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January 01, 2007



I am at a loss to explain why anyone is harping on coal on an alernative energy blog that is obviously geared to COAL TO LIQUID and CTG energy, unless someone on here is trying to throw around the red herring. The reason for CTL is to eliminate particulate discharges so once again, Bill and Brian - huh??

Since I am being asked again for citations for the Millstone radiation hazards, here is one from Ernest J. Sternglass, Emeritus Professor of Radiological Physics in the Department of Radiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. While he was there he was director of the Radiological Physics and Engineering Laboratory.

"The largest single release in a single year that ever occurred, occurred actually at the Millstone reactor in Connecticut right near New London where in 1975 they released millions of curies of radioactive gases. We since then have seen a huge increase in cancer rates about which I made a report for Representative Anderson from Connecticut (he's now serving in the Senate). He had asked me to look into this. We studied the releases. They were all available. Because in our country you can get this information by simply going to the local depository where the records have to be kept. All this was sent to me, along with the statistics of Connecticut, and it showed that the cancers rose most in the towns nearest the reactor and declined with distance away in all directions.

Now in the last few years we see an enormous increase in breast cancer on Long Island. In fact the eastern tip of Long Island is just opposite this reactor--it's only twelve miles away. Naturally whenever they had a release, they didn't want to release it when the wind was towards their homes, so they released it when it blew away from shore. When it blows away from shore it goes over to Shelter Island and Eyeslip (sp?) and all the towns in eastern Long Island and that's where there's such an enormous rise in breast cancers is today.

Only last night CBS had a story about this on the evening news. The women are desperate. They're trying to find out what the cause is. They suspect some local kind of chemical but the state health authorities told them there is no basis for any abnormal concern and they should stop being concerned. But the trouble is that the actual figures show that Long Island not only had more cancers than any other area in the eastern United States, but that it was more cancers the further you get away from the pollution of New York. So it can't be blamed on ordinary automobiles. It can't be blamed on benzene. It can't be blamed on chemicals and they haven't been able to find any other explanation.

Brian Wang

Seen your site amazingdrx and looked at it again. It is more distortions and mistakes. You do not disprove anything that I said in the prior posts in these threads with any data.

The curie was originally a comparison of the activity of a sample to the activity of one gram of radium, which at the time was measured as 37 billion disintegrations per second.

20,000 tons of uranium and thorium are released into the air by coal plants every year. That is 20 billion grams of uranium and thorium. So 20 thousands times the curie amount that you are talking about every year.

I harp on coal because it is still 50% of the electric power in the USA and increasing.
It is 85% of the electric power in China. They are building about one new coal plant a week.

None of your nuclear incident here and incident there amounts to more than the deaths from coal. Work the numbers and show that nuclear kills more than the mining deaths and the transportation deaths (coal trains and trucks hitting and killing people).
Worldwide 10,000 coal mining deaths per year
Worldwide 10,000 coal transportation deaths per year

USA 47 coal mining deaths per year (latest)
USA 500+ coal transportation deaths/year

Disprove or provide a new number and the costs for those who die and are made sick
by coal pollution. Particulates (including 20,000 tons of uranium and thorium per year), toxic metals, mercury, arsenic, NOx and SOx.

Estimates of the cost of air pollution

It estimates US air pollution costs at $145 to 530 billion. Extract the $18 to $140 billion estimate for greenhouse gases. Still $127 billion to $390 billion.

Sequestering is too expensive. But if they make it work cheap enough great. They can keep working on it because there is enough money to try different things. But the faster impact on the sources is to up-power nuclear existing plants and also start building new nuclear plants (as China and India and countries already are)

btw: the savings on air pollution costs on productivity and health (take the lower figure of $60billion/year) and on railroad costs ($10 billion/year)

that is enough to justify over 30 nuclear plants per year at $2 billion each (the cost without excessive bureaucracy). 30 plants per year for 30 years. And we have replaced coal.


You must have missed something Brian.

You just repeated that same old false dilemna fallacy I keep pointing out on my blog.

The choice is not; radiation from coal or radiation from nuclear. It is renewable energy with no radioative contamination versus coal or nuclear.

