Nuclear Wind

Government’s largest wind farm to be used to generate electricity for assembly of atomic bombs

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Pantex

The Obama Administration is building the nation’s biggest wind farm to generate electricity to help … assemble the nation’s nuclear arsenal.

It’s boasting of the great environmental stewardship the project represents — breezes for bombs? — and has contracted with Siemens USA, the American subsidiary of a German company, for the wind turbines at the heart of the operation.

The government broke ground on Tuesday for the Pantex Renewable Energy Project. When finished next summer, it will include five 2.3-MW wind turbines on 1,500 acres (607 hectares) of government-owned property east of the Pantex plant in the Texas panhandle. “Pantex is charged with securing America by providing the nation’s nuclear deterrent,” the fissile factory says, “and is now the future home of the federal government’s largest wind farm.”

The wind farm “will be funded by the energy savings guaranteed by Siemens,” Pantex says — an estimated $50 million over 18 years.

(MORE: Is It Time to Cut Off One Leg of the Pentagon’s Nuclear Triad?)

Supervising the financing is Hannon Armstrong, “a specialty finance company that provides debt and equity financing for sustainable-infrastructure projects.” The Maryland-based company focuses on “profitable sustainable-infrastructure projects that increase energy efficiency, provide cleaner energy sources, positively impact the environment, or make more efficient use of natural resources.”

Positively impacts the environment?

That kind of green talk is unusual for a nuclear-bomb factory. Now-shuttered sites like Colorado’s Rocky Flats plant and Washington State’s Hanford site, which have poisoned the ground surrounding them for years, have tended to be the rule.

But it’s no different from what Pantex itself is saying about the deal:

The Pantex wind farm is projected to generate approximately 47 million kW-h of clean energy annually, which is greater than 65% of Pantex’s annual electricity needs. This is enough electricity to power nearly 3,500 homes and reduce CO2 emissions by more than 35,000 metric tons per year. This reduction is also equivalent to removing 7,200 cars from the road each year or planting more than 850,000 trees.

So if you’re discombobulated about the use of wind power for nuclear weapons, it might help to think of the Pantex project as an atomic arboretum.

PHOTOS: A Timeline of Nuclear Disarmament

59 comments
collioure
collioure

I'm for developing all our energy resources.

While this project may be admirable and in the right direction (if the electricity production by wind is economic), this President does not favor or support developing all our energy resources to become self-sufficient.

He is correct to phase out coal which just will never be close to clean.

But he should be encouraging the development and greater use of natural gas which the USA has in abundance - as in natural gas powered cars.

pjonscher
pjonscher

Do the math:  (47 mill*1000)/(2.3 mill*5)/(365*24) *100 = 46.7% of the time they all 5 are operating at full rated capacity -- I don't think so.

($50 mill/18)/(47 mill) = 5.9 cents/kWh  -- believable but savings will only be half that with realistic 25% availability and don't forget all the missed taxes to local coffers and, oh yea, capital recovery of the initial investment. I guess the Feds have no intention of ever paying off the $17 trillion in US debt.

valentine.godoflove
valentine.godoflove

IN CAPS SO YOU CAN SEE BETTER...........

WHAT WILL THE AUDUBON SOCIETY SAY......WHEN THESE WIND FRAMS KILL ZILLIONS AND ZILLIONS OF BIRDS?

I THOUGHT THAT OBAMA WAS FOR "GREEN EARTH".......NOT A KILLER OF BIRDS.....

VALNETINE, COMEDIAN,............ LOL

delta5297
delta5297

Well, if we're going to be building those nuclear weapons anyway, might as well use wind power rather than burning coal to do it.

kamanalonokapu
kamanalonokapu

How many birds have been killed by these wind farms all over the world?  millions?  billions?  trillions?  Humans are the worst thing to ever happen to this once beautiful planet.  

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

"Positively impacts the environment?"

Using low CO2 technology to build nukes. Ironic. I'll bet you an estimated $50 million over 18 years that one of the clever ideas in some top secret Pentagon safe is to set off a series of those devices in strategic locations, to create a controlled "nuclear winter" to prevent us from frying the planet with excessive CO2.

KarenNym
KarenNym

Wow 11.5 MW. And don't even get me started on how much we will end up altering weather patterns with this.

Simple law of conservation of energy. Energy or matter can't be created or destroyed, only change form. That means the wind that hits those blades loses all of the power in it.

A single hydro dam usually at least generates around 100 MW.


brenro12
brenro12

Well there's certainly plenty of hot air to power it.

orbital303
orbital303

So this is an attempt to further spread black on black crime world wide apparently.  Greatest nation in the world my @$$

PavitraDasi
PavitraDasi

oh great, breezes for bombs. so what, so we can all look forward to having our bodies and our families totally blown up? the fallout alone causes the eyes to melt down the face. why can't the world stop killing. and that means cows as well. stop killing and you won't be killed.

LangLee
LangLee

after close to five years without a president a failing america is looking to raise cash by selling iran and north korea nuclear weapons...

