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Italy commits to Nuclear energy

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posted on Jan, 20 2010 @ 06:09 AM
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Jan. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Enel SpA and its partner, France’s Electricite de France SA, will invest as much as 18 billion euros ($25.8 billion) to build four nuclear plants in Italy.

Enel Chief Executive Officer Fulvio Conti, speaking in Rome today, said Italy’s return to nuclear power would involve “investments of between 16 billion euros and 19 billion euros.” He didn’t give a timeline.

Italy outlawed nuclear power in a 1987 referendum. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s government has taken steps to reverse opposition to nuclear reactors and plans to build new plants with French help. The first plant is scheduled to be finished in 2020.

www.bloomberg.com...


These reactors will probably be of the European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) type, each 1,650 MWe and will run at that full power approximately 91% of the time. At best, to get the same output as these four Nuclear plants would require 11,924 of General Electrics largest wind turbines, with a total area of 85,852 acres, at a total cost of 75.52 billion dollars, not including the cost of the land used. I say Italy is doing what should of been done a long, long time ago.







Thanks.

[edit on 20/1/2010 by C0bzz]




posted on Jan, 20 2010 @ 07:11 AM
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As a person living in Rome (and have been for a long time) thank you for bringing this up, it is an important issue (not only to Italians, but for Europe as a whole).

There is a huge debate here. In Rome, people tend to not want nuclear power. Here are some reflections by Italy's largest consumer watchdog blog (one of the largest in europe)



There are only two kinds of people that are in favour of nuclear power, namely those who are ill-informed and those that stand to profit from it. There is no such thing as a safe nuclear power station. Not a single insurance company anywhere in the world has ever been willing to insure any nuclear power station. No safe system has yet been discovered for disposing of radioactive waste. Nuclear power is not cheap and the costs involved in the construction, operation and decommissioning of a nuclear power station far exceed the value of the power that it generates. Nuclear power is always paid for by the country’s citizens, either in the form of an extra levy on their utility bills or via their taxes. Nuclear power is generated using Uranium, a limited resource that will be exhausted within the next 50 years.

source

I do agree that the Italian government has failed miserably with disposal, not only of radioactive waste, but in general. Lately there has been a scandal in Naples where trash is literally overflowing. Radioactive waste is literally dumped very close to towns and is a huge health hazard, at least we are hearing horror stories to this degree.

On the other hand Italy blacked out completely recently because of a single act of vandalism. A tree fell on a powerline and an obscure series of domino effects caused a nation-wide blackout as imported power was cut out.

Italy, has forced to be openly subservient due to its power needs. Berlusconi is a self-confessed Putin fan (I, and many Italians find this a little disturbing).

We'll see how the referendum goes. But it is clear that the media are actively trying to garner a popular following, so the result may be pre-determined regardless.

Thank you, OP.



posted on Jan, 20 2010 @ 07:13 AM
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Can't wait for the day of zero point.. seeing all these nuclear power stations makes me sick. We've had enough accidents already, can't keep going forever!



posted on Jan, 20 2010 @ 09:49 AM
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There is a huge debate here. In Rome, people tend to not want nuclear power.


According to OECD International Energy Agency (World Energy Outlook 2002), European electrical consumption will increase at 1.4% per year till 2030. Older power stations are slowly retiring. Furthermore, all (most?) of Europe is signatory to Kyoto protocol, and I'm also sure the population is requesting a decrease in CO2 emissions. Are you familiar with the term 'BANANA'? It stands for Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything. Had the Italian government chosen to build extremely expensive windmills and solar panels, would the population suddenly turn against them when the landscape would be sprawling with energy farms, and electrical rates because went up because renewable energy is 475% more expensive than existing power? And that's assuming it could even meet the electrical demand, which is unlikely. Will the general population be against hydro-electric dams for fear of the ecological effect and high capital cost? Shall the government simply do nothing and instead let demand exceed supply and face high rates and blackouts like the UK in the near future? Or will they buy natural gas from Russia and additional coal power plants because they're cheap so nobody seems to notice them - and then later be strung up politically because they didn't lower CO2 emissions, while becoming dependent on Russia? I am not Italian by any stretch, but if it were my country I would just build whatever the government analysts found would deliver the required criteria within the budgetary constraints. That's the best option, in my opinion. Besides, generally when Nuclear plants are built, the populous ends up loving them.



