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Open Thread 8 – BNC Christmas and New Year 2011

So, the year that was — 2010 — comes to a close, with 115 more BraveNewClimate blog posts in the archives, 13,500 more comments and 430,000 extra hits.

Thanks to all the many BNC guest posters (Gene Preston, Geoff Russell, Peter Lang, John Morgan, DV82XL, Marion Brook, Tony Kevin, John Rolls, Paul Babie, Jim Green, Tom Wigley, George Stanford, Len Koch, Rob Parker, Michael Goggin), numerous regular (and irregular) commenters, and the thousands of readers (including RSS subscribers and general lurkers), for keeping this online community as a thriving and interesting place to visit.

Here’s a toast to another interesting and productive year in 2011!

I’ll be taking a blogger’s holiday for a few weeks over the period 25 December 2010 to 8 January 2011. It’s as good a time as any for a writing break, given that this is a traditionally quiet period in the World of WordPress. From past experience in 2008 and 2009, the blog’s hits and comments dwindle to a trickle over this holiday period, as people go offline and get a life — or else burn their candles at both ends in merriment, partying, relaxing and [in Australia] taking summer holidays. So it’s a good time for me to also recharge my intellectual batteries. Not that I’ll go away entirely — I’ll still be hanging around online and commenting here and there, as the mood takes me. The conversation never dies, it merely quietens!

Still, that certainly doesn’t mean that YOU can’t have your say, about anything to do with climate change or energy, really. That’s what this Christmas and New Year Open Thread is for…

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.

324 replies on “Open Thread 8 – BNC Christmas and New Year 2011”

“Wind power requires the least energy input per unit of electricity output, followed closely by large hydro and nuclear, then solar and fossil fuels.”

Picking up on Leigh’s question, I have a hard time understanding how the above could be true without being misleading.

if it means that the input/output ratio is tops for its unreliable power, it’s meaningless. if criteria of reliable power are required, then all the overbuild, backup, transmission costs have to be added.

I would be interested in Peter Lang’s view. How does this statement compare to your analyses, Peter? seems to me we are not comparing apples to apples.

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gregory Meyerson, on 19 January 2011 at 12:25 PM — Yes indeed “all the overbuild, backup, transmission costs have to be added.”

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Gre Meyerson,

Yes. I agree with your statement. It is misleading to compare wind with fossil fuel or nuclear on any basis unless wind energy includes all costs, all emissions, all environmental impacts and all the energy inputs of firming wind to give power of the same quaiity as nuclear and fossil fuels.

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John Newlands,

You ducked this question:

How high would the carbon price need to be to favour nuclear over gas in Australia, given the impediments to nuclear that exist in Australia?

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Peter I’ve tried a from-the-ground-up calculation as I’m mystified by some of the ACIL Tasman tables, for example the inclusion of other taxes as an operating expense.

Take the case of 1000 Mwe combined cycle plant and a 1000 Mwe Gen 3 plant both producing 8 million Mwh a year. The capital cost of the gas plant is $2.50/w with a life time of 20 years and the nuke plant costs $6/w but it lasts 50 years. I’d put financing costs at 11% = 6% interest + 5% depreciation for the gas plant. For the NPP make it 8% = 6 % interest (no risk premium & no guarantees) + 2% depreciation.

At 40% thermal efficiency and gas costing $5 per GJ (new contract) I reckon the combined cycle plant will spend $360m a year on fuel. I read somewhere a Gen 3 will spend about $160m a year on fuel. As for salaries, water use, maintenance and so on let’s assume say $200m a year for both plants.

We’re assuming no carbon taxes. The CCGT plant will cost 275 + 360 + 200 = $835m a year to run. The NPP will cost
480 + 160 + 200 = $840 a year to run.
Dividing by 8 million Mwh and rounding to the nearest dollar we get $104 and $105 per Mwh.

Thus we only need a small carbon price to swing it, less than $10/t assuming the nuclear risk premium is avoided. However I maintain within a decade there will be a gas price shock when truckers and motorists discover how ridiculously cheap gas is compared to batteries and oil based fuels. Fine tuning the percentages may be spurious accuracy as we really have no idea of future fuel prices.

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John Newlands, on 19 January 2011 at 1:35 PM — GE CCGTs have a design life of 40 years and typically in the US operators can find 30 year financing.

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John,

Sorry, your calculations are totally bogus. I suggest you read the ACIL-Tasman report to get an understanding of how the LRMC is calculated. There are many other reports you could use and they use different assumptions and calculation methods, so best to stick with ACIL-Tasman. There is no point trying to start from scratch yourself if you do not understand the methodology. no one will take any notice.

So, using ACIL-Tasman’s figures in the tables, and factoring up until nuclear has an advantage over gas, how high would the carbon price need to be to make nuclear break-even with CCGT and how high to give it sufficient advantage to get it started?

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Peter the exercise you suggest might seem to vindicate your belief that only crippling carbon taxes could favour nuclear. FWIW I get a carbon price of $111 per tonne using northern NSW air cooled CCGT vs nuclear. From Table 52 the respective LRMCs are $51.62 and $101.01 per Mwh. The $111/t comes from dividing the $50 difference by the emissivity of CCGT of 0.45tCO2/Mwh per Table 41.

But hold everything. I’m gobsmacked by Table 55 which shows nuclear’s ‘annualised tax costs etc’ some 5X that CCGT. I’d want to see more justification for that because it reads like a last minute editing job. If they want to get into levelised future costs how come there is no mention of decommissioning? I might say this whole field of LCOE calculations is dodgy. Even Wikipedia contradict the figures they give six months earlier.

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John Newlands,

Well, you can forget Wikipedia, for a start. That is of no vakue whtsoever at the level we are talking about. Hewve you looked to see what changed and why? Such a statement is totally meaningless. We have to compare like with like on a consistent basis.

The LRMC includes all the costs, including the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle. Although not specifically stated, I would assume that ACIL-Tasman have included these costs in the LRMC, as is standard practice.

Regarding the tax component, it is certainly not an after thought. It is an important component of the fixed operating costs. Clearly you still have not read the sections of the report that explains this (Section 2.2). The quotes below should be sufficent to let readers realise that there is much more to the tax component than you are leading them to believe.

The discount rate used by ACIL Tasman within its new entrant model is a
calculated post-tax real WACC. A post-tax WACC is used because of the importance of depreciation for capital intensive plant such as power stations.

WACC = weighted average cost of capital.

ACIL Tasman utilises a post-tax real Officer WACC within its new entrant model and applies it to un-geared cash flows that do not include the effects of the interest tax shield or dividend imputation credits.

Where:
• E is the total market value of equity
• D is the total market value of debt
• V is the total enterprise value (value of debt plus equity)
• Re is the nominal post-tax cost of equity
• Rd is the nominal post-tax cost of debt
• TE is the effective corporate tax rate
• G (Gamma), which is the value of imputation tax credits as a proportion of the tax credits paid.

