Thursday, August 30, 2018

Hiatus in Posting

I have been busy with several things "in-person" where I live.  These include winding up the construction of a carport, caring for some foster puppies, coordinating the installation of a well, and monitoring a situation that has now developed into a refugee crisis that has become personally observable for me during the past year or so.

Thus, I haven't been able to blog much on the topic of this blog.  However, I am quite happy to hear of the resignation of Nicolas Hulot, the foolishly anti-nuclear French energy minister.

An posting just to keep any remaining readers updated.

I am still blogging a bit on a topic that is both having an impact near me and is also closely related to the field of my study .

Photo of French-style purses is mine.  

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Theme Song:

It's Over - Roy Orbison

Why isn't the media talking about the over 5,000 well-paying jobs lost in South Carolina yesterday as a result of the stoppage of Construction at VC Summer? And the huge negative impact on climate change mitigation?

The business media is discussing it. Eric Roston at Bloomberg makes some important points.

The liberal sectors of the media could EASILY pin these job losses on Trump. Trump has been in office more than six months now. Trump and Energy Secretary Rick Perry did nothing to prevent this job and construction stoppage. Good jobs are hard to find these days

Guess what? I just looked at Vox and The Atlantic. Not a peep about these major job losses. Even when they could blame it on Donald Trump.

Oh, that's right. I forgot. Liberalism these days is a cultural thing. The anti-nuclear heritage of Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt is more important than actual jobs.

Where are Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and Kennedy when we need them so badly?

Goodbye VC Summer Construction

What is there to say?

Time to listen to some Johnny Cash and do some thinkin.'

Five thousand highly skilled, strictly screened, hardworking Americans just lost their jobs.

This blog has said very little since mid or late 2008. That was the year when the Great Recession started.

I quit blogging because of what I saw. The banks and cheating mortgage houses were bailed out. The common man and woman were not bailed out.

I made a prediction back then. I predicted that the vaunted nuclear renaissance (which I supported) would not come to be, largely for economic and political reasons.

I really didn't want to brag or share a negative prediction like that about a technology that I support, so I turned to other things, although I still followed nuclear energy supporters on Facebook.

In the nine years since late 2008, I have, among other things:

  • Lived in North Carolina for a while
  • Seen Recession-torn men begging on American streetcorners with cardboard signs, their beloved and loyal guardian dogs always at their side wearing battered but strong collars and leads
  • Traveled internationally and crossed more borders than the Taco Bell chihuahua
  • Entered my 50s
  • Led a major home renovation project - a second storey. We used seismic-resistent concrete-and-rebar construction rather than wooden framing.
  • Experienced several years of life outside the United States
Enough about me. Let's talk about my prediction and why I made it.

By the way, I am NOT an engineer or expert in the field, but my perspective may be a little broader than that of a specialist.


Here are the reasons the nuclear renaissance failed in the United States. Some of these reasons, like the huge expenses of large nuclear projects, are universally applicable. Other reasons are specific to the United States or maybe to western countries. I'll try to note where applicable. Reasons for Failure of Nuclear Renaissance:

  • A. Economic and political dominance of fossil fuel industry - worldwide. I strongly agree with Rod Adams on this issue. The economic and political dominance of fossil fuels is a meta-factor that affects almost all the other reasons below.
  • B. Enormous costs associated with Gigawatt size of additions to VC Summer plant - specific to this project but applicable to others
  • C. Regulatory burdens. Intimately linked to fossil fuel dominance of political system.
    • i. LNT hypothesis in regulations, although it is highly unlikely to be biologically realistic
    • ii. Reworking of major aspects of construction to comply with regulations that regulator admits are not urgent.
  • D. Failure to attach adequate costs to carbon emissions. Bias in favor of wind & solar and against nuclear in climate-change proposals and legislation. This bias reaches to the highest international level - the IPCC. These issues are intimately related to A - fossil fuel dominance of economy and political system.
  • E. Short-term (quarterly) mindset of investment and banking community. Largely specific to US and parts of Europe. Aggravated by 2008 Recession. This is a big part of the reason why a nuclear projects in the UAE can succeed, but they can't in the US. I didn't compare with China or India because they have much lower labor costs than the US or the UAE
  • F. Entrenched anti-nuclear activism. I cannot consider this to be nearly as large a factor in this project failure as it was in projects like Shoreham in New York State. The reason is political. The average South Carolinian loves the outdoors but expresses that in ways consistent with conservative beliefs. Ducks Unlimited, local parks, deer clubs, and college football are much more supported by South Carolinians than are political/anti-nuclear groups like the Sierra Club, NRDC, and FOE. Sure, a few university people join these groups, but the average South Carolinian would rather be in the NRA (hunting) than in the Sierra Club, even a chapter that actually offers hikes.
  • G. Lack of leadership by both Democrats and Republicans in government. President Trump and Energy Secretary Perry have really disappointed here. While Democrats like Obama appoint outright anti-nuclear activists (Jaczko) to the NRC, Republicans like to say platitudes but do nothing in favor of nuclear energy, the strongest alternative to fossil fuels.
  • H. In America, bankers and lawyers run things. In China, the engineers run things.
  • I. Inertia by society in general. While scientists like Dr. James Hansen are highly motivated to support nuclear energy, the millions in the general public rarely have the mathematical aptitude to understand that wind and solar are not enough to replace fossil fuels in the context of a still-growing global population of 7.4 Billion.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Watch For Fossil Fuel Deregulation Proposals

Keep your eyes out for fossil fuel-related deregulation legislation in Congress. Lobby for equivalent bills regarding nuclear energy.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Occasional Blog Posts Coming Up.

I have not blogged for several years.

During those years, a great deal has changed within the United States and the world, and also in my personal life.

I am considering discussing these changes in some occasional future posts.

I will go ahead and make this first post an explanation of the name of this blog.

Firstly, this blog is named after the proposed William States Lee Nuclear Generating Station, near Gaffney, South Carolina. The station was named after William States Lee III, former chairman of Duke Power.

The plant's Construction and Operating License (COL) has been substantially delayed.

This blog cannot cover only this subject. For one thing, I no longer live in the general area of the Carolinas.

One subject I hope to discuss is infrastructure in the US. A robust infrastructure committment is my most earnest hope for the new Trump Administration. More about that later.

One little thing I'd like to do right now is to make it very clear that this blog is not related to Robert E. Lee, or to any other Lees other than William States Lee.

A note about comments: I am disabling them for most posts because I do not have the time to curate them.