Monday, March 14, 2011

The Watermelons* are jumping with glee

Over the problems the Japanese are having with the nuke plants that took Momma Nature's one-two punch last week.

And just when the US was starting to lean toward building more nuke plants.

They planned for a earthquake, but failed to plan for a Tsunami taking out the power to the pumps.  They didn't have backup generators in hardened shelters.  The goram** plant survived the twin killing of earth and water, but they didn't plan for hardened, reliable backup power source for the pumps.   Doing that one simple thing and everyone would be focused on rescue and recovery ops and not on the nuke plants.

So now the Watermelons will point to the "dangers" of Nuclear power, while they protest coal fired plants and refuse to let us drill for oil.  They pimp "alternative" sources like Wind and Solar.

A nuke plant on average needs .72 acres to generate 1MegaWatt.  A wind farm needs 60 acres for that same MW (assumes that the wind is steady and constant all 24 hours).  Go back and look again that's POINT 72 acres per MW for a nuke plant.  So to replace Braidwood #1 and #2 south of Chicago (producing 2,360MW) you would need a wind farm of 141,600 acres.  Braidwood actually sits on 4,457 acres, most of which is old striped mine ponds and lakes, and most of that is open to sportsmen and women for hunting and fishing.  I know, the kids and I have hunted pheasant down there and there's lots of fishing and waterfowl hunt clubs in the area.  That 141,600 acres would mean turning a little more then 2/3rds of fully sub-urbanized DuPage County into nothing but wind farm.  And ask people who live near wind turbines about the noise.  Now ask power company engineers about what to do when the wind isn't blowing, but people expect the lights to be on and electrical appliances to work.

Wind and Solar are nice supplements to Nuclear.  See atoms keep emitting neutrons whether the wind is blowing or the sun is shining.  Going back to pre-Industrial Revolution conditions or having brown or black-outs is not what I want for me, my kids or anyone else.  Only through energy have we made dramatic strides in not only lengthening lives but also the quality of those lives.

I hope the Japanese can keep their nuclear plants under control, not only for their sake, but also ours.

*Green on the outside, Red on the inside.

**Firefly reference, the cool kids know what it means.

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