In short, the ‘Tax’ item included in the FOM is a composite of all the company, depreciation and many other taxes that apply to businesses.

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I am convinced that:

– Imposing a carbon price is exactly the wrong policy;

– imposing a carbon price will seriously damage the economy and make us less able to take the appropriate actions we need to take (for whatever problems we have to address) in the future;

– imposing a carbon price, if high enough, will drive gas but not nuclear (and most here understand the problems with the gas option)

– if we want to make deep cuts to emissions from electricity generation we have these options:

1. regulate emissions (decreasing over time), and/or

2. prohibit new, and phase out existing, fossil fuel power stations, and/or

3. remove the impediments to low cost nuclear to allow nuclear to be cheaper than coal (this would include internalising externalities of ALL electricity generators to the extent that is practicable; this must be done on a fair and equal basis for all technologies).

Imposing a carbon price is exactly the wrong policy.

I favour the initial focus being on removing impediiments to low-cost nuclear, and perhaps supported (once achieved) by regulating emissions.

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Peter Lang:

Did you read the Twitter Update posted on BNC yesterday ….”& considers the potential and bottlenecks around new build ambitions for 2020…”?

I would be interested in your reactions. Seems the Chinese may be becoming a little less gung ho over matters of safety. This attitude may do little to encourage your low cost nuclear ambitions if they are based on existing designs.

You assess that new designs are decades away. This is almost certainly correct, given current levels of research funding. However, don’t you think that there exists the possibility of greatly expediting this process were more funding to be made available?

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Peter I suspect those who try and follow that explanation of WACC may now share my concerns about the report. Bottom line I just don’t buy the conclusion that uncarbontaxed gas fired electricity is twice as expensive as new nuclear. Why is anybody even building nukes?

I would like to see a different style of financial analysis which doesn’t try to bamboozle the reader with concepts like WACC. They’re saying ‘we know what gamma should be so trust us’. If we are going to replace coal stations with gas on the strength of gamma factors then the public needs a simple explanation.

My earlier ballpark estimate concluded that nuclear costs could be roughly comparable to CCGT on current gas prices and no carbon tax. My belief remains until convinced otherwise is that nuclear would be quite viable with
– suitable legislation
– loan guarantees to overcome the risk premium
– modest carbon taxes perhaps as low as $10.

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John Newlands,

Peter I suspect those who try and follow that explanation of WACC may now share my concerns about the report.

I doubt that is true (except for a few perhaps). I suggest people would now realise that you hadn’t even read the report and furthermore you don’t have the slightest understanding of what you are talking about.

The ACIL-Tasman report is as authoritative as we have available at the moment. It was contracted by AEMO, was published on AEMO, is the basis of the 2010 data for their modelling, and for Treasury, ABARE and ATSE modelling. ACIL-Tasman is the authority. Their methods are consistent with the methods used by EPRI and most other organisations doing this work, although the various organisations do use slightly differing discount methods depending on the purpose of the report. ACIL-Tasman would have agreed the method with the client while negotiating the scope of work. All this is clearly way above your understanding of the subject.

John, I’d suggest you read the EPRI report that was submitted as part of the UMPNE. It explains these issues and why certain methods are used for certain comparisons. The ACIL-Tasman report you are disparaging also explains – if you would take the time to read it.

Frankily, you have demonstrated you have zero understanding about the matter you are pontificating on, but that doesn’t stop you making outrageous statements like this beauty:

Peter I suspect those who try and follow that explanation of WACC may now share my concerns about the report. Bottom line I just don’t buy the conclusion that uncarbontaxed gas fired electricity is [half] as expensive as new nuclear.

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Douglas Wise,

Thank you for the link to the WNN article. http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NP_Maintain_nuclear_perspective_China_told_1101112.html . I hadn’t read it previously. I agree it is a good article. It is one government organisation offering cautionary advice. This should be considered as just one piece of well publicised advice amongst many other pieces of advice from various organisations. You can’t just accept one.

As you know, I have no problem whatsoever with the safety of Gen II nuclear. It is excessive compared with what we accept as safe enough now (that does not mean there will be no industrial accidents; there will be as there is in any industry). The excessive safety requirements imposed on the industry over a period of over 40 years have caused nuclear to be far more costly than it needs to be. So anything that is done to reduce the cost, while remaining far safer than the fossil fuel alternatives, is what we should and must do if we want to cut world GHG emissions fast. So I strongly support what the Chinese are doing to reduce costs and roll out nuclear as fast as they can.

I hear on one hand people arguing that cutting GHG emissions is the greatest moral challenge facing humanity and if we don’t do say immediately it will all be too late, and there will be dire consequences for life on planet Earth. Then, on the other hand, these same people are saying we must not accept nuclear unless it is at least 10 times safer than fossil fuels. No wonder many people think this whole CAGW thing is simply the latest eco-warriors’ scaremongering as a means to achieve its other goals.

[China] should be ‘careful’ concerning ‘the volume of second generation units under construction… the scale should not be too large’ to avoid being perceived as being behind the curve of international safety in future.

Can you believe that? China, rolling out nuclear as fast as it can, at 10 to 100 times safer than the coal it is replacing, is accused of being behind the ball on safety. Wow. What inconsistency. I do understand the point the author is making, but surely what is important is to roll out nuclear in China at the fastest possible pace. If that means they have to build Gen IIs until they have developed the capability to build only Gen IIIs at the required rate, then I would argue China is doing exactly what we would urge them to do. It is incredible to hear you, Douglas Wise, arguing that China should slow down the rate it builds nuclear. The world is criticising China for not doing enough to reduce its emissions and for not committing to a date by which its emissions will peak, and then here we have you criticising China for trying to roll out nuclear as fast as it can. The hypocrisy is unbelievable.

If Australia determined that Chinese CPR1000 would provide the least-cost, low-emissions electricity in Australia (whole of life), while complying with minimum IAEA requirements, then that is what I would want. Whole of life costs include all the costs of fuel, technology transfer, refurbishments, operation and maintenance throughout the plant’s life, decommissioning and used-fuel management. So, if their bid is fully compliant with all the requirements stated in the Request for Tender, then all whole of life costs are included in the LCOE and this is the right way to compare which plants we want to buy.

The SCRO’s recommendations look reasonable to me. However, cutting back the ambition from 120GW to 100GW I would take to mean they would only want to do that if they could not implement the necessary improvements so they can achieve their aim of 120 GW.

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Peter think of me as a plodder who needs things simplified. Therefore others may be in the same boat. You may note that both Barry Brook and Martin Nicholson share my view that only small carbon taxes are needed to favour nuclear over gas
https://bravenewclimate.com/2010/11/30/the-arithmetic-adds-up-to-nuclear/

I disagree with the use of weighted average cost of capital if that includes a return to shareholders. I don’t think that worries Electricite de France for example. The WACC approach is too high falutin’ for me and the other plodders. When the next baseload plant is gas I hope you will be able to explain the significance of the gamma parameter to the public. High power bills?..couldn’t be helped it was all due to gamma.

