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Weekend reflections

January 22nd, 2010

It’s time again for weekend reflections, which makes space for longer than usual comments on any topic. Civilised discussion and no coarse language please.

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  1. Chris Warren
    January 22nd, 2010 at 15:49 | #1

    Here is an interesting weekend problem for all the nukaholics …

    How much high level, 100% perfectly safe, vitrified longlived waste do they see being produced? Would a mere 10 acres in some dry salt mine be enough to store all such waste from all nations? I doubt it.

    Even so, if we open the flood gates to nukes and block renewables (because they are “more expensive”), then I presume the amount of nuclear production of energy will increase due to population growth and industrial development, by at least 5%.

    So how do you store long-lived waste that accumulates from around 10 acres at 5% per year (possibly more)?

    In 10 years you need 16 acres of underground storage

    In 100 years you need 1,315 acres.

    In 250 years you need 1.9 million acres.

    In 500 years you need 390 thousand million acres (ie more than 10 times the earths available land surface).

    In 1,000 years you need 1,500 million million million acres.

    So, nukaholics, whats the alternative to this?

    How long can such waste storage continue?

  2. January 22nd, 2010 at 16:27 | #2

    “and block renewables”

    Who wants to do that?

    Also, you’re presuming zero technological change. How realistic do you think that is?

  3. Chris Warren
    January 22nd, 2010 at 16:36 | #3

    Jarrah

    By all means state what you think a realistic net nuclear power output growth is?

    Sure, there are other variables, but if you think there is no problem, what numbers are you thinking are relevant?

    My assumptions are (deliberately) pretty low.

    Some may argue that technological change is already implied in the words “industrial development” so I’m not sure what you are trying to say.

    So what growth rate does the nuke industry expect? more than population growth or less than populations growth? More than industrial development (with or without technological change) or less?

    More than both combined, or less?

    I feel safe at 5%, but it could be higher.

  4. January 22nd, 2010 at 16:47 | #4

    “Some may argue that technological change is already implied in the words “industrial development” so I’m not sure what you are trying to say.”

    Your arithmetic presumes the nature of nuclear power will remain constant, the nature of storage/disposal will remain constant, energy efficiency will stay the same, and that no other power sources will ever displace nuclear.

    Trying to extrapolate today’s trends 500 or 1000 years into the future is misguided and futile.

  5. Fran Barlow
    January 22nd, 2010 at 16:53 | #5

    Hat-tip to John Quiggin if you weren’t already aware … it’s from May 2008 in an article ludicrously entitled The ABC broadcast bullying and science hooliganism problem so you probably are …

    John Quiggin, an economist who specialises in modeling, at the University of Queensland, and Tim Lambert, a computer scientist specialising in virtual realities, at the University of New South Wales, are web activists who practice brown-shirt tactics on any who question what they define as the global warming orthodoxy…. [sic]

    Graham Young, Editor of online opinion The ABC broadcast bullying and science hooliganism problem May 15 2008…

  6. Fran Barlow
    January 22nd, 2010 at 17:14 | #6

    @Chris Warren

    How much high level, 100% perfectly safe, vitrified longlived waste do they see being produced? Would a mere 10 acres in some dry salt mine be enough to store all such waste from all nations? I doubt it.

    Why not find out? It’s not as if it’s all that hard Chris. Putting aside IFR-based systems, which require no new uranium at all and which subtract from HLW, the conventiopnal plants still produce a fraction of the waste of coal plants.

    The mass of the fossil fuels con-sumed by “the average British person” is about 16 kg per day (4 kg of coal, 4 kg of oil, and 8 kg of gas). That means that every single day, an amount of fossil fuels with the same weight as 28 pints of milk is extracted from a hole in the ground, transported, processed, and burned somewhere on your behalf. The average Brit’s fossil fuel habit creates 11 tons per year of waste carbon dioxide; that’s 30 kg per day. In the previous chapter we raised the idea of capturing waste carbon dioxide, compressing it into solid or liquid form, and transporting it somewhere for disposal. Imagine that one person was responsible for capturing and dealing with all their own carbon dioxide waste. 30 kg per day of carbon dioxide is a substantial rucksack-full every day – the same weight as 53 pints of milk!

    Note that this just the longlived CO2 It does not count other aerosols, such as radioactive PM, mercury, sulphur lead etc. It also doesn’t count fugitive emissions from the mine, such as CH4, or the emissions associated with transporting it, or the silicate in coal miners’ lungs.

    In contrast, the amount of natural uranium required to provide the same amount of energy as 16 kg of fossil fuels, in a standard fission reactor, is 2 grams; and the resulting waste weighs one quarter of a gram. (This 2 g of uranium is not as small as one millionth of 16 kg per day, by the way, because today’s reactors burn up less than 1% of the uranium.) To deliver 2 grams of uranium per day, the miners at the uranium mine would have to deal with perhaps 200 g of ore per day
    Without Hot Air, Professor David Mackay

    Mackay continues:

    Whereas the ash from ten coal-fired power stations would have a mass of four million tons per year (having a volume of roughly 40 litres per person per year), the nuclear waste from Britain’s ten nuclear power stations has a volume of just 0.84 litres per
    person per year – think of that as a bottle of wine per person per year (figure 24.13).

    Most of this waste is low-level waste. 7% is intermediate-level waste, and just 3% of it – 25 ml per year – is high-level waste. The high-level waste is the really nasty stuff. It’s conventional to keep the high-level waste at the reactor for its first 40 years. It is stored in pools of water and cooled. After 40 years, the level of radioactivity has dropped 1000-fold. The level of radioactivity continues to fall; after 1000 years radioactivity of the high-level waste is about the same as that of uranium ore. Thus waste storage engineers need to make a plan to secure high-level waste for about 1000 years.

    Multiply this figure by whatever number you need to scale the power output above to 100% of world demand and you would have a number reflecting the volume needed.

    Brook makes a similar point in an Australian context but with IFRs which are even better because they chow down on radioactive waste …

    For perspective, to supply all of Australia’s current baseload electricity demand (~30 GWe) with IFRs, we would need to supply them with 30 tonnes of uranium a year (1 tonne of uranium would fit in a milk crate). In 2008, our mines produced 8,430 tonnes. If we instead used lignite coal (which we mostly do), we’d need to mine ~150 million tonnes of coal. This would fit into about 5,000 huge coal container ships. Spot the difference in energy density

  7. gerard
    January 22nd, 2010 at 17:58 | #7

    why not just have the nuke debate on the nuke thread?

  8. Fran Barlow
    January 22nd, 2010 at 18:14 | #8

    @gerard

    I follow where it goes …

  9. Chris Warren
    January 22nd, 2010 at 19:12 | #9

    Fran Barlow

    You were right when you said:

    Why not find out? It’s not as if it’s all that hard Chris.

    But you probably didn’t realise how easy it was particularly as Professor David Mackay’s info. you posted was so useful. He corroborates my view that we need to store today’s waste for around 1,000 years. This is the hard reality we need to face.

    As your Professor also notes – currently, nasty high level waste in the UK is 25ml per person per year (.025 litres).

    So assume this is correct, – given UK population is 62 million and USA population is 308 million – this puts waste production from these two sources at over 9 million litres per year.

    (370 million by .025litres = 9.25 million).

    So adding in other nations world high-level waste must be over 10 million litres pa.

    So how does this increase or decrease for the 1,000 years your Professor requires storage?

    10 million litres is 10,000 cubic metres and so would need 2.5 acres to store in metre high units.

    So I underestimated. Using Fran Barlow’s data – Current nuclear high level waste is over 2 acres pa (@ 1 metre high pile).

    So I need to adjust my time-storage-scenario. Its worse than I thought.

    On the next point:

    When you follow your link – you find the claim, blurred by being expressed in milkcrates, is:

    Okay, so this is a nice, simple ‘rule of thumb’ to remember. A 1 GWe (1000 megawatt) IFR must be supplied with ~1 tonne of natural or depleted uranium per year (it doesn’t matter which).

    Can 1 milkcrate (1 tonne) of natural uranium produce 1 GWyr of electricity in practice?

    The obvious conclusion to this is that there is enough nuclear waste and uranium mined to fuel such reactors, but the industry is not calling for uranium mines to be closed.

    I suspect there is a gap between nuke-pundits spin and their calculations and hard (implemented) reality.

  10. Rationalist
    January 22nd, 2010 at 20:48 | #10

    Nuclear waste is pretty lame. I for one enjoy the status quo of 90% coal fired base load lovely cheap power. Let me go turn on my air conditioning.

