How much longer can this comedy of errors go on? Nuclear Power – no way.

The Fukushima Cleanup Wasted Half a Billion Dollars on Bad Technology



Yesterday 11:30am

The cleanup of Fukushima’s leaking nuclear plant has been long, expensive, and plagued with problems. Now, the AP reports a government audit has found that more than a third of the budget for cleanup was wasted—totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.

The previous allegations of incompetence and straight-up lies that surround Tokyo Electric Power Co, or Tepco, the company responsible for the cleanup, might make you wonder if any of those millions were lost to corruption. But the Associated Press says that most of it was wasted because no one really knew how to clean up the site. The company spent millions on systems and machines that theoretically might have worked. But didn’t.

The Ice Wall That Wouldn’t Freeze

Let’s start with what AP calls “the unfrozen trench,” contaminated water leaks into these trenches—tunnels, really—that run alongside the plant, creating a major hazard. Tepco started injecting the water with coolants in an attempt to freeze it, creating an ice wall of sorts as Gizmodo reported. It didn’t work.

Tepco says “it has proved exceptionally difficult” to freeze the trenches completely, according to World Nuclear News. “Tepco subsidiary Tokyo Power Technology even threw in chunks of ice, but eventually had to pour in cement to seal the trench,” says the AP. The project cost $840,000, which is chump change compared to other items on the list.


Go there and read. More next week.


I saw a story on Digg about a designer (architect?) that got an award for building a house with water walls. But I could not find it again. This piece popped up and uses an older technology but you can get the idea from it.

Build a Water-Wall Home

Construct your very own water-wall home and learn about calculating water storage requirements, wall construction and solar basics.

By David Bainbridge
November/December 1983

The Morgan home in Davis, California has 14,000 pounds of thermal mass stored in its water walls, yet the containers blend in so well with the house design that they’re barely visible.

In many ways, passive solar homes are superior to those with active (mechanically assisted) heating and cooling systems. After all, passive solar systems don’t rely on auxiliary energy sources to perform (so they’ll work even when the power is off)… are generally simple and low in cost, combine energy collection and storage functions, have a long life, need little maintenance, and can often be built and installed by the home handy person, without special training or equipment.

But precisely because such “non-moving” systems have no pumps or controls to circulate warm or cool air, they typically rely on one key element: the thermal mass that stores and gives off absorbed heat or cold. A number of different items can be used to provide this energy-holding capacity, but just about the most effective and economical “To a water wall (a term that is a shorthand way of saying “contained water for thermal mass in passive solar homes”).


Go there and read. More next week.


Now the hottest things in the energy conservation world  or at least in the lighting world are LED lights. They come in all shapes and sizes. In fact I have one that I use as a flashlight, but it was intended to be a safety head light for my bicycle. It has been amazingly helpful. This is a complex subject so it will take me a few weeks to get it all posted. But here is a start.

Light-emitting diode

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


A light-emitting diode (LED) is a two-lead semiconductor light source. It is a pn-junction diode, which emits light when activated.[6] When a suitable voltage is applied to the leads, electrons are able to recombine with electron holes within the device, releasing energy in the form of photons. This effect is called electroluminescence, and the color of the light (corresponding to the energy of the photon) is determined by the energy band gap of the semiconductor.

An LED is often small in area (less than 1 mm2) and integrated optical components may be used to shape its radiation pattern.[7]

Appearing as practical electronic components in 1962,[8] the earliest LEDs emitted low-intensity infrared light. Infrared LEDs are still frequently used as transmitting elements in remote-control circuits, such as those in remote controls for a wide variety of consumer electronics. The first visible-light LEDs were also of low intensity, and limited to red. Modern LEDs are available across the visible, ultraviolet, and infrared wavelengths, with very high brightness.

Early LEDs were often used as indicator lamps for electronic devices, replacing small incandescent bulbs. They were soon packaged into numeric readouts in the form of seven-segment displays, and were commonly seen in digital clocks.

Recent developments in LEDs permit them to be used in environmental and task lighting. LEDs have many advantages over incandescent light sources including lower energy consumption, longer lifetime, improved physical robustness, smaller size, and faster switching. Light-emitting diodes are now used in applications as diverse as aviation lighting, automotive headlamps, advertising, general lighting, traffic signals, and camera flashes. However, LEDs powerful enough for room lighting are still relatively expensive, and require more precise current and heat management than compact fluorescent lamp sources of comparable output.

LEDs have allowed new text, video displays, and sensors to be developed, while their high switching rates are also useful in advanced communications technology.


Go there and read in an OMG sort of way. More next week.


Will Chevron have wells in Illinois? Probably not.  They are to busy illegally fracking their wells off of California’s shoreline. But chatting them up can’t hurt.

Day 1 on 11/15/13

Topic: Who can and can’t testify and public hearings when fracking permits are requested. 


