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View Diary: So what do we do? (71 comments)

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  •  We're not saying phase them out In That Order... (1+ / 0-)
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    Kay Observer2

    And we're not saying shut them down immediately. We're saying PHASE them out. What we should absolutely NOT do is replace old coal plants with new nuke plants....we don't want to replace one hydrothermal power supply with another.

    The critical thing to consider here is water use.

    Hydrothermal power supplies like coal, natural gas, nuclear, use a LOT of water, even with modern once through cooling system.

    Our power plants are already competing with agriculture for water. The drought conditions have made that worse.

    As our planet heats up, it's going to just get worse as water becomes more scarce. We're already seeing water levels fall below cooling system intakes, and at times water is too hot to be of use for the cooling systems at all.  http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/...

    •  hydrothermal systems don't consume water (0+ / 0-)

      Water flows in, absorbs heat, flows out and sheds heat.  After that, the water is still there, ready to be used for irrigation or whatever.  How does running water through a cooling system before sending it to the fields reduce the amount of water available?

      Also, it's the C02 that is heating up our planet, so we should be making every effort to reduce it.  If a nuclear plant can't run 365 days because some are too hot, so what?  Would you rather run a coal plant for 365 days versus a nuke plant for 330?  We still come out ahead C02 wise.

      We are just simply not going to be able to generate gigawatts of electricity without steam turbines anytime in the next few decades.  Given that, we should be using every watt of renewable energy to reduce the use of fossil fuels, and not even be discussing nuclear.

      For a clean energy effort to even discuss phasing out nuclear at this stage, as C02 goes up exponentially, is suicidal.  No, we don't need to build new nukes.  But if we go the Germany route of shutting down existing plants, climate change will only get worse.  There are ways of dealing with the water issue while we get the C02 problem under control.  

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