Don't mention the Nuclear Option to Greens

Greens want every possible intervention except one which “solves” their useful crisis

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

‘Drill Bit Dana’ has been at it again, trying to claim that we don’t “accept the science”, because we are ideologically opposed to their solution – massive government intervention.

guardian_convinceThere is just one problem with this argument – its an utter falsehood. The reason its a falsehood, is massive government intervention is not the only, or by any measure the best, route to reducing CO2 emissions. Most skeptics are supporters of power generation solutions which would, as a byproduct, significantly reduce CO2 emissions.

We have no reason to reject alarmist science, other than we think it is wrong. 

Take the example of America. The USA has substantially reduced CO2 emissions over the last decade, because of fracking – the switch from coal to gas, even though energy use has gone up, has reduced the amount of carbon which is burned to produce that energy.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/02/us-co2-emissions-may-drop-to-1990-levels-this-year/

Of course, America’s coal producers are still mining as much coal as they ever did – and exporting it to Europe, whose disastrous policy failures have increased costs and CO2 emissions.

In the case of fracking, the reduction of CO2 emissions might have been incidental, but fracking has produced results. Surely when it comes to CO2, results are what count?

But the real elephant in the room, with regard to emissions reduction, is the nuclear option.

James Hansen likes nuclear power.

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/11/03/world/nuclear-energy-climate-change-scientists-letter/index.html

George Monbiot likes nuclear power. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/mar/21/pro-nuclear-japan-fukushima

Anthony Watts likes nuclear power.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/16/quote-of-the-week-the-middle-ground-where-agw-skeptics-and-proponents-should-meet-up/

James Delingpole likes nuclear power.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100080636/japan-whatever-happened-to-the-nuclear-meltdown/

Jo Nova likes nuclear power.

http://joannenova.com.au/2010/09/australia-can-meet-its-2020-targets-with-just-35-nuclear-power-plants-or-8000-solar-ones/

The Heartland Institute likes nuclear power.

http://blog.heartland.org/2013/11/global-warmings-mt-rushmore-wisely-embraces-nuclear-power/

So why isn’t nuclear power the main focus of everyone’s attention? Why do far too many alarmists persist with antagonising us, by pushing their absurd carbon taxes and government intervention, when they could be working with us? Why do alarmists keep trying to force us to accept solutions which we find utterly unacceptable, when there are obvious solutions which we could all embrace?

Perhaps some alarmists are worried about the risk of nuclear accidents – but, if climate change is as serious as they say, how can the risk of a nuclear meltdown or ten possibly compare to what alarmists claim is an imminent risk to the survival of all humanity?

Why do alarmists persist with pushing falsehoods about the motivation of their opponents, when they could, right now, be taking positive, substantial steps to promote policies which actually would reduce CO2 emissions?

What was the motivation of Phil Jones, Director of the CRU, when he wrote the following Climategate email:-

http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?file=0837094033.txt

“Britain seems to have found it’s Pat Michaels/Fred Singer/Bob Balling/ Dick Lindzen. Our population is only 25 % of yours so we only get 1 for every 4 you have. His name in case you should come across him is Piers Corbyn. …  He’s not all bad as he doesn’t have much confidence in nuclear-power safety.”

Does Phil Jones really think that nuclear safety is more of an issue than global warming?

The easy answer to this dilemma is that most alarmists are being dishonest – that they don’t really believe CO2 is an important issue, that its simply a convenient excuse to push their political agenda. But surely they can’t all be bent? Monbiot seems sincere about embracing nuclear power. Hansen, and the authors of the open letter, seem sincere about promoting nuclear power. Are they really the only honest participants on the alarmist side of the debate? Surely this can’t be the case.

What am I missing?

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rcs

Greens are fundamentally opposed to anything that works.

Well the main reason in the UK Eric is the current proposal is the most expensive nuclear power station in the world. And with strike prices at £90 kw/h it’s barely cheaper than onshore wind at £95 kw/h. Compared to the current strike price of coal and gas at £50 mw/h it doesn’t seem such a bargain as going flat out for gas……But I’m speaking as someone who’s expected to pay for it of course, not as someone overly concerned about the differences between switching to gas, and building nuclear on CO2 emissions for no significant purpose.
I’d probably prefer Lockheed Martins T4 compact fusion to either, in the fullness of time.

cnxtim

The right path is absurdly simple, stay with coal, oil and gas until it GENUINELY begins to reach peak supply, then switch to nuclear.
All the rest of these Heath Robinson solutions be damned, Unless there is a technological breakthrough – this is the only sensible course.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)

First post from Roger Sowell directing us to the ~24 part series of posts on his blog where he explains how nuclear energy is too expensive without government help and is too dangerous and always has been and always will be despite the technology advances as the extreme risk and cost is inherent, will be showing up in:
3..
2..
1..