Go to:

Radio Button: Subpart B: Registration and Permitting Procedures (245.200-245.270)


Comment: Because air and water travel freely, IDNR should not limit comments during public hearings to individuals living within 1500 feet of wells.  Toxins can travel far beyond 1500 feet via air and water.  Therefore, any person, regardless of where they live, should be allowed to testify.


Go there and comment. More today.


This is so big that I just had to find the original source. Once I got to the source the article did not carry the same headline as the inflammatory piece from Washington Blog but in the last paragraph he does imply phasing out the nukes. He also points out that no upgrades have been ordered in response to Fukushima nor included in the new licenses issue. This IS the insanity of Nuclear Generation of electricity.

But this is what the guy really said.


INTERVIEW: Former U.S. nuke watchdog chair says regulators must stay independent

March 14, 2013

By SHIRO NAMEKATA/ Correspondent

As it is poised to impose strict regulatory measures on the operation of nuclear power plants, the Nuclear Regulation Authority is increasingly met by opposition that it is making the resumption of plants that are currently offline virtually impossible.

In a recent interview with The Asahi Shimbun in Washington, Gregory Jaczko, former chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), said it is crucial for a nuclear watchdog to stay independent from the nuclear industry.

Jaczko, who, unlike his four colleagues, opposed the first new construction and operation of a nuclear plant in the United States since the 1979 Three Mile Island accident, also discussed the future of nuclear energy. Excerpts from the interview follow:




Go there and read. More next time.


Call now 1300 076 188 (Mon – Fri 8am – 6pm and Sat 9am – 4pm EST).

Having said that please do all the things with AGL that you would do with any contractor. Check with local business groups like the Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau. Ask for references and you must comparison shop. Having said that here is a guest post from AGL on the past and present of Solar Power.

AGL solar energy

The ever-growing improvements in solar power technology


Solar power technology has come a long way since its first arrival in the 1950s, when solar panels were over three times the size they are now, yet converted just 4.5% of solar energy into electricity. Sixty years ago solar panels needed to be far larger to be as powerful and were unthinkably expensive. For example, a 230 Watt solar panel in 1953 measured 213 inches by 130 inches and cost a whopping $1785 per Watt. Today, a solar panel with an identical wattage measures 64 inches by 39 inches and costs just $1.30 per Watt. As research and development in solar power technology increases, efficiency, cost and size can only further improve in the future.

In 1953 the first modern solar cell, using a silicone semiconductor to convert light into electricity, was unveiled in the USA. It was revolutionary and gave rise to the belief that we will eventually be able to harness the sun’s incredible energy. Fast-forward nearly sixty years and the technology has vastly improved and is now at the stage at which solar power production and consumption is growing year on year, at half the cost of just five years ago. Why has it taken so long? Largely because the need for it wasn’t there. Fossil fuels were cheap and plentiful and so the impetus (and therefore also the finances) didn’t exist for large-scale research and development into taking solar mainstream. Funding depended on which government was in power in different countries and thus solar power R&D was very stop-start.

Triggered by the impending energy crisis, the past 20 years saw huge improvements in technology and manufacturing methods, driving costs down and expanding the market, and each time the market for solar energy increases, costs are further reduced. Solar energy still accounts for a small percentage of the world’s energy consumption (currently just 1%) but that is tipped to change imminently. Recent advances in technology are leading the way for huge growth in the solar energy market. In 2008, spherical solar cells were developed in Japan, a technology which is up to five times cheaper, uses far less material, consumes half the energy to reproduce and has flexible applications. Residential solar panels are proving increasingly popular, with companies such as AGL Solar Energy installing them on rooftops in thousands of homes in Australia.  

In 15 years, commercial buildings will be built to make the most of solar power – indeed, the technology is already almost there to do so. Buildings will be constructed from glass coated with a network of tiny Organic Photovoltaic Cells which are so fine that light isn’t obstructed. This way, entire buildings can become energy producers. Similar technology is also being utilised to develop paint-on solar cells so that you can paint the outside of your house with solar energy-producing cells. The next 20 years will see the cost of solar come down and technologies improve. Look out for new technologies such as super-fine solar films made from cheaper CIGS (copper, indium, gallium, selenide) rather than silicone, and glass or plastic plates coated with dye which will help to focus photons onto solar panels. One thing’s for sure – the solar energy revolution has only just begun. The future is bright!


Go there and read. More tomorrow.


It always amazes me that the nuclear power business is just a beard for nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are a thing of the past, but no one can admit it. Thus the amazing charges in this case. What about the lax security measures? That is where the prosecution should start.

Muzzling an Anti-Nuke Trial Defense

November 21, 2012

By John LaForge

Three disarmament radicals who snuck into the Y-12 nuclear weapons complex last summer are preparing for their February 2013 trial, and face the prospect that any mention of nuclear weapons will be forbidden.

Y-12 is the 811-acre site in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, that’s been building H-bombs and contaminating workers and the environment since 1943. On July 28, Sister Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed snipped through fences and walked up to the new Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility building. They unfurled banners, spray-painted the building with phrases such as “Woe to the empire of blood,” poured blood, prayed and broke bread.

