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Nuclear Fallout

May 3, 2016

It’s been 30 years since the Chernobyl accident, and on cue, the media resurrects the disaster to revive fear of radiation.

Nuclear power in the United State is dying a slow death because the general public has been fed a steady dose of fear about nuclear energy being unsafe, and the terrible consequences of radiation. (Dose is an appropriate play on words as it also refers to a radiation dose.)

USA Today did a story on Chernobyl on its anniversary emphasizing death and destruction, with little regard to how few people were actually killed and how few have died from Thyroid cancer, given that the radiation was widespread and that there was a lack of potassium iodine tablets to mitigate the effect of radiation.

The Sierra Club still promotes the idea that 10,000 people died from Chernobyl, which is nothing more than speculation designed to create fear and to manipulate public perceptions

Chernobyl reactor 4, courtesy of RT

Chernobyl reactor 4, courtesy of RT

An AP story emphasized that the soil was poisoned by radiation, though animals thrive in the so-called exclusion zone, and older people, who have returned to their homes, live with little, if any threat, from radiation.

As mentioned in an earlier article on Chernobyl, the following data on radiation debunks the fear mongers at USA Today, the AP, the Sierra Club, etc.

(Ignore the unit of measurement; it becomes complicated and obscures the obvious.)

Between 1986 and 2005, average whole body radiation doses were estimated at 2.4 mSv in Belarus, 1.1 mSv in Russia, and 1.2 mSv in the Ukraine. (UNSCEAR 2008)

Compare these measurements with Ramsar, Iran, where natural radiation doses reach 400 mSv/year, and in Brazil and Southern France where they reach 700 mSv/year.

Average worldwide level is 2.4 mSv/year.

Clearly, the low doses caused by the hydrogen explosion and fire at Chernobyl are tiny compared with natural radiation doses in many, if not most, parts of the world, e.g., northern Norway 11mSv/year and 4.7 mSv/year at New York City’s Grand Central Station.

It should be noted that radiation today, two and one-half miles from the Chernobyl reactor, have been measured at 2.5 mSv/year, which is near the average worldwide level.

Chernobyl was the worst accident at a nuclear power plant and it killed 51 of the early responders in a short time. Subsequently, there have been reports of 6,000 thyroid cancers, but very few additional deaths.

The UNSCEAR report said:

“There is no scientific evidence of increases in overall cancer incidence or mortality rates or in rates of non-malignant disorders that could be related to radiation exposure.”

The AP article emphasized psychological health effects, and regurgitated unsubstantiated claims of 6,000 deaths.

No U.S. reactor, and no modern reactor in the world, has conditions similar to those that created the Chernobyl disaster, which precludes this type of accident from ever happening again.

The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effect of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) has reported extensively on Chernobyl and they have identified the actual number of deaths at around 51 of the first responders and very few deaths from cancer. UNSCEAR reports are readily available on-line.

The left-leaning Hollywood with its movie the China Syndrome added to the panic and fear after the Three Mile Island accident.

The premiss of the movie, The China Syndrome, was that a reactor meltdown would result in tons of molten radioactive material burrowing through the bottom of the reactor building, and exploding into a radioactive cloud, which, as Fonda’s character says, “could render an area the size of Pennsylvania permanently uninhabitable.”

All of which was pure nonsense intended to create fear of nuclear power.

Any meltdown, such as occurred at Three Mile Island and at Fukushima, is caught on a very thick, typically a fourteen-foot-thick concrete floor inside the containment structure, which prevents the melted core from escaping to the atmosphere or into the ground below the reactor. The China Syndrome was pure fantasy.

These groups, including such organizations as the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Rocky Mountain Institute, are killing nuclear power in the United States.

It appears as though these groups will use any device or any event to spread fear about radiation.

The Chernobyl anniversary was such an event. Fukushima’s anniversary will provide them with another opportunity to spread fear by ignoring the facts about how few were affected by radiation.

* * * * * *

Nothing to Fear, Appendix, explains why nuclear power is dying in the United States.

Nothing to Fear is available from Amazon and some independent book sellers.

Link to Amazon: http://amzn.to/1miBhXy

Book Cover, Nothing to Fear

Book Cover, Nothing to Fear

* * * * * *

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© Power For USA, 2010 – 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author, Donn Dears LLC, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Power For USA with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

What’s Being Taught on Campus

April 29, 2016

What’s being taught in colleges and universities about energy and energy issues?

