Author Topic: Clean and safe Energy  (Read 1028 times)

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Offline ahbushnell

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Clean and safe Energy
« on: March 15, 2019, 03:10:42 pm »
I saw this video.  I thought it was very interesting.



 
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Offline george80

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Re: Clean and safe Energy
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2019, 10:15:36 pm »

Not that i am anything but against nuke but I think the last comment was the most telling.

" Now that we know renewables can't save the planet, are we going to let them keep destroying it?"

Basically what I said about wind farms. Are we not ruining the environment by blighting it with all these turbines everywhere?
Same goes for solar farms.

Although he says solar costs twice as much on rootops as it does solar farms, rooftops have zero environmental impact. You can also get home owners to pay half the cost of rooftop solar so you could get the same generation for the same cost and save on the transmission cost and impact.

No, rooftop PV won't power all the demand but If we can turn down the stable base load generators, be they coal or gas, you have saved half the FF dependency right there.

Of course this concept has 2 distinct failure points which mean it will never happen.

First, the greenwashed are fixated on the fairytale of 100% unreliable and thats the only tunnel visioned thing they will hear of.

2nd, Rooftop PV will take revenue away from power companies and that right there is a deal breaker.

It's only about the environment when there is a buck in it for big biz or gubbermints.
When they will loose revenue, it's a completely impractical and ridiculous idea.
 

Offline Kleinstein

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Re: Clean and safe Energy
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2019, 04:11:46 am »
The talk forgot about the limitations of nuclear energy:
The first point is that nuclear is expensive - the example France is flawed as the price is a political both in France and Germany: quite some subsidies to nuclear in France and tax and paying for the early phase PV in Germany. Currently Nuclear is more like 3 times the price for wind, PV or natural gas. This a major reason there is no much new build nuclear.

A 2 nd point is that there is very little capacity to really expand on nuclear. Currently the build capacity is hardly enough to replace those reactors phased out for age reasons. The typical light water reactors need very large forge parts that can essentially only be build in a single plant in Japan. So need to build new steel plants first. So even if many new plants are ordered now get them ready in 2050 - maybe.

With massive use of nuclear, we run out of easy to get uranium. So the uranium mines get considerably larger and dirtier as more and more lower grade ore has to be used. There is enough uranium, but it would get way more expensive, up to the point that the uranium cost would matter if used in conventional reactors. If breeder type reactors are considered the price like goes up and it might take another 30 years to develop.

Nuclear energy is also not flexible -  so a little complementary to solar it gives too much power at night. Not using the power at night would about double the price. So like the renewables nuclear needs some kind of storage or other source to compensate the fluctuations.
The high percentage of nuclear in France only works because they also use their neighbors to make up for fluctuations and as a backup.

If taking safety serious nuclear is not even reliable: the usual safety concepts assume that the plants are shut down if a safety issue comes up.  One can not do that if one relies to a large part on nuclear power from a single type of reactor. So in the US they did not turn down most of there reactors after the Fukushima accident showed up safety problems with the US BWR reactor design - by the rules they should have, but they had trouble doing it. So they delayed the required safety upgrades.

Nuclear has has much of the costs up front and at the very end. This is a problem with poorer countries: they don't have the money to start with and for the costs to cover disposal and dismantling it would be hard to find a safe way to put aside that money. This also applies for costs for a possible accident -  the USSSR did not pay most of the Chernobyl accident cleanup / cover-up  :-DD. The cost of a major accident can easily be too much for a smaller country and it can also effect neighboring countries. For the US view, just imagine Cuba building 5 new nuclear pant's (especially Russian type RMBKs, as they don't need the large steel parts) with all it's implications.

Nuclear power also has some connection to nuclear arms - even if not planed so initially the waste could be used in some kind - at least as a dirty bomb.
 
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Offline GeorgeOfTheJungle

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Re: Clean and safe Energy
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2019, 05:05:02 am »
 :popcorn:
int main (void) { while (1) fork(); }
 

Offline george80

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Re: Clean and safe Energy
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2019, 06:43:06 am »

If there is one thing I AM grateful to the green zealots for it is their opposition to nuke power which here in Oz at least will mean there is never one built in this country in my lifetime at least.

