Tuesday, December 12, 2006

No Complaints About New Power Plant?

More in the news lately about the proposed replacement for PG&E's power plant at King Salmon.

Looks like the California Energy Commission will be holding an informational hearing on the proposal on December 18. I'd be interested in attending if only to see what kind of people show up.

I'm surprised that, as of yet, I've heard no objections to this proposal from any of the local environmental groups, much less anyone else. You'd think there'd be some objection to this proposal from at least one or two people.

Then again, it's still early.


At 11:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am outraged!

At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot believe all these selfish people who want electricity to heat their homes, power their appliances, light their homes, etc.

As an environmentalist I do not need electricity, I am perfectly happy using fire to light my cave.

At 1:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

and I'm sure you don't use defenseless trees for firewood right. right? Oh Goddess! You you MONSTER!

At 3:22 PM, Blogger Greg said...

Maybe they can fix it so the power doesn't go out when the wind blows. It will be interesting to see the construction requirements for today as opposed to 40 years ago when they plopped that nuke plant down on the faultline.

At 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of outrage. Check out the interest mix of "supporters" for this group. Never seen environmetnalists and Arkley on the same list before:

Humboldt Bay Trails Trust

At 7:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, this post exposes your biased view of environmentalists.

At 7:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The difference with this and some other projects is that the environmental community is very well informed about this project already and are in favor of it. To their credit, PG and E did their work up front and has been in contact for years with environmental groups and others to discuss the benefits of the new plant. It is very hard to argue against something that is more efficient and less polluting.

At 8:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess this guy sits at home all day listening to talk radio and writing his blog. "These damn Environmentalists, if it were up to them, I wouldnt be allowed to eat my hot pockets!"

At 8:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Environmentalists don't hang out next to the computer all day writing bullshit. Only freaks do.

At 9:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow Fred. I think its time you turned in your Libertarian voting card for a Republican one. Don't worry, Bill Maher probably should turn his in for a Democrat card as well. Of course if it were up to you, everyone would generate their own power - no need for regulation. Right? All that power is literally concentrated in one spot and that's not good for your freedom is it?

Maybe you should get out of your house and go talk to people. Not everything you hear on talk radio, or read on the blogs is how people view the world. You might be surprised that these environmentalists just want business to run a little cleaner, not turn off your computer or microwave.

At 7:41 AM, Blogger Fred said...

7:12 wrote, "Fred, this post exposes your biased view of environmentalists.".

Perhaps. Note that I also added, "or anyone else".

Just seems odd to me. One of the reasons we have problems with power in the state is it's so hard to build power plants. Even if you go through the hurdles and get all the permits, locals often object because they don't wan't a power plant in their neighborhood.

Seems to me I read some time ago about somewhere in Santa Clara County where a new power plant was proposed, and they did need the power. The locals objected simply because they didn't want a power plant anywhere near them.

I suppose the main reason we don't have any local objections, at least not as of yet, is the proposed power plant is replacing one already existing plant, and it's basically being built next to the existing one on the same property.

At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred you have a point,

We need nuclear plants, and lots of them. California has 2 or 3 plants, nowhere near enough. If were actually going to build a hydrogen economy, california will need more like 100 nuc plants. I just dont know if thats possible. Where would they go?

It is inevitable, we will need to build 80-100 new nuc plants in california over the next 50-70 years, so where do we put them?

Im not a fan of nuc btw, but its just science. Nuclear is the only way to do hydrogen.

At 10:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But Fred the NIMBY would be unusual given the new plant is supposed to be located where the old plant is-correct?

It will not be a nuclear plant, it will produce more and cleaner power and reducec our need for out of the area produced power from what I've heard so far.

What's not to like?
10:13 nuclear it isn't.

-PG&E Brat

At 11:44 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Is the replacement going to be nuclear? I haven't heard anything about it.

At 11:44 AM, Blogger Fred said...

10:13 wrote, "We need nuclear plants...".

I've read a few things here and there of late regarding some old time enviros that are starting to take another look at nuclear power. Some are wondering if, perhaps, we aren't throwing the baby out with the bath water in regards to dumping nuclear power.

Will there be a serious resurgence in interest in nuclear power? I don't know. I doubt it, at least in this country, or at least California.