When a student asked me a pointed question about an energy issue I asked where he had obtained such slanted information, and he referred me to his university professor.

That got me looking at videos and courses produced by college professors, and, not surprisingly, they were interesting. While much of the information was factually correct, the courses were slanted.

And this series of occasional articles will address how college and university professors are misleading their students.

In nearly every instance so far, the professor begins by saying he will only examine the facts, and if he has an opinion he will tell you before hand.

While this disarms the student, or viewer, opinions are inserted obliquely or casually … without forewarning.

For example:

In one course, discussing subsidies, the professor inserts that Fracking was excluded from the clean water act, inferring the exclusion was a subsidy.

While the exclusion might be onerous to some people, it is certainly not a subsidy. But the professor has established the idea that Fracking is subsidized.

This is the first of my articles about how students are being indoctrinated by college professors. From time to time, in this series, I’ll discuss other misleading information being fed college students.

For Campus Series

Fossil fuels have been made out to be pariahs, and one of the tactics that sucks the student into conforming with that view is the assertion that:

“Fossil fuels are finite. Mankind will run out of them soon, so we might just as well begin the switch to clean energy now.”

This is an appealing concept for young students. Why not develop clean energy now, since we’ll have to do it soon anyway? Besides it might help save the planet.

In this context, one professor said that fossil fuels will only last for a period no longer than the United States has been a country, inferring fossil fuels will be consumed within two hundred years.

If fossil fuels were to be gone in only a few years it would make sense to begin developing alternatives sooner rather than later, and students readily accept this view.

Of course, this conforms with the notion that fossil fuels are bad, so why not start now?

But the professor is deceiving the student, who lacks knowledge about how long fossil fuels can last, and really serve mankind.

Most students won’t look into the question of fossil fuel availability, and if they do, they will find some superficial information such as the concept of proven reserves.

Unfortunately “proven reserves” is a legal definition that history has shown to be false, if the real question is how long can fossil fuels last.

Proven reserves are:

Known reserves that can be recovered economically using established engineering or operating principles.”

Companies must legally identify proven reserves so that investors can evaluate the value of an investment.

The EIA, or some equivalent group, recites published known reserves ad nauseam, so once again, even if the student wanted to confront the professor with contradictory information it would be hard to find information that the professor couldn’t easily rebut.

But the fact is

“Actual reserves are many times greater than published proven reserves.”

This has been demonstrated time again over the past hundred years.

The following examples are from an article by Anthony Watts:

  • In 1865, Stanley Jevons (one of the most recognized 19th century economists) predicted that England would run out of coal by 1900, and that England’s factories would grind to a standstill.
  • In 1885, the US Geological Survey announced that there was “little or no chance” of oil being discovered in California.
  • In 1891, it said the same thing about Kansas and Texas.
  • In 1939, the US Department of the Interior said that American oil supplies would last only another 13 years.
  • In 1949 the Secretary of the Interior announced that the end of US oil was in sight.

Then, there was the Club of Rome with its 1972 report, the Limits to Growth, which said that growth couldn’t continue because the world was running out of natural resources, especially oil.

All of this culminated with the concept of Peak Oil, which said, wrongly, that the world was running out of oil. Hubbert’s curve, based on experience from reservoirs in Texas, predicted that the world would have consumed half of all the oil on Earth by the first or second decade of the 21st century.

And, this too has been proven wrong.

The reason for all the wrong forecasts is that the definition of known reserves is self limiting.

  • First, new reserves are constantly being found.
  • Second, new techniques are developed for extracting reserves that increases the amount of oil, natural gas, etc., that can be economically extracted from known reserves.

Truthfully, no one knows how long fossil fuels will last.

Experience has shown that oil and natural gas can probably last for a thousand years. With Methane Hydrates, natural gas can probably last 2,000 years. Coal, of all types, can also probably last a thousand years.

So, college students are being misled into believing that it’s important to find substitutes now, for fossil fuels, because fossil fuels are finite and running out.

In fact, there is no rush to find substitutes. Mankind has ample time to develop genuine, cost effective alternatives for fossil fuels.

There is no need to distort the economy, use expensive and unreliable alternatives or go further into debt to develop alternatives.

This is one of the ways in which university and college professors are deceiving their students.

* * * * * *

Nothing to Fear, Chapter 18, Remarkable Availability of Life Saving Fossil Fuels, establishes why fossil fuels can be available for a thousand years.

