Thursday, July 28, 2011

AECL News Release on Korean CANDU Return to Service

News Releases - Korean CANDU® Reactor Back Online

The Wolsong reactor retube outage was completed in 839 days, during which KHNP conducted various refurbishment activities. Earlier this year, AECL completed its work on a CANDU reactor (Bruce A, Unit 2) at the Bruce Power Generating Station in Ontario, Canada. AECL is nearing completion on its Bruce A, Unit 1 retube and work at the Point Lepreau Generating Station in New Brunswick, Canada is currently on track to meet its revised schedule.


CANDU reactors are designed to undergo a retube to help utilities extend the life of their reactor as opposed to decommissioning it and replacing it with a new one, or finding replacement energy sources that are often more expensive, less accessible and not as environmentally friendly.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fukushima Fuel Pools "survived the accident quite well"

Spent Fuel Pools in Japan Survived Disaster, Industry Notes -

The task force also refrained from recommending changes in emergency planning zones, despite the embassy’s recommendation during the crisis for Americans to stay 50 miles away from Fukushima. In the United States, emergency evacuation planning is required within 10 miles of any reactor.

Mr. Fertel said the recommendation to evacuate to 50 miles “was based not on information, but on the lack thereof.’’

Friday, July 22, 2011

On Green Dread and Agricultural Technology -

On Green Dread and Agricultural Technology -

"Greenpeace would do well to start picking its shots more carefully."

Ontario's Governing Boast of Supply To Ontario's Governed

Electricity Investments Help Ontario Meet Summer Power Demand

Here's an interesting tidbit.
Ontario produced about the same amount of electricity, at peak yesterday, as was being produced in 2006.
It did so with an average contribution from coal, and the Lennox plant, of 15% between 9 am and 9 pm, peaking at 4246MW at noon.

That left about 21000MW of other 'cleaner' production. Ontario demand, annually, is higher than 21000MW 2-4% of all hours.
Which is why we can reduce coal use by a lot, and yet the last cut will be painfully expensive.

Fukushima emissions down

Fukushima emissions down
"Provisional analyses based on radiation dose rates at the site boundary show that emissions to air have reduced by a factor of two million compared to those at the height of the crisis, when the torus suppression chamber of unit 2 ruptured on 15 March.
Someone standing at the western border of the power plant today could expect to receive a maximum of 1.7 millisieverts per year (mSv/y) from airborne radioactivity from the three ruined reactors. This compares to the 2.4 mSv/y average that people worldwide receive from background sources, and the operational limit for nuclear power plants in Japan to limit public exposure to 1.0 mSv/y.
Dose rates from emissions drop dramatically away from the site: five kilometres away the maximum rate from newly released radiation is 0.3 mSv/y; ten kilometres away it is 0.09 mSv/y; and 20 kilometres away it is 0.03 mSv/y."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bruce Power fuel load complete on Bruce A Unit 2

Bruce Power fuel load complete on Bruce A Unit 2 | Bruce Power

"Pending further regulatory approvals, Unit 2 is expected to synchronize with the province’s electrical grid by the end of the year, followed by Unit 1 early next year. Once restarted, Units 1 and 2 at Bruce A will produce 1,500 megawatts of cost-effective, safe and reliable nuclear power. The reactors have been undergoing a first-of-a-kind refurbishment and the project has represented the largest investment in CANDU technology in a generation by Bruce Power."

Switching Off The Power Glut

Switching off the power glut -
After years of concern that Ontario would not have enough electricity, the province has increased generation capacity and now has the problem of periodically having too much electricity. The best way to solve this problem is, perhaps counterintuitively, to pay producers to stop generating.

Ontario’s Power Trip: Power dumping

Ontario’s Power Trip: Power dumping | FP Comment | Financial Post

The article is by Parker Gallant and myself, Scott Luft.

During the spring months in Ontario, the winds blow a lot. For companies in the wind-power business, that’s good news. For the province’s electricity consumers, though, it’s another financial disaster that, on an annual basis, drains up to $400-million out of consumers’ pockets. But that money doesn’t directly fund green electricity for Ontarians who pay for it. Instead, the bulk of wind power is essentially surplus power that is exported to the United States and out of province at rock-bottom prices. Ontarians are paying $135 for units of power that are dumped on the export market at prices as low as $20. Sometimes, Ontario has to pay other jurisdictions to take the surplus off its hands.

