When Windmills Go Nuclear

Here’s what happens when a windmill’s safety brake fails…

It’s not Chernobyl, but you wouldn’t want to be admiring the thing when it goes.


12 Responses

  1. Damn.

    Windmills look like orchards outside of Palm Springs, California. Really a sight. Wonder what went wrong here.


    • The brake failed. No, really! When one of these giants reaches a preset speed it is supposed to shut down. This one appears to have had Toyota syndrome.


  2. It must have been built by the U.S. Government.


    • I think it may have been German. Don’t know for sure…. Nope, it’s Danish


  3. Some things (and persons) are best admired from afar.


    • You’re being very aphoristic today…


  4. I’d still rather see these than a new fossil fuel power plant. The windmills are destructive (yes, I’m aware of bird and bat kills, which can be minimized (not totally prevented)) only when something goes catastrophically wrong. The fossil fuel plants, with acids, coal ash, and greenhouse gases are destructive even when working okey-dokey.

    Cool video, though. Them’s the brakes. Or not.


    • No argument there from me. At least if a windmill goes bad you get a chance to duck. If a nuke goes bad, where you gonna go, who you gonna call?


  5. I’m actually one of those weird liberals who sees nuclear power as part (PART!) of the solution. Of course, it would require third-generation designs, built to a standard pattern, built small so that when they wear out in 30 years it is not that big of a hit, and continually reprocessing fuel rather than burying it. Of course, that would require removing the profit motive from nuke plants which would be (gasp!) socialism.


    • I’m of the mind that would put a thousand children’s pinwheels on the roof, running little generators to recharge the battery banks in the basement. In an emergency the house could simply lift off and fly away.


      • I see that as a valid method for residential power. As the price of solar cells comes down, as well as the eggbeater windmills for backyards, this will (with government support) decentralize power production. The industrial and commercial power will still (most likely (unless there is a massive breakthrough in solar panel efficiencies)) require large production facilities through nuclear, hydroelectric ((riverene or tidal) small scale so it doesn’t fuck up the ecosystem even more) and geothermal.

        In Wilkes-Barre, a guy had to fight for almost two years to put up an eggbeater in his backyard — low speed and small — which not only powers his house but adds about $100 per month (at today’s prices) to the local electrical grid. He was demonized by his neighbors — it’ll kill my little Fifi dog, etc.

        I think the neighbor’s name was Mr. Nimby.


        • Of course, having outsourced our enviropower R&D and manufacturing to China, we’re still going to get fucked.

          See the Jan/Feb 2010 edition of The American Prospect for a good discussion on that (“Why Nothing Is Made In The USA Anymore”)


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