Sandpit

A new sandpit for long side discussions, conspiracy theories, idees fixes and so on.

To be clear, the sandpit is for regular commenters to pursue points that distract from regular discussion, including conspiracy-theoretic takes on the issues at hand. It’s not meant as a forum for visiting conspiracy theorists, or trolls posing as such.

16 thoughts on “Sandpit

  1. Yes Virginia, COVID-19 really is a bit like airborne AIDS.

    https://nationalpost.com/health/is-covid-prematurely-aging-our-immune-systems

    Excerpts below or read the whole thing above.

    “In a recent situation update, Ontario public health officials noted that evidence is emerging SARS-CoV-2 can cause “immune dysregulation,” a vague term that’s used when the immune system isn’t behaving normally.
    Article content

    White blood cell counts may be off, immune cells don’t work the way they should, inflammation is higher than it should be. “Long story short, COVID-19 leads to lasting, and possibly permanent changes in immune cells in some, but not all, people,” McMaster University immunologist Dawn Bowdish said.”

    “The concern is that people will be less able to hold off future bugs and pathogens like influenza, or that unsettled immune systems could lead to an increase in diabetes and other auto-immune diseases.”

    “We’ve learned that this virus, and we can’t tell you how, leads to the death of a whole bunch of T cells, and then seems to, at least in some people, lead to damage to the white blood cells they make after that infection,” said Bowdish, a Canada research chair in aging and immunity. In some cases, the blood cells never fully recover “and seem to generate auto-immune reactions,” where the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues.

    A recent study published in Nature found lower numbers of “naïve” T and B cells (cells that produce antibodies) in those who had COVID.”

    “We were trying to figure out why some people die in the ICU and others don’t,” said Bowdish. The blood “didn’t look like human blood anymore. Their white blood cells were unrecognizable compared to healthy donors.”

    But sure let’s infect the whole nation, have zero controls except a very leaky vaccine and do this even though we still don’t understand this virus and every month brings more and more bad scientific news about it.

  2. It’s one hell of a virus. There are some prospects at development of a universal mRNA vaccine for targeting all forms of the SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus, but they are a fair way off, needing to go through the lengthy process of clinical tests and clinical trials. However, this research is about using the least evolving parts of the virus as the attack surface for the vaccine, rather than the unfortunately rapidly mutating spike protein. Furthermore, some of the research work is on the mechanism used by the virus to replicate, once it has penetrated a cell. Given it took a year or so for the various vaccines to make it through the clinical trial process, this line of work could potentially lead to a universal vaccine in another couple of years.

    The good news is also the bad news: until there are successful universal vaccines—and it’s not a certainty there will be any—not catching the virus in the first place is the lottery playing out now. If a universal vaccine is produced, then those people who never had Covid before, they’ll be the beneficiaries of its protection; for those of us who caught the damn thing, we have presumably copped the disruption to the immune system already, if we are in that group who are susceptible to it; it’s unclear whether getting a universal vaccine could help with damage already done, or just with preventing issues from getting Covid again. The damage already done is most likely persistent, as in being completely rid of the virus after that point is like closing the barn door after the horse has bolted.

    It seems that getting infected with Covid, even with initially mild symptoms, is nothing like having a cold or the flu, a point that plenty of virologists, epidemiologists, and other medical researchers have amply made. The long term implications are much more complex and uncertain, but the evidence so far is you do not want to be overweight, or to have a fatty liver, or diabetes. All three of those factors increase the risk of immune dysfunction in the wake of a Covid infection, and there is some evidence Covid feeds back into those conditions, potentially making them worse. This is yet another reason some public health measures should be mandated, like masks, but they need to be P2 masks now that Omicron variations are prevalent as measles or chickenpox. Thanks, “let ‘er rip” guys. Thanks a bunch.

  3. Ikon, Don et all, Prof Christopher Goodnow worth a listen at;

    “Living with COVID ain’t rosy: two steps forward, more than three steps back

    “Some immunologists have been troubled that COVID-19 is not behaving as expected. Norman talks with an internationally respected immunologist who has spent his career studying how white blood cells in the immune system protect us. He had four doses of COVID vaccines but is now recovering from heart failure following a COVID infection.

