HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » kristopher » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ... 212 Next »


Profile Information

Member since: Fri Dec 19, 2003, 02:20 AM
Number of posts: 29,669

Journal Archives

19 French Nuclear Reactors taken offline, 12 more due to shut down

Those who promote nuclear power to address carbon emissions make a number of errors in the reasoning. IIRC the estimate is 5000 1GW reactors to meet global energy needs. This event illustrates one of the often overlooked risks associated with putting our faith in that path.
It turns out this plant, which forges critical components for NPPs around the world, has been off spec for a considerable amount of time. The failure of these components could lead to a Chernobyl scale event. Given that most reactors are near large population centers, speculating that an event directly affecting up to several million people is a credible proposition.

What happens to our global low carbon nuclear investment if that were to happen? It's a serious question that needs to be considered.

French nuclear problems shake European power market, boost prices
* French nuclear fleet restricted, causing tight supply

* Prices up across Europe's medium-, long-term curve

* Germany, others to plug gaps, see their prices rise

* Problems increase importance of winter weather

By Vera Eckert and Oleg Vukmanovic

FRANKFURT/MILAN, Oct 27 Deepening setbacks to France's nuclear reactors have shaken confidence in Europe's wholesale electricity markets as traders push winter prices to new highs in anticipation of fresh outages and tight supply.

The month-long rally intensified this week after French nuclear safety watchdog ASN warned its sprawling probe into forged quality control reports on reactor parts would turn up more irregularities. .

This leaves traders guessing as to how many more reactors could be shut.

The scale of forced closures in nuclear power-reliant France - 19 reactors offline and 12 more due to shut - is the biggest since the Fukushima disaster in 2011 crippled Japan's entire nuclear sector....


Brexit sees UK drop to new low in global renewable energy league table

Brexit sees UK drop to new low in global renewable energy league table
The Government’s decisions to scrap the Department for Energy and Climate Change and approve a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point also hit investor confidence in green energy

Ian Johnston Environment Correspondent Thursday 27 October 2016

The UK has fallen to its lowest position on an international league table of the best countries to invest in renewable energy following Brexit and Theresa May’s decision to scrap the Energy and Climate Change Department.

Analysts EY, part of financial giant Ernst & Young Global, put Britain, normally a regular in the top 10, in 14th place on the Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index, just behind Morocco.

The UK energy industry has complained that numerous and sudden changes in Government policy are putting off potential investors in any kind of electricity generation, threatening what could be a “golden age” of cheap and green power.

In a report, EY said: “Uncertainty caused by Brexit, the closure of the Department of Energy & Climate Change and the approval of Hinkley Point C all dealt a sizeable blow to the UK renewables sector....


Sweden on target to run 'entirely on renewable energy by 2040
Renewables surpass fossil fuel in record year for green energy
MPs accuse Government of preferring ‘dirty diesel’ to renewables
Government tinkering 'threatens golden age of cheap and green power'

When Soda Makers Fund Studies, Links to Obesity Weaken

When Soda Makers Fund Studies, Links to Obesity Weaken
Biased research muddies the health harms of sugary drinks, researchers contend
Monday, October 31, 2016

MONDAY, Oct. 31, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- If you come across a study claiming that sugary drinks don't cause obesity or diabetes, check to see who's paid for the research.

Most likely the study has financial ties to the beverage industry, according to a new review of the scientific evidence.

Every experimental study that found no link between sugary drinks and obesity or diabetes has received financial support from the beverage industry, said lead researcher Dr. Dean Schillinger. He's a professor of medicine and founding director of the University of California, San Francisco's Center for Vulnerable Populations.

On the other hand, nearly all experimental studies that establish a direct link between consuming sugary drinks and developing obesity and diabetes have not received funding from beverage makers, Schillinger and his colleagues reported.

"The industry seems to be using the scientific method to sow doubt about the truth related to their products," Schillinger said.... https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_161765.html

See also: Study: Sugar Industry Secretly Paid Harvard Researchers to Blame Fat for Health Risks


Open access study published online: http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2548255

Lititz firm’s solar-powered farm cart makes for easy pickins’

Lititz firm’s solar-powered farm cart makes for easy pickins’
JON RUTTER | LNP Correspondent 4 hrs ago (0)

BLAINE SHAHAN | Staff Photographer
Autumn Lehman, 11, picks strawberries from a solar-powered Picking Assistant.

In a sunny Manheim Township field, Stephen Lehman is picking everbearing strawberries.

But this usually grueling job is no sweat for the 13 year old.

On this recent afternoon, Stephen is shielded from the strong October rays. And his back doesn't hurt because he's not stooped over the rows.

There's no punch line here. Just a device named the Picking Assistant, a self-propelled cart with a white, all-weather canopy.

