• Global Warming

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 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-04-16 08:26 PM

Cyberman's magnificent fantasy:

These are the numbers for energy produced by nuclear power generation as predicted by the DOE in the US in 2008. 

2006 - 8.21 Quadrillion Btu (baseline)

2010 - 8.31 Quadrillion Btu

2020 - 9.05 Quadrillion Btu

2030 - 9.57 Quadrillion Btu

This is an increase of 16.2%  over 24 years or 0.68% per annum.

As a % of the total energy production; nuclear will continue to fall.

These figures were included in my previous post but it was not entirely clear that I was referring to nuclear power.

Admit it Cyberman only in the solipsistic world of LS will nuclear power play any significant role at all in power generation.

Dalek

 

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-04-16 11:12 PM

Well you seem quite pleased to line up with the Americans on the issue. You'll be telling me that the AGW problem is all a 'liberal conspiracy' next !

But of course it all depends on who occupies the White House next. Things could change quite quickly and quite soon. Nuclear power is moving forward in the UK:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/5166426.stm

When arguing against the climate contrarians it is quite usual to be accused of having some sort of a religious conviction on the issue. I always think that is a bit odd because following the best scientific advice isn't religion. But your stance is to ignore all the science, ignore all the evidence, refuse to give any evidence yourself,  indulge in a bit of name calling, refuse to offer any cedible solution to the AGW problem, and finally line up with US projections on the use of nuclear , coal and other fossil fuels which clearly are going to lead to environmental disaster. Then there is China and India. They have to be converted away from fossil fuels too. Your only suggestion is back a 200-1 outsider and pray that it comes home first. How's that for being religious?

 

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-04-17 03:57 PM

Calling planet Cyberman: Firstly I am only reporting the US figures from the DOE don't hang it on me.  Secondly you said: "Things could change quite quickly and quite soon. Nuclear power is moving forward in the UK" well read this.

"5.106 Nuclear currently provides around 20% of the country’s electricity

needs and a significant proportion of its base load capacity. However, most of

our existing nuclear power stations are scheduled to close over the coming

two decades. In the absence of new nuclear build or life extensions to

existing nuclear plant, the nuclear share of generation will decline sharply by

the 2020s.  (Same in US - Dalek) Much of our coal generating capacity is also likely to face closure

over this period. We expect a substantial increase in renewable capacity by

then. However, central projections indicate that based on the existing market

framework, many of the closing power stations would be replaced with gas fired

power stations. This would increase our dependence on imported gas.

By 2020, electricity generated by gas would probably be around 55%."

Department of Trade and Industry

THE ENERGY CHALLENGE

On the question of nuclear waste:

The UK currently has just about 1/2 cubic km of high level waste, France has a bit more, I cannot find the figure for the US but it has to be at least twice that of the UK and France combined. Now high level waste is not the sort of stuff that even Cybermen can safely bury under their lemon trees. I guess its reasonable to assume that the planet now contains at least 10 cubic km of high level nuclear waste. (considering China, Russia, Pakistan, Israel etc). To store it safely you need at least three times this volume or it is likely to catch fire or explode.

Would you like to estimate the cost of building a repository that is 30km3 and that is stable for several thousand years ? Or building a whole lot of smaller ones that do not enjoy the economies of scale?

BTW the figures above come from an exellent 120 page pdf that is available from the site that you posted, thanks for that. Maybe you should read your stuff before you provide the ammunition for us Daleks.  

Dalek

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-04-17 06:40 PM

"1/2 cubic km of high level waste"

There are just a few points to make:

1) The exact figure, for the UK,  is 475,000 cubic metres of high and intermediate level waste. There is quite a big difference between high and intermediate level. I am not sure why they are bundled together, I would prefer separate figures. I would expect that there would be at least ten times as much intermediate level as high level.

2) It's best not do do unit conversions unless you are sure of what you are doing. A cubic kilometre is 1000 x 1000 x 1000 cubic metres

= 1,000,000,000 cubic mtres.

So I think the true volume of waste works out at approximately 0.05% of what you quoted when you do the calculation correctly

3) You are confusing radioactivity with fissile material. Some of the worst of the radioactive materials would be various isotopes of Strontium, Iodine, and Caesium. Typically their half life is quite short and do need careful  handling but they are incapable of being used as a fissile explosive. It just can't happen ! The waste does need careful storage but it can't explode and it is unlikely to catch fire either.

