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Suddenly A Nasty Fight over Subsidies for Nukes in Europe

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Wolf Richter    www.testosteronepit.com

The meltdowns at Fukushima Number 1 that have caused so much havoc have also paralyzed Japan’s nuclear power industry. The last of its 54 reactors will be taken off line in May for scheduled maintenance, but none has been restarted due to local resistance. “Deindustrialization” is gripping the power-starved country. TEPCO, owner of the Fukushima plant, is being bailed out with trillions of yen in taxpayer money, or rather in debt that Japan has to issue even as it’s sinking deeper into a fiscal quagmire. Meanwhile, new revelations seeped out about the nuclear industry’s controlling relationship with the government: conspiracies had squashed stiffer regulations. Japan Inc. at work. Five years later, the people of Fukushima paid the price. For that fiasco, the emails that documented it, its deadly and ongoing impact, and the anger it caused, read.... A Revolt, the Quiet Japanese Way.

And now, halfway around the world, in the European Union, nuclear power industries are also lining up to suck at the teat of the taxpayer, but ingeniously not taxpayers in their own countries, at least not directly, but taxpayers in other countries. Turns out, France, the UK, Poland, and the Czech Republic, which are all planning or building nuclear power plants, are pressuring the European Union to open up the spigot.

This emerged when the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung obtained letters the four had sent to Brussels in preparation for the meeting of the European economics and energy ministers later next week. Their goal: get the EU to reclassify nuclear energy as low-emission technology, a heavily subsidized category that includes solar and wind power; it would make nuclear power eligible for the same subsidies. Their argument: Europe's commitment to shift to low-emission power generation by 2050 would have to be “technology neutral.”

If the four countries succeed, the EU could subsidize not only construction of nuclear power plants but also the sale of their electricity to the tune of billions of euros—to be paid by all taxpayers in the EU via the EU budget, 20% of which falls upon German taxpayers. Alas, it’s precisely Germany that has decided to exit nuclear power.

After a decade of tergiversation about shifting from fossil and nuclear power to renewables, Germany reacted to the Fukushima disaster with lightning speed. Within three months, it revoked the licenses of 7 of its 17 nuclear power plants and then voted to exit nuclear power altogether by 2022, a very expensive undertaking. Hence, efforts to get German taxpayers to subsidize nuclear power in other countries aren’t going to go over very well.

France, on the other hand, is up to its neck in nuclear power: nearly 80% of its electricity production derives from it, part of which it exports to its neighbors. The government owns 85% of EDF, the utility in charge of the 58 reactors, and 78.9% of Areva, an industrial conglomerate focused on nuclear power. Both have run into difficulties. One of their costliest problems is the advanced EPR (European Pressurized Reactor), started in 2006, that is now mired in economic and political trouble, after huge cost overruns, technical difficulties, and endless delays. So EU subsidies would be one heck of a bailout.

The UK is planning 4 nuclear power plants, but construction hasn't begun as no one is eager to plow billions of pounds into a technology whose future is in question. But a hefty European subsidy would change that.

“The Trojan horse of nuclear states," is what Tobias Münchmeyer, a German energy expert at Greenpeace, called the reclassification of nuclear power. And he exhorted his government not to fall for it. It might end up shifting subsidies from sacrosanct renewable energies to nukes.

Ah yes, the ancient problem of subsidies. Bureaucrats and officials choose winners and losers and hand taxpayers the bill. In the jungle of EU regulations and subsidies, this fight could get nasty. So far, reactions have been muted. EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger would listen to the positions of the member states, he said. Officials in the German government declined to comment. In France, a spokesperson for Industry Minister Eric Besson came out swinging. "There is no French initiative in this direction," he said. Clearly, EU political maneuvering has started.

Back to Japan where the cozy relationship between the nuclear power industry and government is under attack. Though nothing may change in the end, the people are trying to make their voices heard, and sometimes it takes the form of something ... lighter. And utterly cynical. It shows just how much trust the people have left in TEPCO and the government....  Nuclear Contamination As Seen By Dark Japanese Humor (mostly pics).

 

 

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Sat, 04/14/2012 - 20:56 | 2345918 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 You win Tyler. `I'm sure you understand me though!

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 20:20 | 2345885 El Gordo
El Gordo's picture

Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 18:14 | 2345766 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Not much better in the USA with the NRC...

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jnlxtxW2oDWrH5uizepE8m...

