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Climate Change Emissions Nuclear Renewables

Take real action on climate change – Part 2 – the FAQ

This post follows on directly from part 1, which you can read here. Here, a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) on climate change and nuclear energy are answered. These are quite deliberately not technical – you won’t find explanations of adiabatic lapse rates, actinide isotopes or Brayton cycle efficiency here! Nope… these are ‘big picture’ questions. I hope you find them stimulating, easy to understand, and appropriate to their target audience – the average ‘Joe’ and ‘Josephine’. Once again, this material was authored primarily by Marion Brook, in collaboration with various other BNC commenters. Thanks to you all for your efforts in developing this everyman’s guide.

We hope to add to this list, and refine the answers (these are very much first drafts, and some certainly need a little filling out). Eventually, I hope that this becomes a static top banner page on BNC, and, I hope, a pamphlet for you to distribute among friends and colleagues. So, feedback is very welcome – let’s work together on this.

Q1. How urgent is it to address climate change?

Q2. Why do we need nuclear power? Won’t renewables provide our needs?

Q3. We need to act fast, aren’t renewables the fastest response?

Q4. Aren’t renewables the most affordable option?

Q5. What about storing excess energy for later use?

Q6. Isn’t it more important for us to scale down our energy requirements through energy efficiency and conservation?

Q7. Aren’t renewables our safest option?

Q8. Does nuclear emit more CO2 than renewables

Q9. What about meltdowns? Is nuclear energy safe?

Q10. What about radiation?

Q11. What about the waste?

Q12. Wouldn’t a nuclear power staion be a terrorist target?

Q13. What about nuclear weapons proliferation?

Q14. Nuclear power is unnatural, isn’t it?

Q15. Is there enough uranium?

Q16. Is nuclear energy expensive?

Q17. Is nuclear energy fast enough?

Q18. Why isn’t every country following the French model if it’s the best?

Q19. Isn’t the nuclear lobby in bed with the coal lobby?

Q20. But… isn’t nuclear power evil?

FAQ

Q1. How urgent is it to address climate change?

Increasingly urgent. The longer we delay on the move away from fossil fuel energy sources, the more we will ‘lock in’ the build-up of long-lived greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide.

To have a 50:50 chance of avoiding 2°C or more global warming, carbon emissions must be slashed by around 80% by 2050 and essentially eliminated in the few decades after that. It will take time to make this massive, worldwide transition to new energy sources. We have no time to lose!

Q2.Why do we need nuclear power? Won’t renewables provide our needs?

No. Renewables are very expensive and cannot meet our needs all the time (see below).

Q3. We need to act fast, aren’t renewables the fastest response?

Unfortunately, non-hydro renewables are proving to be slow and ineffective.

For the last 20 odd years, Denmark has been aggressively pursuing wind power, yet it still still only supplies between 5% and 20% of their electricity needs. In twenty years the Danes have been unable to replace a single coal fired power station with renewables.

At 650 g CO2 per kilowatt hour, Denmark’s emissions are more than 7 times greater than nuclear-powered France. And remember, no country has done better with wind then Denmark.

Conversely, in just ten years, France almost completely replaced their old coal-fired power stations with 34 nuclear power plants. Nuclear power currently supplies 77% of electricity to the French grid. At just at just 90g CO2 per kilowatt hour of electricity, France now has the lowest emissions from electricity generation of any non-hydro/geothermal, developed nation in the OECD.

Ten years! Nuclear power is the fastest response we have.

For more details, read Danish fairy tales – what can we learn? (by Tom Blees)

Q4. Aren’t renewables the most affordable option?

No. Effectively replacing just one coal power station involves a massive overbuild at huge costs.

Australia’s largest wind farm is the 192 MWe Waubra plant at $450 million. To match the nameplate capacity of Hazelwood (1675 MWe) we need 8 of these wind farms (or solar equivalent) spread across state. That’s $3.6 billion. But because weather can vary across the state, this variability means wind and solar combined produce at best only about a quarter of their capacity. So we quadruple our first calculation and blanket the state in 24 Waubras at $14.4 billion. But, wind can also drop off over huge areas. To account for this we need to spread another 24 Waubras interstate. $28.8 billion and we’ve lost our energy independence right there. Theory is, when our wind and solar are out, NSW should be operating and vice versa. Assuming the whole of NSW is experiencing ideal conditions and doesn’t need the power themselves (big assumptions), they should sell it to us. Then there’s transmission lines, more $, and transmission loss, more MW… and so it goes on. Or, we could replace it with one nuclear power plant at a quarter or less of the cost. Old power station out, new power station in, MWe for MWe.

Replacing Hazelwood coal-fired power station – Critique of Environment Victoria report

The 100% renewable option is neither fast nor affordable.

[R]enewable sources tend to be alternative rather than additive. Therefore it is not a matter of having each renewable source carrying a fraction of the load all the time. If we build one unit of wind power and one unit of PV power we would not necessarily have two more units of renewable energy capacity; sometimes we would have no more, e.g., on calm nights. This means we might have to build two or even four separate systems (wind, PV, solar thermal and coal [or]nuclear) each capable of meeting much or all of the demand on its own, with the equivalent of one to three sitting idle much or all of the time.

Ted Trainer: Renewable energy cannot sustain an energy intensive society

A video on the high cost of Danish wind:

Does wind power reduce carbon emissions? (by Peter Lang)

Wind and carbon emissions – Peter Lang responds (by Peter Lang)

Solar power realities – supply-demand, storage and costs (by Peter Lang)

Solar realities and transmission costs – addendum (by Peter Lang)

Q5. What about storing excess energy for later use?

In a continent a dry as Australia our hydro capacity is extremely limited and could not by itself fulfill the storage requirements of a 100% renewable grid. Pumped hydro in Australia is also prohibitively expensive, geographically limited and, to pump water, requires the kind of guaranteed steady power supply variable wind/solar cannot supply. Pumped-hydro energy storage – cost estimates for a feasible system (by Peter Lang)

Concerning solar thermal:

Plant capable of delivering 1000 MW in winter would need 100+ million square metres of collection area. At the estimated SEGS cost of $800/m (Trainer 2008) the plant would cost $80 billion.

The climate data seems to show that despite their storage capacity solar thermal systems would suffer a significant intermittency problem and in winter would either need storage capacity for four or more cloudy day sequences once or twice each winter month, or would need back up from some other sources. This means they could not be expected to buffer the intermittency of other components in a fully renewable system.

