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Sat Jan 9, 2016, 07:40 PM

Joe Romm: Why James Hansen Is Wrong About Nuclear Power

Why James Hansen Is Wrong About Nuclear Power
BY JOE ROMM


Climatologist James Hansen argued last month, “Nuclear power paves the only viable path forward on climate change.” He is wrong.

As the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and International Energy Agency (IEA) explained in a major report last year, in the best-case scenario, nuclear power can play a modest, but important, role in avoiding catastrophic global warming if it can solve its various nagging problems — particularly high construction cost — without sacrificing safety.

Hansen and a handful of other climate scientists I also greatly respect — Ken Caldeira, Tom Wigley, and Kerry Emanuel — present a mostly handwaving argument in which new nuclear power achieves and sustains an unprecedented growth rate for decades. The one quantitative “illustrative scenario” they propose — “a total requirement of 115 reactors per year to 2050 to entirely decarbonise the global electricity system” — is far beyond what the world ever sustained during the nuclear heyday of the 1970s, and far beyond what the overwhelming majority of energy experts, including those sympathetic to the industry, think is plausible.

They ignore the core issues: The nuclear power industry has essentially priced itself out of the market for new power plants because of its 1) negative learning curve and 2) inability to avoid massive delays and cost overruns in market economies. This is doubly problematic because the competition — renewable power, electricity storage, and energy efficiency — have seen steady, stunning price drops for a long time.

Hansen et al also continue the myth that somehow nuclear power is being held back by environmental opposition, rather than its own marketplace failures, a point I will return to later....

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/01/07/3736243/nuclear-power-climate-change/

Link to International Energy Agency/Nuclear Energy Agency report summary
https://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/technology-roadmap-nuclear-energy-1.html

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Reply Joe Romm: Why James Hansen Is Wrong About Nuclear Power (Original post)
kristopher Jan 2016 OP
Gregorian Jan 2016 #1
kristopher Jan 2016 #5
bloom Jan 2016 #2
GliderGuider Jan 2016 #3
kristopher Jan 2016 #4
hunter Jan 2016 #6
kristopher Jan 2016 #7
hunter Jan 2016 #22
kristopher Jan 2016 #23
hunter Jan 2016 #26
kristopher Jan 2016 #27
hunter Jan 2016 #28
kristopher Jan 2016 #33
hunter Jan 2016 #34
kristopher Jan 2016 #35
hunter Jan 2016 #36
kristopher Jan 2016 #39
hunter Jan 2016 #40
kristopher Jan 2016 #42
Nihil Jan 2016 #46
OKIsItJustMe Jan 2016 #8
kristopher Jan 2016 #9
OKIsItJustMe Jan 2016 #10
kristopher Jan 2016 #11
OKIsItJustMe Jan 2016 #12
kristopher Jan 2016 #13
OKIsItJustMe Jan 2016 #14
kristopher Jan 2016 #15
OKIsItJustMe Jan 2016 #16
kristopher Jan 2016 #17
OKIsItJustMe Jan 2016 #18
kristopher Jan 2016 #19
OKIsItJustMe Jan 2016 #20
kristopher Jan 2016 #21
LouisvilleDem Jan 2016 #52
NNadir Jan 2016 #24
kristopher Jan 2016 #25
hunter Jan 2016 #29
cprise Jan 2016 #31
LineLineLineLineReply ?
hunter Jan 2016 #32
cprise Jan 2016 #30
kristopher Jan 2016 #37
progressoid Jan 2016 #47
kristopher Jan 2016 #48
progressoid Jan 2016 #49
kristopher Jan 2016 #50
kristopher Jan 2016 #51
Nihil Jan 2016 #53
hunter Jan 2016 #38
kristopher Jan 2016 #41
hunter Jan 2016 #43
kristopher Jan 2016 #44
hunter Jan 2016 #45

Response to kristopher (Original post)

Sat Jan 9, 2016, 07:57 PM

1. I really appreciate this article.

I remember watching a talk with Hansen several years ago where he claimed the same thing. I was a bit taken back, but listened with an open mind. After all this is somebody. I just couldn't wrap my head around it.

