Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco), the utility company that runs the Fukushima plant and drew fierce criticism for its handling of the disaster, says the situation has improved greatly.
A worker leaves a room with shelves lined with helmets at the plant. The Tepco utility still faces enormous challenges in connection with the disposal of contaminated water, soil and nuclear fuel debris. (Toru Hanai/Reuters)
“In the last five years, radiation levels have been reduced substantially, and we can say that the plant is stable now,” said Akira Ono, the Tepco plant superintendent.
Efforts to contain the contamination have progressed, according to Tepco, including the completion Tuesday of a subterranean “ice wall” around the plant that, once operational, is meant to freeze the ground and stop leakage. Moves to decommission the plant — a process that could take 30 or 40 years, Ono estimated — are getting underway.
People will be allowed to return to their homes in the nearby town of Naraha next month and to Tomioka, even closer to the plant, next year. For now, Tomioka and neighboring Okuma remain ghost towns, lined with convenience stores, fast-food restaurants and gambling parlors that haven’t had a customer in five years. Bicycles lean near front doors, and flowerpots sit empty on windowsills.
A sign on the road to the plant showed a radiation reading of 3.37 microsieverts per hour, at the upper end of safe. At a viewing spot overlooking the reactor buildings, it shot past 200, in the high danger range. Both readings are hundreds of times lower than they were a couple of years ago.
But one huge question remains: What is to be done with all the radioactive material?
There’s the groundwater that is flowing into the reactor buildings, where it becomes contaminated. It has been treated — Tepco s
Great demand curve charts in article.
One notable thing about the duck curve is that it wreaks havoc on the revenue of power producers and utilities. That gives them every reason to exaggerate its inevitability and its danger — remember that, we'll return to it later.
From the point of view of the grid operator, worries about the duck curve are threefold:
1) Steep, tall ramps
The ramps, those times when net load is rising or falling, no longer look like the gentle slope of a camel's hump. They get steep and tall (like a duck's back) and relatively quick.
That means grid operators are forced to take a bunch of power plants offline, or put a bunch online, rapidly.
What's especially unfortunate is that the sun tends to go down just before the evening peak of demand, which means net load goes from very low to very high, very quickly (13,000 MW in three hours, in the CAISO example), and then down low again.
Grid operators don't like steep ramps. It is expensive and highly polluting to turn a bunch of plants down (or off) and then crank them back up again all at once. It also makes voltage and frequency management more difficult.
Coal is not good in this role, as it is slow to ramp. Nuclear is proving a little more flexible in some places, but not so much in the US yet. For the most part, for fast-responding power plants, utilities turn to natural gas.
So California needs enough natural gas capacity to supply the evening peak, but for most of the midday, it doesn't need any of it. That amounts to a lot of natural gas plants sitting around a lot of the time, with low "capacity factors," but being ramped up and down frequently, increasing operating and maintenance costs.
That all makes grid operators grumpy.
Not an ideal load profile.
2) Overgeneration and curtailment
and closer to zero around midday. That means all the peaker plants g
From the videos on the internet, a fire caused by a lithium battery probably can't be put out with a fire extinguisher. It appears that a huge amount of flammable gas is produced in a very short period of time, and heat is generated to provide a constant ignition source.
Lithium batteries probably aren't a good fit on a boat.
Just my take.
Best of luck,
Hi Mr. Qdrn,
From your post: "You make a good observation here BS"
Thanks for the pat on the back, but none of that is from me. It is just an article I thought many on the board might find interesting.
Best of luck,
The economy and the stock market have already voted for the next president
New Hampshire’s primary results are a sideshow compared with the most important political poll of all: the stock market.
Which is ironic, since — in contrast to the presidential campaign so far, which has confused matters more than clarified them — the stock market is voting loudly and clearly: The Republicans are likely to regain control of the White House this November.
It’s easy to overlook the outsized influence that the stock market has on presidential politics, since its message doesn’t change on a day-by-day basis, or even week to week. Accordingly, it doesn’t fit into the daily news cycle that dominates the media’s attention. That’s why most political commentators rarely mention the stock market or the economy — and focus instead on such Earth-shattering topics as the latest “Trumpertantrum” or on which computer server a few emails were sent over a decade ago.
So remember the words of James Carville, Bill Clinton’s campaign strategist in 1992, about what really determines presidential elections: “It’s the economy, stupid.”