I’m not entirely disparaging ACIL Tasman as the early sections of the report all seem quite plausible. They admit they can’t know future fuel prices. Then Table 55 comes out the blue with little supporting explanation and says CCGT has ~20% of some composite cost item of nuclear. Therefore I shall look at the other reports you suggest to see how they handle it.

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John Newlands and Douglas Wise,

I’ve copied the discussion we’ve had over the past two days regarding carbon pricing from this Open thread to the “Alternative to the CPRS” thread, starting here:
https://bravenewclimate.com/2010/01/31/alternative-to-cprs/#comment-110935.

I’ve copied my comments with links back to your comments. I’ve done this to attempt to keep as much as possible of the important discussion about carbon pricing on the one thread. That will make it easier to find important posts on this matter over the year ahead. Carbon pricing policy discussions will be a really important topic over this coming year, I believe, and it is difficult to get back to important discussions later if they were posted on Open Threads and other unrelated threads.

So could I urge contributors to discuss carbon pricing on the “Alternative to CPRS” thread until a new thread on this subject is posted. I am working on a new article, but it will take a while to complete it (if ever)

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David B. Benson,

Hydro-electric costs are very site specific. If you have rugged mountains, suitable geology and high rainfall, hydro can be cheap. If you have low topographinc relief and low rainfall, like most of Australia, then hydro is not viable.

The Australian Snowy Mountains scheme has a capacity factor of 14%. It is still valuable for peak power generation, for power and frequency stabilisation and power quality control, and for emergency back up. It is a source of very high value power – in fact, far too valuable to waste on backing up intermittent, unreliable renewable energy generators.

Did you see this post and the comments on the thread? https://bravenewclimate.com/2010/04/05/pumped-hydro-system-cost/

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Peter Lang, on 20 January 2011 at 1:49 PM — Yes I followed it at the time and reviewed it today. I only mentioned the cost figures to have some handle on the costs of the quite attractive Gravity Power proposal which I linked a few comments back. I gather the hole in the ground gravity power would have costs very much the same anywhere but roughly the same as the average to lower cost surface pumped hydro.

The smaller gravity power proposal appears to be quite attractive in meeting demand spikes. Not so sure about the larger one. I would greatly appreciate your taking the time to read the proposal and offering your opinion.

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David B. Benson,

Why do you believe what the advocates say? Have you done any sanity checks?

We’ve been trough many such discussions before, so by now you should be able to do a sanity check for yourself. John Morgan provided an excellent check list in a previous posts. Why don’t you look back at that as a guide.

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Peter Lang, on 20 January 2011 at 2:03 PM — I’m always skeptical of what potential vendors state. But I have a moderately decent understanding of the engineering issues. In some situations a small gravity power unit might prove to be a cost effective solution. Afterall, somebody in the east actually build a one MWh flywheel arrray; that’s expensive!

Sorry, I don’t recall John Morgan’s checklist. Is it on this thread?

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@DBB, thanks for the Gravity Power link, however I couldn’t find any mention of construction costs other than “surprisingly low”. I did a rough-as-guts calculation indicating the cost of one of those 10m x 2 km holes as something like $25m, just to excavate it (i.e. no lining etc.). If you have “a moderately decent understanding of the engineering issues”, that’s a lot better than me – do you think you could come up with a better quantitative estimate?

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BHP’s Olympic Dam dream

This might be of interest.

http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/BHP-Billiton-Olympic-Dam-Western-Mining-pd20110119-D95JX?OpenDocument&src=kgb

It provides some insight into the investors’ side of large scale, long term investments (like nuclear). It is also relevant because of what it says about the Olympic Dam copper/uranium/gold mine.

– The most valuable ore body in the world – now valued at $867 billion

– by the time it gets to full capacity, about 2020, it will have taken over 40 years to develop from the time it was discovered in 1976.

While institutional shareholders think in six to 12 month time frames the chief executives of mining companies must think in decades.

Yet they also have to be nice to the institutions. At one time the institutions called Western Mining Corporation the Wasting Money Corporation. In many ways David Upton’s book on Olympic Dam is the story of executives and board that raised equity when it was available but thumbed their noses at institutions who wanted them to think short-term. It’s an inspirational Australian story. I commend the book to you.

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David Benson, the post of mine Peter refers to is the TCASE12 article. I see the article you link to quotes performance numbers. I think Peter also gives some nominal costs for hole drilling and construction in the Pumped Hydro post and comments. So it should be possible to rub some numbers together and come up with a reality check. (Which I won’t be doing as I’m about to head to Tasmania for two weeks for a conference + holiday).

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David B. Benson,

Shaft sinking costs far more than tunnel boring, perhaps 5 to 10 times the cost per cubic metre. You can get costs on the internet, but you probably have them already given your claimed engineering expertise in the subject.

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Mark Duffett, on 20 January 2011 at 3:58 PM — 10 meter diameter ~= 31.5 m^2 so for 2 km deep ~ 62832 m^2 to be removed. If rock with specific gravity of 3.3, that’s 207346 tonnes. The average lift is 1000 meters so over $100 per tonne seems high, but I have yet to look at TCASE12.

The other major expense is the large steel pipe filling the hole.

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for the radiation people (strange term I realize):

DV, Luke, etc. others.

I’m reading some studies on DU and cancer/birth defects etc.

I have read a recent study, 2010, by Boice et al which shows no significant connection between living near uranium mines and mills in two counties of New Mexico. This is what I would expect given what I know of the chemical and radiological properties of uranium.

but, just to look at the other side, I am reading the following article on DU and birth defects:

http://www.ehjournal.net/content/4/1/17

they acknowledge DU’s low specific activity and yet cite the following:

U238 decays primarily by alpha emission. Alpha particles rapidly lose their kinetic energy and have little penetrating power. In the decay process beta and gamma particles are emitted which are more penetrating. Alpha radiation is only hazardous when internalized in the body, but once deposited in living tissue it releases its energy in a concentrated area causing greater damage than beta or gamma radiation.

Still, large quantities of DU and/or radioactive decay products and other radioactive impurities can lead to substantial external exposure. A Geiger counter measurement by a correspondent in the recent Iraq war show that radiation emitting from a DU bullet fragment registered nearly 1000 – 1900 times the normal background radiation level. A three-foot long DU fragment from a 12 mm tank shell registered radiation 1300 times the background level. A DU tank found by the U.S Army radiological team emitted 260 – 270 millirads of radiation per hour compared to the safety limit of 100 millirads per year. A pile of jet-black dust registered a count of 9839 emissions in one minute, a level more than 300 times the average background level [6].

