Nuclear Energy.

Unhappy Camper

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`Smart grid' — buzz of the electric power industry

by H. JOSEF HEBERT, Associated Press Writer H. Josef Hebert, Associated Press Writer – Sat Jun 6, 11:23 am ET

WASHINGTON – Thomas Alva Edison, meet the Internet.
More than a century after Edison invented a reliable light bulb, the nation's electricity distribution system, an aging spider web of power lines, is poised to move into the digital age.

The "smart grid" has become the buzz of the electric power industry, at the White House and among members of Congress. President Barack Obama says it's essential to boost development of wind and solar power, get people to use less energy and to tackle climate change.
What smart grid visionaries see coming are home thermostats and appliances that adjust automatically depending on the cost of power; where a water heater may get juice from a neighbor's rooftop solar panel; and where on a scorching hot day a plug-in hybrid electric car charges one minute and the next sends electricity back to the grid to help head off a brownout

It is where utilities get instant feedback on a transformer outage, shift easily among energy sources, integrating wind and solar energy with electricity from coal-burning power plants, and go into homes and businesses to automatically adjust power use based on prearranged agreements.

"It's the marriage of information technology and automation technology with the existing electricity network. This is the energy Internet," said Bob Gilligan, vice president for transmission at GE Energy, which is aggressively pursuing smart grid development. "There are going to be applications 10 years from now that you and I have no idea that we're going to want or need or think are essential to our lives."

Hundreds of technology companies and almost every major electric utility company see smart grid as the future. That interest got a boost with the availability of $4.5 billion in federal economic recovery money for smart grid technology.

But smart grid won't be cheap; cost estimates run as high as $75 billion. Who's going to pay the bill? Will consumers get the payback they are promised? Might "smart meters" be too intrusive? Could an end-to-end computerization of the grid increase the risk of cyberattacks?

Today's grid is seen by many as little different from one envisioned by Edison 127 years ago.

The hundreds of thousands of miles of power lines that crisscross the country have been compared to a river flowing down a hill: an inefficient one-way movement of electrons from power plant to consumer. There is little way to provide any feedback of information to the power company running the system or those buying the electricity.

"The heart of a smart grid is to make the grid more flexible, to more easily control the flow of electrons, and make it more efficient and reliable," said Greg Scheu, head of the power production division at ABB North America, a leading grid technology provider.

"The meter is only the beginning," said Alex Huang, director of a grid technology center at North Carolina State University. He said that instead of power flowing from a small number of power plants, the smart grid can usher in a system of distributed energy so electricity "will flow from homes and businesses into the grid, neighborhoods will use local power and not just power flowing from a single source."
There are glimpses of what the future grid might look like.

On the University of Colorado campus in Boulder, the chancellor's home has been turned into a smart grid showhouse as part of a citywide $100 million demonstration project spearheaded by Xcel Energy. The home has a laptop-controlled electricity management system that integrates a rooftop solar panel with grid-supplied power and tracks energy use as well as equipment to charge a plug-in hybrid electric car.
Florida Power & Light is planning to provide smart meters covering 1 million homes and businesses in the Miami area over the next two years in a $200 million project. Smart meters are being distributed by utilities from California to Delaware's Delmarva Peninsula.

"We've got about 70 (smart grid) pilots all over the country right now," said Mike Oldak, an expert on smart grid at the Edison Electric Institute, which represents investor-owned power companies.

Center Point Energy, which serves 2.2 million customers in the metropolitan Houston area, expects to spend $1 billion over the next five years on smart grid. Residential customers are seeing an additional $3.24 a month on their electric bills, but Center Point says that should be more than offset by energy savings.

An Energy Department study projects energy savings of 5 percent to 15 percent from smart grid.

"This pays for itself through efficiency and demand reduction and if you don't look at it from that perspective you won't get your money back," said Thomas Standish, group president for regulated operations at Center Power Energy.

The cost and payback have some state regulators worried.
"We need to demonstrate to folks that there's a benefit here before we ask them to pay for this stuff," says Frederick Butler, chairman of New Jersey's utility commission and president of NARUC, the national group that represents these state agencies.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu, said the current grid stands in the way of increasing the use of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar that "will need a system that can dispatch power here, there and everywhere on a very quick basis."

But Chu and others also worry about security. "If you want to create mischief one very good way to create a great deal of mischief is to actually bring down a smart grid system. This system has to be incredibly secure."

And there is the issue of intrusion.

"Is the average consumer willing to pay the upfront costs of a new system and then respond appropriately to price signals? Or will people view a utility's ability to reach inside a home to turn down a thermostat as Orwellian?" Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said at a recent hearing on smart grid.
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Ok ... what is missing from this story ?


NUCLEAR power .. not a single mention of nuclear energy in the entire article.


Yeah, great ... wind, solar, geothermal, ocean wave generators and all the other exotic power ideas SHOULD be pursued in a vigorous fashion.


But to ignore the obvious benefit of Nuclear energy is goddamn idiotic.




There are 104 nuclear power plants operating in the United States, accounting for roughly 20% of our electricity supply. ( Most are aging because permits to refit and build are rarely granted.)

In contrast, nuclear power supplies 80% of France's electricity needs, with 59 nuclear power plants in operation in that country.

Nuclear power is SAFE. Nuclear waste products can be SAFELY stored.