Now that the truth is starting to come out that unreliables as a major power source are a crock, it kind of leaves the Green movement in a real Quandary.  They are opposed to coal, gas and nuke.  Unreliable won't be able to be sold as the saviour much more.... where to go?

Even if some do win over to nuke, a hell of a lot won't so there will be much infighting in the ranks.

Perhaps they will be forced to resign themselves to  the fact coal and gas are the best we have right now which is what those not high on the green Koolaide could see all along.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Clean and safe Energy
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2019, 06:48:40 am »
Nuclear energy is also not flexible - 
That depends entirely on the type of reactor. In the ones where the cooling water is also the moderator, you can control the output power very quickly.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Kleinstein

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Re: Clean and safe Energy
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2019, 07:54:12 am »
One can usually reduce the power of a nuclear reactor fast, if needed. However this is not really attractive and turning on is not always possible: First the fixed costs still continue and thus not running the reactor 24/7 increases the average power costs quite a bit.
Changing the reactor temperature or pressure puts strain in the parts and thus means extra wear.
Due to the Xenon build up most reactors can not run very well at low power levels for an extended time and especially may not safely increase the power fast after longer running at low power. So reducing the power for the night to something like 20% and than go to full power the next day may not work. That is about what they tried in Chernobyl and started the disaster.
Small variations like going from 70% to 100% and back can be reasonably fast, like other power plants.

Because of the available nuclear power at night they supposedly started to add lights to the highways in Belgium. In Germany they started to offer cheap electricity at night, e.g. used for electric heating. They now phased back on this.

Using coal is not a sustainable option for the long run - especially not for the Netherlands as they would need underwater plants from somewhere in the 22th century. Natural gas is somewhat better, but also only short time.

I think we have to accept a rising price for energy one way or the other - this may also help to reduce the consumption. I don't see a sustainable solution that is as cheap as what we currently pay. To me it looks like PV or wind combined with hydrogen for storage could be cheaper than nuclear. However PV and wind depend a lot on the place where you are and the amount of storage needed depends on the mixture of sources, needs and the grid. So it's not a fixed number and we may have to accept that in some areas energy will be rather expensive.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Clean and safe Energy
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2019, 08:31:09 am »
The talk forgot about the limitations of nuclear energy:
The first point is that nuclear is expensive - the example France is flawed as the price is a political both in France and Germany: quite some subsidies to nuclear in France and tax and paying for the early phase PV in Germany. Currently Nuclear is more like 3 times the price for wind, PV or natural gas. This a major reason there is no much new build nuclear.
That is incorrect. Someone posted a graph of electricity prices in different EU countries in another thread. As can be seen the electricity prices in countries with a lot of nuclear power (France, Finland, Sweden) have the lowest electricity prices:

The graph is from page 42 in this UK government report: Quarterly Energy Prices 2016
I found a newer edition here: Quarterly Energy Prices 2018

A 2 nd point is that there is very little capacity to really expand on nuclear. Currently the build capacity is hardly enough to replace those reactors phased out for age reasons. The typical light water reactors need very large forge parts that can essentially only be build in a single plant in Japan. So need to build new steel plants first. So even if many new plants are ordered now get them ready in 2050 - maybe.
All the more reason not to decommission working nuclear reactors. I believe this is true unfortunately, but the same can be said for solar power and wind power. To make more PV panels we need more factories and as you could see in the video (@10:15), solar and wind uses much more raw materials (per unit energy) to make than a nuclear reactor.

The world need to use all methods available to replace fossil fuels quickly enough. Solar works better further south, so northern countries should really focus on nuclear and leave the solar panel production capacity for countries further south where they are more efficient. The countries closer to the equator are also often poorer, which means they might lack the technical know how to run a nuclear power plant. Another reason why it's better they get to use the PV production capacity first. Northern countries should expand nuclear as fast as possible to replace coal.

It might also be worth pointing out that countries interested in nuclear weapons doesn't care what some European countries think about nuclear power, they are going to keep using nuclear technology for weapons if that is their goal no matter if we use civilian nuclear power or not.