I'm a bit surprised at you Dalek. You are quite fond of quoting the second law of thermodynamics, so I would have expected that you would have brushed up on your nuclear Physics a bit better than you have, before engaging in a public argument.

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-04-17 07:09 PM

Yep cyberman; I knew that, I was just testing your math :)

Nevertheless you should also admit your egregious error when you stated that the UK is increasing its Nuclear generation.

The unassailable fact is that both the US and the UK expect to see a markedly reduced % contribution from nuclear power by 2030. I would say that some-one is voting with their feet.

Dalek

 

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-04-17 08:14 PM

Cyberman, While we have been debating how many nuclear reactors you can get into the average backyard the global warming argument has moved on.
If the pessimists are even roughly right there is no way your radioactive "solution" will have enough time to be implemented.

I heard on the news today that the ice mass in the South Pole is declining rapidly, the Antarctic is losing 36 cubic miles of ice every year this despite predictions that the ice mass would increase due to GW

Dalek

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-04-17 08:40 PM

Dalek,

 

Whether the UK does increase the % of electricity that is generated by nuclear power remains to be seen.  I'm just arguing for what I would like to see happen rather than what I know will happen. My guess is that many countries, including the UK,  will run into trouble, if they haven't already, in  meeting their Kyoto CO2 obligations and will increasingly look to the nuclear option to get them out of trouble. Gas may be an option at present but, like oil,  supplies are fast running out and it isn't likely to be an option for long. Not for base load power at any rate.

 

The UK, as do many other countries,  has a lot of old 50's and 60's reactors which are nearing the end of their life. Ideally, you'd replace them with modern reactors on the same site nut I'm not sure how technically feasible that might be.

 

To a large extent a lot will depend on which way the AGW argument goes. Temperatures have been relatively level this century and no doubt many politicians will be hoping they can duck the AGW issue now that it is lower in the public's list of prorities than it was. If world temperatures follow previous patterns we'll see a sharp jump in temperatures in the next few years. If that happens and polar ice continues to decline rapidly, there may be a general panic, especially if the scientific advice is that coal fired power stations will need to be closed down with great urgency. There won't be any alternative but to go nuclear at the fastest possible speed. If it is possible for Bahrein, as recently reported in the Spectator,  to build a reactor in 5-6 years then countries with previous experience should be able to build them even faster. You just need the political will to do it of course.

PS Just to get the numbers right: You said 1/2 a cubic kilometer not 1 cubic kiolometer. My figure should have been 0.1% not 0.05%.

 

 

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-04-17 10:10 PM

Cyberman, The absolute fastest way to significantly reduce CO2 emissions is to gasify (or even just pulverize) coal and then put the gas through a combined cycle gas turbine kit (CCGT).

First the gasified coal is burned in the GT and then the heat from the turbine is used to raise steam for the steam turbines thus the Carnot efficiency is no longer limited by the highest temperature you can achieve with superheated steam. You can in fact graft the turbines on to the front of existing steam plant.

The thermal efficiency will then be lifted from <40% to just under  60% almost a 40% reduction in CO2 per MWh. A modest amount of CO2 stripping prior  to injection into the GT will bring this close to 50%. If a use for low grade heat can be found the overall thermal efficiency will be increased. "If the plant produces only electricity, efficiencies of up to 59% can be achieved. In the case of combined heat and power generation, the overall efficiency can increase to 85%. "

One of the most interesting developments is to use wind turbines to pump air into a storage and then to use this to provide compressed air to the turbine thus lifting the efficiency of the turbine by about 10% this is being trialled in the US now.

Many coal mines have methane available from the "drainage" system, this can be injected into the turbine. In fact methane drainage systems are being trialled in Queensland now. You can even use the modified diesel genset that is now used for power generation on the gas from landfill.

Now run that argument that we will never ever run out of uranium past me again. You just said " Gas may be an option at present but, like oil,  supplies are fast running out and it isn't likely to be an option for long. Not for base load power at any rate."

Surely the same arguments that you used for uranium apply? Gas is not "like oil" it is a different beast entirely and the search has only just begun. see here for one report

I see gas as a good short term option as it is already a fully developed technology (Just ring up Siemens or ABB or GE or Westinghouse and order a bunch of CCGT's; they will be on site and going within 3 years max).