Ted Trainer: Renewable energy cannot sustain an energy intensive society

Q6. Isn’t it more important for us to scale down our energy requirements through energy efficiency and conservation?

Population increase, a switch to electric vehicles, climate change adaptations (eg desalination) and the continuing electrification of the developing world will all conspire to make conservation little more than a smoke screen – empty action that allows even weak adherents to feel a dangerously misplaced confidence while the planet continues to die. They cannot be relied upon as anything more than peripheral emissions reduction strategies.

A great video on India’s growing demand

Put all energy cards on the table to fix climate change fully

Q7. Aren’t renewables our safest option?

Our foremost reason for pursuing renewable energy is to avoid dangerous climate change. Therefore the 100% renewable option can only be considered our safest option if it adequately addresses climate change. Unlike nuclear power, renewables have so far proven unable to prevent new fossil fuel stations being built, and unable to replace existing coal and gas . We are deeply concerned that placing our sole faith in technologies, yet to prove their efficacy in replacing fossil fuels, is a climate disaster waiting to happen. Effective action is our safest option.

Further reading:

Critique of ‘A path to sustainable energy by 2030′

Germany – crunched by the numbers (by Tom Blees)

Unnatural Gas (by Tom Blees)

Q8. Does nuclear emit more CO2 than renewables?

No.

When generating electricity, nuclear power emits no CO2.

When construction, mining and decommissioning of the various technologies are accounted for, nuclear emits far less CO2 than any other electricity generation technology, or mix of technologies, that can meet our demand for electricity.

If we ignore the emissions from the back-up generators, wind power emits roughly the same as nuclear generators. When we include them, wind power emits about the same as efficient gas generation.

TCASE 4: Energy system build rates and material inputs

Emission cuts realities for electricity generation – costs and CO2 emissions (by Peter Lang)

Q9. What about meltdowns? Is nuclear energy safe?

Yes. Nuclear is about the safest of all the electricity generation technologies.

Compare Chernobyl with Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania. Chernobyl didn’t have a containment dome, Three Mile Island did. Not a single person died or fell ill as a result of the Three Mile Island meltdown. Containment domes work.

Risk assessment studies show that nuclear power is the safest of all the electricity generation technologies. Nuclear is 10 to 100 times safer than coal electricity generation. Coal plant safety varies but nuclear power is at least 10 times safer than the safest coal power plant. This has been demonstrated by 55 years of nuclear electricity generation. Nuclear power is the only universally deployable, zero emissions technology that has proven able to replace a fossil fuel power station. This alone makes it a safer bet than intermittent renewables such as wind and solar.

Current generation III nuclear power stations are even safer than the already incredibly safe current designs. They have passive safety systems, controlled not by human operators but by the laws of physics, unless the laws of physics – which have been running the universe since the beginning of time – ‘decide’ to change, then these designs are fail safe. They cannot melt down. If something goes wrong and there is not a single human operator in the plant they simply shut themselves down. Not a single human operator need be present in the plant for this to occur.

Q10. What about radiation?

Radiation is all around us. People, animals, plants, water, rocks and the sun all emit radiation. The average radiation dose we receive each year is 360 millirems. But depending on where you live in the world, what your life style is like, what your favourite foods are etc you may be exposed to a natural and completely harmless background radiation dose of anything from, about 200 millirems per year, to more than 5000 millirems/yr. For example:

Poland is low at – 240 millirem/yr

Grand Central station, NY – 540 millirem/yr (It’s built from granite.)

Kerala, India – 900 millirem/yr

Pripyat, Chernobyl (1992) – 2500 millirem/yr (non-natural levels)

Certain beaches in Brazil – 3000 millirem/yr.

Tamil Nadu, India at – 5,300 millirem/yr

A nuclear power station’s radiation is indistinguishable from natural background radiation levels. At about 0.005% of our average radiation dose it’s equivalent to the radiation dose we’d receive from eating one banana per year and around 100 times below that emitted by our current coal plants.

The developed nations with the highest reliance on nuclear power have life expectancy, under 5 year old mortality, and infant mortality rates equal to any other developed nation. There is little evidence to suggest nuclear power stations pose increased health risks. Numerous studies have been undertaken to determine the effects of living near nuclear power plants and the overriding evidence demonstrates no rise in cancer rates, or other problems, for communities who live close to nuclear power plants, compared to those who do not.

Ask yourself this: If we accept the science on climate change, why shouldn’t we accept the science on nuclear power? (See also Q12,17 & 18).

How dangerous is radiation?

Radiation – facts, fallacies and phobias

Q11. What about the waste?

Nuclear power produces a tiny amount of waste. To put the volume of waste into perspective, this is all that remains from a now decommissioned nuclear power station which generated power for 31 years.

This is a minuscule amount compared to the waste from fossil fuel power stations, which release the equivalent of 5000 Gulf of Mexico oil spills into the atmosphere every single day.

All technologies create waste – even wind and solar require the disposal or recycling of long lived toxic waste such as cadmium and arsenic. Many of these waste products have no half life, they are toxic forever, yet, instead of concluding we must abandon renewable technologies, we find ways to manage their waste. We can, and do, use the same approach for nuclear waste. Indeed new Generation IV nuclear power plants (eg IFR) have solved the nuclear waste issue. In reality, nuclear waste is much better thought of as ‘once-used-nuclear-fuel’, of which only about 1% to 10% of the energy has been used. The brilliant thing about Generation IV nuclear power plants is that they use this ‘waste’ as fuel, using over 99% of the remaining energy. In fact, Generation IV nuclear power plants are the ONLY way we can get rid of the long-lived nuclear waste we have already generated, by burning it as fuel. If ones concern is nuclear waste, the solution is Gen IV nuclear power.

The final waste product from an IFR Gen IV nuclear power plant (ie: with once-used-fuel recycling) has a half-life of just 30 years. A half life is the amount of time it takes for radioactive isotopes to degrade into non-radioactive isotopes. A half life of 30 years for Gen IV waste means in 30 years it’s radiation levels will drop to 50% of original levels, in 60 years this 50% will have halved again, a drop to 25% of original levels, in 90 years only 12.5% of original levels will remain, and so on until, in about 300 years, this tiny amount of waste will be less radioactive than the granite walls of Grand Central Station in New York City.

Lastly — and this is ironic — we are currently living with 5-50% more nuclear waste being pumped into our atmosphere every year in the fly ash from our coal stations than an IFR would produce capture and store away over the same time frame. By going nuclear we would in fact be reducing our nuclear waste.

