dumb ideas


I thought about posting a story about how cheap alternative energy has become, especially wind power. Much cheaper than coal. I also considered posting a story about how Costa Rico ran its entire country on renewable energy for 300 days or even about the energy plight of Puerto Rico. But I fought against the subsidies for Excelon because the nukes are dangerous boondoggles and because the lost jobs could be replaced with renewal energy jobs. This proves that the State of Illinois wasted 285 million dollars on this crap. I am infuriated.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/illinois/investigation-radioactive-leaks-at-illinois-nuclear-plants/article_5afd12ac-e54b-5b20-be98-b72233c1075c.html

Investigation: Radioactive leaks at Illinois nuclear plants

  • By Brett Chase and Madison Hopkins • Better Government Association

Radioactive waste continues to pour from Exelon’s Illinois nuclear power plants more than a decade after the discovery of chronic leaks led to national outrage, a $1.2 million government settlement and a company vow to guard against future accidents, an investigation by a government watchdog group found.

Since 2007, there have been at least 35 reported leaks, spills or other accidental releases in Illinois of water contaminated with radioactive tritium, a byproduct of nuclear power production and a carcinogen at high levels, a Better Government Association review of federal and state records shows.

No fines were issued for the accidents, all of which were self-reported by the company.

The most recent leak of 35,000 gallons occurred over two weeks in May and June at Exelon’s Braidwood plant, southwest of Chicago. The same facility was the focus of a community panic in the mid-2000s after a series of accidents stirred debate over the safety of aging nuclear plants.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Really? No Bid. Nothing. We had experience in the mountains and no one else wanted the contract. That is all they have to say? A company from the Secretary of Interior’s hometown. Zinke had nothing to do with it? WHAT!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/small-montana-firm-lands-puerto-ricos-biggest-contract-to-get-the-power-back-on/2017/10/23/31cccc3e-b4d6-11e7-9e58-e6288544af98_story.html?utm_term=.f40f2a9969f7

Small Montana firm lands Puerto Rico’s biggest contract to get the power back on

October 23

For the sprawling effort to restore Puerto Rico’s crippled electrical grid, the territory’s state-owned utility has turned to a two-year-old company from Montana that had just two full-time employees on the day Hurricane Maria made landfall.

The company, Whitefish Energy, said last week that it had signed a $300 million contract with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority to repair and reconstruct large portions of the island’s electrical infrastructure. The contract is the biggest yet issued in the troubled relief effort.

Whitefish said Monday that it has 280 workers in the territory, using linemen from across the country, most of them as subcontractors, and that the number grows on average from 10 to 20 people a day. It said it was close to completing infrastructure work that will energize some of the key industrial facilities that are critical to restarting the local economy.

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SIGH. Go there and read. More next week.

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This is startling and disturbing. Are these people crazy?

Florida Nuke Plant Did Not Meet Fed Safety Guidelines as Irma Roared

Update | Operators of a nuclear power plant in the path of Hurricane Irma kept one reactor operating during the cyclone, although the plant had not finished meeting stricter federal safety requirements implemented after Japan’s Fukushima accident.

The Turkey Point nuclear plant in Homestead, along the southeast Florida coast, experienced an unrelated failure in one reactor’s cooling system during the storm. A part called the steam generator’s feed regulating valve failed on Sunday night, prompting engineers to shut down the reactor.

The cooling system malfunction did not cause any radiation leakage, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The failure of the valve at Turkey Point was unrelated to larger, federally mandated improvements that are still pending, including improving seals on exterior doors and improving floodwater drainage mechanisms near “key” cooling pumps, according to a flood- and hurricane-preparedness report the power plant sent to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in June — a requirement of post-Fukushima regulations.

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Go there and get sick. I mean read. More next week.

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First Woolsey couldn’t get the location of the well head and the lateral line of drilling correct on their application. Then they got swamped with negative comments from the public. Now the regulatory agency wants more information. This while oil is below 50 $$ per barrel. What is going on here?

http://www.sj-r.com/news/20170815/regulators-seek-more-details-on-states-first-fracking-permit

Regulators seek more details on state’s first fracking permit

Illinois regulators have asked for added information on environmental and other safeguards as a decision nears on the state’s first application for a hydraulic fracturing permit since the law was approved in 2013.

