S.E. Cupp Attacks Climate Science and Climate Scientists on MSNBC

Fri, 2012-04-06 11:07Chris Mooney
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S.E. Cupp Attacks Climate Science and Climate Scientists on MSNBC

Yesterday, I appeared on MSNBC’s Now with Alex Wagner to talk about The Republican Brain. It was largely an interview about what’s going on with conservatives and science right now—why they distrust it so much–but S.E. Cupp, the conservative on the panel, called my argument “infuriating.”

Then, she proceeded to attack climate science and the researchers who produce it—doing a very good job of proving my point about conservatives and science! Brad Johnson has provided a transcript at Think Progress (video below it):

CUPP: There have been, to quote Rick Santorum, phony studies on climate change. East Anglia University I should mention!
WAGNER: And that study –
CUPP: Every time science has been corrupted by politics, everyone in the scientific community should be worried!

I deliberately didn’t answer Cupp’s point about “East Anglia University” on the air. But let me answer it now.

First, the “ClimateGate” issue at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Center was about stolen emails, not “phony studies.”

Second, conservatives did claim that the emails proved some sort of fraud or wrongdoing on the part of scientists. But the emails didn’t actually show that. Multiple investigations (see a discussion here and here) in the wake of “ClimateGate” vindicated the scientists whose emails had been exposed, showing that these charges weren’t valid.

Third and most important, the central conclusion of climate science—humans are causing global warming—was never at stake in “ClimateGate.” The case for human-caused global warming depends on multiple independent lines of evidence, and the conclusion has been ratified by a much broader body of scientists than those principally involved in the “ClimateGate.”

All of this has been said before, of course. And it isn’t, frankly, very interesting.

What is interesting is that S.E. Cupp made these assertions, which have been so convincingly refuted. Clearly, they still float around the conservative ether, where “ClimateGate” is still considered to be the ultimate rebuttal to all things global warming-related.

Rush Limbaugh has cited “ClimateGate” in essentially the same way. And it is no doubt what Rick Santorum too had in mind in talking about “phony studies.” So what’s up with this? Why cite bogus charges that were long since refuted, and that even if accurate, wouldn’t actually matter? Why seize on “ClimateGate,” even though in an intellectual sense, doing so gets you nowhere?

Here’s what I wrote back in June:

Remember what things were like before [“ClimateGate”] happened. We were coming off 2007, when Al Gore and the IPCC won the Nobel Peace Prize. We’d just elected President Obama, who was backing cap-and-trade legislation and a Copenhagen deal. The science—and the policy—of global warming had all the momentum behind them. If you didn’t believe that the problem was real and needed to be addressed, you were in a pretty difficult position.

ClimateGate was a true blessing in this regard for climate skeptics and deniers. It furnished a brand new excuse to dismiss it all. It was all a scam! …

So “ClimateGate” was seized upon—and then, to borrow a term from psychology, after “seizing” “freezing” may have occurred for some. Minds were made up, and no new evidence was admissible—because “ClimateGate” proved it was all a hoax. Thus, whenever global warming comes up, we now hear “ClimateGate” cited endlessly, as a way of shutting down further consideration—as a vindication, even. And it’s completely baffling, if you know (as we all do) that the science of climate is as strong as it ever was, the issue didn’t go away, and “ClimateGate” doesn’t really have any substantive significance.

In other words, the people citing “ClimateGate” in this way simply may not have performed a complete, thorough, or accuracy-motivated information search. Rather, they seized on just enough information to reaffirm their beliefs. That they’re nonetheless willing to make such grave and serious charges against scientific researchers—on such a weak basis–is why it is more than fair to point out that in the end, they are really just attacking and undermining science and scientists.

So thank you again, S.E. Cupp, for proving my point.

Previous Comments

(1) No wind, no electricity.  One can overcome this by overbuilding at multiple, well sepearated, sites.  Maybe three is enough.  3x58 exceeds 102.  Oops, there is also the transmission lines to pay for.  Maybe there is a less expensive way to have a low carbon balancing agent?