A new study of only 8 windfarms has proven that baseload power can come from wind despite intermittency. the physical distribution tends to negate the effect of wind variability. In other words, the wind does not stop blowing everywhere at once.

Something wind advocates always suspected. Well this study proved it. It's also detailed on my blog.

I have been all over this ground arguing these issues with a lot of opponents of renewable and proponents of nuclear power and those meanderings have been recorded on my blog.


And the cost of the latest US nuclear power plants was 6 dollars per watt Brian, not 2 dollars.

"the savings on air pollution costs on productivity and health (take the lower figure of $60billion/year) and on railroad costs ($10 billion/year)"

Those savings from stopping pollution, contamination, and cancer deaths applied to renewables would go a lot further. And actually stop them, unlike other alternatives like nuclear.

For maybe 2 dollars per watt of generating capacity. With no waste or ever soaring fuel costs, mining that creates radioactive dust, or proliferation.

Proliferation is the cause of this latest invasion plan of the Bush administration. They want to attack Iran because they have nuclear reactors that are purportedly being used to make nuclear weapons.

Even a few nuclear weapon detonations in the middle east could destroy the human friendly climate of spaceship earth. Maniacs and nuclear power combined? Armageddon.

Brian Wang

This is your fallacy. Plus it is radiation, and air pollution and mercury and arsenic and more rail and traffic accidents from coal. (billions of tons)

12GW of wind added in 2005. Show me the projects that will add 300+ GW per year. When will that happen ?

Renewables could potentially stop coal but they are not. New nuclear could stop coal but it is not being added in the USA. Currently nothing is stopping coal. That is the point nothing is actually stopping it. Thus 28,000 die in the USA in 2006 and the same and maybe more die in 2007 as more deadly coal plants are added.

The choice is coal or anything else when coal is over 50% of the new electricity in the USA and still supplies 50% of the electricity ?

Until the renewables can supply all new power and begin rapidly replacing all old power then the choice is to keep coal.

Coal power has been over 100 times more deadly than nuclear power.

With about 1000 coal plants in the USA and 27,000 deaths from pollution disease and 1000 deaths from moving coal by rail and truck or mining deaths then every coal plant is helping to kill 28 people per year in the USA and making more people sick.

If a company pays for a nuclear plant it does not mean that someone did not make a solar or a geothermal plant. Because solar had 1.7GW added in 2005 and geothermal had a similar amount and wind added 12GW in 2005. The choice is coal over 100 times more deadly than everything versus everything else.

We can look at this at the end of this year. It will still be more coal plants added. Next year it will still be more coal plants added. Until everything else ramps up.
France has 80% of its power from nuclear. Where are the large countries with almost all geothermal or solar or wind that were added in the last 50 years. France converted in about 2 decades. Why could not other countries? The USA replaced 20% of its electrical power in the 1950, 60's and 70s. It shows it can be done.

Get the renewables built at 2 dollar per watt. That would be great but I predict they will be a significant part of the energy sources over the next 20 years.

Iran and nuclear is a horse that has already left the gate. It left decades ago.
they have their materials and are enriching them already. what happens there does not require more proliferation. They are say six months pregnant cannot get double pregnant.

It will take more than a few exploded nukes to trigger Armageddon. You are wrong there too. Any attack on iran will likely be before they have weapons and it will be a conventional attack.

If I have a thousand murderers on the street (coal plants) in the USA so that they can keep the lights on. And I add 100 more every year. then anything that can replace one of them is a good thing. Natural gas less deadly is a net good thing. Nuclear less deadly than coal so adding one is a net good thing. Anything to slow down the rate of new murderers being added is a net good thing.

Until you can show that nuclear plants are more deadly than coal plants you have not proved your case. Show an average of 28 nuclear plant deaths per nuclear plant per year in the USA and 1000 nuclear plant related deaths in China per year. Until you can prove that you have not proved anything.

btw: 600,000 dead in the last three years in Iraq all killed with conventional means. Ditto every other war out there. Darfur etc...


Sounding pretty desperate Brian. Why not join the renewable side. No one will think the worse of you. Hehey.