US nuke regulators weaken safety rules
Federal regulators have been working closely with the nuclear power industry to keep the nation's aging reactors operating within safety standards by repeatedly weakening those standards, or simply failing to enforce them, an investigation by The Associated Press has found.

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 16:25 | 2345639 mahmoons
mahmoons's picture

The hard truth is that whether you like nuclear or not it will continue to grow as a power source. Not in the US (we have by far the most GWH output with 104 reactors, 2 under construction and another 2 up for licensing) or in the EU, but in Saudi Arabia and Asia. The Saudis plan to build 10-15 reactors in the next 15 years and the Chinese are on building spree now that they have Westinghouse's AP1000 design (they actually acquired it not stole it - if you can believe that!). Nuclear is a strange industry because while it can reliably handle a large amount of base load power the waste produces plutonium, which is much more easily weaponized that U235. So, if it continues to exist the West must try to remain involved in the production and supply chain or face the inability to influence or have knowledge of potentially catastrophic byproduct.

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 15:24 | 2345525 wattsnotsaid
wattsnotsaid's picture

The anti Nukes continue to make hay of the cost overruns at Areva's Finnish plant. Yes it cost more than the 3200Euros per kW originally forecast but even at 4200 euros/kW it is a bargain and cheaper than the high Putin natural gas generated electricity.  The new generation of nukes being built in the US at Southern Company should be at about he same low price. 

And the nukes are about 1/3 the cost of the  unreliable wind plants being built.

Message_  This article is all bullshit. If the author had any idea what he was talking about he would question the claims of Greenpeace rather than repeating claims of those with an extreme agenda.

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 16:10 | 2345618 Urban Roman
Urban Roman's picture

... and the above is true IFF Areva/Exelon/Tepco are not required to plan for end-of-life or bear the responsibility for spills and accidents.

If they had to do those things, the cost would be considerably higher. How much does it cost to replace a ruined biosphere?

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 15:45 | 2345564 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Money is not an issue. Money is emitted with large opportunities.

Maybe it is x euros per kWh but it is not kwh per euros.

Does not work that way, contrary to US citizen claims.

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 13:12 | 2345411 GlomarHabu
GlomarHabu's picture

Those plants are expensive to operate and maintenence is a bidget buster...so Spain and Italy gets on, can't keep it up, meltdown, winds carry radiation over Arab Africa ..ME problem solved.

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 09:24 | 2345183 steve from virginia
steve from virginia's picture

 

See what I mean?

Everyone gets to find out the hard way.

When Spain falls there would be a greater sense of reality.

When the next reactor has 'problems' there will also be a greater sense of our limitations: there are no free lunches.

Nuclear is the most expensive of all the lunches.

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 12:28 | 2345364 smb12321
smb12321's picture

 It's useless to remind folks that the Reactors failed NOT because of system problems but due to a masssive earthquake and ensuing tsunami.   

Nuclear is NOT the most expensive lunch.  The most expensive (by far) are those societies with no/haphazard energy.  Anyone ever traveling with Doctors without Borders quickly learns that our casual 24/7/365 energy is rare - whether in Central or South America, Africa or most of Asia.  They would LOVE a nuclear reactor with the tiny chance of problems vs the inability to operate a modern society.    

The best bet is something like artificial photosynthesis, improved batteries for renewables or something we can't imagine but until that time nuclear power plants are needed.  Alternatively, Japan and Germany can descend to feudal times and REALLy live off the land.

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 20:42 | 2345908 Reptil
Reptil's picture

Incorrect! Fukushima happened because of failed central planning, inside a "corporative" state. To cut cost and to compete with ABUNDANT geothermal and other natural energy sources, they just did not consider safety margins: They knew they were building on a vault zone, there's evidence the plants already failed because of the earthquake. They knew the geographic position of the plant, coupled with inadequate preperation was not going to withstand a Tsunami, discussing this was a taboo. They threw out and ignored the rare few that displayed independent thought.