Q12.Wouldn’t a nuclear power station be a terrorist target?

No…

…not if they actually wanted to do some damage.

Q13. What about nuclear weapons proliferation?

Nuclear power is not a precursor to nuclear weapons.

Nuclear weapons were developed before nuclear power, evidently nations do not need nuclear power in order to develop nuclear weapons.

None of the weapons that currently exist will disappear with a dismantling of our nuclear power fleet.

There are many nations (Japan, for example) who have nuclear power, yet do not have nuclear weapons.

Nuclear power can replace coal in all nations who currently have nuclear reactors, nuclear power or nuclear weapons without increasing any imagined proliferation risk, and that would take care of more than 90% of our stationary energy emissions worldwide.

Banning nuclear power because of nuclear weapons proliferation concerns is akin to banning medical research because of biological weapons proliferation concerns. In other words, absurd! The connections are too tenuous and the positives too great.

Q14. Nuclear power is unnatural, isn’t it?

No, it isn’t. Atoms don’t have prejudices, and energy is not selfish. The universe is naturally awash with radiation, and nuclear fission is not black magic. Nuclear reactors have even occurred naturally in Earth’s history. Ever heard of the Oklo reactor? Look back over a billion years, and find out more

Q15. Is there enough uranium?

Yes. There is enough uranium to provide all the world’s energy indefinitely.

Australia holds a quarter of the world’s known reserves, if any nation can rely on nuclear power, we can.

Using advanced reactor technology an individuals entire energy need for a whole year (electricity, synthetic jet fuel, electric vehicles etc.) can be supplied from the uranium and thorium that could be extracted from half a cubic metre of ordinary dirt. Over an individuals entire lifetime the amount of extracted nuclear fuel involved would be no bigger than a golf ball. Indeed, we’ve already mined enough uranium to power the whole world using next-generation nuclear power for 700 years!

Q16. Is nuclear energy expensive?

It’s much cheaper than 100% renewable energy — basically wind and solar and the little hydro we can muster.

Once up and running, nuclear power produces some of the cheapest electricity in the world.

It can be made more expensive (but still cheaper than 100% renewables) wherever there is an unsupportive public. Public demonstrations, legal stalling, superfluous or conflicting regulation changes mid-build, all cause delays and cost overruns. The simple answer is to:

1. Support nuclear power as our surest carbon mitigation strategy.

2. Get the appropriate regulations in place before building begins and stick by them.

Nuclear power can be the least cost electricity where there is a ‘level playing field’ for all types of electricity generation.

Recent nuclear power cost estimates – separating fact from myth

Emission cuts realities for electricity generation – costs and CO2 emissions (by Peter Lang)

The 21st century nuclear renaissance is starting – good news for the climate

Q17. Is nuclear energy fast enough?

It’s the fastest option we have. With a supportive population, and a little inspiration from France, we could replace our coal base load with nuclear power in 15 years. At its peak, France was building 3,500 MWe of nuclear power, or around four to six nuclear power stations, per year. Despite valient attempts in countries like Germany and Denmark, no nation has ever come close to installing this much wind or solar in such a short time frame.

Q18. Isn’t the nuclear lobby in bed with the coal lobby?

No. Because they know nuclear power is the only zero emissions electricity generation system capable of displacing coal, the coal lobby is fighting hard to keep nuclear power out of Australia. This is a real advertisement produced by the coal industry in Australia.

Q19. Why isn’t every country following the French model if it’s the best?

In the developed world? Because they are needlessly afraid of modern nuclear power for any number of obsolete or unsubstantiated reasons. (see Q20) Still, 19 of the world’s top 20 economies either use nuclear power, or are building it for the first time. The only one missing from that list is… Australia.

The developing world is attempting to lift itself out of poverty and inequality — aiming to enjoy the standard of living of those in the West. Their priorities are development first, climate change second. They will build what’s cheapest. At the moment that’s coal, but they are successfully reducing the up front cost of nuclear power and as they do so nuclear builds are expanding. At the moment nuclear power is expensive to build (compared to coal), but cheap to run. Hence their perseverance on reducing capital costs.

Q20. But… isn’t nuclear power evil?

For many greens, opposition to nuclear power is automatic. Nuclear power stands for war, sickness, invisible radiation, toxic waste, an apocalyptic symbol of technology gone awry.

The idea of nuclear energy as a kind of modern day evil is an indulgence we can no longer afford. It is not some mysterious malignancy. It is a mature, safe, unremarkable technology that provides carbon free electricity for many communities. The real consequences of climate change beginning around us are set to become far worse than the imagined perils of nuclear power.

It is time to set aside the mythology and theatre of anti nuclear sentiment. Nuclear power is still a core environmental issue today, but this time around, we support it as strongly as it was once opposed.

By Barry Brook

Barry Brook is an ARC Laureate Fellow and Chair of Environmental Sustainability at the University of Tasmania. He researches global change, ecology and energy.

282 replies on “Take real action on climate change – Part 2 – the FAQ”

Is there anywhere you could get across the “hold a golfball of uranium in your hand and that is your lifetime energy use” message? Maybe in Q15 Is there enough uranium?
That really impressed me when I first heard it on BNC.

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Some people who are concerned about nuclear weapons proliferation point to reprocessing as a practice that will increase risk because the increasing accumulation of plutonium in civilian stockpiles will increase the risk of Pu getting into the wrong hands.

Someone who has written about this concern who has climate change near the forefront of his thinking is Dr. Alex Glaser. He appeared at a forum at Dartmouth recently, and has written a paper with Dr. Robert Socolow entitled “Balancing risks: nuclear energy & climate change”. One quote: “Nuclear war is a terrible trade for slowing the pace of climate change”.

Dr. Ernie Moniz also appeared at that Dartmouth forum, as did anti nuclear pro climate action blogger Joe Romm. Moniz made the point that it is still an open question if new nuclear plants can be built in the US on time and on budget, hence he advocates the main effort for the next decade or two in the US should be refining and building light water reactors while storing the “waste” in dry casks above ground , which keeps options for future generations open, while enabling more rapid nuclear expansion using well established technology.

Incidentally, Moniz taught Romm when Romm was getting a degree at MIT. Romm gassed on at the forum insisting that baseload power was no longer necessary, nuclear power was so expensive it had become “priceless”, while pushing solar saying it doesn’t matter how expensive solar is, push it into the market and the “learning curve” will take place and cost reductions will come. Moniz told the crowd several times that what Romm was saying was not true, and as a last word quoted someone he felt Romm would respect, i.e. John Deutch. Moniz: “I will just ‘neutrally’ quote my colleague John Deutch, who says, “learning curves are the refuge of scoundrels”. Looking at Romm, Moniz then said “you can argue with John”. Romm: “I would never argue with John”.

