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Wed Aug 1, 2012, 03:24 AM

Nuclear ‘hard to justify’, says GE chief

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/60189878-d982-11e1-8529-00144feab49a.html

July 30, 2012 6:00 am

Nuclear ‘hard to justify’, says GE chief

By Pilita Clark, Environment Correspondent

Nuclear power is so expensive compared with other forms of energy that it has become “really hard” to justify, according to the chief executive of General Electric, one of the world’s largest suppliers of atomic equipment.

“It’s really a gas and wind world today,” said Jeff Immelt, referring to two sources of electricity he said most countries are shifting towards as natural gas becomes “permanently cheap”.

“When I talk to the guys who run the oil companies they say look, they’re finding more gas all the time. It’s just hard to justify nuclear, really hard. Gas is so cheap and at some point, really, economics rule,” Mr Immelt told the Financial Times in an interview in London at the weekend. “So I think some combination of gas, and either wind or solar … that’s where we see most countries around the world going.”

<snip>

At the same time, a 75 per cent fall in solar panel market prices in the past three years has made solar power competitive with daytime retail electricity prices in some countries, according to a recent report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, while offshore wind turbine prices have steadily declined.

<snip>


This story is also at CNN http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/30/business/ge-chief-nuclear/index.html


16 replies, 2645 views

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 04:19 AM

1. With subsidies from the gubmint, it's a bargain! Too cheap to meter!

 

Never heard a Republic say that about solar... I wonder why.

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Response to DCKit (Reply #1)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 06:20 AM

2. They must have solar products in the pipeline! nt

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Response to Lucky Luciano (Reply #2)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 06:56 AM

6. Could be solar, wind and perhaps cold fusion energy

Lots of discussion going on about cold fusion like energy creation going on now days. Don't have time at the moment to point out specifics but this site covers all the developments very well:

http://www.e-catworld.com/

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 06:39 AM

3. Only way right now

http://www.ecolo.org/media/articles/articles.in.english/love-indep-24-05-04.htm
The new plants are safe. Nuclear is the most studied and regulated.The designs that the NRA has needs to be implemented. The others need more time and time is something we dont have. Something to think of oil has been trying to kill off nuclear for years. Reagan and Bush privatized our only source of processing that brought about USEC. USEC was created by the same people that brought you ENRON. Privatization is always failure. And before anyone hollers Clinton and Timbers. Reagan and Bush appointed Timbers and made sure he would be put in place.
Gas is cheaper at what cost Fracking. Pollution in water co2 and earthquakes.

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Response to BlueinOhio (Reply #3)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 06:49 AM

4. Enjoy your stay on DU. nt

 

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Response to DCKit (Reply #4)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 07:13 AM

7. Enjoy your stay nt

Reality bites.

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Response to BlueinOhio (Reply #3)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 06:50 AM

5. And cleaning up Fukushima will be quick, easy, and virtually cost free!



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Response to think (Reply #5)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 07:19 AM

8. Old plant

The new plants what happened at Fukushima would not have happened. That event was of epic proportions. Think of all the cost to remove the debris from the sea.that will be quick, easy and virually cost free also!

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Response to BlueinOhio (Reply #8)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 07:30 AM

9. Keep trying. I'm sure you can convince Germany not to end their nuclear program

with solid arguments like that. Nuclear fission is rapidly becoming history. Now if you want to discuss nuclear fusion we might find some common ground.


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Response to think (Reply #9)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 07:44 AM

10. Sorry

But it is the right way to go now. The others are nascent and defiantly not ready to replace coal and gas. Solar has its own issues with the materials its made out of and wind mills are inefficient take up space and kill migratory birds en-mass. People just respond emotionally and not through reason. Germany is its own problem.

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Response to BlueinOhio (Reply #10)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 10:30 AM

14. "safety is only possible in a society that doesn’t rely on nuclear power"

Fukushima Watch: Former PM Kan Sets Out Vision for Nuclear-Free Japan
By Eleanor Warnock

...“After March 11, it’s fair to say I changed my thinking 180 degrees,” he told reporters in Tokyo.

“When I saw that the country was in such a precarious situation, I thought, ‘What is a safe nuclear plant anyway?’ My conclusion was that safety is only possible in a society that doesn’t rely on nuclear power,” the 65-year-old former leader said.

...At what he said was his first formal press conference since resigning, Mr. Kan, wearing a short-sleeved shirt and no tie, maintained a serious demeanor — rarely smiling and pausing to think between his sentences.