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 10, 2016, 01:24 PM

5. Happy it helps.

There have been a few similar rebuttals published, but Romm usually cuts to the heart of energy issues.

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Sun Jan 10, 2016, 12:26 PM

2. Nuclear is not going to 'solve it's nagging problems'

And it gives people the illusion that we don't need to cut back on energy usage.

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Sun Jan 10, 2016, 12:47 PM

3. So much mental horsepower being wasted on the wrong problem.

 

And so it goes.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 10, 2016, 01:22 PM

4. As if you'd know what the right problems are...

...with your track record of being wrong on every front.

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Mon Jan 11, 2016, 01:59 PM

6. Bless the witless minions of the so-called "natural" gas industry.


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Response to hunter (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 11, 2016, 04:18 PM

7. Yep, a baseload system around nuclear would lock in heavy natgas consumption

In addition to the fact that nuclear reactors have to be prepared at all times for the immediate unscheduled loss of the entire capacity of every nuclear reactor on line (and that alone requires FAR MORE SPINNING RESERVES than any combination of even high penetration renewables) we'd also be moving to an economic paradigm where load following devolves in perpetuity to natural gas.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 11, 2016, 08:26 PM

22. Fuck this shit:



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_gas#United_States

http://www.eia.gov/dnav/ng/hist/n9050us2a.htm

You know I bloody well I hate it all.

Fuck fossil fuels, fuck automobiles, fuck nuclear power, fuck large electric grids, fuck centralized solar "solutions."

Fuck cheap fusion too, if it ever comes to that (gods forbid!) Modern high energy industrial "consumer" economies will eat the earth and then collapse.

Energy efficiency and economic productivity by current definition are bullshit. In fact they are direct measures of the damage we are doing to the planet and our own human spirit.

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Response to hunter (Reply #22)

Mon Jan 11, 2016, 09:09 PM

23. The world is what it is

Neither of us like it, but I don't think rants as a 'self loathing human' are helpful in any sense. I agree with your sentiments but conclude that moving away from a civilization built on centralized energy is the linchpin to solving the resultant problem of a world with ethics based on consumerism.

Recommended reading for others not as familiar with the issue:
http://www.rmi.org/Knowledge-Center/Library/E77-01_EnergyStrategyRoadNotTaken

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Response to kristopher (Reply #23)

Tue Jan 12, 2016, 11:31 AM

26. I'm not a "self loathing human..."

... and Amory Lovins[sup]*[/sup] is not a person whose work I respect; with the disclaimer that some of this may be my own personal baggage back from my darkest burning-all-my-bridges past... oh bother... No, it's not personal. I was right then, and I'm right now. Greenwashing sucks. It's putting a little smiley bandage on a great gaping wound.

popscreen.com

In this economy the solar panels my neighbors are installing on their rooftops are simply another consumer good. Whatever cheap natural gas my neighbors don't use because they've "gone solar" will eventually be used somewhere else; to make hydrogen for fuel cell cars, electricity for electric cars, to crack heavy oils into gasoline, who knows?

As they say in the hospital emergency room or on the battlefield, one way or another the bleeding always stops.

Fossil fuels are to the natural environment what smoking is to the individual. The only way to quit is to quit.

A society without fossil fuels looks nothing like the society we have today, no matter how many solar panels, windmills, or nuclear power plants you've got.



*[sub]cough, cough bring me more interns! One thing I did learn working with these sorts of "environmentalists" is that I much preferred the biological sciences.[/sub]

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Response to hunter (Reply #26)

Tue Jan 12, 2016, 02:10 PM

27. You may be right...

After all, I heard that the only way we were able to move out of the Stone Age was because we ran out of stones.

