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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Government Official Threatens Solar Contractor With Loss of Contracts for Posting Anti-Nuclear Power Comments


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  • JapAN US relations for 200 Alex JapAN US relations for 200 Alex
    Your profit margin depends on nukists as you say. No Pearl, no business. Ironic. You rely on those you name call. What% work at Pearl or do business with them.- 25? 30? Enough to make s difference in someone's bottom line. Now shoo.

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    • combomelt combomelt
      Negative Effect Of Man Made Radiation On Human Eggs, Embryo, Sperm, Fetus, And Newborn – Dr. Caldicott MD

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    • bowling bowling
      there will be nuclear navies you asshat alex. stock is trying to shut down the huge radioactive rattletrap boilers and stop the unnecessary and super dangerous smaller mox reactors that we do not need to generate power and generate 20 thousand tons of high level waste yearly. For you to go after stocks throat over his navy business shows what a little man . and troll psycho you really are. only a psycho wpuld threaten another persons livelihood like this on an internet forum. so sick. how does a creep like you look at itself in the morning every day?

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  • Sparky Sparky
    +1 Stock, a personalized Hell perhaps, for this multi-generational, planetary mass murderer. A Hell where he will endlessly see, hear, feel, know and relive at the spiritual level the nuclear evil he and his masters have unleashed upon all Earthly beings–forever.
    He's bombast for now, strutting his [lame, stupid] stuff here on Enenews. But in his heart (assuming he has one)…he knows. Honestly, I think he's trying to convince himself, to quiet once and for all those nagging little voices of doubt or regret for his role in perpetuating nuclear death and destruction. And/or maybe he is a psychopath after all, as you've so aptly noted and is above feeling any remorse.
    Regardless, he is a most repulsive human being and deserves to pay for his crimes, in this world or in the next. He is just one of many in the nuclear village so deserving of condemnation and damnation.

Radioactive Ashes Fall on Belarus and Kiev, Chernobyls Revenge With a Deadly One Two Punch

Hot particles of Plutonium go up in smoke.

stock here:
Internal Plutnium has a danger weighting value of 112,000 times higher than your "average" radiation.
Internal Cesium is 20 to 100 times worse than basic radiation.


Baku, Fineko/ Radioactive ashes and dust caused by the forest fire in exclusion zone of Chernobyl nuclear power plant is expected to fall today in Kiev - during the previous days of the fire the radioactive precipitation fell in Belarus.
Today, the wind will change and precipitation will fall on Kiev, whose residents will feel cinder of the fire already by dinner. The ashes of burning trees and dust the wind raises is considered hazardous.
In this regard, the radiation level in Kiev will be measured every half hour. It has not exceeded the natural values yet.

"Speech is now about isotopes of caesium. The ash itself can accumulate and concentrate these isotopes. If the wind changes direction, the radiation level can grow few-fold," said Dmitry Bazyka, the director of the Ukrainian Institute of Radiology.

The fire in the “Chernobyl forest" can harm to grain crop – in case radioactive fallout on crop fields, there is a high threat of contamination of the soil within a radius of 120 km away from the seat of fire.

Back in 2013 Russian television commentator Dmitry Kiselyov (Kiever by birth) promised that in the event of a victory of the Ukrainian Maidan ("the revolution of dignity", as it is referred by its participants) the layer of nuclear ashes in Europe.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Nuclear Reactors Make ZERO Economic Sense, Sweden Shutting their Reactors Down

Ya der Eh, we can get more profits off of back bacon.....

Vattenfall said reactors 1 and 2 at the Ringhals plant in south-west Sweden were too costly to keep in production until 2025 as previously planned.
“Ringhals 1 and 2 may be closed down between the years 2018 and 2020 instead of, as previously announced, around 2025,” Vattenfall said in a statement.
“The reason is declining profitability and increased costs,” it said.

And a classic from Jerry Rifkin, a brilliant and clear analysis.....

1) From a business perspective, it's over
2) Its been dead in the water since 3 miles island and Chernobyl
3) The claim is climate change, but nuke is only 6% of world power, and climate people say it would have to be 20% to have any substantial effect.
4) That would mean 1600 new plants, and replace 400 existing
5) That would be 3 new plants every month for 40 years to get to 20%, and by then climate change would have run its course
6) We have no way to deal with the waste
7) Recycling fuel, aka MOX leaves lots of plutonium around in an age of uncertainty and terrorism
8) Uranium is getting more scarce and 2025 to 2035 will see big shortages and thus high prices
9) We don't have the water.   In France 40% of all the fresh water in the country is needed just to cool the reactors, and that water comes out hot which further exasperates ecological problems.

 10) Plus the nuclear asshats have been lying through their teeth right out of the gate, its all based on lies to protect "their precious"

Chernobyl Aerosolizing Radiation in Forest Fire on It's 28th Anniversary. Consequences Continue

Folks, for the next 40 days it is time to ramp up your antioxidants and lemon balm.

Also clean your HEPA filters now and run continuously

Avoid playing in the rain

Forest fires at Chernobyl are going to launch significant radiation into the air. it goes around the world in 40 days.

