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Mordechai Vanunu’s Case in the Court of Public Opinion By Eileen Fleming

Mordechai Vanunu’s Case in the Court of Public Opinion
By Eileen Fleming
EXCLUSIVE to The Arab Daily News

I have never been Israel’s nuclear whistleblower’s spokesperson, but ever since I first met him in June 2005, I have spoken online to end US collusion in Israel’s nuclear deceptions and in support of Mordechai Vanunu’s inalienable human right to leave Israel.

On February 5th I emailed the Chairman, Publisher and Copyright Editor at I.B. Tauris:


Last week Mordechai Vanunu wrote me regarding Frank Barnaby’s The Invisible Bomb, “the chapter about Dimona facilities, all these details need to be sent to Israel’s Shaback/Mossad and to President Obama and Congress to prove that all I knew about Israel’s nuclear secrets were published in 1989.”
Yesterday I wrote for the US based TheArabDailyNews:

Message from Israel’s Nuclear Whistleblower Vanunu TO: Mossad and Obama

At the time I was willing to risk a lawsuit from I.B.Tauris for reproducing and publishing more than “brief quotations” from The Invisible Bomb: The Nuclear Arms Race in the Middle East without permission for many reasons, but I will cite two:

In 2005 I met Vanunu and we began a series of interviews that culminated in my self-published Beyond Nuclear: Mordechai Vanunu’s Freedom of Speech Trial and My Life as a Muckraker 2005-2010

I am the leader of the Cause TNT/FREE VANUNU with over 21,000 international members who are gearing up for this April 21st which marks 10 years since Vanunu emerged from 18 years behind bars to 24/7 surveillance; denied the right to leave Israel as the American Government and Media ignore Israel’s nukes, etc.

May I please have permission from I.B.Tauris to republish the INTRODUCTION and 15 pages from Chapter 3?
Thank you,
Eileen Fleming,
Author, Reporter

Instead of waiting any longer for permission –or risking a lawsuit- I will instead briefly quote Barnaby:

I spent two days in September 1986 cross-examining Vanunu. I found his story totally convincing…Vanunu’s evidence, backed up by his photographs; there can no longer be any reasonable doubt about Israel’s nuclear capability…

After the Sunday Times article appeared, Shimon Peres, the then Prime Minister of Israel, repeated ‘Israel would not become the first country to introduce nuclear weapons in the Middle East’

Together with Ben-Gurion, Peres who had been Director-General of Ministry of Defense in the early 1960’s is regarded as the architect of Israel’s WMD program.

Barnaby argues Vanunu may have been an unwitting tool of the Mossad.

I have argued that besides America’s collusion in Israel’s nuclear deceptions it is SECURITY’S: Mossad/Shabak’s Vendetta against Vanunu that has kept him captive going on 10 years after emerging from 18 years behind bars.

Barnaby also hits a few nail on their heads:

Other governments, particularly the US Government are able to maintain the myth that Israel does not have nuclear weapons. This is important for Israel because the US Government cannot under US law, continue to give economic aid to Israel if it acknowledges that Israel has nuclear weapons.

Barnaby wrote that in 1989 and the US Government continues sending more US tax-dollars to Israel than to any other nation.

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February 23, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

San Francisco, – Showing “311: Surviving Japan” Presented by Christopher Noland – Trailer

The Event Program

311: Surviving Japan


Presented by Christopher Noland


Tuesday, March 11 7:30PM – 9:30PM

in San Francisco, CA at AMC Van Ness 14 $10.00

Screenshot from 2014-02-23 20:41:39

  • Movie presentation of 311: Surviving Japan

    Inside story of 2011 Japanese Tsunami relief & Fukushima nuclear disaster. A critical look at how the authorities handled the nuclear crisis and Tsunami relief by an American who volunteered in the clean-up. It is in short, a documentary of the devastating events in Japan and 6 months of the after-math that followed. It features true stories from those affected by the disaster, the government and even TEPCO. It highlights the struggle in dealing with: The Tsunami clean-up, Government response to the disaster, radiation plus the future of nuclear power after the accident.


  • Q&A

    A Q&A with director Christopher Noland will follow the film.

February 23, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fukushima Diary talks in English about the recent 100m3 leakage – Video

Iori Mochizuki

Published on 23 Feb 2014

Related articles of Fukushima Diary..………

You can find the donation buttons on the side bar and the bottom of every article in the website linked.
Sorry, I’m do not mean to bother  you with this request. Iori

February 23, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

ExxonMobil CEO sues to block fracking project near his home!

