Why Georgia Marches on Towards More Nuclear

first_img Vietnam: scaling back coal-fired plans toward gas, renewables Twitter By chloecox – While the rest of the nation toggles between natural gas and renewables, Georgia maintains a strong commitment to building new nuclear. Some scratch their head in disbelief, but those who live in this bright red state understand our determination. Let me explain. So you see, our citizens are familiar with nuclear power and in fact, attribute our low rates to nuclear’s low life cycle cost. The two new 1,100 megawatt nuclear power units that are under construction will increase Georgia’s capacity to generate nuclear electricity by more than 50 percent. Once the new zero-emissions nuclear units are in operation they will supply a substantial portion of our state’s baseload generation. 11.13.2015 TAGSISONENPI Volume 8 Issue 6 Then along came the Clean Power Plan. You probably can understand now why we focused so much of our official comments, lobbying, and political capital towards getting full credit for these reactors. The draft plan’s formula shortchanged our state, but when the final plan was issued new nuclear received favorable treatment making those reactors worth 10 percent of our total compliance with the Clean Power Plan. Both the PSC and Georgia Power had envisioned a carbon-constrained future when they certified the reactors, and that future is now reality. Facebook No posts to display What we do have is nuclear power, and it enjoys widespread support. After all, our state is situated in the Silicon Valley of Nuclear Power. Plant Vogtle is south of Augusta on the Savannah River directly across from the Savannah River Site-210 square miles of all-things-nuclear including reprocessing, storage, five decommissioned reactors, and an Areva-built MOX facility under construction. Just up the road from that federal site is Plant V.C. Summer where SCANA is building two Westinghouse AP1000 reactors just like the ones being built at Plant Vogtle in Georgia. To the northwest is the Oconee Nuclear Station-a reactor operating since 1973. Finally, to the east is Barnwell, the low-level waste storage site that has been in operation since 1971. RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR CoalNuclearReactors Linkedin Understand Georgia politics. The Georgia legislature passed a bill that allows Georgia Power to collect the financing cost of the Vogtle project during construction. The PSC, prior to my arrival, approved a similar measure. Why? Because it reduced the certified costs of the project by $300 million and reduced the company’s borrowing cost by tens of millions of dollars. But let’s be clear, it also vested the leadership of the legislature. So with all the utilities investing in Vogtle, and many of the politicians vested in the project’s success, the state was “all-in” on new nuclear. The addition of production tax credits, the federal loan guarantee, and the current low-interest cost environment further sweetened the deal. Tim G. Echols Linkedin New Jersey utility regulators extend zero-carbon breaks for PSEG nuclear power plants Why Georgia Marches on Towards More Nuclear There are concerns about using nuclear power from both economic and societal perspectives-including concerns regarding the nuclear waste. One day I hope to see a commercial reprocessing facility in the aforementioned Silicon Valley of Nuclear Power. These areas are legitimate concerns and some of the smartest minds in the world are working on these issues. I am confident that we will work out a sustainable solution. But in the meantime, Georgia and South Carolina will use our competitive advantage of cheap nuclear energy to bring more jobs to our states. First, our state has no Columbia or Colorado Rivers to produce big hydro power. We have no power plants on mine-mouths, natural gas fields, or Hoover Dams. A significant portion of Georgia’s fuel for electricity production has to be transported over 1,000 miles. Yet, our energy prices are still low. Chalk that up to good planning and management by Georgia Power and constructive regulation from an all-Republican public utility commission-elected statewide every six years. Previous articleA Lesson Not LearnedNext articleHighs and Lows in the N. American Nuclear Industry chloecox More Nuclear Power Internaional Issue ArticlesNuclear Power Internaional Issue ArchivesView Power Generation Articles on PennEnergy.com Tim Echols is a Commissioner in the state of Georgia and strong advocate for nuclear power. He owns two electric cars and promotes utility scale solar. Twitter Nuclear power is the poster child of reliability. It is no accident that Georgia doesn’t experience the blackouts or rolling brownouts as experienced by northeastern states, Texas or California. The Vogtle co-owners, Georgia Power, Oglethorpe Power (the EMCs), MEAG (city-owned electric utilities), and the City of Dalton, enjoy the benefits of these reactors operating 24/7 for 18 months at a time-rain, shine, snow, with wind, or without. Remember the polar vortex when the price of natural gas spiked 800 percent in certain northeastern states. Georgia didn’t experience any of that mess. Yet, the equally-reliable Vermont Yankee nuclear plant located in the New England ISO (Independent System Operator) shut down with no objection from President Obama or northern politicians. Go figure. Suitors for halted Bellefonte nuclear project ask TVA to consider climate in reviving sale Facebook And for those coal haters out there, I have good news. According to retired Georgia Tech engineering professor James Rust, a factor not mentioned in support of nuclear power is its influence on domestic reserves of coal and natural gas. Rust’s research demonstrates that just one of the new nuclear units at Plant Vogtle, if it had been a fossil-unit instead, would consume 230 million tons of coal or 5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas over its 60-year lifetime. In essence, nuclear power plants extend the life of our fossil fuel reserves far out into the future and reduce future price increases. I guess that is good news for India, China and Germany-who will have the opportunity to buy up cheap American coal.last_img read more

