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

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  •  Absolutely unacceptable. (17+ / 0-)

    If you could find anyone to invest in them without the government (taxpayers) and ratepayers. And taking all the health/environmental risks. Both Exelon - the largest nuke conglomerate in the country - and GE - designer/builder of nukes - have taken the position that the costs and headaches are simply not worth the effort. The fuel cycle start to finish (if there were a finish, but there's not) is a significant contributor to global warming and future uncertainties. Nobody in their right mind wants to generate waste deadly to humans for at least a hundred thousand years just to toast their bagels today. There are better ways to toast bagels.

    If we go passive, conservation, smart metering for scheduling usage and generation from solar, wind, hydro, waste gas (methane) and geothermal, with well designed downstream use of waste heat, we'd have no need for nuclear or coal plants. And natural gas plants would be reserved for demand peaks that can't be worked around in other ways. That's the point.

    •  If. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PatriciaVa, A Siegel
      If we go passive, conservation, smart metering for scheduling usage and generation from solar, wind, hydro, waste gas (methane) and geothermal, with well designed downstream use of waste heat, we'd have no need for nuclear or coal plants.
      If we don't, nuclear needs to be an option.
      •  It's already an option. (8+ / 0-)

        What we are NOT doing is building 200 new nukes, and we never will. There's not enough money on the planet, even considering the vast monetary bubble Wall Street recently inflated and then popped (remember when "real money" was measured in billions and there was no such thing as trillions? Ah, Dr. Evil...). We are at the environmental tipping point - we simply do not have 50-100 years to drag our collective feet on doing something about the human causes of climate change.

        So no, nukes will not be playing a considerable role in the future.

        •  Which is fine. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          alain2112, PatriciaVa
          What we are NOT doing is building 200 new nukes, and we never will.
          I just don't think that we shouldn't oppose building nuclear generators while we're still building fossil fuel generation, and we shouldn't shut down nuclear power plants while we're still burning fossil fuels.
          •  We are nearly two years (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Roger Fox, BYw, Just Bob, ozsea1, Sandino

            behind the curve on shutting down all our GE Mark-I and II reactors. Their continuing existence definitely needs opposing, unless we're willing to risk turning major population centers into dead zones for no good reason. Earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes... these are becoming more common, and the storms more powerful. A consequence of having wasted too much time already making necessary changes in how we use this planet's resources.

            At the same time we should be shutting down all U.S. PWRs now known to be endangered by earthquakes and more frequent flooding (now evident from climate change). For the same good reason - public health and safety. Sure, the 'Big One' hitting southern California is going to be a huge mess. Lots of people killed and injured, important large cities destroyed. But San Onofre and Diablo Canyon going down at the same time is a real threat to everything east (downwind). Why would we wish that double jeopardy on ourselves?

            The poor choices of the past all have to be recognized and rectified if we hope to leave a habitable planet to our progeny. The sooner we do what has to be done, the sooner young people will grow up thinking the new ways are normal, and older people will wonder why we waited so long.

            If Japan can manage to still be a modern industrialized nation with two nukes - down from 30 - we've got no excuse not to close and decommission the most dangerous of our 100+ nukes asap. It's not like we can pretend we don't know the risks anymore. Coal is a filthy fuel. So is uranium. There's no excuse for either at this point in history.

            •  Wait, you feel threatened by climate change? (0+ / 0-)
              Earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes... these are becoming more common, and the storms more powerful. A consequence of having wasted too much time already making necessary changes in how we use this planet's resources.

              At the same time we should be shutting down all U.S. PWRs now known to be endangered by earthquakes and more frequent flooding (now evident from climate change).

              Progress!
              •  What in the world (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BYw, Just Bob, Sandino

                would make you think I'm not? Climate change threatens all of us.

