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NRC Analyst Calls To Close Diablo Canyon, CA's Last Remaining Nuclear Plant

samzenpus posted about three weeks ago | from the shut-it-down dept.

Government 216

An anonymous reader writes Michael Peck, who for five years was Diablo Canyon's lead on-site inspector, says in a 42-page, confidential report that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is not applying the safety rules it set out for the plant's operation. The document, which was obtained and verified by The Associated Press, does not say the plant itself is unsafe. Instead, according to Peck's analysis, no one knows whether the facility's key equipment can withstand strong shaking from those faults — the potential for which was realized decades after the facility was built. Continuing to run the reactors, Peck writes, "challenges the presumption of nuclear safety."

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In other news... (2, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | about three weeks ago | (#47751955)

US starts buying more nuclear power from Canada, quickly pulling a Germany. In 5 years, subsidies much like those in Germany will then be gutted, and there will be a mass rush to build new coal and NG power plants until reactors can be refurbished or built anew.

Re:In other news... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47751987)

We need to focus on renewables, rather than coal/NG (carbon dioxide pollution) or nuclear (nuclear waste pollution). There is plenty of sun, wind, and hydro available to fulfil all of our energy needs, and we wouldn't need to be beholden to muslim terrorists to get it.

Re:In other news... (1)

Dzimas (547818) | about three weeks ago | (#47752079)

Solar doesn't provide energy in the evening or nighttime, wind is unpredictable and hydro involves environmentally damaging waterway modifications. The end result is that fossil fuels and nuclear will always have a place on the grid.

The worst thing we could possibly do is to start installing solar cells on each individual house, while trying to maintain our current consumption. The challenge is that there is a profitable multi-billion dollar market selling grid-tied personal solar and wind power systems to millions of eager Americans, but that approach would be woefully inefficient (several thousand dollars worth of electrical hardware installed in each house across the nation, a glut of home-generated electricity during the day as everyone attempts to sell surplus back to the grid).

Instead, it's time to look at how we're using electricity. Stop building chipboard McMansions that require excessive A/C and heating. Increase the energy efficiency of appliances. Try living in smaller spaces. Discourage people from trying to build cities in the middle of scorching hot deserts, And so on.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47752181)

That glut can be avoided with battery or other storage systems. While heavy, nickel-iron batteries do last a long time.

With enough reserve and sufficient solar in the day, power companies could take generators offline for maintenance without need to buy from the grid at spot prices.

Re: In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47752807)

That is an overly optimistic dream just like obomacare will reduce healthcare costs and improve health outcomes . I am for consumers who want to to instal solar or wind or compact turbines in home but you need nukes. Let's find a way to recrosses fuel .

Re:In other news... (4, Insightful)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about three weeks ago | (#47752209)

Solar cells on every house is great as long as there is local storage in every house too.

Wind power is great as long as there is good power distribution infrastructure: It's always blowing somewhere.

Nuclear power is great as long as you address operational safety and waste storage, both of which are addressable if you do engineering rather than politics. Part of that is again, good infrastructure so you can build the nukes in good places for nukes.

It's easy to point at any single generation or harvesting technology and identify it's flaws as a sole solution. However there are many technologies and combined together they form a robust and comparatively clean solutions.

 

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47752249)

> Wind power is great as long as there is good power distribution infrastructure: It's always blowing somewhere.

Power transfer isn't free. Good power infrastructure is not enough to result in decent distribution (certainly not enough for the current demands).

Re:In other news... (2)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about three weeks ago | (#47752267)

So read the rest of the post. FFS.

Re:In other news... (2)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about three weeks ago | (#47752287)

However there are many technologies and combined together they form a robust and comparatively clean solutions.

And that is the answer. Too bad it eludes so many in search of their own vision of the holy grail of green. Unfortunately, politics and ideology will get in the way, rather than a common sense evaluation of cost, risk, reliability, environmental impact, technological maturity, and ability to implement given our current state.

Re:In other news... (2, Insightful)

Mr_Wisenheimer (3534031) | about three weeks ago | (#47752379)

You don't need local storage for solar. Solar peaks during peak energy usage and an upgrade to the power grid can send it where needed or even store the electricity for later.

The problem is, infrastructure is a big investment and it is not sexy. Congress will keep on kicking the can down the road because they lack vision and foresight and Americans want action today rather than investment in the future.

Re:In other news... (0)

lgw (121541) | about three weeks ago | (#47753015)

Solar doesn't really "peak during peak energy usage" for homes. Most people aren't even home during early afternoon on most days. Peak home use is in the evening (later in places where heating is the dominant energy use, but they tend to suck for solar anyhow).

Americans won't vote to build infrastructure, but they will buy it themselves if it gives advantage. A magic battery that could (safely!) store a day's home power would is necessary for solar to be practical. Also necessary: solar panels that don't require rare materials to build.

Solar is the only thing that will scale to eventual human energy needs. To get 11 billion humans consuming at current US rates, only solar works (unless the fusion pipedream somehow happens). But significant technical obstacles remain, starting IMO with viable home power storage.

Re:In other news... (2)

Mr_Wisenheimer (3534031) | about three weeks ago | (#47753899)

According to PG&E, peak usage in California is between 1400 and 1800, the same time when the sun would be strongest on a westerly-mounted array.

I'm not sure what people "being home" has to do with peak energy usage. The most people are home between 2130 and 0830 but that is the lowest energy usage time.

Batteries not inclu... err.... needed (3, Interesting)

mdsolar (1045926) | about three weeks ago | (#47753067)

Turns out storage is not much needed at 80% renewable energy supply. http://www.engineering.com/Ele... [engineering.com]

Re:In other news... (2)

Mr_Wisenheimer (3534031) | about three weeks ago | (#47752365)

Actually, solar and wind provide a consistent output that is very predictable. The key is upgrading the grid to handle it properly.

