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PostPosted: Feb 09, 2017 5:23 pm 
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The following press release indicates that James Hansen's suggestion about how to about to implementing a "carbon tax" makes sense to some pretty important pols.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/ene ... een&wpmm=1

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PostPosted: Mar 02, 2017 4:23 pm 
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Senate confirms Trump pick Perry as energy secretary

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The Senate voted 62 to 37 in support of Perry.

Democratic lawmakers expressed worry Perry would weaken the department's functions and potentially target its army of scientists focused on climate and clean energy research. Perry sought to reassure them saying he would protect scientists and the growing renewable energy industry. Democratic Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, a senior Democrat on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said Perry had failed to persuade him he would push back against Trump administration plans to cut the department's budget and focus on clean energy R&D. "As Trump is threatening to slash DOE’s budget, Gov. Perry hasn’t convinced me he’s up to the task of creating those jobs and putting points on the board in the fight against climate change,” Wyden said. Republican Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, chair of the energy committee, said Perry would be "a strong partner as we focus on everything from reducing rural energy costs to advancing the Alaska gasline project.”


So Democrats wah-wahhed that Perry might cut off some of that glorious government gravy that they live on. Bigger problems than that are waiting for them. There is a rumored 30% cut at DOE that I am hearing about from some friends on the inside.


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PostPosted: Mar 03, 2017 2:26 am 
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Kirk Sorensen wrote:
Senate confirms Trump pick Perry as energy secretary

Quote:
The Senate voted... o Democrats wah-wahhed that Perry might cut off some of that glorious government gravy that they live on. Bigger problems than that are waiting for them. There is a rumored 30% cut at DOE that I am hearing about from some friends on the inside.


Now it's up to us to convince Messers. Trump and Perry that the best way for them to make America great again would be to keep the world's biggest business (energy supply/generation) since the industrial revolution began going strong via a serious investment in that/their "infrastructure" (national labs). Of course, for that to happen they're have to find people like Rickover to run it - not the DOE's swarm of technically clueless bureaucrats & gutless super scientists. If Rickover's (or Grove's) "mission" had been to devise a sustainable nuclear fuel cycle rather than nuclear powered weapons, we would already be great.

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PostPosted: Mar 04, 2017 12:55 pm 
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Energy.gov: Perry Sworn in as 14th Secretary of United States Department of Energy

Heritage Foundation: DOE Reset: Focus the Department of Energy on Core Missions and Decrease Distractions

Houston Press: Rick Perry, Confirmed As Energy Secretary, Could End Up Being Trump's Best Cabinet Pick


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PostPosted: Mar 05, 2017 9:29 am 
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Perhaps Perry should start with renaming the department to the Department of Nuclear Security or something, because the Department of Energy is a bit of a misnomer: the vast bulk of the DOE's budget is spent on nuclear weapon programs.

The Heritage Foundation report has some good points, but I disagree with some of the following:

"The federal government simply should not be involved as it is now in trying to make more efficient solar panels, CO2-free coal plants, smaller commercial nuclear power reactors, or any number of other activities aimed toward jump-starting energy technologies."

In my opinion, emerging nuclear energy technologies will need the crucial support of the national laboratories and the U.S. Government as development facilities for nuclear technologies cannot be easily provided by the private sector, due to security and regulatory constraints. A new groundbreaking solar panel can be developed in a garage or a private workshop, but this cannot be done if you would like to develop a new type of nuclear reactor. An American company that wants to develop a new type of reactor will need the assistance, in some form, from the national laboratories, which would call for an effective public-private partnership. Easing access for U.S. nuclear energy startups to the capabilities of the U.S. national laboratories is important.


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PostPosted: Mar 05, 2017 11:38 am 
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camiel wrote:
...
In my opinion, emerging nuclear energy technologies will need the crucial support of the national laboratories and the U.S. Government as development facilities for nuclear technologies cannot be easily provided by the private sector, due to security and regulatory constraints. A new groundbreaking solar panel can be developed in a garage or a private workshop, but this cannot be done if you would like to develop a new type of nuclear reactor. An American company that wants to develop a new type of reactor will need the assistance, in some form, from the national laboratories, which would call for an effective public-private partnership. Easing access for U.S. nuclear energy startups to the capabilities of the U.S. national laboratories is important.



Right on -you've really nailed it.

