Posts Tagged ‘nuclear’

Ah Berkeley, Nuclear-Free Since 1986, Sort of – Shutting Down the UC Berkeley Nuclear Reactor at 2521 Hearst Ave in 1987

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

The More You Know:

University of California officials have decided to shut down a 20-year-old nuclear reactor on the Berkeley campus, saying the “political hassling” it sparked outweighed its usefulness. University of California officials have decided to shut down a 20-year-old nuclear reactor on the Berkeley campus, saying the “political hassling” it sparked outweighed its usefulness.

The gymnasium-sized basement of Etcheverry Hall (Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering) once housed a complete nuclear reactor. It was removed when the City of Berkeley declared itself nuclear-free…”

Hey, Guess Who’s Jacking Up Its Rates for 2013? PG&E, That’s Who – Why? PG&E Incompetence, San Bruno Explosion

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Hey PG&E! Are you going to end up turning a profit on the killing of those eight people down in San Bruno?

You remember them, right? The eight people you killed?

Thusly:

Click to expand

Hey is San Francisco shadow-Mayor Willie Brown still on PG&E’s payroll?

Sure, why not?

And hey, is the leader of the San Francisco Democrat party still on PG&E’s payroll?

Again, sure, why not?

Is that a good thing?

Oh well.

Here’s today’s happy talk from your energy monopoly:

“PG&E Rates to Change Modestly at Start Of 2013

Gas Rates Will Dip, Electric Rates Will Rise in Line with Inflation to Pay for Enhanced Safety, Reliability and Clean-Energy Programs

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) said today that with the start of the new year, residential customers will see a significant decline in natural gas rates, and a modest increase in electric rates to cover the utility’s costs of maintaining and modernizing its system and of meeting a state mandate to buy more renewable energy. (See table below for average estimated bill impacts.)

PG&E’s average rates for residential gas customers will dip in January almost six percent compared to January 2012, thanks in part to lower wholesale costs for gas. However, customers should expect an increase in gas rates of about two percent as early as February, reflecting spending approved this month by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for PG&E’s Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan. This plan, one of the most aggressive and comprehensive gas pipeline modernization programs in the United States, will help PG&E achieve its goal of operating the safest and most reliable natural gas system in the country.

Average residential electric rates will increase about 2.6 percent system-wide compared to last January, close to the rate of inflation in Northern California. The increase is driven primarily by higher costs for acquiring clean, renewable energy to meet state mandates, and by spending previously approved by the CPUC for operating, maintaining and upgrading PG&E’s electric generation and distribution systems. Thanks to such upgrades, electric customers recently experienced the lowest rate of outages in the utility’s history.

Customers will likely face another electric rate increase this May of about two percent to pay for additional electric transmission infrastructure to modernize California’s power grid and deliver more renewable energy to customers.

“We know our customers care more than ever about their energy bills during these difficult economic times, so we continue to focus on keeping rate increases as modest as possible while raising enough revenue to continue improving our safety and reliability,” said Tom Bottorff, Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for PG&E. “These revenues help us serve customers by reducing the frequency of electrical outages, improving the responsiveness of our call centers, providing more convenient services and, above all, continuing to upgrade the safety of our gas and electric operations. Although electric and gas rates fluctuate from year to year, our average customer bills remain well below the national average.”

Bottorff added, “We try to empower all of our customers with tools to help them better understand and manage their energy needs so they can control their bills and make the best use of our services.”

SmartMeter-enabled online tools like MyEnergy, money-saving programs like Winter Gas Savings, rebates for energy-efficient appliances and home retrofits, and bill payment options make it easier than ever for customers the get more value for their money.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/.