    Health, Heart Disease, Vaccines and Immunity, Diseases and Disorders, COVID-19

    Guest:
    Prof Christopher Goodnow
    Head of the Immunogenomics Lab
    Garvan Institute, Sydney

    https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/healthreport/living-with-covid-aint-rosy:-2-steps-forward-more-than-3back/13977610
    *

    Immunogenomics Lab
    “Two technology advances, low-cost whole genome sequencing and CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing, have opened up this new route to cut through the immunological complexity of clinical disease to identify causal genes, molecules and cellular mechanisms, and we work closely with the leaders in these technologies at Garvan and around the world.”

    https://www.garvan.org.au/research/labs/immunogenomics

  4. It gets worse people. Monkey-Pox is now spreading rapidly in the US and around the world. Monkey-Pox (with its new mutations) may yet prove even harder to contain than COVID-19 (which scarcely seems imaginable, I know) and also more lethal, especially for children.

    ” WORRISOME TRANSMISSION—We need to get sober on how & why monkeypox is tricky to contain. Many reasons outlined by DHS report:

    1. MPXV is “very stable in environment”—for “days/weeks”
    2. Human asymptomatic contagiousness documented before visible rash
    3. To protect against #monkeypox—doctors and nurses are recommended to wear N95 masks plus gown and gloves.
    4. Decontamination protocols requires using bleach or using (harsh) quaternary ammonium reagents — which are chemicals found in pretty aggressive cleaners.

    Routes of infection of MPXV:
    a. Intravenous
    b. Oral
    c. Intranasal
    d. Inhalation / aerosol in primates
    e. Intradermal
    f. Cutaneous (skin)” – Eric Feigl-Ding.

    Also:

    “Exclusive: Closure of World’s Only Manufacturing Plant for Monkeypox Vaccine Raises Questions About World’s Ability to Meet Rising Demand”

    https://healthpolicy-watch.news/exclusive-china-monkeypox-bavarian-nordics/

    We really need to ask ourselves why are ALL the wrong things being done for COVID-19 and now Monkey-pox? There is no planning, not enough vaccines, hardly any vaccines (M-pox), leaky vaccines, IP ownership and copyright issues being allowed to stop provision of vaccines, no use of NPIs and layered protections. Our whole society is a like a rabbit trapped in the headlights. Everything is frozen and there is no effective action on any front.

    Is it systemic neoliberal government incapacity? Is it stupidity? Is it malice? I think it is all three of these in something that amounts to nothing less than moral, political and economic civilizational failure.

    There is definitely malice abroad as well as stupidity. The old saying is to never attribute to malice what can be attributed to idiocy. However the process of infecting the populace with two pandemics (and counting) is clearly calculated. There are a set of calculations behind it: namely calculations of profits versus lives.

    It goes to malice definitely. There is clearly malice aforethought. The two types of malice aforethought in law are:

    Express – Specific intention to kill the victim(s).
    Implied – Demonstration of a conscious disregard for human life.

    There is a conscious and planned disregard for human life in our political economy system. It has been very clearly demonstrated during these pandemics. The full measures possible have not been taken; for misguided money-saving reasons which actually lead to greater human and financial costs in the longer run.

    There is no way out of this crisis, just as there is no way out of the climate crisis, without fully renovating our political economy system and rejuvenating the power and will of the popularly elected government to act in the interests of the people and not in the interests of capital (the rich).

    The rich are in charge and pulling the strings of government. These are their decisions, to let ordinary people die; all classes from the impoverished, to the working class, to the middle class. We are all being left to serious risks of morbidity and death without adequate, affordable and very feasible safeguards being implemented.

  5. Zombie blog alert.

    Some of the habitues of the defunct Catallaxy have begun New Catallaxy. Its bannerhead bears the motto: “Sinistra delenda est”.

    I hope they let Graeme Bird in to play.

  6. Iko: – “There is definitely malice abroad as well as stupidity. The old saying is to never attribute to malice what can be attributed to idiocy.

    I’d suggest it’s mainly incompetence/stupidity (with a touch of hubris). For the most part malice comes in when attempting to cover-up the incompetence/stupidity.

