2016 could be a transformative year

Our energy world 2016

GreenWorld

eiffeltowerflagsIf 2015 was the year that the ongoing global energy transition away from nuclear power and fossil fuels and toward a clean energy system based on renewables gained public notice, then 2016 naturally should be the year that the transition takes visible and meaningful steps forward.

Two critical steps that occurred in December ensure that the coming year is indeed likely to be that kind of pivotal, transformative period.

The first was, of course, the international COP 21 climate agreement, which–despite its flaws–will cause a global acceleration of the transition. The second factor, here in the U.S., was the five-year extension (and eventual phase-out) of tax credits for solar and wind power deployment. Both will combine to enable 2016, and the years immediately following, to attain milestone after milestone in the development of a nuclear-free, carbon-free energy system.

A third factor, by the way, also limited to the U.S. but…

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10 thoughts on “2016 could be a transformative year

  1. I did some digging into your sources.  The original article is from safeenergy.org, which is a project of NIRS (Nuclear Information & Resource Service) which is a radically anti-nuclear propaganda organization.  If you could dig deep enough into their sources of funding, you’d certainly find fossil-fuel interests.  Nuclear power has chewed away almost 20% of the market for fuels for electric generation in the USA.  That has huge growth potential for natural-gas interests, and lo and behold, it was natural gas interests which profited when Vermont Yankee and San Onofre shut down.

    We are told over and over again that nuclear power “could be” replaced by renewables, but when nuclear actually shuts down it’s replaced by natural gas.  A half-truth is a whole lie.  Is “could be” a half-truth?

    If 2015 was the year that the ongoing global energy transition away from nuclear power and fossil fuels and toward a clean energy system based on renewables gained public notice, then 2016 naturally should be the year that the transition takes visible and meaningful steps forward.

    2016 has already seen an 87-4 Senate vote to pass S. 2461, which directs the Department of Energy to promote nuclear innovation and consult with the NRC on safety.  Unlike wind and solar which regularly drop to zero output for extended periods, nuclear can provide constant carbon-free power regardless of weather conditions.  If nuclear power supplied the base load with carbon-free power and left the rest to combustion and renewables, the market for combustible fuels would shrink a great deal.  Air quality would improve a lot.  Who do you think would be most opposed to this?  How good do you think this would be for the climate, compared to a no-nukes scenario?

    Ponder carefully.

    • Our old nuclear plants need to be decommissioned because of their many many issues. There is technology now that make nuclear plants sustainable if we had a real waste solution. Not being stupid is key in nuclear energy development. Right now, despite all the smart people, not decommissioning the Diablo Canyon facility, which was built on top of earthquake faults along our Pacific Ocean, makes no sense at all.

      Did you know, we could recycle our nuclear waste instead of letting it waste away back into the ground or, worse, into our water tables?

  2. Our old nuclear plants need to be decommissioned because of their many many issues.

    These “many many issues”… where did you get your information on them?&nsp; Is it actually dezinformatzia from the likes of NIRS?  Why should you take anything that comes from paid propagandists as the straight truth?

    There is technology now that make nuclear plants sustainable if we had a real waste solution.

    Let me guess:  the claim is that we must shut down all our nuclear and switch to natural gas NOW, and build the sustainable nuclear plants LATER… which may never come.  (This means hundreds of $billions in profits for the fossil fuel industry.)  On a scale of 0-100%, how close am I?

    If it looks like these things are written to advance a very specific agenda, they probably are.

    Right now, despite all the smart people, not decommissioning the Diablo Canyon facility, which was built on top of earthquake faults along our Pacific Ocean, makes no sense at all.

    DC isn’t on a fault, and its design is capable of handling any quake from the faults in the area.  It’s well above any possible tsunami.  What is the specific problem here?

    At 2200 MW(e) and an avoided 550 gCO2/kWh, Diablo Canyon eliminates 1210 tons of CO2 emissions for every hour it runs.  At a 91% capacity factor, this is almost 9.7 MILLION tons of CO2 per year.  The US nuclear industry displaces close to half a billion tons of CO2 emissions per year.

    Did you know, we could recycle our nuclear waste instead of letting it waste away back into the ground or, worse, into our water tables?

    Nikole, I’ve been studying this issue for years.  I ran the numbers and found that the USA has enough uranium already mined, refined and sitting around to run the country for centuries… which is why the fossil-fuel interests had to kill our one program to do it.  We don’t have to worry about spent fuel.  Dry cask storage is good for a century, and any serious effort to develop actinide-burning technologies like the S-PRISM or molten chloride breeders will give us reactors to consume the leftover neptunium, plutonium, americium and curium as starting fuel long before the containers need replacement.

    That’s not our high-priority problem.  The top problem is the climate, and how fossil fuels and even biomass are adding CO2 to the atmosphere faster than anything can remove it (burning forests removes CO2 sinks).  We can continue with our current reactor technologies for 50 years so long as we deal with the climate problem.  If we don’t deal with the climate problem and soon, nothing else is going to matter.

    • Lol. You read so much into my statements and respond with industry propaganda. I’m totally not a fan of Natural Gas at all, would prefer the present, modern nuclear technology developed since Fukushima began nuclearizing our water. I’m a really simple girl, you can have your kind of discussions with people wanting to have those technical discussions. Cheers though, we are not necessarily opposed.

      • You read so much into my statements

        Like asking you where you learned about these “many many issues” (your words)… a question I note that you evaded rather than answering?

        Why do you find it so hard to deal with things matter-of-factly?  “Oh, it came from <URL>” is some breach of etiquette?

        and respond with industry propaganda.

