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By Robert Rapier on May 30, 2011 with 135 responses

Scientists Create Ethanol From Hydrogen They Created From Ethanol

Alas, today I had intended to put up my book review of Amanda Little’s book Power Trip, but I left the book on my desk in the office and I need to review some notes first. So that should be posted for my Thursday column. If you haven’t noticed, I have fallen into a pattern of putting up a new column each Monday and Thursday. Because there is always a lot going on in energy, I generally have three or four decent choices for these new columns.

This week, I was sent a guest column on nuclear power called Fukushima a stake through nuclear industry’s heart. I had initially decided to run it, but had a change of heart. The reasons are that I think the tone of the essay invites hostile responses. It is also extremely anti-nuclear, and I don’t want this blog to become known as an anti-nuclear blog. To be honest, I have had many of the same thoughts as the author since Fukushima — that is to say that I think this is going to be a devastating blow for the nuclear industry — but I still want this blog to be a place that we can debate the issue free of hostility and hyperbole. So, I decided that a link to the essay would suffice.

Then there are always short stories that are perfect for our Energy Ticker, but which might be a stretch as the basis for a column. So I decided to pluck some of the more interesting stories of the past few days and write some commentary on those. The themes I will cover below are Solazyme’s IPO, booming E85 sales, a story that predicts $5 gasoline for this summer, and a new breakthrough in the generation of hydrogen from ethanol that stuck me as humorous.

Thoughts on Solazyme

Solazyme Surges in Debut on Bio-Fuels Bet

Solazyme Inc., the developer of oil products from genetically modified algae, jumped 15 percent in its first day of trading on increasing demand for renewable sources of fuel and specialty chemicals.

The company rose $2.71 to $20.17 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading, after being priced late last night at $18. South San Francisco, California-based Solazyme sold 10.975 million shares, raising $197.6 million, according to a regulatory filing.

The demand validates the technology used to convert organic material into biofuels and specialty chemicals, said Pavel Molchanov, an analyst for Raymond James & Associates Inc.

“The science in their process works,” Molchanov said today in a telephone interview.

I would disagree with Mr. Molchanov that the demand validates the technology. We have seen plenty of demand that was based more on hope and hype for any number of technologies, and we have seen many companies rise to extremely high valuations, only to come plummeting back to earth. However, I do agree with his last statement. The science works. One thing that distinguishes Solazyme from many other companies in this sector is they have produced significant quantities of renewable hydrocarbons — reportedly 100,000 gallons in 2010.

I have written about Solazyme here a number of times, going back over two years. At the Pacific Rim Summit in Honolulu in 2009, I sat down for a visit with Solazyme’s President and CTO Harrison Dillon and got to ask him a number of questions about Solazyme. Over time I have developed a favorable view of their approach; it makes sense on many levels and avoids many of the challenges of conventional algal fuel production attempts.

Critics will respond that their fermentation approach is sugar-based, and sugar requires land and therefore also sets up competition with food. My response to that is that sugarcane offers many income opportunities to farmers in developing countries, and as is the case with ethanol production one doesn’t have to necessarily use the refined sugar. When I visited an ethanol plant in India in 2008, they extracted and produced sugar for sale, and then used the leftover molasses as the feedstock for the ethanol plant.

I believe this is the sort of model for future biofuel production. It is an income source for farmers, and can produce food and fuel without heavy reliance on fossil fuel inputs. I have long been on record in support of the sugarcane ethanol model, primarily because it isn’t heavily reliant on fossil fuels. I think Solazyme’s model could work in exactly the same way (except hydrocarbons are easier to separate from water than is ethanol). The biggest questions will be whether they can get the production costs of the fuel down, as well as whether there are limits to the scalabilty of the process. On the costs, their recent movement into other consumer products will help spread out the capital and operating costs so that they aren’t borne solely by the fuel.

There are reports that Solazyme can now produce fuel for $3.44 a gallon. I remain skeptical on that front, and have yet to see that number in context. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that this is a projection for their oil, which still must be refined into fuel. However, if they can produce fuel at that price eventually — and they have good IP protection around their process — the company could be grossly undervalued at present.

E85 Sales on the Rise

E85 sales increase 27% as gas prices rise in quarter

As the price of gasoline climbed by 90 cents per gallon during the first quarter, sales of cheaper E85 ethanol blend rose by 27 percent during the same period over the fourth quarter of 2010, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association said.

According to the Iowa Department of Revenue, sales of E85 by Iowa retailers reached 2,645,038 gallons during the first three months of this year. Compared with the first quarter of 2010, E85 sales were up 64 percent in 2011.

In addition to Solazyme’s approach, I believe E85 in the Midwest can provide a sustainable model for future biofuel production. On the other hand, E85 that is exported far from the source of production? Not so much, for reasons I detailed in E85 Case Study: Iowa.

Per the story above, E85 sales reached 2.645 million gallons in the first quarter. On an annualized basis, that would amount to 10.6 million gallons. However, Iowa uses 1.6 billion gallons of gasoline annually — 150 times the level of their E85 consumption. Thus, my contention is that there is an enormous potential market in the Midwest that has barely been tapped. So instead of trying to spend billions on a pipeline to move that ethanol out of the region, it would be a far more sensible energy policy to promote E85 demand in the Midwest. It would be far easier and less expensive to build out E85 infrastructure in the Midwest than to attempt to make the entire country compatible with E15 or E20.

Let’s first conquer the Midwest, then we can worry about exporting ethanol out of the area.

$5 Gas This Summer?

Comin’ this summer… $5 gas

Goldman Sachs’ crystal ball is proclaiming that oil will soon soar to $135 a barrel, and likely have service stations jacking up fuel prices to $5 a gallon in New York just like the summer of 2008 that preceded the recession.

Indeed, analysts say Goldman and the other oil trading giant that also has the might to move prices, JPMorgan Chase, have already placed their energy bets for the summer. JPMorgan predicts oil hitting $130 a barrel in the coming weeks.

On this, I disagree. You can mark me down as one who does not believe fuel prices — except in perhaps isolated incidents — will hit $5 this summer. I was asked about this on a radio station just over a month ago; whether I thought the claims of $5 to $6 gasoline this summer had any chance of materializing. That week (April 26th), West Texas Intermediate traded at $113 a barrel. I responded to the question that I thought oil at that price and under current market conditions was in a speculative bubble, and I expected oil and gasoline prices to correct down before summer. In fact, $113 turned out to be the most recent peak for WTI, which has since corrected back down to under $100 a barrel.

However, there are lots of things that could change that equation in a hurry. A hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico or additional instability in the Middle East could easily run oil prices up to $130 a barrel. However, I don’t believe under the current market fundamentals that is likely to happen this summer. It will happen, just not yet. I think this is the nature of the oil markets in these times of tight supply and demand. Oil races ahead of itself, driven in part by speculation. Then a correction comes, and oil is driven down (sometimes quickly again, with the help of speculators). Important to note that when oil hit $147 a barrel in the summer of 2008, Goldman Sachs’ crystal ball said we were headed to $200 a barrel. I said at that time that oil had gotten ahead of itself. By years’s end it had plummeted into the $30′s.

Hydrogen from Ethanol

Scientists Generates Hydrogen as an Energy Source from Ethanol and Sunlight

The amount of hydrogen and energy generated depends on the amount of catalyst used and the area exposed to solar radiation. Researchers have generated up to 5 litres of hydrogen per kilogram of catalyst in one minute. If 9 kg of catalyst were put in an ethanol tank and exposed to sunlight and the hydrogen generated were used to power a fuel cell, 3 kW of electricity would be obtained, an amount similar to that which is used in a home.

I had a chuckle when a reader recently sent me this story. Scientists have taken ethanol and used it to produce hydrogen. That’s academically interesting, but by no means the first time it was been done. The reason the story made me chuckle is that the way most ethanol is produced today relies heavily on natural gas. Most hydrogen in the world today is produced via natural gas through a hydrogen reforming process. So instead of natural gas to hydrogen, this breakthrough would be natural gas to ethanol to hydrogen. That led me to jokingly respond “What’s next? Scientists Create Ethanol From Hydrogen They Created From Ethanol?” Someone is probably working on the grant proposal right now…

  1. By Kit P on May 30, 2011 at 9:00 am

    “Fukushima a stake through nuclear industry’s heart.”

     

    The only thing that will make nukes go away is people not demanding electricity. If you want electricity you either have to make it yourself or have expert do it for you. After you run out of cheap coal, nuclear is the safest and most economical. Even in the US where we have abundant cheap coal, there are many locations where nukes are the best choice.

     

    Everyone wants electricity but a very vocal minority are against everything. They do not make electricity so the only reason they matter is that lots of lawyers must be hired to make electricity.

     

    “To be honest, I have had many of the same thoughts as the author since Fukushima ”

     

    Did we stop using oil after Deepwater, Piper Alpha, or Exxon Valdez? Did we stop using fertilizer after …? Did we stop using natural gas after …..? Did everyone move from the Midwest after tornadoes of …? Did people leave California after the earthquake of …..?

     

    You name it, I can make a list of bad things that happen. One of the things I find interesting is that engineers I have talked to in other fields that handle dangerous material get a deer in the headlight look when discussing radiation. Because we take such extraordinary precautions, nuclear power must be extraordinary dangerous.

     

    Two things you need to know. If you work in nuclear power, do not stand next to a critical reactor. If you are protecting the public, do not expose children to massive amounts of I-131. The bottom line is that are not extraordinary dangerous.

     

    I will get accused of downplaying the hazards. However, I work in the US nuke industry with the highest safety standards and the best safety record.

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  2. By Walt on May 30, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Robert Rapier said:

    There are reports that Solazyme can now produce fuel for $3.44 a gallon. I remain skeptical on that front, and have yet to see that number in context. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that this is a projection for their oil, which still must be refined into fuel. However, if they can produce fuel at that price eventually — and they have good IP protection around their process — the company could be grossly undervalued at present.


     

    I read almost all the IPO document with the exception of a few repeated sections.  I was surprised that I did not see any detailed breakdown of the CAPEX, OPEX and Cost of Production for these facilities at any scale.  My COO has been bugging me to revise our documents to detail every cost for scales, but over the years in the conference I have presented we have been the only company to lay out detailed categories of CAPEX, OPEX and Cost of Production.  It did not matter we are third-party validated to be up to 70% lower in CAPEX then our competitors since technology merit is not the driver in the sector.  I think what the driver is today is # of grants, who is your board of directors, how much money you have raised to-date and what is the exit strategy (e.g., today is preferred an IPO for your investors who want in and out quickly).

     

    RR says, “the company could be grossly undervalued at present” and from what I read this is absolutely true.  Frankly, I don’t think they need to get to a cheap fuel price.  The government will pay top dollar for their fuel due to mandates, and as an early entry to the market who has proven commercial production (no matter what is the price of the oil they produce) their stock will fly.  At this point it will have nothing to do with reality of price, but it is now in the hands of the market.  When you see the investors and underwriters…there is no chance this company stock is not going to climb to the ceiling like Google did and keep climbing.  It is not the technology stupid as I’m reminded, it is the market drivers.

     

    I’m excited to see their future capex, opex and cost of production figures…maybe in future quarterly reports.  I don’t think we will ever see them, but it will be exiting to wait and see how far the stock grows with nobody ever looking at what it costs to make this algae oil.  That is the real story that will never make these blogs, or Biofuels Digest as they fall all over themselves in joy.

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  3. By Walt on May 30, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Robert Rapier said:

    On this, I disagree. You can mark me down as one who does not believe fuel prices — except in perhaps isolated incidents — will hit $5 this summer. I was asked about this on a radio station just over a month ago; whether I thought the claims of $5 to $6 gasoline this summer had any chance of materializing. That week (April 26th), West Texas Intermediate traded at $113 a barrel. I responded to the question that I thought oil at that price and under current market conditions was in a speculative bubble, and I expected oil and gasoline prices to correct down before summer. In fact, $113 turned out to be the most recent peak for WTI, which has since corrected back down to under $100 a barrel.

    However, there are lots of things that could change that equation in a hurry. A hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico or additional instability in the Middle East could easily run oil prices up to $130 a barrel. However, I don’t believe under the current market fundamentals that is likely to happen this summer. It will happen, just not yet. I think this is the nature of the oil markets in these times of tight supply and demand. Oil races ahead of itself, driven in part by speculation. Then a correction comes, and oil is driven down (sometimes quickly again, with the help of speculators). Important to note that when oil hit $147 a barrel in the summer of 2008, Goldman Sachs’ crystal ball said we were headed to $200 a barrel. I said at that time that oil had gotten ahead of itself. By years’s end it had plummeted into the $30′s.


     

    I often wonder how these press releases work…after reading about how Goldman pumped up the market of mortgages to their clients only to short against their clients the same week.  It would be interesting to see if Goldman said, “Hey, oil is going to go to $147 a barrel” and then later to short against the market knowing it would drop to $30 due to supply issues.  It has been absolutely proven they did this with mortgages, even claiming before congress they had no idea of any of these allegations.  Their CEO sat in front of congress offended anyone would ever allege such a think by Goldman to do with their clients, but now we see them getting ready to deal with all the documents publicly that absolutely proved they did exactly what was alleged.  Of course, they will deny and pay the fine…it is a cheap price to pay for the untouchables.

     

    I would not be a bit surprised if they will short anything they say publicly now to insure the blind will pour money to move the price up in oil futures, and then get hammered in 6 months when people see the short position and try to get out fast.  This is the story that few (except Rolling Stone … it appears) will not fear to tread.  I’m really surpised some of their researchers are not facing a lot more public heat, or perhaps it is all coming to them where we cannot see it yet.  If the congress cannot get to the bottom, who can?

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  4. By Kit P on May 30, 2011 at 9:29 am

    “Scientists Generates Hydrogen as an Energy Source from Ethanol and Sunlight”

     

    I am always surprised when the headlines is not ‘Scientists blowup lab’.

     

    The fundamental mental idea is to take sunlight to produce hydrogen which can be stored to make electricity at night. To make electricity all night you have to store lots of hydrogen, therefore have a significant hazard. This can be done to safety standards but the cost of doing so makes it impractical.

     

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  5. By Rufus on May 30, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Half of the GM cars/light trucks sold in Ms in 2012 will be Flexfuel (this year it was 40%.) Supposedly, the same ratio applies to Ford, and Chrysler.

    I would say the next challenge is to get ethanol production into Ms, Al, Ga, and the rest of the biomass-rich South. Unfortunately, that will require loan guarantees, and, in today’s political climate, there’s not a snowball’s chance in hades of that happening.

    It’s going to be a very unsatisfying couple of years for Ol’ Rufus, and the ethanol supporters, I’m afraid.

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  6. By carbonbridge on May 30, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Kit P said:

    The only thing that will make nukes go away is people not demanding electricity. If you want electricity you either have to make it yourself or have expert do it for you. After you run out of cheap coal, nuclear is the safest and most economical. Even in the US where we have abundant cheap coal, there are many locations where nukes are the best choice.  …I will get accused of downplaying the hazards. However, I work in the US nuke industry with the highest safety standards and the best safety record.


     

    Personally, I don’t want it Kit.  The risks of Nukes do NOT outweigh the benefits of cooking my bacon & eggs in the morning w/nuke-generated electricity!  Sorry – We are ALL entitled to our opinions…  You stated yours.  And I’ve stated mine.  No need to debate it further!!!

    RR:  Thanks for discussing the handful of other short energy snippets.  While these ‘other’ energy issues are topical, — nothing is as topical as radiation releases from a Japanese nuke plant billowing around planet earth and getting worse, not better…  I did follow your first link in this essay out and read Admiral Hyman G. Rickover’s quote pasted below.  

    Admiral Rickover was known as the “father of the U.S. nuclear navy,” sheparded the U.S. Navy into the nuclear age, attracting the best and the brightest (including a future president, Jimmy Carter) around him to advance nuclear propulsion of such a quality engineering level that the Navy has a perfect safety record, a legacy of Rickover’s 63 year career.  Nonetheless Rickover remained doubtful about nuclear power, delivering “On the hazards of nuclear power.  Testimony to Congress” on 28 January 1982. His insights are worth quoting in detail.

    “I’ll be philosophical.  Until about two billion years ago, it was impossible to have any life on earth; that is, there was so much radiation on earth you couldn’t have any life — fish or anything.  Gradually, about two billion years ago, the amount of radiation on this planet—and probably in the entire system—reduced and made it possible for some form of life to begin…  Now when we go back to using nuclear power, we are creating something which nature tried to destroy to make life possible…  Every time you produce radiation, you produce something that has a certain half-life, in some cases for billions of years.  I think the human race is going to wreck itself, and it is important that we get control of this horrible force and try to eliminate it…  I do not believe that nuclear power is worth it if it creates radiation.  Then you might ask me why do I have nuclear powered ships.  That is a necessary evil.  I would sink them all.  Have I given you an answer to your question?”

    Yesterday, my own holiday weekend was interrupted by an email which contained the headline and URL below.  I think this is pretty serious planetary business and it does not seem to be reaching the publics while tornados and other weather phenomenon move to center stage.  Radiation still spews to the whole planet from this crippled Japanese nuke reactor.  And this is something which we can’t see, smell nor taste in our breakfast cereal milk.

    -Mark

    Fukushima: How Many Chernobyls Is It?
    Fukushima Daiichi Equals 50 Plus Chernobyls
    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2…..yls-is-it/

     

    Googling “Bob Nichols” who writes columns for Military Veterans, I uncover blogs on this subject and Bob’s succinct reply to one poster.

    Reality Be Dammed  • May 28, 2011 – 6:27 pm
    The final kill of the population has begun. The controllers are letting this meltdown continue as long as possible to accomplish their goal of population reduction.  The “early death clock” is ticking for every single living thing on the planet.

    Reply via Bob Nichols • May 28, 2011 – 6:59 pm

    Reality Be Dammed,  You got that right, RBD.  … and … there are 4 more reactors idling in neutral just waiting to meltdown 10 Clicks away – still in the Forbidden Zone.  What you guys going to do the next time some s•••-for-brains tells you nukes are “quite safe?”   