As for your attitude not being a form of self loathing - I'll stand by the opinion that it unquestionably is.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #27)

Tue Jan 12, 2016, 05:26 PM

28. What is it about this consumer economy you can't do without?

I'll always remain me, even without my stuff.

Beyond that I am by inclination and much formal training an evolutionary biologist.

This planet has seen many innovative species come and then go.



In a million years this civilization is a peculiar layer of toxic trash in the geologic record.

If I have any saving grace, it's that I'm a humanist too.

This planet is home to several billion people who will survive with or without fossil fuels or any other fancy high technologies.

The meek shall inherit this earth for the simple reason that there are so many of them.

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Response to hunter (Reply #28)

Tue Jan 12, 2016, 08:26 PM

33. Any time there is trade there is a "consumer economy".

What you are objecting to is rooted in the rather clear set of ethics associated with "a culture of consumerism". Those ethics are not universal to the species and have only a very limited relationship to the requirement to provide goods and services bringing heath, comfort and culture to our kind. Your use of the term and the cause and effect relationships you've established around it demonstrates (what I think is) a poor understanding of the human systems you are judging.

I am, by inclination and much formal training, a cultural anthropologist and I recognize abnormal behavior when I see it.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #33)

Tue Jan 12, 2016, 08:36 PM

34. Then we pass like every other "innovative" exponentially growing population that has gone before us.

An interesting layer in the geologic record.

Seriously, as a species on this planet we humans are nothing special unless we choose to be.

I see no evidence that we're collectively making that choice.

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Response to hunter (Reply #34)

Tue Jan 12, 2016, 09:37 PM

35. "Special"?

Why do we need to be "special"?

That's what I mean about self loathing - you are a cell in an organism you think doesn't deserve to exist. You can no more divorce the application of that value judgement from your individual identity than you can physically step outside your own skin.

That outlook is unlikely to signify any special insight into the human condition; and, given the range of cultural paradigms that successfully fail to conform to your misanthropic misgivings, it is IMO far more likely you'd see substantial attitude adjustment were you to pursue some serious re-creation.










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Response to kristopher (Reply #35)

Tue Jan 12, 2016, 09:41 PM

36. Biology. It's been around a long time.

We humans are animals, like it or not.


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Response to hunter (Reply #36)

Tue Jan 12, 2016, 09:58 PM

39. That's your core argument?

I don't recall a reference establishing that self-loathing is a facet of animal behavior; would you happen to have one handy? I'd love to see the basis of the research.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #39)

Tue Jan 12, 2016, 10:02 PM

40. Is that all you got?


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Response to hunter (Reply #40)

Tue Jan 12, 2016, 10:10 PM

42. When you keep rephrasing the same point...

... just using different words you are inevitably going to get a narrow range of responses.

Face it Hunter my friend, you are in a rut.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #42)

Wed Jan 13, 2016, 05:56 AM

46. KerTWANG!

 

> When you keep rephrasing the same point...
> ... just using different words you are inevitably going to get a narrow range of responses.

Sorry ... that was my irony meter giving up the ghost ...

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Mon Jan 11, 2016, 04:33 PM

8. I believe the chief problem is one of perceived absolutes

Some argue that we must have an entirely nuclear (fission) powered grid.
Others argue that we must have an entirely non-nuclear (fission) powered grid.

Both argue a lot.

[hr]
I believe it would be foolhardy to rely solely on nuclear fission.

I also believe it would be foolhardy to decommission all fission plants immediately, or to steadfastly refuse to build new ones.

[hr]
Romm’s piece ends with this:


Bottom Line: If the world is able to put itself on the 2°C path in the coming years, and if the nuclear industry can resolve a variety of issues and avoid a major disaster, then nuclear power can make a modest but important contribution. At the same time, the IEA and many others have concluded that new renewable energy will play a far bigger role in the transition.

