Nuclear’s Last Stand? New York’s Cuomo Rushes in to Save Dying Plants

by

by

Comments (25)

Comment Feed

looks like someone spoke to

looks like someone spoke too soon http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/illinois-lawmakers-vote-spare-nuclear-plants-43916533

look at this 107 days ago

What matters most is human

What matters most is human health and climate change.

Nuclear power plants can be shut down AFTER all combustion power plants are shut down.
Not before.
If you want to replace them with wind and solar, fine, but install that wind and solar before you turn off the nuclear power. Otherwise you are INCREASING greenhouse gasses, which we cannot afford to do.
It may cost a lot to build that wind and solar.
One of these plants makes more clean energy than al the wind and solar in New York do today.
And wind and solar energy are made with between 40% and 70% natural gas and coal. (Or nuclear.)
Because when the wind isn't blowing (70% of the time in New York) or the sun isn't showing (75% of the time in NY) then that energy comes from somewhere.

James Hansen and other climatologists beg us not to kill the planet by fearing nuclear power more than we fear climate change!

Note that 3.5 million people per year die from fossil fuel air pollution and 0 people died this year from radiation from nuclear power. Scientific American writes that 1.8 Million Americans owe their lives to nuclear power, who otherwise would have died of fossil fuel air pollution.


Carl Page 116 days ago

All nuclear plants should

All nuclear plants should have a retirement plan already defined, and a "stress test" or criteria for shutting them down if they are not maintained properly before their retirement date arrives. Many of the existing plants have serious problems such as these, and safety is not the first consideration in keeping them running, obviously, local politics has more sway (anywhere in the country). All nuclear plants close to the sea coasts, in particular, should be reviewed for disaster planning, especially their battery backup systems, since a tsunami could slam into them with possibly little warning. Here in Virginia Dominion Power wants to build a third nuclear plant at North Anna Nuclear Power Station, even though this site is highly undesirable due to geologic faults right under the site as well as those nearby, including under the dam that holds back a 10,000 acre artificial lake (Lake Anna), and an earthquake shook the entire region (epicenter not far from the power station) a few years ago, much stronger than had been expected. So anyone who claims that these plants are inherently safe is just whistling past the graveyard. No, they probably won't produce a China Syndrome, but if one of them does, an entire region could be rendered uninhabitable - otherwise, why would they need such massive protection from liability if things were to go badly?

Noel Wright 200 days ago

As a former Naval officer I

As a former Naval officer I take exception to many "facts" in this article. Transmission loss? Is this related to nuclear? No, it's true with any power source. And the comment about hot water being a source of global warming pushes one's imagination.

I am prejudice. I believe the Navy should have run the entire civilian nuclear power program. Current Navy reactors carry enough fuel for ninety (90) years of continuous operation. If we adapted that technology to civilian plants along with military care and oversight, we wouldn't have a nuclear power problem.

But nuclear anything has become a political hot potato which has been tossed back and forth until everyone is terrified to even talk about it. So be it. Keep burning the oil, coal, natural gas and gasoline / diesel and watch what happens.

James Thurber 205 days ago

there is virtually zero

Response from Harvey Wasserman: there is virtually zero transmission loss in the use of rooftop solar and passive solar. the alternative to nukes is not coal, oil or gas. the nuke industry is desperately fighting to kill renewables, conservation and efficiency, which is where we need to go.

harvey wasserman 202 days ago

This is a rate payer robbery

This is a rate payer robbery at the expense of common sense and progress. Gov. Cuomo took public decommissioning funds and gave it to a private corporation and put all NY ratepayers on the hook for $ billions in subsidies; What did you get in return? The same crappy decrepit pieces of radioactive junk that you already had! What a deal! You got Fitzpatrick, too degraded to keep it's fuel pools cool, Ginna, which must charge double to stay profitable, and Nine Mile Point, where workers go on break and drop dead, but they call it a Non-Emergency! Great deal!

Laurel Kaskurs 205 days ago

It is very sad. We are so far

It is very sad. We are so far advanced with our tech but still so trapped, the human quest for wealth could destroy us all.

Francis jakeman 206 days ago

Excellent article. I for one,

Excellent article. I for one, do not want even one of MY New York tax dollars to go to this dirty and dangerous 20th century technology. Plus I've got nowhere to run should the overcrowded spent fuel pools ignite at Indian Point. It's time to admit nuclear power was the worst idea ever.

Gail Payne 206 days ago

Looks like Andrew is no Mario

Looks like Andrew is no Mario. Just another case of politicians giving billions to failing big energy companies.

James Fydrych 207 days ago

They all know nuclear power

They all know nuclear power is not dangerous, and alternatives are. But the alternatives bring in fossil fuel money.

G.R.L. Cowan 207 days ago

Not "dangerously decrepit"

Not "dangerously decrepit" reactors. Light water reactors can last for up to 80 years. These reactors have decades of life still in them. U.S. reactors are scrupulously maintained to meet the world's highest standards of regulatory oversight.

Mark Pawelek 207 days ago

"Light water reactors can

...last for up to 80 years" is yet another fabricated-from-nothing claim from the nuclear industry.

Like "too cheap to meter", "safe methods for the final disposal of high-level radioactive waste are technically proven" and "scrupulously maintained to meet the world's highest standards", none of these claims have a shadow of truth.

Truth has never been a concern for WNA/NEI/Entergy/Excelon & the rest; profit is the ultimate concern.

