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View Diary: New German Data Shows No End in Sight for Coal (230 comments)

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  •  I'm not making an argument for coal over nuclear. (2+ / 0-)
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    translatorpro, splashy

    They're both stupid and primitive methods for producing electricity here on this planet.

    I do think it is interesting how nuke advocates like to falsely portray it as a choice between the two.  In a vast majority of regions in the world, in truth, neither will be needed.  Renewables can be scaled up at a far more rapid pace than both coal and nuclear and, in many cases already are less expensive than both new nuclear and new coal.  If we really want to mitigate Climate Change, we need to increase efficiency in our economy while accelerating the scaling up of electricity generation from renewables.

    And, in regards to coal plants, while this diary is focusing on coal use in Germany, the numbers that you're throwing around in regards to the damage and disease from coal plants are almost exclusively caused by coal plants in countries that don't have the strict emissions standards for coal plants that Germany does.

    Germany has some of the most stringent emissions standards in the world and German coal plants have multiple stage filtration systems(often up to five stages).

    A primitive Chinese coal plant, for example, will emit up to 1,000 times as much sulfur dioxide, cadmium, and mercury as a modern German coal plant.  The same is true for radioactive emissions, more or less.  If all coal plants in the world were built to German standards, emissions other than carbon dioxide from coal plants would likely be less than 1/100th of what they are right now.

    Uranium actually is "mined" from scrubbed coal plant emissions in the U.S. for use in nuclear reactors.

    And even if only small amounts of plutonium were released in Fukushima, the same can't be said for Caesium 137 or Strontium.  You may not mind having Caesium 137 as an added "bonus" with your meal, but I do.  Caesium 137 has a half life of 30 years, so that shit is going to be around for a while.  The fact is that the types of radioactive materials released from and created by nuclear reactors are far more dangerous than those released from coal plants.  And we actually dodged a bullet in Fukushima - if the stored spent rods had caught fire in Fukushima 4, which easily could have happened, it would have been much, much worse.  And if the wind had been blowing towards Tokio instead of towards the Pacific, Japan's economy basically would be permanently crippled.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 05:06:20 AM PST

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