(2) I’m not prepared to trust EWEA’s estimate of the cost of new NPPs.  Try EDF for a comparison.  However, it seems the Westinghouse AP1000’s are rather less expensive than the Areva EPR.

(1) Unscheduled nuke shutdowns, no electricity. One can overcome this by overbuilding multiple multi-billion dollar units. Maybe three is enough. Oops, there is also the transmission lines to pay for, & the spent fuel storage & the liability caps & the mega-subsidies from pre-cradle to post-grave. Maybe there is a less expensive way to have a low carbon balancing agent?

San Onofre Units 2 & 3 at 1100 MWs each are both shutdown indefinitely due to design flaws in their new $670 million steam generators. That sure eats up one helluva lot of operating reserves, both power & financial, in one big bite, not to mention repair costs & loss of plant revenues in the 10’s to 100’s of millions of dollars. And to cover the shortfall for the summer, CAISO is exploring firing up a couple of retired nat gas generating units, & that can’t be cheap either.

BTW, the minimum operating reserve is based on the capacity of the largest generator in case of unexpected unavailability, in this case a single unit of San Onofre, plus a portion of peak load. So putting all your energy eggs in one big mega-nuke basket is not the most reliable or economical option.

Odd deterioration found in both San Onofre reactors http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0413-san-onofre-20120413,0,2614407.story

But since you failed to mention any of this in your two things, David, we’ll just have to assume you didn’t know any better.

(2) And regarding new nukes & cost overruns,

The highly touted renaissance of nuclear power is based on fiction, not fact. It got a significant part of its momentum in the early 2000s with a series of cost projections that vastly understated the direct costs of nuclear reactors. As those early cost estimates fell by the wayside and the extremely high direct costs of nuclear reactors became apparent, advocates for nuclear power turned to climate change as the rationale to offset the high cost. But introducing environmental externalities does not resuscitate the nuclear option for two reasons. First, consideration of externalities improves the prospects of non-fossil, non-nuclear options to respond to climate change. Second, introducing externalities so prominently into the analysis highlights nuclear power’s own environmental problems. Even with climate change policy looming, nuclear power cannot stand on its own two feet in the marketplace, so its advocates are forced to seek to prop it up by shifting costs and risks to ratepayers and taxpayers.”

“The massive shift of costs necessary to render nuclear barely competitive with the most expensive alternatives and the huge amount of leverage (figurative and literal) that is necessary to make nuclear power palatable to Wall Street and less onerous on ratepayers is simply not worth it because the burden falls on taxpayers. Policymakers, regulators, and the public should turn their attention to and put their resources behind the lower-cost, more environmentally benign alternatives that are available. If nuclear power’s time ever comes, it will be far in the future, after the potential of the superior alternatives available today has been exhausted.”

THE ECONOMICS OF NUCLEAR REACTORS: RENAISSANCE OR RELAPSE? http://www.vermontlaw.edu/Documents/Cooper%20Report%20on%20Nuclear%20Economics%20FINAL%5B1%5D.pdf

In the U.S., as in most western nations, nuclear plant extended shutdowns & construction cost overruns are business as usual. We know; we were there. And the bids & estimates for new nukes have already been & continue to be substantially revised upwards as we speak.

The US NPP fleet average capacity factor was 89% in 2011:

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/C_US_nuclear_performance_figures_1104121.html

Turns out that is somewqhat higher than for the coal burners at around 80% but that might be for operational reasons.

If one wnats a relaible grid it is required to have dispatchable generators.  The options are hydro (where available), coal, natgas or NPPs.  If one also wants low carbon, only the first and last are possible.

On top of that, a small percentage of average power provided can come from intermittent sources but there is a significant limit to the ability of any grid to provide the balancing agents required to use those resources.

Of course one can overbuild sya solar PV and then curtainlment of generation from that resource will sometimes occur.  That is now the case in Germany which means the effective LCOE of the solar PV panels is driven up.