Cheshirered

Most greens have been anti-nuclear for as long as they can remember, so to countenance an embarrassing about-face from a lifelong (and passionately held) position to ‘tackle climate change’ is anathema to their pride.
The other big problem isn’t so much that nuclear carries risks – historically it’s been ultra-safe. No, the risk they least want to face is that it will work too well – which at a stroke renders their anti-capitalist stance royally buggered.
More and more it’s obvious ‘Big Green’ is the chosen vehicle of global political restructuring. Look at this for a perfect example:
Guardian reader event: Naomi Klein
In her provocative new book Klein argues that radical political change is needed in the fight against climate change. She will be in conversation with columnist and writer Owen Jones
http://www.theguardian.com/reader-events/naomi-klein-guardian-reader-event

Brian

“The question arises: Were the decisions concerning this enormous funding for global warming research taken out of genuine concern that the climate is allegedly changing as a result of CO2 industrial emissions, or do some other undisclosed ideas stand behind this money, IPCC activity, Kyoto, and all the gruesome catastrophic propaganda the world is now exposed to? If this concern is genuine, then why do we not see a storm of enthusiastic environmentalists and United Nations officials demanding to replace all fossil-fuel plants with nuclear plants, which have zero emission of greenhouse gases, are environmentally friendly, more economical, and much safer for plant workers and much safer for the general population than other sources of energy?”
– Zbigniew Jaworowski

http://climateandcapitalism.com/2014/01/10/300-groups-urge-hansen-to-rethink-nuclear/
Environmentalists urge Hansen to rethink nuclear
300+ groups say: “It is simply not feasible for nuclear power to be a part of a sustainable, safe and affordable future for humankind.”
In the letter posted below, 311 U.S. and international environmental and clean energy groups say that, while they respect the climate change work of Dr. James Hansen and three of his academic colleagues, they take strong exception to the notion that nuclear power is the solution to global warming.
The joint letter was released January 8, in response to a November 3, 2013 statement from Dr. James Hansen and three of his academic world colleagues, Ken Caldeira, Kerry Emanuel, and Tom Wigley, in which they voiced support for increased use of nuclear power to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The statement, organized by the Civil Society Initute  and the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), urges Hansen and his colleagues to publicly debate the question of climate change and nuclear power.
Gentlemen,
Although we greatly respect your work on climate and lending it a much higher profile in public dialogue than would otherwise be the case, we read your letter of November 3, 2013 urging the environmental community to support nuclear power as a solution to climate change with concern. We respectfully disagree with your analysis that nuclear power can safely and affordably mitigate climate change.
Nuclear power is not a financially viable option. Since its inception it has required taxpayer subsidies and publically financed indemnity against accidents. New construction requires billions in public subsidies to attract private capital and, once under construction, severe cost overruns are all but inevitable. As for operational safety, the history of nuclear power plants in the US is fraught with near misses, as documented by the Union of Concerned Scientists, and creates another financial and safety quagmire – high-level nuclear waste. Internationally, we’ve experienced two catastrophic accidents for a technology deemed to be virtually ‘failsafe’.
As for “advanced” nuclear designs endorsed in your letter, they have been tried and failed or are mere blueprints without realistic hope, in the near term, if ever, to be commercialized. The promise and potential impact you lend breeder reactor technology in your letter is misplaced. Globally, $100 billion over sixty years have been squandered to bring the technology to commercialization without success. The liquid sodium-based cooling system is highly dangerous as proven in Japan and the US. And the technology has proven to be highly unreliable.
Equally detrimental in cost and environmental impact is reprocessing of nuclear waste. In France, the poster child for nuclear energy, reprocessing results in a marginal increase in energetic use of uranium while largely increasing the volume of all levels of radioactive waste. Indeed, the process generates large volumes of radioactive liquid waste annually that is dumped into the English Channel and has increased electric costs to consumers significantly. Not to mention the well-recognized proliferation risks of adopting a plutonium-based energy system.
We disagree with your assessment of renewable power and energy efficiency. They can and are being brought to scale globally. Moreover, they can be deployed much more quickly than nuclear power. For instance, in the US from 2002 to 2012 over 50,000 megawatts of wind were deployed. Not one megawatt of power from new nuclear reactors was deployed, despite subsidies estimated to be worth more than the value of the power new reactors would have produced. Similarly, it took 40 years globally to deploy 50,000 megawatts of solar PV and, recently, only 2 ½ years to deploy an equal amount. By some estimates, another 100,000 MW will be built by the end of 2015. Already, renewables and distributed power have overtaken nuclear power in terms of megawatt hour generation worldwide.
The fact of the matter is, many Wall Street analysts predict that solar PV and wind will have reached grid parity by the end of the decade. Wind in certain parts of the Midwest is already cheaper than natural gas on the wholesale level. Energy efficiency continues to outperform all technologies on a cost basis. While the cost of these technologies continues to decline and enjoy further technological advancement, the cost of nuclear power continues to increase and construction timeframes remain excessive. And we emphasize again that no technological breakthrough to reduce its costs or enhance its operation will occur in the foreseeable future.
Moreover, due to the glacial pace of deployment, the absence of any possibility of strategic technological breakthroughs, and the necessity, as you correctly say, of mitigating climate risks in the near term, nuclear technology is ill-suited to provide any real impact on greenhouse gas emissions in that timeframe. On the contrary, the technologies perfectly positioned now, due to their cost and level of commercialization, to attain decisive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the near term are renewable, energy efficiency, distributed power, demand response, and storage technologies.
Instead of embracing nuclear power, we request that you join us in supporting an electric grid dominated by energy efficiency, renewable, distributed power and storage technologies. We ask you to join us in supporting the phase-out of nuclear power as Germany and other countries are pursuing.
It is simply not feasible for nuclear power to be a part of a sustainable, safe and affordable future for humankind.
We would be pleased to meet with you directly to further discuss these issues, to bring the relevant research on renewable energy and grid integration to a dialog with you. Again, we thank you for your service and contribution to our country’s understanding about climate change.
The energy choices we make going forward must also take into account the financial, air and water impacts and public health and safety. There are alternatives to fossil fuels and nuclear power and we welcome a chance to a dialog and debate with each of you.
For the full list of signatories, see: http://www.nirs.org/climate/background/hansenletter1614.pdf
See much more here: http://climateandcapitalism.com/category/nuclear/