    Yeaaaaaaaa, Me too.  -Bob

     

    If you are interested in looking at some of the radiation forecasts for the billowing and invisible clouds of rads, you can start with the links below.  This stuff is what it is – amid the meltdown – and certain citizens trying to peer deeper into what is actually happening.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..e=youtu.be
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..EavDIUOpoo
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..E&NR=1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..re=related

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  7. By Walt on May 30, 2011 at 11:16 am

    CarbonBridge said:

    Admiral Rickover was known as the “father of the U.S. nuclear navy,” sheparded the U.S. Navy into the nuclear age, attracting the best and the brightest (including a future president, Jimmy Carter) around him to advance nuclear propulsion of such a quality engineering level that the Navy has a perfect safety record, a legacy of Rickover’s 63 year career.  Nonetheless Rickover remained doubtful about nuclear power, delivering “On the hazards of nuclear power.  Testimony to Congress” on 28 January 1982. His insights are worth quoting in detail.

    “I’ll be philosophical.  Until about two billion years ago, it was impossible to have any life on earth; that is, there was so much radiation on earth you couldn’t have any life — fish or anything.  Gradually, about two billion years ago, the amount of radiation on this planet—and probably in the entire system—reduced and made it possible for some form of life to begin…  Now when we go back to using nuclear power, we are creating something which nature tried to destroy to make life possible…  Every time you produce radiation, you produce something that has a certain half-life, in some cases for billions of years.  I think the human race is going to wreck itself, and it is important that we get control of this horrible force and try to eliminate it…  I do not believe that nuclear power is worth it if it creates radiation.  Then you might ask me why do I have nuclear powered ships.  That is a necessary evil.  I would sink them all.  Have I given you an answer to your question?”


     

    Although there does not seem to be any radiation reaching America from Japan according to the EPA, and so nobody here is facing any potential health threats as our government would be helping us with solutions, we can at the very least take a good look at our own nuclear power.  If the disaster in Japan is not effecting any other countries like research showed that the Ukraine disaster affected some Eastern European countries, I wonder if America will consider what we have in our own backyard if we won’t consider the effects from Japan on America?

     

    I hope it does not turn out to be another Goldman issue where they go up to Congress and deny everything only to find out later that all the evidence proves they covered it up as much as possible.  I know that is all just conspiracy theory and has no place here, but we should all use critical thinking skills and evaluate what is said pulbicly to what is done privately and confidentially.  Press Releases today no longer give me everything I need to know…and Silicon Valley energy and tech companies are not the worst.

     

    Propaganda is often denied as conspiracy theory, and thus anyone who charges propaganda is labeled a nut case, but here is a simple explanation on the subject and how government uses it for its own purposes to win friends and influence people.

     

    “The absence of public unity was a primary concern when America entered
    the war on April 6, 1917. In Washington, unwavering public support was
    considered to be crucial to the entire wartime effort. On April 13,
    1917, Wilson created the Committee on Public Information (CPI) to
    promote the war domestically while publicizing American war aims abroad.
    Under the leadership of a muckraking journalist named George Creel, the
    CPI recruited heavily from business, media, academia, and the art
    world. The CPI blended advertising techniques with a sophisticated
    understanding of human psychology, and its efforts represent the first
    time that a modern government disseminated propaganda on such a large
    scale. It is fascinating that this phenomenon, often linked with
    totalitarian regimes, emerged in a democratic state.”

    http://www.propagandacritic.co…..1.cpi.html

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  8. By rrapier on May 30, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Kit P said:

    “Fukushima a stake through nuclear industry’s heart.”

     

    The only thing that will make nukes go away is people not demanding electricity.

     


     

    True, but there are many ways to get to this end point. That was the basis of my essay How Much Are You Willing to Pay to be Nuke-Free? The message there isn’t “Let’s close all nuke plants”, it is “here are the implications of closing all nuke plants.” There is no free lunch, and I like for people to understand the implications of what they ask for.

    So the way to make people not demand nuclear power is to simply make it unavailable — as many European countries are announcing — or just making it so difficult to do (politically) it that it is impractical.

    Did we stop using oil after Deepwater, Piper Alpha, or Exxon Valdez?

    If you haven’t noticed, people feel differently about radiation than they feel about oil washing up on beaches. But what each of those incidents did was make it costlier to produce oil. That will cause some decrease in demand. Nuclear is bound to become more expensive as a result of this incident as additional layers of safety regulations are piled on.

    The main point is that I think the author of that linked piece is right — this is going to create strong headwinds for the nuclear power industry and is a severe blow around the world. Just today Angela Merkel — long a supporter of nuclear power — announced a closure of all nuclear plants in Germany by 2022. Whether they follow through will remain to be seen, but it is undeniable that there has been a major shift against nuclear since the tragedy in Japan.

    RR

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  9. By Kit P on May 30, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    “No need to debate it further!!!”

     

    I am fine with that Mark but what did you actually do? Mark continued on with the debate. So lets see how well informed Marl’s opinion is.

     

    “The risks of Nukes do NOT outweigh the benefits ”

     

    There are 104 operating nukes in the US providing 20% of US electricity. That is a huge benefit. On the other hand Mark has never been exposed to radioactive material or radiation from a US nuke. His risk is actually zero.

     

    “Admiral Rickover”

     

    Have you ever met him? I have several times. At the time, I had less than a year expedience supervising the operation of navy nukes. That was more than Admiral Rickover. Now I have more that 40 years experience with commercial nuclear power. In hindsight, Admiral Rickover was wrong about his prognostications about the future nuclear power. He was also talking about nuke warships and nuke weapons.

     

    To paraphrase what Admiral Rickover said when I was standing next to him for a half hour and later said during his speech at the commissioning of my first nuke ship. ‘the purpose of the USS Texas is to strike fear and terror in the hearts of the enemy.’

     

    “my own holiday weekend ”

     

    Do you mean the weekend to honor me. Rufus, and Wendell for our service to country?

     

    Mark if you want to be upset by reading science fiction that is your choice. If you want to share those links with us read fine but did you ever bother to look at the links I provided? If you like technical stuff it is very interesting reading. I can provide the links again if you like. There is a lot of information if you would like to understand the issue.

     

    Are you ready for a little science Mark?

     

    “Fukushima Daiichi Equals 50 Plus Chernobyls ”

     

    First, the amount of fission products is proportional to the power level. A 1000 MWe graphite moderated reactor has the same as a 1000 MWe LWR. As soon as fission stops, fission products start decaying exponentially.

     

    So no, not 50 but maybe three.

     

    Second, one of Chernobyl’s 1000 MWe graphite moderated reactor exploded because of a power transient. Chernobyl had no containment building and the exposition started a fire and distributed chunks of fuel all over the site. The fire carried the I-131 toward the children that lived nearby.

     

    The order should have been given to run, run now. There is no comparison to what we do in western societies to the USSR.

     

    So no, not 50 but zero at this point.

     

    At Fukushima, there were LWRs in thick concrete buidings. All the reactors shot down as designed after the earth quake and were being cooled down. Then the tsunami damaging emergency power supplies and cooling water. Operators knew if decay heat could not removed from the containment fuel damage would occur and controlled containment venting would be necessary.

     

    The order was given to evacuate around the plant as a precaution. As it turns out it was a necessary precaution.

     

    So no, not 50 but zero at this point because children were not exposed to significant amounts I-131.

     

    “”Bob Nichols” who writes columns for Military Veterans ”

     

    No Mark, it is anti-war web site typical of the SF Bay area. Since I never used drugs, these columns are not for me. I suspect there is not group in the world who hates ware than veterans but these people do not represent us and that web site is offensive.

     

    For those who do not know, about 10% of our electricity in the US comes from destroying nuclear weapons material in nuclear plants.

     

    “we can at the very least take a good look at our own nuclear power”

     

    Of course we are doing that Walt. Much of what has to be done, is done. After 9/11, a large attack by by well organized terrorists was considered. After the 2004 tsunami, the potential for a natural disaster worse than originally was considered was evaluated.

     

    One of the unnerving things is trying to restore power in the dark at a place that has been torn apart while you do not know about your family. I was at a nuke plant that had wind damage and nearby tornadoes. One operator house was destroyed but his family was not home. Coping with random damage is hard but if the damage huge, might mean that the low battery alarms comes on before the cavalry arrives.

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  10. By Kit P on May 30, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    “Nuclear is bound to become more expensive as a result of this incident as additional layers of safety regulations are piled on.”

     

    What new regulations are needed? Help me out here RR. Tell me what we have not thought of already.

     

    “but it is undeniable that there has been a major shift against nuclear since the tragedy in Japan.”

     

    Nothing has changed! The same idiots who were against nuclear power are still against it. German utilities were not planning on building new nukes in Germany. They would build them in other countries.

     

    “Whether they follow through will remain to be seen, ..”

     

    If actions speak louder than words, they will be shutting them down when they are 100 years old.

     

    In countries like the US, France, Finland, and China there has been no shift.

     

    “tragedy in Japan. ”

     

    Which tragedy is that? The one where 26,000 have died and hundreds of thousand are homeless or the one where no one was hurt!

     

    While people are buried in rubble, journalist are asking what about radiation.

     

    “If you haven’t noticed, people feel differently about radiation than they feel about oil washing up on beaches. ”

     

    It seems to be mostly journalist and others who traffic in the misery of others.

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  11. By rate-crimes on May 30, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Perhaps the strongest argument against nuclear power is that the nuclear power industry would create and sustain ”nuclear safety experts” (albeit self-proclaimed) who, in response to an historical nuclear catastrophe, make statements as monumentally stupid as:

    “The safest place to be in case of a massive earthquake and tsunami is in a reactor building of a nuke plant.” – Kit P (see comment #70 of “How Much Are You Willing to Pay to be Nuke-Free?”)

    as well as a statement so profoundly disgusting that it dismays belief that the perpetrator would continue to display himself in these forums. (see comment #410 of “How Much Are You Willing to Pay to be Nuke-Free?”)

    [link]      
  12. By rate-crimes on May 30, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    “Nuclear is bound to become more expensive as a result of this incident as additional layers of safety regulations are piled on.” – Robert Rapier

    “What new regulations are needed? Help me out here RR. Tell me what we have not thought of already.” – Kit P(u-239)

    There is a growing compendium of analyses of what has not been considered, and the repeated errors — many spectacular – of the nuclear power industry at David Lochbaum’s “Fission Stories”.

    http://allthingsnuclear.org/ta…..aum/page/7

    [link]      
  13. By carbonbridge on May 30, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Walt said:

    Although there does not seem to be any radiation reaching America from

    Japan according to the EPA, and so nobody here is facing any potential

    health threats as our government would be helping us with solutions,

    Walt:  Do you have a source for your statement above?  If so, I and others would be interested in reading it.  Thank you.

    I do remember shortly after the Japanese nuke reactor started melting down, that radioactive elements were being found first in cow’s milk.  Rads are carried within the atmosphere and condense and fall to the ground principally by rain drops, cows then eat grass – this is how radioactive elements quickly show up in milk.  Cow’s milk is an early-bird indicator of where radiation has spread.  This was learned after the Chernobyl meltdown.  These first reports of milk contamination were many weeks ago Walt.  Thus I am having a real problem with your first sentence above.  [And I'm not debating 200 rads in a milk sample vs: 2,000,000 rads in a milk sample - this isn't the question here.]  It is airborne radiation making its way from Japan across the Pacific Ocean and hitting Hawaii, Alaska, Canada and western USA first.

    Doing only a little digging, I located the EPA’s national radiation monitoring site which [in my words] is saying Don’t Worry – Be Happy!  Then another article indicates that this same ‘national radioactive monitoring system’ is being further boosted now after radioactive elements were found in milk. 

    Then finally, one more article only a few daze old with the headline:  EPA RadNet radiation monitoring system exposed as poorly-maintained, improperly-calibrated failure

    So who is to believe anything regarding Fukushima’s nuclear meltdown which we [the world public] are being reassurred about?

    –Mark

     

     

    The EPA site for Japanese Nuclear Emergency: Radiation Monitoring is at the URL below.

    http://www.epa.gov/japan2011/d…..dates.html

    This site indicates that small amounts of  Cesium-137, Tellurium-132, Iodine-132 and Iodine-131 radiation from these Fukushima meltdowns IS hitting the USA, yet these rads are currently decreasing.  The official position is “No need to worry about anything” – very low levels of radiation is hitting North America – [it seems].       

    Today, the EPA also released new data for precipitation, milk and drinking water.  Monitors for precipitation and milk have detected low levels of radioactive material consistent with estimated releases from the damaged nuclear reactors.  These detections were expected and the levels detected are far below levels of public-health concern.  [Thus I CAN and SHOULD believe everything I'm reading on the internet...right?]

    Two data reporting samples plucked from this EPA RadNet reporting station:

    “April 26, 2011  As of 9:00 am (EDT) • EPA’s RadNet radiation air monitors across the U.S. show typical fluctuations in background radiation levels.  The levels detected are far below levels of concern.

    “May 24, 2011 • Today, EPA released new data for drinking water, precipitation and milk.  Results from two precipitation samples detected low levels of radioactive material consistent with estimated releases from the damaged nuclear reactors.  These detections were expected and the levels detected are far below levels of public health concern.”

    EPA’s RadNet normally samples radiation in all media on a regularly defined schedule [like once per quarter].  In the event of a threat of a significant radiation release RadNet typically will increase the frequency of sampling and generate many more data records for a given period of time compared to its routine operation.  This was done in 1979 following the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor accident in the U.S., in 1986 following the Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident in the Soviet Union, in 1999 following the Tokaimura nuclear fuel processing facility accident in Japan, in 2000 following the Los Alamos and Hanford wildfires in the U.S., and in 2001 following the terrorist attacks in the U.S.

     

    EPA boosts radiation monitoring after low levels found in milk

    By the CNN Wire Staff • March 31, 2011 6:51 p.m. EDT

    Washington (CNN) — There is no health risk from consuming milk with extremely low levels of radiation, like those found in Washington state and California, experts said Thursday, echoing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

    “When we have a disaster like we’ve had with a nuclear power plant in Japan, we’re probably going to find things that are truly not a public health risk, but I think it’s very difficult for the public to assimilate this information and understand the risks,” said Dr. Wally Curran, a radiation oncologist and head of Emory University’s Winship Cancer Center.

    The federal agency said Wednesday it was increasing its nationwide monitoring of radiation in milk, precipitation, drinking water, and other outlets.  It already tracks radiation in those potential exposure routes through an existing network of stations across the country.

    READ MORE:  http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH…..index.html

     

    EPA RadNet radiation monitoring system exposed as poorly-maintained, improperly-calibrated failure

    Thursday, May 26, 2011 • by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer (NaturalNews)

    Following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster on March 11, 2011, many Americans turned to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) RadNet monitoring system for up-to-date information about radiation levels in the US.  However, it turns out they were unable to get this crucial data because the system is very poorly maintained, routinely suffers from severe calibration issues, and is largely useless as an accurate indicator of radiation threats.

    One would think that the U.S. government’s primary radiation detection system would at the very least undergo routine maintenance and verification protocols to ensure that the system is working properly.  But an inquiry by the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) into a questionable radiation graph released by the EPA revealed that, prior to the Fukushima disaster, at least one detector in the RadNet system was so badly calibrated that it showed much higher radiation levels before the disaster than after it occurred.

    As others began to probe the situation further, it was uncovered that a private company, Environmental Dimensions, Inc., (EDI), is actually in charge of maintaining the RadNet system.  And the owner of this company, which received a no-bid, sole source maintenance contract, is none other than Patricia S. Bradshaw, former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense appointed by former President George W. Bush.

    Why is this significant?  Bradshaw’s connections to the former administration make her company’s government contract a clear conflict of interest.  And the fact that her company appears to have negated its responsibilities in properly maintaining the RadNet system prior to the Fukushima disaster is both unacceptable and highly suspicious, considering her previous role.

    Many of the RadNet stations across the U.S. were either out of service or not transmitting information to the public during and after the Fukushima disaster.  In the days and weeks to follow, many of those same stations continued to supply either no or bogus data.  And a review of the EPA RadNet website shows that the normal quarterly reports of station data have not been published since 2009

    READ MORE:  http://www.naturalnews.com/032…..z1Ns1UCI1Q

    [link]      
  14. By Wendell Mercantile on May 30, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    I would say the next challenge is to get ethanol production into Ms, Al, Ga, and the rest of the biomass-rich South. Unfortunately, that will require loan guarantees, and, in today’s political climate, there’s not a snowball’s chance in hades of that happening.

    Rufus~

    Why do they need loan guarantees? (I assume you are talking about government loan guarantees.) If they have a good business model that is likely to make money, they should have no problem raising capital by the traditional methods:

    1. Sell stock to potential investors who think the company has a good idea that will make money.

    2. Convince a regular bank to loan them money because they have a sound business model and can prove they are competent enough to run a complicated business profitably.

    3. Find a hedge fund or investment bank willing to provide them the capital to get their idea off the ground because they think the returns will make their investors fabulously wealthy.

    Why does ethanol from corn and biomass continue to need the “training wheels” of government loan guarantees? If making ethanol is sound proposition, why can’t they raise capital they way other fledgling companies must — and do?

    [link]      
  15. By rate-crimes on May 30, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Fukushima Debacle Risks Chernobyl ‘Dead Zone’ as Radiation in Soil Soars  May 30, 2011

    “Belarus, which absorbed 80 percent of the fallout from the Chernobyl explosion, estimates that 2 million, or 20 percent of the population, was affected by the Chernobyl catastrophe, while about 23 percent of the country’s land was contaminated, according to a Belarus embassy website. About a fifth of the country’s agricultural land has been rendered unusable, which means some $700 million in losses each year, according to the website.

    Using crops was one solution being considered by Belarus with the idea that grains harvested from contaminated areas could then be processed to make ethanol. A study funded by a philanthropy arm of Heineken NV (HEIA) found that radioactive elements do not transfer into ethanol and this would allow Belarus to become a major supplier of the liquid used to dilute gasoline to the European Union.”

     

    How much ethanol would Belarus have to produce in order to make up $700 million in annual losses?

    [link]      
  16. By OD on May 30, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    The controllers are letting this meltdown continue as long as possible to accomplish their goal of population reduction.

    Sorry, but how can I take someone that says something as fringe as that serious? Did he also link up how chemtrails are going to kill us all LOL.

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  17. By paul-n on May 30, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    How much ethanol would Belarus have to produce in order to make up $700 million in annual losses?

    This is the least silly thing Rate Crimes has written in about 200 odd postings!