                •  Prior conversations with you. (0+ / 0-)
                  I have gone to all the "worst case scenario" panic sites per Global Climate Change. There's definitely stuff to be concerned about, and much to do to stop the progress on our end of contributions to it. I do that every day. Have for many years. Do you? I have seen nothing credible to directly threaten my existence. Or my children's existence. Or my grandchildren's existence. Or... well, you get the picture. Do I care beyond that? Why should I? Beyond doing what I can, minimal as that may be, while I'm still here.
                  link
                  •  And? (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ozsea1, Sandino, flowerfarmer, A Siegel

                    I made choices decades ago that directly impact my family's ability to survive in a warmed climate - confirmed just last year when USDA changed my growing zone to the next warmer one. We'll be okay, at least until the mountains give up their ghosts. Humans will survive climate change, until they can't anymore. The least we can do about our contributions to the process - literally - is to stop treating the planet as our own personal cesspool. Hell, we should stop doing that even if the climate weren't changing and we weren't contributing to it.

                    I'm doing what I can to promote the adaptability we need, to the nation/world at large. We have to change the way we do things, or it will be a lot worse than it needs to be. That would be a shame, but there's really nothing more I can do about it. If everyone were doing what they can it wouldn't be such a hopeless endeavor, would it? Doesn't matter all that much to me in the end, so long as I've done what I can. What more do you expect people to do than that?

                    •  Doing as much as you can. (0+ / 0-)
                      I'm doing what I can to promote the adaptability we need, to the nation/world at large. We have to change the way we do things, or it will be a lot worse than it needs to be. That would be a shame, but there's really nothing more I can do about it. If everyone were doing what they can it wouldn't be such a hopeless endeavor, would it? Doesn't matter all that much to me in the end, so long as I've done what I can. What more do you expect people to do than that?
                      You campaign against nukes while we're still burning coal.
                      •  Because nukes aren't green (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Joieau

                        And building new ones generates huge CO2 that takes years of generation to washout. Meanwhile the energy and CO2 costs of mining increasingly scarce uranium and indefinite safe storage of deadly waste means that building nukes does not help reduce CO2 emissions by offsetting coal burning for at least a generation after their creation, if at all.  The risks are so high, that a crony-captured system cannot be trusted to build or maintain them.

                      •  "As much" being, according to you, (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        rovertheoctopus

                        supporting nuclear power? Ain't ever going to happen.

                        Surprised as I am that you would bother to keep track of my comments in other diaries so as to introduce here out of the blue for no apparent reason, I think you somehow managed to miss something significant about me in regards to the subject of nuclear power and my hard-earned opinions about it and the people who think they run it and the people who don't think their job is to regulate it.

                        But just so you know, I have way too much real life experience with nukes, the nuclear industry, and the mal-named Nuclear Regulatory Commission to ever fall sway to any anonymous commenter on these here intertoobs' ill-conceived (or utterly deluded) nuclear cheerleading.

                        Nuclear is not a cure for or a defense against climate change. It never will be. It was a terminally dumb idea in the beginning, and it remains terminally dumb at the end. But do carry on as you choose. Just sayin' you may wish to avoid me on the subject...

      •  Nuclear has priced itself out of the market (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BYw, Just Bob, ozsea1, Sandino, Calamity Jean

        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 Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 05:20:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's unfair (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HeyMikey, Recall

          when coal isn't responsible for all of its externalities.

          Make coal producers responsible for the extra lung cancers created, then we can do a fair comparison.

        •  Insurance for nuclear power plants is an illusion (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ozsea1, Sandino

          http://www.tampabay.com/...

          The crippled Crystal River nuclear plant is now America's headache.

          The bill to fix it and pay for replacement power may top $5 billion. The problem?

          The company that insures all 104 U.S. nuclear power plants has just $3.6 billion on hand to pay for claims.

          Broken nuclear plants in California, Texas and Michigan will vie for some of that money. But Crystal River alone represents such a financial threat that the insurance company, Nuclear Electric Insurance Ltd., may demand that its member utilities pony up more money.

          Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

          by Just Bob on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 08:51:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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