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In Support of Nuclear Power

March 31, 2017

These articles are not intended for book reviews; however, it’s important to highlight specific books that have an important message about energy.

For example, Wade Allison’s book, Radiation and Reason, was highlighted in the article, More on Radiation.

The slow death of America’s nuclear power industry is largely the result of anti-nuclear activists convincing legislatures and Americans that nuclear power isn’t safe.

The anti-nuclear crowd is wrong in this respect, and a new book by Meredith Angwin explains how average people can fight back against the antinuclear extremists.

Her book, Campaigning for Clean Air, is a “how to” book for people who want to support nuclear power and counteract extremists.

Campaigning for Clean Air also provides information about why nuclear power is safe and why the three nuclear accidents, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima, have not had the terrible consequences bandied about by extremists who oppose nuclear power.

Book cover

Book cover

One note that struck a chord was her description of how manipulating sample size can create the impression that, “Redheads are taking over the world.” Extremists use this technique to mislead people. It’s similar to the misleading “97% of scientists agree” consensus statement that is repeated ad nauseam by the media about climate change.

The “97% statement” is also based on a manipulation of sample size, while also distorting the truth, because nearly everyone agrees that climate is changing and that people have had some effect on climate. It’s also misleading because it doesn’t address the question: What’s causing global warming and climate change?

The earlier article mentioned above, also provided details of the Chernobyl and Three Mile Island accidents. Specifically:

“Chernobyl was the worst accident at a nuclear power plant and it killed 31 of the early responders in a short time. Subsequently, there have been reports of 4,000 thyroid cancers, but very few additional deaths. And Chernobyl was a poorly designed nuclear reactor without a containment structure, where the so-called accident was caused by inappropriate testing of the reactor.” (The reactor was known to be unstable at low load, but unauthorized testing proceeded anyway.)

“Three Mile Island, the only reactor accident in the United States, had virtually zero radiation released beyond the reactor.”

Two additional references on the Chernobyl accident mentioned in my article are:

  • Annex J; Exposures and Effects of the Chernobyl Accident, by UNSCEAR
  • Observations on Chernobyl after 25 Years of Radiofobia, by Zbigniew Jaworoski

Meredith Angwin has been an active supporter of nuclear power, and her book, Campaigning for Clean Air, describes many of her experiences. She uses these experiences to explain how anyone who is interested in this important energy source can support nuclear power and win over people and lawmakers, so they also support nuclear power.

Keeping our existing nuclear power plants is even more important after the debacle with Westinghouse declaring bankruptcy, which threatens the completion of the four reactors currently under construction.

Without popular support, nuclear power will continue its slow death in the United States, where there may be no nuclear power plants in operation by the end of this century.

* * * * * *

Clexit For a Brighter Future establishes why the United States should withdraw from the UNFCCC treaty, a treaty most Americans don’t know was ratified by the Senate.

Link to Amazon http://amzn.to/2m8S14B

A coupon in Clexit allows the purchaser to also buy Nothing to Fear for $8.00. Clip the coupon and follow the mailing instructions to take advantage of this offer.

Clexit cover

Clexit cover

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NOTE:

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© Power For USA, 2010 – 2017. 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.

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Fools Rush In

March 28, 2017

One could say two former Republican secretaries of state, Messrs. Baker and Shultz, are naive and badly informed, but their proposal for a carbon tax smacks of fools rushing in.

Their proposed carbon tax is part of a proposal by the Climate Leadership Council.

This “carbon tax” is a tax on CO2 emissions, based on the supposed need to cut CO2 emissions to prevent a climate catastrophe.

But, a “carbon tax” is fundamentally a bad proposal for several reasons.

First, Baker and Shultz propose to return a dividend to the poor, because it’s the poor who are hurt the most by any attempt to cut CO2 emissions. I.e., the poor pay a higher proportion of their income for electricity and energy than do wealthier people.

