Saturday, May 13, 2017

DISSENTING! Re: Keith Schue OP-ED- Oneonta Dail Star

I am shocked and dismayed by so many brilliant people making the case for nuclear. 

Um, have your heard about the crisis at Hanford? A tunnel collapsed THIS WEEK in the middle of an earthquake swarm. Ever heard of Sellafield? Three Mile Island? 

None of these accidents were trivial.
My cousin was a nurse who worked in York PA when TMI had a partial meltdown. There was a massive radiation release which was covered up b

Google "Chernobyl Exclusion Zone" and check the radius and area. Its an asymmetric blob ~1,000 sq mi, with a radius of 50mi. Then overlay that radius with Indian Point at the center. I made a map of this, attached. 20 million people live in this circle.

Have you heard of Fukushima?!

The Precautionary Principle states that when there is even a small risk of a great catastrophe costing potentially millions of lives, that great caution is necessary and a vigorous search for alternatives should be undertaken. 

Nuclear is like gambling the future if 70 generations, the habitability of a place for 1,000 years, against our present need to keep our TVs and Air Conditioners on.

Indian Point, like most nukes in operation are at END OF DESIGN LIFE. Indian Point is badly failing structurally, a dozen major accidents, explosions, fires, SCRAMs, and emergency shutdowns every year. Unless we are talking about spending $20B per reactor and building a bunch of new plants, which will lock us in to another 30-40 years, then we MUST shut these old plants down. Unless we have a death wish for the biosphere. Even then, the problems are not over as the waste must be dealt with somehow, which by itself is an IMPOSSIBLE engineering problem.

I am pleased see a a few dissenting, Susannah Glidden and Susan Van Dolsen, and join them.


On Saturday, May 13, 2017, Suzannah Glidden <> wrote:

I'm in complete agreement with Susan.




From: [] On Behalf Of Susan Van Dolsen
Sent: Saturday, May 13, 2017 10:27 AM
To: Dennis Higgins
Cc: Sustainable;; <>; CFF; Stop-NED
Subject: Re: [UAFF] Keith Schue OP-ED- Oneonta Dail Star



I respectfully disagree and take offense at some of the accusations about environmentalists in your op-ed. 


There is no such thing as zero emissions, so I disagree vehemently with Cuomo's nuclear subsidy based on zero-emissions credits. The entire lifecycle of nuclear power is dirty, not clean. Kim is correct about the uranium mining, and what about the nuclear waste? There is no safe storage of this waste.


I feel that it is morally unsound to support nuclear energy as a "bridge fuel" (Cuomo's words) when our opposition to fracking was based on opposing the bridge fuel argument. The lack of solid commitment to renewable energy in NY falls in Cuomo's lap, so we should not be giving him reasons to continue to rely on any dirty fuels.


I stand by my Letter to the Editor last June that was published in the Journal News:


Don't replace nuclear power with gas

Journal News letter 12:34 p.m. EDT June 29, 2016

Re "Indian Point could be one of just two NY nuke plants if others close," June 23 article:

New York state's energy policy is at a critical crossroads. Neither nuclear power nor fossil fuels are clean or safe. There are no bridge fuels and no sacrifice zones.

Our policymakers should take responsibility for the damage done and put every possible resource into truly clean energy — wind, water and sun — and to move away from nuclear power and fossil fuels posthaste.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has squandered the past six years and has not ramped up conservation, efficiencies and renewable energy with the urgency needed. He has allowed the state to issue permits for the AIM project, the Minisink compressor station and the CPV gas-fired power plant — major greenhouse gas sources that are climate killers and have already caused harm to the health of nearby residents.

Now, the governor, who wants to close Indian Point, wants to prop up the economically distressed nuclear industry by making utilities buy a certain amount of power generation from nuclear plants. This is an unacceptable trade-off.

Fracked gas is cheap right now and there is a glut of fracked gas the industry wants to sell. There are many gas-fired power plants proposed throughout the Northeast that will use this product and enrich the fossil fuel industry. The industry justifies the build-out of pipelines and gas infrastructure because of the closure of nuke plants.

Replacing nuclear power with gas is not acceptable. It is a false dichotomy used to divide and distract us from the goal of ending our dependence on dirty and dangerous fuels.

Susan Van Dolsen


The writer is co-founder of Stop the Algonquin Pipeline Expansion (SAPE).