Like George Monbiot, I would rather not use the nuclear resource but continuing to burn fossil fuels will lead to a hellish future for mankind.  Reality is cruel.

We all know who paid the price for those so-called ”cheaper” nuclear rates, amigo.

More than most, the bondholders & the ratepayers served up by Energy Northwest, when still known as “WPPSS” or most affectionately as “WHOOPS!”, should be most wary of the most exorbitant costs & financial risks of multiple new nuke fiascoes.

“For the agency, under the regionally developed Hydro-Thermal Power Program, the 1970s brought the challenge of attempting to simultaneously construct multiple nuclear power plants. Of the five nuclear power projects started, only one – WNP-2, now known as Columbia Generating Station, was completed. A combination of management failures, a depressed economy, soaring interest rates and material costs, labor unrest, ratepayer activism and over estimation of electricity demand by forecasters was more than the effort could withstand. The other plants were eventually terminated.

In 1983, it became infamous for defaulting on $2.25 billion USD worth of bonds after construction on two of its nuclear power plants, WNP-4 and 5, was halted. [2] The default remains the largest municipal bond default in the history of the United States. [3] The WPPSS acquired the nickname “Whoops” in the media. [1] “

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_Northwest#section_1

“(5) NPPs are about as risky as eating peanut butter, from

Professor Cohen’s “Understanding Risk”
 http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/chapter8.html

Source: Desmogblog (http://s.tt/197vL)”

David, that is but one study. We don’t usually put all of our eggs in one basket because of one study. I get the feeling that nuke only advocates believe that in every situation and location, NPP is the only answer.

Even the guys at BNC had said the decision to build on a fault line, was a bad decision. This should also rule out speculation on other future locations which are also located on a fault.

Going by tectonic plate location, it seems like very un-suitable places NPP should be installed is the following locations:

1) The entire western coastline of North & South America

2) Indonesia

3) Japan

4) Northern India

5) Coastlines of Nth Africa

6) Coastlines of Arab countries

Everywhere else seems safe from that that respect. The only other issue I have is the waste. At present, there is no use for the waste. Ive seen lots of talk about how it “could” be used, or how it “might” be used. Be we are not there yet. 

At present, NPP waste has a 500 year or more dangerous lifespan. The world was a very different place 100 years ago, let alone 500 years ago. The waste is fine in the current geopolitical barriers we have, but if the waste is not reused like they think it will, what will our geopolitcal borders look like in 500 years? Many of the countries we live in might not exist anymore. 

 

Perhaps nuclear power technology could be made safer as demonstrated by the U.S. Navy Nuclear fleet – thank you Admiral Rickover & decades of virtually unlimited defense budgets. However, commercial nukes are again proving too expensive to provide electricity while ensuring public safety without mega-subsidies from cradle to grave & decades if not centuries afterwards.

Siting advanced, perhaps modular nukes in remote locations far from population centers & less prone to earthquakes, flooding, volcanoes, terrorism, & other acts of god & man might be a start, but that would add the costs of new transmission & available water resources & exacerbate the costs & risks of spent fuel storage. In energy markets of ever cheaper & less risky alternatives like wind & solar & perhaps nat gas, utility investors & owner-operators are less likely to run the gauntlet of expensive & risky new nukes. Much more likely is the retirement of old nukes near metropolitan areas, esp. GE BWRs like the 3 or 4 which exploded and/or melted down at Fukushima Dai’ichi.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukushima_Daiichi_Nuclear_Power_Plant#Reactor_data

“Another big earthquake or tsunami could send Fukushima Daiichi’s fragile reactor buildings tumbling down, resulting in “an even greater release of radiation than the initial accident,” Mr. Wyden warned in a Monday letter to Japanese Ambassador to the U.S. Ichiro Fujisaki.

