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View Diary: Nuclear Power is our Friend (110 comments)

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  •  Short answer: There are better, i.e. (7+ / 0-)

    cheaper and faster, solutions available now. Nuclear power is history, even though you make good arguments for it. I would never support of nuclear energy, under any circumstances, but respect your pov.

    Solar and wind have scaled up enough already to make nuclear lose in the market place. Even with nuclear enjoying the benefit of insufficient levels of insurance (leaving the remaining risk for the taxpayer), it just doesn’t make economic sense any more to build new nuclear plants.

    And if you decide to build a new nuclear plant today, it won’t be able to deliver energy until ten years later, and will then have to compete for a couple of decades against wind and solar at the much more reduced prices these technologies will have then.

    In contrast, you can build a large solar project in a couple of weeks or months. I am not sure why that is “not fast enough”, but it is sure faster than nuclear by a factor of over ten.
    http://k.lenz.name/...

    About the author Karl-Friedrich Lenz:
    Professor of German Law and European Law, Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo
    He's also blogs, and is fairly well-known in renewable energy circles.

    „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

    by translatorpro on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 10:48:03 AM PST

    •  thanks (5+ / 0-)

      I want to add to it another thing: the baseload argument was always one of the stronger arguments for keeping the nukes, and one of the serious worries about renewables with their local intermittency. On this point the currently developing German experience is rather important - they are apparently demonstrating that renewables are able to take on the baseload function once they are sufficiently spread out and sufficiently scale-integrated.  

      it has to be watched, but I believe that there is a significant milestone being realised there.

      also, I´m going to rec the diary for uprightness. Its a completely legit discussion.

      •  Thanks! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marsanges, translatorpro

        I was trying to be somewhat provocative without being insulting or hedging too much.

        I agree that, if verifiable, wind's effective increased capacity factor makes it much more attractive.  I need to see more hard data though.

        First they came for the slippery-slope fallacists, and I said nothing. The End.

        by Cream Puff on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 11:11:26 AM PST

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      •  Agreed, there's no reason there (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cream Puff, marsanges, Meteor Blades

        cannot be a civil discussion about this, and diarist has presented his arguments in a respectful manner, not like several nuclear energy advocates who made a point of being obnoxious, condescending and insulting, even completely untruthful in some cases, in the past, thus making real discussion impossible. Luckily, the worst offenders are no longer with us (mostly bojo'd).

        marsanges, here is a site about the Energiewende that might interest you - not sure you have discovered it yet. There is also an e-book to download there which contains a very clear description of the Energiewende, why and how it came about and what Germany hopes to achieve. It's well done and eminently readable:

        Energy Transition - The German Energiewende

        „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

        by translatorpro on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 11:13:28 AM PST

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        •  ach thanks! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          translatorpro

          So! I only occasionally get to shuffle around looking for thigs. This goes on my bookmark list.

          troubled I am by the current noises out of the german coalition negotiations, it sounds a lot like the CDU wants out of the Energiewende. I dont trust them and I dont trust the SPD not to be in the pocket of RWE. Anyways, my opinions dont count, but the German experiment matters worldwide, possibly more than the Germans realize.  

          •  Hm, must admit I haven't been keeping (0+ / 0-)

            up with German politics since the election - too busy. I'll have to have a catch-up chat with an old friend who is a walking encyclopedia. He'll know what's going on so that I'm back in the loop. That doesn't sound good, I agree. The utilities (now Vattenfall is, too) are making noises about shutting down plants because they are no longer profitable, so that might be putting pressure on the business-friendly parties. I don't think the German people will stand for it, though, there are VERY powerful, active  environmental groups here, as you know.

            „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

            by translatorpro on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 11:45:38 AM PST

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      •  I am doing the same (rec). Thanks for (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        translatorpro, Cream Puff

        reminding me to not let emotion overtake an issue I feel strongly about and attack personally.  See comment upstream.  

        If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

        by John Crapper on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 12:05:00 PM PST

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    •  The construction delay (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      translatorpro

      is a huge obstacle, no doubt.

      I don't agree that solar and wind have "scaled up enough already to make nuclear lose in the market place".  I'm sure we've both read the same diaries on this issue with the back-and-forth about subsidies and capacity factors.
      I don't want to reiterate those here, but I would point out Lenz did not give any links or hard data to support his contention.  Thus I don't feel obligated to counter it with my own.

      I don't see wind power ever getting past the energy density issue.  You need X amount of steel and concrete to harness Y amount of wind energy, and that number can't scale up very well.  Or at least until we figure out how to create natural wind tunnels.

      First they came for the slippery-slope fallacists, and I said nothing. The End.

      by Cream Puff on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 11:09:33 AM PST

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      •  Well, it would be relevant to say (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marsanges, Meteor Blades, Cream Puff

        I'm an expat in Germany, so my knowledge is more related to the renewable situation here, which has pioneering character, and is making tremendous strides. The US is too big and each state cooks its own soup (direct translation of a German saying which fits here), with different laws and all kinds of players in the mix, which is all far too complex for me to keep tabs on. However, Germany is serving as a model, mistakes and all, about how a heavily industrial country with only one abundant natural energy resource (coal) can achieve genuine energy independence. It's pretty amazing that solar power has made the inroads it has here at all, as Germany is not exactly known for balmy weather and endless sunshine. The country has done a remarkable job - despite the conservative government, and the populace is 100% on board and invested in the switch.

        „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

        by translatorpro on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 11:35:12 AM PST

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      •  No, he doesn't in that particular piece, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marsanges, Cream Puff

        but I'm sure there are plenty of links in past entries, plus there's so much information on the topic in Germany - I have a boatload of links in German and English, so I don't need more from him. You can look at the links marsanges and I put in comments for further information. Unfortunately, I'm still working on a job for tomorrow, so I can't post anymore right now, but will add links when I have time to look for them.

        „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

        by translatorpro on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 11:53:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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