Photovoltaics built on existing and new structures is something that most experts in the field strongly recommend, because it decentralizes power generation and can potentially provide enough power alone to exceed current consumption.

Energy efficiency is important, but we're not going to get rid of fossil fuels that way. Right now, the only thing that can replace them are nuclear and renewables, especially solar.

Re:In other news... (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about three weeks ago | (#47753063)

We can also develop energy uses that can tolerate fluctuations in supply. Have your offshore windfield deliver desalinated water instead of varying amounts of power, and you have near-free local water (after construction costs) for coastal cities, every liter of which is a liter that doesn't have to be delivered from a thousand miles inland.

Re:In other news... (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | about three weeks ago | (#47753127)

California is adding so much solar that it is covering reduced hydro from the drought. Shouldn't be tough to cover this as well. http://grist.org/news/solar-is... [grist.org]

Re:In other news... (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about three weeks ago | (#47753033)

The best place for solar PV is on our vast acreage of low-rise rooftops in sunny parts of the country. A 2000-sqft home occupied only by a retired couple in the right place can cancel out all its daytime power consumption by using solar. If you have a few children, PV can still mitigate your grid draw.

But now look at a city highrise apartment or office. Its roof area, tiny in comparison to all the people and businesses inside it, cannot hope to generate enough power to service its inhabitants. Then there's the problem of high-energy industries that smelt steel or fab silicon, the industries that provide jobs for thousands of people at once. These all need high-density energy sources. If you want city people to ride transit and drive electric cars, add that to the demand.

Re:In other news... (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about three weeks ago | (#47752205)

Not exactly true.

Renewables are not yet ready or cost effective and there isn't enough that can be cost effectively developed. Solar panels have just recently become self sustaining (where they create more energy than is needed to make them). Solar also only works well in areas with lots of sunshine and when there are no clouds which is a small part of the USA. Industrial scale solar plants out in desert areas have their own issues, they use lots of water, some kill lots of birds and make significant changes to the environment when they are installed. Windmills are a bit better, but are still not cost effective, use water in dry areas, kill birds and some say they look bad. Geothermal is only possible in a very small area, uses local resources but is actually limited in capacity. Other renewables are already fully developed (hydroelectric) or the possible further development involves significant environmental impacts.

The problem with your solution is that if the issue is about who we buy our energy supplies from, you are going about it in the wrong way. If we stop buying their stuff, the price just goes down and folks like China and poor countries in Africa will just burn what we don't, and the terrorists get rich off of them. In the mean time, we cripple ourselves by producing our energy at costs that are many times more than the competition. So what's your goal?

My solution is "all of the above" plus conservation and development of new energy sources. We need to drill and frack for natural gas with a purpose. We need to get to the point where we are the major exporter of CNG, drive the prices down and undercut the competition. Then we need to become more efficient in how we use the energy we collect. Finally, we need to fully fund a project to industrialize Fusion power, more than fully fund it. It is only Fusion that will finally replace fossil fuels, the rest can only supplement. Until we get there, fossil fuels are here to stay, unless you want start killing off the world's population.

Re:In other news... (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about three weeks ago | (#47752589)

Solar also only works well in areas with lots of sunshine and when there are no clouds which is a small part of the USA.

Germany is cloudier than Chicago.

Re:In other news... (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about three weeks ago | (#47752755)

Germany is cloudier than Chicago.

Solar doesn't work in Germany without huge subsidies.

Re:In other news... (-1, Flamebait)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about three weeks ago | (#47753605)

Fossil fuels don't work in the US without huge subsidies.

What's your point?

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47753653)

actually, they do. The "coal subsidies" only affect the profit of a few politically connected democrats^H^H^H^H^H^Hdonors, and have a trivial affect on the price of electricity. However, solar continues to be implausible without subsidy, while simultaneously damaging grid stability.

Re:In other news... (2, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about three weeks ago | (#47753773)

Fossil fuels don't work in the US without huge subsidies.

Not true. The taxes on gasoline and other fossil fuels far exceed the tax breaks for oil exploration. Fossil fuels in America do not receive net subsidies.

Re:In other news... (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about three weeks ago | (#47752823)

Solar panels have just recently become self sustaining (where they create more energy than is needed to make them).

Ignoring the other issues with your post that statement is just plain silly. You're saying that over the (at least) 20-30 year life span of a solar PV panel it just barely produces more power than it took to build it. I'd like to see you try and justify that statement with actual facts.

Re:In other news... (1)

Narcocide (102829) | about three weeks ago | (#47753301)

He's assuming the energy required to create the building and equipment that made up the factory that made the solar panel is included in the solar panel's cost, and that they only sold one solar panel before going out of business. In a practical sense, he may be more right than wrong, but its definitely a contrived argument.

Re:In other news... (2)

MrL0G1C (867445) | about three weeks ago | (#47753081)

Renewables are not yet ready or cost effective

I'm sorry but the use by date has expired for that argument.

Wind generation PPAs are currently as low as 2.5c per kWh, the subsidy only amounts to about 1.25c per kWh
How Low Can Wind Energy Go? 2.5c Per Kilowatt-Hour Is Just The Beginning [cleantechnica.com]

Solar is getting cheaper every year and reached grid parity for most of the worlds population 2 years ago. In UK and Germany we are installing residential Solar PV for a small fraction of the US installation costs and even in rainy cloudy England Solar could pay for itself without subsidy and then go on to provide extremely cheap electricity.

