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The UK Committee for Climate Change recommends an energy mix of 40% nuclear, 40% renewable

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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-11 09:24 AM
Original message
The UK Committee for Climate Change recommends an energy mix of 40% nuclear, 40% renewable
The UK Committee for Climate Change, which is advising the Government on its low carbon strategy, recommends an energy mix of 40% nuclear, 40% renewable, 15% Carbon Capture and Storage and 5% fossil fuel by 2030. It also suggests that we should aim for 40% of our vehicles to be hybrid and 20% to be wholly electric by 2030;

http://www.imeche.org/news/archives/11-09-23/Future_Cli...


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cottage10 Donating Member (19 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-11 09:32 AM
Response to Original message
1. Too bad we end up 100% radioactive when nuclear goes wrong
I'm a realist and know there nuclear has a lot of good things going for it--low carbon emissions, clean (except for the radioactive waste), and available here (as opposed to importing from elsewhere). But I can't get over the fact that when things go wrong, nuclear can destroy everything and everyone around it. We also have no good way to get rid of the nuclear waste. Carbon emissions are killing us too, but I don't think nuclear is the way to go either.
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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-11 10:36 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. England must be around the size of Japan
Edited on Sun Nov-13-11 10:36 AM by flamingdem
just sayin'
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-11 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Anytime you get a conservative government in they try to preserve the old system
They've been fighting tooth and nail to cancel all the renewable programs and build nuclear instead. Their problem is that they promised no subsidies for nuclear, now they are trying to get around that by redefining what a subsidy is.

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FBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-11 10:52 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Lol. Wild spin.
Edited on Sun Nov-13-11 10:55 AM by FBaggins
The government is hardly a "conservative" government.

Their energy minister is a liberal Dem/green former nuclear opponent

40% renewable is nothing a "conservative government" is likely to propose. Nor can it rationally be called "the old system" since nobody has come close to that level.

Nor can "both" be rationally described as "instead".

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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-11 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. They call themselves "The Conservative Party" for a reason...
While they had to form a coalition with the very minor partner the Liberal Democrats, the government is indeed "Conservative".

The LibDems agreed to form the coalition on the condition that no subsidies of ANY KIND were to be given nuclear. The Conservatives have been undermining that agreement since day one, in part by bringing pressure to bear thru walking back all of their commitments to develop renewable energy and pursue energy efficiency and then claiming there is a problem meeting climate change goals.

Apparently you didn't read the OP - the recommendation is being made by the a UK Committee on Climate Change, a government appointed body that is just as political as any such group set up by Congress is here. What is really interesting though is where it is being reported. It is right below this:
"We have the technology to slash global emissions, say engineers"
The technology needed to cut the worlds greenhouse gas emissions by 85% by 2050 already exists, according to a joint statement by eleven of the worlds largest engineering organisations.
.... However they are not being developed for wide-scale use fast enough and there is a desperate need for financial and legislative support from governments around the world if they are to fulfill their potential.


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FBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-11 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. The government does NOT call themselves "the Conservative Party"
Edited on Sun Nov-13-11 02:15 PM by FBaggins
So much for that nonsense.

The LibDems agreed to form the coalition on the condition that no subsidies of ANY KIND were to be given nuclear. The Conservatives have been undermining that agreement since day one

Huhne (the one who made the condition in the first place) doesn't seem to agree. It's really you that has been playing fast and loose with the meaning of "subsidy".

A tax on carbon emissions is simply that. It isn't a subsidy for nuclear any more than it's a subsidy for wind/solar. It's a disincentive for coal (etc).

"We have the technology to slash global emissions, say engineers"

And they're right. We do have the technology... and that technology clearly includes nuclear power.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-11 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. You're right, The Conservative Party calls itself "The Government"
Here is the only mention of nuclear in the statement by the engineering groups. Is highlighting Fukushima and specifically endorsing the renewable/efficiency pathway a recommendation for nuclear in your mind???

The Future Climate Engineering Solutions Project phase 2 recommends that governments:
Need to maintain flexible technology pathways. Scenarios and pathways based on technology provide ways of thinking about possible routes to sustainable futures but cannot be prescriptive solutions because circumstances change continuously over time. Recent events at Fukushima Nuclear Plant, in the Middle East (Arab Spring) and in the cost reductions of Solar PV energy have all been good illustrations of this reality. Governments should therefore maintain an ability to adjust the direction of travel in response to such developments. Further, although existing technologies are adequate to meet the worlds climate change goals they are not being developed for use and must be supported to move forward. By making low-carbon emissions plans for each country, the organizations taking part in Future Climate 2 is supporting the UN process.