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Very nice. A useful summary. The inclusion of more detailed versions of the answers is also appropriate. People can either trust you, based on your position, reputation, etc., or they have the option to dig deeper.

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“Banning nuclear weapons because of nuclear weapons proliferation concerns is akin to banning medical research because of biological weapons proliferation concerns. In other words, absurd! The connections are too tenuous and the positives too great.”

You mean “banning nuclear power….”

g

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Its way to optimistic to say we will have a 50/50 chance of of avoiding a 2 degree C rise in global temperatures by 2050.

As CO2 rises past 400PPM by 2014- and we have no climate bill that sees emissions peak by 2020- it seems that a 3 or more degree C rise is now all but certain by 2075.

The vested interests in both political parties, and a media that pooh poohs the increasingly extreme weather means that if we are truly lucky- or if the weather events become so extreme- the earliest we should begin to see a real reduction in carbon will be after 2030- way too late to prevent catastrophic changes.

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I agree entirely with what you have stated here as I have since I began following your blog.
Mine wasn’t a hairshirt green knee jerk reaction and certainly not one calling out for scaling back or for renewables. I’m not selling permaculture kits from the back of a combi van, hypocritically, as some readers may have concluded.
Peter Lang offered some good reading – cheers for that.
My concern regarded our history regarded our historical relationship with cheap and abundant energy and the likelihood of where that practice will potentially take us on the next phase (ie. nuclear) as population growth seems to go on. I worry that we’ll continue to replace ecological functions simply because we have the energy to do so.
It would be nice to think that with such a wealth of energy at out hands we could better manage sprawling tendencies (for instance) as part of better biodiversity conservation etc.

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“My concern regarded our history regarded our historical relationship with cheap and abundant energy and the likelihood of where that practice will potentially take us on the next phase (ie. nuclear) as population growth seems to go on. I worry that we’ll continue to replace ecological functions simply because we have the energy to do so.
It would be nice to think that with such a wealth of energy at out hands we could better manage sprawling tendencies (for instance) as part of better biodiversity conservation etc.”

I’m hopefull that increasing living standards worldwide will result in population stabilisation. I’d also like to think that massively increased energy supplies will enable us to more comfortably live together in super-cities and use vertical farming techniques to liberate huge land areas from agricultural needs and put it into parkland/managed wilderness instead.

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Cheap and abundant energy will make us richer. Environmental concern and environmental protection is greatest in nations that are rich so there is every reason to be optimistic about cheap abundant energy leading to better environmental outcomes. Wealthy nations also tend to have less violence and there is good evidence that wealth leads to and supports democratic institutions. Wealth also generally correlates with better health outcomes.

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My apologises also – there’s a lot of online discussion which tends to get overly heated. I guess you’ve grown wary of people who speak of efficiency (as being heavily into renewables) as I’ve grown towards business-as-usual types.
TerjeP – I agree, my concern, as mentioned in an early post, is that developed countries like Aust, the US, EU etc, sprawl and increased personal car use etc have followed cheap and abundant fuel. I feel, by my use of efficiency, we need higher density, mixed use cities and key suburbs, infrastructure that supports this and increased public transport to increase the value of cities rather than the spread.

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Edits: Q3 suppl[y] ies;

Q9: [controlled]

Q11: change: CO2 emission mitigation strategy is more accurate than carbon mitigation strategy. You can’t mitigate an element. We do wish to mitigate additions to the atmospheric inventory of CO2 (and other GHGs)

Q13: All the weapons that currently exist will not disappear with a dismantling of our nuclear power fleet.

SUB: None of the weapons that currently exist … If we are arguing (correctly IMO) that there is simply no connection between nuclear power and nuclear weapons development, then this must follow. One can argue that the dismantling of nuclpear power would raise the question of what to do with the remaining fuel rods.

We might add that there is simply no basis for thinking that new nuclear power will underpin new nuclear weapons development as this has never been the sequence in the past — just the reverse. Abolishing nuclear weapons is a completely separate part of public policy.

Q15: Better to cite Mackay’s estimate of 1000 years. People don’t care what will happen in 220 million years and it looks an extravagant claim. Modelling gets more and more rubbery the farther out you push it anyway and it’s simply too easy a cheap shot to make.

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Barry, Marion, Ms Perps and everyone else who contributed. I think this is excellent. There are a few thing’s I’d say a little differently and a few I’d leave out altogether to appeal to a larger audience. However, I understand that may not be what this group wants. I’ll go through it more carefully later.

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Fran, if you’d read the essay, you’d have understood the context of the statement, which is a comment on the magnitude of the physical resource. This estimate is based on accepted scientific values for the abundance of U and Th in the earth’s crust, and the known efficiency of breeder reactors. So your assertion that the claim can’t be proven is patent nonsense. Also, if you had bothered to refer to the source of the comment, you would see that I made a point of expressing various levels of energy use for future civilisations in terms of historical analogues, such as the time elapsed since Saxon England. The final reference to an extended geological timescale was to emphasise the magnitude of the resource in the familiar terms I’d been building during the essay, and shocking the reader into the realisation of it’s true extent.

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Finrod – the magnitude of the first 4km of the earths crust is also huge. However I don’t think it’s a persuasive example because it is easy to imagine all manner of technical difficulties in accessing that 4km. You may as well be selling geothermal on the basis that the middle of the earth is hot enough to drive a turbine until the sun explodes.

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Good list, and a good foundation. Again I will caution you not top over-explain things. FAQs need to be simple, as this one is, but over even a short time the temptation to “flesh it out” or “fine tune” the answers seems to come to everyone. Remember that you are trying to reach a general audience.

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Unbelievable. Australia is to export brown coal to Vietnam. Apparently when it is turned into sausages there is a third less CO2 on burning. Shut down Hazelwood flog the coal overseas instead.

It seems Aussie never miss a trick to pimp carbon. In other ABC news coal seam gas from the Qld Surat Basin will be liquefied and exported. Trouble is I think those reserves will eventually have to boost the current gas sources used by SA and Vic. Apparently even Saudi Arabia is to import LNG before long. Let’s hope Australians can one day still afford gas.

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Congratulations Marion and Barry, and everyone else who chipped in. This is looking fantastic.

