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Number of posts: 24,385
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Feb 16 2012
Over 1 Million Bq/kg of Radioactive Cesium from the Mysterious Black Dust in Minami Soma City
MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012
"Black Dust" in Tokyo? With 243,000 Bq/Kg of Radioactive Cesium
Freelance journalist Rei Shiva writing for Nikkan Spa, a daily tabloid in Japan (part; 5/15/2012):
It was this February when the super-radioactive and mysterious "black dust" found in Minami Soma City in Fukushima Prefecture was in the news.
Although 1.08 million Bq/kg was shocking, it was considered to be specific only to Minami Soma. However, I've been told that "black dust" exists everywhere in Tokyo.
"When I brought the radiation detector closer, it visibly responded. So I knew it might be highly contaminated, but didn't know it was this contaminated...", says Ayako Ishikawa incredulously. Ishikawa is the head of the citizens' group "No! to Radiation, Protect Children in Koto". . She says, "We found something that looked like "black dust" near the Hirai JR station in Edogawa-ku. We collected the sample and and asked Professor Tomoya Yamauchi of Kobe University to measure the radiation. The result was that it had the maximum 243,000 Bq/kg ."
It is 2,430 times the clearance level specified by the Nuclear Reactor Regulation Law...
Reporting moves back to Fukushima
THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2012
Minami Soma's "Black Dust" with Over 10 Million Bq/kg of Radioactive Cesium, Says Assemblyman Ooyama (Just Don't Multiply by 65!)
He keeps finding "black dust" in his city with ever higher radioactivity. That's extremely high, even though Mr. Ooyama hasn't given the details as to the exact measurement or the location in his blog post.
But one thing the readers had better keep in mind: YOU DO NOT MULTIPLY THIS NUMBER BY 65 TO CONVERT TO BQ/M2.
As I said in the previous post on Tokyo's "black dust", the multiplier of 65 is only applicable if:
- The soil sample is taken from the surface to 5 centimeter deep; and
- The soil's relative density is about 1.3 gram/cm3 (cubic centimeter)....
Posted by kristopher | Mon Mar 10, 2014, 11:00 PM (0 replies)
Only 20% of municipalities will OK reactor restarts: poll
MAR 2, 2014
Only about a fifth of the 156 local governments situated within 30 km of a nuclear power plant would give the nod to reactor restarts if regulators declared them safe, a survey says.
Of those 37 governments, 13 said they would do so unconditionally if reactors cleared the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s safety review, and 24 said they would attach conditions, the Kyodo News survey said Saturday.
Another 66, or about 40 percent, said they would be unable to make a judgment even if reactors cleared safety standards introduced after the Fukushima meltdowns in March 2011.
The poll also found that 32 would not endorse reactor restarts in their area even if they cleared the NRA screenings.
The results indicate widespread caution about restarting nuclear power plants even as the central government pushes for restarts ...
Posted by kristopher | Mon Mar 10, 2014, 10:03 PM (1 replies)
Photos: Is GE’s Space Frame Tower the Future of Wind Power?
GE goes back to the roots of wind power—but with a twist.
Herman K. Trabish
March 7, 2014
Greentech Media got an early look at GE's new space frame wind turbine tower in advance of the technology's official debut at next week’s European wind industry conference.
The space frame advances the potential of GE to deliver taller towers capable of more power production at a lower cost.
GE's enclosed-lattice, five-legged space frame prototype, sited at the company's Tehachapi, California facility, is 97 meters tall with a "brilliant" GE 1.7-megawatt, 100-meter rotor turbine on top. GE will introduce a 139-meter-tall space frame for its 2.75-megawatt, 120-meter rotor turbine on March 11 at the European Wind Energy Association conference.
A space frame is a three-dimensional structure built on struts that are locked together. These structures can accommodate very heavy weights with limited materials and supports.
Open-lattice towers were used for early utility-scale wind turbines...
Good article - brief text explained with appropriate photos.
Posted by kristopher | Mon Mar 10, 2014, 09:56 PM (2 replies)
Module Costs Dip Below 50 Cents per Watt in JinkoSolar’s Strong Q4
Module Costs Dip Below 50 Cents per Watt in JinkoSolar’s Strong Q4
JinkoSolar of China just hit the U.S. SunShot goal of sub-50-cents-per-watt solar modules.
March 4, 2014
Vertically integrated Chinese solar manufacturer JinkoSolar announced its "third straight quarter of profitability" along with net profitability for 2013 with a Q4 gross margin of 24.7 percent. Even some Chinese module makers are seeing good days return.