Woolsey Companies Inc., an energy development company based in Wichita, Kansas, seeks to become the first driller approved for the practice of using high pressure water and chemicals to free gas and oil from deep rock formations, also known as fracking.

Illinois regulations were not finalized until 2014.

A notice filed Monday by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources asks for additional information on handling of fracturing fluids, containment measures, traffic management, the effect on fresh water, water source management and operations details at the site near the southeastern Illinois community of Enfield. The department gave the company until Aug. 24 to provide the information in order to meet the Aug. 31 deadline for a decision.

“Failure to respond to this letter in a timely manner may result in your application being rejected or denied,” the notice states.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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I will say this once and only once. If nukes are a really bad idea on the Earth, then they are  a really really bad idea for Mars. They are only on or off. That is functional or not, and if it is NOT you are dead. If they go out of control no good can come of it. The first and foremost reason has always been, What do you do with the waste?.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/nasa-seeks-nuclear-power-for-mars/

Purch
Space

NASA Seeks Nuclear Power for Mars

 After a half-century hiatus, the agency is reviving its reactor development with a test later this summer

As NASA makes plans to one day send humans to Mars, one of the key technical gaps the agency is working to fill is how to provide enough power on the Red Planet’s surface for fuel production, habitats and other equipment. One option: small nuclear fission reactors, which work by splitting uranium atoms to generate heat, which is then converted into electric power.

NASA’s technology development branch has been funding a project called Kilopower for three years, with the aim of demonstrating the system at the Nevada National Security Site near Las Vegas. Testing is due to start in September and end in January 2018.

The last time NASA tested a fission reactor was during the 1960s’ Systems for Nuclear Auxiliary Power, or SNAP, program, which developed two types of nuclear power systems. The first system — radioisotope thermoelectric generators, or RTGs — taps heat released from the natural decay of a radioactive element, such as plutonium. RTGs have powered dozens of space probes over the years, including the Curiosity rover currently exploring Mars. [Nuclear Generators Power NASA Deep Space Probes (Infographic)]

The second technology developed under SNAP was an atom-splitting fission reactor. SNAP-10A was the first — and so far, only — U.S. nuclear power plant to operate in space.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Someone has finally applied for a permit to frack an oil well in Illinois. Even though they could not get the exact location of that well right on their application, they still plunge ahead. Even though oil prices are quite low, they want to try. I have a bad feeling about this but we shall see.

https://www.ilnews.org/news/economy/woolsey-companies-first-to-apply-for-illinois-fracking-permit/article_d665515a-5d9a-11e7-906b-af62f5a6edcf.html

Woolsey Companies first to apply for Illinois fracking permit

ILLINOIS NEWS NETWORK

Four years after former Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation that cleared the way for fracking in Illinois, the state has received its first application for a drilling permit.

Woolsey Companies Inc. is looking to drill a well near Enfield in southeastern White County. The company is based in Wichita, Kansas.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources spokesman Tim Schweizer says the original paperwork was received on May 22, but the company is expected to submit an amended application to correct a few problems. That will extend the window for officials to consider the proposal.

“It appears now we’ll have until August 31 to [decide],” Schweizer said. “The Illinois Oil and Gas staff here at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources will be reviewing the permit application and will ultimately make the decision on whether it is approved or denied.”

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Go there and read. Also post a comment on the application. More next week.

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I must say that the general public is slanted against comedians. First, they think comedy is easy. It is not. It is very hard and mentally challenging. Second, they assume that acomedian could never be a good politician. I think Al Franken proves them wrong on both counts. I think he is an excellent comedian and a politician. About the environment he is spot on.

https://thinkprogress.org/al-franken-strategy-for-trump-climate-deniers-fd9a6502f9cb

Al Franken’s devastating strategy for taking on Trump’s team of climate science deniers

Knowledge of climate science plus mastery of storytelling is a rare combination.

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) has emerged as one of Congress’ most devastating questioners of the myriad climate science deniers who fill President Donald Trump’s cabinet.

And it’s largely because the comedian turned Senator combines two abilities rarely seen together?—?actual knowledge of climate science and genuine communications chops. Franken knows how to tell a good story, and as the best science communicators will tell you, the best messaging requires storytelling.

