self inflicted wounds

Springfield’s coal fired power plant is not compliant with the Clean Air Act. Apparently it won’t be anytime soon.

Illinois EPA seeks comment on CWLP clean air permit

By Mary Hansen
Staff Writer

Posted Jul. 27, 2016 at 5:58 PM

Springfield residents can ask questions and comment on proposed updates to an air pollution permit for City Water, Light and Power’s generating station at a public hearing Aug 30.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is holding the 7 p.m. hearing at the University of Illinois Springfield’s Public Affairs Center.

The state agency is gathering comments in its process to update a Clean Air Act permit for CWLP. Under the Clean Air Act, the federal government sets limits for certain pollutants.

The changes to the permit include regulations for CWLP’s newest power plant unit, Dallman 4, which was not covered under the original permit. It also has requirements that were not law when the Illinois EPA issued the permit for Dallman 4, such as emission limits for mercury and other air toxins. The city-owned utility has been required to comply with these standards, but the permit allows the federal and state agencies, as well as the public, to monitor and enforce them.


Go there and read. Google the topic too. More next week.


I have wanted the Clinton Nuke shut down for years. It was a costly plant that was built badly. But you can’t just flip a switch and turn it off. Not only that but once it comes off line it has to be decommissioned. That mean it has to be guarded and monitored until that process is complete. Not only that but the baseline output must be replaced. The biggest question is, Will they do all of that safely. I hope so.

Exelon to close three Illinois nukes in 2017 and 2018: Quad Cities 1 &2 and Clinton

The Chicago-based nuclear giant, Exelon Generation Corporpation, formally notified the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that it will permanently close its Quad Cities Units 1 & 2 and Clinton nuclear generating stations in Illinois.  The two Fukushima-style reactors at Quad Cities, both GE Mark I boiling water reactors will close in 2018 and Clinton, a GE Mark III boiling water reactor will permanently close in 2017.

The Exelon formal filing to the NRC is just the latest in a trend of reactor closure announcements across the country at Fort Calhoun in Nebraska by the end of 2016, Diablo Canyon Units 1 & 2 by 2025 in California. This latest trend of closure announcements follows on the 2013 shutdowns at Crystal River 3 (Florida), San Onofre 2 & 3 (California), and Kewanee (Wisconsin). Vermont Yankee (Vermont) permanently closed in 2014. Additional closure announces have been submitted to the NRC for Fitzpatrick (NY) in 2017 and the Pilgrim (Massachusetts) and Oyster Creek (New Jersey) nuclear power stations in 2019.  More reactor units, like Pennsylvania’s infamous Three Mile Island nuclear power station, are still pending formal announcements to the NRC.


Go there and read. More next week.


This is so outrageous. People in the Nuclear Industry are always saying that their reactors are safe and they are responsible operators. Turns out both of those things are lies.

Report: San Onofre reactor was pushed too far, leak resulted

Owners of the failed San Onofre nuclear power plant operated the reactor outside the allowable limits for pressure and temperature, causing the radiation leak that shut down the facility for good in 2012, a new report has found.

Citing documents recently obtained from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, former Southern California Edison engineer Vinod Arora issued a report Tuesday laying blame for the breakdown squarely on Edison.

“Higher primary reactor coolant temperatures and higher steam pressure caused tube-to-tube contact resulting in dangerous and potentially deadly tube ruptures,” he said.

Excessive tube wear inside replacement steam generators forced the shutdown in 2012.


Go there and be very horrified. More next week.


It is depressing sometimes. You thing people have got. The climate is warming because we throw carbon and other green house gases in the air. Then oil and gasoline gets cheap and people go to over consuming. Come on, use green energy instead.

Americans Are Fueling Up Cheaply, and the Climate Suffers

So much for the idea that American gasoline use topped out in the last decade.

Lower oil prices and the improving economy have sparked an increase in fuel use, road travel and vehicle emissions. It puts an emphatic end to the notion that better fuel economy and fewer active drivers would shrink demand for gasoline in the U.S. from what was thought to be its peak in 2007.