Brian Wang

Again a distortion Amazingdrx. You never prove anything and then try to claim that your mission is accomplished. Sounds like you are trying to copy what President Bush did "claim an early and unfounded mission accomplished".

You have not proved anything.

Prove that nuclear is worse than coal .
You have not.
Prove that not also using nuclear would not get us off coal sooner.
Currently no one has a credible plan (no matter how many decades) for replacing coal at all barring technological miracles that have not happened yet.
Adding Nuclear power would need nothing new in technology is all about making the decisions to do it. thus India and china are adding reactors now. The US will be authorizing new reactors this year.

Sounds like you are still wrong and that you are trying to avoid answering questions are putting up any numbers and details.

As it stands you have not proved anything on your side and are just trying to misdirect. Misdirect to a website that is just as empty in facts or proof as your comments. So you continue to sound without correct, facts or proof and without even the awareness to realize how empty your case is. You do not even understand my case, because you probably do not want to read the truth.

I am the side of energy solutions that can realistically work and save lives. Which when I look at the numbers clearly shows we need more nuclear power as the main part of the solution and to ramp up renewables as fast as possible. I also understand economics, business and actual human behavior and can see that even with conservation our use of energy will grow. So we need to grow relatively cleaner and safer energy sources. Nuclear is 100 times cleaner and safer than coal and is overall cleaner and safer than oil and natural gas. Plus there is more nuclear power available. Nuclear can be made safer with development of technology that we known and tested in actual reactors in the 1960s.

The renewable side would be better served without people like you amazingdrx, because it makes that side like incompetent, intellectually lazy and without a grasp of the facts.

We should all be on the same side. Finding ways to save lives and provide energy that society will use. As I have shown lives are being lost now. This is not an intellectual exercise without consequenses. The longer we let it go the more lives are lost. Every week the problem gets worse. Since the first post on this thread two more coal power plants were built. (Since Jan 1). Can you point to some direct nuclear deaths in the last ten years ? I can show 10,000,000 deaths from coal. 280,000 deaths in the USA from coal in the last ten years.
You point at Chernobyl. That is 50 dead. 1952 london fog, 12,000 people dropped dead over 2 weeks from weather that concentrated the coal pollution. I can point to the ecological disaster in China. I can point to 47 coal mining deaths in the USA this year and the 500+ traffic and rail deaths. (Any controversy about whether someone was killed by coal if they are hit by a train or truck full of coal?

Wake up to the slaughter of coal. More deaths than Darfur, more deaths than Iraq, more deaths than Hiroshima and nagasaki.

Get onto the side of getting anything else besides coal. Look at the complete and actual picture instead of your irrational fears. Coal is actually killing and making people unhealthy. Nuclear power in comparison is nothing, deaths only happens if there is a major accident.


Ok Brian, relax. Take a deep breath. Think about building experimental waste eating reactors at Yucca Mountain. Auuummm.

Think happy thoughts.


Still waiting for that pier reviewed report proving the nuclear plant caused the cancer spike.

Thyroid problems and leukemia are usually the first indicators of radiation exposure. Why breast cancer, which is a function of lifestyle, diet, exercise age and genetics. Long Island is downwind of the whole country, how do you narrow it down to one plant?

Dixy Lee Ray on Sternglass

Dr. Ernest Sternglass, much quoted by the media on radiation
matters, has never published his claims about the effect of low-level
radiation in a peer-reviewed journal. In an article in Esquire
magazine published in 1969, Dr. Sternglass predicted that all children
in the United States would die as a result of fallout from nuclear
tests. Twenty years have passed and unfortunately for his credibility
but fortunately for children, he was, and is, wrong. But his opinions,
long since dismissed by knowledgeable scientists in his field, are
still actively sought and quoted by the popular press. Until respected
scientists, perhaps through their professional societies or through
the National Academy of Science, identify the purveyors of misrepre-
sentation, we have only ourselves to blame for fear, misunderstanding,
and the rejection of technology.


