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Nick Gogerty
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Nick Gogerty he has worked at a value based hedge fund, a quant forex desk and debt prop desks, various technology and marketing firms and a deep future science research lab. His experience and passion runs deeply across multiple market sectors, audiences and geographies. Mr Gogerty has lived... More
My company:
Thoughtful Capital Group
My blog:
Thinking in Systems
My book:
The Nature of Value: How to invest in the adaptive economy.
  • Earthquake and Nuclear Risk for New York City energy provider 2 comments
    Mar 26, 2011 6:44 PM | about stocks: ETR, GE, HTHIY, EXC, AEE, CEP, DUK, D, FE, FPL-OLD, NU, PCG, SO, TVE, TXU, XEL

    The Indian Point reactor near New York city may be at risk of de-commissioning if the 1:10,000 year geological failure risk is correctly presented as a 1:200 risk of reactor failure over the systems life. For Entergy (ETR) decomissioning could cost $1b based on comparative costs. The risk is actually much higher according to this report about 1 in 13 chances: www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/08...

    The Indian Point reactor provides up to 30% of New York city and surrounding area electricity. De-commissioning would mean increased demand on other resources and likely capex of $1-2b for a replacement generating source and transmission facilities if Indian Point is de-commissioned.

    Measuring risk correctly

    We respond to risk based on our perception of it. Geological nuclear risk is mis-perceived and could be costly for investors. Thinking about risk using a technique called actionable systems thinking can help.

    Systems thinking involves looking at risks or value creating processes as whole systems. This technique simplifies and clarifies. Many risk managers get carried away with complex tools and piles of data. These tools and data are used to as the basis for complicated models with costly and sometimes tragic consequences.

    Events in Japan raise concerns about US nuclear risk. The NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) released the risks associated with, “an earthquake that would cause damage to a reactor's core releasing radiation”. The information as released mis-represents the risks.

    The flawed risk unit known as the year

    Risk is often expressed as the likelihood of an event occurring within a period of time such as a year. The time period is arbitrary. Like the useless financial Value at Risk metrics used by banks, co-variances and other non-sense these misrepresentations lead to bad choices.

    Natural event risk is usually represented as an event happening every X number of years. This presentation of data is misleading. A more useful presentation is to use the unit of the system lifecycle.

    Buying a house on a flood plain vulnerable to a once in a hundred year flood (1:100 years) may feel fairly safe. If you plan on owning the house for 33 years (its functional system life period), you have a 33% chance of disaster. People think differently when risk is expressed in system lifecycles.

    The Indian Point nuclear facility near New York city is reported to have a one in 10,000 year risk of geological activity that could breach the core leading to radioactive material escape. This sounds safe until one considers the plant as a system. Systems have functional lives. Many nuclear reactors are re-licensed for 10 or more year increments. A 50 year functional life isn't extraordinary.

    Systems thinking risk applied to the Indian Point reactor puts failure odds at 1:200

    When viewed as a 50 year system the Indian Point nuclear facility has a 1:200 chance of earthquake risk breaching the core and spilling radiation during its life. 50x1:10,000= 1:200 If during the design and permitting phase someone presented such a low probability high impact risk with that figure it would most likely be un-acceptable.

    On the other side of the coin using the 1:10,000 year figure means on any given day the odds are 1:3,652,000 which many may say is acceptable. In the actionable systems risk framework, the correct metric to use is the systems life indicating The nuclear system has a 1:200 chance of geologically induced failure.

    Each of the 104 reactors in the US operates independently, but combined can be considered as the US nuclear system. Using NRC data aggregating the US nuclear geological system risk one gets annual odds of 1:480 for a failure in the system. If one assumes each reactor is licensed and operational for 50 years, the risk horizon for a geological event in the US nuclear system is 10.42% or roughly 1:10 over a 50 year lifetime. 50x1:480 =50:480

    This seems high for just one dimension of risk, namely geological. I am a fan of nuclear as a "clean" energy but only when risk is designed and priced correctly. Most likely some reactors should be shut down or moved if geographic and other risk vectors were presented using a systems risk perspective.

    Nuclear operator's liabilities are capped under the Price act at $560 million but the potential national cost for such an incident could exceed $500 billion. (see article link below).

    The nuclear and finance industries needs to measure risk using systems thinking and systems frameworks to better engineer in safety. The higher risk operators in the Spreadsheet attached to this article may face material cost impacts from shut-down or redesigns of reactors.

    Even NASA gets it wrong

    NASA got risk wrong with the space Shuttle. NASA estimated the space shuttle system to be over 99.9999% safe. Nobel prize wining physicist Richard Feynman brilliantly described his role on the Challenger Blue ribbon panel in his book “What do you care what other people think?”. Feynman calculated probability of shuttle failure as 1:96. NASA organizationally saw risk and reported it the way it wanted to, not the way it was. Bankers and Utility companies may have the same behavioral risk drives.

    The utility companies listed below may have margins shrink or costs increase if risks are correctly interpreted using a systems thinking perspective. This could be short term expensive for a few, but better for society in the long run.

    In my day job I help banks, family offices and hedge funds understand risk and opportunity. This task often starts by getting rid of all price based models like VaR, volatility, beta, BIS standards and Modern Portfolio Theory. Losing these frames of belief causes distress at first until the Systems Thinking approach is brought in. Letting go of familiar but wrong metrics to replace them unfamiliar metrics that may bear bad news is rarely easy or popular.

    Systems thinking mostly ignores price

    Price reflects two opposing opinions expressed at a single point in time. 99% of investors can’t beat a buy and hold index. It stands to reason 99% of the opinions creating price are probably wrong when considering the correct measurement of value and risk.

    participants symbol list: GE (General Electric), HIT (Hitachi), EXC (Excelon), AEE (Ameren), CEP (Constellation energy), DUK (Duke energy), D (Dominion Energy), private (Energy Northwest), FE (First Energy), FPL (Florida Light and Power), private (Nebraska Public Power District), NU (Northeast Utilities), NMC (Nuclear Management Company), NA (Omaha Public Power District), PCG (Pacific Gas and Electric), PGN (Progress Energy), SO (Southern Company), TVE (Tennessee Valley Authority), TXU (TXU energy), XCL (Xcel Energy)

    Geological risk table:

    Nuclear facility and geological risk an event compromising the reactor. Yearly rate Risk as % Systems rate @ 50 years Systems Risk as %
    1. Indian Point 3, Buchanan, N.Y.: 1 in 10,000 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 17,241. Change in risk: 72 percent. 10,000 0.0001 200 0.50%
    2. Pilgrim 1, Plymouth, Mass.: 1 in 14,493 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 125,000. Change in risk: 763 percent. 14,493 6.89988E-05 289.86 0.34%
    3. Limerick 1, Limerick, Pa.: 1 in 18,868 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 45,455. Change in risk: 141 percent. 18,868 5.29998E-05 377.36 0.26%
    3. Limerick 2, Limerick, Pa.: 1 in 18,868 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 45,455. Change in risk: 141 percent. 18,868 5.29998E-05 377.36 0.26%
    5. Sequoyah 1, Soddy-Daisy, Tenn.: 1 in 19,608 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 102,041. Change in risk: 420 percent. 19,608 5.09996E-05 392.16 0.25%
    5. Sequoyah 2, Soddy-Daisy, Tenn.: 1 in 19,608 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 102,041. Change in risk: 420 percent. 19,608 5.09996E-05 392.16 0.25%
    7. Beaver Valley 1, Shippingport, Pa.: 1 in 20,833 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 76,923. Change in risk: 269 percent. 20,833 4.80008E-05 416.66 0.24%
    8. Saint Lucie 1, Jensen Beach, Fla.: 1 in 21,739 chance each year. Old estimate: N/A. Change in risk: N/A. 21,739 4.60003E-05 434.78 0.23%
    8. Saint Lucie 2, Jensen Beach, Fla.: 1 in 21,739 chance each year. Old estimate: N/A. Change in risk: N/A. 21,739 4.60003E-05 434.78 0.23%
    10. North Anna 1, Louisa, Va.: 1 in 22,727 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 31,250. Change in risk: 38 percent. 31,250 0.000032 625 0.16%
    10. North Anna 2, Louisa, Va.: 1 in 22,727 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 31,250. Change in risk: 38 percent. 31,250 0.000032 625 0.16%
    12. Oconee 1, Seneca, S.C.: 1 in 23,256 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 100,000. Change in risk: 330 percent. 23,256 4.29997E-05 465.12 0.21%
    12. Oconee 2, Seneca, S.C.: 1 in 23,256 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 100,000. Change in risk: 330 percent. 23,256 4.29997E-05 465.12 0.21%
    12. Oconee 3, Seneca, S.C.: 1 in 23,256 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 100,000. Change in risk: 330 percent. 23,256 4.29997E-05 465.12 0.21%
    15. Diablo Canyon 1, Avila Beach, Calif.: 1 in 23,810 chance each year. Old estimate: N/A. Change in risk: N/A. 23,810 4.19992E-05 476.2 0.21%
    15. Diablo Canyon 2, Avila Beach, Calif.: 1 in 23,810 chance each year. Old estimate: N/A. Change in risk: N/A. 23,810 4.19992E-05 476.2 0.21%
    17. Three Mile Island 1, Middletown, Pa.: 1 in 25,000 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 45,455. Change in risk: 82 percent. 25,000 0.00004 500 0.20%
    18. Palo Verde 1, Wintersburg, Ariz.: 1 in 26,316 chance each year. Old estimate: N/A. Change in risk: N/A. 26,316 3.79997E-05 526.32 0.19%
    18. Palo Verde 2, Wintersburg, Ariz.: 1 in 26,316 chance each year. Old estimate: N/A. Change in risk: N/A. 26,316 3.79997E-05 526.32 0.19%
    18. Palo Verde 3, Wintersburg, Ariz.: 1 in 26,316 chance each year. Old estimate: N/A. Change in risk: N/A. 26,316 3.79997E-05 526.32 0.19%
    18. Summer, Jenkensville, S.C.: 1 in 26,316 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 138,889. Change in risk: 428 percent. 26,316 3.79997E-05 526.32 0.19%
    22. Catawba 1, York, S.C.: 1 in 27,027 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 33,333. Change in risk: 23 percent. 27,027 3.7E-05 540.54 0.19%
    22. Catawba 2, York, S.C.: 1 in 27,027 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 33,333. Change in risk: 23 percent. 27,027 3.7E-05 540.54 0.19%
    24. Watts Bar 1, Spring City, Tenn.: 1 in 27,778 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 178,571. Change in risk: 543 percent. 27,778 3.59997E-05 555.56 0.18%
    25. Indian Point 2, Buchanan, N.Y.: 1 in 30,303 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 71,429. Change in risk: 136 percent. 30,303 3.3E-05 606.06 0.17%
    26. Duane Arnold, Palo, Iowa: 1 in 31,250 chance each year. Old estimate: N/A. Change in risk: N/A. 31,250 0.000032 625 0.16%
    27. McGuire 1, Huntersville, N.C.: 1 in 32,258 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 35,714. Change in risk: 11 percent. 32,258 3.10001E-05 645.16 0.16%
    27. McGuire 2, Huntersville, N.C.: 1 in 32,258 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 35,714. Change in risk: 11 percent. 32,258 3.10001E-05 645.16 0.16%
    29. Farley 1, Columbia, Ala.: 1 in 35,714 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 263,158. Change in risk: 637 percent. 35,714 2.80002E-05 714.28 0.14%
    29. Farley 2, Columbia, Ala.: 1 in 35,714 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 263,158. Change in risk: 637 percent. 35,714 2.80002E-05 714.28 0.14%
    31. Quad Cities 1, Cordova, Ill.: 1 in 37,037 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 71,429. Change in risk: 93 percent. 37,037 2.7E-05 740.74 0.14%
    31. Quad Cities 2, Cordova, Ill.: 1 in 37,037 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 71,429. Change in risk: 93 percent. 37,037 2.7E-05 740.74 0.14%
    33. River Bend 1, St. Francisville, La.: 1 in 40,000 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 370,370. Change in risk: 826 percent. 40,000 0.000025 800 0.13%
    34. Peach Bottom 2, Delta, Pa.: 1 in 41,667 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 120,482. Change in risk: 189 percent. 41,667 2.39998E-05 833.34 0.12%
    34. Peach Bottom 3, Delta, Pa.: 1 in 41,667 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 120,482. Change in risk: 189 percent. 41,667 2.39998E-05 833.34 0.12%
    36. Crystal River 3, Crystal River, Fla.: 1 in 45,455 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 192,308. Change in risk: 323 percent. 45,455 2.19998E-05 909.1 0.11%
    36. Seabrook 1, Seabrook, N.H.: 1 in 45,455 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 114,943. Change in risk: 153 percent. 45,455 2.19998E-05 909.1 0.11%
    36. Beaver Valley 2, Shippingport, Pa.: 1 in 45,455 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 188,679. Change in risk: 315 percent. 45,455 2.19998E-05 909.1 0.11%
    39. Perry 1, Perry, Ohio: 1 in 47,619 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 1,176,471. Change in risk: 2371 percent. 47,619 2.1E-05 952.38 0.11%
    39. Columbia 1, Richland, Wash.: 1 in 47,619 chance each year. Old estimate: N/A. Change in risk: N/A. 47,619 2.1E-05 952.38 0.11%
    41. Waterford 3, Killona, La.: 1 in 50,000 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 833,333. Change in risk: 1567 percent. 50,000 0.00002 1000 0.10%
    42. Dresden 2, Morris, Ill.: 1 in 52,632 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 434,783. Change in risk: 726 percent. 52,632 1.89998E-05 1052.64 0.09%
    42. Dresden 3, Morris, Ill.: 1 in 52,632 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 434,783. Change in risk: 726 percent. 52,532 1.9036E-05 1050.64 0.10%
    42. Monticello, Monticello, Minn.: 1 in 52,632 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 38,462. Change in risk: -27 percent. 52,632 1.89998E-05 1052.64 0.09%
    45. Wolf Creek 1, Burlington, Kansas: 1 in 55,556 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 400,000. Change in risk: 620 percent. 55,556 1.79999E-05 1111.12 0.09%
    46. San Onofre 2, San Clemente, Calif.: 1 in 58,824 chance each year. Old estimate: N/A. Change in risk: N/A. 58,824 1.69999E-05 1176.48 0.08%
    46. San Onofre 3, San Clemente, Calif.: 1 in 58,824 chance each year. Old estimate: N/A. Change in risk: N/A. 58,824 1.69999E-05 1176.48 0.08%
    48. Millstone 3, Waterford, Conn.: 1 in 66,667 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 100,000. Change in risk: 50 percent. 66,667 1.49999E-05 1333.34 0.07%
    48. Brunswick 1, Southport, N.C.: 1 in 66,667 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 263,158. Change in risk: 295 percent. 66,667 1.49999E-05 1333.34 0.07%
    48. Brunswick 2, Southport, N.C.: 1 in 66,667 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 263,158. Change in risk: 295 percent. 66,667 1.49999E-05 1333.34 0.07%
    48. Robinson 2, Hartsville, S.C.: 1 in 66,667 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 370,370. Change in risk: 456 percent. 66,667 1.49999E-05 1333.34 0.07%
    52. Oyster Creek, Forked River, N.J.: 1 in 71,429 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 126,582. Change in risk: 77 percent. 71,429 1.39999E-05 1428.58 0.07%
    53. Fort Calhoun, Fort Calhoun, Neb.: 1 in 76,923 chance each year. Old estimate: N/A. Change in risk: N/A. 76,923 1.3E-05 1538.46 0.07%
    53. Ginna, Ontario, N.Y.: 1 in 76,923 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 238,095. Change in risk: 210 percent. 76,923 1.3E-05 1538.46 0.07%
    53. Susquehanna 1, Salem Township, Pa.: 1 in 76,923 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 416,667. Change in risk: 442 percent. 76,923 1.3E-05 1538.46 0.07%
    53. Susquehanna 2, Salem Township, Pa.: 1 in 76,923 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 416,667. Change in risk: 442 percent. 76,923 1.3E-05 1538.46 0.07%
    57. Calvert Cliffs 2, Lusby, Md.: 1 in 83,333 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 116,279. Change in risk: 40 percent. 83,333 1.2E-05 1666.66 0.06%
    57. D.C. Cook 1, Bridgman, Mich.: 1 in 83,333 chance each year. Old estimate: N/A. Change in risk: N/A. 83,333 1.2E-05 1666.66 0.06%
    57. D.C. Cook 2, Bridgman, Mich.: 1 in 83,333 chance each year. Old estimate: N/A. Change in risk: N/A. 83,333 1.2E-05 1666.66 0.06%
    57. Grand Gulf 1, Port Gibson, Miss.: 1 in 83,333 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 106,383. Change in risk: 28 percent. 83,333 1.2E-05 1666.66 0.06%
    57. Kewaunee, Kewaunee, Wis.: 1 in 83,333 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 71,429. Change in risk: -14 percent. 83,333 1.2E-05 1666.66 0.06%
    62. Millstone 2, Waterford, Conn.: 1 in 90,909 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 156,250. Change in risk: 72 percent. 90,909 1.1E-05 1818.18 0.06%
    62. Salem 1, Hancocks Bridge, N.J.: 1 in 90,909 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 172,414. Change in risk: 90 percent. 90,909 1.1E-05 1818.18 0.06%
    62. Salem 2, Hancocks Bridge, N.J.: 1 in 90,909 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 172,414. Change in risk: 90 percent. 90,909 1.1E-05 1818.18 0.06%
    62. Point Beach 1, Two Rivers, Wis.: 1 in 90,909 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 76,923. Change in risk: -15 percent. 90,909 1.1E-05 1818.18 0.06%
    62. Point Beach 2, Two Rivers, Wis.: 1 in 90,909 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 76,923. Change in risk: -15 percent. 90,909 1.1E-05 1818.18 0.06%
    67. Turkey Point 3, Homestead, Fla.: 1 in 100,000 chance each year. Old estimate: N/A. Change in risk: N/A. 100,000 0.00001 2000 0.05%
    67. Turkey Point 4, Homestead, Fla.: 1 in 100,000 chance each year. Old estimate: N/A. Change in risk: N/A. 100,000 0.00001 2000 0.05%
    67. Calvert Cliffs 1, Lusby, Md.: 1 in 100,000 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 142,857. Change in risk: 43 percent. 100,000 0.00001 2000 0.05%
    70. Vermont Yankee, Vernon, Vt.: 1 in 123,457 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 434,783. Change in risk: 252 percent. 123,457 8.09999E-06 2469.14 0.04%
    71. Braidwood 1, Braceville, Ill.: 1 in 136,986 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 1,785,714. Change in risk: 1204 percent. 136,986 7.30002E-06 2739.72 0.04%
    71. Braidwood 2, Braceville, Ill.: 1 in 136,986 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 1,785,714. Change in risk: 1204 percent. 136,986 7.30002E-06 2739.72 0.04%
    73. Vogtle 1, Waynesboro, Ga.: 1 in 140,845 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 384,615. Change in risk: 173 percent. 140,845 7.1E-06 2816.9 0.04%
    73. Vogtle 2, Waynesboro, Ga.: 1 in 140,845 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 384,615. Change in risk: 173 percent. 140,845 7.1E-06 2816.9 0.04%
    75. Cooper, Brownville, Neb.: 1 in 142,857 chance each year. Old estimate: N/A. Change in risk: N/A. 142,857 7.00001E-06 2857.14 0.04%
    76. Davis-Besse, Oak Harbor, Ohio: 1 in 149,254 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 625,000. Change in risk: 319 percent. 149,254 6.69999E-06 2985.08 0.03%
    77. Palisades, Covert, Mich.: 1 in 156,250 chance each year. Old estimate: N/A. Change in risk: N/A. 156,250 0.0000064 3125 0.03%
    78. South Texas 1, Bay City, Texas: 1 in 158,730 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 1,298,701. Change in risk: 718 percent. 158,730 6.30001E-06 3174.6 0.03%
    78. South Texas 2, Bay City, Texas: 1 in 158,730 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 1,298,701. Change in risk: 718 percent. 158,730 6.30001E-06 3174.6 0.03%
    80. FitzPatrick, Scriba, N.Y.: 1 in 163,934 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 833,333. Change in risk: 408 percent. 163,934 6.10002E-06 3278.68 0.03%
    81. Byron 1, Byron, Ill.: 1 in 172,414 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 1,470,588. Change in risk: 753 percent. 172,414 5.79999E-06 3448.28 0.03%
    81. Byron 2, Byron, Ill.: 1 in 172,414 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 1,470,588. Change in risk: 753 percent. 172,414 5.79999E-06 3448.28 0.03%
    83. Surry 1, Surry, Va.: 1 in 175,439 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 123,457. Change in risk: -30 percent. 175,439 5.69999E-06 3508.78 0.03%
    83. Surry 2, Surry, Va.: 1 in 175,439 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 123,457. Change in risk: -30 percent. 175,439 5.69999E-06 3508.78 0.03%
    85. Nine Mile Point 2, Scriba, N.Y.: 1 in 178,571 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 1,000,000. Change in risk: 460 percent. 178,571 5.60001E-06 3571.42 0.03%
    86. Browns Ferry 2, Athens, Ala.: 1 in 185,185 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 625,000. Change in risk: 238 percent. 185,185 5.40001E-06 3703.7 0.03%
    86. Browns Ferry 3, Athens, Ala.: 1 in 185,185 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 625,000. Change in risk: 238 percent. 185,185 5.40001E-06 3703.7 0.03%
    88. Nine Mile Point 1, Scriba, N.Y.: 1 in 238,095 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 1,724,138. Change in risk: 624 percent. 238,095 4.2E-06 4761.9 0.02%
    88. Fermi 2, Monroe, Mich.: 1 in 238,095 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 625,000. Change in risk: 163 percent. 238,095 4.2E-06 4761.9 0.02%
    90. Arkansas Nuclear 1, London, Ark.: 1 in 243,902 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 1,063,830. Change in risk: 336 percent. 243,902 4.10001E-06 4878.04 0.02%
    90. Arkansas Nuclear 2, London, Ark.: 1 in 243,902 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 1,063,830. Change in risk: 336 percent. 243,902 4.10001E-06 4878.04 0.02%
    92. Comanche Peak 1, Glen Rose, Texas: 1 in 250,000 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 833,333. Change in risk: 233 percent. 250,000 0.000004 5000 0.02%
    92. Comanche Peak 2, Glen Rose, Texas: 1 in 250,000 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 833,333. Change in risk: 233 percent. 250,000 0.000004 5000 0.02%
    94. Browns Ferry 1, Athens, Ala.: 1 in 270,270 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 1,000,000. Change in risk: 270 percent. 270,270 3.7E-06 5405.4 0.02%
    95. Prairie Island 1, Welch, Minn.: 1 in 333,333 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 714,286. Change in risk: 114 percent. 333,333 3E-06 6666.66 0.02%
    95. Prairie Island 2, Welch, Minn.: 1 in 333,333 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 714,286. Change in risk: 114 percent. 333,333 3E-06 6666.66 0.02%
    97. La Salle 1, Marseilles, Ill.: 1 in 357,143 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 1,851,852. Change in risk: 419 percent. 357,143 2.8E-06 7142.86 0.01%
    97. La Salle 2, Marseilles, Ill.: 1 in 357,143 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 1,851,852. Change in risk: 419 percent. 357,143 2.8E-06 7142.86 0.01%
    97. Hope Creek 1, Hancocks Bridge, N.J.: 1 in 357,143 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 909,091. Change in risk: 155 percent. 357,143 2.8E-06 7142.86 0.01%
    100. Clinton, Clinton, Ill.: 1 in 400,000 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 370,370. Change in risk: -7 percent. 400,000 0.0000025 8000 0.01%
    101. Shearon Harris 1, New Hill, N.C.: 1 in 434,783 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 277,778. Change in risk: -36 percent. 434,783 2.3E-06 8695.66 0.01%
    102. Hatch 1, Baxley, Ga.: 1 in 454,545 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 1,351,351. Change in risk: 197 percent. 454,545 2.2E-06 9090.9 0.01%
    102. Hatch 2, Baxley, Ga.: 1 in 454,545 chance each year. Old estimate: 1 in 1,351,351. Change in risk: 197 percent. 454,545 2.2E-06 9090.9 0.01%
    104. Callaway, Fulton, Mo.: 1 in 500,000 chance each year. Old estimate: N/A. Change in risk: N/A. 500,000 0.000002 10000 0.01%
             
    www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42103936/ns/world_n.../   0.21%   10.42%
             

    Spreadsheet risk Data: from NRC Geological nuclear risk.XLS

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42103936/ns/world_news-asia-pacific/

    http://www.aolnews.com/2011/03/18/would-fund-protect-us-taxpayers-from-nuke-disaster-here/



    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
    Themes: Energy, Risk, Value, metric, price, systems Stocks: ETR, GE, HTHIY, EXC, AEE, CEP, DUK, D, FE, FPL-OLD, NU, PCG, SO, TVE, TXU, XEL
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  • This is the content of a letter I sent to the Indian Point authorities. Its just a talking point intended to spur some conversation:

     

    I am a concerned citizen and I would like to share my thoughts with you concerning disaster planning and risk assessment.

     

    Given the increased focus on nuclear power, and the deleterious effects, since the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Fukushima, Japan, I would like to share with you some idea I have had about the location of an expanded and renewed Indian Point nuclear power station.

     

    That the problems at Fukushima were not caused by the 9.0 earthquake is a testament to how dependably we are now able to build.

     

    The sky scrapers in Tokyo swayed but did not topple and the reactors at Fukushima all came through the earthquake ordeal in fine shape.

     

    The Chunnel between England and France, the Mont Blanc tunnel under the Alps, the CERN ring between France and Switzerland, New York City's own Water Tunnel #3 and mines all over the planet are testaments to the fact that we also know how to dig.

     

    Combining these two gives us solutions to all of the conceivable problems that Indian Point could conceivably encounter and a final solution to the unconceivable ones as well.

     

    In real estate, the motto for selling a house is: "Location, Location and Location."

     

    That is a fitting place to start my discussion about a possible solution for many of the problems I have heard discussed when conversations about Indian Point occur.

     

    The problems at Fukushima were ones of:
    • location (building the station right next to the ocean was definitely a mistake, [Indian Point has the limits imposed on it by the use of the Hudson river for a source of cooling,])
    • location, (designing the cooling systems to need a source of power to work is, in hindsight, a blunder, [one easily avoided by the design of CANDU style reactors,]) and
    • location (the country-side and farm lands around Fukushima are now no longer accessible. This is a disaster for a country with as little arable land as Japan. [Indian Point is in the heart of the Hudson river valley and upstream from New York City, a major population center.])

     

    We'll set aside for the moment:
    • the problem of disposal of nuclear waste,
    • the problems of controlling unauthorized access,
    • the problem of expansion of the nuclear facility,
    • the problem of positioning/arraying physical equipment.

     

    Indian Point has to dig deep underground, half a kilometer or more, for several reasons:
    • security (you don't have to patrol underground, terrorists would be unable to infiltrate the perimeter,)
    • coolant source, (the Atlantic Ocean is available for desalination and containment in huge, but segmented, underground reservoirs which can all be gravity fed,)
    • redundancy (further to security, you want to be able to completely replicate all of the control functions and eliminate single points of failure, this is also essential to the safety functions as you don't have to care if one control center is inaccessible, for whatever reason,)
    • cooling (you can dig out large chambers holding water above the reactors and gravity is the source of energy for getting coolant to the reactors, lose power and the reactors immediately flood and stay flooded until power is restored,)
    • safety (dig several small chambers a few hundred meters from each other and you effectively isolate each reactor from whatever happens in another reactor, when building underground, you also operate in three dimensions, not just two, which brings us to the next bullet,)
    • expandability (there is nothing to prevent the facility from expanding the number of reactors, water chambers, turbine rooms, power control rooms etc. in several chambers built around one or more common shafts. The facility can expand as required and new chambers be built as reactors get decommissioned and the old equipment gets entombed along with its waste,)
    • nuclear waste storage and disposal, (you dig a side chamber and you never have to bring any waste to the surface, leave it underground where it was mined from.)
    • catastrophe containment (when all else has failed and a portion of the facility, or the entire facility, gets totally thrashed, you can always hold a ceremony at the entrance to a chamber, or over the entire facility, and know that the bones of any workers trapped inside are entombed for eternity.)

     

    Why would indian Point want to embark on this admittedly expensive undertaking? (New York City's Water Tunnel #3 is definitely worth the expense but its was done at considerable expense.)

     

    The reduction of exposure to:
    • terrorism (half a kilometer underground, the security of the site is much simpler and manageable, [even if terrorists manage to make their way in and take over one reactor chamber its not even going to slow down the entire facility,])
    • increased insurance costs (wide spread nuclear contamination like Chernobyl and Fukushima is impossible,)
    • possible (expensive) loss of human life from uncontained nuclear material,
    • possible loss of agricultural, industrial and residential real-estate resulting from fall out,
    • creation of a model for the future of a green energy source with thousands of years of life.

     

    Please note that this was all prompted by the realization that the United States has had all of the necessary expertise since the end of above-ground nuclear tests, and testing and detonation of nuclear weapons was moved underground.
    8 May 2011, 05:12 PM Reply Like
  • I am an ex-IT project Manager who is now disabled by multiple sclerosis and an unwilling retiree.

     

    I have a podcast, published a book, written a column and several articles for professional publications and journals.
    8 May 2011, 05:17 PM Reply Like
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