Nothing to Fear is available from Amazon and some independent book sellers.

Link to Amazon: http://amzn.to/1miBhXy

Book Cover, Nothing to Fear

Book Cover, Nothing to Fear

* * * * * *

 

NOTE:

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© Power For USA, 2010 – 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author, Donn Dears LLC, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Power For USA with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

As Expected, More Fear

April 22, 2016

The left brandishes the fear weapon once again. Will they never stop?

Recently the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage cavern started to leak, which required over four thousand people in a nearby community to move to temporary quarters. As is always the case with a natural gas leak, there was the potential for a fire or explosion.

Senators Boxer and Feinstein immediately declared the need for a federal investigation, similar to the Macondo investigation, to determine whether the nationwide network of 400 natural gas storage sites are safe.

Merely referencing Macondo, a totally irrelevant accident, incites unreasonable fear. The only similarity between the two accidents, Aliso Canyon and Macondo, are that they both involved fossil fuels and drilling.

Senators Boxer and Feinstein proclaimed, “Time is of the essence. The people living near Aliso Canyon and the nearly 400 other underground gas storage facilities across the country cannot afford to wait.”

Why incite fear by saying time is of the essence when underground storage has seen few accidents over the past half century? Why mention 400 underground sites, rather than just the site where the leak occurred, if it wasn’t to incite widespread fear?

Their feverish response could just be an effort to reassure their base constituency, or it could also be an effort to discredit fossil fuels because they emit CO2, or, in the case of natural gas, methane.

So, what is the situation with our nationwide system of natural gas underground storage and pipelines?

First, regarding regulations:

  • Interstate pipelines are regulated by PHMSA (Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration) for safety and FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) for usage.
  • Underground storage sites have been largely unregulated, (OSHA regulates surface activities), but the Senate is in the process of passing the Pipeline Safety Act that would require PHMSA to establish minimum safety standards for underground natural gas storage.

There are three types of natural gas storage sites around the United States.

  • depleted natural gas or oil fields (326)
  • aquifers (43)
  • salt caverns (31)

This system of natural gas storage has ensured a steady flow of natural gas throughout the lower 48 states for decades.

Map of natural gas storage sites in 2007, from EIA

Map of natural gas storage sites in 2007, from EIA

The nationwide underground storage system is critical to ensuring an adequate supply of natural gas year round, since natural gas usage is seasonal and must be stored during summer months to ensure adequate supplies during the winter.

The reliability of the grid in California will be at risk as long as the Aliso storage facility is closed due to California’s reliance on renewables.

Few serious accidents involving underground storage have occurred in the past.

Only two such accidents are reported on the web, though it’s likely others have occurred over the past half century.

  • A leak through a system of unknown salt wells and piping caused an explosion in Hutchison, Kansas in 2011, causing extensive damage and killing two people.
  • A storage facility in Liberty County, Texas, 16 miles north of Houston, had a well control incident and natural gas fire that took over six days to extinguish.

(These are the only two references to underground natural gas storage accidents that could be found on the web.)

It would appear as though underground storage is relatively safe. As a fact, it appears that more people have been killed by natural gas explosions from leaks in homes and in buildings than from natural gas leaks from underground storage.

Natural gas, i.e, methane, is an orderless gas that must be handled safely to prevent fires and explosions. Mercaptan, a harmless chemical, with a distinctive odor, is added to the natural gas so that leaks can easily be detected.

Aside from Senator Boxer’s and Feinstein’s comments, what is the motivation behind the outcry surrounding the Aliso leak? Why did California declare Aliso an emergency?

The immediate reason, after public health and safety, according to the Notice of Proposed Emergency Rulemaking Action, by the California Department of Conservation, was:

  • “The Aliso Canyon natural gas leak has caused significant harm to the environment, as major amounts of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, have been and continue to be emitted into the atmosphere.”
    (Emphasis added.)

Another recent public hearing in Western Maryland involving underground storage, also had methane at its center, as described by one organization:

  • “The site is currently emitting into the air an estimated 10,000 tons of methane and other fugitive gases per year.”

It will be interesting to see whether Aliso Canyon becomes another rallying cry in the war against natural gas.

