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Policy fallout: nuclear shutdowns in Germany

by DoDo Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 09:26:22 AM EST

The crisis at the Fukushima Daichi nuclear plant in Japan after the 11 March 2011 earthquake and tsunami is sure to have an impact on the public perception of nuclear power similar to Chernobyl or Three Miles Island. The consequences on energy policy around the world are harder to see – as Migeru wrote here on ET, any costy safety conclusions might eventually get waved off for economic reasons.

However, there have been major consequences in one country already: in Germany. After the federal government and regional governments jointly decided to suspend last year's law on the extension of nuclear power plant lifespans, in a runaway series of events reminiscent of the way the Berlin Wall fell, it was also decided to shut down the seven oldest plants for at least three months. Below the fold, a short analysis.



Phaseout of phaseout

Back in 2002, then chancellor Gerhard Schröder's Social Democrat (SPD)–Greens coalition government made nuclear phaseout a law: no new plant construction, and the closure of all existing plants after a specified running time, so that their owners get their investment back. Under the law, the last plant would come off-line in 2022.

Established energy giants and the right-wing parties in chancellor Angela Merkel's current government, the Christian Democrats (CDU), the Bavarian Christian Socialists (CSU) and the (neo)liberal Free Democrats (FDP), long sought to phase out the phaseout. This was not possible under Merkel's first government, the CDU/CSU–SPD "Grand Coalition", when the industry hatched Plan B for market share protection: dozens of new coal-fired power plants. Which didn't work out that well, in the face of public protests (see Where is my coal renaissance?).

Following the 2009 elections, the situation changed. However, by then, the CDU had its own nuclear sceptics, above all new federal environment minister Röttgen (see Quo vadis, German energy policy?). The end result of intense fights was a 12-year extension of nuclear plant lifespans, with the official justification that the plants are needed as "bridge technology" until renewables can take over.

The 'phaseout of the phaseout' law was adopted last year by the lower house of the German parliament only. The upper house, which consists of representatives of Germany's 16 state governments, was expected to block it, so it was bypassed. Five states with SPD-led governments (but no nuclear plants) decided to sue at the constitutional court.


Phaseout of the phaseout of phaseout

In first reactions after the Fukushima crisis, representatives of the German federal government sought to forestall a domestic debate, but that couldn't be held up. So two days after the earthquake, on Sunday, Merkel went on TV defending the safety of German plants, but called all state PMs for a meeting, including those without nuclear plants in their states. By the next evening, events moved further: Merkel & co announced that the nuclear plant extension law will be suspended for three months, and the plants will be subjected to another safety check. This was a high-stakes decision for three reasons: the legal, the political and the practical.

  • First, how can you suspend a law merely by government decision, rather than a new vote in parliament? The 'phaseout of the phaseout' law contains a possibility to suspend it in case of an immediate emergency, which the government relied on – but this interpretation is questionable. So far no company sought to contest the decision, leading the leader of the SPD to voice concerns about a background deal. However, it was a nuclear advocate of the CDU itself, the present speaker of the lower house of the federal parliament, who initiated a legal check.

  • The decision was widely commented and derided as a transparent electioneering measure. There will be regional elections in three states this month, including CDU bastion Baden-Württenberg where nuclear power was already a campaign issue. So the three months suspension only serves to get the issue out of the way until after elections, said critics.

  • What the government didn't think about was practical consequences. If the 'phaseout of the phaseout' is phased out, what about the plants that would have already been closed under the original phaseout law? Already on Monday evening, they realised that the two oldest reactors will have to be shut down. However, if the suspension of extended lifespans is justified with safety concerns, then it follows logically that the safety of all older reactors is in doubt. By Tuesday, the government followed this criticism, too, and the number of plants to be shut down grew to seven.

This cascade of events reminded commenters of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989: back then, people stormed the Wall after the East German government speaker mis-spoke during the announcement of an easing of travel restrictions.


What this means for the energy mix

The seven reactors add up to 7.076 GW. However, one of them, Brunsbüttel near Hamburg, was already off-line for years after an accident (see Brunsbüttel, Krümmel (German nuclear controversy)), leaving 6.105 GW.

According to Spiegel, the highest peak load in Germany was reached on a Wednesday at 11h in 2008, at 82.2 GW. To supply this demand, at the end of 2009, the following mix was available:

  • 20.3 GW nuclear
  • 71.3 GW thermal (coal, gas, oil)
  • 10.4 GW hydro
  • 37.5 GW other renewables (mostly intermittent wind & solar, and biofuels)

As can be seen, non-intermittent sources add up to at least 102 GW, so there is no danger to domestic supply. Indeed Germany is a net exporter of electricity (17.0 TWh last year). Those export markets will now probably be taken up by France and the Czech Republic on the short term.

The reason Germany became a net exporter: the spread of renewables, while established energy giants were slow in cutting back their old baseload plants. Before I show this on a graph, I stress again what I argued in The 3-part view of power generation, for example: intermittent renewables (especially when supported by feed-in laws) should be seen as part of the same load regime as traditional baseload plants, like nuclear and lower quality coal: that is, plants operated continuously at the maximum possible. Scheduled variable load or "intermediate load" (meant to balance expected variation in both consumption and baseload) and unscheduled load-following peak load are needed whatever is in the first bin, and those in the first bin block each other.