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Response to OKIsItJustMe (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 11, 2016, 04:40 PM

9. Yes, I've heard your 'belief' on this before, and you still

...haven't supported your 'beliefs' with hard information. Why you persist is not recognizing the relevance of how the relative function of the generating sources dictates the economics is a mystery that only you know how to answer.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/112795171

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Response to kristopher (Reply #9)

Mon Jan 11, 2016, 04:45 PM

10. Romm’s stance appears to be similar to mine

To present his piece as strictly anti-nuclear (I believe) is a misrepresentation.

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Response to OKIsItJustMe (Reply #10)

Mon Jan 11, 2016, 04:49 PM

11. No it isn't.

He recognizes that the negative impact of base load economics on the effort to transition away from carbon outweighs the short term carbon reduction contributions of existing nuclear plants. I doubt seriously you'll find any writings by him that endorse any extraordinary efforts to financially support any baseload plants - either coal or nuclear.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 11, 2016, 05:08 PM

12. Then you misrepresent my stance

His is not strictly anti-nuclear either. (Just read the Bottom Line I quoted above.)

I would say his stance is in line with the IPCC’s WG3:
http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg3/ipcc_wg3_ar5_chapter7.pdf

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Response to OKIsItJustMe (Reply #12)

Mon Jan 11, 2016, 05:16 PM

13. Your stance is clearly stated in the thread linked above

Romm's position is identical to what I've been stating here since day one.
The difference between our position and the one you embrace is that 1) you do not respect the economics of renewables and 2) you do not recognize the shortcomings of nuclear as being of material importance.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 11, 2016, 05:20 PM

14. A clearer statement from Romm

http://bos.sagepub.com/content/71/6/52.full
[font face=Serif][font size=5]Joe Romm: Why nuclear power will not be the whole solution to climate change[/font]

[font size=4]Abstract[/font]

[font size=3]In this interview, physicist and climate change blogger Joe Romm speaks with the Bulletin’s Dawn Stover about whether nuclear energy will be a major player in efforts to mitigate global warming. Romm points to economics as a limiting factor for nuclear power, at least until the world grows more desperate to reduce carbon pollution. He explains the reasons why nuclear energy is expensive in the United States and Europe but expanding in China. Although pessimistic about nuclear, Romm is optimistic that the world has reached a turning point for the adoption of renewable energy generation and storage technologies, energy efficiency, and carbon abatement policies.



BAS: What role do you see for nuclear power in the response to climate change? How big of a player should it be?

Romm: If one is going to avoid catastrophic warming and keep things below 2 degrees Celsius, which is certainly a great challenge, then you can’t rule out any carbon-free source. New nuclear plants are very expensive, which is why there has been exceedingly little construction in any market economy. Beyond China and India, you just don’t see a lot of sales, so I think the challenge for nuclear will be to maintain its market share. In the most optimistic projections, it can expand a little bit in the coming decades, but that will require a fair amount of sales because as plants get older in theory they have to be decommissioned. At some point, the world is going to get considerably more desperate to reduce carbon pollution than it is now. When we hit that phase, whatever is plausible and affordable and scalable is going to see massive deployment. To the extent that all these countries are already making serious commitments, then certainly people will take a second look at nuclear. If it could get its act together and come up with a modular design that was standardized and not too expensive, it might be able to see some growth.



BAS: What sort of portfolio will be needed to meet the Paris targets? According to the wedge theory—which says that a combination of strategies can together stabilize the climate—we’d need to triple the world’s current nuclear capacity just to cut emissions by one wedge, out of eight needed.

Romm: The International Energy Agency teamed up with the Nuclear Energy Agency to release a report earlier this year on their optimistic scenario, in which nuclear power sees modest growth in its share. Nuclear is not going to be the big contributor to the solution, if by big one means more than 10 percent; 80 to 90 percent of what we do is going to be other stuff. I am not in favor of shutting down nuclear plants, by the way. I don’t think that makes sense unless a plant isn’t safe.