David Agnew 204 days ago

the perfect example of "safe"

the perfect example of "safe" nuclear storage is the WIPP facility in New Mexico, where a single barrel of radwaste with the "wrong kitty litter" blew up and did $2 billion in damage as well as dangerously irradiating numerous human beings. this is the world's state-of-the-art pilot project, primarily for military waste. not a reassuring demonstration of our capacity to deal with this stuff.

harvey wasserman 202 days ago

The reactors are leaking

The reactors are leaking tritium. That is not a very high maintenance standard and I certainly hope it is not true that "U.S. reactors are scrupulously maintained to meet the world's highest standards of regulatory oversight", because that is a very low, "highest standard".

Steven Cecchini 173 days ago

The paradigm shift has

The paradigm shift has already begun.
The sooner we close down these ticking time bombs, the better.
https://youtu.be/CnAYeVOUlOQ?t=39

Erica Gray 208 days ago

great work , love your work,,

great work , love your work,,, BANK BAIL OUT ON CHEMO,,, hands up dont NUKE,, ALL BONE MARROW MATTERS,

kevin d. blanch 208 days ago

This article is so woefully

This article is so woefully politicized that you seem to fool yourselves into believing that release of warm water is a "significant contributor" to global warming. You clearly don't understand what global warming is. It saddens me to read illogical tripe like this coming from environmentalists.

Tjstout 208 days ago

It's "illogical" to say that

It's "illogical" to say that heating a billion gallons of water 30 degrees every day contributes to warming the globe? Please explain your "logic".

dagnew 189 days ago

In this otherwise insightful

In this otherwise insightful article, there is one point that is being lost. That is this writer, and every writer's failure to refute the claim that "the prolonged nuke operations will not emit carbon".

While renewable energy setups do involve carbon emissions, the continued fuel - sunshine, wind, are truly emissions free. For nuclear, the continued fuel remains the mined uranium, with its whole chain of carbon emitting activities. The construction of the reactor, the storage pools and canisters, the waste disposal, destruction and removal of dead reactor - and all the transport involved in both reactor and continuing fuel supply - is no-one counting the carbon emissions in all this?
Even the operations of the reactor itself - Carbon-14 is produced in coolant at boiling water reactors (BWRs) and pressurized water reactors (PWRs). It is typically released to the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide at BWRs, and methane at PWRs.

Noel Wauchope 208 days ago

One reason given by NY Public

One reason given by NY Public Service Commission was to "preserve existing zero-emissions nuclear generation resources as a bridge to the clean energy future. Closing the upstate nuclear plants would add over 15 million [metric] tons of carbon dioxide per year. Based on current market conditions, losing the carbon-free attributes of this generation before the development of new renewable resources between now and 2030, would undoubtedly result in significantly increased air emissions due to heavier reliance on existing fossil-fueled plants or the construction of new gas plants to replace the supplanted energy. The added emissions would complicate the State's compliance with likely federal carbon standards and would result in dangerously higher reliance on natural gas, radically reducing the State's fuel diversity."


Considering the factors for full lifecycle nuclear emissions from the Sovacool paper, the continued operation of the four upstate NY reactors would emit 1.3 million tons of carbon dioxide a year. Compete shutdown of the nuclear reactors and replacement by natural gas generation results in and additional 15 million tons of carbon dioxide. These additional emissions would essentially double the carbon dioxide content of electricity generated in upstate NY.

Ken Panza 205 days ago

nuclear reactors are simply

nuclear reactors are simply not "zero emissions". they emit carbon 14 and there are huge quantities of carbon bound up in the production of nuclear fuel and in waste management. they also heat billions of gallons of water and steam. where are the psc's stats on all that?

harvey wasserman 202 days ago

Harvey Wasserman finds it’s

Harvey Wasserman finds it’s easier to make up facts about nuclear reactors rather than looking them up. Antinuclear activists refer to the Sovacool paper, “Valuing the greenhouse gas emissions from nuclear power,” as the acceptable and legitimate source for full lifecycle nuclear carbon dioxide emissions. According to the Sovacool data, the continued operation of the four upstate nuclear reactors will emit 1.3 metric tons of carbon dioxide, mostly attributed to mining, concentration, enrichment, reprocessing, and storage of uranium fuel. Alternatively, shutting down and decommissioning the four reactors would generate 1.1 metric tons of carbon dioxide. It’s almost the same carbon dioxide to keep the plants operating rather than closing them down, but the natural gas generation required to replace the 27,600 GWh of nuclear generation would add over 15 million metric tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

Ken Panza 199 days ago

There is an apparent typo in

There is an apparent typo in my post above. It should read, " According to the Sovacool data, the continued operation of the four upstate nuclear reactors will emit 1.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, mostly attributed to mining, concentration, enrichment, reprocessing, and storage of uranium fuel. Alternatively, shutting down and decommissioning the four reactors would generate 1.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide." Apparently I left out the million in million metric tons.

Ken Panza 196 days ago

seem like false logic to

seem like false logic to compare 1.3 million metric tons (continued operation) with 1.1 million metric tons (decommissioning) because the reactors must be decommissioned sometime. the comparison should be: 1.1 (decommission now) vs. 2.4 (decommission later).

David Agnew 188 days ago

very good point. i hope to

very good point. i hope to work with the progressive on a subsequent piece about this. nuke power is a significant contributor to global warming on its own, aside from its role as a roadblock to renewables. stay tuned!!!

harvey wasserman 202 days ago

Support-The-Progressive_Dev_HouseAd
Built with Metro Publisher™