Nuclear power is scalable to the demands of the market and takes less of a land footprint, in contrast to scale wind power to usage requires MASSIVE amounts of land usage.


The SINGLE drawback to nuclear is the Coal and oil industries and their constant lobby schemes of congress.

Congress has effectively shut the Nuclear industry down by making it nearly impossible to obtain building and environmental permits. And when a company LUCKS out and gets the permits approved along comes the nut jobs to tie it up in court for another decade.


Its bullshit ... with current and near future technology WIND and SOLAR can NEVER supply the amount of energy we need.

Nuclear power CAN .. right NOW.

All we need is the ability to build .. ... fucking tree huggers piss me off.



For further info see the link below.

REPORT by the US Department of energy. Its a recent report, i.e FY09
 

Scarlet

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The waste problem hasn't been solved.
After 18 months to two years in the reactor, there is too little fissionable material to allow the reactor to continue to run at full power. The fuel rods are then removed and replaced by new rods. This takes about a month.
It takes about 500 years for the overall level of radioactivity to be less than that of the original uranium ore.
Where there is plenty of natural gas, that is likely to be cheaper while it lasts. In some places, coal may be cheaper, but this depends on how you count the environmental costs of coal.
 

Unhappy Camper

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The waste problem hasn't been solved.
After 18 months to two years in the reactor, there is too little fissionable material to allow the reactor to continue to run at full power. The fuel rods are then removed and replaced by new rods. This takes about a month.
It takes about 500 years for the overall level of radioactivity to be less than that of the original uranium ore.
Where there is plenty of natural gas, that is likely to be cheaper while it lasts. In some places, coal may be cheaper, but this depends on how you count the environmental costs of coal.
The waste problem is manageable when one takes into account that the Nuke industry has been hamstrung by regulations for 40 years.

If only they would be allowed to pursue upgrades and investments into the technology then more and better waste handling procedures would develop as well.

Also, there is NEW research into extracting more usable energy from the current radioactive sources. Extract MORE means LESS waste.

I am speaking in opposition to the hippie nut jobs that preach global warming and say that coal and oil need to go offline as an energy source.
 

KommieKat

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Hong Kong, hiding from the Kommies!

Unhappy Camper

Hells yeah
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Mar 10, 2008
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Fayettenam Area, NC
"Ok ... what is missing from this story ?


NUCLEAR power .."

What's missing is any comments that pertain to Fission (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear)_fission and Fusion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_fusion).

Also, people are rightly concerned but illinformed of the safety of Nuke power.

In my opinion, Nuke power could be used for massive sized factories with solar and wind being reserved for individual households.

I live less than 60 miles from a generating Nuclear power facility.

I've asked people that have lived in this area, some as long as 20 years, where is the closest Nuke facility that they know of.

Many of these people have NO idea that a nuclear facility is producing energy practically right in their back yard.

This is a testament to the non intrusive nature of nuclear power, there is no huge influx and egress of materials, no large traffic at all is noticed going into and away from the facility on regular basis.

In contrast the coal facilities regular a constant fuel source, and are often served by a railway system into the actual facility.


In fact, if it were not for the large cooling towers at a nuke plant one would be hard pressed to distinguish it from any other industrial complex of equal size.

Coal and OIL will see their usage reach a marked decline, if not their actual death, during my lifetime .. I fully believe this.
 

KommieKat

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I live less than 60 miles from a generating Nuclear power facility.

I've asked people that have lived in this area, some as long as 20 years, where is the closest Nuke facility that they know of.

Many of these people have NO idea that a nuclear facility is producing energy practically right in their back yard.

This is a testament to the non intrusive nature of nuclear power, there is no huge influx and egress of materials, no large traffic at all is noticed going into and away from the facility on regular basis.
My mother lives in Aiken S.C. and they have one there are well.
It does support the populace with work.

My mother dated one of the Nuke Physics teachers that did a 2 year contract there.
He visited me in Japan when I was living there.
He explained that people are really misinformed about Nuke power.

Now, he is working in Johnston Island, which is about 800 miles from Hawaii and 800 miles away from everything.
They melt down weapons such as missiles and so forth.
He commented that even to this day, they are still melting down Nerve gas from WW1 because a Nuke generating plant is the only strongest source to burn the stuff up.

On the other hand, the hippie wannabes cry foul, saying Nuke particles are floating around in the air. No kidding. Everything is radioactive just being in sunlight.
 

Unhappy Camper

Hells yeah
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My mother lives in Aiken S.C. and they have one there are well.
It does support the populace with work.

My mother dated one of the Nuke Physics teachers that did a 2 year contract there.
He visited me in Japan when I was living there.
He explained that people are really misinformed about Nuke power.

Now, he is working in Johnston Island, which is about 800 miles from Hawaii and 800 miles away from everything.
They melt down weapons such as missiles and so forth.
He commented that even to this day, they are still melting down Nerve gas from WW1 because a Nuke generating plant is the only strongest source to burn the stuff up.

On the other hand, the hippie wannabes cry foul, saying Nuke particles are floating around in the air. No kidding. Everything is radioactive just being in sunlight.

Interesting you mention Johnston atoll ... I tried to get stationed there for years and years .. no luck,

Johnston is spinning down and most of the chem deconstruction is now done in Tooele utah.

But too true about the Public and nuke power, nuke really needs a new PR campaign ... big time.