Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Nuclear dream is set to come true: M.R. Srinivasan

"There is recognition worldwide that there are advantages to building a closed fuel cycle nuclear industry, as India has championed..."

A Nuclear dream is set to come true: M.R. Srinivasan | Deccan Chronicle:
One of the most important technological enterprises India has undertaken since Independence is now treading its last mile towards completion and commissioning. Called the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR), it is expected to go critical in September 2014, around the very time India’s Mars Orbiter reaches orbit around the Red Planet.
When the PFBR goes critical, India will have entered the second phase of a three-stage nuclear programme, the visionary plan for which was laid as far back as 1958 by Homi Jehangir Bhabha, the ‘Father of the Indian nuclear programme’. It will also have become a world leader in an area of advanced nuclear technology, by sheer determination and persistence, through 60 years of having had to build our nuclear industry from scratch and in the face of sanctions and other difficulties. Many advanced countries — including the US, the UK, France, and, Japan — have tried fast breeder reactor technology, and have given up, at least for the time being– some citing economic reasons, others because they were not able to surmount technological complexities, or faced public misgivings.
Read M.R. Srinivasan's entire article at the Deccan Chronicle site

And the very next day ... fast reactor news from Russia;

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Don't think now: Another Time-of-use Pricing report in Ontario

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has posted a report from favoured consultant Navigant on the impacts of time-of-use pricing which accompanied the roll-out of smart meters in Ontario.

From the letter sent along with the report:
A Board commissioned report (the “Report”) prepared by Navigant Consulting Ltd., entitled “Time of Use Rates in Ontario – Part 1: Impact Analysis” was posted on the Board’s website today...
Navigant’s analysis shows that residential consumers reduced their summer on- peak and mid-peak usage by an average of -3.3% and -2.2%, respectively. Off- peak weekday and weekend consumption increased an average 1.2% and 1.9%, respectively. There was minimal conservation response attributable to TOU rates in the summer period.
  • • Winter residential demand decreased in all TOU periods. These reductions ranged from -3.9% to -3.4% in the mid-peak and on-peak periods, respectively. Off-peak weekday and weekend consumption was also reduced by -2.5% and -1.2%, respectively. These estimates indicate that some of the load reduction could be attributed to conservation in response to TOU rates in the winter period.
  • The findings for the general service customers are weaker than the residential results and are statistically significant only for the summer mid-peak period....

Monday, December 23, 2013

Americans are buying less electricity. That’s a big problem for utilities.

A poor article, from the Washington Post's Wonkblog, on declining electricity consumption.

Americans are buying less electricity. That’s a big problem for utilities.:
Something very unusual has been happening to the U.S. electricity sector over the past three years.
The U.S. economy keeps growing. People are buying bigger homes and plugging in ever more electronic gadgets. And yet power companies have been selling less and less electricity since 2011...'s a massive break from the past. Ever since World War II, electricity sales in the United States have, for the most part, gone up and up and up.
Flashback - over 3 years ago I wrote:
The U.S. Energy Information Administration's Annual Energy Outlook with Projections to 2035 contains a graph which is very similar to Ontario's long term demand growth change. It is less pronounced, probably as the U.S. had a population shift to the south due to the widespread use of air conditioning. Regardless, the U.S. forecasting doesn't have the trend magically adjust in 2015, and does seem to be headed to where Ontario arrived back around 2002 – which is no growth.
It's a deliberate act of illiteracy to interpret the long-term trend as "up and up and up."

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Frak'n gas, short term plans, A Russion reactor in Finland, and provincial electricity pricing.

Donald Jones has a new article that looks at the emissions and energy security issues of Ontario's latest energy plan.

Ontario’s electricity – greenhouse gases up, cost up, security down – 2013 December
With the increasing demand for non-renewable frackgas the effect of short and long term supply shortages and price increases on the space heating needs of homeowners and industry must be examined. Using frackgas for heating and for electricity generation in North America should be an obvious life and death concern given Ontario's cold winters. A "short" term plan would be to stop using frackgas for electricity generation to ensure supplies for home heating.
Graphic from Forbes
In Quebec, reports Quebec might need to import power to meet peak demand is noted by Alain Dubuc in advocating for a switch from electric to gas heating.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Rosatom set for larger share in global nuclear energy market