Gas does not:

  • Produce radioactive waste
  • Provide a precursor technology for nuclear weapons
  • Does not melt down into a radioactive puddle
  • Is here now in an advanced form not some pie in the sky dream like the new "safe" reactors
  • Is increasing its market penetration not going out backwards like nuclear

Dalek

 

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-04-18 01:06 AM

Dalek,

 

Yes you may be right about gas, in that we may be a longer away from 'peak gas' than we are from 'peak oil'. You can also make gas from coal and oil shale etc. In any case, gas (or oil) , isn't going to run out, it will just get ever more expensive.

 

Burning coal at 50% efficiency is better than at 20% efficiency. Of course. Burning methane which consists of  20% carbon atoms and 80%  hydrogen atoms  is better than burning coal which is nearly all carbon. However I suspect, although I haven't checked, that a disproportionate amount of energy comes from the carbon content of the gas so it may only be 40 - 50% better.

 

In the short term, to meet 2020 targets, or 20% or so reduction of CO2 emissions,  your strategy is valid. However what about the longer term?  Deep cuts of the order of 90%  are going to be required by 2050. Carbon capture and storage? I'm not convinced  that ever will be possible. I would suggest that we are going to have to change our thinking away from burning anything that has any carbon in it at all. Including gas. So, yes, lets use whatever means possible in the short term to reduce emissions , but in the longer term plan for nuclear power, and better use of the renewable energy sources of wind, solar, hydro etc,  and as close to zero emissions as is possible.

 

We may well have a "peak Uranium" or maybe even a "peak Thorium" problem some day. However at some stage in the future we should have perfected nuclear fusion which will use Deuterium, an isotope of hydrogen. There is plenty of that in the sea and we won't have to worry about "peak Deuterium". There is  enough Uranium and Thorium to keep us going for a few hundred years by which time I would expect that nuclear fusion will be a viable energy source, and continue to be so for as long as anyone can possibly imagine.

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-04-20 05:37 PM

Cyberman, You might be amazed to know that 60% of Brisbane's gas supply is derived from Coal Seam Methane (CSM). A few years ago none of it came from this source. The interesting thing about CSM is that its interception has a double whammy in that methane is a 20 times more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. It normally leaks from the coal seams into the atmosphere; a process that is exacerbated by mining. If it is intercepted it is converted during combustion into hydrogen (water vapour after combustion) and Co (Co2 after combustion). So the combustion of methane is actually beneficial. However the methane content of the atmosphere has bee rising at 1% pa in recent years due to various biological processes and coal mining.

A source of methane is methane hydrate or clathrate; this is present in absolutely vast quantities in all the worlds oceans (and under the permafost) as a sort of icy sludge. It is stable over a range of temperature and pressures in fact at 30-40 MPa its "melting" point is > 290K. In the low pressure permafrost environment the temperature needs to be below 220K for stability. The stability curve shows great sensitivity to temperature. A report that seeks to exploit this resource is here. 

"Gas hydrates occur abundantly in nature, both in Arctic regions and in marine sediments. Gas hydrate is a crystalline solid consisting of gas molecules, usually methane, each surrounded by a cage of water molecules. It looks very much like water ice. Methane hydrate is stable in ocean floor sediments at water depths greater than 300 meters, and where it occurs, it is known to cement loose sediments in a surface layer several hundred meters thick."

"The worldwide amounts of carbon bound in gas hydrates is conservatively estimated to total twice the amount of carbon to be found in all known fossil fuels on Earth". http://marine.usgs.gov/fact-sheets/gas-hydrates/title.html

Aside from its potential as a methane source for energy generation methane derived from clathrates presents a serious risk of uncontrolled release as the ocean temperatures rise (look at the shape of the stability curve). This is one of the positive feedback mechanisms that may be invoked in the future. In 1997 a village on the north coast of PNG was wiped out by a Tsunami. There was a theory that the event was triggered by a sudden collapse of a section of the steep undersea wall that lies to the north of PNG after a huge pool of very hot water sat over it for half a year and caused the severe drought at that time.

Trust this helps.

Dalek

 

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-04-20 06:19 PM

The PNG Tsunami. Sorry Cyberman , it was in1998 (the drought was 1997) that the village in PNG was wiped out. Eye witnesses told me that the sea was on fire as the tsunami came in. These reports were ignored as they did not fit with white science at the time. Some of the bodies that were recovered were severly burned. Interestingly, the USGS was drilling, at the source of the tsunami  to explore the methane clathrate deposits present there at the time . A contemporary report

I guess the true story will never be known.