Me again: if these numbers are to be believed, how could a DU bullet or a DU tank register such numbers unless something else is going on here?

like other materials mixed in with the DU–the author’s reference to “and/or radioactive decay products and other radioactive impurities.”

you may note their discussion of the shiprock uranium mining area, where they seem disappointed to find no statistical significance in incidence of birth defects.

g

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greg meyerson – There is so much wrong here it is difficult to know where to start.

Alpha radiation does not deposit in the body, an alpha-emitting bit of matter might, but the two protons and two neutrons of the alpha particles only acquire two electrons to become a helium atom after they have been absorbed. The do whatever damage they do from the kinetic energy of their impact right after the are expelled from the active nucleus.

The decay process does not emit beta and gamma radiation, the daughters do, but the half-lives are so long that it makes no contribution to the material’s radiotoxicity.

As far as excessive radiation from DU fragments, all I an say is that this is the first time that I have seen an article from the Christian Science Monitor , written by someone with no background in radiation physics, used as a reference in a purportedly scientific paper.

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btw, note 73 of the above article refers to the bystander effect and adaptive response (aka hormesis).

the authors of the article leave out the adaptive response part–tellingly.

g

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Right DV:

I read the CS Monitor article. here’s a snippet. the article moves from asserting the controversial nature of DU due to its “trail of contamination” from its 4.5 billion year half life [!!] TO relatively reasonable statements about DUs chem toxicity being more of a worry around exploded shells than the radiotoxicity, which the doctor interviewed suggests is nothing to worry about, TO the SHOCKING unexplained radioactive URANIUM bullets that somehow generate 1900 times background radiation. Here it is: the article makes no sense.

The depleted-uranium bullets are made of low-level radioactive nuclear-waste material, left over from the making of nuclear fuel and weapons. It is 1.7 times as dense as lead, and burns its way easily through armor.

But it is controversial because it leaves a trail of contamination that has half-life of 4.5 billion years – the age of our solar system.

Less DU in this war?

In the first Gulf War, US forces used 320 tons of DU, 80 percent of it fired by A-10 aircraft. Some estimates suggest 1,000 tons or more of DU was used in the current war. But the Pentagon disclosure Wednesday that about 75 tons of A-10 DU bullets were used points to a smaller overall DU tonnage in Iraq this time.

US military guidelines developed after the first Gulf War – which have since been considerably eased – required any soldier coming within 50 yards of a tank struck with DU to wear a gas mask and full protective suit. Today, soldiers say they have been told to steer clear of any DU.

“If a [tank] was taken out by depleted uranium, there may be oxide that you don’t want to inhale. We want to minimize any exposure, at least to the lowest level possible,” Dr. Michael Kilpatrick, a top Pentagon health official told journalists on March 14, just days before the war began. “If somebody needs to go into a tank that’s been hit with depleted uranium, a dust mask, a handkerchief is adequate to protect them – washing their hands afterwards.”

Not everyone on the battlefield may be as well versed in handling DU, Dr. Kilpatrick said, noting that his greater concern is DU’s chemical toxicity, not its radioactivity: “What we worry about like lead in paint in housing areas – children picking it up and eating it or licking it – getting it on their hands and ingesting it.”

In the US, stringent NRC rules govern any handling of DU, which can legally only be disposed of in low-level radioactive waste dumps. The US military holds more than a dozen NRC licenses to work with it.

In Iraq, DU was not just fired at armored targets.

Video footage from the last days of the war shows an A-10 aircraft – a plane purpose-built around a 30-mm Gatling gun – strafing the Iraqi Ministry of Planning in downtown Baghdad.

A visit to site yields dozens of spent radioactive DU rounds, and distinctive aluminum casings with two white bands, that drilled into the tile and concrete rear of the building. DU residue at impact clicked on the Geiger counter at a relatively low level, just 12 times background radiation levels.

Hot bullets
But the finger-sized bullets themselves – littering the ground where looters and former staff are often walking – were the “hottest” items the Monitor measured in Iraq, at nearly 1,900 times background levels.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0515/p01s02-woiq.html/(page)/4

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DV: humor me for a second. these references to superhot DU rounds, etc., –and by the way the hot DU tank is not a tank but a tank round, but no matter (the “scholarly article” makes the mistake)–is this even REMOTELY POSSIBLE if the round is made out of DU?

I’m figuring either the geiger counter readings are incorrect, or made up OR the shell isn’t DU.

g

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greg meyerson – First, depleted uranium is also used to reinforce the armor protection of M1 series tanks. So yes there is a possibility that the author saw one of those.

As for the reading that they claimed to have made, one milligram of U- 238 has a specific activity of 14.4 Becquerel, which means it emits 14.4 alpha particles every second. For comparison, it is not uncommon for a particular radioactive substance to have a specific activity of several millions of Becquerels.

This would mean 864 events per min per gram so the 9,839 radioactive emissions in one minute, suggests around ten grams of dust in the sample. Now this sounds like a lot compared to background, but in this case they are sampling the are around the probe.

I must go, I will continue latter

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right.

but the article uses the numbers to scare. U has a low specific activity but if there is a significant mass, the immediate area might set of a geiger pretty well.

so do you suppose the numbers are accurate but very misleading? or inaccurate? just as a guess?

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greg meyerson – They are misleading, and on purpose, I am sure. An average human contains potassium-40 and carbon-14. These produce around 4,000 and 1,200 events per second and we are not considering the counts from nitrogen and phosphorus that add to the human radioactivity profile.

When the subject is radiation and health the only thing that makes sense is dose rates, and those are measured in Sievert (Sv). Everything else is meaningless.

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well DV: I figured one could produce something scary with enough bananas in a room or something. enough to set off geiger counters and dwarf background radiation in the immediate vicinity of the banana concentration.

If 365 bananas can give you 3.6 mrems, just think what a couple of tons of bananas would do to a geiger counter.

from wikipedia:

A banana equivalent dose is a concept occasionally used by nuclear power proponents[1][2] to place in scale the dangers of radiation by comparing exposures to the radiation generated by a common banana.

Many foods are naturally radioactive, and bananas are particularly so, due to the radioactive potassium-40 they contain. The banana equivalent dose is the radiation exposure received by eating a single banana. Radiation leaks from nuclear plants are often measured in extraordinarily small units (the picocurie, a millionth of a millionth of a curie, is typical). By comparing the exposure from these events to a banana equivalent dose, a more intuitive assessment of the actual risk can sometimes be obtained.

The average radiologic profile of bananas is 3520 picocuries per kg, or roughly 520 picocuries per 150g banana.[3] The equivalent dose for 365 bananas (one per day for a year) is 3.6 millirems (36 μSv).

Bananas are radioactive enough to regularly cause false alarms on radiation sensors used to detect possible illegal smuggling of nuclear material at US ports.[4]

[Luke Weston is cited on the banana page]

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greg meyerson, Right, slip of the decimal point there.