Rosatom, the Russian state nuclear corporation, has concluded a record number of transactions this year for the construction of nuclear power plants. Rosatom will build the first nuclear power plants in Bangladesh and Jordan, expand its presence in China and India with the help of new power units, and build the Hanhikivi-1 nuclear power plant (NPP) in north-west Finland. The company is also negotiating an agreement on co-operation with South Africa.
Rosatom also started new construction work in 2013: the Akkuyu NPP in Turkey, a nuclear power plant in Belarus and a plant for the production of nuclear fuel in Ukraine. The Russian company offers its customers new reactors that are innovative in terms of security. For example, passive safety systems in the VVER-1200 reactor used in the NPP-2006 plant can guarantee that the so-called Fukushima scenario in Japan will never happen again.
Rosatom has 19 orders for the installation of similar reactors abroad and is building eight such reactors in Russia.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Environmental Defefence's Op-Ed: Green as ...

Nominally environmental, allegedly non-governmental, organization Environmental Defence has an op-ed on the Ottawa Citizen site - written by its executive, director Tim Gray.
The NGO associated with frac gas promises to correct the "dubious assumptions rather than facts" behind a claim that "green power" is responsible for rising electricity bills.
I saw an error starting the second paragraph and decided to note errors as I read through Stop making green power the scapegoat ... should just take a second ...
Subsidies for nuclear power pushed up our electricity generation costs by 43 per cent last year
Electricity rates didn't go up 43% last year.
I know what Gray probably meant - it's wrong too.
Today, wind and solar produce just four per cent of Ontario’s electricity, so blaming them for rising rates is like blaming the cookie you ate for all your weight gain.
Page 20 of "Calculating the RPP Supply Cost"
If you hadn't gained weight on your existing diet, and then you only added cookies to the diet, without changing your energy use, the weight gain would probably be because of the cookies.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Energy, Philosophy, Politics, Art, wonderful nastiness and wind

Terrific, original, work worth noting...

George Monbiot is always worth a read, and I'm always interested in his writings on nuclear - and coal. His latest is good until the end, where I think it's great.

Power Crazed | George Monbiot
You don’t have to be an enthusiast for atomic energy to see that it scarcely features as a health risk beside its rival. I wonder whether the nuclear panic might be a way of not seeing. Displacement is something we all do: fixing on something small to avoid engaging with something big. Coal, on which industrialism was built, which over the past 200 years has come to seem central to our identity, is an industry much bigger and nastier and more embedded than the one we have chosen to fear. I don’t believe our choice is accidental.
Speaking of "fixing on something small to avoid engaging with something big" let's look at the weekend news out of Germany.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

SPD OKs coalition with Merkel - Gabriel Ascending

SPD OKs coalition with Merkel -Recharge News:
Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) in an inner party referendum approved a coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel; SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel will become minister for economics and energy.
Merkel in a change to her cabinet will create a new ministry for economics and energy that will be headed by SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel.
With that, Gabriel will be the main responsible for the Energiewende - Germany's move away from nuclear ...
I don't hate to say I told you so, so ... Sigmar Gabriel is the source of the quote I used to begin Germany's Will to Power:
“If someone declares publicly that nuclear power would be needed in the baseload because of fluctuating energy from wind or sun in the grid, he has either not understood how an electricity grid or a nuclear power plant operates, or he consciously lies to the public. Nuclear energy and renewable energies cannot be combined.”

Friday, December 13, 2013

Lignite, the bridge fuel

Hell, why not lignite too...
Clean Sweden's Vattenfall, king of dirty German lignite, is paying a newly elected politician who consequently gets a coalition agreement calling lignite a "bridge"

Merkel Embraces Coal as Rookie Lawmaker Makes Mark on Policy - Bloomberg:
For a first-time lawmaker, coal promoter Ulrich Freese made the most ofChancellor Angela Merkel’s pledge to counter rising power prices.
Freese, a Social Democrat former mining-union executive, won a parliamentary seat on Sept. 22, even as Merkel’s bloc defeated his party in national elections. As the two sides negotiated a coalition government, he inserted a commitment to use lignite, one of the most polluting forms of coal, to bridge the gap in Germany’s energy mix and rein in the second-highestelectricity prices in the European Union after Denmark’s.
That meshes with Vattenfall’s plan to extend strip mining in eastern Germany’s Lusatia region, some 150 kilometers (94 miles) southeast of Berlin, where more than 80 villages have been demolished and residents resettled to extract lignite.
The coalition contract’s wording on coal shows that Merkel’s prospective government is giving “high priority” to secure, affordable energy and recognizes the need to increase “market integration” of renewable sources...
...Gas and coal plants are “necessary to balance out the renewable energies and their fluctuating generation.”
The entire article can be read at Bloomberg

Friday, December 6, 2013

Wind turbines trash the landscape for the benefit of billionaires

" policy is chaotic. It is intellectually incoherent, lurching from fashion to fad with each lurch breeding a pile of taxpayer cash and a carnival of lobbyists out to protect it. Never in the history of public subsidy can so much have been paid by so many to so few."

