07.07.19 - Desktop / Mobile update:
updates and stories we're following....

National Forests Threatened by New Trump Proposal
The Trump administration just put out a plan that would leave the public with no role in more than 90 percent of the decisions made for our national forests. This is a clear violation of the public trust and of major laws like the National Environmental Policy Act, and it's designed to ramp up clearcutting and bulldozing of millions of acres in national forests.
Make no mistake: These new rules would give Trump's Forest Service free rein to increase destructive logging and road building. They would leave citizens with almost no voice in the management of their public lands.

Tiny Tweak Can Boost Wind Power Even When the Breeze Is Calm
Christopher Martin, Bloomberg News 7/1/19
(Bloomberg) -- Turning a turbine just slightly away from the prevailing wind can boost output from a
farm by as much as 47% when breezes are minimal.

The adjustment steers how the wind comes off one blade and into the next, according to the results of a 10-day test conducted at a TransAlta Corp. wind farm in Alberta by a Stanford University research team. In normal wind conditions, pushing the wind wake in slightly different directions boosted production by as much as 13%.

Turbulence from these wind-wakes can place extra strain on the blades and increase maintenance costs. Managing the air flow of upwind turbines can reduce stress as well as provide more power, John Dabiri, a professor and lead author of the study, said in an interview. The software his group developed to improve wind farm performance can be run on a laptop, he said. "The potential gains are so significant that this should be rapidly deployed," Dabiri said. www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-07-01/tiny-tweak-can-boost-wind-power-even-when-the-breeze-is-calm

Steering wind power in a new direction: 
Stanford study shows how to improve production at wind farms
On a working wind farm, Stanford researchers have shown that angling turbines slightly away from the wind can boost energy produced overall and even out the otherwise variable supply.

Sanjiva Lele, John Dabiri and Michael Howland by pointing wind turbines slightly away from the wind they could increase quantity and quality of power from wind farms. (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)

Solitary wind turbines produce the most power when pointing directly into the wind. But when tightly packed lines of turbines face the wind on wind farms, wakes from upstream generators can interfere with those downstream. Like a speedboat slowed by choppy water from a boat in front, the wake from a wind turbine reduces the output of those behind it.

Pointing turbines slightly away from oncoming wind - called wake-steering - can reduce that interference and improve both the quantity and quality of power from wind farms, and probably lower operating costs, a new Stanford study shows. ---  "To meet global targets for renewable energy generation, we need to find ways to generate a lot more energy from existing wind farms," said John Dabiri, professor of civil and environmental engineering and of mechanical engineering and senior author of the paper. "The traditional focus has been on the performance of individual turbines in a wind farm, but we need to instead start thinking about the farm as a whole, and not just as the sum of its parts."
"If we can get to the point where we can deploy this strategy on a large-scale for long periods of time, we can potentially optimize aerodynamics, power production and even land-use for wind farms everywhere," said Dabiri.

Dabiri is also a senior fellow at the  Precourt Institute for Energy  and a member of Stanford Bio-X. Lele is also a member of Stanford Bio-X. The research was supported by the National Science Foundation, a Stanford Graduate Fellowship and Stanford's TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy .

Nuclear Power won't work in Global Warming/Climate Disrupted World
"It's the water, stupid"

David A. Kraft, Director
Nuclear Energy Information Service
June 10, 2017

An oft-repeated jibe against renewable energy sources like wind and solar power by (usually) smug nuclear power proponents is, "What are you going to do when the sun don't shine and the wind don't blow?"
For the ump-teenth time since 1988, our organization has been forced to meet this mindless taunt with the
starkly real rejoinder: "And what are YOU going to do when the rivers don't flow? Or worse - OVER flow?"
For in 2009, just like in Illinois in 1988, 2005, and 2006; and throughout Europe several years this century, France -- the much heralded nuclear poster child -faced a river water crisis that forced the shutdown of one-third of its entire nuclear power fleet.  

Due to serious drought conditions (think: "transient global warming conditions"), maintenance issues, and a
worker strike, 80% nuclear-reliant France had to import electricity from England to meet power demand. One
report indicated that "20GW (gigawatts) of France's total nuclear generating capacity of 63GW was out of
service," 1 exactly when needed the most. -- The reasons are easily understood. Fourteen of France's
19 nuclear generating stations are sited on rivers. Reactors discharge heated water into these confined
water systems, relying on that age-old deficient axiom that "the solution to (thermal) pollution is dilution."
Unfortunately for the French, during severe droughts, the rivers possess neither sufficient water volumes nor
flow-rates to sufficiently dissipate the ever-growing heat build-up. Continuing operation would result in cooking the river biosystems locally and downstream.