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Assistant Professor in Sustainability and Human-Earth System Interactions

first_imgApplication summaries of teachingevaluations, if available.For more information and to apply, pleasevisit: https://careers.pageuppeople.com/822/lowell/en-us/job/507651/assistant-professor-in-sustainability-and-humanearth-system-interactionsThe University of MassachusettsLowell:Located about 25 miles northwest of Boston,Massachusetts, the University of Massachusetts Lowell is a tier-1research university with a national reputation in science,engineering, and technology. UMass Lowell is committed to educatingstudents for lifelong success in a diverse world, and to conductingresearch and outreach activities that sustain the economic,environmental, and social health of the region. A major componentof that initiative is to ensure that diversity and inclusion is inevery aspect of our strategic plan. We seek a diverse and talentedcandidate pool to be part of our mission and achievements.The Department of Environmental, Earth, and AtmosphericSciences:The Department of Environmental, Earth, andAtmospheric Sciences has 9 tenured and tenure-track facultymembers, 1 full-time teaching faculty member, and several adjunctinstructors serving nearly 150 BS students and 30 MS and PhDstudents. It offers BS degrees in Environmental Science(traditional and Geoscience options) and AtmosphericScience/Meteorology. It offers an MS in Environmental Studies andis in the approval process for a PhD in Earth Systems Science.Sustainability is a major strategic priority of the University andthe department currently offers a minor in Climate Change andSustainability and is developing both a BA and an MS inSustainability. The department has experienced substantial growth with a 50%increase in undergraduate enrollments and over 75% increase ingraduate enrollment over the last five years. The departmentfaculty has secured external research funding from multiple federalagencies such as NSF, NASA, NOAA, as well as private organizationsand foundations. The department takes a leadership role in theClimate Change Initiative, a cross-disciplinary Research Centerthat brings together more than 30 faculty members from 13 academicdepartments committed to addressing climate change in theirscholarly, instructional, and engagement work.The University of Massachusetts Lowell is an EqualOpportunity/Affirmative Action, Title IX employer. All qualifiedapplicants will receive consideration for employment without regardto race, sex, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age over40, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation,gender identity/expression, marital status, or other protectedclass. Assistant Professor in Sustainability and Human-EarthSystem InteractionsUniversity ofMassachusetts LowellLowell,MAFull-TimeThe Department of Environmental, Earth and Atmospheric Sciencesat the University of Massachusetts Lowell invites applications forone tenure-track, Assistant Professor position in Sustainabilityand Human-Earth System Interactions to start in September 2021 orJanuary 2022. We invite outstanding candidates in the fields ofsustainable use of resources and energy, climate change,land-atmosphere-ocean interactions, land use and/or food systems.Candidates with expertise in one of the following are particularlyencouraged to apply: systems thinking and modeling, data mining andanalytics, machine learning and/or high-speed computing, remotesensing, and field experimentation.Minimum Qualifications:Applicants must hold a Ph.D. in Earthsystem science, sustainability, or a related discipline, and mustdemonstrate strong potential to establish and maintain substantialresearch, teaching, and service, including the ability to publishrefereed publications, obtain competitive external grants, andsupervise research students.Applicants must have demonstratedcapability of teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level, aswell as academic management and leadership.Applicants must have a commitment todiversity, equity and inclusion which should be reflected in thecandidate’s approach to teaching and research activities.Special Instructions toApplicants:Applications received by April30, 2021 will receive full consideration. Review ofapplications will begin immediately and continue until the positionis filled. However, the position may close when an adequate numberof qualified applications is received. Women and under-representedminorities are strongly encouraged to apply. Preference will begiven to candidates who demonstrate the ability to collaborate withthe current faculty.Please include the following required documents with yourapplication:CVCover letterTeaching Statement/PhilosophyPublication ListResearch StatementSample of ScholarlyWork/PublicationStatement on Diversity, Equity andInclusionNames and contact information forthree references will be required at the time of application.last_img read more