Brian

“Well the main reason in the UK Eric is the current proposal is the most expensive nuclear power station in the world. And with strike prices at £90 kw/h …”
That’s the price for a first-of-a-kind plant. What’s the cost for an n-th-of-a-kind plant?

jim2

From Eric’s post …
“Of course, America’s coal producers are still mining as much coal as they ever did – and exporting it to Europe, whose disastrous policy failures have increased costs and CO2 emissions.”
Unfortunately, this just isn’t true. I follow some coal companies, and they are in the dumper. For example, one coal company I follow is Alpha Natural Resources.
“Coal miner Alpha Natural’s quarterly loss widens”
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/coal-miner-alpha-naturals-quarterly-110637487.html
“1,100 layoffs planned at Alpha coal mines in W.Va.”
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/07/31/1100-layoffs-planned-at-alpha-coal-mines-in-wva/13428945/
Since West Virginia is a blue state, one silver lining might be that they finally start voting for conservatives or libertarians.

RCM

I blame Jean-Jacques Rousseau for all this nonsense. Rousseau argued that the progression of the sciences and arts causes the corruption of virtue and morality. Modern Greens still believe this.
Pointing out to them that the Mongol hordes that ravished Europe 1,000 years ago didn’t have art, science OR virtue and morality falls on deaf ears. “Got to get ourselves back to The Garden, man.”
Rousseau has been dead for roughly 250 years now, but that’s obviously not long enough.