This is pie-in-the-sky reasoning, because legislators will eventually see the tax as an opportunity to increase government revenues and spending. That’s the real-world outcome of any such dividend proposal.

Second, it tries to entice the Trump administration into establishing an import tariff if other countries don’t establish a tax on carbon. This is unnecessarily confrontational, while getting 195 countries to establish the same price on carbon would be an impossibility as each country would attempt to establish a price that would benefit them in international trade.

Thirdly, Baker and Shultz want to begin with a tax of $40 per ton, which is higher than the Obama administration’s social cost of carbon (SCC) of $36, while proposing that a panel should review the tax in five years to see whether it should be increased.

Extreme environmentalists who clamor for cuts in CO2 emissions won’t agree to the Baker and Shultz proposal because they want money to be spent on such things as wind and solar and energy efficiency. This was demonstrated in Washington State when a carbon tax was voted down, largely because extreme environmentalists opposed the proposal because it was revenue neutral and money wasn’t being spent on their pet projects.

In addition, it’s important to understand that models from which the social cost of carbon are calculated provide widely different answers depending on the assumptions used.

Three charts were selected from Dr. Kevin Dayaratna’s presentation at the 12th International Conference on Climate Change to demonstrate that:

  1. CO2 could provide benefits, rather than costs.
  2. The choice of the discount rate has a huge effect on the outcomes generated by the three computer models (DICE, PAGE and FUND) used for determining the cost of carbon.
  3. The Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS) also affects the outcomes.
Results from the DICE, PAGE and FUND models are shown in the graph.

Results from the DICE, PAGE and FUND models are shown in the graph.

  • FUND model results (green) indicate there are benefits from carbon dioxide and that there could be no SCC, or even a negative cost.

The assumed discount rate has an important effect on the model’s results. The differences between a 3% and a 7% discount rate are shown in the tables below. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recommended a 7% discount rate, while the Obama Administration used 3% when determining its SCC of $36 per ton.

The first table below uses an outdated ECS, while the second uses a more recent ECS. Both charts show the difference between a 3% and 7% discount rate.

Model shows effect of discount rates when using old ECS

Model shows effect of discount rates when using old ECS

Model shows effect of discount rates when using new ECS

Model shows effect of discount rates when using new ECS

  • In both examples, the cost of carbon is much lower when a more realistic 7% discount rate is used.

In Summary:

As established in the book Clexit, it’s impossible to cut CO2 emissions enough to stop any climate catastrophe, even if CO2 has some effect on climate change.

Cutting worldwide CO2 emissions 50% by 2050 is impossible. Cutting US emissions 80% by 2050 is also impossible …. unless we accept returning to a lifestyle of the 1800s where horses were the main form of transportation, and air-conditioning, air planes and MRIs were unavailable.

(These targets i.e., 50% and 80% by 2050, are the targets established by the United Nations and the EPA for preventing a climate catastrophe.)

These targets are impossible to meet, therefore, Messrs. Baker and Shultz are asking Americans to sacrifice their living standards for an impossible goal.

Furthermore, the evidence shows that the social cost of carbon (SCC) is small and possibly negative, i.e., beneficial, indicating there is no need for putting a price on carbon.

* * * * * *

Clexit For a Brighter Future establishes why the United States should withdraw from the UNFCCC treaty, a treaty most Americans don’t know was ratified by the Senate.

Link to Amazon http://amzn.to/2m8S14B

A coupon in Clexit allows the purchaser to also buy Nothing to Fear for $8.00. Clip the coupon and follow the mailing instructions to take advantage of this offer.

Clexit cover

Clexit cover

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NOTE:

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

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© Power For USA, 2010 – 2017. 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.

Fortune Magazine’s Priorities

March 25, 2017

This month, Fortune magazine published its listing of the 100 best American companies to work for.

Unless you count a supplier of medical equipment, Gore-Tex products and two pharmaceutical companies, there were no manufacturing companies on the list.