    And the asnwer is so simple I don;t know why he didn’t do it himself.

    With ethanol at $2/gal, that is 350 million gallons per year – or about 2.9% of current US production of 12bn gal.

    If we assume a corn yield of 100bu/ac and 2.7 gal EtOH per bu, then they need 1, 300,000 acres to grow the stuff.  Or an area 45 miles by 45 miles.

     

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  18. By paul-n on May 30, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    @ Rufus, I am in Wendell’s corner here, how is that a $24bn/yr industry (12bn gal at $2)  still needs loan guarantees to build more ethanol plants?

    Surely Poet, ADM and Valero have it down to a fine art by now, and the risk of failure must be pretty small.

     

    Unless you are talking about cellulosic plants, and well, in that case, given that no one has a track record of a profitable plant, I wouldn’t be giving out loan guarantees either.

    [link]      
  19. By rate-crimes on May 31, 2011 at 7:36 am

    “This is the least silly thing Rate Crimes has written in about 200 odd postings!” – Paul N

    Aren’t you silly.  Laugh

    “And the asnwer [sic] is so simple I don;t [sic] know why he didn’t do it himself.” – Paul N

    Such simple efforts should be left for the Master of Simple who did not know why.  Of course, you gave an answer so general and so simple as to be nonsensical.  If biostock could be grown on the moon, then it is certain that you would produce the same calculations even though the product’s consumers would sit 240,000 miles away.

    [link]      
  20. By Walt on May 31, 2011 at 8:24 am

    CarbonBridge said:

    Walt said:

    Although there does not seem to be any radiation reaching America from

    Japan according to the EPA, and so nobody here is facing any potential

    health threats as our government would be helping us with solutions,

    Walt:  Do you have a source for your statement above?  If so, I and others would be interested in reading it.  Thank you.


     

     

    Mark, I should have said very low limits detected according to EPA.  Nothing harmful according to their website, and it is gradually getting lower.

     

    “It is important to note that all of the radiation levels detected by
    RadNet monitors and sampling have been very low, are well below any
    level of public health concern, and continue to decrease over time. EPA
    continues to work with federal partners to monitor the situation in
    Japan and stands prepared to accelerate radiation sampling and analysis
    if the need arises. Data will continue to be available on EPA’s public
    website.”

    http://www.epa.gov/radiation/

     

    That was on May 5.  We will have to wait for the next update, but they make it clear from May 5 it will “continue to decrease over time.”  So it is possible there is more radiation going through a full body scanner at the airport than what is reaching America?

     

    Frankly, after watching government operate the past 20 years while working around the world I trust little what they say publicly, but it is almost impossible to prove their lies since it happens so often and they continue to remove any protection from whistleblowers who have historically been able to come forward with actual evidence of the lies and cover-up to protect the institution.  I’m anti-bribery and anti-corruption in business so it often puts me at odds with political parties, military and government institutions wielding power worldwide.  It certainly slows down business.

    [link]      
  21. By Kit P on May 31, 2011 at 10:37 am

    “So who is to believe anything..”

     

     

    “but it is almost impossible to prove their lies ”

     

    Actually it is very easy Walt! Go buy a radiation detector. EPA is not only one who monitors radiation. It was western nuke plants that blew the whistle on Chernobyl. It is sad when Moscow gets a phone call asking if they dropped a nuke weapon. Moscow was not informed by people at the plant.

     

    The problem you will have is the same we have in the industry. Background radiation is always changing. Is it radon or something else? You take your air sample and measure the counts per minute (CPM). Then you measure it at a later time. If the first reading was 100 CPM and 24 hours later it is 50 CPM, then the radioactive element has a half life of 1 day.

     

    Here is the decay heat heat curves from http://atomicpowerreview.blogspot.com/

     Decay Heat

    The reason we stopped looking for I-131 from Fukushima is because it has a half life of about 8 days and is now gone. Or I could part of a big conspiracy.

    [link]      
  22. By Wendell Mercantile on May 31, 2011 at 11:36 am

    What new regulations are needed? Help me out here RR. Tell me what we have not thought of already.

    Kit P.

    RR was not advocating new regulations, he was giving his opinion of what is likely to happen. The first response of legislators to any crisis is to pass new laws; and the bureaucrats then figure out what regulations and rules are needed to enforce those laws.

    You are correct, we don’t need new rules and regulations as much as we need enforcement of those that exist. If lawmakers would give bureaucrats the resources they need to enforce existing regulations, and follow up to make sure they are performing, we would need few new laws. But there is not nearly as much media publicity to be gained from that as from holding hearings and passing new laws.

    I agree with Robert, we are likely to see new rules and regulations imposed. The lawmakers will then get to say, “Look how clever we are, we fixed the problem. We passed a new law.” while paying little attention to how existing regulations are enforced.

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  23. By Rufus on May 31, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Well, of course, Paul, I’m referring to “Cellulose to ethanol/elecrical production” plants. We’re at the Max for Corn, and the South doesn’t grow much corn, anyway.

    The whole idea of “loan guarantees” is to support new industries that are perceived as being important to the National well-being.

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  24. By Rufus on May 31, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    It doesn’t much matter, anyway. It’s obvious that nothing much is going to happen along those lines. There just isn’t a big “constituency.” The Corn guys have theirs, and the oil guys want to keep theirs.

    I’m afraid we’re in for a long, depressing slog.

    [link]      
  25. By Walt on May 31, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Kit P said:

     

    “So who is to believe anything..”

    “but it is almost impossible to prove their lies ”

    The reason we stopped looking for I-131 from Fukushima is because it has a half life of about 8 days and is now gone. Or I could part of a big conspiracy.


     

    Kit,

     

    Let’s say I have become a critic of the government in providing the duty of civil service and limited magisterial functions.  The three branches of government have grown beyond what I ever imagined, but now that it is growing rapidly into all areas of our lives, I am going to be more cautious than I was 20 years ago.  As long as we can still be critics of poor government at the local, state and federal level, I suspect I will toss out a few concerns from time to time.  My father was highly active politically, but I am not.  Yet, with working all over the world I’m not convinced any administration tells us the “gospel” truth on anything…but rather I think in our generation propaganda suits them at many areas of government, not just the CIA and military any longer.  I just think they say what keeps them in power…whether they need to scare us to death to get something passed in the legislature, or on the battle field, or tell us nothing to make independent reporters go crazy with theories.

     

    I did not know the half life of I-131 coming from Fukushima was only 8 days.  Thus, unless it keeps coming and coming it should not be a problem I assume and this is good news.  I cannot imagine what would happen if a reactor faced the same problems here in America as they have in Japan.  Time will tell us how many people will suffer in Japan from this serious event.  Over here, however, it sounds like we should not be impacted if the 8 days really is the period for it to disappear and not cause contamination issues.

    [link]      
  26. By rate-crimes on May 31, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    “The reason we stopped looking for I-131 from Fukushima is because it has a half life of about 8 days and is now gone. Or I could part of a big conspiracy.” – Kit P(u-239)

    First, who exactly is “we”?  Second, why have “we stopped looking for I-131 from Fukushima”?  Apparently, I-131 is not “now gone” and (thankfully) someone is still looking . . .

    Radioactivity way up in Seawater from Fukushima 1, 2 & 3 Meltdowns  May 16, 2011

    “After temporary declines, I-131 levels in entering the ocean near Fukushima unit 2 returned to levels seen one month ago. Moreover, the ratio of I to Cs has gone up, not down. Since I-131 has a half life of 8 days, levels should have dropped by almost 4 half lives, over a factor of ten by radioactive decay alone. Continued high levels of I-131 are an indicator of possible continued criticality of part of the damaged core. Elevated levels of I-135 with a half life of 8 hours would be proof positive of criticality but it has not ever been reported by TEPCO.”

    Radioactivity Density of Seawater around the Bar Screen of Unit 2 of Fukushima Daiichi NPS (Bq/L)

    Radioactivity Density of Seawater around the Bar Screen of Unit 2 of Fukushima Daiichi

    [link]      
  27. By Wendell Mercantile on May 31, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    The whole idea of “loan guarantees” is to support new industries that are perceived as being important to the National well-being.

    Rufus~

    If they have a good idea, and have shown they are competent to build and run it profitably, why do you think they will be unable to attract investors and/or a hedge fund that would provide capital in exchange for sharing the profits? Private capital would only avoid investing if they think there is little potential for profit.

    Why must a government loan guarantee always be involved? If their business plan is sound, private capital will follow. Loan guarantees should not be the substitute for lacking a sound business plan, or having little potential to profit.

    Government funding should be limited to huge ventures that private capital cannot undertake such as the Apollo moon rocket, the space shuttle, the Manhattan Project, etc. — things that stretch our horizons and require a united national effort and commitment of resources.

    What you are talking about is nothing more than a chemical processing plant that takes in feedstock and converts it to something else.

    [link]      
  28. By Rufus on May 31, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Wendell, you can’t be that naive. It’s impossible. To loan $200 Million to a new company, with a new process, to go head-to-head with the oil companies, and the Republican Majority in the House, not to mention hostile Republican Senators on key committee, while getting very little support from an Administration that wants to push Electric Cars, and wind-powered light rail, at a time like this? Not a chance in Hades.

    It’s going to be a very long, very difficult road for cellulosic, from here.

    [link]      
  29. By Wendell Mercantile on May 31, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Rufus~

    Sounds as though you think cellulosic ethanol cannot be profitable or competitive without the “training wheels” of government loan guarantees.

    In the immortal words of Gomer Pyle on the old Andy Griffith show, “Surprise, surprise, surprise.”

    [link]      
  30. By Kit P on May 31, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    “The first response of legislators to any crisis is to pass new laws;”

    What crisis Wendell? There is no crisis in the US. While there has been an uptick in the number of state and national elected officials visiting nuke plants, our elected officials have not panicked like they did in Germany. Hearings have been held with NRC and utility people testifying. There has been no we should have thought of that moments.

    Furthermore, I am sure that RR does not understand regulations affecting nuke plants. The nuclear industry goes way beyond what is required and what is required goes way beyond any other energy industry.

    New regulations are not needed for ‘beyond design basis events’ or ‘severe accidents’ because we have been addressing those issues for many years. I suspect you will see some things like more satellite phones and portable generators. Not bad things to have around during a natural disaster even if you do not have a nuke plant.

    Think of it this way. If you lived in Joplin, would it have better if the nuke plant got a direct hit instead of city and hospital? Inside all those concrete buildings are operators who have been trained to get the plant cold shutdown. After 15 minutes they are reporting that anything not tied down is gone and switch yards are destroyed but no one is injured. Utilities have lots of resources to handle natural resources. Unless every utility in the US gets hammered at the same time, trucks and crews are on the way within hours.

    “Let’s say I have become a critic of the government in providing the duty of civil service and limited magisterial functions.”

    Walt I am a skeptic first and a critic second, by training. I am trained to have a questing attitude. If something does not look right, document it. Being a critic is not a choice it is a job requirement. Sometimes there is a conspiracy. For example, during the cold war we secretly recovered a commie sub. My brother in law all of the sudden had an inordinate interest in radiation. For several years he lied to his whole family. I suspected nothing but my father knew something was up. Of course in this case, telling the truth would have been a bad thing.

    “unless it keeps coming”

    It is gone forever, even in Japan. A new source of a different reactor operating power could release I-131. Every operating reactor is producing I-131 as we speak and there is a certain amount that leaks into the reactor coolant. Because of the chemical properties of iodine, it is very easy to keep it out of effluents until it has decayed away.

    “I cannot imagine what would happen if a reactor faced the same problems here in America as they have in Japan.”

    I know what will happen. The same thing! If there is a dairy farm within 10 miles, the milk will be contaminated. We will not let children drink it. We will evacuate people with 10 miles and not let them return until it is safe. There will be a huge mess to clean up.

    “Time will tell us how many people will suffer in Japan from this serious event.”

    I can tell you now; there will be no health effects from radiation in Japan because the exposures were kept low. Please do not get me wrong. When one whole professional career is based on keeping the fission products inside the fuel rods, failing to do that is very discouraging. I prefer to say that the nuclear industry protects the public by keeping the bad stuff in and not by moving the nice people from their homes.

    [link]      
  31. By Rufus on May 31, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Of course, Cellulosic ethanol is profitable, right now. With $4.00 gasoline? Are you kidding me? But, it doesn’t matter. That plus $1.89 will get you a small cup of Starbucks.

    [link]      
  32. By Anonymous just like on May 31, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Kit P(lutonium) said:

    I am a skeptic first and a critic second, by training. I am trained
    to have a questing attitude.  I can tell you now; there will be no health effects from radiation in Japan because the exposures were kept low. Please do not get me wrong. I prefer to say that the nuclear industry protects the public by keeping the bad stuff in and not by moving the nice people from their homes.


     

    Mr. Plutonium,  You are the only engineer posting on this blog who defends nukes and fission in order to boil a little water into steam to produce electricity.  Maybe RR will give you some space to host an entirely separate pro-nuke blog discussion?  That way the rest of us reading and digesting this thread might learn something new from other posters who do not upset normal and civil discussions.

    [link]      
  33. By Wendell Mercantile on May 31, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Of course, cellulosic ethanol is profitable, right now. With $4.00 gasoline? Are you kidding me?

    Rufus~

    Let’s review: Profitable? (According to you, “Yes.”) Plus an almost insatiable demand for their product (liquid fuels).

    Profitable and a virtually guaranteed demand. Then they should have no trouble raising capital from the private sector. Right?

    [link]      
  34. By drunyon on May 31, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Anonymous just like;
    I am not an engineer like Kit P, but I do think there is a considerable amount of fixation on the Fukushima Daiichi radiation. I see the giant Chiba Oil refinery fire from the earthquake (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..x7xDv0Tb2I), and yet no news articles on the toxins released from this. Surely there were some, and these toxins could well have a larger health impact in Japan than the radiation from the Daiichi nuclear plants. Radioactive substances are toxins as are Coal ash and burning refinery smoke and fluids. RR does a good job of pointing out there are NO perfect energy sources. If there were, we wouldn’t be having lively debates. The dose makes the poison on all toxins. I did look up the elevation of Diablo Canyon (closest nuclear power plant to me) where the emergency diesel generators are located there. Looks like much better placement than at Daiichi all around. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water….

    [link]      
  35. By Kit P on May 31, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    “First, who exactly is “we”? ”

    The ‘we’ is the US EPA looking for I-131 released as an aerosol from steam from hot Fukushima damaged cores and then transported to the US and ending up in milk.

    “and (thankfully) someone is still looking”

    Why is Rate Crimes thankful? Maybe he was planning let babies drink sea water. It should be pointed out that seawater is very toxic to humans. Leave it to Rate Crimes to link a tin foil hat web site.

    There is an established methodology for protecting people. If food is contaminated, do not eat it.

    [link]      
  36. By Rufus on May 31, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    What don’t you understand about “political risk,” Wendell. If the wrong President, and Congress gets elected there could be No “Demand.”

    The only reason there is “Demand,” now is the Mandates. Congress rolls back the rfs, and the gig is up.

    Dangerous times, and the Money is Large.

    [link]      
  37. By rate-crimes on May 31, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    “Hearings have been held with NRC and utility people testifying.” – Kit P(u-239)

    While critical views are given short shrift.  See for yourself . . .

    Gundersen Gives Testimony to NRC ACRS  May 26, 2011

    [link]      
  38. By rate-crimes on May 31, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    “Maybe [Rate Crimes] was planning let babies drink sea water.” – Kit P(u-239)

    You vomit yet another disgusting image.

    [link]      
  39. By rate-crimes on May 31, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    “Leave it to Rate Crimes to link a tin foil hat web site.” – Kit P(u-239)

    If you have data, then present it.  The data of radioactivity is reported to be from TEPCO.  I was unable to find it on their site.

    Actually, it was a lead-lined web site, not tin-foil.

    [link]      
  40. By rate-crimes on May 31, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    “There is an established methodology for protecting people. If food is contaminated, do not eat it.” – Kit P(u-239)

    Few would agree that poisoning food stocks and arable land, and thereby pressuring the poor with a constrained food supply, is an “established methodology for protecting people”.

    [link]      
  41. By Wendell Mercantile on May 31, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    The only reason there is “Demand,” now is the Mandates.

    Rufus, Rufus, Rufus,

    Don’t you understand that if you have to create demand for a product* using a legislative mandate, there must be a fundamental flaw in the product*?

    If a product is truly better and fills a compelling need, provides more utility, or gives more value for money spent, people will buy it without being forced to.

    ————-
    * In this case “cellulosic ethanol”

    [link]      
  42. By Rufus on May 31, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    You can’t be that dumb, Wendell. The Oil Companies OWN the Distribution Chain (not to mention Fox News, the WSJ, and CNBC.)

    No Mandates, No Distribution. Period.

    Please, ask yourself, “Why would the oil companies distribute a competitive product?”

    [link]      
  43. By Recent reactor news on May 31, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Recent reactor news:


     

    TWO MORE RECENT ARTICLES

     

    Oil spill, blast hit crippled Japan nuclear plant
    By YURI KAGEYAMA, Associated Press Yuri Kageyama, Associated Press   – Tue May 31, 11:52 am ET

    TOKYO – An oil spill and a small explosion have caused limited damage — but no further radiation leaks — at the crippled nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan, the plant operator said Tuesday.

    Workers at Fukushima Dai-ichi plant found an oil spill in the sea near reactors five and six, which were in shutdown when the earthquake and tsunami struck March 11, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said. The spill was contained by an oil fence, TEPCO spokesman Taichi Okazaki said.

    The explosion workers heard at reactor four was likely from a gas tank and did not cause any additional radiation leaks, Okazaki said. The cause was being investigated.

    The main problems at Fukushima Dai-ichi are involve reactors one, two and three, where the fuel cores have largely melted. Scientists and government officials say the reactors are short of a full meltdown, in which the fuel breaks through the bottom of the outer container.

    Workers have been fighting to get the reactors under control after the tsunami destroyed backup power generators, halting crucial cooling systems that managed the fuel temperature.

    In the immediate days after the tsunami, several explosions larger than Tuesday’s hit the plant and scattered highly radioactive debris and puffs of radioactive particles into the environment. The plant has also leaked tons of radioactive water, which officials are promising to clean up.

    TEPCO has promised to bring the plant under control by January, but fears are growing that was too optimistic.