Nuclear has has much of the costs up front and at the very end.
It is true that a nuclear power reactor is a long term investment, I don't think that is a big problem though. The decommissioning and waste storage cost is normally covered by taxes paid during the lifetime of the reactor. In Finland the planed waste storage facility at Onkalo is projected to cost about half of what the industry has already set aside for waste management.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2019, 08:45:35 am by apis »
 
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Offline f4eru

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Re: Clean and safe Energy
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2019, 09:28:25 pm »
Quote
Northern countries should expand nuclear as fast as possible to replace coal.
Nope.
Not the same generation type.
Nuclear is incredibly dirty in the long run, but it is also not adapted to replace coal because it cannot vary quickly.
And in today's grid, it has to. Baseload is not a thing any more.
Also, nuke costs much more than renewables.
Simple economies of scale are the culprit here.
 

Offline Kleinstein

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Re: Clean and safe Energy
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2019, 12:44:36 am »
Getting a good price point for nuclear is difficult,  as capital costs are a big factor and normally build costs end up considerably above plan. The capital cost are especially now very much driven by risk components - so essentially impossible to find a reliable number.

One of the latest price points I know of are the price they want for a new nuclear power station in the UK (some 16 cents). This much higher than what wind power and PV get for larger new installations ( e.g. 5  or 8 cents).

The actual price for electricity paid by private households is not a good way to compare, as the actual production costs are only a small part of the price. In Germany the exchange price or what large scale industry pays is more like 5 cent's.  In France EDF has quite some financial problems, as politics does not like higher prices.  In Germany it looks like the money laid back for the waste and decommissioning may not be enough.

A agree that early decommissioning some of the German nuclear power plants (e.g. Emsland, Isar2, Brockdorf) was/is not such a good idea, though with some (e.g. Krümmel) it was. Anyway the reactors are relatively old and it's only some 5 years down from there planed 40 years life span.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Clean and safe Energy
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2019, 01:02:39 am »
Also, nuke costs much more than renewables.
Not if you include cost of storage which is inevitable for wind & solar.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline george80

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Re: Clean and safe Energy
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2019, 01:24:15 am »
Anyway the reactors are relatively old and it's only some 5 years down from there planed 40 years life span.

That's a big problem with nukes, they are regularly licensed to operate well beyond their lifespan with some " Upgrades" .

The other thing is accidents are always Dismissed as " Can't happen with teh new generation reactors" but they never take the old ones that they know have problems down. Most of the time they keep them operating beyond their design life with the self same inherent faults.

I fail to see how anyone can bitch about the emissions of coal and then call nuke clean ( and certainly not safe!!) completely dismissing the fact nukes put out the most toxic and long lasting poisons known to man. |O

If the goal is sustainable, how the hell can the world keep stockpiling nuke waste Ad infinitum? 

Oh yeah, I know, the next generation of Nukes, none of which yet have been built, will only emit unicorn farts and Rainbows Right?   :palm:

Those that think coal is on the way out anytime in the next 50 years is kidding themselves!  :-DD
Unreliables aren't going to power the first world, the 3rd world won't be able to afford nukes nor probably be allowed to have the tech, other first world countries will have too much opposition to build any new ones.... What's left?

Oh yeah, that stuff that's been serving us so well for over 50 years.
May not be perfect but it sure as hell is the best option for now and the foreseeable future. 

 

Offline Kleinstein

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Re: Clean and safe Energy
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2019, 01:42:55 am »
I fail to see how anyone can bitch about the emissions of coal and then call nuke clean ( and certainly not safe!!) completely dismissing the fact nukes put out the most toxic and long lasting poisons known to man. |O

If the goal is sustainable, how the hell can the world keep stockpiling nuke waste Ad infinitum?   
The nuclear waste at least naturally decays and is thus not wast ad inifinitum. It is only some 10000 to a few million years.
With CO2 they consider now a life time in the atmosphere of some 27000 years (probably rising with more CO²) - this is not that much different from the long last nuclear waste like plutonium 239 with a half life of some 24000 years.

Coal often contains some mercury which is stable and toxic in most chemical forms.