Contrast the stock market’s performance in those years in which the incumbent political party retains the White House with how it does when the incumbent party loses. As you can see from the chart at the top of this page, a strong stock market is correlated with the incumbent party winning. A declining stock market is associated with a change of parties at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Of course, as statisticians constantly remind us, correlation is not causation. Furthermore, it’s important to emphasize that the results plotted in the above chart are only barely statistically significant, so they should be interpreted as being more suggestive than conclusive. (The absence of strong statistical significance is in large part due to the small sample: There have been just 18 U.S. presidential e
At the mouth of the Persian Gulf is the Strait of Hormuz, the world?s most important choke point for oil shipments, with about 17 million barrels of crude passing through daily, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Oil prices jumped more than 3 percent.
Tension between regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran have escalated over the past few days into the worst diplomatic standoff in about a quarter century. Saudi Arabia, the world?s biggest oil exporter, cut ties with Iran after protesters in the #$%$-majority country stormed the Saudi embassy. The incident followed the Sunni-ruled kingdom?s execution of 47 people for terrorism-related offenses on Saturday, including a #$%$ cleric.
Iran has in the past threatened to block access to the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for economic sanctions targeting its nuclear program and choking off its ability to sell oil.
It appears that these powerwall batteries are going to be placed on an outside wall to shed heat.
From looking at the you tube videos on lithium batteries, it Seems like one hit from a 22 rifle will probably set the house ablaze.
This is likely to become problematic.
Latest article about how government agencies are quite concerned about lithium batteries being transported by air.
The Federal Aviation Administration wants airlines to think twice about carrying lithium batteries. But don't worry, you're still allowed to bring your laptop and phone with you on a flight.
The FAA on Tuesday issued a safety alert urging airlines to examine the risks associated with transporting lithium batteries as cargo, including "the potential risk for a catastrophic hull loss." The alert covers batteries being transported as components and not those already inside devices such as laptops, tablets, phones or hoverboards.
The agency didn't mince words about the risks.
"FAA battery fire testing has highlighted the potential risk of a catastrophic aircraft loss due to damage resulting from a lithium battery fire or explosion," the FAA said in a press release. "Current cargo fire suppression systems cannot effectively control a lithium battery fire."
The potential dangers of lithium-ion batteries have been highlighted recently following a deluge of dramatic hoverboard fires, including some caught in videos. (Things heat up at the 1:53 mark.) But we've been living the risk of potentially deadly explosions in our pockets and laptop bags for years.
In 2004, there was a spike in the number of cell phone battery explosions, and a few years later Dell recalled millions of laptop batteries after six incidents of fire. In 2013, Boeing grounded the 787 Dreamliner airplane until it could find a way to keep its onboard lithium-ion batteries from overheating.
The FAA's recommendation shouldn't affect what airline passengers can and can't pack in their luggage, said Alison Duquette, a spokeswoman for the agency. Those rules are already in place.
Under existing FAA guidelines (PDF), airline passengers are allowed to bring lithium-ion batteries in their carry-on luggage as long
The state’s solar developers face a surprising new challenge now that a generous incentive for the industry has quietly evaporated.
For years, the state has issued what are known as solar renewable energy certificates, credits homeowners and businesses earn and can sell when they generate a certain amount of solar power.
To control costs, the state restricts the amount of solar power that can be financed in this way, and state officials informed the industry on Friday that the cap has been hit. There was essentially a run on these certificates in recent weeks, as solar panel builders rushed to get in line on behalf of their customers as the cap drew near.
Now the question is: What’s next?
“The industry’s on hold, basically,” said John DeVillars, managing principal at Boston solar developer BlueWave Capital. “Until there’s clarity on the next incentive program, very little activity will take place.”
The certificates’ depletion comes amid another, more public expiration in the industry: the fate of net metering. While the certificates can be bought or sold every time a certain amount of solar power is generated, net metering is the practice of selling your excess solar energy back to the grid for credit on your electric bill.
The state has caps for net metering as well, and those limits were reached last year in National Grid’s service area.
Legislative leaders failed last fall to resolve dueling versions of bills that would lift those limits, and the issue now remains mired in conference committee negotiations. The House supports a bill that’s friendlier to the utilities, while the Senate wants a more generous system championed by solar advocates.
“Massachusetts has been one of the top three markets for commercial scale solar,” said Mike Hall, chief executive of California-based Borrego Solar. “But I would sa
A good solar company, FSLR up 50%
A bad solar company, SCTY down 50%.
