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Thread: Nuclear Energy and Climate Change

  1. Nuclear Energy and Climate Change

    Here is a very interesting article, featuring James Hansen. On the second page of the article, Hansen delves into nuclear energy, climate change, and even Fukushima Daiichi.

    NASA's James Hansen on Climate Change

    Be sure to read Page 2, wherein the commentary on nuclear is.

    I agree one hundred percent with Hansen's views vis a vis nuclear energy in this case. As you might expect. Well, except for the comment on coastline location -- you sort of have to have that in Japan, or there'd be no nuclear there. So you have to design, build, operate and regulate to mitigate environmental effects. But aside from this one tiny part I agree wholly and it's nice to see a recognized climate scientist having the guts to come out pro-nuclear, post-Fukushima.


    -Will Davis
    "Unusual results are not obtained by usual means" - Adm. H.G. Rickover

  2. #2
    I haven't read the article, but if I recall he was for 4th generation nuclear. Maybe he changed his mind.

    Beyond that I have no comment on AGW.

    "The candle flame gutters. Its little pool of light trembles. Darkness gathers. The demons begin to stir." -- Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

  3. #3
    Like the name of the site...."Treehugger?" As with all things, there are positives and negatives. Bottom line is we need to go to renewable energy sources, and we need to go to several of them. No reason why nuclear shouldn't be in the mix if handled correctly. There are problems that do need to be addressed. Hopefully we will come up with solutions, such as the Gen IV reactors that may handle the existing waste. That should be put to the test as to how effective a solution it really is. Something that wil reduce the dangerous time from several million years to a couple of monehts should be investigated.....if for no other reason, then to reduce the amount of waste we have on our hands now.
    Out of the tree of life, I just picked me a plum

  4. I don't know how many folks either saw the report last week that renewables had exceeded nuclear in total Mw generating capacity in the US, or else how many that saw it were fooled by it. However, it's important to look at the facts properly to understand just when something is 'renewable' and when it isn't... and when it's OK to try to get more of that renewable energy and when it is NOT ok to try to get more of that renewable energy.

    Confused? You shouldn't be. Look here:

    RealClearEnergy - "Renewables" Consist Mostly of Hydro, Wood

    Note the last sentence indicating that non-hydro renewable energy won't match nuclear until 2035, according to the EIA information. That's the kicker right there.

    I post this not to further my decidely pro-nuclear agenda, but rather for this purpose: It is critically important that the people who vote, who invest, who plan communities and businesses have the FACTS regarding our energy infrastructure. It is vital that they not think we are on something like the right track to a national energy policy when nothing could be further from the truth.


    -Will Davis
    "Unusual results are not obtained by usual means" - Adm. H.G. Rickover

  5. #5
    Yes, but I think a lot more investment has been made in nuclear.

    It would be fun to see some out-of-the-box thinking that could tap into the endless supply of energy from the sun like this one:

    Solar Power - Sunny Side of the Street - Can Roads Be Used to Generate Solar Power?

    Then there would never be any concerns about a potential disaster like the one that has occurred in Japan:

    Radioactive meat circulating on Japanese market - CNN.com

    "The candle flame gutters. Its little pool of light trembles. Darkness gathers. The demons begin to stir." -- Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

  6. There are those who think that nuclear plants will cause epidemics in the northern hemisphere and cause mass migrations to the southern hemisphere.
    ......pick yourself up...... ......dust yourself off...... ......start all over again...... (my e-mail)

  7. #7
    There is still the lingering problem about what to do with the nuclear waste from the spent fuel rods that is the biggest concern. It will remain until it is proven that the Gen 4 reactors can actually use this as fuel and produce a waste that is "dead" in months rather than millenia.
    Out of the tree of life, I just picked me a plum

  8. Frankly, the federal government needs to stop backing off on its legal responsibility and provide the waste repository, such as Yucca, as it is required to do.

    This problem has existed for decades, and only our strangling beauracracy has prevented it being solved.

    I've seen figures for solid waste storage that include estimates of zero impact external to the site for 100,000 years. This is in official government studies. All of the "lions and tigers and bears, oh my" is only stalling the process. But then again there's nothing like unfounded fear to keep the pot stirred up, especially when the political machine is involved.

    Just my informed two cents.

    -Will Davis

    atomic power review
    "Unusual results are not obtained by usual means" - Adm. H.G. Rickover

  9. This problem has existed for decades, and only our strangling beauracracy has prevented it being solved.
    Oh, when will they ever learn
    Oh, when will they ever learn

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Will View Post
    Frankly, the federal government needs to stop backing off on its legal responsibility and provide the waste repository, such as Yucca, as it is required to do.

    This problem has existed for decades, and only our strangling beauracracy has prevented it being solved.

    I've seen figures for solid waste storage that include estimates of zero impact external to the site for 100,000 years. This is in official government studies. All of the "lions and tigers and bears, oh my" is only stalling the process. But then again there's nothing like unfounded fear to keep the pot stirred up, especially when the political machine is involved.

    Just my informed two cents.

