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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:27 AM
Original message
German nuclear U-turn means jump in emissions
The loss of some 7,000 megawatt (MW) in nuclear power capacity prompted utilities to resort largely to coal power, and this could boost Germany's annual carbon emissions by 45 million metric tons, or around 10 percent, analysts have estimated.

"Replacing (all of) the 7,000 MW of nuclear capacity with coal-fired power could lead to an increase in German emissions of roughly 60 million tons a year," said Alessandro Vitelli, director of carbon consultancy IDEAcarbon in London.

Traders said utilities had replaced around 75 percent of the nuclear generation gap with coal, spelling an annual rise of 45 million metric tons.

...

Germany does not have an import terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and a relatively small gas power generation capacity of around 14 percent of the country's generation mix. It simply cannot fill the nuclear gap with the cleaner gas option.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/04/us-germany-en...
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:40 AM
Response to Original message
1. Always the same industry-imposed false dichotomy: "nuclear or more coal"
As if solar/wind/renewables and conservation don't exist. x( :eyes: :nuke: :grr: :thumbsdown:
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FBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Are there solar/wind/renewable plants idled in Germany right now?
Something that can be brought online today?

Then it isn't a false dichotomy. Getting rid of nuclear means burning more fossil fuels.

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Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:51 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. it IS a false dichotomy -- Wiki below
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_in_Germany

Germany is one of the world's top photovoltaics (PV) installers, with a solar PV capacity as of 2010 of almost 17,000 megawatts (MW).<1> The German solar PV industry installed 7,400 MW from nearly one-quarter million individual systems in 2010, and solar PV provided 12 TWh (billion kilowatt-hours) of electricity in 2010, about 2% of total electricity.<2> Some market analysts expect this could reach 25 percent by 2050.<3>

Nuclear proponents always use that old saw about fossil fuels, without looking into actual facts about alternatives being done.
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FBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Nope - All of those installations are already producing power.
You can't use solar to replace THIS nuclear unless you install lots more of it. None of that helps them NOW.

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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #4
18. Did you read what you posted.
Edited on Mon Apr-04-11 01:36 PM by Statistical
" ...solar PV provided 12 TWh (billion kilowatt-hours) of electricity in 2010, about 2% of total electricity. Some market analysts expect this could reach 25 percent by 2050.<3>"


Hint #1) 2% is a rounding error on energy consumption.
Hint #2) Even 25% isn't 100%.
Hint #3) 2050 is almost 4 decades away.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. More strawmen?
You wouldn't be arguing that more alternative methods and conversation methods couldn't be brought to bear as nuclear power is decommissioned? Would you?

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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. They've turned off those seven nukes. What do they do *today* to replace that electricity?
If you want to advocate that they get busy immediately building a bunch of wind-turbines, fine. Today, they have to replace 7 gigawatts of generating capacity, or they can have rolling blackouts like Japan is having. What they have available today is coal.

I note with interest that I haven't read any stories about the 200,000 Germans who rallied to shut down those nukes, holding another rally to start building wind turbines to replace them. Or rally to shut down those coal plants that are being spooled up to keep their lights on.

Perhaps they should, because otherwise I predict those coal plants are gonna stay on.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. I'm advocating a range of alternatives plus conservation.
That you haven't read any stories about secondary rallies stretches the idea that these Germans aren't advocating alternatives and conservation.

In the last decade, Germany has increased renewable production from @7% to @17% of the country's 600TWH generating capacity. That's an average increase of @10TWH per year if I'm calculating correctly. The loss of capacity noted in the OP is 0.007TWH

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

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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. The lost capacity is about (7e9)(24)(365) watt-hours = 61 TWH / year
Edited on Mon Apr-04-11 01:14 PM by phantom power
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. IOW 6 years at the average rate achieved during the last decade? n/t
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. 6 years of what? Rate of what? I'm not following you.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. I'm referring to the rate at which Germany added alternative energy production in the last decade.
Given that rate, how long would it take to replace he side-lined nuclear plants?