And amazing that this occurs on the 28 anniversary of Chernobyl.
stock here, in the original Chernobyl admission they spouted....

————–The report said that one of the reactors had been damaged in the accident, but gave no further details beyond saying that measures were being taken to “eliminate the consequences of the accident”. It also claimed the accident was the first at a Soviet power station.

I see they are still trying to eliminate the consequences…..
asshats that be
The BBC originally posted in 2012
 Much of the 30km exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear plant is pine forest, and some of it so badly contaminated that a forest fire could create a devastating radioactive smoke cloud.
Where are they weighing in today during the forest fire....near silence. 

“A large amount of Caesium-137 still remains in the Chernobyl forests, which could be remobilized along with a large number of other dangerous, long-lived, refractory radionuclides. We predict that an expanding flammable area associated with climate change will lead to a high risk of radioactive contamination with characteristic fire peaks in the future,” said the abstract of a study published in Ecological Monographs magazine by the respected Norwegian Institute for Air Research.

Lemon Balm, grow wildly like a mint, tastes great.......

Can Lemon Balm as a tea be an effective punch back to long term low dose radiation?
PubMed is a credible source, and they say the protection is clear-cut.     Hmmm....maybe this is key tool in the post Fukushima world.    Too bad we can't dose the Pacific with Lemon Balm
Effects of Melissa officinalis L. on oxidative status and DNA damage in subjects exposed to long-term low-dose ionizing radiation.
Zeraatpishe A, et al. Show all
Toxicol Ind Health. 2011 Apr;27(3):205-12. doi: 10.1177/0748233710383889. Epub 2010 Sep 21.
The aim of this study was to determine the capability of Melissa officinalis L. (Lemon balm) infusion on improvement of oxidative stress status in radiology staff that were exposed to persistent low-dose radiation during work. The study was a before-after clinical trial performed on 55 radiology staff. They were asked to drink Lemon balm infusion which was prepared like a tea bag twice daily (1.5 g/100 mL) for 30 days. In the plasma, lipid peroxidation, DNA damage, catalase, superoxide dismutase, myeloperoxidase, and glutathione peroxidase activity were measured before and after using Lemon balm infusion.Use of Lemon balm infusion in radiology unit workers resulted in a significant improvement in plasma levels of catalase, superoxide dismutase, and glutathione peroxidase and a marked reduction in plasma DNA damage, myeloperoxidase, and lipid peroxidation. It is concluded that infusion of Lemon balm markedly improve oxidative stress condition and DNA damage in radiology staff when used as a dietary supplement for radiation protection.
20858648 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Oyster Creek at Risk of Meltdown

And in USA, the captured regulatory called the NRC will do "additional inspections" after it found that Exelon was bypassing required maintenance and testing to increase profits.  

Even though they classified as a substanital safety significance, they only had the cajones to ask them to "be viligant" rather than slapping those of criminal negligence in to jail.


Long Term Mitigation of Damages At Fukushima

There was a lively discussion at ENENEWS about "What to do now, at Fukushima"

I was asked to weigh in on the matter.   A portion of the the discussion is below.

1) I think that just "nationalizing" Fukushima is not enough.    TEPCO is effectively now a government organization, albeit a still for profit Corportation.    I have always thought that an international imperitive, including and especially USA would take over all operations related to Fukushima .    however with the Hillary Clinton debacle of "Hey Japan, just roll out the BP playbook, lie about everything, cover it up, and protect the nuclear industry....and we will buy your contaminated foods and sell it in USA without testing"....well, I just see no likely scenario in which any meaningful international efforts are going to come about.

2) Yes, Japan army in charge would be better than "for profit corporation in charge".    I don't think Tokyo needs to be evacuated at this time.    They are screwed, but moving 200 miles away will not make the overall scenario much less screwed, if at all.

3) Yes, find the corium.   I think with Muon technologies and with fracking imaging technologies, the coriums can be adequately located for the next game plan to go into place.     I would be amazed if TPTB don't not already know the corium locations, but the truth is just too awful to publicize.     80% of the corium is deep underground.

4) No harm in doing the "impenetrable underground wall" but nothing is impenetrable, especially on the ring of Fire.   And doing so would be a considerable cost, a cost that I would probably devote to the "lift and separate" approach to the Coria.   However, this would be predicated based on information gained in locating the Coria.

5) Well said, we are so preoccupied with the ongoing tragedy that we forget the basics of risk mitigation using fully current and accessible technologies and methods.    Cask the Trash and get it offsite!    Some of the spent fuel is melted down, burned, aerosolized, or highly damaged, but at least cask all the trash that can be casked.

6) Not sure of this purpose, especially in relation to item 4

7) Pending location of Coria and viability of the "lift and separate" and said implementation, this is probably a good plan.   Note the Coria will be leaving bits and pieces of itself  along it's travel path.

8) First lift and separate all Coria fragments and groupings, then agreed that filling with grout will reduce mobility of remaining nastiness.   Then just wait a few dozen millennium.