Here are some reflections by Italy's largest consumer watchdog blog (one of the largest in europe)

Believe me, there is nothing I hate more than hypocritical whiners that only whine about things yet offer absolutely no solutions. None of what was written would be considered objective to Nuclear power, after all, it was made "together with Greenpeace".




Greenpeace are an utter joke in this regard. They're complete hypocrites. Maybe their opinion will change in the future like some other environmentalist groups. I'll respond to the Greenpeace BS some other time.


Hypocrisies of the anti-nuclear power/renewables advocates

1. They claim renewables can replace fossil fuels, then can’t see the problem with leaning on fossil fuel gas to back them up when they fail to do so.

4. They claim we don’t need baseload power, then eagerly promote renewable baseload alternatives e.g., geothermal and solar with heat storage.

2. They claim nuclear can’t load follow (it does in France...), but ignore the fact that renewables can’t supply electricity on-demand...

6. They support subsidies for renewables but not for nuclear power. Yet they claim in the same breath that renewables are economic and nuclear is not.

12. They complain that nuclear power uses too much water, but ignore the fact that many renewables use just as much if not much more, e.g. geothermal, hydro.

13. They claim nuclear power is too expensive, but ignore the impossible costs involved in scaling renewables to the point where they can deliver the same amount of power.

14. They argue against the recycling of nuclear waste, but promote it (as they should) as a solution to their own toxic waste.

18. They dismiss as unreliable those papers from climate sceptics that have not been peer reviewed, yet are happy to quote nonsense studies like SSL as gospel!

19. They disregard conspiracy theories about statements from the IPCC, NASA, Hadley Centre etc., yet consider economic assessments of nuclear energy from the OECD (and similar agencies) to be biased industry shilling, preferring instead to latch onto gross outliers like the Severance ’study’.

20. If someone like me comes out supporting nuclear power, then I’m no longer worth listening to because I’ve become an ‘uncritical advocate’, whereas if someone like me comes out promoting solar power I’d be one of those brave and righteous voices supporting a clean energy future.

21. They ignore all information published on the web site of the Nuclear Energy Institute – no matter what the real source, yet often quote statistics and projections into the future from the American Wind Energy Association.

22. They claim to be very concerned about CO2 emissions and then cheerfully align in political battles with the natural gas industry.

26. They claim that nuclear energy, which has already demonstrated its utility in electrical production, ship propulsion and district heating systems will not do much to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but wind turbines, geothermal and solar collectors will create energy independence.

31. They highlight resource constraints in the finite supply of uranium (ignoring IFR reactors) that would make nuclear unviable as a long term energy source, yet they disregard the much greater resource constraint in the small amount of Lithium available for Lithium – Ion bateries that would be essential as part of large scale renewable power. (Unless we can find a better way of storing energy, large scale renewable power alone is not a long term solution, because we would run out of battery components long before we would run out of uranium under a nuclear energy scenario).

32. They claim that no one wants nuclear power in their backyard, but dismiss the fact that no one wants huge wind turbines next to their house

bravenewclimate.com...-2271


Thanks.

[edit on 20/1/2010 by C0bzz]



posted on Jan, 24 2010 @ 11:52 AM
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reply to post by C0bzz
 


Are they going to ignore the warning like they did in april(crooksandliars.com...) when a earth quake rips this reactor in half?



posted on Jan, 24 2010 @ 12:01 PM
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Originally posted by GhostR1der
Can't wait for the day of zero point.. seeing all these nuclear power stations makes me sick. We've had enough accidents already, can't keep going forever!


I know people are asking themselves just how many accidents have there been. Well these are the known ones. There is no way of knowing what else went on behind the Iron curtain. Remember the Soviets were initially in denial over Chernobyl until it became painfully obvious.


