Fukushima seven years later—case closed?

Fukushima seven years later—case closed?
IAEA experts, charged with reviewing Japan’s plans for the Fukushima nuclear facility, leave Unit 4 in 2013. Credit: IAEA/Flickr, CC BY

On March 11, 2011, a nuclear disaster struck Japan. The 9.0 magnitude Tohoku earthquake triggered a 15-meter tidal wave, which hit the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant approximately 45 minutes later. The plant's power was knocked out and the backup generators crippled. After the emergency batteries were exhausted, three of the plant's six reactors soon overheated, and at least two of the cores melted down, releasing immense amounts of radiation. While the reactors are now in theory stabilised, the work to understand and contain the damage continues.

In the seven years that have elapsed since the disaster, much has been written and said about its causes. Yet expert reports have paid little attention to the extensive testimony of Masao Yoshida, who was plant manager at the time and passed away in 2013.

One can only wonder about the decisions Yoshida had to make between March 11 and 15, 2011, to avoid the worst. And his gripping account calls into question some of the keystone principles of nuclear safety.

A 'made in Japan' disaster?

The international community and the Japanese themselves quickly characterized the disaster as one that was "made in Japan", meaning it was enabled by two circumstances specific to Japan: the country's exposure to environmental hazards (earthquakes and tsunamis) and its cultural acceptance of collusion – real or imaginary – between corporations and government.

Management of the accident, both by its operator, the Tepco Group, and the Japanese government, has been condemned as ineffectual. Serious failings were attributed to Tepco, which was unable to prevent a nuclear meltdown and subsequent explosions. A rare bright point was the heroism of those working on the ground, who risked their own lives to avert an even greater disaster.

Calling Fukushima a "made in Japan" disaster focuses attention on the failures of a socio-technical system apparently disconnected from industry good practices and the norms of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Moreover, its extraordinary scale allows it to be filed in the same historic category as another "aberrant" accident, Chernobyl. The latter was attributed to gross Soviet negligence, implicitly reinforcing a utopian vision of a safe and reliable nuclear industry. But do the nature of the Fukushima disaster and the specificity of its causes really make it an exception?

There have been a wide range of official inquiries. In Japan, reports were issued by both a governmental investigation and a parliamentary commission. Investigations were also conducted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the American Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and the Nuclear Energy Agency of the OECD.

These analyses chiefly focused on the impact of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami on the , the way the crisis was managed by the operator and the authorities, and on the cooperation between those onsite (emergency services) and offsite (Tepco staff). Hundreds of thousands of pages of reports have been published as a result. Ultimately, authorities unanimously concluded that upholding IAEA norms alone guarantees .

But the majority of the thousand-plus hearings given by the people involved have remained confidential. This is troubling: Why would a democratic society allow hearings given to a parliamentary commission to remain secret?

During the Japanese government's investigation, Fukushima Daiichi plant manager Masao Yoshida was interviewed for more than 28 hours, over 13 sessions. His testimony was only made public in September 2014 after critical reporting by Japanese media. Printed in Japanese on A4 paper, it filled more than 400 pages.

Shedding new light on the story

The Risk and Crisis Research Centre of the Mines ParisTech engineering school translated Yoshida's testimony into French, the first complete version in a language other than Japanese. (A partial English translation exists, made available by the Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun, but it proved to be inaccurate on several crucial points, and is highly controversial.)

Given that France generates 76% of its electricity with nuclear power, the task of a complete translation should have been undertaken by a nuclear-sector operator. None volunteered, however, no doubt asserting that all had already been said and settled. The Fukushima investigators all followed a pre-set formula, apparently designed solely to confirm hypotheses that would put events down to purely technical causes. Yet Yoshida responded to the investigators' questions from an entirely different point of view, attributing his decisions and actions to the brutal struggle between men (himself and his staff) and technology or, more precisely, the machines (the reactors) that had suddenly gone out of control.

The brutal reality of the situation in March 2011 was that it was no longer a question of managing a crisis, applying established procedures or rolling out plan A or plan B. Day after agonising day, the Fukushima Daiichi power plant was an island, plunged into darkness, without electricity or emergency diesel generators, and almost completely devoid of resources.

Largely left to their own devices, Yoshida and the plant's staff risked their lives at every moment. Wearing stiflingly hot protective wear and buffeted by aftershocks, they searched for slightest sound or visual clue in the absence of measurement data. Groping around the labyrinth of the ruined plant, they sought, more or less with success, to protect themselves from radioactive contamination in order to continue their work.

During the hearings, Yoshida confided his fears, doubts and beliefs. He lauded the commitment of his colleagues inside the plant, even as he deplored the absence or incompetence of those outside – Tepco headquarters, the government, the regulatory authority, and so on.

The emotional intensity of his account is both striking and moving. It shatters the all-too-bureaucratic certitudes that underestimate the complexities of situations, to the point of ignoring our humanity: the workers were facing the possibility of their own deaths and, above all, the deaths of their colleagues, their families and everything dear to them.

Almost miraculously, after four days of desperate efforts, the worst – the explosion of the Daiichi reactors, which could have set off those at the close-by Daini and Onagawa plants as well – was narrowly avoided. Yet we have learnt almost nothing from this catastrophe, and the much larger one that was averted.

