Friday, June 14, 2013


Remember  ?

Just to bring you up to date with what we’re doing here at the Noodleman Group the dispercement of our Business cards is under way.  500 of these cards are being handed out in an effort to bump up our readership.  Hopefully; soon we will be advertising with some of the local papers to help us to become better known as a blog publication.   Eventually we will be able to run advertising with the blog and earn enough money to hire staff and grow this publication into a high quality weekly news publication covering the week’s news and events in depth.  


San Onofre nuclear power plant, San Clemente, Califoria (Photo courtesy NRC)

*  Special thanks to "Google Images", "The Los Angeles Times", US Energy Information Administration,
"The Washington Post", "The Orange County Register", "", "Rasmussen",
"" and  "".

Blog Post
By Felicity Blaze Noodleman

We’ve all experienced replacing a light bulb because it burned out, so what happens when a nuclear power plant burns out?  Pretty big question  right!  If we stop to really think about it we soon come to the conclusion that when it comes to natural resources these days electricity comes to the top of the list – this is because hardly anything can be accomplished without electrical power. 

Southern Cal. Edison announced this week San Onofre Nuclear Generating Plant  in San Clemente, CA is closing.  The plant's first unit, Unit 1, operated from 1968 to 1992. The two remaining reactors, Unit 2 (started in 1983) and Unit 3 (started in 1984), were shut down in January 2012 due to premature wear found on over 3,000 tubes in recently replaced steam generators, which led to the accidental release of a small amount of radioactive steam.  San Onofre has been called the scariest place in America to work.  Nuclear energy provides 20 percent of this country’s electricity so needless to say Nuclear generating has always been a big story.

The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station was the only nuclear power plant serving Southern California. The state’s only other nuclear plant is Diablo Canyon in San Luis Obispo County. San Onofre is the third nuclear power plant in the United States to be retired this year. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

United States Energy policy changes slowly with the times and technology and is broken down by the types of energy as the Wikipedia article explains:

The energy policy of the United States is determined by federal, state and local entities in the United States, which address issues of energy production, distribution, and consumption, such as building codes and gas mileage standards. Energy policy may include legislation, international treaties, subsidies and incentives to investment, guidelines for energy conservation, taxation and other public policy techniques.

Several mandates have been proposed over the years, such as gasoline will never exceed $1.00/gallon (Nixon), and the United States will never again import as much oil as it did in 1977 (Carter), but no comprehensive long-term energy policy has been proposed, although there has been concern over this failure. Three Energy Policy Acts have been passed, in 1992, 2005, and 2007, which include many provisions for conservation, such as the Energy Star program, and energy development, with grants and tax incentives for both renewable energy and non-renewable energy.

State-specific energy-efficiency incentive programs also play a significant role in the overall energy policy of the   United States. The United States had resisted endorsing the Kyoto Protocol, preferring to let the market drive CO2 reductions to mitigate global warming, which will require CO2 emission taxation. The administration of Barack Obama has proposed an aggressive energy policy reform, including the need for a reduction of CO2 emissions, with a cap and trade program, which could help encourage more clean renewable, sustainable energy development.


A push is now being made by Government to produce more solar electricity and other alternative sources but don’t we need a solid base for basic electrical production?  The idea of solar is nice but not practical for the Eastern United States.  It would seem this country needs to take a step back and consider Natural Gas Generating Electrical Plants and also creating more Hydro Electrical Plants.

Three Gorges Dam in China  on the Yangtze River is huge. The Three Gorges Dam is the world's
largest capacity hydroelectric power station.

The hydro electrical power generating station opened in China on the Yangtze river known as “Three Gorges Dam” helped catapult China to becoming a world leader among the industrialized nations.  Power generation is managed by China Yangtze Power, a listed subsidiary of China Three Gorges Corporation (CTGC) — a Central Enterprise SOE administered by SASAC.

The Three Gorges Dam is the world's largest capacity hydroelectric power station with 34 generators: 32 main generators, each with a capacity of 700 MW, and two plant power generators, each with capacity of 50 MW, making a total capacity of 22,500 MW.  Among those 32 main generators, 14 are installed in the north side of the dam, 12 in the south side, and the remaining six in the underground power plant in the mountain south of the dam. The expected annual electricity generation will be over 100 TWh.  That’s just how important electricity is for a nation.