“But Fukushima Daiichi’s Unit 4 reactor was shut down for maintenance when last year’s accident took place, meaning the nuclear fuel rods were outside those protective vessels and sitting in a pool of water, high up in the reactor building, where they were being stored. The water in that “spent fuel pool” keeps the rods cool and insulates them from the outside. But if the pool should spring a leak, or another earthquake bring the pool crashing down, all that fuel would be exposed to the outside air, letting them heat up and release massive amounts of radiation. Other reactors have spent-fuel pools too, but they contain less fuel.”

http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2012/04/17/fukushima-daiichis-achilles-heel-unit-4s-spent-fuel/

However, keeping apace with nuclear technology for research, medical, military, & ET exploration & colonization is probably an enterprise worthy of government subsidy & private investment.

Not anti-nuke, just practical & pragmatic, with another precious grandson more than worthy of a safer, greener planet on which to eat his peanut butter, radionuclide-free.

the figures you mention are nameplate ratings.  You have to multiply by the average availability, typicvally around 27% but of course site dependent.

So all that looks impressive but is rather misleadingly so.

David,

I’m not anti nuclear.  I happen to think the new reactors are just fine.  They shut off if you cut off power.  Our two worst nuclear disasters have been caused by shutting off power.

Since, for a couple-three decades now, we’ve helped to build & start-up nuclear power plants, retrofit & refuel them, inspect & audit them, & defend owner-operators during prudency hearings & radiation lawsuits, we’re not anti-nuclear either.

Just a helluva lot wiser to the extraordinary taxpayer & ratepayer special treatment they still receive after all these years & the extraordinary health risks they still pose to our cities & young citizens.

Not unlike Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Associates. http://fairewinds.com/

“Arnie is an energy advisor with 39-years of nuclear power engineering experience. A former nuclear industry senior vice president, he earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in nuclear engineering, holds a nuclear safety patent, and was a licensed reactor operator.”

“During his nuclear industry career, Arnie managed and coordinated projects at 70-nuclear power plants around the country. He currently speaks on television, radio, and at public meetings on the need for a new paradigm in energy production. An independent nuclear engineering and safety expert, Arnie provides testimony on nuclear operations, reliability, safety, and radiation issues to the NRC, Congressional and State Legislatures, and Government Agencies and Officials throughout the US, Canada, and internationally. In 2008, he was appointed by the Vermont Senate President to be the first Chair of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant Oversight Panel. He has testified in numerous cases and before many different legislative bodies including the Czech Republic Senate.” http://fairewinds.com/content/who-we-are

And these days, what with all the innovating & scaling up of ever cheaper & cleaner & less risky renewable energy technologies like wind & solar, nuclear is neither the cheapest nor the safest option to combat anthropogenic climate change & provide a healthy, clean energy economy for those who follow.

Full disclosure, we are also the dedicated father of five boys & the protecting grandfather of five boys (so far).  Don’t know about Arnie.

“We should move this to another thread.”

The question is, where? It would be good if there was the occasional open thread to discuss things that do not fall in line with the topic. We often find ouraselves digressing like this, but it’s unavoidable, as there is no open threads.

 

It’s not like these threads are overwhelmed by anonymous swarms of posters.

“It’s not like these threads are overwhelmed by anonymous swarms of posters.”

This is true, but it doesn’t stop them anyway and they have removed anonymous posters now.

There are still rules to abide by on the forum, so they would have to comment within that framework.

I just feel there are many subjects,stories and discussions that are not covered by desmog, but fit into the PR category.  

Also desmog mods. Will the formatting toolbar ever be completed? It would be nice to have quoting tools & clickable hyperlinks.

 

None of them have had any major nuclear power plant catastrophes …

……………………………………………………….. YET!

http://www.thewindpower.net/country_media_en_1_france.php

Here is a quote about the finances of one facility in the UK, Sellafield (actually a number of different units).

