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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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  •  Obama calls for small modular reactors (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mojo workin

    http://www.usatoday.com/...

    These can be sited in underground bunkers, are seismically safe and have an inherently safe system of cooling the core thanks to convection.  A power plant can gradually add new modules as needed.

    Nuclear plants receive lower subsidies than renewables at this point.

    Wind and solar need a lot of support from the govt. because they can't pay their way.

    The biggest subsidies continue to go to the fossil fuel industry.

    Nuclear power is cheaper per kWh than renewables and than fossil fuels.

    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 11:44:43 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Guarantee "seismically safe," eh? (4+ / 0-)

      The Fukushima, Indian Ocean, and Chilean quakes of magnitude 9 were in areas where the then-current beliefs about earthquake generation said 9s were impossible has forced a rethink of how you get such large quakes.

      http://www.livescience.com/...

      The problem was researchers failed to recognize that faults can store energy like a battery, Goldfinger said. And just like batteries, they can discharge energy in small amounts, or all at once, he explained.

      Goldfinger and other researchers now think if a "small" quake hits, it may not release all of the accumulated energy in a fault. (On a subduction zone, a small quake can still register in the magnitude-8.0 range, which is devastating to nearby cities.)

      Thus, a fault can "borrow" stored energy from previous strain-building cycles, generating larger earthquakes than expected, such as those that hit Sumatra and Tohoku,

      In other words, the pretense that we understand geologic processes is, once again, being shattered. There's more of Magical Thinking than Science when you hear things like "seismically safe." Or, if not Magical Thinking, then just outright bullshit because there's money to be made.


      If Republicans said every 3rd person named "Smith" should hang, we'd bargain them to every 7th. Then we'll see apologia written praising this most pragmatic compromise. There's our losing formula.

      by Jim P on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 03:44:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Quakes not a problem for nuc plants (0+ / 0-)

        in Fukushima, Virginia.  The plants automatically shut down as soon as the sensors reported a jolt.  The plants are programmed to do this.

        The NuScale design places the reactor in a pool.  If there is a tremor or a big quake, the reactor just bobs in the water.

        The problem Fukushima had was a tsunami 45 feet high that swept over the sea wall and ruined the backup diesel power equipment, which was parked next to the sea wall instead of up in back of the reactor building as is the case in CA.

        I wonder how seismically stable a wind farm would be . . . .

        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 05:37:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  But again, what about when they melt down? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      Or are decommissioned?

      Here in CA, I am paying a monthly decommissioning fee for Diablo EVERY MONTH on my PGE bills.

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

      by nzanne on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 05:57:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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