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 LIVING OFF THE PLANET 
 Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 28th, 2012 at 01:52:19 PM EST
U.S. News - Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in California knocked offline by jellyfish-like creatures called salp

A giant swarm of the transluscent barrel-shaped organisms this week clogged intake screens that are used to keep marine life out of the seawater that is used as a coolant for the nuclear plant.

On Wednesday, PG&E officials reduced power output at the Unit 2 reactor, then decided to shut it down altogether "until conditions improve at the intake structure." The plant's other reactor, Unit 1, had already been shut down earlier in the week for a planned refueling and maintenance outage.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 28th, 2012 at 01:53:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not an unusual incident. And jellyfish are the winners in waters where too many fish were caught, so we can expect more of that.
by Katrin on Sat Apr 28th, 2012 at 05:24:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
researchers are mystified by traces of heiroglyphs left on the reactor inlet, the letters clearly written in barbed slime.

OCCUPY!

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Apr 29th, 2012 at 12:02:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not normally very fond of jellyfish, but in the event of a significant earthquake in the Diablo Canyon vicinity during the duration of the shutdown we may be able to credit gelatinous zooplankton with the salvation of California. I'm sure there's a message in that observation, but I'm not altogether sure what it is.
by Andhakari on Sun Apr 29th, 2012 at 04:42:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A letter in the FT:

Admission that nuclear is less cost-effective than renewable - FT.com

Sir, The FT is right to feature a debate about whether subsidies should go to nuclear power or renewable energy ("Policy misgivings muddy nuclear's role in greener future", April 21). However, the article is in danger of confusing two things: first, allowing nuclear new build to get the same sort of premium price contracts for supplying electricity as may be given to renewable developers; and second, the government agreeing to "underwrite the costs" of new nuclear build. Renewable developers do not get their construction cost overruns underwritten by government. If the nuclear industry is asking for additional layers of subsidy compared to that given to renewable developers, the nuclear industry is tacitly admitting it is less cost-effective than renewables.

The danger is that nuclear developers may be offered unlimited subsidies to cover any construction cost overruns and that this will be hidden in "commercially confidential" contracts given to them. This would amount to the government giving nuclear constructors a blank cheque on electricity consumers' behalf. What we must demand now is that such moves be made public rather than, as in previous funding streams for nuclear power, hidden from us until it is too late to complain.

David Toke, Senior Lecturer in Energy Policy, University of Birmingham, UK



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 28th, 2012 at 01:54:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo:
this will be hidden in "commercially confidential" contracts given to them. This would amount to the government giving nuclear constructors a blank cheque on electricity consumers' behalf.

the legendary 'halliburton loophole' in the fracking biz...

fukushima the whole sleazy bunch of them

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Apr 29th, 2012 at 12:15:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nuclear reactors to be constructed - Xinhua | English.news.cn

"We've already started preparation for continuous cooperation in the Tianwan Nuclear Station and, hopefully, will start the work in the second half of this year," Russian Ambassador to China Sergey Sergeevich Razov said recently.

Russia had helped China build two reactors in the Tianwan nuclear plant, in Jiangsu province, which went into operation in 2007. The two reactors, with combined capacity of 2,000 megawatts, are using Russia's VVER 1000 nuclear model.

Russia is going to build two more reactors in Tianwan once China lifts its suspension of new nuclear power plants imposed after the nuclear power plant disaster in Japan last year.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 28th, 2012 at 02:49:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Britain's hibernating bats avoid deadly fungus killing their US cousins | Environment | The Observer

t has been a satisfying spring for bat expert Lisa Worledge. Reports sent to her from volunteers who have been monitoring Britain's bats as they emerge from hibernation have given a clean bill of health to the nation's flying mammals. In particular, their observations have found no sign of an epidemic of fungal disease that has wiped out almost seven million bats in the US over the past six years and threatens to leave many American species extinct.

Many biologists fear that the infection, known as white-nose syndrome, could spread to Britain, with devastating consequences. "It is a real worry and we keep a very close eye out for any sign of the disease, but so far, happily, we have not seen a sign," said Worledge, partnership officer for the UK Bat Conservation Trust.

Bats are at their most vulnerable from white-nose syndrome while they are hibernating. Hence the decision to have volunteers monitor major sites - caves, old railway tunnels and abandoned buildings - where Britain's 17 species of bat spend the winter. "To date, we have only had good news," said Worledge.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 28th, 2012 at 02:50:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Christian Science Monitor: Natural gas: Should America export its surplus?

What should be done with America's natural gas surplus? Use it instead of high-priced gasoline to fuel cars? Export it? Or just sit back and enjoy the lower prices for industrial and private consumers?

The debate is getting renewed urgency with the federal approval on Monday of a big new liquid natural gas (LNG) export terminal in Sabine, La. - and a conga line of 10 other applicants for their own export permits.....

In its analysis, the agency (EIA) concluded that exports of 12 billion cubic feet of gas each day would raise the price paid by the largest industrial customers in 2018 by 36 percent to 54 percent compared with scenarios in which there were no exports.

To give context here, 12 billion cubic feet is roughly 340 million cubic meters, or 124 billion cubic meters a year. Which  if accurate (I'm sort of hoping either I or the Christian Science Monitor did a math error) would be equivalent to over 70% of present Russian gas exports.

As of March of this year, American natural gas prices were about 1/6th that of Europe and 1/8th that of East Asian countries.  

As one of the primary values of wind is that it has replaced expensive natural gas, it's likely that this wall of American gas will have the same depressing effect on European wind projects as has happened in the US since 2008.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sat Apr 28th, 2012 at 08:12:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ManfromMiddletown:
this wall of American gas

good description of the senate...

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Apr 29th, 2012 at 12:17:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Exporting the gas as LNG will radically increase the price however, from maybe $2 to $9. Still a great deal cheaper compared to $17 Japan is paying right now.

The way I see it though, is that the most reasonable thing is to convert as much oil-use as possible in the US to gas (including as a motor fuel), and massively expand the gas-based petrochemical industry in that country, and export the petrochemicals instead of the gas. I haven't crunched the numbers though.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sun Apr 29th, 2012 at 02:19:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One the one hand, I see this as a development beneficial for the wind energy industry in the US.  Even at $9, that's going to change the dynamics of electrical markets in the US.  Suddenly there's an incentive to use wind to cut into gas consumption at peaking plants again.

On the other hand, expanded exports are going to create even more powerful interests for fracking.  And that is going to do a number on the areas where these wells are located.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sun Apr 29th, 2012 at 06:21:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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