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17 March 2011


Russ Steele

Eric Reguly, writes in the The Globe and Mail, 17 March 2011

Not only is gas cheap, gas plants themselves are relative bargains. Mr. Hess said a typical nuclear plant takes 10 years and $6-billion to build, while a coal-burner takes thee years and $3-billion. A gas plant?: Two years and $1-billion. There is no denying that shale gas has radically altered the economics of power production virtually overnight. The Japanese disaster is not killing the nuclear industry, gas is, and it’s taking grubby coal down with it. That’s good news.

Douglas Keachie

How long does it take the USA to set up an assembly line to produce Liberty Ships or B-24's? If solar panels receive that kind of prioritization from the feds, they will be produced in much the same manner and speed as our WWII efforts.

Does Solar Energy Work in Seattle?


Seattle City Light customers are installing solar equipment on their homes and businesses - and in greater numbers every year. While we are known for our cloudy skies, Seattle receives more sunlight than Germany, the world's leading solar market.

Types of Solar Energy Systems

Solar energy can be used to produce electricity or heat water…

Solar Electric Systems (also called Photovoltaic or "PV" systems) convert sunlight directly into electricity you can use in your home or business. With a solar electric system, you pay less for electricity from Seattle City Light. If your system produces more electricity than you need at any given time, it will supply the grid, spinning your utility meter backwards. This process is called "net metering."

Solar Hot Water Systems use the sun's heat to preheat water before it enters your conventional water heater. With a solar water heater, you pay less for the electricity or natural gas that you normally use to heat your water.

Douglas Keachie

I double dog dare you to leave this link up:


Would you deny the possibility that seawater dumped on the Japanese reactors has already created tons of particles which are now traveling around the globe, look for one special spot in your body to lodge? And that one tiny particle of radioactive material, sitting in one spot in your body, can cause cancers in the nearby cells, because they are hit repeatedly?

Why did the Carrier Ronald Reagan, stationed 100 miles away from the reactors, up and move further away, several days back? Is her skipper in a better position than the average bear to know what is going on there? How come US counselor personnel and their families are being evacuated AHEAD of regular US citizens? Come on, George, admit it, this is way out of control, and no we don;t need to shut down all nukes everywhere over night, that's silly, and not worthy of the mind I thought you had.

D. King


Here is how it's working out in the E.U.


D. King

Sorry, here is the link to page one.


Steve Enos

What's the "half life" impacts and dangers of a failed wind turbine vs. the half life impacts and dangers from “escaped” radiation from a half dozen failed nuke plants?

Which one has resulted in the most damage and deaths, long term and short term?

PS: I support the use of nuke energy if and when a plant is built in a safe way, in a safe location and managed in a safe way.

George Rebane

Doug, I'm sorry that the humor I attempted in this post missed its mark with you. Even though your arguments on PV are a bit hopeful - it's not that we can't get their cost down, we can; but it's their efficiency that still needs to improve a bit. And it will.

BTW, the B-24s were not cheap, even when Charles Lindberg set up the big Ford assembly plant in Detroit to make them. And the Liberty ships were a purely private industry design and manufacture presented to the government by Henry J Kaiser on a take-it-or-leave-it basis who rejected the monstrocity that the feds came up with to do the job.

And Doug, why would I take off a link in your comment? Has that happened to you on other sites? I know that we see things differently, but your civil rebuts and observations are always welcome on RR.

Greg Goodknight

Keach, with a dozen or so sockpuppets at The Union blog, tends towards a scattershot approach to debate. Don't stand in front of the fan while he's flinging it.

Photovoltaic power is about the most expensive electricity flowing onto the grid. Once the CO2 bogeyman is put away, solar will probably slowly disappear except for niche applications, for locations not reachable by the grid, or the grid is unreliable. My house, for instance, but the full cost of solar, including expected life of the panels, will have to be better than it is now.

The USA has enormous reserves of fossil fuels, just not all that much that's an easy step away from pouring into vehicles. Standing alone, we're the OPEC of coal and natural gas which will be more available (politically speaking) once the CO2 scare is over. Then there's LENR which is looking real but we won't know for sure until Rossi actually delivers Ni-H reactors (iirc the claim is about a penny per kW*Hr) as promised.

Dixon Cruickshank

I thought the joke was really good George - keeping mind I guess that Japan is probably the most danergous place to build anything. Based on the size of the quake and the odds of anything anywhere near that happening anywhere other than Chile and Sumatra I don't see any issues. If all plants where built even kinda like that they would be safe in 99% of the planet.

Just like the gulf oil spill you can "what if" forever and never really think of everything, if they had water we would focus on the people. If they had the quake and not the tsunammi as well eveything would have been fine also - improbable combination of factors - after all they have been running for 40yrs through many quakes.