Billysam
Billysam

Tearjerker09 be aware that the Time article is misleading.  The Pantex plant actually disassembles nuclear warheads to meet the terms of the Salt treaty.  They used to build them.  Now they do the opposite.

vbscript2
vbscript2

"The Pantex wind farm is projected to generate approximately 47 million kW-h of clean energy annually"

Which is a nice way of rewording that they plan to have an average output of about 5.3 MW in order to make it sound more impressive.

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

In Sarov began the creation of the world's most powerful laser

The first phase of the world's most powerful laser system, created in the Russian nuclear center - the city of Sarov, will be launched in 2017. This will be the open center, where they can work not only Russian but also foreign scientists.


According to the director of the Russian Federal Nuclear Center Valentina Kostyukova, the first design phase ends on August 1, after which, during the year will start the detailed design phase of the installation and construction activities, according to "Kommersant Volga region".

Once will be put into operation the first stage in the installation will be carried out serious experiments, which, according to Kostyukova, will provide answers to many questions of fundamental science.

"The decision to create a laser system was difficult, and colleagues from the United States and France have begun work in this direction much earlier - said Kostjukov. - However, it gave the Russian physicists time and the opportunity to design and lay the idea of ​​a more perfect setting, a number of parameters that will be superior to the American and French counterparts. "

Laser system UFL-2m according to the project has 192 laser channel, covers an area the size of two football fields, and the highest point reaches the size of a 10-storey building. It will have the largest pulse energy compared with their Western counterparts - more than two megajoules. A similar plant being built in the United States and France have a capacity of 1.8 megajoules. This unique equipment will be carried out fundamental research on high-temperature dense plasmas.
Laser facility will be located in the industrial park, "Sarov", located near the eponymous closed nuclear cities.

Tearjerker09
Tearjerker09

So the United States signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and we are building a wind farm to assemble atomic bombs. No wonder the rest of the world doesn't take us seriously...

alastes
alastes

" When finished next summer, it will include five 2.3-MW wind turbines on 1,500 acres"

Five turbines? That cannot possibly be correct. Those turbines do not generate 2.3MW each. Five of them does not constitute the largest wind turbine farm in the nation, not by far. Around here in Illinois there are fields that have 30 or 40 of them at least...

mothergoosemc4
mothergoosemc4

Whoa when did crack cocaine advertising become legal? I am so behind the times. 

Piacevole
Piacevole

Now, that's  whiplash!

There's going to be a really large windfarm built.  Good news, right?  Sounds like it.

Then, the kicker: the power it generates will be used to build a nuclear arsenal.

Sigh.  Talk about ruining a wet dream. . .

"The good news is, we have all we want to eat.  The bad news is, it's buffalo chips."


spyonthis1
spyonthis1

Oh thank god, here I thought they were going to use alternative energy on something stupid.

MrObvious
MrObvious

If all for projects like these but it should benefit American companies only. It's our tax money and if we're ever going to be able to help our domestic industry to rebuild itself I think our government, using our tax money should benefit domestic companies only. And yes, that includes manufacturing and assembly in USA by our labor.

It's time to put our money to good use and in the right hands.

berryls
berryls

@valentine.godoflovepesticides poison 67 million birds, and automobiles hit 80 million birds a year. Plus, cats pounce on 100 million birds and power lines electrocute 130 million birds annually. But the biggest killer is when 550 million birds fly into buildings! 

22JKlein
22JKlein

@kamanalonokapu They're not like the fan that sits on your desk and has a cage around it to keep you from sticking your fingers or birds in it....have you ever seen one in operation? If a bird gets killed, blame Darwin, or God for making that bird exceptionally dumb for a bird, much like yourself.

saladyears
saladyears

@kamanalonokapu Um, it's nothing compared to what the emissions from CO2 burning plants have killed.  Try again but this time don't use standard right-wing talking points.

nstaley401
nstaley401

@KarenNym I believe almost every good location for hydro dams, is already in use

saladyears
saladyears

@KarenNym And hydro dams are so easy to build, there's just so many free-running rivers of sufficient power and elevation delta to just put them all over the place... too bad wind farms can only go pretty much anywhere there's enough wind.  Oh, wait.

troyowen7688
troyowen7688

@KarenNym   "altering weather patterns" No, wind power only effects the ground immediately under the turbine blade, cooler in the day warmer at night. 

If spaced apart they pose no real change in the local climate or worldwide climate.

It's ok.

Piacevole
Piacevole

@KarenNym Given that once wind farms are established, they require no fueling, it seems like a good deal.  I would appreciate it if you would explain exactly how we would be altering the weather patterns more with wind farms than we have been doing with coal-fired generation.

MarkSweetipo
MarkSweetipo

@LangLeeWow are you retarded?  Not even a good troll.  We are not Arab we are not suicidal for our crazy religion.

serinanth
serinanth

@Sibir_Russia Considering the National ignition facility's 192 beams are already up to about 3Mj I suggest you check your facts. Those construction sizes and energy output sound like the NIF's footprint and early low power experiments.