By CleanTechnica
Saturday, February 22, 2014

By Rebecca Leber

As ExxonMobil’s CEO, it’s Rex Tillerson’s job to promote the hydraulic fracturing enabling the recent oil and gas boom, and fight regulatory oversight. The oil company is the biggest natural gas producer in the U.S., relying on the controversial drilling technology to extract it.

The exception is when Tillerson’s $5 million property value might be harmed. Tillerson has joined a lawsuit that cites fracking’s consequences in order to block the construction of a 160-foot water tower next to his and his wife’s Texas home.

The Wall Street Journal reports the tower would supply water to a nearby fracking site, and the plaintiffs argue the project would cause too much noise and traffic from hauling the water from the tower to the drilling site. The water tower, owned by Cross Timbers Water Supply Corporation, “will sell water to oil and gas explorers for fracing [sic] shale formations leading to traffic with heavy trucks on FM 407, creating a noise nuisance and traffic hazards,” the suit says.

Though Tillerson’s name is on the lawsuit, a lawyer representing him said his concern is about the devaluation of his property, not fracking specifically.

When he is acting as Exxon CEO, not a homeowner, Tillerson has lashed out at fracking critics and proponents of regulation. “This type of dysfunctional regulation is holding back the American economic recovery, growth, and global competitiveness,” he said in 2012. Natural gas production “is an old technology just being applied, integrated with some new technologies,” he said in another interview. “So the risks are very manageable.”

In shale regions, less wealthy residents have protested fracking development for impacts more consequential than noise, including water contamination and cancer risk. Exxon’s oil and gas operations and the resulting spills not only sinks property values, but the spills have leveled homes and destroyed regions.

Exxon, which pays Tillerson a total $40.3 million, is staying out of the legal tangle. A spokesperson told the WSJ it “has no involvement in the legal matter.”

February 23, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Labour vows not to renegotiate EDF nuclear power station deal


She went on: “It’s not, I think, helpful for governments coming in, if you like, to say ‘we’re going to renegotiate all contracts’. I don’t think that’s right.

“Down the road, obviously, the public accounts committee will look at the details of this, but I do believe nuclear is right and I do think it’s important to get the price right.

“Actually, going back to our reforms, an electricity pool will actually give governments of the future, hopefully a Labour one, much clearer ideas about what the reference price should be.”

Shadow energy chief Caroline Flint rules out reworking controversial £16bn deal for building Hinkley Point C plant

Labour will not renegotiate the contract with the French-owned EDF Energy that will deliver Britain’s first new nuclear power station in a generation despite concerns over the price paid for the electricity it will produce, the shadow energy secretary, Caroline Flint, has said.


Asked on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show if Labour would revisit the deal, Flint said: “No. We’re supporting the contract because we believe in the long run that actually it’s important, we hope that actually this is the first of many new nuclear builds and actually as we go forward the cost will come down.

“But it’s important to recognise that when you look at the unit cost of electricity generated by nuclear it actually works out cheaper than other forms of renewable energy.”

February 23, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

UK taxpayer to bear costs of nuclear leaks, not private firms


UK taxpayer to bear costs of nuclear leaks, not private firms

RT | February 23, 2014

The private consortium that will manage the decommissioning of the UK’s decaying Magnox nuclear reactors won’t be made to bear financial responsibility in the event of a radioactive incident. Taxpayers will have to pick up the tab instead.

Private contractors will be indemnified by the government, despite concerns that exempting them from financial liability for nuclear incidents could prove a disaster for the taxpayer, the Guardian reports.

Earlier this month the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) presented parliament with a departmental minute concerning an indemnity to be given by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) in relation to the proposed Magnox reactors, built five decades ago. Among the reactors are some of the oldest facilities at Sizewell, Hinkley and Dungeness, which have been supplying electricity to the national grid for 40 years.

The Berkeley site in Gloucestershire, which entered service in 1962, was the first commercial nuclear power station in the UK to be decommissioned. After 27 years of operation, generating enough electricity on a typical day to serve an urban area the size of Bristol, the twin reactor station shut down in 1989. The station is currently undergoing work to decommission the site.

