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Submission + - Nuclear Bailout for Excelon Again (bnd.com)

mdsolar writes: A nuclear power plant “bailout” bill appears set to become law after making its way through the Illinois House and Senate on Thursday.
The legislation funnels $235 million a year to power-producing giant Exelon Corp. for 13 years. The money subsidizes unprofitable nuclear plants in Clinton and the Quad Cities that Exelon said would be shuttered over the next 18 months.
Opponents argued that it was wrong to subsidize a company that remains profitable, and that coal-fired power companies haven’t gotten such help. They also argued it will cost consumers.

“Here we go again, picking winners and losers,” said Sen. Kyle McCarter, R-Lebanon. “The money has to come from somewhere. This is a bailout for a very profitable company.”

Submission + - Vietnam abandons plan for first nuclear power plants (reuters.com)

mdsolar writes: Vietnam's National Assembly voted on Tuesday to abandon plans to build two multi-billion-dollar nuclear power plants with Russia and Japan, after officials cited lower demand forecasts, rising costs and safety concerns.

The vote to scrap the country's first atomic energy project deals a blow to the global nuclear business and to Japan's drive to begin exporting reactors after the Fukushima disaster left its nuclear industry in a deep freeze.

The Vietnamese government said in a statement that the decision, made in a closed session of parliament after discussion of a government proposal, was taken for economic reasons and not because of any technological considerations.

Submission + - King tide and powerful supermoon likely to trigger flooding across South Florida (miamiherald.com) 1

mdsolar writes: Break out the waders. On Monday, a seasonal king tide powered by the largest supermoon in nearly seven decades is expected to trigger flooding up and down the South Florida coast.

The moon, which normally circles about 238,000 miles from the earth, will swing about 17,000 miles closer over the weekend, NASA scientist Noah Pedro said in a webcast. In South Florida, that trajectory coincides with seasonal high tides expected to be their highest on Monday.

  Depending on location, timing of the tides varies. Miami Beach officials expect tides to peak at 8:23 a.m. and 8:34 p.m. Monday. In Miami at Dinner Key Marina, they should arrive about 8:55 a.m. and 9:07 a.m.

The high water comes less than a month after another tide swamped much of South Florida, sending water over seawalls, submerging much of Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale and triggering warnings not to wade through dirty stormwater.

Comment Goodbye NATO (Score 1) 2837

The North Atlantic Treaty Alliance which has contained Russian expansion for such a long time is about to end. Eastern Europe and perhaps even Germany will be lost. Isreal my be providing more warm water ports to Russia as well.

Submission + - France could face winter power cuts, hit by nuclear dependence (reuters.com)

mdsolar writes: France could impose power cuts this winter due to an electricity shortage, an unprecedented step in the wealthy nation which would expose the vulnerabilities of its dependence on nuclear power.

The warning was issued on Tuesday by grid operator RTE, which said power supply had been hit by the closure of around a third of the country's ageing nuclear reactors for safety checks. The country's regulator has ordered a review of the strength of crucial steel components after the discovery of manufacturing irregularities.

France relies on nuclear for three-quarters of its power, more than any other country. RTE said the amount of nuclear power available was at a record low for this time of year, around 10,000 megawatts lower than a year ago — equivalent to more than twice the consumption of Paris and Marseille combined.

"During some periods of the day in winter, and during some days, we may need to use exceptional measures to guarantee the balance of electricity demand and supply on the network," RTE President Francois Brottes told reporters at a news conference.

RTE would start by boosting power imports and could also pay some industrial customers to switch off their machinery or curb usage, but Brottes said the gird operator might also have to impose short, rolling power blackouts in parts of the country.

Submission + - Federal regulators give Turkey Point nuclear expansion plan a key environmental (miamiherald.com)

mdsolar writes: Federal nuclear regulators have wrapped up a seven-year environmental study partly clearing the way for two new reactors at Turkey Point, just as work gets underway on a massive cleanup of leaking cooling canals connected to the plant’s old reactors.

In a two-volume 1,200-page review, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission found the use of cooling towers to operate the new reactors perched on the shores of Biscayne Bay between two national parks would do no damage to the fragile ecosystem. The approval comes as Florida Power & Light begins tackling ongoing problems at the aging cooling canals that over the years pushed an underground plume of saltwater miles inland, threatening drinking water supplies, and leaked water tainted with a radioactive tracer into Biscayne Bay.

Comment Re:Get Real (Score 1) 126

There is a demo linked at the bottom. I've also added a new second verse though I haven't recorded it.

Those little hands go groping, can’t keep them off of us.
It’s the kind of thing you brag of for charming Billy on the bus.
Got to wonder why you said it, did you want to grope him too?
They only like your money, there’s no one that ever liked you.

Submission + - France's Nuclear Storm: Many Power Plants Down Due to Quality Concerns (powermag.com)

mdsolar writes: The discovery of widespread carbon segregation problems in critical nuclear plant components has crippled the French power industry—20 of the country’s 58 reactors are currently offline and under heavy scrutiny. France’s nuclear safety chairman said more anomalies “will likely be found,” as the extent of the contagion is still being uncovered.

With over half of France’s 58 reactors possibly affected by “carbon segregation,” the nation’s nuclear watchdog, the Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN) has ordered that preventative measures be taken immediately to ensure public safety. As this story goes into production in late October, ASN has confirmed that 20 reactors are currently offline and potentially more will shut down in coming weeks.