Electricity Demand Figures From Ontario and Neighbouring Jurisdictions

I read a New York Times Green Blog entry offering up some statistics on electricity consumption in the U.S.A., and I thought a short entry might be useful in illustrating some of the Ontario news that is coming out this week, specifically that tying pricing to elevated supply, and the procurement methods/pricing of that supply.

Duncan And McGuinty Sing Opposite Songs

Duncan accuses right wing newspapers and TV of intentionally misleading voters (Ont-Election-2011) | Oilweek Magazine

Dwight says:

"Equalization has nothing to do with the strength of the economy," he said. "It has everything to do with who has oil and natural gas and who doesn´t. You are simply being dishonest, as is anybody who pumps that tripe."
OK, so the point is everybody pays into the fund, and Ontario shouldn't be considered a have-not because it also takes a little out.
All provinces without oil and natural gas do.

Fair enough.

At the same time, his boss is singing a whole other tune.

Ontario tax dollars supporting energy in the West, McGuinty says

“For years, if not decades, governments in Ottawa of all political stripes have sought to find ways to transfer Ontario tax dollars into Western Canada to support the oil and gas industry,”
Seems to have been a savvy strategy as Ontario's Finance Minister notes those are the provinces that are funding equalization payments without receiving any of the pot back.

Clean Coal CCS Project Terminated

AEP Freezes Commercial-Scale CCS Project on Lack of Climate Policy :: POWER Magazine

“We are placing the project on hold until economic and policy conditions create a viable path forward,” said Michael G. Morris, AEP chairman and chief executive officer. “With the help of Alstom, the Department of Energy and other partners, we have advanced CCS technology more than any other power generator with our successful two-year project to validate the technology. But at this time it doesn’t make economic sense to continue work on the commercial-scale CCS project beyond the current engineering phase.”
“The commercialization of this technology is vital if owners of coal-fueled generation are to comply with potential future climate regulations without prematurely retiring efficient, cost-effective generating capacity,” he said. “But as a regulated utility, it is impossible to gain regulatory approval to recover our share of the costs for validating and deploying the technology without federal requirements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions already in place.

FERC 'n Smart Grids

FERC Declines Rulemaking, Tosses Smart Grid Interoperability Standards Back to NIST :: POWER Magazine

"On Tuesday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order in which it said it found insufficient consensus on smart grid interoperability standards to require it to institute a rulemaking procedure. It urged industry participants to continue working with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop such standards."

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

B.C., Ontario snub energy summit

B.C., Ontario snub energy summit

"McGuinty's dreams of turning Ontario's manufacturing sector into a green-energy powerhouse - a plan that's also being challenged as a violation of international trade rules - increasingly looks doomed"

Ontario's rumoured position; "Hey Canada, if we wanted a national energy strategy we'd dictate it to you."

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hotel in 90 Hours

I was out mixing some cement for the base of a little project I hope to have done before I die ... and then this presents itself to me when I take a break!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Cuomo's Incomplete Plan to Close Indian Point

Closing Indian Point Plant Has Risks, Experts Warn -

"A proposal for a new line running from Quebec to New York City under Lake Champlain and the Hudson River is inching forward, for example, and sponsors say it could be completed by 2015. "

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Green Coal Discovered - Just use Green Money To Pay!

Germany to fund new coal plants with climate change fund cash - The Local

"The German government wants to encourage the construction of new coal and gas power plants with millions of euros from a fund for promoting clean energy and combating climate change."

Air Pollution Issue Suddenly Returns to the Fore

Move over climate change: air pollution is the new issue in town | John Vidal | Environment |

Here's Jenny Jones, the Green London mayoral candidate:

"Getting clean air is rapidly emerging as the number one environmental and public health issue. This is hardly surprising when both the government and mayor have done so little about the pollution which is killing the equivalent of an estimated 4,300 Londoners every year. The real test for mayoral candidates is whether they can agree to take real action to reduce traffic, lower fares and create a very low-emission zone which only allows the cleanest of vehicles to enter central London."

