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Fear grows in O.C. cities near San Onofre nuclear plant

Discussion in 'Environmental Discussion' started by Rybold, Mar 30, 2012.

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  1. Rybold

    Rybold globally warmed member

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    For O.C. cities near San Onofre nuclear plant, fear is growing - latimes.com
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    I particularly care about this since I live about 15 miles north of San Onofre, and I drive by it every day on my commute to work.

    I have seen dozens (plural) of residents here install solar panels on their homes over the past twelve months. San Onofre has been shut down for about two months now and we haven't had any electricity shortages. Will we be able to survive the summer months? We need more solar panels, although A LOT have been installed in O.C., both residential and commercial over the past few years. Personally, four of my neighbors have installed solar panels in the past 12 months. Here is a picture of the most recent on my street, about two weeks ago:
    [​IMG]

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  2. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    IIRC it was designed for a 7.0 quake, what happens if there is an 8?
    This is one of the few nuclear plants I would decommission early. There won't be a black out if its decommissioned.

    It also provides power to 1.5M homes. I doubt that many are adding solar fast. California needs to build more solar and wind, but also some more combined cycle natural gas plants.
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  3. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    How did you vote in the nuclear poll on FHOP?

    Anyways, saw this yesterday in Forbes:

    Exelon's 'Nuclear Guy': No New Nukes - Forbes

    If you follow some of the links in Jeff McMahon's nuclear articles, there is some discussion of review of CA plants.

    PS - Nice photo of the plant
    PS#2 - 35 out of 44 = 80% of Prius Chat members responding favored nuclear in the FHOP poll
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  4. Corwyn

    Corwyn Energy Curmudgeon

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    "which has been shut down since January because of system failures."

    "San Onofre is critical to that grid stability."

    Please reconcile these two statements.

    People complain about the reliability of solar because it stops producing for a few hours every day. This plant has been down for at least two MONTHS.
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  5. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The other One Percenter.....

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    SONG is a 40-year-old first gen reactor.
    While I'm not down with the current "throw the baby out with the bath water" thinking on PWRs, I share some of the concerns with those who aren't so sure about operating a reactor of this vintage in a geologically active area with a high population density and in close proximity to the ocean.
    It's all going to come down to money and time...it always does. It always will, and money is just an integration of time really, since of the two time is always the most precious since you can't really MAKE any.
    Leaving aside all of the goofy, and often competing arguments about the environment...it's going to boil down (pun unintended) to not so much as how much the good people of SOCAL want to pay for electricity, but whether or not the little LED will illuminate when you plug your charger into the wall.
    Yeah...you can shut down SONG in about a second. The SCRAM procedure is pretty straight forward. Our nukes always told me that SCRAM was an acronym for safety control rod axe man, going back to the dark and dusty past of PWRs when you really had a mechanical shut down as simple as a guy (it was always a guy back in those non-PC days) guarding some ropes or chains for the control rods.

    Anyway....the real problem is what you do when (if) somebody hits the 'delete' button on nuclear reactors. Like hybrids, once you recoup all of the front end costs for building and securing a reactor, even in a country where building ANYTHING is a lot more expensive since you have to pay bed-wetting lawyers to fight off the opposing studies.....nuclear reactors are a remarkably inexpensive way of generating electricity.
    They also have the huge advantage (or disadvantage, depending on your point of view) of being current technology. You need time and money to both develop and implement a replacement technology (or technologies) for a commodity that is not only in more demand now than it was just yesterday....but whose demand will be exacerbated not only by swelling populations on the left coast, but by the pace of EV development.
    Wind Tide and Solar are pretty groovy, but I'm guessing that their current rate of development will only partially offset the rate of current increase in demand.
    I just don't see the good people in SOCAL sitting in their dark (in more ways than one), sweltering single family detached dwellings (mostly >20 miles from where they get their income) fanning themselves while they wait for their car to charge during a demand induced brownout (or blackout) without making their OWN demands for a solution.....ANY solution to their energy needs.
    You can demand....and get more money per kilowatt. Your taxes are proof that the economy can always slide to the right by quite a bit to accommodate more demands on the income, but nobody has (yet) developed a time machine...and when they do, I for one am going to want to shove a LOT of cats through it before I take my first trip....
    Just sayin! ;)
    Barring a cataclysmic event...I'm guessing that not only is SONG going to continue operations, but the government is going to be forced to consider nexgen nuclear reactors for its future energy needs until time catches up with money and demand.
    OR...we can just continue to burn more and more hydrocarbons...but the clock is ticking (as it always does) on THAT little solution as well....now isn't it?
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  6. Corwyn

    Corwyn Energy Curmudgeon

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    Care to offer figures to support that?

    You must include ALL subsidies, including government supported insurance. Find a insurance company willing to quote a price on insuring a nuclear plant, and we can start having that discussion.

    I checked the current home rooftop price of solar here in Maine, and it is cheaper than our standard offer of electricity per kWh. (which is around 20% nuclear). Commercial prices are less of course.
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  7. roflwaffle

    roflwaffle Member

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    Nukes used to be pretty cheap, but then construction and regulatory costs went up, and with the higher finance charges investors got skittish. Even with loan guarantees we can't get much built these days. What it really comes down to is whether or not the cost of building a national smart grid is less than the cost of rebuilding baseload capacity in the regional grids. Just interconnecting WSCC, ERCOT, SPP, and MAPP, would allow more than enough wind power to offset any losses from nuclear plants shutting down. Depending on demand, wind power in ERCOT has reached negative pricing. They would love to sell some of that to the west coast.