Meanwhile, according to the departmental minute, the prospective Parent Body Organizations (PBOs), selected through a competitive process, “are not prepared to accept liability” for certain nuclear liability claims. It adds that “because of the nature of nuclear activities the maximum figure for the potential liability is impossible to accurately quantify.” But there is allegedly only a “low probability” of a claim against the public purse.

Among the fierce critics of the use of the indemnity is Labour MP Paul Flynn, who says the nuclear debate in Parliament has been passed over by the government.

Continue reading

February 23, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear Expert: “They must be terrified” at South Florida nuke plant; “The damn thing is grinding down” — Gundersen: “Magnitude of what’s going on at St. Lucie is off the charts”; 100 times worse than average

Published: February 22nd, 2014 at 10:45 pm ET

Tampa Bay Times, Feb. 22, 2014: Yet another Florida nuclear plant may be in trouble. […] More than 3,700 tubes that help cool a nuclear reactor at Florida Power & Light’s St. Lucie facility exhibit wear. Most other similar plants have between zero and a few hundred. Worst case: A tube bursts and spews radioactive fluid. That’s what happened at the San Onofre plant in California two years ago. The plant shut down forever because it would have cost too much to fix. […] FPL is so confident in St. Lucie’s condition that it boosted the plant’s power. The utility acknowledged that will aggravate wear on the tubes, located inside steam generators. […] FPL insisted St. Lucie should not be linked to San Onofre from either a safety or financial standpoint.[…] During hearings, [officials at San Onofre] repeatedly pointed to St. Lucie as having the same problem […] When it closed, San Onofre 3 had 2,519 wear spots at least 20 percent deep into a tube wall. When last inspected in 2012, the St. Lucie plant had 1,920, the Times analysis found.

Michael Waldron, FPL spokesman:
“From an engineering perspective […] you can neither make a comparison [between the San Onofre and St. Lucie plants], nor can you assume an outcome because the two systems are so different.”

Southern California Edison, owner of now-closed San Onofre nuclear plant between San Diego and Los Angeles: “[St. Lucie is] the next closest plant with a high number of wear indications. […] Although a different (steam generator) design, the (antivibration bars) serve the same design function […] So St. Lucie was used to determine similarities and potential actions.”

Arnie Gundersen, nuclear engineer: “I think the comparison [with San Onofre] is dead on […] All of the failure modes except for (tubes hitting each other) are identical. When the same problem popped at the two San Onofre plants, it suddenly became a cluster. […] St. Lucie is the outlier of all the active plants […] the magnitude of what is going on at St. Lucie is off the charts. These guys are a hundred times worse than the industry average.”

Daniel Hirsch, University of California at Santa Cruz nuclear policy lecturer: “The damn thing is grinding down […] They must be terrified internally. They’ve got steam generators that are now just falling apart. [The tubes] need to be very strong to prevent a meltdown […] Steam generators are really critical to safety. It’s not a feature you want to play with.”

See also: California’s San Onofre nuclear plant permanently shut down (VIDEO)

February 23, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Getting a bit tired of the thorium lobby’s repeated insults and lies


John Randall@thjr19  says:   “There is one & only one reason why @ChristinaMac1 opposes the _only_ substitute for fossil fuels. She is a paid shill for the FFI. #thorium


John Randall@thjr19  says: – “The only people I see arguing to _exclude_ tools in the toolbox are the likes of @ChristinaMac1 – paid shills of the fossil fuel industries.”

As  readers of this website will know, Arclight and Christina Macpherson are opposed not only to dangerous and polluting nuclear power, but also to fossil fuel industries. We, like so many thousands of others, work unpaid in the cause of a clean and safe planet. This website receives no funding of any kind from any source. If advertisements appear, that funding goes to our web page provider ( –  this website is free), not to us.

However, one comfort is that these lying attacks on us can only mean that we are having an impact in the fight against the heavily funded thorium nuclear reactor lobby.

February 23, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Why pay for extravagant new nuclear when there’s nowhere to put the wastes?

wastes-1McCumber: Whistling past the nuclear graveyard, Friday, February 21, 2014 WASHINGTON — One nice thing about announcing an “all-of-the-above” energy policy, as the Obama administration has done, is that it requires all of the careful consideration and discernment that a Labrador retriever shows toward food.