    -Will Davis

    atomic power review
    To paraphrase, Will Rogers often quipped that he merely reports what's going on in Washington for his material. Sad fact is that that statement has been true for years, and there has never been any lack of material for standup comics coming from our hallowed halls of government. To see how they're behaving, one can say that toddlers in a sandbox are better behaved.
    Not to stray too far from this thread.........how are billiobnaires and illegal aliens alike? Neither pays taxes.
    Out of the tree of life, I just picked me a plum

  11. NHK Report: Halting nuclear in Japan BAD. Very bad.

    The following is from NHK World / English Edition today. It is of great interest considering that Prime Minister Naoto Kan made a statement about getting away from nuclear entirely, which Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano later had to "clarify" as pointing toward some ideal point in the distant future. Anyway, read this:

    --------------------------------------------------------

    .Halting reactors would increase CO2 emissions

    The Japanese government says annual carbon dioxide emissions would increase by 210 million tons if the country were to shift from nuclear power to fossil fuels.

    The Environment Ministry estimates that if Japan halted all 54 domestic nuclear reactors in favor of thermal power generation using coal and natural gas, carbon dioxide emissions would increase by up to 16 percent compared to 1990 levels.

    Under the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, Japan is obliged to cut average emissions by 6 percent from its 1990 output over a 5-year period through 2012.

    Operating more thermal power plants might make it necessary to boost purchases of emission rights from overseas to offset the increase in CO2 output.

    Japan could also have trouble achieving the government-set target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020.

    The ministry plans to promote use of renewable energy, as it remains unclear when nuclear plants across Japan will be restarted.

    Thursday, July 14, 2011 09:57 +0900 (JST)

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    That very last two-line paragraph is written as two nuclear plants in Japan which have been in a holding pattern, as it were, for three months (instead of the usual one month) doing post-refuel startup checks are now ready for the Japanese government to perform quick final inspections before going on line.

    -Will Davis
    "Unusual results are not obtained by usual means" - Adm. H.G. Rickover

  12. #12
    It is going to be interesting.

    Who knows, it might be very good. As the saying goes:
    Necessity is the mother of invention.
    Japan may soon lead the world on renewable energy.

    "The candle flame gutters. Its little pool of light trembles. Darkness gathers. The demons begin to stir." -- Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

  13. #13

    "The candle flame gutters. Its little pool of light trembles. Darkness gathers. The demons begin to stir." -- Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

  14. #14
    Looks like they're doing more than us, which doesn't bode well for us.
    Out of the tree of life, I just picked me a plum

  15. #15

    Smile

    Looks like we are going for the moon!
    LEATRICE (LEE) Fort Myers, Florida, USA
    Sinatra, Sinatra,Sinatra! Pray for Robin!

  16. We heard about it yesterday, but the news has broken today that the Shaw Group has sold its stake in Westinghouse -- to Toshiba, who already owned a bunch of it. This moves ownership of Westinghouse offshore for the first time and removes any US ownership of one of the two major reactor vendors left in the United States.

    This is not what we call job creation.

    Toshiba has already announced in the Japanese press that it might resell a portion of Westinghouse stock to some other foreign interest in a nation that is rapidly building nuclear power plants; in other words, where it would be in their best interest.

    Is anybody out there listening and watching, I wonder? We try to ram solar (which isn't ready, folks) down everyone's throats and three startup companies go broke and fail in a year, taking down over 600 million dollars in federal money.

    That's our money.

    Meanwhile, established and workable technology like nuclear cannot get loan guarantees, is being obstructed by the wholly anti-nuclear NRC (whose Chairman has now been exposed for what he really is, which is a prop to prevent Yucca Mountain if nothing else other than a general nuclear obstructionist) and is actually - to borrow a silly phrase - "shovel ready."

    Over a thousand jobs were lost when Solyndra Solar went down, and now when Toshiba does the math we'll lose more when it pays better to manufacture any and all components for Westinghouse plants offshore. We back the technology with federal money that no utility wants, and the feds obstruct the plants that the utilities have been trying to get for many years.

    Wow. Even the dimmest bulb on the tree has to be able to see where this is all going.

    -Will Davis
    "Unusual results are not obtained by usual means" - Adm. H.G. Rickover

  17. #17
    Romney has a plan that would take care of all of this.

    This administration only wants to create jobs that are PC. That's just not going to fly.
    Rick
    The enemy of truth is distortion.

  18. #18
    It seems, the majority of the people still fear nuclear power.

    Even after the government has invested billions in the technology.

    What has happened in Japan hasn't helped:

    Tepco president quits as firm reports $15bn loss


    "The candle flame gutters. Its little pool of light trembles. Darkness gathers. The demons begin to stir." -- Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

  19. Forty eight percent isn't a majority, Mike!

    That's exactly what the numbers did after TMI -- I think I've pointed this out here before -- and they came back faster than anyone would have thought.

    -Will Davis
    "Unusual results are not obtained by usual means" - Adm. H.G. Rickover

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Will View Post
    Forty eight percent isn't a majority, Mike!
    It is compared to 46% in favor, no?

    In any event, we need to look to all sources of energy including all forms of renewable energy.

    We need to make the same investments in renewable as we've made in nuclear. If we did, maybe we'd be further along.

    If we don't others (China, Japan etc.) for sure will and we will be left behind in a technology we can't afford to be left behind in.

    "The candle flame gutters. Its little pool of light trembles. Darkness gathers. The demons begin to stir." -- Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

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