Nuclear options

Scientists join Republicans in push to diversify energy choices in Wisconsin

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nuclear is a waste

Wind and solar are now half the cost of nuclear. Wind and solar can be brought on line more quickly than nuclear. Roof top solar energy is not lost by transmitting it over long distances like that coming from large nuclear plants (you have to make twice as much). Within a year, Elon Musk will be selling his plug-and-play house electrical storage batteries which will allow any home owner to store cheaper off-peak power for use later, reducing the need for more power plants. Nuclear is dirty, dangerous, expensive, and SLOW.
The "scientists" sited who are pushing it are really mostly engineers or scientists receiving grant money from the nuclear industry (ask them).
Solar costs have fallen 60% in the last three years and are continuing to drop.
The real reason for the push to change Wisconsin's nuclear laws is to allow the nuclear industry to open a nuclear waste dump in the Wolf River Batholith. The storage sites in Nevada and Texas have failed, the Texas site recently experiencing one of the worst (and quietest) nuclear releases in the history of the country (yes...airborne plutonium). And the former Japanese reactors (molten blobs of fuel) continue to result in vast quantities of radioactive water entering the Pacific and heading to California on its way around the Pacific.
So...lets use our heads. Wind and solar can blow nuclear out of the water when it comes to speed of set up, cost, danger, etc., etc., etc.. But, also keep in mind, there are some very deep pockets promoting nuclear.

James Servais 184 days ago

Importance of Nuclear

If we want to improve our air quality while meeting our electrical needs, we need nuclear power. It accounts for nearly two-thirds of carbon-free electricity in the United States, and is the only carbon-free electricity source that we know for certain can be implemented on a large scale here in Wisconsin. For example, during the polar vortex in 2014 nuclear power was still able to produce electricity when coal and natural gas had to shutdown.

Compared to other industries, nuclear power is the only industry that takes full responsibility for the waste that is produced, which is in a solid form. Therefore nuclear waste is easier to manage and is small compared to other energy forms. To put this in perspective, if all of the electricity one-person uses over their lifetime came from nuclear power the total amount of waste would be about the size of a soda can. Also there are techniques, such as reprocessing, that can further minimize the amount of waste that needs to be stored long-term.

In addition to successfully managing spent fuel, nuclear is one of the safest energy sources we have available to us today. According to Forbes Magazine, nuclear power has the lowest deathprint, which is the number of deaths per kilowatt-hour, even when accidents such as Chernobyl and Fukushima are considered. Nuclear power has such a low deathprint because U.S. reactors today are designed to withstand worst-case scenarios and can produce large amounts of energy per unit.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2012/06/10/energys-deathprint-a-price-always-paid/#4eed09a649d2

Kelsey 189 days ago

Nuclear Options

Mr. Meir's projections regarding the potential impact of efficiency is light years away from experts in that field, with the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy releasing a study showing the ability to cut US energy US by 50%. Columbia University modeling projects the same. And you don't need a lot of new generation if we cut our energy use in half. Or even half that. Perhaps the heavy utility influence on the Wisconsin Energy Institute, and utilities not wanting to decrease use of their product so dramatically, come into play.

Debra 190 days ago

Reducing Energy Consumption

I agree that we will not need more energy if we minimize our energy consumption. However, history does not support that we can cut our energy consumption in half. The State Energy Office in WI has kept track of the energy consumed since the 1970's and it took 8 years for the total energy consumption to drop 8.8%. We were able to decrease total energy consumption by 2.7% in 2012 alone, and at that rate it would take over 18 years to meet a 50% reduction (which is not likely). The numbers I used can be seen at the following link: http://www.stateenergyoffice.wi.gov/docview.asp?docid=26456&locid=160

Even if we did reduce our energy use, I would prefer to replace coal with a carbon free energy source and nuclear is the best option to replace base load power supplies.

Kelsey 189 days ago

the bill

There seems to be some confusion about what the bill, if it becomes law, would accomplish.

We can have discussion today considering nuclear as an option for future energy production. Nothing in law is stopping discussion.

A proposal to build a nuclear plant could be filed with the Wisconsin Public Service Commission today. Nothing in law is forbids that.

It has been said, "Nuclear power is the only industry that takes full responsibility for the waste that is produced." Having a place to store the nuclear waste before deciding to make more with new nuclear power plants seems responsible. So, why would we want to be less responsible by removing that provision from the law?

Some in San Diego don't want what they've got and would like to ship it to Texas for temporary storage.

So, the matter of tracking and storage is in a state of flux. How can we say where sand Diego's waste will be in 500 years or a thousand or beyond that. Could a god have that kind of control?