“Is there anywhere you could get across the “hold a golfball of uranium in your hand and that is your lifetime energy use” message? Maybe in Q15 Is there enough uranium?
That really impressed me when I first heard it on BNC.”

I strongly agree with Ms Perps on this.

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I agree with Tom Keen and Ms.Perps on this too. I’d like to see a link to both the golf ball article and the more recent article showing how Gen III and Gen IV, acting together, will provide our energy needs for a very long.

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In 50 years we will be mining uranium in the asteroids if we are not flitting around in fusion powered spaceships. Who cares about the first 4 km of the earth’s crust.

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TerjeP

“Environmental concern and environmental protection is greatest in nations that are rich”

While somewhat true that we have a greater understanding of the importance of the environment in rich countries, the impacts on ecosystems in many rich countries are just as bad, or worse, regardless of our knowledge. E.g. Australia has the highest mammal extinction rate in the world, and one of the highest total extinction rates.

China may be the destination for >50% of the world’s raw timber (much of which is illegal), but a hell of a lot of that ends up in rich countries like Australia. We are of equal responsibility for that impact.

Anyway, off topic here, but I feel it’s necessary to emphasise that rich countries feature quite heavily (proportionally) amongst the world’s biggest environmental reprobates. http://conservationbytes.com/2010/05/05/environmental-reprobates/

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Oops… I was just blogging around and tidying up my site and noticed that nuclear waste is worth 30 trillion, not 70 trillion. Glad we’re so busy I didn’t get the lady to design the poster yet.

IF we get time this weekend, I’m thinking of…

Newsflash: Nuclear ‘waste’ now worth $30 trillion dollars!

Generation IV reactors now eat nuclear ‘waste’. Rather than trying to store it for 100 thousand years, nuclear ‘waste’ is now an incredible resource worth about half the annual world economy. Nuclear waste could solve our energy and climate crisis for the next 500 years!*
Nuclear waste: it’s not a problem, it’s the solution!

(Images + design + stuff then)

* According to climatologist Professor Barry Brook at his blog bravenewclimate.com

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Sorry Fran but I can confirm that the people I have used this one on over the last few days have also been impressed. I live in a retirement village of 260 people – a good size captive audience with a mix of educational backgrounds and varying political and environmental views. I have found that images like the dinosaur timeline and the “golfball” of uranium in the palm of your hand, providing your lifetime energy needs, really hit home as they can be easily remembered.
I am the village librarian and have become increasingly encouraged by the number of people who have borrowed Barry’s book (and Gwyneth Craven’s “Power to save the World”) and been converted to the idea of nuclear power. I hope to have a pamphlet, petition and poster , from this exercise, to hand out to interested residents. I believe they will be inspired to visit BNC for more information.
Thanks to all the BNCers who are assisting with editing, comments and suggestions etc.

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John Newlands,

That truly is unbelievable. They may as well be saying “We’re reducing the CO2 output from this brown coal, to the point that it’s only a bit worse than black coal.” What a joke.

Even more draconian is the fact that the company doing this is called Environmental Clean Technologies. I mean.. seriously?

Environmentalism may as well be dead, as the word ‘environmental’ has no meaning to it anymore.

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I do like the golf ball reference and the reference to the market value of nuclear waste and the associated energy content of nuclear waste. All of these seem like good examples based around meaningful and easily comprehended and accepted notions.

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That’s most heartening Ms Perps. It really is good if the folks around your way are impressed, but as recvent events in this country show we must be rather sensitive to the way things play in the media when people pursue a cause.

I prefer to keep claims modest and adequate to our purpose and not sound too credulous.

FTR, I do like the golf ball reference, though a couple of gold coins might work as well. If you wanted to get really cute you could try with less mass than those magic beans that Jack swapped the fairy tale cow for, we could swap our fairy tale wind turbines and solar panels

It’s a bit naughty because fuel and the infrastructure to harness its energy are different things, but recall, we are trying to concentrate people’s minds on just such a discussion.

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I also think we should deprecate the term nuclear waste, given that with GenIV, it is largely not waste. We should either adopt the term, nuclear hazmat which is more accurate, or perhaps in some contexts,surplus nuclear fuel

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Fran
“I prefer to keep claims modest and adequate to our purpose and not sound too credulous”

Modest ain’t working Fran! Why is it that you come across as so reasonable yet always appear to want to stall for this reason or the other. It makes me suspicious of your underlying motives.
“with less mass than ….” – too hard to imagine – a golfball is easily envisaged.

We have to call it “nuclear waste” because that is how the general public see it (these are the people we are trying to influence) and that is the question they want answered. “Hazmat” is a ridiculous term to use for the target audience and as for “surplus nuclear fuel” that implies it won’t be used and will be stored.

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I agree the golf ball is a nice easy familiar conceptual size to work with. I agree we should call it nuclear waste for the reasons Ms Perps offers. But I still find the 4km example harmful in a simple Q&A designed to win people over to thinking less cynically about nuclear power.

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Thanks everyone for debating these points. I’ve done some minor changes above to fix typos etc., but will let the content-related discussion run for a bit more before I edit any of the entries. Given the community nature of this effort, you may wish to consider proposing your new/revised text for a particular question (or a new question), provided the specimen text in your comment. So you could say:

Proposed question:
Qx. Wouldn’t a reliance on nuclear power cause me to leave a huge legacy of long-lived waste for future generations to deal with?

Proposed answer:
No. Imagine someone handed you a lump of silvery metal the size of a golf ball. This metal golf ball can provide all the energy you will ever use in your life. That includes running your lights, computer, air conditioner, TV, electric car, synthetic jet fuel. Everything. Using 1 kilogram of uranium (or thorium, take your pick). That is what modern nuclear power offers. An incredibly concentrated source of energy, producing a tiny amount of waste.

In 300 years, this tiny amount of waste would be less radioactive than the granite walls of Grand Central Station in New York City.
IFR FaD 4 – a lifetime of energy in the palm of your hand

If you’re not adding a new Q&A, then simply use the same format but give your alternative/modified version instead. Suggestions done in this format would be really useful.

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Ms Perps said:

Modest ain’t working Fran! Why is it that you come across as so reasonable yet always appear to want to stall for this reason or the other. It makes me suspicious of your underlying motives.