9) Because of the ocean front location, and being on Ring of Fire, Fukushima is not like Chernobyl, which will require a new sarcophagus every 50 years or so.    Fukushima sarcophagus will not last long and a big earthquake could negate it all.   The salt air is also a big problem in longevity.     I would more likely pursue a "dismantle" the structure down to the torus, and cover all in big rounded heaping blob of borated concrete with a few flexible membranes at the cover for salt water protection, prevention of water entry (so freezing effects won't accelerate the concrete damage), and for just in case gas release.

10) See 9

11) Yes, close off entry to the harbor, and fill it in completely.    

12) Barges---I think there is too much contaminated water, that would fill 500,000 barges.     Instead, actually decontaminate the water as they are bumbling through. 


Regular readers of ENEnews will recognize the following as my proposed plan to remediate Fukushima.
It is not so much that this Fukushima Plan SHOULD be accomplished.
But, rather, there is a certain inevitability about this Fukushima Plan.
This is "The Fukushima Plan" because this is what will eventually be done.
An adequate response to a disaster of this magnitude will consist of the following:
1. Nationalizing the Fukushima Diiachi Nuclear Power Plant.
2. Japanese Army in charge, and evacuate greater Tokyo.
3. Locate and map 3 missing melted cores, wherever they are to be found.
4. Completion of a 100' deep underground Impermeable Wall Enclosure around Units 1 to 4.
5. Empty spent fuel pools from units 1 through 6, and common spent fuel pool into dry cask storage.
6. Construction of a 100' deep foundation around Units 1 to 4.
7. Filling corium lava tubes with sand or grout, lead, and boron mixture.
8. Filling torus, torus basements, containments, and reactors with sand or grout mixture.
9. Construction of a reinforced concrete sarcophagus over Units 1 to 4.
10. Cover sarcophagus with a flexable membrane roof to trap gasses and seal cracks caused by future earthquakes.
11. Seal off harbor with locks, and concrete the harbor floor.
12. Load contaminated water into barges, salinate, and sink them at sea, over trench.
Japan needs a revolution.
Sorry, by the way, Japan for the destruction of your civilization.

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CodeShutdown CodeShutdown
PUN you are sticking with the lead and the ocean dumping. I have some problems with the assessment.
Until we KNOW where the corium is, its much too rosy to think its safely subducting on a continental plate. MIGHT BE, but that would be GOOD NEWS for Tepco and the nuke cartel
Until we KNOW the state of the spent fuel pools, its TOO ROSY to ASSUME they will all be safely unloaded. But thats a happy story for TEPCO anyway
IF you dump all the contaminated water in the ocean…well thats it, no more possibility of decontamination or anything. Thats a happy solution for TEPCO but is it good for the ocean? I grant you its a CONCEPT but theres every reason to think that poisoning the ocean is not a good idea and that the stuff could spread and cause god knows what kind of damage. Why not pump it inland and figure out how to decontaminate it?
Lead…pretty poisonous. Dump poison on hot corium…what could go wrong?
In sum…yes its THE PLAN…probably TEPCO/international nuke cartel happy least cost plan. That doesnt mean its the BEST plan.
Get the lead out and stop polluting the ocean

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  • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown
    what does this study suggest?
    it is concluded that the radioactive material transported on March 15 was the major contributor to contamination in Fukushima prefecture, whereas the radioactive material transported on March 21 was the major source in Ibaraki, Tochigi, Saitama, and Chiba prefectures and in Tokyo.
    march 15 was the explosion of Unit4. March 21 was some smoky emissions from unit 3, 7 days after it exploded
    Lucky those fuel assemblies remained in perfect condition, thats all I got to say

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  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth
    CodeShutdown, Many thanks for your input.
    First, I'm willing to let go of lead shielding, as a bad idea.
    Provided that Stock or Majia confirm that the foundation and sarcophagus, topped with a membrane roof, per my design, provides sufficient mass and protection to contain most gamma and neutron emissions. Even if the corium is found inside or immediately under the reactor buildings. Please weigh in, Stock and Majia.
    Second, the water dumping issue.
    The Plan calls for all contaminated water be offloaded into barges. Contaminated water comes from the tank farm, torus basements, torus water, generator building basements, trenches, water pumped out of the foundation excavations, and groundwater pumped out of the interior of the completed sarcophagus foundation.
    This water would be decontaminated, either on land, or in a decon ship at sea.
    Except for tritium, of course.
    Second, the water is salinated, so that even when the barges in the Trench begin leaking, several hundred years from now, the contaminated water is salty, and cold, and will stay put, at the bottom of the Trench.
    Third, the remaining nuclides in the water and barges will eventually be mitigated by decay.
    Fourth, the depth of the ocean, and the ocean's water, itself, will mitigate the radiation.
    Fifth, the primary damage to the Pacific Ocean Ecosystem has already occurred. Three cores in the ground have been continuously washed into the sea by an underground river flowing under the reactors.

