This rural school district is an energy producer, and earns $120,000. annually doing it.
What would the impact be,  if this were applied to rural schools and small communities across the country?

This is another example of how renewable energy systems, and distributed, smart grid solutions, can empower small communities, small businesses, and even individuals – see below–

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Important to remember, talk of “radiation levels” is somewhat meaningless without context – what kind of radiation? what kind of nuclide involved? (long lived or short lived, bio-available or not..)

The piece briefly mentions ocean contamination. We have been continually told about land based measurements, while the majority of the contaminants have been carried out to sea by the prevailing winds, where, we are told, they will go “away”.

Except, in the Biosphere, there is  no “away”.

NYTimes reports continuing concerns about spent fuel pools:

The storage pool at Fukushima Daiichi Power Station’s No. 2 Reactor, which holds spent nuclear fuel rods, was spewing steam late Tuesday, forcing workers to divert their attention to dousing the reactor building with water. If unchecked the water in the pool could boil away, exposing the fuel rods and releasing large amounts of radiation into the air.

“We cannot leave this alone and we must take care of it as quickly as possible,” Hidehiko Nishiyama, deputy director of Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, told reporters.

Thufferin' thuckatath...

From the New York Times:

While public attention has focused on wind turbines as a menace to birds, a new study shows that a far greater threat may be posed by a more familiar antagonist: the pet house cat.

new study in The Journal of Ornithology on the mortality of baby gray catbirds in the Washington suburbs found that cats were the No. 1 killer in the area, by a large margin.

Nearly 80 percent of the birds were killed by predators, and cats were responsible for 47 percent of those deaths, according to the researchers, from the Smithsonian Institution and Towson University in Maryland. Death rates were particularly high in neighborhoods with large cat populations.

This is, of course, more confirmation of what my own research for a pair of wind energy videos showed.
(I’ve embedded them below the fold)

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Click for Larger Image

How much is there? More than we thought.

According to Dennis Elliott, NREL’s (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) principal scientist in wind resource assessment, “areas with gross capacity factor of 30% and greater are generally considered to have suitable wind resource for wind development with today’s advanced wind turbine technology. The new estimates for 80-m height and capacity factor of 30% and greater indicate about 10,500 gigawatts (GW) developable potential in the contiguous United States, compared to previous estimates of 7,000 to 8,000 GW for 50-m height and power Class 3 and greater.”

How much is that?

Well, a very large nuclear reactor might put out one gigawatt.

And renewables? Sorry, we prefer the last century’s technology here. To hell with you and your “future”.

After this situation winds down in Japan, I’ll explain why very little has changed, except maybe now more people get why nuclear has, for at least 30 years, been a future technology whose time has passed.

VOA:

Workers have been temporarily evacuated from Japan’s troubled nuclear plant, after dark smoke was seen coming from one of its reactors.

Officials said Monday that no increase in radiation levels has been detected and they are still trying to determine the cause of the smoke.

The new threat at the Fukushima nuclear plant came as heavy rain pounded northeastern Japan’s earthquake-stricken regions, prompting increased fears about radiation. Restrictions on the sale of certain foods contaminated by the radiation were expanded.

CNN reported smoke from two reactors:

Tokyo (CNN) — Smoke spewed Monday from two adjacent reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, a nuclear safety official said, setbacks that came despite fervent efforts to prevent the further release of radioactive materials at the stricken facility.

After 6 p.m., white smoke was seen emanating from the facility’s No. 2 reactor, according to Hidehiko Nishiyama, an official with Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. About two hours earlier, workers were evacuated from the area around the No. 3 reactor after gray smoke began to rise from the wreckage of its steel-and-concrete housing, which was blown apart by a hydrogen explosion last week.

The No. 3 reactor has been the top priority for authorities trying to contain damage to the plant and stave off a possible meltdown. Its fuel includes a small percentage of plutonium mixed with the uranium in its fuel rods, which experts say could cause more harm than regular uranium fuels in the event of a meltdown.

BBC:

A plant spokesman says some workers were temporarily evacuated from the complex after grey smoke was seen rising from the No 3 reactor.

Reports said the smoke appeared to have come from a pool where the reactor’s spent fuel rods are kept.

Radiation levels did not appear to have risen significantly though after the smoke was spotted, Japan’s nuclear safety agency said.

White smoke was later seen rising from the No 2 reactor, the agency said.

 

The Godfather of efficiency and renewables on why Nuclear Power makes Climate Change worse, part 1.

Sorry for the bad sound synch, too tired to correct the file.  Very good information, even though somewhat dated – from 2008.  Best to forget the picture and just listen to it while you surf, like NPR.

In an article written this week to respond to the Fukushima incident, Lovins updates this point and more:

“Each dollar spent on a new reactor buys about 2-10 times less carbon savings, 20-40 times slower, than spending that dollar on the cheaper, faster, safer solutions that make nuclear power unnecessary and uneconomic: efficient use of electricity, making heat and power together in factories or buildings (“cogeneration”), and renewable energy. The last two made 18% of the world’s 2009 electricity (while nuclear made 13%, reversing their 2000 shares)–and made over 90% of the 2007-08 increase in global electricity production.”

Part 2 below the fold.

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