Skip to main content

View Diary: Large Zone Around Fukushima Will Be Uninhabitable For Decades, Japanese Will Finally Admit (247 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Because: ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    erratic, ER Doc

    (i) we absolutely need to get CO2 back down below 350 ppm ASAP;
    (ii) carbon sequestration for coal burning plants is bullshit and will never be successful;
    (iii) therefore we NEED to move away from coal very quickly;
    (iv) solar (PV and/or CFS), wind, and other renewables will not ramp quickly enough to get us off coal before we sustain catastrophic irreversible climate change;
    and (v) therefore, the only remaining solution is nuclear to bridge us over to when we CAN use renewables.

    If we had been serious about this in 1980 or so, when the issue really WAS demonstrated scientfically, we wouldn't need them - but now, we have no choice.

    And I will be brutally honest and say that IMO an occasional Chernobyl or Fukushima-scale accident, IF it happens in the context of moving to a truly sustainable energy infrastructure, is far preferable to the insanity that we would see with runaway AGW.  (Having these accidents in the context of business-as-usual would OTOH be completely unacceptable.)

    I will also be brutally honest and say that everything I just wrote is almost certainly irrelevant, as the world generally appears to believe that they can negotiate with reality, and that the devastating results of AGW that will be coming to your neighborhood within a few years (regardless of where you live) are going to somehow be "inconveniences" rather than "apocalyptic harbingers of doom" as they really will be.

    •  Neither Chernobyl Nor Fukushima is Worst Case (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joieau, Sandino, oldhippie

      While necessity may dictate the immediate future, it does not dictate our longer-term path.  

      A concerted effort to make new technology and make existing technology more commercially feasible might well allow us more options in the future.

      And in comparing costs, we need to look at both the potential for catastrophic accidents or intentional harm using these plants for their byproducts as well as the duration of risk/harm we are creating by their continued use.  

      Someone in a very expensive suit is at the front door and says he wants to foreclose on our democracy. Where should I tell him he can put his robosigning pen?

      by Into The Woods on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 07:21:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dude (10+ / 0-)

      We can gain more by increased efficiency than we'll ever get out of more nukes.  Five percent of all electricity generated is sucked up by appliances that aren't even in use.  How many nuke plants is that?  At least 50.  Another 30-40 percent of the energy burned in nuke and coal plants is wasted as heat.   We also lose a ton due to the inefficient and crumbling grid.

      Oh, but building more nuke plants is the answer, right?  Dream on.

      We should be talking about decreasing power output, not increasing it.

      When the power of love overcomes the love of power, there will be peace. - Jimi Hendrix

      by CharlieHipHop on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 07:35:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  30-40% of heat energy will be wasted in heat engin (0+ / 0-)

        You get as much work out of the heat as is feasible and then you dump it to whatever sink (air, water) you are using.  Similar losses for cars, trains, aircraft, whatever.  As for carbon capture, best case would be injecting powdered carbon back where it came from.  Would take a lot of energy to manage that though.

    •  Perhaps thorium fission would be a solution (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PeterHug

      Or far better still would be fusion.  The research in that area is finally making real headway but it is still a decade or two from full scale power plants.  Probably need to throw more money into the research to try and get this technology here quicker.

      "It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said." "The War Prayer" by Mark Twain

      by Quanta on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 12:38:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  you may be right (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Russgirl

        I'm trying to keep an open mind re: thorium.

        In any case even if it is a silver bullet, it will only be available after the fight is over.

        But that doesn't mean it won't be a boon in 10 or 20 years.

        I'm sure we should throw some money at it for R&D, but let's recognize that NOW we've got to do EE and true renewables in a big way.

    •  Actually, wind and PV can ramp up (6+ / 0-)

      Much faster than you think. Since it take a while to take down the nuclear power plants, a big push for alternatives will phase in about as fast.

    •  nuclear power cannot save us from global (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ovals49, Russgirl

      warming.

      It takes much too long to build nuclear plants and while you're building them, you're taking money away from the real solutions that could have a much more immediate impact (wind turbines, solar pv, solar thermal, csp, energy efficiency, etc.) without the attendant risks of nuclear power.

      At this point, while we debate about tar sands, we're going to get runaway global warming. Nuclear power never was the right answer to stop it and as slow as it is to build out, has absolutely no chance now.

      Finally, given that nuclear power requires prodigious amounts of water for cooling, it is a bad thing to rely on when droughts are deeper and more prolonged, when 100 year floods happen every 10 years and when the earth's seismic activity is expected to increase.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site