Watch this please? You can skip the first few minutes where the guy tells about he got into the position of operating the Fukushima plant, but it's interesting IMO since it shows the elaborate process of "following the course" that guarantees a job; IMHO the "hippie" is more in tune with real capitalism than the Tepco moloch that he used to work for.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQWK6-AampE part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnCX2sT-Ku4

compare that to this IAEA response; their answer; MORE central planning; in face of THEIR failure https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43ex0h_md_o

Yes nuclear fission is the most expensive lunch. Try imagine running a fisson plant of the Fukushima size and complexity in Congo! LOL Sure they'd LOVE it, the elites of these nations are licking their fingers of all the development it would bring, and wealth (to them).
And then... ??? Who would bet on them running it successfully for 40 years? They can't even manage to guard their mines from the ravenous western and chinese, can't manage to put the MASSIVE gains to the betterment of their developing nations. Decomissioning it afterwards? I'm fairly certain that they're not considering a Fukushima type disaster. That's why it's being kept quiet in the mass media. The "nuclear renaissance" is worldwide, and MUST continue. Failures be damned. The TRUE COST of this lunch is that we fuck our biotope and our DNA. ANY fission plant means generation of long-lived isotopes that damage us, when not properly managed. IF THE HIGHLY TECHNOLOGICAL AND ORGANISED JAPANESE CAN'T DO IT, WHY SHOULD WE EXPECT DEVELOPING NATIONS TO DO IT PROPERLY OVER THE NEXT 40 YEARS?

I like your openmindedness about "something we can't imagine". FYI there are a lot of those alternative technologies being developed, but on very small budgets, and they're kept OUT of any real funding or media exposure. Please bear with me, I'll try to put my ideas about it in words:
THAT IS THE OTHER BIG LIE OF FISSION NUCLEAR, THAT iT'S THE ONLY ALTERNATIVE. IT'S NOT! Human inventiveness didn't stop in 1950!
Some things that might be of interest i've posted below. They're in a state of development, and might as well turn out to be less viable. I'm NOT saying all of these are inmediately the answer to energy problems. BUT.. consider that these are small scale and do not require massive test facillities as the new EPR are. It will not be a huge problem if they fail. They do not require HUGE investments, to test them. The nuclear industry builds HUGE test plants, these turn out to be failed dinosaurs, then decomissiones them. All funded by the taxpayers. This happened in the last 60 years. They would like to continue that.
I THINK IT'S TIME TO HAVE SOME CAPITALISM INJECTION INTO THE CENTRAL PLANNING MEGALOMANIAC DREAM AND ALLOW THE BIG TO FAIL IF NEEDED.

Smaller scale (instead of massive experiments) this allows for projects to fail, and the best come forward as winner

Decentralised (instead of a nationwide power grid) independent of malicious intent of central planners (anyone that thinks they have our best interest at heart, is IMO not paying attention)

Diversification (possible with smaller scale) - more suited to survival of our species when one technology turns out to be dog poop in the longer run.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2GqU6fdjeQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=mxeKeuh_2Bw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ws6AAhTw7RA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wHGh2eRbLE

that's just a few.

In short; I think humanity has a HUGE opportunity to turn a disaster, and failing central planning into a healthy change of course: If we're blinded by the idea that we can continue the present course (taxpayer pays for huge nationwide structures), which also means the DESTRUCTION OF OUR BIOTOPE, and even expand this failing construct on a bigger (global) scale (developing nations), I think we'll be running into a dead ally. The top layer of people that is running our systems are not intersted in decentralisation, or competing systems, that will mean less control. They're willing to kill off a large number of the population, I can only guess for their motives, but it's obvious they want to keep all the strings in their hands, no matter what. If ppl. can't see that after the handling of Fukushima (radiation coverup) then they're kidding themselves.
Thank you for reading a long post.

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 16:25 | 2345640 Urban Roman
Urban Roman's picture

And it's useless to remind the cheerleaders for central planning that earthquakes and tsunami are not required for a nuke plant to fail. Remember Fort Calhoun, last year? They kept it out of the news for the most part, but it came very close to similar failure.

The floodwater forced a shutdown and its diesel generators kicked in to keep the cooling pumps going. If they had run out of diesel, or if the floodwater went just a little bit higher and got into the building, it could have been a fireworks show similar to the one in Japan.

Where is the outcry among nuclear boosters to replace these old rustbuckets with safer designs and to properly manage the spent fuel? No-no, can't do that, the hippies might protest and it might cost a little more money. We'll just patch it with some duck tape and get the NRC to license it for another 20 years.

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 09:35 | 2345194 falak pema
falak pema's picture

for a euro basher you sound truly frakked. Just remember one thing : for the next twenty years the first world has NO REAL sustainable energy options. That should calm your nerves. Think long, like long john silver. The most sensible option in the interim is de-energise consumption bigtime; no more gas guzzlers, speed limits all accross europe roads, more communal transport, less individual, more alternative energy as it goes down curve to grid equivalency; as fossil has only ONE way to go : UP!

