Nuclear Power – On time and under cost

Yah right. That is so laughable. Even after they announced that they were going to try to bring 5 nuclear plants on line there were no commercial backers and so the price went up before they even started. It has been all downhill since then.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/news-guide-building-nuclear-power-plants-16750327#.T_2tBZGkNyU

News Guide: Nuclear Industry Facing Cost Pressures

By The Associated Press
July 10, 2012 (AP)

Q: How many nuclear plants are under construction in the U.S.?

A: Three. Two nuclear reactors are being built at Plant Vogtle in eastern Georgia. Two more reactors are under construction at Plant Summer in central South Carolina. A fifth reactor mothballed in 1985 is being finished at Plant Watts Bar in Tennessee.

Q: How often are nuclear plants built?

A: The last nuclear plant built in the United States was the existing reactor finished at Watts Bar in 1996.

Q: How much does a nuclear plant cost?

A: Billions of dollars. Nuclear plants are among the most complicated and expensive infrastructure projects in the world. The plants require incredible amounts of design and engineering work and must be built to exacting safety standards. Federal inspectors can require that parts of the plant be ripped out and replaced if they don’t meet muster. The plants require huge amounts of metal, concrete, cables and wires. Building two Westinghouse Electric Co. AP1000 reactors at Plant Vogtle is supposed to cost roughly $14 billion, though the final expenses could be more.

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Go there and read the rest. More tomorrow.

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How Many Ways Can You Get Aternative Energy Wrong – Americans will always think of something

Got no more to say than the title. This is some really dumb stuff.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204012004577072470158115782.html

The Cellulosic Ethanol Debacle

Congress mandated purchase of 250 million gallons in 2011. Actual production: 6.6 million.

‘We’ll fund additional research in cutting-edge methods of producing ethanol, not just from corn but from wood chips and stalks or switch grass. Our goal is to make this new kind of ethanol practical and competitive within six years.”

—George W. Bush, 2006 State of the Union address

Years before the Obama Administration dumped $70 billion into solar and wind energy and battery operated cars, and long before anyone heard of Solyndra, President Bush launched his own version of a green energy revolution. The future he saw was biofuels. In addition to showering billions of dollars on corn ethanol, Mr. Bush assured the nation that by 2012 cars and trucks could be powered by cellulosic fuels from switch grass and other plant life.

To launch this wonder-fuel industry, the feds under Mr. Bush and President Obama have pumped at least $1.5 billion of grants and loan subsidies to fledgling producers. Mr. Bush signed an energy bill in 2007 that established a tax credit of $1.01 per gallon produced.

Most important, the Nancy Pelosi Congress passed and Mr. Bush signed a law imposing mandates on oil companies to blend cellulosic fuel into conventional gasoline. This guaranteed producers a market. In 2010 the mandate was 100 million barrels, rising to 250 million in 2011 and 500 million in 2012. By the end of this decade the requirements leap to 10.5 billion gallons a year.

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Go there and read as long as you can bare it. More tomorrow.

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Climate Change Forces Us To Move Animals – Noah’s ark comes to life

Already a group of scientists and volunteers moved a butterfly north because of the warming climate. Our zoos are being referred to as “lifeboats” for extinct “in the wild” animals. This is no longer funny. People should be going to jail for this but it turns out that jails are only for poor people and white collar criminals not the uber wealthy who control the literal power structure that is causing this.

http://www.livescience.com/17719-species-extinctions-climate-change.html

Extinctions from Climate Change Underestimated

Wynne Parry, LiveScience Senior Writer
Date: 04 January 2012 Time: 09:31 AM ET

As climate change progresses, the planet may lose more plant and animal species than predicted, a new modeling study suggests.

This is because current predictions overlook two important factors: the differences in how quickly species relocate and competition among species, according to the researchers, led by Mark Urban, an ecologist at the University of Connecticut.

Already evidence suggests that species have begun to migrate out of ranges made inhospitable by climate change and into newly hospitable territory.

“We have really sophisticated meteorological models for predicting climate change,” Urban said in a statement. “But in real life, animals move around, they compete, they parasitize each other and they eat each other. The majority of our predictions don’t include these important interactions.”

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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This Piece Just Blew Me Away – Small unit nuclear power is just so wrong on so many levels

This is the Republican Corporate dreamland. Proclaiming that you are the energy source of  the future doesn’t make it so. But mix in a fair number of under educated farm people who will believe anything and Westinghouse who has everything to gain and you have a Missouri wet dream. Unfortunately this is just that, only it is a bad dream. I mean really, if we make it small and spread it around it will work better? Get out.

http://www.moenergyfuture.org/blog/breaking-news-exciting-investment-opportunity-for-missouri-announced-today/

Breaking news: Exciting investment opportunity for Missouri announced today

Posted on April 19, 2012

On Thursday, April 19, Missouri’s energy future took a giant leap forward as investor-owned, cooperative and municipal utilities announced that they are partnering with Westinghouse Electric Company to apply to the Department of Energy’s Small Modular Reactors (SMR) investment fund for up to $452 million. The funding will support engineering, design certification and licensing for SMRs in Missouri.

