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Climate Change: Study estimates that nuclear energy leads to substantially fewer pollution-related deaths and greenhouse gas emissions compared with fossil-fuel sources
Ever since the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, critics of nuclear power have questioned how heavily the world should rely on the energy source. Countries like japan (understandably) and Germany (surprisingly) made moves to ban nuclear power from use in their countries in lieu of more heavy reliance on coal and the hop of wind and solar become cheaper with new tech. The sun provides us with enough energy in one hour to power the whole planet for a full year so I hope as the technology improves and costs drop energy output will start to go through the roof. In the meantime, there is good news for nuclear.

According to a new study conducted by  Pushker A. Kharecha, a climate scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, and  James E. Hansen (also of Goddard) using nuclear power in place of fossil-fuel energy sources, such as coal, has prevented some 1.8 million air pollution-related deaths globally and could save millions of more lives in coming decades.

According to the study, nuclear energy prevents emissions of huge quantities of greenhouse gases. These estimates help make the case that policymakers should continue to rely on and expand nuclear power in place of fossil fuels to mitigate climate change.

“I was very disturbed by all the negative and in many cases unfounded hysteria regarding nuclear power after the Fukushima accident,” says  Pushker A. Kharecha.

Kharecha was surprised to find no broad studies on preventable deaths that could be attributed to nuclear power’s pollution savings. But he did find data from a 2007 study on the average number of deaths per unit of energy generated with fossil fuels and nuclear power (Lancet, DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(07)61253-7). These estimates include deaths related to all aspects of each energy source from mining the necessary natural resources to power generation. For example, the data took into account chronic bronchitis among coal miners and air pollution-related conditions among the public, including lung cancer.

The NASA researchers combined this information with historical energy generation data to estimate how many deaths would have been caused if fossil-fuel burning was used instead of nuclear power generation from 1971 to 2009. They similarly estimated that the use of nuclear power over that time caused 5,000 or so deaths, such as cancer deaths from radiation fallout and worker accidents. Comparing those two estimates, Kharecha and Hansen came up with the 1.8 million figure.

They next estimated the total number of deaths that could be prevented through nuclear power over the next four decades using available estimates of future nuclear use. Replacing all forecasted nuclear power use until 2050 with natural gas would cause an additional 420,000 deaths, whereas swapping it with coal, which produces significantly more pollution than gas, would mean about 7 million additional deaths. The study focused strictly on deaths, not long-term health issues that might shorten lives, and the authors did not attempt to estimate potential deaths tied to climate change.

The articleis worth reading, if you get a chance but the the short of it is if coal or natural gas power had replaced nuclear energy from 1971 to 2009, the equivalent of an additional 64 gigatons of carbon would have reached the atmosphere. Looking forward, switching out nuclear for coal or natural gas power would lead to the release of 80 to 240 gigatons of additional carbon by 2050 (less than half the current estimates).
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Comment Preferences

  •  Feel free to HR me all you want (15+ / 0-)

    but it doesn't change the fact that nuclear is safer than coal  and cheaper than solar and wind (as of right now at least).

    Lo que separa la civilizacion de la anarquia son solo siete comidas.

    by psilocynic on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 12:36:48 PM PDT

    •  On that latter point (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gooserock, matador, JeffW

      the fulcrum is tipping, it seems, and compared to modern nuclear power plants, the total cost per kwh of wind power may be less.

      We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

      by raptavio on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 12:53:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  NEw construction, LCOE of wind is the cheapest (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, JeffW, Paul1a

        ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS 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 Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 03:06:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If wind has the lowest LCOE, then all special (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Roger Fox

          tax credits for wind should end, as it would already be the lowest cost alternative.

          I the evidence of LCOE strong enough to support this policy change?

          The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

          by nextstep on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 03:59:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)

            The tax credits will give further incentive to build wind farms, and the more we get the better. Or switch all the incentives over to solar, I think we could all agree that would be a good idea.

            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

            by AoT on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 04:05:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There is no need to subsidize what is already (0+ / 0-)

              the lowest cost solution.

              Subsidies are not free, for those on the left the money could be better spent on investing in bringing better lives to the poor and the sick.

              The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

              by nextstep on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 04:25:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Production credits for wind level the playing (0+ / 0-)

              field, or at least somewhat. Yes, on principle the lowest cost source should not need them.

              ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS 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 Apr 03, 2013 at 08:17:46 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Agreed. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joieau

            But for grid hook up cost which is among the highest, essentially doubling the cost to generate (offshore). For now considering all the other subsidies, etc, I'd leave the wind production credits alone - They level the paying field.

            ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS 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 Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 05:34:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Safer than solar? (5+ / 0-)

      But honestly, the biggest problem with nuclear power isn't that it does kill people, but that it will kill people.  

      Let me explain: I agree that, properly regulated and monitored, nuclear power is safe, partly b/c ppl are initially (rightfully) scared about what could go wrong.  

      But then time marches on, the regulators are captured by the industry, regulations are relaxed, and finally there's a disaster.

      This happens in every industry, but a disaster in a coal-powered plant is a very less serious disaster than one in a nuclear power plant.  The consequences are simply far more severe.  