The sequence of generating types in the diagram below (based on data from AG Energiebilanzen) reflects the above consideration (renewables are marked by a *):

The diagram shows annual generated electricity as a percentage of total consumption. As you can see,

  • the increase in wind and solar over the past decade paralleled decreases in nuclear and "brown coal" (literal translation of Braunkohle, which is often mis-translated as lignite, although it corresponds to high-grade sub-bituminous or low-grade bituminous coal in English terminology);
  • the increase in generation from gas and biofuel paralleled a decrease in that from high-grade coal (typically used for intermediate load in Germany),
  • net exports (the part above the 100% line) increased during this time.

Note the increase in photovoltaic power: generation jumped from 6.6 TWh in 2009 to 12.0 TWh 2010. A rapid expansion that keeps following the curve for wind with a 10-to-11-year lag. As I argued in Turbulent times for solar power, last year's giant increase (when 7 GW of new capacity was added, which should generate about just as many TWh a year) included an unplanned bubble effect of the federal government's haphazard attempt at a strong cut in feed-in rates. However, this insane process continues: photovoltaics prices are still dropping rapidly, making up for the rate cuts, ensuring continued multi-gigawatt annual new installations.

Meanwhile, off-shore wind is starting to take up in Germany. So a rapid replacement of the rest of baseload is not impossible.

Display:
Interesting times...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 07:22:35 PM EST
... well captured in this diary.

Germany remains, as documented here, at the forefront of the sustainability debate. Including the dinosaurs, of course.

What's most important to notice is how the German FIT attempted to lower the cost of PV, and was shocked by its own success. time will tell how real the cost curve is, and how efficiency bears up over time. The short answer of course is, way to go 'Schland. and perhaps, get with program, Spain.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 08:10:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 05:06:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and await an entire change of political culture in the UK.

Is Ireland doing anything ? They get their wind fresh off the Atlantic pretty much 24-265. A whole line along the W coast would probably do for them, Ulster and Wales

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 07:01:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 09:29:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An update and a correction.

As I wrote, the operators didn't protest so far. The first reactor was shut down on Tuesday already, the shutdown of two more started last night and will be finished by today evening.

Second, the production of the shut-down plants does appear to be greater than last year's net exports, after all. Here you find numbers for individual reactors in 2010; the seven (six) plants add up to 42.129 TWh. This is gross production, though, including own use, so the difference of generated electricity to be replaced and last year's net export should be around 20 TWh.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 02:33:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Things get more interesting. There are now several reports in the German media that the companies, RWE and E.on above all, are preparing legal steps, even if not being loud about it.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 09:20:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Former federal environment minister Jürgen Trittin (Greens) reminds of another solution for the energy giants to maintain profit: the law allows the transfer of amounts of electricity to generate to another plant.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 11:12:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is so transparently about saving elections in Baden-WŘrttemberg and elsewhere as opposed to securing the energy future of Germany. For reasons only indirectly related to energy I'm happy about this development because this little 180-turn and dance will give a needed boost for the Greens in Baden-WŘrttemberg and discourage the base of the CDU - every percentage point counts. That's because not only Merkel but also Mappus, the street fighter for nuclear, is suddenly making his own turnaround. It always hurts to retread on core issues. Witness how BW's minister for transport & environment Tanja G÷nner suddenly says they can shut down an old plant before the election.

Also hurts to be seen as panicky. Are they expecting quakes and tsunamis in Germany now? If those old plants aren't secure now, why did they think they were secure last week? I'm all for a reassessment of the risks and procedures but do they really have to shut down seven plants immediately for that?

That's why I'm a bit unhappy. They're making long-term energy decision out of emotional and panic political reasons. Living in the moment apparently. In my view we will need everything that we can get. It seems to me unwise to shut down those plants prematurely. Building new nukes is politically impossible but when you have those existing assets they should be used as long as it is safely possible.

Schengen is toast!

by epochepoque on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 12:08:45 AM EST
They're making long-term energy decision

It's a three-month moratorium officially, so not yet long-term. It will be long-term if the planned security checks really bite and power plant owners opt against further investment into upgrades, or if the lifespan extension law itself is dumped by parliament or the constitutional court.

In my view we will need everything that we can get.

I don't think that the linked article made any detailed points to that tune.

they should be used as long as it is safely possible.

Now, while the government thought they were secure last week, others didn't. My take on the individual plants:

  • Of the two oldest reactors that were already due for shutdown under the previous law, Neckarwestheim I is also in an earthquake zone. In addition, this old plant is operated in a variable power mode (although more in a weekly than a daily rhythym - see power diagram on page 6 here), which raises questions about wear.
  • Biblis A and B were among the most accident-prone in Germany, with ongoing questions regarding potential sump sieve blockage during an accident and lack of aerial protection, and it is in an earthquake zone.
  • Brunsbüttel (the one that was already down) has the worst safety record in addition to being old, it shouldn't go back on-line.
  • I'm less concerned about Philippsburg I and Unterweser, though they have inferior aerial protection, too.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 07:15:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think that the linked article made any detailed points to that tune.

Yes, the article doesn't give any details; it's more of an opinion piece.

But in the current environment, and for years to come the risks are going to dominate government thinking and the benefits, all too readily ignored at present will be forgotten completely until we begin to feel the consequences of growing reliance on expensive fossil fuel imports and intermittent renewable energy. [...] Decisions made now in the wake of an emergency in Japan may sow the seed of energy poverty in countries like the UK for decades to come.
They had the Fake Fire Brigade series on The Oil Drum a while back. My concern is not just the quantitative gap but also the qualitative gap. How do we address the added layer of complexity by intermittency when complexity is the problem in the first place?