Why First Solar and SunPower Are Winning in Solar, while Solar City is crashing
Over the past six months there's been a divergence in the performance of solar stocks. Where high growth was once praised despite losses quarter after quarter, investors are now valuing companies that can prove consistent profitability. First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) has been by far the best performer in this new paradigm, whereas SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR), and SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY), have lagged behind - something that would have been unthinkable a year ago. But it's why First Solar, and to a lesser extent SunPower, are outperforming higher profile competitors that should have investors' attention:
Residential solar is more competitive than we thought
The big revelation after third quarter 2015 earnings were released was that residential solar was not the natural growth market it was made out to be. SolarCity spent 60% more per watt to acquire customers in Q3 2015 than they did in Q3 2013 ($0.64 to $0.40), a trend that could be seen in all residential solar installers.
This cost increase shows just how competitive the residential solar landscape has become and how little automation there really is. Instead of demand being pulled from customers it's being pushed by door-to-door salesmen and people at booths in retail stores. That may not be a path to sustainable growth and it's hardly the industry's biggest problem.
Nevada brought up residential solar's biggest nightmare
The dirty little secret of residential solar companies is that they're beholden to regulators to put policies in place that make rooftop solar economical. The main policy they need is net metering, which compensates solar electricity exported from a home to the grid at the customer's retail rate.
In December, Nevada upended net metering and decided the u
What percentage of adults without children are taking advantage of us through the food stamp program? 80%.
"In the first three months after Maine’s work policy went into effect, its caseload of able-bodied adults without dependents plummeted by 80 percent, falling from 13,332 recipients in Dec. 2014 to 2,678 in March 2015."
The most rapid growth in the food stamp caseload in recent years has been among able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs). These are work-capable adult recipients between the ages of 18 and 49 who do not have children or other dependents to support.
The Need for Work Requirements
Since 2008, the food stamp caseload of adults without dependents who are able-bodied has more than doubled nationally, swelling from nearly 2 million recipients in 2008 to around 5 million today. They gained notoriety when Fox News aired a documentary on food stamps featuring 29-year-old Jason Greenslate, a Californian who reported that he spends his time surfing and playing in his rock band, all the while receiving benefits from the food stamp program.
In response to the growth in food stamp dependence, Maine’s governor, Paul LePage, recently established work requirements on recipients who are without dependents and able-bodied. In Maine, all able-bodied adults without dependents in the food stamp program are now required to take a job, participate in training, or perform community service.
Job openings for lower-skill workers are abundant in Maine, and for those ABAWD recipients who cannot find immediate employment, Maine offers both training and community service slots. But despite vigorous outreach efforts by the government to encourage participation, most childless adult recipients in Maine refused to participate in training or even to perform community service for six hou
Hi Mr. Dan,
From your post where you quoted Mr. Lakeed: ""scs,you need to try and understand what you read.The tax is on big oil,not the consumer."
WOW. This well demonstrates the short sightedness of the left. This is the game the democrat party leadership plays. Hide/camouflage/disguise where new taxes will come from. Make it look like they are penalizing the evil big businesses. Then, the democrat membership will buy it and approve it actually thinking that those nasty people over there are finally being penalized for their sins.
Until this moment, I didn't actually think anybody fell for this nonsense.
The reality is that the companies "never" end up paying the tax for long. It always eventually flows down to the consumer.
Maybe we should call it "Trickle Down Taxation". LOL
Thanks for the catch.
Best of luck,
South Korea and uae
South Korea and UAE as well.
Unit 3 of South Korea's Shin Kori nuclear power plant was connected to the grid on 15 January and has started supplying electricity, plant owner Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) announced yesterday.
Shin Kori 3 - construction of which began in October 2008 - is the first Korean-designed Advanced Pressurised Reactor-1400 (APR-1400) to start up.
Having been issued with an operating licence for the unit by the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission on 30 October, KHNP began loading 241 fuel assemblies into the reactor on 4 November. The unit achieved first criticality on 29 December.
KHNP has since been conducting commissioning tests at the unit. These tests involve checking the unit's performance as its output is gradually increased to full capacity.
Shin Kori 3 is expected to enter commercial operation in May following the completion of these tests, KHNP said. It becomes South Korea's 25th operable power reactor.
Unit 4 at Shin Kori - also an APR-1400 - is expected to start operating in early 2017. Unit 3 had originally been due to begin operating at the end of 2013, with unit 4 following in September 2014. However, their operation has been delayed by the need to test safety-related control cabling and its subsequent replacement.
Two more of the 1350 MWe pressurized water reactors are under construction as units 1 and 2 of the Shin Hanul site in South Korea. Those units are expected to enter service in April 2017 and February 2018, respectively.