Beyond safety margins

Of course, re-examining safety standards is important, as are "hard core" safety systems (a kind of fortified line of defence against external onslaughts) and the costly installation of diverse backup power generators. Such measures certainly increase safety margins, but what about the bigger picture?

The creation of "special nuclear forces", such as France's nuclear rapid action force (FARN), is a perfect example of such a mind-set. They are on-call to restore installations in accordance with regulations on radiation exposure. But what will such teams do if levels of radioactivity are above those set out in the legislation? Could we count on their commitment, as Japan did for that of Masao Yoshida and his staff, at once heroes and victims, sacrificed willingly or under orders, in order to prevent a nuclear apocalypse?


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Fukushima operator gets first safety approval since 2011 disaster

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Mar 20, 2018
and its cultural acceptance of collusion – real or imaginary – between corporations and government

I doubt this is particular to Japan.

Mar 20, 2018
The main lesson from Fukushima is that nuclear is the safest even in the worst-case scenarios, zero deaths from radiation exposure, the tsunami is that was the real killer together with fearmongers faux-greens and sensationalist mass media that induced more deaths(heart-attacks, abortions, suicides) that ended favoring coal and other fossil fuels(backup for intermittent renewables) which air pollution respects no border and kills millions of people every year.
Another lesson is that: wind and solar are a joke, a trillion-dollar fiasco, unable to replace fossil fuels in large-scale, not even in small-scale, they are inherently intermittent/weather-dependent, and parasites on other forms of energy, specifically coal and natural gas(methane).

Mar 20, 2018
"...releasing immense amounts of radiation..."
"An appeal to fear (also called argumentum ad metum or argumentum in terrorem) is a fallacy in which a person attempts to create support for an idea by using deception and propaganda in attempts to increase fear and prejudice..."
http://en.wikiped..._to_fear
Manmade radioactivity:
- Chernobyl (5 mSv)
- Fukushima (20 mSv)
Natural radioactivity:
- Kerala (35 mSv)
- Ramsar (700 mSv)
- Guarapari (800 mSv)
https://pbs.twimg...5hly.jpg
http://www.youtub...Ax1yIKjg
http://www.youtub...HUGwFoJE

Mar 20, 2018
Benefits of nuclear power in japan: saved $1T in health damages (70s+) by displacing coal, not to mention fuel imports ($40B/y). Other countries: saved $8.5T in US, France $2T. Over the world that adds up to $15T. And there are other costs that have been avoided.

Things are changing: Genkai Town Assembly Approves Proposal Seeking New NPP Construction
https://sightline...ruction/

Frances produces 2kg/person/year (0.1 L) of (reusable) waste. Compare that to displaced 5100 kg/person/year of CO2 - https://imgur.com/a/6rFgr .
Waste produced in 40 years (of 70%+ electricity share): 2300 m3, one olympic swimming pool. No other source has so little waste per unit energy than nuclear. As such is easily contained, handled and stored.

Mar 20, 2018
Dr. Robert Hargraves: 100mSv/y dose is proven safe, NRC insiders ignore evidence
https://youtu.be/MCtVH4k6lNk

Mar 20, 2018
Radiation Dose Chart: https://i.imgur.com/iLreGxx.png

Mar 20, 2018
The fact is that just a few megawatts of diesel generators shipped by helicopter from another city could have kept the cooling systems going and avoided most of the serious consequences. Too bad that no one had the authority to ask for help.

Mar 21, 2018
Starting a nuclear power plant results in instantaneous lowering of fossil fuel usage thus lowering costs, pollution and GHG emissions
https://af.reuter...3N1R21ZH
A Japanese utility that buys liquefied natural gas (LNG) to feed power plants has turned seller of the super-chilled fuel after it restarted a nuclear reactor, reducing its need for gas and potentially driving down spot LNG prices, trade sources said.

Mar 21, 2018
That is not a good outcome for fossil fuel backed groups:

Looking at proposal of Friends of the Earth (and others) to retire Diablo nuclear power plant we get: //goo.gl/xJFoS2
Basically: "You can keep your plants until 2024-25, but you must:
- have 2000GWh worth of efficiency by 2025.
- have 2000GWh worth of renewable by 2025-30.
- have 55% of something else in your total mix by 2031 (six years after the plants are shut down)."
The one number you will not find in the 20 pages or so, is that the two reactors to be replaced produce about 8000GWh each = 16 000 GWh.
So yeah, 2+2 = 16. Such a future indeed!

Mar 21, 2018
and its cultural acceptance of collusion – real or imaginary – between corporations and government

I doubt this is particular to Japan.


It's just particularily bad in Japan with the social culture. There's the culture of shame where if you make your boss embarrassed, it's your head on the block. It's a collectivist culture, where, if your boss is an artful dodger then it's your job to assist him in his dodgery to maintain honor, instead of going solo and acting as a whistleblower. The main rule is co-operation and harmony in the community, and breaking harmony is socially worse than exposing potentially fatal flaws in the operation of the community. Going against the grain brings shame on you.

But do the nature of the Fukushima disaster and the specificity of its causes really make it an exception?


Yes. The whole accident would have been avoided if Tepco had stuck to the original approved plans and built the plant higher up the shore.


