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.
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.
149 thoughts on “Weekend reflections”
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?
“and block renewables”
Who wants to do that?
Also, you’re presuming zero technological change. How realistic do you think that is?
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.
“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.
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 …
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.
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.
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 …
why not just have the nuke debate on the nuke thread?
I follow where it goes …
You were right when you said:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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
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:
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
And Ernestine – Fran claims to be a “moderately educated school teacher.”
A less than moderately educated lobbyist in reality.
moderately should say modestly above
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.
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.
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.
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.
and Elise retorted
It was Chris, not I, who began it here.
With respect Elise, it doesn’t matter what you believe. It’s what is possible in practice that counts.
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
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
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
The population-development dimension is the problem. Climate change, greenhouse, nuclear waste, are the results.
“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.
For those seriously interested in installed cost estimate discussions of NPP this link here separates myth from reality
i.e. $US1.75billion per GWe
I chose a number well on the generous side.
As to the UAE deal
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?
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.
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.
Bilb – Its astonishing to me that anyone even listens to Fran. She just makes it up as she goes along. Its a complete snowjob.
“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.
Mass production of nuclear plants?? Way to go Fran…….some have gone stark raving mad in here obviously.
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).
Remember, everyone to stick to civilised discussion
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.
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
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.
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.
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!.
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.
“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.
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).
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.
Are you saying that a population of 100, growing at 5% a year, becomes 1258 in ten years?
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!.