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Triple Crunch Log                                                                                                            

come before the environment, or targets set.548

UK nuclear waste store plan will be dependent on no government cuts, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority syas. Alun Ellis, repository project director at the NDA: “It would mean going into hibernation – keeping our core capabilities but not delivering anything.” Ft: “The NDA hopes that the construction of deep underground caverns can be started in 2025, with the first consignments of waste to be buried there in 2040. But a site for the facility, which will need to store about 400,000 to 500,000 cubic metres of waste – enough to fill the Albert Hall five times – has yet to be found. The only area to have expressed an interest is west Cumbria.” The waste from a new generation of nuclear power plants would add about 10 per cent to the existing waste pile, the NDA says.549

7.7.10. BP’s relief well is only 300 feet from its target, having traversed 17,710 feet of water and rock. FT: “If the relief wells fail, the company may be doomed.” The target well is only 7 inches across: a salad plate under and mile of water and 2.5 miles of rock. Peter Clark of the University of Alabama: “While hitting the well with the relief well is difficult, they have more than one chance. Technology is available to accurately locate the position bit, so the chances of success are high.”550

AP investigation shows Gulf is packed with abandoned oil wells: “an environmental minefield” ignored for decades, along with environmental safety. Of the 27,000 abandoned wells, more than 600 belonged to BP. A particularly worrying category involved 3,500 classified as “temporarily abandoned”, for which the shut-off rules are no as strict as for completely abandoned wells. More than 1,000 have remained unfinished for more than a decade, despite a requirement to reuse or permanently plug such wells within a year. State officials estimate tens of thousands are badly sealed, and there is very little investigation of the sites. Guardian : “The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (formerly the US Minerals Management Service), which is charged with keeping an eye on offshore drilling, has little power to deal with abandoned wells. It merely requests paperwork to prove that a well has been capped and, unlike regulators in states such as California, it does not typically inspect the job.”551

Third review of UEA “climategate” scientists concludes their “rigour and honesty” are not in doubt and the IPCC conclusions are not impacted. This one is led by Sir Muir Wood, a senior civil servant. They could have been more open about the work, the report also concludes.552

100% of German electricity from renewables possible by 2050, German Environment Agency says. “A complete conversion to renewable energy by 2050 is possible from a technical and ecological point of view,” says Jochen Flasbarth, president of the Federal Environment Agency. “It's a very realistic target based on technology that already exists – it's not a pie-in-the-sky prediction.”553

EMU break-up risks global deflation shock that would dwarf credit crunch, warns ING. The Dutch bank warns in a new report, "Quantifying the Unthinkable", that a full-fledged disintegration of the eurozone would trigger the worst economic crisis in modern history, devastate every country in Europe including Germany, and inflict a deflationary shock on the US. “Governments would find themselves having to bail out banks again, worsening already fragile government finances. The risk of at least a temporary break-down in payments systems would be enormous,” says the report by Mark Cliffe, Maarten Leen, and Peter Vanden Houte. “Initial trauma is sufficiently grave to give pause for thought to those who blithely propose EMU exit as a policy option,” it said, a rebuke to those German politicians and economists who have talked openly of shaking out weaker members. Telegraph: “The report said break-up talk is "no longer just a figment of fevered Anglo-Saxon imaginations". It has spread into top policy-making circles in the eurozone and must now be analysed as a serious tail-risk. A survey of 440 heads of global banks and companies by RBC Capital Markets found that 50pc expect at least one country to leave EMU by 2013, and a quarter expect a complete collapse.”554

8.7.10. Obama says 700,000 jobs to be created in energy in the next few years. NYT:Mr. Obama spent Thursday morning touring Smith Electric Vehicles, a maker of battery-powered trucks. The company received a $32 million grant under the recovery act, and is using the money to sell its vehicles at a steep discount to some of the country’s best-known companies, like AT&T, Coca-Cola and Frito-Lay, with the hope of generating long-term business. Standing on the factory floor, with the trucks arrayed around him, Mr. Obama declared that he expected energy investments to generate 700,000 jobs over the next few years.” There is no detail in the article of how of where the jobs will come.555

10.7.10.Work begins on new cap for the Macondo well. The current cap collects only a fraction of the 35,000 – 60,000 barrels spewing every day. The new well, which will take up to ten days to fit – during some of which time the oil will escape with full force - could collect “far more.”556

Lloyd’s of London warns of “catastrophic” consequences if companies fail to prepare for peak oil.  In a report with the Royal Institution for International Affairs, the insurance institution says Britain needs to be ready for "peak oil" and disrupted energy supplies at a time of soaring fuel demand in China and India, constraints on production caused by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and political moves to cut CO2 to halt global warming. “Companies which are able to take advantage of this new energy reality will increase both their resilience and competitiveness. Failure to do so could lead to expensive and potentially catastrophic consequences”… “Even before we reach peak oil, we could witness an oil supply crunch because of increased Asian demand. Major new investment in energy takes 10-15 years from the initial investment to first production, and to date we have not seen the amount of new projects that would supply the projected increase in demand.”557 558

RWE CEO says nuclear needs subsidies so it can be on a level playing field with renewables. Volker Beckers says he wants UK market mechanisms that incentivise investments in renewable energy in onshore and offshore wind and biomass to be extended to all low-carbon energy, including nuclear. “We have different market mechanisms that need renovation to ensure that there is a level playing field between all the various technologies. I want to ensure that nuclear investments take place but because of the current situation, investments either go into only gas-fired power stations or the renewable sector. Only if you have a level playing field do you leave it with the market powers to make the right investment decision. Otherwise, if you have a stimulus for certain technologies, all the investments go into one specific technology and that would ultimately lead to a cluster risk.”559

12.7.10. S&P keeps UK of downgrade watch despite George Osborne’s projected budget cuts. The rating agency does not believe the growth story and says there is a one in three chance of a downgrading.560

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