Nevertheless it’s the wrong way to present this data, and they did it to FUD the ignorant public, which to me is a violation of journalist trust.

Also this article should not have been referenced in a scientific paper as a source.

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Peter Lang:

I was alerted by Charles Barton’s site to a new website (www.deregulatetheatom.wordpress.com) which should prove to be of interest to you and others who take an interest in reducing nuclear costs in developed democracies.

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DV: as I get older and as I get more interested in understanding np, I get nerdier.

according to IAEA, the specific activity of U238 is 12.4 Bq/sec, not 14.4.

I actually calculated the half life based on 14.4 and came up 700 million years short.

Now I know why. It’s your fault (smiley face).

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IAEA (thanks david benson) says that contact dose rate from a DU projectile is about 2 mSv/hour, which about corresponds to the CM article’s 260-270 millirads/hour.

but then the CM article contrasted that number (in order to shock) with the “safety limit of 100 millirads/yr.”

thus equating (and this is of course the true FRAUD of the thing) contact dose rate (and alpha particles don’t travel too far) with a limit based on an average dose rate for all humans walking on the planet.

I think I understand now what exactly is so misleading about this article and the “scholarship” that cites it. thanks dv.

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greg meyerson – Be careful, While DU is mostly U238, it is not pure U238. It will likely have a small percentage of U235 left and traces of U234, U233, and U232 still in in which will elevate specific activity.

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Podgarus,

And Peter Lang, I see you are off to a flying start already with 4 comments. Must you be such a motor mouth?

https://bravenewclimate.com/2011/01/28/two-countries-two-paths-one-crucial-lesson-learned/#comment-111445

This is the sort of comment – you want to hear only from those who tell you want you want to hear – that reinforces the perception of religious like belief. It is this perception that is raising concern about implementing policies that will damage the economy while there is serious doubt that the CAGW isn’t just another of the never ending run of scares that humans fall for.

You said on another thread, in defence of your belief in catastrophic AGW:

“It is the physics stupid”

But you wouldn’t have a clue about the physics. So you are just a believer in a religious movement.

The problem is that many people are doubtful about the alarmism, the extremism, the religious like belief by people like you who do not understand, the fact that scepticism has been shut down so there is a perception that ‘The Science’ is not real science because it hasn’t been subjected to the proper scientific process, the corruption by $100 billion of policy driven funding funnelled to find evidence to support the religion. People are concerned about all this. They will not be persuaded by more repetition of the mantra.

But what can be done is to allow solutions that will satisfy most people’s wants. Unfortunately, people like you are preventing that, just as the same sort of people with the same sort of religious like beliefs, alarmism and extremism did in the early 1990s and for the past 40 years.

I realise this message will not get through to many.

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Greg Meyerson and Douglas Wise

Regarding our past disagreements about the importance of free trade in improving the world in all ways, I agree with this article. This is the mainstream view of the main political parties in Australia and in most countries:

DOHA round key to continuing global prosperity

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/doha-round-key-to-continuing-global-prosperity/story-e6frg6zo-1225995061033

The relevance to cutting emissions is that most of the emissions avoidance has to take place in the under-developed and developing countries as they grow. We need to assist them to get electricity and to get clean electricity before they build fossil fuel electricity systems. To do that the developed countries need to make clean electricity cheap and available to the underdeveloped and developing countries. Otherwise they will use the cheapest electricity system available. We cannot protect ourselves with trade barriers. That will not reduce emissions, nor will it reduce world population. Economic prosperity in the underdeveloped and developing countries is what is needed to reduce the peak world population. Free trade will facilitate all this. We cannot hide behind barriers. We have to compete. We have to remove the many barriers to efficiency we have built into our western democracies. Free Trade is putting the competitive pressures on us to make us do this house cleaning we need to do.

Removing the impediments to low cost nuclear power is just one of a very large number of efficency improvements we need to implement.

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Hello PL:

I said little about trade one way or another over on the other thread. I was talking about your claim of continuous improvement, both with respect to poverty reduction and the reduction of inequality. You are wrong about the reduction of inequality if we are talking about class inequality–concentration of wealth in the hands of the richest one percent both nationally and internationally. if you are talking about the gap between richest countries and poorest countries, that’s, perhaps, a different story. I’d have to look that up. but with the u.s., given all the offshoring going on, it would not surprise me if median wage gaps between the U.S. and, say, Vietnam had narrowed, however humongous they would still be.

on free trade, my sense is that many countries have grown very quickly by flouting the free trade mantra–China, Vietnam, Japan, etc. and that free trade is mostly an ideological term to beat up opponents on the one hand and to ignore whenever it suits the purposes of elites in powerful countries, who regularly engage in their own protectionism while castigating others for doing the same thing.

is it not true that the world trade organization has rules on its books allowing corporations to sue countries for restraint of trade in the event that the country wishes to, say, tighten pollution regulations?

when you talk of ft and competition, you see nothing but efficiency and innovation. I see the race to the bottom.

there’s no doubt that FT and competition can promote a certain innovation and a certain efficiency, but the innovation is just as likely as not to be innovation in financial products instead of nuclear power plants. Innovations designed to “spread risk” but which ended up, in great part due to competitive frenzy over the innovative financial products, spreading toxins, at which point the wealthy, in the good free trade tradition, were bailed out and had to be bailed out I suspect to avoid collapse.

the last time we spoke about the FC, you wanted to blame it on the community reinvestment act of 1977.

The U.S. govt, hardly a left wing organization, just finished its long report on the financial crisis. It addressed the CRA claim made uniformly among the right wing.

“The Angelides commission examined this charge directly by looking at the facts. It concluded that government housing policy was only a minor contributor to the crisis.

To the charge that the CRA is to blame, the commission found that only 6% of subprime mortgages had any relation to the CRA. Loans offered by lenders not covered by the CRA were twice as likely to default. (from Marketwatch, another communist organization, 1/27/11, Rex Nutting).”

At any rate, I don’t have much of a stake in the FT/protectionism debate. I want the majority of the world’s people to have rewarding work in sustainable economies. and I’ll admit I have no real idea what to do to get there. Except it ain’t by “free trade,” profit maximization and crisis ridden growth.

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Peter L:

here is a graph of gini coefficients for a pile of countries. It is not quite up to date but close.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gini_coefficient#Gini_coefficient_of_income_distributions

what it shows clearly contrasts with what you and your factless, clearly non-cherry picked article (smiley face) assert above.

The country that has made the most “progress” in reducing its gc is france, hardly your free market model. but since your model is constantly subject to crises, so is France so I would not be surprised to see its gini jump back up in other direction after another one of those crises that your people blame on anything but “free” markets:

property market led nordic and japanese bank crises (1990-2)

Peso crisis (94-5)

Asian currency crisis (97-8)

LTCM bailout–98

98-2001: capital flight crisis in Russia (98); Brazil (99); Argentina (2001).