    Meanwhile, published on Aug 1 by PNAS was a perspective paper by Luke Kemp, Chi Xu, Joanna Depledge, and Timothy M Lenton titled Climate Endgame: Exploring catastrophic climate change scenarios, with the Abstract as follows:

    Prudent risk management requires consideration of bad-to-worst-case scenarios. Yet, for climate change, such potential futures are poorly understood. Could anthropogenic climate change result in worldwide societal collapse or even eventual human extinction? At present, this is a dangerously underexplored topic. Yet there are ample reasons to suspect that climate change could result in a global catastrophe. Analyzing the mechanisms for these extreme consequences could help galvanize action, improve resilience, and inform policy, including emergency responses. We outline current knowledge about the likelihood of extreme climate change, discuss why understanding bad-to-worst cases is vital, articulate reasons for concern about catastrophic outcomes, define key terms, and put forward a research agenda. The proposed agenda covers four main questions: 1) What is the potential for climate change to drive mass extinction events? 2) What are the mechanisms that could result in human mass mortality and morbidity? 3) What are human societies’ vulnerabilities to climate-triggered risk cascades, such as from conflict, political instability, and systemic financial risk? 4) How can these multiple strands of evidence—together with other global dangers—be usefully synthesized into an “integrated catastrophe assessment”? It is time for the scientific community to grapple with the challenge of better understanding catastrophic climate change.

    And the Conclusion as follows:

    There is ample evidence that climate change could become catastrophic. We could enter such “endgames” at even modest levels of warming. Understanding extreme risks is important for robust decision-making, from preparation to consideration of emergency responses. This requires exploring not just higher temperature scenarios but also the potential for climate change impacts to contribute to systemic risk and other cascades. We suggest that it is time to seriously scrutinize the best way to expand our research horizons to cover this field. The proposed “Climate Endgame” research agenda provides one way to navigate this under-studied area. Facing a future of accelerating climate change while blind to worst-case scenarios is naive risk management at best and fatally foolish at worst.

    https://www.pnas.org/doi/full/10.1073/pnas.2108146119

  7. There are ever-rising human and economic costs to dismantling public health measures and infectious disease control. Especially so in a high population, high density, highly connected world. This strategy has given us two global pandemics (C-19, M-Pox) so far, and counting.

    I predict more pandemics arising to put us in a multiple, concurrent pandemics situation. The conditions that created two surprising pandemics can easily create three, four and more pandemics. There is no reason to expect the process will stop at two while we fail to act.

    The likelihood of further pandemics arising increases from reinforcing feedbacks. The current pandemics are damaging us at every level from society to the individual. With each added pandemic, our health system is more overloaded and our body systems more damaged. It’s a death spiral.

    This is the same as with climate change. There is no reason to expect any other outcome (except runaway natural crises) while we continue to refuse to change the way we do business, do economics. We are currently doing economics with a form of market-fundamentalist capitalism which values nothing but money for the rich. This system certainly does not value people or the environment. The process towards complete collapse will continue and accelerate until we do something different.

    “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein.

  8. Australia has never, ever spent more on public health than today. Never. Just with regard to the idea that we are steadily “dismantling public health measures and infectious disease control,” we have never spent more money on that or more time on that in the history of this country. I would argue that much of this investment is wasted – or at least some – but the idea that we’re “dismantling” systems that have never been as well-funded, ever, in the history of humanity, is just silly.

  9. Let’s hope we’ve reached peak uselessness here in oz. We have full employment and we’re more useless than ever. We’re entirely relying on the rest of the world to provide goods, services and now *food* FFS. Paul Keating’s “clever country” is a monumental failure. We’re clever at making money and avoiding work. Lead times for just about everything have blown out. Nobody can find staff for anything much at all unless the job allows working from home ie. watching Netflix and playing with phones and even then 300%+ of sick leave is consumed. I seriously worry about the future for my and other kids. We are so freak’n vulnerable and maybe we deserve a country like China taking us.

    /end of rant.

  10. Profit, wages, inflation, 1970’s vs now. And simple math. Thanks…
    Bill Michell says;
    “Corporate profit greed is driving inflationary pressures
    August 4, 2022

    “The declining share of wages historically is a product of neoliberalism.

    “But the point is that Australian workers are seeing further wage share falls in the recent energy crisis (motivated by different factors to some extent than the European situation) as opposed to what happened in the 1970s when unions could defend the real wage and extract a greater share of productivity growth.

    “Which means that the US product market is relatively uncompetitive and corporations have excessive market power and abuse it when they can.

    “This is a similar story to Australia now.

    “The ECB verify their results using statistical modelling which shows that:
    “Second-round effects played a major role in the transmission of oil supply shocks to inflation in the 1970s and 1980s, but these have been largely absent on average in the period since the euro was launched.”

    “That is, there has been no propagating mechanisms to drive any imported raw material price shocks into an extended inflationary episode.