…[/font][/font]


I would say that our stances are remarkably similar.

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Response to OKIsItJustMe (Reply #14)

Mon Jan 11, 2016, 05:40 PM

15. Not true. You are reading very selectively (again).

You have been an unambiguous promoter of nuclear power for years. You have seldom hedged your support with any recognition of the shortcomings of the technology. If you've 'evolved' on the issue, great; but I see no evidence of that as of about a week ago. Sure, you make the claim consistently, but the explication of your claim is diametrically opposed to the stated position.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1127&pid=95524

The course you chart is beyond wishful thinking; and after years of hearing it, I conclude it is a concrete demonstration of willful ignorance about the technologies involved and their physical and economic capabilities.

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Response to OKIsItJustMe (Reply #16)

Mon Jan 11, 2016, 07:02 PM

17. That isn't relevant to the topic.

And since no one in that thread except the OP author opined that exponential growth would persist, it is unclear what you think pointing out the obvious limits proves.

Frankly I'm not in the mood to chase your cryptograms around. Your writings are a matter of record, and they document a long history of uncritical acceptance, nay embrace, of nuclear power and a constant nit-picking attitude about the capabilities of renewables (eg http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1127&pid=95524).

Your position may superficially be construed as similar to Romm's but in fact where you blithely accept at face value all the claims of the nuclear industry, he is far more critical of that industry being able to deliver on claims they have or can overcome their long list of disqualifying limitations.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #17)

Mon Jan 11, 2016, 07:07 PM

18. You claim I “have been an unambiguous promoter of nuclear power for years.”

I have offered evidence to the contrary.

Stop lying.

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Response to OKIsItJustMe (Reply #18)

Mon Jan 11, 2016, 07:08 PM

19. It's a flat fact.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #19)

Mon Jan 11, 2016, 07:15 PM

20. Then prove it or apologize

Stop lying…

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Response to OKIsItJustMe (Reply #20)

Mon Jan 11, 2016, 07:28 PM

21. Riiiiight...

Frankly I'm not in the mood to chase your cryptograms around. Your writings are a matter of record, and they document a long history of uncritical acceptance, nay embrace, of nuclear power and a constant nit-picking attitude about the capabilities of renewables (eg http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1127&pid=95524).

Your position may superficially be construed as similar to Romm's but in fact where you blithely accept at face value all the claims of the nuclear industry, he is far more critical of that industry being able to deliver on claims they have or can overcome their long list of disqualifying limitations.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #19)

Thu Jan 14, 2016, 04:34 AM

52. The long list of links given says its not (nt)

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Tue Jan 12, 2016, 12:41 AM

24. Joe Romm is yet another arsonist complaining about forest fires.

His claim that "nuclear power has priced itself out of the market," completely ignores the fact that the nearly two trillion bucks squandered on his favorite "alternative" which, um, doesn't work, squandered nearly two trillion bucks in the last decade without producing significant energy.

Two...Trillion...Bucks...

He has spent his entire career trashing the world's largest, by far, source of climate change gas free energy, and is still at it.

The result has been very, very, very, very, very, very clear: 401.85 ppm, CO2, December 2015

A fool like Romm ought not to have the audacity to complain about "learning curves." He has spent a long and essentially worthless career not learning a damned thing.

Hansen's paper has something called "numbers," including lives saved, a subject about which the bourgeois gasbags in the anti-nuke industry couldn't care less.

Prevented Mortality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Historical and Projected Nuclear Power The numbers are irrefutable.

As for economics, a subject of which Romm and every other rote anti-nuke is completely ignorant, it behooves him to explain why electricity rates in Germany are more than double those in the neighboring country of France. Until he, or any other dumb anti-nuke can do so while opening their insipid slogan chanting mouths, they ought to avoid the word "economics.