Hoser

The nuclear power people know, and that has had problems was designed and built in the 1960s. The public discussion about nuclear power today is like trying to deal with people who think TV is a big monsterous wooden box in the living room that gets 11 channels of black and white programming in analog and has crappy monophonic sound. That’s old nuclear power and nobody wants more of that. Modern modular reactors can’t melt down. Believe it or not, we’ve made progress over 60 years. How to you explain a 60 inch HD flat screen TV with 7.1 surround sound to someone from 1968? The problem is we don’t have much to show people yet. but modular reactors are planned to be built soon in GA, and TN.
http://www.energy.gov/articles/energy-department-announces-new-investment-innovative-small-modular-reactor

jim2

Here are the actual coal production figures. It only has Q1 for 2014, but you can see the trend.
http://www.eia.gov/coal/production/quarterly/pdf/t1p01p1.pdf

dccowboy

“I’d probably prefer Lockheed Martins T4 compact fusion to either”
Well, who wouldn’t prefer fusion over any other energy producing power source? Sadly I think fusion is still a pipe dream. I had a friend who worked on fusion at Oak Ridge for the last 25 years of his career. He used to say the joke was that, regardless of when you asked, practical fusion power was always ’20 years away’.
The work at National Ignition Facility (Lawrence Livermore National Labs) on a practical fusion generation also bears watching.

Gerry Shuller

OT, but too stupid not to post.
I saw an actual TV commercial (at first thought it was a parody)
“THE ARCTIC IS MELTING”
“POLAR BEARS ARE DROWNING”
[illustrated by bears bobbing their heads above holes in the ice”]
Seriously .. the URL helpbears.org is legit – from the “Center for Biological Diversity”

Alan Robertson

God give me the strength to resist the temptation to press the “Like” button.

I bet Hansen and Monbiot are only pro-nuclear as a tactic to try and kill off coal and gas. Once someone actually tries to build a nuclear power plant relatively quickly, they will mobilize their fanatical green drones and oppose it.

Dave

The greenies suffer from what is known as the BANANA Syndrome:
Build
Absolutely
Nothing
Anywhere
Near
Anything

If nuclear power was really as good as the advocates claim (i.e. cheap, safe, reliable, etc), then
1 Why has nuclear power achieved only 11 percent of world power production, after more than 5 decades of competition?
2 Why do small islands have zero nuclear power plants, but burn expensive oil or diesel resulting in power prices of 25 to 35 cents per kWh?
3 Why do nuclear utilities never, ever, ask for a rate decrease when they build a nuclear plant?
4 Why did France install nuclear plants to provide 85 percent of the country’s power, and no other country in the world followed their lead?
5 Why does France have higher electricity prices than does the US, even with France heavily subsidizing their electricity industry?
6 Why does nuclear power in the US require heavy subsidies from government – and almost total indemnity from costs of a massive radiation disaster?
7 Why are nuclear plants shutting down in the US, with owners saying they are losing money?
8 Why are there so many near-misses on meltdowns in US plants, on average every 3 weeks?
9 Why were there three serious meltdowns worldwide in just a bit more than 30 years? (Fukushima, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island)
10 Why are new reactor technologies being researched and developed?
Despite all its drawbacks, nuclear power plants continue to be built in many countries, but it is because natural gas exporters (Russia) charge as much for natural gas as for oil, on a Btu-equivalent basis. When directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing for natural gas is widespread worldwide, as it is in the US, natural gas prices will decline and nuclear will be uneconomic everywhere.
More at http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-truth-about-nuclear-power-part-30.html
In addition, Professor Derek Abbott asserts that nuclear power is simply not possible as a long-term solution for electrical energy. His 15 reasons are sound. It is time for the world to abandon nuclear energy and pursue the truly safe, clean, economic, renewable resources of wind, solar, and ocean energies.
see .http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2014/05/nuclear-power-highly-impractical-for.html

RCM

I am always puzzled that the greens insist that we use unperfected wind and solar technologies right now by claiming that they are advancing technologies that will improve but reject the idea that nuclear or carbon-based fuel technologies can be improved.

mpainter

Nuclear power in the hands of the power companies is dangerous. Anyone who advocates this ignores this danger. The advocates of nuclear power pretend that such danger does not exist, safer than our highways blah blah. And are we now to shift our point of view on CO2 and join with the global warmers on screeching about its evils.
All at the prompting of the nuclear power crowd and for their pockets?

cirby

“The statement, organized by the Civil Society Initute and the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), urges Hansen and his colleagues to publicly debate the question of climate change and nuclear power.”
“Nuclear power is not a financially viable option.”
What they left out:
“Mostly because we’ve spent most of the last 60 years making it as expensive as possible due to extreme ‘environmental’ restrictions that make no sense with modern designs.”