    Conclusion
    “Unlike the 1970s, where the focus became ‘excessive trade union power’ and was used as a justification for hammering unions through a variety of anti-union regulations and laws, the current episode is highlighting the destructive market power that corporations have and their profit greed at a time when workers are suffering real income losses and worsening standards of living.

    “The response of central banks to exacerbate that suffering is criminal in my view.

    “Unless society comes to terms with this and demands from our governments that they take action against corporations and restrict their market power the situation will continue.

    (c) Copyright 2022 William Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=50232
    *

    Q: Is the above Econ 101?

  11. Troy Prideaux says:
    1) “I seriously worry about the future for my and other kids.”

    Me too.

    2) “We are so freak’n vulnerable and maybe we deserve a country like China taking us.”

    Be careful what you wish for Tony!

    Good ‘ol Peter Thiel – money bags with coffers increased by Substack with strange biases funding TruTrump mo candidates – has said something similar to your 2) above “we deserve a country like China taking us.”.

    Thiel say in the Unherd article below;
    “the other two are “Islamic sharia law”, and “Chinese Communist AI”.

    His first – more Christianity!

    Scary.
    *

    “Peter Thiel on the dangers of progress

    “The tech billionaire discusses Silicon Valley, Christianity and apocalypse

    “What’s missing from the world now is a clear vision of the future — or even any vision. Reviving Christian faith might help, he thinks: “if we were more Christian, we would also have more hope for the future, and if we’re less Christian we’re going to have less hope. And there’s probably less action.” Failing this, any vision of the future at all would help, especially if it’s an optimistic one. Though he doesn’t particularly like science fiction, he says, more upbeat stories on this front might help: “If one could produce science fiction that were less uniformly bleak that might help on a literary level.”

    “Failing other options, Thiel thinks even bleak or apocalyptic visions are better than no vision at all. The picture of European climate catastrophe associated with Greta Thunberg is, as he sees it, one of only three realistic European futures; the other two are “Islamic sharia law”, and “Chinese Communist AI”. He views the social-democratic models typical of contemporary European politics as variations on the theme of stagnation: “a sort of eternal Groundhog Day”
    ….
    https://unherd.com/2022/07/peter-thiel-on-the-dangers-of-progress/
    *

    And JQ, more Avi in the future please, as you are one if the few to sketch out what Peter Thiel bemoans – “What’s missing from the world now is a clear vision of the future — or even any vision.”

    All Peter Thiel can see is the apocalypse and alternatives like “Islamic sharia law”, and “Chinese Communist AI”.

    Which when [unnamed sources say] is translated into action by Thiel becomes;

    “Peter Thiel to Exit Meta’s Board to Support Trump-Aligned Candidates

    “Peter Thiel, one of the longest-serving board members of Meta, the parent of Facebook, plans to step down, the company said on Monday.

    “Mr. Thiel, 54, wants to focus on influencing November’s midterm elections, said a person with knowledge of Mr. Thiel’s thinking who declined to be identified. Mr. Thiel sees the midterms as crucial to changing the direction of the country, this person said, and he is backing candidates who support the agenda of former President Donald J. Trump.”

    nytimes
    com/2022/02/07/technology/
    peter-thiel-facebook.html
    *

    Be careful what you wish for, as Thiel’s allegedly CIA backed Plantir is running some of Australia’s DoD software and may be taking over NHS IT systems. Just search AusTenders.

    More Christianity or Sharia or Chinese AI? Peter Thiel is a poster boy for more regulations, transparency and sortition. 

    Thiel, if as claimed is a devotee of Rene Girard, thinks that any move toward equality will produce memetic desires and conflict. Repressed homosexual maybe, too smart to be just a christian, and can’t see where cooperation come in to humanity…

    “Non-mimetic desires
    “René Pommier has pointed out a number of problems with the Girardian claim that all desire is mimetic. First, it is very hard to explain the existence of taboo desires, such as homosexuality in repressive societies, on that basis.[53] Second, every situation presents large numbers of potential mediators, which means that the individual has to make a choice among them; either authentic choice is possible, then, or else the theory leads to a regress.[54] Third, Girard leaves no room for innovation: Surely somebody has to be the first to desire a new object, even if everyone else follows that trend-setter.[55]

    “One might also argue that the last objection ignores the influence of an original sin from which all others follow, which Girard clearly affirms. However, original sin, according to Girard’s interpretation, explains only our propensity to imitate, not the specific content of our imitated desires.[56] Thus, the doctrine of original sin does not solve the problem of how the original model first acquires the desire that is subsequently imitated by others”

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ren%C3%A9_Girard

  12. Senator Hollie Hughes, Shadow Assistant Minister for Climate and Energy, tweeted earlier today:

    Over the coming decade, Australia will see higher power prices mixed with an unreliable energy grid, heightening the potential for rationing, brownouts, and even blackouts. We must have an open and honest discussion on advanced and next-generation nuclear energy in this country.

