nuclear power

The Future of Energy: Nuclear, Gas and Coal-based Generation

Nuclear power plant with yellow field and big blue clouds

GUEST POST

Today’s guest post by Whaleoil reader Bruce Alan Forbes is part of an article he wrote called The Future of Energy with predictions for 2040. As it is an in-depth analysis I divided it into six posts so that we could discuss each part separately.

Nuclear, Gas and Coal-based Generation

Nuclear power stations operate at high capacity factors and generate large amounts of CO2 – free electricity. They have enormous potential for achieving major reductions in emissions of CO2. Unlike intermittent and unreliable renewable sources, they do not need the inefficient, fossil-fuel burning, backup power stations to maintain output when the wind does not blow or the sun does not shine. Statistics show convincingly that nuclear power is by far the safest form of large-scale electricity generation.

In contrast, coal-fired power stations are responsible for the deaths of thousands of miners worldwide each year and hydropower stations have also killed thousands of people.

At present, nuclear power is typically more expensive than gas or coal-fired power generation in the U.S. and Europe. This is due to the long construction times resulting from bureaucratic regulatory hurdles. Eventually, nuclear power stations will become the main source of clean, low-cost electricity; particularly in non-OECD countries.

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The Future of Energy: The history of human energy use

GUEST POST

Today’s guest post by Whaleoil reader Bruce Alan Forbes is part of an article he wrote called The Future of Energy with predictions for 2040. As it is an in-depth analysis I have divided it into six posts so that we can discuss each part separately. Subjects to be covered are:

  1. The history of human energy use
  2. Wind power
  3. Solar power
  4. Renewable energy subsidies & Options for Reducing Carbon Dioxide Emissions
  5. Nuclear, Gas and Coal-based Generation
  6. Man-made Global Warming and the Great Policy Error

http://www.aboutbritain.com/images/articles/big/watermills-abandoned-mill-34763674.jpg

The History of Human Energy Use – from Roman Times to the Present

For thousands of years, human economic and social development proceeded slowly, primarily owing to the lack of an adequate, low-cost supply of energy. In Roman times, the primary sources of energy were manpower and animals. There were some water mills and windmills, but only one known example of a power-driven mass production factory. This lack of large-scale, low-cost energy meant that anything that needed a large power output was extremely expensive and this in turn limited economic and social development.

This situation remained more or less unchanged until Thomas Newcomen built the first practical steam engine in 1712. This was used to pump out the Conygree mine in the United Kingdom. This engine, with an efficiency of less than 0.5%, started the Industrial Revolution. Ever since that year, engineers have strived to improve efficiency. Today’s steam turbine power stations, with up to 100 times better efficiency, supply low-cost electricity to people all over the world.

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A real scientific fraud

A scientific fraud, emanating in the 1940s is hamstringing global attempts to reduce carbon emissions.

Honest greens have always said nuclear power is indispensable for achieving big carbon reduction. James Hansen, the former NASA scientist who has been chaining himself to fences since the first Bush administration, was in Illinois last week lobbying against closure of a nuclear plant. Ditto activist Michael Shellenberger. We might also include Bill McKibben, the Bernie Sanders of the climate movement and shouter of Exxon accusations, who told journalist William Tucker four years ago, “If I came out in favor of nuclear, it would split this movement in half.”

Nuclear (unlike solar) is one low-carbon energy technology that has zero chance without strong government support, yet is left out of renewables mandates. It’s the one non-carbon energy source that has actually been shrinking, losing ground to coal and natural gas.

What keeps nuclear costs high? Why do so many opponents misread the Fukushima meltdown, where 18,000 deaths were due to the earthquake and tsunami, none to radiation exposure, and none are expected from radiation exposure? Why has the U.S. experience of spiraling nuclear construction costs not been matched in South Korea, where normal learning has reduced the cost of construction?   Read more »

We need a couple of these here

I’d put one on Waiheke, and the other one in the electorate with the highest Green party vote.

