Thursday, January 24, 2008

What the AP Story on Water Use and Nuclear Won't Tell You

Here's another followup to yesterday's AP story on drought and nuclear energy that we referred to earlier today. Steve Kerekes, a colleague of mine who runs the media relations department for NEI, dealt directly with Mitch Weiss, the AP reporter who wrote the story. He dropped me the following note that he asked me to share with everyone:

Call me old-fashioned. When I studied journalism in college, and in my subsequent career as a reporter many moons ago, the goals to strive for in covering the news, beyond accuracy, were balance and context. Thus my disbelief at the refusal of the Associated Press over the past 24 hours to provide context for a story it moved on the wire yesterday with a Lake Norman, N.C., dateline. It’s running in newspapers across the country under headlines such as “Drought Could Force Nuke-Plant Shutdowns,” and the story opens, “Nuclear reactors across the Southeast could be forced to throttle back or temporarily shut down later this year because drought is drying up the rivers and lakes that supply power plants with the awesome amounts of cooling water they need to operate.”

In full, the nuclear-centric story runs more than 20 paragraphs and 1,000-plus words, yet the AP remarkably couldn’t find room to include four or five words of context explaining that ANY power plant that generates electricity by moving steam through a turbine and then uses cooling water to condense the steam can face a similar circumstance under drought conditions. No, AP insists, it wanted to focus strictly on nuclear power plants.

So what, in AP’s view, that readers may receive an incomplete view of this dynamic, given that an anti-nuclear critic is quoted in the article’s FOURTH paragraph saying, “Water is the nuclear industry’s Achilles’ heel.”

So what, in AP’s view, that the percentage of electricity produced by coal-fired power plants – exceeds the percentage of electricity produced by nuclear power plants in the following Southeast states: Alabama (55 percent coal, 23 percent nuclear), Arkansas (47 percent coal, 29 percent nuclear), Florida (32 percent coal, 14 percent nuclear), Georgia (63 percent coal, 23 percent nuclear), Kentucky (95 percent coal, 0 percent nuclear), Maryland (60 percent coal, 28 percent nuclear), Mississippi (39 percent coal, 22 percent nuclear), North Carolina (60 percent coal, 32 percent nuclear), Tennessee (65 percent coal, 26 percent nuclear) Texas (37 percent coal, 10 percent nuclear) and Virginia (47 percent coal, 38 percent nuclear).

In its conversations with AP while it was researching the story, NEI pressed the point that all steam-cycle power plants can be affected by drought conditions. When the story first hit the wire, NEI tried again to have a four- or five-word update included to provide the appropriate context.

No, says AP, “We wanted to focus on nuclear.”

Readers around the country can be forgiven today if they’ve come away with a misguided view of the nation’s energy alternatives going forward. The Associated Press isn’t inclined to clear it up for them.
Just another day at the office. As you can imagine, we'll be hunting down strings from this story for quite a while thanks to the AP. But hey, when you can buy a line from an anti-nuclear activist like the one that was served up yesterday, who cares about truth or context?

47 comments:

DV8 2XL said...

I'm going to say it outright: this story was bought and paid for by coal interests, who are acting as L'éminence grise for antinuclear activities.

You would do well to forward you story to every major newspaper, and see if there are editors that still care about the truth.

Anonymous said...

Maybe that's why solar arrays, wind power and other non-steam generated power make more sense.

David Bradish said...

anon,

If we were to replace nuclear with wind or solar, we'd need a land area the size of West Virginia for wind farms or a land area the size of New Jersey for solar arrays. And that's only to replace 20% of our electricity. Doesn't make sense to me.

Anonymous said...

The relevant question is not whether all steam-driven generation is affected by water levels, but whether they're affected equally or some disproportionately.

NRC sets minimum water levels for NPPs in their licenses. Is the same true for coal, oil and NG plants? I don't know the answer, but that's the right question, not whether or not all steam plants need water. Of course they do.

Anonymous said...

"we'd need a land area the size of West Virginia for wind farms or a land area the size of New Jersey for solar arrays."

There's this amazing new invention called the ROOFTOP out there. Look into it.

DV8 2XL said...

You know anonymous, we've been through this before. Why don't you do yourself a favor and get some real numbers lined up before making general statements about wind and solar. You'll find that when all is said and done, these technologies are NOT ready to make a significant impact on energy.