MikeH

Rather than focusing on our differences, a push could be made to focus on a solution that is commonly accepted, nuclear power.
From the article:
“But the real elephant in the room, with regard to emissions reduction, is the nuclear option.
James Hansen likes nuclear power.
George Monbiot likes nuclear power.
Anthony Watts likes nuclear power.
James Delingpole likes nuclear power.
Jo Nova likes nuclear power.
The Heartland Institute likes nuclear power.”
I can have philosophical differences with someone and still support a common solution that is agreeable to all parties involved. I don’t care why someone would want nuclear power, just a long as the end game would be to have more available..
How about a test case? Some greens don’t like nuclear because of the concerns on safety and with the environment, as related to contaminating water that is used to cool the reactor. But choose a state like Nevada for a Thorium plant. No cooling water is needed. Plenty of remote locations to place a Thorium plant away from population centers. Close enough for power transmission to Nevada residents, and also California. Place it between Las Vegas and the California border. Use it to power the bright lights of Las Vegas and the excess for California. When it’s a success, the Cali residents will be clamoring for the cheap, safe Thorium alternative. No government $$$ needed, there would be enough private capital to build such a facility. We just need the NRC to approve it and have them block the wacky greens from laying challenge after challenge to the plant.
A win-win for all….

Bruce

“Most skeptics are supporters of power generation solutions which would, as a byproduct, significantly reduce CO2 emissions.” That doesn’t go far enough. Power sources that most skeptics support have reduced CO2 emissions vastly more than all the power sources greens support.

jim2

NuScale is still in the small nuclear modular reactor effort.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NuScale_Power

jim2

@ mpainter
You are full of BS. Show us the data proving nuclear is more dangerous than driving a car.

Admad
KenB

The greens feed on fear, scares and have an agenda to wreck economies, at least that is the Australian outcomes of the fearful scaremongering to prevent anything working. Mention nuclear and they just about faint, the blood rains from their faces, brains go into mortal lockdown and common sense or any semblance of coherent conversation ends and a scattergun rant erupts.
Seems that the mere mention conjures up images of devils and accusations of environmental vandals.
I simply prefer that whatever emissions that we cause are the cleanest for the environment and that whatever energy that were need for daily life be produced at the lowest clean environmental cost.
On that basis I look for the day that we eventually replace those energy sources with the best range of nuclear devices under the safest controls. Even better if we can reduce the size and complexity of those nuclear generators that it becomes viable to give them to poorer economies as a form of peaceful aid so they can develop basic clean cooking, bathing, heating/cooling to lift their people out of poverty.
This may mean continuing to burn/consume cheap fossil fuels while these small safe reliable reactors are developed in a way that the by products cannot be used for military purposes and several of the modern reactor proposals seem to be viable in that respect.
We already remove most of the particulate and chemical mix from the emissions in the developed world and it seems a no brainer to ensure the energy needs of the human race are supplied and new sources of energy harnessed for the true benefit of mankind AND the planet we inhabit.
But try explaining this to a greenie you will draw a blank every time, its not in the Great Green songbook of agenda!

jim2

@ Roger Sowell says:
August 9, 2014 at 6:29 am
*****
You are full of BS too. If Frech nuclear power is as expensive as you say it is, why do other countries buy it?
From the article:
As of 2012, France’s electricity price to household customers is the seventh-cheapest amongst the 27 member European Union, and also the seventh-cheapest to industrial consumers, with a rate of €0.14 per kWh to households and €0.07 per kWh to industrial consumers.[7] France was the biggest energy exporter in the EU in 2012, exporting 45TWh of electricity to its neighbours.[8] During very cold or hot periods demand routinely exceeds supply due to the lack of more flexible generating plants, and France needs to import electricity.[9][10]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_in_France

Alx

fenbeagleblog says:
August 9, 2014 at 6:02 am
Well the main reason in the UK Eric is the current proposal is the most expensive nuclear power station in the world. And with strike prices at £90 kw/h it’s barely cheaper than onshore wind at £95 kw/h.
———————————————-
I think comparing kw/h between energy sources can be mis-leading.
In 2012, the average nuclear power plant in the United States generated about 11.8 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh). A 1.8-MW turbine can produce about 5 million kWh a year using an average wind speed of 12mph. I know where I live we do not manage 12 MPH windspeeds annually, but lets use that number. It would take about 2,400 wind turbines to equal one nucluer plant in annual output, again assuming 12mph average wind. Can’t imagine the logistics of a 2,400 wind turbine farm nor the impact to the environment.
And then there is the issue that the wind don’t always blow, so power output from wind is not 24/7 as nucleur power would be, requiring further mitigation and expense or a change to our lifestyles.