  11. Fran Barlow
    January 22nd, 2010 at 22:01 | #11

    @Chris Warren

    Actually Chris, let’s keep it metric. 1m * 100m * 100m = 10,000m3 = 1Ha.

    At that rate storing for 1000 years you need … 1000Ha or 10Km2 … not a huge piece of land. That military base where that American went nuts and shot up the place is about 50 times that size.

    Now lets factor in that I’m wanting nuclear to replace all coal and all gas and also take on the burden of electric vehicles and all the energy being produced by burning oil. So we are talking something a lot more than what Mackay was talking about. Let’s say that if we could implement that tomorrow on a world scale we’d need to multiply that figure by 100. Then we are going to need over the course of 1000 years 1000Km2 — a square with sides about 40km long (allowing for fence set offs, admin buildings etc).

    That’s still barely a pimple on the face of the Earth, and utterly frivolous when you think of the sheer volume of fossil waste it displaces.

    And that also assumes that in that 1000 years we never resort to IFR or thorium reactors to degrade the HLW waste stock, which we obviously would, or ever develop fusion reactors or any other way of disposing of the waste.

    In the meantime, the air is free of all stationary energy-derived particulate and most transport-derived particulate. There’s no radioactive fly ash making its way into water ways and the food chain. Miners aren’t dying in coal mining accidents at anything like the rate they once were. Cars aren’t spewing masses of waste into the air. And net GHG emissions have crashed.

    Sounds good.

  12. Alice
    January 22nd, 2010 at 22:24 | #12

    Fran

    Your arguments were shot down in flames by both Ernestine and bilb on the issue of nuclear so many times in the thread “Monday message board on Tuesday” that Im amazed you are still here and still pushing the same pro buclear barrow with the corpse in it (yours). You really have quite a magnificent obsession with wanting nuclear energy, when most people dont, dont you Fran? In full bloom here and very annoying.

    We dont need another dirty and dangerous fuel recommended by pro nuclear trolls like yourself Fran. Most people are sensible in here and can see your arguments for what they are. Absolute rubbish. You have no way of costing nuclear accidents and contamination and you know it. Chernobyl is relevant.

    As Bilb previously reminded you

    “Of course the engineers have worked out all of the risks and have allowed for these things, just as engineers have before every disaster in history. The interesting one was the Marshal Islands test explosion which was planned to be a 4000 megatonne event but (woops) became a 15000 megatonne event (roughly) due to unforseen reactions.

    I know, Fran, that you prefer to think about Chernobyl as though it was a bad long weekend on the roads, but for everyone elses “entertainment” he is one account worth reading

    http://environmentalchemistry.com/yogi/hazmat/articles/chernobyl1.html

  13. Chris Warren
    January 22nd, 2010 at 23:00 | #13

    Fran

    Yes – 1 hectare is about right for a single year (2.5 acres is approx 10,000m3).

    If there is a very low growth rate, then you may be right to multiply by 100. If population and energy use does not increase much then it is plausible that very long-term storage could be affordable and manageable.

    But I cannot see where you have made any allowance for any growth rate.

    I suspect that annual growth in nuclear produced energy will be over 5% due to:

    population growth
    substitution away from fossil
    industrial development in most regions of the globe

    Once you factor in a suitable growth rate, Mackay’s calculation becomes redundant.

    So the key factor is to determine the starting amount of high-level waste (.025 litre per person) and the growth rate (5%).

    I think Mackay’s approach is quite good, except for the lack of a growth rate.

    Once any reasonable growth rate is applied it becomes clear a uranium economy will be a disaster in 3 or 4 human life times @75 years each.

    So what growth rate are you thinking of?

  14. January 23rd, 2010 at 00:53 | #14

    What, no response, Chris? Do I take this as confirmation that you are assuming no technological change in power generation and ancillary industry for 1000 years?

    Also – you are assuming storage requires area rather than volume. Think about it.

  15. Fran Barlow
    January 23rd, 2010 at 05:11 | #15

    @Alice

    Your arguments were shot down in flames by both Ernestine and bilb on the issue of nuclear so many times in the thread …

    Hurling angst at those advocating rational energy policy doesn’t shoot down these arguments any more than throwing up on the foot of someone evicting you cancels the notice.

    If you want to frighten yourself to sleep at night repeating Halloween-style stories involving nuclear power, then I can scarcely stop you. Why you’re apparently relaxed about the fact that renewables can never replace any significant proportion of installed coal capacity, with all that implies is something I find curious, especially when those mining coal make those mining uranium or thorium look like poor cousins.

  16. Fran Barlow
    January 23rd, 2010 at 05:25 | #16

    @Chris Warren

    I am not going to try to estimate future growth in energy demand over 1000 years. The scope for even minor inaccuracy to have major implications is too great. If I could do tjhat, even over 20 years I’d be pretty rich.

    My basic point is this: whatever it is, it requires a lot less space to store the waste than coal or gas or any other energy source.

    Second point. What do you think will happen when easy-to-harvest fossil energy sources begin to dwindle? I can tell you right now — nuclear will be fully deployed to meet as much ofd the demand as can be done. That point will surely be reached before the century is out — Mackay suggests 2062 is probable for coal.

    The difference of course will be that by then, the Earth’s biosphere will be in a serious mess from a human POV unless we have stabilised emissions about three decades earlier and have got them moving down sharply in the direction of about 300 or so and have started some serious geoengineering and terraforming reconfiguration.

    If the waste begins to build at a rate they find unacceptable, the people of 2062 and beyond will find a way of sequestering it that is manageable. I suspect by then fast spectrum reactors will be the norm in new construction, which will radically cut the quantity of high level waste and waste as a whole. It may well be that mid 22nd century our descendants will have worked out how to do fusion nuclear, or harvest and store solar at much higher efficiency and lower cost than now, but we have to get there first and as things are going, it’s far from clear humanity will.

  17. Alice
    January 23rd, 2010 at 08:45 | #17

    @Fran Barlow
    There is nothing at all rational about nuclear facilities or nuclear energy Fran. It has already been pointed out to you that nuclear wepons storage facilities in the Northern hemisphere happen to be located close to nuclear energy facilities already built there. Myself and other more rational individuals than you dont want to see the same thing in the southern hemisphere of which Australia is part.

    You can make an argument look rational and sound rational Fran by using spurious scientific terms and jargon but in your use of that methodology you are no better than Monkton and Plimer.

  18. Alice
    January 23rd, 2010 at 08:47 | #18

    @Fran Barlow
    Futhermore Fran

    You obviously indulge yourself in misprepresentaions as well

    “Why you’re apparently relaxed about the fact that renewables can never replace any significant proportion of installed coal capacity, with all that implies is something I find curious”

    I believe quite the opposite Fran. Renewables have a significant contribution to make.

  19. Alice
    January 23rd, 2010 at 08:55 | #19

    @gerard
    says “why not just have the nuke debate on the nuke thread?”

    Why not? Because the pro nuke troll Fran is using as many available threads and screens and lines to push the pro nuke barrow.

    For sheer audacity and persistance Fran takes the yellow cake.

  20. Salient Green
    January 23rd, 2010 at 09:19 | #20

    A Hectare is a measurement of area, not volume and is 10,000m2. However, one Hectare cubed, that is one Hectare x 100m deep, is equal to one Gigalitre of water.

  21. Ernestine Gross
    January 23rd, 2010 at 09:26 | #21

    Fran Barlow :@Alice

    Your arguments were shot down in flames by both Ernestine and bilb on the issue of nuclear so many times in the thread …

    Hurling angst at those advocating rational energy policy doesn’t shoot down these arguments any more than throwing up on the foot of someone evicting you cancels the notice.
    If you want to frighten yourself to sleep at night repeating Halloween-style stories involving nuclear power, then I can scarcely stop you. Why you’re apparently relaxed about the fact that renewables can never replace any significant proportion of installed coal capacity, with all that implies is something I find curious, especially when those mining coal make those mining uranium or thorium look like poor cousins.

    Fran Barlow, I have to object strongly. I have not thrown ‘angst’. It is you and other nuke lobbyists who try to generate ‘angst’ about AGW. I object to the nuke-lobby shamelessly trying to exploit the public resolve to reduce GHG emissions for its own vested interest.

    Perhaps it is time to thank nuclear scientists, as distinct from the nuclear industry lobbyists, for their work and to appreciate their knowledge and, at the same time, acknowledge that knowledge can be valuable without being applied in ‘industry’.