    Concerns about the risks workers face there surged this week as TEPCO said two workers might have exceeded a radiation exposure limit. The government had raised the limit for men soon after the earthquake and tsunami set off the crisis at the plant.

    TEPCO has been instructed to check internal exposure levels of all workers who might have worked closely with the two men and to remove all of them from plant duties until the checks are made, Health Minister Ritsuo Hosokawa said.

    “Workers who had engaged in similar plant work also might have been internally exposed,” Hosokawa said.

    Further testing is being done on the two men who were responsible for central control rooms of two reactors, and the company has said they do not show immediate health problems.

    More than 2,000 workers tested so far did not have exposure levels beyond the limit, but hundreds more are waiting to be tested, TEPCO spokesman Takeo Iwamoto said.

    Also Tuesday, TEPCO said it has finished its promised payment of preliminary compensation of 1 million yen ($12,300) for 50,000 households affected by the nuclear crisis. The company said it has started temporary compensation payment for farmers to cover their crop damages.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/as_…..earthquake

    Tepco confirms meltdowns at 2 more Fukushima reactors
    May 24, 2011, MSNBC/Reuters News
    full story at   http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/…..a_pacific/

    summary.   The operator of the nuclear power plant at the center of a radiation scare after being disabled by Japan’s earthquake and tsunami confirmed … that there had been meltdowns of fuel rods at three of its reactors. Tokyo Electric Power Co said meltdowns of fuel rods at three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant occurred early in the crisis triggered by the March 11 disaster. The government and outside experts had said previously that fuel rods at three of the plant’s six reactors had likely melted early in the crisis, but the utility, also known as Tepco, had only confirmed a meltdown at the No.1 reactor. Tepco officials said a review since early May of data from the plant concluded the same happened to reactors No.2 and 3. Some analysts said the delay in confirming the meltdowns at Fukushima suggested the utility feared touching off a panic by disclosing the severity of the accident earlier. “Now people are used to the situation. Nothing is resolved, but normal business has resumed in places like Tokyo,” said Koichi Nakano, a political science professor at Tokyo’s Sophia University. Nakano said that by confirming the meltdowns now, Tepco may be hoping the news will have less impact.

    Note: Very few major media have given TEPCO’s confirmation of the world’s worst fears about the severity of the Fukushima nuclear disaster the attention it deserves. Are the major media burying this story because of the potential harm it will do to plans for the expansion of the nuclear power industry?

    By Shinichi Saoshiro
    Reuters
    updated 5/24/2011 3:05:17 AM ET 2011-05-24T07:05:17

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  44. By Wendell Mercantile on May 31, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Rufus~

    When the oil companies built their distribution chains there were no mandates. They borrowed money or sold stock to raise the capital needed to build pipelines, refineries, depots, and a network of filling stations to serve consumers. They also sold franchises to independent filling station owners. (My father owned his own filling station and operated it as a Texaco franchise for many years.)

    Why can’t the ethanol companies now build their own distribution networks as the oil companies had to 80 years ago? Why aren’t there POET-owned or franchised filling stations in Iowa along I-80 and I-35?

    “Why would the oil companies distribute a competitive product?”

    Why wouldn’t they? Oil companies and independent filling station operators are in the business of making a profit. If it was profitable to covert some of their pumps to E85; if there was a compelling demand from customers to buy E85; and if they could make a profit doing it, do you think they would be so foolish as not to? (You can bet my Dad would have installed E85 pumps — if he had seen a demand and thought it would be profitable.)

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  45. By Wendell Mercantile on May 31, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    Oil spill, blast hit crippled Japan nuclear plant
    By YURI KAGEYAMA, Associated Press Yuri Kageyama, Associated Press – Tue May 31, 11:52 am ET

    TOKYO – An oil spill and a small explosion have caused

    limited damage

    Wow, talk about having an agenda. In their headline they say “blast,” and then in the story say, “small explosion,” and “limited damage.”

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  46. By Kit P on May 31, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    “If you have data, then present it.  The data of radioactivity is reported to be from TEPCO.  I was unable to find it on their site.”

     

    Data on US EPA testing of milk in the US has previously been provided. Walt had a concern about why responsible people would stop testing when levels were below the threshold of detection.

     

    Rate Crimes responded with link to the crazy folks at Daily Kos not TEPCO. I too was unable to find the source of data so Rate Crimes will have to explain what sea water in Japan has to do with milk in the US.

     

    “While critical views are given short shrift. See for yourself . . .”

     

    Speaking of the usual suspects of crazy people Rate Crimes gives us Gundersen. The ACRS is not a political body in the context of congressional hearing that Wendell and I were discussing. In any case the topic was Fukushima. Gundersen was wasting the the time of ACRS since the topic Fukushima. Hint to Gundersen, when you get five minutes hit if hard rather than play to folks like Rate Crimes. The reason no one listens is Gundersen was blowing smoke. I listened but it was a painful 5 minutes.

     

    “Wow, talk about having an agenda. In their headline they say “blast,” and then in the story say, “small explosion,” and “limited damage.” ”

     

    Wendell, according to a report from TEPCO it was an oxygen cylinder in debris being cleared robitically.

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  47. By rrapier on May 31, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Guys, let’s try to keep these discussions civil and factual. That was my whole reason for not hosting that essay, but it looks like we have gone there anyway.

    RR

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  48. By paul-n on June 1, 2011 at 4:32 am

    Yes, you just need to keep a constant, separate nuclear thread, as that seems to keep Rate Crimes busy enough that he doesn’t intrude on everything else.  Could probably create a similar ethanol pakyground for Rufus too, though he seems to think there isn;t going to be much ethanol action from here on.

     

    though it seems they want to export lots of it, from DTN Progressive Farmer, 13 May;

    Barge and vessel shipments of ethanol and other commodities down the Mississippi River to the port of New Orleans have been restricted, with deliveries sometimes taking twice as long to reach their destinations. That’s delaying exports at a time when trade sources say U.S. producers and traders should be taking advantage of an open arbitrage to increase export sales of ethanol to foreign markets such as Brazil, where ethanol output may decline after the country’s sugarcane harvest plummeted 61% in April from a year-earlier due to unfavorable weather, according to the country’s sugar industry lobby group UNICA. RFA President Bob Dinneen said Thursday that U.S. ethanol producers expect to dominate the world market in the coming years due to high prices of sugar in Brazil, building upon exports of about 400 million gallons last year.

    Nice to know that Bob Dinneen intends to use taxpayer subsidised ethanol to dominate world markets – I thought the idea was to reduce America’s oil imports.

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  49. By Kit P on June 1, 2011 at 7:06 am

    “I thought the idea was to reduce America’s oil imports. ”

     

    Tell me what you want to accomplish and we can identify the best way to do it, and the second , as so forth. What gets confusing is when people subsequently move the the goal posts.

     

    The idea was to demonstrate a domestic alternative to oil. We have certainly done that at the same time increase the value of what the US exports. I would also suspect that domestic use of ethanol will increase as more cars that can use E85 hit the road.

     

    We are building nuke plants in Georgia to burn less coal and at the same time shipping biomass to Germany so they can burn less coal because of AGW. Meanwhile Germany is abandoning nuclear power.

     

    If you have read (which nobody else posting here has) the NATIONAL ENERGY POLICY, May 2001; and read the 2005 Energy Bill (which nobody else posting here has); Paul you would know what the ideas are and how successful those policices have been.

     

    How about other policies? Are there models that work better? If you goal is to use more NG to make electricity imported from other places check out the California and German plans.

    [link]      
  50. By Walt on June 1, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Paul N said:

    though it seems they want to export lots of it, from DTN Progressive Farmer, 13 May;

    Barge and vessel shipments of ethanol and other commodities down the Mississippi River to the port of New Orleans have been restricted, with deliveries sometimes taking twice as long to reach their destinations. That’s delaying exports at a time when trade sources say U.S. producers and traders should be taking advantage of an open arbitrage to increase export sales of ethanol to foreign markets such as Brazil, where ethanol output may decline after the country’s sugarcane harvest plummeted 61% in April from a year-earlier due to unfavorable weather, according to the country’s sugar industry lobby group UNICA. RFA President Bob Dinneen said Thursday that U.S. ethanol producers expect to dominate the world market in the coming years due to high prices of sugar in Brazil, building upon exports of about 400 million gallons last year.

    Nice to know that Bob Dinneen intends to use taxpayer subsidised ethanol to dominate world markets – I thought the idea was to reduce America’s oil imports.


     

    Of course, I have learned on this blog not to take few comments from Bob Dinneen as accurate, but this comment certainly does bring to light what is behind the ethanol industry in terms of all the screaming to reduce oil imports and high priced gasoline.  I have no problem with American exports, but clearly there has been so many subsidies and support for ethanol on the basis of it helping transition off of imported crude that one would think more and more people would find this growing export business odd to say the least.  I find it really odd that Bob Dinneen is promoting it so heavily.  There must be a reason he is doing so in Washington politics.  I don’t see it yet, but it will surface soon in legislation.

    The comment about high prices of sugar in Brazil do make me concerned about those technologies dependant on brazil sugar can for making fuel and chemicals…of course, unless you can sell your end product for up to $1 million per ton as recently stated in the latest and greatest biofuels IPO that is taking the green movement by storm.  Every day I see more positive press about that IPO and yet there is not one place in that entire document that shows capex, opex and cost of production by the numbers.  Again, it is not the technology stupid!  It is the packaging and the brazilian based sugar sources funded by American tax payers for an integrated biofuels plant.  All that IP will go to Brazil to create jobs.  I guess I am glad I never got any government money to develop the technology, and then took it overseas.  I would rather get funded from an overseas government and be forced to take it overseas.  At least it is more politically correct!

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  51. By Wendell Mercantile on June 1, 2011 at 9:05 am

    …according to a report from TEPCO it was an oxygen cylinder in debris being cleared robotically.

    Kit P.

    Obviously not enough regulation of oxygen cylinders. After all, they do contain a dangerous oxidant — diatomic oxygen (O2) — confined under high pressure. Diatomic oxygen can turn even the strongest iron into useless, weak rust; and when combined with fuel, very often results in a rapid release of energy in the form of heat and light.

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  52. By Kit P on June 1, 2011 at 10:18 am

    I can see it now Wendell, ‘Post Seismic Event Handling of Oxygen Cylinders’.

    Handling of industrial gases is serious business. Someone should write a book, HOW TO WIN THE DARWIN AWARD WITH COMPRESSED GAS CYLINDERS. Chapter one would be the two guys who worked a junk yard. The found a couple of compressed gas cylinders, filled them with Oxygen although they were not Oxygen Cylinders. These duds then threw the cylinders in the back of their POS PU and headed home to do some welding on their monster truck. They did not get very far because the sun heated up the cylinders causing the relief valve to lift destroying the PU. One of the cylinders was found in the kitchen of an apartment about a mile away.

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  53. By rrapier on June 1, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Kit P said:

    If you have read (which nobody else posting here has) the NATIONAL ENERGY POLICY, May 2001; and read the 2005 Energy Bill (which nobody else posting here has); Paul you would know what the ideas are and how successful those policices have been.


     

    Well, I doubt that you have read the 551-page bill cover-to-cover. I have read through most of it at various times, and while the bill dictates what is to be done, it doesn’t talk about why we are doing it. So you may say, “Hey, we got X billion gallons of ethanol into the fuel supply as dictated by the law.” But X billion gallons wasn’t the end game; we were really trying to achieve broader objectives that aren’t discussed in the bill.

    For instance, in the ethanol section we get things like this:

     

    TITLE XV—ETHANOL AND MOTOR FUELS
    Subtitle A—General Provisions SEC. 1501. RENEWABLE CONTENT OF GASOLINE.
    (a) IN GENERAL.—Section 211 of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7545) is amended—
    (1) by redesignating subsection (o) as subsection (r); and
    (2) by inserting after subsection (n) the following: ‘‘(o) RENEWABLE FUEL PROGRAM.—
    ‘‘(1) DEFINITIONS.—In this section: ‘‘(A) CELLULOSIC BIOMASS ETHANOL.—The term ‘cel-
    lulosic biomass ethanol’ means ethanol derived from any lignocellulosic or hemicellulosic matter that is available on a renewable or recurring basis, including—
    and
    ‘‘(i) dedicated energy crops and trees; ‘‘(ii) wood and wood residues; ‘‘(iii) plants; ‘‘(iv) grasses;
    ‘‘(v) agricultural residues; ‘‘(vi) fibers; ‘‘(vii) animal wastes and other waste materials;
    ‘‘(viii) municipal solid waste. The term also includes any ethanol produced in facilities where animal wastes or other waste materials are digested or otherwise used to displace 90 percent or more of the fossil fuel normally used in the production of ethanol.

     

    The legislation goes on to say, “In Year 20XX, you will put X billion gallons of ethanol into the fuel supply.” So if that’s what you mean by “ideas”, then certainly we can say that’s been achieved. But as to why we are doing it? Those kinds of questions aren’t explored in the legislation.

    RR

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  54. By Wendell Mercantile on June 1, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    But as to why we are doing it? Those kinds of questions aren’t explored in the legislation.

    Answer: Lobbyists and special interests

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  55. By rrapier on June 1, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Wendell Mercantile said:

    But as to why we are doing it? Those kinds of questions aren’t explored in the legislation.

    Answer: Lobbyists and special interests


     

    And that is the problem in a nutshell. That is really why we are doing a lot of this. We should be doing this for energy security and to make sure that we have energy supplies as oil supplies deplete. If that’s why we were really doing it, we would be doing a lot of things differently.

    RR

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  56. By Kit P on June 1, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    “Well, I doubt that you have read the 551-page bill cover-to-cover.”

    You’ve got that right. I remember it be over 1000 pages. At some point, the eyes glaze over and all you remember is clean coal blah, blah, blah! I was obviously more focused on the electricity generation.

    “Those kinds of questions aren’t explored in the legislation.”

    So you are saying that it is impossible for me to know? That means it is impossible for RR to know or Paul N to know.

    “But X billion gallons wasn’t the end game”

    Are you sure? Maybe the idea was just to make some ethanol and see what happens. It is not a game with a clock ticking down but it is a process of moving forward. For example, there were provisions to provide incentives to build 6000 MWe of new nukes in the US. A somewhat modest proposal except the conventional wisdom was we would never build new nukes in the US just keep the ones we had running if we could economically. Instead of 4 nukes, the NRC got notified there would be 30+ COL applications.

    So while we thought that a few new reactors would get built here and there the floodgate that open in the US was followed by a world trend. Announced today:

    “RIYADH – OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia plans to build 16 civilian nuclear reactors in the next two decades at a cost of 300 billion riyals ($80 billion), an energy official was quoted as saying on Wednesday.”

    http://www.montrealgazette.com…..z1O3CyrMhS

    Getting back to Paul suggestion that the US being dominate in the ethanol production has something to do with an idea back when, I do not think so but I do not see a problem either. If others follow. That is great too. Maybe OPEC does not think so but buying nukes is a good hedge.

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  57. By moiety on June 1, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Wendell Mercantile said:

    But as to why we are doing it? Those kinds of questions aren’t explored in the legislation.

    Answer: Lobbyists and special interests


     

    I disagree in specifics but not in principle. I Think that there are a lot of people working for example with ethanol who think that the job they are doing is good and I think that if enough of them knew the inefficiencies of the existing system, they might push for better. On the other hand, lobbies generally push for a status quo among their representative group and it is all to easy to listen to an easy message. Due diligence perhaps.

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  58. By Wendell Mercantile on June 1, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Rufus~

    Perhaps this is one reason ethanol ventures have trouble raising capital through normal channels and need loan guarantees: Olson brothers filing for bankruptcy after collapse of ethanol market

    OSHKOSH – Their pioneering efforts to bring ethanol production to Wisconsin has come crashing down on two brothers who now owe more than $100 million dollars to creditors. The Oshkosh Northwestern reports that brothers David and Paul Olsen owe cash to the state, attorneys, banks and relatives. They pioneered ethanol production in Wisconsin, but ran into financial woes when the price of ethanol went down and corn prices rose.

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  59. By rrapier on June 1, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    So you are saying that it is impossible for me to know? That means it is impossible for RR to know or Paul N to know.

    Impossible for you to know what? The intent of the legislation? I think it is safe to say that with many contributions from many different people, there was no single intent. Different people had different agendas.

    RR

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  60. By Rufus on June 1, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Well, sure, that’s one reason. They brought 200 multi-million (hundreds of millions) ethanol operations online in just a couple of years. Many of the management teams were very weak. A lot of them were just “home-town” boys that had never run anything larger than a rural co-op store.

    Some failures were certain. Most got in trouble trying to “play’ the corn market (also called ‘the widow-maker.’) :)

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  61. By Walt on June 1, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Now if this post does not tell you that most on Wall Street live on another planet of reality…I don’t know what does.

     

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/43236764

     

    And just think…these are the guys running our financial markets!  Yeeks, this could be a painful ride when Washington and Wall Street come to grips with the fact that spending money with the fat cats may not have worked and now they are “Baffled”.

     

    Here is something for someone who wants to prepare for the worst, and expect the best:

     

    http://www.shadowstats.com/art…..c287944629

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  62. By Walt on June 1, 2011 at 10:09 pm

     

    Biofuels boom in Africa as British firms lead rush on land for plantations

    Controversial fuel crops linked to rising food prices and hunger, as well as increased greenhouse gas emissions

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/envi…..tish-firms

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  63. By mac on June 1, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Robert.

    Someone once said:

    “Oil ? It’s such a beautiful thing, It’s a shame to waste it on automobiles.”

    I agree.

    As someone who is intimately acquainted with the hydrocarbon molecule, I thought you might get a chuckle out of this quote.

    mac

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  64. By mac on June 1, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    Just read the news……………………

    Benny has been advising this for years.

    Just read the news.

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  65. By paul-n on June 2, 2011 at 1:16 am

    Kit P wrote;

    The idea was to demonstrate a domestic alternative to oil.

    Well then, even though I have not read the legislation, I have clearly misunderstood what was said about the energy policies in question.  In regard to the 2001 National Energy Policy (overview here), on its release,  President Bush said;

    The goals of this strategy are clear; to ensure a steady supply of affordable energy for America’s homes and businesses and industries

    and, more specifically in the overview;

    A fundamental imbalance between supply and demand defines our nation’s energy crisis. [As the chart illustrates,] if energy production increases at the same rate as during the last decade our projected energy needs will far outstrip expected levels of production. 