The tiresome fool Romm, who like most rote anti-nukes has no idea how a nuclear power plant works, and is indifferent to the fact that the nuclear industry built more than 400 reactors in less than 20 years that produce more than 25 exajoules of primary energy per year, is simply repeated the same cant of every other very, very, very, very stupid anti-nuke on the planet. The United States built almost 1/4 of those reactors, and it enjoys some of the lowest electricity rates on the planet. Like every other stupid anti-nuke, Romm wishes to declare that what has already happened is impossible.

What an ass!

Romm however, like a clock that's accidentally right twice a day, has made one true statement in this tiresome rehash of balderdash: Nuclear energy is not being held back by "envirnomentalists."

Neither he, nor any other anti-nuke is, in fact, an environmentalist. They are all, 100% of anti-nukes, not in fact "environmentalists." They don't know anything about the environment. They don't care a whit about the environment. They are tiresome cultists who keep repeating the same stupid lies to themselves and to anyone else who will listen. If they knew something about the environment, or if they cared something about humanity, th wouldn't be creating an "economic" incentive for Chinese people to dig massive amounts of cadmium and wild cat lanthanides to build that useless so called "renewable energy" crap they on which they are squandering the future.

That cadmium is never, ever, going to be sequestered again.

Have a nice week.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #24)

Tue Jan 12, 2016, 01:13 AM

25. Riiiight.... " Regulators question CO2 plan for $19.3 billion Virginia nuclear reactor"

SCC Asks Tough Questions about Nukes, CO2 Emissions
Posted on December 30, 2015 by James A. Bacon

Given the legal and regulatory uncertainties associated with Clean Power Plan, which requires Virginia to reduce CO2 emissions 30% by 2030, Dominion Virginia Power’s 15-year strategic plan filed in July 2015 is reasonable and in the public interest, the State Corporation Commission (SCC) ruled in a final ruling released today. However, the SCC also detailed substantial additional analysis it would like to see in the Integrated Resources Plan (IRP) Dominion files next year.

The electric company had filed four broad options for responding to the mandates of the Clean Power Plan, including one that relied heavily upon nuclear power. The power company did not recommend one option over the others in July because it did not know precisely how the Clean Power Plan would impact Virginia. While the Environmental Protection Agency has finalized Virginia’s CO2 emission targets since then, the state still has yet to choose between two possible approaches, whether to focus on the absolute volume of CO2 emissions or CO2 emissions on a kilowatt-hour basis. That decision could have significant impact on how power companies respond to the mandates.

Consumer and environmentalist groups had urged the SCC to reject the IRP on the grounds that the projected $19.3 billion cost for a third nuclear unit at the North Anna power station was excessive under any scenario. A project of that magnitude, the SCC noted, would roughly double the size of Virginia’s electric rate base.

While the SCC saw no need to amend the 2015 IRP, it noted pointedly that it views the IRP only as a planning document, “not as a document that will determine future Commission decisions on future resources or the recovery of specific expenditures.”

The commission instructed Dominion to take a very different approach to its 2016 IRP...
http://www.baconsrebellion.com/2015/12/scc-asks-tough-questions-about-nukes-co2-emissions.html

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Response to NNadir (Reply #24)

Tue Jan 12, 2016, 06:40 PM

29. As some kind of Luddite I disagree with you about many things...

... but any scare quotes you put around the word "environmentalist" are usually very well deserved.

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Response to hunter (Reply #29)

Tue Jan 12, 2016, 07:00 PM

31. The implication being that he is the true environmentalist

which is not well deserved... LOL

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Response to cprise (Reply #31)

Tue Jan 12, 2016, 07:03 PM

32. ?

Explain it to the autistic hunter.

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Tue Jan 12, 2016, 06:54 PM

30. Here in this forum, about a decade ago...

I'll never forget being told that the future of energy was to expand nuclear to 40X (yes, 4,000%) of its 2001 level. I wish I had a link for the thread.

It sounds just as insane today.