 

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 15:43 | 2345558 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Made me laugh.

This US citizen supports a car free society.

Made me laugh because how natural it is for US citizens to work in duos. Synergy.

Neither a car free society will happen and US citizens will go hard on nuclear energy, polluting the rest of the world for a long time by laying their nuclear waste there while bunkering in their US citizen nations.

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 09:19 | 2345088 falak pema
falak pema's picture

what the Pope wants he tries to get. As the pope of eurocracy, French inspired, has no oil he has decreed that nuclear is the new creed; fuku or no fuku. It'll make those who guzzle fossils bleed as they bow to the Arab/Ruski/ Venezuelan Infidel. Nuclear is the new euro catechism and OIL/GAS is the enemy Infidel in this renaissance age. Those who don't BUY Papal Indulgences for their Euro energy will be excommunicated as the Vatican of Nuclear euro power needs money to be built. AND PRONTO! As the world burns and Constantinople falls to the Turk (Arab sheikh).

We are back in 1492, and while we await for Columbus's egg to hatch and give us the fruit of free renewables, to allow us to enter the promised land of unlimited growth thanks to solar/plankton bio/ wind and ocean surge, we have to pay our dues to the Pope, buy his INDULGENCES, or else face the consequences.

Hows that for central Papal See planning under a Borgia or a Della Rovere? All we need is a Michael Angelo to paint the ceiling of this new house of God and we'll be home and dry! 

As for Germany, if it wants to play at Martin Luther, well thats all right. The Pope will send his Bavarians  and Poles to start the thirty years war there! 

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 04:42 | 2344439 THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

If money is not spent on Nuclear , more will be spent on Grot.

If Ireland built the 3 PWRs it needs and a Irish sea rail tunnel to the UK it  still would have  had the biggest housing boom & bust in per capita History but we would be growing now.

We are not growing now..............

Steve is wrong , 105 billion on buildings and stuff in Ireland in 3 years............Y2005 -2007  !!

At its height France was bulding 2 reactors a year ,at current prices thats at the most 18 billion (EPRs)

2 reactors a year  * 3 years = 56 billion.

Ireland is a small country.

The shocks in Europe are coming from Iberian & Irish malinvestment on a massive scale.

France would truely be fucked if it did not have Nuclear - its been the best investment it has ever made.

But the scale of the malinvestment elsewhere is having truely seismic shocks , it means fewer Irish tourists will visit France this year , fewer Spanish ....fewer.........

The only thing holding France together is its 1970s & 80s investments ....... the entire economic framework post EMU (1987) has been a disaster movie.

It really takes that long for the poison to run through the system.

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 10:48 | 2345264 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

Dork of Cork -  France is a disaster (in waiting) because of going nuclear ...like everything else the French do, apart from cooking, it's a State mangled and subsidy propped up sham

they've never heard of a free market in France the place is one of the last bastions of Communist oversight of every facet of business. 

if the free market was in play France would be far healthier and wealthier with coal and gas power stations ..by a massive margin to the black hole of wealth destruction that is nuclear

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 12:39 | 2345375 smb12321
smb12321's picture

As far as wealth you are demonstrably wrong.  France has had the lowest electricity costs in Europe for decades.  Besides, it is not politics but resources that decide what a nation uses. France is limited in that area.  However, a side effect of their drastically lower energy costs is that it permitted the generous welfare state besides providing an uninterrupted flow of cheap electricity - a rarity in the world.  

Of course, they leveraged their future, stopped having kids, became flooded by immigrants and now face the same problems as the rest of Europe.

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 16:46 | 2345669 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

SMB  -  French electricity, 80% nuclear generated, is only 'cheap' for the amount of Govt subsidy received ..i can assure you with 100% certainty no nuclear program on Earth could stand on its own 2 feet economically

now we all wait with patience for the decommissioning costs of Frances retarded nuclear program to catch up with them ..those costs will be collosal

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 17:21 | 2345700 smb12321
smb12321's picture

Subsidies are built into the equation since almost all reactors are owned by the State.  Nuclear can is an acceptable option for generating electricity compared to the alternative of no/'random power (every place outside N America and Europe). Energy is an evolving dialogue with many variables - resources, short and long term decisions and most important, technological change.  The "best" option is not always the poster child one. 

Personally, I foresee tremendous technological breakthroughs (soon) that will make this subject moot.  THEN we'll have to deal with decommissioning and storing. 