I think the fundamental misunderstanding is the assumption that we will have everything just like now (or more) except with renewable energy sources. No, we will at some point have 100% renewables but we will have to adapt our consumption patterns to that instead of the other way around. Realistically, no one will make those adjustments voluntarily. They will be enforced by reality.

Some time ago I read this cranky article that showed a vast gap between new renewables and conventional sources. Comparing the two on the primary energy level (and not on the electricity level) is a bit fishy and I'm not sure I agree with Kristall. But energy transitions are a project of 70-80 years and here we will need to apply some precautionary principle, too. I have the suspicion we will land ourselves in a "Fifteen puzzle" where there is always a hole, with one source of energy being chased to replace another source of energy.

Schengen is toast!

by epochepoque on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 05:38:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When a person starts to apply the findings of Complexity and Chaos to our situation it quickly becomes apparent exactly how deep the hole we're in is and how little we can do to climb out.

And how the little we could do is being stymied by the status-quo.

The plain and fancy truth is we're running into ecological and resource limits, unsolvable by current technology under the current, generally accepted, way of doing things.  Positive feedback loops go in a positive direction until they 'tipping-point' into a positive feedback loop in the negative direction.  Since, generally speaking, the initial conditions allowing the positive feedback loops in a positive direction have been destroyed by the positive feedback loops in a positive direction so when it flips negative the situation quickly collapses to a lower level than when the cycle began.

Example, Chaco canyon started out with a couple of hundred people living there, grew to many thousand, now there's a couple of Park Rangers.

The Decision Makers then, like now, depend on the system for their position.  To change the system must, inevitably, affect their domination for the "worse."  Granted, it would affect the vast majority of the population for the better ... but the Power Elite could care less.  The only change they will accept is change that confirms their Elite status.

Whether they are sociopaths or have sociopathy thrust on them is, in the overall scheme, de minimus.  They are functionally sociopaths, which is what matters.  

Anyone challenging their status say by using Complexity Theory, is, in their eyes, UnSerious®.  Thus, since they are - again, by definition - the Decision Makers they won't make the hard and necessary decisions to deal with the situation.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 06:43:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
in the last instance. The Market can solve our energy problems, for a price.

Rational planning would help, a lot. Poor people will continue to live in poorly-insulated housing, and use as much electrical heating as they can afford. They can't help it if they are pissing their money away, and scarce energy too.

A concerted effort on habitat and heating is central to reducing power consumption (also, to diverting gas from heating to power generation)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 07:30:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
epochepoque:
Realistically, no one will make those adjustments voluntarily. They will be enforced by reality.

perhaps you underestimate peoples' will to sacrifice some things for others, especially if 'others' includes a cleaner environment to raise our children.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 08:36:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the fundamental misunderstanding is the assumption that we will have everything just like now (or more) except with renewable energy sources.

Obviously things get more complicated. However, we can be more specific: traditional inflexible sources of baseload capacity (which normally operate at constant power) and intermittent renewables are in conflict, and they cannot be the solution to replace peak load provision by fossil fuels; as demonstrated by the data I gathered in my load-following and intermittency diaries (see Load-following and intermittency, Wind power faulted for low prices!, Load-following and intermittency: France, The 3-part view of power generation, and the version of the latter for The Oil Drum: The 3-part view of power generation). So in my opinion your "we need everything we can get" and Mearns's vision of increasing fossil fuel imports is drawing with too broad brushes.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 04:25:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It may be useful (or necessary) to define these three categories in a regulatory manner, throughout the EU.

For example : NO NEW FOSSIL BASELOAD would seem to be a good starting point.

Obliging existing gas generation to become progressively load-following would kick the market in the right direction, no? e.g. fix an annual quota of their nameplate generating capacity, and let them decide when to generate, to maximise profits.

What think you all?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 05:52:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We should frame that within The 3-part view of power generation
In reality, the variability of demand can be predicted rather well: the daily, weekly, annual fluctuations are very pronounced. Thus, the bulk of load-following can be planned long ahead, making it a scheduled form of operation. For the power plant operator, scheduled operation also means that the plant's average load factor, even if well short of 100%, is rather stable and predictable. And this is how we get to the simplest version of the 3-part view of electricity generation:
  1. Baseload: plants operated at constant power output
  2. Intermediate load: plants operated with slow variation in power output on regular schedule to follow expected variation in demand
  3. Peak load: plants operated with fast variation, responding to minute peaks in demand above or below the pre-planned part of supply

Some English sources also use "fluctuating" or "mid merit" in place of intermediate. In Hungarian, there is the more descriptive menetrendtartó = schedule-keeping.

Slow-moving intermediate load plants tend to have a non-zero minimum power, and negative deviations from predicted demand are best avoided by giving peaker plants a buffer, too; so both load-following regimes are rarely zero.



So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 05:56:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For example : NO NEW FOSSIL BASELOAD would seem to be a good starting point.

From the standpoint of rebuilding the system for a high grid penetration of intermittent sources, no new inflexible baseload would be the requirement. Regarding fossil fuels, I'd extend that to no new coal intermediate load: in addition to being a lot dirtier than gas, coal plants are big and stay around for much longer (until investors get back their investment) and thus new plants fix the energy mix for decades.

Regarding gas, barring them from baseload provision would be nice, but I don't think an annual quota suffices for that, it should be more explicit. Eventually, however, gas has to be replaced, too, and the one thing I agree with the TOD authors in is that that will be difficult. Regardless of whether we continue with intermittent sources or traditional baseload.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 09:00:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It would, of course, be a mistake to look to a plug and play replacement for natural gas ...