Right now every watt of power generated by solar and wind have to be backed up by spinning reserve from some convectional source, which is mostly coal. Until this is eliminated, solar and wind cannot make a difference.

Margo said...

I agree with anonymous- there sure are lots of rooftops to put solar on!!!!

David Bradish said...

These so-called ROOFTOPs you're talking about; can they support a one-megawatt wind turbine?

btm` said...

Anonymous [3:44 PM]said "NRC sets minimum water levels for NPPs in their licenses. Is the same true for coal, oil and NG plants?"
I think you are confusing NRC conditions for minimum water for safety systems that are intended to ensure sufficient cooling is available to remove decay heat from the reactor after shutdown. Nuclear power plants have designated auxiliary cooling sources; by license, a plant is required to shut down if the water falls below that minimum.

btm1 said...

Solar is useful for individual homes to use to supplement their other energy supplies. In Greece several years ago I saw numerous private homes that used solar hot water systems. But residential use is not the same as industrial use. Industry typically needs a large source of concentrated power rather than power distributed over roof tops. Turning on a large electrical motor to operate some machinery requires a surge of electricity that tapers off when the motor reaches its operating speed. Can that be supplied by rooftop solar panels? Even if it could, you would still need other power sources so that the manufacturer can operate its plants on cloudy or rainy days. The utility power supplies has to be sized to handle peak power needs in any weather, cloudy days and days without wind. Who pays for the excess capacity on sunny and windy days?

Also, how much energy is used to manufacture solar panels, and do they generate more than that over their useful life?

Anonymous said...

Even most gas turbine power plants are affected by water shortages. Most gas turbine power plants use steam bottoming cycles that boil water using the waste heat in the turbine exhaust.

Without cooling water, the steam turbine can't operate. If the plant has a boiler bypass damper, the gas turbine may continue to operate, but the ~40% share of the output that the steam turbine produced is lost. If the plant does not have a gas bypass damper, the gas turbine can't operate, because the boiler would overheat without cooling water.

- Matthew B

Anonymous said...

In the future, refuse to talk to AP reporter: Mitch Weiss. He's obviously not interested in the truth, only in pushing his agenda.

Randal Leavitt said...

Roof top solar panels. Give me a break, please! Right now it is -20 C outside. The roof is covered with 10 cm of snow, and any sections of the roof that get sunlight are covered in 3 cm of ice. That cover will get thicker during the next month. Nights are longer than days now, and even at noon the sun is so low and faint in the sky that it feels like dusk. Of course, that is on the rare days when we see the sun. Roof top solar. Yeah, right.

Luke said...

"The relevant question is not whether all steam-driven generation is affected by water levels, but whether they're affected equally or some disproportionately."

If you have a thermal power plant, with the same heat source temperature, and the same thermal power output, and the same environmental regulations regarding water discharge temperature, then you need exactly the same flow rate of cooling water - irrespective of whether your heat source is coal, solar thermal, nuclear fission, geothermal or whatever.

Carnot's theorem applies equally to all thermal engines.

When they say that cooling water is the Achilles heel of nuclear power, what they really mean to say is that the Laws of Thermodynamics are the Achilles heel of life, the universe, the energy industry and everything.

robert merkel said...

That said, all things being equal, new-build LWR's or BWR's will use a little bit more water than new-build coal or gas, because of the better thermal efficiency of the latest supercritical steam plants (which won't be used for nuclear power for some time, if ever).

By compensation, however, because the fuel transportation costs are negligible, you can build them wherever there is water conveniently available (for instance, on the coast, where you can use all the seawater you want), whereas coal-fired power is much cheaper if you build it right on top of the mine.

Does anybody know if there's been a detailed engineering study of using dry cooling towers for nuclear plants?

Anonymous said...

Rooftop solar would stink for me. My home is oriented on a north-south axis. The flat surfaces face east and west. Optimum solar requires a south-facing surface. That means major structural modifications to mount an ugly (probably wouldn't pass muster on deed restrictions) support panel to face to the south, plus bracing and reinforcement to handle the weight. That and the fact that we get maybe 30% clear days here makes solar a BIG loser.

Joffan said...

Scandal as environmentalists call for dangerous power option

The medical profession was aghast today as environmentalists appeared to approve the use of lethal rooftop options for power generation. These deadly surfaces, well-known for causing injuries and death, are the basis for a distributed solar power proposal that will involve high-risk activities on a regular basis by millions of unqualified amateurs.