The likes of GM, GE, Boeing and United Technologies were absent from the list of best American companies to work for.

The list seemed to infer that Americans wanted the softest, least demanding jobs where the personal perks were best.

Is this really what Americans want in their work place? Soft, cushy jobs with nice personal perks?

What about attributes such as challenging jobs with challenging goals? And difficult work environments that are rewarded when goals are met?

Cover of Fortune Magazine

Cover of Fortune Magazine

Is Fortune’s list merely what elites think?

Fortune used Great Place to Work to compile the survey.

But who is Great Place to Work? And what do they believe?

Their web site says a company’s culture is critical to its success. But that’s merely a view from HR.

From the Great Place to Work web site:

“Companies’ results on the Trust Index© survey are compared to peer organizations of like size and complexity. The Culture Audit© includes detailed questions about benefits, programs, and practices.”

And in addition, companies weren’t considered if they weren’t certified by Great Place to Work:

“To be considered for our Best Workplaces lists, companies must be Great Place to Work-Certified™.”

A soft culture, with cushy jobs is critical to success?

That’s not how to define success in manufacturing, where there are few cushy jobs, the work place may be somewhat dirty and demanding, and the demands for meeting cost and other objectives are hard to achieve.

Fortune’s “100 best American companies to work for” listing seems to be self serving, especially for their partner, Great Place to Work.

Fortune’s priorities don’t match what American manufacturing companies need to do, to compete in the world market.

Perhaps, a little old-fashioned roll-up-our-sleeves and meet the challenge is in order.

Manufacturing jobs may not be cushy, but they afford a real challenge for real Americans.

With a little less soft, HR elite thinking, maybe we can meet the challenge.

* * * * * *

Clexit For a Brighter Future establishes why the United States should withdraw from the UNFCCC treaty, a treaty most Americans don’t know was ratified by the Senate.

Link to Amazon http://amzn.to/2m8S14B

The article Another CO2 Sequestration Proposal should be considered a part of this book.

Clexit is really an appendage to Nothing To Fear.

A coupon in Clexit allows the purchaser to also buy Nothing to Fear for $8.00. Clip the coupon and follow the mailing instructions to take advantage of this offer.

Clexit cover

Clexit cover

* * * * * *

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 – 2017. 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.

Australia Demands More Gas

March 21, 2017
Graphic showing South Australian blackout, courtesy of GWPF

Two years ago, The New South Wales government shutdown drilling for natural gas because people protested against drilling for natural gas.

Similarly, local governments elsewhere in Australia have acquiesced to demands made by people protesting against natural gas and coal because of climate change.

Graphic showing South Australian blackout, courtesy of GWPF

Graphic showing South Australian blackout, courtesy of GWPF

Meanwhile, Australia has abundant natural gas resources in northern and western Australia, and has begun exporting natural gas to Asian countries.

Infrastructure is lacking to bring natural gas from western and northern Australia to where it’s needed in the South, primarily South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, though portions of Queensland also lack adequate supplies of natural gas.

The blackouts in South Australia have brought the lack of natural gas for power generation to the forefront, with the untenable situation of Australia exporting natural gas while not having enough to meet its needs for power generation.

There is now the absurd situation where the Liberal government is threatening natural gas companies that their exports will be curtailed if they don’t supply Australia with natural gas for power generation.

Liberal Prime Minister, Turnbull, said:

“We [Federal Government] have the ability to control exports … we have that power.”

This is a situation brought about by protests against drilling for natural gas, labor governments who have invested in wind and solar to the detriment of baseload power from coal and natural gas, and a Liberal, i.e., conservative government that has waffled in the past, but now demands that industry solve the problem.

At this late date, the Liberal party in New South Wales is now considering whether to permit drilling.

The Labor party’s infatuation with cutting CO2 emissions is at the crux of the problem, even though, as mentioned in Blackout Race Underway 45% of Australians won’t pay one extra cent for electricity from wind and solar.