The diesel back up generators were washed out to sea, who would have thought?

Steve Enos

"The diesel back up generators were washed out to sea, who would have thought?"... really? Is this a joke or is this a real position?

If you build a number of nuke plants directly on the ocean in a high earth quake and tsunammi zone this issue should have been considered from the start... a basic issue to address before designing the facility.

Dixon Cruickshank

They also had a Tsunammi wall as well so I would think they had considered it, do you think they just had them sitting down at the beach? It was the 4th largest quake in the world, hard to plan around things that have never happened and "what if" every scenario. More people are killed in S. LA every day than have died from radiation poisoning so far, which I think is none. Frequent flyers get more radiation going through TSA scanners every week.

George Rebane

Doug Keachie, did you post your comment on 'Ski the Far Stars' here http://farstars.blogspot.com/2011/03/george-rebane-wants-to-shut-down-all.html under the headline 'George Rebane Wants to Shut Down All Nuke Plants Now' ??

Steve Enos

Dixon... they located the back-up generators under ground, where they could be flooded, which they were.

Japan has an ultra high danger of earth quakes and Tsunammis, the highest in the world. When building a complex of nuke plants directly on the ocean, near a major earth quake fault it's a good idea to plan for the worst case and have back ups that back up the back ups that back up the back ups... they didn't.

Now reports are getting out how the nuke plant owners/operators "cooked" the safety reports for the nuke plants for years.

Dixon says... "Frequent flyers get more radiation going through TSA scanners every week"... he might want to update his factless "opinion" after doing some research as to what is really going on in Japan now.

Steve Enos

Dixon psoted... "hard to plan around things that have never happened and "what if" every scenario". This opinion is not based on the facts:

Japan is on the "front line" of the worlds largest and most active earth quake and Tsunammi zone.

The world's largest earthquake belt, the circum-Pacific seismic belt, is found along the rim of the Pacific Ocean, where about 81% of the world's largest earthquakes occur.

The belt extends from Chile, northward along the South American coast through Central America, Mexico, the West Coast of the United States, and the southern part of Alaska, through the Aleutian Islands to Japan, the Philippine Islands, New Guinea, the islands groups of the southwest Pacific, and to New Zealand.

Dixon posted "hard to plan around things that have never happened".. sorry Dixon, you are 100% wrong.

George Rebane

Since we're all interested in the facts about released radiation from the Japanese power plant, does anyone know the quantitative levels which the Japanese authorities claim has been released from those damaged/destroyed reactors??

I agree with SteveE that locating the back-up generators at expected 'tsunami levels' was bad planning and I hope that this will be corrected at coastal nuclear plants all around the world, especially in the Pacific 'ring of fire'.

Greg Goodknight

George, Keach can write down his delusions faster than anyone can strike them down. That's a pic of Keach in the left sidebar of the page you linked.

I suspect there's an interesting story behind his early retirement from his Frisco school district. Perhaps someday he'll share it. In the meantime, I'm happy I never had to deal with my son being in a classroom of his.

George Rebane

I don't know how far are those stars which Doug Keachie is skiing. But does anyone have an idea about the magnitude of the malady that would cause the man to come to that conclusion on his website? Somewhere here there should be some professional help in the offing. Thanks for the heads up Greg.

Greg Goodknight

You might ask Pelline about Keachie, they seem to get along quite well. Might have something to do with both being Cal liberal arts alumni. I believe Keach studied history, but as far as I can tell his view of history has a large component that is orthogonal to mine.

Dixon Cruickshank

I agree if they were mounted underground that was a major FU. I didn't/don't know where they were, but on the beach or underground is not a good plan.

Steve Enos

Dixon posted about the Japanese nuke plant melt downs…"Frequent flyers get more radiation going through TSA scanners every week".

Dixon might want to get updated as radioactive iodine is now being detected in the water in Tokyo and in the milk and spinach around the nuke plants... just the start of what will come.

So far the levels are very low, but would you want your kids or grandkids drinking the milk or water or eating food that has radioactive iodine in it?

Steve Enos

Dixon... cesium-137 has a half-life of 30 years,
cesium-137 is bad stuff. Will you now agree that your …"Frequent flyers get more radiation going through TSA scanners every week" post was wrong?

Consider the following Dixon:

Japanese officials reported levels of radioactive iodine in milk from four locations in Fukushima that ranged from about 20% over the acceptable limit to more than 17 times that limit. Testing at one location also found levels of cesium about 5% over the acceptable limit, the Health Ministry reported Sunday.

And in Ibaraki, a major center of vegetable production, tests at 10 locations found iodine levels in spinach that ranged from 5% over acceptable limits to more than 27 times that ceiling. At seven sites, levels of cesium grew from just above 4% to nearly four times the limit.

Iodine-131 has a radioactive half-life of eight days, cesium-137's half-life is about 30 years.