“Finances

In 2003 it was announced that the Thorp reprocessing plant would be closed in 2010. Originally predicted to make profits for BNFL of £500m, by 2003 it had made losses of over £1bn.[81] Subsequently Thorp was closed for almost two years from 2005, after a leak had been undetected for 9 months. Production eventually restarted at the plant in early 2008; but almost immediately had to be put on hold again, for an underwater lift that takes the fuel for reprocessing to be repaired.[82]

In November 2008 Sellafield was taken over by a new US-led consortium (US company URS Corp., French firm Areva and the UK company Amec) for decommissioning, as part of a 5-year £6.5bn contract. In October 2008 it was revealed that the British government had agreed to issue Sellafield an unlimited indemnity against future accidents; according to The Guardian, “the indemnity even covers accidents and leaks that are the consortium’s fault.” The indemnity had been rushed through prior to the summer parliamentary recess without notifying parliament.”

Is it any wonder that people do not believe a word of what the nuclear industry says.

The full article can be found at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sellafield

 

Recent electrical generation wholesale prices in the US —

NStar’s contract with Cape Wind calls for the utility to pay US$0.187/kWh for that offshore wind farm project.

According to avionexusa wind farm contract prices are typically 10-14 cents per kWh. The nearest to here that I know about has a 20 year contract with Idaho Power with LCOE=US$0.091/kWh.

The Westinghouse AP1000s just now starting construction at VC Summer have in the justification documents approved by the state utility commission an LCOE of US$0.076/kWh. Those 2 NPPs will be Westinghouse’s 5th & 6th AP1000s so the chance of significant cost overrun is low.

Spain continues to demonstrate how wind power can provide much, if not most, of a nation’s electricity at much lower prices.

“Spain’s wind parks provided a record 60.46 percent of demand for electricity early on Monday, national grid manager REE said, after a windy weekend that reduced wholesale power prices to their lowest levels in more than two years.

The Iberian Electricity Market’s (Mibel) spot exchange OMIE set the benchmark “pool” price in Spain for Sunday at 10.99 euros ($14.38) per megawatt-hour, its lowest since fixing a level of 6.32 euros for Jan. 1, 2010.”

Spain day-ahead base at 27-mo low on Saturday http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/16/markets-iberia-power-idUSL6E8FG8NH20120416

If the history of Energy Northwest teaches us anything, investors & taxpayers & ratepayers can ill-afford any more financial nuclear disasters like WPPSS, TMI, or Fukushima.

Default

“In January 1982, the WPPSS board stopped construction on Plants 4 and 5 when total cost for all the plants was projected to exceed $24 billion. Because these plants generated no power and brought in no money, the system was forced to default on $2.25 billion in bonds. This meant that the member utilities, and ultimately the rate payers, were obligated to pay back the borrowed money. In some small towns where unemployment due to the recession was already high, this amounted to more than $12,000 per customer. The bondholders sued and the matter wound it way through courts for the next 13 years. Plants 1 and 3 were never finished either, but their costs were backed by the Bonneville Power Administration and the power it generated from the Columbia River Dams.

On December 24, 1988, the parties in the various lawsuits reached a settlement of $753 million. Some of the system’s approximately 75,000 bondholders would receive 40 cents on every dollar invested; others got as little as 10 cents. Because a court found that some of the bond monies for Plants 4 and 5 were spent on Plants 1 and 3, participants in those projects were held liable for the default. Seattle’s share was $50 million, of which $43.2 million came from insurance companies. The last settlement was reached in 1995.

Plant 2 at Hanford was completed in 1984 and is today (2000) called the Columbia Generating Station. … The unfinished plants were mothballed against the possibility that construction would be resumed. In 1995, WPPSS decided to demolish what remained of the structures.

In 1998, the corporation was renamed Energy Northwest. A consultant advised the board of directors that the old name was “hurting business opportunities” (The Seattle Times).”

http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&File_Id=5482

NSTAR customers pay 3.328 to 6.379 cents per kWh premium for clean, renewable, radionuclide-free wind power.