    Ted O’Brien MP’s Press Release, dated 13 Dec 2019, included:

    “Nuclear energy should be on the table for consideration as part of our future energy mix”, said Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien who chairs the House Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy.

    “Australia should say a definite ‘No’ to old nuclear technologies but a conditional ‘Yes’ to new and emerging technologies such as small modular reactors.

    “And most importantly,” said Mr O’Brien “the Australian people should be at the centre of any approval process”.

    The report – entitled Not without your approval – follows a parliamentary inquiry that saw the Committee travel across Australia over recent months taking evidence and assessing over 300 submissions on the prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia.

    https://tedobrien.com.au/nuclear-energy-not-without-your-approval/

    Opposition Leader Peter Dutton MP’s Press Release, dated 2 Aug 2022, stated:

    Today, I initiated a formal internal process to examine the potential for advanced and next-generation nuclear technologies to contribute to Australia’s energy security and reduce power prices.

    This review will be led by Mr Ted O’Brien MP, Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy, who will report to the Coalition policy committee, chaired by Senator the Hon Marise Payne, and the Coalition party room.

    It is high time that Australia had an honest and informed debate on the benefits and costs of nuclear energy. …

    Sixty percent of the capacity of our coal-fired generators is expected to leave the market by 2030. This will leave Australian households and businesses vulnerable…

    https://www.peterdutton.com.au/leader-of-the-opposition-statement-nuclear-energy/

    Most of the NEM’s fleet of coal-fired generator units will likely close in the 2020s & 30s.

    For coal-fired power stations in NSW in the order of closure dates:
    * Liddell unit 3 (420 MW) closed on 2022 Apr 01;
    * Liddell remaining units (3x 420 MW) announced closure for 2023 Apr 01;
    * Eraring (4x 720 MW) announced closure for 2025 Aug 19
    * Vales Point B (2x 660 MW) expected closure by 2029;
    * Bayswater (4x 660 MW) expected closure by 2033;
    * Mt Piper (2x 730 MW) expected closure by 2040, but local coal supplies are precarious beyond 2026 (Springvale mine reserves exhausted by 2024, Angus Place mine expires in Aug 2024, Clarence mine expires end-2026, Invincible & Cullen Valley mines expire end-2025, Airly mine expires in Jan 2037 with inadequate 1.8 Mt/y ROM maximum allowable production rate).

    For Victoria:
    * Yallourn W (4x 360 MW) announced closure by 2028;
    * Loy Yang A (1x 530 MW, 3x 560 MW) expected closure by 2045, but Units 1 & 2 are already 38 years old, & Units 3 & 4 are 35 years old;
    * Loy Yang B (2x 535 MW) expected closure by 2047, but these are already middle-aged (29 & 26 years old).

    For Queensland:
    * Callide B (2x 350 MW) expected closure by 2028;
    * Gladstone (6x 280 MW) expected closure by 2035, but it’s already 46 years old and increasingly unreliable;
    * Tarong (4x 350 MW) expected closure in 3036-37, but it’s 38 years old;
    * Stanwell (4x 365 MW) expected closure 2043-46, but it’s 29 years old;
    * Callide C (2x 460 MW) expected closure not yet announced;
    * Millmerran (2x 440 MW) expected closure in 2051;
    * Kogan Creek (1x 750 MW) expected closure in 2042.

    Experienced European nuclear countries are demonstrating very slow nuclear plant project completions, so why would Australia be any better? For example:

    * UK’s Hinkley Point C-1 & -2 (2x 1,630 MWₑ net)
    planning permission given to EDF Energy Apr 2013, for an estimated original cost of £16 billion,
    now blown out to total costs estimated in the range of £25–26 billion, & the first unit now expected to be operational in Jun 2027 (so far 14 years and 2 months after approval).

    * France’s Flamanville-3 (1x 1,630 MWₑ net)
    construction began 4 Dec 2007, EDF estimated cost originally at €3.3 billion (in 2004),
    now blown out to circa €12.7 billion, with the unit now expected to be loaded with fuel in 2Q of 2023 (so far more than 15 years after construction began).