... on the demand side, improved energy efficiency and offloading via dispersed sources from passive solar, extending the uses of dispersed solar thermal collection beyond hot water can change the demand profile in directions that are easier to satisfy

... increased hydro capacity ~ at the same total supply ~ increases flexibility in coping with variability of the total portfolio of harvest of volatile energy sources

... biocoal from a wide range of biomass can place a complementary role in providing scheduled following load when it is not available from volatile and baseload direct harvesting (wind, solar, tidal, wave, geothermal, run-of-river hydro, etc). With decentralized production by partial combustion in sealed chambers under pressure, production can be scheduled to take advantage of co-generation from exhaust thermal gas

... biogas similarly.

A well designed market system can assist, but of course markets never design complex systems, and without serious public involvement ~ both government and citizen activist ~ in the design of the energy systems of the future, they will by default be designed to serve the needs of the trasnational corporate predator state.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 03:17:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think we already discussed this, but one difficulty is the concentration of attention on the supply characteristics, with much less attention paid to the demand characteristics. Demand can be made quite flexible in most cases by combining an appropriate rate structure with a demand-point control system.

For example, why do you need electricity at your house today? Can you go off-grid for a day, perhaps by increased use of batteries, with a heat storage mass in your furnace system, and perhaps an absorption type secondary refrigerator?

by asdf on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 01:22:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I started to read into the Fake Fire Brigade series. My first criticism is regarding this intermittency analysis. They want to represent geographical variation in wind power across Europe by combining Spanish, British and Danish data. IMHO this is improper for multiple reasons:
  • First, unlike the other two, Denmark is small. The effect of this is quite visible on the month-long power diagrams they show: Denmark's variation is by far the strongest. "Normalising" this, instead of gauging North German production, doesn't appear proper.
  • Second, for a full coverage of the time lag of an Atlantic weather zone, you would also need France, Ireland, and Norway or Sweden.
  • Third, all three choices are more influenced by Atlantic weather, but for an all-European grid, Mediterranean weather also counts, e.g. the capacities in Italy, Greece and southeastern France.

Their cross-compatibility analysis is of more interest.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 04:51:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The European grid of the near future will not look like the grid built to accommodate the monopoly/monopsony, centralized technologies and companies of the past. Assuming intelligent choices are made.

The grid will be designed to handle intermittency both in generation and demand, and to handle renewables with both spatial and technological diversity. It will make far more efficient use of accurate weather/generation prediction, as well as advanced notification of load-shedding on the demand side. All compensated with appropriate pricing.

Such a reconception of the grid is already underway, though without enough pressure because of the faults of market-driven decision-making. The complete reconfiguration could easily be done in 20 years, during which existing plants continue their gradually diminishing functions.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 06:52:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The linked post is a comprehensive dismissal of all individual carbon-free balancing options (including geographic and natural balancing, hydro, as well as smart grid), and their combination. I didn't have time for a complete read, but, I saw:

  • They dismiss natural balancing between PV and wind with a sleight of hand, rather than attempting a correlation simulation as they did for geographic balancing. (There is a sea of difference between the ability to provide a perfect balancing and zero contribution.)
  • In the 'combination of all' (which must cobine their earlier errors), it seems they have an exclusive focus on wind power (on proving that high wind power penetration is problematic). They come down to the conclusion that it goes only with gas. I find the argumentation that this is the case only with wind in the mix bizarre. They also wonder what to do with excess wind, as if turbines cannot be stopped when needed.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 08:49:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo:
as if turbines cannot be stopped when needed.

And as if there are no accurate wind forecasts on which to base scheduling.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 10:43:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo:
They also wonder what to do with excess wind, as if turbines cannot be stopped when needed.

Pay people to use it. At least that is what Germany did.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 02:13:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why do the windmills take the blame if there is too much electricity? Seems to me that the weatherman must have been wrong, because the day's supply prediction was off. Shouldn't have brought the coal plant up so high today...
by asdf on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 01:26:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it's the owners of the coal plants who say who is to blame...

But soon, these coal-plant owners will own more offshore wind than coal plant capacity...at least in Europe.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 03:35:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  • gas and hydro are compatible with pretty much everything
  • base load technologies are not compatible with each other (direct substitutes)
  • more interesting: wind and solar are seen as neutral

Which points to the logical solution: put as much wind and solar, balance it with demand management, hydro when you can, and gas for flexibility.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 05:33:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not yet clear that Mappus will be out. The SPD of Baden-Württemberg is silly enough to be happy with the junior role in a big coalition -- and this is what some people are hearing in Ba-Wü...

On the other hand, Mappus has already ruined Ba-Wü financially.

His offer to buy EnBW, the regional power company, which also has a huge invested base in 4 nuclear power plants, of which 2 are part of the shutdown plot of Ms. Merkel, falls on his feet right now.

For full details, have a look at this article which describes the financial details. To keep a long story short: He offered to buy 45% and due to takeover rules he is forced to pay 41.50 EUR per share. Now, there are approx. 10% outstanding shares of small shareholders and approx. 45% outstanding shares held by communalities and their partners. They now have the chance to offer their shares and the State of Baden-Württemberg has to buy.

Well, they could keep their shares, but knowing that their values will drop through the floor, that would be a huge legal hole for the accountability of the municipal share holders.