The body count from this irresponsible scheme will be truly staggering. The call for massive government funding to artificially support this option makes it even less palatable.

Just say no to dangerous rooftop options!

;-P

Anonymous said...

In response to Robert, some types of cooling systems are going to work better in different areas. At my plant we are right on a major river, but located in an area so humid that dry cooling towers won't help much for power operations. We do have them as our backup for shutdown cooling.

DV8 2XL said...

The funny thing is that not only are thermal power plants hit by drought but it is a major issue in hydro as well.

And it also got me thinking: in an era of rapid climate change how do you site a wind or solar plant and have any assurance that the prevailing weather will hold?

Anonymous said...

Look at the Grand Gulf alternate heat sink. They have installed compact heat exchangers for full plant capacity that sends their waste heat to the air rather than the water, similar to a car radiator. Consumption of large amounts of water for waste heat can be removed real easily if the need arises. Since water is cheap and abundant, it is the usual practical and logical choice. The liberal left-wing media sucks as usual.

Anonymous said...

"These so-called ROOFTOPs you're talking about; can they support a one-megawatt wind turbine?"

Why would they need to? What home, or even apartment complex, needs a full megawatt of generating capacity?

You're either being disingenuous or are irrevocably stuck in the centralized generation mindset. Building one huge central plant and T&D grid is not the only way to do it. Maybe it's the only way most utilities can make huge profits, but it's not the only way our energy needs can be met.

Anonymous said...

"Right now every watt of power generated by solar and wind have to be backed up by spinning reserve from some convectional source, which is mostly coal."

Once again, true perhaps for large-scale centralized capacity; not true for decentralized generation with negative metering, battery or heat pump storage, etc.

Anonymous said...

"this story was bought and paid for by coal interests, who are acting as L'éminence grise for antinuclear activities."

proof, please? or is it just national "Libel AP Day"?

t7 said...

Anonymous> "Maybe that's why solar arrays, wind power and other non-steam generated power make more sense."

1) they do not make sense on industrial scale, because these are chaotic sources and we do not know about any technology that allows energy storage at that scale

2) cooling towers can be made slightly bigger if you want 100% power output at hot summer days. Or put a little fan at the bottom of the towers. No show stopper for steam cycle plants.


3) solar PV panels efficiency drops with temperature, guess you didnt know that :)

GRLCowan said...

Consider the natural gas interests rather than the coal ones as the likely sponsors of a buyable journalist. Coal doesn't pay much tax; natural gas does.

That implies it's not necessarily a liberal left-wing thing. Left-libs who aren't on any kind of government, i.e. gas-funded, payroll will have no more difficulty than anyone in allowing you to have a reactor near your back fence. And like anyone, even a gas interest, they won't mind one back of their back fence. Witness the behaviour of Greenpeace contractors in getting on board -- getting quietly on board -- the nuclear icebreaker Yamal.

G.R.L. Cowan, former H2 fan
How shall the car gain nuclear cachet?

David Bradish said...

"What home, or even apartment complex, needs a full megawatt of generating capacity?"

You're right. And if we only had to worry about powering our homes, life would be easy. But what about all the materials needed to build a house, apartment complex or even a building. It takes large amounts of energy to manufacture steel, concrete, wood etc. Are you saying this could also be met with solar and wind? If so, could you please provide links to studies showing this could happen?

"Building one huge central plant and T&D grid is not the only way to do it. Maybe it's the only way most utilities can make huge profits, but it's not the only way our energy needs can be met."

Of course it's not the only way. Are you telling me, though, that every single house, apartment complex, building and factory are going to each build their own energy source when they can more easily hook into the grid?

Decentralization works in many places where access to a grid is limited. However, it doesn't make sense to build 1,000s of small generators when you only need to build a few large ones.

What's so bad about centralization? All you do is hook up to the grid and have access to power about any time you want. And so far centralization is cheaper because it's generated by cheap coal and nuclear.

DV8 2XL said...

Also, the idea of a power system composed of distributed energy resources, where much smaller amounts of energy are produced by numerous small, modular energy conversion units, like renewables which are then integrated into the grid like an energy internet is not practical. Each node whether a gigawatt natural gas power station or a single solar photovoltaic panel needs to be controlled and the necessary number of combined control tasks multiply as devices multiply. requirement of implementing this technology increases the number of control parameters. Accurate information on the state of the network and coordination between local control centres and the generators is essential. An inherent risk of interconnected networks is a domino effect - that is a system failure in one part of the network can quickly spread. Therefore the active network needs appropriate design standards, fast acting protection mechanisms and also automatic reconfiguration equipment to address potentially higher fault levels. On top of which most of the proposed systems require intelligent loads as well, adding to network complexity and cost; these changes are not cheap or easy.