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FBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. That future added production was supposed to handle their growth needs.
Edited on Mon Apr-04-11 02:07 PM by FBaggins
Even with the expected renewables buildout, Germany was expected to increase coal imports for much of this decade.

Those renewables weren't replacing nuclear OR coal... they were keeping them from expanding faster than necessary. Now they have an additional gap to close on TOP of that.

There's really no way around the fact that closing these plants means more coal for many years to come.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #15
20. Actually it is about 53Twh
They omitted the capacity factor. The average CF for DE is .87 and that is what the 53Twh represents, but in fact these are the oldest reactors in their fleet so it would be less, perhaps substantially less.

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FBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. The loss of capacity noted in the OP is 0.007TWH?
And what about the loss for the second hour?
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Nihil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 08:25 AM
Response to Reply #9
24. What they do *today* is two things:
1) Run their coal-fired powerstations flat out.
&
2) Buy in nuclear-generated electricity from France.

What they will eventually do is bring more wind & solar
on line (projected time scale being subject to the usual
debates between "ideal" and "real") but what they are
doing *today* is the above.

But you knew that already ...
:shrug:
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FBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. It isn't an argument... it's a statement of fact.
Edited on Mon Apr-04-11 11:59 AM by FBaggins
They aren't slowly retiring the plants as other options are brought online... they're just turning them off an dealing with the consequences.

You just wish that the consequences were something other than they are.

I'd also like to see "more alternative methods" replace coal first.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #11
21. Silly Germans, it's hard to imagine what they could be thinking....
Edited on Mon Apr-04-11 03:03 PM by kristopher
If the right wing corporatists hadn't been dicking around opposing renewables at every turn for the past 30 years we wouldn't be in this mess in the first place. Crowing about a disaster you've just created strikes me as idiocy on the part of the nuclear fanatics.


Fukushima: The Radiation Leakage Will Last for Months
3 hours ago

Radioactive leakage from the Fukushima nuclear plant could take several months, said the government spokesman, Yukio Edano, yesterday. ...


Fukushima Radiation Evacuees Left Guessing From Shelters About ...
Bloomberg - 3 related articles

Greenpeace Expands Radiation Team to Investigate Fukushima Fallout
PanOrient News - 15 related articles



Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Volume 1181 Issue Chernobyl
Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, Pages 31 - 220

Chapter II. Consequences of the Chernobyl Catastrophe for Public Health


Alexey B. Nesterenko a , Vassily B. Nesterenko a , and Alexey V. Yablokov b
a
Institute of Radiation Safety (BELRAD), Minsk, Belarus b Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
Address for correspondence: Alexey V. Yablokov, Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninsky Prospect 33, Office 319, 119071 Moscow,
Russia. Voice: +7-495-952-80-19; fax: +7-495-952-80-19. Yablokov@ecopolicy.ru
Deceased


ABSTRACT

Problems complicating a full assessment of the effects from Chernobyl included official secrecy and falsification of medical records by the USSR for the first 3.5 years after the catastrophe and the lack of reliable medical statistics in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. Official data concerning the thousands of cleanup workers (Chernobyl liquidators) who worked to control the emissions are especially difficult to reconstruct. Using criteria demanded by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) resulted in marked underestimates of the number of fatalities and the extent and degree of sickness among those exposed to radioactive fallout from Chernobyl. Data on exposures were absent or grossly inadequate, while mounting indications of adverse effects became more and more apparent. Using objective information collected by scientists in the affected areascomparisons of morbidity and mortality in territories characterized by identical physiography, demography, and economy, which differed only in the levels and spectra of radioactive contaminationrevealed significant abnormalities associated with irradiation, unrelated to age or sex (e.g., stable chromosomal aberrations), as well as other genetic and nongenetic pathologies.

In all cases when comparing the territories heavily contaminated by Chernobyl's radionuclides with less contaminated areas that are characterized by a similar economy, demography, and environment, there is a marked increase in general morbidity in the former. Increased numbers of sick and weak newborns were found in the heavily contaminated territories in Belarus, Ukraine, and European Russia.