Industry has not said how it will solve the problem, but the most likely measure will be to transport LNG from the North to ports in the South. It’s likely that drilling for natural gas will again be given the go-ahead, though it will require time to produce natural gas from wells in New South Wales and South Australia.

As elsewhere, attempts to cut CO2 emissions are proving to be very expensive and ultimately, unworkable.

* * * * * *

Clexit For a Brighter Future establishes why the United States should withdraw from the UNFCCC treaty, a treaty most Americans don’t know was ratified by the Senate.

Link to Amazon http://amzn.to/2m8S14B

A coupon in Clexit allows the purchaser to also buy Nothing to Fear for $8.00. Clip the coupon and follow the mailing instructions to take advantage of this offer.

Clexit cover

Clexit cover

* * * * * *

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.

If you know people who would be interested in these articles please send them a link to the article and suggest they also subscribe.

© Power For USA, 2010 – 2017. 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.

Tea Party Interview

March 17, 2017

Periodically, I do radio and other interviews.

While radio interviews are not easy to reproduce on the internet, my recent interview with the president of The Villages Tea Party is a video with an easy to access link.

The purpose of the interview was to discuss my new book, Clexit For a Brighter Future, and why the United States should withdraw from the UNFCCC treaty.

Most Americans don’t realize that the Senate ratified this treaty in 1992, and that it obligates the United States to participate in reducing CO2 emissions.

On Saturday, March 11, the Wall Street Journal said the United States should withdraw from the UNFCCC treaty. Clexit explains why it’s the right thing to do.

The video of the interview can be seen using this link http://bit.ly/2nq79dh

Click on the start > button to start the video.

Clexit cover

Clexit cover

* * * * * *

Clexit For a Brighter Future establishes why the United States should withdraw from the UNFCCC treaty, a treaty most Americans don’t know was ratified by the Senate.

Link to Amazon http://amzn.to/2m8S14B

The article Another CO2 Sequestration Proposal  should be considered a part of this book.

A coupon in Clexit allows the purchaser to also buy Nothing to Fear for $8.00. Clip the coupon and follow the mailing instructions to take advantage of this offer.

 

* * * * * *

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.

If you know people who would be interested in these articles please send them a link to the article and suggest they also subscribe.

© Power For USA, 2010 – 2017. 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.

Blackout Race Underway

March 14, 2017

Prior to my trip to Australia, I believed Germany would be the first country to succumb to severe blackouts as the result of its drive to use renewables in preference to fossil fuels so as to cut CO2 emissions.

It now looks as though Australia could win this dubious honor, as Australia has actually removed coal-fired power plants from service while Germany has added them.

The three contestants for this dubious blackout honor are:

  1. Australia
  2. Germany
  3. California

California is a distant third possibility, primarily because it can draw power from surrounding states when its renewables fail to deliver. California’s actual reductions in CO2 emissions are very small when compared with its stated objectives of a 40% cut by 2030 and an 80% cut by 2050.

Australia is rich in both coal and natural gas resources, but has imposed impediments on developing new natural gas resources, while also having inadequate infrastructure for delivering natural gas across the country from where abundant supplies exist in northern and western Australia.

The Australian government has adopted a renewable energy target (RET) of 23% by 2020, with the Labor party indicating it desires an RET of 50%.

A backlash is developing against Australia’s RET goals, with the One Nation party and leading conservatives, such as former prime minister Tony Abbott, joining forces in efforts to repeal the RET.

Disputing the need for the RET is a recent poll among Australians which showed that 45% of Australians “balk at paying one cent more for electricity from renewables.” (The Australian, February 28, 2017)

Meanwhile, businesses are complaining about rising energy costs that are endangering manufacturing jobs. (The Australian, February 24, 2017)

So far this year, the entire state of South Australia has suffered through a day-long blackout, while, subsequently, 40,000 homes in the city of Adelaide endured a second blackout. These blackouts have been attributed to the inability of wind to provide adequate power during peak periods.