    * Finland’s Olkiluoto-3 (1x 1,600 MWₑ net)
    ordered in Dec 2003 with initial cost estimate of €3 billion,
    now blown out to circa €11 billion, first grid connection on 12 Mar 2022 (circa 18 years 3 months after order given).

    Or perhaps rely on Russian or Chinese nuclear technologies?

    So-called ‘factory-built’ SMRs do not yet exist in physical form ANYWHERE, so any claims being made about SMR costs & benefits are entirely unsubstantiated.

    What nuclear power technologies can Peter Dutton MP, Ted O’Brien MP, Senator Hollie Hughes (and other nuclear boosters) identify that they consider can meaningfully & affordably contribute to Australia’s energy mix in the 2020s & 30s?

    IMO, nuclear energy in Australia makes no sense & wasting time/energy debating it is a distraction from a worsening energy & climate crisis, resulting from many poor decisions by a succession of previous governments.

  13. If the LNP’s “just use nuclear” approach to the climate problem was not oozing with insincerity it might manage to rise to the rarefied levels of a thought bubble just on the hot air alone. It isn’t even a commitment to building nuclear, just a commitment to complain endlessly that others won’t commit to building nuclear and spin that as somehow those others being hypocritical/anti-climate. At best it is a policy to “allow” nuclear, not even a commitment to build any.

    I would feel better about them if they actually had a genuine and sincere nuclear climate policy; when Full Barnaby (or Full Abbott) style doublespeak is their preferred mode for addressing the Australian community about our biggest long term problem there is something very wrong with them. And with the News media allies that are in it with them.

  14. 1) “Global grid storage deployments are nowhere near on track to meet clean-energy goals” – 6tW missing –  by Sarah Constantin
    2) all SMR projects US funded
    3) profit either way via nuclear waste clean up

    Geoff, “So-called ‘factory-built’ SMRs do not yet exist in physical form ANYWHERE, so any claims being made about SMR costs & benefits are entirely unsubstantiated.”.

    Except the US is providing sustenance to SMR’s. Romania and “”NuScale has been approved to build test reactors in Idaho, in 2029 and 2030.”
    *

    Sarah Constantin calculates globally we need 7tW storage, looks like we will only have 1tW by 2030

    And she made “a spreadsheet of all reported energy storage projects since January 1, 2020.” (Thanks Sarah.)

    And for ‘balance’, all US Nuclear Regulatory Commission funded SMR’s – go team Romania.

    Usually the important is not urgent. Decarbonising is now both Urgent and Important.

    When US SMR funding combined with CCS funding, renewable storage funding potential diminished. Capital, not community first. SMR /nuclear provide money pit into the future whereas renewables ratio of future captal requirements – 10:1 is my guess. Any proven ratio? 

    Is a neocapitalist going to say gee, one deal once, or wow, nuclear provides buckets either way forever? Building unproven tech and waste clean up – iowners if NuScale, Fluor Corp are also “conducting a $50 billion to $60 billion cleanup of the site.” -waste is your capitalists friend. Not renewables. 

    As in SMR’s are just pocket money for Fluor Corporation. Investment in SMR NuScale provide cash flow and clean up nuclear waste work in future for Fluor. ( Not publically spoken but probably correct – Fluor Corporation funds SMR’s and we don’t care if SMR’s make a mess, as we will clean it up (!) and make 10x the profit, all protected by the US government.)

    Crazy capitalists. 
    *

    “Not Enough Energy Storage
    By Sarah Constantin 

    “Global grid storage deployments are nowhere near on track to meet clean-energy goals

    “Global stationary energy storage capacity is at 4.67 terawatt-hours as of 2017, so to hit those 2030 targets we’d need to add 7 terawatt-hours at a minimum over this decade.

    “Are we on track to do so?

    “Not even close.

    “I found Energy Storage News to be a really useful dataset of announcements about new grid-scale energy storage projects, and I made a spreadsheet of all reported energy storage projects since January 1, 2020.

    “My dataset has a total of 340 projects worldwide, with estimated completion dates ranging from 2020 to 2031. Projects generally take multiple years to complete (between securing a permit to build, signing contracts, and actually constructing the facility.)