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Response to cprise (Reply #30)

Tue Jan 12, 2016, 09:53 PM

37. Since, at 440 reactors nuclear only supplied about 2% of global final energy supply...

...that sounds about right if you don't consider the future needs of the developing global population.



The economics of centralized generation drive inefficiency and should we pursue that solution to climate change, future demand would almost certainly far exceed the demand of a comfortable society built on distributed renewables. Why, you ask? Because, distributed renewables closely link the production and consumption of energy in a way that promotes the full value of striving for efficiency.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #37)

Wed Jan 13, 2016, 03:35 PM

47. 2% ?

I've seen anywhere from 11 to 14%. Where does 2% come from?




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Response to progressoid (Reply #47)

Wed Jan 13, 2016, 04:50 PM

48. Check the titles to the charts

Electricity vs Final Energy Consumption

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Response to kristopher (Reply #48)

Wed Jan 13, 2016, 05:04 PM

49. I get that. But who made that chart?

Derived from what data?

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Response to progressoid (Reply #49)

Wed Jan 13, 2016, 05:33 PM

50. Perhaps that's the question you should have asked then.

It's from the International Renewable Energy Agency's* (IRENA's) 2013 (IIRC but it might be 2014) global energy assessment.

The International Energy Agency was created with the mission of monitoring traditional fuels for OECD countries and is one of the most respected information sources on the topic. However, like the US Energy Information Agency, it suffers from a designed-in institutional bias towards those traditional fuels. Over the past 30 years, the monitoring and forecasting of renewable energy sources and development by those two agencies has been far beyond abysmal. Because of that, the IRENA was created about 5 years ago to focus on renewables.

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Response to progressoid (Reply #49)

Wed Jan 13, 2016, 06:22 PM

51. Essentially, they look at opposite ends of this type of chart


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Response to kristopher (Reply #37)

Thu Jan 14, 2016, 05:16 AM

53. Has anyone produced an updated (e.g., 2015) version of that 2010 diagram yet?

 

As in, showing the same breakdown categories for a direct comparison?

I'd be quite interested to see how (/if) the different segments have changed
in five years as the total amount has definitely increased.

Ideally, I'd also like to see "biomass" treated correctly too and not combined
(albeit conveniently) with solar & geothermal (for heating) or with wind & solar
& geothermal (for power generation) as well as the "biofuels" category.

As it is, it is painfully obvious that over 90% of the global energy is derived
from "burning stuff": fossil fuels + traditional biomass + biofuels + biomass
contribution to two other categories + (stretching a point slightly) nuclear.

It's only the 3.3% from hydro + the unstate wind/solar/geothermal (less than
4.2%) that *doesn't* involve burning shit - with all of the polluting end-products
that result ... call it 7.3% to be generous ... that is dismally low (even for 2010).

Is there a more hopeful recent update to this diagram please?

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Response to cprise (Reply #30)

Tue Jan 12, 2016, 09:57 PM

38. No. We can choose a high energy industrial society or not.

I favor not.

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Response to hunter (Reply #38)

Tue Jan 12, 2016, 10:06 PM

41. There you go again with meaningless metrics

Haters gotta hate I suppose. It isn't any certain gross quantity of energy that is distorting the cultural animal, it is the quality of that energy.

Consider what the glycemic index measures as an illustration of "quality".

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Response to kristopher (Reply #41)

Tue Jan 12, 2016, 10:16 PM

43. I've maybe slept with, but not quite fucked, some of your heroes.

And I'm high on some home brew oatmeal stout.

But I'm game.

This is bad hunter naked. Bad Wolf.



I'm seriously more fucked up than that guy.

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Response to hunter (Reply #43)

Tue Jan 12, 2016, 10:33 PM

44. I have no idea what you are talking about.

Maybe you should go sleep it off.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #44)

Tue Jan 12, 2016, 10:35 PM

45. Lucky you. It was just a dream.

.

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