Mar 21, 2018
If you count the four major nuclear accidents, three were because of willful negligence of basic safety and good sense. Beyond that, there's a whole list of people who just didn't know what they were doing.

The Windscale fire was foreseen by the engineers involved, warned against, but the problems were dismissed as "too difficult to deal with". The only thing that was added were some filters, which didn't stop the inevitable.

Chernobyl is famous for its bungles.

Fukushima should have been built differently, but the company decided on last-minute cost cuts and railroaded the approval of the new plans through their government buddies, bypassing proper safety evaluation. They knew what they were doing, and Tepco simply took the gamble.

The only thing that was a genuine accident is Three Mile Island, in the sense that no intentional mistakes or omissions were made.

Apr 24, 2018
UNSCEAR 2013

"E7. .... Following a hypothetical exposure of a group from the same population corresponding to an acute uniform whole-body dose of 1 Sv .... the Committee previously estimated the additional lifetime risk of solid cancer due to that exposure to be approximately 13% on average.... Following doses of 0.1 Sv and 0.01 Sv, the additional lifetime risk...was estimated to be smaller by factors of about 10 and 100, respectively."

UNSCEAR estimated that adults living in the city of Fukushima (pop. 290,000) could receive a 10 mSv lifetime dose. That works out at almost 190 fatal cancers over the next 75 years. Using mainstream science's LNT model to zero for the whole of Japan would give about 5,000 fatal cancers over the next 75 years. Using LNT to zero for nuclear power historically, in the same way that the pro-nuclear movement (legitimately) does for fossil fuels, would give about 100,000 fatal cancers, putting nuclear about 10 times as dangerous as wind or solar

Apr 24, 2018
Using LNT ..
LNT is flawed, it's based on two sets of standards, it's a kind of politically motivated science, it states than any level of radiation is unsafe although Earth is naturally radioactive since its radiation and all foods emit radiation(potassium-40) including our bodies.
http://www.dosein...LNT.html
... risk estimates based on this model "are only theoretical and have never been conclusively demonstrated by empirical evidence". "
https://healthman...l-flawed
Ukraine and Belarus (Chernobyl) have low cancer rates that the countries around them:
https://pbs.twimg...N4Vd.jpg
...about 10 times as dangerous as wind or solar...
Wind and solar are parasites on fossil fuels, they cannot keep lights on or be manufactured/transported without coal/oil/gas which air pollution kills millions of people every year. Wind and solar just provide "greenwashing" for fossil fuels.

Apr 25, 2018
"LNT is flawed"
If LNT is flawed, why do you use it to estimate air pollution deaths? Those risk estimates (which I by and large accept) are also "only theoretical and have never been conclusively demonstrated by empirical evidence" And if you use it for air pollution deaths, why do you prohibit it for radiation deaths?

" Earth is naturally radioactive"
Just because something is natural doesn't mean it's safe.

"Wind and solar are parasites on fossil fuels"
Which is why storage (eg pumped hydro, tidal lagoon) will be needed. In the meantime, solar and wind are getting cheaper and cheaper, and wind/solar/tidal systems will not explode and require the evacuation of entire cities, and still cause the deaths of tens of thousands if they go wrong. And irrespective of whether or not they are "parasites", using pro-nuclear advocates own sources shows that nuclear is ten times more dangerous than wind or solar.

Apr 25, 2018
...solar and wind are getting cheaper and cheaper...
...making the electricity bills costlier and costlier.
"If Solar And Wind Are So Cheap, Why Are They Making Electricity So Expensive?" - Apr 23, 2018
https://www.forbe...pensive/
"Wind energy and wind hype. Installed wind capacity huge: actual MWh produced, not so huge."
http://ddears.com...hart.png
http://ddears.com...-DOE.png
...require the evacuation of entire cities...
"The difference between nuclear & solar exclusion zones is that life thrives in the former while *all life must die* in the latter."
https://pbs.twimg...9muf.jpg
https://pbs.twimg...GNv4.jpg
https://pbs.twimg...M3dA.jpg

Apr 25, 2018
Just because something is natural doesn't mean it's safe.
According to LNT, there is no safe dose, if one person takes 100 aspirins in one day, he/she will die (empirically verifiable), then by extrapolations if 100 people each takes 1 aspirin/day, one of them will die (theoretically).
In this way, also there is no safe dose for arsenides and other chemical carcinogens present in solar panels that never lose their toxicity with time. So solar panels are unstoppably causing millions of cancer deaths around the world. And as happened in Chernobyl and Fukushima, the bodies are being eaten by Godzilla or chupacabras or abducted by aliens.
https://pbs.twimg...7aJG.jpg
https://pbs.twimg...aO3V.jpg
https://pbs.twimg...iUVm.jpg
https://pbs.twimg...1-1t.jpg
https://pbs.twimg...AgG5.jpg
https://pbs.twimg...ZbxF.jpg
https://pbs.twimg...M2x4.jpg

Apr 25, 2018
Michael Shellenberger is a pro-nuclear advocate, and certainly does not use mainstream science. If his views on solar and wind are anything like his opinions on low level radiation, they need to be taken with a very large grain of salt. By claiming that Chernobyl deaths are a mere 70 or 200 or whatever his new figure is, he is effectively positing a threshold, quite a high threshold, whereas numerous mainstream science bodies have again and again rejected any threshold at all. And Shellenberger again and again uses LNT freely and easily and without question to estimate fossil fuel deaths, but, without explanation, pours scorn on LNT when it comes to estimating radiation deaths. As do you. Maybe it's the threshold/hormesis theories that are "politically motivated"?