If you never met an energy source you didn’t love, you can make momentous, multibillion-dollar decisions without concern for inconvenient facts. So Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz showed us this week, when he blithely put the federal government on the hook for $6.5 billion in loan guarantees for a project to build the first two new commercial nuclear plant reactors in 30 years.

Underwriting construction of nuclear power plants means assuming a worrisome amount of risk for the taxpayers’ money — more than Wall Street was comfortable with, in this case — but that’s not new. The federal government has historically subsidized and underwritten nuclear projects. ……

Nothing nuclear in the news this week is designed to ease those concerns. The manager of nuclear safety at the troubled, massively contaminated nuclear-waste site at Hanford, Wash., was fired after blowing the whistle on safety problems. A radiation leak has shut the Waste Isolation Pilot Project, a New Mexico storage site for lower-level waste, for the last several days.

And the ongoing, slow-motion horror that is Fukushima produced another ugly headline — the leakage of more than 100 tons of highly contaminated water from one of the site’s more than 1,000 storage tanks.

It’s bad enough that the surge in renewables and the glut of cheap natural gas make nuclear construction look staggeringly expensive, particularly in an environment where several operators have recently opted to take nuke plants offline rather than repair them or even invest more in their continued operation. But the really reprehensible part of the federal loan guarantee is that it comes from the same administration that has halted any progress toward finding a permanent solution for the storage of spent nuclear fuel, for reasons just as cynically political as the approval itself……..

it doesn’t take a scientific review to understand that before we build new nuclear plants, we should have a place to put the waste they produce, which will be dangerous for the next 160,000 years. David McCumber is Hearst Newspapers‘ Washington Bureau

February 23, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear power is simply not economically viable and never has been

scrutiny-on-costsScientists: U.S. nuclear power industry still not economically viable  Washington, D.C., — Since its inception more than 50 years ago, the U.S. nuclear power industry has been propped up by a generous array of government subsidies that have supported its development and operations.

Despite that support, the industry is still not economically viable, according to a report released by the Union of Concerned Scientists. The report, “Nuclear Power: Still Not Viable Without Subsidies,” found that more than 30 subsidies have supported every stage of the nuclear fuel cycle, from uranium mining to long-term waste storage.

Added together, these subsidies often have exceeded the average market price of the power produced.

“Despite the fact that the nuclear power industry has benefited from decades of government support, the technology is still uneconomic, so the industry is demanding a lot more from taxpayers to build new reactors,” said Ellen Vancko, manager of UCS’s Nuclear Energy and Climate Change Project. “The cost of this technology continues to escalate despite billions in subsidies to both existing and proposed plants. Instead of committing billions in new subsidies that would further distort the market in favor of nuclear power, we should focus on more cost-effective energy sources that will reduce carbon emissions more quickly and with less risk.”

Pending and proposed subsidies for new nuclear reactors would shift even more costs and risks from the industry to taxpayers and ratepayers. The Obama administration‘s new budget proposal would provide an additional $36 billion in federal loan guarantees to underwrite newreactor construction, bringing the total amount of nuclear loan guarantees to a staggering $58.5 billion, leaving taxpayers on the hook if the industry defaults on these loans.

The key subsidies for nuclear power do not involve cash payments, the report found. They shift the risks of constructing and operating plants — including cost overruns, loan defaults, accidents and waste management — from plant owners and investors to taxpayers and ratepayers. These hidden subsidies distort market choices that would otherwise favor less risky investments.

The most significant forms of subsidies to nuclear power have four principal objectives: Reduce the cost of capital, labor and land through loan guarantees and tax incentives; mask the true costs of producing nuclear energy through subsidies to uranium mining and water usage; shift security and accident risks to the public via the 1957 Price-Anderson Act and other mechanisms; and shift long-term operating risks such as radioactive waste storage to the public.

The report evaluates legacy subsidies that helped build the industry, ongoing support to existing reactors, and subsidies available for new projects. According to the report, legacy subsidies exceeded 7 cents per kilowatt-hour (¢/kWh), well above the average wholesale price of power from 1960 to 2008. In effect, the subsidies were more valuable than the power the subsidized plants produced.

“Without these generous subsidies, the nuclear industry would have faced a very different market reality,” said Doug Koplow, the author of the report and principal at the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based consulting firm, Earth Track. “Many of the 104 reactors currently operating would never have been built, and the utilities that built reactors would have been forced to charge ratepayers even higher rates.”