One year to go !

by pi (etrib@opsec.eu) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 03:25:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hehe! Wait till they start raising fees and curtail services to pay for the EnBW and Stuttgart 21 follies. "We're not Berlin! We work hard and don't drive our finances into the ground!" Sure.

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 04:55:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Norway, where hydro reservoir capacity is now below 25% - through a combination of dry weather last year and profit maximising behaviour by the utility - is now importing power at increasing cost from Germany and other countries.

A reduction in german spare capacity can only make a bad situation worse.

There is a growing outcry from Norwegians - particularly the relatively few poor Norwegians who contrary to public perception receive pretty callous and niggardly treatment from a centralised and authoritarian State - who are really being hit hard by some of the highest energy costs in the world.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 05:59:35 AM EST
ChrisCook:
some of the highest energy costs in the world

Wow. I wrongly believed Norway was making a fair job of managing its energy windfall.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 09:32:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, yes and no.

Keeping energy prices high is good policy. What matters is

(a) how fairly the surplus value they capture is distributed - eg in cases of fuel poverty;

(b) how the resulting fund is invested, where the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund's strategy could be the subject of a Diary or two if I had the time.

They prefer not to invest in maintaining and upgrading Norway's infrastructure because this would be 'inflationary'.

They prefer instead to fund the US deficit one way or another, and have been legged over numerous times with crappy investments sold to them by the usual suspects.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:12:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They prefer not to invest in maintaining and upgrading Norway's infrastructure

Hm? What about all the long bridges and tunnels constructed under the fjords and across mountains? (Sadly most of them road.) Is that financed from other money?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:31:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo:
Is that financed from other money?

Yup.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 11:38:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I fairly recently read something about how the Norwegians shafted the Swedish consumers last winter when there was rationing by price, Norway had some excess capacity and somehow (forgot the technical details) kept that in Norway instead of it going to teh common pool.

Safe to say, hydro is less dependable when rain patterns change. Add unusually cold weather, and you have got problems.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 03:21:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wanted to do a diary out of this below, but no time, and this fits here.


Nuclear power: Too hot to handle

Although it is still too soon to know how the crisis at Fukushima will end, already the harrowing scenes from the site are provoking a widespread re-examination of nuclear safety that will, at the very least, lead to significant delays in new investments, an inevitable rise in cost and probably more rapid closures of existing plants.

(...)

To fill the gap, renewables are likely to receive a boost. But there will also be a need for a reliable power generation that works even when the sun does not shine and the wind does not blow. Gas-fired power plants are quick and cheap to build, and natural gas is plentiful in the US. It could also be abundant in Europe and China if American production techniques can be imported. Peter Voser, chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's largest oil and gas company, said this week he expected that even in 2050 the two main commodities his group produces will provide two-thirds of the world's energy. That represents a rise from the current 55 per cent.

Curbing the world's dependence on fossil fuels has always been difficult. The agonies of Fukushima will make it even harder.

The narrative is already set:

  • renewables are not reliable and not enough
  • gas is reliable and plentiful and clean
  • it can even be homegrown!

Never mind the Russian-Ukrainian hysteria 5 years ago
Never mind the fact that there is no real visibility on the availability of gas over more than a few decades
Never mind that most of the gas on the planet is with our good friends in Russia and in Iran

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:37:49 AM EST
LOL. But, it is true that we are a long way from a comprehensive non-fossil-fuel provision of variable power (this could include small hydro, pumped hydro, pumped air, geothermal, batteries and long-range geographic balancing), and gas is better in that field than coal.

even when the sun does not shine and the wind does not blow

We dealt with the wind side a lot; however, there is PV: it's one thing that the Sun doesn't shine by night, but the diurnal cycle of consumption also peaks by day. And even on a completely cloudy and rainy spring day like today, PV output is not zero: according to this on-line tracking site, the 15.87 GW installed capacity in Germany by the end of last November peaked at 1.1 GW actual power.

Now that PV and wind generation in Germany are in the same order of magnitude, what will also be interesting is how much 'natural balancing' (the negative correlation between solar irradiation and winds) we'll see. (Though, due to the concentration of PV in the south and wind in the north, it may be limited.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 11:05:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you implying that Germany produces 1/15th peak on a cloudy day? That's not bad.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 11:38:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yes, and that's why Italy not pushing it much harder is criminal.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 11:43:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At midday on a cloudy-rainy day, yes.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 12:30:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo:
Now that PV and wind generation in Germany are in the same order of magnitude, what will also be interesting is how much 'natural balancing' (the negative correlation between solar irradiation and winds) we'll see. (Though, due to the concentration of PV in the south and wind in the north, it may be limited.)

If wind and PV are each spread out over decent size areas, there should also be some natural balancing from covering an area large enough to have different weather. Sweden is about the same size as Germany (actually Sweden is 26% larger) and close by and it is rarely the same weather in the whole of Sweden.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 04:39:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Imported amurkan production techniques? I assume they mean let's bring fracking to the socialist cheese-eaters?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 11:33:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Unfortunately, it's already being brung:

Riesige Erdgasfelder in NRW | RP ONLINEGiant gas fields in NRW
Die internationalen Energiekonzerne haben sich bereits Bohrrechte in Nordrhein-Westfalen reserviert, das Land und die Kommunen hoffen auf eine neue Geldquelle: Wie das NRW-Wirtschaftsministerium mitteilt, lagern in NRW riesige Erdgasvorkommen - mindestens 1000, vielleicht sogar 2200 Kubikkilometer, so das Schreiben an die Landtagsabgeordnete Wibke Brems (Grüne), das unserer Redaktion vorliegt. Die größten Vorkommen werden demnach im Münsterland vermutet. Zum Vergleich: Das größte europäische Vorkommen bei Groningen (Niederlande) ist mit 2850 Kubikkilometern kaum größer.The international energy companies have already secured drilling rights in North Rhine-Westphalia, the state and the municipalities are hoping for a new revenue source: According the the NRW Economics Ministry, NRW contains giant natural gas reserves - at least 1000, and perhaps as much as 2200 cubic kilometers, according to a letter to state parliament member Wibke Brems (Green) that our newspaper has obtained. The largest European deposit near Groningen Netherlands, at 2850 cubic kilometers, is scarcely larger.
[...]
Bislang blieb das ohne Folgen, weil das NRW-Gas im Unterschied zu klassischen Gasfeldern überwiegend in kleinen Gesteinsblasen eingeschlossen ist. Neu sind aber die Techniken, mit denen inzwischen auch solche sogenannten "unkonventionellen Gasvorkommen" gefördert werden können. Und neu sind die Rekordpreise, zu denen Gas heutzutage gehandelt wird. Erst sie machen den Einsatz der neuen Technik zum Beispiel in den USA bereits profitabel. [...]This hasn't played a role to date because NRW's gas, unlike conventional gas fields, is mainly sealed up in small rock bubbles. But the technology capable of recovering such "unconventional gas reserves" is new. And the record prices at which gas trades today are also new. These are what make the use of the new technology e.g. in the US profitable already.[...]

I've seen other reports on initial attempts in Munsterland but can't go looking for them right now.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ńt gmail dotcom) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 01:27:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a Spiegel article about the new kid on the block. Inside we find:
Poland, on the other hand, could become a relevant player in the global market. Polish Foreign Minister Radoslav Sikorski already envisions transforming his country into the "next Norway" -- rich, important and independent -- particularly of its giant neighbor Russia.

Huahaahaha! Who are they kidding? Because:

Shale gas could have a share of 25% of European gas production till 2030. Since conventional gas production is expected to decline by a factor of two to three, unconventional production will still be on a low level.

Sometimes a gas buildup is just what it is. We can wait for it to pass.

Schengen is toast!

by epochepoque on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 05:59:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Plenty of fracking projects under way in France, too.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 11:40:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
don't forget how neighbour-friendly having an LPG shipping terminal next door, or having hundreds of kilometres of exposed pipelines through desolate places.

i do agree we could/should/must generate a lot of biogas, but even if we fermented every dead leaf and blade of grass, cornstalks and cowshit galore etc, i reckon our happy motoring/suburban lifestyles are soon going to be history, and we will have to learn a lot more about solar thermal, insulation, recycling water etc etc.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 11:41:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
for sure the energy use patterns of a sustainable civilization must change from the current madness. But you really have to wonder if the technical challenges of a hydrogen economy are now getting better. Floating offshore could produce all the transport fuel necessary, if we only chose to go in that direction.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 11:48:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NNadir:
DME is the perfect fuel.


So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 11:55:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
or stranded wind's ammonia...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Mar 20th, 2011 at 02:16:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Many Swedish buses runs on biogas, locally produced from fermenting food waste.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 03:31:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Disaster in Japan Live Blog: March 18  Al Jazeera

2:30am  US senators have written a letter to the country's nuclear regulatory body calling for a comprehensive safety review of their nuclear sites.

Barbara Boxer abd Tom Carper, two Democratic senators, wrote to Gregory Jaczko, chairman of the US Nuclear  Regulatory Commission, on Thursday, urging him to look at how well nuclear facilities in the US can "withstand catastrophic natural or man-made disasters".

The Japanese disaster has prompted countries around the world to review their nuclear plants. In Germany, the government has temporarily closed around 7 ageing plants as a push towards renewable energy gains momentum. France, Britain, Finland and Russia have all announced reviews of their reactors.



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 02:57:24 PM EST
Danger of Spent Fuel Outweighs Reactor Threat - NYTimes.com
Some countries have tried to limit the number of spent fuel rods that accumulate at nuclear power plants -- Germany stores them in costly casks, for example, while Chinese nuclear reactors send them to a desert storage compound in western China's Gansu province. But Japan, like the United States, has kept ever larger numbers of spent fuel rods in temporary storage pools at the power plants, where they can be guarded with the same security provided for the power plant.
Bold mine

"People only accept change when they are faced with necessity, and only recognize necessity when a crisis is upon them." - Jean Monnet
by Melanchthon on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 03:06:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Does this mean that they have all spent fuel that plant has produced in those dry pools?

Crap, crap and crap. I thought they had some storage. Keeping it all on site is really a recepy to maximise danger.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 03:33:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
no its only about 1/3, there's a larger pool with the older fuel that has about twice as much if I understand the figures correctly, looking at photos of the building however I think unfortunately its the building immediately behind reactor four (but I'm nowhere near sure)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 03:44:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and that hasn't been mentioned which is either good, or bad

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 03:45:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan reprocesses its fuel in France. The World's total LWR fuel reprocessing capacity seems to be about 3000 tonnes per year, with Japan's first reprocessing plant at Rokkasho expected to come online in 2012 adding 800 tonnes per year.

If a typical nuclear reactor uses about 150 tonnes of fuel and goes through it in 5 years, 3000 tonnes per year is the fuel of 100 reactors, and Rokkasho should be able to serve 30 reactors. Japan has 53 reactors in operation, so Rokkasho won't reduce the need to reprocess fuel in France or store increasing amounts of fuel at the reactors themselves.

