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View Diary: Wind power is kicking nuclear's ass; meanwhile solar is hitting it out of the ballpark (312 comments)

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  •  Nuclear complexes don't use (28+ / 0-)

    concrete and steel? That's bullshit. I got a very good view into 'the pit' of North Anna Unit-1 when it was being built, from the lofty overlook deck of the visitor's center - sited just so visitors could get the very good view of 'the pit'. There it was in all its three-toned glory - a 15-foot wide geological slip fault running right smack dab through the center of 'the pit'. You know, that little problem that got VEPCO fined big time for lying about it, and put the kibosh on planned 3rd and 4th units when it was determined (by looking at the paperwork) that sure enough, ALL FOUR reactors had been sited directly atop the fault. They couldn't possibly have fucked up worse no matter how hard they tried.

    The solution to the problem of putting a nuclear reactor where it literally straddled an earthquake fault could have been as easy as moving the whole damned thing over so the containment would be on one side or the other. Instead, the NRC approved VEPCO's brilliant idea - of wiring the earth together with rebar. It was actually quite humorous in a satirically ironic way.

    Really. Nukes are truly this dumb. That does not inspire any confidence in the endeavor, at any stage of the game.

    •  Per kWh more wind farms require ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kay Observer2, SpeedyGonzales, FG

      ...far more concrete and steel.  To equal the output of one nuclear plant per kWh you need a wind farm of 200 square miles with over 400 gigantic wind towers. Each concrete base to anchor a tower is about 40' across and 45' deep.  That adds up to more concrete than is ever poured at a nuclear plant.  

      Four times more.  A wind farm provides weak and intermittent power whereas a nuclear plant provides a steady output 24/7.

      And as for environmental impact apart from all the fossil fuel pollution that goes into producing wind-farm components, there are all those concrete plugs--which is why in CA there are environmentalists opposing wind farms.

      Check out this video:
      http://www.youtube.com/...

      I think we need wind power in the right places, but let us keep clear about the tremendous drawbacks, which include boosting fossil fuel combustion.

      As for the Price Anderson Act that nuclear plants pay into: so far the industry--not the taxpayer--has paid $12 billion into the fund.

       Utilities—not the public or the federal government—pay for this insurance. Price-Anderson is not a subsidy. Utilities pay an annual premium to cover each reactor.

      Amory Lovins: "Coal can fill the real gaps in our fuel economy....." IPCC: Anthropogenic greenhouse gases will cause extinction of up to 70% of species by 2050.

      by Plan9 on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 01:18:35 PM PDT

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      •  Federal law limits the liability of nuclear (16+ / 0-)

        companies and their insurance. Who pays the rest . . . . ?

        If nukes are so cheap cheap cheap, why do they make customers pay for the nuke before it's built (and not have to give the money back if it's not built)?

        If nukes are safe safe safe, why won't the industry (and the insurance program that they own) assume full liability for all costs of any accident?

      •  Accidental Rec - I was trying to hit "reply." You (8+ / 0-)

        know, it doesn't matter how bad you say any of the other alternatives are, the fact remains that large scale nuclear power cannot be made safe -- even if we pretend there's a way to make the power plants themselves safe while they're operating... and for how many thousands of years afterwards? There is still no safe way to dispose of the byproducts of mining the fuel, and no safe way to store the spent fuel.  

        •  However there is a difference Sandino (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino, caul, Plan9, Kay Observer2

          brought up above. The Oak Ridge facility was run for years by a guy who developed the use of thorium instead of plutonium in nuclear reactors. It was taken as far as a prototype reactor that operated for almost 3 years before the project was shut down. The other scientists persuaded the government to stay with plutonium that they had so much knowledge of from work on the Manhattan project.

          I have learned enough to think this does need further development. Even Chu was interested in grants for further R & D. Parts are still quite a bit above my pay grade.

          Some links for consideration.

          Busting the baseload power myth Which reinforces to me the need to seriously rethink the energy grid before we rebuild. (Which smart people are surely working on. I just don't trust the PTB to listen to the smart ones.)

          Molten Salt Reactors  ASME 3/11

          Energy from Thorium web site.

