From time to time papers and articles appear which are very pertinent to Computare's energy and greenhouse gas management "Mission". This page was started in December of 2006 to make a place for such papers. In many cases the author's address, phone number and email are made available should you wish to contact them. (DRP 06/12/10)
November 15, 2016 - Energy Collegium Presentation to Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties (AAMDC)
The Energy Collegium was invited to participate in a workshop at the Fall Convention of the AAMDC in Edmonton on November 15. Clive Schaupmeyer and Cosmos Voutsinos presented. About 150 municipal politicians and senior staff attended.
Clive focused on the implications of Alberta's "Climate Leadership Plan" with respect to the phase out of coal fired electricity. The short term goal to 2030 is to replace coal with additional wind turbines and solar electricity to achieve a total of 30% of electricity from renewables. Legislation is now under discussion to implement this plan which the Energy Collegium expects will cost on order of $50 billion. There will be little net benefit re health effects and greenhouse gas emission reductions. Albertans will be rendered totally dependant on natural gas by 2030 for reliable electricity. Who knows the cost of natural gas then? Clive's PowerPoint show is available here.
Cosmos suggested that governments should be conducting serious studies which should take into account the long term need over the coming decades and centuries to find a sustainable long term alternative to the fossil fuels we now depend on for so much of our prosperity. It seems inevitable that reserves of these will eventually be depleted and that the energy return on energy invested (EROEI) will become so low that future generations cannot be sustained at current levels of prosperity and population. He suggests a diversion from the current single minded focus on climate change due to carbon dioxide emissions. He recommends a much broader analysis of energy, economy and the environment is needed to ensure actions taken are effective. For example, he points out that wind and solar power will reduce carbon dioxide emissions, they may also have other effects on climate that should be taken into account. A rather dramatic photo of wind turbines generating clouds downwind due to energy extraction shows their potential for modification of atmospheric conditions. Cosmos 's PowerPoint show is available here.
Hopefully, municipalities will have some influence on our government. However, since they represent the relatively small rural population, concerns they have re electricity supply may not carry much weight.
Members of the Energy Collegium, a group of retired professionals in Lethbridge, Alberta are interested in the future of energy as the primary support system for human prosperity. We find Alberta's "Climate Leadership Plan" (CLP) may compromise our energy future. The CLP pledges to phase out electricity produced by the combustion of coal by 2030. Members of the Collegium submitted letters of concern to the Lethbridge Herald which attracted the attention of elected municipal representatives. As a result, we were invited to make presentations to explain problems with the cost of the coal phase-out to municipalities on January 15th and again on May 6th to Reeves and Mayors of Southern Alberta. In essence, the planned phase out of coal power and replacement with renewable energy and natural gas power plants will do little to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, will cost up to $50 billion, and will leave Albertans totally dependant on natural gas for reliable electricity by 2030. Our presentation in PowerPoint Show format is available here from Dropbox. (Click on "Download" upper right screen to get a full fidelity presentation.)
The Alberta Electric System Operator recently published a forward looking document; "AESO 2016 Long-term Outlook". It provides a different interpretation of the CLP with a smaller component of renewable energy. In fact the difference depends on the distinction between power (MW) and energy (MWhr) which is not clearly stated in the CLP coal phase-out objective. The cost of the AESO interpretation of the CLP will be somewhat lower as only about one third as many wind turbines are needed. However, per our analysis, it will not meet the second goal of the CLP to produce 30% of Alberta's electricity from renewables. Differences between the Energy Collegium and the AESO interpretation are explained in detail in our update letter to Southern Alberta Reeves and Mayors.
It is not surprising our government has not paid much attention to the costs and benefits of the Climate Leadership Plan as it was put together with great haste over a period of about 6 months. One of our members, Cosmos Voutsinos, provided a guest editorial to the Lethbridge Herald which advises a professional long-term cumulative environmental impact assessment of the coal phase-out plan is warranted. Surely Albertans should expect as much from government projects as we do from projects proposed by industry. (DRP 16/06/17)
June 10 - 13, 2012 - CNS 33rd Annual Conference - Western Focus Seminar and Small Reactor Plenary Session
The Canadian Nuclear Society held it's 33rd annual conference in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan from June 10th to June 13th. A special "Western Focus Seminar" was again incorporated into the conference as follow-up to a Western Focus Seminar in Calgary in 2009 (See heading June 1,2,3, 2009...below). Nineteen presentations, including those from the Plenary session on small reactors, encompass a broad range of topics, including nuclear education initiatives, Canada's energy needs, innovative reactor designs and progress toward their safety and licensing. Computare is posting these presentations to facilitate information exchange and to make information available to the public on possibilities for the incorporation of nuclear energy into the Canadian economy. They are provided here with the permission of authors and the Canadian Nuclear Society. (DRP 12/08/01).