2001-2: dot com bubble and stock market crash.

2007-10: property led crises in U.S. U.K Ireland Spain, etc.

BTW, the U.S. GC is higher now than it was in 1929:

now there’s Continuous Improvement.

Your Cherry Picking net pal:

g

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Greg meyerson

I said little about trade one way or another over on the other thread.

I may have the wrong person but I remember you (I think) arguing strongly against free trade and pointing out how bad it was for Mexico and blaming much of Mexico’s problems on NAFTA.

when you talk of ft and competition, you see nothing but efficiency and innovation. I see the race to the bottom.

That’s just plain silly. Look how all the human development index measures are improving. Of course the world is improving: life expectancy, health, education, freedom to choose what they want to be and do with their lives, communications. Your whole argument is so silly it is unbelievable.

As for all your comments about Asian crises etc, what a lot of cherry picked data that is. And how irrelevant. It is not compared with anything. Do you think people were better off a hundred years ago or during the Little Ice Age?

Look again at the GapMinder charts of UN stats. Change the axes to plot a selection of the HDI metrics against GDP and look at how they change over time (run ‘Play’ or move the scroll bar at the bottom of the chart). (Google GapMinder to get to the charts.)

No one but a very hard Leftie could argue that the world is worse off now than 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 years ago. It is unbelievable you could think this.

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After the positive statements about renewing the debate on nuclear power by Anna Bligh and Colin Barnett I wrote a letter of support to both of them plus a copy to Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott.

On Friday I received a response from Colin Barnett which in part said “Environmental matters and the risks posed by climate change are important issues for Australia and the world and the Liberal National Government is committed to acting on this matter in accordance with a national approach. It is now time to take the next step and we, as a nation, need to begin addressing the issues around the planning and use of nuclear power.”

I thought this was encouraging as previous letters on this subject were met with a negative response.

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No one but a very hard Leftie could argue that the world is worse off now than 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 years ago. It is unbelievable you could think this.

well peter: I didn’t say this anywhere, nor did I imply it.

the article you linked on DOHA made the claim that the gap between rich and poor had narrowed between 1950 and the present.

I sent you a gini coefficient graph which shows this not to be true.

one of my points about regular crises is that during these periods, health indices can go backwards, poverty rates rise, etc. latin america went backwards in the eighties compared to the sixties and seventies: not just in inequality metrics but the other metrics you mention. I was questioning the easy inevitability in your assumptions.

as for the next 20 years, I share Chris Martenson’s view that the next 20 years may not be like the last 20 years.

thanks, btw, for those links on the other thread. there’s a lot there but I will read the stuff.

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Greg Meyerson,

one of my points about regular crises is that during these periods, health indices can go backwards, poverty rates rise, etc. latin america went backwards in the eighties compared to the sixties and seventies: not just in inequality metrics but the other metrics you mention. I was questioning the easy inevitability in your assumptions.

Are you saying that such events occurred less often and less severely in the past, before capitalism, before globalisation and in the days when we had protectionist trade policies and trade barriers?.

Are you saying that these events are less severe or less less frequent in a socialist system?

Are you saying that we should trust to politicians, bureaucrats and regulators to do better?

From all I’ve seen the evidence is strongly to the contrary of what you believe.

Until you can demonstrate that the world is getting worse off in all or many of the UNDP HDI metrics over the past 20, 50, 100 years etc, then I really am not interested in taking this any further.

Only a fringe of Left economists would argue what you are arguing. It is not mainstream thinking and there is no way Australia will reverse its reforms of the past 30 years, nor even change direction. So the discussion is irrelevant. It simply won’t happen.

This article in today’s “Australian” is relevant and explains what is happening in Australia regarding macro and micro economic reforms especially privatising the electricity industry and the problems that public ownership has caused us:

The Power Shocks to Come
NSW’s woes highlight need for a proper national electricity grid and full privatisation

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/the-power-shocks-to-come/story-e6frg6z6-1225996396590

I trust you can join the dots between what this article says and what I’ve been saying to you and Douglas Wise for over a year.

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folks:

useful site for the radiation scare debates.

http://www.iem-inc.com/toolspa.html

it is a list of specific activities.

U 238 for example is 3.3 E -7. that means .00000033 of 1 curie, which turns out to be 12,200 disintegrations per second per gram.

it’s useful, at least for people like me.

peter: the world has gotten better on these health metrics, we agree. on average, since 1900, etc. but poverty rates are gigantic as are many gini coefficients.

attributing this improvement to “free trade” is quite a stretch. Japanese women live to be 85 on avg. is this due to free trade? sweden’s gini coefficient is much lower than the u.s. GC, and their literacy rate and life expectancy is higher. Free trade again I suppose.

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Tom Bond,

Thank you for the link: http://www.eesa.asn.au/articles/bulletin-no-5-october-november/EESA_OCT_Email_Bulletin-2.pdf

Without low cost electricity, this society could not exist in its present form. Low cost energy is the key to transforming ….

“Low cost energy is the key to transforming …” the underdeveloped, developing and developed world to low emission, environmentally benign energy supply. Putting a price on carbon will not do that. It is the wrong policy. How often do we need to say it?

In Australia, we experiment with high cost solar and other renewables to try and achieve sustainability, while many parts of the world are full steam ahead living the low cost energy dream where long term sustainability is not yet a priority.

Yes. And next we are about to implement a carbon price, exactly the opposite of what we should be doing. Another bad policy. Another symbolic gesture to add to the many we’ve already tried, e.g.:

• Wind power
• Solar power
• Geothermal
• Carbon Capture and Storage
• Pink Bats home insulation program
• Cash for clunkers car buy back

In fact we’ve committed $10 billion in just three years to these symbolic gesture programs, plus very large costs imposed on consumers by the Renewable Energy Targets and Renewable Energy Certificate programs plus another $3.5 billion to the car industry in part to get them to build hybrids, electric vehicles and other energy efficient cars in Australia.

Can we not see that the carbon price is just one more of these silly symbolic gestures? How can a carbon price significantly cut emissions without low cost nuclear? Clearly, we need to tackle the problem ofd the impediments to low cost nuclear as the first step.

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Climatre Spectator is back to deleting comments again. This time, I supect the reason was because I referred to BraveNewClimate for more information. I don’t have a copy of my original excellent post, but here is my short replacement comment:
http://www.climatespectator.com.au/commentary/running-out-steam#comment-3770

I posted a comment pointing out that the heat in the rock mass is diffuse and cannot be extracted easily. I also posted this link to support the statement.

Click to access art4.pdf

Once again, it seems, the Climate Spectator moderator does not want people to know about the problems with renewable energy.

Please reinstate my comment, or explain what was wrtong with it.