 

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 15:46 | 2345569 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

US citizen narrative. Never imitated, always copyrighted.

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 16:34 | 2345651 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

.

US citizen narrative. Never imitated, always copyrighted.

Chinese citizenism citizen narrative. Always imitating, always copyright violating.

 

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 17:26 | 2345703 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

That was rather funny

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 09:27 | 2345187 falak pema
falak pema's picture

you are named political czar for france; remember to remind me that I put in a good word for you with Hollande when he drives into mulholland drive of Elysées palace! 

If you did get the job you'd have that EVA lady crawling down your back with her eco-egg all over your face; that's a redoubtable challenge even for a irish spud who does the jig to bemoan all those spanish pigs and their real estate mess. 

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 04:32 | 2344408 flight77
flight77's picture

The high radioactive materials left by french reactors are sold to Russia. They are lying under the Sun of Tomsk. No roof protects these containers against corrosion.
The containers are transported on a one rail transport way built by Stalins slaves. Hundreds of tons of highly radioactive substances completely unprotected. The reprocessing facility in La Hague is an envirmomental desaster of the first grade. With tubes reaching into the sea. I love France, but they have a saying used by millions of people all the zime. "Je m´en fous". Which means I couldn´t care less with a shot of ignorance. The nuclear Mafia in France is the most powerful elite in the Country. 
Since we live in a great free market economy I would like to ask the question, why these Cronies need European money for theier project, if Atomic Energy is such a great deal.
But let´s talk about it in 200.000. years. Than it´s half time for the highest radiaoactive materials. But when was the last smaller iceage. 35.000 years ago. 
That´s all we have to know about the ways the homo technicus thinks and plans. But Merkel will pay, because she always pays to everyone, except to education facilities and Kindergardens for the Kids. There is no money availablt.
But Merkel isn´t a mother.
So she doesn´t bother.

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 04:32 | 2344407 flight77
flight77's picture

The high radioactive materials left by french reactors are sold to Russia. They are lying under the Sun of Tomsk. No roof protects these containers against corrosion.
The containers are transported on a one rail transport way built by Stalins slaves. Hundreds of tons of highly radioactive substances completely unprotected. The reprocessing facility in La Hague is an envirmomental desaster of the first grade. With tubes reaching into the sea. I love France, but they have a saying used by millions of people all the zime. "Je m´en fous". Which means I couldn´t care less with a shot of ignorance. The nuclear Mafia in France is the most powerful elite in the Country. 
Since we live in a great free market economy I would like to ask the question, why these Cronies need European money for theier project, if Atomic Energy is such a great deal.
But let´s talk about it in 200.000. years. Than it´s half time for the highest radiaoactive materials. But when was the last smaller iceage. 35.000 years ago. 
That´s all we have to know about the ways the homo technicus thinks and plans. But Merkel will pay, because she always pays to everyone, except to education facilities and Kindergardens for the Kids. There is no money availablt.
But Merkel isn´t a mother.
So she doesn´t bother.

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 04:31 | 2344397 mholzman
mholzman's picture

Most of the renewable projects subsidized by the US taxpayer have gone bankrupt. Did you forget about Solyndra and Solar Trust of America so fast?

Solar is not wise for Germany. It us a rather dark place. Germany's plan for hydrogen has been unsuccessful. Germany depends on Russia for natural gas. No doubt Putin enjoys their dependency.

Germanys quick move to shut down its plants had much more to do with the politics of social unrest in Germany with Greece. To appease the German green freaks, Merkel caved in.

Sieman's withdrew from the projects in the UK because of German politics. Another company took the offer.

By the way, for all the frackers out there, the first drill is the least expensive. Recall drilling for oil.

It's obvious that you do not understand the energy industry. Stick to what you know.

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 09:41 | 2345208 Urban Roman
Urban Roman's picture

The solar subsidies are a rounding error compared to petroleum subsidies. How many industries can get the government to start a region-wide war and open-ended occupation, just to underwrite the industry?If the US taxpayer doesn't mind subsidizing a never ending war, then the US taxpayer shouldn't mind subsidizing solar.

Solar is the red-headed stepchild of energy sources -- mostly because it does not empower the central-planning bureaucrats. Also worth mentionining, of course, is that it does not have nearly the convenience nor ernergy density of petroleum.

Bottom line is, when petroleum runs short, we shall conserve energy.