This historic partnership could make Missouri a world leader in the energy sector economy.  Gov. Jay Nixon, Sen. Mike Kehoe, Rep. Jeanie Riddle, Chairman Pollock and the overwhelming majority of members of the General Assembly who support nuclear power and helped make this amazing opportunity a reality, should be applauded for their hard work and commitment to Missouri’s energy and economic future.

Over the last four years, MBEF’s supporters across the state educated the public to show that cleaner, alternative energy sources like nuclear are a path forward for Missouri. Today, we are another step closer to creating jobs, boosting our economy and securing our energy future.

This announcement could make Missouri home to an SMR component manufacturing center, engineering and design center, and training facility for engineers—establishing Missouri as a world leader and exporter in energy technology and manufacturing.  In addition to the construction of new SMRs, thousands of Missourians will be put to work because of this project.

An economic impact study about the SMR project is in process and will be made available later this spring.

For more information about SMRs, please visit the below websites.

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Go there and laugh. More tomorrow.

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Senate Trys To Pass Keystone – Dems can be environmentally unsound too

This really needs no introduction nor comment by me. It is so sad though.

 

View a web version of this email.

Sierra Club - Explore, enjoy and protect the planet

Republican senators are trying to revive the Keystone XL oil pipeline proposal. Stop the Pipeline
Your senators have heard from Big Oil — now make sure they hear from you. Write them today to stop the Keystone XL pipeline!

Take Action

Dear Diane,

There’s breaking — and disturbing — news about the Keystone XL pipeline. Big Oil is bringing it back, and with a vengeance.

The Senate may vote as early as this week to force construction of the dirty tar sands oil pipeline — and once again, it’s up to you to stop this bill.

Last month, President Obama rejected the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, which TransCanada spent $1.3 million lobbying for in 2011.  We knew Big Oil wouldn’t give up, and sure enough, they’re still at it, using their money to force the pipeline down our throats, thwart the President, and pass this bill.

Email your senators today and tell them to oppose any legislation that would approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

With Big Oil and the lawmakers they’ve bought and paid for allied against us, we face a tough fight. This bill could pass. But by standing together, we beat their millions in round one, and we can do it again in round two.

It’s obvious that Big Oil will do almost anything to buy influence and get their way on Capitol Hill — they have to, since no project as dangerous as Keystone XL could ever pass on the merits alone.

This pipeline would carry the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel, tar sands oil, from Canada to Texas, where it would be shipped overseas. To build the pipeline, TransCanada has to seize private land from ranchers and farmers, and then expose what’s left to the threat of oil spills and leaks. Clean water, clean air, agriculture, and our shared climate would all be put at risk for what have been greatly exaggerated benefits.

There’s no reason the public should sacrifice so much just so Big Oil can increase their already-record profits. We may not have $1.3 million to lobby Congress — but we do have 1.4 million members and supporters like you.

Take thirty seconds to tell Sen. Durbin and Sen. Kirk — put our public health before Big Oil profits. Oppose this and any other attempt to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

Big Oil is used to getting their way, no matter what that means for the rest of us. But together, we can send a powerful message — write your senators today.

Thanks for all that you do to protect the environment,
Sarah Hodgdon

Sarah Hodgdon
Sierra Club Conservation Director

P.S. Our senators need to hear from as many of us as possible. Please forward this email to your friends and family!

You can also help spread the word on your social networks:

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BP Never Got The Issue – They believe they did nothing wrong in the first place

That’s right the OIL SPILL in the Gulf of Mexico was not their fault.  You know what? Between the remediation they have done and a court of law they maybe right. Which is maybe more disgusting. The well was theirs, there is no doubt about that but with the blowpout preventer being bad, the cementing company’s cement job being bad, and the drilling platform operator being bad to dangerous, by the time they get to court (think 20 years if the Exxon Valdez is any gauge) and all three companies may actually end up owing BP money. They sure are trying to put a shiny happy face on it though.

 

Locals call BP’s feel-good Gulf ads ‘propaganda’

Advertising blitz touts recovery of tourism, fishing industries after massive spill

By CAIN BURDEAU

updated 1/8/2012 2:24:03 PM ET

NEW ORLEANS — Nearly 20 months after its massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill — and just as Americans focus on New Orleans, host of the college football championship game — BP is pushing a slick nationwide public relations campaign to persuade Americans that the Gulf region has recovered.