Major Nuclear Power Plant Accidents
December 12, 1952

A partial meltdown of a reactor's uranium core at the Chalk River plant near Ottawa, Canada, resulted after the accidental removal of four control rods. Although millions of gallons of radioactive water poured into the reactor, there were no injuries.
October 1957

Fire destroyed the core of a plutonium-producing reactor at Britain's Windscale nuclear complex - since renamed Sellafield - sending clouds of radioactivity into the atmosphere. An official report said the leaked radiation could have caused dozens of cancer deaths in the vicinity of Liverpool.
Winter 1957-'58

A serious accident occurred during the winter of 1957-58 near the town of Kyshtym in the Urals. A Russian scientist who first reported the disaster estimated that hundreds died from radiation sickness.
January 3, 1961

Three technicians died at a U.S. plant in Idaho Falls in an accident at an experimental reactor.
July 4, 1961

The captain and seven crew members died when radiation spread through the Soviet Union's first nuclear-powered submarine. A pipe in the control system of one of the two reactors had ruptured.
October 5, 1966

The core of an experimental reactor near Detroit, Mich., melted partially when a sodium cooling system failed.
January 21, 1969

A coolant malfunction from an experimental underground reactor at Lucens Vad, Switzerland, releases a large amount of radiation into a cave, which was then sealed.
December 7, 1975

At the Lubmin nuclear power complex on the Baltic coast in the former East Germany, a short-circuit caused by an electrician's mistake started a fire. Some news reports said there was almost a meltdown of the reactor core.
March 28, 1979

Near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, America's worst nuclear accident occurred. A partial meltdown of one of the reactors forced the evacuation of the residents after radioactive gas escaped into the atmosphere.
February 11, 1981

Eight workers are contaminated when more than 100,000 gallons of radioactive coolant fluid leaks into the contaminant building of the Tennessee Valley Authority's Sequoyah 1 plant in Tennessee.
April 25, 1981

Officials said around 45 workers were exposed to radioactivity during repairs to a plant at Tsuruga, Japan.
April 26, 1986

The world's worst nuclear accident occurred after an explosion and fire at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. It released radiation over much of Europe. Thirty-one people died iin the immediate aftermath of the explosion. Hundreds of thousands of residents were moved from the area and a similar number are belived to have suffered from the effects of radiation exposure.
March 24, 1992

At the Sosnovy Bor station near St. Petersburg, Russia, radioactive iodine escaped into the atmosphere. A loss of pressure in a reactor channel was the source of the accident.
November 1992

In France's most serious nuclear accident, three workers were contaminated after entering a nuclear particle accelerator in Forbach without protective clothing. Executives were jailed in 1993 for failing to take proper safety measures.
November 1995

Japan's Monju prototype fast-breeder nuclear reactor leaked two to three tons of sodium from the reactor's secondary cooling system.
March 1997

The state-run Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation reprocessing plant at Tokaimura, Japan, contaminated at least 35 workers with minor radiation after a fire and explosion occurred.
September 30, 1999

Another accident at the uranium processing plant at Tokaimura, Japan, plant exposed fifty-five workers to radiation. More than 300,000 people living near the plant were ordered to stay indoors. Workers had been mixing uranium with nitric acid to make nuclear fuel, but had used too much uranium and set off the accidental uncontrolled reaction.

Source



posted on Jan, 24 2010 @ 03:58 PM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 


And how many accidents happened at coal-fired power stations, and how much radiation has been released into the atmosphere by those coal-fired stations?

Nuclear power is the future.



posted on Jan, 24 2010 @ 04:16 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Jan, 24 2010 @ 04:51 PM
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Ok, so given Iran's situation and the like...then we should sanction italy aswell? I mean they could also build nukes too rite? (no i'm not serious guys, just pointing out how we are surrounded by hypocrisy)



posted on Jan, 24 2010 @ 05:50 PM
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Originally posted by C0bzz

At best, to get the same output as these four Nuclear plants would require 11,924 of General Electrics largest wind turbines, with a total area of 85,852 acres, at a total cost of 75.52 billion dollars[/url], not including the cost of the land used. I say Italy is doing what should of been done a long, long time ago.