That’s bad news for the climate. Processing crude oil and burning gasoline send huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and are major contributors to global warming. The increase in those emissions comes at an inopportune time. World leaders expect the U.S. to lead the way on emission reductions as negotiations continue toward a global climate treaty in December.

After falling for five straight years, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from gasoline consumption rose 1.4 percent in 2013, followed by a less than 1 percent increase in 2014 to 1.07 billion metric tons, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA).


Go there and read. More next week.


The original BAD idea behind this bill was that Excelon’s Nukes were not profitable so they needed a subsidy from the State of Illinois or they would have to shut down. That subsidy would come from including the Nukes as part of Illinois’ Clean Energy Portfolio. Yah right, like Nukes are a clean source of energy. But this 2016 version rolls Clean Coal, Renewable Energy and Nuclear Power into the same package. Just how bad is this Bill? There is no such thing as Clean Coal.

Less than a week ago, Exelon– the owner of Illinois’ nuclear power industry and one of the largest energy companies in the world– introduced a new bill to the Illinois Senate. SB 1585 is disguised as a “new generation” energy plan for our state, but is nothing more than a giant bailout for Exelon.
To make things worse, Exelon is using their energy monopoly to strongarm our lawmakers, threatening to close 2 nuclear power plants if the bill doesn’t pass by May 31st.  SB1585 takes tax dollars out of our
hands, and puts them straight into the pockets of Exelon.
Our tax dollar should not be used to keep dangerous nuclear energy in business. Instead, our tax dollars should be invested in the clean energy future that our state and planet needs!
3 Things YOU can do THIS WEEK!
1. Electronically
Submit a Witness Slip AGAINST this bad bill!


Go there and read. More important, do everything they say and show up at the State Capitol if you can. More next week.


I am so used to thinking about radiation as dangerous and creepy, that this article comletely caught me off guard. How about you?

How Radioactive Animals Become Tools, Pests and Political Statements

Far from Chernobyl, turtles, rabbits and cows make nuclear cleanups an educational mess.

In the late 1970s, a worker at South Carolina’s Savannah River Site nuclear reservation peered into a seepage basin and spotted a small, out-of-place turtle. Scooping it out of the nuclear waste, the worker toted his new charge to a nearby ecology lab, where he figured they’d know what to do with it.

As he walked in the lab door, a radioactivity counter began beeping. The lab technician tested the mud on the worker’s shoes, figuring he’d tracked in some of the site’s contaminated muck. When the shoes came up clear, the confused technician tested further. After a few more swipes, the culprit emerged: It was the turtle.

Though this was the first radioactive turtle found at the Savannah River Site, it was far from an anomaly—there or elsewhere. Across the world, such creatures scurry, swim and fly among us. Unlike popular representations might lead us believe, most of them lack grotesque deformities, special abilities, or weird proclivities for pizza. Instead, like that turtle, many of them are totally healthy and happy—living relatively normal lives and, unless we try to eat them, posing little direct threat to humans.


Go there and read. It is fascinating. More next week.


Yes I am a Headline Whore. But this is a very real nitty gritty get your hands dirty post. Most of the posts here are about environmental theories, or solar power writ large. But many environmental issues involve a compost pile and turning them, or washing off crud from recyclables. In this case if you have grass, and live in town you have to cut it. That means you have maintenance things to attend to. So here they are.

The Family Handyman

Lawn Tractor Maintenance Tips

Professional tips that prevent expensive repairs

Following the lawn tractor maintenance advice in your tractor’s manual is the best way to keep it humming along smoothly. But owner’s manuals usually only tell you basically what to do and when to do it—they seldom include the tips and real-world wisdom gained through experience. So we asked veteran mechanics which steps are the most important and how to make lawn tractor maintenance and tubeless tire repair faster and easier.

You’ll save too. Dealers typically charge more than $200 for routine maintenance that includes an oil change and new spark plugs and filters. But you can do all these things—and more—in just a few hours. A lawn tractor maintenance kit from your dealer (less than $75) might cost a few bucks more than buying parts separately but ensures that you get all the right stuff. And new tubes for a tubeless tire repair cost from $5 – $15.