Graphic showing South Australian blackout, courtesy of GWPF

Graphic showing South Australian blackout, courtesy of GWPF

What’s most disturbing about the current situation is that none of the three blackout contestants have cut CO2 emissions by any meaningful amount, while still endangering their citizens to dangerous blackouts.

Cuts in CO2 emissions as of 2016:

  • Australia, less than 20%
  • Germany, 27%
  • California, less than 12%

If blackouts are already occurring when cuts in CO2 emissions are far below ultimate targets, how soon will larger cuts in CO2 emissions result in more damaging blackouts?

It’s impossible to cut CO2 emissions enough to have any effect on climate, even if atmospheric CO2 has an effect, without destroying living standards and endangering the lives of billions of people in developing countries.

Cutting CO2 emissions is a fool’s errand.

 

* * * * * *

Clexit For a Brighter Future establishes why the United States should withdraw from the UNFCCC treaty, a treaty most Americans don’t know was ratified by the Senate.

Link to Amazon http://amzn.to/2m8S14B

The article Another CO2 Sequestration Proposal should be considered a part of this book.
A coupon in Clexit allows the purchaser to also buy Nothing to Fear for $8.00. Clip the coupon and follow the mailing instructions to take advantage of this offer.

Clexit cover

Clexit cover

* * * * * *

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.

If you know people who would be interested in these articles please send them a link to the article and suggest they also subscribe.

© Power For USA, 2010 – 2017. 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.

Modular Nuclear Reactors

March 10, 2017

Proposed small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) could revitalize the nuclear industry in the United States, assuming their costs can be substantially below the $6,000 per KW cost of traditional nuclear power plants, such as those being built in Georgia and South Carolina.

NuScale is the first SMR to file a design certification application for any SMR with the NRC. This puts NuScale ahead of other SMR proposals. The B&W mPower SMR proposal seems to be languishing.

From NuScale, Depicting Relative Reactor Size

From NuScale, Depicting Relative Reactor Size

As announced by NuScale, “[its] SMR is economic, factory built and shippable. It’s flexible enough to desalinate seawater, refine oil, load-follow wind, produce hydrogen, flexible to grow to any size, and that provides a reactor that cannot meltdown.”

The potential for lowering cost by constructing modules in a factory setting, and the ability to size completed installations to any requirement by constructing additional modules, makes the SMR concept very attractive.

Each NuScale module would be rated 50 MW, with the ability to group several modules together to form units as large as 600 MW.

Whether the public will accept SMRs and whether their cost can be kept well below the cost of constructing traditional reactors are critical to the SMRs’ future.

Another type of SMR was recently promoted by ThorCon. Its reactor is a molten salt reactor based on the molten salt reactor experiment (MSRE). These modules would also be located underground.

The ThorCon proposal is also flexible, with the potential to construct a 1,000 MW unit using multiple modules.

ThorCon made no mention of NRC approvals, so, while intriguing, more must be known about the status of the design before commenting further.

In summary:

  • The NuScale design appears to be farthest along in obtaining NRC approvals, though several years work remains before units can be built.
  • The SMR concept holds promise for a revitalized nuclear power industry, but only if construction costs can be kept well below $6,000 per KW.

* * * * * *

Clexit For a Brighter Future establishes why the United States should withdraw from the UNFCCC treaty, a treaty most Americans don’t know was ratified by the Senate.

Link to Amazon http://amzn.to/2m8S14B

The article Another CO2 Sequestration Proposal should be considered a part of this book.

A coupon in Clexit allows the purchaser to also buy Nothing to Fear for $8.00. Clip the coupon and follow the mailing instructions to take advantage of this offer.

Clexit cover

Clexit cover

* * * * * *

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.

If you know people who would be interested in these articles please send them a link to the article and suggest they also subscribe.

© Power For USA, 2010 – 2017. 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.