Dalek

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-04-20 07:26 PM

Dalek,

I'm in agreement that methane is better burnt that released into the atmosphere. There is some good news on the levels of atmospheric methane in that,  according to NASA, "Over the last few years atmospheric methane concentrations have hardly changed."

http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/features/methane/

They've levelled off but are still at more than double their pre-industrial levels though.

You still haven't answered my point about differentiating between short term and long term targets. I was making the argument that using methane is OK in the short term if it avoids using coal,  but in the longer term it won't be enough to achieve the deep cuts in CO2 that are going to necessary. Methane supplies to Brisbane may be 60% from coal bed sources,  but worldwide it would be nowhere near that. Besides that the price of natural gas has risen very sharply in recent years and it may no longer be economic for base load electricity generation when compared with coal and nuclear alternatives. 

A question.  Even if it were proved that nuclear power had a good track record on safety and the newer reactor designs provided improved safety, and even if it could be shown that there was enough Uranium and Thorium to keep us going for a few hundred years, and even if it could be proved that the waste management issue wasn't as problematic as is often claimed: Would you still be against it?

 

 

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-04-20 09:17 PM

Cyberman, firstly I do not concede that the waste problem for Nuclear power has any simple solutions.

My opposition to nuclear power of all kinds (including fusion) stems from the undeniable fact that it is an immensely complex yet immature technology. Complexity per se is OK but the complexity in the nuclear fuel cycle and the reactor build stems from one salient and unique fact, the system is radioactive and basically unmaintainable once built and fuelled. Even advanced robots don't help very much. The immaturity reflects itself in the very poor energy recovery rates from the fuel. For another thing all reactors built so far use the ordinary steam cycle, this means that for every 1MW generated about 2 MW has to be rejected into the environment (33%TE). (Coal is slightly better from this aspect but not too much). The new supercritical reactors will get 45% TE - perhaps - in 2021. The new supercritical coal are over 50% already. Because of this poor TE if Australia had a nuclear power electrical generation capacity it would be necessary to close most of it down during the present (almost ended?) drought, just as some of the existing coal plant had to be scaled back a bit; lack of cooling water is a production issue with a thermal station. However with a nuke you must have a guaranteed supply of cooling water unless you are crazy brave and really want to be tried for a mass killing. The support structure required for a nuclear power program is huge. So far it has been subsidised by the bomb making side-line. If Nuclear power is to be expanded into the nuclear nirvana so beloved of yourself and the LS zealots the cost and extent of it will be a major impost especially upon the poorer countries. Unless of course you just select a few "nuclear service providers" such as those nice people at General Electric and put them totally in charge.

On the other hand a program that converts existing coal plants to gas and the addition of a "Topping Cycle" with gas turbines will buy us at least 20-30 years to determine the extent of the GW problem and to reduce our CO2 emissions from power generation by maybe 60% at the lowest possible cost.

Makes sense to me.

Dalek

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-04-20 09:52 PM

Cyberman, I reccomend this report to your cyber scrutiny.

On the question of waste it has the following observation:

To produce one ton of nuclear fuel, which is used in light-water reactors, several thousands or tens of thousands

of tons – depending on the uranium content – of uranium ore must be extracted. The amount

of radioactive tailings left behind in the uranium mine area is of corresponding volume. For

example, the affected regions of New Mexico (USA) and Wismut (former GDR) must cope

with more than 100 million tons of radioactive waste from uranium extraction on the surface

.

No doubt you will respond that this waste is good for you but I would prefer not to have it.

The inhalation of a 40 billionth (!) gram 239Pu is enough to reach the limit for

the annual dose of workers. A few kilograms of 239Pu (about the size of a tennis ball) is

enough to kill – theoretically – all of human kind should everybody inhale a fraction. Due to

its half-life of 24000 years it has a high long-term toxicity. 233U also is highly toxic and has

a half life of 159000 years.

Now put some of this shit in your backyard.

Dalek.

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-04-20 10:41 PM

Dalek,

 

Well I'm surprised that you are against the idea of nuclear fusion too. There should be none of the objections that might apply to fission. I would say, if you are rejecting fusion, even though the technology availablity may be 100 years or more away, that it shows you are viewing the whole topic irrationally. So there is no point in proving that nuclear power is relatively safe, or that we have enough fissile material, or that the waste management problem is only about 1/1000 th, as you agreed,   of what you'd previously imagined. Nothing is going to change your opinion!

