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Member since: Fri Dec 19, 2003, 02:20 AM
Number of posts: 29,347

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EDF Executive Fears Hinkley (Planned UK) Nuclear Plant Will Never Be Finished

EDF Executive Fears Hinkley Nuclear Plant Will Never Be Finished
As the £18bn nuclear power project's future hangs in the balance, an EDF and union veteran casts doubt on the design.

Saturday 03 September 2016
By Siobhan Robbins, News Correspondent

An executive at the company hoping to build the new Hinkley Point nuclear power station in Somerset has told Sky News he fears it will never be finished.

Norbert Tangy has worked at EDF for more than 40 years and is the president of the French FNCS Union, which represents senior energy executives.

He claims the current plans for the site are flawed and need time to be revised.

Mr Tangy warned: "If we go ahead now, Hinkley Point will never work, it will never be finished.

"We'll have a never-ending construction as we had in Olkiluoto ...

Talen pulls plug on nuclear plant

Talen pulls plug on nuclear plant

Anthony Salamone

ALLENTOWN – Talen Energy Corp. has taken its final step to cancel a second nuclear power plant in Luzerne County that was first proposed nearly a decade ago.

The Allentown company said Wednesday it sent a written request to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission saying it sees no "viable path" to obtaining and operating license for its proposed Bell Bend nuclear power plant.


Talen Energy, which in early August reported a net loss of $3 million for the second quarter, said its shortfall included an impairment charge of $122 million related to the Bell Bend project. Company officials said then they had no plans to resume licensing and permitting activities for the project, according to Martin.

And my vote for the most outrageous corporate claim of the day comes from the same article:
Martin estimated Talen Energy had spent more than $200 million on the project. He said the costs were not borne by utility ratepayers.

He said the costs were not borne by utility ratepayers.

He said the costs were not borne by utility ratepayers.


NASA team probes peculiar age-defying star

NASA team probes peculiar age-defying star
August 29, 2016
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
For years, astronomers have puzzled over a massive star lodged deep in the Milky Way that shows conflicting signs of being extremely old and extremely young. Researchers initially classified the star as elderly, perhaps a red supergiant. But a new study by a NASA-led team of researchers suggests that the object, labeled IRAS 19312+1950, might be something quite different -- a protostar, a star still in the making.

An age-defying star designated as IRAS 19312+1950 (arrow) exhibits features characteristic of a very young star and a very old star. The object stands out as extremely bright inside a large, chemically rich cloud of material, as shown in this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. A NASA-led team of scientists thinks the star - which is about 10 times as massive as our sun and emits about 20,000 times as much energy - is a newly forming protostar. That was a big surprise because the region had not been known as a stellar nursery before. But the presence of a nearby interstellar bubble, which indicates the presence of a recently formed massive star, also supports this idea.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


Another electric vehicle battery factory announced

Samsung SDI to build $358M car battery plant in Hungary by 2018

South Korea's Samsung SDI plans to invest about 400 billion won ($358 million) to build a plant to make electric vehicle batteries in Hungary, joining the race to build capacity and tap European demand.

Samsung SDI, whose customers include BMW, said on Tuesday that the proposed factory near Budapest would start production in the second half of 2018 and it would be able to produce batteries used for 50,000 pure electric vehicles (EVs) annually....


And if you'd like to know more about lithium, this is a decent overview:

Decommissioning costs: A blind spot in the nuclear power debate

Decommissioning costs: A blind spot in the nuclear power debate
In nuclear policy, too little thought is given to the considerable costs of storing radioactive waste on site

By Christina Simeone | August 30, 2016 Printprint

The following is a viewpoint article from Christina Simeone, director of policy and external affairs at the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania.

With over 10 GW of nuclear capacity at risk for premature retirement – defined as retirement before license expiration – many states are considering subsidy policies to keep these economically struggling reactors operating.

Arguments for subsidies focus on protecting local jobs, keeping low-cost baseload power, maintaining reliability, and preserving the zero-carbon resources needed to address climate change. Opponents argue that out-of-market subsidies distort competitive markets and amount to ratepayer bailouts of uneconomic generation.

Absent from the debate, however, is a focus on what happens to nuclear power plants when they retire and decommission. Specifically, how Americans like you and I will continue to pay more and be subjected to greater risks as nuclear power plants are converted to interim waste storage facilities.

This is the focus of a new report from the University of Pennsylvania’s Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, entitled “Nuclear Decommissioning: Paying More for Greater, Uncompensated Risks.”

Let me explain....


What the Heck Is Up With California's Recycling Program?

What the Heck Is Up With California's Recycling Program?
We're tossing more stuff, and bulk recyclers are dropping by the hundreds.


Few states have a greener rep than California, and for good reason. The state has a cap-and-trade program for carbon emissions, solar-energy production exceeding that of all other states combined, and, at the behest of Gov. Jerry Brown, it's now mulling new targets that would slash greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent of 1990 levels by 2030. The state has proved itself a national leader in environmental policy.

On average, each Californian throws nearly five pounds of stuff into landfills daily.
All of which makes California's latest waste and recycling report, issued yearly by state Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), so bewildering. It reveals that landfill waste in the state jumped to 33.2 million tons in 2015, a one-year increase of 2 million tons, contributing to last year's release of 200,000 extra metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. Per capita, each Californian now tosses 4.7 pounds of stuff into the landfill every day.