RESIDENTIAL ELECTRIC BILLS

     Customer Usage January 2012         January 2013       Change
     ————– ————         ————       ——
         550 kWh                  $89.31             $91.60        $2.29
         ——-                  ——             ——        —–
         850 kWh                 $184.23            $188.05        $3.82
         ——-                 ——-            ——-        —–
        1,200 kWh                $301.54            $307.13        $5.59
        ———                ——-            ——-        —–
JANUARY RESIDENTIAL GAS BILLS @72 therms

     January 2012       January 2013       Change
     ————       ————       ——
                 $82.37             $77.47        -$4.90
                 ——             ——        ——

SOURCE  Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)

CONTACT: PG&E External Communications, +1-415-973-5930

Web Site: http://www.pge.com

OMG, PG&E has a “Chief Nuclear Officer” for Real? Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Hey, remember what Mayor Ed Lee said on September 1, 2011, during the one-year anniversary of PG&E’s incompetance killing eight people in San Bruno:

 “They’re a great company that gets it.”

Uh, nope!

Via David Yu - click to expand

Anyway, that’s how they handle natural gas, let’s see how they handle nuclear energy.

Here’s the latest:

“PG&E Names Industry Veteran as Chief Nuclear Officer

Ed Halpin Will Oversee Operations at Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today announced the appointment of Edward D. Halpin as its new Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer.  Halpin will be responsible for the continued safe, efficient, and reliable operations of Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant (DCPP) and the decommissioning of Humboldt Bay Power Plant. He will also serve as the utility’s lead contact with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Halpin is a veteran of the nuclear power industry, with almost 30 years of experience gained at STP Nuclear Operating Company (STP) in Bay City, Texas and with the U.S Navy’s nuclear submarine service.

“Ed Halpin is an exceptional industry leader who has amassed an impressive safety and performance record in leading nuclear operations,” said Chris Johns, President of Pacific Gas and Electric Company. “His drive for excellence will serve PG&E and its customers well as he takes on his responsibilities as our Chief Nuclear Officer.”

Halpin is assuming the role from John Conway, who in addition to overseeing nuclear generation at PG&E as the Chief Nuclear Officer, has been leading all energy procurement and hydro, fossil and renewables generation functions as Senior Vice President of Energy Supply. Halpin will be based full time at DCPP concentrating solely on leading the utility’s nuclear program. He will report to Conway when he joins the utility in early April.

Conway added, “Ed is a talented leader and will be a great asset to our team. He brings a wealth of experience to his new role and I am confident that under his leadership we will continue Diablo Canyon’s strong record of providing safe and reliable energy to our customers in Northern and Central California.”

Halpin comes to PG&E from his current position as the President, CEO, and Chief Nuclear Officer at STP.  He previously served in a variety of positions at the South Texas-based company, from Startup Engineer to Site Vice President.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to join an outstanding organization at PG&E,” said Halpin. “PG&E has a strong history of customer service and performance, and a great culture of collaboration. I look forward to joining the team and to the opportunities ahead.”

Halpin holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and Master of Science degrees from Seton Hall University and Fielding Graduate University. He is also a graduate of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations Senior Nuclear Plant Manager course. He served for five years in the U.S. Navy.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/ and www.pgecurrents.com.

SOURCE  Pacific Gas and Electric Company”

OMG, It’s SecDefPalooza at Our Commonwealth Club! See George Shultz, William Perry, and Sam Nunn on February 23rd

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Well here it is, the big one.

Get your tickets now, if you’re you’re at all into this:

“The Commonwealth Club - The nation’s premier public affairs forum

SPEAKERS:

George Shultz, former Secretary of State under President Reagan

William Perry, former Secretary of Defense under President Clinton

Sam Nunn, former U.S. Senator, Georgia (1972-96), Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative

Philip Taubman, Consulting Professor, Stanford University Center for International Security and Cooperation; Former New York Times Washington Bureau Chief; Author, The Partnership: Five Cold Warriors and Their Quest to Ban the Bomb – Moderator

TITLE: The Nuclear Chessboard, 2012: Panel Discussion

DATE: Thursday, February 23, 2012

TIME: 5:15 p.m. check-in, 6 p.m. program

PLACE: Mark Hopkins Hotel, Peacock Court, 999 California Street, San Francisco

PRICE: $20 standard, $12 members, $7 students (with valid ID). Premium (includes seating in first few rows): $45 standard, $30 members

ALSO: In association with Ploughshares Fund and Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation and Freeman Spogli Institute For International Studies.”