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PostPosted: Mar 05, 2017 10:46 pm 
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The problem with no state funding these activities is that noone will ever get to know, or use, the results because they will dissapear into some IP black hole, never to be seen again.
Which means that the research willl have to be done multiple times by multiple different bodies before anyone in a position to use the results obtained finds out (since such technologies require numerous innovations to become practical in most cases).

And huge sums of money is wasted.


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PostPosted: Mar 06, 2017 8:02 am 
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The organization that built an FFTF, destroyed it, and now insists on a new one is not fit to be the research arm of the US.


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PostPosted: Mar 06, 2017 8:12 am 
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Kirk Sorensen wrote:
The organization that built an FFTF, destroyed it, and now insists on a new one is not fit to be the research arm of the US.

Is the FFTF actually completely destroyed?
Can't they patch the drill hole that was used to drain the remaining sodium?


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PostPosted: Mar 06, 2017 2:29 pm 
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Patching FFTF is another topic...

The point is, that the Department of Energy has brought exactly zero commercial reactors to fruition in the United States despite receiving roughly a billion dollars a year in the Nuclear Energy division for many years. They waste resources on a colossal scale, they remain wedded to the sodium- and gas-cooled reactors, they are enamored with TRISO fuel to distraction, and they will never, never develop LFTR technology barring a complete turnover in leadership and lab structure.


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PostPosted: Mar 06, 2017 3:05 pm 
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Kirk Sorensen wrote:
Patching FFTF is another topic...

The point is, that the Department of Energy has brought exactly zero commercial reactors to fruition in the United States despite receiving roughly a billion dollars a year in the Nuclear Energy division for many years. They waste resources on a colossal scale, they remain wedded to the sodium- and gas-cooled reactors, they are enamored with TRISO fuel to distraction, and they will never, never develop LFTR technology barring a complete turnover in leadership and lab structure.


This is why we elected people to "drain swamps".

One thing Mr Perry might want to do is to petition his boss to meld the NRC up with his organization & then change its name to something like "Atomic Energy Commission". There's probably a smart admiral or general somewhere around that he could then appoint to help him get things moving towards more rational goals. When the USA's military folks are given clearly defined missions & political support, they get things done.

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PostPosted: Mar 06, 2017 4:56 pm 
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The Atomic Energy Commission was not exactly a well-oiled organization either. Under Milton Shaw's heavy hand, they decreed that the sodium fast breeder was the only idea worth considering and didn't hesitate to put a brick on the scales to make sure every other idea came up short. I actually think breaking up the AEC was the right thing to do, because we likely needed a separate regulatory organization. It's not like the AEC was doing a bang-up job of regulation.

But then Carter decided he wanted to elevate his darlings, wind, solar, and coal to the same national status as nuclear and house them all in a new "Department of Energy" that was mostly the vestiges of the AEC, stripped of the regulatory aspect, and now appended with technologies that had little to nothing to do with nuclear energy.

What a mess. But it's never been anything but a mess.


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PostPosted: Mar 08, 2017 6:37 am 
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Perhaps you should have a National Energy Commission. The inter-se importance of various and the publicity to each can then be put in expert hands.


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PostPosted: Mar 11, 2017 10:16 am 
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DOE may be prime target for Trump budget cutters

Quote:
A 10 percent reduction for DOE would total nearly $3 billion, based on the department's current spending level of around $29 billion. But about $18.5 billion of the DOE total is earmarked for the National Nuclear Security Agency, overseeing the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile, and for environmental cleanup of nuclear weapons sites and other defense-related programs, activities that are not subject to a spending cutback on discretionary programs. That would leave just $12 billion in the rest of the DOE budget to absorb a $3 billion reduction, unless the Trump administration decides otherwise.


I can think of plenty of ways to cut $3B out of DOE's budget. Actually I can think of ways to cut a lot more than that.


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PostPosted: Mar 12, 2017 6:52 am 
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Kirk Sorensen wrote:
I can think of plenty of ways to cut $3B out of DOE's budget. Actually I can think of ways to cut a lot more than that.


I agree. A lot of the research carried out at the national laboratories has strayed far from the 'core-business' and original mission of the DOE national labs. Think of life science and bio-medical research programs, et cetera. These programs may be important, but such research should be carried out at the NIH or other institutions.


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