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    • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth
      Of course, the Tepco Plan calls for decontaminated water to be drained right into the sea, at the FDNPP, into the sea surface.
      So, into the Pacific Ocean, one way or another, the water will go. ;)
      My take is that now, since it is quite clear that there is…
      Tepco has quietly discontinued pumping 300 tonnes of "cooling water" per day into, and through, Reactors 1-3.

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    • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown
      thanks PUN. I could be wrong, but I think I was the first to suggest EPDM membranes as earthquaqe proof containment. No concrete required, just a big mountain of appropriate dirt covered with rubber. Excavatable, renewable, earthquake proof. But until the location of corium is determined, no plan is specific. Thats to say that truth is the first important thing.
      Truth about the explosions, the spent fuel pools and the corium. Truth about the international nuke cabal and government involvement.
      We have been brought to the brink of destruction by allowing a few nations and their conglomerates (no more than a few thousand people) not only to determine public policy but,
      most dangerously, to determine the very evidence base on which this policy is formulated, through control of research itself and dissemination of the “results” through the IAEA and then through the WHO."
      Lets not be enablers of pervasive international nuclear fascism. Get the truth out. Bring down the corrupt

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Zerohedge Doing Some Good Coverage On Fukushima and the Lies of the Radiation Cartels

This is good to see,Zerohedge Pounding on Fukushima topics, not just an article every 4 months.     ZH gets to a million people a day.

Can you say TIPPING point?  

2000x Normal Radiation Found In Tokyo Playground, Officials Deny Any Link To Fukushima
When a specially-designed robot dies within 3 hours of being exposed to Fukushima ... officials say they do not think it is connected to the disaster at Fukushima . We are not sure whether ... at which the national government requires soil cleaning in areas around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear ...
Story - Tyler Durden - 04/25/2015 - 21:35 - 78 comments - 0 attachments
"Contained?" Robot Dies 3 Hours After Entering Fukushima Reactor
Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant dies three hours into the operation , one might wonder just how ... robot sent to inspect a reactor' containment vessel at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant ... containment vessel at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant dies three hours into the operation, one might ...
Story - Tyler Durden - 04/12/2015 - 20:35 - 1 comment - 0 attachments
Fukushima's Nuclear Reactor Fuel Is "Missing"
, and Japanese government auditors say the operator of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant has ... reports , Fukushima won't be truly safe until engineers can remove the reactors' ... were installed outside the Fukushima Daiichi unit-1 ruins at reactor vessel height for the purpose of ...
Story - Tyler Durden - 03/24/2015 - 21:30 - 109 comments - 0 attachments
After Spike In Earthquake Activity , New Fukushima Leak Sees 70x Increase In Radiation
restart its first nuclear reactor by around June, following the Fukushima devastation. While it is ... water leak in the sea was detected at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, the facility’s operator ... The levels of contamination were between 50 and 70 times higher than Fukushima’s already elevated ...
Story - Tyler Durden - 02/22/2015 - 12:10 - 151 comments - 0 attachments
Fukushima: Playing With Nuclear Fire
left wondering if Japan really does have the situation in Fukushima under control... "TEPCO's own ... Cancer 6000% Increase in Cancer Rates at Fukushima Site Global Research, ... Fukushima Collaborateive Clinic talk about exploding rates of thyroid cancer in children, as well as an ...
Story - Tyler Durden - 02/21/2015 - 22:00 - 140 comments - 0 attachments
Fukushima Seawater Radiation Rises To New All Time High
The mainstream media may have long forgotten about the Fukushima tragedy (as it certainly goes ... Fukushima No. 1 power station spiked to all-time highs according to the semi-nationalized TEPCO. The ... same Tepco which for years lied that there is nothing to worry about in Fukushima, which arbitrarily ...
Story - Tyler Durden - 05/18/2014 - 12:59 - 109 comments - 0 attachments
Fukushima Children Thyroid Cancer Rate Continues To Rise
Fukushima prefecture has been conducting regular checkups of over 360,000 people who were in Fukushima in March 2011 and were age 18 or under when the nuclear crisis struck. As WSJ reported in August, a study by researchers in Fukushima prefecture found 57 minors in the prefecture have been ...
Story - Tyler Durden - 12/24/2014 - 22:05 - 51 comments - 0 attachments
What Fukushima Radiation 100 Miles Off California Looks Like
presence of small amounts of radioactivity from the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident ... Since the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant meltdown in 2011, the radioactive plume has traveled ... now, the levels of Fukushima radiation hitting the West Coast is below where one might expect any ...
Story - Tyler Durden - 11/11/2014 - 14:35 - 143 comments - 0 attachments

Friday, April 24, 2015

Arnie Gunderson Takes on The Nuclear Cartel and Their New Manifesto

In the Video below, Gunderson interviews Lovins.    Lovins was not on my radar until this video, but he is amazingly cognizant on all forms of energy, including renewables and directly addresses some of the anti-renewable canards that are being tossed around.    He does it in a very clear, almost bullet point type way.

WATCH THIS VIDEO!   And drop a comment please.