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 10:40 | 2345262 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

there is a collaosal difference between oil subsidies and corporate/political power games

Oil as an industry would stand on its own 2 feet without any subsdy whatsoever

our energy world is monopolised by oil giants using Govt office as their protection racket and geo-political power base

Bin the Govt and then let the free market sort out these cancerous dinosaurs

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 15:55 | 2345590 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Bin the Govt and then let the free market sort out these cancerous dinosaurs
_________________________________________________

Really? What a sweet fantasy world, US citizen world.

So in a free market, there is competition. As part of competition, allocating resources to decrease a concurrent's competitiveness.

As the government is gone, so is not the capacity of corporations to allocate those resources.

The disappearance of the government will free all those US citizen middle class products, the corporations's, resources.

Anything to prove that they wont be able to achieve the same result without a government? That the government is the only way they have to compete?

Better, any evidence it is not a free market?

Corporations are private agents and they use the government as a tool to compete.

It is a private initiative and by thus, do not negate the free market substance.

Ah, the world of fantasy. The distorted self perception US citizens love to sustain amuses.

As the exterior collapses, as they are enabled in their fantasies by the exterior, more and more, they have to face themselves.

Welcome to the US citizen world.No place to run, no place to hide.

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 17:14 | 2345677 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

With respect you have a very fixated view of the free market.

To losen it up go study competition in nature, which is a free (no rules whatsoever, no central command whatsoever) competitive system par excellence.

Begin your study with a forest (plants) or birds (animals) over time

Man is from nature and we behave exactly like nature.. what is un-natural and indeed fuking perverse, is (naturally competitive) man being 'managed' and ordered about by (un-natural monopolistic) central command called democratic Govt

Govt is the dumbest and most destructive institution in history ..it's not a natural organism (monopolistic and entirely parasitical) hence its history of waste and stupidity

If you want to see truly free markets in operation like nature, diverse, healthy, always meeting supply with demand, study any black market, from drugs to prostitution ...despite the thugs of Govt oppressing these free markets the market is indestructable and always runs rings around Govt

PS. i am not a US citizen

PPS. i'm not scared of the free market or a free society, it's the bag of cancerous puss that is Govt and its owners that are wrecking the world with monopolism

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 09:00 | 2345164 Reptil
Reptil's picture

apples and oranges.

China and Germany are examples Solar is successful, it's not in the USSA, because Obummer and his cronies got their hands on it.

This fraud has been posted about, here on ZH.

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 12:46 | 2345384 smb12321
smb12321's picture

Solar is not used for one reason - it is not economically viable.  It has nothing to do with the Prez.  Juggling oranges would be adopted as an energy source if it were economically viable.  Sometimes the easiest answers are the simplest ones.   No technology is ever adopted until it becomes feasible and economic - period.

Solar's other drawback is its inability to conserve energy for long period.  More research & development by those evil corporations will bring massive improvement in the near future.

 

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 18:55 | 2345795 Reptil
Reptil's picture

Right now "economically viable" means "state subsidised", it's bogus.

Solar and Wind are used in Germany and China, in Germany renewables make up for more than 20% of total energy production, and growing.

The issue of storing/conserving energy is being solved right at the moment. To remind; nuclear reactors need to be "always on". They're not a storage of energy unless they're maintained constantly, at high cost and inside a highly developed industrial environment. As said, it costs a LOT of fossile fuel to process uranium, to reprocess spent fuel, and build and maintain nuclear plants.

Another issue, given the changing environment of our "economies"; these plants run for about 40 years and then need to be decommissioned. Another fossile fuel intensive process, which takes 20 years per plant, and one could question if decomissioning them inside a chaotic period (think Weimar republic) is even possible. I think when SHTF a number of them will just be abandoned, and become "no-go zones" for future generations. The problem is that central planners always think development is always going to increase. Like (social) darwinists mistake evolution always to go up (more complex, better organisms). It does not, evolution is often in bounds and leaps and not always up.

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 10:36 | 2345256 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

the only 'successful' solar application on the planet is the little panel on my calculator ...every other application is an economic disaster

the entire solar/wind/algae/etc industries you can chuck in the trash can, where they belong

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 10:27 | 2345252 smiler03
smiler03's picture

Soler Power in Germany is a disaster, you are posting lots of crap today.

Re-Evaluating Germany's Blind Faith in the Sun

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,809439,00.html

 

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 21:49 | 2345938 Reptil
Reptil's picture

LOL crap? I think not.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-29/utilities-giving-away-power-as-...

