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View Diary: For electric power generation, the end of fossil fuel is in sight (215 comments)

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  •  Why is it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    squarewheel

    that everyone assume all these great technological advances in solar, wind, and especially storage, and then insists on a complete lack of imagination when it comes to future nuclear technologies?

    •  because the nuclear industry has been ever so (3+ / 0-)

      imaginitive about not doing anything with the waste, that's why.

      and nuclear is still expensive, and still requires mining nuclear materials.

      so they can go right ahead and be imaginitve as long as I don't have to supply the hazard insurance.

      big badda boom : GRB 090423

      by squarewheel on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 08:20:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You would rather just live with (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Recall

        the known hazard coming out of coal plants? You don't want to supply hazard insurance to nuke plants, but you don't require coal plants to pay for the thousands of extra deaths incurred annually?

        There are plenty of methods of dealing with the waste, some of them more practical and/or economical than others. I think it's short-sighted to assume that it's an insolvable problem.

        All of the proposed solutions are expensive...grid-sized battery storage, massive off-shore wind investments. And many components for renewable energy require mining of rare earths and other elements that are hardly eco-friendly.

        There are risks involved in any venture that supplies energy on the scale required for a modern technological society. Those risks must be managed properly, but they also must be assessed properly.

        The relative concern most people have between coal plants and nuclear plants demonstrates that many don't have a clue as to the real risks and harm involved.

        Here's a list:

        http://www.forbes.com/...

        Considering that nuclear has the best mortality rate, by far, maybe we should be looking into supporting more research into dealing with the waste issue.

        Also, as the article points out, both wind and nuclear have the lowest CO2 footprint.

        •  NO!! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino
          You would rather just live with the known hazard coming out of coal plants?
          We want wind and solar.  No to coal plants.  No to natural gas plants.  No to nuclear and ALL fossil fuels!

          Renewable energy brings national global security.     

          by Calamity Jean on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 12:58:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Why are you ignoring mortality stats (0+ / 0-)

            without any justification?

            Nuclear is the safest, and among the lowest for CO2 emissions.

            Wind is good, onshore wind is safe and cheap. However, it is not enough. We will need shallow offshore, and probably deep water offshore which will significantly increase the costs and mortality rate.

            Solar is expensive, and also has a fairly high mortality rate relative to nuclear.

            If you want to go 'all renewables' you're going to have to come up with a much better justification for incurring those extra deaths, incurring the extra expense, and incurring the larger CO2 release than just:

            'NO' to nuclear.

            Nuclear plants are supposed to insure against 'worst case scenarios'. Think Hoover Dam is insured against a total collapse?

            Despite the linked diary, I've seen no actual study showing how the US can get to 100% wind and solar within any reasonable time frame. The study linked to in the diary talks about a 'very optimistic' 50% for Germany, and I've seen similar studies for the US.

            If you want to get rid of fossil fuels, nuclear will be part of your portfolio. Anything else is just a pipe dream.

    •  Nuclear has no incentive (0+ / 0-)

      they get massive gov't subsidy, liability protection, and have their R&D done in weapons labs.  Then there's the vast risk. Experimental designs must be much more rigorously verified before testing, so the costs of innovation are higher due to the nature of the deadly poisons they produce.  So until that breakthrough happens, and working thorium or pebble-bed reactors become commodities, there is no incentive to make small innovations. Indeed, even mandated safety repairs are delayed by years or decades, or just avoided because the costs exceed what the owners expect to squeeze from their rustbucket plants.  Even before Fukushima began its ongoing poisoning of the planet, the Chinese were beginning to pull back on their ambitious nuke plans when they realized they couldn't find enough uranium for them.

      •  Every power generation source (0+ / 0-)

        is subsized. I wouldn't have solar on my roof if I didn't get ~50% paid for by state and federal subsidies.

        It's amazing to me that every time nuclear comes up, normally progressive people turn into free market libertarians. Cost is a factor, but it seems to me the more important question is how does the US generate the power it needs while reducing the impact on both its population and the environment.

        'Deadly poisons' exist in virtually every power generation scheme. Nuclear just tends to control theirs much better than others, which is why they are at the bottom of the mortality list, even folding in Fukishima and Chernobyl.

        Your assertions about China are out of date:

        http://www.economist.com/...

        They can't afford not to go nuclear given their massive health costs and pollution associated with coal.

        Of course, they are also trying to accelerate fusion development, but they are probably over optimistic on that front.

        And finally, you mention things like 'lack of innovation' as if it's some sort of inherent, unavoidable characteristic of nuclear power rather than just a question of providing the right incentives.

        This site and community consistently (and rightly) look to the government to solve various problems. And, once again, nuclear seems to turn some people here into libertarian conservatives who decry any government involvement.

        I find it utterly flabbergasting.

        •  China has an IEC fusion program (0+ / 0-)

          and is watching the EMC2 developments, Re: Polyell fusion.

          FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

          by Roger Fox on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:03:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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