* * * * * *

Nothing to Fear, Part 4, The Miracle of Fossil Fuels, explains why fossil fuels have benefitted mankind, and can continue to do so for a thousand years.
Nothing to Fear is available from Amazon and some independent book sellers.
Link to Amazon: http://amzn.to/1miBhXy

Book Cover, Nothing to Fear

Book Cover, Nothing to Fear

* * * * * *

NOTE:

It’s easy to subscribe to articles by Donn Dears.

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© Power For USA, 2010 – 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author, Donn Dears LLC, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Power For USA with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

What If GPS Dies?

April 19, 2016
tags: , , , , ,

GPS provides extremely accurate positioning information, and is used by the military, as well as commercial entities and ordinary people, to the point that it is now ubiquitous in society.

GPS relies on a system of approximately 30 satellites.

But there is a threat that these satellites could be destroyed in a military conflict. In addition, the signals are subject to spoofing, which is one of the possible explanations for why Navy vessels were captured by the Iranians in Iranian waters.

GPS is relied on by the Navy for navigation, in what is essentially push button navigation.

Yes, sextants and magnetic compasses are available, but they are far less accurate.

Precise locations are required for ships to operate effectively in the modern missile age, where knowing the exact location of the launch vehicle and the target is essential. These precise locations are provided by GPS.

But what happens if GPS is not available?

Why not use the system of navigation that birds and sea turtles use, which is the magnetic field of the Earth.

This is referred to as Geomagnetic Navigation and has been proposed for use by the Navy.

Map of Geomagnetic Fields, from USNI

Map of Geomagnetic Fields, from USNI

The system that’s envisioned would result in receivers similar to GPS, with similar accuracy.

What’s needed is a map of the Earth’s magnetic field, which is already available, sensors to accurately identify where you are in the magnetic field, and updates to keep the map current.

Sensors are being developed, but the ability to maintain a real-time map of the Earth’s magnetic field is still needed.

The magnetic field is constantly disrupted by magnetic noise, weather conditions and solar flares.

The ability of solar flares to disrupt the Earth’s magnetic field is another manifestation of how the sun affects the Earth.

It’s the effect of solar flares that makes geomagnetic navigation an interesting sidelight to energy issues and climate change.

It is merely another example of how the sun affects the Earth, and illustrates again why it’s entirely possible that it is the sun that is causing climate change, and not CO2 emissions.

Geomagnetic navigation can become an important alternative to GPS, should GPS fail, and is under investigation by the Navy.

* * * * * *

Nothing to Fear, Chapter 15, An Alternative Hypothesis, explains why the sun may be a better explanation for climate change than CO2.

Nothing to Fear is available from Amazon and some independent book sellers.
Link to Amazon: http://amzn.to/1miBhXy

Book Cover, Nothing to Fear

Book Cover, Nothing to Fear

* * * * * *

NOTE:

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© Power For USA, 2010 – 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author, Donn Dears LLC, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Power For USA with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Will 2016 be Turning Point for EV and PHEV Sales?

April 15, 2016

The news receiving the most publicity this year has been Tesla’s announcement of its new model 3, and the 325,000 preorders for the car.

This has overshadowed actual sales results for EVs and PHEVs for the first quarter of 2016.

US Sales of Electric Vehicles, Including HEVs 2016

Month Hybrid (HEVs) PHEVs & Extended Range Vehicles Battery (BEVs) Totals Total PHEV & EV
January

20,967

3,137

3,576

27,680

6,713

February

24,371

3,909

4,424

32,704

8,333

March

28,756

5,290

7,115

41,161

12,405

Total 1Q

74,094

12,336

15,115

101,545

27,451

Total 1Q 2015

86,005

7,722

14,127

107,854

21,849

% change

-16%

37%

7%

-6%

20%

Total 4Q 2015

88,029

13,789

19,797

% QoQ change

-16%

-11%

-24%

BEVs are vehicles powered entirely by battery power. PHEVs use the battery to travel for the first 35 miles, but then switch to an internal combustion engine to extend its range. An important distinction between HEVs, such as the Prius, and BEVs or PHEVs is that an HEV can only travel around 2 miles on battery power while BEVs and PHEVs can travel for at least 35 miles using batteries alone.
(Data from Electric Drive Transportation Association)

Comparisons between the first quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2015 are generally favorable, with PHEV sales increasing 37%, and EV sales increasing 7% YoY.

Comparisons with fourth quarter 2015 sales, i.e., Q over Q, are less favorable, with PHEV sales down 11%, and EV sales down 24% QoQ.