Must include the effects of externalities in developing climate change mitigation policies. Developing national policies for tackling climate change is a difficult task involving consideration of complex inter-relationships and interactions across sectors. In undertaking this work governments often overlook the effects of externalities and fail to integrate these effectively. It is important that policies should not be unintentionally detrimental to one industry or country and Governments must balance the needs of industry, consumers and markets. The importance of innovation cannot be overemphasized and national solutions are likely to be at the core of meeting the climate change challenge for a long time to come.

Should help create Green jobs that are new jobs. It is important to stress that not all jobs for the green economy are new jobs, indeed many simply involve retraining and refocusing of existing jobs together with the adoption of greener technologies and practices...

Support energy efficiency and renewable energy. The participating organizations widely agree that energy efficiency is the best available measure that can be undertaken in the short and medium term, and that renewable energy sources is the solution for the long term. Governments must support energy efficiency across all sectors in their countries, including transportation, industry and in homes and public buildings. Incentives to build up renewable energy capacity must also be enacted now in order for technological and market development to take place that will make renewable energy commercially viable in the next decades.
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-11 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Remember this is a goal for 2030 -- the UK panel is just setting a realistic goal IMO
Your post repeats what is possible by 2050... but that level is NOT possible by 2030.

This 2030 goal is extremely ambitious and results in a huge reduction in CO2 and other pollutants.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-11 10:34 PM
Response to Reply #9
18. No it doesn't. One wind turbine factory...
In the time it takes to plan and build one nuclear plant, the turbines produced and installed from one wind turbine factory will have produced 54 reactor-years worth of electricity. Their aggregate annual output will equal that of 10 nuclear reactors.

A plant manufacturing wind turbines just upgraded their manufacturing process and can put out 2.5GWe of wind turbines per year.

At the end of ten years this single plant should be responsible for manufacturing about 25 GWe of wind turbines.

I estimated the total amount of electricity produced as the turbines come online over time and at the end of that 10 years, operating at 33% capacity, they would have provided a cumulative total of approximately 389.7 TWh.

I selected 10 years because this is the time it would take to build complete one nuclear plant project if it doesn't suffer delays - and they almost always do.

One nuclear plant actually produces about 7 TWh each year.

So devoting approximately the same resources to each technology gives us, at the end of 10 years:
wind turbines producing 72 TWhs of electricity per year plus the 54 years worth of production from the nuclear plant that the wind turbines have already cranked out.
OR
One nuclear plant that might be ready to begin to producing 7TWh per year.

Given the standard 20 year life span for the turbines and assuming the plant continued production of the same product, this factory will max out it's contribution to growth of wind power at 50GWe when it hits the 20 year mark and starts to build replacements for those wearing out.

That 50GW of turbines should actually produce approximately 144 TWh of electricity every year.

50GW faceplate capacity X .33 capacity factor = 16.5GW of production

That 16.5GW equals approximately twenty (20) 1GW nuclear reactors operating at the international average capacity factor of about 80%.

That's one factory making what is now a rather small 2.5MW wind turbine...
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-11 11:05 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. Using far too optimistic data does not make your case
Where is this factory?

Why don't you link to the monthly wind charts for this location? Is it because they disprove your (easily disproven) theory?
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-14-11 09:25 AM
Response to Reply #18
23. Check these seasonally adjust wind charts to see that wind isn't always there
Edited on Mon Nov-14-11 09:27 AM by txlibdem
"Autumn wind resource estimates in the contiguous United States"
http://rredc.nrel.gov/wind/pubs/atlas/maps/chap2/2-15m....

"Summer wind resource estimates in the contiguous United States"
http://rredc.nrel.gov/wind/pubs/atlas/maps/chap2/2-14m....

"Spring wind resource estimates in the contiguous United States"
http://rredc.nrel.gov/wind/pubs/atlas/maps/chap2/2-13m....