Wind and Solar can be complemented with Hydro, pumped hydro, geothermal, biogas, battery storage, compressed air storage, wave and tidal power etc.

Windmills are a bit better, but are still not cost effective, use water in dry areas

Windmills use water!!!! No, they don't! lol.

Not much geothermal potential!!! Wrong.
http://www.treehugger.com/rene... [treehugger.com]

If we stop buying their stuff, the price just goes down and folks like China and poor countries in Africa will just burn what we don't, and the terrorists get rich off of them.

No, it doesn't work like that, if 10% of world demand disappears then mines shut down, any price drop is temporary. "terrorists get rich" doesn't deserve a response.

Re:In other news... (2, Insightful)

mdsolar (1045926) | about three weeks ago | (#47752183)

Actually it is wind and hydropower coming from Canada. Should put Indian Point Nuclear out of business. http://westfaironline.com/6503... [westfaironline.com]

Re: In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47752893)

But it won't reduce the almost 30 cents a kilowatt hour I pay in nyc including transmission having to pay for a power line to bring power in com canada when Indian point provides clean power is ridiculous . What the anti nukes fail to state is that the nukes won't be out of Indian point completely for another 20 years of decommissioning . We should keep Indian point online and use the Canadian power to take coal and natural gas generation of line . Plus we should be pushing nat gas for trucks . The extra cng that is not being used is being flared off. Flood the market with cng and cut Russia's nat gas dominance do Europe. If Obama was competent he would have. Realized this power and we would be exporting nat gas right now

Re: In other news... (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | about three weeks ago | (#47753023)

The article indicates consumers should see reduced rates as a result of the new power. Exporting natural gas will raise domestic electricity costs substantially. The competent thing to do is to treat natural gas as strategic. Build the export facilities but only use them when Russia tries blackmail.

Re: In other news... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47754083)

Diablo Canyon is some of the most expensive power you can buy. Bills nearly doubled after it opened and the PUC decided the ratepayers were responsible for that clusterfuck.

Re:In other news... (2)

Mashiki (184564) | about three weeks ago | (#47753383)

Here in Ontario, "windpower" accounts for under 1% of our daily generation. Nuclear accounts for ~70-75%, while hydroelectric makes up ~10% give or take a bit.

http://www.ieso.ca/Pages/Power... [www.ieso.ca]

Re:In other news... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47753505)

Hey fag, we are tearing down our hyrdro dams. You tree huggers disgust me. You and your iPods, AirBooks, and all your cell phone bullshit. And flat screen TVs and cable and sattelite and high speed internet. You sons of bitches consume so much more power now than Ozzie and Harriet did with their old fashioned appliances. I can not believe the luddites that have so much sway that they can dictate everything against common sense. California should build a dozen new nuke plants, and divert some of the power to desalinazation. But instead you and the wetbacks will die of thrist in the dark. You make me puke.

Re:In other news... (3, Informative)

geoskd (321194) | about three weeks ago | (#47752215)

US starts buying more nuclear power from Canada, quickly pulling a Germany. In 5 years, subsidies much like those in Germany will then be gutted, and there will be a mass rush to build new coal and NG power plants until reactors can be refurbished or built anew.

Almost: Germany has been in a mad rush for quite a while to build solar and wind power production. The whole country is dotted with thousands of wind turbines, and a massive percentage of the country have solar panels to reduce their power demands from the grid. In short, Germany has been preparing for a while to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels, and was consequently in a position to abandon nuclear power instead. At their current build rate, in 10 years, they will only need 50% of the fossil fuels they use today, even with the nuclear plants shut down

The key to their success is that, for Germans, the overriding goal is environmental protection. Its a national obsession (Probably owing to complete lack of available land, and limited fossil fuels). Like Japan, one bad nuclear accident is guaranteed to affect a massive percentage of the population, fossil fuels leaves them too reliant on foreign powers. It means that Germany's only real option is renewable energy sources, and they have the political will and industrial might to make it happen.

Unlike American politics, the anti-environment sociopaths don't last long in German politics.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47752353)

In Germany, they pay $0.36/kWh for electricity. In the US, we pay, $0.08 to $0.17/kWh. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity_pricing

When electricity costs that much, renewables become much more attractive. People would lost their minds here if electricity prices tripled.

Re:In other news... (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about three weeks ago | (#47752641)

People would lost their minds here if electricity prices tripled.

Energy costs make up a small part of a family's budget compared to health care, education, etc etc.

No, people would not "lose their minds" if electricity prices tripled. You just might not have as many houses decorated with extravagant Christmas displays for two months every year. There's so much energy wasted in the US it's not funny. Living in the same home, working at the same place and using the same gizmos, my family's been able to cut our energy outlay every year by more than 60% and without impacting our quality of life one bit.

Once they're installed, solar panels don't send you a bill every month.

Re:In other news... (2)

Mashiki (184564) | about three weeks ago | (#47753929)

Energy costs make up a small part of a family's budget compared to health care, education, etc etc.

Really? Last study I saw on this done by the frasier institute here in canada put energy costs right up around 46% of where yearly expenses go. I'd go hunt for it but far too lazy at the moment.

Re:In other news... (2)

Namarrgon (105036) | about three weeks ago | (#47754195)

That seems highly excessive, even allowing for fuel and Canadian winter heating costs. I find it hard to believe that energy costs outweigh food and/or housing.

By comparison, in 2012: [abs.gov.au]

Australian households' average expenditure on energy represented 5.3% of total gross weekly household income (2.0% for dwelling energy and 3.2% for fuel for vehicles).

Re:In other news... (2, Insightful)

geoskd (321194) | about three weeks ago | (#47752757)

People would lost their minds here if electricity prices tripled.