Creating a miniature star, brought to you by gravity and now humans.

alastes
alastes

I stand corrected. I guess there are super massive turbines out there...the biggest generates 7.5MW, which is insane. And here we are, the USA, going for only 2.3MW on each. Seems like we could do better.

KarenNym
KarenNym

@YoungbloodJoe  The sites that made the warheads for the nukes have been shut down for decades. As stated by Furby, they are cannibalizing older ones to make "new" ones.

furby076
furby076

@YoungbloodJoe We are assembling existing ones, not building new ones. That's how things get lawyered

Energydirect
Energydirect

@JohnDavidDeatherage The statement in the first paragraph, "The Obama Administration is building the nation’s biggest wind farm to generate electricity..." is more than misleading. According to the article, the total installed capacity will be 11.5 MW. Alto in CA is about 1 GW. Oregon has one about 0.8 GW and Texas has two of similar size.

That's a couple of orders of magnitude larger.


Energydirect
Energydirect

@MrObvious I assume that you realize that the project is funded by a private company and the energy will be purchased by Pantex with a contractually-guarenteed  cost-savings.

crs
crs

@MrObvious Siemens USA wind turbines are built in Kansas, the blades are built in Iowa I think, all by US workers.  GE is the only other company in the US who could provide similar turbines, mainly manufactured in China.  In this global economy we don't have any truly domestic industry's left, look at where the workers are, not where the HQ sits.

sef1904
sef1904

I agree with your comment in general.  However, U.S. companies are smarter than BoBo.  They know that the wind and solar energy racket can only be propped up via OUR, i.e. tax dollars.  Therefore, when the goobirmint teat dries up their companies will fold.

Scott

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

THE CONCEPT OF CONSTRUCTION OF THE LASER SETUP UFL-2M

 It is expected that the total energy of the installation on the working wavelength (l  = 1053 nm) will amount to 4.6 MJ. For target radiation will be used by the second harmonic of a neodymium laser (l = 527 nm), if the value is delivered to the target of laser energy 2.8 MJ. 192 laser beam (cross-section size of 400 x 400 mm2), grouped in 48 clusters, to be introduced in мишенную chamber of aluminium of a diameter of 10 meters The use of spherical boxes converters will provide the low level of heterogeneity of the x-ray light capsules with thermonuclear fuel less than 1%.

energymo
energymo

@alastesIt's virtually impossible for an onshore turbine to power more than 2.5MW at this point in time. Anything bigger than that is likely an offshore turbine. Also, the article states that this is the US government's largest wind farm - the Obama administration has committed to increasing the Department of Defense's installed base to 3GW by 2025. There are certainly bigger commercial wind farms - some with over 300 turbines.

Energydirect
Energydirect

@sef1904 In spite of the expiration of the PTC, wind continued to lead generation installation along with NG. The one-year extension passed later is having only a marginal impact. Utilities like wind power because it is usually the least expensive option when adding load to the grid. In addition, utilities can plan for the costs in the long run because there is no fuel volatility.

Most wind power companies would prefer that the government simply stick with a policy: A predictable tax policy allows them to plan. Wind power is now at the cost tipping point, even when you don't account for all of the costs of fossil fuels (such as transport subsidies, direct subsidies and damage to the environment from extraction and use). Therefore, wind already has the lowest marginal cost and is usually added to load first. Therefore, wind will continue to grow in share, PTC or not.

If I were forced to guess, I would say that wind will probably level out as 25% to 35% of total grid input sometime in the next 10 to 20 years. Texas ERCOT is at approximately 10% already, and growing.

Piacevole
Piacevole

@sef1904 Whereas, the hidden costs of using fossil fuels - like the medical costs of taking care of children's asthma, the weather problems - all come directly out of non-tax monies, so that's perfectly all right.

Heizzzenberg
Heizzzenberg

@Xizang @MarkSweetipo @LangLee Nah...he is just keeping up the status quo as per recommendations from the DOD...contrary to your silly views, the president in America is more of a mouth piece (albeit a crappy one), that at times can help push a certain agenda across the goal line, or hinder it's authorization.

I assure you, he did not make this decision with his own big boy pants, there were Generals, Staff, and hundreds of Analysts who pushed this through at DOD and various other Government departments. Take your tin foil hats off you silly Asians...


joeaverager
joeaverager

@energymo @alastes And next election if the Dems lose, won't the GOP just waste millions of dollars and tear it all down in favor of their favorite energy sources?

energymo
energymo

@@Energydirect I agree with your corrections - but the writer also mentions this “is now the future home of the federal government’s largest wind farm,” which is the correct statement.

 TIME might want to state a correction to avoid further confusion.

Energydirect
Energydirect

@energymo @alastes It states ..."the nation's largest wind farm..."

In the other, you are generally correct. There are larger turbines than 2.5 MW on land (see, e.g. Vestas V112-3, Repower's 5 MW and the Enercon 7.5 MW -- all designed for land). The limiting factor is the ability to move large components on land and to do so economically. This is offset by the lower cost per kWhr for larger turbines.


As always, it is all in the economics.