You're confusing the failure of subsidising an industry (Solar in Germany competing with the chinese), with evaluating the need for redundant and diverse energy systems (including wind), and the development of a new (costly) grid system in Germany. Also closing the door for energy generation as Solar based on the technology in place right now, while it's very much developing into a viable competitor is quite stupid, IMHO. There's a number of breakthrough developments both in the panel technology and the collection of the generated energy that will improve return of investment dramatically.

from your article:
The relationships are just the reverse for wind energy. For the same cost, wind supplies at least five times as much electricity as solar, while hydroelectric power plants generate six times as much.

Then.. FYI:

http://go.bloomberg.com/multimedia/solar-silicon-price-drop-brings-renew...

http://news.thomasnet.com/companystory/Independent-Test-Lab-Kiwa-Verifie...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poPKGR_jbrE

http://www.miller-mccune.com/science-environment/inventor-of-plastic-sol...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5exe1QYxa0

And the BIG stunner: potential 99% capture of energy because of use of nano tech solar panels. proud that it's a dutch invention. :-D

http://www.fom.nl/live/english/news/artikel.pag?objectnumber=179943

Some investment opportunity I'd think. If it's not botched like Solyndra and shelved.

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 02:44 | 2343611 Sid James
Sid James's picture

"The last of its 54 reactors will be taken off line in May for scheduled maintenance, but none has been restarted due to local resistance."

It seems the Japanese Govt have given permission to restart two reactors: http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/govt-says-it-is-safe-to...

There are still continuous tremors in and around Fukishima, alarming news considering the state of the spent fuel pond in reactor 4. See this thread: http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/m5-9-quake-jolts-fukush...

 

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 09:36 | 2345203 flattrader
flattrader's picture

Yeah.  The quakin and shaking won't stop.

This is what is holding up SPF #4.  It doesn't inspire confidence.

http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2012/04/for-record-fukushima-i-nuke-plant.html

When it comes down...not if...that will likely end the debate regarding new reactors or restarts coming on line...just about everywhere.  It will be hard to hide the cascading catastrophe that follows.

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 12:50 | 2345344 flattrader
flattrader's picture

This is just freakin' incredible--

http://enenews.com/now-20-quakes-centered-in-fukushima-beginning-with-m5...

That is one helluva live, open air nuclear experiment they got going on over there.

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 13:04 | 2345394 flattrader
flattrader's picture

Join nirs.org or beyondnuclear.org  Fight the good fight.

And tell Mayo Shattuck III, executive chairman of Chicago-based Exelon, to go fuck himself. (See below.)

Use http://www.exeloncorp.com/newsroom/mediacontacts/Pages/mediacontacts.aspx

and pick one of the lackies to email.  The big boy himself in inulsated from email.

 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-11/state-help-needed-for-nuclear-u...

U.S. utilities will need government help to build nuclear reactors as other forms of electric power become less expensive, a top executive of Exelon Corp. (EXC), the nation’s largest commercial producer of atomic energy, said.

State support may include letting companies recover costs from customers during construction, providing loan guarantees or agreeing to buy power from the plant, Mayo Shattuck III, executive chairman of Chicago-based Exelon, said today at a conference in Washington.

Building reactors may require “the sovereign support of that state, which really means it’s on the backs of the ratepayers, not the backs of the shareholders,” Shattuck said at an event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission on March 30 awarded Scana Corp. (SCG) a permit to build two reactors at a plant near Columbia, South Carolina, and on Feb. 9 approved Southern Co. (SO)’s plan for two units at its Vogtle plant near Augusta, Georgia. Southern expects its project to cost $14 billion. Scana will cover 55 percent of the estimated $10.2 billion for the South Carolina reactors. The plants, being financed partly by customers, may be among the last in the U.S. this decade.

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 02:05 | 2343368 BeetleBailey
BeetleBailey's picture

Time to go back to campfires and horses. Evolution recycles itself.

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 07:50 | 2345121 Vince Clortho
Vince Clortho's picture

Who will maintain all these nuclear facilities when we slide back into a simpler lifestyle?

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 09:02 | 2345166 Reptil
Reptil's picture

Radiation exposure (especially the Uranium particles (fuel flees) type) leads to less intelligent offspring (measured dimished brain size in mammals, birds, humans as well).

The answer: no one.

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 01:15 | 2343314 steve from virginia
steve from virginia's picture

 

Right ... France has 58 OLD nuclear plants and its economy is poised to follow Spain's down the toilet. How will France support its nuclear infrastructure when it is broke? How will any EU country?