  22. Ernestine Gross
    January 23rd, 2010 at 09:31 | #22

    Further to Fran Barlow:

    It is an old trick in the corporate lobby business to throw the word ‘rational’ into the mix. It doesn’t work, Fran Barlow. I put it to you, no rational person cares whether or not you consider them rational. You talk your own story – you talk your talk.

  23. Chris Warren
    January 23rd, 2010 at 10:24 | #23

    Salient Green

    Volumes are obviously better, although it is possible to use hectares given an assumption that this is based on a height of 1 metre.

    Hectares make it easy to relate to the required space on the earths surface.

    in any case .025litre of long-lived waste per capita per annum, on any calculation, is completely unsustainable and although we will not notice the problem for the first 40 or so years we still destroy the environment for our grand children’s children.

  24. Alice
    January 23rd, 2010 at 11:06 | #24

    @Ernestine Gross
    And Ernestine – Fran claims to be a “moderately educated school teacher.”

    A less than moderately educated lobbyist in reality.

  25. Alice
    January 23rd, 2010 at 11:07 | #25

    moderately should say modestly above

  26. Alice
    January 23rd, 2010 at 11:10 | #26

    @Ernestine Gross
    Ernestine – my guess is Fran will lay low now for a while on this thread but bounce back again as soon as possible on a new one with the deluge of pro nuke talk.
    It is so clumsily obvious.

  27. Jill Rush
    January 23rd, 2010 at 11:56 | #27

    Alice and Ernestine,

    I have found previously that there is no point in engaging with Fran Barlow as there is a lot of irrationality in her arguments about nuclear power. I have also noticed that Ms Barlow translates her arguments into exaggeration and personalisation where misquoting is common. Of course she is right – nuclear power is a wonderful thing – except for the initial cost, the long lead time, the short life span, the need to store waste for a long time which requires a stability in the political climate we have never seen, the threat of terrorists using the materials or facility for evil purposes, the poisonous waste, the overall costs and the lack of sustainability. A risk management approach will make sure that even if the problems don’t go away at least people will believe they will.

  28. gerard
    January 23rd, 2010 at 12:00 | #28

    Why not? Because the pro nuke troll Fran is using as many available threads and screens and lines to push the pro nuke barrow.

    she didn’t start the conversation on this thread, and anyway, you can’t just call someone a troll for disagreeing with you. a troll is an idiot who posts stupid rubbish just to provoke a reaction (e.g. the upthread contribution of “Rationalist”).

    The use of nuclear power – once you separate it from the issue of nuclear weapons – is a legitimate question with valid points for and against. My opinion is that the hands of a profit-maximizing, limited-liability corporation, a responsibility as grave a nuclear power is likely to cause nothing but harm, although probably less harm than the coal burning private interests that don’t just create vast amounts of toxic waste but pump it straight into the air we breathe, and by toxic I don’t just mean run-of-the-mill carcinogenic particulates but also radiation – the naturally occurring radioactive isotopes mixed in with the coal ores that are burned and released as uncontrolled waste.

    The point is, unless renewables can rapidly improve on their EROEI before the depletion of cheap oil, and so long as the world does not continue on its suicidal embrace of coal power, nuclear technology WILL be a major part of future civilization – two and a half billion Asians will see to that. This will happen whether or not we have it in Australia. Personally I don’t think that we will, but the reasons will be phobia and NIMBYism, not the fact that Australia has unusual solar and geothermal endowments that render it unnecessary. In fact, we probably wont be capitalizing on these endowments by developing renewables to their potential, because the CSIRO is putting virtually all of it research budget into clean coal, since Australia long ago decided it would give up on any economic activity beyond digging up rocks, and has a “comparative advantage” in the dirtiest fossil fuel there is.

    Speaking of coal, I posted this link a while ago.
    http://www.chinahush.com/2009/10/21/amazing-pictures-pollution-in-china/
    Take a look, this the coal-powered “workshop of the world”. This is Chernobyl squared, but nobody cares. Absolute environmental ruin, “cancer villages”, birth defects, and none of it due to nuclear power. Yes, nuclear power IS dangerous, but it only seems more dangerous than the alternatives because the dangers of non-nuclear power, the dangers of run-of-the-mill everyday metals and plastics manufacturing don’t get given equal time. Nuclear power is dangerous, but so is the entire world industrial system. And this is before you even take into account the greenhouse effect, which has the potential to cost hundreds of millions of lives in the long term, which could be substantially mitigated without appreciable cost to living standards by a large scale transition to nuclear power. Why not renewables? It could be done, but with the current state of the technology, it simply doesn’t yield enough power on a global scale for the requirements of modern civilization – requirements that will rise markedly with the depletion of the world’s water resources necessitating extremely energy-intensive desalinization.

    The dangers of nuclear power exist and this is why, if it is ever used, it should be controlled by the public in the public interest – preferably as part of some international body, that can ensure its responsible use, take the externalities into account, and ensure that people living in parts of the world that need energy but can’t afford it can also benefit. In the hands of the Right and its private nuclear-lobby, it will simply be used to enrich the already-rich, while cutting corners on safety and waste disposal as part of the legally-mandated responsibility to maximize profit. That’s why it is actually a good thing that people who believe in public ownership and public responsibility are prepared to take seriously the judgments of the physicists and engineers who actually understand the technology, instead of just automatically picturing mushroom clouds like Pavlov’s dog at the mere mention of it.

  29. Fran Barlow
    January 23rd, 2010 at 13:09 | #29

    @Alice

    Gerard aked:

    “why not just have the nuke debate on the nuke thread?”

    and Elise retorted

    Why not? Because the pro nuke troll Fran is using as many available threads and screens and lines to push the pro nuke barrow.

    It was Chris, not I, who began it here.

    I believe quite the opposite Fran. Renewables have a significant contribution to make.

    With respect Elise, it doesn’t matter what you believe. It’s what is possible in practice that counts.

    Consider this.

    If you wish to replace Australia’s baseload capacity of around 27.5GWe with renewables and avoid massive overbuild or unscheduled load shedding then you are going to need

    a) at least 27.5GWe of renewable capacity
    b) at least 30 days worth of storage (since periods when low insolation and inadequate wind can last this long, and you must of course be able to replace storage that you have used up compensating for low output)

    Let’s try some BOTE … 24 hours * 30 days * 27.5 GWe = 19,800GWh (19.8TWh) to be stored. Allow an average round trip efficiency of 80% (possible with pumped storage). Thus increase stoarage capacity and input energy by 25% = 24.75 TWh and 34.375GWe nameplate renewables.

    Use the cheapest form of renewables … wind. (We choose areas that have about 35% CF minimum). Currently $AUS2,000,000 per GWe = $68.75 billion (6950 * 5 MWe turbines).

    Allow roughly 2Ha per turbine to allow access for heavy maintenance vehicles and to avoid windshadow. Land required = 139Km2 (not including cabling, inverters etc)

    Storage: Pumped storage. 24.75TWh @ average head pressure of 100m = 89 billion tonnes of water or a volume of 89billion M3 …

    Assume the storage facilities are cylindrical and have a base covering 1Km2 and are 100m high. We would need about 890 such facilities.

    Total land used: = 890Km2 + 139Km2 = 1039Km2

    Costs for storage. To store this volume of water at this height would require approximately 0.5 M3 of high density steel reinforced concrete for every cubic metre of water. In short, roughly 45 billion cubic metres of concrete. Cost of concrete delivered and poured is likely to be $25 per meter. i.e $AUS1.125 trillion dollars.

    Costs of supply of turbines, pumps, pipes and engineering works, grid connection in and out legals are unknowable. You’d probably have to use seawater and so it would make sense at this level of expense to allow for them to do desal since the marginal cost would be trivial.

    Alternative: 30*1GWe nuclear plants. Current costing — $AUS3.6bn for 1GWe (but could go lower for multiple order) = $AUS108 billion.

    Land usage — approx 30 Km2

    Conclusion: Renewables likely to cost at least ten times as much and require roughly 34 times as much land, orders of magnitude more steel and concrete and copper wire.

    Do you really think this is a journey that any Australian politician would embark upon? Even at $100 per tonne, this is not going to finance works on this scale. And of course, gas is still in this mix.

    So really what you are talking about is (maybe) 15-20% rnewabales maximum and thus 80% plus non-renewables. Now maybe Hot rock geothermal could pick up some of the load, but again, as costing is unclear and output is unknown we can’t count on this and you can’t either. Every geothermal project is FOAK.