        Well, then, you should be able to name the fault that runs under the Diablo Canyon plant site and provide a map.  The antidote to propaganda is facts.  Care to show me the facts?

        I’m totally not a fan of Natural Gas at all

        I’m 2 counties over from where a company with a dust-suppression contract sprayed toxic-laden frac wastewater on county roads instead of the calcium chloride they were supposed to use.  That’s too close for comfort, especially given that there are operating wells on the state land just a few miles from me.  It could happen here.  It is very personal.

        There used to be a nuclear plant about 30 miles from me.  The only trace left of it is a concrete pad with dry casks of spent fuel.  It is the most innocuous thing short of a rock, and there are even some rocks that could cause harm via e.g. bacteria metabolizing sulfides and generating acid drainage.

        would prefer the present, modern nuclear technology developed since Fukushima began nuclearizing our water.

        I almost hate to break this to you, but seawater has been nuclear since the dawn of time.  It’s got plenty of uranium (as much as 4 billion tons worldwide) and all of the natural decay products, but the biggest source of radioactive decay is potassium-40.

        I’m a really simple girl, you can have your kind of discussions with people wanting to have those technical discussions.

        Why do you take positions on technical issues, but not discuss them?

        would prefer the present, modern nuclear technology developed since Fukushima began nuclearizing our water.

        I wonder what you mean by such technology, but “Fukushima… nuclearizing our water” is the sort of fear-inducing image that I associate with propaganda.  The levels detected in British Columbia total a whole 7.2 becquerels per cubic meter.  By contrast, seawater naturally has about 33 Bq/m³ of uranium, 1100 of Rb-87 and a whopping 11,000 Bq/m³ of K-40 (take values per liter and multiply by 1000).

        Note that I’m giving you my sources for all of this.  You can check them out and decide if they’re trustworthy or not.  I do not play propaganda, I shoot it down for shits and grins.

      • Having our oceans nucleotides by the waste of Fukushima, which — go on and look it up yourself — it’s dramatically changing our water because of the nature of Fukushima’s waste. Mostly, I get information from the NRC and the UN’s nuclear watch group, the internet. I do not debate technicalities, I don’t know them. What I say is what I think based on what I reason, my sources are where I get my information from and anyone may look up what I say. Nothing you have expressed changes any of my thoughts. BTW, there’s like all kinds of faults under Diablo Canyon, why the Lt. Governor has ordered an investigation to shut that potential Fukushima down.

  3. (starting back at the zero indent level again)

    Having our oceans nucleotides by the waste of Fukushima

    Excuse me, but what?!  That’s not even a grammatical sentence.  Nucleotides are the “letters” of DNA, adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine (ACGT).  The ocean doesn’t have nucleotides as such (organisms do); the concept is meaningless.  Read this:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA

    The actual stuff coming out of the Fukushima Dai’ichi reactor buildings is heavily processed and the cesium and strontium is effectively all removed.  All that’s left is a little bit of radioactive hydrogen, tritium.  You can go to Home Depot and buy a radioluminescent EXIT sign that has heaps more tritium in it than Fukushima harbor water.  A typical sign has 25 curies (about 925 billion Becquerels) of tritium.  The “high” levels in the port area at Fukushima?  52-67 Bq/liter.  One exit sign could bring 15 cubes of water 100 meters on a side up to that level.  If a building burns, the tritium exit signs burn and release their tritium.  This is not considered a hazard to firefighters, let alone the public.  So why the paranoia?

    which — go on and look it up yourself — it’s dramatically changing our water because of the nature of Fukushima’s waste.

    This is a claim that needs specifics.  Changing the water how?  You’re implying the whole ocean is changing, when people living right there are eating the fish and otherwise going about their lives?  Are you sure you’re not listening to people as paranoid as that Canadian vlogger who declared that post-Fukushima California was a wasteland?

    Around Fukushima, the contamination is minimal.  None of the rice crop in the zone has exceeded the 100 Bq/kg cesium limit for a couple years running.  The fish from Fukushima are fine to eat.  Even the inner quay at the Fukushima Dai’ichi reactor site has had minimal cesium except for some heavy rainfall events.  Since I have time on my hands I considered doing a GoFundMe to spend a couple of months in the Fukushima exclusion zone if I could find someone who would rent housing to a crazy gaijin; I gave up the idea because I don’t think my cat could take my absence and she’s too old to go with me.

    Maybe I could take a week to get zapped by the radioactive beach at Guarapari.  Here’s bionerd23 doing her own fieldwork there, among people taking the sun and the sand and the gamma rays and radon for their health.  Lots of people go there, I should do it… for science!

    Mostly, I get information from the NRC and the UN’s nuclear watch group, the internet.

    Oh, dear, I think I understand:  you’re getting it from the commenters.  No wonder your concepts read back like a mish-mash of paranoid nonsense, that’s where it came from.  You should watch the entire bionerd23 video as an antidote to the crazy you’ve been getting.

    I have a few other antidotes for you:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/9646437/The-women-living-in-Chernobyls-toxic-wasteland.html (dramatic title)

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/the-secret-to-longevity-wine-and-radioactivity/

    • Nucleotides was an auto correct, I was trying to use nuclearized.
      You need to do more research on Fukushima’s waste. I’m not your teacher, you are smart enough to get better informed. I get my information from attending necessary meetings in person or their telephone webinars with the nrc’s and watching iaea public meetings. If those are commentators, they sound a lot like you. 🙂 I wonder if you don’t think climate change is real either. Have a great weekend.

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