Pay attention: the world has changed. You can feel it in the f**king water: there will be no economic recovery, tomorrow will not be 'better' with more 'growth opportunities'. There will be no more growth. There will be choices of what to support and what to jettison. Having nuclear systems means fewer choices and nuclear enterprise requires a base-level of support. It needs fuel- and infrastructure maintenance, security, waste handling and remediation, site decommissioning and identification of long-term hazards. All of this requires functioning industrial economy.

What is disappearing is industrial economies. Like reactors, these economies cannot pay for themselves, they require endless debt and energy subsidies. Reactors are subsidized by cheap petroleum, they are means by which petroleum is converted to long-lived radioactive waste. Without petroleum there are no functioning reactors. Without petroleum all reactors become intensely unsafe. There are over 400 reactors in the world, all depend on cheap petroleum.

Areva has spend tens of billions of euros on nonsense infrastructure that does not work. What will the utility do when it follows Tepco to the big utility in the sky? Board up unprofitable reactors with plywood and walk away.

With current reactor 'culture' and lack of funds the next reactor catastrophe is inevitable, not a matter of chance. The Germans are making the right move, there will be no recovery from this'recession', as it is the outcome of decades of non-remunerative waste. There are no funds to come from anywhere to repay the massive overhang of debts that are the consequence of our industrial 'experiment'.

The future of all countries in onrushing post-peak oil world is Greece ... trending to Somalia. Imagine nuclear power in Somalia, this will be France within a decade. Keep in mind that reactor timelines are not 'investment' timelines of quarter-to-quarter but tens of thousands of years.

The effects of de-industrialization on nuclear enterprise is underway in Japan. The consequences are to be seen and understood by those with the wit to perceive them. The challenges confronting the humans are grave, they are 'make right choice or the nation will die' challenges.

 

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 09:05 | 2345168 Reptil
Reptil's picture

BINGO!
And that's why the nuclear industry is in such a hurry to get these new plants ok-ed, worldwide. They know the "nuclear renaissance" is dog poop, but once the building's up, the taxpayer is committed to "service" them another 40 years.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZdJautFQ2s

 

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 10:27 | 2345253 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

Yes, the 'Grande Project' ..the 'Grande Design' Govt (politicians egos) always love so much, from Europe to America to Japan

it has to be BIG, wether it be schools or power stations, to match their bloated ignorant egos

the world is suffering from 'Big'... Big Companies, Big Projects, Big Banking and most of all, Big Govt

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 02:19 | 2343436 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

We are speaking about US citizens, not Somalis.

Selling the idea that US citizens wont monetize the advantage of having ageing nuclear infrastructure is detached from reality.

Nuclear contamination and radioactive emission do not acknowledge land borders.

Even better, US citizens might help them to cross borders by dropping nuclear waste on a debt entangled third world country or burn it to dilute pollution.

What will happen when those nuclear infrastructure age too far?

Ask France's neighbourhood. Are they ready to have on their borders massive leak of nuclear material or are they ready to pay to prevent that?

That is what is going to happen in the future.

US world order.

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 12:49 | 2345390 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

AnAnonymous said:

We are speaking about US citizens, not Somalis.

Wrong, Three Mile Easter Islander. We are speaking about French US citizen Somalians.  Point at much as you wish to the errings of US citizenism, it is your creation, your fantasy. Please be kind enough at least to keep your self-defined terms consistent within the fantasy that you are projecting onto others.

Selling the idea that US citizens wont monetize the advantage of having ageing nuclear infrastructure is detached from reality.

You can't be serious? Made me laugh. There is no advantage to having aging nuclear infrastructure. That you even consider that such an advantage might exist, let alone could somehow be monetized, is absurd.

Try now to deny that such ideas of yours are phantasms appearing in the fog of opium smoke which surrounds you. Some sort of strange weirdness trip you're on downthere.

Nuclear contamination and radioactive emission do not acknowledge land borders.

Ah, ah, more profound profundity emerges from the cloud of opium smoke that you are floating on in the air over your neighbourhood. A wonderful day in the neighbourhood, is it not?

Even better, US citizens might help them to cross borders by dropping nuclear waste on a debt entangled third world country or burn it to dilute pollution.

Now you are confusing with Japanese citizenism. Please be sobering up before commentary making.

 

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 05:12 | 2344707 Lednbrass
Lednbrass's picture

Hey Shemp, cleanup on Aisle 4!

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!