“Effective March 1, 2012 the NSTAR Green 50 premium will increase to 3.328 cents per kWh from 2.534 cents per kWh. And the NSTAR Green 100 premium will increase to 6.379 cents per kWh from 4.791 cents per kWh. For the average NSTAR Green 100 customer using 500 kilowatt-hours per month this will add approximately $8 to a total monthly bill when compared to recent electric bills. And for the average NSTAR Green 50 customer this will add approximately $4 to a total bill when compared to recent electric bills.”

http://www.nstar.com/residential/customer_information/nstar_green/rate_change.asp

We could certainly use lower rates like that in SoCal where we pay 14 to 26 cents per kWh based on our usage.  Of course, our wind power content as of 2010 was only 7%, & we still have to pay for our 30-year-old nukes, faulty new $670 million steam generators, repairs, decommissioning & all.

http://regarchive.sdge.com/documents/billinserts/regulatory/090111_billonsert_powerlabel.pdf

And we welcome 20% or more wind power by 2030 if not sooner.

http://www.20percentwind.org/20percent_Summary_Presentation.pdf

“The U.S. wind market started 2012 with 8.3 gigawatts of new wind projects under construction, more than the 5.1 gigawatts under way at the start of 2011, AWEA said. Kansas, Texas and California had the most wind-power projects under construction.”

U.S. Wind Energy Capacity Growth Up 31 Percent in 2011 http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-04-12/kansas-texas-led-31-percent-gain-in-u-dot-s-dot-wind-energy-capacity-in-2011

Neodymium, used in making permanent magnets and widely used in wind turbines, is always found in association with actinides, principally thorium.

So yea, its just the miners and refiners which receive the radionuclides.  Nobody used to care much.

Any natural actinides from mining minerals for permanent magnets is dwarfed by the actinides from mining & processing uranium & thorium for nuclear fuels & nuclear weapons programs.  But you already knew that, didn’t you, David.

And more to the point, wind turbine operation does not create the mega-tons of nuclear plant spent fuel  with  fission products & transuranic wastes, a real world Pandora’s Box of man-made radionuclides, including plutonium, neptunium, technetium, iodine, cesium, etc., etc., etc. which stick around for 100,000’s to millions of years & and must be expensively handled & stored somewhere, never mind the millions of tons of uranium tailings from mining & radioactive wastes produced annually from nuclear fuel processing & nuclear plant operation, maintenance, repairs, refueling, & retrofits.

“Of particular concern in nuclear waste management are two long-lived fission products, Tc-99 (half-life 220,000 years) and I-129 (half-life 17 million years), which dominate spent fuel radioactivity after a few thousand years. The most troublesome transuranic elements in spent fuel are Np-237 (half-life two million years) and Pu-239 (half-life 24,000 years).”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioactive_waste#Classification_of_radioactive_waste

And yes, David, despite the nuclear industry propaganda & talking points that you continue to repeat, except for medical necessities, exposing children & child-bearing women & the general population to any man-made radionuclides of Iodine or Cesium or a plethora of other nuclear fission by-products is orders of magnitude more dangerous & immoral than industry worker exposure.  Just ask the parents of Japan & Ukraine.

Another sign of the nuclear times, David.

Cost Overruns Hit another Nuclear Construction Project

$380 million cost overruns so far from licensing delays & “unanticipated rock conditions” & no end in sight, esp. with expensive Fukushima-mandated upgrades & change orders yet to be designed & invoiced.

“Corporations quarrel over $380 million as delays, design changes mount; Fukushima changes will come later and at customers’ expense.”

“A second U.S. nuclear power construction project is expected to receive a license within weeks, but a new document shows that the majority owner and contractors are arguing over who should pay the extra costs of at least 11 changes totaling over $380 million for two Westinghouse AP1000 reactors. Extra charges at the V.C. Summer project in South Carolina include “unanticipated rock conditions” for the nuclear island’s foundation, design modifications for the shield building and structural modules, and persistent problems at a Louisiana facility where plant components are being fabricated.”