BP PLC’s rosy picture of the Gulf, complete with sparkling beaches, booming businesses, smiling fishermen and waters bursting with seafood, seems a bit too rosy to many people who live there. Even if the British oil giant’s campaign helps promote the Gulf as a place where Americans should have no fear to visit and spend their money, some dismiss it as “BP propaganda.”

The PR blitz is part of the company’s multibillion dollar response to the Gulf oil spill that started after the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded off the coast of Louisiana on April 20, 2010, killing 11 workers and leading to the release of more than 200 million gallons (760 million liters) of oil. As engineers struggled to cap the out-of-control well, it turned into the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

Now, BP is touting evidence that the Gulf’s ecology has not been severely damaged by the spill and highlighting improving economic signs.

“I’m glad to report that all beaches and waters are open for everyone to enjoy!” BP representative Iris Cross says in one TV spot to an upbeat soundtrack. “And the economy is showing progress, with many areas on the Gulf Coast having their best tourism season in years.”

The campaign, launched just before Christmas, has ramped up for the two-week period around the Sugar Bowl and Bowl Championship Series title game to be played on Monday between Louisiana State University and Alabama.

The company is paying chefs Emeril Lagasse and John Besh to promote Gulf seafood, it’s hired two seafood trucks to hand out fish tacos and seafood-filled jambalaya to the hundreds of thousands of tourists and fans pouring into the city for the football games and it’s spreading its messages at galas, pre-game parties and vacation giveaways.

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More tomorrow.

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The Climate And Mankind Go Down The Drain – If Copenhagen was a bust Durban was a big boooooom

The world is just now getting over the disinformation campaign led by the rich, the coal companies and the oil companies that argued that global climate change wasn’t happening. The world had a perfect opportunity to clean it all up. China’s chunk of the atmosphere is a pig stye and they have to clean it up. They have people dying. Everyone has gone toxic over the last decade like it doesn’t matter. One of the reasons the world’s economy has stalled out is that it was in the process of moving to more sustainable models but the super rich and the elites dug in their heels and are holding it back. No new jobs. Why cause we don’t wanna. Sounding like three year olds threatening to take their toys and go home. But where is home anyway. They never got around to setting up a paradise on Mars. This article takes a much more tactful approach than mine but:

http://io9.com/5868551/did-the-durban-climate-change-talks-actually-accomplish-anything

Did the Durban climate change talks actually accomplish anything?

The UN’s latest Climate Change Conference recently concluded after two weeks of intense negotiations in Durban, South Africa. There’s going to be a new agreement to address climate change, but does that really mean anything? Let’s break down what happened.

Top image: Chukchi Sea Polar Bears by AP/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

There’s no point in denying it — the Durban talks, otherwise known as COP17, didn’t directly accomplish much at all, if anything. In fact, you could argue the talks represented a net loss for the world’s commitment to fighting climate change, as Canada announced it was withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol, the current UN agreement aimed at cutting climate change, placing it in the unusual position of being lectured by China about its environmental policy.

And if you were hoping for an agreement that would lay down concrete steps to cut carbon emissions or lower global temperatures, then these talks were a dismal failure. Instead, they simply got all the countries there to agree to be part of a future, legally binding agreement that will be defined by 2015 and go into effect in 2020. That might just sound like passing the buck — and yeah, it kind of is — but this does represent some small progress from the Kyoto Protocol.

For one thing, this new agreement has the United States on board, which infamously refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. Second, this future treaty will be legally binding for all countries, not just those classified as developed. While major developing powers like China and India ratified the Kyoto Protocol, they were under no real requirement to comply with it.

That should change with this new agreement, although a major contention of the final marathon 60-hour negotiating session was India’s objection that their compliance not be “legally binding.” They eventually settled on an agreement that would have “legal force.” What’s the difference? Your guess is as good as mine, though hopefully that will become clearer by 2015. It was also agreed to set up a fund to help developing countries pay for climate compliance, though there are no actual specifics on where the money would come from or how it would be managed.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Drill Deep Drill Dangerous – When are they ever going to get this right

Let me get this straight. They want drill baby drill in Artic and through shifting salt strata further south in Brazilian waters and yet this is the best they can do. My god are we in trouble.

http://ecopreneurist.com/2011/11/29/profit-over-protection-in-brazil/

Profit Over Protection in Brazil?

November 29, 2011 By

We’ve got another oil spill. This time it’s off the coast of Brazil, and Chevron has already stepped up to take responsibility for the incident, which occurred when the company didn’t correctly assess the pressure of the reservoir they were tapping. The oil leaked through a breach in the drill’s bore hole and has spread through seven nearby fissures in the sea floor.

Up to 110,000 gallons of oil have already been spilled, and up to 4,200 gallons may still be leaking from seabed cracks. The good news is that the sunny beaches of Rio de Janeiro haven’t been affected, so vacationers, vacation on!