Amory Bloch Lovins (born November 13, 1947)[1] is an American physicist, environmental scientist, writer, and Chairman/Chief Scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute.

He has worked in the field of energy policy and related areas for four decades. He was named by Time magazine one of the World's 100 most influential people in 2009.

 Lovins worked professionally as an environmentalist in the 1970s and since then as an analyst of a "soft energy path" for the United States and other nations. He has promoted energy efficiency, the use of renewable energy sources, and the generation of energy at or near the site where the energy is actually used.

The so called" EcoModernist Manifesto" has been criticised by other environment experts for its attachment to the so-called Anthroprocene — a term used to describe man’s influence over nature,
particularly with the impact of climate change.

The EcoModernist authors talk of creating a “good anthropocene” and even a “great anthropocene.”

 Although many Australians are blinded by their supposed "commodity wealth" via uranium extraction, other Australians see things from a Red Pill perspective
Australian author, climate expert and Professor of Public Ethics Clive Hamilton wrote ‘those who argue for the “good Anthropocene” are unscientific and live in a fantasy world of their own construction.’ He told Climate Progress: ‘In the face of all of the evidence of the harm that climate change will cause this century, some of which is now locked in, talk of a “good Anthropocene” was delusional. But looking forward to a “great Anthropocene” verges on the obscene.’

stock here.

The pro nuclear lobby is actually stating that not a single extra solar panel should be installed into the "next generation" of solar is available'   Barry Brook is one of the authors of this non-sense.

They are so scared of solar they even promote coal as a stop gap to kill solar while letting the next generation of nuclear be designed and built.

Funny thing is, the "next gen" nuke is failing miserably and both cost and fabrication methods.

What causes people to act with such a level of insanity?

If you can stand the stench of stale lies rolled out as a 'great anthropocene" visit this joke of a site:


Or if you are a red pill affecionado, read stock's Manifesto of Why Shut Them All Down 


The video guy, from Rocky Mountain Institute suggests this site as a "layperson" source of energy information, written in far less technical manner than the fine information they have at RMI.