Two further APR-1400 units are planned for both the Shin Kori and Shin Hanul sites.
Four more APR-1400s are under construction at Barakah in the United Arab Emirates. All four are scheduled to be in operation by 2020.
A veteran official with the Department of Homeland Security claims he and other staff were ordered to destroy records on a federal database that showed links between possible jihadists and Islamic terrorist groups.
"After leaving my 15-year career at DHS, I can no longer be silent about the dangerous state of America’s counter-terror strategy, our leaders’ willingness to compromise the security of citizens for the ideological rigidity of political correctness—and, consequently, our vulnerability to devastating, mass-casualty attack," the former employee, Patrick Haney, wrote in an explosive column that was published late Friday on The Hill website.
Haney alleges that the Obama administration has been "engaged in a bureaucratic effort" to destroy the raw material and intelligence the Department of Homeland Security has been collecting for years, leaving the United States open to mass-casualty attacks.
His story starts in 2009, when during the holiday travel season, a 23-year-old Nigerian Muslim, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, boarded Northwest Airlines Flight 253, with explosives packed in his underwear and the hopes of slaughtering 290 travelers flying on Christmas Day from the Netherlands to Detroit, Michigan. Passengers subdued the jihadist and he was arrested, thwarting the plot.
After the attempt, Haney writes, President Barack Obama "threw the intelligence community under the bus for its failure to 'connect the dots,' saying that it was not a failure to collect the intelligence that could have stopped the attack, but rather "'a failure to integrate and understand the intelligence that we already had.'"
But most Americans were not aware that the Department of Homeland Security's employees suffered enormous damage to their morale from Obama's words, Haney said.
Further, many were infuriated "because we knew his administration had been engaged in a bureaucratic effort to destroy the
"16 nuclear power reactors over the next 20 years"
China and Saudi Arabia have signed a memorandum of understanding on the construction of a high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTR). It was one of 14 agreements and memoranda of understanding signed yesterday during a meeting in Riyadh of Chinese president Xi Jinping and Saudi's Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz.
A demonstration HTR-PM unit is under construction at Shidaowan near Weihai city in China's Shandong province. That plant will initially comprise twin HTR-PM reactor modules driving a single 210 MWe steam turbine. Construction started in late 2012 and it is scheduled to start commercial operation in late 2017.
A proposal to construct two 600 MWe HTRs at Ruijin city in China's Jiangxi province passed a preliminary feasibility review in early 2015. The design of the Ruijin HTRs is based on the smaller Shidaowan demonstration HTR-PM. Construction of the Ruijin reactors is expected to start next year, with grid connection in 2021.
CNEC said it is actively promoting its HTR technology overseas and has already signed memoranda of understanding with Saudi Arabia, Dubai, South Africa "and other countries and regions" to consider the construction of HTR plants.
Although Saudi Arabia's nuclear program is in its infancy, the Kingdom has plans to construct 16 nuclear power reactors over the next 20 years. A 2010 royal decree identified nuclear power as essential to help meet growing energy demand for both electricity generation and water desalination, while reducing reliance on depleting hydrocarbon resources.
Last September contracts were signed between the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) and KA-CARE (King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy) to support their cooperation in developing KAERI's SMART (System-integrated Modular Advanced Reactor).
Hi Mr. Grumpy,
There is another possibility here. JF may be doing all he can to "monetize" his FRO shares. Either make them a more interesting currency for others, or increase liquidity for outright sales.
To JF, the oil tanker industry, FRO, probably isn't that interesting anymore. The best he can do with it is cash cow it. Worst, he has to play all kinds of accounting tricks to keep it solvent.
JF may be trying to free up some reserves for more interesting plays.
The first thing that comes to mind is the deep water drilling sector. Lots of pressure on the players. It might be a good time to pick up some assets for pennies on the dollar. Either buy up discarded rigs, or buy companies outright.
JF has a history of buying up assets from distressed sectors, then generating lotsa cash as the sector bounces.
The crude tanker industry isn't in major glut or shortage mode. JF already has plenty of tankers. He has no need of accumulating more. More tankers are just more risk. So, he probably mostly just wants to keep what he has performing, and may want to pull some cash out of it for other opportunities in other sectors as they arise.
This is the way I see it anyway.
Best of luck,
Hi Mr. Pan,
From your post: "So all US produced crude would be exported to get a ten dollar a barrel premium."
Yep. Apparently Mr. Obama is not capable of doing the rudimentary math. So, the bulk impact of his policies are in the "unintended consequences" category.
Best of luck,