POWER [July, 15 2008]

Cover Stories

Generation next: Strategies for recruiting younger workers

In our April 2008 issue, the article “The aging workforce: Panic is not a strategy” focused on how to reconfigure human resource practices in order to find enough well-trained new personnel to replace the large number of baby boomers who will be retiring in the next few years. This month we profile several utilities that are using innovative approaches to recruit younger technical staff and skilled craft labor to fill positions being vacated in growing numbers by retiring employees.


A race for winning reactor designs and approvals

A week before the Preakness and two weeks after the Kentucky Derby, it was an atomic horse race in Baltimore. Reactor vendors trotted out their technologies at the ELECTRIC POWER…

Carbon Constraint Conference: Dealing with the climate change conundrum

“Once it’s enacted, the impact of climate change legislation on the electric power industry will be ten times bigger than that of the Clean Air Act,” said Dan Adamson, an…

Digital technology spawns need for configuration management

Documenting changes to the distributed control system and other digital plant applications should be considered a critical element of managing risk—and of safe, efficient daily operations and maintenance. Coming up with a practical configuration management approach, though, isn’t easy.

Luminant’s Big Brown Plant wins for continuous improvement and safety programs

Staff from Luminant’s Big Brown Plant accepted the PRB Coal Users’ Group’s top honor for innovative improvements to coal-handling systems and a sterling safety record. The numbers reveal their accomplishments: an average EFOR less than 4%, an availability factor averaging 90% for a plant that burns a lignite/PRB mix, and staff who worked more than 2.6 million man-hours since March 2000 without a lost-time injury.

New strategies for conquering environmental challenges

No doubt some power plant engineers feel that tackling environmental problems is a lot like dealing with the Hydra, the ancient mythological serpent monster with multiple heads. When an attacker…

Not a quarter’s worth of difference

What, if anything, distinguishes the three major presidential candidates on energy and environmental policy? Not much, based on papers posted on their web sites, public comments, and interviews reported on in the nation’s newspapers. Let’s split some hairs on the candidates’ energy and climate change policy positions.

Options for reducing a coal-fired plant’s carbon footprint, Part II

A conventional coal plant’s CO2 emissions can be reduced either after combustion (see Part I of this article in POWER, June 2008) or before. In the latter case, typified by…

PRB Coal Users’ Group enjoys growing interest in its concerns

The 2008 Powder River Basin Coal Users’ Group (PRBCUG) set new records for attendance again this year with more than 400 registered members for the three-and-a-half-day event, 268 of whom…

Tapping seafloor volcanic vents

Modern ocean power systems look to convert the mechanical energy of waves or tidal movement to electrical energy. But that’s not all the sea has to offer. It may also be possible to capture and convert the enormous quantities of heat produced by magma escaping through seafloor vents—an undersea version of geothermal energy.

Woods and power company CEOs agree: “The state of the industry is cautious”

It is rare indeed to witness, at an otherwise staid industry forum, the public rebuke of the country’s most prominent supplier to the electric power industry. But at the Keynote…



Kilowatt-hour tax is fairest approach

By Jim Rogers, Duke Energy Corp. The climate change debate has been dramatized in movies, on Hollywood’s red carpets, and in documentaries featuring melting ice caps. The collective effect is…

New Products

Legal & Regulatory

Climate change: Policy via litigation?

By Steven F. Greenwald and Jeffrey P. Gray David Crane, the CEO of NRG Energy, was recently quoted in a widely disseminated publication as saying: “It is a moral imperative…

Focus on O&M

Focus on O&M (July 2008) 

Protection against arc flash more important than ever; Laramie River Station uses new coating technology; Protecting power plant pipes: Basics you must know

Global Monitor

Global Monitor (July 2008)

Yucca Mountain plan sent to NRC/ CPV cells get cooling chips from IBM/ StatoilHydro to pilot test first offshore floating wind turbine/ U.S. rivers next massive power source?/ Siemens delivers 500-MW gasifiers/ Algae: A green solution/ POWER digest

Speaking of Power

It’s all about power

—Dr. Robert Peltier, PE Editor-in-Chief The Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act (L-W) that proposes to cut carbon emissions by two-thirds by 2050 was delivered stillborn on the Senate floor in early…

GBR Reports