"Winter wind resource estimates in the contiguous United States"
http://rredc.nrel.gov/wind/pubs/atlas/maps/chap2/2-12m....

The only solution is to have far more wind turbines than you think you need and require all wind farms to store their extra power in some form of energy storage, whether that be pumped hydro, compressed air, or the new gravity power storage (basically lifts a multi-ton metal tube filled with rocks when there is extra energy, lets it slowly fall and generate electricity when there is a need). See more about that here: http://gigaom.com/cleantech/a-new-energy-storage-option... /

We must also have far more solar energy than current "experts" are calling for and likewise those solar plants must feed their excess energy into storage of similar type if they're Solar PV, but for Concentrating Solar Thermal they should use molten salts (safe and in use in several places already) to store the heat. A solar plant in Spain is able to provide 24 hour electricity using this system. Why can't we have it here???

Basically, "save it, don't waste it" is a good way to look at it.

/Edit to add: the Natural Gas industry wants lots of wind and ZERO storage because that will mean mucho profits for them when the wind dies down; then they sell power from the so-called "peaking" energy plants, the most expensive electricity in the world.
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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-11 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. That's like saying "Well, cancer is bad, but chemotherapy is just poison."
The reality is that by any objective measure, when you look at the real consequences, nuclear power is far safer than fossil fuels, both short term and long term. Most people don't know that coal-fired plants here in the US release thousands of tons a year of uranium and thorium directly into the environment through fly ash. Or that you could have a Chernobyl scale nuclear meltdown every six months, and it still wouldn't kill one fifth the number of people who die from air pollution caused by coal, just in the US.

France is a pretty good example to look at in terms of how to do nuclear power right; they have a great safety record, and instead of just storing their spent fuel rods, they recycle them, cutting the waste by about 97% while simultaneously producing new fuel.
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-11 07:17 PM
Response to Reply #1
13. You've been fed old information and told that this is the way it will be. That is wrong
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FBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-11 10:34 AM
Response to Original message
2. Sounds wise.
A good mix. Hopefully that 15% CCS is natural gas rather than coal.
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-11 07:23 PM
Response to Reply #2
14. I don't hold out much hope for CCS
The only possible use for the technology is to colocate algae farms next to the coal plants. They can take the excess heat and the CO2 from the plant and grow algae-based biofuels or bioplastics.

I just don't see a possibility of stuffing megatons of CO2 into a hole in the ground as very safe, nor very smart if an earthquake opens up a rift in the rock strata. There has to be a better way.
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FBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-11 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Right. It's largely an excuse to keep building plants that you otherwise wouldn't want to build.
I'm just saying that if you're going to build such plants, I'd prefer natural gas to coal. :)

They're also a better fit for the scenario. You don't have much control over wind/solar, and we've seen how France's over-reliance on nuclear power caused them to try (poorly) to run reactors as peaking plants. Well... coal isn't much better at handling peaking demand. Gas fits that model much better. So it reduced the need for storage to balance the renewables.
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-11 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. I actually hate natural gas more than the other fossils
Due to all the hidden damage it is (and has been) doing with the fracking and poisoning of water supplies, I would prefer energy storage such as molten salt storage, pumped water storage, CAES (compressed air), or (a new one I just heard about) gravity power storage: http://gigaom.com/cleantech/a-new-energy-storage-option...
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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-11 04:06 PM
Response to Original message
10. If the horrific and ongoing nuclear apocolypse in Japan does not change our course
Edited on Sun Nov-13-11 04:08 PM by Dover
on nuclear energy use, nothing will. We are writing our own obituary.
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-11 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Someone has not told you the whole truth: the reactors in Japan are 50 years old designs
Will you buy a 50 year old TV from the store this Holiday season??? Heck no.

Will you buy a car designed in 1960 (50 years ago)??? Not a chance. At least not to put your family in on a daily basis.

Will you buy a radio??? Nope. Nobody buys "radios" today... it's XM Satellite, iPods or iPads or online music services such as Rhapsody and Napster.

The point is that time moves on. But the groups opposed to nuclear power do NOT want you to know that about nuclear power. The designs that will be built TODAY are thousands of times more safe and secure than those old unsafe designs that catch the headlines. But they want you to be afraid of nuclear power... which leaves... what??? Coal, Oil and Natural Gas (just check the headlines for those beauties).