Here is the transcript from Gunderson Website Today we feature an interview with Amory Lovins, preeminent environmental thinker and co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute. With forty years of energy policy experience, Amory Lovins has dedicated himself to the idea that our energy future does not have to look like our energy past. Listen in as Arnie and Amory discuss transitioning towards a clean energy economy in the US and around the world. Related Material The Rocky Mountain Institute Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era by Amory Lovins, 2011. Video Transcript • English • Deutsch AG: Amory Lovins has been at the forefront of how we produce energy and how we can produce energy and how we can save energy for the better part of four decades now. He’s the cofounder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, which has been the largest think tank here in the United States on proposing alternatives to the present energy paradigm. So I’m really pleased to have Amory here today to talk to us at Fairewinds. AL: If you were to say that we had to have large central mainframe computers, I think 10 years ago, people would have said you’re nuts, most of the market is in distributed computers. We don’t need to send everything to a few big computers if we have highly distributed networks in exactly the same way we can run an advanced industrial economy on distributed sources of electricity. In fact, it’s cheaper and more resilient to do it that way. There is a widespread misunderstanding even among some people who should know better, about how the grid works and it supposes that you need to have a constant source of power to meet constant needs for power. But of course, there isn’t a direct connection between the two. The different sources serve the grid; the grid serves the loads. And when we’re told you need the coal and nuclear plants to keep the lights on because they’re 24/7 while solar and wind power are variable and thus supposedly unreliable, this is completely fallacious. First of all, there is no such thing as a 24/7 power plant. They all break. The big central plants are down about 10 or 12 percent of the time. Nearly half of that are so-called force outages that are not predictable – you just lose 1,000 megawatts without warning in milliseconds and then it’s often down for weeks or months. And that is why the grid has been designed for well over a century to back up failed plants with working plants. But in exactly the same way, the grid can manage the forecastable variations of wind and photovoltaic power. In fact, there is a whole list of tactics you use to cope with this variability. First of all, you diversify your solar and wind power by location so they don’t all see the same weather at the same time; you diversify them by type because weather that’s bad for one kind is good for another. You forecast them, and we can actually forecast their output more accurately now than we can forecast demand. You then integrate them with all the other kinds of renewables which are dispatchable; that is, you can have them whenever you want. You integrate them with demand response – some flexibility of demand which can be completely unobtrusive to the customer, and you integrate them with two kinds of distributed storage, smart charging and discharging of electric vehicles and high-storage air conditioning. Now it turns out that that list is enough to give you completely reliable power in the Texas grid – the so-called ERCOT power pool, every hour of the year in 2050, with no bulk storage of electricity and with only 5 percent renewable power left over to be spilled. And the economics of doing that would be quite reasonable. If you wanted to go further, you could use flexible, that is fast ramping gas-fired capacity, to back up, but there is increasing evidence that a largely or wholly renewable power supply, well designed and well run, may well need less storage and backup than utilities have already installed and paid for to manage the intermittence, the unforecastable failures of their large thermal power plants. Any kind of generator you put on the grid has integration costs. You have to look at both sides. And when you do, you find that the grid integration costs for wind and solar are actually very small. They’re typically a few tenths of a cent per kilowatt-hour, and they may well be less than the grid integration cost of the big lumpy capacity that fails unpredictably and all at once. The portfolio of diversified renewables doesn’t have that sort of ungraceful failure mode. AG: But most people don’t realize that there’s power plants out there that are hot and running, spinning, but aren’t producing any electricity yet, in case another power plant collapses. And when something breaks, they almost immediately pick up the load. AL: If you keep elephants to haul stuff around, elephants get sick, elephants die. You need standby elephants to haul the carcass away and do the job for the first ones. And elephants eat a lot and they’re expensive. It’s a lot better to have, again, a diversified portfolio with small costs- small costs of failure, and not all likely to fail at the same time. AG: You know Amory, when I’m out on the stump talking about power, a lot of people will say yes, solar’s great, wind’s great, but what are we going to do for base-load power, that 24/7 power that we need all the time? AL: There is a widespread misunderstanding about the term base-load, which many nuclear advocates use as some magical attribute of power plants that supposedly run all the time. There is no such thing as a power plant that runs all the time. All of them fail sooner or later. But actually the term base-load has 5 meanings. That’s one of them used only by journalists and propagandists. It’s not used in the industry. One other meaning of base-load is loads that seem to be steady; that seem to go on all the time, although when you look closer, maybe some are on sometimes and others are off sometimes, but they seem to add up to a constant portion of a load as opposed to the parts that only happen sometimes. And if you’re analyzing utility loads, you might think of base-load as meaning that. But if you’re buying generating resources for a utility, then to you, base-load is the resource that’ll generate the cheapest electricity over time. And if you’re operating the grid, it doesn’t matter what you already spent on a plant. All that matters going forward is how much it costs to run. So for the utility operator, base-load means the plant that costs the least to operate regardless of what you paid for it for building it. Well, traditionally, that cheapest-to-run role, aside from big hydro dams, was held by coal or nuclear stations – typically, nuclear cheaper to run than coal. However, they are now both undercut by renewables because they have essentially zero operating costs just like the hydro; and therefore, when you put in a lot of renewables, the coal and nuclear plants are shoved up the what’s called low-duration curve which means they run fewer hours. And if you’re in a competitive power market, they also take lower prices, so they earn less money because the market clearing price where everything competes and there’s enough supply and demand and balance, is set by the renewables, like by wind power in much of the Midwestern U.S. right now. And that costs approximately zero to run. So the result is that many coal plants that cannot compete with renewables or gas are shutting down. Coal lost 19 percent of its U.S. market share the last two years alone. AG: Just in the last 8 months, we’ve had an enormous change in the nuclear industry. We started the year with 104 nuclear power plants and now we’re down to 99. We lost the Kewanee plant, Crystal River 