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Mortgage refis will get a lot more expensive. The industry isn’t happy

first_img(iStock)Homeowners looking to refinance their mortgage are going to be in for a pricier ride. And mortgage and housing professionals, who’ve benefited from record low rates to do brisk business, are miffed.Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae said Wednesday that they will charge an additional 0.50 percent, or 50 basis points, fee to lenders on refinance loans. That means the average consumer looking to refinance a home will soon be paying $1,400 more than they would previously, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.Fannie and Freddie cited Covid-related losses from the coronavirus and economic uncertainty to justify the fee hike, which kicks in in September. The government-sponsored entities, which are under the oversight of the Federal Finance Housing Agency (FHFA), do not originate mortgages, but instead buy loans and repackage them through securities.ADVERTISEMENTThe move was a shock to the mortgage and housing industry who were seeing a huge uptick in refinancings due to historically low mortgage rates. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.96 percent for the week ending Aug. 13, according to Freddie Mac.“Tonight’s announcement by the GSEs flies in the face of the Administration’s recent executive actions urging federal agencies to take all measures within their authorities to support struggling homeowners,” Bob Broeksmit, CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, said in a statement on Wednesday.Industry insiders say the FHFA may have another motivation to raise these fees.“It’s a money grab here,” said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate. “The government sponsored enterprises are trying to get their hands in the consumers’ pockets.”Some say the FHFA could be looking to the success of mortgage companies like Rocket Companies, the parent of Quicken Loans, and looking to benefit from the flurry of refinancings. Rocket Companies recently had an Initial Public Offering where it priced its shares at $18 a piece for 100 million shares, allowing the company to raise up to $1.8 billion.The fee increase will impact both homeowners who are seeking to get a refinance and those that have already requested to refinance, but have yet to lock in their rate. The FHFA did not immediately return a request to comment.Some lenders, however, don’t seem too concerned about the move, considering that mortgage rates are still at record lows. Banks have relied on refinancing during a time when other lines of business such as commercial real estate lending are being hurt by Covid.“There will still be demand, just not at a spike like in the last 60 days,” said David Druey, who heads the Florida region for Centennial Bank. “We don’t anticipate any steep drops in the number of requests until mortgage rates climb by at least half a point.”The timing of the fee hike has puzzled some industry insiders, given that the Federal Reserve is buying $40 billion of mortgage backed securities every month. The Fed’s asset purchases are designed to boost liquidity into the marketplace and encourage lenders to keep making loans.“Housing has been a big part of the Fed’s toolkit. They are desperately hoping that they can then help the broader economy,” said Chris Whalen, an investment banker who runs Whalen Global Advisors. “This is totally contrary to what they need to be doing.”The fee increases also come at a time when the FHFA is seeking to return Fannie and Freddie back to privatization after scoring a $190 billion bailout during the housing crisis. The agency could be seeking to increase Fannie and Freddie’s capital levels to bolster its financial position.In its most recent quarter, Fannie and Freddie combined booked $4.3 billion in profits, earnings statements show.Whalen adds that by making this move, FHFA head Mark Calabria, who was formerly a director at the Cato Institute, is going to face some heat.“He has picked a fight with the entire housing industry,” Whalen said. “And everyone is going to come after him.”last_img read more

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Kosciusko County Sheriff being sued by former deputy

first_img Facebook Google+ By 95.3 MNC – September 5, 2019 0 331 Twitter Facebook WhatsApp Pinterest Google+ Twitter Pinterest (Photo supplied/Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department) Kosciusko County Sheriff Kyle Dukes is being sued by one of his former deputies.Attorneys for Chris Rager say notice of intent to file suit was sent to Dukes, County Council President Sue Ann Mitchell and County Commissioners President Cary Groninger.The Times Union quotes the letter as saying that after Dukes took over as sheriff in January, he singled out Rager for discipline out of what it describes as “political retribution.” Rager also ran for sheriff last year.Rager claims his First Amendment rights have been violated, and his attorneys say the county violated HIPPA laws by releasing Rager’s public health records in a Freedom of Information Act request.Groninger told the paper that they were seeking legal counsel. Previous articleIndiana governor starts overseas trip in South KoreaNext articleConstruction underway on Indeck Niles Energy Center 95.3 MNCNews/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel is your breaking news and weather station for northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan. IndianaLocalNews WhatsApp Kosciusko County Sheriff being sued by former deputylast_img read more