The massive outages are draining power from all over Europe. Worse, new questions continue to swirl about both the safety and integrity of Électricité de France SA’s (EDF’s) nuclear fleet, as well as the quality of some French- and Japanese-made components that EDF is using in various high-profile nuclear projects around the world.

EDF’s nuclear power plants (NPPs) provide up to 75% of France’s power needs. Its NPPs are spread out over 19 sites and include 34 900-MW units, 20 1,300-MW units, and four 1,450-MW units. As the fleet suffered through shutdowns, inspections, and reviews, production fell in September to its lowest level since 1998—just 26.6 TWh, according to French grid operator Reseau de transport d’electricite.

With more NPPs scheduled to go offline, that figure may continue falling. Earlier in October, EDF reduced its 2016 generation targets from 395–400 TWh to 380–390 TWh, while estimates for nuclear output in 2017 have also been lowered to between 390 TWh and 400 TWh. For perspective, annual nuclear production averaged 417 TWh in the period 2005–2015. Although in 2009 output fell to 390 TWh, for the last decade production has consistently been above 400 TWh and exceeded the target range of 410–415 TWh in both 2014 and 2015.

Following EDF’s reduced nuclear generation forecast, wholesale power prices immediately began jumping with Q4 2016, Q1 2017, and calendar 2017 baseload contracts trading up by €1.70/MWh, €1.65/MWh, and €1.20/MWh, respectively. To address the energy shortfall, France is turning to coal and other fossil fuels, as well as imported power. Despite the COP21 carbon emissions agreement, which recently went into force, France is now burning coal at its highest levels in 32 years.

Comment Get Real (Score -1, Troll) 224

Grampa was a pimp so daddy joined the Ku Klux Klan.
You spoil your boy rotten cause you've only got small hands.
Don't tell us 'bout your daughter, how you'd love to do her too
Cause your wife's a visa cheat with a resume as fake as you.

Only your ghostwriter knows you, and he says he faked your book.
So you abuse your pageant winner like your grandpa's got you on a hook.
You're a four time bankrupt even when you fake a school. Crash that casino, no one loses money like the way you do.

You hate our Constitution, can't stand to see it wave.
At heart you hate our country, may God somehow see her saved.
It's time to get real, time you realise,
A mourning mother speaks out with the courage in her eyes.

Get real you ballbreaker, time to just get real.
You're just the mob's bigot butler, you sorry venal heel.
You're ugly on the inside, you're fake and you're a sham.
You've just poisoned what you've touched with those tiny little hands.

Listen to Get Real on Soundcloud.

Comment Get Real (Score 1) 126

Grampa was a pimp so daddy joined the Ku Klux Klan.
You spoil your boy rotten cause you've only got small hands.
Don't tell us 'bout your daughter, how you'd love to do her too
Cause your wife's a visa cheat with a resume as fake as you.

Only your ghostwriter knows you, and he says he faked your book.
So you abuse your pageant winner like your grandpa's got you on a hook.
You're a four time bankrupt even when you fake a school. Crash that casino, no one loses money like the way you do.

You hate our Constitution, can't stand to see it wave.
At heart you hate our country, may God somehow see her saved.
It's time to get real, time you realise,
A mourning mother speaks out with the courage in her eyes.

Get real you ballbreaker, time to just get real.
You're just the mob's bigot butler, you sorry venal heel.
You're ugly on the inside, you're fake and you're a sham.
You've just poisoned what you've touched with those tiny little hands.

Listen to Get Real on Soundcloud.

Submission + - Nuclear CSI: Noninvasive procedure could identify criminal nuclear activity (phys.org)

mdsolar writes: Determining if an individual has handled nuclear materials, such as uranium or plutonium, is a challenge national defense agencies currently face. The standard protocol to detect uranium exposure is through a urine sample; however, urine is able to only identify those who have been exposed recently. Now, scientists at the University of Missouri have developed procedures that will better identify individuals exposed to uranium within one year. Scientists and homeland security experts believe this noninvasive procedure could identify individuals who may be smuggling nuclear materials for criminal purposes.

"We are working to develop a tool that law enforcement agencies in nuclear proliferation or smuggling investigations can use to identify individuals who have handled special nuclear material," said John Brockman, associate professor of research in the MU Research Reactor Center. "The goal of our research was to determine if hair, fingernail clippings and toenail clippings could be used to better detect uranium exposure."

Brockman collected hair, fingernail and toenail clippings from workers in nuclear research facilities from around the country. Testing procedures developed by Brockman and his team were able to identify exposure to both natural and manmade sources of uranium.

According to the World Nuclear Association, naturally occurring uranium is a mixture of three isotopes, including uranium-238 (U-238), U-235 and traces of U-234. U-238 accounts for over 99 percent of the isotopes found in nature; U-235 is the isotope necessary to create nuclear weapons or power a nuclear reactor. U-235 is considered a fissile isotope, meaning the atom has the ability to split, yielding a large amount of energy. Uranium that has been used as fuel in a nuclear power plant also contains the manmade isotope, U-236.

"Our technique was not only able to determine uranium exposure, but also the specific isotopes the individual has handled within the last year," Brockman said. "We were able to identify exposure to enriched uranium, which is used to make both nuclear fuel and weapons, and U-236 which is suggestive of nuclear fuel reprocessing."

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