    So what you are entitled to beleive is that fossil fules will be necessary unles:

    a) there are truly massive cuts in total Australian demand for stationary power

    AND

    b) willingness to accept unscheduled outages.

    There’s also no scope in this for significant transfer of transport energy to the grid.

    You call me a troll, but really, if anyone’s trying it on, it’s you. I’m prepared to accept that you have allowed your aesthetic preferences to sweep aside reason.

  30. BilB
    January 23rd, 2010 at 13:55 | #30

    You just can’t help youself, Fran, can you

    “Renewables likely to cost at least ten times as much and require roughly 34 times as much land, orders of magnitude more steel and concrete and copper wire”

    You just keep making this stuff up

    The last time that you became a nuclear expert you found some information that implied that a nuclear plant would cost 6 billion dollars. That turned out to be $10 billion dollars US plus, but in your enthusiastic way you said that with mass production that would drop to one billion dollars. And then to make that seem unbelievably fantastic you said that to supply Australia’s electricity with renewables would cost a trillion dollars. Do you have a set of dice that you role to help with these figures?

    Your unbelieveable. Truly.

  31. Fran Barlow
    January 23rd, 2010 at 14:04 | #31

    @BilB

    Do you actually have any modelling to show that renwabales could do this cheaper than I’ve outlined above?

    The latest contracts for supply to the UAE for nuclear work out at about the $3.6 billion I cited above.

    I chose that because it was current and not the cheapest. In practice, with mass production, this price would go down not up.

    As I’ve said before, here in Australia, if renewables could replace coal right now, even at a significant premium (say double the cost of nuclear or even triple) I’d say let’s do it and find the money. But at ten times the cost? Even if I voted for that, no politician would touch it. That’s a fact of life.

    The state governments could, if they wanted, borrow the funds to build renewables if they were as cheap as you say, but they haven’t, not even NSW the govt of which could use a boost. Why is that do you suppose?

  32. BilB
    January 23rd, 2010 at 14:10 | #32

    And what is this

    Storage: Pumped storage. 24.75TWh @ average head pressure of 100m = 89 billion tonnes of water or a volume of 89billion M3 … Assume the storage facilities are cylindrical and have a base covering 1Km2 and are 100m high. We would need about 890 such facilities.

    …rubbish.

    We went over this last time. CSP uses thermal storage, and non solar periods are covered by burning biomass or gas, or when available geothermal supply.

  33. BilB
    January 23rd, 2010 at 14:33 | #33

    Fran, that UAE figure turned out to be $40 billion for 4 off 1.4 gig plants. You do not get 1.4 gig out of a 1.4 gig capacity nuclear reactor. They are generally run at 80% percent of capacity (it is a safety thing) giving 1.1 continuous from you 1.4 gig facility. Every time you get on your nuclear bike you squeeze the figure in the direction you want them to go to suit your idea.

    Where do you get renewables at ten times the cost of nuclear??? The last conversation that I had with Dr Trieb he confirmed that based on the experiences of the CSP being installed it was reasonable to assume that 1 gig of hybride CSP with storage would be 1.6 billion dollars. Now that is a half day capacity unit, so double that to give 24/365 performance it comes to 3.2 billion dollars for full baseload capacity with a minimum requirement for non solar firing. And let me expand what the second unit does because you might have missed the significance. The second plant collects heat all day and stores that heat with out running the turbines during the day and then runs the turbines during the night time (non solar) hours.

    I supplied you with the contact details for Dr Trieb. Send him an email and get some truly qualified information.

    Here is an article talking about the probability of getting nuclear up and running in th US let alone Australia

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2009/11/nuclear-power-less-effective-in-american-than-energy-efficiency-and-renewable-energy-says-report.html

    and here is some advice from the Chinese (from the Catalyst programme)

    Mark Horstman: Do you believe pebble bed reactors are the safest form of nuclear?

    Professor Wu Zongxin: I think so. It is most recognised by the international nuclear community.

    Mark Horstman: So in the future, new reactors could all be pebble bed reactors?

    Professor Wu Zongxin: No, I don’t think so.

    Narration: The Professor laughs, because he understands the commercial realities. Another ten water-cooled reactors will be built before the first pebble-bed is even up and running.

    And what does this mean for Australia?

    Professor Zhang hopes that one day we will use pebble-bed reactors from China. But for now, he’s surprisingly frank about our own nuclear capability.

    Prof Zhang Zuoyi: It’s better not to use nuclear energy for Australia. Because for nuclear you need a lot of infrastructure, you need a lot of experienced people you should be careful.
    I think the best way is you can share the uranium. I think it is the best way. You just get money and you don’t need a lot of work.

  34. Chris Warren
    January 23rd, 2010 at 14:36 | #34

    Nuclear, renewables, and fossil, all have the same problem. No energy source, or lifestyle can possibly provide for a sustainable planet.

    This was the conclusion of the Club of Rome, and has been vindicated by events over the last 30 years.

    The only solution is radical population and growth controls with government campaigns.

    Recently Mark O’Connor published a book titled “Overloading Australia” ISBN 9780858812246. His thesis was

    To confront the disasters we face we must first clear the intellectual decks of twaddle and rubbish. We cannot, for example combat global warming while simultaneously increasing population and economic activity. All that nonsense has to go. [p135].

    The population-development dimension is the problem. Climate change, greenhouse, nuclear waste, are the results.

  35. BilB
    January 23rd, 2010 at 14:42 | #35

    “The state governments could, if they wanted, borrow the funds to build renewables if they were as cheap as you say, but they haven’t, not even NSW the govt of which could use a boost. Why is that do you suppose?”

    The entire electricity generation system is held up by the CPRS debarcle as you well know. The most bold state energy leader in the world at the moment Obama aside is Arnold Shwartzenager despite the horrorshow that Californian governance is.

  36. Fran Barlow
    January 23rd, 2010 at 14:57 | #36

    @BilB

    For those seriously interested in installed cost estimate discussions of NPP this link here separates myth from reality

    See also

    The Fangjiashan project will see two CPR-1000 reactors with a combined capacity of 2160 MWe constructed near the existing Qinshan plant. First concrete for the first unit at the Fangjiashan plant was poured in December 2008. [...]

    The total cost of the two-unit Fangjiashan plant is put at 26 billion yuan ($3.8 billion).

    i.e. $US1.75billion per GWe

    I chose a number well on the generous side.

    As to the UAE deal

    Four South Korean-developed APR1400 reactors are to be built in a $20 billion order, with Korea Electric Power Company (Kepco) providing the “full scope of works and services”.

    i.e. $US3.125bn per GWe … I allowed for conversion to AUS at a generous rate …

    On Dr Trieb this is irrelevant isn’t it? Does he have any modelling to show that this would apply in an Australian context using Australiuan insolation figures? What system redundancy is he allowing?

    @BilB

    If China decarbonizes using nuclear and Australia doesn’t then in a carbon-priced world, they will do very well. That’s basic. It’s little wonder they’d prefer Australia to be their quarry.

  37. Alice
    January 23rd, 2010 at 15:19 | #37

    @BilB
    Fran

    Bil B sums your position up very nicely in the following comment and I am in total agreement with him and yes I do think you are trolling for some nuclear industry group with the reams of propaganda you post

    “Every time you get on your nuclear bike you squeeze the figure in the direction you want them to go to suit your idea.”

    Yes you do. You are nothing more than a pro nuclear version of Plimer. For a modestly educated schoolteacher you have reams of squeezed and manipulated numbers along with arrangements of categories and headings, the dropping of rubbish like this

    ” Use the cheapest form of renewables … wind. (We choose areas that have about 35% CF minimum). Currently $AUS2,000,000 per GWe = $68.75 billion (6950 * 5 MWe turbines).

    You arent going to tell me you collect this information as a hobby on the weekends when the marking is finished and the washing is done are you?

    As Bilb says

    “you just keep making this stuff up”

    You dont fool me, you dont fool Ernestine and you dont Bilb. Anyone who wants to engage in your arguments can do so but you are waste of time because you dont even consider other arguments against nuclear and you do try to force an agenda here, using JQs blog as a platform and that is trolling.

  38. Alice
    January 23rd, 2010 at 15:31 | #38

    @BilB
    Bilb – Its astonishing to me that anyone even listens to Fran. She just makes it up as she goes along. Its a complete snowjob.

    your comment

    “The last time that you became a nuclear expert you found some information that implied that a nuclear plant would cost 6 billion dollars. That turned out to be $10 billion dollars US plus, but in your enthusiastic way you said that with mass production that would drop to one billion dollars. And then to make that seem unbelievably fantastic you said that to supply Australia’s electricity with renewables would cost a trillion dollars. Do you have a set of dice that you role to help with these figures?