    This imbalance, if allowed to continue, will inevitably undermine our economy, our standard of living, and our national security.  But it is not beyond our power to correct.

    Hmm, correct an imbalance between production and consumption – that sure sounds like political speak for “reduce imports”, by increasing supply, though they do also specifically address conservation.  But lest we think they want to rely solely on conservation to correct the imbalance, there is also this;

    A primary goal of the National Energy Policy is to add supply from diverse sources. 

    So, I would say that, in regard to a diverse source like ethanol,  interpreting the policy as reducing imports is more accurate than merely demosntrating an alternative.

    And then, there are things like this from the official site of the 2007 State of the Union address;

    Reducing Gasoline Consumption Through The Growth Of Alternative Fuel Sources

    The RFS, established by the President and Congress in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, has contributed to the rapid acceleration of the development and use of renewable fuels. Significant ongoing technological advances have made it possible to increase and expand the standard to displace even larger volumes of gasoline.

    So, while we are talking about what was the intention of the legislations [regarding ethanol] I think this spells it out.    Clearly the goal was to displace  gasoline.  And by extension, oil.  And I clearly they were not of the intention of displacing domestic production of oil, since there have been a raft of measures to increase it.  

     

    I remain of the opinion that saying the idea of ethanol is to reduce imports of oil/gasoline is a fair read of all this.  Certainly, if that was not the objective, then the politicos are being very obfuscating.

     

    But what does the industry body, the Renewable Fuels association Say about ethanol?  In a letter to congress urging them to reject the repeal of the RFS, the first paragraph says [emphasis mine];

    As the leading advocates of the U.S. biofuels industry, we are committed to policies that will ensure low carbon, domestically-produced biofuels continue to provide our nation a way forward to decreasing our dependence on foreign oil

    So Kit, if I have the wrong idea, it is because I got it from what reading what the politicians and industry have said.  Should I then ignore what they say?  Or perhaps they should be clearer in what they say – though I think the intention to displace imports is pretty clear.

    Certainly, no one has rushed to correct the RFA, as you have corrected me, to tell them that ethanol was not intended to displace imports.

     

    I think it is pretty clear that when ethanol is exported, instead of being used domestically, it does nothing to “increase domestic supply of affordable energy”,  or “increase energy security”.  In fact, it does precisely the opposite.

    I actually support the goals of Bush’s energy policy – increase conservation and efficiency efforts, and increase domestic production of alternative fuels to ensure affordable domestic supply, and  increase energy security – very good goals.  

    But exporting ethanol runs contrary to all of them – it would be good if the politicians recognised this, even if the RFA doesn’t.

     

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  66. By paul-n on June 2, 2011 at 3:15 am

    But the ethanol industry’s answer to the oil industry is to abandon American consumers and take their (partly subsidised) ethanol elsewhere?  Removing supply from the domestic markets to keep prices up?

    That is directly against what the RFA said about decreasing dependence on foreign oil, and is also against the National Energy Plan’s priority increasing supply of affordable domestic fuel.  This shows they are not committed to that concept, or the American people – they are committed first and foremost to the ethanol industry.

    If the ethanol industry wants to have the right to export their fuel, then fine, but the American people should then have the right not to buy it either, and not to have to subsidise it.

    I should also point out the oil industry does not have the right to export their product – they have to get an export license from the secretary of energy to do that – and only if the S of E determines that it will not in any way increase the country’s dependence on oil imports – I think the same measure should be applied to the ethanol industry.

    If the oil industry is fighting it then just bypass the oil industry – go and do a deal direct with Wal-Mart to sell cut price, all American E-85 at all their locations.  They love to cut out as many middlemen from their supply chain as possible, and that’s what the oil co’s are when it comes to ethanol.

    Wouldn’t hurt to do a trial of ethanol co-fueling ion Wal Marts trucks, either  - if it shows even a 1% fuel cost saving (would probably be closer to 5% in summer driving) they would be all over it like a dirty shirt – and Wal Mart has a lot of trucks. 

    The ethanol industry seems like an industry that wants everyone else to do the work of selling their product – no wonder they have a surplus then.

     

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  67. By Rufus on June 2, 2011 at 2:02 am

    One problem we have here, Paul, is: the oil industry is fighting E15 “tooth and nail” 24/7. We have to “do something” with the ethanol that’s left over after all our gasoline is E10.

    At least the Exports help our “balance of payments” problem, and, in an emergency, we can always shut down the exports, and use the fuel at home.

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  68. By Walt on June 2, 2011 at 6:54 am

    Rufus said:

    One problem we have here, Paul, is: the oil industry is fighting E15 “tooth and nail” 24/7. We have to “do something” with the ethanol that’s left over after all our gasoline is E10.

    At least the Exports help our “balance of payments” problem, and, in an emergency, we can always shut down the exports, and use the fuel at home.


     

     

    Rufus,

     

    Tonight I have a meeting with a company that is involved withl the E85 pump installations (new and existing stations) for most of the gas stations in North/central Michigan.   I’m going to try to get the numbers tonight as well as much of the politics behind the scene…where is the pressure coming from, who is making things miserable for station owners, etc.  It is obviously only one perspective on the broad complex issue, but so far I can say that I have been very impressed with his expertise and “on the ground” knowledge of these issues right up through who is blending and who is making the real money.

     

    For example, one interesting point he made is that many of the small station owners make no money at the pumps on fuels if people use credit cards due to the fees charged in processing.  It removes their margins at the pump, but even if those people pay at the pump with credit cards they still spend money in the stores and so there was a rush to upgrade all these credit card pumps for customer convenience.

     

    I can tell you that exporting ethanol is not the answer…and I suspect the small engine manufacturers and boat manufacturers are more behind all the lawsuits against E15 mandate than the oil companies.  What I understand is the brand name corporate stations have their own credit cards, and have a deal on processing so they make money at the pump on this one point of contention by independent owners.  Yet, upgrading pumps from E10 (done long time ago) to E15 is a non-issue…few if any pumps will be effected by the change (I know RR has an article debunking this issue on the effect the change will have at the pump from a study that was done by URL I think it was) in our area, but upgrading or installing pumps to E85 is not financially possible.  The big box stores do it, but there is no independent owner going to do it when they are losing money at the pumps now due to the credit card fees against their margins.  They do often offer cash discounts at the pump, but not everyone takes advantage of that discount.

     

    I’m frankly at a loss what RFA and other ethanol lobbies have in mind to get ethanol into the fuel chain to reduce the imports of oil, and lower the price of gasoline at the pumps.  I frankly no longer believe their press releases and their agenda.  My gut tells me it is about allowing making sure Washington provides sufficient money for them to operate a growing export business…while those who have no access to the export markets (perhaps they are not sufficiently connected) will fail.  The big guys will buy up the plants on the cheap (like has already been demonstrated and happened/ing with biodiesel).  If RFA really wanted ethanol to be at the pumps they would not focus on promoting exports, but rather would be working to get pump options installed at all these independent stations.  This is my gut feeling…I don’t know with certainty.  I hope to learn more tonight who is making the money, and who has the agenda behind the scenes.  We know what people say publicly, but again I no longer believe what comes out of the renewables industry…I am practical in being skeptical.

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  69. By thomas398 on June 2, 2011 at 10:27 am

    How much corn based ethanol could the U.S. realistically produce? I’ve always thought of it as a bridge fuel until a miraculous breakthrough was made with cellousic or biodiesiel. 

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  70. By Kit P on June 2, 2011 at 11:02 am

    “Clearly the goal was to displace  gasoline. ”

     

    That is not clear to me. Clearly the goal was to demonstrate our ability to make transportation fuel from alternate methods. The way to produce more oil in the US is to drill more. For those who say we can not drill our way out of this mess a bone of renewable energy was tossed into the mix.

     

    “So Kit, if I have the wrong idea, it is because I got it from what reading what the politicians and industry have said. ”

     

    Yes you got it from skimming the subject and not studying it. If you only get your information from journalists and PR people you will be poorly informed. Paul is one of the better informed people in general but …!

     

    What Bush wanted was ANWR and offshore drilling. Notice he did not get that. In 2001, corn ethanol and oil/gas shale was not on the radar. I certainly thought biodiesel would be the big winner. Pickens lobbied for NG.

     

    The fact that US farmers have saturated the market for E10 is beyond the expectations I had. Having more than we can use and exporting is even better.

     

    “But exporting ethanol runs contrary to all of them – ”

     

    No it does not and besides exporting value added products helps the trade deficit.

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  71. By Kit P on June 2, 2011 at 11:10 am

    “How much corn based ethanol could the U.S. realistically produce? ”

     

    Thomas you need to take a road trip across the US. I think if the Japanese military had done that they would have reconsidered attacking Pearl Harbor. Pick a prosperous farm and ask for a tour.

     

    The answer to your question is who cares? We will find out by doing.

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  72. By rrapier on June 2, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Kit P said:

    “Clearly the goal was to displace  gasoline. ”

     

    That is not clear to me. Clearly the goal was to demonstrate our ability to make transportation fuel from alternate methods.


     

    But it would be pretty silly to make transportation fuel and not displace gasoline. Making the fuel is a means to an end. The end is reducing oil imports.

    “But exporting ethanol runs contrary to all of them – ”

    No it does not and besides exporting value added products helps the trade deficit.

    Not if — as a result of exporting the ethanol — your oil imports had to increase. And as I have shown it is an absolute fact than 1 barrel of ethanol exported increased our oil imports by an equivalent barrel relative to the ethanol being used domestically, plus the oil that is embedded in the production and shipment of the ethanol.

    RR

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  73. By paul-n on June 2, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    @ Kit

    “Clearly the goal was to displace  gasoline. ”

    That is not clear to me.

    Well, I refer again to what Bush said in 07 in regard to ethanol;

    Significant ongoing technological advances have made it possible to increase and expand the standard to displace even larger volumes of gasoline.

    So regardless of what you or I think, that is what he was saying – and it seems that is what he wanted everyone to think.

    If you only get your information from journalists and PR people you will be poorly informed.

    That is true, that is why I have not referred to any journalist, only the to official pronunciations from the government itself, and the leading industry body.  If they cannot be believed either, then how do you suggest we determine the intentions of the gov and industry body?

    The fact that US farmers have saturated the market for E10 is beyond the expectations I had.

    They have saturated the E10 market only because they have not met anyones expectations, including their own, of E85 usage. They have gone the E10 route because that was the maximum legally allowable to blend into fuel for all vehicles, but this was not the intention of the RFS or the NEP – they talk about E85 and never even  mention E10.

     

    The existence of surplus product export are the result of a market failure of E85.  It may indeed help the trade deficit, but is doing nothing for energy security – it is, as RR points out,  increasing oil imports and NG imports.  The purpose of the energy policy was to ensure reliable supplies of domestic energy – not facilitate the export of it.

     

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  74. By Wendell Mercantile on June 2, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    The existence of surplus product export are the result of a market failure of E85.

    E85 is a curious thing. If Congress mandated that all motor fuel had to be E85, the ethanol industry could not possibly make the ethanol to do that. In fact, there is not enough arable land in the United States to grow the corn needed to make enough ethanol to blend all motor fuel as E85.

    That’s part of the reason filling station operators are reluctant to invest in E85 tanks and pumps — if every filling station in the US had an E85 pump, there would not be enough ethanol to keep all those pumps supplied.

    It would be more realistic for the ethanol industry to forget E85 and use their resources trying to gain acceptance of E15 or E20. But even E20 would be a stretch, the ethanol industry does not yet have the capacity to make the ethanol that would be needed to blend all motor fuel as E15.

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  75. By rrapier on June 2, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Wendell Mercantile said:

     

    It would be more realistic for the ethanol industry to forget E85 and use their resources trying to gain acceptance of E15 or E20. But even E20 would be a stretch, the ethanol industry does not yet have the capacity to make the ethanol that would be needed to blend all motor fuel as E15.


     

    Or, as I have suggested, try to maximize E85 penetration close to the source of production. The country might not be able to run on E20, but Iowa might be able to run on E85.

    RR

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  76. By Rufus on June 2, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Brazil runs on E20. Do they have better cars than we do?

    Iowa has the same percentage of flexfuel cars as Mississippi (about 4%.) How would they “run on E85?”

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  77. By Rufus on June 2, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    I seem to have a comment trapped in the spam filter. I was trying to give a link to the actions of the House Appropriations Committee’s killing of REAP, and BCAP.

    Can someone help me?

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  78. By rrapier on June 2, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Rufus said:

    Brazil runs on E20. Do they have better cars than we do?


     

    No, but their overall fuel demands are much, much lower. Thus they require a lot less ethanol to reach that E20 threshhold.

    Iowa has the same percentage of flexfuel cars as Mississippi (about 4%.) How would they “run on E85?”

    First step would be getting them to put it in the flexfuel cars they do have. But the second step would be to take steps to improve those numbers. I think it’s a given that the ethanol industry’s survivability — at least over the next few years — is going to depend upon legislation. I would rather see legislation that led to more efficient usage of ethanol — like using it close to the source of production.

    RR

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  79. By Rufus on June 2, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Actually, the RFS was predicated on 145 Billion Gallons/Yr of gasoline being sold.

    Due to the recession we’re actually Way Below that number.

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  80. By thomas398 on June 2, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Wendell Mercantile said:

    E85 is a curious thing. If Congress mandated that all motor fuel had to be E85, the ethanol industry could not possibly make the ethanol to do that. In fact, there is not enough arable land in the United States to grow the corn needed to make enough ethanol to blend all motor fuel as E85.

    That’s my point.  We don’t have the technology to  do E20-E85 nationally.   We can produce the electricity it would take to transition light private vehicles to plug-in hybrids.  I wonder how many electric road-miles you could get with the NG used to produce ethanol…

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  81. By rrapier on June 2, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Rufus said:

    I seem to have a comment trapped in the spam filter. I was trying to give a link to the actions of the House Appropriations Committee’s killing of REAP, and BCAP.

    Can someone help me?


     

    I think I got it. Let’s see if it publishes. I had to hunt for the spam folder. Good lord there is a lot of spam in there.

    RR

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  82. By Rufus on June 2, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    There is a program called REAP. It is designed to help stations with the, sometimes, considerable cost of installing E85. There is another program, BCAP (Biomass Crop Assistance Program) designed to help farmers with the initial cost of planting, and/or harvesting biomass for Cellulosic Ethanol Production.

    Both of these very, very modest programs have been Attacked, and in the case of BCAP, Completely Killed by the Republican-led House Appropriations Committee.

    The spam filter keeps telling me I’ve already posted this comment, but it’s not showing up.

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  83. By Rufus on June 2, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Thanks, Robert. You’re “mis-guided,” but, at least, honest. :)

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  84. By carbonbridge on June 2, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Wendell Mercantile said:

    E85 is a curious thing. If Congress mandated that all motor fuel had to be E85, the ethanol industry could not possibly make the ethanol to do that. In fact, there is not enough arable land in the United States to grow the corn needed to make enough ethanol to blend all motor fuel as E85.


     

    Correct statement Wendell.  But as we’ve previously discussed here before, C2 corn ethanol is molecularly identified as C2H5OH.  Two Carbon atoms, six Hydrogen ions – and one essential Oxygen atom which is missing in all fossil-based hydrocarbon fuels be they solids, liquids or gasses.  Fuel-grade alcohols should be described as Oxycarbons in relationship to all Hydrocarbon fuels.

    So these three very basic and necessary ingredients of Carbon with associated, clingy Hydrogen ions PLUS an Oxygen atom derived from H2O on this blue planet — do NOT have to come from annually farmed corn kernels which are inefficiently batch fermented using enzymes and yeasts plus LOTS of fossil fuels in this same agri-based pathway beginning with fertilizers or diesel in tractors planting/weeding/harvesting corn, or coal or methane combusted to heat/cook/distill/separate etc.

    When it becomes evident that these three rather basic building block elements of C, H & O can be derived from other substances much easier and far cheaper than from corn kernels or sugar cane stalks – THEN a new revolution of profitable and abundant alternatives to crude oil amid wars, imports/exports, tariffs, subsidies and national security issues will begin unfolding. 

    There exist excellent technological answers herein.  What is lacking is the knowledge, interpretation, understanding and finally the open wallet (at what terms?) to pursue and demonstrate them.

    –Mark

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  85. By rrapier on June 2, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Rufus said:

    Both of these very, very modest programs have been Attacked, and in the case of BCAP, Completely Killed by the Republican-led House Appropriations Committee.


     

    I was in a colleague’s office here and he was listening to the proceedings when they killed it.

    RR

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  86. By Rufus on June 2, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Inhofe, Rep. Ok introduces legislation to kill RFS.

    http://www.ethanolproducer.com…..on-the-rfs

    Question: If you were President of a Bank would you loan a dime to an Ethanol Company under these Political Conditions?

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  87. By Wendell Mercantile on June 2, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    If you were President of a Bank would you loan a dime to an Ethanol Company under these Political Conditions?

    Probably not, but not because there may be no RFS. I’d reject the loan because there seems to be little demand for the product. Hasn’t it ever occurred to you that when a product has to rely on legislation to create an artificial demand through a rather arbitrary mandate designed to help a special interest group, there just might be a problem with the product?

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  88. By rrapier on June 2, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Rufus said:

    Inhofe, Rep. Ok introduces legislation to kill RFS.

    http://www.ethanolproducer.com…..on-the-rfs

    Question: If you were President of a Bank would you loan a dime to an Ethanol Company under these Political Conditions?


     

    I wouldn’t support him on that. Eliminating the RFS would destroy the ethanol industry and plunge the Midwest into a depression.

    I favor tweaks to our ethanol policy, not wholesale destruction of the industry.

    RR

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  89. By Rufus on June 2, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Of course, Robert; no reasonably well-informed person would. I was just trying to make the point that with the outrage over the Nation’s debt, and the Surge of “Tea-Party” thinking, the Political Risk on anything ethanol is, at the moment, Huge.

    The Loan Guarantee Program has been “temporarily’ suspended, and even those still under consideration, such as Poet, are looking very unlikely.

    The ethanol industry is going to have to paddle like hell, not just to stay in place, but to keep from getting swept back over the falls.