      •  It would have to be a really big disaster (5+ / 0-)

        killing millions of people at this point, to make it worse than the coal and oil it replaced.

        “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

        by jrooth on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 01:05:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Only because none of these studies take into (3+ / 0-)

          account a broader picture. This study says that only 5000 people died from nuclear in 40 years. Sure, if you count the direct deaths, but how much radiation has been released? How much more cancer has there been from Chernobyl?

          5000 is an absurdly low number and makes it hard to take these reports seriously.

          If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

          by AoT on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 01:16:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  For what it's worth (5+ / 0-)

            the claim is that this does take into account cancer deaths due to radiation.

            I'm always open to new evidence.  Do you have backup for the assertion that "5000 is an absurdly low number?"

            “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

            by jrooth on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 01:34:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  If you look at the fall out from Chernobyl (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sleipner, Bisbonian

              alone you'll find that it accounts for 5000 deaths, and that's not including exposure outside of the local region, so the fallout in Europe is not taken into account at all. That means that the number they give is wrong even for the deaths that we can definitely attribute to that one incident. This speaks to an incredibly shoddy methodology and honestly undermines the rest of the study.

              If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

              by AoT on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 01:54:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  From your link: (5+ / 0-)
                The Expert Group concluded that there may be up to 4 000 additional cancer deaths among the three highest exposed groups over their lifetime (240 000 liquidators; 116 000 evacuees and the 270 000 residents of the SCZs). Since more than 120 000 people in these three groups may eventually die of cancer, the additional cancer deaths from radiation exposure correspond to 3-4% above the normal incidence of cancers from all causes.

                Projections concerning cancer deaths among the five million residents of areas with radioactive caesium deposition of 37 kBq/m2 in Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine are much less certain because they are exposed to doses slightly above natural background radiation levels. Predictions, generally based on the LNT model, suggest that up to 5 000 additional cancer deaths may occur in this population from radiation exposure, or about 0.6% of the cancer deaths expected in this population due to other causes. Again, these numbers only provide an indication of the likely impact of the accident because of the important uncertainties listed above.

                Chernobyl may also cause cancers in Europe outside Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine. However, according to UNSCEAR, the average dose to these populations is much lower and so the relative increase in cancer deaths is expected to be much smaller. Predicted estimates are very uncertain and it is very unlikely that any increase in these countries will be detectable using national cancer statistics .3

                So yes, if one takes the "up to" numbers as the actual numbers then we get 9000+, which is indeed more than 5000.  But it's not so much more as to make much of a dent in 1.8 million.  Even assuming these estimates are off by a factor 10 wouldn't make much of a dent in 1.8 million.

                “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

                by jrooth on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 02:11:24 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  There is not just cancer (0+ / 0-)

                  There are miscarriages, birth defects, and other abnormalities.

                  Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

                  by splashy on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 01:45:57 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't say safer than solar. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Paul1a, Gary Norton

        I said cheaper than solar.

        Lo que separa la civilizacion de la anarquia son solo siete comidas.

        by psilocynic on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 01:10:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It won't be by the time the next (5+ / 0-)

          nuclear plant gets built.

          The price of solar is dropping while the price of nuclear tends to rise as they realize the necessary safety issues and correct for them. The first of a new type of plant is the cheapest.

          Plus, building more solar makes it cheaper, and it's safer. Why does safety not matter in that case?

          If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

          by AoT on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 01:20:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Maybe. I'm dealing with (0+ / 0-)

            what we know, not maybes. Right now nuclear is safer than coal and natural gas and cheaper than wind and solar. That alone should make it a better alternative than coal and nat gas but when you take into consideration who is profiting from coal and nat gas it becomes a no brainier.

            Lo que separa la civilizacion de la anarquia son solo siete comidas.

            by psilocynic on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 02:36:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not maybe, Solar is safer than nuclear (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              greendem, Joieau

              And you know it. I'll ask you again, why is it that you only care more about safety than price?

              Also, we know for a fact that solar is dropping in price. You keep saying that it's science and then you wave your hands around when I point out the fact about solar. If we have the political will to spend enough, around 1.5 trillion, to build nuclear to replace coal then we can do it with solar, it's as simple as that. You're using the threat of a catastrophe to justify doing something a lot of people don't want to do that isn't necessary.

              If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

              by AoT on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 02:48:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I wasn't saying nuclear is safer you (0+ / 0-)

                obtuse fucktard. Over and over again with the solar is safer shit. I know you asshole. that's not the point I'm making. Reading comprehension's not your best skill, huh? Right now it takes more energy to make a solar panel than a solar panel can produce. Even if you were correct that the w/hr cost were the same, which they are not, solar is still not a viable option for powering a city. Your own house, sure, but cost wise, for anything larger than personal use it's not cost effective.

                Lo que separa la civilizacion de la anarquia son solo siete comidas.

                by psilocynic on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 08:45:21 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  So no numbers? (0+ / 0-)

                  You just like to swear and make claims?

                  You just keep saying that nuclear is cheaper and fuck everyone who doesn't like it and I'm the asshole?