Another provision in law is to protect consumers, ratepayers from burdensome costs. There are significant and high costs of nuclear that would be otherwise hidden - not accounted for. Chapter 196 calls out some things that need to be accounted for in relation to nuclear power – like cost of operation, decommissioning and cost of waste disposal.

If apples to apples comparison new plants were the goal, hiding costs is not a solution.

The contested case process Wisconsin (an application with the PSC) does not compare the various sources of generation. It ONLY considers proposals brought forth.

Want better cost accounting for coal powered proposals? Introduce legislation for that.

Want carbon-fee-and-dividend? Introduce legislation for that.

John 185 days ago

Current Storage Methods

The current bill says that we need a federally licensed long-term storage facility (i.e. Yucca Mountain), and since no such facility exists we can't have a real discussion about nuclear. The technology to create this type of facility is available, but the main reason a facility has not been built is political. There are states willing to build a facility, but there is federal legislation preventing forward progress.

We have currently been storing nuclear waste onsite using dry cask canisters. There has been thorough research conducted on the dry cask canisters evaluating there safety and proliferation risks. These canisters are designed to withstand missile attacks (See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBp1FNceTTA). So there is a method to store nuclear waste and the whereabouts of nuclear material is heavily monitored.

Kelsey 184 days ago

why this bill?

Discussions and decision-making on such a matter takes time. If anyone cares about dialogue and democratic process, it takes time.

Withstanding a missile attack sounds expensive and carbon intensive.

How do dry casks do with high water, floods and ice?

Casking is considered an interim solution, up to 100 years.

And there can be problems with cracking.

Here is a clip - Dr. Kris Singh , CEO, Holtec International, On (Not) Repairing Dry Canisters
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euaFZt0YPi4&feature=youtu.be

True, nuclear waste is itself is apolitical. It does not care about politics. It is deadly regardless of what one believes or votes.

A person feels the politics of federal storage is too hard to overcome. They feel the politics of Wisconsin is something that can be used to get their wants. But no person can guarantee the politics of the future and what will become of more newly created nuclear waste any better than the old.

So, the Interim Consolidated Storage Act (H.R. 3643) comes about aiming to shuffle existing nuclear waste.

It can be called political. But how do you mean political?

So, is AB384/SB288 about turning up the heat to get a permanent solution to our nearly 60,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel stored at reactor sites across the United States with another 2,000 tons of nuclear waste produced annually?

Or is it about lowering standards and wishing make even more each year while being less responsible about it?

John 184 days ago

Need to think about baseload and decommissioned plants

Hi Debra, One thing I would like to point out is that many coal power plants throughout the nation (and in Wisconsin) are getting very old and will need to be replaced. Since our grid requires that a significant majority of our power come from baseload sources, we are left with the option of replacing these plants with coal, natural gas, or nuclear. Take your pick as to which the best one is but I would argue that carbon neutral nuclear power would be the best option. They are expensive to build upfront but the overall cost of the electricity they produce during the plant lifetime is quite low (certainly lower than renewable sources). Even if we accomplished the remarkable feat of reducing energy needs by 50% with the use of efficiency (which is an extremely aggressive goal) many of these plants will still need to be replaced. My argument is they should be replaced with nuclear plants.

Xavier 189 days ago

Washington small modular reactors

Some in Washington State are considering building small modular reactors but Washington State does no need small modular reactors. Washington State has nearly sufficient sources of hydropower. Washington State experienced a huge bond default , called WPPSS when it built reactors that were not needed.

Susanne Vandenbosch 190 days ago

nuclear power, nuclear waste

Promoted by Forbes; the United States Department of Energy is trying to change the rules on nuclear waste disposal. This new strategy comes from the failure of our previous disposal program that ended in the suspension of the Yucca Mountain site. And now DOE is funding a study to drill several boreholes more than 3 miles deep into the Earth’s crust below North Dakota to test a disposal method for radioactive waste called Deep Borehole Disposal.

Since no single borehole can hold all the commercial nuclear waste we have, there would be many boreholes around the country, ideally some in every state that has nuclear power. Plus a few more for other types of waste including some defense waste like cesium and strontium capsules.

This new strategy comes from the United States Department of Energy failure on nuclear waste disposal. Hey everybody! Free radioactive boreholes. Every State just needs to step right up and get a brand new borehole; the United States Department of Energy says their boreholes are wonderful. Really just another DOE of sleight of hand, pit toilet idea doomed to failure. Next!

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2016/01/21/doe-tries-to-change-the-rules-on-nuclear-waste-disposal/#2715e4857a0b5352d84a561e

Columbia 190 days ago

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