The machine literally lets farmers lie down on the job while working in the field.

"I think it is easier" to work with the Picking Assistant, says Stephen.

Stephen's.... http://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/lititz-firm-s-solar-powered-farm-cart-makes-for-easy/article_d6544134-9d3e-11e6-8876-7b8e59b410e7.html

Toyota acknowledges reality: Moving into the lithium EV business with series hybrid plug in.

Warming to lithium-ion, Toyota charges up its battery options

...While rivals including Tesla Motors and Nissan Motor Co began adopting lithium-ion battery technology nearly a decade ago, Toyota has largely held back due to concerns over cost, size and safety.

...Having Toyota endorse lithium-ion will be a fillip for the developing technology, and gives the automaker the option to produce for an all-electric passenger car market which it has avoided, preferring to put its heft behind hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles (FCVs).

Toyota says its Prius Prime, a soon-to-be-launched plug-in electric version of the world's top-selling gasoline hybrid, will use lithium-ion batteries, with enough energy to make the car go around 60 kms (37.3 miles) when fully charged before the gasoline engine kicks in. Because of different methodology in measuring a car's electric mode range, the Prime's 60 km range will be listed in the United States as around 25 miles (40.2 kms).


While Toyota sees FCVs as the ultimate 'green' car, the United States and China are encouraging automakers to make more all-electric battery cars as they push alternative energy strategies. <snort>

more at: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-toyota-batteries-idUSKBN12U0ZH

Fatal Measles Complication Killed Patients Years Later

Fatal Measles Complication Killed Patients Years Later

A deadly measles complication that kills kids years after they seemingly recover may not be as rare as doctors thought, researchers said Friday.


They say they're afraid the condition is far more common than anyone thought, and say it strongly reinforces the need for vaccinating every single child who can be.


The victims all had a condition called subacute sclerosing panencephalitis or SSPE. It's caused when the measles virus stays in the brain, usually for years, after a young child is infected and has recovered.

Once thought very rare, a recent study in Germany and now the California study suggest SSPE is far more common than previously believed. Original estimates suggested it affected 1 in 100,000 kids, but in the California cases 1 in 600 people who got measles as infants developed SSPE, the researchers said....

More at: http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/fatal-measles-complication-killed-patients-years-later-n674706


"Too Cheap to Meter” Nuclear Power Revisited

“Too Cheap to Meter” Nuclear Power Revisited
After 50 years of operation, nuclear electric generation is still having teething pains
By Vaclav Smil
Posted 26 Sep 2016

Illustration: Chad Hagen
The age of commercial nuclear electricity generation began on 17 October 1956, when Queen Elizabeth II switched on Calder Hall, on the Cumberland coast of England. Sixty years is long enough to judge the technology, and I still cannot improve on my evaluation from about 10 years ago: a “successful failure.”

The success part is well documented. After a slow start, reactor construction began to accelerate during the late 1960s, and by 1977 more than 10 percent of U.S. electricity came from fission, rising to 20 percent by 1991. That was a faster penetration of the market than photovoltaics and wind turbines have managed since the 1990s.

Today the world has 448 reactors, many with capacity factors of better than 90 percent. That’s the share of the reactors’ potential output that they averaged year-round, producing more than twice as much electricity as PV cells and wind turbines combined. Nuclear power provided the highest share of electricity in France (77 percent), but Swiss reactors contributed 38 percent and South Korea got 30 percent, as did Japan before Fukushima. The U.S. share remains at almost 20 percent.

From Those Who Have, It Shall Be Taken Away

Source: International Atomic Energy Agency*Two of the reactors under construction are in Taiwan.
The failure part has to do with unmet expectations. The claim that nuclear electricity would be “too cheap to meter” is not apocryphal: That’s what Lewis L. Strauss, chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission in 1954, told the National Association of Science Writers in New York in September of that year. And equally audacious claims were still to come. In 1971, Glenn Seaborg, a Nobelist and chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission then, predicted that nuclear reactors would generate nearly all the world’s electricity by 2000. Seaborg envisioned giant coastal “nuplexes” desalinating sea water, geostationary satellites powered by compact nuclear reactors for broadcasting TV programs, nuclear-powered tankers, and nuclear explosives that would alter the flow of rivers and excavate underground cities. Meanwhile, nuclear propulsion would carry men to Mars.

The project to generate electricity from fission stalled during the 1980s, as demand for electricity in affluent economies fell and problems with nuclear power plants multiplied... http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/nuclear/too-cheap-to-meter-nuclear-power-revisited

If Germany Bans Internal Combustion Engines, It'll Change the Game

If Germany Bans Internal Combustion Engines, It'll Change the Game
By Andrew Silver
Posted 19 Oct 2016 | 20:00 GMT

A recently proposed ban on internal combustion engines could improve air quality and lower noise pollution and CO2 emissions in Germany.