The problem with common perception of wind power or other large-scale renewable energy strategy is that many think of it as a complete alternative to nuclear or other fossil fuel, an 'either/or'.

The reason for the 400+% alternative energy infrastructure cost is that its assumed that all power production has to follow the same centralised generation model that we've had since the inception of the grid, and that those corporations such as EDF, E-On, Powergen and the like will lobby governments to ensure that their businesses have no comparable alternative energy competitor to threaten their hegemony in the market through ensuring local planning laws restrict domestic and local community set-ups, pricing barriers, legislation and taxes on the technology available to install and grid-connect a domestic R.E. system etc.

Considering that out of the 100% of the electricity generated that leaves the power-station, what we domestic consumers actually have at our end of the supply chain amounts to some 10% of what left the powerplant...the other 90% gets lost in EM radiation, cable resistance, heat-loss at the voltage reduction substations down the chain, etc.

Whats needed is a tandem-system...a localised community-grid-generation capacity to compliment the national one. That way losses are minimised and savings are passed to the residential consumer, but that means the big corporate power producers lose a slice of their vast profit margin.

Take micro-wind for example. The most efficient use of such a setup is as a compliment to the residential central heating boiler that heats the hot water to taps and radiators.

As example: Cold water comes from the mains water supply into the C/H boiler @5*C and is heated by gas burner to 40*C to run a bath..that water requires gas energy to heat it by 35*C. A, say, 500watt 48V micro-wind generator can be linked to an immersion-heater element in a boiler-feed pre-heat tank to raise that 5*C water coming into the house to 20*C and is then fed from there into same boiler, where its again heated by gas burners to 40*C, but only requiring 20*C of gas fuelled heat energy input, saving almost half of the energy required to heat that same body of water to be imported into the house from the gas supply

Of course it would mean that the gas corporations lose out on all that revenue so would be against that proposal. But should a national government-led strategy be put in place whereby the energy corporates were offered inducements to invest a good-sized percentage of their profits into the manufacturing base of such domestic renewable technology, the resulting economy-of-scale would drive down the cost-per-unit of micro-wind or solar making it even more cost effective for the residential consumer. Or even install and maintain the R.E. technology on behalf of the residential household, much as they do with the metering and ancilliary equipment installed in every house as at present

There will no doubt be those who would want to campaign about the 'eyesore factor' of domestic micro-wind and the like, but then again, if it benefits their wallets, their dissent would be far less vocal. Its just a case of turning the attitude of 'Not In My Back Yard' to one of 'Whats In It For Me'

Do we hear the same sort of NIMBY outcry over the widespread and wholesale installation of SKY satellite dishes? No, because they are too busy enjoying the benefits of the technology. Make domestic renewables just as financially attractive an incentive, and the voices of dissent will soon fade out



posted on Jan, 26 2010 @ 10:45 AM
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Green movements and the such (mindless drivel) are keeping this planet back....I say GO nuclear power, way cleaner and smarter than "fossils"...then we can stop the killing over oil....and concentrate on killing for other stuff.



posted on Jan, 26 2010 @ 01:21 PM
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Originally posted by Signals
Green movements and the such (mindless drivel) are keeping this planet back


Unfortunately for the planet and and society as a whole, so is a mindless majority of the population who think no further than what their government tells them is good for them.

Seems that thinking outside of the mainsteam is no longer socially acceptable these days

The only reason for the concerted push toward nuclear power is that those who maintained and profited from the oil cartels have now moved into the Uranium market with just as finite resources as oil, if not more so.