Of particular interest is the fact that the sale of Hybrids were down 16% YoY, and down 16% QoQ.

Hybrids were considered avant-garde a few years ago, but they have inherent drawbacks, such as their very small size and difficulty for taller people to enter the vehicle. Low gasoline prices have probably had a significant negative effect on the sale of hybrids.

The Nissan Leaf had sales of fewer than 3,000 vehicles during the fourth quarter of 2015, one-third of 4Q 2014 sales. First quarter 2016 sales are not known, but are probably below 3,000 vehicles.

The failure of the Leaf can be attributed to its short range, i.e., fewer than 100 miles. This is conclusive proof that any EV, to be successful, must have a range comparable to a gasoline vehicle of around 300 miles.

There seems to be an important anomaly between the data shown in the above table, highlighted in green, and the media reports of Tesla’s fourth quarter sales of over 17,000 vehicles. First, it would confirm that Nissan’s Leaf had very few sales.

There are three possible explanations for the anomaly:

  • A significant portion of Tesla’s sales were to foreign countries
  • Tesla’s sales were less than being reported in the media
  • The data for the above table is incorrect

The media has reported that Tesla’s 2015 sales were over 50,000 vehicles, while Musk has forecast sales of 1,600-1,800 per week in 2016. Sales of 1,600 vehicles per week would result in total 2016 year sales for Tesla of 83,000 vehicles.

Referring to the above table, total 1Q EV sales were 15,115 vehicles. If 100% of these were for Tesla vehicles, i.e., no Leaf or BMW sales, etc., it would extrapolate to 60,000 US Tesla vehicle sales for 2016. This is well below the approximately 83,000 forecast by Musk.

At some point, when Tesla sells more than 200,000 vehicles, Tesla vehicles will no longer be eligible for the $7,500 tax credit, and that is likely to affect Tesla’s sales.

Tesla

Tesla

Tesla’s stock price has benefitted from the hype surrounding each of Tesla’s announcements, whether it was for the Model X, the Model 3, or Powerwall batteries.

The forthcoming hype surrounding the opening of the Tesla giga battery factory will provide another boost to Tesla’s stock, but after that announcement the company will have to rely on its ability to produce vehicles at a profit.

It’s likely, later this year, that a major investor will begin to short Tesla’s stock, if the company doesn’t meet its promises.

This year, 2016, will be an interesting year for EV sales, with the introduction of the Bolt by GM, and other EV models by other manufacturers.

How these additional models will affect Tesla sales will be an important news story for 2017.

EVs remain a toy for the rich and famous, until the Model 3 and the Bolt, and other comparable models begin to be sold. These models will have base prices approximating $35,000. With the federal $7,500 tax credit, plus additional state credits, the selling price for these models after the tax credits will be within the reach of middle class buyers.

Unfortunately, other Americans will be footing the bill for these tax credits, so they will hurt American tax payers.

* * * * * *

Nothing to Fear, Part 4, The Miracle of Fossil Fuels, explains why fossil fuels have benefitted mankind, and can continue to do so for a thousand years.

Nothing to Fear is available from Amazon and some independent book sellers.

Link to Amazon: http://amzn.to/1miBhXy

Book Cover, Nothing to Fear

Book Cover, Nothing to Fear

* * * * * *

NOTE:

It’s easy to subscribe to articles by Donn Dears.

Go to the photo on the right side of the article where it says email subscription. Click and enter your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

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© Power For USA, 2010 – 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author, Donn Dears LLC, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Power For USA with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Enemies of Freedom in our Midst?

April 12, 2016

There are many instances in history where one group of people attempts to stifle the views of their opponents.

This has been abhorrent to Americans who believe in freedom, and has seldom been attempted in the United States.

But now, the government is attempting to delegitimatize and jail those who disagree with it on climate change.

An Attorney General issued a subpoena last week on the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), as part of the government’s effort to prove that Exxon defrauded the people of the United States. It demonstrates that the government can issue a subpoena on any engineer or scientist who has disagreed with the government on climate change.

This attack on free speech can only be viewed as rooted in fascism.

Historically, there have been many attempts around the world to suppress free speech.

Here is a small sampling of pertinent quotes:

“The people can always be brought to the bidding of their leaders. All you have to do is tell them that they are in danger … “

“The [party] will prevent in the future, by force if necessary, all meetings and lectures which are likely to exercise a depressing [opposing] influence on the state.”