Thats the difference between the US and Germany. People in Germany have *chosen* to pay more for electricity and gas. They did so because they know that their money is buying better living conditions for everyone. Thats is why they have such high taxes. Funny but the typical standard of living in Germany is much better than the US in spite of the high taxes. In the US, its the exact opposite. Everyone wants theirs and Fuck everyone else. In the end everyone in the US suffers except the dwindling few who can hold on to upper middle class or better.

Re:In other news... (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about three weeks ago | (#47752817)

Germany has been in a mad rush for quite a while to build solar and wind power production.

Germany has also been in a mad rush to build more coal fired power plants, and Germany is buring more brown coal [spiegel.de] than ever before. Germany's environmental policies have been a disaster. They have sky high electricity rates, are heavily dependent on Russian gas, and are spewing more CO2 than ever before. The only thing they have accomplished is to set an example of what not to do.

Re: In other (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47752917)

And each person is poorer needing to work more or have a reduced quality of life to pay for this bs. I love the outdoors and the environment but this type of Policy is just stupid . It makes little environmental sense and is just ideology .

Re:In other news... (4, Informative)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about three weeks ago | (#47753149)

Germany is switching its baseload from nuclear to coal, which has meant digging the world's largest strip mine:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G... [wikipedia.org]
covering 48 square kilometers. Think of it as an anti-nuclear exclusion zone, like Fukushima but getting bigger instead of being cleaned up..

But when all the nukes are phased out, Garzweiler won't be enough. This even bigger lignite pit:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H... [wikipedia.org]
will top out at 85 sq. km when fully developed. Lignite has the approximate energy value, and pollution profile, of damp firewood.

Germany switching from nuclear to coal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47753691)

Looks like this claim was already addressed here: http://hardware.slashdot.org/c... [slashdot.org]

like Fukushima but getting bigger instead of being cleaned up. . .

You must suffer from mental retardation. . .

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47753685)

Gott bless you, from Americans who wish the trains ran on time and the criminals didn't run the show.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47752461)

It's funny how you seem to leave out other sources... but NG will obviously be the one that gets the most overall gain. Not coal.

In other news... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47753079)

Yeah, Germany needs to import nuke power......power exports up by >60% in 2013
http://www.renewablesinternational.net/german-power-exports-up-by-62-percent/150/537/68613/

If you know how to use Google Translate you can get more recent figures:
http://www.ag-energiebilanzen.de/index.php?article_id=29&fileName=quartalsbericht_q2_2014_04082014.pdf
Look on page 4 for a comparison to last years production.
Exports were up 25% compared to 2013.

You know how to use Google Translate by now? Good. Now look at the "mass rush to build new coal and NG power plants":
Power companies want to shut down 47 power plants (coal and natural gas)
http://www.faz.net/aktuell/wirtschaft/unternehmen/energie-konzerne-wollen-47-kraftwerke-abschalten-12898217.html

Oh look, this has been going on for quite some time. An article from 2013 (proposals to shut down 15 plants):
http://www.faz.net/aktuell/wirtschaft/unternehmen/unrentable-stromproduktion-kraftwerke-abschalten-gar-nicht-so-einfach-12284075.html

Yes, power companies have been adding some new coal plants in Germany in recent years. Because those were already mostly finished and the power companies where still hoping to stop the transition to renewable energy sources.

Yes, Germany does import nuke power from France. Guess which power grid will be used for transport when the Poles or Austrians buy nuke power from the French? Look at a map if you don't know european geography. You can also see that on page 23 of the AGEB report I linked above.

You should stop talking like a nuke shill. Makes you look stupid.

p.s.
concerning the "wind is unpredictable" stupidity uttered by some:
Why the fuck does my weather forecast give me pretty acurate information on wind speed and direction 24 hours in advance if it is as unpredictable as some believe?
Some people really need to start accepting that this is not the 19th century they seem to believe it is...

Apparently the Germans still have good engineers and good meteorologists because their power grid has way better availability than the US grid:
http://www.renewablesinternational.net/german-grid-reaches-record-reliability-in-2011/150/537/56183/

Page 5 in this PDF: http://www.galvinpower.org/sites/default/files/Electricity_Reliability_031611.pdf
SAIDI index (2007)
USA 240
Germany 23
lower is better (higher availability)

Must be all that "unpredictable" wind power and the "reliable" nuke plants. Reliable as in Belgium: http://online.wsj.com/articles/nuclear-shutdowns-leave-belgium-looking-for-power-1408632643
Nuke plants provided about 40% of electricity for Belgium. Due to the high reliability of nuclear power, this figure dropped to about 20% within roughly 4 months. Must be pretty good fun to go shopping for 10% of your countries electricity elsewhere.

Once winter comes and the French fire up their electric heaters in their non-insulated homes, everyone in Europe will turn to the Germans to provide enough electricity. German exports saved the French grid from blackout at least twice in the last 10 years. Why? Because in winter they don't have enough generating capacity to power their own country and in summer their rivers don't have enough water to cool their nuke plants.

And concerning the "nuclear power is cheap" myth:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/10525538/Subsidies-for-UK-nuclear-plant-could-reach-17bn-and-may-be-unnecessary.html

" The main planned subsidy scheme for Hinkley Point involves guaranteeing the operator, French energy giant EDF, a price for the power the plant will generate for 35 years.
That price, which is twice the current market price of power, will be subsidised through billions of pounds of "top-up" payments, funded by levies on all UK energy bill-payers when the market price is lower than the guaranteed level. "

In actual numbers, this subsidy will be 0.11 EUR / kWh.
Paid for 35 years, with additional adjustments for inflation later on!
Subsidies for renewables in Germany are being paid for 20 years. With no adjustment for inflation.

