Print 60 comment(s) - last by overlandpark4m.. on Mar 25 at 2:51 AM

It's unclear what, if anything can be done

The largest thermal solar electricity plant in the world went live this year in the U.S. The $2.2 billion Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System is located on the California Nevada Border and has already come under fire for killing birds. The intense heat from the solar plant has literally scorched birds in mid-flight.

Airline pilots are now complaining that they are being blinded by the intense sunlight that reflects off the 340,000 mirrors used at the plant. While the aircraft are flying far enough above the towers and mirrors that heat isn't an issue, the glare is a problem.

One pilot of a small aircraft filed a report with the Aviation Safety Reporting System, complaining:
From the pilot’s seat of my aircraft the brightness was like looking into the sun. In my opinion, the reflection from these mirrors was a hazard to flight because for a brief time I could not scan the sky in that direction to look for other aircraft.
One FAA air traffic controller working in southern California added, "Daily, during the late morning and early afternoon hours we get complaints from pilots of aircraft flying from the northeast to the southwest about the brightness of this solar farm."

Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System 
Perhaps the most unsettling part of these reports is that it took months for them to reach the California Energy Commission that oversees Ivanpah. The reports were filed in August 2013 and didn’t reach the CEC until March 10, 2014.
“What I can tell you right now is that we take these concerns seriously,” Jeff Holland, a spokesman for NRG Energy, which is operating Ivanpah said. He noted, "We will respond to—and address—these reports in the coming days in accordance with conditions of our permits."

Source: QZ

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RE: No fly zone?
By venym76 on 3/19/2014 11:00:46 AM , Rating: -1
There is a good reason for no fly zones around nuclear plant, if a plane crashes into one there can be a serious problem with fallout. For this monstrosity there is no fallout, other than saving a few birds.

RE: No fly zone?
By FITCamaro on 3/19/2014 12:20:43 PM , Rating: 5
Actually it isn't since nuclear reactors are built to withstand a 747 slamming into them. And even if the tower failed to completely stand up to the impact, it would be enough for safeguards to kick in and stop the reaction. Stop believing environmentalist fear mongering garbage.

It's more of a security measure because you don't want to test that sort of thing.

RE: No fly zone?
By Jeffk464 on 3/19/2014 2:00:01 PM , Rating: 1
Pretty sure a lot of US nuclear plants were built before the 747 was manufactured, maybe 707.

RE: No fly zone?
By FITCamaro on 3/19/2014 3:05:03 PM , Rating: 1
The 747 has been around since 1970. The first US nuclear plants were built in 1974.

RE: No fly zone?
By DT_Reader on 3/19/2014 3:14:18 PM , Rating: 2
1974? Really? Care to cite a reference for that? Per WikiPedia: The first commercial nuclear generator to become operational in the United States was the Shippingport Reactor (Pennsylvania, December 1957).

RE: No fly zone?
By typicalGeek on 3/19/14, Rating: 0
RE: No fly zone?
By futrtrubl on 3/19/2014 4:54:35 PM , Rating: 4
Except that all the plants built before 1970 in the US on that list are no longer in operation.

RE: No fly zone?
By Samus on 3/20/2014 12:09:50 AM , Rating: 1
Doesn't matter, they're practically the same gross weight and speed of a modern airliner. Since the 60's there isn't much you can do to improve service ceilings and top speed of commuter aircraft. They're basically limited to ~40,000 feet and ~700mph due to haul pressurization issues and sound barrier limitations.

In fact, most modern aircraft are lighter than their predecessors to increase fuel economy. Carbon fiber wasn't around in the 50's and 60's, and although it often weighs more than 7000 aluminum, its stronger, so less material is required for the same strength.

Fit's point is valid. Modern nuclear plants will withstand direct hits from large aircraft with minimal risk of meltdown. We're talking 3 feet thick concrete barriers with multi-layered rebar. The twin towers were 90% glass exterior (the windows were load baring) with the majority of the structure support in the center, which eventually fatigued from heat.

I don't remember who said it, but I remember reading a famous quote from the DoE once:

It takes nuclear power to take out nuclear power.

The obvious recent exception is Fukushima, which should have never happened. It was 100% preventable and caused entirely by human error and penny pinching, not a tsunami or earthquake. Nuclear power plants have never been disrupted in history by either because there are numerous systems to protect them from those exact events.