Delay Impact Studies, “unanticipated conditions”, revised cost estimates – where have we seen those before, David?

“The delays and cost problems led primary contractor Westinghouse/Shaw to perform a “Delay Impact Study” to “assess strategies for mitigating the delay,” while a timetable for resolving the scheduling problems, along with an updated cost estimate, might not be completed for months, according to a report by South Carolina Electric & Gas to state regulators last week. SCE&G owns 55 percent of the project, and its share of the cost overruns could reach $188 million in 2007 dollars. The position of minority owner SCANA, an electric cooperative, regarding the overruns is not clear.”

Not to mention dozens of missed milestones due to QA/QC issues & what all.

“Out of 146 construction milestones, 42 have been delayed for up to 13 months so far, according to the report. At the Louisiana fabrication plant, Shaw “has been working since 2010 to correct and recover from [Quality Assurance & Control] issues and other issues related to module fabrication at its facility in Lake Charles.” … “One of the largest modules to be fabricated and [installed] early in the construction process” has been delayed by 11 months.”

Still in its experimental infancy, the AP1000 is already costing SC & GA & TN ratepayers a mega-bundle in cost overruns.

“South Carolina electric customers have joined those in Georgia and Tennessee in holding the bag for escalating costs of nuclear construction projects gone awry in their infancy,” said NC WARN’s Jim Warren today. “Summer and Vogtle each hit major overruns even before gaining a construction license, and are sure to suffer more escalations for two reasons: dead-certain changes required by the Fukushima tragedy, and the combination of inherent complexities and experimental nature of the AP1000.”

Not to worry, David, with taxpayers & ratepayers already picking up the rapidly escalating mega-tabs for the AP1000 gravy train, the sky’s the limit.

“The sky’s the limit with these projects,” Warren added. “State ratepayers and federal taxpayers are already suffering rate increases, while scores of contractors and suppliers gobble up the gravy train from myriad construction changes – just like in the 1980s. The only reason these projects haven’t been abandoned – yet – is because the public has been forced to absorb uncontrolled rate hikes to pay for them.”

But don’t be surprised at more & bigger delays & “unanticipated” cost escalations & perhaps a few belated nuke plant cancellations, David. WPPSS-a-daisy all over again.

http://www.ncwarn.org/2012/02/cost-overruns-hit-another-nuclear-construction-project-%E2%80%93-this-one-in-south-carolina-press-release-by-nc-warn/

And wind is the biggest growth driver.

Despite all the delay & denial, renewables now produce over 5% of electric power in over 20 states, never mind South Dakota’s 21% or Iowa’s 17% both from 1% in only 10 years.

“Non-hydroelectric renewable generation has increased in many states over the past decade. In 2011, Maine had the highest percentage of non-hydroelectric renewable generation, at 27% of total in-state generation, up from 20% in 2001 (see maps). South Dakota and Iowa followed, with 21% and 17%, respectively, in 2011, up from 1% and less than one percent in 2001. Wind is the largest driver of this increase across all states.”

Shares of electricity generation from renewable energy sources up in many states http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=5750

almost all that wind is backed by fossil fueled, dispatchable thermal units.  I previously linkeed studies which seem to indicate that little CO2 emissions are abated by using wind generation.

First to the bench, then to the locker room.

Many U.S. coal burners have been & continue to be cancelled & shutdown, but not due to new nukes, amigo.

Nat gas & renewable energy like wind power are more & more the reason, not nukes, amigo, principally due to economic costs & financial risks.

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There is no better way to describe self-appointed climate auditor Steve McIntyre than ‘determined’. Highly determined even.

And you would have to be pretty obstinate to try and poke holes in peer-reviewed climate science given that McIntyre claims he does not receive a salary signed by Big Oil. As author of the sceptic blog Climate Audit, all of McIntyre’s work is funded on his own dime.

Of course, his hotel accommodation while in London this August, where our interview was conducted,...

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