Subsidies for solar plants in Germany used to be about 0.55 EUR / kWh in 2004.
Down to 0.125 Ã / kWh by the end of 2014 for a plant smaller than 10 kW. And lower for larger plants.
Judging from recent policy in Germany, I'd expect subsidies for solar plants to be abolished by 2018.

Onshore wind gets about 0.09 EUR / kWh for about 12 years. 0.05 EUR / kWh after those 12 years.

Yeah, nuke power is sooooo much cheaper.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47753735)

No, almost all Canada's nuclear power is in Ontario which is closer to Detroid than anything remotely close to California. Largest exporters are Ontario and Quebec and those go to the east coast.

BC sold power to California before and they are mainly hydro.

From memory, and going east, you get coal and gas for Alberta, some coal for Saskatchewan, Manitoba is almost 100% hydro with some wind augmentation. Ontario has 50% nuclear and rest was hydro/coal but coal is going away. They had their terrible renewal energy making solar installations cash cows. I think their FIT program got canned. Quebec is hydro and then there are smaller provinces New Brunswick has 1 nuclear plant and I think rest is coal? The rest is basically a mix of fossil fuels.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E... [wikipedia.org]

Getting a whiff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47751981)

Getting a whiff of mdsolar. He should show up soon (assuming he didn't submit this). Come on, here mdsolar mdsolar mdsolar... Get your trolling snackie...

Does this involve TripMaster Monkey? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47752013)

Does anyone know what happened to notable Slashdot user TripMaster Monkey [slashdot.org] ? For years he was known for submitting the stupidest shit around, and he was also pretty well known for posting idiotic comments, too. But then one day he disappeared, never to be seen on Slashdot again.

Does anyone know what happened to him?

Is he apk? Is he mdsolar? Are there any connections between them?

Re:Does this involve TripMaster Monkey? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47752525)

I think it could be all in you head...

Oblig Simpsons Quote (1)

DaveM753 (844913) | about three weeks ago | (#47751997)

Said closure would cast a great Homer Simpson quote into obscurity:

"Oh, Diablo Canyon 2, why can't you be more like Diablo Canyon 1?"

Diablo's built on an earthquake fault (1)

billstewart (78916) | about three weeks ago | (#47752399)

The press is reporting that the Napa quake wrecked about a billion dollars worth of wine. Beats having a quake in Diablo canyon spilling plutonium.

Plan? Nuclear Plan?!?!?!? (1)

RyanCheeseman (1180119) | about three weeks ago | (#47752001)

How does an atricle make it to the front page of /. with a typo in the title.... *shakes head*

Re:Plan? Nuclear Plan?!?!?!? (1)

DaveM753 (844913) | about three weeks ago | (#47752023)

Maybe samzenpus prefers coffee over t?

Re:Plan? Nuclear Plan?!?!?!? (2)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about three weeks ago | (#47752059)

It's probably not a typo, but the stupid short title length limit striking again. The limit is guaranteed to be one character less than the title you really want.

Re:Plan? Nuclear Plan?!?!?!? (1)

istartedi (132515) | about three weeks ago | (#47752095)

That's the beauty of it. It works with out without the 't'. The headline is fail-safe. Nothing can go wrong with it. Trust us.

Re:Plan? Nuclear Plan?!?!?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47752147)

atricle

Yeah, we need someone like you who doesn't make mistakes! You broke the first fucking rule of bitching about other people's mistakes.

Re:Plan? Nuclear Plan?!?!?!? (1)

RyanCheeseman (1180119) | about three weeks ago | (#47752165)

:) what can I say..... I suck at life and at spelling.....

Not really new. (5, Interesting)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about three weeks ago | (#47752053)

This is not a new story, basically a reprint. With that said, if there is any indication the the plant cannot withstand postulated earthquake levels it should be shut down. This was not ignored, and the article does mention that an evaluation was performed based on the new information.

"In 2012, the agency endorsed preliminary findings that found shaking from the Shoreline fault would not pose any additional risk for the reactors. Those greater ground motions were “at or below those for which the plant was evaluated previously,” referring to the Hosgri fault, it concluded."

Given our experience with plants holding up extremely well to seismic events and the large margins that are included in seismic design of these plants, the finding is not surprising. Work continues, as it should, to look for anything that could possibly have been missed or not enveloped by the new data.

The basis for the inspectors complaint is, in large part, not that the plant is not capable of withstanding the quake, nor that the analsyis is faulty or incorrect, but rather that the licensing basis document has not been revised to require a higher peak acceleration design level. It is debateable whether such a would make any difference, since they are already required to analyze for the higher levels. Meanwhile, the concern is being handled through the appropriate processes.

Can it scram in 10 seconds? (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about three weeks ago | (#47752153)

There's that newfangled p-wave detector, only costs $80m to build and $12m / year to operate - if the reactor can be rendered safe within 10 seconds after notice of an oncoming quake, I think they've got a customer....

Re:Can it scram in 10 seconds? (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about three weeks ago | (#47752229)

Safe before, during, and after. No warning needed. That's the only way.

Re:Can it scram in 10 seconds? (1)

Zynder (2773551) | about three weeks ago | (#47753339)

You don't ask for much do you? No wonder nothing gets done anymore since everyone seems to want all or nothing perfection these days.