Not so sure about the rest of the world. Obviously some middle eastern countries are interested in developing nuclear power. I think I read somewhere that 70% of France's(?) electricity comes from nuclear, so they don't seem to have a problem with it.

I'll have to keep a closer eye out for info on such developments.

At 11:56 AM, Blogger Fred said...

The replacement is going to run on natural gas, I seem to remember reading in the Times- Standard article.

The current one runs on natural gas but can also use crude oil. That's what those big storage tanks on the south side of the plant facing King Salmon, are; Crude oil tanks. They're designated Tanks 1&2, although I forget which one is 1&2.

The current plant also has what are called Mobile Emergency Power Plants, or MEPPs for short.

I believe they have two(?) of them. They're the trailer like things on the west side of the plant. They have something like jet engines in them. Standing near them, that's exactly what they sound like and you have to wear ear protection.

I forget what the MEPPs run on, but it seems they run them quite often, when more power needs to be generated. Maybe it's just my timing, but it seems just about every time I drive by the place, the MEPPs are running. You can tell if you look at their exhaust port, on the top of the structure.

I wonder if they're going to dump the MEPPs when the new plant is up and running?

At 12:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

France does generate an overwhelming portion of its power from nuclear. The advantages are stunning. During low power demand periods at night the plants can be switched over to hydrogen production, so France is leagues ahead of any other country in utilizing that fuel.

It's not so much a question of 'if' the enviros accept nuclear, its a when question. There is simply no other alternative, and that reality will set in in a few decades. Renewables are nice and should be encouraged, but will never generate sufficient power at low cost. Biofuels could only account for less than 5% of energy demand. As we all know Oil is a fossil fuel and limited. Same with natural gas.

The only alternative that allows society to continue energy consumption at its current levels is to go Nuclear, and create hydrogen via nuclear. It may take 20 years for this to settle in peoples minds, but it will. Its also a safe fuel. Chernobyl had no containment dome. 3mile island did, as all US sites do (And now Russian). This energy can be utilized safely, and its benefits for the environment are undeniable.

The only problem is waste disposal, which congress is working on at Yucca mountain. But Ive also heard proposals to build a waste facility in Australia, so a solution to the waste problem is actually on the horizon.

At 5:37 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

I've heard that the Salmon Hill power plant has a plaque from the Sierra Club, back when they thought it would be clean power.

There really wasn't a whole lot of opposition to nuclear power until Three Mile Island.

At 7:08 AM, Blogger Carol Ann said...

Nuclear? What will be done with the waste?

There was Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.

Have those missing spent fuel rods been found?

At 7:16 AM, Blogger Greg said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 10:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Carol, from what I have heard, spent fuel rods have been getting moved out of SafeStor for some time. There were several articles in the local papers noting that pieces of fuel rods are still unaccounted for but may have been a paperwork problem in years past.

As for the commenter who is a proponent of nuclear power I agree that more nuclear generated power will occur-however it will not be located near fault lines and that will exclude large portions of California.

At 11:07 AM, Blogger Fred said...

"from what I have heard, spent fuel rods have been getting moved out of SafeStor for some time.".

Yes they have, although I don't know much about what happened after I left Humboldt Bay Power Plant.

As an aside, I might have mentioned this before quite some time ago, but I actually touched one of the fuel rods when I worked back there. Not one of the spent ones, though.

Myself and one of the other guards were posted around "Gate 13", a gate that led into the nuke part of the plant. One of the workers was wiping down some rods. The guard I was with asked what they were and they guy told us they were unused fuel rods that were being returned to General Electric(?).

Ron, the other guard, asked if he could touch one of them and they worker said, "Sure". After he did, I did too. I guess they don't get real "hot" until after they've started "working". I never understood why.

In case you're interested, they were about five or six feet long, maybe 3/4" to an 1" wide. The outside was almost like some kind of clear glass or plastic. Inside were the little cylindrical gray pellets spaced maybe a foot apart (at least as best I can remember). The tips of each rod was metal with a pointed end.

I don't recall exactly how many were laying there, but the guy said they were worth something like one, two or three million dollars each, and that was back in the early eighties.

At 11:27 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

The new plant won't be nuclear, but rather a natural gas/diesel combo. A commenter on my blog rightfully criticized me for not accessing the link at the bottom of the TS article.

At 11:27 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Gee Fred. Couldn't you have slipped one down your pant legs to sell in a dark alley?

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