Thursday, August 26, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
Solar photovoltaic systems have long been painted as a clean way to generate electricity, but expensive compared with other alternatives to oil, like nuclear power. No longer. In a “historic crossover,” the costs of solar photovoltaic systems have declined to the point where they are lower than the rising projected costs of new nuclear plants, according to a paper published this month. “Solar photovoltaics have joined the ranks of lower-cost alternatives to new nuclear plants,” John O. Blackburn, a professor of economics at Duke University, in North Carolina, and Sam Cunningham, a graduate student, wrote in the paper, “Solar and Nuclear Costs — The Historic Crossover.” This crossover occurred at 16 cents per kilowatt hour, they said.Read more
The New England Coalition, a nuclear physicist and his activist son want the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to lower the peak temperature of Vermont Yankee’s nuclear fuel cladding, saying data and studies show that the margin of safety in the event of a loss of coolant accident is down to 30 seconds. The NRC earlier in spring had already agreed to consider the matter raised by Mark Leyse of New York City, but in a review track that will take years, not months. The New England Coalition wants the margin of safety increased immediately. Leyse and Raymond Shadis, senior technical adviser to the coalition, say Vermont Yankee’s peak cladding temperature of 1,960 degrees Fahrenheit only gives the plant operators 30 seconds to react during a loss-of-coolant incident scenario. They have petitioned to have Entergy Nuclear, the owner of Vermont Yankee, lower the peak temperature to 1,832 degrees Fahrenheit, if not lower. Vermont Yankee already operates with a lower temperature than the standard 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit set for most nuclear reactors.Read more
Here is a startling fact: US power plants waste more energy than many countries use, including advanced economies like that of Japan. The wasted energy is in the form of heat thrown off when power plants produce electricity.
This is one of the points being brought to light by the International District Energy Association (IDEA), as it promotes new federal incentives for heat efficiency.
While the US is focusing on cleaning up its electricity supply, it tends to ignore heat energy, even though it represents 31% of the energy we use, particularly to heat and cool buildings, warm water, and manufacture products.
Monday, August 16, 2010
We are most appreciative of the contributions of EFMR Monitoring Group, which first gave GMEDC $5,000 – and with that we hired Arthur Morris, a consultant who was instrumental in helping us make the necessary political and business connections to create and build our organization, as well as helping us prepare our extensive application for the Main Street Program. EFMR Monitoring Group also provided us with office space until GMEDC could rent an office elsewhere. When we formally created the bylaws and the GMEDC board of directors, we did provide for representation by Excelon/TMI and they have been active and supportive in every way.Read more
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Event Number: 46164
Facility: SUSQUEHANNA Region: 1 State: PA Unit:  [ ] [ ] RX Type:  GE-4, GE-4 NRC Notified By: MARTIN LICHNTER HQ OPS Officer: HOWIE CROUCH
Notification Date: 08/10/2010 Notification Time: 10:02 [ET] Event Date: 08/10/2010 Event Time: 09:11 [EDT] Last Update Date: 08/11/2010
ALERT DECLARED DUE TO FREON-12 LEAK IN REACTOR BUILDING CHILLER "At 0911 EDT, the Susquehanna LLC Shift Manager was notified that a member of the SSES [Susquehanna Steam Electric Station] work force was feeling ill effects from a Freon-12 leak located in a plant vital area. This met the declaration criteria for an Alert under [EAL] OA-7 of the emergency plan which was declared at 0922 EDT. "The affected area has been evacuated and recovery actions are in progress to isolate the leak. No personnel were injured or medical attention was required." The leak is in the 1A Reactor Building chiller unit. At the time of notification, the leak was still active. The licensee is preparing a team to enter the area to investigate. No outside assistance is required. Notified DHS (Hill), FEMA (Heyman), DOE (Smith), USDA (Mitchell) and HHS (Rolle). * * * UPDATE FROM DARVIN DUTTRY TO DONALD NORWOOD AT 0044 EDT ON 8/11/2010 * * * "At 2335 EDT on 8/10/10, the Alert was terminated. The Chiller has been evacuated of Freon-12. Freon detectors show no presence of Freon-12 on U1 Reactor Building Elevation 749 [feet], except in the immediate vicinity from the leak site with temporary ventilation in service. "All state and local agencies have been advised, the NRC Resident Inspector has been notified and a press release will be made." Agencies that the licensee notified included the Columbia County Emergency Management Agency, the Luzerne County Emergency Management Agency, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Notified R1DO (Ferdas), NRR EO (Nelson), IRD Manager (Gott), DHS (Doyle), FEMA (O'Connell), DOE (Morrone), HHS (White), and USDA (Timmons).