The curious thing here is that in every place but here, people think that my “underlying motives” are to lead every discussion to the point where we must press forward with nuclear energy. Over at Quiggins, the anti-nukes think me a wily pro-nuclear zealot and possibly as being in the pay of the nuclear lobby. Here, on the other hand, you assert that I am wanting to “stall” with the implication that I am trolling against nuclear energy. I find that paradox interesting.

What would be even more interesting is you finding me saying anything anywhere that implies a desire to set back by a single minute the arrival of the first Watt hour of electricity from nuclear in Australia. If you can’t find such a statement, you might like to consider withdrawing your imputation. I’m at least as keen as you are to clear away obstacles to nuclear power development.

On the question of the term “nuclear waste” … You do understand that the term, though the dominant one — conjures up the very worst images in people’s minds. Waste is always bad — a problem to be solved. If it is radioactive waste — that is even worse. We almost never hear of coal combustion waste (and most don’t know that it too is radioactive) or CO2 emissions as waste.

Calling nuclear waste anything else than nuclear wast would be an improvement. If people said: “don’t you really mean nuclear waste? that would be an excellent opening to an explanation of why we are calling it nuclear hazmat:

We all know, that like coal, use of the fuel creates hazardous material. Luckily, per unit of energy, nuclear power generates a lot less hazardous material to look after, making it much more manageable than coal. Not only that, but this material can be used again to generate even more power, so it is not really waste at all. It is surplus nuclear fuel.

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Ms Perps said to Fran:

Why is it that you come across as so reasonable yet always appear to want to stall for this reason or the other. It makes me suspicious of your underlying motives.

I agree.

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Proposed Q. 12.

“What about the waste?

The waste issue has been solved. In reality, nuclear waste is much better thought of as ‘once-used-nuclear-fuel’, of which only about 1% to 10% of the energy has been used. The brilliant thing about Generation IV nuclear power plants is that they use this ‘waste’ as fuel, using over 99% of the remaining energy. In fact, Generation IV nuclear power plants are the ONLY way we can get rid of existing long-lived nuclear waste, by burning it as fuel.

To put the volume of ‘once-used-nuclear-fuel’ into perspective, this is all that remains from a now decommissioned power station which generated power for 31 years.

[~Picture~]

This is a minuscule amount compared to the waste from fossil fuel power stations, which release the equivalent of 5000 Gulf of Mexico oil spills into the atmosphere every single day.

The final waste product from a modern nuclear power plant has a half-life of 30 years and will degrade back down to natural background levels within 300 to 500 years.”

NB The 5000 oil spills a day figure came from realclimate.org

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I wouldn’t call the waste issue solved and then point to Generation IV reactors. Perhaps state that Generation IV reactors are the best way to dispose of waste, and that deep borehole repositories (or whatever) as well as dry-casks can currently store waste safely and effectively.

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In fact, Generation IV nuclear power plants are the ONLY way we can get rid of existing long-lived nuclear waste, by burning it as fuel.

Excellent point. Thanks Tom.

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Eclipse Now suggested the following slogans.

Nuclear ‘waste’ now worth $30 trillion dollars!

Nuclear waste: it’s not a problem, it’s the solution!

I thought that with a little more refinement they could be brillant as they give a completely different view of nuclear waste and may help change the established public view.

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Re: “nuclear waste”,

I prefer the term “used nuclear fuel”. Its quite accurate, but is not loaded by a history of activism, nor does it carry the implication the material is refuse.

But I would use the term “nuclear waste” in the question.

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Tom Bond

Thanks for pointing that out.

Sorry eclipsenow, I only had a chance for a quick speed read of the comments earlier and I missed yours. I think the fact that we know how to recycle the waste from our current reactors and reduce the storage time to a few hundred years is a “must know” for the general public. It blows the old “…unsolved problem of radioactive waste.” line right out of the water.

I’m really keen to see your poster.

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If we call it anything other than waste no-one will know what we’re talking about .’ Waste’ is O.K. as long as it can be recycled.

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Peter Lang

There are a few thing’s I’d say a little differently and a few I’d leave out altogether to appeal to a larger audience.

While I’m not interested in preaching to the converted, I do hope to make this accessible to as broad an audience as possible. Could you expand a little on your comment above?

BTW, thankyou for your already large contribution to the main post.

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Marion, I promised to formulate a response to the ‘evil’ question. Sorry for just getting around to it now. For your consideration:

Q. Is nuclear power evil?

A. For many greens, opposition to nuclear power is automatic. Nuclear power stands for war, sickness, invisible radiation, toxic waste, an apocalyptic symbol of technology gone awry.

The idea of nuclear energy as a kind of modern day evil is an indulgence we can no longer afford. It is not some mysterious malignancy. It is a mature, safe, unremarkable technology that provides carbon free electricity for many communities. The real consequences of climate change beginning around us are set to become far worse than the imagined perils of nuclear power.

It is time to set aside the mythology and theatre of anti nuclear sentiment. Nuclear power is still a core environmental issue today, but this time around, we support it as strongly as it was once opposed.

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Apropos nuclear waste, I believe that the term should remain in the question but could be redefined in the answer. Eclipse Now’s suggestion seems to me to be a good one.

Marion, congratulations on an excellent presentation.

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Thanks John, you’ve done it again. That will make a good, strong conclusion to the FAQ.

It would be a pity to loose reference to the Oklo reactor. Perhaps it could could come under the question:

Isn’t nuclear power unnatural?

As much as I hate an appeal to nature – as though everything that’s natural is good – it is a common objection that’s most easily countered by the example of a naturally occurring reactor.

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Finrod – sorry for not reading your essay sooner. Your essay is very clear and well presented. Am I correct in the following interpretation of your data?

Using fast breeder reactors 10 billion people can be given electricity at a developed nation standard for one year using the uranium and thorium found in 8.2 billion tonnes of rather ordinary dirt. This dirt typically weighs 2.7 tonnes per cubic metre. Doing the maths infers that under half a cubic metre of dirt can provide one persons electricity needs for an entire year. Have I interpreted and calculate this correctly?

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One other correction to be made…

“10 billion people can be given electricity at a developed nation standard for one year using the uranium and thorium found in 8.2 billion tonnes of rather ordinary dirt.”

It’s better than that. You can provide not just the current ration of electrical power, but also enough to cover the energy currently derived from non-electric sources, so you can cover the entire first-world energy usage.

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Peter, I think you have to understand that this FAQ is really designed for the layman, the apathetic masses, the ones that need to be convinced to make this happen. While I believe your logic is very sound in most of your posts, I think the answers to the FAQ need the appeal factor, even if they do sound ideological.