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  90. By carbonbridge on June 2, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Rufus said:

    The Loan Guarantee Program has been “temporarily’ suspended, and even those still under consideration, such as Poet, are looking very unlikely. The ethanol industry is going to have to paddle like hell, not just to stay in place, but to keep from getting swept back over the falls.


     

    Very succinct Rufus. 

    Thank you for sharing this visual with words.  I agree with your analysis. 

    –Mark

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  91. By paul-n on June 2, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    So, if the ethanol industry is facing all these headwinds – oversupply, potential loss of subsidy/mandate, what is the point of pushing ahead with cellulosic now, even if;

    1) loan guarantees were available

    2) there was an economic cellulosic production method.

     

    Why go to all the trouble to sell into a saturated market?

    Maybe what is needed is (gasp) the elimination of the RFS mandate, and VEETC for anything except E85 and/or cellulosic ethanol. Basically, go to the better ethanol plan.

    Given the fact that corn prices are high, and likely to remain so for quite some time, the corn farmers can do just as well selling their grain for food instead of fuel.

     

     

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  92. By Kit P on June 2, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    “the point of oushing ahead with cellulosic now ”

     

    To advance technology! This way you guys who have limited vision can explain what is wrong with it when it works. Energy is about thinking 40-60 years into the future.

     

    Also Paul the world has plenty of food. Unfortunately there are a few world leader who use food to control population. Show me staving people and I will show you the dictators who are living high on the hog.

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  93. By LKJ on June 2, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Just a comment on competition with food…the competition comes not just from using the food itself to produce energy. It comes from the resources used to produce food – primarily land – shifting into energy production. So non-food crops are not the solution. In your sugar example, if the market for the byproduct really took off, much more land would go into sugar production, and out of other food crops, like rice. Marginal land use is not the solution either. Most marginal land is considered marginal for a reason. For the farmer, the point is a high-yield crop, and just like all other crops, biomass crops do better with better resources – better land and more fertilizer. Using forest products instead of field crops may be good idea, but in that case energy will compete with the forest product industry, and will likely raise prices for wood-based goods. In short, there is no conveniently unused land resource we can now appropriate to create energy, as there is with wind or solar power. Land used to produce energy will ALWAYS be in competition with other land-based industries, and will put additional pressure on a finite resource (a la fossil fuels…). Its not necessarily a reason not to pursue dedicated biomass production, but a managers and policy-makers should approach the issue with a greater degree of realism.

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  94. By Walt on June 2, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Rufus said:

    Inhofe, Rep. Ok introduces legislation to kill RFS.

    http://www.ethanolproducer.com…..on-the-rfs

    Question: If you were President of a Bank would you loan a dime to an Ethanol Company under these Political Conditions?


     

    Interesting question.  I was with a guy tonight who said he knew of multiple companies who jumped in when the gasohol(?) market came crashing down after subsidies were lifted.  I’m not familiar with it, but it looks like ethanol is going to be consolidating soon.

     

    What I understand there is a big push right now by the major oil companies to buy up and expand as many retail stations as possible.  At one time I understand they got out of them, but now they are coming back hoping to squeeze as many out as possible.  Let’s watch consolidation here if more of these stations come under super major corporate ownership.  The proposals are simple…selll out or close!

     

    I wonder if ADM and other ethanol companies will go on a buying spree?

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  95. By Rufus on June 2, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    One of the interesting ramifications of Cellulosic Ethanol from Ag Waste will be “More Corn, Wheat, etc” raised, and, as a result, Lower prices for Grains.

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  96. By Wendell Mercantile on June 3, 2011 at 9:30 am

    …will be “More Corn, Wheat, etc” raised, and, as a result, Lower prices for Grains.

    Rufus~

    That would be under perfect conditions:

    * Assuming there won’t be a logarithmic growth in the number of hungry people who want to eat that grain.

    * No droughts or crop failures in Australia, Ukraine, or Central Asia.

    * No depletion of the world’s aquifers* such as the Ogallala which farmers continue to mine as though it’s an inexhaustible resource.

    ———-
    * The world’s aquifers will be the true critical resource in the future. We are likely to hit “Peak Water” before “Peak Oil.”

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  97. By Kit P on June 3, 2011 at 10:32 am

    “Just a comment on competition with food…”

    There is no competition with food. Food is more valuable than energy. The supply of food exceeds the demand driving down the cost of food to the point where corn used to be cheaper than firewood. People would buy ‘chicked feed’ and burn it in their pellet stoves.

    By using some of the excess energy in crops for energy, demand for products American farmers produce increases and so does value of what they produce.

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  98. By paul-n on June 3, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    The world’s aquifers will be the true critical resource in the future. We are likely to hit “Peak Water” before “Peak Oil.”

    Some places already have   While many people speculate that Saudi Arabia has hit peak oil, there is not debate that they have not only hit peak water, they are now close to zero water.  They used ancient groundwater to create an irrigated wheat industry, but have dried up the aquifers and can’t  grow any more;

    That is certainly “peak wheat”.  Amazing to think, for a brief time,  that  Saudi Arabia  actually exported more than it consumed -but those days are gone, and Saudi Arabia is about to become a whole lot more dependent upon imported food.  As long as they still have the oil to pay for it, of course.  If they don’t, then all bets are off.

    Not surprisingly, most of the countries in the Middle East/North Africa are dependent on imported food.  OK for the oil exporters, but for places like Egypt, well, a different story. 

    Oil and electricity are important and all, but food trumps them both.

     

     

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  99. By Kit P on June 3, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    “Oil and electricity are important and all, but food trumps them both.”

     

    Paul did you notice that the 16 nukes that Saudi Arabia wants to build includes desalination?

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  100. By Wendell Mercantile on June 3, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    the 16 nukes that Saudi Arabia wants to build includes desalination?

    Well, they are certainly going to need them — and I guess they can afford it.

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  101. By Kit P on June 3, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    and I guess they can afford it

     

    Pocket change!  I saw some jobs in the UAE.  They need to put together the equivialent of the NRC.  Big money, wonder if it a dry heat.

     

     

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  102. By paul-n on June 3, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    the 16 nukes that Saudi Arabia wants to build includes desalination?

    As they should, plenty of waste heat for that.  And, their present desal is mostly gas fired multi-effect distillation – not as efficient as RO,  but it is if you have “free” heat – which the gas was, when they built them.

    Even so, that will not provide enough water for agriculture, on anything more than the level of intensive farming/greenhouse type operations.  A ton of wheat needs about 2000 tons (550,000gal)  of water, so doing broadacre agriculture will chew up a lot of water.

    Still, it makes the plans of that Fresno group look like a small operation!

     

    If the Saudis do want to grow stuff, rather than using desal water , they should simply use plants that desal the water themselves.

    This plant, salicornia bigelovii, or “pickleweed” a native of North America, can be irrigated with seawater and produces an oilseed with similar oil and protein content to canola.  

    Save the desal water for drinking.

     

     

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  103. By Kit P on June 4, 2011 at 10:28 am

    “As they should, plenty of waste heat for that. ”

     

    Power plants do not produce ‘waste’ heat. That is a common misunderstand of how steam plants work. CHP is when put extra energy into the process so that you can extract process steam after going through a high pressure turbine.

     

    Waste denotes an ethical consideration. This ethical consideration depends on where you are. Growing corn where it rains a lot is not a waste of water. Dry land wheat that uses winter moisture is not a waste of water.

     

    If you can make electricity and desal water while taking the NG to make ammonia so that farmers someplace else with plenty can go more food, it seem like a good engineering solution.

     

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  104. By Rufus on June 4, 2011 at 11:54 am

    You’re right, Kit.

    As a side note: I think, in the long run, we’ll find it’s easier to replace oil than to replace “food.”

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  105. By paul-n on June 4, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Waste does not always refer to an ethical consideration.

    From the Oxford dictionary (emphasis mine);

    waste (adj)

    1 (of a material, substance, or by-product) eliminated or discarded as no longer useful or required after the completion of a process:

    e.g.- ensure that waste materials are disposed of responsibly

    - plants produce oxygen as a waste product

    I think we are fortunate that plants produce oxygen as a waste product of photosynthesis, and nothing unethical about that.

    So, if the heat from the condenser is not being used for anything else, and is just exhausted to atmosphere or water, then it is indeed “waste” heat.  I can understand why the nuclear industry wants to avoid the usage of that term, so we can call it spare, excess or, probably best, “unused” or “surplus” heat.

    Regardless of what it is called, there is lots of heat available to be used.  

    An example of a hybrid  desal and power plant (gas fired) is the Fujairah plant in the UAE – 760MWe and 122m gal water/day (or 374 ac.ft/day).  That (water) will supply an American city of about 1.5 million people. 

    With 4,5m people in the UAE and 30m in Saudi Arabia, you can start to see the scale of the task if they all need desal water – let alone use any for agriculture.

    That said, there must be a lot of (hopefully) treated sewage effluent being produced somewhere, and they should be using that for agriculture of some sort – it already has the fertiliser mixed in.

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  106. By Kit P on June 4, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    I looked in Websters dictionary for the definition of circular argument, ‘see Oxford dictionary’

     

    “plants produce oxygen as a waste product ”

     

    Paul do not tell NRDC that oxygen is a waste product because they be lobbing to ban plants. Paul if your word communicate something that is not true, then either you picked them poorly, you are ignorant, or you are trying to mislead (see NRDC). For example,

     

    “then it is indeed “waste” heat”

     

    No, there is a lot of water or air that is a little bit warmer before water was condensed in the condenser.

     

    “I can understand why the nuclear industry ”

     

    Add that to the list of things you do not understand Paul. It has nothing to to with the nuclear industry.

     

    “”unused” or “surplus” heat ”

     

    No, there is no unused heat except for a small amount of condensate subcooling which is more than needed to provide NPSH for condensate pumps; the thermal energy is converted to mechanical which is converted to electrical energy.

     

    “Regardless of what it is called, there is lots of heat available to be used.”

     

    No, what do plan to do with it? Is there something you can do with ocean water that is five degrees warmer than water coming into the plant.

     

    “An example of a hybrid  desal and power plant ”

     

    No Paul, you did not read very closely. The energy score for desal is not circ water. It is either steam or electric driven pumps for reverse osmosis.

     

    What you have is the standard misconception of CHP. As I said before,

     

    “CHP is when put extra energy into the process so that you can extract process steam after going through a high pressure turbine.”

     

    For example, you have a 1000 MWe steam/turbine generator. It uses 3000 MW thermal of steam and therefore has a 33% thermal efficiency. With a CHP, steam is extracted between turbine stages. This improves the ‘steam quality’ and allows the turbine to use the steam more efficiently.

     

    The marginal cost of a BTU of steam is very low for a nuke plant is very low. Putting a big user of steam next to a big producer of steam makes economic sense. So it may just use steam without worrying about process efficiencies.

     

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  107. By paul-n on June 4, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    “then it is indeed “waste” heat”

     

    No, there is a lot of water or air that is a little bit warmer before water was condensed in the condenser.

    Yes, and a lot of air or water x a small temperature rise = a lot of heat

    I will concede that I am incorrect in saying the nuke industry does not want to charcaterise it was “waste” heat, it turns out they want to do exactly that.  From this presentation from Westinghouse, about using nuclear powered desalination, on p8, emphasis added by the author;

    Nuclear reactors provide heat ina large range of temperatures, which allows easy adaptation for any desaliantiuon process

    Some nuclear reactors furnish waste heat at ideal temperatures for desalination

    So, no circular argument after all.  

    The thermal energy is converted to mechanical which is converted to electrical energy.

    Well, some of the thermal energy is converted to mechanical energy, the rest (the majority, for  a steam system) remains as lower temperature heat. 

    Is there something you can do with ocean water that is five degrees warmer than water coming into the plant.

    Why, yes, you use it for your feedwater to the desal plant.  Warmer water has lower viscosity and flows through the RO membranes with less resistance (energy input), so you get more water for the same desal energy.  A 5C increase in the feedwater temp at 1000psi improves output by 4%,   a 15C increase by 13% (nice chart on p15 of that presentation).  That is why desal design should be left to desal people, not nuke people, as they consider this unimportant.

    Of course, if the objective is to use the heat for desal, then you would ask the nuke designer if they can design the cooling system a little differently, so that you can get some warmer warm water out of it.  The Westinghouse report suggests 15C for LWR, and for the wheelbarrow they are pushing, their PBMR’s , 30-45C.

    In any case, if you are desalinating water, you use any free heat you can get before you put in your plant.

    CHP is when put extra energy into the process so that you can extract process steam after going through a high pressure turbine

    Well, that is one type of a CHP system, to be sure.  But there are CHP’s where the heat part is water, not steam, and there are also CHP’s where there are no steam turbines involved –  such as from ICE’s, hot water from geothermal power systems, furnace exhausts etc.  The misconception is yours – all systems that use get process steam from a turbine system are CHP’s, but that certainly does not mean all CHP’s are on steam turbine systems. 

    Putting a big user of steam next to a big producer of steam makes economic sense. So it may just use steam without worrying about process efficiencies.

    Sure, and putting a big user of warm water (i.e. desal) next to the plant is even better – there is no reason why you can’t have both.  However, when you are doing desal you are always concerned about process efficiency – you have unlimited feedstock, and if you can produce more water from the same process, it can always be used somewhere – though I doubt it will be for growing wheat in the desert.

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  108. By Wendell Mercantile on June 4, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    I will concede that I am incorrect in saying the nuke industry does not want to charcaterise it was “waste” heat, it turns out they want to do exactly that.

    Paul N.

    It should be obvious to even Kit P. that if it wasn’t “waste heat” they wouldn’t build those huge cooling towers next to the reactor building, or put reactors next to lakes, large rivers (such as the Columbia), or oceans where they can take advantage of the huge heat sink a large body of water provides. (The reactors on Lake Michigan even have to throttle back the reactor when the lake temperature gets too high. That wouldn’t be true if they weren’t using the lake as a place to dump waste heat.)

    I’m not sure why Kit P. said, “No, there is no unused heat…” If that was true, they wouldn’t need cooling towers. (Although he did say it using a double-negative, so it’s sort of difficult to say exactly what he meant to say.)

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  109. By Kit P on June 4, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    Paul, you are mixing steam plants with gas turbines. Different thermal cycles.

     

    “a lot of heat ”

     

    Yes Paul, there is a lot of heat in the universe but can you use it to desal water?

     

    “From this presentation from Westinghouse”

     

    With all do respect to Westinghouse, zero is the number of reactors that produce waste heat to desal water, especially reactors Westinghouse builds. Paul you are confusing paper reactors with real reactors. The difference between power point presentations and real reactors is doing.

     

    “their PBMR’s ”

     

    They got none.

     

    Been running evaps since before you were born Paul. Steam is the input to heat the water. That is what all your link show. See page 13.

     

    For example, one process uses 55 degree C (131 F) hot water. That hot water is not coming from the water that cools the condenser of any LWR.

     

    “A 5C increase in the feedwater temp at 1000psi improves output by 4%,”

     

    Circulating water is not at 1000 psi . The energy input into the system is electricity to drive pumps. Increasing pressure 1000 psi is no trivial matter. If you are talking about 4% improvement, I would say the real world does not work that way.

     

    “The Westinghouse report suggests 15C for LWR ”

     

    The water is heated with steam with a small loss of output (20 MWe).

     

    LWR are steam plants. The steam used for process steam to run things such as evaps comes from extraction steam. As I said before the makes steam turbines more efficient.

     

    MHTGR use helium running through a gas turbine. At this point, it is just a concept on a power point presentation. High temperatures makes the plant more efficient. High temperatures are also important for production of hydrogen.

     

    So far in the real world, steam is the heat source for every evap at a nuke plant that I have seen. There is a difference between warm water and hot water.

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  110. By rrapier on June 4, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    Wendell Mercantile said:

    I will concede that I am incorrect in saying the nuke industry does not want to charcaterise it was “waste” heat, it turns out they want to do exactly that.

    Paul N.

    It should be obvious to even Kit P. that if it wasn’t “waste heat” they wouldn’t build those huge cooling towers next to the reactor building, or put reactors next to lakes, large rivers (such as the Columbia), or oceans where they can take advantage of the huge heat sink a large body of water provides.


     

    Yeah, that’s an argument that Kit is only going to win in his own mind. That is exactly the kind of thing that (real) engineers characterize as waste heat.

    RR

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  111. By Kit P on June 4, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    “It should be obvious to even Kit P.”

     

    Wendell I won’t explain the properties concrete to you if you do not try to explain how a steam plant works.

     

    “can take advantage of the huge heat sink ”

     

    All heat engines have a heat source and a heat sink. So Wendell if you want to claim that the BTU transferred to the heat sink is waste heat, you will have to explain to me how it is wasted.

     

    If you look at an ICE or gas turbine, these heat engine to reject heat at a high enough temperature to be useful. I can put a heat exchanger on the exhaust and recover that heat to produce steam. For a gas turbine, it is a CCGT. Of course a CCGT is a steam plant because the reject heat is not wasted.

     

    Since a CCGT uses all the useful, no useful heat is wasted. Maybe you could be more accurate and call the heat of rejection of a steam condenser, ‘useless heat of rejection’.

     

    ICE also have heat jacket. I can think of lots of things to do with 200 F water. Say I have a AD on a dairy farm. Since dairy farms use lots of hot water it makes sense to use that hot water. I can heat your house with hot water. Wendell do you pull a big tank behind your car to capture that heat? Why not if you are so worried about wasting energy?

     

    Of course, I would suggest that the increased gasoline used to pull around the tank of water would be really stupid.

     

    “large rivers (such as the Columbia) ”

     

    Columbia Generating Station uses forced draft cooling towers. It is a semi-arid climate thing.

     

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  112. By Wendell Mercantile on June 5, 2011 at 12:25 am

    …if you want to claim that the BTU transferred to the heat sink is waste heat, you will have to explain to me how it is wasted.

    Kit P.

    The Prairie Island Nuclear Power Plant at Red Wing, MN uses the Mississippi River for cooling. In the winter, the Mississippi River is normally frozen from Lake Itasca down to the Iowa/Minnesota state line — but it doesn’t freeze around the PINCP. Do you think keeping the Mississippi from freezing over is a desired outcome of splitting atoms at PINCP?

    Wouldn’t keeping water from freezing for no good purpose be a “waste” of the heat coming out of the reactor?