Sounds like home, but no; it's the U.K., and the article is, surprisingly, from the Guardian (where it's generating many, many, comments)

The industry lobby, RenewableUK, on Thursday deplored what it suspected was a "political decision" to cut subsidy, and it was right. The switch reeked of Downing Street's obsession with Ukip, which has shrewdly opposed wind turbines. But an industry that is effectively a state subcontractor must accept such whims. The golden goose would never last.

I have spent two years traipsing Britain in search of the finest views. It is hard to convey the devastating impact of the turbines to those who have not seen them, especially a political elite that never leaves the south-east except for abroad. Fields of these structures are now rising almost everywhere. They are sited irrespective of the wind, since subsidy is paid irrespective of supply, even if there is none. It makes EU agricultural policy a paragon of sanity.

Nuclear to remain key Japan energy source

Panel: Nuclear to remain key Japan energy source - The Washington Post
TOKYO — Japan should continue to use nuclear power as a key energy source despite the Fukushima power plant disaster, a government panel said Friday in a reversal of a phase-out plan by the previous government.
The draft energy plan issued by the panel underscores Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to restart as many nuclear reactors as possible under new, stricter safety requirements that took effect this past summer.
The draft Basic Energy Plan says nuclear energy should remain “an important and basic power source that supports the stability of Japan’s energy supply and demand structure.”
Allison Macfarlane, head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said in Tokyo that developing an underground repository remains a challenge despite a global consensus on the need for such facilities to deal with waste from nuclear plants.
“In the nuclear community, we of course have to face the reality of the end product — spent fuel,” Macfarlane said.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

CANDU and growing nuclear industries - except in...

CANDU (CANada Deuterium Uranium) reactors have been built in 7 countries.
Recent news stories show 5 of those countries are actively growing their nuclear industries, while one is actively working against it.

DAWN: Pakistan looks to nuclear | Editorials | BDlive:
WITH the groundbreaking of what is intended to be Pakistan’s largest civilian nuclear power facility in Karachi last week, a practical step has been taken to help meet this country’s ravenous power demand through nuclear technology.
Contract awarded for CAREM vessel | world nuclear news | Argentina

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Green projects take central role in National Infrastructure Plan

An energy plan that includes electrification of transport and action on heating.
Only in the U.K you say.

Green projects take central role in National Infrastructure Plan - 04 Dec 2013 - News from BusinessGreen:
The new National Infrastructure Plan (NIP) unveiled today not only includes revised support levels for renewable energy and renewable heating projects, but also sets out plans to bring more private capital into the £3bn Green Investment Bank, build new nuclear reactors, and boost electric car take-up. 
It was announced as six major insurers revealed plans to collectively invest £25bn in UK infrastructure over the next five years - a minor coup for the government given the insurance industry has not been a big infrastructure investor.
Perhaps most significantly, the NIP confirms the government has entered into a co-operating agreement with Hitachi and Horizon to agree by 2016 "an in-principle guarantee" to support the financing of a new nuclear plant at Wylfa, subject to final due diligence and Ministerial approval. This follows on from an agreement with EDF over guaranteed electricity prices for Hinkley Point C.
Continue reading at BusinessGreen: Sustainable thinking

My initial thought on my province's new "energy" plan are here; it is a poor electricity plan, and not a comprehensive energy plan at all.

Second new nuclear plant given go-ahead for as Government sells off Eurostar stake - Telegraph

Second new nuclear plant given go-ahead for as Government sells off Eurostar stake - Telegraph:
The second of a new wave of nuclear power stations will be built by private investors with government support, the Treasury will announce on Wednesday.
The power station, at Wylfa on Anglesey in Wales, is among the major infrastructure projects that will go ahead after ministers promised to support commercial interests.
The station, to be built by Hitachi and Horizon, follows an agreement earlier this year for French and Chinese investors to build a nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Suffolk. Ministers have suggested that as many as a dozen nuclear reactors will be built in the coming years as fossil fuels are phased out and public hostility to renewables such as wind turbines mounts.
Continue reading at the Telegraph