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 03:55:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What they need is something like Clab.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 06:35:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How is the pool cooling at Clab?

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 07:00:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Electric pumps. Total heat load it has to combat, which is all the fuel ever created in the Swedish nuclear power program except the fresh fuel at the reactors, is 5 MW. But the pools are big and deep. And if anything were to go extremely wrong, the pools are located 30 metres under the ground, blasted from solid Scandinavian bedrock ("ur-berg").

Read more here.

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

by Starvid on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 07:55:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fox News' Bill Hemmer Introduces the New Fox Theme: Nukes Are Safe. Really. They are. | Crooks and Liars

All of us are watching what's happening in Japan with wide-eyed horror. A country hit with a 9.0 earthquake followed by a 30-foot tsunami followed by possible partial meltdowns in more than one reactor is more disaster than any single country deserves.

But while the first two are acts of nature, the third is man's own doing and no one else's. As a Californian, seeing this disaster unfold in real time has been almost too much to bear, especially knowing there's a nuclear power plant about 100 miles or so down the coast in an earthquake-prone state. San Onofre nuclear generating station's operating reactors were built in 1982 and 1983 and took into account the earthquake technology available at the time.

Since Japan's disaster, many Californians are questioning the wisdom and safety of a nuclear reactor on the California coast. Well, let's leave it to Bill Hemmer to reassure us all that it's just perfectly fine because it has a 25-foot seawall and is certified for a 7.0 earthquake. Again, to review Japan's current predicament:

  1. 9.0 earthquake
  2. 30-foot tsunami


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 04:45:01 PM EST
What is wrong with these people in the right-wing noise machine? Why do they have to deny everything?

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 04:46:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
because they're (well) paid to be(d)evil.

you knew that...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 08:38:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because it works.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 11:23:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They even say that some radiation is good for you, and not only Ann Coulter. Here is National Review:
Think of the panic that the headline "Radiation levels increase by 100 percent" could induce. But in reality, such radiation would be medically beneficial; it would promote "radiation hormesis" -- the exercise of the immune system. "We get one unit of radiation per day. When we double that -- they've done tests with animals -- they show better health. It's like doing pushups," says Gilbert Brown, a professor of nuclear engineering at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. That doesn't prove we shouldn't worry about much higher levels of radiation -- but it indicates how our emotional response does not correspond to reality.
by das monde on Wed Mar 23rd, 2011 at 06:17:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Brought to you by the political supporters of arsenic in drinking water...

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 23rd, 2011 at 06:18:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would be sending north Pacific sushi to them soon. Hormesize your livers!
by das monde on Wed Mar 23rd, 2011 at 07:21:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And the French Academy of Science... Hormesis is not an impossible theory, and the linear threshold theory lacks scientific evidence, IIRC. It is still used because the industry is conservative and prefers safe over sorry.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Mar 23rd, 2011 at 02:19:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't you mean the linear no-threshold model?

Linear no-threshold model - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The linear no-threshold model (LNT) is a method for predicting the long term, biological damage caused by ionizing radiation and is based on the assumption that the risk is directly proportional to the dose at all dose levels. In other words, the sum of several very small exposures have the same effect as one larger exposure. The LNT model therefore predicts higher risks than the threshold model, which assumes that very small exposures are negligible. The radiation hormesis model predicts the least risk by assuming that radiation is beneficial in very low doses, while still recognizing that it is harmful in large doses. Because the current data is inconclusive, scientists disagree on which method should be used.[1]

And yes, the data on low level exposure is inconclusive as far as I understand. Mostly because of the lack of good data. If I remember correctly, the good data on large exposure came from Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 05:43:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I do mean that one, yes.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 12:39:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Austria has traditionally objected to nuclear power plants built by its neighbours, and brought pressure to bear on them when they were negotiating entry to the EU in 2004 and 2007. Now it's Croatia's turn.

So Austria is threatening to block Croatia's accession unless the nuclear power plant at Krsko is closed. Trouble is, Krsko is on Slovenian soil, and Slovenia is already an EU member! Croatia is a co-owner of the plant as it was built as a joint venture between the two republics when they were part of Yugoslavia.

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 06:01:36 PM EST
Austria has traditionally objected to nuclear power plants built by its neighbours

Historical note: not just neighbours. Austria planned to build three plants in the seventies, and completed one, but a 1978 referendum prevented its operation. It still stands.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 04:12:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just seen a talking head saying that in the UK we have to go with Nuclear because  renewable can't be bought onstream fast enough.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 08:36:53 AM EST
Yeah, and nukes can be built in 6 months?

Japan Steel Works - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Japan Steel Works is the only one that can make cores in a single piece without welds, which reduces risk from radiation leakage.[5] The company has boosted production to 6 units per year from 4 years previously of the steel pressure vessel forgings, which contain the nuclear reactor core. It is scheduled to take capacity to 11 by 2013.[5] Due to the production bottleneck, utilities across the world are submitting orders years in advance of any actual need, along with deposits worth hundreds of millions of dollars.