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I’ll post the comment by Stephen Short on Climate Spectator in case some cant’ access it.

This is rubbish.(1) Government regulations can’t ‘control’ anything. They just state the regulatory position. (2) I was not referring to the downwind spent steam plumes at all. Mobilization of U and IF NOT U, then certainly 226Ra and recoil 222Rn in the upcoming superheated water will deposit daughter nuclides of 22Rn i.e. 210Po and 210 Pb onto the interior of the primary heat exchanger. This phenomenon is even well known in some Bass Strait onshore gas processing plant. So I was referring to an accumulating gamma dose rate from the plant itself.
(3) It is true that at the beginning of exploitation of a hot rock resource it is the insoluble U(IV) state which is it orginal laid down state. But this oxidation state is only maintained in the recirculation fluid so long as there is a ‘pool’ of reductants such as recirculating dissolved hydrogen and CH4 (methane) and/or sulfides, Fe(II) etc in the rock mass. Eventually these become depleted. As there is inevitably some loss of recirculating fluid there has to be makeup (toether with reductant). This requres dosing of hydrazine etc. This is not always effective. The U concentration in all geothermal power field fluids have always risen with increasing age of the field.

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PL at one stage Geodynamics issued a paper explaining that all the steam/froth and associated radon from the granite would be looped rather than vented. Apart from anything else top-up water would be hard to come by in the Simpson Desert. Funny how some greenies think radioactive decay is OK but fission is not. The small geothermal generator at Birdsville Qld uses once-through artesian water just under 100C and makes no attempt to re-inject it underground.

Changing topics I see Adelaide was 42.5C or 108F yesterday in a supposedly cool year. No doubt AEMO will report the grid contribution from the State’s ~900 MW nameplate wind power. What happens in a really hot year? Their utility company ETSA wants to bring in radio controllers for air cons to prevent overload. Maybe that will happen sooner or later. Hint to Adelaide people; you have the world’s largest uranium deposit out the back.

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I enclose a few links on news items and summaries which some readers here may have missed, but which I think are relevant to past discussions.

http://deregulatetheatom.wordpress.com/2011/01/27/when-the-aec-became-the-nrc-nuclear-energy-stopped-growing-in-the-us/

The author suggests that the regulatory changes in the US unnecessarily increased nuclear construction costs by a factor of four. NB Peter Lang.

Three days later, it was announced that the NRC had finally agreed to license the AP 1000, an encouraging development :

http://deregulatetheatom.wordpress.com/2011/01/29/nrc-approves-ap1000-design/

There is a good up-to-date summary of the pros and cons of molten salt reactors (plus cites) here:

http://energyfromthorium.com/2011/01/09/liqid-fuel-nuclear-reactors

There are also two announcements relating to the Chinese adopting this technology:

http://energyfromthorium.com/2011/01/30/china-initiates-tmsr/

http://deregulatetheatom.wordpress.com/2011/01/30/why-has-china-chose-our-old-tmst-as-their-own-reactor-project/

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More news from China:

A…source with leadership ties…said nuclear energy and high-speed rail would be the flavor of the decade, rather than wind or solar power.

More here.

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AEMO has just released a new report on projected capital and generation cost for new entrant technologies. The costs are for new entrants being added to the NEM. However, guess what? Nuclear is not one of the 41 new technologies included in the report!

This new report replaces the ACIL Tasman report which had been archived but has now been reinstated (today).

Here is the new report:

Click to access 0419-0017.pdf

Here is the ACIL Tasman report (reinstated to its original URL (thank you to AEMO for doing this):

Click to access 419-0035.pdf

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Barry,

There is steadily building stream of these sorts of comments by senior figures in the Australian Labor Party. I believe it is now inevitable that Labor will change its policy this year. It will dump its anti-nuclear policy.

But how will they wrap their replacement policy, given they will have to appease the powerful Left faction within the Party and the Greens with whom they are in an Alliance for Government?

This is the really important issue, they and us, have to deal with. And time is running out. The longer we go the more their replacement policy will be set in stone. The Labor Left faction and the Greens will be doing all they can to ensure the replacement policy locks in high cost nuclear for Australia. They will be arguing for the replacement policy insisting on “world best practice” on safety and proliferation and waste disposal. Once they achieve words like that then we will inevitably get watch dogs that the Left and Greens will be able to influence – just like what happened to Canada when the Atomic Energy Control Board was replaced with the “…. Safety …” thingy.

Those who have been around for a while and seen all this before can envisage very well the lobbying, trade offs and power plays going on behind the scenes.

If we don want to get a replacement policy that locks in high cost nuclear (which means nuclear will be rolled out more slowly), then we really do need to be doing what ever we can to raise awareness of this issue.

Nuclear will be supported by both major parties this year. Trying to convince them is not where we need to focus now. We need to focus on ensuring we are not locked into the two major parties defining their difference over who can make it safest. We want them to differentiate their policies on the basis of which can offer policies that will implement nuclear in Australia fastest and at lowest cost of electricity.

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Ferguson has given around $300m to the geothermal industry but so far has nothing to show for it. If the ACIL Tasman report lands on his desk I think he might be taking a black texta colour to parts of it. It beats me how they can know the cost of something that clearly has major bugs still to be worked out, if ever.

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The Texas grid has just experienced anothr class 1 power emergency complete with rolling blackouts. This time it was because it was too cold for 7 GW worth of thermal coal burners which tripped offline.

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Labor minister backs nuclear energy

of particular interest:

An update by the federal government’s top climate change adviser Professor Ross Garnaut released on Thursday said there was evidence overseas that the cost of nuclear power was falling.

Prof Garnaut said his assumptions of the cost of nuclear power in his landmark 2008 climate change report were outdated.

“There is anecdotal evidence that the switch from batch to continuing production of nuclear power stations in China has reduced the costs of new nuclear power capacity more rapidly than had been assumed in the 2008 models, or expected in China itself,” Prof Garnaut said in his update.

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Tom,
@ 5 February 2011 at 4:51 PM

Thank you for the link to “Labor minister backs nuclear energy”. It is clear that the wall is coming down. Labor will dump its anti-nuclear policy this year. The question now is what will replace it? Will their policy lock in high-cost nuclear or will they be sufficently bold to set us on a path to low-cost nculear?

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The Economist hosted a debate on natural gas vs renewables, the resolution being “that natural gas will do more than renewables to limit the world’s carbon emissions.” A link via one of the contributors is here.

Of course, as many here will know, there is a third way…

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Question for Luke, G. Cowan, DV:

I recall something discussed on this site about the radioactivity of CANDU reactors relative to LWRs, that CANDUs are significantly less radioactive.

On p. 75 of Whole Earth Discipline, Brand cites Canada’s “adaptive phased management plan,” which states that after 175 years (the outer limit of “near term” storage), “the overall radioactivity of used fuel drops to one billionth of the level when it was removed from the reactors.”