Adding to the complexity of this sort of system is that it would require storage technologies that can store significant amounts of power and reliably discharge it over and over again. Most of the candidates suffer from poor power density, as in standard batteries and flywheels; high complexity, in the case of molten salt and regenerative fuel cells, or are limited by location such as subterranean compressed air and hydraulic storage.

Gunter said...

ouch!
Seems like this story stung?

Nukes are only 33% thermally efficient. That's a lot of waste heat that needs dumping somewhere as long as the plants are operational... and a lot of residual thermal load to cool following an emergency shutdown.

Michael said...

not only do solar, wind and energy efficiency not have this type of impact on water, but the nuclear industry is being disingenuous--while all types of nuclear and fossil fuel plants do require water, reactors require more of it....stop trying to hide behind other technologies--if you can't be open about your shortcomings, why should you expect anyone to believe you about your supposed strengths?

David Bradish said...

but the nuclear industry is being disingenuous--while all types of nuclear and fossil fuel plants do require water, reactors require more of it....stop trying to hide behind other technologies--if you can't be open about your shortcomings, why should you expect anyone to believe you about your supposed strengths?"

We're not trying to hide anything. On our website we have a two-pager showing the numbers. Here's what we show:

● Nuclear energy consumes 400 gal/mWh with once-through cooling, 400 to 720 gal/mWh with pond cooling and about 720 gal/mWh with cooling towers.
● Coal consumes somewhat less, ranging from 300 to 480 gal/mWh for wet cooling systems.
● Natural gas consumes even less, at 100 gal/mWh for once-through, 180 gal/mWh for cooling towers and none for dry cooling.
● Hydroelectricity’s typical water consumption is 1,430 gal/mWh, due in large part to evaporation from reservoirs.
● Solar thermal consumes 1,060 gal/mWh, and geothermal ranges from 1,800 to 4,000 gal/mWh.
● Biomass is similar to coal, ranging from 300 to 480 gal/mWh for wet cooling systems.
● Solar photovoltaic is lower at 30 gal/mWh. Wind is lowest at 1 gal/mWh.

Anonymous said...

"Nukes are only 33% thermally efficient"

Have you taken a thermo class? 33% efficiency is about the most you can get out of a real rankine cycle. It's the same for any type of steam plant, not just nuclear.

Gunter said...

"Real Rankine" cycle?

Point is, at 33% thermal efficiency the fission process generates the highest percentage of waste heat that is not converted to useful work.

Coal plants are only slighly better at 40% thermally efficient.

Combined Cycle Gas Turbines covert about 50% fo the chemical energy into electricity.

In the case of combined heat and power generation, the overall efficiency can increase to 85%.

With all of the thermoelectric generators, water consumption for power plant condenser cooling appears to be an issue of increasing significance given availability and climate change including drought.

Still with a radioactive waste stream that threatens to contaminate water resources, nuclear power is the most risky, most expensive, most dangerous, most insecure way to boil water and the most inefficient way to make steam.

David Bradish said...

Point is, at 33% thermal efficiency the fission process generates the highest percentage of waste heat that is not converted to useful work.

Coal plants are only slighly better at 40% thermally efficient.

Combined Cycle Gas Turbines covert about 50% fo the chemical energy into electricity.


Only the most efficient coal or combined cycle technologies achieve those efficiencies. The average heat rate in 2006 for all fossil fuel plants in the U.S. was only 1% higher than nuclear plants - 34% versus 33%.

You seem to forget that nuclear plants can be designed to use their waste heat for something productive as well. Several Generation IV reactors will be built specifically to provide heat for industrial purposes and electricity for hydrogen production. Areva is already marketing this type of design.

DV8 2XL said...

"..the most inefficient way to make steam."

By what measure of efficiency would that be?

Mass of fuel per Mass of steam? I don't think so.

Mass of fuel per watt, perhaps? No, that can't be it.

Mass of waste per watt then? Sorry, that can't be it ether.

So just what are your parameters for efficiency that allow you to make that statement?

perdajz said...