Clean the mower deck

Remove the belt guards and blow off the debris that wrecks belts and pulleys. Scrape away any debris buildup under the pulleys with a screwdriver.

(thus it starts)


Go there and read a heck of a lot. More next week.


Anytime the indigenous people perform ceremonies on the water I talk about it. Because if anything needs healing our major waterways do. But as I was typing the headline I thought, “what should I really call them”. After some research it appears Indian and American Indian are not as bad as I thought. I personally like First Americans. Best line from the research was, “I don’t like to be called Indian because India is half a world away”.

Indigenous People To Walk 240 Miles Along Minnesota River

Indigenous People To Walk 240 Miles Along Minnesota River

ORTONVILLE, Minn. (AP) — A small group of indigenous people and their supporters are walking about 240 miles along the Minnesota River to raise awareness about the need to protect water.

The weeklong journey began last Friday from Big Stone Lake in Ortonville and will end this Friday at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers near Minneapolis. About 20 people were expected to participate, some of whom planned to walk for just one day. Members will carry water in a copper vessel along the river byway.

Such walks foster a spiritual connection with water, Ojibwe elder Sharon Day, who lives in St. Paul and serves as the executive director of the Indigenous Peoples Task Force, told The Free Press of Mankato.


Go there and pray. More next week.


Taylor Energy is not the most despicable oil company in the US but it is working on it. Thank God this happened after I left New Orleans or I would be burning their buildings down.

The Biggest Oil Leak You’ve Never Heard Of, Still Leaking After 12 Years

Tim Donaghy, Greenpeace | February 23, 2016 3:57 pm |

Far away from TV cameras and under the radar of the nightly news, oil has been continuously leaking from a damaged production platform located just 12 miles off the coast of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico—causing an oily sheens on the surface that stretch for miles and are visible from space.

These underwater oil wells have been leaking since 2004 and continue to leak as you read this. Unless it is plugged, the government estimates the leak might continue for 100 years until the oil in the underground reservoir is finally depleted.

The platform’s owner, Taylor Energy, has no plans to stop the leak and is lobbying behind the scenes for permission to walk away from its mess.

The Risks of Offshore Oil Production

In September 2004, Hurricane Ivan slammed into the Gulf and unleashed an underwater mudslide which toppled the Mississippi Canyon 20 (MC20) oil platform. The offshore platform was located in 450 feet of water near the outlet of the Mississippi River. After the mudslide, the platform ended up on the seafloor, 900 feet from its original location and plumes of oil began seeping from the broken well casings of more than 20 wells that had been connected to the platform


Go there and cry…I mean read. More next week.


As this article makes clear, we need dams. In my mind they are a trade off we can live with, and the excuse that it is just unprofitable to repair them is disgusting. Still, there are environmentalists who disagree.

One of Africa’s Biggest Dams Is Falling Apart


The new year has not been kind to the hydroelectric-dam industry. On January 11th, the New York Times reported that Mosul Dam, the largest such structure in Iraq, urgently requires maintenance to prevent its collapse, a disaster that could drown as many as five hundred thousand people downstream and leave a million homeless. Four days earlier, the energy minister of Zambia declared that Kariba Dam, which straddles the border between his country and Zimbabwe, holding back the world’s largest reservoir, was in “dire” condition. An unprecedented drought threatens to shut down the dam’s power production, which supplies nearly half the nation’s electricity.

The news comes as more and more of the biggest hydroelectric-dam projects around the world are being cancelled or postponed. In 2014, researchers at Oxford University reviewed the financial performance of two hundred and forty-five dams and concluded that the “construction costs of large dams are too high to yield a positive return.” Other forms of energy generation—wind, solar, and miniature hydropower units that can be installed inside irrigation canals—are becoming competitive, and they cause far less social and environmental damage. And dams are particularly ill-suited to climate change, which simultaneously requires that they be larger (to accommodate the anticipated floods) and smaller (to be cost-effective during the anticipated droughts).


Go there and read. More next week.


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