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  113. By paul-n on June 5, 2011 at 12:30 am

     

    “A 5C increase in the feedwater temp at 1000psi improves output by 4%,”

    Circulating water is not at 1000 psi . The energy input into the system is electricity to drive pumps. Increasing pressure 1000 psi is no trivial matter. If you are talking about 4% improvement, I would say the real world does not work that way.

    Now you are mixing nuke water with desal water.  This is talking about the desal feed water – the RO desal systems operate at 1000 psi (sometimes higher) – a 5C rise in the desal feed water leads to a 4% increase in flow through the membranes warm water= less viscosity=greater flow through same porous media.

    The fact that Westinghouse haven’t built any of their PBMR’s doesn’t matter here – the point is, you can use the waste heat from from the condenser cooling water, and for each 1C rise  in temperature of the desal feedwater, you get a 1% improvement in productivity.

    There is a difference between warm water and hot water.

    If your nuke can give me hot water, I’ll take it.  If it is just the cooling return at 5C above ambient, I’ll take that too.  

    Since a CCGT uses all the useful [heat], no useful heat is wasted.  Maybe you could be more accurate and call the heat of rejection of a steam condenser, ‘useless heat of rejection’.

    No!

    You have missed the point entirely.  This heat is very useful for desalinating water, and that is the whole point of the exercise.

    The desal plant being built at Carlsbad in your favourite state of California, uses the the cooling water coming out if the Encina (gas fired)power station.  

    It starts with seawater used for cooling the Encina Power Station.

    You see, we desal guys  really don’t care where the heat is coming from, or what steam turbine cycle you are using, whether the plant is coal, gas, nuke, or pixie dust, or even what type of (water cooled) condensers you are using, we just want the warmest water we can get.

    Now, if you were proposing to use dry air cooling for your nuke, then I would want to run the desal feedwater through a heat exchanger/condenser with some of your steam before it gets to, or in parallel with the dry air cooling.  I do not need or want high temp or high pressure steam – you can keep that.

     

    If you are forced to do desal for your water, one positive thing is that it is omnivorous when it comes to heat – any heat, from any source, and at any temperature above ambient, is useful and makes it more energy efficient – not many processes can claim that.

     

     

     

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  114. By paul-n on June 5, 2011 at 3:31 am

    Kit  wrote;

    zero is the number of reactors that produce waste heat to desal water,

    And this isn’t right either.  Turns out they have been doing desal at nukes in Japan for more than 30 years!  From an IAEA report of 2002, on the status of nuclear desalination technology, p8;

    The first Japanese nuclear power and seawater desalination plant was commissioned in 1978 at the Ohi Nuclear Power Station. The plant consists of an 1175 MW(e) PWR coupled to an MSF distillation plant with a capacity of 1300 m3/d. As of 2000, nine additional nuclear seawater desalination plants were installed. Eight of these plants are currently in operation.The desalination plant capacities are in the range of 1000 to 3900 m3/d. The average salinity of seawater in-take is 35 000 mg/l and the average feed temperature is 17ºC. Selected highlights from the operating experience of these plants include:

    – Successful operation with no evidence of any anomalies to date.

    – No occurrence of leakage of radioactive substances into the product water.

     

    Eight nukes, happily desalinating water for decades- who knew?  Some of them are distillation type, which use higher temperatures (>40C) for distillation, but most are the reverse osmois type, using pre-heated water.  Most new desal plants being built today are of the RO type.

     

    The desalination plants have become vital and effective facilities for supplying high quality make-up and potable water for the nuclear power stations.  Despite low capacities of the desalination plants, operating data obtained to date is fully applicable to the expected operations of a larger scale nuclear desalination plant. The data highly supports the use ofnuclear power for seawater desalination worldwide. The seawater desalination plant designs for nuclear plant coupling- are identical to those of fossil plant coupling, with exception of desalination plants using RO technology, which in the case of a nuclear desalination plant, the plastic casings of RO membranes are covered with carbon steel.

    So they use the RO water as the plant internal water – allowing them to get all their water needs from seawater, thus they not need to take any from domestic water sources or rivers.  

    The concepts for most proposed nuke desal are to use some of the electricity produced to run the RO plant, and the used the cooling water to preheat the RO feedwater.  You only want to go to about 35C with this, higher temperatures lead to excessive bio-growth on the RO membranes.  If you do have water that is warmer than that, then you do some vacuum distillation first, to get some water by distillation, and lower the temp to 35 to then do RO.

    This chart shows just why desal engineers are obsessed with preheating their feedwater;

    [source, p34]

    In the warm waters of the Persian Gulf (26C) the efficiency gain is only about 10%, but for cold water off Japan (17C) the difference is about a 17% decrease in energy, and for the water off LA, about a 13% decrease.  

    Back to Kit’s original statement, even the 5C rise of the cooling water return is worth using.  With energy costs being about half the operating cost of desal, even 5C is worth millions of $ per year of energy savings for a large scale desal plant.  That is why they are located next to power stations if at all possible.

    To not make use of this free heat would truly be a  ”waste”. 

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  115. By Kit P on June 5, 2011 at 9:33 am

    “Wouldn’t keeping water from freezing for no good purpose be a “waste” of the heat coming out of the reactor?”

    No Wendell!

     

    The purpose is the production of electricity. The ‘idea’ efficiency of a steam plant can be calculated knowing the temperature of the high temperature and the low temperature. The temperature/pressure of the steam is fixed my the design of the reactor core. The temperature of the heat sink depends on the environment.

     

    Steam is condensed in the condenser by circulating water. You can determine that lower temperature circulating water lowers the pressure (increases the vacuum) by looking at the phase diagram of water. With colder circulating water, turbine efficiency increases.

     

    In winter, there is less ‘unusable’ rejected to the environment. The temperature of circulating water is such that the only use I can think of is too keep water from freezing. Often some circulating water is returned to the intake structure to keep water from freezing. Pumping ice is hard.

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  116. By Kit P on June 5, 2011 at 10:41 am

    “And this isn’t right either. ”

     

    Paul, you really have a blind spot for details. Evaps are heated with steam, not water circulated through the condenser. Paul do I need to explain to you again the difference between 150# steam and cold ocean water?

     

    “Eight nukes, happily desalinating water for decades- who knew?”

     

    Every steam plant I have worked at (including every nuke) has evaps. My first watch station on a ship included running the ‘stills’. From your link Pual:

     

    “Some of these plants are equipped with seawater desalination plants in order to provide high quality make-up water for the boiler feed water as well as for other uses after an appropriate water post treatment”

     

    Of course if we were not on the ocean, the water was not seawater. Again all nukes have evaps.  Making large quantities of drinking water is simple a case of expanding what is all ready done at every nuke plant.

     

    “The concepts for most proposed nuke desal are to use some of the electricity produced to run the RO plant, and the used the cooling water to preheat the RO feedwater. ”

     

    You have the ‘cooling water to preheat the RO feedwater’ part wrong. Paul when you look at P&ID low pressure steam is used for preheating. It is just common sense for a mechanical engieer. The size of the HX is why.

     

    Power plants have several different cooling water systems. Main Circ water is used to cool the steam condenser. Service water is a separated system that might used to cool the condenser of an evaporator. Essential Service Water would be a safety system used to remove decay heat at a nuke plant. Then we have chilled water systems when we need to keep things cooler than the service water systems can provide.

     

    If I want to warm something I use steam or electric heaters.

     

    “To not make use of this free heat would truly be a  ”waste”. ”

     

    The concept that you are missing is that huge HX, pumps, and the pumping energy is not free. Things are designed the way they are for a reason.

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  117. By Wendell Mercantile on June 5, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Often some circulating water is returned to the intake structure to keep water from freezing. Pumping ice is hard.

    Kit P.

    The Mississippi River only freezes on the surface. They could pump water from below the ice any time they want. The excess heat that keeps the surface of the river around the Prairie Island reactor from freezing accomplishes no useful purpose and is wasted.

    Eight nukes, happily desalinating water for decades- who knew?

    Paul N.

    That makes sense. Those tall cooling towers that are necessary part of most nuclear plants would be useful for evaporating salt water and condensing it again as pure water. I can hardly wait for the day when an ethanol plant in Iowa uses the waste heat form a nuclear reactor for distillation. ;-)

    Come to think of it, there is a nuclear power plant at Byron, IL — in the heart of corn country. Perhaps some corn-growing entrepreneur will build an ethanol plant ext to it. What a marketing logo they could have — stylized drawing of an atom with a kernel of corn at the center for a nucleus.

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  118. By Kit P on June 5, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    “That makes sense. Those tall cooling towers ”

     

    The plants in Japan use seawater for cooling, they do not have cooling towers.

     

    “I can hardly wait for the day when an ethanol plant in Iowa uses the waste heat form a nuclear reactor for distillation. ”

     

    Process steam could be used for heat in an ethanol plant but that would reduce the electrical output. The water in the cooling towers is not warm enough to use to boil water but it is cool enough to condense steam.

     

    Cooling towers work by evaporation water. Some of the water leaves as water vapor cooling the water that falls back to the cooling towers basin.

     

    “condensing it again as pure water ”

     

    That would require cooling water. The water vapor does return as rain. In the atmosphere, air is cooler generally the higher you go. Wendell have you ever observed clouds form when warm moist air hits a cold front.

     

    “Come to think of it, there is a nuclear power plant at Byron, IL ”

     

    Most of the nuke plants in Illinois have cooling lakes.

     

    “Instead of cooling towers, the station has a 2,058 acres (8.33 km2) man-made cooling lake, which is also a popular fishery — LaSalle Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area — managed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.”

     

    Maybe Wendell you can understand the concept of using cooling water to heat something if you think about trying to heat something with lake water. Circ water coming out of a steam turbine condenser is not hot, if fact it is most likely cold. That is by design.

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  119. By paul-n on June 5, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Again all nukes have evaps.

    Maybe you missed the detail there that some of them are getting their water by RO instead of evap.

    Making large quantities of drinking water is simple a case of expanding what is all ready done at every nuke plant.

    Well, you could do that, but it would not be as efficient as letting the desal guys do it – they will get more desal water per nuke plant than the nuke guys – that is, after all,  what they do.

    You have the ‘cooling water to preheat the RO feedwater’ part wrong.

    No Kit, I have that part right.  That is exactly what the Carlsbad desal plant will be doing.  

    While you would use a steam HX, they are simply using the warm water that is already coming out of the plant – cheaper still.

    That was also the Westinghouse concept – use cooling water, not steam.

    You started off by saying what to do with water that is 5C above ambient – I say I can use it for the desal feed.  Now you are trying to tell me it is cheaper to add in a low pressure steam loop and a HX instead of just using water that is already warm??

     

    Circ water coming out of a steam turbine condenser is not hot, if fact it is most likely cold.

    If that were true, then then they wouldn’t need that 2058 acre “cooling lake”, then would they?  

     

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  120. By Kit P on June 5, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    “Maybe you missed the detail there that some of them are getting their water by RO instead of evap. ”

     

    No, Paul did not miss that. Maybe Paul you missed that RO uses large amounts of electricity to power pumps. If you want to debate some hypothetical 4% improvement in power usage produced by a power plant with a a 35% thermal efficiency, I would say you are missing the bigger picture.

     

    “That is exactly what the Carlsbad desal plant will be doing. ”

     

    Do not think so, please provide the link that says this. I am skeptical that you understand the technology as it relates to the adjacent power plant. I read the EIS. It make no mention of preheating although it does mention energy savings features related to pumping.

     

    “That was also the Westinghouse concept – use cooling water, not steam. ”

     

    For the paper reactor HTGCR but the Westinghouse presentation (see pages 11&13) also discusses thermal process with steam input.

     

    “Now you are trying to tell me it is cheaper to add in a low pressure steam loop and a HX instead of just using water that is already warm?? ”

     

    I would have to do a detailed engineering study. The outcome would depend on location and size. I do not favor either RO or EVAP. Just for the record nuke plants are more interested in reality than energy use. Our US and EU customers disagree on RO or EVAP for needs at the nuke plant. We (not me) did detailed engineering study which favored EVAP.

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  121. By paul-n on June 5, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    If you want to debate some hypothetical 4% improvement in power usage produced by a power plant with a a 35% thermal efficiency, I would say you are missing the bigger picture.

    Actually, that is the bigger picture.  If you are tasked with providing reliable water supply to a community, and you can provide 4% more, or do it with 4% less energy and equipment, then how does it benefit the community to say it does not matter because the nuke plant supplying the electricity is “35% efficient”?

    The goal of the desal plant is to produce the most water, the most reliably, from the least amount of capital and energy.  Using warm water helps that, just like using cold air for cooling helps a nuke plant – it is not that difficult a concept.

     

    Do not think so, please provide the link that says this. I am skeptical that you understand the technology as it relates to the adjacent power plant.

    I already did, but here it is again, for the desal plant being built at Carlsbad , to the to the page where they say (emphasis mine);

    It starts with seawater used for cooling the Encina Power Station.

    They take (some of) the 5C warmer water coming from the station, and run it into the desal plant  Not only saves electricity, but also (slightly) reduces the thermal load on the cooling pond

    For the paper reactor HTGCR but the Westinghouse presentation (see pages 11&13) also discusses thermal process with steam input.

    Yes, it does, they are illustrating how it is normally done – as you have pointed out.  But their whole idea was to not need to take any steam from the plant at all, but to use the heat from return flow from the cooling circuits for either an evap system (p12) or an RO system (p16).

    From a desal point of view, that is fine –   If the W plant doesn’t get built and your type does, that;’s fine too, I’ll take the heat in whatever way you (the powerplant operator) give it to me – as long as it is free.

    We (not me) did detailed engineering study which favored EVAP.

    Well, I’ll presume that is the appropriate for nuke plants – where I expact the evap water is provided 24/7.

    One of the benefits of RO systems, for municipal water supply, is that it is relatively easy to start and stop them, or run them at part capacity.  Evap systems (if you are paying for the energy), being glorified boilers,  are not as good at part load. Also, I think mun icipal wtre opertaiors are more comfortable with pumps and pipes (RO) than heat and boilers (evap)

    It would be possible to run the system at Carlsbad just with off peak electricity, but you do have a different economic issue of the plant then only producing at half capcity.

    The thing with desal plants on a normal water system is that they are the “peaking” plant – you only run it when absolutely necessary – as, unlike electricity, you don’t get paid any more for the water produced – but that peaking period is usually the whole summer.

    The Carlsbad plant, in keeping with California tradition regarding shady water deals, will produce all the time, at a guaranteed price, whether the water is needed or not.  Getting the warm water for free will at least reduce the electricity they use, and maybe someone else can use it instead of putting up more solar panels.

     

     

     

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  122. By Kit P on June 5, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    “I already did, but here it is again”

     

    So go back and read why I explained you wrong. Which part of the whole discussion do you want me to explain again?

     

    It does not say that. You are making up stuff about steam plants that you do not understand. You are taking one concept of a presentation without understanding the whole of the system.

     

    “ But their whole idea was to not need to take any steam from the plant at all, but to use the heat from return flow from the cooling circuits for either an evap system (p12) or an RO system (p16). ”

     

    Try picking one at time and not mixing concepts.

     

    RO use electric as the driving energy source. Do you really want to debate how you might get 4% improvement based on a a presentation at a conference? Page 12 is for reactors we do not build. Yes we could build small reactors designed for isolated places. I understand the concept. I was in the navy, we used LWR however.

     

    Paul do you want to debate science fiction?

     

    “One of the benefits of RO systems, for municipal water supply, is that it is relatively easy to start and stop them, or run them at part capacity. ”

     

    I agree and now Paul says there may be other reasons for doing something than the non-existing 4% gain from using circ water. Paul you keep citing California. The reason they have expensive power is that they rejected building more nukes as baseload, In Saudi Arabia, they want to build a huge nuclear capacity. It can provide a large amount of process steam or electricity to use for whatever. The staff at a nuke plant is very large with more capabilities than you will find at a muni water system.

     

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  123. By paul-n on June 6, 2011 at 3:41 am

    It does not say that.

    Hmm, maybe you can’t find your reading glasses -let’s try again, one more time…

    Here is an extract from the Environmental Impact Report for the Carlsbad plant, section 3, P.18;

    Source water for the project will come from once through-flow seawater in the existing cooling

    water discharge system at the power plant. Up to 104 mgd (long-term average) of seawater

    would be diverted from the combined outlet of the power plant condensers and piped to the

    desalination facility.

    Now that we have settled that an RO plant is going to use the warm water coming from the power plant cooling, we can go othe your next blind spot, as to why they would want to do that.  

    Do you really want to debate how you might get 4% improvement based on a a presentation at a conference?

    There is no debate here.   The simple reason is, that warmer water has lower viscosity, and thus flows through porous media, including membranes, faster than colder water.  There is nothing theoretical about this, and Westinghouse did not dream it up for their presentation -it is just a fundamental factor of fluid mechanics, and all desal equipment makers, plant designers and operators are well aware of it.

    So let’s look at what one of the world leading membrane makers, Dow Chemical has to say;

    The temperature correction factor (TCF) takes into account the effect of temperature on permeate flow relative to a base temperature (25°C).  It is mainly a function of fluid characteristics but also membrane polymer. 

    Corrected Flow Rate = (Measured Flow Rate)*(TCF @ Feed Water Temp.)

    Please see the following table. Temperature Correction Factor Table (103KB PDF)

    The TCF varies with membrane type – some are better in colder water, some warmer, and every membrane type (or series) has its own TCF.  This makes the temperature of your incoming water a key design parameter – it will usually influence the membrane selection, and the different membranes can have different operating pressures.  Generally, you want the lowest operating pressure possible, though it is not always that simple.

    Here is an excerpt of TCF’s for the Filmtec series, from the above link;

    13C – TCF=1.530   65% of 25C flow

    17C – TCF = 1.323 76% of 25C flow

    21C – TCF = 1.148 87% of 25C flow

    25C – TCF = 1.000 100% of 25C flow

    29C – TCF = 0.889 112% of 25C flow

    29.9C (maximum rated temp) TCF = 0.866 = 115% of 25C flow.

    So, we can see how theoretical the flow change is – a change from 21 to 29C gives a 29% increase in membrane flow, at the same operating pressure.

    other reasons for doing something than the non-existing 4% gain from using circ water.

    So, not “non existing” at all -any commercial RO plant anywhere in the world will look for free preheat from any source.

    In this case, free heat = free water, and if you are short enough of water to have to do RO, you won’t turn that down.

