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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Oregon says it's still testing air for radiation

Although one State of Oregon web page says that monitoring of airborne radiation "is no longer being updated as this is not considered a local hazard at this time," apparently the state is still doing some monitoring, and they're posting results on a different page, here. Given all their bold-face "chest X-ray" happy talk, we recommend continuing to watch Salem like a hawk on this issue, particularly if a big aftershock collapses one of the trashed reactors in Japan entirely.

Comments (3)

Boy, I wish we weren't in such a hurry in Oregon and elsewhere to close down coal power plants. Natural gas power plants are least expensive currently but based on history once you start to hike its demand, its price probably rises quite substantially. Putting aside the radiation risks, nuclear is actually not a very cheap way to generate power although some suggest thorium as an alternative. Wind and solar are not only expensive power sources, they are intermittent sources and its doubtful they can supply massive quantities of energy for economic prosperity. We are pretty much limited to coal, a growing portion of natural gas, and energy efficiency (very low cost but takes decades) for powering a vibrant economy.

The Germans said these things effectively today going so far to say they plan to add new coal plants. It should be obvious (although it will take time to get through the dense heads at the likes of the Oregon state capitol and StumpTown city hall) if we want to return to more prosperous times where social services are being added instead of cut, we've got to go back to conventional power sources and downshift this "green jobs" thing.

Bob, when they mention Thorium, most people are talking about liquid fluoride thorium reactor or LFTRs


Ted Talk on why it's better:

Blog about it:

It seems much safer than our current nuclear technology.

Bob, it will be interesting to see how the German energy situation plays out. Merkel says that despite the decision to abandon nukes, the country will meet its emissions-reduction goals — 40% by 2020 and 70% by 2040. As for coal, the new plants you reference aren't in reaction to the nuclear decision; according to the Washington Post today: "more than a dozen new coal-burning plants were already planned around Germany over the next several years, many of them cleaner replacements for old plants that have reached the end of their life spans." Good article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/germanys-make-or-break-energy-experiment/2011/06/06/AGr2RLOH_story_1.html

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