Quake knocks Nukes. Wind Keeps spinning. What’s that about “Intermittent power”?

August 23, 2011

For those that have not yet heard, the East coast USA, including the DC area, was hit today by the largest earthquake yet recorded in that area.

Washington Post:

RICHMOND, Va. — Federal officials say two nuclear reactors at the North Anna Power Station in Louisa County, Va., were automatically taken off line by safety systems around the time of the earthquake.

The Dominion-operated power plant is being run off three emergency diesel generators, which are supplying power for critical safety equipment. The NRC and Dominion are sending people to inspect the plant.

A fourth diesel generator failed, but it wasn’t considered an emergency because the other generators are working, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Dominion said it declared an alert at the North Anna facility and the reactors have been shut down safely and no major damage has been reported.

The earthquake was felt at the company’s other Virginia nuclear power station, Surry Power Station in southeast Virginia, but not as strongly there. Both units at that power station continue to operate safely, Dominion said.

The quake also caused Dominion’s newest power station, Bear Garden in Buckingham County, to shut down automatically.

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As of now, no reports of shutdowns, oil spills, or radioactive leaks at any wind turbines.

Windbaggers and climate deniers like to say that renewables are “intermittent, unreliable power”. But, when large power plants like nukes trip offline, they very often do so instantaneously, presenting a real challenge to electric grids.  By contrast, when winds calm, wind power generally slows predictably, allowing system operators hours to adjust and shift loads.

My wind video below, explains why the “intermittent” dog don’t hunt.

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