Now they face felony charges that carry a maximum of $500,000 in fines and 15 years in prison. Additionally, in what looks like an attempt to scare them into pleading guilty now, federal prosecutors have mentioned bringing two heavier charges, including sabotage “during wartime,” which together carry up to 50 years imprisonmen


Go there and read. More tomorrow.


First this person loads this article with oblique invective. Not all liberals are opposed to nuclear power. In fact he never even defines what a liberal IS. Second, he bases his arguement on health issues while dismissing the costs of the power stations and the displacement of that cost to investments in renewable sources of energy with no evidence to support those dismissals. Then there is the issue of waste storage which proved so decisive in the Fukushima accident – eg. causing the most destruction and the most danger. From a larger perspective, we have our own nuclear fusion plant going on with the Sun, and we got back up in the Moon causing the tides. We don’t need no stinking nuclear power.

Are Anti-Nuke Liberals Science Deniers?

Posted: 04/ 5/11 03:37 PM ET


David Ropeik

David Ropeik

Author, “How Risky Is It, Really?”

The first glimmers of hope begin to shine from the nuclear crisis in Japan, but they will do little to brighten the views of some about nuclear power. As the disaster at Fukushima has shown, nuclear certainly has risks, as do all forms of energy. But the disaster has also reminded us that it’s really hard to get people to change their minds about a risk, once those minds have been made up. And close-mindedness isn’t the brightest, or safest, way to make the healthiest possible choices about how to stay safe.

As a TV reporter in Boston I covered several nuclear power controversies. Seabrook. Pilgrim. Yankee Rowe. These were great stories… lead stories… because they involved possible public exposure to nuclear radiation, and everybody knows that’s really dangerous. My stories were full of ominous drama and alarm. But when I joined the Harvard School of Public Health and researched nuclear power for a chapter in a book, RISK, A Practical Guide for Deciding What’s Really Safe and What’s Really Dangerous in the World Around You, I was ashamed to learn how uninformed and misleading my alarmism had been. Ionizing radiation is indeed a carcinogen. But it’s not nearly as potent as most people fear.

94,000 survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been followed for 66 years by epidemiologists from around the world and, compared to normal cancer rates in Japan, only about 500 of those survivors have died because of the radiation. About two thirds of one percent. The radiation also caused birth defects in children born to women pregnant when they were exposed, but no long term genetic damage. These findings are widely accepted in the scientific community. Governments around the world base their radiation regulations on them.


Go there and read. More tomorrow.


Yet when I go to the SJ-Rs Website I can not find the article to share with you. That is a really really bad mistake by a paper that is on its last legs. These guys claim that their digital Product is as good as their print Product, but guess what?  Maybe not. Anyway here is the home page. You go there see if you can find it.


In the mean time here is an article that I could find discussing or should I say disgusting the issue. This is a real brazen attempt by vested interests to keep a wind farm out of the State Capital. I do not know whether it is the Republican parties hatred of the topic of man caused global warming in general, or because of oil and gas interests in the Capital. This is the stupidest thing the County Board has ever done. There are wind farms all over this state and Sangamon County is the only one that has to have “special” zoning codes for them. This after the City Council of Springfield, at no ones request, placed height restrictions on personal wind turbines so as to render them ineffective. This county is completely gross.

County board to debate new wind turbine proposal

Posted Nov 15, 2012 @ 09:08 PM

The Sangamon County Board has scheduled a special meeting Monday to look at changes to county wind turbine rules that would increase the minimum distance between a turbine and a house.

The board imposed a moratorium on wind turbines in January so it could revamp its zoning rules. The turbines use wind energy to generate electricity.

The county now requires a large wind turbine to be at least 1,000 feet or three times the diameter of the rotors, whichever is greater, from a house. The setback from the property line must be at least 1,200 feet.

While no wind farm proposals are before the county board, Springfield Project Development, a joint development between American Wind Energy Management and Oak Creek Energy Systems, is planning a wind farm in western Sangamon County.


I would say, go there and read like I usually do but. More tomorrow.


I forgot to give this website credit for yesterday’s post. That is a small journalistic boo boo and I will clear that up now.

What Can Be Found on This Site

This site contains information about my books, an archive of my articles, and descriptions of my workshops on wind energy and Advanced Renewable Tariffs. This site also contains an extensive collection of articles and technical reports on electricity feed laws or renewable energy tariffs. I’ve been an outspoken proponent of feed laws since the late 1990s when I urged the American Wind Energy Association to call for them nationally.


My photos are stocked by Still Pictures in London. For more on my photography and for photo tours of several wind farms as well as a sampling of wind energy icons, see the photos section of this site.


Small Turbine Testing

Beginning in 1997 I’ve measured the performance and noise emissions of small wind turbines at the Wulf Test Field in the Tehachapi Pass. For more information on this work, visit Wulf Test Field.


Go there and read. More tomorrow.


Next Page »