RCM

Roger Sowell:
Your post is amusing- you fight nuclear at every point and then ask why there isn’t more of it.
I have the inclination but not the time to dispute you point by point so I will focus on one item only.
You ask why France, despite having so much nuclear power has such high electric power prices.
I refer you to page 16 of this
http://www.eurelectric.org/media/60787/taxes_and_levies_on_electricity_2011_-_final-2012-560-0006-01-e.pdf
which lists all the taxes placed on electric power in France. Read it, and I think you will find out why electricity is so expensive in France.

richardscourtney

Roger Sowell:
At August 9, 2014 at 6:29 am you ask

If nuclear power was really as good as the advocates claim (i.e. cheap, safe, reliable, etc), then …

You know the answer. Any nuclear power proposal is inhibited by Luddite activists such as Roger Sowell providing obstacles of cost and trouble.
Richard

John West

“What am I missing?”
That these people never admit when they’re wrong. If they admit to themselves that nuclear is the way to go they’d have to face the awful truth that due to their resistance to nuclear in the past is the reason our energy production is as CO2 emission intensive as it is. The Kaya Identity illustrates just how awfully misguided they were not to embrace nuclear a half a century ago. If these “progressives” had not stymied progress back then we’d be in a much different position now. If they admit they were wrong then they might have to acknowledge that they could be wrong now. Their foresight would be called into question and we simply can`t have that.

kencoffman

I’m reminded of a great book by Petr Beckmann called The Health Hazards of NOT Going Nuclear. As a counter example, for all of John Daly’s great work with documenting a lack of sea level change and fighting consensus climatology, he was quite rabidly against nuclear power.

coolclimateinfo

Eric if you’ve missed something, it would be that your statement here panders to the wants of the warmists’, and doesn’t speak for all as you imply: “Most skeptics are supporters of power generation solutions which would, as a byproduct, significantly reduce CO2 emissions.”
Significant CO2 reductions are not necessary at all when CO2 has nothing significant to do with the weather or climate. Trying to appease warmists by agreeing with their basic premise is a losing strategy that will be turned against all skeptics and the public in general, something everyone should keep in mind. Give the warmist’s NO QUARTER – ever!

dp

Birkenstock liberals are not about solutions – they are about the unrestricted show of caring for the down-trodden in all walks of life except for white males who are fair game. The only way to care in their world is by way of government programs that ensure the down-trodden will remain so thus satisfying the “unrestricted” requirement. There’s nothing happier than a caring liberal with a good cause to bray about and a good tax lawyer to ensure someone else pays for the programs.

sadbutmadlad

#GreeniesAreStupid

Steve Keohane

Never letting a crisis go to waste, means not fixing it either.

Alx
…I wasn’t trying to make a case for wind :-D…..It’s possible I might know the problems with wind inside out, too…..But in the UK at this moment gas has cross party support, and nobody can put forward an argument for not using it big time….Apart from the Greens who also oppose nuclear, coal and oil.
…There is no debate on this, apart from hold ups by regulations, lack of investment (particularly while the CMA investigation is underway) And local opposition whipped up by irresponsible media and Vivien Westewood, Greenfleece, friends of the Girth etc.

Alan the Brit

The waste issue was always there. However, I recall a conversation I had a while ago with someone for the life of me I cannot recall who (senior moment). The issue of containment is pretty much settled. In the UK we’ve tested the steel encased concrete surrounded waste vessels by colliding them with trains moving at 100mph, or there abouts, & they survive. The conversation moved on to storage & or disposal. What was proposed was to fill a tanker with the waste, & the ship be fitted with doors open to the sea, obviously such that the vessel remains seaworthy. The ship is then taken to the nearest subduction zone & the waste guided down to it. In theory once subsumed into the Earth’s crust it would never be seen again! I thought it had merit although it would horrify the Greens despite informing them of the origins of the original material being disposed of!

mpainter

Imagine- Eric Eorral comes here to peddle nuclear power on the basis that it will reduce CO2 emissions. Did you forget that this is a skeptics blog? We do not wet our britches over greenhouse gas like they do at SepticalScience. That is where you should go to peddle your “save the planet” pitch for nuclear power.

The Margarita Declaration at the UN backed conference in Venezuela last month makes their position totally clear
The Margarita Declaration was issued at the end of a four-day meeting of around 130 green activist groups, which the Venezuelan government hosted in order to raise the volume of civil society demands in UN discussions on climate change.
“The structural causes of climate change are linked to the current capitalist hegemonic system,” the final declaration said. “To combat climate change it is necessary to change the system.”

http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/venezuela-climate-summit-calls-for-end-to-green-economy/

PaulH

I know not all areas are conducive to hydro-electric power generation, but the greens blissfully oppose that very renewable option too.