     

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  124. By Kit P on June 6, 2011 at 8:19 am

    “Now that we have settled that an RO plant is going to use the warm water ”

     

    It does not say the water is warm. Paul keeps making the assumption that the water is warm. We work hard to make the water cold because that makes the steam plant more efficient.

     

    “There is no debate here.”

     

    Oh contrar my friend, you are looking at one part of a secondary process and not looking at the whole process. Another way we make a makes the steam plant more efficient is by Moisture Separators Reheaters (MSR). This is the ‘free if you will’ source of low pressure steam.

     

    “The TCF varies with membrane type – some are better in colder water, some warmer, and every membrane type (or series) has its own TCF. ”

     

    So you are saying that one you have the process flow diagrams (summer and winter), you would select the water (based first of salinity and pretreatment) and match the type of RO to the process.

     

    Something else to think about, the EPA is putting a stop to using river and ocean water for power plant cooling. So on one hand were do marginal stupid things to make our building use less electricity and we do very stupid expensive things to make our power plants make less electricity.

     

    “you won’t turn that down. ”

     

    Gosh Paul your imaginary scenario sounds so tempting. After looking at all the capital costs and O&M , I would be looking at the ways to save on the other 96% of the energy.

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  125. By thomas398 on June 6, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    Paul I’m impressed with your patience.

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  126. By Kit P on June 6, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Paul said,

    “You look at your membrane options and try to get the one that has the best economic result. Since the seawater is colder in winter, you have less production for the same operating pressure, and vice versa in summer.”

    From the linked report,

    “During summer months, the combination of warm seawater and high power demand can elevate daily average feed water temperature to 30oC (and hourly average to 32 oC). During winter nights, hourly average feed water temperature can drop to 15 oC and daily average temperature can be as low as 18 oC.”

    Then Paul writes,

    “If you wonder why desal guys are so anal about energy efficiency”

    Interesting Paul that these guys looked at everything about the water they used except temperature. So your pilot study provides no evidence about energy use based on water temperature. Looking further in your other link.

    “However, operations related to the temperature of the source water and the operation of the seawater intake pumps will have to be changed, which collectively will increase power consumption by less than 10%, says Maloni.”

    Okay then Paul I want you again to tell me that you have found a use at all the steam power plants in the world for slightly warmer water exiting the main condenser. What you may have found is BS by marketing guys.

    The large power consumption for desal comes from either electricity or process steam. That is what is shown on pg 7 of the Westinghouse presentation.

    Conceptually CHP is a great idea. The reason more is not done is that huge electricity generating rarely finds compatible partners outside the oil and chemical industries that have fossil fuels that would be a waste if not burned in a boiler.

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  127. By paul-n on June 6, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    It does not say the water is warm. Paul keeps making the assumption that the water is warm. We work hard to make the water cold because that makes the steam plant more efficient.

    If it is no warmer coming out, than going in, and there is no evaporation, then it is, by definition, providing no cooling.  Of course, this is not the case, that is why there is a “cooling lagoon.”  

    But, since I go by facts, here they are, from the report on Poseidon’s pilot desal plant, p2,

    Raw water from the lagoon is drawn from the power station’s open intake and used for cooling before being processed by the desalination pilot. The increase in power plant effluent temperature relative to the lagoon water varies between 3 C and 10 C depending on cooling requirements of the power plant and the ambient ocean water temperature. The power plant draws between 200 MGD and 800 MGD (0.76 million m3/d to 3 million m3/d) of water.

    So there it is -using those numbers, that is a heat flow of between 110MW and 1460MW – plenty of waste heat there.

    you are looking at one part of a secondary process

    Actually, in an RO plant, the flow through the membrane is the process.

    So you are saying that one you have the process flow diagrams (summer and winter), you would select the water (based first of salinity and pretreatment) and match the type of RO to the process.

    Something like that – except you (normally) don’t get to select your water, you have what you have.  You look at your membrane options and try to get the one that has the best economic result.  Since the seawater is colder in winter, you have less production for the same operating pressure, and vice versa in summer.  Depending on the output requirements, you can operate at lower pressure in summer, saving energy and improving membrane life, or at the same pressure and higher output.  

    The “value” of the water produced is likely to be higher in summer, in most places, so the operation is normally for max production in summer, and backed off in winter.

    For the Carlsbad plant, they will design their peak production based on the typical  summer temperature of the cooling water as that determines pump capacities etc.  If the power plant was totally shut down, and they were getting no free heat, then they either produce less or use more energy to maintain production – as you will see below, they will up the pressure and maintain production.

     

    After looking at all the capital costs and O&M , I would be looking at the ways to save on the other 96% of the energy.

    Who wouldn’t?  It may come as surprise to you, but given that desal is a very energy intensive operation, they are all over that already.  The first and biggest saving is the pressure recovery from the reject brine flow.  It is still at 900-1000 psi, so they run it through a hydro turbine, that is usually direct coupled to a pressure pump for the feedwater.  With half the total flow leaving as brine, there is some serious energy to be had here.  The energy recovery system usually saves about 25-30% of the total pumping energy.  f course, both the turbine and pump are more efficient with warmer water – so there is some more free energy there.

    An interesting variation on this concept uses direct hydraulic contact between the feedwater and the brine

     

    If you wonder why desal guys are so anal about energy efficiency it is because high energy consumption/cost is often the reason municipal desal plants don;t get built.  So if you want to build more of them, you need to wring every last efficiency out of them.  I would be surpised if a geothermal power plant operator would reject a 4% improvement that could be had by a change in the temp of the incoming cooling water.

    Something else to think about, the EPA is putting a stop to using river and ocean water for power plant cooling. So on one hand were do marginal stupid things to make our building use less electricity and we do very stupid expensive things to make our power plants make less electricity.

    Yes, California is already doing this;

    The powerplant with which California’s new 189,000 m³/d Carlsbad seawater reverse-osmosis (SWRO) plant is co-located has been ordered to cease once-through cooling by 2017.

    However, operations related to the temperature of the source water and the operation of the seawater intake pumps will have to be changed, which collectively will increase power consumption by less than 10%, says [Poseidon's] Maloni.

    So there you have it – like I said – they will take the free heat when they can get it, and when they can’t they use more energy.

    Of course, if southern California did not waste so much water none of this would be necessary in the first place.

     

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  128. By paul-n on June 7, 2011 at 2:13 am

    The point of linking to that study was because someone said;

    It does not say the water is warm.

    And, in fact, it does say the (cooling) water is warmer.

     

    Interesting Paul that these guys looked at everything about the water they used except temperature. So your pilot study provides no evidence about energy use based on water temperature.

    You can be sure they looked at temperature too – they did give the range of summer and winter temps.  The purpose of the trial, and report, was to show the plant could produce water of the required quality across the expected range of operating conditions.  I’m sure they were keeping a very close watch on the energy usage – but they are not required to publish that, though they do make note of it on the first page;

    The operation of this pilot plant has demonstrated the cost benefits of the recent developments in RO membrane technology and has confirmed the advantages of desalinating cooling water from a power plant. These advantages, which have been discussed in more detail elsewhere [1,3,4,] include the use of existing intake and outfall structures and the reduced energy associated with treating water of elevated temperature as compared to that of the open ocean.

    They are not required to disclose cost information, and there is none in that report, as is to be expected.

    As for “evidence” about energy use and temperature, that is in the TCF’s from the membrane manufacturers – all membranes run more water at higher temperatures.

    Of course, there are always some people who will study this stuff for the sake of studying – such as this report from the

     Saline Water Desalination Research Institute in  Saudi Arabia – (which is the world largest producer of desal water)

    EFFECT OF HIGH FEED TEMPERATURE ON NANOFILTRATION AND RO MEMBRANE PERFORMANCE

    This mixture of intake water with MSF rejects increased feed seawater temperature to NF and SWRO membranes by approximately 10C. Increased seawater temperature, at a constant feed pressure (about 20 bar) and feed flow rate (about 8.0m3/hr) to NF membranes, increased the NF total recovery rate by 10 %.

    Huh – raise the temperature, at the same pressure, and get more water – who could have predicted that?

    When the NF permeate temperatures was increased by 5C at a constant feed pressure (about 69 bar) and feed flow rate (about 3.0 m3/hr), SWRO membrane recovery rate increased by 8%.

    And, of course, increased yield = reduced specific energy usage;

    The energy consumption of water produced by NF-SWRO membranes receiving preheated feed water was about 4.34 kWh/m3 compared to 5.26 kWh/m3 for NF-SWRO membranes receiving normal temperature seawater from the open intake. An 18% reduction in SWRO energy consumption of potable water production was achieved using preheating feed water from the MSF stream.

    And, since these guys are the principal desal advisers to the same Saudi government that is proposing all these nuke powered desal plants, what are their recommendations?

    As this mixing process, which leads to rise in feed temperature, reduces the energy consumption of SWRO by 18%, it is strongly recommended to implement it in the current hybrid MSF-SWRO plants, e.g., Jeddah, Yanbu and Al-Jubail. In addition, it is recommended to be included in the design for new hybrid MSFSWRO plants.

    So there you go – use whatever steam the nuke  is willing to give up for the flash distillation part, and use any reject heat to preheat the electric powered RO system.  Of course, the Carlsbad plant doesn’t have any steam option, so they just take the cooling water as that is what is there.  

    Like aI said before, we’ll take any heat we can get, from any source, at any temperature – it’s all good.

    Okay then Paul I want you again to tell me that you have found a use at all the steam power plants in the world for slightly warmer water exiting the main condenser.

    No, I never said that –  I am saying is that every desal plant can make use of slightly warmer water – that’s one of the reasons why they go looking for power plants.  But if your power plant is in an area that already has plenty of potable water and no need for desal, well then, I got nothing for you.

    Sydney recently commissioned its desal plant – $1.8bn for 68bn gal/day, 51MW plant.  I am sure they would have been happy to get a 4% energy saving, but there are no power plants nearby – just an oil refinery, and they didn’t want to have any link between the two.

     

    Conceptually CHP is a great idea. The reason more is not done is that huge electricity generating rarely finds compatible partners outside the oil and chemical industries that have fossil fuels that would be a waste if not burned in a boiler.

    Quite so.  Part of the problem there is also the “huge electricity generators”, which are often in a  place that is not near anything else – this is certainly true of all the coal plants in Australia, and the ones I know of in western Canada.  The purpose built CHP plants in places like Sweden are all small (0.5-10MW), and really, their primary purpose is heat, with power as a bonus.

     

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  129. By Wendell Mercantile on June 7, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Most of the nuke plants in Illinois have cooling lakes.

    The nuclear plan at Byron, IL has two cooling towers Byron Nuclear Power Plant They make an excellent landmark when flying. On a clear, cold winter day I’ve seen the cooling towers and their condensation plume from as far as 75 miles away.

    Circ water coming out of a steam turbine condenser is not hot, if fact it is most likely cold. That is by design.

    In a normal winter the Mississippi freezes over from Lake Itasca to the Iowa/Minnesota state line. But it doesn’t freeze for several hundreds of yards around the Prairie Island Nuclear Power plant at Red Wing, MN. That circ water can’t be that cold, if it can prevent a river that normally freezes from freezing. How can that not be waste heat?

    I know it’s a fundamental part of the thermodynamic process, and I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. (The eagles love the open stretch of water, as do the eagle watchers.) But they still end up “wasting” thermal energy from splitting atoms to keep water from freezing. And it’s not because the ice would clog the pump, it’s because they can find no other profitable way to use that “waste” heat.

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  130. By Wendell Mercantile on June 7, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Most of the nuke plants in Illinois have cooling lakes.

    The nuclear plan at Byron, IL has two cooling towers Byron Nuclear Power Plant They make an excellent landmark when flying. On a clear, cold winter day I’ve seen the cooling towers and their condensation plume from as far as 75 miles away.

    Circ water coming out of a steam turbine condenser is not hot, if fact it is most likely cold. That is by design.

    In a normal winter the Mississippi freezes over from Lake Itasca to the Iowa/Minnesota state line. But it doesn’t freeze for several hundreds of yards around the Prairie Island Nuclear Power plant at Red Wing, MN. That circ water can’t be that cold, if it can prevent a river that normally freezes from freezing. How can that not be waste heat?

    I know it’s a fundamental part of the thermodynamic process, and I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. (The eagles love the open stretch of water, as do the eagle watchers.) But they still end up “wasting” thermal energy from splitting atoms to keep water from freezing. And it’s not because the ice would clog the pump, it’s because they can find no other profitable way to use that “waste” heat.

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  131. By Kit P on June 7, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    “And, in fact, it does say the (cooling) water is warmer.”

     

    It me try a different approach Paul and maybe you will understand. This is all very interesting. I also find solar interesting but in the grand scheme of things it is insignificant on the grid.

     

    The principles of operating a steam to maximize power output is contrary to reducing energy use of RO. While Paul has presented numerous examples of how higher temperature water will improve performance, non of these example are for steam plants.

     

    However, in any case, it is a very insignificant application of thermal discharge.

     

    In a scary coincidence, today I was asked to review a detailed economic analysis using an good old fashioned steam heated evaporator. In nuke plants we recycle reactor coolant and boron using evaporators and other processes. The state of art all electric system was very energy efficient. If you were buying electric in California and continuously running the system, it would be very cool.

     

    On the other hand, our customer makes electricity with nuke plants and sells it to customers. The wanted to what it would cost to run an auxiliary steam line from the turbine over to the building with the evaporator to provide heating rather than electric heaters and vapor compressors. The analysis assumes the steam comes from the electric auxiliary boiler which results in 10 times the energy use but still saves $9.2 million. The change in electricity produced by the plant is insignificant.

     

    While I concur with the change there are several factors they did not consider. The evaporator is only used when the plant is running and auxiliary steam is supplied by the MSRH. They also did not consider maintenance over 60 years vapor compressors.

     

    “preheating feed water from the MSF stream ”

     

    Paul do you mean the steam heated Multi Stage Flash Distillation (MSF) rejection stream (30oC – 40oC)?

     

    Steam, Steam, Steam!

     

    “thermal energy from splitting atoms to keep water from freezing. ”

     

    The purpose is to make electricity. If you want to keep the surface of a river from you would either bubble water up or use an impeller to stir the water. Cooling lakes often freeze over in winter. Of course a civil engineer knows all about frazzle ice.

     

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  132. By Wendell Mercantile on June 7, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    If you want to keep the surface of a river from you would either bubble water up or use an impeller to stir the water.

    But they don’t want to keep the surface of the Mississippi River from freezing. It’s an unintended and unwanted byproduct of taking water from the river to cool the nuclear power plant and then returning it to the river at a higher temperature after it has absorbed heat from the plant.

    If they could find a better use for that excess thermal energy, they wouldn’t have to “waste” it by putting it back into the river.

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  133. By paul-n on June 8, 2011 at 1:21 am

    none of these example are for steam plants.

    Steam desal plants – no.  Most new desal is RO, because it is cheaper (more energy efficient), But MSF may be cheaper if the heat is cheap or free.

    However, in any case, it is a very insignificant application of thermal discharge.

    From the point of view of the powerplant, absolutely insignificant.  From the point of view of the RO desal plant, it has potential value.

    Paul do you mean the steam heated Multi Stage Flash Distillation (MSF) rejection stream (30oC – 40oC)?

     

    Steam, Steam, Steam!

    Yes, the steam heated the MSF, just the way you like it.   That is all well and good – but now we need much more desal water, and  there is only so much steam available.  So we go to a “combined cycle” desal, or hybrid as they called it at the Fujairah plant.

    There is an optimisation problem to find the best balance of MSF (or MED) and RO, and electricity output.  That balance will depend on the relative value of water and electricity. If the electricity had low or no value, and water was very valuable, I guess you could dedicate a whole nuke just to MSF type desal.  If the elec has a higher value, and you still need water, then you would maximise the elec production, and find the way to produce the most water with the least loss of elec output – part of that would be trying to use the reject heat.

    Optimising the system, for both water and power output, was exactly the objective of the Saudi exercise;

    An optimization methodology was proposed for the design of fully integrated trihybrid power-MSF-RO plants [9]. The optimal design is based on exergo-economics and on profit optimization. The optimization parameters are extraction pressure (or temperature) of steam from turbine and the capacity ratio between the MSF and RO sections.

    The Saudis report that the MSF needs 47kWh of heat energy per cu.m, and RO needs 4,5 kWh of elec, so it would appear you are better off to run the all the steam through the turbine and use the electricity for RO, but it is not quite that simple. 

    Their numbers came out that the optimum was a 50/50 split of water production between MSF and RO, at all power output levels.  

     

     

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  134. By paul-n on June 8, 2011 at 1:32 am

    Of course a civil engineer knows all about frazzle ice.

    Including that the correct spelling is “frazil” ice.   A real pain in the neck for water intakes in streams around freeze up time.  Also does a good job of blocking up nozzles on small hydro systems too.

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  135. By Kit P on June 8, 2011 at 9:45 am

    “because it is cheaper (more energy efficient) ”

     

    But it is not cheaper at a nuke plant because process steam is essentially free.

     

    “and  there is only so much steam available ”

     

    Well how much steam to you want? Paul you are not grasping the magnitude of the amount of steam produced by a nuke plant. The mass flow of steam that comes from the reactor is the same mass flow that goes thorough the high pressure turbines. Some of the mass is diverted in the MSRH to make the low pressure turbines more efficient.

     

    If you have a process that needs low pressure, low quality steam; it is almost 100% to take the energy off before the condenser. The heat you want for RO comes directly without being mixed with cold water.

     

    “I guess you could dedicate a whole nuke just to MSF type desal. ”

     

    Would it be okay if I passed the steam through the high pressure turbines first and made a lot of electricity. A BTU at a 1000# is more valuable than a BTU at a 100# which is more valuable a BTU at 15 degree C.

     

    “so it would appear you are better off to run the all the steam through the turbine and use the electricity for RO, but it is not quite that simple.  ”

     

    and

     

    “50/50 split”

     

    If you have been running nukes and evaporators for a long time I could see how a 50/50 split might be a optimal choice. I am betting 100% evaporators while selling electricity to the city will be the most economical. The KISS rule applies most of the time.

     

    “A real pain in the neck for water intakes ”

     

    Think tsunami pain in the neck. It is a common mode failure mechanism if EDG are cooled from the same source of cooling water.

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