Know Better Your Marin County: Nuclear-Capable Hill 88 Plus the West, Middle, and East Peaks of Mount Tamalpais

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

How many hills do you know of what come with their own Yelp entry?

You ought to get on up there sometime to check it out:

Hill 88 is a wild ghost town in the sky, hidden way up high in the Marin Headlands. It’s on Wolf Ridge, between Fort Cronkhite/Rodeo Beach and Tennessee Valley. You can barely see it from below, and it’s nothing like most of the old little rusty lifeless bunker sites. This is a crazy Cold War mega-complex teeming with tons of crows dancing in the whipping wind above huge expanses of the bay and SF. It’s part of the old Nike Missile program, officially SF-88C. Was apparently the radar and control center (aka the IFC, or Integrated Fire Control area) of the Nike Missile launch site that’s further down the hill to the east.”

So, those are some of the remnants of Project Nike on top of now-flattened Hill 88 in the foreground along with the three peaks of Mount Tam (with the West Peak also flattened by the Air Force) in the background.

As seen from San Francisco:

Click to expand

Now, you Know Better Your Marin County.

Broken Arrows: Remembering the Time 50 Years Ago When the Air Force Dropped Nuclear Bombs on Northern California

Monday, May 16th, 2011

The Yuba City B-52 crash that took place about 50 miles north of Sacramento in 1961.

The result was two Mark 39 (or W39, whichever) nuclear bombs tearing loose and dropping on some farmland.

See?

Click to expand

Let’s hope the Air Force can go another half-century without dropping nuclear warheads on California…

A Small Protest Against Nuclear Power at the CPUC: PG&E’s Diablo Canyon and Earthquakes, Lundberg vs. Lomborg

Friday, April 15th, 2011

This was the scene yesterday AM at the CPUC building near McAllister and Van Ness.

Now, Jan Lundberg thinks we should shut down our nuclear panner plants, especially the ones near fault lines.

Bjørn Lomborg disagrees.

And there you have it:

Click to expand

Dream of Blue Angels / Dream of Blue Turtles: Remembering Sting’s Pro-Global Warming Song from 1985

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Don’t have an illustration of a blue turtle dream so this shot will have to do.

If you don’t recognize these planes, this bridge and that bit of land, well then welcome to San Francisco, stranger:

Click to dream

OK then. Now what about Five Star Rated The Dream of the Blue Turtles from a quarter-century ago? In it there’s a song We Work the Black Seam,* which is about the glories of coal and coal mining unions and the evils of nuclear power. Which is rather the opposite of how many look at things these days.

Take a look below if you wish.

And if you’re old enough to be familiar that tune, well then check out this version from a decade earlier. Wow, that’s heavy, man.

*In which Sting riffs on William Blake’s Jerusalem,** among other things. And it’s not this kind of black seam, it’s this kind.

** Speaking of the old days and unions and the Golden Gate Bridge, wasn’t it the workers of the GGB who started up labor actions rather than work side-by-side with black people about four decades ago? Yes. I don’t remember it myself, but it was during my lifetime.***

***And I’m not that old – my grandmother just bought a Hyundai and she plans on outliving it…

This place has changed for good
Your economic theory said it would
It’s hard for us to understand
We can’t give up our jobs the way we should
Our blood has stained the coal
We tunneled deep inside the nation’s soul
We matter more than pounds and pence
Your economic theory makes no sense

One day in a nuclear age
They may understand our rage
They build machines that they can’t control
And bury the waste in a great big hole
Power was to become cheap and clean
Grimy faces were never seen
But deadly for twelve thousand years is carbon fourteen****