Richard Howes

kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
August 9, 2014 at 6:11 am
First post from Roger Sowell directing us to the ~24 part series of posts on his blog where he explains how nuclear energy is too expensive without government help and is too dangerous and always has been and always will be despite the technology advances as the extreme risk and cost is inherent, will be showing up in:
3..
2..
1..
——————————————————————————————–
KD,
It took him 18 minutes. Do you have any picks for the Lotto next week?
Richard

ossqss

“What am I missing?”
——————————-
When one reviews the punitive nature of green initiatives, the term “misanthrope” in green clothing comes to mind.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)

From Roger Sowell on August 9, 2014 at 6:29 am:

In addition, Professor Derek Abbott asserts that nuclear power is simply not possible as a long-term solution for electrical energy. (…)

From the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the world-class geniuses behind the famous “Five Seconds to Midnight” Doomsday Clock:

THE ENERGY ISSUE
05/30/2013 – 16:18
Limits to growth: Can nuclear power supply the world’s needs?
Derek Abbott
(…) One particular resource limitation that has not been clearly articulated in the nuclear debate thus far is the availability of the relatively scarce metals used in the construction of the reactor vessel and core. While this scarcity is not of immediate concern, it would present a hard limit to the ultimate expansion of nuclear power. This limit appears to be a harder one than the supply of uranium fuel. An increased demand for rare metals—such as hafnium, beryllium, zirconium, and niobium, for example—would also increase their price volatility and limit their rate of uptake in nuclear power stations. Metals used in the nuclear vessel eventually become radioactive and, on decommissioning, those with long half-lives cannot be recycled on timescales useful to human civilization. Thus, a large-scale expansion of nuclear power would reduce “elemental diversity” by depleting the world’s supply of some elements and making them unavailable to future generations.

Limits to Growth, the famous “Club of Rome” publication useful for justifying the incidental extermination of 13 out of every 14 people on Earth? Good reference to start with.
Welcome once again to the “reserves misunderstood as resources” discussion, with the addition of metals that are byproducts of looking for other metals. From Forbes, by Tim Worstall on 1/24/2013 @ 11:16AM:

It’s 2013: Let’s Check Those New Scientist Claims About Running Out Of Terbium And Hafnium

With hafnium this problem is even worse. Their misunderstanding of metals and metals extraction that is. On this chart they seem to have global reserves of hafnium at 1,124 tonnes. Which is a number that had me howling with laughter when I saw it. This is simply nonsense.
Here are the USGS numbers for hafnium. You will note that there are no statistics for world production of hafnium. And most certainly none for either reserves or resources. That is, there are no reserves. But you will see this:

Typically, zirconium and hafnium are contained in zircon at a ratio of about 50 to 1.

Ah, OK: 2% of zircon is hafnium. So, what are the reserves of zircon then? 52 million tonnes: meaning that there’s about 1 million tonnes of hafnium out there. That’s reserves recall: not resources. This is the stuff that has been measured, weighed and drilled.
So how can we have these people insisting that reserves are only 1,124 tonnes? Quite simply, because they are ignorant of how the market for this metal works.
Hafnium and zirconium are chemically very similar indeed. So much so that we usually don’t bother to refine the 2% of Hf out of the Zr. The only time we do care is for the nuclear industry: Hf is opaque to neutrons, Zr transparent. Thus when we make the zirconium to make reactors out of we have to extract the Hf. And this is where the world’s supply comes from. It’s waste from the nuclear industry. This is where we get the few hundred tonnes a year of Hf that we actually use from. The other 25,000 tonnes a year that’s in the zircon we don’t bother to extract and we just let it get used with the zirconium/zirconia for non-nuclear uses.

This Derek Abbott fellow that Roger Sowell trusts sounds like a really smart guy, for someone aligned with anti-nuclear Malthusians.
To mention it, even though (from first link) “Derek Abbott is a professor in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Adelaide in Australia”, I haven’t found any direct relation to Tony Abbott, current Australian PM.