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Air Quality in the UK

Air quality: the UK's invisible health crisis | Caroline Lucas | Environment |

"Road traffic emissions are still the primary culprit, due to the quantity of particulate matter (PM10) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) – and also due to the way in which traffic permeates our towns and cities. Pollution from vehicles is released directly into our streets at a low height level, where it has little opportunity to disperse before being inhaled by those who live and work in heavily populated urban areas."

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Ontario's Professional Engineers Fail To Take a Stand

OSPE has posted a submission regarding the Integrated Power System Plan 2011 (IPSP).

"OSPE is concerned about several aspects of the plan which we believe do not adequately address the severe planning challenges that previous government energy policy decisions and the recent Supply Mix Directive (SMD) and Long Term Energy Plan (LTEP) have imposed on the OPA. Until the SMD and LTEP are modified, the IPSP should identify the engineering and cost impacts so that the need to revisit the SMD and LTEP is clearly appreciated."

Liberal Arts Translation:
We think the government's directives that the IPSP is supposed to build on are asinine.  The OPA should cost out the directives given to it only to make it obvious the directives are the problem.
My submitted comments on the draft SMD
It wasn't improved when finalized.

Australia's Nuclear Proponents Examine Anti-Nuclear Movement's Success

Why pro-nuclear has failed when anti-nuclear has succeeded | Decarbonise SA

Some clips:
"The anti-nuclear movement in Australia has been remarkably effective. Combined with abundant cheap coal, Australia’s anti –nuclear movement has kept us the only one of the world’s top 16 economies not to employ nuclear power. It made people like me grow up anti-nuclear without ever really being asked to think about it. The result is some of the highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions in the world; in South Australia around 720g CO2-e/kWh (which is one of the lowest levels in the country I might add. NSW, Victoria and Queensland are all much higher), compared to a mere 90g CO2-e/kWh in nuclear dominated France."
"On another note, did some back of the envelope calculations, to address the CO2 emission issue & closing Playford, Northern, and Torrens down. Replacing them with 2x Reactors, even get away with one (assuming 80% CF; probably adv CANDUs, will cut 6.8 MtCO2-e per year from SA’s emissions profile (from 9.1 MtCO2-e in elec gen; 74% cut). Putting this into the National contex. With one, just ONE, major infrastructure build you can address 41.7% of Australia’s 5% of 2000 level emisisons cut. "

"We are the people who hit the late 20th and early 21st century and fully accepted that the planet had a suite of urgent and interrelated problems. We are the ones who actually mean it when we use the expression “climate crisis”. We are the ones who have the courage to be open to all solutions in the face of seemingly intractable problems, and to recognise when fear rather than fact is driving the decision making. We are the ones who are prepared to stand against the Australian societal norm, including the friends we leave behind in Australia’s powerful mainstream environmental movement, and say “No, we have been mistaken”. We are the ones who value every human life equally; so logically we value saving hundreds of thousands of lives every year through re-stabilising the climate and cutting air pollution above saving no lives by protesting nuclear power. We are the ones who can see a path to dramatically less mining, pollution and pressure on our forests and wildlands, through bringing energy for development from the densest energy source on earth. We are not energy hedonists nor are we consumption junkies; but we acknowledge the benefits of the energy-rich modern world in the health, safety, security and prosperity it provides. We’re not trying to solve all the problems of the world… the top five or so will do. We are the true environmentalists for the 21st century. This is something to be very proud of."

Friday, July 8, 2011

OSPE on CANDU Sale to SNC-Lavalin

From the OSPE Advocate (Ontario Society of Professional Engineers)

"The CANDU business has been sold to a financially strong and technically respected Canadian engineering firm. Canada has retained the intellectually property rights for CANDU technology, and the Canadian government has agreed to support the completion of development of the Enhanced CANDU 6 (EC6) reactor. OSPE could not be more pleased with this result, which resolves several of OSPE's major concerns in favour of Canada and its nuclear engineering community."

Microsoft Kills Hohm - Google Kills PowerMeter

 The death of freeware for the smart home of the future imagination

At Microsoft:

"Hohm Service Announcement

We have made the decision to discontinue Hohm on May 31, 2012, although the service will continue to operate until that time. Please visit our blog to learn more."

