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Old 02-19-2019, 11:09 PM   #101 (permalink)
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I'm in agreement about nuclear. I haven't looked closely into why they're getting rid of Vermont Yankee, but I hope it wasn't just anti-nuclear sentiment.
Vermont Yankee was 42 years old and leaking radioactive material into the ground water when it was closed in 2014. It will cost $1.24 billion dollars to decommission. The utility only has about 1/2 that amount in their decommissioning trust fund so I expect in a few decades the public will get stuck with the bill.

https://www.reformer.com/stories/ver...-to-nrc,322448

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Old 02-20-2019, 12:06 AM   #102 (permalink)
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Nuclear is a great, clean source of energy but the cost of ensuring safety in the long term (to a high degree of probability) is very high. Even with lots of precautions, you can't protect against every freak occurrence. Fukushima, Three Mile Island, etc are great examples of that. I could name more. Russia had at least one scary incident that's not well-known (not Chernobyl). There's a good reason why there aren't many new nuclear plants.

I support more natural gas and more renewables, hopefully leaning more toward renewables as time goes on
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Old 02-20-2019, 12:56 AM   #103 (permalink)
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That explanation leaves out a lot of relevant information, such as the radioactive material was tritium (heavy hydrogen) which is a material used in things such as wrist watches and gun sights. The leak from steam pipes was repaired a month after discovering the problem, and no water sources that humans interact with were contaminated.

The 2 major factors for decommissioning the plant were:

1. Abundant natural gas undercutting the price of nuclear power
2. Anti-nuclear lobbying from anti-environmentalists

Age had little to do with it. The facility was already built, so there were no ongoing construction costs to contend with. Nuclear plants can conceivably operate for 100 years.

65% of the decommissioning costs are "costs associated with terminating the NRC operating license ($817 million)", whatever that means.

Finally, Vermont is still using nuclear power, only buying it from New Hampshire.

Vermont is the 8th most expensive state for electricity.
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Old 02-20-2019, 03:02 PM   #104 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Vman455 View Post
The UCS has a nice calculator on their site that can display the information for specific vehicles in your zip code. Where I live, I can't do better in any electric car than I do in my current hybrid for now.
From that site, the average full EV produces 108 g/mile of CO2. A little search comes up with 130 g/mile for the Insight, given the "average driver" of the test cycle. I can count on doing at least 10% better, maybe more, which I'm not sure would be the case with an EV. So at best a marginal improvement.

And that's not even counting the purchase cost* of even a used EV, or the environmental cost of replacing a servicable and reasonably efficient hybrid.

*Dollars I could otherwise use to improve my home's energy efficiency, or make other changes.
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Old 02-20-2019, 03:30 PM   #105 (permalink)
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g/mile

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Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
From that site, the average full EV produces 108 g/mile of CO2. A little search comes up with 130 g/mile for the Insight, given the "average driver" of the test cycle. I can count on doing at least 10% better, maybe more, which I'm not sure would be the case with an EV. So at best a marginal improvement.

And that's not even counting the purchase cost* of even a used EV, or the environmental cost of replacing a servicable and reasonably efficient hybrid.

*Dollars I could otherwise use to improve my home's energy efficiency, or make other changes.
So there's zero future for renewables in your state?
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Old 02-20-2019, 06:30 PM   #106 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by aerohead View Post
So there's zero future for renewables in your state?
The answer to that question depends heavily on what timescale you assume vs. the average lifetime of a vehicle. Even then, it's a rosy prediction to say a state like Illinois will have zero-carbon electricity production by even 2039 (in fact, I'll put money on that not happening, and not even getting close).

Right now, you only need a gasser to do better than ~39 mpg to have a lower carbon footprint than an EV here. If I were to go out and buy a Niro EV right now, and expect it to last 15-20 years, how much cleaner will it be at the end of that lifespan? Ideally, completely clean. Realistically, probably not much better than it is now. Plus, its overall cleanliness compared to the gas car will have to take into account carbon dioxide emissions over the life of the vehicle, which will start out worse for the EV and have to be offset by future gains.
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:14 PM   #107 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
That explanation leaves out a lot of relevant information, such as the radioactive material was tritium (heavy hydrogen) which is a material used in things such as wrist watches and gun sights. The leak from steam pipes was repaired a month after discovering the problem, and no water sources that humans interact with were contaminated.[

The 2 major factors for decommissioning the plant were:

1. Abundant natural gas undercutting the price of nuclear power
2. Anti-nuclear lobbying from anti-environmentalists

Age had little to do with it. The facility was already built, so there were no ongoing construction costs to contend with. Nuclear plants can conceivably operate for 100 years.

65% of the decommissioning costs are "costs associated with terminating the NRC operating license ($817 million)", whatever that means.

Finally, Vermont is still using nuclear power, only buying it from New Hampshire.

Vermont is the 8th most expensive state for electricity.
There were multiple tritium leaks as well as cesium-137. No doubt anti-nuclear sentiment was a factor. I also find that pretty reasonable when the local nuclear plant keeps leaking radioactive materials.

Personally I think age had a lot to do with it. Sure you can keep a plant going almost indefinitely but steel rusts and concrete breaks down. The older a plant is the more work is needed to keep it running safely. There comes a point where it doesn't make economic sense to keep patching the pipes and plugging the leaks.

There is a reason it was given a 40 year operating license when it was opened.

I'm not against nuclear power but I don't see how they can compete economically today given the huge cost to build a nuclear plant and then decommission it at the end of life.
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:20 PM   #108 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSH View Post
There were multiple tritium leaks as well as cesium-137.
I guess you're referring to the Goi‚nia incident when you mention cesium-137 leaks. Nuclear waste management is still precarious here in Brazil, and recently a similar incident was on its way to happen but this time it was avoided just in time...
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:35 PM   #109 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by cRiPpLe_rOoStEr View Post
I guess you're referring to the Goi‚nia incident when you mention cesium-137 leaks. Nuclear waste management is still precarious here in Brazil, and recently a similar incident was on its way to happen but this time it was avoided just in time...
I was specifically talking about a cesium-137 leak at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant before it was shut down.
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Old 02-21-2019, 02:22 AM   #110 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSH View Post
Vermont Yankee was 42 years old and leaking radioactive material into the ground water when it was closed in 2014. It will cost $1.24 billion dollars to decommission. The utility only has about 1/2 that amount in their decommissioning trust fund so I expect in a few decades the public will get stuck with the bill.

https://www.reformer.com/stories/ver...-to-nrc,322448
Yeah and the best part is the useful idiots voters voted to close it down.
Now they can pay for twice. Once for more expensive power and twice to clean it up. That's what they voted for so obvious they can clean it up. What did they think the nuclear fiery was going to come by wave a magic wand and make it go away?

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