3, San Onofre 2 and 3 and just last week the Vermont Yankee plant announced that it was shutting down. AL: Quite a few nuclear plants are starting to shut down because they, too, are uneconomic to operate. They can’t compete with the wholesale power price and that’s regardless of what they may have cost to build originally. Because that cost is already sunk and you cant un-spend it. And anyway, it’s probably paid off by now because the plants are old. And I just wrote a piece in the April, 2013, The Atomic Scientist about the economics of U.S. nuclear phase-out, and we’re in one. It’s kind of in slow motion but any nuclear plant that has big repair bills like Crystal River or San Onofre stands a good chance of shutting down, and it’s kind of like having the engine blow up in your car and it’s an old car and you’ve got to figure out, is it worth putting in a whole new engine and betting that something else important isn’t going to break during the time you wanted to get the benefit out of the new engine. And it’s a pretty hard bet to make because as these plants get old, stuff starts to wear out, you get fatigue and corrosion and all kinds of age-dependent effects, there has been a very rapid escalation in the real cost of big maintenance jobs on these plants, what are called net capital additions, because they’re actually added to the capital cost rather than expensed. And the industry has been pretty careful not to find out whether that escalation is mostly for upgrading to produce more power – whether it’s a productive investment – or whether it’s more and more big repairs caused by aging effects. That would be very bad news for those who have just gotten their licenses extended or are about to, to go into 20 years of overtime, because it would mean that your license lets you run the plant, but it’s not worth continuing to fix it. And I think there is some evidence emerging that for many plants, that will be the case. AG: The New York Times, Matt Wald ran a story saying that the economics of these plants is marginal right now. And it’s especially true with the single-unit plants because they don’t have a second unit to average out the labor costs and it’s especially true because all these plants are now pushing 40 years. The net effect is that as soon as there’s a problem, management’s going to pull the plug and shut the plant down. The cost to keep your staff fed for the half-year or year to make a major repair can never be amortized in addition to the cost of the repair over 20 more years to the plant site. AL: Yeah. This is very different, of course, from the situation with modular renewables. If you had a gearbox break on a wind machine or an inverter break on a photovoltaic plant, it’s a matter of typically days to weeks to get the new one in and you just plug it in and keep going. You don’t have to worry about radioactivity. It really isn’t a difficult repair – a standard industrial repair. And it only affects one unit at a time. It’s at most a few megawatts, it’s not 1,000 megawatts. AG: The big issue here is how do we want our power to be generated 50 years from now. Do we want it to be large central stations controlled by larger corporations? Or do we want people-powered renewable energy? That battle was fought 100 years ago and the big corporations won. Well, with the invention of computers and distributed generation, solar power and windmills, we’ve been able to turn the tide and it’s time now for people to get back involved in energy production. AL: In fact, the biggest game changer is that instead of having to build a cathedral like project for a decade for billions of dollars, in that time and for roughly that money, you can now build each year during your big plant construction period a solar manufacturing plant, which then each year thereafter will produce enough solar cells that each year thereafter they can produce as much electricity as your big plant would have produced. So the scaling can be incredibly rapid. Take, for example, Portugal, which had 17 percent renewable electricity in 2005; 45 percent in 2010, 70 percent in the first quarter of 2013 because it was rainy and windy. Germany is now 23 percent renewably powered, doubled in about 6 years. Germany, right after the Fukushima accident, shut down 8 of its reactors, about 41 percent of its capacity. And yet they had completely replaced that by the end of the same year. Three-fifths of the replacement was by very rapid growth in renewables. They remained a net exporter of electricity. They remained the only consistent exporter of electricity to France because the German electricity is now cheaper. They kept the French lights from going off in a February, 2012, cold snap by sending them 3-odd gigawatts. Their carbon emissions went down. Their economy grew robustly with 380,000 new jobs in the renewable business. And their wholesale electricity prices dropped dramatically; in fact, over the last 2 years, they’ve dropped about 30 percent. So German heavy industry is now paying the same in real terms per kilowatt hours it did in 1978 and attracting new energy intensive industry to Germany. That drop in price is led by the renewable capacity and some of the German states are around half wind powered now. It’s really a remarkable story and over half their renewable capacity is actually locally owned. Only 2 percent in the U.S. is owned by ordinary citizens and communities and co-ops. But over half in Germany. 86 percent of Danish wind power is locally owned, generally by farmers and their communities. Denmark is 41 percent renewably powered in 2012; 30 of that’s wind. Denmark and slightly ahead of it, Germany, have the most reliable power in Europe and some of the lowest wholesale prices before tax, although electricity is heavily taxed in both countries for households. AG: The three countries I didn’t hear mentioned in the most-improved category was France, America and Japan. Could you explain a little bit why France, America and Japan might be different than the other models? AL: France is very rich in renewables but chose administratively, without even asking the parliament back in the mid-70’s to go all nuclear. They got to 78 percent. Now it’s back to 75. And this has got them in a lot of trouble. It means that their nuclear builder and their state-owned – and their utility, both of which are largely state owned, are practically broke. I was just in France last week contributing to their energy policy discussion, which is now opened up to the public for the first time, and they’re starting to realize that they cannot continue to support the existing system. They have to do something different. And they will be reducing their nuclear output from three-quarters to half through normal attrition and a bit more. But they are increasingly interested in the German model, because basically electricity – France chose a costly option whose costs are relentlessly rising and there was just a big report a couple of weeks ago about the big upward rate pressure that they’re under for their electricity. Germany chose a portfolio of cheaper options with declining costs. So if you think cheap electricity is important for economic competitiveness, I think you’d have to conclude German’s on the right track and France is not. In the United States, it’s a mixed picture, but most of our energy policy is made at a state level and there are leading states like California, New Jersey, Texas in different aspects of the renewable revolution. Notice that’s a politically diverse bunch. Texas, for example, is a deeply conservative state, and yet it is by far the national leader and one of the world leaders in wind power because they’re very good at making money in Texas, and that’s fine, too. But nationally, the modern renewables have