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View Diary: 100/100/100: Hot renewable energy news (22 comments)

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  •  Sigh ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar

    Do you support, for example, Japan ramping up (seriously) fossil-fuel use for its electricity?  You might want to spend some time reading Cravens Power to Save the World with an open mind.

    Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

    by A Siegel on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 09:55:27 AM PDT

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    •  Uranium is 'fossil fuel' as its supply is finite (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      John Crapper

      plus big waste issues. We cannot use it to replace the other fossil fuels.

      •  Many issues ... (0+ / 0-)

        the waste issues with nuclear power are, however, terrifying less than what we have with coal.  The supply/etc issues are different from those of fossil fuels.  

        Note, however, that I am not advocating nuclear power as 'the' silver bullet or even a primary element to address climate change and economic and other energy-related issues. On the other hand, considering where we are with climate change, throwing it off the table while we still have massive amounts of coal-fired electricity (and shutting down plants to then rev up fossil foolish electricity) doesn't seem sane.

        Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

        by A Siegel on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 10:44:36 AM PDT

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        •  Surely you're joking. (0+ / 0-)

          1GWeyear from uranium produces 100000 tons of uranium mine tailings which contain uranium, radium and radon.
          1GWeyear from coal(450000 tons) produces less than 45000 tons of coal ash some of which goes into concrete.
          A kilogram of uranium tailings contains +2500 times the radioactivity in a kg of coal fly ash--probably no surprise).

          You can reduce the CO2 from coal burning by 85%, sequester it underground in saline aquifers. It is expensive but we have lots of coal and the technology works.

          •  Where to start... (0+ / 0-)

            According to the International Atomic Energy Agency here  1000 MW(e) nuclear power station produces 30 tonnes of high level solid packed waste per year.  They go on to note typical a 1000 MW(e) coal plant produces some 300,000 tonnes of ash alone per year, containing among other things radioactive material and heavy metals which end up in landfill sites and in the atmosphere.  You also forgot to mention the 4,000,000 tons of coal that has to be mined (source) and the approx. 10,000,000 tons of CO2 that also has to be disposed of.  

            So, lets sum up:

            Coal: 4,000,000 tons to be mined, 300,000 tons of ash and 10,000,000 tons of CO2 to be dumped.

            Nuclear: 30 tons.

            Mining of Uranium is commonly done via in-situ leaching.  Some high grade ores, such as in Canada, contain up to 21% uranium oxide (source).  So, the cost in terms of ore mined to get a few tons of fuel is NOWHERE NEAR 100,000 tons.  That's ludicrous. Since your numbers are crap, I won't take your opinion on the viability of carbon capture and storage.  

            Now, if we got serious about sustainable nuclear with a closed fuel cycle (full actinide recycle), fuel efficiency would go up by a factor of at least 30 times - that 30 tons would be reduced to just ONE TON and all the several thousands of tons of spent-fuel inventories around the country would become NEW FUEL, enough for a few centuries.

            It is a no-brainer that nuclear done right literally has the power to save the world.  Quite ironic since most people tend to instinctively think first of the opposite upon hearing the word "nuclear".

            The intrinsic nature of Power is such that those who seek it most are least qualified to wield it.

            by mojo workin on Fri Oct 26, 2012 at 01:01:34 PM PDT

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            •  Data entry error, 4,500,000 tons is about right. (0+ / 0-)

              Uranium tailing piles of 100000 tons obviously contain far more radioactivity than coal ash piles of 450000 tons.
              Canada has the highest grade ore in the world and running out, I used lower grade Australian ore. Leaching contaminates aquifers in a number of countries which is even more dangerous.

    •  You can rest assured that my 30 year long (0+ / 0-)

      opposition to nuclear generated power is not due to my own ignorance.  This is one area where scientific hubris has dug us into a deeper hole than we otherwise would be in.  We have unfortunately been put in a situation where we must use our existing nuclear generating capacity while  we pivot to truly nonpolluting renewable sources of power generation.  The harder we pivot the faster we can shut down all nuclear plants.  The sooner the better.  And a sane energy policy calls for a complete moratorium on building any new ones.  We need to take the nuclear shovel away.    

      P.s. I've been following events unfolding regarding Fukushima very closely.  They are currently between a rock and a hard place but I come down on keeping their plants in mothballs- yes seriously.   I'll read Cravens Power to Save the World but the open mind ship regarding nuclear has sailed away many years ago for me.  

      If we really want to straighten out all this crap we need to really think about shit!

      by John Crapper on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 02:17:10 PM PDT

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      •  take away nuclear and then what? (0+ / 0-)

        Germany is building new coal plants.  Insanity.

        Fukushima death toll from radiation = 0, and this is the worst accident in a generation, with over hundreds and hundreds of combined reactor-years of operation around the world.  Put this against the thousands of deaths per year caused by fossil fuels, with the risk of making the biosphere uninhabitable.    

        Evacuation zone limits are lower than the radiation level received naturally and without any observable pathology in many parts of the world.  The biggest dimension of the crisis is the fear of additional low level radiation that in fact has no scientific basis for harm!  That unsupported fear has resulted in evac zone limits of 20mSv/year, which is based on arbitrary international limits that ARE NOT SUPPORTED BY SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE.  More political forces made that choice than science.  For 100 mSv/year and less, there is no observable increase in risk so WTF is up with this evac "limit" that has unnecessarily added to the suffering to those lives decimated by the mag. 9 quake and tsunami.  (see Radiation and Reason).  More harm likely done by breathing the air in downtown Tokyo.

        So, ignorance of true radiation risk IS an issue in our collective fear of things nuclear, which leads to outcomes like in Germany and Japan... shut down low risk plants and burn millions and millions of tons of more fossil fuels.  Insanity.  

        The intrinsic nature of Power is such that those who seek it most are least qualified to wield it.

        by mojo workin on Fri Oct 26, 2012 at 01:43:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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