Bernard Cohen on Sternglass

Ernest Sternglass,1 John Gofman,2 and Helen Caldicott3 are the names with which I am familiar. Their basic claim is that radiation is far more dangerous than estimates by the scientific Establishment would lead us to believe it is. This is a scientific question which will be discussed in some detail in Chapter 5, but the ultimate judgment is surely best made by the community of radiation health scientists. A poll of that community (see Chapter 5) shows that the scientific works of these three scientists have very low credibility among their colleagues. Their ideas on the dangers of radiation have been unanimously rejected by various committees of eminent scientists assembled to make judgments on those questions. These committees represent what might be called "the Establishment" in radiation health science; the poll shows that they have very high credibility within the involved scientific community. In a secret ballot, less than 1% gave these Establishment groups a credibility rating below 50 on a scale of 0-100, whereas 83% gave the three above-mentioned authors a credibility rating in that low range. The average credibility rating of these Establishment groups was 84, whereas less than 3% of respondents rated the three authors that high.


See how Sternglass cherry picks his data, pages 5-10 in this report.




Dixy, the ultimate government insider nuclear industry lobbyist. AEC head under Nixon. Yep, you can take her word at face value. Hehehey.

A marine bioloigist appointed head of AEC? I guess marine biology requires intensive study of nuclear energy?

How did she do as governor at cleaning up Hanford? With all her connections from her AEC stint one would think that would have been a done deal. Last I heard the radioactive contamination is still streaming through groundwater into the Columbia River.

I counter Dixy's attack on these anti-nuke advocates with a challenge to her credibility. I see no substantive evidence in any of your posts. I have links to key articles on Sprol on my blog. Where all the sources of radioactive contamination from nuclear energy and their effects on cancer rates are detailed.

Even links to peer reviewed studies! Read and learn.

Brian Wang

Why should anyone read your links or address your challenges amazingdrx? You do not address other challenges. When you actually see clear evidence and solid sources you choose to continue to deny reality.

I will accept your inability to address any of the points and challenges in my posts in this thread as your admission that you cannot prove your case or find a major flaw in my case.

I found it ridiculous for you who have no credibility to challenge anyone else's credibility.

Sprol is just some a site with aerial photos of locations with comments. There is no proof of causal effects.


To each his own. For me, it's a long run on the icey trail right now.


Germany has more wind power than any other country. Here is a pro wind report written by one of the largest wind companies in the world. What makes this report extraordinary is that it includes a frank discussion on the limitations of wind power.


Here are a few quotes;

“traditional power stations with capacities
equal to 90% of the installed wind power
capacity must be permanently online in order
to guarantee power supply at all times.”

“The average feed-in over the year was 1,295MW,
around one fifth of the average installed wind
power capacity over the year.”

Note, this is less than the output of one EPR reactor.

“Over half of the year, the wind power feed-in
was less than 14% of the average installed wind
power capacity over the year.”

“Large thermal power stations do not disconnect
from the grid even following serious grid failures,
instead they generally trip into auxiliary services
supply and until then, "support" the grid. Wind
farms, however, have so far disconnected themselves
from the grid even in the event of minor,
brief voltage dips. Experience shows that this can
lead to serious power failures:”

Contrast that report with this glossy propaganda brochure put out by the US DOE at taxpayer expense.


How can people get a realistic handle on alternative energy systems when 95% of the material they read is propaganda?

The guaranteed wind price in Germany is 0.087 euro, 11.2 cents US. For comparison, average US nuclear power plant operating cost is 1.82 cents per kWh.


If nuclear power received the same terms as wind, the 1500 mW EPR reactor operating at a 0.85 capacity factor, would earn $3,427,000 per day, $1.25 billion per year, $6.27 billion in five years. With this price guarantee nuclear would ramp up to cover over 90% of load. Even throttling back at night they could still make lots of money.

Wind mills also get carbon credits, special land considerations and fast depreciation rates (because they last half as long as nuclear plants).


1 megawatt of generating CAPACITY won’t fry a hamburger, energy PRODUCTION is what counts.


Where is the link? A big high pressure system can be 400 miles in diameter with very little wind under it. How spread out are these windmills?

How many wind mills would you have to build to replace one EPR reactor, and what would they cost? How many miles of new transmission line, at what cost? Show me the numbers and the references.

The cost of new grid capacity to support windfarms is often passed on to ratepayers, not the windfarms.