The industry continues to benefit from subsidies that offset its operating costs, which include uranium mining, cooling water, accident liability insurance, waste disposal and plant decommissioning. The exact value of these subsidies, however, is difficult to ascertain.

According to the report, ongoing subsidies range from 13 percent to 98 percent of the value of the power produced. Even at the low-end however, subsidies account for a significant portion of nuclear power’s operating cost advantage over competing energy sources.

Subsidies to new reactors could significantly exceed those enjoyed by the existing fleet. In addition to benefiting from ongoing subsidies to existing plants, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 introduced a new suite of subsidies for nuclear power. The report estimates that these subsidies could be worth between 4.2 and 11.4¢/kWh, or as much as 200 percent of the projected price of electricity when these plants are built.

“All low-carbon energy technologies would be able to compete on their merits if the government established an energy-neutral playing field and put a price on carbon,” said Vancko. “Investing in nuclear power carries the unique risks of radioactive waste storage, accidents, and nuclear weapons proliferation that must be fully reflected in the technology’s costs, which is not the case today.”

Based on these findings, the report recommends that the federal government reduce subsidies to the nuclear power industry. If subsidies are necessary, the government should award them competitively to the most cost-effective low-carbon energy technologies.

The report also recommends that the government modernize liability systems for nuclear power and establish regulations and fee structures for uranium mining, waste repository financing, and water usage that fully reflect the technology’s cost and risks.

“After 50 years,” said Koplow, “the nuclear industry needs to move away from government patronage to a model based on real economic viability. The considerable operational and construction risks of this power source need to be reflected in the delivered price of power rather than dumped onto taxpayers.”

The Union of Concerned Scientists is a U.S. science-based nonprofit organization working for a healthy environment and a safer world. Founded in 1969, UCS is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and also has offices in Berkeley, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

February 23, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why should tax-payer cover catastrophic risks of Nuclear, Coal and Oil?

text-my-money-2The Catastrophic Downside Risk of Nuclear, Oil, and Coal. The Energy Collective, Chris de Morsella , 21 Feb 14 Energy systems need to also be measured according to the potential risks associated with them in the advent of failure. And the actuarial costs of these risks need to be better understood and included into the market price for the energy that these systems produce.

This post examines this catastrophic downside risk of nuclear and fossil energy focusing on the recent events in Japan and on the BP oil spill as two recent examples of hugely expensive catastrophes. It poses the question why should the taxpayers and the public bear the burden of these costs in this manner artificially lowering the price these energy sectors are thus able to charge for their products……..

February 23, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Obama’s nuclear loan guarantee throwing good money after bad

“No doubt, this is a bad deal for the American people who have been put on the hook for a project that is both embroiled in delays and cost overruns and to a company that has publicly stated that it does not need federal loans to complete the project,” Allison Fisher, Outreach Director, Public Citizen’s Energy Program said. “This is a classic case of throwing good money after bad – an unnecessary and unconscionable decision to make with taxpayer money.”  

text-my-money-2Why is the Obama administration using taxpayer money to back a nuclear plant that’s already being built? BY STEVEN MUFSON, WP, 21 Feb 14,  If nuclear power is such a good idea, why does it need financial help from U.S. taxpayers?

This week, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced that the Obama administration would extend a $6.5 billion federal loan guarantee to cover part of the cost of building two new reactors at Southern Co.’s Alvin W. Vogtle site. Thursday he went to Waynesboro, Ga. to finalize the deal. Another $1.8 billion in guarantees could come soon.

The impact: Southern’s Georgia Power subsidiary, which owns 46 percent of the project, will save $225 million to $250 million because the loan guarantee will reduce interest costs. Instead of borrowing from a commercial bank, Southern can now borrow at rock bottom rates from the government’s Federal Financing Bank. And you, gentle reader, the taxpayer, take on all the risk if the project goes bust. Does the name Solyndra ring a bell? Continue reading

February 23, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The mess that USA atomic bomb tests have left in Mururoa

Effects of nuclear tests in French Polynesia remains a major concern: veterans 21 Feb 2014, A veterans’ association in French Polynesia has criticised a senior army official for her apparent lack of concern about the effects of nuclear testing in region.