In all fairness, it is certainly a positive that the oil hasn’t affected Brazil’s coasts – but it’s a small victory. Chevron has been working around the clock to clean up the spill, and they face millions of dollars in fines.

The Rio de Janeiro state environment minister, Carlos Minc, was quoted in the O Globo newspaper saying that Chevron “can’t come here and create whatever environmental mess they want” and that he “want[s] to see the CEO of Chevron swim in that oil”.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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The Next Annual Climate Summit – Same as the last one

They hold these every year and every year they get nowhere. The worldwide oil, natural gas and coal interests are just to strong for them to come too an agreement. But take heart, they are meeting in South Africa, the leading polluter in Africa bar none. Geographically their proximity to Antarctica is frightening. Not only that but they are the leading proponent of coal gasification. One of the nastiest 19th century practices still in use. Then there are the Canadians and their oil sands.

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Durban+Dummies+What+stake+international+climate+change+summit+South/5774871/story.html

Durban for Dummies: What’s at stake at the international climate-change summit in South Africa

By Mike De Souza, Postmedia News November 27, 2011

???OTTAWA – A two-week United Nations climate change summit in the South African coastal city of Durban begins Monday with nations far apart on negotiations to achieve a binding treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prevent dangerous changes in the atmosphere.

Governments from around the world have reached a consensus, based on the latest scientific evidence, that global warming is being caused by human activity and that it will lead to a range of consequences such as melting ice sheets, rising sea levels, and more severe storms and weather. But they believe they can reduce the impact of climate change by taking action now.

Here is some background on what’s at stake:

What is the Kyoto Protocol?

The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement that updates the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The original convention was signed in 1992 and came into force in 1994. The nations that signed the UN treaty, both developed and developing nations, agreed on the necessity to take measures to prevent human activity from causing dangerous interference with the climate. It also recognized that rich countries produced the emissions in their industrial development which are causing the changes in the atmosphere and must do more than their counterparts in the developing world.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Corporate Colonialism – They are carving up Africa again

When are the poor countries of the world going to catch a break. First they are conquered by the countries of Europe. Then they are handed over to corrupt and inept “local” leadership. Finally they are bought and paid for by the new corporate elites. This is just to0 nasty for words. But this is humans finest hour.

Africa: The New Land Grab in Africa – An Alarming Scramble for the Continent Is On

Agazit Abate

3 November 2011

Multinational corporations are buying enormous tracts of land in Africa to the detriment of local communities. Agazit Abate warns that the land grab puts countries on the path to increased food insecurity, environmental degradation, increased reliance on aid and marginalisation of farming and pastoralist communities.

The recent phenomenon of land grab, as outlined in the extensive research of the Oakland Institute, has resulted in the sale of enormous portions of land throughout Africa. In 2009 alone, nearly 60 million hectares of land were purchased or leased throughout the continent for the production and export of food, cut flowers and agrofuel crops.

Land grab was in part spurred by the food and financial crisis of 2008 when international bodies, corporations, investment funds, wealthy individuals, and governments began to re-focus their attention on agriculture and food as a profitable commodity. As outlined in the reports, the consequences of land grab include increased food insecurity, environmental degradation, community repression and displacement, and increased reliance on aid.

MEET THE INVESTORS

While media coverage has focused on the role of countries like India and China in land deals, the Oakland Institute’s investigation reveals the role of Western firms, wealthy US and European individuals, and investment funds with ties to major banks such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan. Investors include alternative investment firms like the London-based Emergent that works to attract speculators, and various universities like Harvard, Spelman and Vanderbilt.

Several Texas-based interests are associated with a major 600,000 hectares South Sudan deal which involves Kinyeti Development LLC, an Austin, Texas-based ‘global business development partnership and holding company’ managed by Howard Eugene Douglas, a former United States Ambassador at Large and Coordinator for Refugee Affairs. A key player in the largest land deal in Tanzania is Iowa agribusiness entrepreneur and Republican Party stalwart, Bruce Rastetter.

US companies are often below the radar, using subsidiaries registered in other countries, like Petrotech-ffn Agro Mali which is a subsidiary of Petrotech-ffn USA. Many European countries are also involved, often with support provided by their governments and embassies in African countries. For instance, Swedish and German firms have interests in the production of biofuels in Tanzanian. Addax Bioenergy from Switzerland and Quifel International Holdings (QIH) from Portugal are major investors in Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone Agriculture (SLA) is actually a subsidiary of the UK based Crad-1 (CAPARO Renewable Agriculture Developments Ltd.), associated with the Tony Blair African Governance Initiative.

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I just wanted to post the villains. For the rest of the analysis, go there and read that. More tomorrow.

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