Looking back over the history of electrical power generating in the United States we see the switch from Cole burning power plants which left a very heavy carbon foot print to the cleaner use of nuclear energy leaving no carbon  foot print in the 1960’s.  The first Nuclear test plant was opened 1951 at the EBR-1 experimental station near Arco, Idaho.  The average age of U.S. commercial reactors today is about 32 years according to the US Energy Information Administration.  The licensing permits for these generating plants is for 50 years and may be extended for 20 years there after. 

The oldest operating reactors are Oyster Creek in New Jersey, and Nine Mile Point 1 in New York. Both entered commercial service on December 1, 1969. The last newly built reactor to enter service was Watts Bar 1 in Tennessee, in 1996. In 2007, the Tennessee Valley Authority voted to complete construction of Watts Bar 2. This reactor is planned to begin commercial operation in 2013. 

This chart from the "Orange County Register" illustrates energy production up through the year 2000.
Nuclear generating with all of it's problems is a poor solution and choice for a natural resource.

It was thought the nuclear option would have many advantages over other fuels to power electrical generating power stations at a low cost for an indefinite period of time.  All of these ideas were theoretical though since nuclear sources as a fuel to generate electricity were untested and unknown at the time of their generating plants construction. 

Now we know the reality of nuclear energy was somewhat less than we expected.  Leakage problems and construction failure under unfavorable conditions have rendered many nuclear power plants the world over as highly unsafe and are now considered highly dangerous and even hazardous.  As power companies are beginning to come to terms with these problems there is still the basic concern of disposing of the nuclear waste which has never been resolved.

The Twentieth Century has been called the “American Century” but now we are living in the twenty first century the future of the United States in unclear and the country is in need of a infrastructure make over to deal with the increasing demands for electrical consumption for the ever increasing usage by larger appliances in the home and the new applications of electrical vehicles.  In short we are energy vampires with a malignant hunger for more and more electricity.

Inside San Onofre – (1 Top Left)  Plant employee in radiation protective suit.  (2)  An attempt being made to restart reactor at 70 percent. (AP Photo)  (3) Inside the reactor a fuel bundle glows with a vibrant blue light known as Cerenkov radiation, produced as escaping neutrons are slowed by water.  (4 Bottom Right)  Vintage B&W photo of control room – “LA Times”.
(Photos compiled from "Google Images)

With the closing of the San Onofre Power Station Southern California Edison in beginning to talk about rate hikes of up to 18 percent  by 2014 to compensate for the loss of this power generating station.  Ouch!!  That’s going to hurt the bank account for many of us.  Also consider the coming expenses of Obama care in the near future and other tax increases the Democrats are trying to push through and we have the “fuel” for a real economic depression.

If San Onofre is any kind of indicator of Nuclear Electrical generating plants in this country Nuclear plants could be lined up like Dominoes and ready to start falling.  We've covered a lot of information in this article and to summarize we will make the following points:

  • Washington needs to develop an electrical production policy for the future
  • Nuclear Electrical plants need to go - they are just dangerous
  • More Hydro Electrical plants need to be opened
  • Natural Gas power generating plants can take up the slack
  • Continue alternative producing sources such as Solar and Wind

This has been Felicity reviewing Americas energy policy.  We are calling for a more realistic, safer and forward looking programs from our leadership in Washington for the United States electrical infrastructure for the Noodleman Group!

San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant To Be Closed Permanently