“We do not expect it will become a law within the next 12 months,” writes Volker Quaschning, an energy researcher at the Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft (HTW) Berlin, in Germany, in an email. “However, the discussion is interesting…because it increases the pressure on the car industry.”

Echoing similar proposals in Norway and other countries, the heads of 13 out of 16 of Germany’s states voted two weeks ago to allow sales of only zero-emission cars starting in 2030. That would be no small matter, considering that Germany—home of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen—had 44 million registered cars in 2013.

The states alone are not able to put the ban into effect; only the German federal government can. But they have started a conversation, and researchers say there would be clear benefits.

First, Quaschning calculated that ... http://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/transportation/advanced-cars/if-germany-bans-internal-combustion-engines-itll-change-the-game

Interesting read.

Have We Already Won the Renewables Revolution?

Have We Already Won the Renewables Revolution?
Tam Hunt looks at the clear—and not-so-clear—trajectories for renewables, efficiency and electric vehicles.

Could we have already reached a point where current trajectories for renewable energy, energy efficiency and alternative transportation are clear enough that we can reasonably suggest that a revolution has occurred?

Yes. For the most part, the game is indeed won. We are on the path to renewable energy ubiquity -- and it’s unlikely to be derailed even if policy support falters for these technologies.

There are still some uncertainties, but let’s start by examining the clearer trajectories.

Renewable energy is trending rapidly toward ubiquity

<snip 6 para>

Source: REN21 Global Status Report 2016

The world is inevitably becoming more energy-efficient

<snip 3 para>

FIGURE 2: EIA’s Energy Intensity Projections

Electric car adoption is growing rapidly, but still not trending toward ubiquity

<snip 1 para>

A recent Goldman Sachs report estimates that about 50 percent of all new car sales will be EVs by 2025. Under this trend, we’ll see almost all new cars become electric by around 2030. With an average vehicle lifetime of 10 to 15 years, it is possible that our entire passenger car fleet will become electric by around 2045 or so. This is encouraging.

FIGURE 3: EV, Solar and LED Sales Estimates for 2025


Source: Goldman Sachs

<snip 6 para>

FIGURE 4: Battery Energy Density and Costs, Historical and Targeted

Source: IEA Global EV Outlook 2016

<snip 3 para>

What could derail the revolution?

<snip 8 para wrap up>

Re: Coal ash hexavalent chromium drinking water contamination in VA & NC

This summer a study out of Duke University prompted this reporting:
Upper James Riverkeeper: Duke Study Shows Coal Ash Ponds Leak Contaminants
Thursday, 23 June 2016 12:40

Duke University tests find leaching from ash sites, including two in Va.

Now, a follow up study brings news even more dire.

Duke University report: Hexavalent chromium widespread but naturally occurring
October 26, 2016 10:45 pm
By ROBERT ZULLO Richmond Times-Dispatch

At the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center, land is graded and prepared at the landfill where by-products of coal combustion (coal ash) will be deposited. August 31, 2016.

Hexavalent chromium contamination of hundreds of private drinking-water wells near Duke Energy coal ash facilities ...

... into the middle of that roiling feud fell a bombshell Wednesday, when a study released by a team of Duke University-led researchers concluded that the potentially carcinogenic metal that was found in 90 percent of the 376 North Carolina wells sampled is naturally occurring....

Vengosh’s team has developed a testing method that uses distinctive isotope tracers of boron and strontium associated with coal ash to link contamination to the unlined ponds where the waste has been stored for decades. The technique was the basis of a report Vengosh and his team published this past summer that found leaking coal ash ponds at 21 facilities in five states...


“Overall, the geochemical and isotopic data clearly indicate that the drinking-water wells tested in this study are not impacted by CCR (coal combustion residuals) effluents and therefore the coal ash ponds are not a likely source” of the elevated chromium levels, says the study, published in Environmental Science and Technology Letters.

Far from being a cause for celebration, though, Vengosh said the report demonstrates that hexavalent chromium contamination, albeit naturally occurring, is more widespread in the Piedmont region — which covers a swath that runs from southeastern Pennsylvania, through central Virginia and North Carolina and into South Carolina, northern Georgia and eastern Alabama — than previously realized.

“If anything, because the contamination stems from water-rock interactions that are common across the Piedmont region, people in a much larger geographic area may be at risk. This is not limited only to wells near coal ash ponds,” Vengosh said....

More at: http://www.richmond.com/news/article_2af6db34-0f85-5410-b4c3-3a17689d9261.html

See also: National Institute of Health's National Toxicity Program
Hexavalent Chromium
Go to Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ... 212 Next »