The state's rate of recycling also dropped to 47 percent in 2015. That's the lowest rate since 2010, and the first time since the state began measuring that the number has gone below 50 percent—not the greatest news, given California's 2020 goal of recycling 75 percent of all consumer waste.

CalRecycle spokesman Mark Oldfield points to a recovering economy as a primary contributor to the setback...

Puzzling path to new UK nuclear power stations

Puzzling path to new UK nuclear power stations
The UK plans to build several new nuclear reactors - of three different types, oddly, including a Franco-German design that has gone radically over-budget elsewhere. That's a recipe for high costs, critics say.

The world's first two EPRs to be built in Finland (pictured) and France have been under construction for a decade, yet remain unfinished

Over the past several years, a number of companies have put forth applications to build new nuclear reactors in the UK. But none have started construction, and now, there's some doubt whether any of them will go forward.

At the end of July, the new UK government led by Theresa May announced a delay in the approval of Hinkley Point C, the new-build nuclear power reactor project currently closest to going ahead, pending a review.

Mycle Schneider, an anti-nuclear analyst who is convening lead author of the World Nuclear Industry Status Reports, said he doubts any new UK reactors will actually get built. And if any are built, he doubts they'll ever be put into service: "There have been at least 92 nuclear reactors construction projects around the world that were abandoned at various stages of completion."

Financial rather than environmental concerns are putting the UK's new-build nuclear program in doubt...

Seems pretty obvious to me: Military Industrial Grade P-O-R-K

Al Gore: The Clean Energy Revolution Is ‘A Dramatic New Reality’

Al Gore: The Clean Energy Revolution Is ‘A Dramatic New Reality’
It will be bigger than the industrial and information revolutions combined.

Al Gore believes we are in a turning point in the fight against climate change. The latest version of his “Inconvenient Truth” slideshow, which helped win him a Nobel Peace Prize and an Academy award, is chock-full of charts, factoids, and quotes on the unprecedented revolution in clean energy technologies.

As part of his exclusive interview with me earlier this month, Gore spoke about the stunning advances in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and batteries: “It is now clear that the sustainability revolution is more significant in the global economy than the industrial revolution and information revolution combined,” Gore said with more optimism than I’ve ever heard.

The clean energy revolution has the breadth of impact of the industrial revolution, but it has been occurring at the speed of the information revolution. The breadth and speed together yield an unprecedented transformation, as is clear from this recent Goldman Sachs chart:

“The rapid adoption of LEDs in lighting marks one of the fastest technology shifts in human history,” the company has noted. LEDs are part of a larger energy efficiency revolution that has kept U.S. electricity demand flat for the past decade and probably will for at least the next decade, too.

The hybrid and electric vehicle (EV) revolution depicted...

Amtrak Provides Details On New Acela Express Service & Fleet Slated For 2021

Amtrak Provides Details On New Acela Express Service & Fleet Slated For 2021
August 30th, 2016 by James Ayre

While the US’s rail network — high-speed or otherwise — has been in something of a stagnant period as of late, there is some forward movement occurring. In particular, Amtrak recently provided details on the upgraded Acela Express service that’s expected to begin service in 2021.

The upgraded service will feature a brand new fleet of Alstom-built trainsets that’s around 40% larger than the current fleet. What this means is that the timetable will be expanded so that Acela Express service between Washington (DC) and New York City will be offered every half-hour during peak times; and service between New York City and Boston once an hour, throughout the whole day.

The upgrade is being financed through a $2.45 billion loan from the federal government. Of this loan, around $2 billion will be used on the purchase of the new trainsets and around $450 million will be used on the revitalization of 4 prominent stations (including Penn Station and Union Station) as well as general infrastructure repair and improvement.

Amtrak provides more, revealing that, “the new trainsets are among the safest, most reliable and energy efficient in the world. They have a 35-year track record of transporting billions of customers to their destinations safely. In reliability, we anticipate the new trainsets will be at least eight times more reliable than the equipment it replaces, ensuring that we will get you where you need to go on time, every time. Finally, the new trainsets will reduce operating energy consumption by at least 20%, through a combination of minimal aerodynamic drag and lightweight design.”

They will also...

Controversial new Hinkley nuclear power station 'not vital' for Britain's energy future

Controversial new Hinkley nuclear power station 'not vital' for Britain's energy future

The UK does not need the controversial new Hinkley Point power station in order to meet its energy needs, a new report has found.

Building more wind farms and gas-fired power stations could be enough for “keeping the lights on” – as long as demand is managed correctly, the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said.

The UK could save £1 billion a year if the Point C power station, planned to replace the current Point B station in Somerset, is not built.

ECIU director Richard Black said: "We wanted to know how essential Hinkley is for the 'energy trilemma' - keeping the lights on whilst cutting greenhouse gas emissions and keeping costs down.

"Our conclusion is that it's not essential; using tried and tested technologies, with nothing unproven or futuristic, Britain can meet all its targets and do so at lower cost."...


And before the usual voices start in with their spurious, ill informed drivel about the natural gas component of this scenario, it should be noted that Hinkley will require about 280MW of new additional natural gas generation for "spinning reserve" that will be running constantly to back up Hinkley should it SCRAM.

With the renewable scenario, the more renewables are brought online, the less the natural gas backstop will be needed until it is eventually phased out completely. With the nuclear scenario, as long as the nuclear plant is running, so is the natgas.
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