passed 5 percent of U.S. electric output, but that’s not really very impressive if you count big hydro as well from 2005 to 10, the U.S. crawled from 9 to 10 percent renewable electricity while Portugal went from 17 to 45 percent. And we have a lot of catching up to do, especially with China, which is the world leader in renewables and in many aspects of efficiency. AG: The other country I mentioned was Japan. You know, I wrote that book called Fukushima Daiichi: The Truth in the Future. The back of that book is about a future for Japan that’s not dependent on nuclear. Could you talk to us a little bit about that? AL: Japan’s a very interesting case. They are actually the richest of any major industrial country in renewable potential, even ahead of France. So per acre, Japan has 9 times the high-grade renewable potential for making electricity of Germany and twice that of North America; three times that of Europe. And yet they have only 1/9th the electric fraction of renewable production that Germany has. Why is that? Well, because Germany decided to go away from nuclear toward renewables and efficiency. There’s a very strong national consensus on that. They are not going to reverse it. No party voted against it. No party will oppose it in this September’s election. It makes sense, it makes money; and basically, the Chancellor bet that it was smarter to spend energy money on German engineers, manufacturers and installers than to keep sending the money to Russia for gas and she’s won her bet. Now in Japan, on the contrary, you don’t have laws giving renewables automatic priority to dispatch to the grid. You do have very recently a feed-in tariff system like in Germany where society decides what kinds of energy it wants – in this case, renewables – and pays for them on a predictable basis. And actually, Japan set the tariff much higher than Germany had because they thought renewables were much more expensive than they are. But they’re starting already to cut that back as the prices drop. And I would say Japan is awakening to its renewable potential. Part of what’s going on is they split in the Japanese business community, which in the past was really dominated by the major utilities, some of which I used to work for – Tokyo Electric, Kansai Electric and so on. Nothing that happened in the Fukushima accident was a surprise, either technically or institutionally; in fact, we discussed such scenarios back in the 70’s and they just said it couldn’t happen to them. But I’m afraid they were wrong. Now in Japan, the richest guy is Masayoshi Son, who founded Softbank and broke the telecom’s monopoly. So he’s good at breaking monopolies. And after Fukushima, he knew nothing about energy, but he studied it pretty hard and after a few months, he ran a press conference saying excuse me, Son here, my business colleagues and I see that TEPCO is in a bit of – spot of bother, and we think we can solve this problem in a few years by building solar power and other renewables, and sitting behind me are 34 provincial governors who will provide the land from their land banks, mostly Brownfield sites, and I’ll invest the first billion dollars and I’ve identified the people to invest the next 10 billion dollars. And all we ask is that the utilities accept our power and pay us a fair price for it, which will be less than they’re paying now – what do you say? Well, the utilities of course didn’t at all like the notion of this competition. It did everything that it could to block it. And meanwhile, the government changed to one that favors that point of view. But meanwhile, the feed-in-tariff started to make renewables, especially solar, take off like a rocket. And many of the business leaders are now starting to split from the monolithic business organizations and say actually, Son san is right. I can get cheaper power from those guys than from those guys and there’s money to be made here and I intend to make some – I’m in. So in the very politically complex, behind-the-scenes slow motion way, the new consensus forms in Japan. I think that’s going well. And of course, driving that is the example of China in front of everybody. China’s the world leader in making wind, photovoltaics, biogas, solar thermal collectors like for water heating, small hydro – they tend to be in all renewables. Wind power alone, they’ve doubled their capacity each of the last 5 years. It now out produces nuclear power in which they have the world’s most aggressive program. 2006 they had distributed renewables producing 7 times more capacity than nuclear and growing 7 times faster. By 2010, that gap had widened further and in solar, they own most of the world’s productive capacity for making solar modules and that’s twice as much as is installed each year. And they just upped their domestic target to 40 gigawatts installed by 2015 – that’s right around the corner. That’s going to soak up the surplus capacity real fast. So they are driving the world price relentlessly down for both solar and wind. More power to them. It’s good for everybody that they’re doing this and they are exiting coal slowly because it’s a huge, cumbersome system. But their emphasis in what they’re planning is very much away from coal, and the same thing is happening in the other big coal user – India – where the business case for coal plants collapsed in 2012 and just in the lat ¾ of that year, they canceled 42 billion watts of coal plants. AG: Amory, your knowledge of nuclear and coal and oil and solar just continues to astound me. I realize that the Rocky Mountain Institute has a lot of material on its website, most of it very highly technical for geeks around the world to read. If the average person wants to know more, is there any resource they can use? AL: Thanks, Arnie. You can go to and in March and April, 2013, look for the Asian and German blogs. And we’ll put out more news as it happens. I would also recommend you go to and to find out about reinventing fire. That’s a major business book that we put out in 2011, the work of 61 of us over a year and a half with much help from industry. And it’s actually introduced by the president at Shell Oil and the Chairman of Exelon, which is the biggest nuclear and third biggest coal-fired utility in the country. That might surprise people when they learn what the book says; namely, that you can run a 2.6 fold bigger U.S. economy in 2050 with no oil, no coal, no nuclear energy, 1/3 less natural gas, 80-odd percent lower carbon emissions, 5 trillion dollars lower cost counting all hidden or external costs at zero, no new inventions and no act of congress, the transition led by Business for Profit. The electric side of that story is that we showed how to make electricity supply 80 percent renewable and half distributed and much more resilient at essentially the same cost as business as usual, but best managing all the risks around the different ways our electricity system could evolve. And that distributed renewable future is coming right at us. Utilities and the electricity industry as a whole are undergoing the most dramatic change in any sector I can remember anytime and we’re right in the heart of that working with industry leaders to figure out what the next industry looks like and how to keep the lights on meanwhile. AG: Thank you for coming and thank you for making the future a better one for all of us. You know, Fairewinds is a people-powered site and we’d sure appreciate it if you do three things for us. The first is take a look at the site. There’s all sorts of great resources. Second, pass the word to others through Twitter or Facebook or word of mouth. And the last piece is we’d like you to consider a contribution as well. Thank you very much. I’m Arnie Gundersen with Fairewinds. Help spread the word...