Does this decline hold true for LWRs?

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Gregory Meyerson – First, because CANDUs use unenriched uranium for fuel, and because the reactor burns that fuel very efficiently, discharged used fuel becomes less radioactive faster than LWR used fuel.

In fact used fuel from LWR can be re-burned without secondary treatment in a CANDU, beyond making new, compliant bundles that fit the CANDU’s geometry.

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Gregory Meyerson, I looked at a sampling of an ORIGEN2 run provided by Kirk Sorensen for PWR fuel that had run at 39 megawatts per tonne U for 1000 days. After 176.76 years it was down to 215.27 watts per tonne.

The ORIGEN run began at 1.1 days after final shutdown, so for the time immediately after shutdown, we have to fall back on the 7 percent rule-of-thumb: 0.07 * 39 MWt/tonne = 2.73 MW/tonne.

So 215.27 W is more like 0.0001, not 10^(-9).

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I can’t imagine how the composition of the fission products produced in a PHWR is really different to the composition of the fission products produced in a LWR, so (until someone can explain it to me) I’m skeptical of the idea that the radioactivity in the used fuel decays away faster in CANDU fuel.

2^10 is approximately 1000, so 2^-30 is approximately one billionth. So, for the radioactivity of the fuel to drop to “one billionth of the level when it was removed from the reactors”, we need to wait 30 half-lives, approximately.

If we just assume, for the sake of simplicity, we’re looking at Cs-137, we have a half-life of 30 years, we need 900 years for the radioactivity to reach one-billionth of the original level.

So, to be honest, I’m skeptical about what Brand is saying in the book.

That said, however, requiring a decay factor of one-billionth is seriously overkill.

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yeah:

didn’t sound right to me either. I’ll check his footnote.

he’s presumably citing an official govt. agency of some sort.

215.27 W is about .00008. pretty fair amount of decay, but no .000000001.

jesus, there’s a lot of hype in these discussions.

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High neutron economy allows CANDU reactors to extract up to twice as much thermal energy from fissile material compared to LWR reactors. In CANDU reactors, the spent fuel contains depleted uranium on par with the tails from enrichment plants (~0.2%) which is why there no economic reason to reprocess spent CANDU fuel. Self-generated plutonium is also dilute in spent CANDU fuel, typically 2.6 g fissile Pu/initial kg U. The plutonium in LWR spent fuel is roughly twice that concentration.

Long-term radioactivity is primarily determined by burnup, thus the higher burnup of CANDU fuel translates to significantly lower the time it takes the spent fuel to decay.

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Everyone: THIS IS INTERESTING. PROBLEM SOLVED.

Brand’s notes indicate that the quote from his text can be found on p. 159 of study cited above:

Here is the quote: “During a 175-year period, the overall radioactivity of used fuel drops to about one-hundred thousandth of the level it was when
removed from the reactors, but still poses a significant long-term hazard.”

[p. 160 in the pdf file]

!!!!! Brand says “one-billionth.”

So there are many mistakes to be made in this discussion and perhaps bullshitters on both sides.

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In this case I would assume that Brand made a simple mistake. The Canadian Nuclear Waste Management Organization, is a creature of the 2002 federal Nuclear Fuel Waste Act, and as such is responsible to the Government of Canada for anything it publishes. Thus I would take their word on the matter at face value.

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Maybe, DV, but brand not only missed the correct number by a factor of ten million; he also put a period where there was in fact a comma followed by “but still poses a significant long-term hazard.”

I’ve seen this sort of mistake coming from the other side. The consequence of this mistake is not great, but it still angers me to see this.

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not been following upwards

open topic, so thats ok I hope ->

Diesendorf’s submission to the Senate Inquiry (Sub 204)

The Social and Economic Impact of Rural Wind Farms ->

http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/clac_ctte/impact_rural_wind_farms/submissions.htm

Has many references to wind industry sources rather than scientific research.

e.g. in

3. Specific fallacies
3.1 Fallacy: Bird kills are generally a serious problem.
p3

his Ref 6

is this ->

6 Australian Wind Energy Association, Wind farms and Bird and Bat Impacts.
http://www.auswea.com.au/WIDP/assets/8Bird&BatImpact.pdf

which is a dead link, long dead.

I found the document here ->

Click to access 8BirdBatImpact.pdf

The most recent date I could spot in the “fact sheet” was Oct 2003.

Hardly up to date.

The developer Synergy Wind ->

http://www.synergy-wind.com/index.html

has a typical not very updated website, “Breaking news” section is laughably dated ->

24.06.2010 — “Renewable energy (electricity) Amendment Bill 2010 was passed by the Parliament”

Synergy Wind’s “Recent news at Synergy Wind” is ->

18.10.2010 — Wind energy industry outlook for Australia (German article)

They seem to developing Wonthaggi St Clair Wind Farm (and 3 others wind farms are listed on their site)

—-
St Clair Wind Farm

This wind farm site lies 5 km east of the existing Wind farm “Wonthaggi” (6 x Repower MM82). Wind measurements were recorded from May 1998 to March 2004 at 63m and 40m height. A 66KV power line crosses the site. A transformer station is located 3km to the west. Victoria’s largest desalination plant will be built at Wonthaggi will be powered entirely by renewable energy.

Project size: up to 30 MW
Average wind speed approx. 8 m/s
—-

Great grammar in the last sentence on desal. Also is it me or is it misguided (misinformation?) that a desalination plant could be “powered entirely” by the output of a few wind turbines. Is this true ? Will the desalination plant require NO other source than those wind turbines? I dont think so, but perhaps someone could elaborate?

St Clair wind farm is yet another example example of build rates that demonstrate those supplied in BZE’s Zero Carbon Australia 2020 report are wrong.

Being generous, say it took a few months of negotiations to secure the lease to put up the monitoring tower lets say the project started Jan 1998.

Its now Feb 2011 and it still hasn’t been built.

On the website at Synergy they have only posted the Draft Development App, so I assume it has yet to go to the Environmental Assessment stage (I have not checked the planning website).

Click to access StClairWindfarmprojectSiteAnalysisDesign.pdf

So add on a bit more time to get this 30MW online, that would probably nudge it to 15 years.

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Meant to add, the main page of the wind farm Senate Inquiry with terms of reference is here ->

http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/clac_ctte/impact_rural_wind_farms/index.htm

The social and economic impacts of rural wind farms, and in particular:

(a) Any adverse health effects for people living in close proximity to wind farms;

(b) Concerns over the excessive noise and vibrations emitted by wind farms, which are in close proximity to people’s homes;

(c) The impact of rural wind farms on property values, employment opportunities and farm income;

(d) The interface between Commonwealth, state and local planning laws as they pertain to wind farms; and

(e) Any other relevant matters.

The reporting date is 30 April 2011.

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