    “And we have a total of 977 Gwh, or not quite one terawatt-hour, in global existing or planned projects over the next decade.”
    [Graphs]

    “Even if you assume that projects launched in the 2020-2022 range are going to have expected completion dates weighted towards the beginning of the decade, i.e. that most of our energy storage by 2030 will come from projects not yet begun, the current yearly rates of deployment are well under what we’d need to get to 7 terawatt-hours of new storage.
    https://sarahconstantin.substack.com/p/not-enough-energy-storage
    *

    “The United States is committing $14 million toward a Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) study to provide the basis for the deployment of a small modular reactor (SMR) power plant in Romania.”
    https://www.state.gov/united-states-takes-next-step-in-supporting-innovative-clean-nuclear-technology-in-europe/

    New Reactors
    https://www.nrc.gov/reactors/new-reactors.html
    *

    NuScale emerged from US government SMR research. It is now majority owned by Fluor Corporation for the ridiculous sum of ” … Fluor Corporation acquired a majority interest in the company for $3.5 million and promised almost $30 million in working capital.[7]” 

    Fluor Corporation has won US government contracts to “conducting a $50 billion to $60 billion cleanup of the site.”

    “It  [Fluor Corporation] is the largest publicly traded engineering & construction company in the Fortune 500 rankings and is listed as 259th overall.[1]”
    Wikipedia / Fluor Corporation
    *

    “NuScale has been approved to build test reactors in Idaho, in 2029 and 2030.[1]

    “That September, NuScale obtained a loan to re-hire 60 employees.[15] In October, Fluor Corporation acquired a majority interest in the company for $3.5 million and promised almost $30 million in working capital.[7]”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NuScale_Power

    Fluor Corporation
    “Fluor has been working on the cleanup and shutdown of atomic energy plants in Ohio and Washington since the 1990s.[6] In 1992, Fluor won a contract with the United States Energy Department to clean up nuclear waste.[21] By 1996 Hanford was the most contaminated nuclear site in the US and the US Department of Energy was conducting a $50 billion to $60 billion cleanup of the site.”
    Wikipedia

  15. KT2: – “Except the US is providing sustenance to SMR’s. Romania and “”NuScale has been approved to build test reactors in Idaho, in 2029 and 2030.”

    Ah yes, more promises that it seems continue being deferred into the never-never. 🙄
    JQ posted on 8 Aug 2019 (three years and a day ago):

    Lots of SMR ideas have been proposed, but the only one with any serious prospect of entering commercial use is that proposed by NuScale, with funding from the US Department of Energy. NuScale has recently claimed that it should have its first reactor (consisting of 12 modules) in operation by 2027.

    A couple of observations on this. First, when the project was funded back in 2014 the proposed start date was 2023. So, in the course of five years, the target time to completion has been reduced from nine years to eight. That suggests the 2027 target is pretty optimistic.

    Second, NuScale isn’t actually going to build the factory that is the key selling point of the SMR idea. The press release says that the parts will be made by BWX, formerly Babcock and Wilcox (who abandoned their own SMR proposal around the time NuScale got funded).

    https://johnquiggin.com/2019/08/08/are-smrs-vaporware/

    KT2, assuming NuScale do achieve completing operational test reactors “in 2029 and 2030” (and I’d suggest that’s a very big IF, based on their apparent ‘promise slippage’), then how does that help with providing reliable, affordable, rapidly deployable replacement generation for the NEM when Liddell (basically only 1,260 MW remaining ‘reliably’ available at best), Eraring (nominally 2,880 MW), Yallourn W (1,440 MW), Callide B (700 MW), and Vales Point B (1,320 MW) have very likely already closed?

    Then there’s the question of whether NuScale’s claims can be demonstrably met, and how long before commercial (NOT test) units can be operational at large-scale. Meanwhile, more generators in the NEM will likely close while Australia waits, like Bayswater (2,640 MW), Gladstone (1,680 MW), Tarong (1,400 MW), Mt Piper (1,460 MW), and perhaps all the other coal-fired units due to economic realities.
    https://reneweconomy.com.au/theyre-going-broke-esb-chair-says-coal-plant-closures-now-unavoidable/

    So it seems to me the Coalition’s proposed nuclear strategy rests on physically non-existent technologies that won’t be available anytime soon (if ever) while many (if not all) of Australia’s coal-fired generators very likely close one-by-one in relatively quick succession in the 2020s & 30s. I’d suggest this is a recipe for Australia’s lights to go out, and the chaos and suffering of Australian people and businesses that will ensue from that.

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