...He said that his goal is to get parliament to pass a proposal — drafted by Mr. Kan and other lawmakers — to phase out nuclear power and increase Japan’s share of renewable energy from 10% in 2010 to 38% by 2025.

http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2012/08/01/fukushima-watch-former-pm-kan-sets-out-vision-for-nuclear-free-japan/



You can't engineer out the human element.
Fukushima and the Nuclear Pushers
by KARL GROSSMAN
The conclusion of a report of a Japanese parliamentary panel issued last week that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster was rooted in government-industry “collusion” and thus was “man-made” is mirrored throughout the world. The “regulatory capture” cited by the panel is the pattern among nuclear agencies right up to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

“The Fukushima nuclear power plant accident was the result of collusion between the government, the regulators and Tepco and the lack of governance by said parties,” said the 641-page report of The Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission released on July 5.

....

In fact, the nuclear regulatory situation in Japan is the rule globally.

In the United States, for example, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and its predecessor agency, the Atomic Energy Commission, never denied a construction or operating license for a nuclear power plant anywhere, anytime. The NRC has been busy in recent times not only giving the go-ahead to new nuclear power plant construction in the U.S. but extending the operating licenses of most of the 104 existing plants from 40 to 60 years—although they were only designed to run for 40 years. That’s because radioactivity embrittles their metal components and degrades other parts after 40 years making the plants unsafe to operate. And the NRC is now considering extending their licenses for 80 years.

Moreover, the NRC’s chairman...


http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/07/12/fukushima-and-the-nuclear-pushers/




10,000 yen is about $125.

Trouble-prone reactor has rung up far higher tab than initially planned
Kyodo

If the troubled Monju prototype fast breeder reactor project continues, its costs will swell to more than ¥1.4 trillion and its power generation costs will be ¥10,000 per kwh, roughly 1,000 times greater than a regular reactor, according to data compiled by Kyodo News.

Construction of the reactor in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, started in 1985 as part of the government's goal to establish a nuclear fuel cycle to make use of spent nuclear fuel at conventional atomic plants that run on uranium. Monju uses a uranium and plutonium mix known as MOX as fuel.

The facility operated by the government-affiliated Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corp. first reached criticality — where a chain reaction of nuclear fission is sustained — in 1994.

But sodium, used as a coolant, leaked during its test run in December 1995. Around 640 kg of leaked sodium reacted with air and sparked a fire, forcing a prolonged suspension.

The operator was also caught trying to cover the incident up...

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120704f1.html#.T_SQC458vdk


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Response to BlueinOhio (Reply #11)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 08:19 AM

12. With your examples of FUSION I may agree. Iter is FUSION not fission

But cold fusion makes even more sense than this.....

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Response to BlueinOhio (Reply #11)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 10:34 AM

15. We do not need nuclear.

NREL says 80% of US electricity can be renewable by 2050 with current technology
US National Renewable Energy Lab says 80% of US electricity can be renewable by 2050, even with current technology.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/112718362


Original study with great interactive features here:
http://www.nrel.gov/analysis/re_futures/


Of course, the transition will be faster if we can dispense with obstructionists trying to maintain the present centralized thermal system built on coal and nuclear.

The fruits of yet another effort by Republican Obstructionists working on behalf of corporate interests.

German Solar Installations Coming In at $2.24 per Watt Installed, US at $4.44
What steps can the U.S. take to keep up with the Johanneses?

ERIC WESOFF: JUNE 19, 2012

...According to the BSW, average German system prices in the second quarter of 2012 were estimated at EUR1.776 per watt peak, or $2.24 per watt peak at current exchange rates. Since Germany is dominated by rooftop systems (72 percent of installations in 2011), this is an impressively low number. Assuming a module price of around $0.90 per watt peak, this implies an average balance of system cost of $1.34 per watt peak.

This is one of the reasons why, as Mehta puts it, the German downstream market is still alive and well. While only 650 megawatts were installed in January and February (typical for Germany), preliminary results from the BSW indicated deployment of 1.15 gigawatts in March, largely due to pull-in effects of an expected April feed-in tariff cut, which was subsequently delayed. Second-quarter installation run-rates are proceeding at a healthy clip, in large part due to the deployment of “grandfathered” ground-mounted projects under the pre-April 1 feed-in tariff regime.

GTM Research is currently estimating 2012 installations in Germany to come in at around 6.5 gigawatts, compared to 7.5 gigawatts in 2011.



On the other hand -- as just detailed in GTM Research's U.S. Solar Market Insight -- the U.S. average system price was $4.44 per watt in the first quarter of 2011...

http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/German-Solar-Installations-Coming-in-at-2.24-Per-Watt-Installed-U.S-at-4/


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Response to bananas (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 10:20 AM

13. It's pretty silly to talk about gas being "permanently cheap"

Natural gas, like any fossil fuel, is a finite resource. It simply can't be permanently cheap.

The longtime assumption of an inexhaustible supply of petroleum eventually gave way to the reality of Peak Oil. The same will happen with gas.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 10:37 AM

16. When I was a kid they told us nuke would be so cheap "they won't even put a meter on your house"...

... the advertising schtick was "Electricity is penny cheap".


How'd that work out?

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