                  If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                  by AoT on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 08:59:13 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Solar .12 -fission .11 cents Nov 2011 (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT, greendem, Paul1a

            http://www.eia.gov/...

            So they are about tied today, while wind is the cheapest 3.3 to 6.5 cents per kwh

            http://www.eia.gov/...

            ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS 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 Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 03:13:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Not without huge taxpayer subsidies (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, matador, sleipner, Bisbonian

          Nuclear: The most expensive way ever invented to boil water.

          "Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed." -- Vaclav Havel

          by greendem on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 01:23:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  So what? (7+ / 0-)

      I appreciate your effort to brave the group-think about nuclear, so I applaud you.
      However, nuclear energy still involves powerful mega-corporations holding the little guy hostage and squeezing the last dime out of his increasingly feeble hands. It's very capital-intensive.

      I could be led to support nuclear power under these conditions:
      1. We come to a national consensus on what to do with the waste that is the safest of all alternatives.

      2. We make the spearpoint of our effort the development of 4th generation reactors that can use up almost all of the spent fuel from conventional reactors and from military nuclear bomb stockpiles.

      3. Cost savings from nuclear energy accrue to the taxpayers who paid for the research, not Wall Street or mega-utilities.
      Ultimately, I don't think nuclear stands a chance in the long run against wind (which is a type of solar energy, if you think about it) or solar. When the bottom drops out of energy costs I don't think nuclear can compete, so we should at least have reactors which can clean up and reduce existing stockpiles of spent fuel and bomb material.

      In the long run, all forms of energy should be evaluated honestly, including wind and solar, (which create their own environmental issues), and we should move in  the most sensible direction.

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 01:08:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, as far as I know of (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        6412093, Paul1a, Gary Norton

        all energy production involves powerful mega-corporations holding the little guy hostage and squeezing the last dime out of his increasingly feeble hands. And I agree with the points you make. I am a proponent in the sence that I believe nuclear is a stop gap measure between truly dangerous energy production like coal and gas and more positive and environmentally friendly alternatives like wind and solar. I would rather have nuclear with all its problems than coal though.

        Lo que separa la civilizacion de la anarquia son solo siete comidas.

        by psilocynic on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 01:23:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Solar doesn't have that same problem (0+ / 0-)

          Point of use generation allows for more consumer control and can lead to power companies paying customers. We have solar and we have the ability to set up a lot of it. We don't need a stop gap, we just need to fund the switch over.

          If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

          by AoT on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 01:31:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Again, I wasn't talking about solar just then (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Paul1a

            but solar is not a viable alternative to nuclear yet and it might not be for some time. When it is I hope it overtakes nuclear entirely. As of right now, nuclear is cheaper than solar and safer than coal.

            Lo que separa la civilizacion de la anarquia son solo siete comidas.

            by psilocynic on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 01:34:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Why are you going off of two standards? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              codairem

              If we want the safest why not just go for the safest?

              It has the added benefit of not being nearly impossible politically.

              If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

              by AoT on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 01:46:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  So we burn coal (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Johnny Nucleo, alain2112

                until solar catches up? Great plan.

                Lo que separa la civilizacion de la anarquia son solo siete comidas.

                by psilocynic on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 02:15:44 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, please pay attention (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  codairem

                  Solar is more expensive but safer, so we pay more and install solar. It's not like we can just magically switch to nuclear, it takes at least three years to bring a plant online, assuming the best political climate for it. Your accusations are absurd and your "plan" to ignore the safety issues with nuclear is absurd. How much solar could we get up for the 26+ billion it takes to build a nuclear plant? And how much will future supply of solar increase if we spend the money on that instead of nuclear? Spending on nuclear instead of renewables is throwing good money after bad. We need to build up renewables as quickly as possible and nuclear gets in the way of that, no matter what sort of nonsense catastrophism you might want to push. We can do this in a reasonable way without nuclear.

                  If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                  by AoT on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 02:26:05 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That's not a realisting solution. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Johnny Nucleo

                    I really wish it were, but it's not.

                    Lo que separa la civilizacion de la anarquia son solo siete comidas.

                    by psilocynic on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 02:37:16 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Of course it is (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      jgnyc, codairem, Roger Fox, Joieau

                      You think that building 1.5 trillion dollars in new nuclear plants is reasonable and not spending the same money on solar and other renewables. That's not reasonable. You just really want there to be a big switch to nuclear. I understand it seems like the only way, but it isn't.

                      If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                      by AoT on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 02:43:55 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Actually, nuclear can't put a dent (0+ / 0-)

                        in worldwide GHG output shy of at least a thousand new 1,000+ Megawatt reactor plants. And that's new capacity, not replacement for the ~400 antiques worldwide on their last legs. Minus 52 of Japan's, since they'll probably not be generating 'trons again in the foreseeable future.