“It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent.”

“[Using RICO] civil discovery would reveal whether and to what extent the fossil fuel industry has crossed this same line. We do know that it has funded research that directly contradicts the vast majority of peer-reviewed climate science.”

The last statement was made by a sitting US Senator, Senator Whitehouse.

Official Photo of Senator Whitehouse (D) of Rhode Island

Official Photo of Senator Whitehouse (D) of Rhode Island

Senator Whitehouse said, “[Conduct a] RICO investigation of corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America’s response to climate change.”
(Emphasis added)

This has a familiar ring when compared to the above quotations.
For example:

“It’s vitally important for the state to stop dissent.” (Because of the danger of climate change.)

“Prevent meetings and lectures opposing the state.” (That contradict the views of the state on climate change.)

“State to use all of its powers to repress dissent.” (Professors requesting that climate change deniers be suppressed, and AGs subpoenaing organizations.)

Twenty professors sent President Obama a request asking that deniers be suppressed. This letter, in itself, can be viewed as an amazing expression of fascism residing in universities where free speech should be vigorously protected.

In addition, the highest legal officer in the United States, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, said she has explored ways to “take action” on turning climate-change denial into a federal crime.

But Attorneys General are already taking action.

A group of Attorneys General have organized to investigate how EXXON mislead investors and the public about the impact of climate change on their businesses. The group includes, Attorneys General William Sorrell of Vermont, George Jepsen of Connecticut, Brian E. Frosh of Maryland, Maura Healey of Massachusetts, Mark Herring of Virginia, Claude Walker of the U.S. Virgin Islands, (See below) and former Vice President Al Gore.

In a related action, California Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) proposed the Climate Science Truth & Accountability Act to extend the statute of limitations under California’s Unfair Competition Law from four to 30 years, giving prosecutors authority to file civil charges in connection with the conduct of fossil fuel companies going back decades.

Exxon has the financial strength to defend itself, but ordinary scientists and engineers do not. In addition, every corporation in the United States will be intimidated into remaining silent, or worse yet, be forced into actions contrary to the interests of their shareholders … and all Americans.

In conclusion, as a result of these calls to suppress dissent, we now have an effort underway to throw scientists and engineers into jail who have studied the climate change issue and decided, based on science, that climate change is not caused by CO2.

At the very least, it will scare some scientists and engineers into being silent, for fear of being further ostracized and having to face financial ruin defending themselves in court.

Two years ago, when it was suggested that so-called deniers should be thrown in jail, it was viewed as a bad joke.

Today, with leaders in Congress, some states, and the Administration pursuing a legal attack on scientists and engineers, it’s no longer a joke, but a threat to every American.

The attorney general for the Virgin Islands, Claude E. Walker, issued a subpoena on April 4, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, against CEI, asking for:

“A decade’s worth of communications, emails, statements, drafts, and other documents regarding CEI’s work on climate change and energy policy, including private donor information. It demands that CEI produce these materials from 20 years ago, from 1997-2007, by April 30, 2016.”

A copy of the subpoena with its attachment containing 14 pages of instructions is available at http://bit.ly/1SGmb6y

It’s also worth reading what others have to say about this issue:

A law professor has addressed the free speech legal issues stemming from this attack by The Virgin Islands AG, in a USA Today article at http://usat.ly/23rxFWz

Americans should think very carefully about whether the call for legal action against other Americans is an attack on every Americans freedom.

Today, it’s scientists and engineers being threatened, tomorrow its reporters, or writers, or doctors or lawyers, or any group that doesn’t agree with the government.

* * * * * *

Nothing to Fear, Chapters 1 & 2, describes how the UNFCCC and IPCC view climate change as a way to change society.
Nothing to Fear is available from Amazon and some independent book sellers.

Link to Amazon: http://amzn.to/1miBhXy

Book Cover, Nothing to Fear

Book Cover, Nothing to Fear

* * * * * *

NOTE:

It’s easy to subscribe to articles by Donn Dears.

Go to the photo on the right side of the article where it says email subscription. Click and enter your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

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© Power For USA, 2010 – 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author, Donn Dears LLC, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Power For USA with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Would a Carbon Tax Save Nuclear?

April 5, 2016

All US nuclear power plants are likely to be shut down by 2100, thereby eliminating so-called “carbon free” electricity that must be replaced by electricity from some other type of power generation.