Regulations exist in France (and elsewhere) preventing this. Powerplants are required to curtail operation or
shut down completely when discharge water exceeds such a heat threshold - inconveniently, when demand for
electricity is peaking.  The power output of reactors continuing to operate is also lessened during periods of drought due to higher river water temperatures. A Union of Concerned Scientists paper notes that, with higher ambient water temperatures in rivers and lakes, "...the effectiveness of the condenser in converting steam back into water 
decreases. As a result, steam is not "pulled" through the  turbine as swiftly and less electricity is "cranked" out." 2

To be fair this condition applies to any steam-cycle electricity generator, whether powered by coal, nuclear
or gas. But to be equally fair, this point should be held pointblank in mind when considering new sources of
electricity in a difficult to model but seemingly imminent climate-disrupted world. Wherever drought
becomes the norm, the steam-cycle for power generation will compete head on with more basic human needs and uses for water. And in an agricultural state like Illinois - which already uses over 80% of its surface waters for power generation 3 - expanding reliance on the steam-cycle becomes a liability. www.neis.org

Nuclear Power, Once Seen as Impervious to Climate Change, Threatened by Heat Waves
The nuclear power sector is often portrayed as resistant to unpredictable weather associated with climate change. Heat waves, however, are punching holes in that narrative.

How Heat Waves Threaten Nuclear Plants
By Alan Neuhauser, Staff Writer July 1, 2019, U.S. News World

There's a reason nuclear plants are built  close to water.   Harnessing the enormous power of nuclear
fission, plants generate steam, which shoots through pipes to spin a turbine that generates massive amounts of electricity. To keep from getting dangerously hot, the plants suck up surrounding water from the nearby rivers,
lakes or oceans around which they're built to cool the steam.

Now, increasingly, more frequent heat waves and hotter average temperatures are making those waters so warm that engineers are concerned that it can't do the job. Analysts say climate change is to blame.

In little-noticed but publicly available reports to regulators, nuclear plant owners revealed that unusually hot temperatures last year forced them to reduce the plant's electricity output more than 30 times - most often in the summer, when demand from nuclear plants is at its highest. In 2012, such incidents occurred at least 60 times. At one plant in Connecticut a reactor was taken offline for nearly two weeks when temperatures in the Long Island Sound surged past 75 degrees.

The incidents, submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, reflect a sharp uptick from even a decade ago, when plants appear to have submitted only nine such reports in 2009. In 1988, 1989 and 1991, there was just one such report. The dramatic increase mirrors the rise in average U.S. and global temperatures spurred by climate change.  I've heard many nuclear proponents say that nuclear power is part of the solution to global warming," says David Lochbaum, a retired nuclear engineer who compiled the reports based on data submitted to the NRC, and former director of the Nuclear Safety Project at the Union for Concerned Scientists. "It needs to be reversed: You need to solve global warming for nuclear plants to survive." 

Plan to Reclassify Nuclear Waste Prompts...
Regulations set strict temperature limits for the  water around each plant: 75 degrees for Millstone
Generating Station in Connecticut, 85 degrees for Braidwood Generating Station outside Chicago, as
high as 90 degrees for Turkey Point Generating Station south of Miami. Nuclear plants are now
more regularly bumping up against those limits. And even when water temperatures only approach those thresholds, plants can still be forced to dial down their output if the water used to cool their reactors will cause the temperatures in surrounding waterways to rise so much that it will endanger the habitats
of fish and plants. Limerick Generating Station outside Philadelphia, for example, reported turning down its
output 79 times between 2008 and 2016.  Paul Adams, a spokesman for Exelon, which owns the nuclear plant and more than a dozen others, said in a statement that the company's nuclear plants are "more reliable
than ever before," adding that last summer the company's 14 plants produced the maximum amount of power 96.7% of the time and generated a record amount of electricity for the year.

A handful of plants in recent years have received temporary waivers from regulators to continue operating with warmer water. The NRC, in a statement, emphasized that such plants, when they calculated their original heat limits, based the figures "on a number of pessimistic assumptions," allowing a wide margin to operate at higher temperatures.

If this is truly a climate crisis, and serious about stopping it,  follow the RULES!

The "2 X 4 Rule" of Fighting Climate Disruption:

The "2" Major Constraints (we're short of BOTH):

- Time (12 years left at best, according to the IPCC in 2018)
- Money (we're building too many "walls" right now)

The "4" Rules of Operation-- An energy source MUST:

- Remove the most amount of carbon...
- In the quickest time...
- At the lowest cost possible...

- Without creating, substituting or worsening equally planetary-threatening, environmentally damaging, socially unjust or unacceptable alternatives (like nuclear proliferation, terrorism, war, waste, etc.)

Nuclear Power FAILS all of these conditions. NO bailouts for uneconomic, renewables-killing nukes - www.neis.org

The Guacamole Fund
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Hermosa Beach, CA  90254
310. 994-7732 phone
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