Monday, October 26, 2015

Rethinking Nuclear: Can We Change the World’s Cumulative Carbon Emissions Soon Enough? ... by gimleteye

I am a fierce critic of Florida Power and Light's Turkey Point nuclear plant and of the lobbyists who steamrollered permitting through Miami-Dade County and the State of Florida.

The first issue is the manifest failure by local and state government to hold FPL accountable for its malfunctioning 1000 mile long cooling canal system in Homestead for 1960's era reactors that should have been retired, years ago. (Instead, the State of Florida permitted them to increase power output, leading in part to the spectacular failure of the cooling canal system today.)

Over many years, FPL has violated consent agreements holding it accountable for the cooling canals; which are neither protecting Biscayne National Park nor the underlying aquifer as the corporation agreed to do. Local elected officials, including Mayor Carlos Giminez, have been next-to-useless. The second issue concerns the effort by FPL to license two new nuclear reactors at Turkey Point and its heavy-handed tactics in Tallahassee this year.

Nevertheless, somewhere inside the NextEra juggernaut (the holding company for FPL) there must be engineers and scientists who understand perfectly well that new nuclear at Turkey Point -- within the service lifetimes of the planned reactors -- is an idiotic exercise that imposes unlimited liability on taxpayers. Why? Because with sea level rise, the rate base of FPL will be severely disrupted.

The only form of energy development that makes sense in Florida is solar and providing consumers with solar choice. It is no secret what is preventing an honest dialogue about Turkey Point from take place in South Florida: salaries and compensation based on earnings at FPL in the ranks of top executives.

One can be pro-nuclear and still object to nuclear power at Turkey Point for the reasons described above. A rationale argument for nuclear power was recently made, in easily understandable language, at Harvard Business School. Take a few minutes to watch it on youtube, here:

Uploaded on Jun 27, 2015
Harvard Business School 2015 Reunion presentation delivered by Joseph B. Lassiter, Senator John Heinz Professor of Management Practice in Environmental Management, and Ray Rothrock (MBA 1988), Partner Emeritus, Venrock; Chairman & CEO, RedSeal.


9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting video, there is a better book out there by local scholar at UM. George Gonzalez wrote Energy and Empire : The Politics of Nuclear and Solar Power in the United States that talks about how the US nuclear ambitions were based upon using political power and war making abilities to promote the selling and exporting of its dominate designs for nuclear power plant construction. Interesting how the tables have turned on the US, as a economic and political power, with these new power plants debuting overseas.

Gimleteye said...

According to Lassiter, the Obama White House is taking (little reported) steps to change the NRC mandate in order to be able to permit new generation nuclear reactor technologies. Ask your Congressional representatives to help get the process moving!

Anonymous said...

Going forward with today's nuclear reactor designs, and decommissioning time lines, is highly irresponsible.
The only save and viable reactor uses some sort of salt, the name escapes me now, but up to now has only been used in small, experimental designs.
As a major "drawback", it does not produce any byproducts useful for bomb making. Maybe that's the "problem" with this design.

Anonymous said...

Should have watched the video first, It's the Thorium reactor of course.

WATCH THE VIDEO

Super presentation.
"Energy production decisions have a 50 to 100 Year impact". Heavy stuff.

Anonymous said...

"The only form of energy development that makes sense in Florida is solar...".

City of South Miami RFP has installers willing to install solar-PV for $2.65 a watt BEFORE a 30% IRS tax credit (that expires end of 2016). System pays for itself in average 9 years, has a 25 year warranty and also 'locks in' energy costs...so it is a screaming bargain. With grid disconnect inverter it can also act as a generator when grid is down.

HOW MANY ENVIROS HAVE SOLAR-PV PANELS...how many activists, how many bloggers...?

Almost none.

A good start would be 'walk the talk' and stop the 'just talk'.

cyndi said...

Wish I could afford solar panels. On a lighter note my neighbor mr junkyard built a windmill that he germinates electricity from. It's very cool. We live near the lagoon and we get a lot of wind.
A long time ago when Paul Tsongas was alive my friend David worked for him. I used to stop by the office on the way to work in the afternoon or go in early and go up for lunch. He was very pro nuclear and I was totally freaked out and would argue with him. But I loved and trusted the Guy. FPL I would never trust.

Anonymous said...

"Nevertheless, somewhere inside the NextEra juggernaut (the holding company for FPL) there must be engineers and scientists who understand perfectly well that new nuclear at Turkey Point -- within the service lifetimes of the planned reactors -- is an idiotic exercise that imposes unlimited liability on taxpayers. Why? Because with sea level rise, the rate base of FPL will be severely disrupted."

Actually, such an understanding is not required as FPL has admitted publicly (although you'd be hard pressed to find it) that this expansion is not for generating energy needs in South Florida, but instead will be for power generation that will be sent elsewhere in Florida and the southeast. That's why they are permitting huge additional transmission lines that are capable of carrying much more power than they need for the local geographic area and refuse to consider putting those lines underground.

JollyMonSouth said...

IRS 30% tax credit is lowered after FY 2015

Anonymous said...

Gotta say that solar is great for residential and small commercial, nut not for commercial power production. The reason petroleum products and nuclear energy are so prominent is the high energy and power density of the fuels involved as well as their availability. This allows the maximum power generation on the most minimal real estate footprint. Wind and solar just don't have it, capacity factors are so low for wind that it will never be viable to service base load commercial needs. We're stuck with oil, natural gas, and nuclear for commercial generation until cold fusion gets figured out.