There were 104 nuclear power plants operating in the United States in 2010. Four of these have recently been shut down. Four new nuclear power plants are being built, 2 in Georgia and 2 in South Carolina, so that over the next few years, between 2020 and 2035, there should be 104 nuclear power plants operating in the United States, assuming no additional plants are shut down over the next few years.

These plants have a total nameplate rating of approximately 100,000 MW.

Beginning in 2035, this fleet of existing nuclear power plants will begin to be shut down due to old age, which will prevent them from being able to obtain a second renewal to their operating license. See U.S. Nuclear Demise Amid Increases Elsewhere.

This capacity must be replaced with some other type of generation.

It’s exceedingly doubtful that any additional new nuclear power plants will be built in the United States because of their high cost, at $6,000 per KW, but also because of the unreasonable fear about radiation that extremists have created in the general population.

Antinuclear poster

Antinuclear poster

At a recent meeting on nuclear power, Emily Hammond, associate dean for public engagement, professor of law at George Washington University said,

“A carbon tax would be the most efficient way to handle these issues that we’ve been talking about this morning.”

But is this true?

First, as described above, all existing nuclear power plants will be shut down by 2100 as they will not be able to obtain a second renewal to their operating license. A carbon tax wouldn’t save nuclear plants long term.

Second, sufficient wind and solar would have to be installed to replace the 100,000 MW of nuclear that will be shut down, and even after replacing nuclear with wind, coal and natural gas would still be generating 68% of our electricity. Here’s why:

  1. Nuclear has a capacity factor of 90%, so these units can produce 90% of their nameplate rating.
  2. Wind, on-shore, has a capacity factor of around 30%. In other words, it only produces 30% of the electricity that could possibly be produced based on the nameplate rating. This is a reflection of the fact that the wind blows intermittently.
  3. Therefore, wind requires approximately 3 times the amount of installed generating capacity, based on its nameplate rating, to replace nuclear.
  4. While it only takes 104 nuclear power plants to produce the electricity generated by nuclear today, it would require 200,000 new wind turbines rated 1.5 MW, the average nameplate rating of units being built today, to replace the electricity produced by existing nuclear power plants.
  5. Even after building these 200,000 wind turbines to replace 104 nuclear power plants, natural gas and coal would still be generating 68% of the electricity in the United States.

It should be noted that there have only been approximately 50,000 wind turbines built over the past 15 years.

Finally, a carbon tax would only exacerbate the problem of building new wind turbines or solar installations to replace nuclear, as the resulting higher cost of building or operating natural gas and coal-fired power plants due to the carbon tax, would result in fewer of them being in operation or built.

The resulting loss in electricity output would have to be replaced with even more wind or solar. Again, the capacity factor of wind at 30% is far below the capacity factors for natural gas and coal, which are approximately 85%, so another roughly 650,000 wind turbines would have to be built to replace all existing natural gas and coal-fired power plants. This is in addition to the 200,000 wind turbines built to replace the 104 nuclear plants.

Aside form the high cost of building nearly 850,000 wind turbines at $2,000/KW, or $2.6 trillion, the system would collapse since wind is unreliable and can’t supply base load power. Natural gas and coal-fired power plants are essential for keeping the grid operating without blackouts.

The situation with solar is essentially the same. PV solar has a capacity factor that is realistically no higher than 20%, while concentrating solar, when built where there is ample solar insolation, is around 30%.

The only rational conclusion is that a carbon tax is self defeating over the long term, while also increasing the cost of electricity for everyone in the United States.

In addition, it’s clear that wind and solar are unable to replace natural gas or coal-fired power plants. Not only because of their high cost and whether it’s feasible to build 680,000 new units, but mainly because they are unreliable.

This conclusion about a carbon tax is contrary to the conventional wisdom, which assumes a carbon tax would result in fewer CO2 emissions.

A carbon tax will increase the cost of electricity for all Americans without achieving any significant reduction in CO2 emissions.

 

* * * * * *

Nothing to Fear, Chapter 9, The Utility Death Spiral, explains why displacing fossil fuels with wind and solar will result in destroying the reliability of the grid.

Nothing to Fear is available from Amazon and some independent book sellers.

Link to Amazon: http://amzn.to/1miBhXy

Book Cover, Nothing to Fear

Book Cover, Nothing to Fear

* * * * * *

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