Also, nuke costs much more than renewables.
Not if you include cost of storage which is inevitable for wind & solar.
If storage is included it's likely a close call and depends on location. It's not only wind & PV that need storage - nuclear would need some too, to use the electricity produced at night.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Clean and safe Energy
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2019, 02:22:43 am »
I fail to see how anyone can bitch about the emissions of coal and then call nuke clean ( and certainly not safe!!)
It's safer than other energy types (per unit energy produced, which is what matters). The guy in the video also mentions that @8:20. And you can reach that conclusion yourself with some simple calculations. Since nuclear was invented 70 years ago it has killed much less than 60 000 people (some say 4000, and that's including all the worst accidents). Air pollution on the other hand kills 7 million people every year. Only in the US, pollution from coal power plants kill 100 000 every year!

completely dismissing the fact nukes put out the most toxic and long lasting poisons known to man. |O
That's not true, coal power plants emits mercury for example, which is a deadly toxin and it lasts for ever. Nuclear waste becomes less dangerous with time, although slowly.

If the goal is sustainable, how the hell can the world keep stockpiling nuke waste Ad infinitum? 
No electricity production method we know of is without problems, but nuclear is one of the better ones.

Nuclear power plants produce some very dangerous high level waste, but it is so little of it that it can be managed.
All of the nuclear waste ever produced in the Netherlands fit in this building:

All the waste produced in the US fits inside a football field. That is insignificant volume compare to the waste from e.g. coal power plants and newer reactor types will produce much less waste. Coal power plants in the US produce more than 125 million tons of waste every year, most of which is dumped in landfills which leach heavy metals and other toxins into the environment.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fly_ash

We shouldn't stockpile nuclear waste, we should dispose of it safely. For example in Finland they plan on using a deep geological deposit:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onkalo_spent_nuclear_fuel_repository
That is much safer than how they treat the fly ash from coal power plants.
 

Offline george80

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Re: Clean and safe Energy
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2019, 02:26:23 am »

The nuclear waste at least naturally decays and is thus not wast ad inifinitum. It is only some 10000 to a few million years.
You are trying to be funny right? Like make out that makes it OK? You really think the planet will still be here in 10,000 years?
How much nuke waste at present levers will there be is say even 100 years and where the heck do you think tht's all going to be stored? Drop it  in the sae again like they have done in the past?

Quote
With CO2 they consider now a life time in the atmosphere of some 27000 years (probably rising with more CO²) - this is not that much different from the long last nuclear waste like plutonium 239 with a half life of some 24000 years.

yeah but think how much better all the plants will be growing and absorbing that Co2 leveling out the saturation. It won't keep increasing forever, that's not rational.

Quote
Coal often contains some mercury which is stable and toxic in most chemical forms.

Your drinking water contains arsenic, mercury and 100 other deadly poisons. So what?
It's all about dosage levels not about the fact something is there at all.  Unfortunately Nuke particles are an exception and once injested WILL give you cancer and kill you, no if's or buts.  When they cremate or bury you that hot particle may go into the atmosphere and contaminate someone else or if you are buried it may leech out into the water table and in 100 years get someone else and do the same round trip for centuries.

Storage is another fallacy.
It is completely impractical on a world or even a national scale. Same as Biofuels.   :-DD

With storage you create more emissions and release more toxins into the environment through the mining and processing of the limited supply minerals and making of the batteries than you would save by not using coal or gas.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Clean and safe Energy
« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2019, 02:40:08 am »
Your drinking water contains arsenic, mercury and 100 other deadly poisons. So what?
It's all about dosage levels not about the fact something is there at all.  Unfortunately Nuke particles are an exception and once injested WILL give you cancer and kill you, no if's or buts.
Nonsense, nuclear waste is also about dosage. Bananas are also radioactive for example. It's the same as arsenic or mercury, but unlike the toxicity of arsenic or mercury radioactivity decrease with time. Mercury will last practically forever. Nuclear waste will be dangerous for about 10000 years, but it will be a lot less dangerous already after 100 years since radioactivity decrease exponentially. Nuclear reactors produce very little waste and it's all contained and accounted for. None of it leaks into the environment unless there is a serious accident, which has only happened a couple of times. The environmental impact of those accidents is completely negligible compared to the effects of pollution from coal power plants.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2019, 02:42:25 am by apis »
 

Offline ahbushnell

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Re: Clean and safe Energy
« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2019, 03:12:35 am »



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Offline Simon

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Re: Clean and safe Energy
« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2019, 03:21:34 am »
I'm sorry but no! we have over 150 pages of this bullshit already! i have watched the video and frankly it is full of shit, no numbers given, no rationals just emotive bullshit. This topic is done!
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