PS, I don't even like today's nuclear plant designs because they are TOO EXPENSIVE TO BUILD. I prefer mass produced, passively safe SMR-type nuclear reactors or the LFTR (Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor), which will also be mass produced.

The problem with building today's designs for nuclear plants is that they follow the same old style of construction: manually piecing together each and every part, inspecting them, and inspecting the inspector and then moving on to the next part to add on. 1) BORING. 2) INEFFICIENT. 3) LABOR INTENSIVE. 4) EXPENSIVE, expensive, Expensive!!!

Building smaller reactors in a factory and then shipping them to the site will result in massive cost savings. Nuclear power will be safer than anything the construction companies want to (or are able to) make *and* will be far cheaper to build. Win, win, win.

Not only that, there are a thousand cities in the US that will never be able to afford a huge nuclear power plant... they just don't use that much electricity! With the smaller units (SMRs) they will be able to order one or two to start with and if their needs grow... they can just add a third unit, etc.

Add whatever amount of solar, wind and other renewable energy your area can get and you've got 100% clean, zero carbon energy that is always on and always available! ...and zero fossil fuels...
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-11 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. Nope. "Fukushima: Consequences of Systemic Problems in Nuclear Plant Design"
This peaks directly to your claims that new designs are "safer".

François Diaz Maurin (Francois.Diaz@uab. cat) is a former engineer of the French and US nuclear industries who has worked on the development of new nuclear power plant designs. He is now doing a doctorate on energy and society at ICTA, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain.

The paper is Fukushima: Consequences of Systemic Problems in Nuclear Plant Design

Maurin identifies the two primary claims made by nuclear proponents who are attempting to persuade the public that nuclear power is safe.
Argument #1: The accidents at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant are due to a unique occurrence of two natural disasters an earthquake and a tsunami.
Argument #2: New reactor designs would stand such natural events.

The rebuttals take a few pages so I'll just post the conclusion:

...the argument of better safety with new design seems to reflect complacency more than objectivity. Indeed, a good illustration of this complacency towards nuclear energy comes from a recent declaration of French President, Nicolas Sarkozy talking about the design of the new AREVA EPR reactor during the Fukushima nuclear crisis: The idea of the double wall structure is that if a Boeing 747 crashes on the plant, the reactor is not damaged.<10> That is true. The double wall structure of the EPR reactor building would withstand such an event and it is part of the new safety features of the future nuclear EPR reactor. But we cannot predict all other threats or mistakes, not just from the outside but also internal to the plant operation. In any case, there is no EPR reactor currently operating in the world. Only five are under construction while there are about 440 plants operating worldwide. In that case, this argument is not relevant at the time of the nuclear energy crisis in Japan. Therefore, we should be very critical about this kind of official discourse as the following political lock-in we face in general seems to apply to nuclear technology:
When we act, we create our own reality. And while youre studying that reality... well act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and thats how things will sort out. Were historys actors...and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do attributed to Karl Rove, former advisor of Georges W Bush.<11>

To conclude, I cannot do anything but to urge you not to take as truthful the over-reassuring and non-scientifically-based discourse that tends to minimise the seriousness of the nuclear disaster in Japan or which intends to avoid facing the current problems of nuclear energy by talking of future prospects. The history of humankind is already full of such examples.

The existing systemic uncertainty affecting nuclear power plant design raises the question of whether society is willing to accept continuing with a never-ending learning process with potentially high adverse consequences, both to humans and to the environment. It has been argued here that developing new designs will not lead to improved nuclear safety but will simply maintain the technological lock-in put in place by the civilian nuclear industry.


http://hectornunez.academia.edu/FrancoisDiazMaurin/Pape...
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-11 10:46 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. Don't you get tired of using inuendo and fraudulent "expert" sources to "win???"
Your expert claims that new designs of reactors couldn't survive the Japanese earthquake plus tsunami when in fact the current US reactors would have survived it.

You offer no proof of your position.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-11 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Perhaps it would help if you got someone to read it to you and explain it.
Edited on Sun Nov-13-11 10:53 PM by kristopher
Since that isn't even close to what the author - an experienced nuclear engineer who worked on nuclear plant design - wrote.

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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-11 11:07 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. You're laboring under a misconception: The higher you stack BS does not make it stink less
You need to rethink your strategy.
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