Re:Can it scram in 10 seconds? (2)

brambus (3457531) | about three weeks ago | (#47752333)

Unless their reactor is some really bizarre or shoddy design then yes, reactors can scram in less than 10 seconds: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... [wikipedia.org]

In PWRs, the control rods are held above a reactor's core by electric motors against both their own weight and a powerful spring. Any cutting of the electric current releases the rods. Another design uses electromagnets to hold the rods suspended, with any cut to electric current resulting in an immediate and automatic control rod insertion. A SCRAM mechanism is designed to release the control rods from those motors and allows their weight and the spring to drive them into the reactor core, in four seconds or less, thus rapidly halting the nuclear reaction by absorbing liberated neutrons. In BWRs, the control rods are inserted up from underneath the reactor vessel. In this case a hydraulic control unit with a pressurized storage tank provides the force to rapidly insert the control rods upon any interruption of the electric current, again within four seconds.

Once the rods are inserted, the reactor is deeply subcritical and so due to the exponential nature of nuclear physics the reaction dies away in fractions of a second. Perhaps of interest to you might be to know that Chernobyl's RBMK reactor was neither a PWR nor a BWR. It was a graphite-moderated water-cooled reactor with very serious design flaws that made its operation inherently dangerous (it was basically a scaled-up plutonium-production reactor, for which safety was never a primary concern).

Re:Can it scram in 10 seconds? (2)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about three weeks ago | (#47752491)

SCRAM in 10 seconds is fine. But a SCRAMmed plant does not instantly become safe nor is it considered completely shut down. You still need heat removal for quite some time afterword ( which varies between designs) . That is where the seismic requirements come in. The heat removal systems must withstand the event and remain operational. Every single safety system and backup safety system is required to endure the event.

Re:Can it scram in 10 seconds? (1)

brambus (3457531) | about three weeks ago | (#47752607)

I was responding to parent's question of "Can it scram in 10 seconds?". You are of course completely correct that a plant that has been SCRAM'med isn't completely safe yet. I'm by no means a fan of current day water-based pressurized reactor systems, however, it seems so far they've held up really well (not a single civilian power reactor pressure vessel has failed or leaked over the past half century due to external forces - don't know about military ones, those are classified). This of course comes at the heavy price of the reactor pressure vessel being extremely expensive to build correctly. I see the future in low-pressure high-temperature systems where core cooling can be achieved by much simpler passive means.

Re:Can it scram in 10 seconds? (1)

HiThere (15173) | about three weeks ago | (#47753117)

FWIW, in Fukishima one of the main problems was with the cooling of spent reactor rods that were stored on site. Being SCRAMmed wouldn't help there. And they were a problem even on the reactors that had shut down normally.

Now Diablo Canyon wouldn't need to worry about corrosion due to using sea water to cool it in an emergency, but just how *would* they cool it in such an emergency?

Re:Can it scram in 10 seconds? (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about three weeks ago | (#47753447)

FWIW, in Fukishima one of the main problems was with the cooling of spent reactor rods that were stored on site.

No, the spent fuel in each of the pools was determined to be just fine, although there were concerns as the event unfolded because access to the spent fuel pools was pretty much non-existent.

Re:Can it scram in 10 seconds? (1)

Boronx (228853) | about three weeks ago | (#47754169)

In fact it's the opposite problem: spent fuel pools were ok, but the folks at Fukushima didn't know it and wasted a lot of time and man power trying to correct a non-existent problem. But your point is still good. Without cooling even the spent fuel pool will boil away after awhile (days? weeks?) and the bare fuel could melt down.

Re:Can it scram in 10 seconds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47752523)

The question isn't whether it can scram but how long it needs an active coolant loop (powered by external during your earthquake that takes out power) to go "cold"

Ditto x 2*4900000 if you have spent fuel rods in active circ pools ~50 meters off the ground in said earthquake zone filled to capacity, like Fukushima and other places.

Capcha: airbag

Re:Can it scram in 10 seconds? (3, Informative)

jfmiller (119037) | about three weeks ago | (#47753107)

Yes, in 1999 (when I last toured the plant) the SCRAM time was 3.5 seconds with control rods fully placed in 0.5 seconds if the emergency circuit is tripped. This happens automatically in the event of a 6.0 or stronger quake. An emergency SCRAM requires 30 to 120 days to restart the reactor. Also like all reactors, it requires time to cool. Because DCNP is located on the ocean it does not require active cooling to safely cool the reactor core after a crash. flooding the core with sea water will probably be the end of that reactor, but it will not loose containment. The plant was originally designed to be operational after a 7.0 quake and to not loose containment in the event of a 9.5. After the discovery of the Hsgri fault the design was modified to withstand a 10.8 quake. Analysis after the 2004 6.2 quake in Paso Rubles suggests that the engineering was "very conservative" and that the plant may well be able to survive an 8.0 in operational condition.

On the other hand, the temporary on site storage of spent fuel was not part of the original plan, In the event of a major seismic event, it is the spent fuel casks that scare me.

Re:Not really new. (1)

Goetterdaemmerung (140496) | about three weeks ago | (#47752253)

The basis for the inspectors complaint is, in large part, not that the plant is not capable of withstanding the quake, nor that the analsyis is faulty or incorrect, but rather that the licensing basis document has not been revised to require a higher peak acceleration design level. It is debateable whether such a would make any difference, since they are already required to analyze for the higher levels. Meanwhile, the concern is being handled through the appropriate processes.

I agree with your conclusion however I took away a different interpretation from TFA: the Hosgri fault was discovered during construction and not properly accounted for in the first place- making the comparison of the Shoreline fault to the Hosgri fault data questionable.

"Peck wrote that after officials learned of the Hosgri fault's potential shaking power, the NRC never changed the requirements for the structural strength of many systems and components in the plant."

Re:Not really new. (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about three weeks ago | (#47752391)

I think we are saying the same thing. The 'requirements' are in the form of the licensing basis of the plant. They did the evaluation but did not revise the basis. When the actual fault data was finalized and useful is, however, unclear to me.