On Sat, May 13, 2017 at 8:25 AM, Dennis Higgins <> wrote:


apologies for duplication.  FWW, AGREE and NYPIRG negative blasts have continued on the state's CES effort to keep nuclear reactors online while renewables ramp up.  Frankly, they are on the wrong side on this one, aiding and abetting transmission companies and fossil fuel corps.  When Yankee, or IP, are shuttered, fracked gas power plants and feeder pipelines replace them.  Look no further than CPV, MVL and ESU.   


Numbers coming out of Block Island wind farm, 30mw for $300M, support the state position. Block Island power will produce 13.5mw because wind capacity is only 45%.  Residents pay 24cents per kwh and the power costs $22.2M per mw.  It is easy to see, using these numbers, $7B to keep nukes running is not even real money, and it would cost many times this to replace IP with offshore wind, which BTW, is not yet available.  Yes, we need to shutter the nuclear plants.  Could we build the solar and wind to replace them first?

READ UP!  Great thanks to Keith for wading through the details, stating the uncomfortable truth and attempting to refocus on the big picture.  I'm with you 100%.  suzy


Guest Commentary: Nuclear power is necessary part of energy transition

  • By Keith Schue


  • 18 hrs ago



Guest Commentary: Nuclear power is necessary part of energy transition


·         David Zalubowski

Associated PressProtesters against fracking demonstrate during a march for science on April 22 in Denver.  

As an environmentalist, engineer, and veteran of the shale wars, I appreciate facts. That's how high-volume fracking was defeated in New York — by matching activism with accurate information. It is therefore disturbing that a faction of environmental activists and organizations has abandoned those principles in a quest to kill nuclear power. In so doing, they have unwittingly formed an alliance with their own foe. 

At Gov. Andrew Cuomo's direction, the state Public Service Commission last year adopted a Clean Energy Standard designed to ensure that 50 percent of New York's electricity comes from renewable sources by 2030. To create a market for more wind and solar, the program requires that utilities obtain renewable energy credits from producers of renewable energy. However, recognizing that those new generators cannot appear overnight, the program also establishes a separate requirement for the acquisition of zero-emission credits from New York's upstate nuclear facilities.

Because nuclear power does not produce combustion emissions to generate electricity, it has a small carbon footprint, comparable to renewables and far smaller than fossil fuels. However, across the country, nuclear plants are in financial difficulty because of cheap natural gas — fracked gas. The CES would let today's upstate reactors continue operating until their licenses expire in about 12 years, allowing sufficient time for the deployment of renewables while ensuring that we don't take a climate hit in the meantime.

It's a practical approach that makes sense. Yet, blinded by ideology and a poor understanding of real and relative risks — including irreversible climate impacts and air pollution caused by fossil fuels — some have picked up a torch against the governor's program. That's profoundly counter-productive.

The inescapable consequence of prematurely closing New York's existing reactors will be that we burn a lot more gas — either in new power plants that would have to be built or by running existing ones more. Indeed that's why a coalition of fossil fuel generators dominated by the gas industry has launched a legal challenge against the program. If successful, misguided activists and their attorneys will have to share responsibility for the result — up to 180 million tons of additional carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere. That translates to many hundreds of Marcellus gas wells — a lot more fracking. Add methane leakage, and the greenhouse gas impacts are beyond enormous.

Equally disturbing is rhetoric mimicking gas industry claims that the ZEC program is a $7.6 billion "Cuomo tax" that will horribly burden rate payers for years to come. Not true. In a letter to legislators by the governor's point person on energy, Richard Kauffman, explains that the anticipated cost over the program's duration is only $2.8 billion. The average customer would pay less than $2 more on his monthly electric bill, a number expected to drop as the cost of gas rises. That's a small price to pay for the planet. By comparison, expanding the use of gas could cost $7 a month more.

Unlike the question of whether fossil fuels contribute to global warming — a matter settled in the scientific community —  an active discussion is underway among experts about the role that nuclear power can or should have in the future. Outside the sphere of populist activism and "big green" organizations that chase it, many engineers and scientists — including former director of NASA's Goddard Institute and recognized founder of the climate movement James Hansen — view advanced nuclear power as a necessary component of any realistic strategy for combating climate change while meeting the energy needs of a growing world.

These comments should not be interpreted as an affront to renewables, which I strongly support, or an attack upon the good intention of activists. But regardless of one's opinion on the future of nuclear energy, one thing is clear: We aren't going to solve the climate crisis with distortions and out-of-touch ideology. Pursuing solutions that can work in the real world matter. Maintaining the near-term viability of New York's functioning upstate reactors is part of that.

Keith Schue lives in Cherry Valley.

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