Apr 25, 2018
Once again, if LNT, in spite of being mainstream science, is so awful and illogical and wrong, why do you use it? And where are the bodies from coal etc particulate deaths? Eaten by anti-nukes? Re aspirin, there is presumably a safe dose of aspirin, a scientifically established safe dose. There is none for radiation.

Apr 25, 2018
... is a pro-nuclear advocate, and certainly does not use mainstream science...
It's easier to disqualify the proponent than real data.
Because real data show undoubtedly that intermittent renewables are making electricity bills costlier everywhere while failing miserably at reducing emissions, e.g. Germany, Denmark, South Australia, California, Minnesota, etc.
https://pbs.twimg...spDN.jpg
https://www.elect...map.org/
"Minnesota is blowing billions on wind power ... the result is HIGHER electricity rates and dubious CO2 reductions"
https://youtu.be/0vaIYttrL88

If there is no safe dose, even for arsenides and chemical carcinogens present in solar panels that never lose their toxicity with time:
What about using LNT to estimate the millions of cancer deaths caused by renewables?
https://pbs.twimg...7aJG.jpg

Apr 25, 2018
...aspirin, there is presumably a safe dose of aspirin, a scientifically established safe dose. There is none for radiation.
If there is no safe dose for radiation, why is it used as cure for cancer through radiotherapy?
"Radiotherapy can be used to treat some medical conditions, especially cancer, using radiation to weaken or destroy particular targeted cells."
"Tens of millions of nuclear medicine procedures are performed each year, and demand for radioisotopes is increasing rapidly."
http://www.world-...edicine/
"The Difference Between Medicine and Poison is in the Dose"
"Fear of medical radiation is based on bad science"
http://atomicinsi...science/
"The worldwide average natural dose to humans is about 2.4 millisievert (mSv) per year.This is four times the worldwide average artificial radiation exposure..."

Apr 25, 2018
Again, if LNT is so wrong, why do you use it?

Real data from mainstream science, rather than the pro-nuclear wishes of people like Shellenberger, show LNT to be effectively proven for radiation down to 100 mSv, with strong evidence down to 50 mSv, and sufficient evidence down to 10 mSv for the mainstream science UNSCEAR to warn that "Risk estimates vary with age, with younger people generally being more sensitive; studies of in utero radiation exposures show that the foetus is particularly sensitive, with elevated risk being detected at doses of 10 mSv and above". Mainstream science also holds that LNT is the best way to estimate risks for still lower doses. Google Doll most appropriate way extrapolate cancer risk estimates lower doses?

Radiotherapy involves a no-brainer tradeoff between the excellent chance of killing off a currently manifest cancer (and the urgency of so doing), and the smaller chance of developing a secondary cancer years or decades later.

Apr 25, 2018
"What about using LNT to estimate the millions of cancer deaths caused by renewables? "
Millions of deaths? A mainstream science source for this would be useful. Any source would be useful. Your jpeg does not seem relevant. The usual pro-nuclear estimates for deaths per terrawatt hour, repeated ad nauseam, are 0.1 for solar and 0.15 for wind. Now that these totals are shown to be about one tenth of the toll from nuclear, goalposts are being shifted.


Apr 25, 2018
"Chernobyl disaster zone lures tourists as visitor numbers boom" - April 25, 2018
https://phys.org/...sts.html
https://www.youtu...5fjy3jCI
https://media-cdn...trip.jpg
People are exposed to more radiation during a commercial flight(up to 65mSv), or in Kerala/Ramsar/Guarapari(up to 800mSv), than in Chernobyl(5mSv) or in Fukushima(20mSv).
"A worker's individual exposure will depend on the time spent at altitude, but if a person spent all year flying in a plane, the average radiation dose would be about 65 milliSieverts (mSv) per year in the 5 years around the solar minimum, compared to about 56 mSv during the last minimum and at least 45 mSv during the solar maximum of the previous cycle, according to the new study."
https://blogs.agu...-levels/

Apr 27, 2018
If LNT is wrong, why did you use it?

Millions of deaths from renewables? A source?

"Chernobyl disaster zone lures tourists as visitor numbers boom"
"The reality is some of the land will be abandoned for generations, even a million years," said Yevgen Gucharenko, an agency employee who accompanies tour groups and other visitors. He was 13 when the reactor exploded. "But there are some clean areas, where it's safe enough for short visits." NB some....NB short....

Re your implications that background is safe, the mainstream science BEIR V and BEIR VII committees looked at the "evidence" and found it wanting. They likewise rejected thresholds and hormesis, and re-endorsed LNT.

Apr 27, 2018
"Will The Truth About Chernobyl Ever Come Out?"
"In fact, about a thousand people never left Chernobyl and have survived just fine for 30 years."
https://www.forbe...ome-out/
"Chernobyl continued to operate 3 reactors for over a decade after the accident."