          Can't find the link about other countries, particularly China, that are moving on the LFTR potential.

          "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

          by Ginny in CO on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 05:08:03 PM PDT

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        •  Deaths per terawatt hour from energy sources (0+ / 0-)

          http://nextbigfuture.com/...

          Coal (elect, heat,cook –world avg) 100 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)
          Coal electricity – world avg        60 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)
          Coal (elect,heat,cook)– China      170
          Coal electricity-  China            90
          Coal – USA                          15
          Oil                                 36  (36% of world energy)
          Natural Gas                          4  (21% of world energy)
          Biofuel/Biomass                     12
          Peat                                12
          Solar (rooftop)                      0.44 (0.2% of world energy for all solar)
          Wind                                 0.15 (1.6% of world energy)
          Hydro                                0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy)
          Hydro - world including Banqiao)     1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead)
          Nuclear                             0.04 (5.9% of world energy)

          Amory Lovins: "Coal can fill the real gaps in our fuel economy....." IPCC: Anthropogenic greenhouse gases will cause extinction of up to 70% of species by 2050.

          by Plan9 on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 05:24:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Glad to see this ol' chart again -- always appears (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DocGonzo, Joieau, JesseCW, myboo, Sandino

            when the Nuke Lovers are standing up for their industry...

            "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

            by jm214 on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 05:35:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Ok, Plan 9, what do you say to: (8+ / 0-)
            According to Solar and Nuclear Costs – The Historic Crossover; Solar Energy is Now the Better Buy, from John O. Blackburn, a Duke University professor of economics, solar photovoltaic (PV) energy-generated electricity now costs around 14-to-19 cents per kilowatt-hour (kW-hr) and nuclear plants in the planning stages will not be able to sell their electricity at less than 14-to-18 cents per kW-hr. That makes NOW the “crossover point” at which solar achieves price parity with nuclear and it makes "16 cents per kW-hr" the numeric formulation heralding the arrival of what visionary Hazel Henderson called The Age of Light.

            Nuclear power cost expert Mark Cooper, a senior fellow for economic analysis at Vermont Law School’s Institute for Energy and Environment, says the cost of a nuclear power plant went from ~$3 billion per reactor (average) in 2002 to ~$10 billion per reactor (average) in 2010. (Costs are, of course, somewhat variable by region.) (See THE TOO, TOO COSTLY CASE OF NUCLEAR POWER)

            Opponents of solar PV often say it is only competitive because of subsidies. But a report in 2000 – when nuclear plants were only enormously expensive and not prohibitively expensive – found that ~$151 billion in federal subsidies went to the wind, solar and nuclear industries and 96.3% of it went to nuclear.

            Link. published July 2010.

            "Only a Vulcan mind meld will help with this congress." Leonard Nimoy, 3/1/13

            by nzanne on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 05:42:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  All we have to do to believe your argument is (6+ / 0-)

            buy into Tobacco Science.

            We just discard the deaths of anyone not killed on site at a nuclear plant.

            All those American Indians who died in the Southwest mining that shit?  Don't count.

            Anyone who died of cancer after an accident or spill?  Doesn't count.  Statistical anomalies don't matter.

            Just like Phillip Morris.  Hey, sometimes non-smokers get lung cancer too!

            income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

            by JesseCW on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:18:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  ???. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kay Observer2, Sandino

        You would have to supply a legitimate, well-supported comparison and analysis for me to buy this assertion. Let's see it.

      •  @ 4mw to 6mw per turbine? (7+ / 0-)

        400, 6mw offshore Vest Turbines = 2400mw, isnt that 2 3 nuclear fission plants?

        Older BWR's are 600-700 mw. SO thats like 3-4. Not one, as you claimed.

        LCOE wind  blows away nukes, in new construction. Whine all you want but wind is attracting larger amounts of capital because of its low price.

        ...... 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 Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 03:49:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  My geology prof told this story, (4+ / 0-)

      He ended it with "But the Engineers told the Geologists, "Ah, but you haven't seen how big our bolts are!""

      He didn't think too highly of that plan.

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