                        $1.5 trillion dollars is only 50 plants at $20 billion apiece [current tag] and getting more expensive every day that goes by. That's just the first round of cost overruns on new units that won't come on line for at least another decade and a half. That won't replace the antiques that will go down for good in that amount of time, a predictable half our current fleet. They're dropping like flies and will continue to drop - Crystal River, Calhoun, Yankee, San Onofre 2 and 3, two at North Anna and two more at Diablo, several on the Mid-Atlantic coast and Florida that simple sea level rise will put an end to. Three rickety clunkers at Browns Ferry and all the rest of the Mark I and IIs - 23 of 'em in this country of a design proven far too dangerous to justify, just like the same models in Europe now shuttered or scheduled for quick exits. MitsubishiHI is facing divisional bankruptcy as both GE and Siemens got out of the nuclear business and are going heavy with renewables. There's no future in it, the actual industry is aware of that even if the news is slow to trickle down to the minions.

                        It's all about the floating cash at this point. Who can monopolize the most of what governments must of course be investing if there is to be any future at all. Nukes are not a good investment.

                        $1.5 trillion dollars would go a long way toward ending King Coal's reign with kinetic sources and solar, site generation and a much more distributed supply. Which can be deployed right now and start contributing to the grid tomorrow. Probably still have gas contributing for the next couple of decades, but we could definitely cure the worst of it.

                        If you add in the capital costs, annual direct and indirect subsidies (including loan guarantees, passes on water regulations and taxpayer liability for those trillion dollar meltdowns that happen often enough to matter), decommissioning and long term waste management (if they ever get around to it), nuclear is no bargain. Might as well count the true costs.

                  •  SOlar is tied @ 11 cents per KWH (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    AoT, Paul1a

                    See my citation up thread. Solar price points are trending down, fission is trending up.

                    ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS 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 Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 03:15:57 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Also, by going rooftop solar we create possibly (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT, jgnyc, Wee Mama, JeffW, codairem

            millions of sustainable, non-exportable, middle class and working class jobs, esp. in the inner cities where there is a great job deficit.

            You can't make this stuff up.

            by David54 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 01:39:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I appreciate your point of view, the realism (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          psilocynic

          involved is why I would support 4th gen. reactors. But I'm closer to AoT's thinking.

          You can't make this stuff up.

          by David54 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 01:37:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  No HR from here (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      psilocynic

      Feel the love.

      Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

      by 6412093 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 02:01:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "cheaper than"....therein lies the problem. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT

      Decisions should not made primarily upon the current cost, as our current free market economic model demands.  Allowing the "market" to determine our future in this way is sure to produce more of the disastrous results we have already begun to witness.  

      More short term thinking is not what our world needs to be saddled with.

      It has always seemed strange to me...The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. - John Steinbeck, Cannery Row

      by ovals49 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 03:04:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wind LCOE over 30 yrs 3.3-6.5 cents/kwh (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, Wee Mama, JeffW, codairem, Paul1a

      for new construction.
      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      Fission is way higher, like 11 cents. And trending up. Solar at 11 cents is trending down.

      right no wind is the cheapest form of electricity (new construction)

      And a wind turbine goes carbon neutral in less than a year.

      ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS 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 Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 03:05:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't think anyone will argue that nuclear isn't (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, Gooserock

    clean...until it's not.

    Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. --Herman Melville

    by ZedMont on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 12:52:16 PM PDT

  •  Short run (5+ / 0-)

    safer and better than fossil.

    Long run, not so much.

    Short run, and with trillions of dollars in open and hidden subsidies, cheaper than wind or solar or hydro... long run, not so much.

    Distributed, region based energy generation on a smart grid is going to be our only way out.

    The issues with fossil fuel are obvious.

    The issue with nuclear are also obvious: startup costs are massive, and heavily subsidized. Operation costs are not so massive, but still subsidized. Cleanup costs under the best of circumstances are astronomical (decomissioning and waste storage)... and the consequences of an accident are monumental... not to mention: mining costs, refining costs, transport of fuel, storage of spent fuel, source of water for cooling of plant and waste fuel.... and so on. Nuclear power is a child of the 50's cold war Military Industrial Complex, and will never be cheap, efficient or safe.

    Sure, it's better (on the short term) than fossil... just about anything is better than fossil.

    The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

    by RedDan on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 12:56:33 PM PDT

    •  There is also the issue of it using fresh water (0+ / 0-)

      We really need to get away from using boiling water to create electricity. We will need that water in the future for other things, like drinking it.

      Fossil fuel and nuclear power plants use very large amounts of fresh water. There is beginning to be an issue with a lack of water, and water that is too warm when it comes to nuclear plants.
      http://insideclimatenews.org/...

      Wind and PV's don't have that problem.

      Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

      by splashy on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 02:00:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Using" and "consuming" are 2 different (0+ / 0-)

        things. Water is used to cool, then returned to the source, slightly warmer. Some water evaporates. Palos Verde in Arizona uses no fresh water, it's all waste water from Phoenix.

        But I'm for building plants on the coast where they can use salt water instead of fresh.

        Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

        by davidwalters on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 09:03:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  We are really bad at assessing risk. (5+ / 0-)

    A remote chance of a catastrophic event is far more threatening to us than continual harm from a familiar technology - even if the latter in fact adds up to far more deaths.

    “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

    by jrooth on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 12:59:28 PM PDT

  •  "pollution related deaths" (3+ / 0-)

    I never see anything from these articles about the increase in background radiation and the subsequent increase in various cancers.  It's always direct effects.