    Your unbelieveable. Truly.”

    Dice?? Even dice would be more reliable than the rubbish Fran is posting.

  39. Alice
    January 23rd, 2010 at 15:33 | #39

    Mass production of nuclear plants?? Way to go Fran…….some have gone stark raving mad in here obviously.

  40. BilB
    January 23rd, 2010 at 16:01 | #40

    There are some good links there, Fran.

    From a quick scan

    “anywhere from $7,400 to $10,800 per kilowatt, depending on your appetite for risk”

    is the standout salient comment that blends with the reported history of the nuclear industry. The rest of the Brave New World article reads to me as a bunch of instant experts bloggerising around egging each other towards ever lower imaginary figures.

    Building Nuclear facilities in the West with actually paid fully insured professional labour is a very different proposition to building then in some other countries. To preserve the figures that you are preferring to believe I think that it is more probable to think about a HVDC cable from your nearest prefered third world country to Australia, and obtain the electricity that way.

    Dr Trieb’s studies cover the globe.

    Australia will decarbonise its energy, but in a way that does not leave an eternal equally disasterous headache.

    System redundancy? I’ve gone over that many times, and it is covered in dozens of available publications. System size is the principle safety factor on the one hand and long operating life on the other (1% per year failure rate based on 25 years of operating experience).

  41. jquiggin
    January 23rd, 2010 at 16:25 | #41

    Remember, everyone to stick to civilised discussion

  42. Freelander
    January 23rd, 2010 at 16:37 | #42

    @Alice

    If we scale up our submarine production and start mass producing them, as a next step, mass production of nuclear reactors makes entire sense. Australia could become the Henry Ford of nuclear sub production. We could undercut everyone else and become the nuclear sub provider of choice for the US, Russia, China, Great Briton and France. This could replace educating foreign students as our high-tech export industry. Building on this competitive advantage and to value add further, we could then get into missile and warhead production and deliver these subs fully ‘equipped’.

    If global warming is not abated by other actions, fully equipped nuclear subs could come in handy. By exploding the right number of nuclear bombs the ‘nuclear winter’ effect should offset the impact of greenhouse gases. Radioactive fallout seems quite a small price to pay. Technology (and the market), as usual, to the rescue.

  43. Fran Barlow
    January 23rd, 2010 at 17:12 | #43

    @Alice

    It’s troubling that you are so invested in this. While PrQ is clearly unsympathetic to inclusion of nuclear power in Australia’s energy mix, unlike you, his focus is the practicalities of the matter. For you it’s a point of ethical principle. What else could explain the reflexively abusive

    You arent going to tell me you collect this information as a hobby on the weekends when the marking is finished and the washing is done are you?

    Passing over the sexism in this, how am I supposed to react? Grant that Ziggy Z and I have done a mind meld?

    I’m going to pass and simply remind myself that you are too emotionally invested to even put a case.

    Despite what you say I am strictly utilitarian on this. I want emissions (i.e. GHGs and other toxic aerosols) to drop as quickly as possible. I also want a grid that can take on board motor vehicle charging. If someone can come up with something that ticks more boxes than nuclear power and/or ticks them better, then I’m for that.

    I don’t basically trust business or the government to regulate fossil fuel emissions so in my opinion it’s best to get rid of them and have done with it.

    @BilB

    Re the higher figure BilB … the article explains what was wrong with that modelling. They were including full lifecycle costs in the up front installation.

    Re Dr Trieb … without modelling of his system — where does he get his biomass feedstock, daily insolation patterns, actual build costs it’s impossible to know what, precisely, he proposes.

  44. Alice
    January 23rd, 2010 at 17:25 | #44

    @Freelander
    LOl Freelander – you are funny! Massproduction of mobile nuclear subs that can double as warheads as well as run the air con and the blender!.

  45. Chris Warren
    January 23rd, 2010 at 20:09 | #45

    Following Fran Barlow’s reference to the rate of high-level waste being .025l pp per year, and the referenced requirement of a tenth of a square km. to store,

    then (assuming 5% nuclear energy growth) contrary to my original post; in 10 years you need over 1.25 square kilometre and in 100 years, a huge 262 square kilometres. With 5% growth, the world will never get to 1,000 years, unless we store nuclear waste in skyscrapers.

    The calculation is the text book example where

    Amount after N years = Initial Amount *( [(1 + r) ^ N] – 1)/r

    where r = .05 for 5%.

    This can be easily proven.

    The same logic applies to urban sprawl, deforestation and other long-lived waste.

    There is no economic way to escape the obvious conclusion of eventual environmental collapse, and the modern Club of Rome is dead right on this score (but has no solution).

    There is little point squabbling about whether nuke waste is more or less harmful than fossil waste as both destroy the environment. Neither can be launched into and disposed into space even though the launch cost per kg is falling.

    Current forms of renewables cannot cope with 4-5% growth either.

    So we are forced to conclude that growth itself is the real issue.

    Unless we adopt zero population growth (or close to) and develop a new economics to suit, then we risk throwing the environment into an overwhelming crisis in around 200 years.

    That, in fact, is all the time available.

    So the solution to climate change, and nuke waste, is not political games by Rudd, Obama, etc. – we need ZPG (zero population growth) and possibly a lower standard of living for OECD economies.

  46. Alice
    January 23rd, 2010 at 20:42 | #46

    @Chris Warren
    “So the solution to climate change, and nuke waste, is not political games by Rudd, Obama, etc. – we need ZPG (zero population growth) and possibly a lower standard of living for OECD economies.”

    We needed zero population growth about half a century ago Chris. Its the elephant in the room thate people like Fran completely ignore while they chase the next dangerous dirty fuel.

    Zero population growth eminently sensible as part of the solution.

  47. Alice
    January 23rd, 2010 at 20:48 | #47

    @Fran Barlow
    Yes Fran Ive also noticed you are strictly “utilitarian” on the pro nuclear view and you are also “rational” on about it Fran (of course you are utilitarian and rational – what else would I expect?)

    – yet you are a modestly educated school teacher? Ha? Really? You also play lightly with the truth. Mostb high school teachers dont know what utilitarianism is.

    You are still are troll and no Im not emotionally invested in what you have to say. You could say that “rationally” speaking I think (I know) you are a political iedologue and slightly loony.

    This is being very civil about it (rational as well).

  48. Fran Barlow
    January 23rd, 2010 at 21:23 | #48

    @Chris Warren

    Nuclear power will not increase 5% per annum for 1000 years and neither will the waste.

    World growth rates of about 2% are historic. I agree we do need to stablise population and eventually reduce it to about 4-5 billion.

    I don’t agree we need a lower standard of living though a better quality of life would be desirable.

  49. gerard
    January 23rd, 2010 at 21:34 | #49

    Amount after N years = Initial Amount *( [(1 + r) ^ N] – 1)/r

    Are you saying that a population of 100, growing at 5% a year, becomes 1258 in ten years?

  50. Alice
    January 23rd, 2010 at 21:55 | #50

    @Freelander
    Seriously Freelander…you crack me up! Nuclear winter is useful to offset global warming…oh of course?? Why didnt we think of that before and cost it into the mix in this thread here – now lets see – how much credit can we get for cubic hectare of land affected by a nuclear winter? Offset that against the cost to construct a nuclear facility and it makes perfect sense to mass produce and mass construct them doesnt it?

    You see after they cause the nuclear winter and we all die, then there is so much less gigs of power needed per hour so they become …oh well fancy that!!…economically viable.

    How fortunate we are!!

    Perfect solution LOL! Im sure Fran can come up with a costing for the environment tax offset credits gained by causing a nuclear winter!.

  51. Fran Barlow
    January 23rd, 2010 at 22:15 | #51

    @gerard

    In fact it would take about 50 years to get to that figure at 5%

    At 2% there would be 156 times as much nuclear power output in 254 years …

  52. gerard
    January 24th, 2010 at 08:29 | #52

    sorry, I see it’s actually a geometric series, so it wouldn’t apply to population growth, but it would to the cumulative storage of a growing output of any kind. Assuming a year on year output of waste growing at an annual rate of 5% it’s correct.