Robert_G

A very real problem with nuclear power that I have not yet seen mentioned is terrorism. Unfortunately, no matter how efficient, or how safe the reactors can be made, nothing can reliably protect against acts of terrorism or war. Think “black swan.” Given the world today, this concern is not merely theoretical: We are in the midst of an unbelievable medieval religious war in the 21st century with terrorist thugs having no respect for human life and routinely inflicting obscenely cruel and barbaric punishments on their victims; not to mention their own women and children. Who would have thought this possible twenty years ago? Coupled with a destructively incompetent (if not worse), sociopathic Obama presidency and political leadership, ignoring the growing peril that surrounds and menaces us every day.

Ursa Felidae

Roger Sowell,
I have a question regarding your post: What is your position? Do you favor coal, oil, and natural gas while we have it cheaper than nuclear? Or do you prefer wind and solar at its high cost? Just seeking clarification, thanks.

Modern modular reactors can’t melt down. Believe it or not, we’ve made progress over 60 years. How to you explain a 60 inch HD flat screen TV with 7.1 surround sound to someone from 1968? The problem is we don’t have much to show people yet. but modular reactors are planned to be built soon in GA, and TN. —-
Absolutely true for the Westinghouse AP1000. Completely passive shutdown and standby, (if needed). The design is completely documented on their website.
Had the Fukashima reactors been AP1000’s, they’d be back up generating now.
BUT I digress, and I tire of the battle.
Max

SAMURAI

Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTRs) will be what powers our future because it’s the cheapest, cleanest, safest, most efficient, scalable, unlimited and energy dense form of energy ever developed.
The Thorium Age officially starts next year when China’s first test LFTR goes online. This event will force Western nations to either quickly develop LFTRs or commit economic suicide. If China is allowed to pursue LFTR development exclusively, at some point, a huge second wave of production will flood China’s shores to take advantage of cheap unlimited power.
The great thing is that LFTR technology could easily be completely financed and developed by the private sector. Unfortunately, governments will, of course, force themselves into the LFTR market and establish a huge and cumbersome bureaucracy to administer the myriad and expensive licensing, rules, regulations, building standards, nuclear waste disposal protocols, etc., which the private sector would have naturally established at 1/20th the cost of what it’ll cost the government to run, but, hey, “we’re from the government and we’re here to help.”……
Anyway, from a geo-political perspective, the inherent and worsening political instability of the Middle East and Russia will hasten the need for LFTR development, especially as petroleum increasingly becomes an economic and political weapon and oil profits continue to finance international terrorism.
Thorium is abundant (as abundant at lead) and is found in vast quantities all around the globe; we’ll never run out of the stuff. One average-sized rare-earth mine accidentally produces enough “waste” thorium to supply the entire world’s energy needs for 1 year…
All that’s required is for feckless politicians to establish the LFTR bureaucratic monstrosity to authorize and allow LFTRs development and then the private sector could easily finance The necessary infrastructure. There will obviously be considerable opposition from enviro-wackos, leftists and the fossil fuel industry, but economic and political realities will eventually make their opposition moot.
LFTRs will be the impetus for a second renaissance with incredible economic, political and social implications. All that is lacking is the political will to make it happen…. Again, it’s astoundingly dumb governments that are holding back mankind’s advancement…

Mark Bofill

Perhaps some alarmists are worried about the risk of nuclear accidents – but, if climate change is as serious as they say, how can the risk of a nuclear meltdown or ten possibly compare to what alarmists claim is an imminent risk to the survival of all humanity?

Amen.
This is where alarmists lose me. I’m a lukewarmer. I’ll grant that given our uncertainties, we have no reason to expect anything but some warming from increasing atmospheric CO2. I’m not persuaded that it’ll be much, and I’m not persuaded it won’t be benign.
But I’m a reasonable man. I’d meet the alarmists halfway if we could agree to push for nuclear power, a proven technology and the only CO2 free alternative that has demonstrated the capability of supplying power on the scale industrialized nations require.
Yet the alarmists won’t meet me halfway. Abruptly, the goalposts change. With a straight face they ask me how to guarantee environmental safety from radioactive contamination for thousands of years to come. What? I thought the AGW was immediate and dire and that we have to act yesterday! I read WWF’s position on the subject and see the list of additional requirements they tack onto any solution, from promoting small scale power supply and energy services (why should I care about this) to employment criteria requirements.
It won’t do.
TO Any AGW activists reading, get serious. Explain why anyone who is not already in your camp should take you seriously when you oppose the only realistic solution available to the problem you claim to care so much about. Either this or meet the rest of us halfway and lets talk about nuclear power.