    And seriously, I'm not sure why you have to be such an ass about the HR comment. This is just a rehash of previous studies, not something exciting and new. The idea that Nuclear has only caused 5000 deaths is laughable. Unless I'm misreading that. Seriously, 5000?

    If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

    by AoT on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 01:08:14 PM PDT

  •  ON THE OTHER HAND (4+ / 0-)

    A few years after the movie China Syndrome came out, my father and I were driving along the Columbia River and had just passed McNary dam, one of the big hydroelectric providers on the Columbia river where it divides eastern Oregon and Washington.  Dad commented bitterly that because of the scare mongering after that film, a proposed nuclear plant in that area was scrapped.  Think of the jobs and money it would have brought in.  True, I replied, but think of it this way.  What if McNary dam were to burst and send a flood crashing down the Columbia.  Many deaths, much damage, but afterward the water would dry up and we would rebuild.  What if that projected nuclear plant failed, melted down, exploded?  Radioactive materials don't "dry up".  That whole area would be uninhabitable for 20,000 years.  Net gain or net loss?

    •  So build nuclear plants (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greendem, 6412093, alain2112, psilocynic

      that can't explode or meltdown.

      •  haha (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, psilocynic

        And take away something I can complain about?  Puleese...

        The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing online commenters that they have anything to say.-- B.F.

        by lcj98 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 01:20:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, why didn't anyone think of that yet n/t (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RandomNonviolence, Paul1a, Bisbonian

        If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

        by AoT on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 01:22:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  People have (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Johnny Nucleo, alain2112, psilocynic

          but they generally are ignored.

          •  Which is what they've said about (0+ / 0-)

            every new generation of nuclear plant.

            We don't need nuclear.

            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

            by AoT on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 02:30:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  @ 11 cents per KWH and trending up (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Paul1a

            Fission plants generally are being pushed out of the marketplace by cheaper alternatives.

            ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS 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 Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 03:25:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yup (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              alain2112

              natural gas is dirt cheap, if you don't include the externalities.

              •  I use LCOE metric (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Paul1a

                for everything.

                http://www.eia.gov/...

                ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS 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 Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 04:01:17 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Which leaves out externalities. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  alain2112, psilocynic

                  Kind of the point of the diary.

                  •  I'm pretty sure there's no way (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Paul1a

                    that the externalities are higher for wind than they are for nuclear.

                    If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                    by AoT on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 04:14:00 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      psilocynic

                      There's no way that, say, mortality rate for installing and maintaining wind, on and offshore is higher for wind than building and operating nuclear plants?

                      http://nextbigfuture.com/...

                      No way...why, it would defy all common sense! Let's all think with our guts.

                      •  When you make up numbers like this (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Paul1a

                        study did then yes, those things are wrong. There is no way that the externalities of nuclear are restricted to 5000 deaths. That is approximately the number known killed by Chernobyl, although there's at least another 5000 on the way from that, not including the ones that are more tenuously linked. And how about the actual mining? The building of the plant? There are a lot of externalities and pointing only to deaths is exactly the sort of thinking with your gut that you accuse other of.

                        If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                        by AoT on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 04:28:29 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  We are talking (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          alain2112, psilocynic

                          in this thread about plants where it is physically impossible to explode like Chernobyl, are you proposing wind power where it is impossible to fall during construction?

                          Mining is included in these numbers. You know what else is mined? Ore for steel, for wind construction. Nuclear has far more energy density, so per TWh, requires less material.

                          I'm not 'only' pointing towards deaths, but I would argue that deaths are a pretty frickin big externality compared to other things like noise and sight pollution. Heck, even air pollution wouldn't be quite so bad if it didn't lead to, well, DEATH. Climate change wouldn't be so bad if it didn't lead to massive amounts of DEATH.

                          And outside of Chernobyl (and even including it), deaths from nuclear power are low compared to every other power source on this planet. That's just the facts.

                          Also, right now wind power is so low that it's intermittency isn't a problem. Scale it up to a large chunk of grid power, and you now have to add the externalities of building storage solutions, such as chemical batteries.

                          •  The numbers are low according to (0+ / 0-)

                            a study that is verifiably wrong.

                            You get on your high horse about gut feelings and then you attack everyone else based on something that is verifiably wrong. There's no way that the study can ave taken deaths in mining into account if it didn't even take all the other deaths into account. It's a lie masquerading as some sort of science. It's pure propaganda and unless you have something that isn't propaganda then you don't have a damn leg to stand on criticizing anyone for their truthiness.

                            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                            by AoT on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 04:45:22 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I provided (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            alain2112, psilocynic

                            an updated assessment of Chernobyl by the World Health Organization.

                            Call them liars if you must, but I tend to trust their research. I don't believe that they have any particular investment in downplaying the effects of nuclear power. If you have uncovered such a link, feel free to provide a fact-based rebuttal of their science.

                            Modern uranium mining techniques use ventilation to reduce radon exposure to that found in typical residential households.

                            Sure there are accidents during mining operations, just like mining all that ore for the steel to build wind power. Steel doesn't grow on trees you know.