"The Demise of the Linear, No-Threshold (LNT) Model of Radiation Carcinogenesis"
http://www.dosein...LNT.html

Apr 27, 2018
Millions of deaths from renewables? A source?
"By far the largest collective dose to workers per unit of electricity generated was found in the solar power cycle, followed by the wind power cycle. The reason for this is that these technologies require large amounts of rare earth metals, and the mining of low-grade ore exposes workers to natural radionuclides during mining."
"a study has been done that shows that of most of the options to generate electricity, nuclear actually releases the least amount of radiation."
http://www.unscea...4696.pdf
http://mzconsulti...m/?p=846

"Why do the sort of people who exclude nuclear energy for its radiation embrace geothermal?"
https://pbs.twimg...-t79.jpg
https://pbs.twimg...ORn-.jpg
https://pbs.twimg...ZaVq.jpg
https://uploads.d...c1d8.jpg

Apr 28, 2018
Millions of deaths from renewables? A source? Specifically for the "millions of deaths"?

You quote UNSCEAR for workers, but not for the general public. Just scanning through the UNSCEAR study, I do not see any actual figures for solar or wind, just broad statements that coal is the worst, and nuclear the second worst for radiation per unit of electricity during normal operation. Furthermore, UNSCEAR did not estimate collective dose effects for accidents, except to state "the collective dose to the global population from serious accidents, such as those that occurred at the Chernobyl and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power stations, were orders of orders of magnitude larger than the collective doses to the world population from one year's normal operation of significant technologies of electricity generation".

So, if solar and wind are killing millions, so is routine nuclear, and Chernobyl and Fukushima alone are going to kill multiple times that, maybe tens of millions.

Apr 28, 2018
...solar or wind, just broad statements that coal is the worst...
Solar and wind hardly can payback/repay the energy used from coal and other fossil fuels to manufacture/mine/transport/install/repair/recycle their components, worse yet when including batteries/energy storage.
So directly and indirectly, wind and solar are killing as much as coal and other fossil fuels.
https://pbs.twimg...U_jn.jpg
https://pbs.twimg...pxym.jpg
https://pbs.twimg...rFIP.jpg
https://pbs.twimg...64zc.jpg
"Nuclear power may have saved 1.8 million lives otherwise lost to fossil fuels, may save up to 7 million more."
https://blogs.sci...on-more/
https://www.forbe...-killed/

Apr 28, 2018
Millions of deaths from renewables? A real source? Specifically for the "millions of deaths". Or an indication of how you arrived at that figure, so that we can evaluate that claim before moving on to others..

"Nuclear power may have saved 1.8 million lives otherwise lost to fossil fuels"

This is from the James Hansen and Pushker Kharecha 2013 study. Their main source was a Markandya and Wilkinson 2007 Electricity generation and health Lancet article, who in turn got their figures directly from Externe (Berry, JE, Holland, MR, Watkiss, PR, Boyd, R, and Stephenson, W. Power generation and the environment—a UK perspective, vol 1), which, re estimates for particulate matter harm, states: "there is no convincing evidence of safe, or no-effect, levels for particulates and therefore dose-response functions without thresholds are used".

So Hansen used LNT with no qualms for air pollution deaths but rubbished LNT for radiation deaths. Using LNT for nuclear gives 100,000 deaths.

Apr 28, 2018
"Solar and wind hardly can payback/repay the energy used from coal and other fossil fuels to manufacture/mine/transport/install/repair/recycle their components"

Again, an actual source, rather than an unlabelled jpg, would be useful. Here's a reasonably balanced article published in Science Direct, showing that solar and wind, although considerably lower than coal, are roughly comparable to nuclear in energy returned on investment (EROI). Coal scores 46, wind scores 18, nuclear scores 14, and solar scores 10.
https://www.scien...13003856

Apr 28, 2018
..showing that solar and wind, although considerably lower than coal, are roughly comparable to nuclear in energy returned on investment (EROI)
Like comparing apples and oranges: nuclear provides reliable electricity, wind/solar does not.
There are no practical data showing positive EROI for wind/solar, there are only studies/calculations.
The practical evidence is that wind/solar are failing miserably at reducing emissions and replacing fossil fuels while making the electricity bills costlier, e.g. Germany, Denmark, South Australia, California, Minnesota, Texas, etc. while carbon-free nuclear energy is a confirmed success e.g. France, Sweden, Ontario.
https://www.elect...map.org/
"Batteries have a dirty secret" - Apr 27, 2018
"Energy storage is considered a green technology. But it actually increases carbon emissions."
https://www.vox.c...missions

Apr 30, 2018
How reliable is the electricity from TMI 2, Chernobyl 4, Fukushima 1, 3 and 4?

Wind and solar just need storage for reliability..

"Energy storage ......actually increases carbon emissions."
From your own source - "This is not intrinsic to the technology, by any means. If deployed strategically, energy storage can do all the things boosters say, making the grid more flexible, unlocking renewable energy, and reducing emissions. But only if it is deployed strategically, which it generally hasn't been."