Gunter is at it again. Only this time he's mocking the second law of thermodynamics, and as always, pointing out a limitation in the nuclear fuel cycle without weighing it against the overwhelming physical advantages nuclear power affords, as evidenced by thousands of reactor-years of operation.

All forms of energy conversion have efficiency limitations. Gunter's favorites are hopelessly inefficient. Wind power has the Betz limit: even under perfect, steady conditions, most of the wind flow passing through a wind farm is never converted converted to electricity. Photovoltaic panel efficiencies are almost comical. In fact, The Onion satirizes them. Every month or so, there's a new laboratory breakthrough in solar panel efficiency that never amounts to anything out in the field, largely because very few of us live in a climate anything like laboratory conditions.

I'd don't see Gunter arguing with the absolute levels of electricity produced by nuclear power. That's one argument he knows he can't win. He knows piddle power production is a tiny fraction of nuclear power production. He also knows that piddle power dates back centuries; it's the old way of doing things, fit only for an agrarian society. He knows nuclear power is the only real energy technology breakthrough of the last 100 years, and that the photovoltaic effect has been known for almost two centuries now. Yet he still predicts the decline of nuclear power and the rise of "renewables" (I put this term in quotes because it means nothing). That's a bet Gunter is going to lose.

Anonymous said...

"What's so bad about centralization? All you do is hook up to the grid and have access to power about any time you want."

This could just as easily be turned around: what's so bad about decentralization, except that huge power plant vendors and utility monopolies don't make as much money? You just get power any time you want from your own generation.

I'm not sure why previous posters think industrial facilities can't also take advantage of decentralized generation to make all that concrete and steel.

There's an entire, well-developed literature on problems with centralized electricity generation which I'm not going to re-hash here. I'm sure it's not required reading in current engineering programs, let alone utility or vendor training, but it's available.

Just for one, centralized systems are vulnerable to widespread catastrophic failure resulting from one glitch somewhere in the system. Like the August 2003 blackout traceable to one bad transformer in Ohio, or something like that.

And I just love the post that casually talks about Gen IV reactors like they're off-the-shelf current technology. Why not throw fusion in there too, as long as we're tossing around paper projects?

gunter said...

that' waste btu to watt generated... like the old expression "its like using a cannon to ring a door bell or a chainsaw to cut butter."

as for "overwhelming physical advantages nuclear power affords, as evidenced by thousands of reactor-years of operation" dont forget the millions of years from the nuclear waste threat...

I'm also aware that the nuclear industry in Canada is planning to inject that waste steam into the tar sands of northern Alberta.
Hence the "same as it ever was" collaboration of nuclear and fossil.

Sovietologist said...

"There's an entire, well-developed literature on problems with centralized electricity generation which I'm not going to re-hash here. I'm sure it's not required reading in current engineering programs, let alone utility or vendor training, but it's available."

I know that there's a broad body of literature on power grid management, but I'd like to see the engineering analysis that actually supports the idea that lots of intermittent generation connected together will somehow have real advantages over a system made of up of a smaller number of larger, more reliable units. The peer-reviewed papers I've seen came to the exact opposite conclusion.

Also, I'm still struck by the profound backwardness of the terminology here. Weren't the standalone power plants of the late-19th and early 20th century the real "centralized" plants? In those days, minor failures could derive customers of all power for weeks, and nary a thing could be done about it- other plants couldn't take up the slack. It seems to me that our current power grid is the very antithesis of the old arrangement.

So please, refer me to the literature you speak of. I'll believe it when I see it.

Anonymous said...

Rooftop generation? Nice idea but in practical terms, your talking about zoning changes being approved, and getting home owner association approval, not likely in most residential subdivisions for either wind or solar. Wind turbines make noise, and even though its only a little in certain conditions, you want your neighbor with a 125 ft tower next to you? What if your tower was installed first, then he builds one in your wind line? Solar arrays are big, not very appealing visually, and hard to retrofit architecturally. What about solar's reflected heat and light? Want that coming in your window? Would you make your neighbors cut down their trees to provide light for your solar array or wind for your turbine?

Think practical and real life, people. There's lawywers out there, ya know?

Me? I'm just a dumb ole PE/PMP....

DV8 2XL said...

"I'm not sure why previous posters think industrial facilities can't also take advantage of decentralized generation to make all that concrete and steel."

Smelt steel with windmills, roast concrete with solar? I don't know what literature you are reading, but to the best of my knowledge even the most rabid of the wind and solar crowd hasn't had the audacity to suggest that they could do that.