Southern California Edison's move ushers in a new era for energy in the region. The effect on rates isn't yet known.
By Abby Sewell, "Los Angeles Times"
June 7, 20136:47 p.m.
Southern California Edison announced Friday it is permanently shutting down the troubled San Onofre nuclear plant, ending the region's four-decade venture into nuclear energy production.
The decision caps a 16-month debate about San Onofre's future but leaves the utility and state regulators grappling with who will ultimately pay more than $1 billion in costs.
One key question is whether Edison's ratepayers will see their bills increase as a result of either the shutdown or the need to purchase more expensive imported electricity to make up for what was lost from San Onofre.
Edison cited the mounting costs of the outage as the driving reason for retiring the plant.
The decision to close the plant for good means state officials must now move ahead with plans for a long-term energy future without the facility that once supplied power to about 1.4 million homes. The shutdown also means that 1,100 workers at the plant will lose their jobs.
The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station has been closed for more than a year after a tube in its newly replaced steam generator system leaked a small amount of radioactive steam into the atmosphere.
The leak led to the discovery that hundreds of tubes were wearing out at an unusual rate.
Edison asked the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in October for permission to restart one of the plant's two units at 70% power and run it for a limited period, hoping that operating it at reduced power would alleviate the conditions that led to the tube wear.
The request became enmeshed in multiple regulatory processes, including a debate over whether Edison would have to go through a lengthy license amendment process with trial-like hearings before restart. The California Public Utilities Commission also launched an investigation into the costs of the outage, an ongoing process that could lead to refunds to customers.
Edison International Chief Executive Ted Craver said in a call with reporters Friday that the plant's fate was sealed by a ruling last month making clear that the regulatory processes would probably stretch well into next year or beyond.
"The problem is, the longer the plant sits idle waiting for a definitive yes or no answer, we're racking up essentially double costs," he said.
Edison has been paying the cost of replacement power — which Craver said has soared to more than $500 million to date — as well as for the plant's ongoing operation costs, totaling about $800 million, while the plant sat idle.
Last month, a panel of judges convened by the NRC ruled that the restart plan constituted a de facto license amendment process "subject to a hearing opportunity."
"That was very definitive for us, because that's the ruling that made clear we were going to have a much more uncertain process," Craver said.
Antinuclear activists and U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) — the plant's highest-profile critic — celebrated Edison's announcement that the plant will be shut down for good. "I am greatly relieved that the San Onofre nuclear plant will be closed permanently," Boxer said in a statement. "This nuclear plant had a defective redesign and could no longer operate as intended."
Boxer has called on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate whether Edison misled regulators about the extent of design changes in the new generators. The NRC's office of investigations and office of inspector general were already separately probing whether there was any wrongdoing. Edison said it followed all regulations and industry standards in replacing the generators.
Donna Gilmore, a San Clemente resident who runs a blog focused on safety issues at the plant, said: "I'm in disbelief that this has finally happened. I expected it to be a much longer battle."
Some saw the decision to close San Onofre as a blow to the continued viability of nuclear power in California and the nation. The only other nuclear plant in California is Diablo Canyon in San Luis Obispo County.
San Onofre is the third nuclear plant to be retired this year. The Crystal River plant in Florida also retired because of botched equipment replacement, and the Kewaunee plant in Wisconsin shut down for economic reasons.
 "It has great national implications and is a real strong message that this nation does not need nuclear power," said Shaun Burnie, a campaigner on nuclear issues with the environmental group Friends of the Earth, which invested a large amount of resources into fighting to keep San Onofre closed.
Steve Kerekes, a spokesman with the Nuclear Energy Institute, disagreed, saying the circumstances at San Onofre were unique.
"This is a blow to California's energy diversity but is not an indicator of the industry's larger ability to reliably supply low-carbon electricity to hundreds of millions of electricity consumers from facilities operating in 31 states," he said.
Although San Onofre's reactors will not fire up again, the waste will be stored on site for the foreseeable future. Fuel has already been removed from one of the plant's two units. It will be removed from the other unit and placed into spent fuel pools and eventually into long-term storage in dry casks.
Edison has been paying into a fund to cover the costs of decommissioning the plant. Craver said the fund stands at $2.7 billion, which will cover about 90% of the decommissioning process.
The plant's closure will also lead to layoffs of most of the plant's employees. Edison said it will downsize the plant's workforce — already reduced by layoffs this year — from 1,500 to 400.
Edison replaced the plant's steam generators in 2010 and 2011 in a bid to extend the plant's life because tubes in the old steam generators were wearing down. The project cost Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric — the plant's minority owner — a combined $768.5 million, passed on to ratepayers.
Edison argued at the time that the project would end up saving customers money because the power produced at San Onofre is significantly cheaper than building new plants or importing electricity from other parts of California and the West.
Craver said that if the steam generators not been replaced, the plant's two units would have been shut down in 2012 and 2015 because of wear on tubes in the old steam generators.
Edison has been in a dispute with Mistubishi Heavy Industries, which built the new generators, over how much that company should pay for all the problems.
The California Public Utilities Commission is examining the costs of the steam generators as well as other plant costs as part of its ongoing investigation. PUC President Michael Peevey — a former Edison president — urged the utility, ratepayer advocates and other stakeholders to meet and work out a proposed settlement to "potentially avoid a protracted litigation that could delay refunds to ratepayers and extend uncertainty for electric system planners."
Meanwhile, the PUC, along with other state agencies and Edison, will move forward with long-term plans for an energy future without the plant. The state's grid operator, California Independent System Operator, had already been working on the assumption that the plant would be out of service this summer.
Executive Director Steve Berberich said that with transmission upgrades and other system improvements in place, Southern California should have an adequate reserve of power without San Onofre, unless fires or other unexpected circumstances take out transmission lines or other facilities.
“The Los Angeles Times”