Remember atmospheric nuclear weapons testing?

The TMI accident released about 18 curies of iodine 131. Atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons at the Nevada Test Site, near Las Vegas, released 150 million curies of iodine 131 between 1952 and 1970, an average of over 1,200 TMI accidents per day for 18 years, not including the hazard from hundreds of other fission products and a very large quantity of plutonium released from the test site, not released from TMI. Yet we are still here.

But you make a good point, let’s offer the Iranians a few windfarms in exchange for their enrichment program.

There are many roads to nuclear weapons. In 1942 when the Manhattan project began very little was known about fission, plutonium, reactors, explosive hydrodynamics or nuclear bombs. Yet three years later we had two working designs. Now most of the knowledge is available, in great precision, on the internet and in reference books.

Making nuclear weapons is much easier than building nuclear power plants. How does rejecting the most difficult, expensive, time consuming and never traveled road to nuclear weapons enhance our security?

My recommendation is to increase R&D for non fossil energy sources from $0.7 billion to $60 billion per year and use whatever emerges as the best option. If your solution is best it will win. What is your objection to this? Are you afraid nuclear will win a fair competition, why?



There it is. 95% of baseload is now feasible from wind alone. With no big auxillary units (running all the time)and no huge amounts of storage.

No need for the astronomical costs (waste disposal, insurance, construction, security)prolifertation, contamination, and catastrophic accident or terror risks of nuclear power. Retire it.

Bill Hannahan



Actually the link claims the ability to deliver 20% of total windfarm data plate rating 95% of the time, with a little bit of storage, averaged over 8 widely spaced sites.

The identity and locations of the eight sites is not available, nor is the data available for review. The analysis is not based on actual windfarm performance, but derived from wind measurements. They claim 33% average output, which is well above average wind farm performance, so there may be some cherry picking going on, but without the data we cannot tell.

Let’s take a very simple example. Suppose a utility consumes a steady 10 gigawatts (gW) all the time. The peak load, average load and base load are all the same, 10 gW. The report says that a widely spaced array of wind farms with a collective data plate rating of 50 gW, combined with a little bit of storage, can meet the demand 95% of the time.

If a 50 gW array can meet the demand 95% of the time, then it can exceed the demand 94% of the time. During periods of good wind over the entire array it will put out over 40 gW of which only about10 gW can be used. Over 75% of the windmills have to be shutdown during periods of good wind. Under average conditions the array puts out 33% of which only 20% is being used. Almost 13% of the windmills must be shutdown under average conditions.

At $1.50 per watt installed, the windmills will cost $75 billion, plus the cost of backup coal and gas plants, say $20 billion. Let’s assume the windmills are distributed on a 400 mile diameter circle. They are connected by a circle of 10gW transmission lines with four spokes, 2,000 miles of transmission line. At a cost of $2,500 per mW mi, the transmission lines cost $50.7 billion. The total cost of windmills, backup power plants and transmission lines is $145 billion.

Or, pay $30 billion for nuclear plants and they lasts twice as long as the windmills.

Let’s take a more realistic case where baseload is 40% of the average 10 gW load, 4 gW, and the peak load is 20 gW. The report claims that a widely spaced array of wind farms with 20 gW of data plate capacity can supply 4gW 95% of the time. What supplies the remaining 16 gW on peak, coal and natural gas. The cost of the windmills is $30 billion, the backup plants cost $40 billion and the transmission lines cost $20 billion. Total cost $90 billion, and the windmills will probably supply only about half the total energy over the course of a year, most of the rest will come from coal, as it does now.

Suppose wind conditions are good during a peak and the wind farms can produce more than 4 gW, what do we do? We feed in the wind power and throttle back the natural gas turbines since that is the most expensive fuel source.

But of course that is exactly what we do now, there is no difference, we use all the power wind farms put out now without any storage, the analysis in the link is just a word game.

We know that wind farms rely on large conventional plants to stabilize voltage and frequency. If wind farms ever become a considerable fraction of electricity production they will need an interface of expensive energy consuming storage and regulating equipment not accounted for in my cost estimates, nor have I accounted for losses in the long transmission lines.

Wind power will never be low cost or abundant.

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