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Monday, January 25, 2016

Commentary at the NRC Nails The "Transformer Issue" and the Lie of "Cold and Dark Hippies"

The NRC has a blog in which they try to "engage" the public.   They do answer questions fairly rapidly, and their censorship is within reasonable levels, depending on who is doing the review, there are a few that are too draconian, which hurts their effort to "engage".

A pronuke blog participant had this to say and my response is below his comment

Jim Bowlby January 24, 2016 at 6:11 pm
What a great idea! Let’s shutdown the one source that currently provides 60% of our clean energy 24/7 and replace it with let me guess…windmills and solar panels because this is free energy and the wind always blows and the sun always shines.

And next we can get rid of those nasty fossil plants that burn coal, oil and gas and contribute to global warming and kill people with their emissions. Those old hydro dams that we built back during the Great Depression need to be decommissioned before they fall apart and hurt someone.
Once they are gone the rivers can be restored to their natural beauty and the salmon can run free.

We can all heat our homes with wood because wood smoke is natural and wood is a renewable energy source. Let’s outlaw the combustible engine and make sure that everyone drives electric cars. We can charge them up at home with our very own windmills and solar panels for free.

Now the only thing we’ll have to worry about is if the lights will come on when we flip the switch.

Sir, respectfully, it is hard to say with a straight face that nuclear is "clean".     Just ask the monkeys in Japan that just last week had their feces measured at 150,000 Bq/kG, vast majority Cesium with the 137/134 ratio clearly indicating Fukushima origins.   

Also, all nuclear plants emit radiation as a normal part of their operations, some are so dirty they are hundreds of times higher in leakage than others.

The salmon population has been pretty much wiped out via Fukushima and its radiation and mutated planktons and viruses that are working over the whole Pacific right now.    So we can pretty much write them off already.    Sorry, but in the balance between wildlife and human life, I think that we need as much hydro as we can do.  

I do like heating my home with wood, its extremely renewable, and the newly planted trees are a great way to use up the good supply of plant food in the air, we call that CO2.   That said, the opposite side of your argument can only imply that you would recommend heating with electricity, which only makes sense in the mildest of climates, although a case can be made for heat pumps in moderate climates.   But making that electricity with nuclear, where each plant produces about the equivalent radiation of 3 nuclear bombs, PER DAY, makes little sense compared to solar PV which has come of age, has beat grid parity almost everywhere and once purchased, your "rate per kWH" stays the same for it's 30 to 40 year life.   Whereas in the classic utility model, the rates go up at 3% to 6% per year, except in place like Vogtle with a nuke plant costing $18 Billion, and the cost of project financing they need to extract $65 Billion from the ratepayers over time to have the project "make sense", that will double or triple their rates almost immediately,.

The combustion engine will certainly not be outlawed, and will likely fade away, but never go away, as EV's make further market penetration via technology and cost/economies of scale.    EV's are also an important part of a primarily solar PV fed grid since these EV's that are plugged in 94% of the time, can solve a calculated 58% of all of the "storage" needs that PV will require and they can solve that problem with nothing more than a smart charger.   And by the way, you can take my 275 HP 1966 Mustang right about the same time you come and take my guns, it ain't gonna happen.

So yes we can charge up our own EVs with electricity we make on our own roofs, and this highly distributed generation will make America stronger and more robust, and less subject to terror attack.

Finally, I was disappointed that at the end you choose to play one of the stalest lies of the nuclear generations, which simply stated is: If you don't have nuclear you are going to be in the cold and dark (you can throw also 'dirty hippies' if you like also).    Sorry, we ain't buying it and we collectively are not that dumb to build another dysfunctional system, my own PV system actually allows me to use MORE electricity, it is after all a valuable product that enhances human life.   Solar PV lets you maximize those benefits.  

stock January 22, 2016 at 1:18 pm
What actions have been taken for those primary substations / transformers shorting out during storms?
NRC January 22, 2016 at 2:11 pm
One action taken is to ensure any debris that could become airborne during a storm and result in switchyard electrical shorts are addressed prior to the arrival of severe weather. Another is close monitoring of equipment performance during the storm. Transformer failures generally do not occur as a result of storms.
Neil Sheehan
Region I Public Affairs Officer

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