  53. gerard
    January 24th, 2010 at 10:13 | #53

    What we need is a type of nuclear reactor that uses existing waste as fuel…

    It is probably unnecessary to extrapolate the growth of waste stockpiles, or the depletion of uranium deposits, beyond the development of 4th Generation Nuclear Technology, which would actually reduce the amount of nuclear waste in the world rather than increase it. But it will be more than a decade before this type of thing is working. Existing nuclear technology does produce long-lived waste and the only good thing to be said for it is that the waste is controlled, rather then pumped directly into the air like coal waste (which is just as long lived, although most people don’t seem to have a fraction of the same amount of concern about it).

    The World Health Organization (WHO) says 3 million people are killed worldwide by outdoor air pollution annually from vehicles and industrial emissions, and 1.6 million indoors through using solid fuel.”[5] In the U.S. alone, fossil fuel waste has been linked to the death of 20,000 people each year.[6] A coal power plant releases 100 times as much radiation as a nuclear power plant of the same wattage.[7] It is estimated that during 1982, US coal burning released 155 times as much radioactivity into the atmosphere as the Three Mile Island accident.[8]

    The World Nuclear Association provides a comparison of deaths due to accidents among different forms of energy production. In their comparison, deaths per TW-yr of electricity produced from 1970 to 1992 are quoted as 885 for hydropower, 342 for coal, 85 for natural gas, and 8 for nuclear.[9]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioactive_waste

  54. Chris Warren
    January 24th, 2010 at 10:28 | #54

    Gerald

    yes – it cannot apply to population because – unlike waste, deafforestation and urbanisation – births (an addition) are countered by deaths (a subtraction).

    It also cannot apply to short-term, or medium term nuclear waste, as you would have to allow for its own self-decay over the medium and long term.

  55. gerard
    January 24th, 2010 at 10:51 | #55

    sorry Chris, I somehow missed the point of your original post last night.

    But the IFR technology (if and when it starts working) could actually convert long-lived nuclear waste into short-lived nuclear waste.

    All nuclear plants in the United States today are Light Water Reactors (LWRs), using ordinary water (as opposed to ‘heavy water’) to slow the neutrons and cool the reactor. Uranium is the fuel in all of these power plants. One basic problem with this approach is that more than 99% of the uranium fuel ends up ‘unburned’ (not fissioned). In addition to ‘throwing away’ most of the potential energy, the long-lived nuclear wastes (plutonium, americium, curium, etc.) require geologic isolation in repositories such as Yucca Mountain.

    There are two compelling alternatives to address these issues, both of which will be needed in the future. The first is to build reactors that keep the neutrons ‘fast’ during the fission reactions. These fast reactors can completely burn the uranium. Moreover, they can burn existing long-lived nuclear waste, producing a small volume of waste with half-life of only sever decades, thus largely solving the nuclear waste problem.

    The other compelling alternative is to use thorium as the fuel in thermal reactors. Thorium can be used in ways that practically eliminate buildup of long-lived nuclear waste.

  56. wilful
    January 24th, 2010 at 10:53 | #56

    Alice :
    Fran
    Your arguments were shot down in flames by both Ernestine and bilb on the issue of nuclear so many times in the thread “Monday message board on Tuesday” that Im amazed you are still here …

    hah! hilarious! Coming from you of course.

    Fran sufffered not a scratch in that last debate. I stopped contributing because of the level of personal vitriol, nearly all generated by you, and becuase Fran certainly doesn’t need my help.

  57. wilful
    January 24th, 2010 at 11:01 | #57

    The main reason to suspect that Fran Barlow is a lobbyist is because she remains remarkably civil in response to constant name calling. But that’s probably the teacher in her…

  58. Chris Warren
    January 24th, 2010 at 12:53 | #58

    I suppose, for all political, social, economic, medical and physical problems, one can always state that “future developments will provide the answer”.

    The solution to unemployment is more growth so we can get more jobs in the future.

    The solution to aging population is more population so we can get more wealth in the future.

    This is a general foible in human psychology where hell on earth is placated by future heaven (even though we have to trick people into believing they will be alive after death to experience it).

    So some seem to accept a real nuclear hell on earth based on a hypothetical concept of a nuclear heaven in the future. When you look for comprehensive details of these supposed heavenly nuclear plants you only find confused partial concepts with no hard data or experience. Internet gibberish, with faulty logic (as with Fran Barlows reference to Mackay’s internet effort), is no alternative to proper propositions carried in journals such as Nature, New Scientist, or Scientific America and similar.

    But not only this. Logically it makes no sense to specifically claim that development of nuclear technology will solve intractable problems when precisely the same argument applies to renewables as they move closer to providing baseload power.

    If we maintain scholarly standards and deliberately restrict ourselves to professional and refereed publications then it seems clear that renewables are much closer to providing baseload power than nuclear research is to heaven. In this context the new fresh to salt water osmosis (“new Scientist” 28 February 2009 see Renewable Baseload ) is looking good, according to the literature.

    So anyone seeking to lobby for nuke energy by playing the “future technology” card are easily trumped by similar technological developments in preferable energy sources.

    In the future it may be possible to forget about uranium entirely – it has no place in the environment and is only being introduced because it gives first-movers a highly profitable competitive advantage while placing huge externalities onto future generations (which actually are not so far off).

  59. Fran Barlow
    January 24th, 2010 at 13:27 | #59

    @Chris Warren

    Logically it makes no sense to specifically claim that development of nuclear technology will solve intractable problems when precisely the same argument applies to renewables as they move closer to providing baseload power.

    The problems with hazmat are not ‘intractable’. A partial solution already exists in the IFRs. The problem with current renewables are however, far more challenging, because they relate to the constraints on harvest and storage.

  60. Fran Barlow
    January 24th, 2010 at 13:32 | #60

    @Alice

    yet you are a modestly educated school teacher? Ha? Really? You also play lightly with the truth. Most high school teachers dont know what utilitarianism is

    Well I haven’t been only a schoolteacher. I’ve spent much the better half of my life studying politics and philosophy in the broadest senses. I have and Honours Degree from Macquarie University in their HPP faculty. I have taught courses at Southern Cross in Philosophy of Knowedge and similar. I’ve done academic editing in the Social Sciences.

  61. Chris Warren
    January 24th, 2010 at 14:28 | #61

    Fran

    What constraints are there on harvest and storage of the cuurent energy production from salt-fresh water membranes, which are already operating at 3 watts per sq metre?

    What is your reference?

    Is there any data or evidence for such “constraints”?

  62. Alice
    January 24th, 2010 at 14:39 | #62

    @Fran Barlow
    Well Fran – I only posed your own representations about yourself in a previous comment. Not quite a modestly educated schoolteacher then.

  63. Fran Barlow
    January 24th, 2010 at 14:43 | #63

    @Chris Warren

    In Norway, where much of this discussion is taking place there are projections that 10% of Norway’s power might be sourced from it. Worldwide there is speculation that power equivalent to all the power in China might be sourced this way.

    That’s nothing like all the non-renewable power now being used in the world’s stationary systems, and still less scaleable to what they’d bee if everyone was on grid (including transport).

    Nor is there any modelling of harvest costs, installed capacity costs, effects on river systems, the environmental footprint of the membranes needed, the integrity of fresh water flow assumptions in a fresh water-constrained world and so forth …

    Proof of principle is one thing. A working system built to scale is quite another. Nuclear technology is well established. This is not, but if you can show me something with hard numbers, please feel free.

  64. Fran Barlow
    January 24th, 2010 at 14:46 | #64

    @Alice

    Well I’m not here to blow my own trumpet. I am modest about my attainments, aware that many are better educated in their fields of expertise than I.

    I am a generalist. I know a substantial amount about quite a few things relevant to public policy. So I’m modestly well-educated.

  65. Alice
    January 24th, 2010 at 14:46 | #65

    @wilful
    Exactly Wilful except its not the schoolteacher…its the pro nuclear lobbyist in Fran (and I suspect the distractionary troll methodology in Fran). You can call it name calling Wilful but there are various types of trolls in here – they drop in often enough with intentions of pushing certain ideological views and dangerous views at that..

    Often a page of fallacious statistics is enough to derail a thread from the main topic, posted by JQ in itself and prevent meaningful argument by way of distraction. Strategies Wilful….Ernestine knows well what I refer to.

    The ability to remain civil when exposed is often a distinguishing characteristic of trolls Ive noticed.

  66. Fran Barlow
    January 24th, 2010 at 15:02 | #66

    @Alice

    The trouble, Alice, is that your definition of troll is anyone who presses your buttons on some issue in which you are emotionally invested.