Mini nuclear power stations in towns around the UK have moved a step closer after it emerged the Government is assessing suitable sites to push ahead with a build.

The Telegraph understands that a team of experts working for Ministers is looking at possible locations for small modular reactors, which could be built by 2025.

It follows money announced by George Osborne in the Budget earlier this year, giving the green light to develop the so called “mini-nukes”.

The stations, which must be built near water for cooling and need to be close to the towns they serve, form a key part of the Government’s plan to cut carbon emissions and generate clean energy in the UK.

But campaigners are warning the plans could mean communities have new power stations forced on them if suitable sites are identified nearby.

The Sunday Telegraph understands that sites in Wales, including the site of a former reactor at Trawsfynydd, and in the North of England where ex-nuclear or coal-fired power stations were stationed are being looked at as possible options.   Read more »

Green taliban seeking to silence George Monbiot for his ‘treason’

The leftwing around the world are the most undemocratic organisations to be found. You wither conform or you shut up. They constantly try to silence opponents using any means possible.

Now they are turning on their own, attempting to bully and silence George Monbiot.

James Delingpole explains.

Green campaigners have offered a £100 reward for the arrest of environmental activist and journalist George Monbiot for “crimes against the environment and humanity.”

His support of nuclear power has earned the wrath of an anti-nuclear campaign group in the Lake District which is trying to have him arrested for his “criminal irresponsibility.”

Oh dear. Where should our sympathies lie?

On the one hand it’s one of those Judaean People’s Front v People’s Front of Judaeafactional squabbles that the environmental hard-left does so well and which really we should applaud and relish in a delicious, “if only they could both lose” Schadenfreudekind of way.   Read more »

UN wants us all to turn into vegan hippycrites

I had little respect for the UN to start with, but now any differences we have are irreconcilable

Governments must switch from fossil fuels to nuclear, wind and solar energy to avoid a global warming catastrophe in a move costing about 300 billion ($578 billion) a year, a United Nations report warns today.

The study by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change lays out the pressing need for the world to ditch coal and oil and switch to green energy.

The report is likely to spark a new row over the cost of countering global warming, as climate change sceptics urge governments not to succumb to a green agenda, alleging it would drive up living costs for the rest of the century.

Not just the costs, it is completely batshit insane!  With the Nuclear option off the table, and with New Zealand’s primary income coming from cows, we might as well lock up and move somewhere else.   Read more »

Can we have one on Waiheke please?

The daft poms have finally seen the folly of wind power and other so-called “green” energy and taken the plunge and adopted another real green energy project.

The second of a new wave of nuclear power stations will be built by private investors with government support, the Treasury will announce on Wednesday.

The power station, at Wylfa on Anglesey in Wales, is among the major infrastructure projects that will go ahead after ministers promised to support commercial interests.

The station, to be built by Hitachi and Horizon, follows an agreement earlier this year for French and Chinese investors to build a nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Suffolk. Ministers have suggested that as many as a dozen nuclear reactors will be built in the coming years as fossil fuels are phased out and public hostility to renewables such as wind turbines mounts.   Read more »

‘Saving Humanity’ can only come via Nuclear power…and warmists have said this

My, my haven’t the tables the turned.

The warmists are now advocating for greater use of nuclear power as the ONLY way to save humanity from global warming. Not just any warmists either…the high priests no less.

Watch the Greens go puce over this.

Four of the best-known scientists espousing the belief that humanity’s carbon emissions are an immediate and deadly threat have issued a statement begging their fellow greens to support nuclear power.

Doctors James Hansen, Ken Caldeira, Kerry Emanuel and Tom Wigley co-signed an open letter over the weekend in which they address “those influencing environmental policy, but opposed to nuclear power”. The four scientists write that “continued opposition to nuclear power threatens humanity’s ability to avoid dangerous climate change … there is no credible path to climate stabilization that does not include a substantial role for nuclear power”.   Read more »

All about Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors in 5 minutes

via the tipline

An interesting technology that seems to have merit for the production of low cost, green energy. That of Liquid Fluoride Thorium reactors:

This technology was first investigated at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Molten-Salt Reactor Experiment in the 1960s. It has recently been the subject of a renewed interest worldwide. Japan, China, the UK, as well as private US, Czech and Australian companies have expressed intent to develop and commercialize the technology.