The company had a great quarter with strong margin and geographical diversification -- but the more interesting news came from Arturo Herrero, Jinko's Chief Strategy Officer. During Monday's earnings call, Herrero noted, "Basically, if you look at our Q2 to Q4, our ASP is around $0.63. Our non-silicon cost is, I think, $0.39, and plus the silicon cost of $0.09, it is around the $0.48 mark."
Shyam Mehta, Senior Solar Analyst at GTM Research, notes, "I believe this is the first time in human history that a module company has recorded cost under 50 cents per watt -- although the cost may go back up a bit in 2014."
In fact, a forecast from one of Mehta's recent reports shows top Chinese manufacturers making solar modules for 36 cents per watt by 2017. "There was a reaction from some people that our projection for 36 cents per watt is crazy. To that, I offer the point that our forecast only implies an annualized reduction of 6.3 percent from 50 cents a watt today," he said. "It's not exactly a game-changer; it's 14 cents. But the industry has had a mental block because people didn't think we could produce modules for less than 50 cents per watt."
Greentech media: http://preview.tinyurl.com/lkqjm2e
Posted by kristopher | Mon Mar 10, 2014, 09:51 PM (2 replies)
Paying in advance for nothing at all
Ivan Penn, Times Staff Writer
February 28, 2014
In 2006, when volatile natural gas prices stoked fears of steep increases in electric bills, it seemed sensible, perhaps even necessary, to charge customers in advance to help build new nuclear projects.
A lot has changed in eight years. Florida's gamble in creating a so-called "advance fee" for nuclear projects will cost consumers billions — for nothing.
The reality of those losses will play prominently in debate about the state's energy policies as the 2014 legislative session begins.
There already are several measures drafted in response to the 2006 law that created the nuclear advance fee, known as the Nuclear Cost Recovery Clause.
Some Democrats want the law repealed entirely....
Posted by kristopher | Mon Mar 10, 2014, 02:12 PM (0 replies)
International Policy Digest
Contamination of USS Ronald Reagan During Fukushima Response Underreported
By Peter Lee | February 6, 2014
That article links to this
The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 11, Issue 11, No. 4. March 18, 2013.
Fukushima Rescue Mission Lasting Legacy: Radioactive Contamination of Nearly 70,000 Americans
The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 11, Issue 12, No. 1. March 25, 2013.
A Lasting Legacy of the Fukushima Rescue Mission: Cat and Mouse with a Nuclear Ghost
This is part two of a two part series.
Posted by kristopher | Thu Mar 6, 2014, 07:36 AM (1 replies)
China's Premier wants to declare "war on pollution" as smog becomes extra horrible
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang made remarks about the country's huge pollution problems during what could be described as China’s equivalent of the State of the Union address in the US. He said pollution is a "major problem" and he wants the government to “‘declare war’’ on smog by removing high-emission cars from the road and closing coal-fired furnaces.
Pollution is ‘‘nature’s red-light warning against the model of inefficient and blind development,’’ Li said today in his work report at the start of this year’s National People’s Congress in Beijing. ‘‘Fostering a sound ecological environment is vital for people’s lives and the future of our nation.”
China will fight smog with the same determination it battled poverty and all society should “act more vigorously to protect the land our lives depend upon,” Li said. (source)
Not a moment too soon, and hopefully this isn't just empty rhetoric because, as we recently mentioned, China's smog is getting close to 'nuclear winter' bad...
What China has to do is not so different from what the U.S. had to do at an earlier phase of its development. The so-called 'coal laws' in the 1940s became necessary because air quality was just terrible. See for yourself.
Posted by kristopher | Thu Mar 6, 2014, 05:49 AM (6 replies)
Is Utility 2.0 a Forecast or a Post-Mortem?
February 26, 2014
For the last six months, the energy news sphere (perhaps led by the Edison Electric Institute) has been rife with a discussion about the threat to the utility business from distributed energy like local solar, as their customers shift to getting their own power from nearby renewable resources. Reports and news stories – e.g. “Adapt or Die” – suggest changes to the electric utility business model are imminent as power generation shifts from massive to medium scale and from remote to local.
For some utilities, this discussion is not a forecast, but a post-mortem.
Electric utilities have always built infrastructure (power lines, power plants, etc.) as long-term investments. They relied on growing electricity demand and sales to help recoup the costs of new coal-fired power or (over budget) nuclear retrofits in the Midwest or new high-voltage power lines in the Northeast. Utility commissions played along, allowing them cost recovery and generous returns on equity (10-11 percent) for new infrastructure. But hardware that seemed wise in the 1990s and 2000s is suddenly and rapidly being exposed as untimely and unnecessary.
