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Fri Feb 22, 2013, 05:22 PM

SOE Nominee Ernest Moniz: Why We Still Need Nuclear Power



I'm posting the conclusion only. The entire article is available for $2.95 at the link.

"Now or Never

As greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere, finding ways to generate power cleanly, affordably, and reliably is becoming an even more pressing imperative. Nuclear power is not a silver bullet, but it is a partial solution that has proved workable on a large scale. Countries will need to pursue a combination of strategies to cut emissions, including reining in energy demand, replacing coal power plants with cleaner natural gas plants, and investing in new technologies such as renewable energy and carbon capture and sequestration. The government’s role should be to help provide the private sector with a well-understood set of options, including nuclear power—not to prescribe a desired market share for any specific technology.

The United States must take a number of decisions to maintain and advance the option of nuclear energy. The NRC's initial reaction to the safety lessons of Fukushima must be translated into action; the public needs to be convinced that nuclear power is safe. Washington should stick to its plan of providing limited assistance for building several new nuclear reactors in this decade, sharing the lessons learned across the industry. It should step up its support for new technology, such as SMRs (Small Modular Reactors) and advanced computer-modeling tools. And when it comes to waste management, the government needs to overhaul the current system and get serious about long-term storage. Local concerns about nuclear waste facilities are not going to magically disappear; they need to be addressed with a more adaptive, collaborative, and transparent waste program.

These are not easy steps, and none of them will happen overnight. But each is needed to reduce uncertainty for the public, the energy companies, and investors. A more productive approach to developing nuclear power—and confronting the mounting risks of climate change—is long overdue. Further delay will only raise the stakes."

http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/136544/ernest-moniz/why-we-still-need-nuclear-power

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Reply SOE Nominee Ernest Moniz: Why We Still Need Nuclear Power (Original post)
wtmusic Feb 2013 OP
bananas Feb 2013 #1
kristopher Feb 2013 #2

Response to wtmusic (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 06:24 PM

1. He's wrong - as shown in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-10/pifc-rnp092812.php

Public release date: 1-Oct-2012
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)

Restricting nuclear power has little effect on the cost of climate policies

Incremental costs due to policy options restricting the use of nuclear power do not significantly increase the cost of even stringent greenhouse-gas emissions reductions

"Questions have been raised if restricting nuclear energy – an option considered by some countries after the accident in Fukushima, Japan – combined with climate policies might get extremely expensive. Our study is a first assessment of the consequences of a broad range of combinations of climate and nuclear policies," lead author Nico Bauer says. Restrictions on nuclear power could be political decisions, but also regulations imposed by safety authorities. Power generation capacities would have to be replaced, but fossil fuels would become costly due to a price on CO2 emissions, this in sum is the main concern.

<snip>

For their study, the scientists looked into different nuclear power policies. These cover a range of scenarios from "Renaissance", with a full utilization of existing power plants, a possible refurbishment for a lifetime expansion and investments in new nuclear power capacities, to "Full exit", with a decommissioning of existing power plants and no new investments. They contrasted each scenario with climate policies implemented via an inter-temporal global carbon budget which puts a price on carbon emissions. For the budget, the cumulative CO2 emissions from the global energy sector were limited to 300 gigatons of carbon from 2005 until the end of the century. This represents a climate mitigation policy consistent with the target of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.

"A surprising result of our study is the rather little difference between a 'Renaissance' or a 'Full exit' of nuclear power in combination with a carbon budget when it comes to GDP losses," Bauer says. While the 'no policy case' with a nuclear phase-out and no carbon budget has only negligible effect on global GDP, the imposition of a carbon budget with no restrictions on nuclear policy implies a reduction of GDP that reaches 2.1 percent in 2050. The additional phase-out of nuclear power increases this loss by about 0.2 percent in 2050 and hence has only little additional impact on the economy, because the contribution of nuclear power to the electricity generation can be substituted relatively easy by alternative technology options, including the earlier deployment of renewables.

###

Article: Bauer, N., Brecha, R.J., Luderer, G. (2012): Economics of nuclear power and climate change mitigation policies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Early Edition)

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Response to bananas (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 06:46 PM

2. Tell President Obama: Don't appoint fracking proponent Dr. Ernest Moniz to lead DOE

Tell President Obama: Don't appoint fracking proponent Dr. Ernest Moniz to lead the Department of Energy


President Obama keeps saying we need to confront climate change.

So why is he going to appoint a major proponent of fracking to lead the Department of Energy?

According to Reuters, President Obama has chosen for the job Dr. Ernest Moniz, the director of MIT's Big Oil-sponsored Energy Institute and a big believer in expanding toxic, climate-heating gas fracking.1

At a time when the last thing we should be doing is undermining our progress against climate change, Moniz is the wrong choice to head one of the most important agencies in the fight for a sustainable energy future.

Tell President Obama: Stop promoting fracking, and don't appoint Ernest Moniz to head the Department of Energy!

Moniz's Energy Institute at MIT is sponsored by the likes of BP, Chevron and Saudi Aramco. So it is no surprise that the gas industry and pro-fracking groups welcomed the rumor of Moniz's appointment to head DOE.2

Moniz is a strong backer of the deeply flawed notion that we should expand our fracking infrastructure and development to serve as a "bridge" to low-carbon sources of energy.3



Read more and sign the petition: http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/doe/?rc=tw1

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