FutureGen Is A Very Bad Idea – sounds like ideas from the past

How have humans gotten rid of their nasty waste in the past? Well it has always been out of sight out of mind. In the early cities they threw stuff in the river and made piles of it “out in the country side”.

My 2 most favorite modern examples are: 1) the Steel Barrels of Radioactive waste tossed in the ocean off  San Francisco. Barrels that would- get this – never rust.


Farallon Island Radioactive Waste Dump

“There is intense public and media interest in this issue, and we need to have the best information available when we respond to inquiries or participate in discussions on the issue of radioactive waste dumped near the Farallones.”–Barbara Boxer; United States Congress (D-California). June, 1990


More than 47,800 drums and other containers of low-level radioactive waste were dumped onto the ocean floor west of San Francisco between 1946 and 1970; many of these are in the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. 

and 2) The “reef” they tried to build out of used rubber automobile tires off the cost of Florida which has created a oceanic desert devoid of any life. It is now being cleaned up by volunteer divers.

Idea of making reef from tires


Four decades later, Florida now considers removing up to 2 million tires

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A mile offshore from this city’s high-rise condos and spring-break bars lie as many as 2 million old tires, strewn across the ocean floor — a white-walled, steel-belted monument to good intentions gone awry.The tires were unloaded there in 1972 to create an artificial reef that could attract a rich variety of marine life, and to free up space in clogged landfills. But decades later, the idea has proved a huge ecological blunder.Little sea life has formed on the tires. Some of the tires that were bundled together with nylon and steel have broken loose and are scouring the ocean floor across a swath the size of 31 football fields. Tires are washing up on beaches. Thousands have wedged up against a nearby natural reef, blocking coral growth and devastating marine life. 


So what does that have to do with FutureGen?

Thursday, February 7, 2008




FutureGen developers

hope to revive plan



MATTOON — Developers hop­ing to build an experimental central Illinois power plant

say they’ll try to work with the White House and the Department of Energy to get

the project back on track.

The power and coal companies known as the FutureGen Alliance also will work with Congress

to get money for the $1.8 billion project, said Paul Thompson, chairman of the developers’

group.‘We always want to keep the door open,” FutureGen chief exec­utive officer Mike Mudd said

Wednesday after two days of al­liance board meetings in Mattoon. “If that does not come to a

fruitful conclusion, we will work with Con­gress.”

Those talks aren’t happening

right now, Mudd and Thompson said. Thompson said he requested early in January to meet

with Ener­gy Secretary Samuel Bodman but has gotten no response.

Bodman, meanwhile, faced ques­tioning from Congress on Wednes­day about the agency’s

decision last week to pull out of the project, tak­ing with it its commitment to fund three-quarters

of the cost.

A DOE spokeswoman said the agency was willing to talk with the FutureGen Alliance about

its plan to restructure FutureGen, which it an­nounced last week. The agency has so far asked

for industry feedback on what it says could be several power plants across the country.

‘While the department continues to maintain open lines of communi­cation on this important

 matter, we believe the decision to restructure

FutureGen is the best path forward to demonstrate and commercialize advanced carbon capture

 and stor­age technology,” spokeswoman Julie Ruggiero said in an e-mail.

She did not address Thompson’s request for a meeting with Bod­man.

FutureGen is intended to prove a power plant can use coal to gener­ate electricity while

capturing the carbon dioxide in the fuel and stor­ing it underground to keep it out of the


Government and industry, until last week, had worked together, with the DOE covering 74 percent

of the cost and the FutureGen Al­liance covering the other 26 per­cent and building the plant.

The alliance chose Mattoon in December over three other sites — Tuscola, just north of Mattoon,

andtwo sites in Texas. The project would create thousands of jobs dur­ing construction, and 150

once the plant opens.The DOE and the alliance say they talked about the project’s es­calating costs

 much of last year.

When announced by the govern­ment in 2003, FutureGen was billed as a $950 million project,

meaning the Energy Department obligation was $800 million.

The current price tag, the al­liance says, is due to the rising cost of building materials. (emphasis added)



Well this is the ultimate out of sight out of mind solution. The form of carbon seqestration that they have proposed to use is dangerous. Deep Well Injection (DWI, all pun intended) may work in some instances. The best proof for DWI is when pumping the poisons into an already proven and toxic well like a deep and depleted oil field. Other than that DWI is a total crap shoot.


Injection wells use high-pressure pumps to inject liquid wastes into under-ground geologic formations (e.g., sandstone or sedimentary rocks with high porosity). Many geologists believe that wastes may be isolated from drinking water aquifers when injected between impermeable rock strata. However, injection wells are still controversial and many scientists are concerned that leaks from these wells may contaminate groundwater. As of 1994, twenty-two out of 172 deep injection wells contaminated water supplies. 

This applies to the Taylorville Energy Project as well, but more on that later. Shouldn’t we really be asking ourselves why we would be reverting to Gasification, an ancient and obsolete technique, instead of solar, wind, hydro and tidal power. Gasification presents a serious problem. But first what is in coal that makes it obsolete and then why gasification is dangerous.

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