Swallow the nuclear sales pitch and keep feeding same industrial model to ensure a healthy profit margin for the new 'UPEC' conglomerate, there's a good compliant citizen


[edit on 26-1-2010 by timski]



posted on Jan, 27 2010 @ 02:21 AM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 


SLAYER69, I'm not sure what your point is? That Nuclear Energy has had accidents? Everything and anything can have an accident of some kind occur. Coal mining kill thousands each year. People die when constructing wind turbines. The vast majority of them accidents were either relatively benign, decades old, military accidents, experimental reactors, or were from Eastern European states. About the worst relevant incident listed was Three Mile Island, which is pretty much the worst kind of accident possible in existing western reactors, and despite numerous studies, no harm came to the public. We have moved on from then. Comparing TMI to a modern reactor is like comparing a Ford Pinto to a modern Volvo S80.

[edit on 27/1/2010 by C0bzz]



posted on Jan, 27 2010 @ 02:48 AM
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The problem with common perception of wind power or other large-scale renewable energy strategy is that many think of it as a complete alternative to nuclear or other fossil fuel, an 'either/or'.

Most definitely. I've spoken to many people who believe we can get our base-load electricity supply from wind and solar, despite it being impossible mostly due to physical and cost factors. I worry because the consequences of this thought pattern do not look that good. Namely, new coal and gas power stations will continue to be constructed to fill in the gaps left by wind and solar.


The reason for the 400+% alternative energy infrastructure cost is that its assumed that all power production has to follow the same centralised generation model that we've had since the inception of the grid,



2016 Levelized Cost of New Generation Resources - Energy Information Administration.

I don't see why the capital cost per unit of capacity would change due to location. If you mean it would change transmission cost (to connect it to the grid), then you are correct, wind and solar often need a significant transmission investment. Most utilities sell electricity to the grid at far less than the retail price than consumers pay. It is my understanding that the price of electricity in the above source is not for the infrastructure, but the power-station(s) themselves. i.e. even if we scale down wind and solar to a decentralized scale, gas is likely to still be cheaper. Furthermore, we generally get economies of scale when we increase the size of things. My understanding is rooftop solar is currently extremely expensive at $7 per watt ($47 if we take into account capacity factor). Nuclear is usually about $5 a watt taking into account capacity factor.


energy competitor to threaten their hegemony in the market through ensuring local planning laws restrict domestic and local community set-ups, pricing barriers, legislation and taxes on the technology available to install and grid-connect a domestic R.E. system etc.

That's not true either. Fossil fuels get taxed far more than wind and solar. Furthermore, wind and solar get far more government support. Wind gets about the same subsidy and support as coal, despite supplying about 1/50 the actual power.

Here in Australia PV rooftop solar gets subsidized at about $8 per watt of installed capacity. If the government weren't practically giving them out for free, it would take the consumer 40 years to pay it off in saved electricity, by which time you would of needed to replace the whole thing. The word "uneconomical" comes to mind. Furthermore, if you wanted to generate the same amount of energy from 1 kW rooftop solar PV installations as just one coal-​​fired power station, you’d need 10.7 million of these installations at a cost of 86 billion dollars, excluding natural gas backups. That is far more expensive than even centralized solar thermal, not to mention Natural Gas or Nuclear. There are approximately 8.5 million households in Australia. If you simply run though the math it's pretty clear how much of a difference micro-solar makes. i.e. NONE. I cannot find figures for micro-wind, probably because it's not popular with the consumer (probably because it doesn't work).

Federal Financial Interventions and Subsidies in Energy Markets - Energy Information Administration.


Considering that out of the 100% of the electricity generated that leaves the power-station, what we domestic consumers actually have at our end of the supply chain amounts to some 10% of what left the powerplant...the other 90% gets lost in EM radiation, cable resistance, heat-loss at the voltage reduction substations down the chain, etc.



Energy losses in the U.S. T&D system were 7.2% in 1995, accounting for 2.5 quads of primary energy and 36.5 MtC. Losses are divided such that about 60% are from lines and 40% are from transformers (most of which are for distribution)

Technology Options 2003. (2003). US Climate Change Technology Program.

NOTE: QUAD = Quadrillion BTU.