Apr 30, 2018
How reliable is the electricity from TMI 2, Chernobyl 4...
TMI is still producing carbon-free energy and "Chernobyl continued to operate 3 reactors for over a decade after the accident."
"No one died, there were no direct health impacts, but the Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear accident burned so deeply into the US psyche that it has helped limit the future use of the power source across America."
"They don't complement the intermittent nature of renewables as well as natural gas."
http://www.bbc.co...40099324
Wind and solar just need storage for reliability..
Batteries are expensive and unnecessary if you have cheap natural gas(methane/fracking) as eternal bridge.
"Without cheap gas, the "gas bridge" to alternative energy sources collapses."
"If climatechange solutions involving High renewable shares depend on storage solutions that don't exist, in what way are they solutions?"
anti-nuclear=pro-fossil-fuels
wind/solar="greenwashing" for gas

Apr 30, 2018
TMI 2? TMI TWO?? Chernobyl 4? Chernobyl FOUR??

From your own source ""Nuclear plants are very hard to ramp up or ramp down......they are more expensive.....Natural gas and renewables will eat away at coal and nuclear over time. No one is even fathoming such an expensive risky investment as a nuclear power plant outside of highly regulated markets. I don't see anything reversing that trend.".

Pumped hydro exists. It has existed for over a century. It's even used to support nuclear. No apparent problem there. Pumped hydro/pumped tidal lagoons are better storage solutions than batteries. Tidal lagoons can also generate power, 24/7/365 if built in series. Even prominent pro-nuclear scientists like Sir David MacKay (physicist, mathematician, Regius Professor of Engineering, Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Department of Energy), nuclear companies like France's EDF, and reports by pro-nuclear Government's such as the UK's, support pumped hydro and tidal lagoon.

Apr 30, 2018
Pumped hydro exists...
"100% renewables fail. This small island of El Hierro has been attempting to power itself with wind, solar, and pumped hydro for 3 years, but the diesel back is still the mainstay electricity generators."
"If RE + storage can't provide reliable power in a lo energy usage, hi RE potential, ideal pumped hydro location, it can't work anywhere"
http://euanmearns...-update/
"Storage systems are incredibly expensive in the case of batteries—and geographically limited in the case of pumped hydroelectric"
https://www.techn...-energy/
'top 10 pumped-hydro storage facilities in the US combined could "supply average US electricity needs for just 43 minutes."'
https://www.vox.c...-studies
"European Pumped Storage Plants Are in Crisis"

Apr 30, 2018
Nuclear plants are very hard to ramp up or ramp down ... Natural gas and renewables will eat away at coal and nuclear over time.
Let's face the reality. Intermittent renewables are in bed with natural gas producers. Their true rival is carbon-free nuclear power and that is why everybody attacks it.
https://pbs.twimg...M1S4.jpg
"No sun? ☀️ No wind? No problem, natural gas has it covered. See why #natgas is a great partner for renewable power sources."
https://twitter.c...54220800
"Shell ... company will seek to ramp up its investments in renewable energy like solar and wind" - Dec 2017
http://www.busine...-2017-12
"Shell ventures back into solar" - Jan 2018
https://www.reute...BN1F42FQ
"Norway's Statoil to Increase Bet on Renewables"

May 04, 2018
"100% renewables fail.....El Hierro has been attempting to power itself with wind, solar, and pumped hydro for 3 years, but...diesel is still mainstay electricity ..If RE + storage can't provide reliable power in a lo energy usage, hi RE potential, ideal pumped hydro location, it can't work anywhere"

Read your own sources. El Hierro's pumped storage isn't adequate for the job. Lesson: Always build adequate storage.

According to you, there isn't a nuclear problem without an instant solution, but any glitch in renewables is a cause for total despair and immediately giving up forever.

Your own source:
"It will be an immense struggle just to deploy the amount of VRE we already know is possible. If we put our shoulder to that wheel for 10 years or so, then we can come up for air, reassess, and recalibrate....
Until then, none of these potential future limitations are any reason to let up on the push for VRE."

Anything more to add about why you denounce LNT but still use it?

May 04, 2018
All 100% renewable powered places are either mostly hydro/geothermal/biomass or connected to regional fossil-fueled grids to hide intermittencies. Hydro/geothermal are geographically limited(site-specific) and biomass is worse than coal in terms of greenhouse effect. So wind/solar is, and will ever be, just an expensive form of providing "greenwashing" for fossil fuels.
"Have fossil fuels been substituted by renewables? An empirical assessment for 10 European countries" - May 2018
"Wind Power Installation Amplifies The Growth Of Fossil Fuel Energies"
"The installed capacity of wind power preserves fossil fuel dependency."
"Electricity consumption intensity and its peaks have been satisfied by burning fossil fuels."
https://www.scien...18300983
http://notrickszo...eration/
"Without fossil fuels, there would be no solar panels/wind turbines."

May 09, 2018

Just as you want it both ways re LNT (rejecting it for radiation death estimates while using it for fossil fuel death estimates), you want it both ways re wind and solar. You acknowledge that they often produce more than is needed, but insist on regarding this as a negative, and refuse to see it as an opportunity.

Storage can take many forms. Use whatever works wherever it works best - land-based pumped storage, tidal lagoon/tidal barrage storage (and generation), geothermal, land-based compressed air, "sea eggs", battery, chemical etc.

Eg, here's Prof. David MacKay, the pro-nuclear former Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change ....