 

One of the big arguments for the development of better fission technology is that it can be considered as a stepping stone to fusion. I can't see humanity surviving in the long term without it but we have at least a couple of hundred years of fissile nuclear fuel to see us through until it is perfected. So I am hopeful and optimistic that it will be eventually.

 

You argue that nuclear fission is an immature technology. If you'd had your way that might be true, it might even have been stillborn, but there is 50 years or more collective worldwide experience in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. You've previously sneered that nuclear is 'just so 20th century', but it would have to be, wouldn't it, to be relatively mature? If you are looking for immature then by all means,  bet everything on geothermal power.

 

I've always argued with the LS crowd that it is possible to be pro-environmental and pro- progress. They do have a point in that there is a section of the green movement which is reactionary and seeking to wind back the technical progress that has been made, by the working classes everywhere,  under the last 200 years of capitalism. This section aren't going to succeed but they aren't going to help in finding a technical solution to the AGW problem either. Furthermore some of their more senseless and idiotic pronouncements play right into the hands of truly reactionary right-wing elements who deny, or pretend they do for their own short term gain,  the existence of AGW. LS 's mistake is to get into bed with these guys to such an extent that they even back the US invasion of Iraq!

 

There must be a genuinely left and progressive movement somewhere which has got the right line. If not maybe it's time to start one.

 

 

 

 

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-04-20 11:49 PM

Cyeberman here again is the link that you obviously did not read: http://www.ecology.at/ecology/files/pr577_1.pdf

It is IMV a resasonable take on the nuclear siuation.

It is essential to be pro environment and pro progress, you really can't have one without the other unless we are all to become Cybermen.

Dalek

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-04-21 12:41 AM

As I might have expected: another anti-nuclear report,  but it's not pro about anything much at all. It's fair enough to put a big black cross against some of the options on a list providing that you are prepared to put a tick against some of others. At present we are getting an awful lot of rejections from the environmental movement.  If you are young , idealistic , and technically illiterate that is perhaps understandable. But you should know better. The world's population can't exist with a couple of 60W solar panels on their roofs and/or and a small visually unobtrusive wind turbine.  For crying out loud, either suggest that we all slash our wrists, or choose a power source that is viable and argue for that with facts and figures!

Going back to your previous point about cooling water for nuclear plants; it doesn't have to be fresh water. There is plenty of space on the Australian coastline and the Pacific and Indian oceans are not in any imminent danger of drying up.

".........buy us at least 20-30 years to determine the extent of the GW problem" So you're another one who doesn't think that the science is settled!

And don't worry about Plutonium in mine workings. There isn't any. Plutonium doesn't occur naturally.  

And how radioactive is this mining waste that you mention? Is it more or less radioactive than coal fly ash for instance? If it is radioactive then its probably best to put it back in the ground after the mining operation. I'm all for the highest of standards in all mining operations. Coal, nuclear, iron ore whatever. If you have any statistics to show that Uranium mining is worse for the environment than coal , or more dangerous than mining coal, or iron or whatever, well yes please let's see them.

But you know as well as I do that you don't have any such figures. I am old enough to remember this accident in the UK and the sense of numbness that followed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aberfan_disaster

The Welsh mining communities were used to mining accidents which killed their colliers working underground but the loss of 116 of their 7-10 year old children was something else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-04-21 04:20 PM

Cyberman, the science of GW is settled, the degree of response is not. You seem to assume that we need the alleged 100% reduction in CO2 emissions provided by nuclear power (dream on Cyberman).

My argument with nuclear is that it is an absurdly complex and messy technology. The "next generation" "simple" reactors are not even on the drawing boards but are being promised already by the nuclear touts.

You and the rest of the nuclear pimping fraternity are doing your best to generate as much panic as you can so that you can push your stupid panacea down our throats.

I have already demonstrated that we have a solution in gas generation that can be implemented immediately, that does not generate massive quantities of toxic radioactive waste and that will not break the bank. We can use this time to implement large scale non nuclear technologies that are zero emissions. Wind, PV, Distributed Artesian based geo-thermal.

 I am informed that the latest (unpublished as yet) survey of the Bowen Basin has demonstrated that the entire electricity needs of Australia for the next 200 years + could be supplied by this resource. No radiation no nuclear waste piles - no emissions at all. Already some very large companies are moving in on the resource - one of the problems is that the legalization has yet to catch up with the energy aspects. The extraction technology is basically off the shelf and about 1/10 the cost of that nuclear stuff. 

