Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Nuclear Power: Germany throws in the towel ... by gimleteye

FPL is spending ratepayer money by the hundreds of millions in pursuit of new nuclear power reactors at Turkey Point, while failing to address the groundwater contamination its existing units are causing, and stirring up a hornet's nest of controversy along the US 1 Corridor where it plans to lay new high voltage transmission lines to deliver power from its planned reactors to a rate base in South Florida that will be dealing with sea level rise in twenty years: meanwhile, Germany has just taken another course-- to phase out of nuclear power entirely by 2022.

Germany obtains about 25 percent of its electricity from nuclear, about the same percentage as the U.S. According to a statement by German chancellor Andrea Merkel, who is a PhD scientist, Germany's future will be in creating new jobs from a new energy economy. Why did Merkel reverse her previous support for nuclear? The Fukushima disaster gives new meaning to the expression, "unlimited liability". The FPL nuclear plants are a pipe dream, but so far dangling $20 billion in front of Florida politicians have them all seeing green. It is not the green of Germany's environmental movement.


Steve in Brickell said...

I really think this post is disingenuous to a large degree. It is one thing to criticize FPL's direction on Nuclear power, but unless I am missing something, the millions need to be spend on additional power capacity whether it is nuclear or not. The power lines would need to be build somewhere whether it was on Dixie or elsewhere.

Being indignant about them spending money on a nuke, building transmission lines, and spending all this money implies that they/we don't need the capacity--if that is your point, make it. In other words, if they are building capacity and we don't need it, that is point. If we do, in fact, need capacity and you believe that it shouldn't be nuclear, make that point--it is a different point because it is still going to cost a big bunch of money, it is still going to have an environmental impact and it is still going to require transmission lines in someone's backyard.

David said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again...FPL has scrapped plans (pre-Fukushima) for new reactors at Turkey Point, so what's all the fuss about?

All activities required to obtain information necessary to apply for a Construction and Operating License are in abeyance.

Has anybody asked the media relations arm of FPL what their plans are?

Penny said...

The earthquake in Japan is emerging as a decisive turning point in the history of nuclear technology. People learn from experience, and the lesson is clear: not everything that is technically possible is a good thing. New ways need to be found to cover the energy needs of a growing population. And people need to move faster on this issue than they have so far.

But the development of sufficient quantities of renewable energies requires political resolve. And that resolve can only be generated once it becomes clear that Germany's nuclear power plants will soon be taken off the grid permanently.


Geniusofdespair said...

Where did you get that information David? I read a recent (5/23) news article no mention of of reactors being scrapped http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/05/23/2231057/regulators-raised-new-concerns.html

How about you give us the source for your information.

Anonymous said...

To first poster - you do know we sell energy to other states and also lose about 20% of power generated at night on our out dated grid, right?

So, updating grid, working on conservation....first two steps. Then we can factor in what our projected future need is (which is presently being over-stated).

We also have to think about where the power for electric cars will be coming from - so don't accuse me of being impartial.

We have too many false dialogues in this county. First you have to start with the truth. We are not even picking the low-hanging fruit here, for Pete sakes.

Anonymous said...

I'm not an expert in the utilities business, but the last poster is right on the mark. Why don't FPL and other Florida utilities aim for the low-hanging fruit? Because their business models are based on continuously expanding large footprint electric generating plants.

Anonymous said...

...and selling energy out of state, don't forget that little piece of the puzzle. Think of it this way - Dade County residents are paying for power plant infrastructure and FPL is selling energy out of state. Hmmmm.

Anonymous said...

Three important points:
1) FPL has already admitted that the two new plants and new lines are NOT needed for South Florida capacity, but instead for power to be sold out of the area.
2) FPL has not stopeed with any of the planning or the Site Certificationprocess necessary to get State approval to build the two new reactors. Just ask anyone at DERM or the Planning and Zoning Department.
3)FPL is charging all of the costs of the planning for the two new reactors to the ratepayers instead of their shareholders (remember, they are a publicly traded company). How can this be legal? Every other publicly held compnay pays for its own R&D and infrastructure improvements.

This is a scam of the worst order.

Personal Home Inspector said...

This is bad news for American power suppliers because closing these plants is going to tell Americans that they are living with a constant threat. The news stopped reporting on the aftermath of the Japan nuclear crisis because corporations depend on cheap nuclear power to make bigger profits, apparently showing victims of their nuclear crisis being turned away from hospitals is not the best way to promote nuclear energy.

Anonymous said...

Threat is great...to the grid in general. FERC and NERC were testifying on Thursday. Download your evacuation plan. Have a family plan. Have a crank radio. Then just hope to hell you never have to use it. I am not a fanatic, but it is what it is. You can't live in fear, but that doesn't mean you have a license to be stupid either. Coral Gables...you too! You ain't safe.

Home Inspector Marketing said...

It's a good idea to phase out nuclear power plants not only in Germany but as well in other places that uses this kind of power source. I'm not good at science and I only know few about this stuff, but look what happen tsunami hit Japan and Fukushima's power plant. You can site that as an example.

Anonymous said...

florida growth estimate thru 2025 is just over 6 million

US electric consumption is 12,500 kwh/person ranking around 10th in the world.

Either we have to reduce consumption to make up for the growth or increase capacity. PERIOD.

I vote for increase capacity in all technologies, promote reduced consumption and optimized effeciency. I like to live in a modern climate controlled home with lights, tv, and conveniences. Japan is currently needing to save 15% on their usage due to the accident and reduced capacity. That means thermostats at 85 F, workers moving to odd schedules to help balance the energy load. I'd rather no go thru that scenario.

Geniusofdespair said...

Thanks FPL - glad to see your trolls are working us.

David said...

The other matter to consider here is that energy consumption is directly related to...no, is the actual driver of...a country's standard of living.

We are the world's largest consumer of power because we have the highest standard of living in the world.

Look at a shot from space at night and see all the places that aren't lit up. None of them are places I'd want to live.

Proud to be an American, even if it's just by the accident of birth.

We're not perfect, but we're pretty damn good!

nonee moose said...

Florida is a net importer of electricity. We have no export capacity. Look it up.