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The Ghost Of Paul Revere Honors Union Soldiers With “Ballad Of The 20th Maine” At Justice Comes Alive [Watch]

first_imgOn Sunday, June 28th, over 50 artists and tens of thousands of fans came together for Justice Comes Alive, a one-day, virtual festival harnessing the power of music to bring about collective change in response to racial inequality. The donation-based streaming event generated $55,000 and counting in funds for the participating artists, who remain out of work as the pandemic continues, as well as a number of social justice-oriented causes via PLUS1 For Black Lives Fund.The 12-hour live-stream marathon featured contributions by an array of amazing artists from around the world including Maine-based outfit The Ghost of Paul Revere, who paid tribute to the Union soldiers who fought for Maine in the Civil War with “Ballad of the 20th Maine”. The song tells the story of the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment, best known for its bravery at during the Battle of Gettysburg defending Little Round Top on July 2nd, 1863.As the pre-video titles explain, the story of the 20th Maine is “a testament to the strength and willpower of those from our beloved State as well as unequivocal and historical proof that true Mainers believe Black Lives Matter and we are willing to fight for it.”As many Southern states move into modern times kicking, screaming, and clinging to Confederate monuments, The Ghost of Paul Revere has instead immortalized the memory of the soldiers who fought to abolish slavery and move us closer, however gradually, toward equality. The band’s song was even chosen by Maine as the state’s official ballad.While live, in-person concerts mostly remain at a stand-still, fans can catch The Ghost of Paul Revere performing a drive-in concert on Friday, August 8th at the Yarmouth Drive-In in West Yarmouth, MA. For more information or to grab your tickets, head here.Relive The Ghost of Paul Revere segment from Justice Comes Alive below. If you enjoyed the Justice Comes Alive performances and have the means, consider making a donation to Plus1 For Black Lives Fund via www.JusticeComesAlive.com.The Ghost of Paul Revere — “Ballad of the 20th Maine” — Justice Comes AlivePresented by Live For Live Music in partnership with PLUS1 and Nugs.TV, Justice Comes Alive was conceived as a way to harness the power of music to bring about collective change in response to racial inequality. All funds raised from Justice Comes Alive will be split evenly between the artists on the bill and the PLUS1 For Black Lives Fund, which was developed to address and continue the fight against anti-Black racism and violence in the U.S.Directly supporting organizations like Equal Justice Initiative, Impact Justice, and The Bail Project, the PLUS1 For Black Lives Fund focuses on empowering Black communities, movement building, keeping people out of the criminal justice system while dismantling it more broadly, and a collective, international narrative change toward the equitable treatment of Black people. 30% of the PLUS1 for Black Lives Fund is also committed to small grants for Black and Indigenous-led grassroots efforts combating racism. For more information on Justice Comes Alive, head here.last_img read more

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Watch Dear Evan Hansen’s Moms Gear Up for Mother’s Day

first_img Rachel Bay Jones and Jennifer Laura Thompson, the moms at the center of Tony-nominated Broadway megahit Dear Evan Hansen, are appearing in the ultimate video in honor of Mother’s Day on May 14. The pair of Broadway.com Audience Choice Award nominees took to the couch with Broadway moms to talk about the quirks of appearing onstage eight times a week while simultaneously owning the biggest responsibility: motherhood. Watch as the talented stars chat with Annaleigh Ashford, Kelli O’Hara, Celia Keenan-Bolger and future Frozen star Caissie Levy about why raising your kids around Broadway folks might just be the greatest perk. View Comments Jennifer Laura Thompson & Rachel Bay Joneslast_img read more

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Shawnee seeking compromises between neighbors and developer on Woodsonia West Multi-Family housing project