I think given your knowledge and expertise can (and do) greatly contribute to these developments, but it needs to be more than just the scientific facts if you want to get across to an audience.

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On the question of radiation, waste and toxicity, there was a very powerful comparison I think TerjeP came up with, namely, that coal plants already emit as much uranium into the environment as a nuclear plant would consume in fuel. And its not in a controlled waste form, its just sitting out in the flyash and slag.

Did I recall that correctly? Can it be sourced?

I also agree the Oklo reactor should be mentioned, perhaps in its own short question as you write, Marion. I think the thing went critical about nine times.

Thanks for putting up the ‘evil’ question on your blog, EN.

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Phil M, on 25 June 2010 at 17.18 — Find the time fame for the Inidan IFR and also the Russian/Chinese one.

Ought to be doable in 15 years once the funding is approved.

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Finrod – in that case we might say:-

“Using advanced reactor technology an individuals entire energy need for a whole year (electricity, synthetic jet fuel etc) can be supplied from the uranium and thorium that could be extracted from one half of a cubic metre of ordinary dirt. Over an individuals entire lifetime the amount of extracted nuclear fuel involved would be no bigger than a golf ball”.

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John Morgan, on 26 June 2010 at 6.10 — Some probably goes up the smokestack along with mercury, cadmium, …

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I think wowee factoids are on the wrong track. Renewables enthusiasts keep telling us that wind and sunlight will power the world numerous times over. Now nuclear enthusiasts tell us that tiny piles of dirt will do the same. The public simply switches off. I think the core message must be that modern nuclear is a safe and reliable replacement for coal burning which is damaging the climate.

Back to the unprecedented brown coal exports http://www.theage.com.au/national/greens-slam-gillard-on-brown-coal-export-deal-20100625-z9tf.html
The Greens candidate is saying ‘shame shame shame’. The Federal Minister is saying ‘get the money get the money get the money’. Again the public is not helped. Alternative voices should be saying that with the help of nuclear power brown coal can not only be phased out in Australia but countries like Vietnam can avoid the brown coal path altogether.

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My birthday today. I’m 72. Five years ago I mentioned in my pro-nuclear speech which reached about 2000 people during the following couple of years, that” Our domestic [Australian] uranium reserves are equivalent in primary energy terms to ALL of the world’s economically recoverable fossil fuels. We are in an incredibly strong p[osition to influence significantly future world energy supply and use” That might be another way to say that uranium/thorium will be able to power the entire planet for a hell of a long time. Olympic Dam alone will power the planet for many thousands of years as Barry has indicated earlier.

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Happy birthday, Terry!

John Newlands, I think we need to recognise that different people respond to different kinds of messages, so the correct strategy for reaching a broad audience is to use all techniques, not just focus on one.

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I’m putting this here because it is relevant to this topic. although not as much as it is elsewhere. However as you embark on your campaign you may find this comming up in the off-line world as well.

A new type of anti-nuclear commenter is bringing to show up here on BNC and in other forums, or at least some anti-nuclear commenters have developed a new tactic. This can broadly be called: “I belive in nuclear but..” argument. These trills insinuate themselves in threads by making a few positive comments about nuclear energy, then rapidly segue into their real agenda, which is to push for a percentage of wind and/or solar.

This tactic is part of a drive to keep wind and solar projects on the table and in front of the public. What they are attempting to do is show that they are the ones being reasonable and the nuclear crowd is not. They are playing to the lurkers and constructing threads that they can point to from elsewhere to show that we are the doctrinaire, unreasonable party in this debate.

We have a couple here, and one has been partiulatly active in the Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum, and there have been others showing up on Rod’s pages and others.

I believe we have to be aware of this, and be prepared to deal with them, perhaps a bit differently than we do, (I am more than aware of my own mishandling of them to date) and not give them the opposition that they need to carry out their objective.

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I believe we have to be aware of this, and be prepared to deal with them, perhaps a bit differently than we do, (I am more than aware of my own mishandling of them to date) and not give them the opposition that they need to carry out their objective.

The best method may be the Socratic one, as described in my post The Gentle Art of Interrogation. If they stick around to keep answering questions put to them, then great, we can get to the heart of their beliefs and assumptions. Or, they will simply do a runner, as BilB, Gloor and others have done. Either way, logic and reason wins.

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DV82XL, I’ve noticed the same thing. When I first started stating my support for Nuclear Power, many years ago, I got blasted from all pro-renewables people. They never talked Energy Mix in those days, it was all renewables, with a total phase-out of Nuclear. I used be the one promoting Energy Mix, Renewables plus Nuclear, and they were just furious that anybody would want to include some Nuclear with Renewables.

The Tide has turned, and the Renewables Sponsers, chiefly Big Oi/NG, are realizing they need to appear more reasonable, so they now are more commonly promoting Energy Mix, Nuclear plus Renewables. However, they particularly seem to say GenIV Nuclear, and Thorium Nuclear, not GenIII Nuclear. So while many politicians are stating their approval of GenIV Nuclear, the Oil & Gas cronies in the United States Office of Management & Budget have banned funding either Small & Modular Nuclear Reactors or GenIV Fast Reactors.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2432805/posts

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-kirsch/chu-v-orszag-why-chu-is-r_b_432921.html

The Fossil Fuel Lobbies basic strategy seems to be based on a belief that it will take so long to roll-out GenIV reactors, that it will be a long time before they make a dent in Fossil Fuel consumption. At the same time, in the political backrooms, they sabotage serious GenIV R&D.

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DV82XL, I’m of the opinion that if we can just once get a good head of steam with a pro-nuke publicity campaign, all opposition will be blasted away. Perhaps the most critical battle of all is the one happening now within pro-nuke circles to determine the nature of that campaign. Do not be suprised if the antis attempt to influence our decision making process now. For my money, I say we should be adamant and upright in our absolute support for the,complete nuclearisation of the global economy.

At any rate, Asia will doubtless continue on the pro-nuke path, and eventually the US policy will seem like small potatoes in the greater scheme of things. Perhaps we need to start looking to the rising Powers for inspiration and support, rather than worry about what the oil and natgas lobbies are getting up to in the US.

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Guys, I’d like to ask some simple questions from a laymans perspective that I couldnt garner from your combined stories. Let me say firstly that I’m in no way anti nuclear, but am not entirely settled on present gen reactors. If you could bring in Gen 4 reactors tomorrow or fusion, then I’m your biggest fan. I like to address some of the points above as it just doesnt add up for me & no I dont vote or have anything to do with Greens.