<snip>

This section describes the spectrum and the scale of the nonmalignant diseases that have been found among exposed populations. Adverse effects as a result of Chernobyl irradiation have been found in every group that has been studied. Brain damage has been found in individuals directly exposedliquidators and those living in the contaminated territories, as well as in their offspring. Premature cataracts; tooth and mouth abnormalities; and blood, lymphatic, heart, lung, gastrointestinal, urologic, bone, and skin diseases afflict and impair people, young and old alike. Endocrine dysfunction, particularly thyroid disease, is far more common than might be expected, with some 1,000 cases of thyroid dysfunction for every case of thyroid cancer, a marked increase after the catastrophe. There are genetic damage and birth defects especially in children of liquidators and in children born in areas with high levels of radioisotope contamination. Immunological abnormalities and increases in viral, bacterial, and parasitic diseases are rife among individuals in the heavily contaminated areas. For more than 20 years, overall morbidity has remained high in those exposed to the irradiation released by Chernobyl. One cannot give credence to the explanation that these numbers are due solely to socioeconomic factors. The negative health consequences of the catastrophe are amply documented in this chapter and concern millions of people.

The most recent forecast by international agencies predicted there would be between 9,000 and 28,000 fatal cancers between 1986 and 2056, obviously underestimating the risk factors and the collective doses. On the basis of I-131 and Cs-137 radioisotope doses to which populations were exposed and a comparison of cancer mortality in the heavily and the less contaminated territories and pre- and post-Chernobyl cancer levels, a more realistic figure is 212,000 to 245,000 deaths in Europe and 19,000 in the rest of the world. High levels of Te-132, Ru-103, Ru-106, and Cs-134 persisted months after the Chernobyl catastrophe and the continuing radiation from Cs-137, Sr-90, Pu, and Am will generate new neoplasms for hundreds of years.

A detailed study reveals that 3.84.0% of all deaths in the contaminated territories of Ukraine and Russia from 1990 to 2004 were caused by the Chernobyl catastrophe. The lack of evidence of increased mortality in other affected countries is not proof of the absence of effects from the radioactive fallout. Since 1990, mortality among liquidators has exceeded the mortality rate in corresponding population groups. From 112,000 to 125,000 liquidators died before 2005that is, some 15% of the 830,000 members of the Chernobyl cleanup teams. The calculations suggest that the Chernobyl catastrophe has already killed several hundred thousand human beings in a population of several hundred million that was unfortunate enough to live in territories affected by the fallout. The number of Chernobyl victims will continue to grow over many future generations.


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wtmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. No doubt you'd be one of the brave souls to read by candlelight
at nighttime, when the wind isn't blowing. Very commendable.
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Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. wow -- amazing!
Did you miss -any- of the pro-nuclear talking points? :sarcasm:

:eyes:
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wtmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. Plenty
I didn't get into how many people will die from the millions of tons of extra soot hanging over the Ruhr Valley.

Do you want to go there? :shrug:
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TheMadMonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #1
10. I don't know about yours, but most of the plans for solarfying Europe...
...start with appropriating 1/2 million sq km from Africa.


And it's not a false dichotomy when there are only two products actually sitting on the shelves, and one of them has been withdrawn from sale. Correct me if you happen to know of a gigawatt scale wholesale renewables outlet, with 7000 MW of stock on hand.

Since every MW of new construction is probably bespoke for the next five years or more, Germany really does only have one very dirty choice if it is going to continue to meet its own energy demands without nuclear.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #10
22. China has added 35 Gigawatts of solar manufacturing capacity in 5 years
So they would be able to crank out the entire 53Twh by themselves. In fact there had been an expected glut for solar right now as economic downturn affected projects, but the analysts expect a rush to create MORE manufacturing in light of Fukushima fallout (double meaning intended).
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One_Life_To_Give Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #22
23.  15 GW of which China doesn't expect to sell
That would put a hefty dent into the 53TWhr shortfall (70%?)
At a cost of $135Billion or about 4-5% of GDP

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