first_imgShawnee residents filled the city council chambers Monday to raise concerns about the Woodsonia West Multi-Family and Westbrooke Green projects.Shawnee city leaders have tabled Woodsonia West Multi-Family, a proposed housing development near Johnson Drive and K-7 Highway that’s generated controversy in the neighborhood, to the next city council meeting after several residents and councilmembers raised concerns about the project.The developer, Austin Homes LLC, a company owned by Greg Prieb of Prieb Homes LLC, plans to build a multi-family and single-family townhome development on about 29 acres in the 5300 block of Woodsonia Drive.The governing body on Monday was slated to consider the development plan and rezoning for the site, but neighbors had submitted a valid protest petition against the rezoning for the project. Approval of the rezoning would have required seven “yes” votes from the governing body.A dozen people, most of them neighboring residents, raised similar concerns and frustrations at a planning commission meeting in November. They believe the density of the project is too high and will cause a spike in traffic congestion, crime and enrollment in neighboring schools.A rendering of the proposed Woodsonia West Multi-Family project that’s prompted a protest petition from neighboring homeowners.Several neighbors said traffic is already backing up for vehicles at the intersections of Woodsonia Drive at 51st and 53rd streets. City staff said they’re expecting traffic from the Woodsonia West development to exit onto Johnson Drive or K-7 Highway, not through those neighborhoods.“The residents have known for years that this medium density was coming. We’re not fighting the development; we would welcome a development that made sense,” said Renee Weatherman, a neighbor. “But our main problem is that 75% of these cars drive directly through our stable family neighborhood.”Housing density higher than previous proposalsPrevious housing development plans on the site called for a lower density of 7 to 9 dwelling units per acre. This project calls for about 14 units per acre.Several councilmembers acknowledged they had received calls, letters and emails from neighbors, and a few expressed their own concerns. Others wanted to see the city bring in new development to build the density that can support commercial development.Still others wanted to find compromise between neighboring homeowners and the developer.“I’m just curious what efforts have been made to seek potential win-wins with neighbors,” said Councilmember Lindsey Constance, noting that opportunities for compromise have helped neighbors feel better on other developments in the city.Pete Heaven, the developer’s attorney, said the density is as low as possible while still being economically viable and attractive to residents seeking amenities they plan to offer, like a fitness room or dog park.The city council ultimately voted 7-1 to table the plans to the Dec. 23 city council meeting. Councilmember Eric Jenkins cast the dissenting vote. Most of his concerns also related to the high density of the project.City leaders said they hope the developer will use the time to find options for compromise on the project. They’ve specifically asked the developer to review traffic concerns and adding a buffer between the single-family homes and the multi-family complex on the north side of the site (either by lowering the elevation of the apartments or by adding a townhome to block the apartment complex from view).last_img read more

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SFNF: Conejos Fire On Jemez Ranger District 3-5 Acres

first_imgSmoke from the Conejos Fire is visible from US Highway 550, San Ysidro and Jemez Pueblo. Historically, low-intensity wildfires burned through southwestern dry conifer forests like the SFNF every seven to 15 years on average as part of a natural cycle that removed leaf litter, eradicated disease and thinned the understory, making room for new growth and improving habitat for wildlife. SANTA FE ― The Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) discovered a lightning-caused ignition Monday night on Conejos Peak on the Jemez Ranger District adjacent to Forest Road 266 and about 4 miles northeast of the Paliza Campground and 5 miles from the community of Ponderosa. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health by using the 5-3-1 visibility method can be found online at the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) website at https://nmtracking.org/fire. People with health concerns can also call NMDOH at 505.827.0006 for additional information. Given current conditions, including forecasted weather, and the location of the fire, fire managers are considering using the Conejos Fire to bring positive benefits to the landscape, including removing the dead and down fuels that have accumulated on the forest floor. Fire updates are posted on the New Mexico Fire Information website at www.nmfireinfo.com, www.facebook.com/SantaFeNF and Twitter @SantafeNF. For additional information about the Conejos Fire, please contact the Jemez Ranger District at 575.829.3535. For information on the HEPA filter loan program, go to https://facnm.org/smoke#smokeanchor5. SFNF News: Estimated at 3-5 acres, the Conejos Fire is creeping and slowly backing in primarily ponderosa pine forest.last_img read more

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Takoradi Dredging Set for December

first_imgThe Takoradi Port dredging program is scheduled to begin next month, according to the Director of the Takoradi Port, Capt. James Owusu Koranteng.The dredging works will be underway from December 10, 2014, until March 2015, followed by the construction of the quay wall which will end in 2016.Belgian dredging and marine construction giant Jan De Nul will undertake this capital development project.The Takoradi Port expansion scheme will involve construction of oil services terminal, reclamation of land area of 53,000 hectares, dredging of an access channel and construction of a bulk terminal.When finished, the project is expected to position the port to receive bigger vessels, improve the turnaround time and eliminate double handling of cargoes.[mappress mapid=”19148″]Dredging Today Stafflast_img read more

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The softly, softly approach

first_imgSubscribe now for unlimited access Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGINlast_img read more

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