                          •  You're missing my point (0+ / 0-)

                            You linked to an assessment of deaths attributable to nuclear and then used that to compare the danger of nuclear vs wind. But the link you provided used the wrong numbers so it isn't really useful for that. I'd seen the info you posted about the updated numbers for Chernobyl, which is why I had a problem with the study. Maybe I'm not explaining myself well enough. I'm kind of frustrated at this point so it's probably that's part of the problem.

                            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                            by AoT on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 05:05:16 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  When looking forward (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            AoT, alain2112, psilocynic, davidwalters

                            as we should be, it seems rather silly to include Chernobyl to project the externalities of future power generation unless you think future power plants will have the same failure rate and method. I have no problem using modern day fatality rates in industry reflecting enhanced safety regulations regarding things like fall protection, and hematite mining with regards to wind power. Why isn't nuclear power granted the same level of 'lessons learned', 'safety improved'?

                            That's not to say that nuclear power will ever be a 0 death industry, no industry ever will be. However, fixating on Chernobyl hampers your ability to assess the true costs of power that has nothing to do with an inherently unstable design. It would make as much sense as using mortality rates from 1980 wind power installations because, hey, it's 'possible' that safety regulations could get rolled back.

                          •  Its next big future (0+ / 0-)

                            that should be enough right there.

                            ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS 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 Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 05:22:34 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  If you want an updated (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          psilocynic

                          assessment of the impact of Chernobyl:

                          http://www.who.int/...

                        •  Or falling into the wet concrete? (0+ / 0-)

                          ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS 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 Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 05:19:51 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

  •  Fukushima meltdown sickened American Infants (5+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    RandomNonviolence, AoT, Paul1a, Bisbonian, Roger Fox
    Hidden by:
    campionrules

    Children born in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington between one week and 16 weeks after the meltdowns began in March 2011 were 28 percent more likely to suffer from congenital hypothyroidism than were kids born in those states during the same period one year earlier, a new study shows. In the rest of the U.S. during that period in 2011, where radioactive fallout was less severe, the risks actually decreased slightly compared with the year before.

    http://grist.org/...

    "Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed." -- Vaclav Havel

    by greendem on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 01:22:03 PM PDT

    •  That doesn't count, didn't you hear? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bisbonian, codairem

      Unless you get crushed mining uranium or some other obvious death related to nuclear then it doesn't count.

      That's why the study attributed only 5000 deaths to nuclear over 40 years. It's a joke.

      If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

      by AoT on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 01:29:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Tks. Link to peer-reviewed study is here: (6+ / 0-)

      http://www.scirp.org/...

      ABSTRACT: Various reports indicate that the incidence of congenital hypothyroidism is increasing in developed nations, and that improved detection and more inclusive criteria for the disease do not explain this trend entirely. One risk factor documented in numerous studies is exposure to radioactive iodine found in nuclear weapons test fallout and nuclear reactor emissions. Large amounts of fallout disseminated worldwide from the meltdowns in four reactors at the Fukushima-Dai-ichi plant in Japan beginning March 11, 2011 included radioiodine isotopes. Just days after the meltdowns, I-131 concentrations in US precipitation was measured up to 211 times above normal. Highest levels of I-131 and airborne gross beta were documented in the five US States on the Pacific Ocean. The number of congenital hypothyroid cases in these five states from March 17-December 31, 2011 was 16% greater than for the same period in 2010, compared to a 3% decline in 36 other US States (p < 0.03). The greatest divergence in these two groups (+28%) occurred in the period March 17-June 30 (p < 0.04). Further analysis, in the US and in other nations, is needed to better understand any association between iodine exposure from Fukushima-Dai-ichi and congenital hypothyroidism risk.
  •  All forms have positives and negatives, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, Roger Fox, codairem, psilocynic

    except perhaps coal.  Nuclear is cleaner with respect to greenhouse gases, but safety (risk of severe consequences of an accident) and what to do with the waste fro 10,000 plus yearsa seem to be negatives.

    We have not built a plant in a very long time.  The market rejects it without huge gov't subsidies.

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 01:28:54 PM PDT

  •  OMG, someone pointed out that perfection (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paul1a, Gary Norton, psilocynic

    is impossible and that there are advantages and costs inherent to any source of energy used on a civilization-wide scale. We must shout him or her down immediately ;)

    I don't like nuclear power, but I certainly like it better than I like oil from the Middle East. It also has the benefit of being a reasonably mature technology. However, in order to go forward with increased use of nuclear power, the long-term waste storage problem MUST be solved: somebody, somewhere is going to have to suck it up and accept the fact that Yes, It Is In My Backyard; and some form of safe transportation to this site will have to be devised (NOT shipping it in trucks on the highway). Solve these two problems and I will move into the nuclear-power enthusiast camp.

    Visit Lacking All Conviction, your patch of grey on those too-sunny days.

    by eataTREE on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 01:50:19 PM PDT

    •  Solar isn't perfect, but it's better (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eataTREE

      And the more we put up the cheaper it will be. That's where we need to be focusing. Nuclear is a side issue and not useful in the long run.