    In terms of earthquake risk, magnitude doesn't matter as much as Peak Ground Acceleration (PGA). That [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1994_Northridge_earthquake]Northridge earthquake[/ame] wasn't really big, but it did a ton of damage because it had extremely high PGA. Along those lines, SO may be able to handle a magnitude 8, but a magnitude 6.5 that's closer could destroy it due to great PGA,
  8. Flying White Dutchman

    Flying White Dutchman Senior Member

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    dont forget that they dont price the waist because they store that HOPING that maybe one day it all can be re used. ( france is doing it .. like a really small part )
    but that wil not be the case for a great amount and long before that we will have a stock pile of that Sh^#t

    looking at the picture OMG so close to it poeple just have a nice beach... OMG

    thats a contrast for sure
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  9. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Obama Administration Announces $450 Million to Design and Commercialize U.S. Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Department of Energy



    IIRC, a Japanese company(Toshiba?) already has a design ready for production. A small Alaskan town was trying to get the ok for one to replace their diesel generators.
  10. Flying White Dutchman

    Flying White Dutchman Senior Member

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    and you can simply place solar panels on your roof and way more then that NOT using radiotion stuff
  11. FL_Prius_Driver

    FL_Prius_Driver Senior Member

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    What is the cost of electricity in that area?
  12. roflwaffle

    roflwaffle Member

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    Probably around 12c/kWh, although that can increase dramatically for someone who uses an above average amount.
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  13. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    The reconciliation is rather straight forward. Demand gets higher in summer. California imports a lot of power, and if they don't do anything they may not be able to import enough. Of course there were contingency plans which includes starting up mothballed inefficient natural gas power plants. I'm sure the politicians that want to keep the plant will try to delay these plans so it creates a crisis.:mad:



    Over 8 million people within 50 miles. Numerous safety violations because of poor maintenance procedures. Fault line, ocean, and originally supposed to shut next year. It does not seem like a good risk to me. If nothing bad happens SCE makes higher profits, if something bad happens the united states loses. It may seem like a good risk for SCE, but not for the citizens of the country especially those close by. Only 3 of the 104 nuclear plants in the country look like they should be shut early, and this is one of them. It doesn't help that California's San Luis Obsimo plant is also on that short list.




    From witricy's link above they have not been inexpensive at all. New nuclear is more than wind and much more expensive than reliable natural gas. Once they have been built and paid for then the costs are low, until it comes time to decommission.

    So its a question of whether you want the fracking and ghg pollution of natural gas, or want to pay more for nuclear and its possibilities of disaster and trouble with removing nuclear waste. Natural gas is also much more compatible with solar and wind since it can change power quickly, and can be made by renuable means. For most existing nuclear plants the risk of problems are low, maintenance is good, and the money has been spent. We should keep them running. For some like San Onofre we should shut it down. The politician in california need to get their collective heads out of their behinds and shut this thing down, get power out of mothballs, and build more natural gas and wind. If they did that electric rates would actually go down.

    I am not sure about the new smaller and supposedly safer modular nuclear plants Chu is talking about. These may make sense in the future - after a more nuclear dependent country tries them out.
  14. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    While I applaud those who are installing solar, my 7.5kW system has been online since '06, one minor detail, if the plant goes dark, and all those Solar equipped homes lose power, they are still going to be without power. The Solar Inverters are designed to operate only when there is power on the grid. If the grid is down, the Solar Inverters will also shut down so as not to back feed 220 into the grid and electrocute some poor lineman who thought he was repairing a dead line.... There are ways to bypass this, but you MUST remove your house from the grid.
    There is always a Catch 22 to everything!
  15. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Let' face it. In a free market no new nuclear would be built. Wind and Solar are also subsidized, but we expect those to costs to go down. Its an investment in technology.

    Safer Nuclear Reactors Impeded By Marketplace, Expert Says - Forbes



    Chu Touts Small Module Reactors as Answer to Nuclear Hazards - Forbes





    Advertisement

    Toshiba and Westinghouse both seem to have them designed. I don't mind funding R&D. Who knows if we will need them in the future. But I would like to see other countries that have bigger energy problems try and prove them first. This sounds like a jobs program by the way the administration touts it. We don't need anouther solyndra, where the government subsidizes building these SMRs just to create temporary jobs and power plants no one would buy.
  16. Flying White Dutchman

    Flying White Dutchman Senior Member

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    here we have "smart" house grid meters where they are kept working with a relay if there is grid power and can be shutdown by the elec. company from a distance
    so when grid go's down solar powered homes are shutoff from the mains
    when the mains come back on it takes a few min for the meter to switch the house power back on.
  17. tach18k

    tach18k Member

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    I find this all so funny. I saw this lady on TV saying they should shut down the power plant so she and her family could live safely. I dont get it. Why would you buy down stream of a Nuc plant if your are that concerned? Maybe she should buy a house under the flight path of John Wayne airport and have them shut the airport down so she can sleep at night. Geez some people, should think before they speak.
  18. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Population within 10 miles of the nuc has more than doubled. Hey if they keep it shut down her house value goes up:D I do indeed hate it when people buy a house by a known hazard then complain about it. But the news of fukishima, the finding that San Onofre had such poor maintenance that back up generators needed to cool it in the event of an emergency were broken, etc does make the plant seem more hazardous.
  19. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    No argument there from me! :D
  20. Flying White Dutchman

    Flying White Dutchman Senior Member

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    did she already life there before the plant was build?
    did she now about it when buying or just liked the home and did not investigate the surroundings?
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