President Bush speaks to rescue workers, firefighters and police officers
from Ground Zero on Sept. 14, 2001 (Getty Images)

I was recently thinking, we need to look in on President Obama's popularity ratings and as I was looking through Google for another article to run with this week’s main article I ran across this surprising piece from the “Washington Post” comparing Obama and Bush!  It somewhat vindicates me.  I don’t know if it’s just as the old expression says, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” or what, but there it was, bigger than day.

Bush’s Ratings Beat Obama’s

Gallup yesterday found: Americans’ views of former president George W. Bush have improved, with 49% now viewing him favorably and 46% unfavorably. That is the first time since 2005 that opinions of him have been more positive than negative.

George W. Bush’s favorable rating is more positive now among all party groups than it was in March 2009, when it dipped to 35% overall. Currently, 84% of Republicans, 46% of independents, and 24% of Democrats have a favorable view of Bush, each up more than 10 points since 2009. However, the more recent improvement in his ratings, a five-point overall uptick since November 2010, has been more apparent among Democrats, whose rating has increased by 10 points since then.

On the same day President Obama’s approval/disapproval margin was 47 to 44 percent. Yes, his three point margin is less than Bush’s and his approval is two points less than Bush’s.

Bush’s support from Democrats still trails that of Republicans by 60 points, but comes no where near President Obama’s 76-point gap in January.

And things may get a lot worse for Obama as the reality of the NSA programs continues to erode his support from the left and his plethora of scandals alienates both Democrats and independents.

There is unmistakable satisfaction among Obama critics at this reversal in approval ratings, in part because Obama used Bush as an excuse for practically every miscue and problem right up through the election. Obama nevertheless was compelled to adopt and expand upon many of Bush’s anti-terrorism tactics, even as he was publicly excoriating Bush for his handling of jihadist terror. And now Obama must resort to exactly the same defenses that Bush used to explain our cyberdefenses. Unlike Bush, however, Obama has suffered from serial revelations of wrongdoing and cannot point to a blemish-free record (e.g. Boston, Fort Hood) on terrorist homeland attacks after Sept. 11.
Obama is not a gracious man and, therefore, has not credited Bush with instituting a raft of effective anti-terror tactics. By contrast, Bush has refrained from publicly criticizing his successor. Obama, one suspects, has no net to catch him now as his support and credibility plunge. In fact he might look back fondly on yesterday’s numbers as a time his approval was at least close to Bush’s.

"The Washington Post"

Latest Rasmussen poll

Vintage Obama - Bush cartoon from 2010

 Tell your friends and associates about us! 
It's easy!  Just copy and paste me into your email!

* “The Noodleman Group” is pleased to announce that we are now carrying a link to the “USA Today” news site.We installed the “widget/gadget” August 20, and it will be carried as a regular feature on our site.Now you can read“Noodleman” and then check in to “USA Today” for all the up to date News, Weather, Sports and more!Just scroll all the way down to the bottom of our site and hit the “USA Today” hyperlinks.Enjoy!

The Noodleman Group is on Google "Blogger"!

No comments:

Post a Comment