    Trollish behaviour involves active disruption of discussion through flaming, thread-hijacking, posting of information known to be false or seriously misleading (especially when the matter has previously been addressed at the site) and so forth.

    As far as discussion of nuclear power is concerned, I don’t do any of that. So far, nobody has refuted anything I’ve said on the subject. Your responses better fit the decription, “troll”.

    e.g. your repeated implication that I’m some sort of professional nuclear power lobbyist and a troll, your flames, your persistent attempts to make Chernobyl germane when this has been shown to be irrelevant and so forth …

    I accept that you are appalled at the concept of nuclear power — so upset that you feel anyone who thinks it worthwhile must be nefarious.

    You’re entitled to your aesthetic preferences of course but I prefer debtate to be on the basis of measurable reality when we are discussing public policy.

  67. Ernestine Gross
    January 24th, 2010 at 15:49 | #67

    @Fran Barlow

    You wrote:

    “I have and Honours Degree from Macquarie University in their HPP faculty”

    But HPP usually stands for ‘Human Participation Pool’, which is not a faculty. You may have to spell out the acronym.

  68. Alice
    January 24th, 2010 at 15:55 | #68

    @Fran Barlow
    I dont think so Fran – a few people have refuted what you have said on the matter of nuclear statistics you have posted here and as for the matter of Chernobyl you repeatedly and doggedly seek to downplay or ignore the residual risk of nuclear power…so I will post again Ernestine’s very important link which you have also ignored on the risks of nuclear energy (and even though Ernestine posted on the nuclear thread – you have ignored this and continued the pro nuclear argument here? I do find that odd).

    I am apalled at your dogged determination to avoid consideration of the risks, and now your denial that people have refuted your costings and logic in threads here Fran.

    http://www.greens-efa.org/cms/topics/dokbin/181/[email protected].

  69. Alice
    January 24th, 2010 at 15:57 | #69

    @Ernestine Gross
    Bingo Ernestine! The faculty of HPP eh? So Fran…what do you have to said to that?
    Need I spell it out more as to what you are? A pro nuclear Plimer. A charlatan. A fake.

  70. Freelander
    January 24th, 2010 at 16:40 | #70

    A generalist is often a person equally misinformed in every field of knowledge. Climate change deniers are prototypical generalists.

  71. Chris Warren
    January 24th, 2010 at 17:25 | #71

    Fran

    My query was:

    What constraints are there on harvest and storage of the cuurent energy production from salt-fresh water membranes, which are already operating at 3 watts per sq metre?

    What is your reference?

    Is there any data or evidence for such “constraints”?

    The relevance of China and Norway does not suggest a “constraint”?

    The footprint issue does not suggest a particularly relevant constraint as every power source has a footprint?

    I think we all know nuclear technology is well established and the key well established fact is that it produces .025 litre high-level long-lived waste per capita per annum which accumulates at some rate. This seems the most obvious constraint within the issue.

    Maybe things will change if some new no-waste reactors replace all of the present stocks of water-based reactors, but there is no evidence that this is likely in the next 100years.

    As advocates for thorium reactors have cited: The radiotoxicity of spent fuel from a PWR reaches the radiotoxicity level of the natural uranium used for that PWR one million years after fuel unloading [Brissot et al. 2001]

    This is the mother of all constraints – and the nuclear industry wants to flood the world with such reactors.

    So we have to get rid of nuclear plants asap and renewables that can provide baseload power (wave, tidal, hot rock, salt-fresh water membranes, hydro) can be developed.

  72. Fran Barlow
    January 24th, 2010 at 17:30 | #72

    @Ernestine Gross

    History Politics & Philosophy.

    @Alice

    I am appalled at your dogged determination to avoid consideration of the risks,

    I am onew of those here weighing them dispassionately

    and now your denial that people have refuted your costings

    They’ve rejected them not refuted them.

    and logic in threads here Fran.

    They don’t like the reasoning but they haven’t shown why it is wrong.

    @Freelander

    A generalist is often a person equally misinformed in every field of knowledge.

    That’s as may be. It’s not so in my case.

    Climate change deniers are prototypical generalists.

    I disagree. Climate change deniers are typically spreaders of culture-driven agnotology, regardless of their ostensible expertise.

    It remains the case that unless you can show that the cost-risk-benefit calculus of some other suite of technologies is higher than any containing nuclear, your case fails. You also have to explain how, given that much of the rest of the world will continue to use nuclear power regardless of policy here, Australia standing aside and declining to adopt technologies that could reduce waste serves the best interests of humanity, assuming that’s a relevant consideration for you.

  73. Donald Oats
    January 24th, 2010 at 17:52 | #73

    In defence of Fran Barlow, her period of time at Macquarie University wasn’t specified by her:

    Fran Barlow :@Alice

    yet you are a modestly educated school teacher? Ha? Really? You also play lightly with the truth. Most high school teachers dont know what utilitarianism is

    Well I haven’t been only a schoolteacher. I’ve spent much the better half of my life studying politics and philosophy in the broadest senses. I have and Honours Degree from Macquarie University in their HPP faculty. I have taught courses at Southern Cross in Philosophy of Knowedge and similar. I’ve done academic editing in the Social Sciences.

    If she was a student at Macquarie University in the 1970s then she may have been at the School of History, Philosophy, and Politics, aka HPP. However, no such school exists at MU now, AFAIK.

    Regards,

    Don.

  74. Fran Barlow
    January 24th, 2010 at 18:49 | #74

    @Donald Oats

    The school of HPP was still there in the mid-1980s though Don, when I was there, and indeed, at least until the mid-1990s …

  75. January 24th, 2010 at 18:55 | #75

    I know Fran can fight her own battles, but I won’t stand by while someone is subjected to a blog stacks-on.

    “they drop in often enough with intentions of pushing certain ideological views and dangerous views at that..”

    Funny, I think the same about you, Alice. Therefore, if ‘troll’ is not to be simply another insult, we have to agree on a technical definition, which Fran doesn’t meet. In fact, as she points out, you are closer to it than she is.

    It seems you are not content to leave it there, going so far as to accuse Fran outright (after many heavy-handed hints) of being a lobbyist for nuclear power interests. In the context of this discussion, that is close to libel. It’s also ridiculous – Fran is a regular on several blogs, commenting on a wide range of subjects, and has done for a protracted period. Are you seriously suggesting that she was preparing a false blog identity in advance, on the off chance someone brings up nuclear power? If so, you’re more delusional than I thought.

    Also, ‘refuted’ has a specific meaning, of which you are apparently unaware. No-one has refuted Fran.

  76. Fran Barlow
    January 24th, 2010 at 18:58 | #76

    @Chris Warren

    Do you havw a precise reference for Brissot … I’ve looked at a number of references buit haven’t found the claim

  77. Fran Barlow
    January 24th, 2010 at 19:00 | #77

    @Fran Barlow

    In fact, I’ve been posting to usenet since 2003 … at which time I was on the record as being unsympathetic to nuclear power and much more keen on renewables …

  78. Salient Green
    January 24th, 2010 at 19:07 | #78

    Call me a softy but I think Fran is misunderstood, no thanks to her lack of effort to connect to other bloggers on a human level.

    Fran was accused of being a troll on the pro-nuclear blog Brave New Climate, for Green statements, so the only fault I can find with Fran’s style of discourse is that it seems to be completely dispassionate in an arena where people like to connect with each other on a level which is more than academic.

    I don’t believe Fran is a troll. I think Fran is genuinely concerned about the environment and the future of the Human race. I think Fran brings an enormous amount of information and intellect to this blog and others. I don’t think Fran needs protecting, which is my natural instinct to do but I always read what she posts and would like to continue doing so.

    Fran’s posts on nuclear power have not influenced my opinion of it. I have always found the cost figures incredibly rubbery which is not her fault. Some of the renewable’s figures are the same.

    As I have said before, developed nations need to ‘power down’, a term deliberately misunderstood by cornucopians on both the nuclear and renewable sides. Power down does not mean eking out an existence growing food in the back yard fertilised with nightsoil, but we need to get away from the Growth Fetish, consumerism mindset and force the use of energy wisely. Depopulation is probably the most important thing mankind needs to get it’s head around first.

  79. January 24th, 2010 at 19:14 | #79

    Salient, what strategies or policies do you propose to “force the use of energy wisely” and to reduce population?

  80. Alice
    January 24th, 2010 at 19:21 | #80

    @Salient Green
    Well then Salient – Ill take the consensus view that Fran is not a troll but indeed I do find a level of disconnection there in the interaction, and Im much more inclined to your view of powering down and finding greater use for renewables than I am of replacing one dirty fuel with another possibly even more dangerous.

