June 2015


My mind is blown. My eyes disbelieve. My ears thunder. I smell a rat and I tingle in my toes. I am happy that school children will ride buses past the failed energy generator of the past and the successful energy generator of the future.

http://gizmodo.com/this-huge-wind-turbine-floating-on-water-is-fukushimas-1713340037

 

This Huge Wind Turbine Floating on Water Is Fukushima’s Energy Solution

Bryan Lufkin
Filed to: japan 6/23/15 12:30pm

A mere 12 miles from the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant will soon sit a 620-foot, 1,500-ton windmill atop a 5,000-ton podium. It’ll be the biggest floating wind turbine on Earth, and it could usher in a new age of green energy for a region largely fed up with nuclear energy.

The turbine, completed Monday, will generate up to 7 megawatts of electricity, making it Japan’s most powerful wind turbine, and the most powerful floating turbine in the world. That’s good news for Japan, a country that’s shut down nuclear power plants in the wake of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami and subsequent meltdown.

The beast of a turbine sports three 270-foot-long blades and is built to stand against winds nearly 200 mph. It’ll be part of a wind farm that will include three turbines total, and will be stationed in the Pacific in the coming months. One is already in place in the ocean—that smaller one generates 2 megawatts of electricity.

The $401 million Fukushima wind farm project is a government-sponsored collaboration among 11 companies and research orgs, like Mitsubishi, Hitachi, and the University of Tokyo.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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But how is the Catholic Church going to pitch in? His statement was aimed at policy makers, so politicians everywhere scrambled to comment. But what measures are the church(es) going to take. Solar panels on catholic churches? What?

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/19/world/europe/pope-francis-in-sweeping-encyclical-calls-for-swift-action-on-climate-change.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=second-column-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

Pope Francis, in Sweeping Encyclical, Calls for Swift Action on Climate Change

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Thursday called for a radical transformation of politics, economics and individual lifestyles to confront environmental degradation and climate change, as his much-awaited papal encyclical blended a biting critique of consumerism and irresponsible development with a plea for swift and unified global action.

The vision that Francis outlined in the 184-page encyclical is sweeping in ambition and scope: He described a relentless exploitation and destruction of the environment, for which he blamed apathy, the reckless pursuit of profits, excessive faith in technology and political shortsightedness. The most vulnerable victims are the world’s poorest people, he declared, who are being dislocated and disregarded.

The first pope from the developing world, Francis, an Argentine, used the encyclical — titled “Laudato Si’,” or “Praise Be to You” — to highlight the crisis posed by climate change. He placed most of the blame on fossil fuels and human activity while warning of an “unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequence for all of us” if swift action is not taken. Developed, industrialized countries were mostly responsible, he said, and were obligated to help poorer nations confront the crisis.

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Go there and pray. More next week.

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From Three Mile Island, to Chernobyl, to Fukushima, nuclear power has soaked up trillions of $$$ and awarded planet Earth with poisonous outputs  and death and destruction. The proponents point to the trillions of kilowatts generated without carbon emissions. The bottom line is what to we do to shut them down? Safely. The answer is – there is none. So we are in jeopardy for thousands of years.

http://nautil.us/blog/no-one-knows-what-to-do-with-fukushimas-endless-tanks-of-radioactive-water

No One Knows What to Do With Fukushima’s Endless Tanks of Radioactive Water

This is what passes for good news from Fukushima Daiichi,  the Japanese nuclear power plant devastated by meltdowns and explosions after a cataclysmic earthquake and tsunami in 2011: By the end of last month, workers had succeeded in filtering most of the 620,000 tons of toxic water stored at the site, removing almost all of the radioactive materials.

After numerous false starts and technical glitches, most of the stored water has been run through filtration systems to remove dangerous strontium-90, as well as many other radionuclides. TEPCO, the Japanese utility that operates the power plant, trumpeted the achievement: “This is a significant milestone for improving the environment for our surrounding communities and for our workers,” said Naohiro Masuda, TEPCO’s chief decommissioning officer, in a press release.

But it’s not quite so easy to bounce back from a nuclear disaster of this scale. For one thing, don’t take TEPCO’s statement too literally: No one is living in the “surrounding communities”—they’re far too contaminated for human habitation. Furthermore, the filtered water is still full of tritium, a radioactive version of hydrogen. (When two neutrons are added to the element, it becomes unstable, prone to emitting electrons.) Tritium bonds with oxygen just like normal hydrogen does, to produce radioactive “tritiated water.” It’s impractical—or at least extremely difficult and expensive—to separate tritiated water from normal water.

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You will be depressed. Go there and read anyway. More next week.

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See the thing is, like coal, Nuclear Power Plants have rich investors. They are going to wring every last penny out of those investments no matter what. If the planet suffers? So what? Who cares about our suffering?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gabe-elsner/the-exelonpepco-merger-ex_b_7176948.html

The Exelon-Pepco Merger & Exelon’s History of Anti-Clean Energy Lobbying

Posted: Updated: DT

Exelon has a long history of using political influence to oppose the deployment of renewable energy. Exelon’s political operations may impact the company’s ability to show that a merger with Pepco would provide a tangible benefit to customers on the criteria of conserving natural resources and preserving environmental quality – two factors that must be considered in the District of Columbia. According to the Office of the People’s Counsel, “the [Exelon-Pepco] merger is not in the public interest…as a result of Exelon’s longstanding resistance to policies promoting renewable energy.”

Exelon-Pepco-Merger.jpgIf approved, the Exelon-Pepco merger would empower the company to continue its anti-renewable campaign in Washington, D.C., and Maryland, negatively impact ratepayers, and hinder the growth of the renewable energy industry.

Lobbying Against the Renewable Portfolio Standard in Illinois

Exelon has routinely worked against renewable energy policies and used its financial resources and political influence to benefit the company at the expense of environmental quality and renewables. Most recently, Exelon has proposed a bill in Illinois, the Low Carbon Portfolio Standard (LCPS), that would subsidize nuclear plants that are struggling to compete with the cheap cost of electricity from natural gas plants and wind turbines. As written, the LCPS would increase rates for ratepayers, and Exelon’s nuclear plants would earn an estimated $300 million per year from low carbon credits while renewables would get almost nothing. Crain’s Chicago Business Journal documented that “Exelon long has complained that profits at its six nuclear power plants in Illinois are under pressure in part due to competition rom tax-subsidized wind farms. Exelon is backing state legislation that would create a new surcharge on most electric bills throughout the state that would funnel as much as $300 million a year to the company’s Illinois nukes.”

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Go there and read. More next week.

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