Electricity demand has flattened (even fallen), thanks to energy efficiency legislation and economic stagnation. Customers are increasingly generating their own energy from renewable energy like solar, whose cost is falling by 10 percent or more per year. Not only is big infrastructure proving harder to pay off as revenues stagnate, it’s also increasingly irrelevant in a 21st century electricity system where power generation can be cost-effectively placed right on the roof.
Commercial wind power started to crack the facade 20 years ago, but today renewable energy is rapidly imploding the utility’s entire antiquated business model...
Posted by kristopher | Tue Mar 4, 2014, 04:47 PM (1 replies)
Third Conference on the Physics of Sustainable Energy
Using Energy Efficiently and Producing It Renewably
March 8-9, 2014
University of California, Berkeley
This conference will be an intense weekend short course to enhance the background of private and public sector professionals, researchers and students active in energy affairs now or in the future. The content will be centered in the physical sciences, but will reach substantively into related fields important to energy policy and practice. The conference is sponsored by the APS Forum on Physics and Society, the APS Topical Group on Energy Research and Applications, and the American Association of Physics Teachers. As with the two previous conferences on this theme, in 2008 and 2011, both also held on the UC Berkeley campus, the American Institute of Physics (AIP) will publish the proceedings as a sourcebook. The motivation for this third conference is the continued importance of this energy research and the need to update faculty and educate students either to work in the field or to have an appreciation for the key issues.
Daniel Kammen, Energy and Resources Group and Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley
Robert Knapp, Physics and Sustainable Design, Evergreen State College
Barbara Levi, American Institute of Physics
Saturday, March 8
(Day sessions in North Gate Hall 105, UC Berkeley campus)
Welcome and Overview:
Daniel Kammen (UC Berkeley) and Rob Knapp (Evergreen State College)
Global and Regional Issues
Global Carbon Balance – Ken Caldeira, Carnegie Institution
Energy and the Global Poor – Daniel Kammen, UC Berkeley
Renewable Energy Sources
Solar Upconversion: Giving Photovoltaics the Green Light – Jennifer Dionne, Stanford
Biofuels: status and prospects – Chris Somerville, Energy Biosciences Institute, UC Berkeley
Wind Energy – John O. Dabiri, Caltech
Synergies of Energy and Information Technologies – Eric Brewer, UC Berkeley
Efficient and Transformed Uses Part I
Buildings: Lower Energy, Better Comfort – Gail Brager, UC Berkeley
Energy Use and the Information Economy – Jonathan Koomey, Stanford
Industrial Ecology – Valerie Thomas, Georgia Tech
The Rebound Effect – Tilman Santarius, UC Berkeley
Banquet Keynote Speaker – Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute
Sunday, March 9
Sustainability and Nonrenewable Energy
ARPA-E: searching for breakthroughs – Arun Majumdar, Google, Inc
Displacing Oil with Gas and Biofuels – Vikram Rao, Research Triangle Energy Consortium
Topics in Nuclear Power – Robert Budnitz, LBNL
Efficient and Transformed Uses Part II
Low Carbon Power Systems – Duncan Callaway, UC Berkeley
Toward Profitable Oil-free Transportation – Amory Lovins, RMI
Batteries – George Crabtree, Argonne National Laboratory
From Lab to Market
Solar Development Roadmap – Dan Kammen,UC Berkeley
Government Initiatives – Cyrus Wadia, LBNL
Private Sector Initiatives – Todd Strauss, Pacific Gas & Electric
Session G: Non-Energy Climate Initiatives
Adapting to Climate Change – Ann Kinzig, Arizona State Univ.
Geoengineering – Alan Robock, Rutgers University
Final Comments / end of main conference
Posted by kristopher | Tue Mar 4, 2014, 04:03 PM (4 replies)
McCain: no global warming action until the left supports nuclear power
3:25 PM 03/03/2014
Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain said that while he believes global warming is an issue, he won’t make any legislative moves until the left agrees on “certain fundamentals,” including support for nuclear power.
“But I try to get involved in issues were I see a legislative result,” McCain told Time magazine in a wide-ranging interview. “But there’s going to be no movement in the Congress of the United States certainly this year and probably next year.”
“So I just leave the issue alone because I don’t see a way through it, and there are certain fundamentals, for example nuke power, that people on the left will never agree with me on,” McCain said. “So why should I waste my time when I know the people on the left are going to reject nuclear power?”
Nuclear power has been a sensitive issue for Democrats, many of whom want to address global warming but also have concerns about nuclear waste. But nuclear plants offer a source of abundant electricity with little to no carbon dioxide emissions.
“I don’t believe that...
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2014/03/03/mccain-no-global-warming-action-until-the-left-supports-nuclear-power/
Posted by kristopher | Tue Mar 4, 2014, 03:25 AM (10 replies)