  81. Chris Warren
    January 24th, 2010 at 19:25 | #81

    Bissot was cited and linked at footnote 6 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium_fuel_cycle

  82. nanks
    January 24th, 2010 at 19:31 | #82

    I’ve been quick to call a few posts as trollish (and have not regretted that) but I’m with salient green and others re Fran – I really like her posts – agree and/or not agree.

  83. Philomena
    January 24th, 2010 at 19:32 | #83

    “I know Fran can fight her own battles, but I won’t stand by while someone is subjected to a blog stacks-on.”

    Disingenuous much. Our pro-nuke knight in shining armour fails constantly to do this on right wing blogs like Catallaxy. Rather Jarrah joins in the mobbing of leftist positions on everything from race to gender to climate change to neoliberalism to imperialism.

    What a typically “libertarian” hypocrite.

  84. Chris Warren
    January 24th, 2010 at 19:34 | #84

    Bissot seems to know a bit about radiotoxicity and nuclear issues:

    http://tinyurl.com/Bissot-Pubs

  85. Alice
    January 24th, 2010 at 19:36 | #85

    @Philomena
    I was going to say the feeling is mutual to Jarrah Philo but I couldnt be bothered. Jarrah’s Knight in shining armour posturing was indeed laughable.

  86. January 24th, 2010 at 19:49 | #86

    @Philomena

    Hiya Phil, long time no see. You’re wrong as usual – I’ve defended you (on occasion) when Catallaxians have been piling on, for example. Of course, sometimes you make that difficult ;-)

    Proof that you’re wrong – you mention climate change, a subject on which my opinion garners ridicule at the Cat more often than not. Ironically, you also mention race, showing that you completely missed me being victim of a massive stacks-on by Soon, JC, Humphreys, dover beach, and several others not too long ago when I expressed a “leftist” viewpoint.

    @Alice
    Alice, you’ve been called out and shown up for the discussion-policy-breaching semi-troll you are, and you’re pretending that you can’t “be bothered” when in fact you’re hiding in shame. You probably should stay there.

  87. Philomena
    January 24th, 2010 at 19:49 | #87

    I think Fran can be viewed as an old-style Marxist who has hitched her/his wagon to the holy grail of technology as the grand plan cum means of getting us out of the current mess.

    There’s no way of telling now if what Fran says is possible, that future generations will deal with all the problems of nuclear. More pertinent now is the fact of the traditional Marxist (and Fran’s) failure to deal with the limits to growth and Marxism’s instrumentalist view of and approach to nature and the environment. Probably its greatest deficiency.

  88. Salient Green
    January 24th, 2010 at 19:59 | #88

    Thanks Alice, and on the disconnection, I would say to Fran, this is a real problem for you. Just give a little.

    Jarrah, reducing population is as easy as empowering women for one thing. Developed nations have a negative population growth rate without immigration. I have nothing against immigrants and most of them would be an upgrade on some of the ferals that were born here, but encouraging population growth anywhere by immigration for the purpose of economic growth is wrong. Developed nations also need to increase their foriegn aid.

    There are plenty of ways already out there which will ‘force’ or otherwise coerce the use of energy wisely by taxes and regulation. Sorry Jarrah it’s late and I’m still working long hours and have’nt the enegy for more info.

  89. Philomena
    January 24th, 2010 at 20:02 | #89

    Now it is all about Jarrah. How typical.

    In fact while I got cyber raped at Catallaxy many times over by a most extraordinary coterie of the most crude and cruel handful of male “libertarians” I’d never dreamed could actually exist, Jarrah not only never once defended me, he stated at the very time I was defending myself against yet another political-personal pile on by the likes of Michael Sutcliffe et al that he reckoned I was the only person in the blogosphere he thought was genuinely insane.

    Group think and tribalism personified.

    What a creep.

  90. Salient Green
    January 24th, 2010 at 20:16 | #90

    Jarrah and Philomena, you were made for each other. There’s a lot of sexual tension between you.

  91. Chris Warren
    January 24th, 2010 at 20:45 | #91

    I think {Philomena} can be viewed as an old-style {quack} who has hitched her/his wagon to the holy grail of {stupidity} as the grand plan cum means of getting us out of the current mess.

    Actually you can put any one’s name, and any label, in such dumb, unthinking postings.

    It’s all very, very childish and boring.

  92. Alice
    January 24th, 2010 at 20:57 | #92

    @Jarrah
    Jarrah – you a hypocritical libertarian posturer.

    Whats interesting here is who jumps to who’s defence and plays knight in shining armour, not the least because you mean not a single bit of it, but you are posturing because you are likely free pro nuclear and in agreement with Fran on that, also because I dont agree with the libertarian technical user manual and you dont happen to like it. Thats too bad. You are very transparent Jarrah.

  93. Philomena
    January 24th, 2010 at 20:59 | #93

    Your post is boring, Chris Warren, because it says precisely nothing of import or truth.

    More interesting is: why the reflexive defence of Marxism vis-a-vis technological determinism and environmental/ecological impacts?

    Like most I’m not so naive as to believe that like Jarrah you are leaping to the defence of Fran Barlow at this point purely for objective, scientifically based or philosophically sound reasons.

    The plot thickens.

  94. Alice
    January 24th, 2010 at 21:04 | #94

    @Philomena
    Philo – Im surprised you even bothered to venture in there to Catallyxy. When I went there for a look there wasnt a female in the room and when they arent tearing each other to pieces…I would imagine they would be more than excited to pack tear a left or even centrist or even moderately right view to absolute shreds and I cant see Jarrah standing up for you there Philo (or me for that matter).
    So dont pretend otherwise Jarrah – you know where your home turf is and so do Philo and I. You should stay there.

  95. Freelander
    January 24th, 2010 at 21:04 | #95

    @Fran Barlow

    Hey, no need for harsh words. I’m all in favour of nuclear power. I just see the justification a little differently. Rather than being a competitive source of energy, I see nuclear technology justified as essential if we are to take our rightful place as the scourge of small(ish) nations in the south pacific (and maybe beyond).

  96. Philomena
    January 24th, 2010 at 21:06 | #96

    Alice, Jarrah explained to me at great length once on Catallaxy why fish depletion was the direct and sole result of the “tragedy of the commons”.

    This btw is his sole explanation for biodiversity loss and all the major environmental problems, including the effects of AGW and of imperialist aggression, war, poverty and underdevelopment.

  97. Philomena
    January 24th, 2010 at 21:16 | #97

    I posted regularly there from about April to December last year, Alice, under the name Phil the Greek. I think in the end I delivered more political blows than I received but the behaviour and language of the regulars, all men, towards me, a genuinely engaging left woman was staggeringly vicious, coarse, and sexist.

    As I said, Jarrah always 100% explicitly endorsed and encouraged the behaviour of the male “libertarian” mob. I’m writing it up, don’t worry.

  98. Chris Warren
    January 24th, 2010 at 21:17 | #98

    Philomena

    Now I see why you were raped.

    Do you even understand your own quackery?

    Any quack can assert there is lack of import or truth in anything – this is standard low grade stuff by school-kids.

    No better than graffiti defacing public spaces.

  99. Freelander
    January 24th, 2010 at 21:19 | #99

    @Philomena

    Jarrah is right.

    The ‘tragedy of the commons’ is the explanation for all the ills of the world. If everything was exclusively owned by someone, nothing whose continued existence was more valuable than the value that could be extracted by ‘cashing it out’ would find itself going extinct. And all those freeloading species that are unable to pay their way would rapidly find they and freeloading ways extinguished.

    This might still result in some extinctions but not of anything that anyone would miss.

  100. Alice
    January 24th, 2010 at 21:21 | #100

    @Philomena
    Philo – Personally I have very few (no) views in common with Jarrah seeing as I dont subscribe to much that is a la libertarian. That is correct isnt it Jarrah?…which is why you didnt miss the oppurtunity to leap to Fran’s defence and put in a boot when the opportunity arose?

    As others have noted Fran doesnt need defence Jarrah and Ive certainly never found Fran unwilling to defend herself or unwilling to throw a few stones either, (and Fran might actually be better off without your defence – have you thought of that Jarrah?)

    But it sure sounds like Philo needs defending from you and I happen to like Philo – she is honest, unlike some here such as yourself.

    So I guess Philo is right – now go home Jarrah – its past your bedtime.

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