Industrial power needs are far, far beyond domestic. Do some reading

Gunter, the plan for nuclear power to get oil from the tar sands doesn't involve waste heat. The whole point of the reactor is to supply heat for the process,

Anonymous said...

"Like the August 2003 blackout traceable to one bad transformer in Ohio, or something like that."

In grid stability analysis, there is a parameter we track called LOLP, the loss-of-load probability. For grid systems using large, centralized, very reliable generating sources, the LOLP for a major outage is something in the range of a few hours every 10 years, or a day or two every 20 years. That's about what we've seen in recent history of regional grid outages.

Now, what gets interesting is if you start substituting intermittent, low intensity, inherently chaotic (i.e., more sensitive the the variabilities of natural phenomena) generating capacity in place of the more intense, higher-capacity, high reliability, high capacity factor assets like nuclear plants. The analyses then show that basically the wheels come off of your power system. Instead of large-scale LOLP that reflect outages every decade, you're now looking at regional outages that occur on a monthly basis. You simply can't sustain a technologically-based industrial society on such an unreliable energy supply source. You might be able to run a third-world agrarian economy with it, but my guess is that most present-day American citizens are going to object to such a reduction in their standard of living.

David Bradish said...

Anonymous - 4:56PM,

Do you have links to information about LOLP and grid stability? Your comment was very insightful and I would like to read more.

Anonymous said...

Why do you give Gunter or any anti-nuke any voice? Muzzle them all. They got there own message forums and blog sites on which they actively exercise censorship against pro-nukes. The best anti-nuke is the muzzled, emasculated anti-nuke. This is also true for Dems (invariably anti-nukes ARE Dems).

Anonymous said...

"Why do you give Gunter or any anti-nuke any voice? Muzzle them all. They got there own message forums and blog sites on which they actively exercise censorship against pro-nukes. The best anti-nuke is the muzzled, emasculated anti-nuke. This is also true for Dems (invariably anti-nukes ARE Dems)."

I hope the above close-minded poster doesn't represent the majority on this board. I, for one, greatly appreciate NEI keeping this forum open for pro-, anti-, and everything in between.

The nuclear industry wouldn't gain credibility on this very controversial topic if it closed its blog to those who don't toe the party line. That's just preaching to the choir, and doesn't gain us anything.

On to other issues:

Most of the recent responses on decentralized generation are attacking a straw man, i.e., thousands of decentralized small generating plants that would feed all their power back into a main grid. I can see how that scenario might create grid management issues, but that's not what I (and many decentralized power advocates) are talking about.

I'm talking about people generating their own power, not putting up lots of small plants primarily to get juice into the main grid for utilities. Negative metering might result in some sell-back, which would be good, but it would be largely predictable, based on time of day, and not large-enough scale to be disruptive of grid stability.

Sovietologist said...

"I'm talking about people generating their own power, not putting up lots of small plants primarily to get juice into the main grid for utilities. Negative metering might result in some sell-back, which would be good, but it would be largely predictable, based on time of day, and not large-enough scale to be disruptive of grid stability."

What I want to know is what the difference is. Thousands of rooftop windmills that are tied into a main grid do not seem functionally different than a smaller number of larger units run by a utility. Barring on-site energy storage, or the unlikely scenario that generation matches demand near-perfectly, I don't see why the math is any different. I'm willing to be convinced, but I really want to see some actual analysis explaining why the same problems won't occur in both scenarios.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote:
"Why do you give Gunter or any anti-nuke any voice? Muzzle them all. They got there own message forums and blog sites on which they actively exercise censorship against pro-nukes. The best anti-nuke is the muzzled, emasculated anti-nuke. This is also true for Dems (invariably anti-nukes ARE Dems)."

I would be willing to bet this was written by one of the "anti" crowd trying to whip up sympathy by making the "pro" crowd appear fanatic...

Anonymous said...

David B, there are some on-line documents discussing LOLP in the context of power systems engineering. Just do a key word search using those words. I'm not sure they have much on the comparison of conventional vs. intermittent sources and the influence on LOLP. I did it as a consulting job for a regional utility right after I got out of grad school the second time (being re-trained as an engineer after being a physicist). The study details are proprietary but letting out a little general information isn't a breach of non-disclosure, especially if it helps the public understand the downside risks of relying too heavily on intermittent, inherently chaotic energy sources.