Steve Enos

Increased amounts of radioactive iodine and cesium were found in rain, dust and particles in the air in some areas over a 24-hour period from Sunday morning due to rainfall.

Cesium is now being detected in Tokyo's tap water. Cesium-137's half-life is about 30 years, it's very nasty stuff and you donlt want in your water or food, or air, or any place else.

Will Dixon take responsible for and revise his factless post that... "Frequent flyers get more radiation going through TSA scanners every week"?

Would you want your kids or grandkids drinking the milk or water or eating the food that has radioactive iodine and Cesium in it?

Steve Enos

In his post above Dixon defended the Japanese nuke plant and posted the radiation is no big deal...

"They also had a Tsunammi wall as well so I would think they had considered it, do you think they just had them sitting down at the beach? It was the 4th largest quake in the world, hard to plan around things that have never happened and "what if" every scenario'

"Frequent flyers get more radiation going through TSA scanners every week"

Dixon, read the AP story the following link takes you to. It coers the nuke plant desigmn issues and it supports the postin I took about this plant vs. your factless defense of the plant:


George Rebane

This morning the Japanese government apologized for overplaying, i.e. mis-stating, the radiation release from the power plant.

Steve Enos

Sorry George, but you need to keep up with what is really going on in Japan. This just out, more details can be found on line:

Japan’s troubled effort to contain the nuclear contamination crisis at its stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant suffered a setback on Sunday when alarmingly high radiation levels were discovered in a flooded area inside the complex, raising new questions about how and when cleanup workers could resume their tasks.

Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator, said the elevated radiation levels in the water, which had flooded the turbine buildings adjacent to the reactors at the plant, were at least four times the permissible exposure levels for workers at the plant and 100,000 times more than water ordinarily found at a nuclear facility.

That could mean crews seeking to determine damage and fix the problems at the plant, hit by a magnitude-9.0 earthquake and a tsunami more than two weeks ago, may not be able to even approach the most troubled parts of the complex until the water can be safely removed.

George Rebane

Thanks for the update SteveE; I have no axe to grind on Japan's reactor status.

Paul Emery

Yes It was only 100,000 times over normal not 10 million. That's a relief

Steve Enos

It's getting worst and the real information is starting to get out.

Dixon defended the nuke plant folks lack of basic planning for the facility and even posted... "Frequent flyers get more radiation going through TSA scanners every week."

Here's some more reality that Dixon needs to consider as... evidence of highly radioactive plutonium has been detected in the soil in five locations around the reactora. Operators believed plutonium has seeped out of the damaged reactors.

We also seem to have core melt down(s) and highly radioactive water has been found outside the plant's buildings.

Radioactive contamination has also been spreading into the seawater and soil for the past two weeks and the reactors' cooling systems were seriously damaged.

Contaminated water appears to be leaking from damaged reactors after water has been in contact with melted-down fuel rods inside the reactor's core.

News flash... this IS a major "event" and the impacts are a bit more than Dixon's factless post that "Frequent flyers get more radiation going through TSA scanners every week."

Steve Enos

Another factual update for Dixon.

I posted issues regarding the plant design and planning for the bad thing.

In response Dixon posted how I was wrong and he posted... "hard to plan around things that have never happened and "what if" every scenario".

Dixon, here's the basics out today. You can go on line for the full details.

Dixon, five nuke plants are melting down and they failed to plan and design for the bad things and now are admitting it... you should reconsider your positions.

Today Japan's government admitted that its safeguards were insufficient to protect a nuclear plant against the earthquake and tsunami that crippled the facility and caused it to spew radiation, and vowed to overhaul safety standards.

The struggle to contain radiation at the Fukushima Dai-ichi complex has unfolded with near-constant missteps.

Steve Enos

I wonder if Dixon is keeping up on what has been going on with the nuke plants that he said are no real problem?

Dixon defended the nuke plant and their design folks when I posted about their clear lack of basic planning for the facility.

Dixon has yet to "revise" his position or posts defending the plant design.

Here's a bit of the latest bad news:

Workers began pumping more than 3 million gallons of contaminated water from Japan's tsunami-ravaged nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean on Monday.

Steve Enos

Dixon, you keeping track of what is going on in Japan?

Here's an update for Dixon, defender of the design and planning and the guy that said it ain't no big deal:

(Reuters) - Japan raised the severity of its nuclear disaster to the highest level on Tuesday, putting it on a par with the world's worst disaster nuclear accident at Chernobyl after another major aftershock rattled the quake-ravaged east.

Engineers were no closer to restoring the cooling systems at the plant's reactors, critical to bringing down the temperature of overheated nuclear fuel rods, showing that the battle to contain the damage was far from over, although a fire at the plant appeared to have been extinguished.

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