Quite often, we read that nuclear power plants can provide only baseload electricity and are not able to match their electrical output to load as needed for typical electrical grid operations. This viewpoint is generally, and inexplicably, put forth by proponents of wind and solar electricity. Those two sources are not capable of providing either baseload or load matching power reliably as they depend on intermittent wind and sunshine. Expensive energy storage systems or alternate sources are needed to make them work. Nuclear power plants, however, are quite capable of matching electrical output to electrical demand. They can be designed and built to provide essentially all the electricity called for by the grid without help from other electricity sources or energy storage systems. Donald Jones, a retired professional engineer with many years of design experience on CANDU reactors tells how in this article. He cautions that his article has not yet received formal peer review. (DRP 11/12/21)
Over the past few years entrepreneurs in Alberta have begun to explore the possibility of utilizing nuclear energy to supplement the vast store of fossil fuels in the province. Attention is now focusing on the possible construction of a large nuclear electricity generating plant in the "Peace Country" of northern Alberta. Discussion of the pros and cons has begun. Following an oral debate hosted by the Canadian Nuclear Society and the Peace River Environmental Society, Jason Glabik, the editor of two local newspapers, invited the Canadian Nuclear Society and the Coalition for a Nuclear Free Alberta to engage in a written debate of nuclear power issues. The debate series was completed May 5, 2010. They are presented here as a public service with the permission of Mackenzie Report Inc. Please note the conditions for use. (DRP 10/05/18)
Cosmos Voutsinos has prepared another provocative document with the support of the McIntyre Collegium. This one continues from his previous report on Alberta's tar sands, He considers requirements for Canadian energy policy, evaluates some alternatives for future energy supply, and concludes with additional commentary on the roles of carbon dioxide and hydrogen in future energy supply. The report is provided here, with permission, as a public service. Both of Mr. Voutsinos reports are now available on the website of Technology Integration Ltd. as well. (DRP 10/05/18)
Early this year, four senior engineers from the United States composed a letter to Dr. John P. Holdren, President Obama's principal science advisor, urging renewal and expansion of nuclear technology. John A. Shanahan, Joseph M. Shuster, Leonard J. Koch and Theodore Rockwell composed and submitted the letter. They also sought and included support from colleagues in many other countries including Canada. The letter urges deployment of more nuclear power reactors, the development of medical isotope production capability and the development of fast breeder reactors. I thank the authors for this opportunity to support their initiative by posting the letter and the response from Dr. Holdren on my website. (DRP 10/03/20) Letter updated 10/04/06 with additional signatures (DRP10/05/18)
The Canadian Nuclear Society held it's 30th annual conference in Calgary Alberta from May 31 to June 3. A special "Western Focus Seminar" was incorporated into the conference to facilitate an exchange of information between the oil and electricity industry in western Canada and the nuclear industry. More discussion of the rationale and plans for the seminar is available in the "Fora" page of this website. Twenty seven presentations were delivered which encompassed a broad range of topics, from western Canada energy needs to licensing of nuclear reactor systems. Computare offered to post presentations to further facilitate information exchange and to provide information to the public on possibilities for the incorporation of nuclear energy into Western Canada's economy. The Western Focus Seminar program and presentations are provided here with the permission of presenters and the Canadian Nuclear Society. (DRP 09/06/17)
H. Douglas Lightfoot sent me a DVD he produced titled "Nobody's Fuel" a few months ago. I found it very impressive. He provides an excellent summary of the world's energy needs and a plan to ensure energy is available for coming generations. I asked Doug to provide me with a short article describing his position on energy and global warming as an introduction. I've posted his article here. I think he provides a compelling case for watching "Nobody's Fuel". I haven't heard that it has been nominated for an Oscar and it's a little longer than Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth". It's more informative if not quite as dramatic. If you wish to proceed straight to purchase, it is available here.
Ernest Siddall is a pioneer in the design of safe nuclear reactors. He has published several books and reports on risk and public safety. One book; "Energy for 300 Years: Benefits and Risks" co-authored with colleagues Neils Lind and J. Nathwani of the Institute for Risk Research at the University of Waterloo was published in 1992. It is available at over 40 libraries in Canada and the United States. Recently his thoughts have turned to the important role of energy in our society and the possibility of climate change. He has collected them in an article - posted here with his permission. (DRP 07/02/26)
I was impressed by an article published in the "Ideas" section of the National Post. Paul Geraghty contemplates geology, nature and the advent of humans. He makes some very uplifting observations with respect to the continuity of life and the place of man's intelligence and ingenuity in the evolution of the planet. The article is posted here with his and the National Post's permission. (DRP 06/12/12)
Alberta government and industry have come a long way with the development of a one - time curiosity into a world class oil resource. We hear much of the economic boom they are bringing to Alberta as well as concerns with impact on the environment and social infrastructure. Cosmos Voutsinos is an engineer, consultant and entrepreneur long associated with the international nuclear industry. He has been thinking – a lot – about world energy needs, the tar sands and nuclear energy.
Cosmos made a presentation, based on those thoughts, to the Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs Tuesday October 26. The audio tracks for for his presentation and the question session are posted at the SACPA website.
Cosmos also prepared a background "white paper" for the sake of discussion. It provides the basis for his talk. It is consistent with the mandate of Computare, and is posted here, with his permission, as a public service. (DRP 06/10/30) Updated January 2007 and reposted June 2007. (DRP 07/06/16)
We have been hearing for some time that the world is due to run short of oil. Although Canada has a large supply, it is likely market demand will increase the price as time goes on. That will make it considerably more expensive for Canadians to drive their cars, heat their homes and produce the electricity needed to support our society. Dr. Dan Meneley considers this possibility in the context of Canada's energy security and the ability of nuclear fission to provide a growing fraction of world energy needs. His paper is of particular interest to Canadians as it takes into account Canada's investment in the development of CANDU heavy water moderated reactors. Their high reactor fuel efficiency presents an opportunity to get the most out of uranium resources in synergy with other kinds of reactors. Dr. Meneley's paper is posted here. His presentation is available as well and provides a shorter introduction. (DRP 06/12/10)