Similar structures exist around the globe.

Cyberman I thought you were a forward thinking kind of guy, it is a mystery to me that you should be so backward.

Dalek

 

 

 

HOUSTON: Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and T. Boone Pickens expect to profit from the rising electricity prices paid by the 23 million people of Texas.

Pickens plans a $10 billion wind farm that could become the world's largest. Cascade Investment, the investment vehicle for Gates, created a venture to construct power plants in the region. Buffett is part of a $3 billion partnership that is building transmission lines. Power sales in Texas are increasing 21 percent faster than the U.S. average, according to the North American Electric Reliability Council."

 

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-04-21 05:51 PM

Dalek,

 

Its also mystery to me that you can stick to your argument that nuclear power is too unsafe to use when you know full well that all the evidence is to the contrary. We've all heard about Chernobyl but what about the 1989 natural gas explosion which killed at least 500 rail passengers? You may be forgiven for being unaware about this. Even though the death toll was much higher the publicity was much less.
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950DE0DA113FF936A35755C0A96F948260

 

Methane (natural gas) is often transported in pressurised LNG tankers with little or no security. It has not happened yet, but if one of these were hijacked and exploded in a city centre, the result would be similar to the detonation of small nuclear weapon. 

 

Gas leeks lead to explosions in buildings. Faulty gas heaters lead to whole families being killed by carbon monoxide poisoning. So let's not kid ourself that natural gas is 'intrinsically' safe.

 

That you have to resort to name calling, 'pimp' being the latest, and resorting to fictious arguments, spreading out nuclear waste evenly etc shows you don't have an argument based on evidence. Its all just emotion.

 

Your attempt at rejecting nuclear power on the basis of your claimed 33% efficiency was pretty feeble. No doubt you drove to work as usual this morning and you'd have been lucky to have achieved half that from your petrol engine! So, now that you know, are you going to sell your car? Unlike petrol,  or rather the oil from which it is processed, Uranium doesn't just sit in the ground indefinitely. It decays away gradually losing its energy as heat. Nuclear reactions are happening underground everywhere and is the main source of geothermal energy. The alternative to achieving 33% efficiency by putting Uranium in a nuclear reactor is to achieve 0% efficiency by doing nothing with it.

 


No energy generation is perfectly safe.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vajont_Dam
This link shows what can go wrong with hydroelectricity generation. In 1960, a landslide displaced the water in a dam, the resultant overflow killed nearly 1500 people.

 

Outdoor air pollution from the burning of fossil fuels in the U.S. due to particulate pollution was estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1997 to cause at least 20,000 premature deaths each year. Real people dying painful deaths. The smog in Los Angeles is not caused by nuclear power!

 

If you still maintain that nuclear power is more unsafe than the alternatives, I challenge you to prove it with facts and figures.

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-04-21 09:05 PM

Cyberman, I am not trying to power a complete city when I drive to work. I am not trying to dump 144 GWh of energy every day into the Brisbane river, the Thames or some estuary. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3740173.ece

Hope you don't go fishing for a hobby.

My argument against nuclear is that it has to involve itself in exotic technologies that absolutely nothing to do with power generation. It is a techno - nerds paradise. It can be used to make bombs and the 239Pu waste is the most toxic substance known. There are plenty of alternatives as I have demonstrated.

Danger from gas? Sure there is lots of danger from gas which is one of the reasons I oppose the so called "Hydrogen economy".

If you wish to claim that nuclear is safe; with appropriate conditions, then you must concede the same to gas.

This is not a debate about power generation it is a debate about world view, those who are cosseted in the warm fuzzy room of techno-optimism against the hard headed techno realists who recognise a dodgy technology when they see one.

 

To keep a nuclear generation program going you need a vast army of Professors, Doctors and academic hangers on. A huge funding of institutes, safety committees, special police, international inspection teams  and military liaison teams.

To do a gas fired generation project you just buy a gas turbine generating set from any one of a dozen or more suppliers. hook it up and away you go. No Professors, Doctors and academic hangers on, institutes, safety committees, special police, international inspection teams and military liason teams required.

Geothermal is about the same, get some oil drillers to do you some holes buy your ORC's from the supplier who have the gas turbines hook them up and away you go. 

Nuclear is just a huge magnet for every rent seeker, irrelevant expert  and underemployed academic.

Dalek