So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 08:43:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
well theres fifty odd slots that are not needed  for ones in China

But the plant appears OK

Steel Guru : Japanese earthquake - Nippon Steel extends condolences Tohoku Pacific earthquake victims - 195989 - 2011-03-16

3. Muroran Steelworks
Muroran Steelworks has not sustained severe damage to its facilities.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 08:48:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course Those plants aren't going to be built inside 15 years, in case anyone thinks im suggesting that they might get their plants built

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 08:50:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's true that renewables can't be brought onstream fast enough, particularly wind...

because it was in Britain where wind turbines' lethal effect on the sacred one-horned goats was first discovered.

PS. Remember all that nasty publicity Vestas received closing down the Isle of Wight rotor blade plant. It's been re-opened as a blade research facility, reaching several hundred employees within two or three years...

by Vestas.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 10:21:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do not mock. You may find wind turbines in the UK, but it is impossible to find a single sacred one-horned goat. Ergo, species extinction was caused by wind turbines.

Should that not convince you, consider the following facts:

  • corkscrewed seals are washed ashore not especially very far from offshore wind farms under construction (as revealed by a contributor to this very site)
  • beached whales got hopelessly lost because of wind turbines (as revealed by the Telegraph)
  • Telegraph journalists write utter rubbish under the influence of wind power.

I should think this is enough to persuade you that we must go on protecting nature, the weak, and the disenfranchised, with nuclear, coal, gas, and oil.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 11:22:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Such cogent logic, wrapped in such a flavorful spicy chile burrito, appears far too seldom in the pages of ET... thus the award.

but please beware the overmentioningness of Telegraph writers. You would not wish to win the golden corkscrewed seal award.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 11:42:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The O-HSGA!

OMG!

In my wildest dreams I could not have imagined... I would like to thank the jury, my agent, my hairdresser, ..., and my parents without whom this would not have been possible. Golly gosh!

(Oh, and no, I wouldn't want the golden corkscrew seal, not with where you're supposed to put it).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 12:50:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Never in my wildest dreams did i ever imagine one could translate a fevered fantasy into photoshopped one-horned photubescence... so instanteaneouslywise. But no, it's real, and you've earned it!

(Though having together shared coffee in the city of leitmotifs recently, i wouldn't have thanked your hairdresser.)

I'm certain this award will forever be a conversation starter, and those in the know will strew petals at your feet as you walk the desolate streets, god-willing and the oceans don't rise.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 02:01:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know what light (or klar or is that clair?) motives led you to have coffee with my hairdresser, but I wasn't really thanking her anyway, just reading from a prepared list.

I shall always treasure the O-HSGA and keep it by me at all times.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 06:04:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, her name was Claire. I did not have coffee with the hairdresser, in fact the Agency reminds me of the photo of us together without any hairdressers. They have not yet threatened to publish the photo, as you've been to date a good boy.

I wish we could say the same about the Benefactor. He/she seems to be having a problem with accepting that the "side effects" or "externalities" of a favored technology for French cooks seems to be overcooking the golden goose.

I've told the Agency to give him a pass however, as he seems to be one willing to sink his boots in 30m depth, and finance what he finds. Plus he introduced me to Claire, who remains

excuse me, i have to take this call...

OK, as i was saying, it's a shame that Britain lost the thread.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 06:42:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Chris Huhne: Nuclear power might not be an option for UK | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Britain may back away from the use of nuclear energy because of safety fears and a potential rise in costs after the Fukushima disaster, says Chris Huhne, the energy secretary.

In an interview with the Observer, Huhne insisted that he would not "rush to judgment" until the implications of the disaster were known and a report into the safety of UK nuclear plants by the chief nuclear officer, Dr Mike Weightman, was complete. The interim findings are due in May.

"I am not ruling out nuclear now," said Huhne. But he said events in Japan could have profound long-term implications for UK policy, which is based on a three-pronged "portfolio" approach: a commitment to nuclear energy; the development of more renewable energy, such as wind and sea power; and new carbon-capture technology to mitigate the damaging environmental effects of fossil fuel-fired power plants and industrial facilities.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Mar 20th, 2011 at 05:54:01 AM EST
Advanced Nuclear Power Reactors | Generation III+ Nuclear Reactors

The nuclear power industry has been developing and improving reactor technology for more than five decades and is starting to build the next generation of nuclear power reactors to fill new orders.

Several generations of reactors are commonly distinguished.  Generation I reactors were developed in 1950-60s, and outside the UK none are still running today.  Generation II reactors are typified by the present US and French fleets and most in operation elsewhere.  Generation III (and 3+) are the Advanced Reactors discussed in this paper.  The first are in operation in Japan and others are under construction or ready to be ordered.  Generation IV designs are still on the drawing board and will not be operational before 2020 at the earliest.

(my Bold) This sentence doesn't entirely fill me with local confidence.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 22nd, 2011 at 10:00:55 AM EST
I think only Sizewell B is a PWR.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Mar 22nd, 2011 at 10:30:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Advanced Gas Reactors of the UK count as generation II. Only the Magnox ones are generation I, and they are all shut down, except Wylfa and Oldbury.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue Mar 22nd, 2011 at 01:01:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thai gov't reviewing plan for nuclear power development: Abhisit | Kyodo News
Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva suggested Thursday that the government is reviewing plans to develop nuclear power in the wake of the nuclear crisis in Japan.

The Thai government has drawn up a nuclear development plan that calls for building five nuclear power plants over five years from 2020, but Abhisit said the government has another plan that does not include nuclear power.

''The actual decision on whether we will go ahead (with nuclear power) is between now and the next year or two. And obviously given what is happening this time in Japan we will take the latest developments all into account,'' Abhisit said in an interview with a group of Japanese reporters.



So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 11:13:17 AM EST


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