"..reasons for being excited about tidal power in the British Isles...Tidal power is completely predictable....a renewable on which one could depend..works day and night all year round; using tidal lagoons..energy can be stored so that power can be delivered on demand"


May 09, 2018
Some more from MacKay:

"Additional opportunities
A pair of lagoons in the sea with 13m-high walls and electrical
plumbing installed would be a good place to locate wind turbines.
The turbines would be offshore, which is good, but erection and
maintenance of turbines on the walls would be much easier and
cheaper than for regular offshore turbines. 100m diameter turbines
(with 'capacity' 3.5MW) could be placed every 500m – 100 turbines
in total, with a 'capacity' of 350MW. A good combination: wind,
pumped storage, and tidal energy, all enhancing each other.
Perhaps to kill four birds with one stone, we could sequester
carbon too: the walls could be built out of artificial limestone, or
coal!"
http://www.infere...oons.pdf

You maybe need to be a bit more positive and "can do" on this issue, rather than focus exclusively on the difficulties all the time.

May 09, 2018
Storage can take many forms ... tidal lagoon/tidal barrage storage (and generation) ... "sea eggs", battery, chemical etc.
Indeed there are several options: wind/solar/wave/tidal/algae/etc.; meanwhile environuts are aboard a DIESEL-burning ship(with sails just for decoration) protesting against carbon-free nuclear energy while claiming wind/solar/storage is cheap and replaces fossil fuels.
No way sunshine&breeze unicorn energy is a viable option to replace fossil fuels. they are a ready-made joke used to steal money from stupid taxpayers.
https://pbs.twimg...Z2Rl.jpg
'@Greenpeace's diesel-powered "ship of fools" '
https://www.faceb...5300281/
https://pbs.twimg...pg:large
http://gertjaap.v...asco.png

May 09, 2018
Here's another possibility for redirecting excess wind generated electricity or converting it to gas - https://www.elekt...ore-wind and https://www.world...hore.pdf

PS Don't be so unpleasant re Greenpeace. Anyone can sling insults - "econuts", "ship of fools" etc. It's often a sign you're losing the argument. Greenpeace's latest ship is designed to be sail-powered 90% of its time at sea - https://www.popsc...#page-12 . Have you cut your CO2 emissions by 90%?

May 09, 2018
...redirecting excess wind generated electricity or converting it to gas...
70% of energy is lost in the process as waste heat (Thermodynamic Laws), and wind has low EROI(Energy Return on Investment) i.e. it takes more energy than it produces
"...solar and wind power are characterized by medium to low EROIs."
https://phys.org/...les.html
Greenpeace's latest ship is designed to be sail-powered 90% of its time at sea...
Wind doesn't blown 90% of time, neither in the right direction. In 90% of time, either wind isn't blowing or is blowing in the wrong direction. So in the remaining 10%, it isn't worthwhile to use the sails, because it needs more specialized people for adjusting the sails everytime, more job accidents, it's why Greenpeace uses sails just for decoration and the diesel engines almost all time.

May 10, 2018
"wind has low EROI(Energy Return on Investment)"

Have previously linked to https://www.scien...13003856 showing wind EROI higher than nuclear. See also https://www.scien...a%3Dihub

"We examine 119 wind turbines from 50 different analyses, ranging in publication date from 1977 to 2007. We extend on previous work by including additional and more recent analyses, distinguishing between important assumptions about system boundaries and methodological approaches, and viewing the EROI as function of power rating. Our survey shows an average EROI for all studies (operational and conceptual) of 25.2 (n = 114; std. dev = 22.3). The average EROI for just the operational studies is 19.8 (n = 60; std. dev = 13.7). This places wind in a favorable position relative to fossil fuels, nuclear, and solar power generation technologies in terms of EROI".


May 10, 2018
"70% of energy is lost in the process as waste heat (Thermodynamic Laws), and wind has low EROI(Energy Return on Investment) i.e. it takes more energy than it produces"

You'd better tell the World Energy Council ("the UN-accredited global energy
body, representing the entire energy spectrum, with over
3,000 member organisations in over 90 countries, drawn from
governments, private and state corporations, academia, NGOs and
energy stakeholders"). They think "The analysis of the economic viability of various pathways demonstrates that hydrogen, or molecules, based energy transportation and consumption is a promising way to bring North Sea energy to the consumer, alongside direct usage of the variable power."

May 10, 2018
...showing wind EROI higher than nuclear...
...wind in a favorable position relative to fossil fuels, nuclear, and solar power generation technologies in terms of EROI...
If it were true, there would be wind-powered factories/machines producing/transporting windmills and solar panels.
All you have are biased studies, nothing in practice proving that wind/solar could payback/repay the energy from fossil fuels used to manufacture their components, worse yet when it's included batteries/energy storage.
Which can be confirmed by real data: wind/solar are not reducing emissions and reliance on fossil fuels even after trillions of dollars spent; while carbon-free nuclear energy is a success in terms of decarbonization.

May 10, 2018
"The analysis of the economic viability of various pathways demonstrates that hydrogen, or molecules, based energy transportation and consumption is a promising way to bring North Sea energy to the consumer, alongside direct usage of the variable power."
It doesn't make mention to specific a source of energy, it's necessary a dense source of energy to produce hydrogen, and in this case only hydro/geothermal and nuclear are suitable as low-carbon, wind/solar are weak sources of energy, hardly can payback the energy from fossil fuels used to manufacture their components, and by producing hydrogen it would become clear that they consume more energy than they produce, otherwise, they are already being used to produce hydrogen and other synfuels.