RE: No fly zone?
By FaaR on 3/19/14, Rating: 0
RE: No fly zone?
By Dorkyman on 3/19/2014 3:29:53 PM , Rating: 3
Let's all settle down here. Don't assume that the "environment" is so darn fragile. A 747, heck, an A380 hitting a nuke plant will certainly trash the plane and the plant, but the gigantic concrete containment vessel will suffer modest damage. And, if breached, any radiation leakage will not spell doom for civilization. Some people freaked out with Fukushima but the actual radiation death toll per Wikipedia: zero. Even if there were hundreds of deaths from Fukushima that would pale in comparison to deaths in other energy-related fields. And a plane-crash incident would be a far smaller event than Fukushima. So try to keep things in perspective and not just knee-jerk "Nuke=Evil."

RE: No fly zone?
By StevoLincolnite on 3/19/2014 7:06:09 PM , Rating: 2
You need to be realistic here.
Even though I am Pro-Nuclear, it's not a viable power source *everywhere*. (I.E. In the middle of a desert with no water source.)
I live in the driest state on the driest inhabited continent in the world, it's simply not viable when water at times is more valuable than oil.
We have a singular river feeding a few million people, farms etc' with water, throwing a Nuclear plant into that mix is asking for trouble, you don't put the only single reliable water source for an entire state at risk, regardless of what it is.

I don't doubt the track record of Nuclear, but it's something that can effect the environment, people, food for well over a century, especially if it gets into the food chain like fish.
There may not have been any sudden casualties, but radiation poising/cancer can take years and it's not a pleasant way to go.

Fukishima failed the Japanese for two reasons, greed and incompetence, it should have been shut down a long time ago and they paid the price, thankfully allot of other countries around the world don't have such a track record.

RE: No fly zone?
By Reclaimer77 on 3/19/14, Rating: 0
RE: No fly zone?
By FITCamaro on 3/19/2014 9:57:12 PM , Rating: 2
Even though I am Pro-Nuclear, it's not a viable power source *everywhere*. (I.E. In the middle of a desert with no water source.)

Except the US's largest nuclear power plant is in the middle of the desert.

RE: No fly zone?
By StevoLincolnite on 3/21/2014 5:00:47 AM , Rating: 3
I don't live in the United States.
I live in the driest state on the driest continent in the world.
There is ONE river supplying millions of people, farms etc'.

Water scarcity was so severe we had to "ration" water for domestic uses.

But sure, put the most valuable resource at risk and see what happens. :P

There are water-free alternatives to electricity generation, which is far more viable for my locale.

RE: No fly zone?
By Strunf on 3/20/2014 9:02:58 AM , Rating: 2
Nuclear power plants do not need to waste water, they could run on closed cooling systems with a very small need for water and it doesn't even need to be drinkable water, plus if the terrain is hostile enough then chances are no one is living there anyways.
Today just like in the past they install them near a river or the sea cause it's the cheapest way and there's always a power-grids anyways so it's not like they have to install a nuclear power plant near the city or something.

RE: No fly zone?
By chrnochime on 3/19/14, Rating: -1
RE: No fly zone?
By SPOOFE on 3/20/2014 12:07:04 AM , Rating: 2
Why don't you go move to the desert to be near the Ivanpah plant? Why don't you drink the water in the desert, if you get such a raging boner from deserts?


RE: No fly zone?
By Jeffk464 on 3/20/2014 12:24:23 PM , Rating: 2
Primm Nevada, no thanks.

RE: No fly zone?
By Spuke on 3/20/2014 12:43:18 PM , Rating: 2
Primm Nevada, no thanks.
Someone actually lives there?

RE: No fly zone?
By KOOLTIME on 3/20/2014 1:41:46 PM , Rating: 2
Shave an hour drive to vegas and state line gamble at whisky Pete's go on the roller coaster - its PRIMM lol

RE: No fly zone?
By Jeffk464 on 3/20/2014 12:23:19 PM , Rating: 2
Some people freaked out with Fukushima but the actual radiation death toll per Wikipedia: zero.

That's hard to say, you can have immediate deaths from radiation but you can also have deaths 5 to 10 years later from cancer. If the radiation has been absorbed into the fisheries you could probably have cancer deaths decades from the incident.

RE: No fly zone?
By Jeffk464 on 3/20/2014 12:26:53 PM , Rating: 2
Oops somebody already made this point.

RE: No fly zone?
By FITCamaro on 3/19/2014 9:57:49 PM , Rating: 1
What do you have against brain cells that made you kill all of yours except those that form stupid statements.

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