Just last week Franken dismantled Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in one hearing, and Energy Secretary Rick Perry in another. And by dismantled, I mean his doggedness drove Zinke to spout nonsense answers that a top climatologist called “stupid and ignorant,” while it drove Perry to simply lose his cool?—?a take-down that has since gone viral.

Let’s see how Franken does it. Here he is with Zinke on Tuesday:

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Go there and read. Go there and play videos. More next week.

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I was originally going to post about the growth of off shore Wind Farms in the Northeast as reported by Bloomberg. This article caught my eye instead. If the Utility Companies are this desperate then that is a good thing. You know you can’t stop the invisible hands of the market.

https://www.ecowatch.com/north-carolina-solar-2440926788.html

Solar Battle Continues as Duke-Backed Energy Bill Passes North Carolina House

By Molly Taft, Laura A. Shepard and Monika Sharma

Alongside Highway 401 in northern North Carolina is a 21st-century twist on a classic rural scene. A few miles outside of Roxboro, sheep graze among 5,000 panels at the Person County Solar Park, keeping the grass tidy on the rural installation.

Fields like these aren’t just scenic settings for roadtripping tourists to snap photos. Solar has “been some of the only economic development to happen in rural North Carolina in the last 30 years,” explained Richard Harkrader, CEO of a local solar company.

For companies like Harkrader’s Carolina Solar Energy, the Tar Heel State is a great place to do business. Abundant sunshine, ample support for clean energy and smart public policy have spurred the rapid growth of solar. Today, North Carolina boasts more solar capacity than every state except California. In the first quarter of 2017, North Carolina added more solar than any other state, and its solar industry employs more people than Wake Forest University.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Time and time again experts have said, drilling in subzero weather is dangerous. Here is why. It’s BP. They should know better. Right?

Oil well leaking out of control on Arctic Alaska North Slope

An oil pipeline runs from an on-shore facility. The Caelus Energy Oooguruk Development Project is situated on a six-acre gravel island in the Beaufort Sea that’s home to several producing oil wells, on the North Slope in Harrison Bay, Alaska, on Feb. 17, 2017.
PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

By Steven Mufson, The Washington Post

A BP oil and gas production well in Alaska’s North Slope blew out Friday morning, and on Saturday afternoon, the well was still not under control as responders fought subfreezing temperatures and winds gusting up to 38 mph.

Efforts to get the well under control were also being hampered by damage to a well pressure gauge and by indications that the well itself has “jacked up,” or risen three to four feet, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said in a situation report Saturday afternoon.

BP, whose Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico blew out and caused the largest oil spill in U.S. history, has responded to questions about the well, but information was limited and there was no estimate about volumes of natural gas and oil released.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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What I wanted to do today was something positive and warm fuzzy today. BUT Dolt 45 (Donald “he’s not my president” Trump) started signing Executive Orders willy nilly on Monday Boosting Coal, Supporting finding coal on Public Lands, Ordering the review of regulations about Methane production in oil and natural gas production, and last but not least challenging the Clean Power Plan. This man is insane. On the same day that China signals their commitment to renewables, we go the opposite direction. I mean it is so 1950. What is he going to do next? Order us all to smoke cigarettes?

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/legal-battles-trumps-climate-order-21288

Long Legal Battles Ahead Over Trump’s Climate Order

Environmental groups and progressive states are vowing to battle President Trump in court over his push to repeal federal climate protections, and experts are warning that the battles ahead will be slow and protracted.

An executive order on energy regulations signed by Trump on Tuesday takes direct aim at President Obama’s landmark climate rule, the Clean Power Plan, which would limit greenhouse gas pollution from power plants beginning in 2022.

“It’s a more cautious and well thought-out executive order than the ones we’ve seen from Trump so far,” said Michael Wara, an energy and environmental expert at Stanford Law School.

Trump’s order doesn’t eliminate the power plant rules, instead directing the Environmental Protection Agency to review them and suspend or rescind or propose changes to any that “burden” energy production from coal and other fossil fuels. It requires similar reviews of other energy industry rules.

“It doesn’t actually do anything,” Wara said. “What it sets in place is a process to review the rules promulgated by the Obama administration.”

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Go there and read. More next week.

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