From the Youtube video below:

The main downsides/negatives to this technology, politics, corrosion and being scared of nuclear radiation. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors were created 50 years ago by an American chap named Alvin Weinberg, but the American Government realised you can’t weaponise the by-products and so they weren’t interested.

Another point, yes it WAS corrosive, but these tests of this reactor were 50 years ago, our technology has definately improved since then so a leap to create this reactor shouldn’t be too hard.

And nuclear fear is extremely common in the average person, rather irrational though it may be. More people have died from fossil fuels and even hydroelectric power than nuclear power.
I added this video for a project regarding Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors, watch and enjoy.  Read more »

Greens and nuclear power

The Telegraph

Tom Chivers attempts and fails to understand greens opposition to nuclear power:

I don’t like the idea of being “fundamentally opposed” to one of the most obvious available options for keeping our lights on. If it is shown to be safe and economic, then we should use it. It’s not a moral issue; it’s just one more tool, which we can use well or badly, safely or unsafely. Also: how can an energy technology be “elitist”? I literally don’t know what that means. Is it elitist because it’s hi-tech and third-world countries can’t easily make their own? Well, so are iPads, then, and Toyota Priuses. Or does the word “elitist” just mean “bad” in Green-land, in the same way that “natural” means “good”? [Edit: I can’t believe I didn’t pick up on “undemocratic” as well. Since when are power stations democratic institutions?]

As for it not being renewable: well, neither is sunlight or the wind, if you’re taking a sufficiently long view. Eventually the Sun will consume the last of its hydrogen and expand into a red giant, probably blasting the Earth to its constituent atoms as it does so. But that’s quite a long way off, so we don’t worry about that. In the shorter but still decently long term, even if no more uranium deposits are found (although they will be) and no more efficient ways of using it developed (although they will be), “total identified resources are sufficient for over 100 years of supply”, according to the IAEA. That ain’t nothing.

“Carbon neutral” is a bit of a red herring as well in this case. It’s true, nuclear power is not carbon neutral. But it’s much less carbon positive, if that makes sense, than fossil fuels. The perfect is the enemy of the good, as the saying goes: just because something isn’t the best possible, doesn’t mean you should ignore it if it’s an improvement over what is available. Furthermore, there is potential to improve the carbon emissions of nuclear; if it is made economically attractive to do so, companies will do it themselves. Targeted carbon taxes, or an auction of carbon credits, would work; certainly the latter did for industrial sulphur dioxide emissions.

Of course once rpesented with all that the Green types fall back on the “safety” issue. But that too is a fatuous argument:

It’s about safety. Nuclear power is unsafe. Look at Chernobyl, look at Three Mile Island, look at Fukushima. It’s dangerous, as the Greens say, and its cost, dangers and waste will be “passed on to future generations”.

But as Prof Paddy Regan says in our paper today, that’s false. Chernobyl killed about 50 people (28 people in the immediate weeks after; an estimated 19, according to the WHO, died of radiation-induced cancers in the following 20 years). Three Mile Island killed, and indeed harmed, precisely nobody. And Fukushima was the most ridiculous of all: as a vast earthquake and tsunami killed 15,000 people, the world’s attention was focused on a meltdown in a 40-year-old reactor which, again, killed no one at all.

How many have died from other energy sources?

Meanwhile, in the last 40 years, tens of thousands of people have been killed by failures at hydroelectric dams; hundreds more have died in coal mines, and of course thousands every year in the US alone from respiratory problems caused by fossil fuels. But the fear of “radiation”, evident in the nonsense scares about “electrosmog”, trump the very real dangers of other energy sources.

Right so how about we get ourselves some nuclear plants and have cheap abundant energy, please.