Ok, in both your stories I gather you are talking about base load energy generation? Because many countries are going nuts with installing solar panels on their residential roofs. Is that a bad thing?

Q1: Agreed.
Q2.Why do we need nuclear power? Won’t renewables provide our needs? No. Renewables are very expensive and cannot meet our needs all the time .

Ok, so why are many countries continuing with it then? Sure larger countries have a long way to go with renewables & technology for solar & wind is still in its infancy. But smaller models like the Falkland islands have replaced 40% of their power with wind.

http://www.falklands.gov.fk/Renewable_Energy.html

What holds Nuclear back from automatically being the baseload option for any country? Is it pure politics & public perception?

Q3. We need to act fast, aren’t renewables the fastest response?

Again, why isnt every country following the French model if its the best? Clearly China dont have any political resistance to building Nuclear reactors, but have chosen not to go entirely nuclear, why is that?

Q4. Aren’t renewables the most affordable option?

Why arent countries that dont have huge coal reserves like Australia choosing nuclear as the first option? Isnt natural gas (Im not in favor of nat gas, just playing devils advocate) one of the least Co2 intensive energy sources, its cheap & theres oodles of it?

On CEPOS: Dont all Conservative think tanks by default oppose AGW & by association renewables?

If the Danish model is not working, does this mean they are scrapping the project? If not why not?

Other countries are experiencing negative electricity prices due to wind power:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-04-22/windmill-boom-curbs-electric-power-prices.html

Q5. What about storing excess energy for later use?

I havent read anough of this in my browsings to comment in full, but havent heard of anyone giving up on the concept either, as there are many possibilities aren’t there for energy storage besides pumped hydro?

Q6. Isn’t it more important for us to scale down our energy requirements through energy efficiency and conservation?

Agreed.

Q7. Aren’t renewables our safest option?

I think in most peoples minds, they think of Q’s 9,10,12 & 14. Not what renewables can or cant achieve. The following sentence sounds more like a threat that I would read on a conspiracy or climate change skeptic site:

” Most of what you cherish risks being swept away”.

Again, why arent other countries of that opinion?

Q8. Is nuclear energy fast enough?

Agreed.

Q10. What about radiation?

Your answer seems to evade the question in most peoples mind. I dont think people are concerned about how much the power stations themselves emit. I think anyone would agree they are at safe levels. Its the threat of the radiation from explosion & or waste that sticks in peoples minds & is a powerfull deterent.

Q11. Is nuclear energy expensive?

At present, I agree. But with the same amount of time & money that nuclear has had for R&D, wouldnt solar & wind be in the same position now? Wont solar cells only get better & energy storage technology get better?

Q12. What about the waste?

This is one of the big ones for public perception. No one wants it in their backyard . I’m cool with Gen IV , but still “degrade back down to natural background levels within 300 to 500 years”? The past 200 years have procuded many wars & changed the face of the globe. Our country wasnt even settled until 200 years ago. How do we know what the political landscape will look like in 300-500 years ?

Q13. What about nuclear weapons proliferation?

Agree mostly.

Q14.Wouldn’t a nuclear power station be a terrorist target?

Recently in the Russian/Chechen war, hackers shut down much of the Checen power & infrastructure. Is it possible that hackers could hack into a nuclear reactor & cause an explosion?

Q15. Is there enough uranium?

Agreed.

Q16. Does nuclear emit more CO2 than renewables?

Ok, Ive always known that once built, nuclear was on par with renewables Co2 emissions, but I thought the building process consumed far more?

Q17. Isn’t the nuclear lobby in bed with the coal lobby?

Always knew they were competitors, the same as solar enthusiasts wouldn’t advocate me to favour wind over solar.

Q18. But isn’t nuclear power evil?

You’ve actually been asked that before? Thats quite amusing.

Thanks for you time & please be nice.

:)

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Finrod, I’m not surprised you made the same observation about this trend as I did. What I wanted to do is alert everyone to this type of insidious behaviour, before they give these guys too much room.

Pronuclear people, being intelligent, tend to want to engage believing they can convince others by reason. We usually do not suspect that we are being spun by those who’s only intention is to use us as foils for their own agenda.

I just wanted to get this out in the open for all; battle-scared warriors like us suspect everyone anyway.

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Phil M, if after reading the material on this blog you have been unable to find answers to those questions, it can only be because you do not like those answers, and don’t wish to comprehend them. I f you have not checked this blog out to learn the answers, you might want to do that now. There is a huge amount of material and commentary addressing all you have asked about. This thread is more a discussion on how to organise a publicity campaign, rather than a remedial education effort.

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On matters at hand, Marion:

Isn’t nuclear power evil?

I like the response here. One might observe of course that what is good, from the POV of sustainability is what casts the smallest footprint in the biosphere while meeting human needs. Right now, as Professor Brook and others have demonstrated, that is nuclear power — even of the Gen11 LWR type. Far less land and precious water has to be used. Far less mining has to take place than is even the case with official renewables. Even the best renewable source in Australia right now — hydro — casts a bigger footprint than nuclear.

I also think that somewhere in the section on proliferation, we can make the point that new nuclear power plants can do the “turning swords into plowshares” thing by converting forever, materiel that could be used in nuclear weapons, into energy to run our homes and our industry.

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DV8,
I asked a similar question back on Open Thread 4 not too long ago. It was a technical question about how much wind and solar would be possible on a mainly nuclear grid across Australia. I admit to still liking the idea of running the world on wind and solar, but admit the intermittent nature and sheer costs are just too great.

I ask because there already seems to be a powerful wind lobby and association of corporations worldwide working to progress this industry, and popular support for it seems fairly high. (Except in those cases where they’ve put turbines somewhere stupid… where was that Youtube showing the guy’s lounge room ‘blinking’ in the shadow of a whopping great turbine across the paddock? Yuk! That would drive me mental!)

So anyway, some people go through the stages…

1. Cliché objections to nuclear power debunked.
2. Potential of GenIV just years away really grabs the attention
3. But all their old favourite whacky renewables solutions… were so interesting, and took up their time and imagination before….
4. So GIVEN quite large deployment of renewables on some grids already, the ‘green appeal’ they have, and the existing corporate power of them, I and they naturally wonder how much is possible?

I don’t see anything sinister in that… it’s just a natural question.

Anyway, we’ve got some family stuff to do, and I’ve got some favours to run before I can get the good wife to return a favour and design the poster/s, so I’ll catch ya’s later.

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