much stiffer then the subsurface in the Western US, that 5.8 caused damage to the Washington Monument and the National Cathedral in DC more then a hundred miles distant. It was felt in New York City and as far north as Boston. That would be equivalent to a 5.8 in San Francisco being felt in Los Angeles. Never happened.

  103. says

    @110:

    I’m not following you. Are you saying that the plant in VA is safer or that U.S. plants are, on average, safer than other countries’ plants? I did google North Anna and it appears that the management there is as adept at avoiding the facts and lying to regulators as other plant operators:

    “During the construction of original nuclear reactors at North Anna, the utility learned of the existence of fault lines within the construction site of the proposed plants from its outside independent engineering firm, Stone & Webster, who had been hired by the utility to access the proposed nuclear plant locations. The utility was fined $32,000.00 by the government for concealing this information.[13]” (wiki).

    It appears that they also have some problems with damaged fuel storage, but not to worry, they assure the NRC it’s no problem.

    After reading a little bit about them I visited a few places that talk about San Onofre and Diablo Canyon (looking to find the information about the tectonic features you had mentioned. Holy.Fuck. It does not bode well for the San Diego area if anything like a major shake hits.

  104. says

    @109:

    Go Fuck Yourself.

    You keep pleading some sort of specialness for nuclear power. It’s not safe. It’s not cheap. The people who are in charge of generating nuclear power are not honest. You’re a fucking troll. I think that pretty much covers it.

    You want to quit coming here, I’ll quit treating you like the piece of shit liar that you are. If you don’t like that, wear your asbestos suit, asshole.

  105. lancifer says

    Enlightenment Liberal,

    You are a glutton for punishment. You are more likely to convince Pat Robertson that there is no God than to move DemoDumbass off of any of his deeply entrenched politically based opinions.

    The man’s brain is as ossified as the skull of a Mastodon.

    Why are you still trying?

  106. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @democommie
    I’ve explained what it would take to convince me that I’m wrong. Any sort of reliable evidence analysis whatsoever that more people die per watt-hour than alternative energy sources. Every time I look for such things, I never find it, and always find that nuclear is stupidly safe.

    It seems that you’re willing to believe Green Peace when they say in an article that nuclear is dangerous, even though their cited numbers explicitly show that nuclear is comparatively safe to wind and solar.

    I am open to having my mind changed. I am willing to look at the truth. It seems that you are dogmatically opposed to nuclear, and unwilling to change your mind. I ask again, what would it take to convince you that you are wrong?

    @lancifer
    Indeed.

  107. says

    “I’ve explained what it would take to convince me that I’m wrong.”

    Guess what, fuckface? I don’t have any desire–none, zero, bupkus, nada, zilch–to convince you or Lancifurious about anything to do with the economics, efficacy or safety of electrical power generation using EITHER nuclear OR fossil fuel.

    There is a sufficiency, a surfeit, a fucking plethora of evidence re: the safety of both nuclear and fossil fuel mining/extraction, transport, use and storage/sequestration of waste products.

    There are shuttered nuclear plants, on sites that will not be safe to use for anything that humans, mammals and most other life forms generally do such as live, hunt, forage or farm–for hundreds to thousands of years into the future. Some of them were closed because they’re deemed economically unviable by their owners, others because the NRC, as hard as it tries to give the nuclear industry a pass, simply cannot do so in cases where the number of incidents, the lack of care and oversight by owners/operators and the public outcry of those who are most affected and will not be ignored.

    Oil well and pipeline blowouts, spills by tankers, poisoned water supplies and other environmental degradation and depredation by those who make $B’s in short term profits while spewing pollution with no regard–beyond possible “marketing downside effects”–for the lives or property of those who are affected by that pollution.

    Millions of pages of litigation documents and the findings of investigating agencies into the doings of people like Kerr-McGee, Constellation Energy, Entergy among nuclear power companies. Environmental disasters as a result of cost-cutting and incorrect risk/benefit assessment by BP and ExxonMobil to name but two of the major oil companies.

    Explain all of that, moron.

    I have a desire, each and every time you waste space here, to tell you to go fuck your self; a desire which seems to comport with your desire to be verbally abused. You don’t need me for that, there are operators at various “900” numbers waiting to take your call.

    As a primer, I might suggest this (you’ll want to skip up to about the 00:40 mark in the video–although the addie for “A Million Ways To Die In The West” is a fun couplea minutes:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQFKtI6gn9Y

    Go fuck yourself, or just go, I don’t care which of the two you do.

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