      If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

      by AoT on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 01:58:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Solar has the problem of low energy density (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        psilocynic

        in order to produce as much power as we would need to power modern society, we would need to devote large areas to power collection, with a correspondingly large maintenance overhead for those large facilities. Uranium, on the other hand, has an insanely high energy density (see chart) and can be used in places where space is at a premium.

        My point is only that there is not One Perfect Technology. The best way forward is to embrace a multitude of technologies rather than focusing on a single energy source to replace hydrocarbon fuel. IF -- and only if -- the waste-storage issues can be solved, then nuclear power should probably be one of those technologies. However, work remains to be done.

        Visit Lacking All Conviction, your patch of grey on those too-sunny days.

        by eataTREE on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 02:54:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In other words we need to power down (0+ / 0-)

          because nuclear is not a long term solution. If we can't power ourselves with renewables then we can't power ourselves period. We also don't have enough uranium to use it for an extended time as a main power source.

          We have a lot to do. We need to completely reform how we transport ourselves. We need to transform how we grow food. We need to transform where and how we live. A distributed power grid along side a regular grid is the way to do that. It means we need to put as much into renewables as possible. If it isn't renewable then it's holding us back, simple as that.

          Also, that chard is very misleading. There is a lot of energy in uranium but we can't just access it with no problems. If we could just convert it to electricity then we wouldn't have a problem, we can't though.

          If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

          by AoT on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 03:06:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Nuclear is obselete technology (0+ / 0-)

      All ways to generate power that use boiling water are. There are better ways, without using the fresh water we need to drink.

      Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

      by splashy on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 02:05:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No it's not. It's a simply way of boiling water. (0+ / 0-)

        You think it's not because you don't understand the heat energy cycle.

        Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

        by davidwalters on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 09:04:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Engineers can't design this out of nuclear (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT

    They cannot design out humans. Because it is humans that design the damned things. The Fuckishima disaster was due to the fact that the engineers did not properly protect the pumps. I think Three Mile Island was due to operator negligence. . . not watching the guages or what not. Hell, having one worked on the safety books for the NRC, I can report that there was page after page after page after page after page after page after page of problems, all in small print. And remember, when something goes wrong with wind, the generator locks up or the blade rips off, usually killing no one, not so with nuclear.

    I am so sick and tired of people defending this dumbassed way to make power when there are alternatives. Almost everywhere where geothermal has been tried, it has been far more successful than ever anticipated. Just what the hell are we waiting for?

      •  Wow...seriously? What "point" is that? (0+ / 0-)

        Far more people have died erecting wind towers in the US than died working at nuclear power plants.

        Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

        by davidwalters on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 09:04:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not to confuse the point (0+ / 0-)

          We don't know how many people have died at nuclear plants or from them. My aunt's house was so close to three mile island, we could see the towers prominently from her back yard. She died from a multitude of health problems and thought her thyroid problem had nothing to do with the accident. Perhaps she was right. Or perhaps she could not bear the thought that her meager home that she worked two jobs to pay off in just ten years, was now a toxic prison. When nuclear kills, it doen't leave a calling card behind.

          A week after she was allowed to return to her home, the Air Force delivered water to all the residents, stating that they had a "pesticide spill on the golf course" and everyone should use this bottled water to be safe.

  •  I haven't always endorsed nukes (5+ / 0-)

    but if you're serious about preventing climate change, a nuke plant is a massive producer of carbon-free energy.

    In this country, we need to replace about 318,000 megawatts of coal-fired energy to vastly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

    I'm all for more wind and solar and geothermal, but replying solely on those sources essentially means you are counting to 318,000 by 1s and 10s and an occasional 100 everytime a new wind plant or solar development comes on line.

    When you install nukes, you are counting to 318,000 by thousands.

    Our energy needs are so vast that I despair of ever filling that 300,000 MW gap solely with solar panels and windmills, before the oceans rise.

    Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

    by 6412093 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 02:17:45 PM PDT

    •  How much are we going to spend on nuclear that (0+ / 0-)

      would otherwise have gone to solar and other renewables? And how much is that going to delay a full roll out of renewables. If we dump all that money into nuclear it's money that isn't going to renewables which means we'll be stuck with nuclear even longer and have more of a nuclear mess to clean up.

      ounting to 318,000 by 1s and 10s and an occasional 100 everytime a new wind plant or solar development comes on line.
      Think about it this way. We are doing the same thing right now but with cars and carbon. It costs around 26 billion for a nuclear plant, how much solar do we get for that, and how much closer to the next generation(pun entirely intended) of solar that's even better does that get us. Solar is faster to put up and we can do it in a decentralized way which means less strain on our power grid, which we will still have to upgrade sometime soon. Centralized production of power is fine under the current model, but decentralized is the future and it can't come soon enough.

      If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

      by AoT on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 02:36:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  ACW will be 7 gigs=7 fission plants (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      6412093

      Atlantic Wind Connection.

      and the 318 gigs of coal power might be a little dated, % of electricity 38-39%  possibly under 300 gigs considering the 31 gigs predicted in 2011, to be shut down in 2012

      http://www.eia.gov/...

      http://www.americaspower.org/...

      ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS 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 Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 03:51:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bring on the Atlantic Wind Connection ASAP (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roger Fox, psilocynic

        But the 7 gigs are the generating capacity, not the likely output. Maybe wind power based in the ocean runs 24/7, but onshore wind power is only available 20-30% of the time.

        I love our 845 MW Shepherds Flat wind farm, but it really generate closer to 200-300 MW, as an annual average.

        And how much solar could we get with the $26 billion a nuclear plant costs?  Well, the pending Vogtle plant is initially supposed to cost $14 billion, not $26 billion, although those costs will certainly rise.

        The big solar plants in the California desert cost a few billion apiece, and I'm glad to see them, but it took a few years to build them too.

        Like I said, get us to 318 gigs of carbon-free energy, and I won't complain how its done.

        Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

        by 6412093 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 09:01:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  20% from wind by 2030, proly the same 4 solar (0+ / 0-)

          40% by 2030. It'll be tight but it doable.

          But renewable storage systems will have to come online after we pass 20% renewables. Pumped hydro is currently off the shelf tech ready to go.

          ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS 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 Apr 03, 2013 at 08:14:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Switching to nuclear (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, jgnyc

    would be horribly expensive and take decades.  Someone posted a study saying we could get rid of fossil fuel generation plants and go fully nuclear for a measly $1.6T.  How much wind and solar could we buy with $1.6T?  Or even a quarter that?  And we wouldn't have to worry about nuclear waste.

    •  Not a lot. That's kind of the problem (0+ / 0-)

      with solar right now. It would take vast amounts of land and to power one city and there's no way 1.6 trill would cover replacing current nuke reactors.

      Lo que separa la civilizacion de la anarquia son solo siete comidas.

      by psilocynic on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 08:59:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not only that, nuclear uses a LOT of water (0+ / 0-)

      We really can't afford to be using fresh water to boil to generate electricity any more. That's obsolete technology.

      Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

      by splashy on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 02:10:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Perhaps we could just be grateful for the carbon (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT

    that nuclear power avoided in the past, and focus on the better alternatives (wind, solar, bio) for the future. Though thorium reactors and dense plasma focus may yet be worthwhile.



    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 03:22:16 PM PDT

  •  The American Chemical Society?? Seriously? (0+ / 0-)

    LOL

    (does no one google bogus links / studies here anymore ??)

    •  The American Chemical Society is (0+ / 0-)

      one of the largest science organizations in the world. It's a legit organization, unless you know something I don't.

      If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

      by AoT on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 04:57:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wow...the good 'ol nuclear debate again... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mojo workin

    Did any one read the report? It's fascinating, and it's free.

    http://pubs.acs.org/...

    It's a devestating report for those who believe nuclear is worse than climate change.

    A few things to take up. Joieau says it's costs "$20 billion" for one nuclear plant. Really? How many reactors? When? What country?

    The fact is that that Joieau used the single most expensive plant ever quoted, for the 2 reactor plant in Georgia proposed, and now breaking ground, by Southern Energy.

    The current 60 plants being built today around the world are not "$20 Billion" but around $5 billion and in China they are around $2 billion. You have to use utility industry costs criteria based on dollars-per-KW-of-capacity installed. In other words any plant that costs, say  $4,000 per KW installed is at 1000MWs is going to cost $4 billion.

    The problem is that you can't even compare this to wind and solar because these forms of generation don't run all time so you have to use multiplier factors in order to come up with real numbers in terms of costs (and distinguished from price which is what one pays at the retail end).

    At this rate, solar and wind don't look so good or as good, as nuclear. Not because of price, but because of the scads of gas turbines you have to build (never, ever, included in the price, or the GHG emissions that come with it) and being tied to fossil fuels basically forever or until they run out.

    The product is different. Because nuclear power can be dispatched, that is 'available on demand', wind and solar are not. So one can't just 'replace' nuclear or any baseload power with either of these renewables/unreliables quite so easily.

    Also, with wind, you run into the problem of an unsustainable production bottle neck: rare-earths, which are needed for the electro-magnents on the generators (and yes, you need them on nuclear but about 1/10 the number per unit of energy due to greater efficiencies). Rare-earths are fossil minerals and can run out. To be fair, R&D is involved in finding substitutes and using less of them (I think it's actually a non-issue as prospecting for new REs are underway but some people get hung up about "sustainability").

    Peace,
    David
    PS...read the report.

    Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

    by davidwalters on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 09:14:17 AM PDT

    •  What about the water usage? (0+ / 0-)

      Nuclear uses large amounts of water, as does fossil fuels. It's going to be a major issue with droughts becoming more common. I posted a link up above talking about this issue.

      Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

      by splashy on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 02:14:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's true as well for concentrating solar (0+ / 0-)

        power as well. But one can build air-cooled condensers as they do on some CSPs and take the efficiency hit when doing it. But the logical answer is using the plants like Palos Verde which uses NO fresh water, but waste/sewer water from large urban populations that otherwise would evaporate. The real ansewr, as I noted to you above, is using sea water which isn't running out...at all.

        David

        Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

        by davidwalters on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 09:06:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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