Meanwhile, there is a fleet wide re-evaluation of all sites underway to ensure any new seismic data for each regions/site is evaluated against the plants' existing capabilities.

Re:Not really new. (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about three weeks ago | (#47752655)

Meanwhile, the concern is being handled through the appropriate processes.

I'm sure officials in Fukushima would have said the same thing on March 10, 2011.

Re:Not really new. (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about three weeks ago | (#47753501)

A huge difference is that in this case, there is analysis to show the plant can withstand the postulated event. In the case of the tsunami, it was not so, as the plant was never designed to handle a tsunami. The key failing being placing a plant not designed to handle a tsunami in a potential tsunami path.

Diablo Canyon is designed to withstand an earthquake.

Re:Not really new. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47753525)

as the plant was never designed to handle a tsunami.

The Fukushima plant was designed and built to withstand a 33 ft tsunami, it was hit with a 43 ft tsunami.

Just sayin'.

Re:Not really new. (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about three weeks ago | (#47753625)

there is analysis

There's always analysis. The problem is, who's doing the analysis, what is their agenda, and who's tasked to act on said analysis.

I don't doubt that nuclear energy could be an amazing boon and used to a much greater extent, safely and profitably. If we could trust the energy industry and government regulators to do the right thing.

My analysis shows that's not the case, however.

Old news (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | about three weeks ago | (#47753971)

The Humboldt Bay reactor closed for the same reason.

Re:Not really new. (1)

MrKaos (858439) | about three weeks ago | (#47754223)

The basis for the inspectors complaint is, in large part, not that the plant is not capable of withstanding the quake, nor that the analsyis is faulty or incorrect, but rather that the licensing basis document has not been revised to require a higher peak acceleration design level. It is debateable whether such a would make any difference, since they are already required to analyze for the higher levels. Meanwhile, the concern is being handled through the appropriate processes.

The documentation is the beginning of the process to either revise processes or install modifications. This was the primary issue at Fukushima as the documentation to improve the sea walls was resisted and stopped. This meant the process to improve the seawalls there did not commence planning or other things required to improve the safety of the plant.

The author probably understands this because he has a deep understanding of reactors and the processes under which they operate. The belief system that surrounded operating processes at Fukushima was the real danger, more than likely the reason why he has reacted the way he has.

Money (1)

Dangerous_Minds (1869682) | about three weeks ago | (#47752101)

So, how much money would be needed for healing and mana potions for this little operation?

Re:Money (1)

Zynder (2773551) | about three weeks ago | (#47753399)

An insane amount! Have you seen Auction House prices? Diablo Canyon 1 & 2 are great but they really should shutdown Diablo Canyon 3. What a hunk of garbage!

they just need to change the lights on the map! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47752133)

"Diablo canyon 1 why can't you be more like Diablo canyon 2"

Are you a God (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47752221)

Stantz: Everything was fine with our system until the power grid was shut off by d***less here.
Peck: They caused an explosion!
Mayor: Is this true?
Venkman: Yes it's true.
[pause]
Venkman: This man has no dick.

more than mag 7.5? (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about three weeks ago | (#47752359)

Are they really expecting a more than 7.5 magnitude quake there? unlikely in the extreme, USGS says the Shoreline fault that is near the plant might produce a 6.5 quake....so what?

where are the super-humans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47752377)

The nuclear advocates tell us that nuclear power is safe when it is handled "properly"

Alas the human species has been proven over and over again to not possess the competence to handle these materials!

So where are the space aliens or genetic super men who will safely handle our nuclear materials?

NG/Coal kills. Nuclear might in an extreme case (3, Interesting)

macpacheco (1764378) | about three weeks ago | (#47752437)

Per the usual, the simple fact that Natural Gas and Coal accidents/air pollution kills people every day is ignored compared to the remote risk of something happening to a nuclear powerplant.
If the 3 nuclear reactors in Fukushima Daichi were instead 3 coal thermal boilers, it would have killed hundreds of people in the decades it operated.
6.5 quake is peanuts for a nuclear reactor.
Nuclear require an extreme accident to become a hazard to human life, while coal/NG kills every day.
Even solar and wind kill more per TWh produced than nuclear, perhaps they can cleanup their act and have less work accidents before they can claim solar/wind is safer than nuclear.

Re:NG/Coal kills. Nuclear might in an extreme case (1)

brambus (3457531) | about three weeks ago | (#47752543)

Danger, to a large part, is about perception. Coal and NG kills only a few people at a time, which is highly preferable for politicians, whereas nuclear tends to come in very few and far between big events, so everybody is scared shitless, despite in absolute numbers the threat being negligible (think, by analogy, driving and flying, which has less fear surrounding it and which is safer in actual fact).
As for a comparison between nuclear, wind and solar, it gets kinda murky. For one, wind & solar don't (typically) kill innocent bystanders but people working in the industry of their own volition (usually by falling from roofs or elevated platforms). For another thing, they can't cause large-scale pollution of their operating sites, though you could point to massive industrial pollution being caused by things like rare earth mining (like these "sweet" ponds of nitric acid [guim.co.uk] ), which are a significant part of their high-power generators and much of modern solar panel electronics. Again though, here the public only sees the shiny clean plants and ignore what's happening abroad - who cares about brown people anyway, right? Sarcasm aside, to a degree it's part hypocrisy and part irrationality and it takes huge amounts of work to educate the wider public on what the reality of the situation is, but I'm hopeful. In general, reasonable people are willing to listen and they intuitively understand that there's no such thing as a free lunch, neither in physics nor in environmental concerns. There's always a cost-benefit that needs to be done.