AT Google 

"Since our launch, there’s been more attention brought to the issue of giving consumers access to their energy data and we’re excited that PowerMeter has helped demonstrate the importance of access to energy information. However, our efforts have not scaled as quickly as we would have liked, so we have decided to retire PowerMeter."

OPG breaks ground on complex to facilitate Darlington Refurbishment | OPG breaks ground for Darlington Energy Complex

Clarington Mayor Adrian Foster was at the groundbreaking to show his support for the project.
"We're thrilled," he said of the project. "This will bring high-end, meaningful employment to Clarington. We're very supportive of the nuclear industry. We're creating energy, which is wealth."

Thursday, July 7, 2011

More Propoganda from Ontario's Government on Electricity Issues

I offer this rebuttal to the 4 bullet points on the main release from Queen's Park: “On Track To Grow Clean Energy Economy

EPA Takes Action on Air Quality

Basic Information | Air Transport | US EPA

"By 2014, power plants in states common to both the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule and CAIR will achieve annual SO2 emissions around 1.8 million tons lower and annual NOX emissions around 76,000 tons lower than what would have been achieved at that time under CAIR."

Big Ontario City connects Air Quality to Motor vehicles

Local Air Pollution Tied To Vehicles | View Magazine Online Edition

“Almost all the oxides of nitrogen...almost all the carbon monoxide, and SO2 [Sulphur dioxide], and most of the particulate material are locally generated,” said McCarry. “We have responsibility for those cars, trucks, industries, [and] our lifestyle that contribute to that.”

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Monbiot - Nuclear Article, and pending live chat at the Guardian site.

The nuclear industry stinks. But that is not a reason to ditch nuclear power | George Monbiot | Comment is free | The Guardian

"The best evidence for the safety and resilience of nuclear power plants can be found at Fukushima. Not at Fukushima Daiichi, the power station where the meltdowns and explosions took place, but at Fukushima Daini, the plant next door. You've never heard of it? There's a good reason for that. It was run by the same slovenly company. It was hit by the same earthquake and the same tsunami. But it survived. Like every other nuclear plant struck by the wave, it went into automatic cold shutdown. With the exception of a nuclear missile attack, it withstood the sternest of all possible tests.
What we see here is the difference between 1970s and 1980s safety features. The first Daiichi reactor was licensed in 1971. The first Daini reactor was licensed in 1982. Today's technologies are safer still. The pebble bed reactors now being tested by China, for example, shut themselves down if they begin to overheat as an inherent property of the physics they exploit. Using a plant built 40 years ago to argue against 21st-century power stations is like using the Hindenburg disaster to contend that modern air travel is unsafe."

Monday, July 4, 2011

Energy Shift In Germany - Parables of Broken Windows

Fuming over the Phase-Out: Energy Shift Deeply Divides German Companies - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

"The energy-hungry industrial sectors are also more dependent on state aid than ever before. To offset the consequences of rising electricity prices, the CDU/FDP government wants to create subsidies of up to €500 million a year for the major electricity customers in the steel and aluminum industry. But the plan is being met with resistance from the European Commission in Brussels."

I hesitate to put that this link here, but ...
This is the Parable of the Broken window on steroids. The Globe and Mail had picked up on this theme, related to green jobs, in an article on Green Jobs last week; which is a point I've frequently made regarding 'green' electricity subsidies, more recently in the Globe 2 weeks before the article just noted.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

News of Nuclear's Death Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

UPDATE 1-Fennovoima invites bids to build nuclear plant | Reuters

Look for E. On to join other German generators in driving up subsidies for offshore wind - as it concurrently has subsidiaries building nuclear plants elsewhere.
To enter operation around 2021.
hmmm ... maybe for exporting to some market lacking reliable supply?

"Finnish nuclear power consortium Fennovoima said it has invited France's Areva and Japan's Toshiba Corp to bid for construction of a new nuclear power plant.

The bids would be for delivery and construction of reactor and turbine islands, Fennovoima, a consortium led by German utility E.ON's (EONGn.DE) Finnish subsidiary, said on Friday...

The new reactors are expected to come online by around 2020, raising Finland's total number of reactors to seven."