We work the black seam together
We work the black seam together

The seam lies underground
Three million years of pressure packed it down
We walk through ancient forest lands
And light a thousand cities with our hands
Your dark satanic mills
Have made redundant all our mining skills
You can’t exchange a six inch band
For all the poisoned streams in Cumberland

One day in a nuclear age
They may understand our rage
They build machines that they can’t control
And bury the waste in a great big hole
Power was to become cheap and clean
Grimy faces were never seen
But deadly for twelve thousand years is carbon fourteen

We work the black seam together
We work the black seam together

Our conscious lives run deep
You cling onto your mountain while we sleep
This way of life is part of me
There is no price so only let me be
And should the children weep
The turning world will sing their souls to sleep
When you have sunk without a trace
The universe will suck me into place

One day in a nuclear age
They may understand our rage
They build machines that they can’t control
And bury the waste in a great big hole
Power was to become cheap and clean
Grimy faces were never seen
But deadly for twelve thousand years is carbon fourteen

We work the black seam together
We work the black seam together

****Uh, not really Sting, but anyway.

Reunification = Denuclearization: Our RAND Corporation Says We Should Just Buy Our Way Out of Trouble in the Koreas

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Bruce Bennett, a senior defense analyst at the RAND Corporation, has something to say today about denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.

Check it:

“Alternative to Futile Negotiations with N.K.”

It’s pithy so it won’t take to long to see his point.

China’s little buddy certainly is upset about something or other these days, it would seem.

The gist:

“So a reunification strategy would need two main thrusts. First, South Korea and the United States would need to prepare for a potentially massive, possibly violent stabilization effort, as well as a humanitarian relief operation. China would react to any instability in North Korea, especially if South Korean and U.S. forces move into North Korea’s territory. There must be an effort to coordinate South Korean and U.S. plans with the Chinese.”

Sounds good to me.

And I Can See Those Fighter Planes – Military F-18 Super Hornets Above San Francisco

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Not too often you see regular military fighter jets above San Francisco these days, you know, just flying around on some mission as opposed to performing an airshow. Last time for me seeing something like that was when a pair of U.S. Air Force F-15′s roared low and fast over the Western Addition about a half-decade ago.  

Here’s the view from Haight Ashbury yesterday, through the Blue Gum Eucalyptus trees. Don’t bother looking at the misfocused photo ’cause you probably won’t be able to see them, but KPIX / CBS5 has some footage from Oakland International Airport yesterday. There they are lined up next to the King Airs and whatnot at OAK

Speaking of airshows, remember this alarmist headline from a few years back: “Blue Angel Kills Thousands in SF crash” 

Of course, no spectator has died at an airshow in San Francisco ever, I don’t think. And actually, no airshow accident has killed or injured a spectator in America in the past half-century or so that writer Tim Redmond has been alive. (Let’s not talk about Russia or Ukraine – spectators die all the time in those places.) 

And of course, a crash like that one in San Diego wouldn’t kill anybody in San Francisco because the Blue Angels would react differently to a sudden loss of power. And if there were a crash for other reasons, it would be simply unpossible for that to kill “thousands.” 

Anyway, if you ever want to say that you don’t like the Blue Angels, it’ll be up to you to just say that you don’t like the Blue Angels or, instead, to make a blog post going, “Blue Angel Kills Thousands in SF crash.” 

Your choice.

Anyway again, this “Military Aircraft operation” might have brought a nuclear aircraft carrier to the waters of the Farallones, who knows.

Look to the skies! They are ever changing.

Suit and tie comes up to me
His face red
Like a rose on a thorn bush
Like all the colours of a royal flush
And he’s peeling off those dollars bills
Slapping them down, one hundred, two hundred,
And I can see those fighter planes
And I can see the fighter planes
Across the mud huts as the children sleep
Through the alleys of a quiet city street
Up the staircase to the first floor
We turn the key and slowly unlock the door
A man breathes deep into saxophone
Through the walls we hear the city groan
Outside is America
Outside is America