Its just a case of turning the attitude of 'Not In My Back Yard' to one of 'Whats In It For Me'

I hope micro-wind (and micro-gas) work out. However, I wonder if people will not like having both wind and gas, when it is far cheaper to only go with gas? As stated, the huge costs of wind / solar are not from the infrastructure required, but the generation platform itself. Even community level wind will still need a grid that means maintaining - had it of been economical, then the concept would of been implemented a long, long time ago. In any case, residential consumers use about 1/3rd of all power generated, so there is still a need for centralized energy generation. Lastly, gas and some iterations of near-future Nuclear, can also be built on a small scale.

[edit on 27/1/2010 by C0bzz]



posted on Jan, 27 2010 @ 02:52 AM
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reply to post by C0bzz
 


if it's true ... i don't blame italy for doing whatever they think is best for their nation.



posted on Jan, 27 2010 @ 04:37 AM
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Seems that thinking outside of the mainsteam is no longer socially acceptable these days

I think the issue is rampant anti-intellectualism plaguing people today. More and more do I see movie quotes being used as evidence, more and more do I see peoples decisions based on false information, hearsay, and vain attempts to "fight the power" or to "think outside of the maintream". THAT, has infact become the new mainstream.


The only reason for the concerted push toward nuclear power is that those who maintained and profited from the oil cartels have now moved into the Uranium market with just as finite resources as oil, if not more so.

The push for Nuclear Energy is no conspiracy. It is extremely energy dense, extremely reliable, emits practically zero greenhouse gases, and it allows us energy independence. Each 1 Gigawatt reactor needs about 40 tons of fuel every 12 - 24 months. Doubling cost of Uranium would only increases the cost of electricity by 7%. Of course, current nuclear technology does have shortcomings, such as waste, although disposal is technically not a problem. Known Uranium resources have doubled since 1995. Only taking into account known resources (and not phosphate deposits, or seawater), the most pessimistic estimates give about 42 years of Uranium remaining. Optimistic... a few hundred. And on Thorium and a closed fuel cycle... a few thousand.

I've never heard of any oil cartels entering the Nuclear Industry. Uranium is mined by mining companies, usually not oil companies like EXXON. Exxon is busy promoting Natural Gas, as are all oil companies. Furthermore, protests against Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant were actually sponsored by oil companies whom were promoting solar and wind as an alternative to Nuclear. The completed Nuclear power station, then was decommissioned and you know what replaced it? OIL / GAS. Fossil companies hate Nuclear. They even encourage wind and solar as an alternative just so they can use oil and gas to plug the gaps left behind. Pretty much exactly the same as what you wrote in your first post in this thread because a dependence on fossil fuels is inevitably the result.

Major players in Uranium are CAMECO, URENCO, USEC, AREVA, TOSHIBA, NDA / BNG, MHI, AEP, General Electric - Hitachi. None of those are oil companies. It has been similar for decades. It sounds as if you just try to dismiss everything you don't agree on as the work of 'big evil corporations with vast profit margins'. It's very easy to do.



Swallow the nuclear sales pitch and keep feeding same industrial model to ensure a healthy profit margin for the new 'UPEC' conglomerate, there's a good compliant citizen.

And you can pay twice as much for wind turbines built by General Electric or Areva (who *GASP* build Nuclear reactors and enrich fuel) to heat your water half the way (but ONLY when the wind blows). And then you can pay Exxon Mobil for the gas to heat the water the rest of the way...


, but that means the big corporate power producers lose a slice of their vast profit margin.

Financial documents are available... any links?

[edit on 27/1/2010 by C0bzz]



posted on Jan, 29 2010 @ 03:58 AM
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Here's an example of NIMBY:


Most Germans are in favor of the expansion of renewable energy -- provided the plants aren't built in their neighborhood. All over the country, local groups are coming together to stop solar, wind and biogas projects. But where can power plants be built if no one wants them in their backyard?


----


[A] coal-fired power plant was to be built in Lubmin, a nearby beach resort, but four citizens' initiatives blocked the project. Gulla heads the one in Greifswald. Instead of disbanding the group, he says, he wants to push for new regulations and a zoning plan that would ban the burning of coal in Lubmin altogether.

www.spiegel.de...


Thanks.

[edit on 29/1/2010 by C0bzz]



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