France conducted nearly 200 nuclear tests in French Polynesia between 1966 and 1996.The French Government has admitted in the past it’s possible the Mururoa atoll could cave in because it has been sapped by the underground tests.The territory is set to embark on a four-year renovation of infrastructure and facilities on former test sites.The Joint Commander of Armed Forces in French Polynesia, Rear Admiral Anne Cullere, has recently toured the area.

She has dismissed the risks of Moruroa atoll collapsing and downplayed concerns of radioactivity levels and the health problems of former test site workers.Rear Admiral Cullere has also been quoted in local media as saying French Polynesian veterans should be proud of their contribution to France.

Roland Oldham, the head of French Polynesia’s nuclear tests veterans association Moruroa e Tatou, has told Pacific Beathe finds her comments shocking and “offensive”.

“Especially when they know that Moruroa e Tatou, the organisation for the victims has been battling for the past 13 years to get compensation and we hardly get any compensation,” he said.”[Rear Admiral Cullere] does know that most of the members of our organisation; we are 4,500 members, but 85 per cent of our members are sick and have problems – mainly cancer.

“Those people are former workers, and when she does (sic) the statement like this I think it’s very sad.”Mr Oldham says previous attempts to fix facilities at the sites have failed and locals have little confidence in the upcoming project.

“We’ve known for many, many years already that the civilian system is down because most of the cables giving the information about movement of the atoll are old and have broken down,” he said.

“I must say that when you look at parts of the atoll, especially the road on the north side of the atoll, the road goes on and then suddenly there is no road.A”All these holes now they’ve blocked with cement, and most of these holes now are under the level of the sea, which is another big worry.”

February 23, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The unaffordable nuclear weapons, and the risk of nuclear climate change

The time is now to quickly reduce our nuclear arsenals. Their costs are enormous to any nation building them. They cannot be used, and their continued existence makes the world a much more dangerous place.

Ban Nuclear Weapons; Saving Money and Saving the World Huffington Post, Alan Robock 
 Professor of Climatology, Rutgers University; director, Rutgers Undergraduate Meteorology Program Co-authored by Owen Brian Toon, Professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder,

As the United States struggles to deal with budget problems, as the U.S. Air Force deals with boredom, poor morale, drug use, and cheating on certification exams by their personnel entrusted with control of nuclear missiles, we have a solution that will save money as well as make the world a much safer place – get rid of most of our nuclear weapons immediately. A recent New York Times editorial pointed out that it would cost $10,000,000,000 just to update one small portion of the U.S. arsenal, gravity bombs. The U.S. government has no data on the overall cost of maintaining its nuclear arsenal, but various sources estimate the cost over the next decade between $150 billion and $640 billion, depending largely on which nuclear related tasks are included in the budget. Continue reading

February 23, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wind turbines get an even better report for efficiency

Study Gives Wind Turbines a ‘Thumbs Up’ Researchers in the U.K. found wind turbines put out nearly twice the power in the long term than some critics have claimed.  By  Feb. 20, 2014 A new study from the United Kingdom has found wind turbines generate more power in the long term than some critics have claimed. Some have argued turbines lose a third of their electrical output after just 10 years of operation, the paper said. Researchers from the Imperial College Business School, however, determined that turbines still churn out about three-quarters of their original capacity for 19 years – nearly twice as long.

“There have been concerns about the costs of maintaining aging wind farms and whether they are worth investing in,” professor Richard Green, a co-author of the study, said in a statement. “This study gives a ‘thumbs up’ to the technology and shows that renewable energy is an asset for the long term.”

The team used wind-speed data from NASA from the past 20 years and compared it with the actual recorded output from each wind farm. They then developed a formula to calculate how wear-and-tear affected the turbine’s performance, finding that the wind farms were putting out more power than had been previously thought. A key reason: the high-end engineering of the turbines.

“They’re designed to be as light and as strong as possible, and to be able to survive and withstand and use really powerful winds,” explains Dan Kammen, professor of energy at the University of California, Berkeley. “Anything that’s designed in that way, kind of optimizing lightness, strength and performance, it’s not surprising they’d really outperform what you’d expect, because that’s a really tough environment.”

Wind farms generate about 7.5 percent of the energy in the U.K. In the United States, wind power makes up slightly more than 4 percent of all generated energy, according to the Department of Energy.

“Our study provides some certainty,” said research fellow and co-author Iain Staffell, “helping investors to see that wind farms are an effective long-term investment.”

The findings were published in the journal Renewable Energy on Thursday.

February 23, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment