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Power company kills nuclear plant, plans $6 billion in solar, battery investment

On Tuesday, power provider Duke Energy Florida announced a settlement with the state’s public service commission (PSC) to cease plans to build a nuclear plant in western Florida. The utility instead intends to invest $6 billion in solar panels, grid-tied batteries, grid modernization projects, and electric vehicle charging areas. The new plan involves the installation of 700MW of solar capacity over four years in the western Florida area.

There's excitement from the solar industry, but the announcement is more bad news for the nuclear industry. Earlier this year, nuclear reactor company Westinghouse declared bankruptcy as construction of its new AP1000 reactors suffered from contractor issues and a stringent regulatory environment. Two plants whose construction was already underway—the Summer plant in South Carolina and the Vogtle plant in Georgia—found their futures in question immediately.

At the moment, Summer’s owners are considering abandoning the plant, and Vogtle’s owners are weighing whether they will do the same or attempt to salvage the project.

Duke Energy Florida hadn’t started building the Levy nuclear plant, but it did have plans to order two AP1000 reactors from Westinghouse. Now that Westinghouse company is in dire financial straits, the Florida utility decided that its money is better spent elsewhere.



Thursday TOON Roundup 3- The Rest








Thursday TOON Roundup 2 - The Storm continues

Thursday Toon Roundup 1 - Always all about him

The Renegade I.C.E. Might Be This Administration's Worst Gift to the Nation


When, and if, the history of this leprous administration is written, the rampage it has enabled among the berserkers of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement police is going to have place of great prominence. Of course, that will depend on whether there are records for those future historians to consult, and the ACLU informs us that there's nothing certain about that, either.

ICE has asked for permission to begin routinely destroying 11 kinds of records, including those related to sexual assaults, solitary confinement and even deaths of people in its custody. Other records subject to destruction include alternatives to detention programs; regular detention monitoring reports, logs about the people detained in ICE facilities and communications from the public reporting detention abuses. ICE proposed various timelines for the destruction of these records ranging from 20 years for sexual assault and death records to three years for reports about solitary confinement.

There is absolutely no reason that ICE should be allowed to do this. It's purely inhumane ass-covering for purely inhumane offenses. Who profits from the destruction of records relating to sexual assaults except the perpetrators and the guards who were supposed to stop them, but who, either through negligence or worse, failed to do their jobs? Even worse, it looks like the responsible federal authority is buying ICE's threadbare rationale.


We're Nowhere Near Prepared for the Ecological Disaster That Harvey Is Becoming

AUG 30, 2017


Item: And this one may be my favorite, which is to say, the one that pushes me under the bed the furthest. On Galveston Island, there is the Galveston National Laboratory, which is part of the University of Texas Medical Branch. This laboratory contains some of the most deadly biological agents found in the known world, many of them of the airborne variety. It contain several Bio-Safety Level 4 labs, which are basically the places where plagues are studied. And here's the thing, as HuffPost explains—nobody knows what's going on there at the moment:

There has been almost no news from Galveston as journalists have reported being blocked from reaching the island because of severe flooding. There has been no reporting at all on the condition of the lab. A call to the laboratory on Tuesday immediately went to voicemail.

Here's a professor with some happy news.

But the generators run on fuel that would have to be replenished. It is not known if the lab is accessible to emergency crews to refuel the generators, which are stored on the roof, according to the 2008 Times piece. "As I see it the existential problem is this: What happens if and when the fuel for the back-up generators runs out?" asked University of Illinois professor Francis Boyle, an expert in biological weapons. "The negative air pressure that keeps (the) bugs in there ends. And (the) bugs can then escape."

Item: While the tragedy is vast and still unfolding, it was utterly and totally predictable. The Texas Gulf Coast has been Ground Zero for potential hurricanes since the Earth cooled and the continents separated. In 1900, a hurricane hit Galveston and killed 12,000 people. That one was a catastrophic surprise, there being no hurricane warning system at the time. This was after a similar storm had decimated nearby Indianola 25 years earlier. And yet…

the rest


Christie calls Cruz 'disgusting' over hurricane relief

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie slammed Sen. Ted Cruz Wednesday morning over what he said was the Texas Republican's double standard in opposing Superstorm Sandy relief but requesting federal aid for Texas after Hurricane Harvey.

"I have no sympathy for this -- and I see Sen. Cruz and it's disgusting to me that he stands in a recovery center with victims standing behind him as a backdrop," he told CNN's Chris Cuomo on "New Day." "He's still repeating the same reprehensible lies about what happened in Sandy (and) called on Congress Wednesday morning to work fast on a bill to aid Texas after Hurricane Harvey."

Cruz said Monday he voted against a 2013 Sandy relief bill because it was "a $50 billion bill filled with pork and unrelated spending that wasn't hurricane relief."

"It was simply local members of Congress spending on their pet projects and two-thirds of what was spent in that bill had little or nothing to do with Hurricane Sandy," Cruz said to CNN's Jim Acosta during "Wolf" on Monday.



Time for a cage match!

'This is the dumbest thing I've ever done,' says man who rode out Harvey

PORT ARANSAS -- The walls had begun to contract, squeezed and yanked by the 130-mph winds of the punishing storm Bill and Paulette Rogers had foolishly underestimated.

With a resounding crack around 10 p.m., the two-story beach home shook. A tree tore through the upstairs bedroom. The frames and a wall clock came crashing down, and water surged in, fast, warm and deadly. It was then that Bill Rogers, 61, knew he had a made a mistake by staying home.

"Get the dogs," he shouted. "Move it. We gotta go -- now."

Bill, a lifelong mechanic with tough hands and soft blue eyes, had spent Friday morning boarding up the windows, and Paulette, 64, his wife of 40 years, had picked up the groceries and sundries they figured were enough to outlast a Category 2 hurricane. Thanks to a generator, they spent the evening watching TV news, of excitable people fleeing the coast.



Stupid RWer, very lucky to be alive.

President Obama picked the most popular secretary in Trumps cabinet

Donald Trump’s fixation on President Barack Obama is no secret.

Whether desperately retweeting unscientific Twitter polls that say Trump is a better president; alienating European allies, who are all too aware that Trump’s reckless actions on foreign policy are “driven by an obsession with unravelling” Obama’s work; or wasting taxpayer money to try to prove that his own inauguration crowd was larger than Obama’s (spoiler alert: it wasn’t), Trump’s jealousy of his predecessor is clear.

At times painfully so, like when it drives him to take aim at the lowered teen pregnancy rate under the Obama administration or to just rampage through Obama’s legacy like a bull in a china shop.

But one esteemed element of that legacy is still firmly in place, within the White House itself, no less.

As Politico notes, “Trump’s most popular cabinet secretary” was actually chosen by Obama.

David Shulkin, the secretary of Veterans Affairs, was originally nominated to a different position within that department by Obama in 2015. In January 2017, on the advice of U.S. Ambassador to Israel David M. Friedman, Trump nominated Shulkin to the top position at the VA.



Terry Pratchett's unfinished novels destroyed by steamroller - as he instructed

Stephanie Convery
Wednesday 30 August 2017 01.01 EDT

The unfinished books of Sir Terry Pratchett have been destroyed by a steamroller, following the late fantasy novelist’s wishes.

Pratchett’s hard drive was crushed by a vintage John Fowler & Co steamroller named Lord Jericho at the Great Dorset Steam Fair, ahead of the opening of a new exhibition about the author’s life and work.

Pratchett, famous for his colourful and satirical Discworld series, died in March 2015 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

After his death, fellow fantasy author Neil Gaiman, Pratchett’s close friend and collaborator , told the Times that Pratchett had wanted “whatever he was working on at the time of his death to be taken out along with his computers, to be put in the middle of a road and for a steamroller to steamroll over them all”.

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