May 11, 2018
"70% of energy is lost in the process as waste heat"

A mainstream source for this 70%? This study claims 60%, not 70%, overall loss converting electricity to gas and back to electricity again, but only 36% overall loss converting to gas.
https://www.resea..._Markets

More about producing hydrogen/ammonia/fertilisers from renewables, from an IEA study - https://www.iea.o...rgy.html


May 11, 2018
"It doesn't make mention to specific a source of energy"
The study has pictures of offshore windmills plastered all over it and it should be pretty clear from the text which specific source of energy it's referring to: "Offshore wind energy, is one of the fastest growing sources of renewable energy in the EU, together
with on-shore wind and solar PV. Current plans mean that the North Sea countries could add between
180- 250 GW offshore wind capacity to 2050, from 10 GW today. The costs of electricity produced
by offshore wind are rapidly declining, making it increasingly competitive compared to fossil fuel
alternatives"

"All you have are biased studies". No, my studies are mainstream. All you have are biased studies.

PS I thought the nuclear movement was supposed to have declared a truce, a tactical pause in its previously relentless anti-renewables propaganda?

May 11, 2018
"Offshore wind energy, is one of the fastest growing sources of renewable energy in the EU, together with on-shore wind and solar PV..."
A lot of installed-capacity of intermittent energy all backed up (80% of time) by fossil fuels, and the result is clear: expensive electricity bills with almost no CO₂ reduction.
"While Germany has deployed some of the most solar and wind in the world, its emissions have been flat for a decade while its electricity has become the second most expensive in Europe."
https://www.forbe...ing-too/
"The installed capacity of wind power preserves fossil fuel dependency."
https://www.scien...18300983
https://www.forbe...issions/

May 11, 2018
Michael Shellenberger again. A biased source. Yet another one who tries to get away with using LNT to zero for fossil deaths while rubbishing LNT to zero for radiation deaths. Result? Credibility tends towards zero.

From your own source "The paper provides evidence for the substitution effect in solar PV and hydropower"

Re wind, again from your own source "the generation approach highlights the necessity for flexible and controllable electricity production from natural gas and hydropower to back up renewable sources."
Almost exactly what I've been saying - use surplus wind for pumped storage and to convert electricity to gas (hydrogen rather than natural gas) and the "problem" you're all worried about is solved. As the EU is going to do.

And here's another take on the latest nuclear myth http://redgreenan...paganda/

May 12, 2018
Cheap solar/wind is a myth.
And storage will make it even costlier.
"According to business consulting firm Lazard, the net cost of energy from residential rooftop solar is twice that of solar panels on commercial and industrial roofs and as much as 10 times costlier than large solar farms." (BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED)
http://www.sacbee...434.html
https://www.techn...uctions/

May 14, 2018
Cheap nuclear is a myth. The stricter regulations after Chernobyl/Fukushima are making it costlier still, which is why nuclear is dying in the democracies and the focus is now on peddling it to corrupt/authoritarian countries whose impoverished peoples can afford it even less. The strategy is similar to that of the tobacco companies.

From your links, it seems the problem in California is, surprise, surprise, way too much energy from solar during the day, solar energy being so cheap they give it away. You thinks engineers can't find a way around this "problem"?

Re the relative costs of residential solar vs commercial/industrial vs solar farm, this is a side issue. Let it pan out as it pans out. Did you really think economies of scale don't apply?

May 14, 2018
Cheap wind/solar, as a tool to stop Climate Change, is myth.
It has failed miserably at reducing emissions and has caused the electricity prices to skyrocket everywhere, providing "greenwashing" for coal/oil/gas to displace carbon-free nuclear energy.
"European Renewables Are Up. So Are Carbon Emissions" - May 14, 2018
"A bumper year for renewable energy didn't stop Europe from increasing its emissions."
"European Union carbon emissions grew 1.8 percent in 2017 despite a 25 percent increase in wind power and 6 percent growth in solar, figures show."
https://www.green...missions
"As renewable energy grows, so does interest from Big Oil" - May 2018
"Shell, Total, BP and others — make billion-dollar investments in renewables."
http://www.cbc.ca....4656106

Wind and solar are a distraction, a farce, a fraud in the fight against Climate Change.

May 14, 2018
..stricter regulations after Chernobyl/Fukushima...
Cheap nuclear is a reality:
Nuclear: 10.1 ¥/kwh
Wind: 21.9 ¥/kwh
Solar: 24.3 ¥/kwh
https://pbs.twimg...v3Eg.jpg
https://www.bloom...m-within
You thinks engineers can't find a way around this "problem"?
Most of engineers and scientists agree that carbon-free nuclear is the only viable solution to stop Climate Change, unhappily mass media prefer to give voice to charlatans fossil-shills like Bill Nye Michio Kaku, etc.
"71% of climate experts agree that nuclear power essential to climate stabilization."
https://pbs.twimg...JF_V.jpg
https://pbs.twimg...egpc.jpg
https://pbs.twimg...E0cs.jpg
"Scientists Agree: Real Environmentalists Support Nuclear Energy"
https://wirtzbill...-energy/

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