Re:NG/Coal kills. Nuclear might in an extreme case (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47752859)

It's not just perception though. Citizens are highly intolerant of large accidents causing mass casualties. Those cause community level disruptions and are difficult to mitigate.

Fatalities and illness that are spread out through time and space are easier for society to tolerate (ignoring the individual human cost for the moment). Also, these are more easily addressed by incremental upgrades to the generating facilities, like more and better scrubbers.

I would challenge the notion that NG is on any kind of par with coal though. NG is one of the cleanest fossil fuels around. Spills of NG dissipate quickly, leaving the main danger as ignition. If you have uncontrolled ignition of a large amount of NG, yeah that's bad.

Re:NG/Coal kills. Nuclear might in an extreme case (1)

macpacheco (1764378) | about three weeks ago | (#47753483)

True, true, true. But nuclear has another very important advantage. Uranium is far more plentiful than natural gas even considering the 0,65% once through uranium burnup efficiency and a little over 1% with reprocessing. Still, a coal powerplant the size of a full size nuclear reactor takes in a hundred rail cars a day worth of coal, while assuming a mine with just 1% uranium content, a hundred rail cars worth of raw 1% concentration uranium is enough to power a reactor for a whole year.
Nuclear power is 2 million times more energy dense than gasoline, coal or natural gas. That's why it can be safe, the denser it is, the easier it is to invest on the highest level of training and safety procedures.

Plus using Natural Gas in Europe today = being Mr. Putin's bitch, not a wise idea considering Ukraine !

Hard to make the fuel though (1)

dbIII (701233) | about three weeks ago | (#47753753)

Uranium doesn't come as uranium, it comes as an oxide that's so hard to reduce that flouride is used. It's not that coal and gas is more plentiful it's that it's easier to start using the stuff.
However in some places Uranium is mined as a side product to Copper and Gold mining since it's in the same ore.

Re:NG/Coal kills. Nuclear might in an extreme case (2)

mdsolar (1045926) | about three weeks ago | (#47753923)

There's only about 85 years of uranium left at the current rate of use, which isn't high. Natural gas in the US has more than that and in Russia even more and it produces more power than nuclear.

Re:NG/Coal kills. Nuclear might in an extreme case (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | about three weeks ago | (#47753607)

You've been bamboozled. Nuclear power is quite deadly. http://www.chernobylreport.org... [chernobylreport.org]

Re:NG/Coal kills. Nuclear might in an extreme case (1)

Kazoo the Clown (644526) | about three weeks ago | (#47754165)

And this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

the area around Chernobyl is uninhabitable. Before the accident, 120,000 people lived there. The Fukushima exclusion zone is currently a 30 km radius where all residents Were evacuated and is also a no-fly zone. The US Embassy subsequently advised Americans to keep a 80 km distance. Radiation induced cancers take decades to play out, and the claim that "no one died from Fukushima other than a few plant workers" is complete hogwash, as it's too soon to tell the longer term effects.

Time to update the board. (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about three weeks ago | (#47752847)

Diablo Canyon 2 why can't you be more like Diablo Canyon 1

Will the last person to leave California... (1)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | about three weeks ago | (#47753449)

Please turn out the lights. Oh, wait...

Must be close to the end of design life (1)

dbIII (701233) | about three weeks ago | (#47753737)

It must be close to the end of design life for a lot of reactor components anyway. A combination of high stress and neutron bombardment is a lot like a combination of high temperature and high stress in the way the effected metal behaves so some parts don't last forever, and replacement can be expensive. I'm not predicting disaster just pointing out a well known problem - when microcracking is detected it can be a few years before it's going to grow into something serious but it's time to set things in motion to replace bits.

NRC in the hands of anti-nuclear interests (1)

greg_barton (5551) | about three weeks ago | (#47753931)

Which basically means pro-fossil. Don't let the siren song of wind and solar fool you. They both need 100% fossil fuel backup. Shutting down nuclear power plants simply hands energy generation back to coal and natural gas.

Re:NRC in the hands of anti-nuclear interests (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | about three weeks ago | (#47754049)

Solar and wind back each other up. http://www.engineering.com/Ele... [engineering.com] It's nukes that go out for weeks at a time needing typically fossil replacement energy. Shut them down permanently and wind and solar and hydro will rush in to replace them. Look at Vermont, heck look at California which recently closed another nuke.

Re:NRC in the hands of anti-nuclear interests (1)

greg_barton (5551) | about three weeks ago | (#47754099)

Sorry, but no. Unreliable renewables go out every day (solar) or completely unpredictably. (solar and wind) They do not back each other up. Your link doesn't even claim that. Vermont and California are not making up for their nuclear shutdowns with renewables. They're using natural gas and coal.

R.I.P. (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | about three weeks ago | (#47753951)

Karen Silkwood. Perhaps the long nightmare is coming to an end.

Earthquake Safety isn't the main problem (5, Informative)

russbutton (675993) | about three weeks ago | (#47754347)

33 years ago I was the cost analyst for the Diablo Canyon project. I've been inside the thing and earthquake safety was huge in the construction of the plant. It is VASTLY over-engineered for earthquake safety. The original spec was to survive an 8.0 earthquake on the San Andreas fault, which is 30 miles away. The Hosgri fault, which is just off-shore, was unknown at the time the plant was first sited and was only discovered later. The plant was re-engineered to withstand an 8.0 earthquake on the Hosgri fault, which hasn't moved in many thousands of years.

The real problem with Diablo Canyon, and the rest of the nuclear industry is managing the waste. There is no place to put nuclear waste in this country, so it's just stored on-site. That's crazy. You can't do that forever.

That being said, my expectation is that we'll continue to see tech advancements in solar and wind generation, and energy storage to the point where large central generation will be a thing of the past.

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